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There were angels dining at the Ritz

Tim Hauser, founder of the jazz vocal group The Manhattan Transfer, has died at the age of 72. [more inside]
posted by PussKillian on Oct 22, 2014 - 28 comments

The Big 'E'

You can read on Buddy Emmons' Wikipedia page how by the age of 19, he had already mastered and redesigned the pedal steel guitar, slowly turning it into the instrument whose sound we are all familiar with, in one form or another. You can read on his website how his peers revere him, and how he gives back to the community whom he's profoundly influenced. (Or, watch a 100-minute concert and tribute.) But perhaps it's just best to marvel at The Big E as he backs up legends in their own right; on television in 1965; how he destroys the world in a 1970's Redneck Jazz Explosion (with Danny Gatton, previously); in the mid-'80's with the Lawton Jazz Kicks Ensemble; at the 1988 British Steel Guitar convention; at the at the 1997 International Steel Guitar Convention; and in 2007, the year he retired. Or just messin' around with Nashville's top session musicians or reinterpreting the classics. There's also a great AskMe thread of Pedal Steel Guitar recommendations, if you want to hear more.
posted by not_on_display on Oct 17, 2014 - 8 comments

RIYL DJ /rupture (Eclectic DJ Mix Monday #2)

Hieroglyphic Being (Jamal Moss), head of Mathematics Records, is an old school Chicago House DJ who jams together a messy clump of styles to try to keep things "giddy, impatient and unpredictable." Sun Ra, Peter Gabriel, Native American chants, Brian Eno, and Mr. Fingers all bump up comfortably next to each other. To get you through your Monday afternoon...
posted by Going To Maine on Sep 22, 2014 - 6 comments

A little Clump of Soul

Ten years ago today saw the English launch of a quirky Japanese puzzler, a sleeper hit that would go down as one of the most endearing, original, and gleefully weird gaming stories of the 2000s: Katamari Damacy. Its fever-dream plot has the record-scratching, Freddie Mercury-esque King of All Cosmos destroy the stars in a drunken fugue, and you, the diminutive Prince, must restore them with the Katamari -- a magical sticky ball that snowballs through cluttered environments, rolling up paperclips, flowerpots, cows, buses, houses, skyscrapers, and continents into new constellations. It also boasts one of the most infectiously joyous soundtracks of all time -- an eccentric, richly produced, and incredibly catchy blend of funk, salsa, bossa nova, experimental electronica, J-Pop, swing, lounge, bamboo flute, hair metal, buoyant parade music, soaring children's choirs, Macintalk fanfares, and the finest theme song this side of Super Mario Bros. Called a consumerist critique by sculptor-turned-developer Keita Takahashi (who after one sequel moved on to Glitch, the supremely odd Noby Noby Boy, and playground design), the series has inspired much celebration and thought [2, 3] on its way from budget bin to MoMA exhibit. Look inside for essays, artwork, comics, lyrics, more music, hopes, dreams... my, the internet really is full of things. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Sep 21, 2014 - 92 comments

Nica

Those of you here who are jazz fans may have heard a little about Kathleen Annie Pannonica Rothschild. Her nickname "Nica" is enshrined in many a jazz composition's title, for example Nica's Tempo, Nica's Dream, Blues for Nica and, simpy, Nica. She was, as you'd imagine, a devoted lover of jazz, and an inestimably important benefactor, patron and enabler of many of the jazz legends of her time, especially the great Thelonius Monk. Learn more about her in this Guardian article: The jazz baroness and the bebop king.
posted by flapjax at midnite on Sep 14, 2014 - 8 comments

Imagine she's all about that bass and you're going to hear her roar.

Kate Davis performs 3 covers:
feat. Postmodern Jukebox - Meghan Trainor's All About That Bass
at New York Humane Society - Katy Perry's Roar
and three years ago on the Lennon Bus - Imagine
[more inside]
posted by carsonb on Sep 12, 2014 - 13 comments

¡SUÉNALO!

