Jazz History Quiz #166

This jazz legend’s career included early work with Kid Ory in Barney Bigard’s group in 1942, a tour the following year with Louis Armstrong, and stints with Lionel Hampton, Red Norvo, Art Tatum and Stan Getz. His last project was a late 1970’s collaboration with a famous female folk-rock singer. Who is he?

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August 9th, 2023

Jazz History Quiz #164

He is best known for writing “(Get Your Kicks On) Route 66” — which Nat Cole made famous in 1946 — but his earliest musical success came with the song “Daddy,” recorded in 1941 by Sammy Kaye and His Orchestra, which was the #1 record for eight weeks. He was also famous for being married to the glamorous singer Julie London. Who is he?

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May 30th, 2023

Jazz History Quiz #163

Although he was an accomplished bandleader whose 1932 – 1936 band became the nucleus of the first Woody Herman Orchestra, his most important contribution to music is as a songwriter, whose work includes “It Had to Be You,” “I’ll See You in My Dreams,” and “There is No Greater Love.”  Who is he?

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April 11th, 2023

Jazz History Quiz #159

Although he was not considered to be a true jazz singer, along with Bing Crosby, this “Romeo of Radio”’s short-lived, early 1930’s career influenced Italian crooners like Perry Como (pictured), as well as Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Herb Jeffries and Billy Eckstine. Who is he?

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December 27th, 2022

Jazz History Quiz #158

Besides being one of the first to be influenced by Charlie Christian, in 1944 this electric guitarist employed Charlie Parker on his first recording date and eventually led an R&B-oriented group “The Rockin’ Highlanders” that featured the saxophonist Red Prysock (pictured). Who is he?

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November 10th, 2022

Jazz History Quiz #152

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 and his band backed Sophie Tucker on her 1924 recording of “Red Hot Mama,”  and he eventually went on to play with Paul Whiteman, Benny Goodman and Eddie Condon. Who was he?

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February 4th, 2022

Jazz History Quiz #149

This lifelong friend of Duke Ellington co-wrote “Sophisticated Lady,” played clarinet, violin, baritone and alto saxophone during his first stint in Ellington’s band (prior to leaving in 1928), and, following time in a band that also included Fats Waller and Chu Berry, returned to Duke’s orchestra, where he would play until 1946.  Who was he?

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November 12th, 2021

Jazz History Quiz #148

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?

Don Ellis

Ruby Braff

Shorty Rogers

Red Rodney

Jack Sheldon

Al Hirt

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September 24th, 2021

Jazz History Quiz #147

This saxophonist – best known for his Blue Note soul-jams of the 1960s – replaced John Coltrane in Earl Bostic’s early R&B/jazz band, played in Max Roach’s band after his time in the military, and was married to the organist Shirley Scott.  Who is he?

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Jimmy Scott

Benny Golson

Tom Scott

Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis

Eddie Harris

James Moody

Lou Donaldson

Stanley Turrentine

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July 28th, 2021

Jazz History Quiz #146

This pianist was Billie Holiday’s regular accompanist during her last two years (1957 – 1959), and also played in the Eric Dolphy-Booker Little Quintet that recorded extensively at New York’s Five Spot in 1961. Who is he?

Mal Waldron

Al Haig

Duke Jordan

Hampton Hawes

Joe Albany

George Wallington

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July 1st, 2021

Jazz History Quiz #145

This one-armed Dixieland trumpeter and “jive” vocalist’s 1930 song “Tar Paper Stomp” used a riff that later became the basis for Glenn Miller’s recording of “In the Mood.” Who is he?

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Wingy Manone

Louis Prima

Charlie Teagarden

Humphrey Lyttelton

Muggsy Spanier

Yank Lawson

Mutt Carey

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May 4th, 2021

Jazz History Quiz #144

This pioneer pianist of the bop era had short term associations with Benny Carter, Boyd Raeburn, Lester Young, and Charlie Parker, but led such a troubled life that he only recorded once between 1947 – 1971. Who is he?

Mel Powell

Jess Stacy

Joe Albany

Dodo Marmarosa

Lennie Tristano

Al Haig

Hampton Hawes

Phineas Newborn

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March 11th, 2021

Jazz History Quiz #139

. . photo by William Gottlieb/Library of Congress Nat “King” Cole, Paramount Theater, New York, N.Y., ca. Nov. 1946 . ___ .     This bassist played with (among others) Charlie Parker, Erroll Garner, Art Tatum, Nat “King” Cole (pictured), Dexter Gordon, James Taylor and Rickie Lee Jones, and was one of the earliest modern … Continue reading “Jazz History Quiz #139”

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June 30th, 2020

Jazz History Quiz #135

After playing a 1950 concert in Hartford, Connecticut with a pick-up rhythm section trio, Stan Getz hired them, which included Walter Bolden on drums and Joe Calloway on bass. Who was the trio’s pianist?

