Cedar Walton, Pianist and Composer, Dies at 79

Posted by Mr. Leslie Wong On August - 21 - 2013

Cedar Walton, a pianist who distinguished himself as both an accompanist and a soloist, and who wrote some of the most enduring compositions in modern jazz while a member of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers in the early 1960s, died on Monday at his home in Brooklyn. He was 79.

from nytimes.com

Hank Jones, Jazz Pianist, Dies at 91

Posted by Mr. Leslie Wong On May - 17 - 2010

I saw him at Bradley’s many times.

NY Times Obituary

Listen to Hank Jones on Marian McPartland ‘s Piano Jazz with guest host Bill Charlap:

Freddie Hubbard 1938-2008

Posted by Mr. Leslie Wong On December - 30 - 2008

Freddie Hubbard

The great jazz trumpeter Freddie Hubbard died yesterday in California. Peter Keepnews wrote an obituary at the New York Times.

Wikipedia has Freddie Hubbard’s discography.

Over the past 35 years, I was fortunate to see Freddie Hubbard perform many times. The first was in the early ’70s, when I took this photograph at a concert in San Francisco.

I was always partial to the trumpet, maybe because two of my friends, Bruce Baxley and Eugene Madsen, both played. I took lessons with a rental trumpet when I was a kid, but at Christmas, it came down to a trumpet or a bike, and the bike won.

When I moved to the mecca of jazz, New York City, the first thing I bought when I sold a photograph was a Yamaha Flugelhorn, a YFH-631 (now the 631G). My friend, Tim Luey (I think mistakenly), told me a fluegelhorn was easier to play than a trumpet. One year, while attending Comdex in Las Vegas, I bought a Bach Stradivarius at a pawn shop. Both of them are in the closet.

100 Essential Jazz Albums

Posted by Mr. Leslie Wong On May - 13 - 2008


David Remnick, at The New Yorker, compiled a list of 100 Essential Jazz Albums after doing a profile of jazz broadcaster Phil Schaap.

I used to listen to Phil Schaap and Bird Flight on WKCR, when I was up that early. I also always used to play Charlie Parker’s rendition of Just Friends on the juke box at Bradley’s, which closed in 1998, about the same time my life started going downhill.

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Happy Birthday, Cedar Walton

Posted by Mr. Leslie Wong On January - 17 - 2008


It’s pianist’s Cedar Walton’s 74th birthday today.

all about jazz has his biography and an interview by Russ Musto.

Google has Cedar Walton’s discographies.

February 12-17, 2008, he’ll be at Yoshi’s in San Francisco and Oakland.

You can get his Underground Memoirs album somewhere.

Oscar Peterson 1925-2007

Posted by Mr. Leslie Wong On December - 24 - 2007

Oscar Peterson

The great jazz pianist Oscar Peterson died today. You can read his obituary at the New York Times (free registration required) or the Los Angeles Times.

I only heard him live once, at El Matador on Broadway in San Francisco. Fortunately, we still have his music to remember him.

Happy Birthday, Wynton

Posted by Mr. Leslie Wong On October - 18 - 2007

Trumpeter and composer Wynton Marsalis turned 46 today. I have a faint recollection of complimenting him on his set outside Sweet Basil, (or was it Joanna’s) in the early 80’s. That’s a lot of water under the bridge.

From The Plantation To The Penitentiary

Currently, my favorite work of his is Doin’ (Y)Our Thing, on his album, From The Plantation To The Penitentiary.


Amazon’s New MP3 Store: DRM-Free Music

Posted by Mr. Leslie Wong On September - 25 - 2007

From Blue Note Records: “Wynton Marsalis’ moving new album From the Plantation to the Penitentiary, offers a clear-eyed and uncompromising look at the cracks in America’s facade of prosperity and happiness.”

From The Plantation To The Penitentiary

I just downloaded Doin’ (Y)Our Thing, the third track on this album, from Amazon’s new MP3 store. It is very compelling music.

The file format is 256kbps VBR MP3, but I guess because it’s a long track (8:36), it cost $1.94. This track was not offered singly on iTunes, so I’m happy there’s more competition and another source for DRM-free music.

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