• Really the Blues, the little-known but highly influential autobiographical work by jazz musician Mezz Mezzrow (co-written by Bernard Wolfe), is one man’s account of decades of jazz and American cultural history. 

  • “Pandora’s Sax,” by Robert Glover, is winning story in the 43rd Jerry Jazz Musician New Short Fiction Contest

     

     

  • Dizzy Gillespie’s run for President in 1964 wasn’t as illogical (or comical) as it seems on the surface.

  • The 1958 Newport Jazz Festival is remembered for its meltdown of Benny Goodman’s band, a Saturday night show featuring rock and roll pioneer Chuck Berry, and, of course, the full-length documentary film that covered many of the festival’s terrific moments.  Jazz on a Summer’s Day was intended to be a

  • "Glossary of Jazz Slang" -- from Really the Blues
  • Short Fiction Contest Winning Story
  • "Diz for President"
  • A Moment in Time -- Newport, July, 1958
Quiz Show

Monday Jazz Quiz #42

In the mid-1950’s, after a failed audition for the Benny Goodman band, this drummer found work in New York, toured with Charles Mingus’s band, and performed on J.J. Johnson’s J Is for Jazz. Who is he?

Jimmy Cobb

Joe Morello

Clifford Jarvis

Philly Joe Jones

Jo Jones

Joe Chambers

Jack De Johnette

Elvin Jones

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Features

“One For Daddy-O” — in honor of my dad on Father’s Day

Besides doing his best to help raise three kids, during my 1960’s childhood my father worked his heart out at two jobs — one of which was as owner of a restaurant on Oakland’s Telegraph Avenue, and the other as a musician, playing trumpet and viola throughout the San Francisco Bay area, mostly on evenings and weekends in “casual” jobs. For years he was part of a strolling quartet that entertained San Francisco’s elite at the World Trade Club — an ensemble that at its peak toured the Philippines, playing to an audience that included “strongman” Ferdinand Marcos and his wife Imelda.

Prior to that, in the 30’s he traveled the country and led his own band in Sacramento. In the 40’s, he spent the war years as a member of the Winged Victory Orchestra. And, in the late 40’s and 50’s, among many musical pursuits (although toned down once he married my mom in 1947), he played in the Jack Fina Orchestra, as well as in Ernie Heckscher’s orchestra, which famously played at the Fairmont Hotel atop Nob Hill.

He loved his music, and part of my own early appreciation for music came as a result of hearing his practice sessions. To this day I can still very clearly hear the sound of his viola […] Continue reading »

Features » In Memoriam

Ruby Dee, 1922 – 2014

Ruby Dee, perhaps best known for her work on stage and screen in Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun — a play the New York Times’ Frank Rich said “changed American theater forever” — and for her political activism, particularly during the era of the civil rights movement, died on June 11.

To read Bruce Weber’s comprehensive New York Times obituary, click here.
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Interviews » Biographers

Interview with Thomas Brothers — author of Louis Armstrong: Master of Modernism

In Louis Armstrong: Master of Modernism, Thomas Brothers picks up where he left off with the acclaimed Louis Armstrong’s New Orleans, following the story of the great jazz musician into his most creatively fertile years in the 1920s and early 1930s, when Armstrong created not one but two modern musical styles. Brothers wields his own tremendous skill in making the connections between history and music accessible to everyone as Armstrong shucks and jives across the page. Through Brothers’s expert ears and eyes we meet an Armstrong whose quickness and sureness, so evident in his performances, served him well in his encounters with racism while his music soared across the airwaves into homes all over America.

Brothers discusses his book with Jerry Jazz Musician publisher Joe Maita in an April, 2014 interview. […] Continue reading »

Uncategorized

A good read — Nate Chinen on Jimmy Giuffre

In anticipation of Tuesday’s release of The Jimmy Giuffre 3 & 4 — previously unreleased live recordings from 1965, during an extended period when Giuffre’s published output was virtually non-existent — Nate Chinen filed a terrific account of Giuffre, which appeared in Sunday’s New York Times. It is well worth a read. Click here to do so.
[…] Continue reading »