Archive for March, 2013

With apologies to Miles Davis (part 1).
By March 31, 2013 0 Comments Read More →

With apologies to Miles Davis (part 1).

(left) Billy Eckstine’s band, about 1945; (right) Miles, Lee Konitz and Gerry Mulligan, 1949. Miles Davis is a name that still carries some weight outside jazz circles, and for folks of a certain age, he represents styles and raisons d’etre that transcend the limited cultural impact of improvised music. For those who actually remember Miles […]

Posted in: Iconoclasts, Jazz
Charlie Parker slept here.
By March 30, 2013 0 Comments Read More →

Charlie Parker slept here.

While Civil War battlefields, inns where our founding fathers slept and birthplaces of 19th century billionaires tend to be the most visited historical sites in America, there is another, less known world of obscure and arcane monuments out there. From the violent, the sad and the paranormal to the simply dull, there seem to be […]

Blues, and other things, after hours.
By March 28, 2013 2 Comments Read More →

Blues, and other things, after hours.

(left) Erskine Hawkins Orchestra, featuring Avery Parrish (circled) and (right) Boogie Woogie Red Oh, the stuff you can turn up when Google is really humming and clicking. For instance, seventy years ago today, on March 28, 1943, the Erskine Hawkins Orchestra was playing at the Paradise Theater in Detroit. Since Dead Like Jazz is a […]

Posted in: Blues, Jazz
By March 28, 2013 0 Comments Read More →

Jazz humor?

Above is a video of comedian Pete Barbutti telling one of his signature jazz stories on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, from some time in the 1980’s. At least conversant on several instruments, Barbutti has functioned for years in the same role Victor Borge did for classical music. Barbutti is essentially the jazz version […]

Posted in: Jazz, Odds & Ends, Videos
The Cry of Jazz, death and the diaspora.
By March 27, 2013 0 Comments Read More →

The Cry of Jazz, death and the diaspora.

(left) Richard Dreyfuss and Jack Warden in “The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz” and (right) white and black jazz fans argue its history in “The Cry of Jazz”. In 1959, Mordechai Richler wrote a scathing novel that explored the coming of age and mercenary ambitions of a Jewish teenager in 1950’s Montreal. In 1974, “The Apprenticeship […]

Posted in: Jazz, Odds & Ends
Overrated? Underrated? Experts have spoken.
By March 12, 2013 0 Comments Read More →

Overrated? Underrated? Experts have spoken.

(left to right) Ornette Coleman, Stan Kenton, Miles Davis, Keith Jarrett. While scanning the web-o-verse for jazz comments and opinion, we kept running across phrases like “Coltrane never really impressed me”, “Miles is way overrated” and “Ornette simply couldn’t play”. While most comments like these were anonymous ones in forums or comment sections, there are […]

Posted in: Jazz, Rants
By March 11, 2013 1 Comments Read More →

Hendrix and other dead things, like jazz.

(above) Audio file of Jimi Hendrix playing on the the 1965 Isley Brothers recording “Testify”. Jimi Hendrix’s People, Hell and Angels collection has been out for a week now, and with the dust from that event settled, one can make a couple of observations. It’s a mostly-unremarkable set of studio odds and ends from the […]

Good music as bad advertising.

Good music as bad advertising.

Every time we hear Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion on National Public Radio, we get a giggle out of his longtime “sponsor”, Powdermilk Biscuits. Utilizing a Powdermilk jingle that changes a bit every week, and which often contains all manner of musical quotes, inside jokes and oddball references, Keillor’s fine on-air band and guests […]

Musical musings on a gray day.

Here are some random items, at least vaguely germane to what we write about here, all gleaned from around the web-o-net. First, we see that a giant saxophone is getting a new home in Houston. The folk-art piece was created for a now-defunct night spot, and the new property owners want the damn thing out […]

Posted in: Jazz, Odds & Ends

Alvin Lee dead, like jazz, at 68.

Alvin Lee of the British blues-rock band Ten Years After has died at the age of 68. While his place in baby-boomer posterity was assured by his long solo on the tune “I’m Going Home” in the movie “Woodstock”. Lee was much more than that to musicians growing up in this era. Like most young […]

Posted in: Blues, Jazz, Rock & Roll, Videos

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