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Cecil Taylor

Barry Harris

Wynton Kelly

Phineas Newborn

Tommy Flanagan

Hank Jones

George Shearing

Horace Silver

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April 20th, 2020

Jazz History Quiz #134

Influenced by Charlie Parker and Phil Woods (pictured), before forming his own group this alto player got his start in Buddy Rich’s Big Band, and shortly thereafter played with Lionel Hampton.  While leading his own band, he was famous for playing bebop covers of songs such as “The I Love Lucy Theme,” “Come Fly With Me,” and “Hooray for Hollywood,” and often performed with singer Eddie Jefferson.  Who is he?

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February 26th, 2020

Jazz History Quiz #133

This musician first recorded with Ben Pollack’s band in 1936, and then joined Benny Goodman’s band in 1937.  He eventually started his own band, in which Frank Sinatra sang for a short time in 1939.  In 1941 he recorded “You Made Me Love You (I Didn’t Want to Do It”), which made him a star, and second only to Glenn Miller in popularity in 1942.  Who is he?

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January 10th, 2020

Jazz History Quiz #132

This legendary saxophonist has worked with Lionel Hampton, Johnny Hodges, Dizzy Gillespie, Art Blakey, and Art Farmer, and has become known as much for his compositions as the greatness of his horn playing, having written standards like “I Remember Clifford,” “Killer Joe,” and “Along Came Betty.”  Who is he?

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December 11th, 2019

Jazz History Quiz #131

This guitarist was an original member of the Chico Hamilton Quintet, toured with Ella Fitzgerald, and was part of Sonny Rollins’s quartet that recorded the 1962 album The Bridge.  Who is he?

Joe Pass

Pat Martino

Grant Green

Tal Farlow

Herb Ellis

Kenny Burrell

Johnny Smith

Jim Hall

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October 17th, 2019

Jazz History Quiz #130

One of the last of the great pianists who emerged from Detroit following World War II, in addition to playing with Benny Goodman, Charles Mingus (pictured), and the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Orchestra, he was given knighthood from the President of Liberia in 1970.  Who is he?

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Hank Jones

Roland Hanna

Barry Harris

Tommy Flanagan

Kenny Drew

Wynton Kelly

Randy Weston

Ahmad Jamal

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July 23rd, 2019

Jazz History Quiz #129

This musician has been an inspiration to many contemporary jazz artists.  An original member of the Chico Hamilton Quintet, he also worked with Sonny Rollins, toured with Ella Fitzgerald, co-led a quartet with Art Farmer (pictured), and occasionally recorded with Paul Desmond and Bill Evans.  Who is he?

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June 26th, 2019

Jazz History Quiz #127

Before his tragic early death, this trumpeter played with Max Roach, Abbey Lincoln, and John Coltrane, and most famously during a 1961 Five Spot gig with Eric Dolphy. Who is he?

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Fats Navarro

Booker Little

Howard McGhee

Kenny Dorham

Red Rodney

Lee Morgan

Blue Mitchell

Clifford Brown

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April 25th, 2019

Jazz History Quiz #126

In 1964, along with the orchestra of arranger Lalo Schifrin (pictured), this flutist/alto sax player recorded one of the first “Jazz Masses,” and soon after studied transcendental meditation in India. He would eventually become well known as a composer of music for meditation. Who is he?

 

Paul Winter

Herbie Mann

Anthony Braxton

John Tchicai

Paul Horn

Arthur Blythe

David Sanborn

Paul McCandless

 

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April 11th, 2019

Jazz History Quiz #125

Upon replacing Cootie Williams (pictured), this trumpeter’s very first night with Duke Ellington’s Orchestra was fully documented during the band’s famous November 7, 1940 Fargo, North Dakota concert.  Who is he?

Ray Nance

Rex Stewart

Cat Anderson

Lawrence Brown

Shorty Baker

Johnny Coles

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March 16th, 2019

Jazz History Quiz #124

Before he became popular with a non-jazz audience by recording swing standards and show tunes with his quartet, this artist was an important trumpeter for two decades, playing on a riverboat in the 1920’s, and in the orchestras of Horace Henderson, Lil Armstrong, McKinney’s Cotton Pickers, Stuff Smith (pictured) and Cab Calloway.  His first hit was “On the Street Where You Live.”  Who is he?

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February 23rd, 2019

Jazz History Quiz #122

. .   . This trumpeter began his career in California, where he organized a big band that had a residency in China in 1934, and, during a trip through Kansas City in 1936, was invited to join Count Basie’s orchestra, replacing “Hot Lips” Page.  Who is he? . Ray Nance Buck Clayton Charlie Shavers … Continue reading “Jazz History Quiz #122”

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January 8th, 2019

Jazz History Quiz #119

Before recording with Benny Carter in 1956 and then recording three albums for Riverside between 1957 – 1959, Anna Maria Woolridge was a “lightweight” supper-club singer who went through several name changes, ultimately becoming “Mrs. Max Roach.”  Who was Anna Maria Woolridge?

