Current track



WICN Featured Writer: Doug Hall

Written by on February 20, 2023

Author Archive

  • WICN Artist of the Month, April ’24: Lionel Hampton
    By Doug Hall, WICN Contributing Writer As with standard jazz instruments, many players are responsible for popularizing them during different genre periods. For the vibraphone, there is no greater originator and virtuoso than Lionel Hampton. Hampton would become a pioneer in […]
  • WICN Artist of the Month, March ’24: Lena Horne
    by Doug Hall, Contributing Writer During the height of the Civil Rights Movement in the late ‘50s and ‘60s, many Black musicians participated in the marches, demonstrations, and political activities of the times, lending their voices and stature to this […]
  • WICN Artist of the Month, February 2024: Gregory Porter
    By Doug Hall, WICN Contributing Writer In the music world, particularly in the R&B and Soul genres, the foundation of church gospel in the early lives of African-American vocalists is widespread. Aretha Franklin, Toni Braxton, Diana Ross, Whitney Houston, and […]
  • WICN Artist of the Month, January 2024: Billie Holiday
    By Doug Hall   Often in jazz, when identifying the soaring range or virtuosity or power of a vocalist, these gifts are accepted as a skill set that is necessary to impart the depth and complication of song material. Through […]
  • WICN Artist of the Month, December 2023: Chet Baker
    Common in the jazz world–and the wider music industry, to be sure–there are personal story arcs that are dramatically tragic, until the musician manages to rebound and reestablish their career. But if any one musician could carry a legacy that […]
  • WICN Artist of the Month, November 2023: Count Basie
    “Swing” in jazz, for the audience on a dance floor, is often described as an emotional response, with foot-tapping, dancing to a rhythm and a propulsive “feel” to the beat. There is no greater contributor or bandleader for this big-band […]
  • WICN AOM, October 2023: Pharoah Sanders
    The evolution of spiritual jazz began with elements of free jazz, avant-garde jazz, and modal jazz, cited by jazz critics to have been heavily influenced by John Coltrane’s A Love Supreme (1965). The range of musicians reimagining their interpretations of […]
  • WICN Artist of the Month, September ’23: Julian Lage
    By Doug Hall, WICN Contributing Writer     Julian Lage – Love Hurts (Official Video) – YouTube     When a younger, established guitar phenomenon has a wide band of inclusion with other varied guitarists, including Jim Hall, Nels Cline, […]
  • WICN Artist of the Month, June 2023: Abbey Lincoln
    There are many Black female jazz vocalists held in special regard for their commitment to civil rights and activism, including the support expressed through their songs and lyrics that directly address racism. Billie Holiday’s Strange Fruit, Lena Horne’s Stormy Weather, […]
  • WICN Artist of the Month, May 2023: Burt Bacharach
    In the 1960s, the word “songsmith” was a definition often given to folk music artists such as Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, or Neil Young, tied with their overt political and social critiques. Burt Bacharach would easily capture that title in […]
  • WICN Artist of the Month, April 2023: Fletcher Henderson
    The limelight for the Big Band Era of Swing is often dominated by the familiarity of names such as Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, and Artie Shaw. Yet Fletcher Henderson was a pivotal bandleader, leading possibly the most dynamic early big […]
  • WICN Artist of the Month, March 2023: Mary Halvorson
    Experimental jazz guitarist, composer, and ensemble bandleader Mary Halvorson has evolved her individual style and pushed an incredibly varied direction in musical expression over the course of numerous projects since 2005. Finding significant critical attention in 2017, 2018 and 2019, […]
  • WICN Venue Review: Blue Note Tokyo
    Opened in 1988, the Blue Note Tokyo nightclub has a long-established history of providing top-tier jazz performances and holds a special place in the veins of many renowned jazz artists. Over several decades, A-list performers including Sarah Vaughan, Oscar Peterson, […]
  • WICN Artist of the Month, February 2023: Duke Ellington
    It’s difficult to overstate the importance of Duke Ellington’s influence: as seminal orchestral band leader; compositional genius; and his depth of musical contribution to jazz, modernizing without precedent, and his extensive legacy of recordings. In his own words, Ellington expressed […]
  • WICN Artist of the Month, January 2023: Samara Joy
    The voice as an instrument, particularly in jazz, is a fascinating vehicle for musical expression. In the category of female vocalists there are the established legends – think Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, and Billie Holiday. They each have a different […]
  • WICN Artist of the Month, December 2022: Gipsy Kings
    The image of a Spanish flamenco dancer with intensive emotion, swirling with castanets clicking and boots stomping, driving a rhythm against a dance floor, is hard to separate from the accompanying band that delivers the syncopation. The flamenco dancer is […]
  • WICN Artist of the Month, November ’22: Tito Puente
    As the driving rhythm and dance-based sound of Afro-Cuban music was being introduced to the U.S. in the late ‘40s by Cuban bandleaders, most notably Machito and his Latin orchestra, a refinement of musical genre was evolving. With styles incorporating […]
  • WICN Artist of the Month, October 2022: Wayne Shorter
    The voice, tone, phrasing–in effect, the signature sound of the sax has distinguished a number of artists. Wayne Shorter, now 89 years old, has been a profound force of interpretation on the tenor saxophone; on the soprano saxophone, there is […]
  • WICN Artist of the Month, September 2022: Catherine Russell
    As many musically divergent roads can lead to a professional career in jazz, veteran vocalist, pianist, multi-instrumentalist, Grammy-award nominee, and winner Catherine Russell, has followed her own path. With an established bloodline of famed musicianship from both parents, Luis Russell […]