This a little story 'bout this one time, we got booked to play a show, right? It was down in the Keys, we wuz makin' our way - and we ran into the Tiki Bar
“Funk cruises through the Caribbean picking up Afro sounds from Cuba and Puerto Rico. Reggae meets rock in a head-on collision. Jazz and electro hook up for a sidewalk makeout session. Hip-hop seems to hum from the very pavement, and R&B drifts in on the night wind. Suenalo reaches to far-flung corners and retrieves all these, takes them and mashing them together, marrying them—disparate players melded into a somehow harmonious blend.
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Sep 2, 2014 - 5 comments

Words and Music with Oscar Peterson

Oscar Peterson interviews Joe Pass and Count Basie for his 1980 show "Words and Music." [more inside]
posted by Gygesringtone on Aug 22, 2014 - 4 comments

Jim Henson gets jazzy

Watch Jim Henson's colorful animation of jazz drummer Chico Hamilton's piece, "Drums West".
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Aug 21, 2014 - 12 comments

A look back at the funky, psychedelic, soulful 70s in Nigeria

According to the Daptone Gold compilation liner notes (auto-playing music, click on "Biography"to read the notes), written by Pitchfork contributor Douglas Wolk, "the world capital of soul" has moved from the US ("between Memphis and Detroit, with occasional stopovers in New Orleans, Cincinnati and elsewhere") in the 1960, to Lagos in the 1970s, then it went into hiding, finally reappearing in Brooklyn, with Daptone Records. Let's go back - why Lagos in the 1970s? [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Aug 18, 2014 - 10 comments

Poking the Jazz Hive

On July 31st the New Yorker posted on Shouts and Murmurs: "Sonny Rollins: In His Own Words BY DJANGO GOLD". Plenty of people were not pleased. Including, yes, Sonny Rollins himself. (The editor's note on Shouts and Murmurs was added afterwards and was not part of the initial publishing of the piece)
posted by josher71 on Aug 5, 2014 - 91 comments

For a foot stompin' Tuesday

Lizzie Miles (1895-1963) was a blues singer from New Orleans. (Her music was recently featured during the closing credits of Blue Jasmine.) Less well-known are her two half-siblings, blues singer Edna Hicks (1895-1925), and jazz trumpeter and vocalist Herb Morand (1905-1952). [more inside]
posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide on Jul 29, 2014 - 4 comments

The Chee-Chee Girl

Born in 1913, Rose Murphy was an imaginative and percussive jazz pianist and singer nicknamed "the Chee-Chee Girl" for obvious reasons. Although she didn't make many recordings, she continued to perform up until her death in 1989. [more inside]
posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide on Jul 27, 2014 - 8 comments

Spending eternity with Miles Davis

Fans book burial plots to be near jazz greats. "Nearly all the 70 burial plots which were advertised for sale earlier this year in 'Jazz Corner' – right behind the shiny, granite gravestone of Miles Davis, etched with his trumpet and bearing the honorific 'Sir' to mark the knighthood bestowed on him by the Knights of Malta – have already been taken." Other jazz greats interred at Woodlawn: Celia Cruz, Illinois Jacquet, Duke Ellington. Jazz at Woodlawn, June 11, 2014; Photos from the concert. (Previously and previously, in comments.)
posted by GrammarMoses on Jul 14, 2014 - 1 comment

Charlie Haden has gone Home

Charlie Haden, one of the most influential jazz musicians of our time, is going home Here is Charlie, singing the old ballad Wayfaring Stranger - a fitting song for this occasion. Previously (somewhat repetitive, for background [more inside]
posted by Vibrissae on Jul 12, 2014 - 59 comments

Moon Hooch

NPR's Bob Boilen (host of All Songs Considered): "People ask me all the time to name my favorite Tiny Desk Concert. It's my desk and I've seen almost all of the nearly 400 concerts up close. So you'd think this would be easy. Moon Hooch have made it a lot easier." (video) [more inside]
posted by flex on Jul 10, 2014 - 41 comments

Soothing Sounds of Jazz... with rain

Jazz and Rain Feeling stressed? Listen to some cool jazz and the relaxing sound of rain.
posted by maggiemaggie on Jul 7, 2014 - 19 comments

Adios, Señor Blues

The great jazz pianist, composer, and bandleader Horace Silver has died at age 85. [more inside]
posted by Nat "King" Cole Porter Wagoner on Jun 18, 2014 - 39 comments

SPACE IS THE PLACE OF MANY SPACES!!!

