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And all that jazz

The New England Jazz History Database is an active and growing library of materials focused on the preservation and education of the History of Jazz in New England. [more inside]
posted by gman on Jun 26, 2010 - 5 comments

Everything's better with a little Harlem on top

Harlem Yodel. The Dandridge Sisters and the Cats and the Fiddle teach us how the yodel is done above 110th Street. [more inside]
posted by Astro Zombie on Jun 23, 2010 - 13 comments

Wendell Logan, 1940-2010. RIP

Wendell Logan, founder of the Jazz Studies program at the Oberlin Conservatory, has passed away. [more inside]
posted by bardophile on Jun 21, 2010 - 9 comments

Black, Brown & Beige

The New Yorker discusses Duke Ellington’s music and race in America, via Harvey G. Cohen's new book, Duke Ellington's America (excerpt). Music clips to accompany the articles inside the fold. (via Follow Me Here) [more inside]
posted by madamjujujive on Jun 20, 2010 - 15 comments

Peoria 2010 Old-Time Piano Weekend

Performances [MLYT] from the 2010 Old-Time Piano Championship in Peoria. Featuring early March, Cakewalk, Ragtime, Boogie, Stride, Blues, Novelty, Jazz, Classical, and popular song styles from before 1930.
posted by gman on Jun 20, 2010 - 13 comments

All Thumbs

I stopped there, in a sort of awe. here's the new Choir teacher, (way too flamboyant for a small town in the 70's and fired the next year), sitting in his office with an ES175 and a small amp just wailing some kind of jazz I had never heard, I played guitar, but was still on a CSNY diet. He just sits up, looks at me, and says... "What!? You telling me never heard of Joe Pass?" [more inside]
posted by timsteil on Jun 16, 2010 - 16 comments

Heavy Metal Rythmn

Some people use farm tractors for work. Others use them for play. Olle Hemmingson uses his as a musical accompaniment. [via; Previously.]
posted by Smart Dalek on Jun 13, 2010 - 6 comments

I hear babies cry and I watch them grow. They'll learn much more than we'll know. And I think to myself: What a Wonderful World

You may not know who Israel "Brudda Iz" Kamakawiwoʻole was, but you're probably familiar with his medley of "Over the Rainbow / What a Wonderful World," which has been included on several movie soundtracks and used on television shows & commercials throughout the world.... [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jun 8, 2010 - 72 comments

What's Sacred?

"To ignore this trespass is to agree that NOTHING any musician has attempted to do with their life in music has any intrinsic value - and I refuse to do that." Jazz guitarist Pat Metheny, whose new album Orchestrion came out in January (see him discuss it here), ranted about smooth jazz legend Kenny G, claiming that his overdubbed performance of What A Wonderful World defiled the memory of Louis Armstrong. (Via Aaron Cohen at Kottke.org)
posted by Rory Marinich on May 20, 2010 - 67 comments

Hank Jones, RIP

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]
posted by HP LaserJet P10006 on May 18, 2010 - 15 comments

Paul Morley shows off

Showing Off is a series of videos, audio clips and articles in which noted music journalist and Frankie Goes to Hollywood mastermind Paul Morley explores various facets of music. Each month has a theme, [warning: most links have autoplaying video] Michael Jackson, Kraftwerk, classical music, disco, The Beatles, folk music, The X Factor, the Noughties, the next big thing, UK hip hop, jazz, and dance. Here is some of what's on offer: MeFi faves Dan Le Sac and Scroobius Pip on hip hop, These New Puritans' Jack Barnett, Johnny Marr on folk (parts 1, 2), but isn't all just interviews, there are also a lot of performances, e.g. Michael Nyman and David McAlmont, Badly Drawn Boy, Susanna Wallumrød covers Thin Lizzy's Jailbreak, and Cornershop cover Norwegian Wood.
posted by Kattullus on Apr 26, 2010 - 8 comments

Music for everyone

We've had a post on bassist and vocalist Esperanza Spalding previously, but perhaps we could do with an update. Last year she played at the White House for Stevie Wonder's Gershwin Prize concert and again for the Evening of Poetry, Music, and the Spoken Word (previously). In December she performed at the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony, and, according to wikipedia, her February 6 performance on Austin Cty Limits (PBS [US only?], with Madeleine Peyroux) made her the most-searched person, and the second-most-searched item on Google the next day. [more inside]
posted by Someday Bum on Apr 16, 2010 - 7 comments

Dorothy Chandler Pavillion amirite?

