Interview: Don Sebesky (Part 1) - JazzWax

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December 09, 2010


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Bill Kirchner

Nice interview with a master craftsman (and by all accounts, a superb teacher). His book "The Contemporary Arranger" is a must-own for anyone interested in writing.

Peter Sokolowski

His work for John Pizzarelli is thrilling. Swinging and powerful writing.

"Message from Newport" is the best record Maynard Ferguson ever made. Jake Hanna on drums.

Ed Leimbacher

Regarding the ex-Kenton vocalists--Ms.'s Warm Cool (Connor), Something Cool (Christy), and Too Cool (O'Day)--I am wholeheartedly in agreement with Mr. Sebesky: Connor rules. And by a Cool coincidence, tomorrow I'll be posting a current take on the three at --Kudos to Marc for always being ahead of the pack and the game, doing yeoman's work day after day helping to keep Jazz alive and well... and we fans who frequent JazzWax well-read too.

Larry Kart

Mat Mathews recorded less in the U.S. that one would like, but he was an interesting, swinging player. Particularly nice is his 1956 album on the Dawn label, "The Modern Art of Jazz," with Art Farmer, Gigi Gryce, Julius Watkins, Herbie Mann, Dick Katz, Oscar Pettiford, and Kenny Clarke.

Grover Gardner

Just wanted to say that I love this blog and read it every day.


Shortly after the Dawn album mentioned by Larry, Pettiford recorded a big band version of one of the Matthews originals, also featuring Farmer, Gryce, and Watkins. It's included on the fabulous Lone Hill compilation of Pettiford's big band recordings.

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  • Marc Myers writes regularly for The Wall Street Journal and is author of "Anatomy of 55 More Songs," "Anatomy of a Song," "Rock Concert: An Oral History" and "Why Jazz Happened." Founded in 2007, JazzWax has won three Jazz Journalists Association awards.
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