Blues, and other things, after hours.
By March 28, 2013 2 Comments Read More →

Blues, and other things, after hours.

(left) Erskine Hawkins Orchestra, featuring Avery Parrish (circled) and (right) Boogie Woogie Red Oh, the stuff you can turn up when Google is really humming and clicking. For instance, seventy years ago today, on March 28, 1943, the Erskine Hawkins Orchestra was playing at the Paradise Theater in Detroit. Since Dead Like Jazz is a […]

Posted in: Blues, 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
The Cry of Jazz, death and the diaspora.
By March 27, 2013 0 Comments Read More →

The Cry of Jazz, death and the diaspora.

(left) Richard Dreyfuss and Jack Warden in “The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz” and (right) white and black jazz fans argue its history in “The Cry of Jazz”. In 1959, Mordechai Richler wrote a scathing novel that explored the coming of age and mercenary ambitions of a Jewish teenager in 1950’s Montreal. In 1974, “The Apprenticeship […]

Posted in: Jazz, Odds & Ends
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
By March 11, 2013 1 Comments Read More →

Hendrix and other dead things, like jazz.

(above) Audio file of Jimi Hendrix playing on the the 1965 Isley Brothers recording “Testify”. Jimi Hendrix’s People, Hell and Angels collection has been out for a week now, and with the dust from that event settled, one can make a couple of observations. It’s a mostly-unremarkable set of studio odds and ends from the […]

Good music as bad advertising.

Good music as bad advertising.

Every time we hear Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion on National Public Radio, we get a giggle out of his longtime “sponsor”, Powdermilk Biscuits. Utilizing a Powdermilk jingle that changes a bit every week, and which often contains all manner of musical quotes, inside jokes and oddball references, Keillor’s fine on-air band and guests […]

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

Alvin Lee dead, like jazz, at 68.

Alvin Lee of the British blues-rock band Ten Years After has died at the age of 68. While his place in baby-boomer posterity was assured by his long solo on the tune “I’m Going Home” in the movie “Woodstock”. Lee was much more than that to musicians growing up in this era. Like most young […]

Posted in: Blues, Jazz, Rock & Roll, Videos
The clubs where modern jazz was born.

The clubs where modern jazz was born.

New York City, while always the main mecca of jazz, enjoyed a period of full flower during World War II that will likely never be seen again in any genre or town. Prior to the war, jazz had been an uptown thing, flourishing in small, integrated Harlem clubs, segregated cabarets and black dance palaces like […]

Posted in: Jazz
Jazz archaeology.

Jazz archaeology.

From left to right (above): Sidney Bechet’s soprano sax, Louis Armstrong’s first cornet, Lester Young’s tenor, Roy Eldridge’s trumpet Aficionados of practically anything enjoy the arcane, the ephemeral, the trivial, the obscure and even the bizarre about whatever it is that captures their devotion. Students of “serious” history are no exception. And they certainly don’t […]

Posted in: Jazz