John McLaughlin plays "Cherokee" backed up by the Carson-era Tonight Show Band (SLYT guitar porn) [more inside]
posted by bardic on Apr 12, 2010 - 32 comments

Minimum orbit intersection distance

In the loosely related fields of planetary science and apocalyptic fiction, the phrase “minimum orbit intersection distance,” or MOID, describes the closest point of contact between the paths of two orbiting objects. Most vividly invoked whenever an asteroid encroaches on our corner of the solar system, that bit of jargon also has its aesthetic uses. Consider the coordinates of Neil Young and Miles Davis on the evenings of March 6 and 7, 1970, at the juncture of East Sixth Street and Second Avenue in Manhattan.
Mapping the intersections of Miles Davis and Neil Young.
posted by shakespeherian on Mar 29, 2010 - 21 comments

Warren "Baby" Dodds, father of American drumming

Back in the 1920s, when Warren "Baby" Dodds was busy inventing jazz drumming in the company of pioneers like King Oliver, Jelly Roll Morton and Louis Armstrong, to "give the drummer some" usually never meant more than a couple of bars fill every now and again. Fortunately, though, come 1946, when Dodds was already an older man but still in fine playing form, someone had the wherewithal to record this seminal percussion stylist in a series of extended drum solos, displaying his exuberant rhythmic stylings as well as his lending of superbly playful swing to the the rudiments. But let's jump back to the 20's again, and hear drummer Dodds, with the aforementioned King Oliver, take what's gotta be the killingest slide whistle solo in all of jazz history. [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite on Mar 22, 2010 - 11 comments

Arthur Penn's "Mickey One"

Often dismissed as a failed experiment, this oddity from Arthur Penn is a constantly surprising and enigmatic classic. Two years ahead of Bonnie and Clyde, this New Hollywood prototype is ragged and frantic, a skewed but thrilling attempt to rewrite established narrative form. [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese on Mar 11, 2010 - 7 comments

Music and the Brain

Music and the Brain The Library of Congress' Music and the Brain podcasts offer lectures and conversations about new research at the intersection of cognitive neuroscience and music. Sufi rituals, Wednesday is Indigo Blue (synaesthesia), Your Brain on Jazz, The Music of Language and the Language of Music, and more.
posted by carter on Feb 15, 2010 - 13 comments

TED? Head(hunters)

Herbie Hancock delivers a TED Talk. Not much talking, plenty of jamming. Marcus Miller and Harvey Mason accompany Hancock. Check out the monster Watermelon Man that starts around fourteen minutes in.
posted by fixedgear on Jan 12, 2010 - 11 comments

A website devoted to jazz and American civilization

Jerry Jazz Musician is "a website devoted to jazz and American civilization." Individual pages have been linked a few times on MeFi, but it's high time this terrific site got its own post. Anyone interested in jazz (or blues, or any of the related topics they frequently cover, like Ralph Ellison or Romare Bearden) should bookmark it pronto. A sample, more or less at random: the life and photography of Milt Hinton. (Via The Daily Growler, itself an excellent source for informed and passionate discussion of music, NYC, and life in general; the linked post finishes with a tribute to that fine pianist Terry Pollard.)
posted by languagehat on Jan 8, 2010 - 5 comments

eavesdropping on jazz giants

The Jazz Loft Project - From 1957 to 1965, celebrated photojournalist W. Eugene Smith made 4,000 hours of surreptitious recordings and took 40,000 photographs in a loft in Manhattan's wholesale flower district where Roland Kirk, Thelonius Monk, Hall Overton, Charles Mingus and other jazz greats jammed until dawn. Archived in the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University, the project is now accessible via a book, a traveling exhibit, a 10-part Jazz Loft series on WNYC, NPR's Jazz Loft Project Sights & Sounds, and an interview with JLP author Sam Stephenson, which includes some images from the book. Via a Grain Edit post, which also has some great images. [more inside]
posted by madamjujujive on Jan 3, 2010 - 21 comments