 

Mary Lou Williams

Dinah Washington

Abbey Lincoln

Melba Liston

Sheila Jordan

Lorez Alexandria

Irene Kral

 

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October 5th, 2018

Jazz History Quiz #118

Born Edward Chester Babcock, this American composer wrote songs for films, television and theater, and won four Academy Awards for Best Original Song, including in 1944 for “Swinging on a Star,” co-written by Johnny Burke and made famous by Bing Crosby in the film Going My Way.   Who is he?

 

 

 

Jimmy Van Heusen

Irving Berlin

Harold Arlen

Cole Porter

Jerome Kern

Harry Warren

Richard Rodgers

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September 5th, 2018

Jazz History Quiz #117

This artist sang with Paul Whiteman, and later with the Casa Loma Orchestra.  In 1939, she became the first singer to devote an entire album to the music of one composer – George Gershwin.  It was such a success that she followed it up with the music of Cole Porter (1940), Rogers and Hart (1940 and 1954), Harold Arlen (1943) and Irving Berlin (1951).  Who is she?

Helen Ward

Mildred Bailey

Lee Wiley

Ella Fitzgerald

Maxine Sullivan

Helen Forrest

Helen Humes

 

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August 8th, 2018

Jazz History Quiz #116

This jazz pianist was considered a child prodigy.  At the age of 11, he soloed in the first movement of a Mozart piano concerto with the Chicago Symphony.  His 1962 debut Blue Note album, Takin’ Off, included a song that the Afro-Cuban Latin jazz percussionist Mongo Santamaria recorded and made popular – reaching #10 on the pop song charts in 1963.  The pianist reworked the song in 1973, which he included on an album that helped redefine jazz music.  Who is he?

 

Keith Jarrett

Cecil Taylor

Horace Silver

Les McCann

Ramsey Lewis

Erroll Garner

Herbie Hancock

McCoy Tyner

 

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July 18th, 2018

Jazz History Quiz #115

While he was a jazz pianist known to frequently accompany blues singers, he was also a composer (“Royal Garden Blues,” “West End Blues,” “Taint Nobody’s Business If I Do”), show producer, song publisher, emcee with a minstrel show, artist manager (including Bessie Smith, whom he helped get started), A & R man for Okeh Records, and one of the most successful African American businessmen of his era.  Who is he?

 

Meade Lux Lewis

Albert Ammons

Eddie Heywood

Teddy Wilson

Jimmy Blythe

Clarence Williams

Tommy Flanagan

Herbie Nichols

Jimmy Rowles

 

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June 22nd, 2018

Jazz History Quiz #114

While legendary as a saxophonist, his first instrument was a violin and his second the piano — which he played well enough to work as an accompanist to silent movies.  Ultimately it was Lester Young’s father who taught him the saxophone well enough that he switched instruments for good.  (It was during this time that he also saved Lester from drowning in a river).  Who is he?

 

Ben Webster

Chu Berry

Gene Ammons

Budd Johnson

Coleman Hawkins

Johnny Hodges

Don Byas

Herschel Evans

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June 13th, 2018

Jazz History Quiz #113

Before recording his most notable work (to that point) as a saxophonist in Miles Davis’ “Birth of the Cool” nonet, his initial reputation was as an arranger, including a stint in 1946 as the staff arranger in Gene Krupa’s Orchestra.  He would eventually become one of the leading voices on his instrument for almost 50 years.  Who is he?

 

Kai Winding

Gil Evans

Lee Konitz

Gerry Mulligan

J.J. Johnson

Al McKibbon

Max Roach

Sonny Stitt

 

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May 23rd, 2018

Jazz History Quiz #111

This bassist played in Ornette Coleman’s early bands before eventually leading the Liberation Music Orchestra, where he became known as one of free jazz’s founding fathers. Who is he?

Jaco Pastorius
Charlie Haden
Stanley Clarke
Dave Holland
Ron Carter
Jimmy Garrison
Steve Swallow

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April 18th, 2018

Jazz History Quiz #109

Recognized as jazz fusion’s most prominent drummer, he was a key contributor on some of the genre’s most successful early recordings – including with Miles Davis and the Mahavishnu Orchestra.  Who is he?

 

Billy Cobham

Billy Hart

Jack DeJohnette

Tony Williams

Steve Gadd

Alphonse Mouzon

Lenny White

 

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February 3rd, 2018

Jazz History Quiz #107

According to BMI, “The Christmas Song”(a.k.a. “Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire”) is the most performed Christmas song, made especially famous by Nat Cole.  The song was written, according to one of the co-writers, during a blistering hot summer, and in an effort “to stay cool by thinking cool.”  Bob Wells was one of the songwriters of this classic 1945 tune…Who was his co-writer?

 

Mel Torme

Irving Berlin

Cole Porter

Bing Crosby

Benny Goodman

George Gershwin

Lionel Hampton

Duke Ellington

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December 21st, 2017

Jazz History Quiz #105

Upon leaving Charlie Barnet’s orchestra in 1941, this trumpeter wanted to start his own group, and, with the help of publicist/journalist Leonard Feather, became the first white leader in jazz history to organize an all-black group.  Who was he?

