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
Nashville!
By April 13, 2013 3 Comments Read More →

Nashville!

The scene inside Ernest Tubb’s Record Shop, on Broadway in downtown Nashville. At any given moment, you’ll find local musicians jamming or pitching their latest tunes on a stage at the back of the store. Dead Like Jazz has no designs on competing with Frommer’s, Lonely Planet or even Trip Advisor when it comes to […]

Bud Powell, during his “decline”.

Bud Powell, the pianist most identified with bebop, and a musician who deserves much of the credit for setting modern jazz’s high technical standards, was generally considered to be in steady decline after several mental health crises in the late 1940’s and early ’50’s. Powell had burst on the jazz scene as a 16 year-old […]

Posted in: Jazz, Videos
With apologies to Miles Davis: a playlist

With apologies to Miles Davis: a playlist

We’ve created a playlist to support the contentions we’ve made in our four-part post, “With apologies to Miles Davis“. As with all of our listening suggestions, you can click on the song title and you’ll be taken to an Amazon.com page where you can either listen to a sample, buy the individual song as an […]

With apologies to Miles Davis (part 4).

With apologies to Miles Davis (part 4).

Miles Davis’ great 1960’s quintet at Newport: (left to right) Wayne Shorter, Ron Carter, Miles, Tony Williams. (continued from part 3) The advances made in vertical improvisation exemplified by John Coltrane’s 1960 recording Giant Steps, the modal innovations that dominated jazz in the early to mid-1960s, and the move to free, atonal improvisation that Coltrane […]

Posted in: Iconoclasts, Jazz
With apologies to Miles Davis (part 3).

With apologies to Miles Davis (part 3).

Miles Davis in the studio recording the 1959 album “Kind of Blue”. From left: John Coltrane, Cannonball Adderley, Miles, Bill Evans. (continued from part 2) By the early ’50’s, and with the “Birth of the Cool” in his rear view mirror, Miles Davis descended into a five-year battle with heroin that not only dramatically reduced […]

Posted in: Iconoclasts, Jazz
With apologies to Miles Davis (part 2).

With apologies to Miles Davis (part 2).

(left) Charlie Parker and Miles Davis, 1947 and (right) Lennie Tristano’s band, about 1949. (continued from part 1) In 1948, Miles Davis began jamming with baritone saxophonist and arranger Gerry Mulligan, just freed from the Gene Krupa band, alto player Lee Konitz, late of Claude Thornhill’s Orchestra, and Thornhill’s arranger, Gil Evans. They formed the […]

Posted in: Iconoclasts, Jazz
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 […]


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