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By Mike Telin and Daniel Hautzinger

Hinton-Milt“Don’t B-sharp, Don’t B-flat, Just B-natural.” — Milt Hinton (1910-2000)

It’s a phrase emblematic of Hinton’s approach to life: laid-back, optimistic, and warmly human. These are the qualities that were emphasized over and over again on Thursday, June 12, in Oberlin during a day celebrating the life and legacy of Milt Hinton.

Hinton left behind a three-fold legacy: aural, visual, and human. He lives on in nearly 1,200 recordings, in his 60,00 photographs of musicians, and in the many young musicians he mentored and taught. Some of these legacies now reside at the Oberlin Conservatory, which has been gifted The Milton J. and Mona C. Hinton Papers, four of Hinton’s basses, and the $250,000 Milton J. Hinton Scholarship Fund, established in 1980 by friends and family of Hinton on the occasion of his 70th birthday. This new partnership with the Hinton estate was facilitated by Oberlin Professor of Jazz Studies and Double Bass Peter Dominguez and Special Collections Librarian Jeremy Smith.

The afternoon began at 2:30 when Jeremy Smith welcomed a larger-than-anticipated crowd who had gathered in the Conservatory lounge, where an exhibit of Hinton’s photographs entitled The Way I See It was on display. Read the rest of this entry »


by Mike Telin


Milt Hinton with Cab Calloway

This weekend, double bass students aged 13 to 21 will travel to the Oberlin Conservatory to be part of the Inaugural Milton J. Hinton Institute for Studio Bass. The weeklong institute provides the young players with the opportunity to study with renowned teachers in all musical genres including classical, early music, jazz, slap, Latin, and electric. A special feature of the inaugural institute will be a day-long celebration of Hinton’s long and distinguished career on Thursday, June 12.

The Institute is part of a new relationship between Oberlin and the Hinton estate which assures that the legacy of “The Dean of Jazz bassists” will be kept alive well into the future. Oberlin’s partnership with the Hinton estate was facilitated by Oberlin Professor of Jazz Studies and Double Bass Peter Dominguez and Special Collections Librarian Jeremy Smith.

The roots of Dominguez’s relationship with Hinton go back to 1979. Read the rest of this entry »

by Mike Telin

Trumpet_Genesis-hiresAfter one listen it was pretty easy to come up with at least one hundred reasons to get a copy of Trumpet Genesis, the latest recording project by Northeast Ohio trumpeter and arranger Josh Rzepka. Consisting of six tracks and a total play time of roughly 39 minutes, this album leaves you wanting, wishing, hoping for more — due in large part to the all-star lineup Rzepka has assembled for the project. Musically speaking, every track of Trumpet Genesis is a lesson in ensemble playing with plenty of great solo work adding just the right spices to each and every tune — all of which were either written or made famous by a trumpeter.

In the well-written liner notes (a bit hard to read, especially for my middle aged eyes), Rzepka says that the inspiration for the album came from the desire to record some tracks with his mentor and Oberlin Conservatory teacher Kenny Davis. After approaching Tri-C’s Crooked River Grove Records about a project that would include Davis, his friend and mentor, pianist Jackie Warren and himself, the project “took off” from there. Read the rest of this entry »

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