Recent Listening: Kirk Knuffke

Kirk Knuffke, Amnesia Brown (Clean Feed). Knuffke's trumpet tone is notable for softness, fullness and evenness. The audacity of risk in his improvisational concept would be the envy of the Flying Wallendas. The contrast between his sound and the content of his work is a source of fascination throughout this collection of miniatures. Even though his collaborators number only two, Knuffke has plenty of company in 16 little art songs without words, all his compositions. Drummer Kenny Wollesen is … [Read more...]

Holiday And Mulligan

Yesterday was Gerry Mulligan's birthday (1927-1996). Today is Billie Holiday's (1915-1959). If only there were video of them together. There is, of course; one of the most famous pieces of film ever made of a jazz performance. It is from the kinescope recording of the 1957 CBS-TV program The Sound of Jazz. "Fine and Mellow" featured Holiday with a group of horn soloists for which the designation All-Stars seems barely adequate. Holiday's choruses of her classic blues alternate with solos by Ben … [Read more...]