Battling Butler with the BQE Project

Back when I was but a wee lad growing up in Rochester New York I used to play piano in a society orchestra called The Len Hawley Band. It was made up of a mix of local jazz musicians, down-on-their luck lounge buskers and top talent from Eastman School of Music. The band’s mission was […]


Jazz piano has lost one its Jedis with the passing of Oscar Peterson on Sunday. Peterson was one of the pianists who really excited and inspired me about the potential of jazz piano when I was most at risk of giving up practicing the piano for sensualist teenage pursuits. Critics who have dismissed OP as […]

Spiders on the Keys

Listening to James Booker, half crazy and in the final years of his hard life make spine tingling music on this horrible saloon upright takes the term ‘it is a bad craftsman who blames his tools’ to a new level. These recordings were taken from hundreds of hours of tapes from Booker’s ‘77-82 solo piano […]

Naturally – Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings

I have had this CD lying around for a while and finally listened to it. What a refreshing blast. This Brooklyn band is really doing oldschool soul/funk right. The band is as relaxed-tight and Tower of Power. There is neither ensemble overplaying nor any gratuitous displays of individual instrumental virtuosity. Sharon Jones is a powerfully […]

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