Blanche Calloway, singer and bandleader, remembered

Though she didn't enjoy the same level of fame and fortune as her younger brother Cab, singer and bandleader (said to be the first African-American woman to lead an all-male orchestra) Blanche Calloway is a musician worth remembering and checking out if you're a fan of 1920s/30s jazz stylings. It's Right Here For You, It Looks Like Susie, I Gotta Swing, Last Dollar and I Got What It Takes.
posted by flapjax at midnite on Dec 29, 2009 - 26 comments

Tremé

Faubourg Tremé: The Untold Story of Black New Orleans premieres Thursday, January 29 on PBS. Faubourg Tremé is considered the oldest black neighborhood in America, the origin of the southern civil rights movement and the birthplace of jazz. Trailer for Faubourg Tremé
posted by nola on Dec 27, 2009 - 14 comments

What's the word - have you heard?

A long-awaited new recording from Gil Scott-Heron - I'm New Here - will be released in February. Video interview and report by BBC's Stephen Smith. Hear a sample: Where Did the Night Go?. Check out this awesome prior post: Happy Birthday Gil! (via Undercover Black Man)
posted by madamjujujive on Dec 16, 2009 - 32 comments

The 12 Days of Christmas

The Twelve Days of Christmas (SLYT)
posted by LordSludge on Dec 15, 2009 - 12 comments

The Wow of Now; Word Jazz with Pictures

About Me: an octogenarian curiosity, the originator of word jazz back in the1950s, in love with the wow of now. Ken Nordine's Youtube channel, featuring mainly abstract visuals accompanying Word Jazz. Examples: Immunological Systems- Truth Mute- C'est La Vie- Fibonacci Numbers
posted by louche mustachio on Dec 13, 2009 - 12 comments

it don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing?

With his whimsically biting number from 1988 entitled Jazz Police, ol' Lenny Cohen has shown himself to be a prophet once again: Jazzer drop your axe it's jazz police! [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite on Dec 12, 2009 - 9 comments

A loving look back on Dixieland Jazz

"Men working on the river would move in time to the beat of the music. It was everywhere: on the street, in the church. In the tonks and barrelhouses where people went to be together. Like the beating of a big heart. It gave everyone a good feeling." The Cradle is Rocking is a delightful 12-minute film that, though somewhat damaged (Folkstreams has found what may be the only surviving print), is highly recommended viewing for anyone interested in American roots music: in this case, New Orleans jazz. The film's thoughtful and affable narrator is trumpeter George "Kid Sheik" Cola, who can be heard along with Captain John Handy serving up some fine old-school Dixieland jazz here and here.
posted by flapjax at midnite on Dec 9, 2009 - 13 comments

For Domu / Umod / Sonar Circle / Bakura (etc), This really is The End ...

The story starts in 1992 or so, when the 14 year old Brit, Dominic Stanton, bought turntables and started spinning early drum'n'bass. He transitioned from DJ to producer, made demo tracks, and got signed by age 17. He went on to produce broken beat* and jazzy downtempo*, even into the realm of disco edits. Then about two weeks ago, the 31 year old musician called it quits.
The point is that I am no longer Domu. He is a character, always has been, and as of Friday 13th November 2009, he no longer exists. Neither does Umod, Sonar Circle, Bakura, Yotoko, Rima, Zoltar, Blue Monkeys, Realside or any of the other names I put out music under. I am cancelling all my gigs and not taking any more. My hotmail is closed, my Twitter is closed and my Facebook is closed.
Furthermore, his website is closed and the original post of his farewell message is lost, though you can still view the cached version or find it copied elsewhere. Domu's website now simply states This really is The End . . . Step inside for an abbreviated journey. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Nov 30, 2009 - 46 comments

Live Recordings from the 1959 Newport Jazz Festival

27 live recordings from the 1959 Newport Jazz Festival can be streamed for free at Wolfgang's Vault. Here's a few of the musicians you can listen to: Count Basie & His Orchestra, Dizzy Gillespie, The Modern Jazz Quartet, Oscar Peterson Trio and Thelonious Monk. Registration is required but it's oh so worth it. The New York Times has the backstory of how these recordings ended up at Wolfgang's Vault.
posted by Kattullus on Nov 17, 2009 - 11 comments

