The world of jazz is filled with royalty. Paul Whiteman, Benny Goodman and Benny Carter were all dubbed King" at one point or another, of jazz, swing and just plain, respectively. Ellington was Duke, Hines was an Earl and Basie held two titles, that of Count and King. When he was barely out of his teens, pianist Charles Phillip Thompson was dubbed Sir." They call me 'Sir Charles,'" he said backstage between sets during a recent gig at ...read more
In his youthful years during the 1940s Sir Charles Thompson was fortunate enough to be situated at ground zero for the collision between swing and bebop. High profile sessions with Charlie Parker, Illinois Jacquet, Coleman Hawkins and others ensued as well as stints with Lester Young, Roy Eldridge and Don Byas. How’s that for a resume? All this fertile activity put Thompson on the map and cemented his place in jazz history. Five decades later comes this date instigated by ...read more
Here's a trivia question for music fans: What do Billie Holiday, Count Basie, Charlie Christian, George Benson, Aretha Franklin, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen and Stevie Ray Vaughan share in common (aside from musical talent)?
Answer: All were discovered by John Hammond Sr.
The late John Hammond was a filthy rich Vanderbilt heir who parlayed his love for black music into an extraordinary career as a talent scout and producer. The Vanguard label is in the midst of compiling and re-releasing ...read more