• Reflections on meeting B.B. King

  • This edition tells the story of the importance Miles Davis placed on his friendship with boxer Sugar Ray Robinson in 1954, when he was trying to kick his drug addiction.

  •  A look at Rahsaan Roland Kirk’s mission to “rescue black classical music from certain oblivion and thrust it into the consciousness of the unwitting public.”

  • This edition focuses on Everest Records, the last of several new labels that Alex Steinweiss helped launch

  • My B. B. King Story
  • Great Encounters: Miles Davis and Sugar Ray Robinson
  • The Jazz and People's Movement
  • Cover Stories with Paul Morris
mcghee1 Uncategorized

“Bop is Nowhere”

Given yesterday’s publication of our interview with The Amazing Bud Powell: Black Genius, Jazz History and the Challenge of Bebop author Guthrie Ramsey, we thought it would be appropriate to reach back into the time when debate raged about bebop, the music Powell was an originator of. Was bebop creative genius, or did it compromise the artistic assumptions set by the previous generation of swing musicians? There is no doubt which side of the fence Downbeat contributor D. Leon Wolff sits on. Check out this June, 1949 article titled “Bop Nowhere, Armstrong Just a Myth, Says Wolff,” in which he lays out how bebop’s “list of liabilities is staggering” and describes bop solos as “predictable.”
[…] Continue reading »

budp16 Interviews » Biographers

Interview with Guthrie Ramsey, author of The Amazing Bud Powell: Black Genius, Jazz History, and the Challenge of Bebop

Bud Powell was not only one of the greatest bebop pianists of all time, he stands as one of the twentieth century’s most dynamic and fiercely adventurous musical minds. His expansive musicianship, riveting performances, and inventive compositions expanded the bebop idiom and pushed jazz musicians of all stripes to higher standards of performance. Yet Powell remains one of American music’s most misunderstood figures, and the story of his exceptional talent is often overshadowed by his history of alcohol abuse, mental instability, and brutalization at the hands of white authorities. […] Continue reading »

hampton3 Quiz Show

Monday Quiz Show #9

    Born Lillie Mae Jones, this singer toured with Lionel Hampton from 1948 – 1951, during which time her nickname was “[First Name] Bebop.” And, legend is that Hampton fired this singer seven times during this 2 1/2 year period, only to rehire her each time at the insistence of his wife Gladys. Who is she? […] Continue reading »