Category Features

Sonny Rollins: Saxophone Colossus

Every serious jazz fan seems to have a favourite Sonny Rollins story. One whose origins I forget – but it may be recited in Ken Burns’ ‘Jazz’ documentary – concerns a late-night Carnegie Hall New Year’s Eve concert sometime in the 1990s. Rollins embarked on a typically Herculean solo at around 11:30pm. This went on […]

Jaco Pastorius: Three Views Of ‘Three Views Of A Secret’

First of all, I’ve got to declare an interest: Jaco’s in my all-time top five favourite musicians. Ever since I started really noticing music in the late ’70s, he was always on my radar – my dad would play Weather Report’s Heavy Weather and Mr Gone around the house, and by the time I knew Jaco’s […]

Hans Groiner: Jazz’s Last Taboo?

Does humour belong in jazz? It’s a tough one, whichever way you slice it. Jazz and comedy were certainly frequently intertwined in the ’30s. Later, Spike Jones‘ incredible bands often featured jazz musicians and consistently tickled the funny bone though rarely at the expense of jazz itself – he mainly used the virtuosity of his […]

Working Week: Does Jazz Go Into Pop?

Excerpts taken from my liner notes for the new Working Week live album: Does jazz go into pop? Judging by the current music scene, the answer would appear to be an unequivocal ‘no’, but, for a golden period in the early-to-mid ’80s, it seemed as if the two styles could happily co-exist. Artists like David […]