• Read our interview with the eminent Armstrong scholar

  • Musicians and journalists share their lists of favorite jazz albums recorded during the 1960′s with our readers

  • This edition features Alex Steinweiss record album covers from his prime period — the late 1940′s and early 1950′s. 

  • Royal had studied her from the bandstand each and every night since their first gig. Such a little thing she was.

     

     

  • Interview with Louis Armstrong biographer Thomas Brothers
  • What are 3 or 4 of your favorite jazz albums from the 1960's?
  • "Cover Stories with Paul Morris, Vol. 7"
  • New Short Fiction Award -- "Fever" by Yvonne McBride
ennis1 Quiz Show

Monday Jazz Quiz #39

Between 1933 – 1938, this legendary arranger led his own band in California that eventually became the backup group for Skinnay Ennis. Who is he?

Sy Oliver

Stan Kenton

George Russell

Quincy Jones

Pete Rugolo

Jimmy Giuffre

Gil Evans

[…] Continue reading »

pepperagain Features » Book Excerpts

A follow-up to Straight Life: The Story of Art Pepper

Straight Life: The Story of Art Pepper, published in 1979, remains one of the most critically acclaimed jazz biographies ever written — some would even call it a “classic of its kind.” Written by the great West Coast alto player and his third wife Laurie, the book is brutally honest about the world Pepper traveled in, and is filled with colorful stories about his time with Stan Kenton, graphic descriptions of his sexual encounters, and, of course, the toll of his epic substance abuse.

Laurie Pepper has just published a follow-up to Straight Life called Why I Stuck with a Junkie Jazzman, an exciting development for many of us. I haven’t read it yet, but hope to do so. No less an authority than Gary Giddins blurbed for the book: “Everyone who knows the skillful craftsmanship she brought to Straight Life, the masterpiece she made of Art Pepper’s life, will find it here again, in service to her own story, which would be […] Continue reading »

dorseyagain Features » Book Excerpts

Tommy Dorsey stands up for Charlie Shavers

The stories about racial confrontations that jazz musicians experienced are, unfortunately, limitless. I recently posted “The Jazz at the Philharmonic Dice Game Bust,” which told the story of how producer Norman Granz challenged segregation in Houston.

Here is a pretty interesting story that Louis Bellson tells about how his bandleader Tommy Dorsey stood up for trumpet player Charlie Shavers during a swing through the Carolinas:

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Somewhere down South — North Carolina or South Carolina — segregation, of course, was going on. Tommy told the buyer [on one date], “He’s [Shavers] in my band. He’s an artist. He’s featured […] Continue reading »