Free jazz pioneer Ornette Coleman dies at 85

Jun 12, 2015

Free jazz pioneer Ornette Coleman dies at 85

Ornette Coleman, a self-taught alto saxophone player who polarized the jazz world with his unconventional “free jazz” before coming to be regarded as an avant garde genius, died on Thursday morning in New York at the age of 85, according to his publicist. Ken ...

Broken in life, Billie Holiday adored at 100

Apr 5, 2015

Broken in life, Billie Holiday adored at 100

by Shaun Tandon

Billie Holiday died with just $50 to her name taped to her thigh, but on the 100th anniversary of her birth the jazz legend is enjoying a renaissance as a trailblazer for generations of singers. Holiday was broken down by heroin use, police harassment ...

Makoto Ozone set to step out with his other family

Jan 22, 2015

Makoto Ozone set to step out with his other family

by Frank Spignese

During his years in New York, pianist Makoto Ozone fronted a number of small combos and gigged with such heavyweights as Branford Marsalis, Gary Burton and Christian McBride. But the collaborators he has come back to time and time again are his Japan-based big ...

Dec 29, 2014

Famed U.S. jazz clarinetist Buddy DeFranco dead at 91

Acclaimed American jazz clarinetist Buddy DeFranco has died at the age of 91, according to his website, following a long career and numerous collaborations with the genre’s biggest names. DeFranco died on Dec. 24 in Florida, the website said. He helped spearhead jazz’s move ...

Robot jazz singer serenades audience in Tokyo

Oct 23, 2014

Robot jazz singer serenades audience in Tokyo

by Kazuaki Nagata

Who says you need soul to sing jazz? A humanoid robot vocalist was the centerpiece of an ensemble serenading onlookers at the Marunouchi Building near Tokyo Station on Wednesday. Viewed from a distance, the band looked like a regular quartet. Up close, the alluring ...

Vibraphonist Locke to hit all the right notes

Oct 7, 2014

Vibraphonist Locke to hit all the right notes

by Frank Spignese

The vibraphone is one of the more unique instruments to infiltrate jazz. A holy mash-up of the piano and the percussive, it’s the duck-billed platypus of musical instrumentation. In terms of cool, it’s unfairly lodged somewhere between the tuba and the clarinet. Its old-school ...

Tokyo Jazz Festival impresses again

| Sep 9, 2014

Tokyo Jazz Festival impresses again

by Sean Smith

Sitting in a muddy field is taken as par for the course, and possibly even part of the attraction, at major summer festivals like Fuji Rock. But rain would certainly have put a damper on any jazz festival set in the heart of the ...

Jaga Jazzist brings the sound of Oslo to Tokyo Jazz Festival

Sep 4, 2014

Jaga Jazzist brings the sound of Oslo to Tokyo Jazz Festival

by Sean Smith

Trying to slot artists into specific trends, genres and an ever-expanding number of subgenres is a constant obsession for meticulous music fans looking to define what they’re listening to. Journalists categorize, sometimes to the dismay of the bands they’re covering, to make things simpler ...