 

Mugsy Spanier

Bunny Berigan

Bob Burnet

Harry James

Ziggy Elman

Bobby Hackett

 

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November 21st, 2017

Jazz History Quiz #104

In 1952, this trumpeter made his recording debut with the R&B group Chris Powell’s Blue Flames.  The following year, he toured Europe with Lionel Hampton’s band and led some recording sessions.  In early 1954, he recorded brilliant solos at Birdland with Art Blakey’s quintet, and by mid-year had formed a quintet with Max Roach.  Who is he?

 

Freddie Hubbard

Booker Little

Clifford Brown

Fats Navarro

Kenny Dorham

Lee Morgan

Art Farmer

Donald Byrd

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November 8th, 2017

Jazz History Quiz #102

This famed jazz artist played the piano professionally as a seventh grader before switching to drums, learning to play in the styles of Chick Webb and Sid Catlett.  Before forming his own band in the early 1950’s, he played with Mary Lou Williams in New York, toured the South with Fletcher Henderson’s band, and was the drummer in Billy Eckstine’s group from 1944 – 1947.  Who is he?

 

 Elvin Jones

 Roy Haynes

 Philly Joe Jones

 Kenny Clarke

Jo Jones 

Max Roach 

 Art Blakey

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September 12th, 2017

Jazz History Quiz #101

Before his popularity peaked in the mid-1960’s with a #2 pop chart hit, this pianist’s trio included bassist Eldee Young and drummer Red Holt, and was initially known as the Gentlemen of Swing. Who was the piano player?

Duke Jordan

Ramsey Lewis

Ahmad Jamal

Keith Jarrett

Billy Taylor

Dave Brubeck

George Shearing

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August 1st, 2017

Jazz History Quiz #100

Teddy Wilson once said this about a fellow jazz pianist:

“That man had the most phenomenal musical gifts I’ve ever heard. He was miraculous. It’s like someone hitting a home run every time he picks up a bat. We became such fast friends that I was allowed to interrupt him anytime he was playing at the house parties in Toledo we used to make every night. When I asked him, he would stop and replay a passage very slowly, showing me the fingering on some of those runs of his. You just couldn’t figure them out by ear at the tempo he played them.”

 

Who is the pianist he is describing?

 

Bud Powell

Art Tatum

Oscar Peterson

Fats Waller

James P. Johnson

Willie “The Lion” Smith

Jelly Roll Morton

 

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July 10th, 2017

Jazz History Quiz #99

This trumpeter played with many famous bands in the 1940’s — including Lionel Hampton’s in 1941 — participated in the fabled bop sessions at Minton’s Playhouse and Monroe’s Uptown House, and is known as the “missing link” between trumpeters Roy Eldridge and Fats Navarro.  Who is he?

 

Ruby Braff

Howard McGhee

Kenny Dorham

Freddie Hubbard

Buck Clayton

Benny Carter

Clifford Brown

 

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June 25th, 2017

Jazz History Quiz #97

This pianist with a “categorization problem” is known primarily for his songwriting.  His songs have been recorded by the Who, Leon Russell and Bonnie Raitt, and is admired by the likes of Tom Waits, John Mayall, the Rolling Stones and Van Morrison.  He credited the songwriter Percy Mayfield, “the Poet Laureate of the Blues,” as being a major inspiration on his songwriting.  Who is he?

 

Dave Frishberg

Mose Allison

Ramsey Lewis

Phineas Newborn, Jr.

Vince Guaraldi

Tommy Flanagan

Paul Bley

 

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April 10th, 2017

Jazz History Quiz #96

As a child, this vocalist — most famous as the “canary female” in the pioneering ensemble that revolutionized vocal music with the 1957 album Sing a Song of Basie — had an acting role in the Our Gang series.  Who is she?

 

June Christie

Chris Conner

Annie Ross

Julie London

Helen Morgan

Martha Raye

Jo Stafford

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March 6th, 2017

Jazz History Quiz #95

In addition to co-leading a quintet with Zoot Sims, this tenor saxophonist may be best known as the man who replaced Herbie Steward as one of the “Four Brothers” in Woody Herman’s Second Herd. Who is he?

Art Pepper

Al Cohn

Stan Getz

Bob Cooper

Charlie Ventura

Boots Mussulli

Charlie Mariano

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January 26th, 2017

Jazz History Quiz #85

This saxophonist’s first important jobs were during the 1940’s with Lionel Hampton, Fletcher Henderson, Louis Armstrong’s big band, and Billy Eckstine’s Orchestra. Additionally, he was a Savoy Records recording artist as a leader before being an important part of the scene on Los Angeles’ Central Avenue. Who was he?

Stan Getz

Wardell Gray

Dexter Gordon

Bob Cooper

Gene Ammons

Sonny Stitt

Brew Moore

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April 14th, 2016

Jazz History Quiz #83

This pioneer pianist of the bop era had short term associations with Benny Carter, Boyd Raeburn, Lester Young, and Charlie Parker, but led such a troubled life that he only recorded once between 1947 – 1971. Who is he?

