Santa’s Boots – sort of

What can put a sax-playing curmudgeon smack dab into the heart of the Christmas Spirit? That right, kiddies!  Transcribing an iconic tenor solo. What better to hear this season than Boots Randolph’s solo on Brenda Lee’s hit single “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree”? None. Simply none. Here it is. Rockin’ like that one-horse open sleigh […]

Marvin Gaye – isolated vocal

In studio recordings the whole should be better than the sum of its parts. Often listening to one isolated track is a disappointment – so much is missing; no support or context. There are certainly exceptions. Listen to this vocal-only track from Marvin Gaye’s “I Heard it Through the Grapevine.” What fantastic time, pitch and inflection. […]

Everything New is Old Again

Grammy nominee, Gregory Porter is a newer voice in jazz, with sounds deeply rooted in tradition. His combo is acoustic, straight-ahead and more than proficient, creating context and support for Gregory’s baritone voice. Very sincere and moving delivery. Very cool. Jazz News reports: “Blue Note Records and Universal Music Classics & Jazz have announced the […]

Oft Overlooked Jazz Singer

One of my “If you could only listen to 10 albums for the rest of your life” picks, John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman ranks up there at the top. Love Hartman’s tibre, love his swing, and love his subtle emotion. Rhythm section is a who’s who of Bop/Post-Bop jazz: Mccoy Tyner on piano, bassist Jimmy Garrison, […]