• Jeffrey’s fingers hovered inches above the ivory. His heart pounded. The oak bench creaked as he leaned forward, only the toes of his scuffed leather shoes making contact with the floor. The hand-written notes on the page in front of him bounced up and down with every panting breath.

  • 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.

     

     

  • 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.

  • "Storyville" -- a short story by Matthew Peel
  • "Civil Liberties and Jazz" -- a conversation with Nat Hentoff
  • "Like a Pigeon in the Park" a story by Arya Jenkins
  • Great Encounters #47: When Ella chose not to meet Picasso
Features » In Memoriam

A writer’s appreciation of Nat Hentoff — by Scott Shachter

I was eighteen when I read Nat Hentoff’s Jazz Is, and it changed my life. I’d always thought good jazz was just the crafting of pretty notes with a smooth feel. I’d never imagined it could be a “cry for justice.” Or a captivating tour through a heart lay bare. The greatest jazz goes even beyond that: the symphony of a soul freshly released and taking flight, nothing less than what Nat calls “spirit-music.”

As readers know, Nat Hentoff was far more than a jazz authority. He was a spectacular writer and a freedom-of-speech icon with no tolerance for hypocrisy. He was a great hero of

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