In 1924, jazz was becoming popular in the major cities of New Orleans, Chicago, Kansas City and New York, and with Paul Whiteman’s Aeolian Hall performance of George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, it was being judged in some critical circles as a serious musical art form. That wasn’t the opinion of everyone, of course.
“‘Jazz’ has created a ‘malarious’ atmosphere in the musical world. It is abnormal. The air needs clarifying.” So wrote popular music composer Robert M. Stults in the August 1924 edition of The Etude magazine, an issue dedicated to what they defined as “The Jazz Problem.”
The Etude was published from 1883 – 1957 and was a popular music publication of the era. Its primary audience was made up of popular music teachers, and the debate of the time of this particular edition was the legitimacy of this controversial new music known as “Jazz.” To solicit opinion about jazz, The Etude posed the question “Where is Jazz Leading America?” to composers, educators, musicians, members of the clergy, playwrights and novelists.
The debate inspired by this question featured fascinating perspectives, […] Continue reading »
Saxophonist Benny Golson describes what was, according to Clifford Brown biographer Nick Catalano, “probably the first meeting between Brown and Fats Navarro.”
Excerpted from Clifford Brown: The Life and Art of the Legendary Jazz Trumpeter, by Nick Catalano
[…] Continue reading »
After playing a 1950 concert with a pick-up rhythm section, Stan Getz hired the trio. The trio included Walter Bolden on drums and Joe Calloway on bass. Who was the trio’s pianist?
Horace Silver […] Continue reading »
We are edging closer to the announcement of the Jerry Jazz Musician Short Fiction Contest winning story #35. It is our expectation that we will be publishing it by March 10. Meanwhile, here are some recent previous winning stories we think you’ll enjoy: […] Continue reading »
I am proud to report that I am Vice-Chair of the Board of the Portland (Oregon) Jazz Festival, now in its 11th year and which just opened last night with terrific performances by Eliane Elias and Brian Blade & The Fellowship Band. Programmed by industry veteran Don Lucoff, the Festival features an amazing array of talent in ticketed and free shows played out in performance halls and clubs all over our community.
Jazz is keeping interesting company these days. On one end of the spectrum is the ageless Ahmad Jamal, who plays tonight, and on the other is 24-year-old Cecile McLorin Salvant, who plays tomorrow night and is described by Chris Barton of the Los Angeles Times as “a rising star…whose Grammy-nominated sophomore album, ‘Woman Child,’ was one of the sharpest, most magnetic releases of 2013.” Her recording showcases a singing style in the tradition of Abbey Lincoln and Sarah Vaughan, at times even dipping into what Barton describes a “Paul Robeson-like purr” while singing Bert Williams’ “Nobody.” […] Continue reading »