HELLO TO ALL YOU SATURNIANS, THIS CHANNEL IS DEDICATED TO JAZZ, TO SUN RA AND HIS JAZZ SPACE MUSIC. SPREAD THE WORD, PLEASE, BECAUSE THE SATURNIAN CULTURE ALWAYS HAS TO REMAINS ALIVE INSIDE US, SHARE MY VIDEOS, VOTE AND COMMENT. I HOPE YOU'LL ENJOY IT ALL.
It's Ascension Day in the Netherlands and what better way to celebrate a four day weekend than by watching a great slab of Afrofuturist jazz extravaganza, courtesy of Youtube channel Sun Ra Soul: the complete 1974 Sun Ra movie Space is the Place?
posted by MartinWisse on May 29, 2014 - 11 comments

Pictures of Coltrane

Coltrane in "A love supreme" sessions. "Whenever photographer Chuck Stewart was hired by a record company to document a recording session, he would shoot during the rehearsal takes. Recently, his son David was browsing through his archives when he found six undeveloped rolls of film from December 1964, 50 years ago.. They portrayed saxophonist John Coltrane . . . with his quartet, making a work that would soon be hailed as a masterpiece and a landmark of 20th-century music: A Love Supreme." [more inside]
posted by goofyfoot on Mar 30, 2014 - 9 comments

Sing it

Nat King Cole. Eartha Kitt. Mahalia Jackson. Pearl Bailey. Cab Calloway. Ella Fitzgerald. Billy Preston. All assembled for a single musical: the 1958 W.C. Handy biopic St. Louis Blues. [more inside]
posted by Iridic on Feb 26, 2014 - 6 comments

Quincy Jones And Bill Cosby: The Original Jam Sessions, and remixes

Later this year will mark the 45th anniversary of Bill Cosby's first self-titled sitcom, The Bill Cosby Show. Ten years ago, the original jam sessions were released, which are notable for the "various collection of notables who steal the show with contributions at various points." Pianist Les McCann, sax man Ernie Watts, and guitarist Arthur Adams get things going on "Groovy Gravy," Tom Scott shows some legit chops on "Toe Jam," while Jimmy Smith offers sampling of his Hammond B3 on the interlude "Jimmy Cookin' On Top." If seeing Quincy Jones and Bill Cosby get top billing confused you, the album credits reference their roles, which are not front-and-center, except for some vocal improv by Cosby on "Hikky-Burr." You can hear more tracks on Grooveshark, and if you're into more of that modern dance remixery, you might (also) enjoy The New Mixes, Vol. 1, which can also be sampled on Grooveshark.
posted by filthy light thief on Feb 24, 2014 - 10 comments

"I wanted to make the sound more like rock."

45 years ago today, Miles Davis and the remnants of the second quintet recorded In a Silent Way. Produced by Teo Macero, its release in July of 1969 marked (for some) the beginning of something different. [more inside]
posted by stinkfoot on Feb 18, 2014 - 23 comments

The Studio One Story

The Studio One Story. 2. Described by Chris Blackwell as the Motown of Jamaica, or ‘The University of Reggae’, Studio One is where the careers of literally hundreds of reggae artists began: Bob Marley and the Wailers, Alton Ellis, The Heptones, Ken Boothe, The Skatalites, Burning Spear and Sugar Minott, to name but a few! Studio One is the ‘foundation’ label of Jamaican Reggae and Clement ‘Sir Coxsone’ Dodd is seen by many as its father. [more inside]
posted by Golden Eternity on Feb 16, 2014 - 3 comments

"Hollywood Hotel Good Morning"

Benny Goodman Sing Sing Sing. [more inside]
posted by vapidave on Feb 8, 2014 - 31 comments

Rufus Harley has a secret ...

(whispers) "I play jazz on the bagpipes" [more inside]
posted by philip-random on Jan 19, 2014 - 33 comments

Richard Pryor: that clown can really sing the blues

Richard Pryor moved to New York City in 1963, where he performed regularly in clubs alongside performers such as Bob Dylan and Woody Allen. He even opened for singer and pianist Nina Simone, who talked of his early nervousness, when she put her "arms around him there in the dark and rocked him like a baby until he calmed down." You can see something of that young man in this clip of Pryor singing a bit of jazzy blues in 1966. The performance is also available on YouTube with slightly better quality, but faded in from different scene. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Jan 5, 2014 - 14 comments

RIP Yusef Lateef

Today was marked by the passing of the venerable Yusef Lateef. Perhaps best known for his Eastern Sounds, he notably played with the Cannonball Adderly sextet. A largish (89 song) youtube playlist.
posted by juv3nal on Dec 23, 2013 - 29 comments

Christmas music that won't make you want smash the stereo.

