End Note on Perkins

It's time to put a wrap on the discussion about whether Bill Perkins knew the chord structures of pieces on which he improvised. You may recall that vibraharpist Charlie Shoemake, who played with Perkins, wasn't convinced either way. Critic Larry Kart thought that Perk probably did know the chords but felt free to depart from harmonic guidelines that he thoroughy understood. Unless someone out there has a new take on this matter, Shoemake gets the last word. Larry Kart could be right if he's … [Read more...]

Briefly, More CD Reviews

We're still catching up with CDs that appeared while I was writing Paul Desmond's biography. If you don't have your copy of the book yet, hurry. ORBITAL DUKE Columbia/Legacy is systematically reissuing (again) everything it has by Duke Ellington. In the case of Blues In Orbit, it has done so with class and thoroughness, from the inclusion of previously unissued pieces and alternate takes, to digital remastering that brings out nuances, to Patricia Willard’s informative new notes. The back-cover … [Read more...]