319 posts tagged with Music and jazz.
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Black Classical charts the history of spiritual jazz through a 12 hour mega-mix. [more inside]
posted by philip-random on Sep 7, 2016 - 10 comments

"‘Jette ce jouet’ — ‘throw that toy away’, get a real instrument"

"Toots" Thielemans died in his sleep in Brussels on Monday, August 22, 2016. He was 94. [more inside]
posted by gauche on Aug 23, 2016 - 29 comments

The sound of one hand saxing

Neill Duncan is a jazz saxophone player who lost an arm in 2012. He now plays a saxophone designed for one-handed players by Maarten Visser. Two of Visser's designs for tenor and soprano saxophones won this year's One Handed Musical Instrument Trust instrument competition. But Duncan isn't the only player using one, Visser isn't the only one designing them, and saxophones aren't the only instruments adapted for one-handed players. [more inside]
posted by mandolin conspiracy on Aug 15, 2016 - 5 comments

“Revolver” by way of funk and soul

To celebrate the 50th birthday of The Beatles’ Revolver, Larry at the Funky 16 Corners blog has assembled a track-for-track mix of funk, soul and jazz covers: Revolving in Soul. He also calls out Amd Whah over at the Any Major Dude With Half A Heart blog for pulling off a similar trick: Beatles Recovered: Revolver.
(Larry has actually done the funk-soul-jazz-Beatles-covers stunt six times before. Back in 2010, for John Lennon’s 70th birthday, he reposted all of the old mixes, and the links still work fine. Previously)
posted by Going To Maine on Aug 8, 2016 - 11 comments

A Girl Who Ages as Slow as Mountains

Using just the saxophone, violin, and their voices--and with no looping--saxophonist Colin Stetson and violinist Sarah Neufeld create incredibly layered and engrossing aural landscapes on their 2015 album Never were the way she was. Their video for "The rest of us", directed by Dan Huiting, is cinematic in its own right, but it's the driving gallop of the music that will stick with you. [more inside]
posted by yasaman on Jul 12, 2016 - 23 comments

there was just one guy who was better than him

The Djangobot. (Skip to the end if you just want to hear a computer improvising like Django Reinhardt (and Gonzalo Bergara, Stochelo Rosenberg, and some other gypsy jazz players)).
posted by Potomac Avenue on Jun 8, 2016 - 18 comments

Leyla McCalla: from classical cello to Langston Hughes and Haitian folk

Leyla McCalla is a classically trained cellist who grew up in New York with her Haitian parents. She moved to New Orleans where she performed on Royal Street and learned about the Haitian history of the community. McCalla also joined the Carolina Chocolate Drops and diversified her style and sound. With the combined influence of place and company, she started performing Haitian folk music, which she paired that music with poetry of Langston Hughes for her first solo album, Vari-Colored Songs: A Tribute to Langston Hughes (Soundcloud album stream). That was two years ago, and now she has her second album, A Day for the Hunter, A Day for the Prey (YT, official video for the title track; YT playlist), where she sings in Haitian Creole, French, and English. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on May 29, 2016 - 7 comments

Yass – The Jazz, the Filth and the Fury – Poland's musical rebels

"Polish jazz, which was celebrating its triumphs in the 1950s and 60s, gradually became bogged down under the power of omnipresent and omnipotent institutions" ... "The 1990s saw the birth of a musical trend that wanted nothing less than to turn the established order of things to ash by the most drastic of means. This new trend was called yass." Though the headiest and most experimental days are behind them, "yass" is still used to indicate Polish jazz that's more than traditional jazz, and has been used to describe Skalpel, Jazzpospolita, and Pink Freud, who have performed Autechre live for Boiler Room and RBMA.
posted by filthy light thief on May 16, 2016 - 7 comments