The shape of jazz gone by

NPR's jazz blog A Blog Supreme recently concluded a series in which they asked jazz bloggers to "name five albums you would recommend to somebody looking to get into modern jazz". The results are now up in the category Jazz Now; the intro has the index, including reactions elsewhere. Destination: Out had some pricklier suggestions—see also their best of the 90s list (and their own nominations). [more inside]
posted by kenko on Nov 14, 2009 - 40 comments

Jazz in Azerbaijan

Jazz in Azerbaijan [more inside]
posted by netbros on Nov 10, 2009 - 13 comments

Louis Armstrong's Collages

When not pressing the valves on his trumpet or the record button on his tape recorder, Armstrong’s fingers found other arts with which to occupy themselves. One of them was collage, which became a visual outlet for his improvisational genius. ... These little stories, illuminating and entertaining syntheses of Armstrong’s passions, now reside in the Louis Armstrong Archives at Queens College in Flushing, New York. [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese on Oct 28, 2009 - 11 comments

Images of the Jazz Age

Images of the Jazz Age
posted by yegga on Sep 26, 2009 - 5 comments

Creed Taylor International

The CTI never sleeps. A collection of LPs from Creed Taylor's CTI and Kudu labels, as compiled by Doug Payne.
posted by The Card Cheat on Sep 24, 2009 - 11 comments

In Mem'ry of that Caravan

Duke Ellington recalled "... that's one of those things Tizol came up with. See, it wasn't in tempo, he stood [and played it] sort of ad lib. He played it, [the] first ten bars, we took it and worked out the rest of it." That thing was Caravan, and the instigator was Juan Tizol, who was a trombonist in Duke Ellington's orchestra. The track, originally recorded in 1936, became a jazz standard. The lyrics were penned in 1936 by publisher and manager Irving Mills, adding to the exotic feeling and romance of what is considered by many to be the first Latin jazz piece, before the late swing era and first decade of bebop when Latin Jazz (also called Afro-Cuban Jazz) came into prominence. The track didn't cross into other genres until Les Paul created his version of the track in 1948, which lead to other covers, and eventually a successful cover by The Ventures (source). [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Sep 2, 2009 - 28 comments

Lester Young Centennial

Lester Young (Aug. 27, 1909–March 15, 1959) is given not just a memorial, but extensive musicological criticism and contextual information in this ten-chapter series by jazz pianist and blogger Ethan Iverson of The Bad Plus. Solo transcriptions and analyses, interviews with Lee Konitz, Tootie and Jimmy Heath, Benny Golson, an essay on Young's influence on Miles Davis, a discographic primer and more. (Previously.) [more inside]
posted by ism on Aug 27, 2009 - 14 comments

"...A Fourth of July picnic, a Sunday Best church revival, an urban rock concert and a rural civil rights rally"

There was a historic music festival in the summer of 1969. But it's not the one that took place in Bethel, NY. The Harlem Cultural Festival ran from June 29 to August 24 that summer, presenting a concert every Sunday afternoon in Mount Morris Park (known today as Marcus Garvey Park). Three hundred thousand people turned out for the six free concerts, hearing acts like Nina Simone , Sly & the Family Stone (the only act to play both Woodstock and the "black Woodstock"), Stevie Wonder, Mahalia Jackson, The 5th Dimension, Moms Mabley and. Speakers included Jesse Jackson and "blue-eyed soul brother" Mayor John Lindsay. Security was courtesy of the Black Panthers, since the NYC police refused to provide it. Filmmaker Hal Tulchin recorded over 50 hours of concert footage, which has remained unreleased. Historic Films seems to hold the footage; it was supposed to be made into a movie to premiere at Sundance 2007, but its release seems to be continually delayed for reasons unclear. [more inside]
posted by Miko on Aug 20, 2009 - 19 comments

