About Ron Wynn

Ron Wynn is a music critic, author and editor. His features, reviews and articles have run locally in the Nashville Scene, The City Paper (Nashville) and on ArtNowNashville.com among others. Wynn is currently sports editor for the Tennessee Tribune and a contributor to Jazz Times. He is former editor of the New Memphis Star and former chief jazz and pop music critic for the Bridgeport Post-Telegram and the Memphis Commercial Appeal. Wynn has contributed to such publications such as Billboard, The Village Voice, Creem, Rock & Roll Disc, Living Blues, The Boston Phoenix, and Rejoice. He was the editor of the first edition of The All Music Guide to Jazz (1994), and from 1993 to 1994 served as the jazz and rap editor of the All Music Guide. Wynn is the author of The Tina Turner Story. He has contributed liner notes for numerous albums; his liner notes for “The Soul of Country Music” received a 1998 Grammy nomination.

Music Review: Wynton Marsalis and Jazz at Lincoln Center swing into Nashville

The 15-piece Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra returned to Nashville Sunday night, and this time their destination was the Schermerhorn Symphony Center, where they performed a mix of repertory and a pair of originals during a 90-minute plus, two-set concert before a packed house. The JALC orchestra provides the best of two worlds in regards […]

Jazz Plus: Legendary Coltrane disc finally appears

For decades there were many stories about a famous John Coltrane concert held at Temple University during the last part of his life. Supposedly the place was initially packed, then started emptying out when the music began playing. Coltrane was reported to have started beating his chest and screaming, and the program was deemed so far out […]

Music Review: Jazz vocalist Dara Tucker lights up Nashville’s Jazz Cave

The challenge for any contemporary jazz performer, vocalist or instrumentalist, is to strike a balance between mastery of traditional requirements and an approach that is fresh and personal. Dara Tucker consistently excelled in both ways throughout her show last Friday at the Nashville Jazz Workshop’s Jazz Cave. The concert was designed to spotlight her third studio […]

Music Review: Nashville jazz community honors Billy Adair

Several of Nashville’s top jazz vocalists and instrumentalists joined forces over two weekends to celebrate the life and accomplishments of a beloved friend and mentor to numerous area performers young and old. The outstanding arranger, guitarist/bassist, bandleader and instructor Billy Adair, who passed away last month, was honored in two memorial concerts at Ingram Hall by The Blair Big Band (April 19) and […]

Book Review: Two new books spotlight basketball’s rise

This year’s NCAA men’s basketball Tournament was the most watched in 21 years, while the last two NBA Finals have been among the highest rated in the league’s history. But veteran basketball fans can recall a time when college basketball received minimal regional coverage, and the NBA’s championship series wasn’t even shown in prime time. Two exhaustive new […]

Music Review: Guitar legend Pat Metheny makes a long overdo return to Nashville

Pat Metheny has always prided himself on being a maverick in musical circles, ignoring genre conventions and looking ahead rather than behind. After not having a saxophonist or reed instrumentalist in his group for nearly three decades, Metheny recruited ace multi-instrumentalist Chris Potter for his Unity Band in 2012. He was a key addition. The […]

Music Preview: Guitar legend Pat Metheny, finding ‘Unity’ in music at Ryman Auditorium

Guitarist, bandleader and composer Pat Metheny has enjoyed a stellar career and managed the difficult feat of maintaining popularity while constantly tackling new artistic challenges. From his early days with Gary Burton right up to his latest project with his Unity Band, Metheny’s continually been willing to operate in different musical arenas, while simultaneously developing […]

Book Review: The Hurrahs and hand grenades of Charles Krauthammer and James Wolcott

More than 30 years ago, Charles Krauthammer left the world of medicine for political journalism, evolving into a prolific, Pulitzer Prize-winning pundit and conservative voice (despite once being a speechwriter for Walter Mondale). The extensive anthology “Things That Matter: Three Decades of Passions, Pastimes and Politics” (Crown Forum) collects his work on a variety of subjects, and shows he’s a thoughtful, […]

Music Review: Marcus Roberts Trio excels at Schermerhorn

Few three-piece units approach performance in a manner similar to the Marcus Roberts Trio, whose brilliance was consistently displayed throughout a superb two-set program last Friday at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center. The best parallel to this group would be the famed Oscar Peterson Trio of the ’50s and ’60s, which was more a cooperative venture […]

