Illinois Jacquet: Jumpin' at Apollo - JazzWax

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July 12, 2010


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Lloyd Reece was a somewhat legendary musician in L.A. who taught many of the jazz greats. Much of this is documented in an excellent book called "Central Avenue Sounds."


Reece's influence is also documented in Ted Goia's "West Coast Jazz." The film "Jammin' the Blues" was mimed to a pre-recorded sound track, with Barney Kessel appearing in blackface.


"King" Jacquet calmed his style some in later years, but he could still blow when needed. Both conceptions can be found on his excellent Illinois Flies Again set on Roulette Birdland, with its amusing... er, jacket sketch of the tenorman soaring over a cityscape like some Chagall villager, delivering solid hi-fi expansions of his high-flyin', house-rockin' hits. And his chops were still strong decades later on some guest appearances with Marsalis and Lincoln Center Jazz.

John P. Cooper

I had a friend who was a juke box "op". He was a quietly tough guy and he said that being an op was a tough job in a tough "racket".

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  • Marc Myers writes regularly for The Wall Street Journal and is author of "Anatomy of a Song" (Grove) and "Why Jazz Happened." Founded in 2007, JazzWax is a two-time winner of the Jazz Journalists Association's best blog award.

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