Benny and Phil

Benny Carter died on July 12, 2003. His absence is made a little easier to bear with EMI’s reissue of a rare 1960 album originally on United Artists. The CD is Sax a la Carter, with Jimmy Rowles, Leroy Vinnegar and Mel Lewis. The programs begins with “And The Angels Sing” in shuffle rhythm, possibly to honor or tweak Jonah Jones, a trumpet sideman from Carter’s 1941 band who had a series of easy-listening shuffle hits in the late fifties. Lewis provides a shuffle beat that is essence of … [Read more...]

Harmony and Theory Department

Yesterday I declared at an end the discussion of alternative approaches to improvisation, with a proviso: "Unless someone out there has a new take on this matter." If you're just joining us, the focus of the dialogue (or diablog) was the late tenor saxophonist Bill Perkins. The inquiry was into how much he knew about chords and whether he elected to play outside of them in spite of his knowledge, or because he lacked knowledge. Vibraharpist and teacher Charlie Shoemake responded to my original … [Read more...]