  • WICN Artist of the Month, August 2022: Grace Kelly
    Watching live performances of featured artists in jazz, certain musicians command your attention with their physical presence, effortlessly able to exude enormous energy. Grace Kelly, saxophonist, singer, and bandleader, has been sharing that sustained personal intensity on stage since her […]
  • WICN Artist of the Month, June 2022: Jaki Byard
    As mentoring becomes a more recognized adjunct to an established career as a jazz musician (or any veteran artist), the impact is clear when insights are shared by mentored musicians. There are a handful of such teachers that carry as […]
  • WICN Review: Boston Lyric Opera
    Champion: An Opera in Jazz Performed Sunday, May 22 at The Emerson Cutler Majestic Theater Music by Terence Blanchard Libretto by Michael Cristofer Now in its 45th season, Boston Lyric Opera is the largest and longest-lived opera company in New […]
  • WICN Artist of the Month, May 2022: Joey DeFrancesco
    The music world abounds with references to Philly soul or Philly funk and its heritage of legendary musicians. Philly jazz musicians have also earned such iconic references. But there is one contemporary recording artist, constantly touring with top-shelf talent and […]
  • WICN Artist Interview: Mary Halvorson
    Experimental jazz guitarist, composer and ensemble bandleader Mary Halvorson has evolved her individual style and pushed an incredibly varied direction in musical expression over the course of numerous projects since 2005. Finding significant critical attention in 2017, 2018, and 2019, […]
  • WICN Artist of the Month, April 2022: Charles Mingus
    If a compositional work of music such as a 500-page score was discovered in our current era, that when arranged and performed would be 2.5 hours long and require 30 musicians to perform, you’d assume this was a classical piece […]
  • WICN Interview & Profile: New England Conservatory’s Artist in Residency Program
    New England Conservatory in Boston is recognized as one of the top music schools in the country, and at the forefront of leadership in educating and training musicians of all ages from around the world. NEC’s music students represent more […]
  • WICN Artist of the Month, March 2022: Stan Getz
    Known for his lyrical and relaxed style on the tenor saxophone, exceptional improvisor and seminal influence on his instrument, Lester Young, “The Prez,” was interviewed in a Paris hotel room just two months before he died. In response to a […]
  • WICN Artist of the Month, February 2022: Wes Montgomery
    The telling originality and influence of a great innovator in jazz, based on their instrument, technique, and voicing, is often echoed by the number of outstanding musicians of future generations that advance the established style. The signature thumb-based strumming method, […]
  • WICN Artist of the Month, January ’22: Antônio Carlos Jobim
    Often when a selection of bossa nova jazz is played by Stan Getz, Donald Byrd, or Dizzy Gillespie, it is attributed to them from an American perspective. The 1964 groundbreaking release in the US by Verve Records, Getz/Gilberto, sold over […]
  • WICN Artist of the Month, December 2021: Ray Brown
    In the arena of large jazz orchestras – whether it be Duke Ellington, Count Basie, or Dizzy Gillespie – the choice of an individual musician becomes a critical decision for any bandleader. Ray Brown, legendary acoustic double-bassist, DownBeat Jazz Hall […]
  • WICN Artist of the Month, November 2021: Ron Carter
    As you look at all the seminal legends and stars of jazz that have performed and recorded for over 60 years, there are only a few currently active. An even shorter list, indeed, if you consider the list of performers […]
  • WICN INTERVIEW: Randy Brecker
    Jazz trumpeter and composer, Randy Brecker, has been at the center of seminal jazz-funk groups with his late brother Michael (on saxophone) through the mid-‘70s and early ‘80s. Brecker has helped shape the sound of jazz, R&B, and rock for […]
  • WICN Artist of the Month, October 2021: Nina Simone
    If ever there were a jazz singer whose musical career could not be separated from the legacy of their own political and social positions, it would be Nina Simone. From early on in her performances and recordings, her establishment and […]
  • Tony Bennett – WICN Artist of the Month, September 2021
    As one of the greatest crooners and stylists of the Great American Songbook, Tony Bennett has been influenced by and taken vocal impressions from many singular, legendary jazz performers. Bennett’s well-known emotional and physical reaction to hearing the birth of […]
  • WICN Artist of the Month, August 2021: Herbie Hancock
    A sweeping messenger of the widest of musical genre explorations (classical, traditional jazz, post-bop, jazz-rock fusion, funk, electronica, hip-hop, pop, and ambient); jazz pianist, keyboardist, bandleader, and composer Herbie Hancock is true to his own label as “cultural ambassador.” Early […]
  • Candido Camero – July 2021 WICN’s Artist of the Month
    When the Afro-Cuban jazz sound traveled to the U.S. in the 1940s, with roots rhythmically based on Cuban popular dance music and a percussion that, in fact, incorporated the earliest sounds of a syncopated beat from ancient Africa, it became […]
  • Erroll Garner – WICN’s June Artist of the Month
    In the 1950s, with the advent of “cool jazz” and Miles Davis leading the way with a modal change with Birth of the Cool (1957) Milestones (1958), and later the seminal, legendary recording of Kind of Blue (1959) with its […]
  • Sonny Rollins – WICN May Artist of the Month
    If you happened to be on the Williamsburg Bridge anytime from the summer of 1959 through roughly the autumn of 1961, you would have been privileged to hear the sound of a true artist seeking to find new directions and […]
  • WICN’s April Artist of the Month – Thelonious Monk
    If legendary jazz musicians were collected together in one giant jigsaw puzzle and each musician was one piece – Thelonious Monk’s individual piece would be impossible to cut out. As a singular artist, his shape or place in jazz is […]

Reader's opinions

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *