Tag: jazz

From Spirituals to Swing.

From Spirituals to Swing.

in 1938, producer John Hammond decided to present an ambitious concert documenting the history of “American Negro music, from spirituals to Swing.” Hence the name, and hence the historic night at New York’s Carnegie Hall that December. Intended as a tribute to Bessie Smith, who had died the previous year, the concert ended up being […]

Posted in: Jazz
Donald Byrd dead, like jazz, at 80.
By February 9, 2013 0 Comments Read More →

Donald Byrd dead, like jazz, at 80.

Detroit-bred trumpeter Donald Byrd, one of the leading figures in 1950’s jazz, and a prominent participant in pop music and academia in the years after that, has died at the age of 80. The Detroit Free Press ran one of the more lengthy obits yesterday. Read it here. In contrast to the esteem in which […]

Individuality: a first listen
By February 6, 2013 0 Comments Read More →

Individuality: a first listen

In our last few posts, we’ve begun a lament about the demise of individuality and easily recognized styles among musicians. Here’s a suggested playlist to support what we’ve discussed thus far. As usual, hit the song titles, which are Amazon links, to listen to a sample, and to purchase the songs individually. We mentioned Count […]

Individuality: a lost art, part 2
By February 5, 2013 0 Comments Read More →

Individuality: a lost art, part 2

We mentioned in our last post that individual style, wherein a musician’s general sound is so unique and recognizable as to be unmistakably his alone, is a dead commodity in modern American music. We went on to say that one of the most fruitful periods and environments for this sort of individuality was that transitional […]

Posted in: Jazz, Rants
By February 4, 2013 0 Comments Read More →

Individuality: a lost art

To an attentive jazz listener, and one who’s into arcane and archaic music, the tenor saxophone playing of Ben Webster is immediately recognizable, and sounds nothing like that of Lester Young. Or Sonny Rollins. Or even like a less-ambitious player such as King Curtis. Similarly, none of the these players sound like any of the […]

Jazz is dead, man: another view (part one)
By January 28, 2013 8 Comments Read More →

Jazz is dead, man: another view (part one)

Just as we were getting started with the long, arduous defense of our position that jazz—and all other creative forms of American music—died sometime before 1980, we caught wind of an article from the November, 2012 issue of The Atlantic that agrees with us in principle, but takes a wildly divergent view of the mechanics […]

Posted in: Jazz, Rants

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