Bill Adler's Xmas Jollies 2013, via LAtino USA this year. Christmas music. It is bad. There is no escaping it. This playlist might help. [more inside]
posted by vrakatar on Dec 21, 2013 - 4 comments

The Lady Who Shot Lee Morgan

If You Didn't Know Already Morgan was killed in the early hours of February 19, 1972, at Slug's Saloon, a jazz club in New York City's East Village where his band was performing. Following an altercation between sets, Morgan's common-law wife Helen More (a.k.a. Morgan), shot him. The injuries were not immediately fatal, but the ambulance service was reluctant to go into the neighborhood where the club was located. They took so long to get there that Morgan bled to death. He was 33 years old. According to an eyewitness, Miss More (13 years his senior) walked out of the club just before the last set. She returned and the band was already on stage. Lee was trying to get up there, but was talking with some people. He just started to get up the stage, when she entered and called his name. He turned around and she shot him. She then turned the gun on the club's doorman Ernie Holman, who grabbed her wrist and took the gun away from her. She started to scream, "Baby, what have I done?" and ran to him. She was later committed to a mental institution for some time. Soon after, Helen Morgan returned to her native North Carolina. Reportedly she never spoke publicly of the incident, until she granted an interview a month before her death. She died in Wilmington, NC, from a heart condition, in March 1996. [more inside]
posted by metagnathous on Dec 18, 2013 - 22 comments

Jim Hall (1930-2013)

The jazz guitarist Jim Hall died yesterday. The New York Times reports:
Jim Hall, a jazz guitarist who for more than 50 years was admired by critics, aficionados and especially his fellow musicians for his impeccable technique and the warmth and subtlety of his playing, died on Tuesday at his home in Greenwich Village. He was 83.
[more inside]
posted by John Cohen on Dec 11, 2013 - 28 comments

Next stop is Harlem

The Charles Mingus Sextet featuring Eric Dolphy perform
Take the "A" Train
Live in Norway, April 12, 1964 [more inside]
posted by timshel on Nov 29, 2013 - 23 comments

Let Me Live That Fantasy

A jazz cover of Lourde's "Royals" by Postmodern Jukebox, featuring guest vocalist "Puddles" - Trigger Warning: Real Life Angry Clown Giant Lounge Singer (who's really good, which makes it scarier) [SLYT]
posted by Slap*Happy on Nov 21, 2013 - 42 comments

Jazz covers. Animated.

Animated Jazz Covers. Very cool.
posted by dobbs on Nov 17, 2013 - 9 comments

Calamari a la Mode

On the Lovecraftian Mode - Gord Sellar on why he writes lovecraftian fiction. Elizabeth Bear on the same question. I. N. J. Culbard on adapting Lovecraft.
posted by Artw on Nov 12, 2013 - 22 comments

The Cry of Jazz

"Edward Bland’s 1959 documentary The Cry of Jazz is one of the most remarkable films I’ve ever seen. An early statement of the black nationalism that would become famous in the late 60s, Bland argues in this 30 minute film that only African-Americans have the soul and history to play jazz and that whites need to understand their inferiority in the genre is precisely because of their racist history. It’s an amazing film." -- Apart from articulating a debate that's perhaps as old as jazz itself, The Cry of Jazz also is the earliest recorded appearance of Sun Ra and his Arkestra.
posted by MartinWisse on Nov 3, 2013 - 57 comments

"We'd like to do an old number, and it's one of my favorites."

Joe Pass and Ella Fitzgerald play duets in Hannover in October, 1975. Alternate, longer version with better annotations and video quality but also more audio hiss. Fitzgerald, Pass, and a full band at Ronnie Scott's in 1974.
posted by Going To Maine on Oct 23, 2013 - 9 comments

Utah Jazz...er...Hip Hop?

Historically, the state of Utah has had little relation to jazz music, giving the Utah Jazz the title (the team's only title) of the most incongruously named franchise in the world of sports. Would the Utah Hip Hop be more fitting?
posted by jessssse on Oct 16, 2013 - 56 comments

Dad, this one's for you.

This mix was made using only my dad's records. Every one of them an original pressing, stuff he bought when he was about as old as I am now--give or take a decade. My dad never played an instrument really, and my mom always joked that he was actually tone-deaf. But man, what a taste in music--and in his own way, what an ear too. "Plays Pretty Just For You" is a new mix by Dave Harrington of the band Darkside, which has just released its debut album Psychic. Previously
posted by Going To Maine on Oct 14, 2013 - 26 comments

Hellzapoppin' Lindy Hoppin' - the Harlem Congaroos & Slim Gaillard, too

Slim Gaillard & Slam Stewart with The Harlem Congaroos is a clip from Hellzapoppin'.
Just as swingingly and athletically thereafter, The Congaroo Dancers, a Whitey's Lindy Hoppers joint, appeared in Duke Ellington and His Orchestra with the Congaroo Dancers - Hot Chocolate, also know as the Cottontail Soundie.
And, on a side note, Slim Gaillard & His Trio - Chile & Beans O'Vootee and Slim Gaillard & his Orooney Dunkers - Dunkin' Bagels O Voutie Rootie are from Slim Gaillard and his Trio - The Music Album aka O'Voutie O'Rooney. [more inside]
posted by y2karl on Oct 11, 2013 - 8 comments

