ICON Magazine

Latest From ICON Magazine
3:38 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

Why Ron Carter is the Ace of Bass

The legendary bassist Ron Carter

As a cultural institution, the Blue Note in NYC's Greenwich Village is surprisingly small. It’s a long, shotgun room with a snug stage set midway down against the left wall - the jazz club’s glowing blue neon logo centered as a backdrop. Tables line up front in tight formation and fan out to the left and right with as many patrons squeezed into place as the room can hold.

Since it's always about the music, there’s a collective understanding why you’re there. And last February, it was all about the man of the hour—the one and only, bassist Ron Carter.

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Latest From ICON Magazine
10:28 am
Wed November 19, 2014

Autumn 2014 Jazz Picks: Check Them Out!

Vocalist Alicia Olatuja

Nick Bewsey from ICON Magazine has some great jazz CDs to tell you about from Kenny Barron and Dave Holland, and Alicia Olatuja.

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Latest From ICON Magazine
12:11 pm
Thu October 23, 2014

BP's Jazz Library: Singer Carmen McRae

Carmen McRae (1920-1994)

Very often with famous entertainers, only the first name is sufficient for identification. This happens particularly in the genres of jazz and standard/popular music. When a hip person wants to say something about a well-known artist, they may refer to that artist as Sarah, Billie, Ella, or Carmen. The latter of course is a reference to Carmen McRae, dubbed by jazz critics, writers and fans, "The Singer’s Singer."  

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Latest From ICON Magazine
1:56 pm
Wed September 24, 2014

Ramshackle Serenade: The Hammond Organ, Guitar, and Drums on the Wings of Swing

Organist Larry Goldings, Guitarist Peter Bernstein, and drummer Bill Stewart
Till Bronner

Larry Goldings, Peter Bernstein, and Bill Stewart's Ramshackle Serenade is a great album title for this splendid trio, the supplest and sharpest-tuned organ/guitar/drum trio making music today.

Their endurance as a unit—they’ve been recording together for many years and share more than a dozen recordings—has never been more pronounced or sophisticated.

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Jazz CD Review
4:21 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

ICON Suggests: Jimmy Cobb, The Original Mob

The Original Mob, assembles drummer Jimmy Cobb, guitarist Peter Bernstein, pianist Brad Mehldau, and bassist John Webber.

Drummer Jimmy Cobb, an historically important musician who duly received an NEA Jazz Master award in 2009, needs no introduction. If his only connection to jazz was through Miles Davis and playing on Kind Of Blue in 1959, his reputation would still be assured.

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Jazz CD Review
2:44 pm
Tue August 5, 2014

ICON Suggests: Sean Jones Quartet, im.pro.vise never before seen

Sean Jones' uniquely titled seventh album, im.pro.vise never before seen, reunites Jones with longtime friends and self-assured improvisers—pianist Orrin Evans, bassist Lucques Curtis and Obed Calvaire on drums.

An exceptionally gifted musician and leader, trumpeter Sean Jones has an accomplished track record. As a young man, he turned to jazz after hearing John Coltrane’s A Love Supreme. But it was the music of Miles Davis that pushed Jones toward his destiny as a player with the capacity to lead the pack.

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CD Selections
4:35 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

June Jazz Picks from ICON Magazine

Here's Nick Bewsey from ICON Magazine with a bunch of great jazz CDs to tell you about.

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Latest From ICON Magazine
11:19 am
Fri June 6, 2014

Q & A with Jazz Group FOURPLAY

For more than 20 years, the world-renowned jazz group Fourplay has set the benchmark for contemporary jazz. From their eponymously titled debut in 1991, to their 2012 Heads Up release, Esprit du Four, pianist Bob James, bassist Nathan East, drummer Harvey Mason and guitarist Chuck Loeb have continued to innovate and charm listeners with their precise, dynamic instrumental jazz/pop sound. On record and on stage, their tasty grooves and virtuosity remain impressive.

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From ICON Magazine
3:11 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

Bob Perkins Tells The Story of Herb Jeffries, "The Bronze Buckaroo"

Jazz singer and actor Herb Jeffries (1913-2014)

BP wrote this article in 2011 for ICON Magazine, and wanted to share it again now in memory of Mr. Jeffries, who passed away on May 25, 2014 at age 100.

If you have high mileage on your odometer, and over the years have been in tune with standard popular music and jazz, you may have heard the name Herb Jeffries, and perhaps even know something about the singer/actor. He sang with the Duke Ellington Orchestra in the early 1940s, and scored a hit with his rendition of “Flamingo.”

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Latest From ICON Magazine
10:48 am
Thu May 22, 2014

Bob Perkins Tells The Story of Billy Strayhorn, Composer of "Take the 'A' Train"

Composer, arranger, and pianist Billy Strathorn is best known for his 30-year collaboration with Duke Ellington. His compositions include "Take the "A" Train," "Chelsea Bridge," and "Lush Life."

He stood five feet, two inches tall, and his musical colleagues dubbed him “Swee’ Pea,” after the little character in the Popeye cartoons. But Billy Strayhorn ranked with the giants that composed enduring standard popular music. He was also nobody’s cartoon character. The handle was a reverent tease, applied by Strayhorn’s musical associates in the Duke Ellington Orchestra.

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