Jazz History Quiz #172

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. 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.”

Who is he talking about?

...

May 21st, 2024

Jazz History Quiz #171

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 formed in the late 1960’s who “adopted the tactic of interrupting tapings and broadcasts of television and radio programs (i.e. the shows of Johnny Carson, Dick Cavett [pictured] and Merv Griffin) in protest of the small number of African-American musicians employed by networks and recording studios.” Who was he?

...

April 16th, 2024

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?

...

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?

...

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?

...

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?

...

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?

...

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?

...

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?

...

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

...

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?

.

Jimmy Scott

Benny Golson

Tom Scott

Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis

Eddie Harris

James Moody

Lou Donaldson

Stanley Turrentine

...

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

...

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?

.

Wingy Manone

Louis Prima

Charlie Teagarden

Humphrey Lyttelton

Muggsy Spanier

Yank Lawson

Mutt Carey

...

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

...

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”

...

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?

.

Cecil Taylor

Barry Harris

Wynton Kelly

Phineas Newborn

Tommy Flanagan

Hank Jones

George Shearing

Horace Silver

.

Go to the next page for the answer!

.

...

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?

...

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?

...

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?

...

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

...

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?

.

Hank Jones

Roland Hanna

Barry Harris

Tommy Flanagan

Kenny Drew

Wynton Kelly

Randy Weston

Ahmad Jamal

.

Go to the next page for the answer!

...

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?

...

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?

.

Fats Navarro

Booker Little

Howard McGhee

Kenny Dorham

Red Rodney

Lee Morgan

Blue Mitchell

Clifford Brown

Go to the next page for the answer!

...

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

 

Go to the next page for the answer!

 

...

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

Go to the next page for the answer!

...

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?

...

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”

...

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

 

Go to the next page for the answer!

 

...

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

Go to the next page for the answer!

 

...

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

 

Go to the next page for the answer!

 

...

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

 

Go to the next page for the answer!

...

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

 

Go to the next page for the answer!

 

...

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

Go to the next page for the answer!

...

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

 

Go to the next page for the answer!

 

...

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

Go to the next page for the answer!

 

...

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

 

Go to the next page for the answer!

...

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

Go to the next page for the answer!

 

...

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

 

Go to the next page for the answer!

 

...

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

Go to the next page for the answer!

...

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

Go to the next page for the answer! 

 

...

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

Go to the next page for the answer!

 

...

August 1st, 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

 

Go to the next page for the answer!

 

...

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

 

Go to the next page for the answer!

 

...

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

Go to the next page for the answer!

...

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

Go to the next page for the answer!

...

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

Go to the next page for the answer!

...

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

Go to the next page for the answer!

...

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

Go to the next page for the answer!

...

December 24th, 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

Go to the next page for the answer!

...

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

Go to the next page for the answer!

...

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

Go to the next page for the answer!

...

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

Go to the next page for the answer!

...

July 1st, 2015

Jazz History Quiz #73

In addition to co-founding the New York Jazz Quartet, in 1970 this pianist was given knighthood by the President of Liberia in recognition for a series of concerts held to benefit Liberian children. Who is he?

John Lewis

Roland Hanna

Mal Waldron

Tommy Flanagan

Dave McKenna

Randy Weston

Go to the next page for the answer!

...

June 9th, 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

Go to the next page for the answer!

...

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

Go to the next page for the answer!

...

April 27th, 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

Go to the next page for the answer!

...

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

Go to the next page for the answer!

...

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

Go to the next page for the answer!

...

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

Go to the next page for the answer!

...

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

Go to the next page for the answer!

...

December 29th, 2014

Jazz History Quiz #60

Once the most advanced trombonist in jazz, in addition to his time with the Original Memphis Five (starting in 1922), he is best known for his recordings with cornetist Red Nichols. Who is he?

J.C. Higginbotham

Tricky Sam Nanton

Lawrence Brown

Dickie Wells

Jack Teagarden

Miff Mole

Trummy Young

Go to the next page for the answer!

...

December 8th, 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

...

November 11th, 2014

Jazz History Quiz #54

Charles Mingus called him “the greatest trumpet player that I’ve heard in this life,” and he became well-known during his nine years playing in Count Basie’s orchestra, taking a “Pop Goes the Weasel” chorus on “April in Paris.” Who is he?

Roy Eldridge

Charlie Shavers

Ray Nance

Cat Anderson

Bill Coleman

Joe Newman

Thad Jones

...

October 6th, 2014

Jazz History Quiz #53

This popular music singer once sang backup with her vocal group the Pied Pipers in Tommy Dorsey’s band and occasionally performed under the pseudonym “Darlene Edwards.” By 1955, she had sold more records than any other female artist, and one of her songs was the first record by a woman to reach #1 on the U.K. Singles Chart. Who is she?

Anita O’Day

Jo Stafford

Helen Merrill

Peggy Lee

Chris Connor

Carmen McRae

Lena Horne

Mildred Bailey

...

September 29th, 2014

Jazz History Quiz #52

This trumpeter played in the bands of Lionel Hampton and Andy Kirk, and was a prominent figure in the transition from swing to bop, even described as the “missing link” between Roy Eldridge and Fats Navarro. Who is he?

