• I deplaned in Amsterdam to confront my father. In 1990, the year I was born, after the likes of Stan Getz and Freddie Hubbard dubbed him “the reincarnation of Chet Baker,” he quit his part-time job repairing cars in Gilbert, Iowa to go on a worldwide tour from which he never returned.

  • The life of the legendary saxophonist is discussed

  • Noted critics and musicians list their essential 70’s jazz record albums

  • A story of 1974



  • "Homage" -- a short story by Kenneth Levine
  • Cannonball Adderley biographer is interviewed
  • "What are 3 or 4 of your favorite jazz albums from the 1970's?"
  • Joe Sample, the S.L.A., and a budding writer’s altered career path
evans3 Uncategorized

Blue: Magical Moments in Jazz — a (proposed) film by Christoph Felder

German filmmaker Christoph Felder is crowdfunding for a project he calls “Blue: Magical Moments in Jazz,” which he hopes will document the recording session of pianist Martin Sasse, Steve Grossman, saxophonist Bill Evans, and others. Felder claims this project will result in “the first film ever to explore and show how magical moments in jazz music happen.” A three minute film is found on the crowdfunding page, and is a worthwhile visit.

Click here to view it

[…] Continue reading »

tower2 Uncategorized

A Day in the Life of the Tower Records on Sunset Boulevard – 1971

The lure of record stores was pretty strong during that industry’s glory days, and no chain record store was held in higher esteem than Tower Records. Founded by Russ Solomon in Sacramento in 1960, the chain would spread to major cities all over the country (Columbus and Bay in San Francisco, Sunset Blvd. In LA, and the two Manhattan locations were the chain’s most revered U.S. addresses), and eventually all over the world. Before the stores were liquidated in 2006, Tower had established itself as a major retailer, with consumer recognition of its logo among the top 20 in all of retailing.

Paul Morris turned me on to a terrific video of the Tower/Sunset store in 1971. In its nearly 11 minutes, you will see employees floor stacking albums, ringing up customers while dangling smokes from their lips, $2.77 new releases, and […] Continue reading »

mingus0ct6a Quiz Show

Jazz History Quiz #54

Charles Mingus called him “the greatest trumpet player that I’ve heard in this life,” and he became well-known during his nine years playing in Count Basie’s orchestra, taking a “Pop Goes the Weasel” chorus on “April in Paris.” Who is he?

Roy Eldridge

Charlie Shavers

Ray Nance

Cat Anderson

Bill Coleman

Joe Newman

Thad Jones […] Continue reading »

ornette4 Features » Liner Notes

Liner Notes: Ornette Coleman’s Change of the Century, written by Ornette Coleman

In an essential jazz history book Jazz, co-written by Gary Giddins and Scott DeVeaux, the authors describe Ornette Coleman as being “universally revered as one of American music’s most original figures,” and whose influence is “beyond calculation.”  In addition to his musical significance, his six albums recorded for Atlantic Records from 1959 – 1961 “generated a cultural storm, not least for album titles that continued to lay emphasis on the group’s challenging attitude, which — without once mentioning the civil rights struggle — seemed to incarnate the authority of the New Negro: The Shape of Jazz to Come, Change of the Century, This is Our Music, and Free Jazz.”   Those Atlantic albums are creative and emotional landmarks, and for open-minded musicians and listeners, continue to be indispensable material for measuring our respective aesthetic boundaries. 

The importance of these recordings heightens the influence of their liner notes.  But, which liner notes best characterize Ornette Coleman’s work on Atlantic?   Focusing on the first three of the recordings, in the liner notes to the first, […] Continue reading »