• Paul shares some of his personal jazz record collection, concentrating on the lesser known and sometimes quirky covers

  • This edition tells the story of Billy Taylor’s 1937 visit to Jelly Roll Morton’s Washington, D.C. club, where he witnessed Morton’s “arrogant wisdom”

  • In November, 1946, at the height of his popularity, Dizzy Gillespie took his big band out on the road, and in 1947 hired Ella Fitzgerald to tour the South.

  • “Songs for Sometime Losers: A Bebop Suite”  is a series of short acrostic riffs  — not unlike a long blistering saxophone or wistful piano solo within a larger piece — that together make up one jazzy whole

  • Cover Stories with Paul Morris, Vol. 14
  • Great Encounters: When Billy Taylor saw Jelly Roll Morton
  • A Moment in Time — Ella Fitzgerald and Dizzy Gillespie, 1947
  • “Songs for Sometime Losers: A Bebop Suite” — by Beth Spencer
blackbrownbeige Features

Liner Notes: Irving Townsend on “Black, Brown and Beige,” by Duke Ellington and His Orchestra, Featuring Mahalia Jackson

A recording essential to anyone who appreciates jazz is Duke Ellington’s 1943 jazz symphony Black, Brown and Beige, written for his first Carnegie Hall concert appearance. Described by many critics as his most ambitious composition, Ellington called it a “tone parallel to the history of the Negro in America.” Ellington only performed it complete on three occasions; once at Westchester County’s Rye High School on January 22, 1943, the Carnegie Hall concert the next night, and in Boston’s Symphony Hall a week later.

Fifteen years later, Ellington revised the composition, which Columbia released as Black, Brown and Beige, “Featuring Mahalia Jackson.” In his recently published Duke: A Life of Duke Ellington, Terry Teachout writes that this recording was “falsely billed by Columbia as a complete version of ‘Black,’ the work’s first movement, augmented by a vocal version of ‘Come Sunday’ performed by gospel singer Mahalia Jackson, who also contributed an impromptu ‘setting’ of the Twenty-Third Psalm. (‘He didn’t rehearse me nothin’,” she later said of the latter performance. ‘He said, “Just open the Bible and Sing!”‘). For those who hoped that Ellington would put all of Black, Brown and Beige on record, it was a disappointment.”

This sets the stage for this edition of “Liner Notes” – Columbia Records producer Irving Townsend’s description of the 1958 recording of Black, Brown and Beige, by Duke Ellington and His Orchestra, Featuring Mahalia Jackson, […] Continue reading »

tyner Features

McCoy Tyner’s Childhood Hero

We all had Childhood Heroes…Excerpted from exclusive Jerry Jazz Musician interviews, our guests talk of theirs.

This edition…McCoy Tyner

JJM Who were your heroes?

MT When I was growing up, Bud Powell, Thelonious Monk were basically the people who inspired me on the piano. Later on, I found out about Art Tatum and others. Bud and Thelonious were the main people who inspired me. Bud Powell, fortunately, moved around the corner from me when I was about 15. […] Continue reading »

recordalbum1 Quiz Show

Monday Quiz Show #14

What was the first jazz LP to sell one million copies?

Miles Davis, Kind of Blue

John Coltrane, Giant Steps

Dave Brubeck, Time Out

Charles Lloyd, Forest Flower

Bill Evans, Waltz for Debby

Duke Ellington and His Orchestra, featuring Mahalia Jackson, Black, Brown and Beige […] Continue reading »

monktime Uncategorized

November 22, 1963, Time magazine, and Thelonious Monk

50 years ago this week, Time magazine – at the time a critical weekly linking Americans to news and features of the world – had planned to run a cover story on jazz music, with the cover devoted to pianist Thelonious Monk. Instead, the events in Dallas on November 22 caused Time to shelve the story until February 28, 1964, and they ran a cover of Lyndon Johnson on November 29, 1963 instead. Reportedly, this decision, according to Monk biographer Robin D.G. Kelley, caused Time to destroy “the three million copies they had already printed bearing [Boris] Chaliapin’s portrait of Monk.”

This discussion about the Time article appears in our December, 2009 interview with Kelley: […] Continue reading »