Tunes come to me at morning
prayer, after flax sunflower
seeds jammed in a coffee can;
when we went to Japan
I prayed at the shrine
for the war dead broken
the tears on the lip of my soprano
glistened in the sun.
I talked about my music’s
voice of praise to our oneness,
them getting caught up in techniques
of the electronic school
lifting us into assault;
in live sessions, without an audience
I see faces on the flues of the piano,
cymbals driving me into ecstasies on my knees,
the demonic angel, Elvin,
answering my prayers on African drum, […] Continue reading »
Tunes come to me at morning
In what Netflix says will be an “unflinching” look at her life, the video service has announced that What Happened, Miss Simone? — a documentary on the “High Preistess of Soul,” Nina Simone — will be available to subscribers sometime in 2015, possibly to coincide with the release of the controversial and unauthorized biopic starring Zoe Saldana.
In addition to being a singer of remarkable esteem, Ms. Simone described herself as a “rebel with a cause.” Deeply impacted by the events of the civil rights movement, she became an activist who expressed support for a violent revolution and whose alienation toward America ultimately […] Continue reading »
Ask just about any jazz musician, scholar or fan for a list of the greatest jazz albums ever recorded, and John Coltrane’s A Love Supreme — recorded 50 years ago today — resides on it. My own first experience with it was in 1975, on a late evening in a dark, smoke-filled, back alley cottage on North Oakland’s Alcatraz Avenue. My listening was guided by a dear friend who understood that this was not just music — it is what happens when musical genius meets intensity, sensitivity, and spirituality. So many details of that evening remain with me 40 years later, not the least of which was how I sunk into the couch, eyes closed, the worn Impulse album jacket never leaving my grip. I was amazed and I was hooked.
Over the years, I have found that a favorite discussion among jazz fans is their recollections of their first experience with this album. When I began developing content for Jerry Jazz Musician, one of the first ideas I had was to interview people who were either […] Continue reading »
Once the most advanced trombonist in jazz, in addition to his time with the Original Memphis Five (starting in 1922), he is best known for his recordings with cornetist Red Nichols (pictured). Who is he?
Tricky Sam Nanton
Go to the next page for the answer! […] Continue reading »
On December 7, 1941 -– the day that indeed lives in infamy -– America’s “greatest generation,” who from that day forward had to muster up enormous courage and make heartbreaking and demanding sacrifice, was enamored with an innocent and “sweet” song written about a steam engine train ride from New York to Chattanooga, Tennessee. The #1 song in America was “Chattanooga Choo Choo,” the Glenn Miller recording of a Harry Warren/Mack Gordon song also popularized […] Continue reading »