Mel Powell

Jess Stacy

Joe Albany

Dodo Marmarosa

Lennie Tristano

Al Haig

Hampton Hawes

Phineas Newborn

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March 1st, 2016

Jazz History Quiz #79

This self proclaimed “reformed boogie-woogie player” got his start filling in for Art Tatum in San Francisco’s famed Black Hawk club, and was eventually known in San Francisco music circles as “Dr. Funk.” In addition to having a gold record with his 1963 hit “Cast Your Fate to the Wind,” he is also known as the pianist on the recording A Charlie Brown Christmas, one of the top selling Christmas records of all time. Who is he?

Russ Freeman

Vince Guaraldi

Lennie Tristano

Bobby Troup

Monty Alexander

George Shearing

Dave McKenna

Dave Frishberg

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December 24th, 2015

Jazz History Quiz #78

This definitive New Orleans trombonist of the 1920’s was a member of the band Spike’s Seven Pods of Pepper Orchestra (featuring Mutt Carey and Dink Johnson), which was the first black band from New Orleans to make a jazz recording on the west coast. Who was he?

Jimmy Harrison

Miff Mole

Kid Ory

George Brunis

Honore Dutrey

J.C. Higinbotham

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December 4th, 2015

Jazz History Quiz #77

Prior to his time with Stan Kenton’s Innovations Orchestra , this trumpeter — who some have said could play higher than any other trumpeter up to that point in history — gained experience with the big bands of Boyd Raeburn, Jimmy Dorsey and Charlie Barnet. Who is he?

Bill Coleman

Maynard Ferguson

Shorty Baker

Ruby Braff

Conte Candoli

Conrad Gozzo

Jack Sheldon

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November 8th, 2015

Jazz History Quiz #76

Long admired by the likes of Tom Waits, John Mayall, and the Rolling Stones, and having had his songs recorded by Bonnie Raitt (“Everybody’s Cryin’ Mercy”), Leon Russell (“I’m Smashed”), and The Who (“Young Man Blues”), this pianist/vocalist has long suffered from a “category” problem, once even saying; “There’s a lot of places I don’t work because they’re confused about what I do.” Who is he?

Bob Dorough
Mose Allison
Paul Bley
Bob Dorough
Dave Frishberg
Ben Sidran
Dave McKenna
Monty Alexander

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September 7th, 2015

Jazz History Quiz #75

Known early in his career (when with Chick Webb) as a Louis Armstrong sound-alike both on trumpet and on vocals, his recording of “On the Sunny Side of the Street” sounded so much like Armstrong’s live version that people actually thought it was Armstrong who was copying this trumpeter. Who is he?

Taft Jordan

Jimmy McPartland

Ruby Braff

Frankie Newton

Snooky Young

Shorty Baker

Red Allen

Hot Lips Page

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August 12th, 2015

Jazz History Quiz #74

Besides being one of the first to be influenced by Charlie Christian, in 1944 this electric guitarist employed Charlie Parker on his first recording date and eventually led an R&B-oriented group “The Rockin’ Highlanders” that featured the saxophonist Red Prysock. Who is he?

Herb Ellis

Tiny Grimes

Grant Green

Wes Montgomery

Eddie Lang

Freddie Green

Mundell Lowe

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July 1st, 2015

Jazz History Quiz #72

Following Martin Luther King Jr.’s 1968 assassination, this famous singer was offered unofficial leadership in the civil rights movement by King’s widow, Coretta Scott King. Who is she?

Ethel Waters

Aretha Franklin

Josephine Baker

Ivie Anderson

Dinah Washington

Carmen McRae

Alberta Hunter

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May 22nd, 2015

Jazz History Quiz #71

While he had a long career in jazz, including stints with, among others, Coleman Hawkins, Roy Eldridge, Sonny Stitt and Stan Getz, he will always be remembered primarily as the pianist in Charlie Parker’s classic 1947 quintet. Who is he?

Duke Jordan

Lennie Tristano

Mel Powell

Bud Powell

Al Haig

George Wallington

Hampton Hawes

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April 27th, 2015

Jazz History Quiz #70

In addition to being one of the greatest musicians of his generation, this Ohio native was an activist, leading “Jazz and People’s Movement,” a group who “adopted the tactic of interrupting tapings and broadcasts of television and radio programs in protest of the small number of African-American musicians employed by networks and recording studios.” Who was he?

Sir Roland Hanna

Randy Weston

Charles Mingus

Rahsaan Roland Kirk

Booker Ervin

Ramsey Lewis

Anthony Braxton

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March 30th, 2015

Jazz History Quiz #67

This pianist wrote his first ragtime composition (“The Charleston Rag”) in 1899, became a songwriter of Broadway shows in the 1920s, and, before dying five days after his 100th birthday, became known as “the last living link to ragtime.” Who is he?

James P. Johnson

Scott Joplin

Tony Jackson

Eubie Blake

Cliff Jackson

Fats Waller

Jelly Roll Morton

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February 16th, 2015

Jazz History Quiz #65

This pianist was Billie Holiday’s regular accompanist during her last two years (1957 – 1959), and also played in the Eric Dolphy-Booker Little Quintet that recorded extensively at New York’s Five Spot in 1961. Who is he?

