• This edition offers two accounts of the events surrounding Miles Davis and Thelonious Monk’s performance at the 1955 Newport Jazz Festival — a story that is, according to Thelonious Monk biographer Robin D.G. Kelley, “shrouded in myth.”

  • “You Blows What You Is” is the winning entry in our 41st Short Fiction Contest

     

  • Having just been released from serving a ten month drug related prison sentence at Terminal Island, the distinctive alto saxophonist Art Pepper re-entered the Los Angeles jazz scene in 1956 – still undeniably talented and hopelessly drug-addicted.

  • In this edition, Paul writes about the album cover art of Erik Nitsche, a pioneer of modern design

  • Great Encounters: Miles and Monk at Newport, 1955
  • "You Blows What You Is" -- a story by Ruth Knafo Setton
  • A Moment in Time: Art Pepper, Los Angeles, 1956
  • Cover Stories with Paul Morris, Vol. 17
chet8 Interviews

JJM interviews on Chet Baker and Miles Davis

With the Miles Davis and Chet Baker films now in distribution, there is a marked increase in traffic on this website’s content that is devoted to them, including several interviews that we conducted with biographers and family members. I have chosen five of them for you to consider spending some time with, featuring Ashley Kahn, James Gavin, John Szwed, Carol Baker and Gerald Early.

[…] Continue reading »

evans1 Literature » Poetry

“In Search of an Elegy” — a poem (for Bill Evans) by Larsen Bowker

I’ll have it spare as the reverence you feel for silence
in your long melodic lines, where the music cries

in the sacred spaces you leave between the notes…
I’ll have the long curve of your back bending over

your shadow on the keys as you play “Turn Out
the Stars”, written for your father when he died,

Blue Notes stretching out as if you’d have them last

[…] Continue reading »

paul g1 Interviews » Conversations with Gary Giddins

Gary Giddins on underrated saxophonists

Fans of the saxophone may enjoy reading a January, 2004 interview I did with critic Gary Giddins on underrated jazz musicians. (This was part of my 15 part series of interviews with him called “Conversations with Gary Giddins.”) In this snippet from the interview, Giddins talks about George Coleman, Booker Ervin, Paul Gonsalves, Charlie Rouse and others who he considered “underrated.”

[…] Continue reading »

eckstine1 Quiz Show » Jazz History Quiz

Jazz History Quiz #85

This saxophonist’s first important jobs were during the 1940’s with Lionel Hampton, Fletcher Henderson, Louis Armstrong’s big band, and Billy Eckstine’s Orchestra (pictured). Additionally, he was a Savoy Records recording artist as a leader before being an important part of the scene on Los Angeles’ Central Avenue. Who was he?

Stan Getz

Wardell Gray

Dexter Gordon

Bob Cooper

Gene Ammons

Sonny Stitt

Brew Moore

Go to the next page for the answer!

[…] Continue reading »

sissle1 Uncategorized

Reviving Shuffle Along

The revival of the landmark all-black Broadway musical “Shuffle Along” – originally produced in 1921 and opening at New York’s Music Box Theatre on April 28 – reminds us of the great Noble Sissle/Eubie Blake compositions (most famously “Love Will Find a Way” and “I’m Just Wild About Harry”), but also the challenges (and humiliation) performers, theater owners and audiences faced within a racist American society. “’Shuffle’ wasn’t exactly forward thinking on race,” John Jeremiah Sullivan writes in a recent New York Times feature titled “American Shuffle.” “It broke boundaries, no doubt, but mainly through its success, and by having great pop tunes. Otherwise, it was a blacks-in-blackface production.”

“An area in which the show genuinely pushed things forward,” Sullivan writes, “[was] romance.” This during a time when white America found black sexuality

[…] Continue reading »