Tag: john coltrane

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
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 […]

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
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

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

Coltrane. Dolphy. You don’t really need to know anything else.

YouTube, Vimeo and DailyMotion are full of great—if often grainy—videos of jazz. This one looks pretty bad, but trust us: it’s one of the greatest things you’ll ever hear, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the state of jazz as it sat on the cusp of free improvisation in the early 1960’s. This is John Coltrane’s […]

Posted in: Jazz, Videos
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 […]

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 […]


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