Kenny Dorham

Clark Terry

Bill Coleman

Howard McGhee

Freddie Webster

Jonah Jones

Charlie Shavers

...

September 22nd, 2014

Jazz History Quiz #50

Maurice Ravel acknowledged basing his Boléro on an improvisation of this clarinetist, who was also influential in the careers of Benny Goodman and Nat Cole, who made famous this musician’s theme song, “Sweet Lorraine.” Who is he?

Sidney Bechet

Johnny Doods

Jimmy Noone

Wilbur Sweatman

Frankie Teschemacher

Buster Bailey

Ted Lewis

...

August 25th, 2014

Jazz History Quiz #49

This posthumously-awarded Grammy winning musician/composer was the pianist and arranger for the vocal group The Hi-Lo’s in the late 1950’s, and after working with Donald Byrd and Dizzy Gillespie became known for his Latin and bossa nova recordings in the 1960’s. He was also frequently cited by Herbie Hancock as a “major influence.” Who is he?

Buddy Bregman

Lalo Schifrin

Clare Fischer

Tito Puente

George Shearing

George Russell

Cal Tjader

...

August 11th, 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 by Bekzat Tasmagambetov/via Pexels
"The Lady Sings" - by Michael Keshigian

Click here to read previous editions of The Sunday Poem

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.

Interview

The Marvelettes/via Wikimedia Commons
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...Little is known of the lives and challenges many of the young Black women who made up the Girl Groups of the ‘60’s faced while performing during an era rife with racism, sexism, and music industry corruption. The authors discuss their book’s mission to provide the artists an opportunity to voice their experiences so crucial to the evolution of popular music.

Book Excerpt

An excerpt from Emily Jon Tobias’ MONARCH: Stories, and a reflection on our friendship

Art

photo of Archie Shepp by Giovanni Piesco
The Photographs of Giovanni Piesco: Archie Shepp...photos of the legendary saxophonist (and his rhythm section for the evening), taken at Amsterdam's Bimhuis on May 13, 2001.

Poetry

The cover to Joni Mitchell's 1976 album Hejira [Asylum]; photo by Norman Seeff
“Fort Macleod, Alberta, Canada” – a poem (for Joni Mitchell) by Juan Mobili

Click here to read more poetry published in Jerry Jazz Musician

Calling All Poets!

News about a Jerry Jazz Musician printed jazz poetry anthology, and information about submitting your poetry for consideration

Short Fiction

pickpik.com
Short Fiction Contest-winning story #65 — “Ballad” by Lúcia Leão...The author’s award-winning story is about the power of connections – between father and child, music and art, and the past, present and future.

Click here to read more short fiction published on Jerry Jazz Musician

Interview

photo of Louis Jordan by William Gottlieb/Library of Congress
Interview with Tad Richards, author of Jazz With a Beat: Small Group Swing, 1940 – 1960...Richards makes the case that small group swing players like Illinois Jacquet, Louis Jordan (pictured) and Big Jay McNeely played a legitimate jazz that was a more pleasing listening experience to the Black community than the bebop of Parker, Dizzy, and Monk. It is a fascinating era, filled with major figures and events, and centered on a rigorous debate that continues to this day – is small group swing “real jazz?”

Playlist

Sonny Rollins' 1957 pianoless trio recording "Way Out West"
“The Pianoless Tradition in Modern Jazz” – a playlist by Bob Hecht...an extensive playlist built around examples of prominent pianoless modern jazz.

Feature

Excerpts from David Rife’s Jazz Fiction: Take Two – (Vol. 1)...A substantial number of novels and stories with jazz music as a component of the story have been published over the years, and the scholar David J. Rife has written short essay/reviews of them.  In this initial edition featuring his story essays/reviews, Rife writes about three novels that explore challenges of the mother/daughter relationship.

Trading Fours with Douglas Cole

The cover of Wayne Shorter's 2018 Blue Note album "Emanon"
Trading Fours, with Douglas Cole, No. 20: “Notes on Genius...This edition of the writer’s poetic interpretations of jazz recordings and film is written in response to the music of Wayne Shorter.

Click here to read previous editions of Trading Fours with Douglas Cole

In Memoriam

Hans Bernhard (Schnobby), CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
“Remembering Joe Pass: Versatile Jazz Guitar Virtuoso” – by Kenneth Parsons...On the 30th anniversary of the guitarist Joe Pass’ death, Kenneth Parsons reminds readers of his brilliant career

Book Excerpt

Book excerpt from Jazz with a Beat: Small Group Swing 1940 – 1960, by Tad Richards

Click here to read more book excerpts published on Jerry Jazz Musician

Poetry

painting by Vaino Kunnas
Jazz…in eight poems...A myriad of styles and experiences displayed in eight thoughtful, provocative poems…

Jazz History Quiz #172

photo of Teddy Wilson by William Gottlieb
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?

Community

photo via Picryl.com
.“Community Bookshelf, #2"...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…

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

Coming Soon

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.

Site Archive