Philly

March 22, 2021. Many of us have spent the last week reminiscing about what it was we were doing exactly one year ago. Memories are popping up on our social media accounts about the shutdown and the search for hand sanitizer, and we look at them and try to figure out how an entire year has passed. So much has happened, and composer, guitarist and Philly native Monnette Sudler has managed to touch on the many moods of the past 12 months on Stay Strong. 

November 9, 2020. After a tense election season marked by discord and division, you might find yourself yearning for something, anything, to restore your faith in this country and its institutions. Music has that power.

October 26, 2020. It’s been over 20 years since the release of the Sun Ra Arkestra’s last studio album, 1999’s Song for the Sun. But their new album, Swirling, confirms that space is, indeed, still the place.

June 15, 2020. In 1998, bassist and bandleader Christian McBride composed The Movement Revisited: A Musical Portrait of Four Icons as part of a musical commission. At the time, he considered it a musical portrait of the Civil Rights Movement; it became much more than that.

May 4, 2020. Mother’s Day will be a lot different this year. The jazz brunches that would normally be packed will be replaced by curbside pickup and listening to Sunday Jazz Brunch with Bob Perkins on WRTI 90.1 (not too shabby) while chatting with family via Zoom.

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Many years ago, a group of teenage musicians decided to form a small jazz band in South Philly—they went on to become high-profile players in the jazz world. The band included Albert "Tootie" Heath on drums, Bobby Timmons on piano, Henry Grimes on bass fiddle, Ted Curson on trumpet, Richard “Buzzy” Wilson on alto sax, and Sam Reed on tenor sax.

When a dynamic figure in any walk of life departs, writers and just plain folks, usually try to recall certain events about the departed in which they may have been involved, or heard about.

April 6, 2020. Trumpeter John Vanore’s newest release is not very new at all. It was actually recorded in the mid '80s, with no intention of release. Vanore, and fellow Philadelphian, pianist Ron Thomas, were experimenting with some music from that time. Vanore discovered these tunes on cassette in his basement, and now we have Primary Colors, a chill, yet electric album that touches on the familiar (of 1985).

Jauhien Sasnou

February 3, 2020. Long steeped in the tradition of Philadelphia soul sensibilities, trombonist Ernest Stuart is a versatile player who seemlessly flows in any music style, be it jazz, R&B, hip-hop or rock.