Program music of Kashiwa Daisuke, telling stories without words

"When it comes to modern day composers, the most prominent ones out there are names like Brian Eno, Steve Reich, Toru Takemitsu, Varèse and a couple more.... But when discussing these modern composers, the name ‘Kashiwa Daisuke’ is unlikely to be mentioned. The guy doesn’t even have a Wikipedia page.... But he’s up there along with those ‘big’ names I just mentioned. Program Music I is the very proof of this." Consisting of two long pieces, Stella and Write Once, Run Melos, each evokes the feelings of specific stories, told with modern classical instrumentation, spacious post-rock, jazz piano, and some intentional digital glitches. Almost nine years after that first album, Kashiwa Daisuke has released Program Music II (video for the track "Meteor"), with less glitch and more euphoric elements. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Apr 27, 2016 - 7 comments

Sin Empezar: Daymé Arocena

"Meet Daymé Arocena, the Afro-Latina singer taking cues from Selena and jazz greats alike" -- "Sin Empezar" ... "Madres" ... "Don't Unplug My Body". [more inside]
posted by Celsius1414 on Apr 26, 2016 - 5 comments

Everything Happens To Me

In addition to being a talented saxophonist, the late Art Pepper was many things -- among them, a drug addict, a thief, an alcoholic and a writer. This personal film portrait (from 1981) reveals the fascinating life of a remarkable jazz musician in his own words, as he describes his dreams, his criminal past, his upbringing and the meaning of his tattoos. He died the next year. [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue on Apr 24, 2016 - 4 comments

A history of one-man bands, from fife and drum to wireless midi

The term "one-man band" generally brings to mind someone surrounded by instruments, like this Croatian street performer, but the earliest examples are a simple combination of pipe and tambor, which traces back to the 1300s. There were records of some creative, enterprising individuals in the centuries since, with more in the early to mid 20th century, including seated set-ups by Fate Norris, Jesse Fuller, and Joe Barrick, with Vic Ellis representing the traveling one-man band. Add in a MIDI controller, and you can expand your sound with less gear. The footprint can shrink more with the new ACPAD, with demos focusing on bringing electronic sounds to an acoustic guitar. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Apr 17, 2016 - 27 comments

Ain't Misbehavin' - Louis Armstrong transfer from a master disc

Listen to this 1929 Louis Armstrong recording cleaner than you have ever heard, thanks to Nick Dellow's audio transfer from a mother record shipped by Okeh to Germany for their Odeon pressings. (slyt)
posted by fings on Apr 6, 2016 - 43 comments

Merle Haggard 1937-2016

Merle Haggard 1937-2016 [more inside]
posted by y2karl on Apr 6, 2016 - 144 comments

"This is a show tune, but the show hasn't been written for it yet"

The Fierce Courage of Nina Simone by Adam Shatz
posted by thetortoise on Feb 28, 2016 - 10 comments

Kutiman gets his/your jazz on.

Kutiman has dropped his new video album: OFF GRID (YouTube version here). "In this new work, Kutiman utilizes his unique method of carefully blanketing together YouTube users' original content into one natural and cohesive audio-visual experience. This time around, Kutiman plays with the concept of expanded time, musical complexity and intricate layering while adding special visual effects to create a new perspective of the Jazz genre."
posted by progosk on Feb 11, 2016 - 5 comments

웃 i am not here and this is not really happening.

After the triumph of OK Computer, Radiohead fell into a creative tailspin -- and frontman Thom Yorke into a nervous breakdown. Exhausted from touring, hounded by press, and jaded by copycats, he escaped into the electronica scene pioneered by Kraftwerk and Warp Records -- fertile ground, the band discovered. Trading spacey rock for apocalyptic brooding, they teased their new sound not with singles or music videos but with innovative web streaming and cryptic, dreamlike "blips" -- winterlands, flocks of cubes, eyeballs, bears. After nearly breaking up over tracklist angst, they cut the kid in half. Thus fifteen years ago today, Kid A and (later) Amnesiac debuted, a confounding mix of electronic fugue, whalesong, pulsing IDM, drunken piano, and epic jazz funeral whose insights into anxiety, political dysfunction, and climate crisis would make it one of the most revered albums of the twenty-first century. See the documentary Reflections on Kid A for interviews and live cuts, or look inside for much more. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Oct 2, 2015 - 63 comments

