After joining Billy Eckstine’s band in 1944, Eckstine named this new band mate “Jug” when straw hats ordered for the band did not fit. Who is he?
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Last night, CNN aired an episode of the Spielberg/Hanks/Goetzman-produced documentary “The Sixties” that focused on the Vietnam War. Lots of historic and horrific footage — some I have never seen before — that will hopefully serve as a blunt reminder about the cost of involving ourselves in an unnecessary war. So many wonderful young men of my generation paid the ultimate price…
Two of the key commentators on the program are Karl Marlantes, author of the essential Vietnam war novel Matterhorn that focused on the aims of the war — which was not about gaining territory but solely on the mass killing of the Viet Cong — and David Maraniss, author of They Marched Into Sunlight, an account of the war on the battlefield, […] Continue reading »
Concerning yesterday’s passing of the great pianist Horace Silver, others much more qualified than I will write of his musical brilliance, and communicate his importance to the music’s growth. (To that end, there is an excellent life remembrance of Silver by Peter Keepnews in today’s New York Times that you can read by going here). I would just like to devote a couple paragraphs to my own introduction to his music, and what it meant to me at the time.
When I moved from Berkeley to Portland in the summer of 1978, I was already a pretty passionate listener of jazz, but I was still in the “101″ phase. I knew and loved the “A Team” – Basie, Ellington, some early Armstrong, Monk, Bird and Miles. Coltrane’s ballads were gorgeous, and I loved his playing on […] Continue reading »
Still tingling with Basie’s hard cooking,
between sets I stood at the bar
when the man next to me ordered
scotch and milk. I looked to see who had
this stray taste and almost swooned
when I saw it was the master.
Basie knocked his shot back,
then, when he saw me gaping,
raised his milk to my peachy face
and rolled out his complete smile
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The visual artist Jazzamoart of Guanajuato, Mexico has long enticed serious jazz collectors with his uncommon, audacious, and joyful paintings. Possibly the most important expressionist artist interpreting jazz, the critic Antonio Rodriguez wrote that Jazzamoart’s paintings “are reminiscent of Jackson Pollock’s style and the expression takes from the horrorific elements of Willem de Kooning’s work,” while Jose Luis Cuevas describes it as “if he were a mad jazz dancer who discovers the origins of the earth every time his toe dips into it.” His colorful, creative work […] Continue reading »