Top 10 Favorite Dexter Gordon Tracks

Happy 100th birth anniversary (on 2/27) to absolutely one of the greatest tenor saxophonists who ever lived, Dexter Gordon. When I was a senior in high school, my friend Jimmy Greene loaned me two Dexter cassettes that blew my mind: the mid-60s Blue Note session Gettin’ Around and the mid-70s Steeplechase record Bouncin’ With Dex…

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Top 10 Favorite Jeff Beck Tracks

Upon learning of guitarist Jeff Beck’s passing, I find myself reflecting on the significant impact his music had on my development (in addition to, of course, the impact he had on music itself). I encountered his music in passing here and there as a kid (hearing a Yardbirds song here and there, watching the MTV…

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Tragedy and Choosing to Remember

This week I will turn 49 on the 10th anniversary of the Sandy Hook school shooting, a grim milestone to which I’ve been mentally counting down since December 15 of last year. I do not aspire for it to be a “happy birthday,” and I am rather ambivalent about even acknowledging the personal milestone in public, lest I subject myself to wishes to that effect or, worse, shift attention to me beyond the minimum extent necessary to share these thoughts and experiences that might have some relevance to others. I choose to remember this tragedy, on this and all other days, and below I’ll reflect a bit on what that looks like in practice.

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Top 10 Favorite Yoron Israel Tracks

Next weekend (11/19/22) I’ll have the honor and privilege of playing some of drummer/composer Yoron Israel’s music at Resonant Motion’s “Jazz Up Close” series in Middletown, CT, and I’m thrilled. I have been a fan of his music for thirty years, with some of his early recordings playing a significant role in my own formative…

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Top 10 Favorite Pharoah Sanders Tracks

This weekend we lost the tenor saxophone giant Pharoah Sanders. Much is said about music as a healing force, and I can think of few people who’ve remained as steadfast in their commitment to that as Pharoah was. Thankfully, he left an enormous body of documented work so we can continue to heal from life’s…

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Top 10 Favorite Holland-Dozier-Holland Tracks

With the passing of Lamont Dozier, I felt compelled to hurriedly complete this list-in-progress, documenting my own love affair with the music written and produced by Mr. Dozier along with his partners Eddie and Brian Holland. Each of the three has other noteworthy accomplishments, but their work together is truly stunning, particularly their groundbreaking contributions to the development of the Motown record label. Without any further ado and in chronological order, here are some of my personal favorites.

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