Music Review: Nashville Jazz Workshop pays homage to the genius of Max Roach and Clifford Brown

Jazz On The Move, a free concert series held at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts in conjunction with the Nashville Jazz Workshop, began its eighth season Sunday in excellent fashion. A first-rate quintet celebrated the compositions and artistry of the Max Roach/Clifford Brown quintet. They were a superb hard bop unit whose tenure […]

Music Review: Roberta Flack’s voice remains astonishing

It’s been more than four decades since Roberta Flack’s alluring, sensational voice was introduced to the public at large via Clint Eastwood’s 1971 directorial debut Play Misty For Me, and in particular the spectacular ballad “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face.” While jazz and soul fans had already embraced the 1969 debut LP First Take, […]

Jazz Plus: Ron Wynn picks some of his favorite blues and world music CDs just in time for Christmas

James Booker “Classified: Remixed and Expanded” (Rounder) New Orleans piano marvel James Booker combined artistry, soul and technique in a flamboyant, remarkable fashion that established his rank in the upper echelon of pianists in any genre. Originally issued in 1982, “Classified” remains perhaps the only Booker album that those not plugged into the underground scene (where bootleg cassettes […]

Music Review: Annie Sellick, Nashville Jazz Orchestra and Blair Big Band ring in the holidays with swing

Annie Sellick has been an area favorite for many years. Her consistently strong voice and personable stage presence, coupled with an equally distinctive delivery and sense of swing, place her in the upper echelon of the city’s jazz vocalists. Thursday night she debuted before songs from her first holiday release, “Let’s Make A Christmas Memory,” before an […]

Music Review: Bruce Dudley Quartet gets downright contemporary at the Jazz Cave

Pianist, bandleader and composer Bruce Dudley’s amassed both a strong reputation and impressive credits as a player and contributor to several outstanding area sessions. Plus he’s widely admired for his stellar interpretations of works from such greats as Thelonious Monk. The presence of several young faces at Saturday night’s Bruce Dudley Quartet performance at the […]

Jazz Plus: Nashville’s top jazz players score big with new recordings

Roland Barber, “Heart Expressed, Art Finessed” (RolandBarber.com) The trombone wizard of Music City delivers a super set of predominately mid-tempo and mellow numbers on his new release. Ronald Barber displays remarkable technique on trombone, whether playing it with a mute or open, delivering flashy or smooth solos. He’s heading an excellent quintet with brother Rahsaan steadily […]

Music Review: O’Jays sing in perfect harmony at the Schermerhorn

On Sunday night, the Schermerhorn Symphony Center was transformed into an old time soul arena, thanks to the famed O’Jays. The trio, members of both the Rock ‘N’ Roll and Vocal Group Halls of Fame, demonstrated a cohesion, energy and charisma that thrilled a crowd of predominantly older folks, many of whom began clapping after […]

Music Review: Michael McDonald, ‘Takin’ It To The Streets’ in Nashville

Threatening weather that included gusting winds, rain and thunderstorms, coupled with the fact it was Halloween night, probably had an impact on attendance for the opening performance of Michael McDonald’s three-night residency at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center. But those who made it – including several who filtered in throughout the first set – saw a champion […]

Jazz Plus: Ron Wynn is back in action with his latest reviews

Jamie Baum Septet: “In This Life” (Sunnyside) The rhythms – and to some extent sensibility – of Asian music underline the compositions on New York-based bandleader and flutist Jamie Baum’s latest release. Her septet includes enough distinctive players and instruments (for instance a trumpet/French horn/sax frontline) to ensure that the East/West blend never loses immediacy or intensity. Baum’s a strong […]

Music Review: More gala glitz, this time from Al Jarreau

Versatility and excellence have been the hallmarks of vocalist Al Jarreau’s appeal and success since he broke out of the supper club/cabaret/nightclub underground and into the mainstream ranks during the mid-70s. Jarreau consistently demonstrated during an exhaustive, two-set show Sunday night at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center that an orchestral background neither threatens nor overwhelms his […]

“The Butler” in print offers the real story

Everyone, regardless of whether they are a supporter or detractor of Lee Daniels’ film “The Butler” should read acclaimed Washington Post writer Wil Haygood’s short, yet comprehensive and valuable companion book. “The Butler, A Witness to History” (Atria/Simon & Schuster) expands the remarkable 2009 feature story Haygood did on Eugene Allen, the man who served as […]