Tag: louis armstrong

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 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
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
What’s in a name?
By February 25, 2013 0 Comments Read More →

What’s in a name?

As anyone with even a cursory knowledge of jazz is aware, many of its most famous exponents, particularly those working in the years 1940 through 1960, were users of pharmaceuticals, both legal and otherwise. The most dangerous drug typically abused in that era was heroin. While musicians had been smokers of marijuana from jazz’s earliest […]

Posted in: Jazz, Odds & Ends
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 January 26, 2013 0 Comments Read More →

Jazz is dead, man: exhibit A.

Since we’ve already posted obituaries for rock & roll and country music, we’d better get down to the real business of this blogsite: jazz. As we’ve begun to prove, jazz—and every other form of American music—is dead. Just how and why will be explored at length as we move forward, but we thought it would […]


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