The Ballad of Steinbjørn Jacobsen

I Sing for You an Apple is an account by writer and translator Eric Wilson of "escorting a Faroese poet-hero around the USA" in 1978. The poet-hero from the Faroe Islands was Steinbjørn Berghamar Jacobsen, who wrote fiction, poetry, plays and children's books in the language of his North-Atlantic archipelago. His works have not been translated into English, but they have been set to music. On Tinna og Tám he reads his own poems, accompanied by Kristian Blak and Heðin Ziska Davidsen (YouTube: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18 ). And after his passing in 2012, two of his children, Kári and Eyð Jacobsen, made an album, Tungl, where they turned his poems into indie songs (YouTube: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10).
posted by Kattullus on Sep 24, 2015 - 3 comments

BadBadNotGood: the kids are alright (and jazz isn't dead)

Back in December 2011, three kids (none over 21) who were studying jazz bonded over their love of hip-hop, performed a live cover of Gucci Mane's "Lemonade". It was noisy and jammy, but jazzy, and the crowd loved it. The trio followed up with a live video titled The Odd Future Sessions Part 1, which got love and support from Tyler, The Creator. BadBadNotGood (BBNG) took off from there, and are still going .... [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Aug 8, 2015 - 8 comments

"This one goes out to all the bad, bad girls."

Postmodern Jukebox (previously) has posted their most recent cover, which takes Fiona Apple's classic "Criminal" and creates a 1940's torch song with the assistance of some mean horns and the sultry stylings of Jazz singer Ariana Savalas .
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI on Jul 25, 2015 - 23 comments

Beauty is a rare thing

Ornette Coleman has died at 85. Free Jazz. Lonely Woman, from "The Shape of Jazz to Come". What Reason Could I Give?. Skies of America, with the London Symphony Orchestra. Gunther Schuller interviews Coleman; Ethan Iverson on Coleman.
posted by kenko on Jun 11, 2015 - 104 comments

Kings of the beat and their all-star show!

Deavid Soul ("The Avid Soul") aka "Rich & Famous" are a Japanese duo who make house/disco/funk and, more recently, world music. You may remember them from such Dreamcast darlings as Jet Set Radio and Jet "Grind" Radio. Their style is an instantly recognizable mix of 90s house and classic disco with copious samples from hip hop, disco, R&B, reggae and 80s/70s film. For their latest album, they've collaborated with Exotic Light Orchestra to add a Latin American fusion sound to their already eclectic aural soup. They're real good. [more inside]
posted by byanyothername on Jun 6, 2015 - 9 comments

"If I should feel that I’d like a few drags, it’s just gotta be alright"

The secret reefer tapes of Louis Armstrong
posted by flapjax at midnite on May 29, 2015 - 21 comments

“She is simply amazing. Tell her that I love her.”

In the early sixties, jazz pianist Bill Evans (previously) got his hands on a European EP that featured a cover of his signature piece Waltz for Debby, with Swedish lyrics, and vocals by young jazz vocalist Monica Zetterlund. Evans was floored. “I don't usually throw superlatives around, but let me tell you I am really exited about Monica's Waltz for Debby” he wrote in a letter to her record company. “I used to think that my waltz wasn't suited for vocal but look how wrong I was! Suddenly I feel like going to Sweden.” So he did: Monica Zetterlund with Bill Evans Trio: Waltz for Debby/Monicas vals (live rehearsal from 1966). [more inside]
posted by effbot on May 12, 2015 - 17 comments

America's Music Triangle

A new approach to framing and promoting the South's music heritage...but they left out Bristol!
posted by mmiddle on May 5, 2015 - 6 comments

Probably the first time Cromagnon has been mentioned in the NYT

Bernard Stollman, founder of the influential, otherworldly ESP-Disk label, has passed away this week at 85. New York Times obituary. The independent label was home to blazing, provocative recordings from avant-jazz greats like Albert Ayler, Ornette Coleman, and Sun Ra, as well as underground rock outsiders like the Godz, the Holy Modal Rounders, and the Fugs. The label's discography is deep, strange, and still largely unexplored by everyone but hardcore music geeks (who tend to be highly passionate about it). From Stereogum: Remembering Bernard Stollman: 10 Essential ESP-Disk Albums.
posted by naju on Apr 24, 2015 - 24 comments

That music, you know. I just get carried away in it.

