Listening Guide to West End Blues by Louis Armstrong - Listening Guide to Backwater Blues by Bessie Smith - Listening Guide to Salt Peanuts by Dizzy Gillespie and His All Stars
No musician of Bud Powell’s era had such capacity for improvisatory excellence and was so ready to unleash it, instantly, in such concentrated form onstage. [more inside]
On Saturday, March 1, 1947, at the Hi-De-Ho nightclub in Los Angeles, in a booth near the bandstand, Dean Benedetti switched on a Wells-Gardner disc cutter - starting what would become the most legendary jazz recordings in history. (400 KB PDF) [more inside]
Exactly ninety years ago today jazz saxophonist Wardell Gray was born. While never a household name, among enthusiasts Gray is remembered as a gifted bebop soloist with a relaxed style and warm tone. Here he is playing Taking a Chance on Love (1952), Blue Lou (1948?), A Sinner Kissed An Angel (1950), One for Prez (1946), The Squirrel, & w/Dexter Gordon on The Chase (1952; Gray takes the 2nd solo). [more inside]
Renowned pianist Hank Jones, whose sixty year career in jazz saw him perform with scores of legendary musicians, has passed away at the age of 91, and was practicing up to the very end. [more inside]
Sad, head-down legendary jazz piano. (Single-link YouTube) More Bill and the Wiki. [Previously] Hopefully more of a reminder than a double.
"If the truth was really known about the origins of Jazz, it would certainly never be mentioned in polite society." The expression arose sometime during the later nineteenth century in the better brothels of New Orleans, which provided music and dancing as well as sex. Jazz has been around for more than a hundred years now. It is not the result of choosing a tune, but an ideal that is created first in the mind, and willed in the music, inspired by A Passion for Jazz.
Sonny Rollins, one of the founding tenors of bop and post-bop jazz, is 76 today. Unlike many other jazz giants who passed away well before they ought to have, Sonny is still going strong. Rollins became famous with his record Saxophone Colossus which included, among others, the memorable St. Thomas. Sonny also became known for his ability to craft imaginative, articulate solos while playing with just a bassist and drummer (without the benefit of a chordal instrument such as piano to "flesh out" the harmonies). Happy Birthday, Sonny!