• Read our interview with the eminent Armstrong scholar

  • Musicians and journalists share their lists of favorite jazz albums recorded during the 1960′s with our readers

  • This edition features Alex Steinweiss record album covers from his prime period — the late 1940′s and early 1950′s. 

  • Royal had studied her from the bandstand each and every night since their first gig. Such a little thing she was.

     

     

  • Interview with Louis Armstrong biographer Thomas Brothers
  • What are 3 or 4 of your favorite jazz albums from the 1960's?
  • "Cover Stories with Paul Morris, Vol. 7"
  • New Short Fiction Award -- "Fever" by Yvonne McBride
kf8 Interviews

Interview with saxophonist Kevin Flanagan on the convergence of poetry and jazz

The convergence of poetry and jazz has long been a part of the counterculture, and it has always interested me. An early interview I did for Jerry Jazz Musician was with David Amram, once known as Jack Kerouac’s musical collaborator. In the interview he talked about Kerouac’s love of music, telling me that “he had an enormous memory for music and for jazz and the classics. He could sing the melodies from different Haydn and Beethoven string quartets. He was like an encyclopedia of music and classic literature from Europe. He also had an enormous knowledge of Buddhism. He had a tremendous knowledge of Judaism, as well as the writings from the Old and New Testaments as well as from the Mass. He had this knowledge of so many different things. When he was reading, I would submerge myself into whatever it was he was reading, and I tried to anticipate what would happen next.”

     So, the collaboration of words and music is fascinating, and has deep and intellectual roots. It was the basis for my interest in an email I received a while ago from reed player Kevin Flanagan who, like Kerouac, is a Lowell, Massachusetts native. Flanagan’s Riprap Quartet recordings, he informed me, “feature compositions by the band setting the works of Pulitzer Prize winning-poet Gary Snyder” and is […] Continue reading »

soupysales Quiz Show

Monday Jazz Quiz #44

Virtually all recordings of this influential trumpet player are available, but the only known film footage of him is in a 1955 appearance on the Soupy Sales variety show, which was one year before his death. Who is he?

Booker Little

Clifford Brown

Donald Byrd

Lee Morgan

Freddie Hubbard

Art Farmer

Roy Eldridge

Fats Navarro

[…] Continue reading »

lesteryoung630a Literature

“LESTER YOUNG” — a poem by Ted Joans

Sometimes he was cool like an eternal
blue flame burning in the old Kansas
City nunnery
Sometimes he was happy ’til he’d think
about his birth place and its blood
stained clay hills and crow-filled trees
Most times he was blowin’ on the wonderful
tenor sax of his, preachin’ in very cool
[…] Continue reading »

armstrongjune25a Interviews

Louis Armstrong – the genesis of his “crossover” appeal

Breaking into the white market without losing his African-American vernacular identity was an amazing achievement for Louis Armstrong — particularly during his era. I talk about this in an excerpt from my recent interview with Thomas Brothers, author of Louis Armstrong: Master Of Modernism.

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JJM In the winter of 1925 – 26, while making a name for himself at classy venues like the Dreamland Café and the Vendome Theater, Armstrong was also extending his reputation thanks to the Hot Five series on OKeh Records. The recordings sold in Chicago, but the main target audience was African Americans in the Deep South, where “race records” were immensely popular. What was OKeh’s marketing strategy for this series?

TB Yes, they certainly sold in Chicago, and they sold in all northern cities where there were African-American communities from the Great Migration. The target of these “race records” was of course to appeal to the African-American mass audience, and to do so in a low-budget way. They were not interested in paying musicians any royalties – they would get a flat fee […] Continue reading »