• In his 1993 book Upside Your Head! Rhythm and Blues on Central Avenue, the jazz and blues musician and impresario Johnny Otis writes primarily about the music scene in Los Angeles during the 40’s and 50’s.

  • In 1961 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer had purchased Verve Records from Norman Granz. Creed Taylor became the new executive director, and made a number of crucial policy decisions, including the sacking of the majority of Verve’s contract artists. One of a handful to survive was

  • On the evenings of April 21 and 22, 1961, Miles Davis and his quintet recorded at San Francisco’s The Black Hawk nightclub, a longtime Tenderloin neighborhood establishment described by Bay area music writer Ralph J. Gleason as

  • A story about “a man of the cloth…deputized by a higher power to save jazzmen’s souls from the lures and wiles and temptations of bad taste.”

  • Johnny Otis writes about racism
  • Great Encounters: In the studio with Bill Evans and Stan Getz
  • Liner Notes -- Miles Davis in Person At The Blackhawk
  • "Father Kniest, Jazz Priest" -- a short story by Con Chapman
coltranedec13 Literature » Poetry

“Peace on Earth” — a poem by Michael Harper

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
at Nagasaki;
the tears on the lip of my soprano
glistened in the sun.
In interviews
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 »

nina1 Uncategorized

What Happened, Miss Simone?

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 »

coltrane1 Interviews » A Love Supreme

It was 50 years ago today — the anniversary of the A Love Supreme recording date

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 »

rednichols1 Quiz Show

Jazz History Quiz #60

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?

J.C. Higginbotham

Tricky Sam Nanton

Lawrence Brown

Dickie Wells

Jack Teagarden

Miff Mole

Trummy Young

Go to the next page for the answer! […] Continue reading »

miller Uncategorized

December 7, 1941

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 »