• 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. 

  • “Pandora’s Sax,” by Robert Glover, is winning story in the 43rd Jerry Jazz Musician New Short Fiction Contest

     

     

  • Dizzy Gillespie’s run for President in 1964 wasn’t as illogical (or comical) as it seems on the surface.

  • 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
  • Short Fiction Contest Winning Story
  • "Diz for President"
  • A Moment in Time -- Newport, July, 1958
Literature » Short Fiction

“Psalm” — a short story by Ian Rictor

     I watch my hand remove the phone from the wall above the couch’s arm and there is a sweat in my ear as I hear a distant Miles Davis. I am called by the distorted voice of Miles Davis rasping my name.

     John, he says, are you busy?

     I let my eyes blur into my mother’s sofa, melting a monotonous no out of my mouth toward the receiver. I feel the room sloshing peacefully in waves around me and the buzzing of my lips from my mouthpiece and reed. My saxophone sits strewn across the floor along with my

[…] Continue reading »

Quiz Show » Jazz History Quiz

Jazz History Quiz #91

According to the All Music Guide to Jazz, this jazz musician — who played bass with Cab Calloway from 1936 – 1951 — “probably appeared on more records than any other musician in the world,” recording on “everything from Jackie Gleason mood music and polka bands to commercials and Buck Clayton jam sessions.” Who was he?

John Kirby

Milt Hinton

Oscar Pettiford

Red Mitchell

Leroy Vinnegar

Ray Brown

Slam Stewart

Go to the next page for the answer!

[…] Continue reading »

Literature » Poetry

Two poems by Michael L. Newell

Rikki spun, spun
and leaped, twirled
and dipped,
                 James Brown
on the jukebox, the small
bar filled with smoke, clinking
glasses, Filipinas in short dresses,
and a couple dozen G.I.’s profane,
obscene, and three-quarters in the bag;

Rikki, half-black, half-
Filipino, ten, living
in alleys and under bars, danced

[…] Continue reading »

Features » Historic Journalism

Revisiting “An Experiment in Modern Music”

The February 12, 1924 concert by Paul Whiteman at New York’s Aeolian Hall was billed as “An Experiment in Modern Music.” As reported by New York Times critic Olin Downes, who attended the event, “the concert was referred to as ‘educational,’ to show the development of this type of music [jazz].” The concert is now best remembered for being the setting for the world premiere of Rhapsody in Blue, with composer George Gershwin at the piano. As Times critic John S. Wilson wrote in 1987, “this concert is today considered a defining event of the Jazz Age and the cultural history of New York City.”

In this excerpt from Whiteman’s 1926 autobiography Jazz – written with essayist Mary Margaret McBride – Whiteman writes about his Aeolian Hall concert experience, and in particular the appeal of Rhapsody, which he described as

[…] Continue reading »