• Online tributes to the great saxophonist from entertainers and journalists

  • Barnard’s story is the winner of our 39th Short Fiction Contest

  • What Queen Latifah left out of Bessie — the myth of Bessie Smith’s death

  • Reflections on meeting B.B. King

  • Surfing the Net -- Remembering Ornette Coleman
  • "The Lot" -- a short story by John Hyde Barnard
  • What Queen Latifah left out of Bessie
  • My B. B. King Story
ninas1 Uncategorized

On Nina Simone

In the Sunday, June 21 New York Times, Salamishah Tillet writes, “Fifty years after her prominence, Nina Simone is now reaching her peak.” The three new films she has inspired, along with a tribute album and an excellent 2012 biography by Nadine Cahodas, has brought additional importance to Ms. Simone’s music and the way she lived her life, to the point where writers like Tillet opine that Simone “broadened the parameters of the great American pop artist.”

“Simone’s androgynous voice, genre-breaking musicianship and political consciousness may have concerned ’60s and ’70s marketing executives and concert promoters,” Tillet writes, “but those are a huge draw for today’s gay, lesbian, black and female artists who want to […] Continue reading »

dad Features » In Memoriam

“One For Daddy-O” — in memory of my dad on Father’s Day

Besides doing his best to help raise three kids, during my 1960’s childhood my father worked his heart out at two jobs — one of which was as owner of a restaurant on Oakland’s Telegraph Avenue, and the other as a musician, playing trumpet and viola throughout the San Francisco Bay area, mostly on evenings and weekends in “casual” jobs. For years he was part of a strolling quartet that entertained San Francisco’s elite at the World Trade Club — an ensemble that at its peak toured the Philippines, playing to an audience that included […] Continue reading »

jazza6 Literature » Poetry

Poetry by Paula Hackett


Paula Hackett’s four newly published poems include pieces on Max Roach, Billie Holiday and Milt Jackson…

_______


Billie Holiday
(lullaby)

Sometimes when nature is quiet
and the moon shines just where you are
I can hear you singing the spirit world to rest
I remember as a child, your voice would
wrap me in cotton
as you felt the blows for all of us
Born into a country that tried to
make your voice illegal
poise and elegance was your response
And tonight like so many
[…] Continue reading »

ornette16 Features » In Memoriam

Surfing the Net — Remembering Ornette Coleman

Like everyone who has a love of jazz music and its culture, I mourn the passing of Ornette Coleman. We will all likely miss the impassioned spirit of his musical creativity, and how his art not only changed the way musicians played music, but how listeners consumed it.

Few artists have lived to read words like those written of Coleman by the influential critic Martin Williams, who in 1959 wrote in Jazz Review, “I honestly believe . . . that what Ornette Coleman is doing on alto will affect the whole character of jazz music profoundly and pervasively.” It certainly affected what I played on my turntable over the years.

I found his music to be intensely and joyfully challenging and most times best suited for introspective listening, but very early on in my “Jazz 101″ phase I was struck by this artist whose every album title seemed to communicate passion and revolution – what Gary Giddins and Scott DeVeaux wrote in their 2009 textbook Jazz “seemed to incarnate the authority of the New Negro: The Shape of Jazz to Come, Change of the Century, This is Our Music, and Free Jazz.” These albums provided great curiosity, led […] Continue reading »