515 posts tagged with jazz.
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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

Betty Boop's got more metamorphing going on than Ovid!

Whatever happened to the happy modernists?
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants on May 1, 2016 - 11 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

Professor Sun Ra Has Got Something To Say To You

It's Spring of 1971 and you're a student at UC Berkeley, where artist-in-residence Sun Ra is offering a lecture series entitled "The Black Man In The Cosmos." The Weather Underground is blowing up bathrooms. The Ed Sullivan Show is grinding to a halt. As the weeks roll on, Charles Manson will get the death sentence (later reduced to life in prison) and the Rolling Stones will drop Sticky Fingers. But you? You're in the pocket of something Next Level and way above all that noise. Sometimes Ra hauls in his keyboard and treats the class to extended solos. Mostly he delivers his own signature blend of arcane afrofuturistic dharma: Part One. Part Two. Part Three. Part Four. [more inside]
posted by Bob Regular on Apr 20, 2016 - 16 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

I try to see the beauty in everything.

Tom Harrell is a jazz man and an inspiration to those who play with him. He once said, "The hardest part of playing the trumpet is the physical act of making the sound." He used to play with Horace Silver, and is widely regarded as one of the most accomplished trumpeters alive today. He also has a condition called schizophrenia.
posted by RedEmma on Mar 19, 2016 - 9 comments

free up some disk space...

The David W. Niven Collection of Early Jazz Legends, 1921-1991 650 tapes · 1,000 hours · 1,378 WAV files · 637 GB · 691 JPEG scans of cassette liner cards & literature. Meticulously Collected, Compiled, and Narrated by David W. Niven, 1930-1993.
posted by steinwald on Mar 11, 2016 - 34 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

We'll find out if we'll miss him

Dan Hicks, Bay Area music icon, dies at age 74. Last night Clare Wasserman announced that her husband, musician Dan Hicks, had succumbed to liver cancer. [more inside]
posted by tommasz on Feb 7, 2016 - 31 comments

It's a real insult to people who try

Comedian H. Jon Benjamin (Archer, Bob's Burgers) has released his first experimental jazz album. He can't play the piano.
posted by BungaDunga on Jan 21, 2016 - 112 comments

Jazz*3*10^9

Ken Burns Says "Jazz" 3 Billion Times (slyt)
posted by edeezy on Dec 8, 2015 - 35 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 improvised note ... some weird territory of you and me

Sofia Samatar's "Skin Feeling" evokes "What it is to be encountered as a surface, to be constantly exposed as something you are not." Samatar is an English professor, an SFF writer, and a person of color engaged in diversity work on her campus, and among other things, her essay reflects on multiple incidents of indecent exposure, Charlie Parker's "Relaxin' at Camarillo" and the university housed in what was once the largest mental hospital in the world, the book On Being Included, and being made a symbol of diversity (a topic that fellow SFF writer Kate Elliott recently addressed as well). [Samatar link via Savage Minds and Elliott link via N. K. Jemisin.]
posted by Monsieur Caution on Sep 27, 2015 - 4 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

Scatman John: from quiet, stuttering jazz pianist to pop sensation

He's sold eight million CD's, has two No. 1 singles in almost every country in the world, counts 14 gold and 18 platinum records to his credit, and even had his image imprinted upon millions of Coke cans across Europe. This all came late in his life, after decades of quietly playing jazz piano. John Larkin became a pop hit in 1994, thanks to Scatman (Ski-Ba-Bop-Ba-Dop- Bop), a dance single from his first album as Scatman John. But he wasn't a one-hit wonder for the radio only, and released five albums, three as Scatman John. He died in 1999, and left a legacy thanks to his work with young stutterers around the world. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Sep 4, 2015 - 9 comments

Satchmo

When author Stephen Mailtland-Lewis was 12 years old, he wrote a fan letter to Louis Armstrong, and to his surprise, a few weeks later, he received a 4 page response back from the trumpeter. "What happened next will touch you"... For the next 18 years, until his death, Louis kept corresponding with this fan (As he did with very many others).
posted by growabrain on Aug 31, 2015 - 8 comments

No relation to Adrian

Tche Belew is a 1977 album by Hailu Mergia and the Walias that was out of print until late last year. It sounds like Jimmy Smith Goes to Ethopia. The album was released a few years into the Derg regime, which ousted Haile Selassie I. Not too long ago, Hailu was driving a cab in DC but is now back on tour, reportedly.
posted by about_time on Aug 31, 2015 - 5 comments

The Beat Generation

The Word is Beat: Poetry, Jazz, Literature and the Beat Generation "It is the aspiration of much literature that it wants to change the way we look at the world, but few authors and poets have been as influential as the group of writers labeled the Beat Generation. They saw a lot that they did not like about American society in the fifties when they came of age, and they did their best to change it through their literature and a new practice of living."
posted by Seekerofsplendor on Aug 26, 2015 - 4 comments

Map of Jazz

Map of Jazz A visualization of collaboration in jazz through mapping players by session, for roughly 14,000 sessions. Full methodology described here (PDF)
posted by klangklangston on Aug 24, 2015 - 13 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

Take the Third Stream, turn left at the sun

Gunther Schuller passed away yesterday. [more inside]
posted by cleroy on Jun 22, 2015 - 16 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

American Gothic, without the Pitchfork

Brian Carpenter is a master of dark Americana. Hailing from Boston, his style is fluid, mostly referencing early 20th Century American jazz and other folk/roots music. His first band that caught attention, Beat Circus worked in a self-described "American Gothic" style, releasing three albums with three different themes. But this is not his sole musical endeavor. [more inside]
posted by aloiv2 on May 3, 2015 - 1 comment

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

Our Complicity With Excess

"[In] the face of a culture that would deny them, it becomes necessary for an artist of color in the west to defiantly announce to the world: I am a fact." In April 2014, at the first ever Yale Asian Alumni Reunion, Vijay Iyer delivered a powerful speech "on two intertwined issues: the role of Asian Americans as upwardly mobile minorities and the role of the artist as a potential transgressor within elite institutions."
posted by Errant on Mar 23, 2015 - 3 comments

Your pals Angela, Perry and Mario

Because Rickie Lee Jones is wonderful. Here's one good start to a Sunday: Rickie Lee and her good band live in Paris in 1983.
posted by goofyfoot on Mar 15, 2015 - 10 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

My basic beef with Kind of Blue

and yet it has somehow become the stand-alone representative of the form it is on the whole sardonically setting itself against: something about the way it’s been made — its constituent parts, its presentation — exactly and completely masks this subtly hostile aspect of it, to the extent that it’s instead become a kind of nice-to-hear-in-the-background chill-out classic, which in my opinion suggests a flaw in its conception or execution: that it can’t (or anyway doesn’t) draw the newbie into its darker heart
KIND OF BLEUGH, or seven better stand-alone ways into jazz in the early age of the long-playing disc (possibly).
posted by MartinWisse on Feb 25, 2015 - 104 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

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