Mal Waldron

Al Haig

Duke Jordan

Hampton Hawes

Joe Albany

George Wallington

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January 27th, 2015

Jazz History Quiz #64

Described as a “Louis Armstrong sound-alike on both trumpet and vocals” whose recording of “On the Sunny Side of the Street” was so close to Armstrong’s live show that some listeners thought Armstrong was copying him, this trumpeter (along with Bobby Stark), was Chick Webb’s main trumpet soloist during the 1930’s. Who is he?

Red Allen

Shorty Baker

Bill Berry

Rex Stewart

Cat Anderson

Taft Jordan

Erskine Hawkins

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January 20th, 2015

Jazz History Quiz #63

This Dixieland cornetist was an original member of the legendary Austin High School Gang (pictured) in the 1920’s, and was Bix Beiderbecke’s replacement in the Wolverines. He was eventually a featured soloist (along with Benny Goodman) in Ben Pollack’s band. Who is he?

Wingy Manone

Jimmy McPartland

Rex Stewart

Frankie Newton

Nat Gonella

Max Kaminsky

Sharkey Bonano

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January 8th, 2015

Jazz History Quiz #62

He is best known for writing “(Get Your Kicks On) Route 66” — which Nat Cole made famous in 1946 — but his earliest musical success came with the song “Daddy,” recorded in 1941 by Sammy Kaye and His Orchestra, which was the #1 record for eight weeks. He was also famous for being married to the glamorous singer Julie London. Who is he?

Joe Albany

Jess Stacy

Russ Freeman

Pete Jolly

Dave Frishberg

Bobby Troup

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December 29th, 2014

Jazz History Quiz #58

In 1956, this singer appeared in the film The Girl Can’t Help It, in which she wore a dress that had been worn by Marilyn Monroe in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. She also appeared in several other films (including Spike Lee’s 1990 movie Mo’ Better Blues), and received a Golden Globe nomination for her role in the film For Love of Ivy. Who is she?

Helen Humes

Betty Carter

Abbey Lincoln

Sarah Vaughan

Shirley Horn

Ivie Anderson

Ethel Waters

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November 11th, 2014

Jazz History Quiz #56

This bassist played with (among others) Charlie Parker, Erroll Garner, Nat King Cole and Dexter Gordon, was one of the earliest modern jazz tuba soloists, and was the only player to turn down offers to join both Duke Ellington’s Orchestra and the Louis Armstrong All-Stars. Who is he?

Walter Page

John Kirby

Red Callender

Tommy Potter

Oscar Pettiford

Curly Russell

Leroy Vinnegar

Gene Ramey

Go to the next page for the answer!

...

October 27th, 2014

In This Issue

"Nina" by Marsha Hammel
A Collection of Jazz Poetry — Winter, 2024 Edition...One-third of the Winter, 2024 collection of jazz poetry is made up of poets who have only come to my attention since the publication of the Summer, 2023 collection. What this says about jazz music and jazz poetry – and this community – is that the connection between the two art forms is inspirational and enduring, and that poets are finding a place for their voice within the pages of this website. (Featuring the art of Marsha Hammel)

The Sunday Poem

photo via RawPixel.com
“Style” by Laurie Kuntz

Poetry

Proceeding From Behind: A collection of poems grounded in the rhythmic, relating to the remarkable, by Terrance Underwood...A relaxed, familiar comfort emerges from the poet Terrance Underwood’s language of intellectual acuity, wit, and space – a feeling similar to one gets while listening to Monk, or Jamal, or Miles. I have long wanted to share his gifts as a poet on an expanded platform, and this 33-poem collection – woven among his audio readings, music he considers significant to his story, and brief personal comments – fulfills my desire to do so.

Black History

The Harlem Globetrotters/photo via Wikimedia Commons
A Black History Month Profile: The Harlem Globetrotters...In this 2005 interview, Ben Green, author of Spinning the Globe: The Rise, Fall, and Return to Greatness of the Harlem Globetrotters, discusses the complex history of the celebrated Black touring basketball team.

Black History

photo of Zora Neale Hurston by Carl Van Vechten/Library of Congress
A Black History Month Profile: Zora Neale Hurston...In a 2002 interview, Carla Kaplan, editor of Zora Neale Hurston: A Life in Letters, talks about the novelist, anthropologist, playwright, folklorist, essayist and poet

Black History

Eubie Blake
A Black History Month Profile – Pianist and composer Eubie Blake...In this 2021 Jerry Jazz Musician interview, Eubie Blake biographers Ken Bloom and Richard Carlin discuss the legendary composer of American popular song and jazz during the 20th century

Feature

Jamie Branch's 2023 album "Fly or Die Fly or Die Fly or Die ((world war))"
On the Turntable— The “Best Of the ‘Best Of’” in 2023 jazz recordings...A year-end compilation of jazz albums oft mentioned by a wide range of critics as being the best of 2023 - including the late trumpeter Jamie Branch's Fly or Die Fly or Die Fly or Die ((world war))

Essay

"Lester Leaps In" by Tad Richards
"Jazz and American Poetry," an essay by Tad Richards...In an essay that first appeared in the Greenwood Encyclopedia of American Poetry in 2005, Tad Richards - a prolific visual artist, poet, novelist, and nonfiction writer who has been active for over four decades – writes about the history of the connection of jazz and American poetry.