Ahmet Ertegun profiled by George W. S. Trow in 1978

Ahmet Ertegun was profiled by George W. S. Trow in The New Yorker in a classic piece back in 1978. Ertegun was the son of the Turkish ambassador to the US and he remained behind in D.C. studying medieval philosophy at Georgetown. Instead of devoting himself to his studies he founded Atlantic Records with his friend Herb Abramson. Trow charted how Ertegun moved from tramping through muddy, Louisiana fields in search of hot new sounds to the whirl of Studio 54. Below the cut are links to the songs mentioned in the article, as best as I could find, in the order in which they appear. [more inside]
posted by Kattullus on Aug 17, 2009 - 25 comments

Les Paul, 1915-2009

Les Paul, musician, pioneer of multitrack recording, and creator of one of the most successful and recognizable guitars in history, passed at the age of 94. [more inside]
posted by mrg on Aug 13, 2009 - 169 comments

Rashied Ali

Jazz pioneer Rashied Ali Has died. He leaves behind him a lifetime of collaborations in out jazz, with artists like Ayler, Coltrane, Cherry, Haino, Laswell, Bley, Sanders, and Ulmer. [more inside]
posted by idiopath on Aug 13, 2009 - 21 comments

Jazz hands

Audio archive from Small's Jazz Club, searchable by instrument, then performer, then date, starting with September 27, 2007. Hours and hours and hours and hours of the some of the best jazz from New York's downtown scene. Stream and snap your fingers, man.
posted by klangklangston on Jul 15, 2009 - 19 comments

Is this what they mean by "differently abled?"

Melody Gardot was a New York fashion student, until a hit-and-run driver left her disabled and in need of therapy—musical therapy. [more inside]
posted by Mr. Anthropomorphism on Jun 29, 2009 - 32 comments

His name was Albert Ayler

One of the giants of free jazz, Albert Ayler was also one of the most controversial. His huge tone and wide vibrato were difficult to ignore, and his 1966 group sounded like a runaway New Orleans brass band from 1910. - AllMusic [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese on Jun 17, 2009 - 23 comments

Tatum's art changed jazz

A new 10 CD compilation of Art Tatum's work has been issued by Storyville Records. [more inside]
posted by paulsc on Jun 12, 2009 - 12 comments

Old Style Jazz

Hypnotic Brass Ensemble [more inside]
posted by paisley henosis on Jun 9, 2009 - 12 comments

I see dots

Giant Steps by John Coltrane, note by note. (slyt)
posted by pyramid termite on Jun 7, 2009 - 57 comments

Now I Wanna Be Your Insightful, Respectable Rock Icon

You wouldn't expect Iggy Pop to be the poster boy for rock stars who age gracefully, but he seems to be doing a pretty good job of it. At the age of 62, he's released Preliminaires, an album steeped in French Literature and containing jazz standards, hardscrabble blues, and the Louis-Armstrong-meets-Tom-Waits hit, King of the Dogs. NPR's Fresh Air has this interview with a thoughtful, avuncular Iggy Pop
posted by Jon_Evil on Jun 2, 2009 - 53 comments

クレイジーケンバンド!

The Crazy Ken Band! Cool and Hot! Swinging horns! Groovy chicks! Fast cars! Danger! Crazy! CRAZY! [more inside]
posted by ardgedee on May 25, 2009 - 5 comments

An American Art Form

NEA Jazz in the Schools takes a step-by-step journey through the history of jazz, integrating that story with the sweep of American social, economic, and political developments. This multi-media curriculum is designed to be as useful to high school history and social studies teachers as it is to music teachers. Start with the introductory video to get a feel for the place. The education outline contains five lessons. If you just want to listen, all the music samples are on one page. Perhaps you're more interested in individual artist biographies, or a jazz history timeline. [more inside]
posted by netbros on May 21, 2009 - 11 comments

Wayman Tisdale 1964-2009

Wayman Tisdale is dead at age 44. The 2nd pick in the 1985 NBA draft, he played for the Indiana Pacers, Sacramento Kings, and the Phoenix Suns. His first love was always music, retiring in 1997 to focus on a successful career as a jazz bassist. He released eight albums and was well sought out as a studio musician. [more inside]
posted by uaudio on May 15, 2009 - 16 comments

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