• In honor of the great American journalist Nat Hentoff — who died January 7 at age 91 — I am publishing a 2005 interview I conducted with him as he turned 80.

  • At the abandoned jazz club,
    where I once debuted,
    only spiders and rodents
    reside behind the acoustical panels
    that once resonated my dreams.
    I see my distorted image

     

     

  • Short Fiction writer Arya Jenkins contributes her 10th story written exclusively for Jerry Jazz Musician…

  • “Great Encounters” are book excerpts that chronicle famous encounters among twentieth-century cultural icons. This edition describes the time Ella Fitzgerald chose to pass on an opportunity to meet Pablo Picasso.

  • "Civil Liberties and Jazz" -- a conversation with Nat Hentoff
  • "Rich at 100" -- a poem by Michael Keshigian
  • "Like a Pigeon in the Park" a story by Arya Jenkins
  • Great Encounters #47: When Ella chose not to meet Picasso
Quiz Show » Jazz History Quiz

Jazz History Quiz #91

According to the All Music Guide to Jazz, this jazz musician — who played bass with Cab Calloway from 1936 – 1951 — “probably appeared on more records than any other musician in the world,” recording on “everything from Jackie Gleason mood music and polka bands to commercials and Buck Clayton jam sessions.” Who was he?

John Kirby

Milt Hinton

Oscar Pettiford

Red Mitchell

Leroy Vinnegar

Ray Brown

Slam Stewart

Go to the next page for the answer!

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Literature » Poetry

Two poems by Michael L. Newell

Rikki spun, spun
and leaped, twirled
and dipped,
                 James Brown
on the jukebox, the small
bar filled with smoke, clinking
glasses, Filipinas in short dresses,
and a couple dozen G.I.’s profane,
obscene, and three-quarters in the bag;

Rikki, half-black, half-
Filipino, ten, living
in alleys and under bars, danced

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Features » Historic Journalism

Revisiting “An Experiment in Modern Music”

The February 12, 1924 concert by Paul Whiteman at New York’s Aeolian Hall was billed as “An Experiment in Modern Music.” As reported by New York Times critic Olin Downes, who attended the event, “the concert was referred to as ‘educational,’ to show the development of this type of music [jazz].” The concert is now best remembered for being the setting for the world premiere of Rhapsody in Blue, with composer George Gershwin at the piano. As Times critic John S. Wilson wrote in 1987, “this concert is today considered a defining event of the Jazz Age and the cultural history of New York City.”

In this excerpt from Whiteman’s 1926 autobiography Jazz – written with essayist Mary Margaret McBride – Whiteman writes about his Aeolian Hall concert experience, and in particular the appeal of Rhapsody, which he described as

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Features » In Memoriam

Bobby Hutcherson, 1941 – 2016

Bobby Hutcherson, the most eminent postbop jazz vibraphonist who helped define the sound of Blue Note Records during the 1960’s and 70’s, has died. Described by contemporary vibes player Stefon Harris as “by far the most harmonically advanced person to ever play the vibraphone,” his career included the release of more than 40 albums as leader, and as a prominent sideman on many great records, including Eric Dolphy’s classic Out to Lunch and Jackie McLean’s One Step Beyond. I saw him many years ago at Kimball’s in Oakland (long since shuttered), an exciting set that, if memory serves, included […] Continue reading »

Literature » Short Fiction

“Our Perspective” – a short story by Joy Bergman

“I don’t know…I still don’t see it.” I grumble to myself, sloping my head down in a perfectly coordinated position with the rest of my body. Slope. Coordinated. It all just makes me think of math. Math. “That’s it,” I tell myself silently, still looking around the empty halls, though no one is there. I sigh. I suppose it may not really be a fact, but everyone knows that statistically minded people, like me, see numbers. But people like her – well, I guess they see what I’m looking at. “No,” I run a hand through my gelled hair. She would see it all differently. What did she say again? I check my phone and then casually hold up what she said it would look like to the picture. “A black parked car with white windows near the dock in a blazing sunlight overlooking the ocean.” I focus on the

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