Interview

photo of Pepper Adams/courtesy of Pepper Adams Estate
Interview with Gary Carner, author of Pepper Adams: Saxophone Trailblazer...The author speaks with Bob Hecht about his book and his decades-long dedication to the genius of Pepper Adams, the stellar baritone saxophonist whose hard-swinging bebop style inspired many of the top-tier modern baritone players.

Interview

IISG, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
Interview with Judith Tick, author of Becoming Ella Fitzgerald: The Jazz Singer Who Transformed American Song...The author discusses her book, a rich, emotionally stirring, exceptional work that explores every element of Ella’s legacy in great depth, reminding readers that she was not only a great singing artist, but also a musical visionary and social activist.

Poetry

Trading Fours with Douglas Cole is an occasional series of the writer’s poetic interpretations of jazz recordings and film. This edition is influenced by Stillpoint, the 2021 album by Zen practitioner Barrett Martin

Playlist

“Latin Tinges in Modern Jazz” – a playlist by Bob Hecht...A nine-hour long Spotify playlist featuring songs by the likes of Horace Silver, Lee Morgan, Miles Davis, Wayne Shorter, Ahmad Jamal, and Dizzy Gillespie that demonstrates how the Latin music influence on jazz has been present since the music’s beginnings.

Poetry

[Columbia Legacy]
“On Becoming A Jazz Fanatic In The Early 1970’s” – 20 linked short poems by Daniel Brown

Short Fiction

Christerajet, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Short Fiction Contest-winning story #64 — “The Old Casino” by J.B. Marlow...The author's award-winning story takes place over the course of a young man's life, looking at all the women he's loved and how the presence of a derelict building informs those relationships.

Feature

George Shearing/Associated Booking Corporation/James Kriegsmann, New York, via Wikimedia Commons
True Jazz Stories: “An Evening With George,” by Terry Sanville...The writer tells his story of playing guitar with a symphony orchestra, backing up jazz legend George Shearing.

Short Fiction

Defense Visual Information Distribution Service/via Picryl.com
“Afloat” – a finalist in the 64th Jerry Jazz Musician Short Fiction Contest – is about a troubled man in his 40s who lessens his worries by envisioning himself and loved ones on a boat that provides safety and ease for all of them.

Poetry

The poet Connie Johnson in 1981
In a Place of Dreams: Connie Johnson’s album of jazz poetry, music, and life stories...A collection of the remarkable poet's work is woven among her audio readings, a personal narrative of her journey and music she considers significant to it, providing readers the chance to experience the full value of her gifts.

Book Excerpt

Book Excerpt from Becoming Ella Fitzgerald: The Jazz Singer Who Transformed American Song, by Judith Tick...The author writes about highlights of Ella’s career, and how the significance of her Song Book recordings is an example of her “becoming” Ella.

Community

Nominations for the Pushcart Prize XLVIII

Interview

photo courtesy of Henry Threadgill
Interview with Brent Hayes Edwards, co-author (with Henry Threadgill) of Easily Slip Into Another World: A Life in Music...The author discusses his work co-written with Threadgill, the composer and multi-instrumentalist widely recognized as one of the most original and innovative voices in contemporary music, and the winner of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Music.

Poetry

art by Russell duPont
Three jazz poets…three jazz poems...Takes on love and loss, and memories of Lady Day, Prez, Ella, Louis, Dolphy and others…

Playlist

photo by William Gottlieb/Library of Congress
“A Baker’s Dozen Playlist of Ella Fitzgerald Specialties from Five Decades,” as selected by Ella biographer Judith Tick...Chosen from Ella’s entire repertoire, Ms. Tick’s intriguing playlist (with brief commentary) is a mix of studio recordings, live dates, and video, all available for listening here.

Poetry

"Jazz Trio" by Samuel Dixon
A collection of jazz haiku, Vol. 2...The 19 poets included in this collection effectively share their reverence for jazz music and its culture with passion and brevity.

Jazz History Quiz #169

This trumpeter was in the 1932 car accident that took the life of famed clarinetist/saxophonist Frankie Techemacher (pictured), and is best remembered for his work with Eddie Condon’s bands. Who was he?

Interview

From the Interview Archive: A 2011 conversation with Alyn Shipton, author of Hi-De-Ho: The Life of Cab Calloway...In this interview, Shipton discusses Cab Calloway, whose vocal theatrics and flamboyant stage presence made him one of the country’s most beloved entertainers.

