Blues Of Louisiana – Illinois Jacquet

Here are some low down blues from 1973 … featuring Illinois Jacquet (ts), Wild Bill Davis (org) and Al Bartee (d). Although pure jazz, Illinois is credited with introducing a sound later recognized as the first R&B sax solo ever recorded.  He was also one of the few jazz musicians to play bassoon.

Summertime – Sir Roland Hanna / Bob Brookmeyer

To celebrate the arrival of summer, here are not one but two unique treatments of the Gershwin classic.  Summertime was originally an aria composed by George Gershwin for the 1935 opera Porgy and Bess. The lyrics are by DuBose and Dorothy Heyward, and Ira Gershwin. Through the years, the song has became a truly solid jazz standard.


by Sir Roland Hanna | Quartet Plays Gershwin


by Bob Brookmeyer | Out Of This World

Countdown – Joey Alexander

Joey Alexander must be experienced.  Words don’t do it.  He is a 13 year old from Indonesia, who taught himself to play the piano at age 6 by listening to his dad’s jazz records.  The word ‘prodigy’ isn’t really strong enough … he plays, composes, and can take apart and reassemble a song on the fly, on the spot!  He’s a bit of Bill Evans, a smattering of Chick Corea and a whole lot of Joey.  This is an in-studio performance of the title track from his latest album, together with bassist Larry Grenadier and drummer Ulysses Owens, Jr.  Fasten your seatbelt, and plan to see many more postings of this astonishing young jazz musician here on Mark Of Jazz!

Hard Hearted Hannah – Ella Fitzgerald

Ella Fitzgerald in a scene from the 1955 movie “Pete Kelly’s Blues”, starring Jack Webb, Lee Marvin and a host of young stars.  Like Ella, Peggy Lee also has a cameo role and a couple of great songs in the film.

Killer Joe – Quincy Jones

Something of a departure from Quincy’s classic, more traditional version of the song.  It features the late Jerome Richardson on Flute, Jerry Hey on Flugelhorn and the incomparable Pete Christlieb on Tenor Sax … plus Louis Johnson on electric bass driving the entire ensemble.