Archive for January, 2014

A conversation with my idiot twin.
By January 28, 2014 0 Comments Read More →

A conversation with my idiot twin.

Idiot Twin: “I see where Bob Seger died.” Me: “No, that was Pete Seeger who died. The folksinger.” Idiot Twin: “I didn’t know Bob Seger had a brother. A folksinger, eh? Like Marshal Dillion?” Me: “You’re thinking of Bob Dylan. Marshal Dillon was a character on TV. You know, Matt Dillon, on the old ‘Gunsmoke’ […]

Fiddle me this: violinists in jazz (part 3), and a playlist.
By January 25, 2014 2 Comments Read More →

Fiddle me this: violinists in jazz (part 3), and a playlist.

(left to right) Jerry Goodman, Stuff Smith, Regina Carter (continued from part 2) Jean-Luc Ponty, like Stephane Grappelli before him, was something of a teen prodigy among French violinists. As early as 1960, Ponty was wowing his countrymen with his biting, complex, hard bop lines, and by the late 1960’s, he had garnered international attention. […]

Fiddle me this: violinists in jazz (part 2).
By January 18, 2014 0 Comments Read More →

Fiddle me this: violinists in jazz (part 2).

(left to right) Joe Venuti; a couple of fair fiddlers, Stephane Grappelli and Yehudi Menuhin; Frankie and Johnnie: Frank Zappa and Jean-Luc Ponty (continued from part 1) It wasn’t until the very late 1920’s that the first real jazz violinist showed up on records and—in a twist—he turned out to the very talented—but also very […]

Posted in: Jazz
By January 17, 2014 0 Comments Read More →

Fiddle me this: jazz on the violin (part 1).

The video here features Stuff Smith’s extroverted violin with Kenny Drew’s trio, filmed at the Club Montmarte in Copenhagen in 1965. Hearing Smith in typically fine form here reminded us of the rarity of great jazz fiddlers. Not only have they worked the peripheries of jazz since its inception, they almost exist in spite of […]

Jazz’s leading men.
By January 10, 2014 0 Comments Read More →

Jazz’s leading men.

(left to right): Al Porcino, Marshall Royal, Mario Bauza The New York Times reports that trumpeter Al Porcino died on New Year’s Eve. Porcino was what is called in orchestral jazz a “lead” trumpeter. Unlike rock and roll, where the “lead guitarist” is the one who solos, lead players in jazz rarely do. Instead, the […]

Posted in: Jazz
By January 8, 2014 0 Comments Read More →

Play along with Jamey.

Anyone who has taken even the most remotely academic or pedagogic path to learning how to play jazz in the last 50 years or so will know the work of Jamey Aebersold. In what seems now to be a natural way to teach improvisation and ear playing, Aebersold was one of the first to offer […]

Posted in: Jazz

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