The Unique Thelonious Monk

Thelonius Monk: Straight, No Chaser (1/10) [more inside]
posted by KokuRyu on Oct 8, 2013 - 12 comments

Matana Roberts - Coin Coin

Coin Coin Chapter Two: Mississippi Moonchile (full album stream) is the second instalment in Matana Roberts's projected 12 part Coin Coin series of albums, "using the language of acoustic jazz to look at ideas of race, class and gender politics in American society". Coin Coin was the nickname of a totemic figure from African-American history, Marie Thérèse Metoyer – a freed slave who founded a community along the Cane River in Louisiana in the late 18th century where people of colour enjoyed greater freedoms and opportunities than they could in most other places in the South. [more inside]
posted by dng on Oct 2, 2013 - 2 comments

On Charles Mingus

An Argument With Instruments: On Charles Mingus. How a jazz artist’s relationship to black identity gave his music its stormy weather. [Via]
posted by homunculus on Sep 21, 2013 - 9 comments

"I have been mindfucked before, but never with such sweetness" —YouTube

Finnish jazz pianist + beat boxer + guitarist = Iiro Rantala's Shit Catapault. Equal parts hilarious, bouncy, groovy, and unexpectedly moving.
posted by Rory Marinich on Sep 17, 2013 - 18 comments

Some tasty morsels from the 1920s jazz table

Have you heard the music of Tiny Parham? Though not as celebrated a name as some of his early jazz contemporaries like Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong or King Oliver, Tiny's arrangements were inventive, lively and big fun to listen to, and his bands were full of fine players. Here are three slow to medium tempo numbers selected by The Mainspring Press Record Collectors blog that are a good starting point. Then, if you want to get things jumping a little hotter, try Nervous Tension and Sud Buster's Dream. We'll round it out with Tiny's Stomp. Thanks for the music, big man!
posted by flapjax at midnite on Sep 14, 2013 - 4 comments

"I'll be up like a rose bud, high on the vine."

Though Cy Coleman enjoyed early success as a jazz pianist, the songwriter would eventually make his biggest mark on Broadway with scores for musicals such as "Wildcat" and "Sweet Charity". Before he died in 2004, he had won five Tonys, two Emmys and the lasting admiration of a great many artists. But enough of the balloon juice; get to the music! [more inside]
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI on Sep 9, 2013 - 10 comments

“Great art is horseshit, buy tacos.”

I am not really quite sure how to describe the website MELT except to warn you to prepare to be away for a very long time. (NSFW).
Incorporating works of artists (Be sure to scroll down) both surreal and illustration and sculpters and photographers and documentaries and mixtapes and so much more.
Probably the best way to get around is to just click on the various labels.
Happy Travels
posted by adamvasco on Sep 9, 2013 - 7 comments

All That Meat

Somewhere in-between the space-age bachelor pad sounds of Esquivel and the gimmicky novelty of Spike Jonze sits Mel Henke, one of the most overlooked originators of the mid-century lounge sound. While most famous for versions of All That Meat, 77 Sunset Strip, and Pennies From Heaven, his largely instrumental wink-wink-nudge-nudge album La Dolce Henke is considered his masterpiece - The Lively Ones - The Twisters - You're Driving Me Crazy - Woman In Space - Farmer John - Old McDonald Had A Girl - See The USA In Your Chevrolet - Last Night On The Back Porch (Warning, historical sexism, erotic car metaphors)
posted by The Whelk on Sep 8, 2013 - 8 comments

I got rhythm

Henry Hey did it to Bush and Palin. Drewsif Stalin did it to the "Have you ever had a dream?" kid. And now Dan Weiss has done it to auctioneer Ty Thompson. There's music in people's words.
posted by creeky on Sep 3, 2013 - 2 comments

Marian McPartland, 'Piano Jazz' host, has died

Obit page on NPR "Marian McPartland, who gave the world an intimate, insider's perspective on one of the most elusive topics in music — jazz improvisation — died of natural causes Tuesday night at her home in Long Island, N.Y. She was 95." - from the lead of the article
posted by randomkeystrike on Aug 21, 2013 - 66 comments

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