Alice Barker is 102, but when she was young, she was a chorus dancer in Harlem. Watch and listen to more American vernacular music and dance at Celluloid Improvisation (autoplays swing music. via).
posted by ChuraChura on Apr 22, 2015 - 6 comments

Frankie and Johnny were lovers. My how that couple could love!

Paul Slade tackles the story behind the American blues/folk song Frankie and Johnny, tracing the lyrics back to an 1899 St. Louis murder, and exploring the history of the song, its subjects, and its variations. [more inside]
posted by julen on Mar 29, 2015 - 17 comments

This is Swing Street!

A TV pilot which failed to attract sponsors, After Hours carries all the poignance of a noble lost cause. Despite a certain self-consciousness in presentation, which clearly aims at winning over a recalcitrant audience, some of the best jazz ever recorded on film is available here. After an opening montage devoted to Manhattan jazz clubs accompanied by the narrator’s patter (“This is my beat — the jazz beat”), one is introduced to the ‘cigarette girl’ and ‘doorman’ at the “After Hours Club,” complete with fictional glosses (the girl is an “aspiring actress”). But as soon as Coleman Hawkins enters, joins the rhythm section on the bandstand and launches into a gorgeous version of “Lover Man,” the film properly gets down to business.
Jonathan Rosenbaum on After Hours (1961), featuring Johnny Guarnieri, Coleman Hawkins, Roy Eldridge, Barry Galbraith, Milt Hinton, Cozy Cole, and Carol Stevens. [more inside]
posted by Iridic on Mar 25, 2015 - 8 comments

СУВЕНИР №2 (and other Russian Jazz and Hip-Hop Sounds)

The author’s key creative task is to demonstrate the unique sound of soviet jazz school, where musicians complemented conventional musical tools with folk instruments and soviet electronics. "Souvenir" sets a goal of introducing as many listeners as it can to the legacy of the few jazz collectives there were in USSR. "Souvenir" is a bad mood remedy that will keep you warm throughout the long Russian winter.
Artem Ryazanov (Miracle Libido) is a DJ who likes the music of modern old Russia. And if you like what you hear above, you might also like the mix he just released for Nicolas Jaar's Other People label and the one he made for the Calvert Journal a few years ago.
And if you like those, you might also like the profile that Calvert published about RAD, the label/collective Ryazanov and Low Bob jointly lead.
posted by Going To Maine on Mar 8, 2015 - 6 comments

Scaled in Miles

Scaled in Miles is an interactive visualization that "... is a look at the history of Miles Davis' career and collaborations according to his recording sessions as documented by the Jazz Discography Project. Over four hundred recording sessions are shown in a timeline across the middle of the screen. The circles above it represent the nearly six hundred people who played those sessions; larger circles indicate more sessions with Miles. Scrub and click over the timeline to highlight the people who played with Miles on each date. You can also find specific artists and highlight their sessions by clicking on the circles, or by entering different names in the search box. And if your browser plays audio, you can listen to samples from iTunes in the upper left." [more inside]
posted by cwest on Mar 3, 2015 - 9 comments

Shirley Scott, Queen of the Organ

Shirley Scott was a hard bop and soul jazz master of the Hammond B-3. She was a gifted composer, combo leader, and prolific recording artist, releasing the majority of her 40+ albums from the late 1950s to the late 1970s: [more inside]
posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide on Mar 1, 2015 - 9 comments

