Singing in the Shower: Ralph Ellison and the Blues

La Folia Online Music Review [April 2002.] Ralph Ellison’s commentary on jazz and blues in his now-legendary volume of essays, Shadow and Act [Random House, 1953], presents a case for black musical creation as a universally representative art form. When he asserts that his “desire, beginning at a very early age, to be more fully […]

Smoke & Light: The Jazz Photos Of Herman Leonard At The Monterey Jazz Festival, 2001

Photographer extraordinaire Herman Leonard mounted an eye-opening display of jazz photos at the recent Monterey Jazz Festival (September 21 – 23) in the intimate confines of the Coffee House Gallery. For three days, Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday, Miles Davis, Sarah Vaughan and others again stood side by side, revealing momentary personal candor and permanent visual […]

Jim Merod’s Jazz Column

CHICO O’FARRILL: CARAMBOLA. Milestones MCD 9308. [January 2001. Originally appeared in La Folia 3:2.] “Carambola,” indeed ! Now that maestro Chico O’Farrill has been rediscovered all over again — and he never went anywhere in the first place — the Afro-Cuban scene can smile a broad grin of recognition that one of its central figures […]

BLUE “Dragonfly” Microphones. Awesome Sound from a Hip Condenser

The Stereo Times, December 2000 When microphone maestro Martins Salunsparens delivered a virtually matched pair of hisnew DRAGONFLY microphones to Casa BluePort, a moment’s glance inside theirimpressive cartons told the story. The unusual 40-volt powered BLUE [Baltic LatvianUniversal Electronics] Dragonfly microphone is not only one of the most eye-catchingmicrophones a recording engineer can throw in […]

Karrin Allyson: In Blue

Vocalist Karrin Allyson is one of the truly gifted, swinging and (gracefully, thankfully) subtle female vocalists on the scene today … and, since there are too few of such hip crooners, a new release by her is a cause to pay attention. In Blue, the newest of Allyson’s long list of Concord albums, continues the […]

The E.S.P. “Concert Grand” Speakers

Re-printed with permission from Planet HiFi 1998 The very large Sean McCaughan-designed E.S.P. “Concert Grand” loudspeakers are remarkable for their relaxed presentation of largescale musical dynamics. They are not the most accurate speaker in recreating the small transient decays of live music. And they do not have the immediacy of the Von Schweikert V-6 and […]