• 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 friendship of Coltrane and Dolphy and the time of “anti-jazz”

  • This edition features a selection of covers by Curt John Witt, the prolific illustrator for mid-century budget record labels

  • Mercies would have put blues on the menu if it could, but that was a province of the kitchen, where I worked four and a half months too many. I heard actual blues music and caught a gust of air conditioning whenever I

     

     

  • "Homage" -- a short story by Kenneth Levine
  • A Moment in Time -- John Coltrane and Eric Dolphy, 1961
  • Cover Stories with Paul Morris, Vol. 10
  • "HEAT," -- a short story by Arya Jenkins
freddymartin Art » Art Exhibits » Cover Story with Paul Morris

Cover Stories with Paul Morris, Vol. 9

Paul Morris is an avid Portland, Oregon record album collector who, in his words, will “share his enthusiasm for the artists who created album covers in the ‘40?s and ‘50?s.” In addition to being a collector of the art, he is a scholar of it. This edition features a selection of RCA Victor album covers from Paul’s collection.
[…] Continue reading »

monkspot1 Features » A Moment in Time

A Moment in Time — Monk and Coltrane at the Five Spot, 1957

The Five Spot Café, a club located in New York City’s Bowery neighborhood, was the site of a six month gig for the quartet of Thelonious Monk, John Coltrane, drummer Shadow Wilson, and bassist Wilbur Ware. This engagement — coming on the heels of Monk’s cabaret card reinstatement — marked the merging of two of the most original voices in American music, Monk and Coltrane, in a space where cheap beer and good music attracted some of the city’s most influential artists and writers. Regulars included Larry Rivers, Willem de Kooning, Franz Kline, Jack Kerouac, Frank O’Hara and Allen Ginsberg.

In Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an American Original, author Robin D.G. Kelley quotes Five Spot co-owner Joe Termini remembering the impact Monk’s quartet had on his club: “Once we hired Monk, all of a sudden the place was crowded every night. And frankly, in the beginning, I just didn’t understand any of it.” […] Continue reading »

morg1 Interviews

In honor of jazz historian Dan Morgenstern — at age 85

The critic Gary Giddins once told me that fellow jazz writer Dan Morgenstern has the “best ears in the business.” Morgenstern’s work as editor of Down Beat during the 1960’s and 70’s (when it was jazz music’s premier magazine) and as the director of the Institute of Jazz Studies at Rutgers, according to writer Sheldon Mayer helped direct “a generation of jazz scholars and broadened the discussion and range of the discipline.”

In addition to his work at Down Beat and the Institute, I associate Morgenstern’s career with his defense of the latter-day Louis Armstrong, and for the many great liner notes he penned. In the introduction to my 2005 interview with Morgenstern (at the time of the release of his book Living With Music), I wrote: “Dan Morgenstern was the […] Continue reading »

bassplayer2 Quiz Show » Jazz History Quiz

Jazz History Quiz #56

This bassist played with (among others) Charlie Parker, Erroll Garner, Nat King Cole and Dexter Gordon, was one of the earliest modern jazz tuba soloists, and was the only player to turn down offers to join both Duke Ellington’s Orchestra and the Louis Armstrong All-Stars. Who is he?

Walter Page

John Kirby

Red Callender

Tommy Potter

Oscar Pettiford

Curly Russell

Leroy Vinnegar

Gene Ramey

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

lena1 Features » Memorable Quotes

Memorable Quotes: Duke Ellington on Lena Horne

In his 1973 autobiography Music is My Mistress, Duke Ellington writes about his admiration for Lena Horne. In a footnote to Ellington’s thoughts on Horne, he wrote that he inherited the line he was known to use when telling a woman he thought she was beautiful — “You Make That Hat Look Pretty!” — from his father.

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Lena Horne is such a delicate beauty. When she decided it was show business for her, before she became of age, she had to be accompanied by her mother when she came to work at the Cotton Club. From bandstands with Charlie Barnet, she went on to movies, and always with a dignity that […] Continue reading »