Community

Nominations for the Pushcart Prize XLVIII...announcing the six Jerry Jazz Musician-published writers nominated for the prestigious literary award

Poetry

Gotfryd, Bernard, photographer, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
“Devotion” – a poem and 11 “Musings on Monk,” by Connie Johnson

Photography

photo of Mal Waldron by Giovanni Piesco
Beginning in 1990, the noted photographer Giovanni Piesco began taking backstage photographs of many of the great musicians who played in Amsterdam’s Bimhuis, that city’s main jazz venue which is considered one of the finest in the world. Jerry Jazz Musician will occasionally publish portraits of jazz musicians that Giovanni has taken over the years. This edition is of the pianist/composer Mal Waldron, taken on three separate appearances at Bimhuis (1996, 2000 and 2001).

Interview

Leffler, Warren K/Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
A Black History Month Profile: Civil Rights Leader Bayard Rustin...

Community

FOTO:FORTEPAN / Kölcsey Ferenc Dunakeszi Városi Könyvtár / Petanovics fényképek, CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
.“Community Bookshelf, #1"...a twice-yearly space where writers who have been published on Jerry Jazz Musician can share news about their recently authored books. This edition includes information about books published within the last six months or so…

Short Fiction

photo by Pedro Coelho/Deviant Art/CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 DEED
“After The Death of Margaret: A True Novella” by S. Stephanie...This story -- a finalist in our recently concluded 64th Short Fiction Contest -- harkens back to Richard Brautigan's fiction of the '70s, and explores modern day co-worker relationships/friendship and the politics of for profit "Universities"

Short Fiction

painting of Gaetano Donizetti by Francesco Coghetti/via Wikimedia Commons
“A Single Furtive Tear” – a short story by Dora Emma Esze...A short-listed entry in the recently concluded 64th Jerry Jazz Musician Short Fiction Contest, the story is a heartfelt, grateful monologue to one Italian composer, dead and immortal of course, whose oeuvre means so much to so many of us.

Interview

photo by William Gottlieb/Library of Congress
Interview with Alyn Shipton, author of The Gerry Mulligan 1950’s Quartets...Long regarded as jazz music’s most eminent baritone saxophonist, Gerry Mulligan was a central figure in “cool” jazz whose contributions to it also included his important work as a composer and arranger. Noted jazz scholar Alyn Shipton, author of The Gerry Mulligan 1950s Quartets, and Jerry Jazz Musician contributing writer Bob Hecht discuss Mulligan’s unique contributions to modern jazz.

Book Excerpt

“Chick” Webb was one of the first virtuoso drummers in jazz and an innovative bandleader dubbed the “Savoy King,” who reigned at Harlem’s world-famous Savoy Ballroom. Stephanie Stein Crease is the first to fully tell Webb’s story in her biography, Rhythm Man: Chick Webb and the Beat that Changed America…The book’s entire introduction is excerpted here.

Short Fiction

pixabay.com via Picryl.com
“The Silent Type,” a short story by Tom Funk...The story, a finalist in the recently concluded 64th Short Fiction Contest, is inspired by the classic Bob Dylan song “Tangled Up in Blue” which speculates about what might have been the back story to the song.

Book Excerpt

Book excerpt from Easily Slip Into Another World: A Life in Music, by Henry Threadgill and Brent Hayes Edwards

Contributing Writers

Click the image to view the writers, poets and artists whose work has been published on Jerry Jazz Musician, and find links to their work

Art

Designed for Dancing: How Midcentury Records Taught America to Dance: “Outtakes” — Vol. 2...In this edition, the authors Janet Borgerson and Jonathan Schroeder share examples of Cha Cha Cha record album covers that didn't make the final cut in their book

Pressed for All Time

“Pressed For All Time,” Vol. 17 — producer Joel Dorn on Rahsaan Roland Kirk’s 1967 album, The Inflated Tear

Coming Soon

An interview with Tad Richards, author of Jazz With a Beat: Small Group Swing, 1940 - 1960;  an interview with Laura Flam and Emily Sieu Liebowitz, authors of But Will You Love Me Tomorrow? An Oral History of the 60's Girl Groups;  a new collection of jazz poetry; a collection of jazz haiku; a new Jazz History Quiz; short fiction; poetry; photography; interviews; playlists; and lots more in the works...

Interview Archive

Eubie Blake
Click to view the complete 22 year archive of Jerry Jazz Musician interviews, including those recently published with Richard Carlin and Ken Bloom on Eubie Blake (pictured); Richard Brent Turner on jazz and Islam; Alyn Shipton on the art of jazz; Shawn Levy on the original queens of standup comedy; Travis Atria on the expatriate trumpeter Arthur Briggs; Kitt Shapiro on her life with her mother, Eartha Kitt; Will Friedwald on Nat King Cole; Wayne Enstice on the drummer Dottie Dodgion; the drummer Joe La Barbera on Bill Evans; Philip Clark on Dave Brubeck; Nicholas Buccola on James Baldwin and William F. Buckley; Ricky Riccardi on Louis Armstrong; Dan Morgenstern and Christian Sands on Erroll Garner; Maria Golia on Ornette Coleman.

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