• Really the Blues, the little-known but highly influential autobiographical work by jazz musician Mezz Mezzrow (co-written by Bernard Wolfe), is one man’s account of decades of jazz and American cultural history. 

  • This edition of “Great Encounters” describes the early friendship and collaboration of Miles Davis and composer/arranger Gil Evans, who Miles once described as “the greatest musician in the world.” 



  • Paul Whiteman and New York Times critic Olin Downes write about Whiteman’s February 12, 1924 concert at New York’s Aeolian Hall billed as “An Experiment in Modern Music” 

  • The 1958 Newport Jazz Festival is remembered for its meltdown of Benny Goodman’s band, a Saturday night show featuring rock and roll pioneer Chuck Berry, and, of course, the full-length documentary film that covered many of the festival’s terrific moments.  Jazz on a Summer’s Day was intended to be a

  • "Glossary of Jazz Slang" -- from Really the Blues
  • Great Encounters #46: Miles Davis and Gil Evans
  • Revisiting "An Experiment in Modern Music"
  • A Moment in Time -- Newport, July, 1958
krall1 Art

Photographer Chuck Krall: Jazz in Images

In a 2013 podcast, photographer Chuck Krall – notable for his photos of Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Dizzy Gillespie and legendary musicians of the 1970’s – talks with KMHD (Portland) radio personality Jessica Rand. Krall’s remembrance of his time with Dizzy is worth the (free) price of admission! Go here to hear the podcast, and stick around for a

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sf2 Literature » Short Fiction

Deadline for entry in 43rd Short Fiction Contest is September 30

Heads up to all interested short fiction writers…The deadline for submitting your story for consideration in our 43rd Short Fiction Contest is September 30. Contest details are found here.


Here is a sampling of winning stories…


Playing for Tips,” by Michael Bennet

The Blues Museum,” by Jay Franzel

Homage,” by Kenneth Levine

Mystery in C Minor,” by Bruce Golden

Anacostia,” by Qevin Oji

The Improvisational Distance,” by J.A. Reynolds

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hawes1 Literature » Poetry

“The Quick Hands of Hampton Hawes” and two other poems by Daniel Shapiro

For years, the autobiography proved elusive,
speeding east like the double-jointed run
that skipped from white keys to black,
soldiers chased from Central Avenue battles.
Then the book took a rest, hiding out
in a nondescript store among academic texts,
tomes whose covers bore geometric shapes.
Cardboard screamed orange, red, and white,
the slow burn of a

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gilevans2 Features » Great Encounters

Great Encounters #46: The early friendship of Miles Davis and Gil Evans

“Great Encounters” are book excerpts that chronicle famous encounters among twentieth-century cultural icons. This edition describes the early friendship and collaboration of Miles Davis and composer/arranger Gil Evans, who Miles once described as “the greatest musician in the world.”

Excerpted from Castles Made of Sound: The Story of Gil Evans,

by Larry Hicock



“I first met Gil when I was with Bird,” Miles told Marc Crawford in a 1961 interview for Down Beat.

He was asking for a release on my tune, “Donna Lee.”…I told him he could have it and asked him to teach me some chords and let me study some of the scores he was doing for Claude Thornhill.

He really flipped o me on the arrangement of “Robbin’s Nest” he did for Claude. See, Gil had this cluster of chords and superimposed another cluster over […] Continue reading »