• 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
hawes2 Features » Book Excerpts

Hampton Hawes writes about the “dependability” of the piano

I am in the early stages of reading pianist Hampton Hawes’ 1972 autobiography (written with Don Asher) Raise Up Off Me, which Gary Giddins called, in his introduction, “the first book to give an insider’s view of the most provocative and misunderstood movement in jazz — the modernism of the ’40s, bebop.” It is incredibly entertaining and a witty, lucid, and smart read.

In a paragraph representative of the book’s quality, Hawes writes about his respect for and appreciation of his instrument’s dependability:

The piano was the only sure friend I had because it was the only thing that was consistent, always made sense and responded directly to what I did. Pianos don’t ever change. Sittin’ there every day. You wanna play me, here I am. The D is still here, the A flats still here, they’re always going to be there and it don’t matter whether it’s Sunday, Ash Wednesday or the Fourth of July. Play it right and it comes […] Continue reading »

billevans1 Features » Memorable Quotes

Memorable Quotes: Bill Evans on “listening well”

“Perhaps the hours of greatest pleasure in my life have come about as a result of the capacity of the piano to be in itself a complete expressive musical medium. In retrospect, I think that these countless hours of aloneness with music unified the directive energy of my life. At those times when I have achieved this sense of oneness while playing alone, the many technical or analytic aspects of the music happened of themselves with positive rightness which always served to remind me that to understand music most profoundly one only has to be listening well. Perhaps it is a peculiarity of mine that despite the fact that […] Continue reading »

dorseysep29 Quiz Show

Jazz History Quiz #53

This popular music singer once sang backup with her vocal group the Pied Pipers in Tommy Dorsey’s band and occasionally performed under the pseudonym “Darlene Edwards.” By 1955, she had sold more records than any other female artist, and one of her songs was the first record by a woman to reach #1 on the U.K. Singles Chart. Who is she?

Anita O’Day

Jo Stafford

Helen Merrill

Peggy Lee

Chris Connor

Carmen McRae

Lena Horne

Mildred Bailey

[…] Continue reading »

streisand1 Features » Book Excerpts

Miles Davis on almost playing with Barbara Streisand

From Miles: The Autobiography, Miles Davis recalls an evening that could have had him on stage with a very young Barbra Streisand


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One night we were playing at the Village Vanguard, and the owner Max Gordon wanted me to play behind a singer. So I told him I didn’t play behind no girl singer. But I told him to ask Herbie [Hancock] and if Herbie wanted to do it then it was okay with me. So Herbie, Tony [Williams], and Ron [Carter] played […] Continue reading »