• I deplaned in Amsterdam to confront my father. In 1990, the year I was born, after the likes of Stan Getz and Freddie Hubbard dubbed him “the reincarnation of Chet Baker,” he quit his part-time job repairing cars in Gilbert, Iowa to go on a worldwide tour from which he never returned.

  • The friendship of Coltrane and Dolphy and the time of “anti-jazz”

  • Noted critics and musicians list their essential 70’s jazz record albums

  • Mercies would have put blues on the menu if it could, but that was a province of the kitchen, where I worked four and a half months too many. I heard actual blues music and caught a gust of air conditioning whenever I

     

     

  • "Homage" -- a short story by Kenneth Levine
  • A Moment in Time -- John Coltrane and Eric Dolphy, 1961
  • "What are 3 or 4 of your favorite jazz albums from the 1970's?"
  • "HEAT," -- a short story by Arya Jenkins
herring1 Literature » Short Fiction

“In a Blue Moon, Once” — a short story by Richard Herring

“Night of the living dead,” a voice screamed in Tom’s head. A softer voice pointed out it was still late afternoon. It sure wasn’t life as he wanted to know it. In reality, it was just another long Thursday afternoon of monthly staff meetings, with new mandates and standards flowing downhill from the top. All the nodding mannequins around the conference room would take it all in, shoot a few inane, brown nose comments back at the presenter, then go back to do their jobs tomorrow the same as always.

Sylvia’s attention was on the crochet hoop in her lap. Jack’s eyes had been closed for the better part of 45 minutes. Tom’s life support system came through the cord fed neatly up beneath the lapel, to the headphones partially obscured by thick sideburns and abundant head of hair. A collection of earpieces was present among these old codgers, but his was connected to the brand new cassette player in his suit coat pocket.

The tape Mikki turned him on to seemed to emanate from a place beyond his routine, tired existence. It was as if the music offered a […] Continue reading »

bing Quiz Show » Jazz History Quiz

Jazz History Quiz #61 — The “White Christmas” vocal dub

In the 1942 film Holiday Inn, Bing Crosby sings “White Christmas” as a duet with actress Marjorie Reynolds, but her voice was dubbed by this radio and film singer who also did film voice over work for actresses such as Loretta Young, Hedy Lamarr, Eva Gabor, Rita Hayworth and Lucille Ball.
Who is she?

Jo Stafford

Connie Boswell

Martha Mears

Lee Wiley

Maxine Sullivan

Click Here for the answer! […] Continue reading »

melody Uncategorized

“Melody” — a poem by Erren Kelly

Even as I braced myself for it
It came without warning
But who adheres to
Love’s rules?
It’s like bargaining with the
Devil
Only this devil’s a redhead
And played piano as if
She could connect all the moments
Of the day and turn them into
[…] Continue reading »

coltranedolphy1 Features » A Moment in Time

A Moment in Time — John Coltrane and Eric Dolphy, 1961

In 1960, Eric Dolphy told Down Beat magazine, “At home I used to play, and the birds always used to whistle with me. I would stop what I was working on and play with the birds.” This imitation of birds (who, according to Dolphy, sing in “quarter tones”) was embraced by none other than John Coltrane, who said that the addition of Dolphy — and his philosophy — to his quartet “turned [the quartet] all around.” Dolphy’s playing helped set the stage for the music Coltrane would create later.

Also critical was their friendship, which was especially important to Coltrane since he was so consumed at the time by his alcohol and heroin abuse. Quoting a Coltrane friend, John Fraim writes in his 1996 biography Spirit Catcher: The Life and Art of John Coltrane that “outside of Sonny Rollins, Eric Dolphy was his [Coltrane’s] only true […] Continue reading »

coltranedec13 Literature » Poetry

“Peace on Earth” — a poem by Michael Harper

Tunes come to me at morning
prayer, after flax sunflower
seeds jammed in a coffee can;
when we went to Japan
I prayed at the shrine
for the war dead broken
at Nagasaki;
the tears on the lip of my soprano
glistened in the sun.
In interviews
I talked about my music’s
voice of praise to our oneness,
them getting caught up in techniques
of the electronic school
lifting us into assault;
in live sessions, without an audience
I see faces on the flues of the piano,
cymbals driving me into ecstasies on my knees,
the demonic angel, Elvin,
answering my prayers on African drum, […] Continue reading »