In this edition, producer Bob Thiele talks with Michael Jarrett, author of Pressed For All Time: Producing the Great Jazz Albums from Louis Armstrong and Billie Holiday to Miles Davis and Diana Krall about working with John Coltrane on his classic 1964 recording A Love Supreme
Gordon sat in the corner of the Red Sky Café and stared at his fingers as they slid across the fretboard of his Fender Stratocaster. They seemed disconnected from the rest of his body but hardwired to his brain. When he thought blue, they moved to his favorite notes. When he thought joy, a new series of chords and major scales opened up. He thought, played, listened, and watched.
Friends remember Al Summ, whose love and appreciation of jazz showed up in a variety of ways. His artwork was found (and rescued) by his friends Dan Brown, Dave Watson, Bob Crimi and “Andy” – a.k.a. “The Gang of Four”.
This remembrance is a reminder of how jazz and its culture can touch the soul of an enthusiast, and a demonstration of a longtime, devoted friendship. I am proud to assist the “Gang” in sharing their heartfelt connection to their departed friend.
Often described as one of the “great jokesters in jazz,” this trumpeter became a popular figure on the west coast who, in addition to playing with artists like Stan Kenton, Benny Goodman, Jimmy Giuffre and Art Pepper, also starred in a short-lived TV series called Run Buddy Run. Who is he?
My father played baseball
and was a hot prospect,
so the story goes,
pursued by the Braves
until the accident that left him
with eyes that saw two of everything –
“Tough to tell which ball to swing at,” he’d say.
In this edition, producer John Koenig, saxophonist Sonny Rollins and photographer William Claxton discuss their roles in Rollins’ 1957 Contemporary Records album Way Out West with Pressed For All Time author Michael Jarrett
December has brought the tradition of year-end “Best Of” lists, and the consensus among critics is that – as difficult as it may be to understand given the challenging circumstances – 2020 was a banner year for new jazz recordings.
The community of poets, writers, artists and photographers who have recently contributed their work and time to Jerry Jazz Musician to answer this question, “What one song best represents your experience with 2020?”
I have to admit, Portland has kicked my ass this summer.
Two fires continue to rage here. I’m sure you’ve heard about this city’s Black Lives Matter demonstrations that have also sparked pesky vandalism by dozens of mostly White activists. While their activities seem banal enough – a dumpster fire here, a picnic table on fire there – this behavior shamefully threatens to commandeer BLM’s objectives and gives life to a cynical and evergreen pre-election message stoking White suburban fear. The vandalism tests the patience of even the most tolerant and hopeful of local citizens.
Now mix in the fires of climate change – hot, powerful winds fanning flames on a drought-laden state – and the result is living in, for now, the epicenter of the world’s worst air quality.
One of the many rewards of reading Will Friedwald’s comprehensive and lively biography of Nat King Cole, Straighten Up and Fly Right, has been rediscovering gems within the great singer’s expansive catalog. Thanks to Friedwald, I am reminded of Cole’s 1960 album, Wild is Love, an ambitious, electrifying (and “hit”) recording that could best be described as a concept album about falling in love.
…..A few months ago such a casual bit of news would have aroused only the slightest interest. Select friends would display a polite enthusiasm, a question or two about the destination or accommodations would be raised, and perhaps a handful of pictures would even be endured.
The following is a statement issued by two executives of Atlantic Records – Jamila Thomas and Brianna Agyemang – announcing an initiative called #TheShowMustBePaused, “in observance of the long-standing racism and inequality that exists from the boardroom to the boulevard.”
Arizona State University historian and author Tracy Fessenden responds to the question; “During this time of social distancing and isolation at home, what are examples of the music you are listening to, the books you are reading, and/or the television or films you are viewing?”
Spelman College president Mary Schmidt Campbell responds to the question; “During this time of social distancing and isolation at home, what are examples of the music you are listening to, the books you are reading, and/or the television or films you are viewing?”
Journalist Joe Hagan and photographer Tim Davis respond to the question; “During this time of social distancing and isolation at home, what are examples of the music you are listening to, the books you are reading, and/or the television or films you are viewing?”
Recording artist Bruce Cockburn responds to the question, “During this time of social distancing and isolation at home, what are examples of the music you are listening to, the books you are reading, and/or the television or films you are viewing?”
Interviews with three outstanding, acclaimed writers and scholars who discuss their books on Irving Berlin, George Gershwin, and Cole Porter, and their subjects’ lives in and out of music. These interviews – which each include photos and several full-length songs – provide readers easy access to an entertaining and enlightening learning experience about these three giants of American popular music.
While preparing for an interview this week with Dominic McHugh. co-editor of The Letters of Cole Porter, I have immersed myself in Porter’s music, which has long been inspiration for a multitude of jazz recording artists.
2008. On the seafloor of the Stockholm archipelago near Ingarö the tides swept a body not yet dead back and forth, in eddies of dust that tornadoed up into black, cold water. Jazz had missed its chance again.
His style is unique, expressive, bombastic, heavy and rolling. He became one of the most famous drummers, making vast contributions to the hard bop and post-bop jazz movements. He had great influence on all the jazz musicians he played with, but more importantly, they influenced him.
The rain had simply just stopped, as suddenly as it had started, with only an occasional leftover droplet now falling from a street sign or lamppost. Some made it to the sidewalk where they joined the puddles in tiny splashes; others were interrupted in their descent, hitting the folded newspapers held overhead by those caught without an umbrella.
A recently released jazz album of significance is Abdullah Ibrahim’s The Balance (pictured), a distinctive and brilliant integration of contemporary exploration with the traditional nod to those who have influenced him over the years – in particular Ellington and Monk.
In a brilliant August 20, 2019 essay posted on the NPR website titled “Billie Full of Grace,” Professor Fessenden, author of Religion Around Billie Holiday,writes about the effect the convent reformatory Billie Holiday attended as a young woman – Baltimore’s House of the Good Shepherd – had on her life, and on her singing.
In this edition, Michael Jarrett interviews producer John Snyder about the experience of working with Ornette Coleman at the time of his 1977 album Dancing in Your Head for Horizon Records — a division of A & M Records (under Herb Alpert and Jerry Moss)
The shimmering bulb of the brown Long Island sunset was barely enough to illuminate the silently flailing figure in the water. The flaming ball stared down at the commotion from beneath its skin of smog, but the girl simply picked the loose sand up in her hands, running the granules through her stubby fingers, fascinated by the way it felt on her palms, but irritated by how it stuck under her bitten nails.
In a 2003 Jerry Jazz Musician interview, John D’Emilio, author of Lost Prophet: The Life and Times of Bayard Rustin, talks about one of the most important figures of the American civil rights movement, and a mentor of Dr. Martin Luther King.
. . . . In an interview originally published on Jerry Jazz Musician in 2003, Rosa Parks biographer David Brinkley talks about the life of “the first lady of the civil rights movement,” whose refusal to move to the back of the bus in 1955 led to the Montgomery, Alabama Bus Boycott , the … Continue reading “A Black History Month Profile: Rosa Parks”
. . . . I am having time to listen to new music more regularly these days, and finding great pleasure in many of the “grooves.” (Full disclosure…investing $10 per month in a Spotify account — while not the sensual experience of laying the needle on the vinyl — effortlessly gets your ears to … Continue reading “On the Turntable — January, 2019 edition”