Lulu's Back In Town

Harry Warren and Al Dubin wrote it for the smooth harmonies of the Mills Brothers in the 1935 film Broadway Gondolier. Fats Waller popularized it with more spark and swing soon after, and Art Tatum performed a blistering yet tuneful version that same year. Young heartthrob Frank Sinatra crooned it in 1945, and 11 years later Mel Tormé crooned it some more. Thelonious Monk had a humorous take on it in 1964, while 1968 saw two wildly different versions from Oscar Peterson and an actual Lulu. Need more? Here's The Four Freshmen, Leon Redbone, and Ellis and Branford Marsalis. TV loves Lulu too! Sanford and Song on Sanford and Son, and Circe on the Justice League (voiced by Broadway singer Rachel York). But here's what happens when Lulu's back on Sesame Street. (With introduction by Mr. Hooper, Bob, Susan, Matt Robinson's Gordon, and a very orange Oscar.)
posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide on Feb 24, 2015 - 4 comments

such is the cost of the Experiment

Why Chance The Rapper Is Forgoing Solo Fame To Make Jazzy Songs With Friends (Chance previously) [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue on Feb 17, 2015 - 7 comments

Reginald D. Hunter's Songs of the South

In a three-part series on BBC2 in the UK over February and March, Reginald D. Hunter travels across the (USA) south and explores the music and culture. There is a bunch of intriguing clips in advance. [more inside]
posted by Wordshore on Feb 16, 2015 - 7 comments

Oops - I had to bodliboodblibeep!

Louis Prima and Keely Smith attempt to sing "I'm In the Mood For Love." From Louis Prima - The Wildest documentary
posted by Mchelly on Feb 11, 2015 - 19 comments

big ass changes, y'all, big ass changes

You say you don't t like jazz? Too much harmonic complexity just winds up making everything sound like scrambled eggs? Well, I've got something gonna make you change your mind. Right here.
posted by flapjax at midnite on Feb 9, 2015 - 37 comments

Give me a beat

Audience can clap but ain't got no swing? No problem (if you're Harry Connick Jr.). (SLYT)
posted by swift on Feb 2, 2015 - 96 comments

How the War on Drugs targeted Billie Holiday

The Hunting of Billie Holiday. "How Lady Day found herself in the middle of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics’ early fight for survival." [more inside]
posted by homunculus on Jan 29, 2015 - 9 comments

"Something different? What can we do different? Okay..."

​​Ella Fitzgerald - Air Mail Special (Club Des Belugas Remix) [SLYT]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Jan 18, 2015 - 9 comments

Tony Bennett/Bill Evans, Village Vanguard Reissue, Complete Riverside

The Concord Music Group (the Group's labels) is due to release on vinyl The Complete Tony Bennett/Bill Evans Recordings in January 2015. This past November 2014, the Concord Music Group released the vinyl reissue, on the Riverside label, of The Complete Village Vanguard Recordings, 1961/The Bill Evans Trio. Also due up, is the vinyl reissue of The Complete Riverside Recordings/Bill Evans sometime in early 2015. (The pertinent info about the future releases is at the bottom of the page just linked.) [more inside]
posted by cwest on Dec 26, 2014 - 14 comments

Bonobo, inspired by beautiful hip-hop, London scenes, and a tumble dryer

From the rather common "skate punk into alternative music" origins to a bedroom producer who signed with Ninja Tune, Bonobo, the stage name for Simon Green, has continued to change musically. From the lone musician who made sample-based music, he has expanded into working with field recordings, studio musicians, and live shows where the band took a four bar drum break transformed it into a seven minute epic drum-sax solo battle, to which the crowd tried to clap along. You can see him live tomorrow at the Alexandra Palace in London in a special Boiler Room session, but until then, there's plenty more to see, hear and read. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Nov 27, 2014 - 12 comments

The story behind an iconic photo of jazz-induced hysteria

In 1951, photographer Bob Willoughby took a now-iconic photo of jazz saxophonist Big Jay McNeely and some fans in the clutch of the music during a concert at the Olympic Auditorium in Los Angeles. In 2009, Marc Myers of JazzWax contacted Willoughby to discover the story behind the photo. "You could taste the energy in that air. To this day I have never seen or heard anything to match it."
posted by paleyellowwithorange on Oct 29, 2014 - 15 comments

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


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

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

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