• This edition offers two accounts of the events surrounding Miles Davis and Thelonious Monk’s performance at the 1955 Newport Jazz Festival — a story that is, according to Thelonious Monk biographer Robin D.G. Kelley, “shrouded in myth.”

  • “You Blows What You Is” is the winning entry in our 41st Short Fiction Contest

     

  • Having just been released from serving a ten month drug related prison sentence at Terminal Island, the distinctive alto saxophonist Art Pepper re-entered the Los Angeles jazz scene in 1956 – still undeniably talented and hopelessly drug-addicted.

  • In this edition, Paul writes about the album cover art of Erik Nitsche, a pioneer of modern design

  • Great Encounters: Miles and Monk at Newport, 1955
  • "You Blows What You Is" -- a story by Ruth Knafo Setton
  • A Moment in Time: Art Pepper, Los Angeles, 1956
  • Cover Stories with Paul Morris, Vol. 17
rogersandhart Uncategorized

A story of “My Funny Valentine”

So many great songs to choose from for marking Valentine’s Day…The standard that most immediately comes to mind is an obvious choice, Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart’s “My Funny Valentine.” Written for their 1937 Broadway musical Babes in Arms, the piece was overshadowed on Broadway (and in the film version starring Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland) by “Where or When,” “I Wish I Were in Love Again,” and “The Lady is a Tramp,” and was not made relevant until Frank Sinatra’s recording of it in 1953. It was eventually recorded by more than 600 artists on countless albums, and became synonymous with Chet Baker, who recorded it over 100 times. Will Friedwald, author of Stardust Melodies: The Biography of Twelve of America’s Most Popular Songs — an entertaining and essential work of popular music history — wrote that “the tune could be said to follow Baker from the grave, since it’s usually included in memorial tributes to him.”

Friedwald writes, “What makes the whole [song] so remarkable is the happy/sad nature of the lyric, brilliantly mirroring the major/minor nature of the music. It’s a love song, but far from those ‘I love you and everything’s rosy’ tunes so popular in the twenties (vis-a-vis Iriving Berlin’s ‘Blue Skies’). It’s vaguely optimistic, but it couldn’t […] Continue reading »

jackt1 Quiz Show » Jazz History Quiz

Jazz History Quiz #82

Prior to Jack Teagarden, this trombonist — who gained a strong reputation playing with the Original Memphis Five and Red Nichols — was the most advanced in jazz. He eventually went on to play with Paul Whiteman, Benny Goodman and Eddie Condon, with “Peg of My Heart” his most popular recording. Who was he?

 

J.C. Higginbotham

Tricky Sam Nanton

Miff Mole

Kid Ory

Lawrence Brown

Juan Tizol

Trummy Young

Go to the next page for the answer!

 

[…] Continue reading »

white1 Features » In Memoriam

A brief tribute to Maurice White

On the heels of the deaths of iconic rock musicians David Bowie and Glenn Frey comes the very sad news that Maurice White, the founder of the Earth, Wind and Fire, has died today at age 74. White’s music came to prominence in the thick of soul’s musical ascent, and E W & F embodied the sound of urban America at the time, their message communicated optimistically and on a large scale. White’s band possessed an unusual crossover appeal — the fact that his death has invited praise from

[…] Continue reading »