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BOOK EXCERPTS

On Highway 61: Music, Race, and the Evolution of Cultural Freedom

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The following is an excerpt from the “Spirituals to Swing" chapter of On Highway 61: Music, Race, and the Evolution of Cultural Freedom by Dennis McNally (Counterpoint Press, Berkeley, 2014). Danny Barker, who in the 1930s was Cab Calloway's guitarist, told a particularly revealing story of working at the Nest Club, a Harlem after-hours joint. Business would be dead when the doorman buzzed three loud rings to indicate that they had prospects coming. The band would strike up “Oh, Lady Be Good," the waiters, all smiles and movement, would start beating on their trays, and the unsuspecting ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Glen David Andrews at the Rockwood Music Hall

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Glen David Andrews with special guest Henry Butler Rockwood Music Hall New York, NY June 18, 2014 Glen David Andrews is a showman--pure and simple. He thrives in the spotlight. Shine a spotlight on the man and he comes alive. He is a force of nature, and one to be reckoned with. He has been described as over-the-top. In many ways that's an understatement. He is over-the-top. He is pure energy. He has charisma. He has stage presence. He also has a pedigree. His cousins are Trombone Shorty and James Andrews. His older brother Derrick ...

THE CLUB CAR

All Smiles on Hilton Head Island

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Fly, drive, bike or walk, if you can, to The Jazz Corner on Hilton Head Island in South Carolina. But make reservations first or you may be going home early. This intimate jazz and blues club is booked solid every night weeks in advance, and I do mean every night. So it's been for 15 years, an incredible feat by owners Bob and Lois Masteller. The club, with its well-planned sound system and sightlines for all 100 seats, was named by DownBeat one of the top 150 Great Jazz Rooms in the World in 2011, '12 , '13 and again ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Kidd Jordan & Hamid Drake: A Night In November - Live in New Orleans

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Hard to believe, but A Night In November--Live in New Orleans is the first drums / saxophone duet recording by legendary New Orleans free jazz saxophonist and educator Kidd Jordan. He's accompanied by a true kindred spirit, Hamid Drake. Though both have made names for themselves in the rarefied world of free improvisation, neither are shy about their roots in more traditional forms of jazz, blues, soul, and R&B. Jordan, now almost 80 years old, is a remarkable figure whose music has only been properly documented since the late 1990s. In an interview with Ted Panken, published in Cadence Magazine ...

BOOK REVIEWS

Jazz. New York in the Roaring Twenties

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Jazz. New York in the Roaring Twenties Robert Nippold, Hans-Jürgen Schaal 144 ISBN: 3836545012 Taschen 2013 The period in the 1920's America is known as the Jazz Age, the Golden Twenties or the Roaring Twenties. The history books say that this decade after the WWI was a prosperous one, where the nation's total wealth nearly doubled in between 1920 and 1929 which resulted in an unprecedented expansion in industry, technology and consumerism. It was the great writer F. Scott Fitzgerald who actually coined the term “Jazz Age" said of the 20s “The ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Kidd Jordan/Alvin Fielder/Peter Kowald: Trio and Duo in New Orleans

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Tenor saxophonist Edward Kidd Jordan and drummer Alvin Fielder have been a fixture in their southern outpost for nigh on forty years, but they've rarely been heard to such good effect as on Trio and Duo in New Orleans. This wonderful two CD set brings together music from three separate dates. The first disc (also available as a double LP) comprises a 70-minute exchange between the American pair and hugely talented peripatetic German bassist Peter Kowald in April 2002, five months before his untimely death, while the second marries a 2005 studio session from the Americans, with an excerpt from ...

BOOK REVIEWS

Pops – The Wonderful World of Louis Armstrong by Terry Teachout

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Pops--The Wonderful World of Louis Armstrong Terry Teachout 508 Pages ISBN: # 1906779562 Aurum Press 2014 Critic Terry Teachout published his biography of Louis Armstrong, Pops: A Life of Louis Armstrong (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) in 2009, republishing it under the present title of Pops--The Wonderful World of Louis Armstrong in Kindle and hardcover format. Qualitatively, the biographies are the same. Teachout as biographer has benefitted from all previous Armstrong reportage plus recently released personal writings of Armstrong. This new material included 650 reels of tape recordings privately made by Armstrong during the ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Kidd Jordan / Alvin Fielder /Peter Kowald: Trio and Duo in New Orleans

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Eminent avant-garde saxophonist Edward “Kidd" Jordan doesn't venture outside the New Orleans area that often, but like- minded artists will occasionally make the trip to the Big Easy to unite in the studio or for a live date. Such is the case here on this 2-disc set, capturing Jordan in trio and duo settings with late, bass great Peter Kowald and a forefather of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, drummer Alvin Fielder. The trio performance was recorded in 2002 at the Zeitgeist Multi-Disciplinary Arts Center. Fielder's liaison with Jordan came about in 1975 via several ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Preservation Hall Jazz Band: That's It!

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Fifty years is a long time to carry the torch of the music of others and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band has done just that with class, joviality, and a sense of purpose to preserve traditional New Orleans jazz music. In a step away from their mission of preservation, the band has created new music in a hall recording of their newest album That's It. It should come as no surprise that their collection of original tunes is delivered with the same class, professionalism and fun found in their thirty previous releases. Opening with the Samba tinged tune ...

BOOK REVIEWS

Roll With It: Brass Bands in the Streets of New Orleans

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Roll With It: Brass Bands in the Streets of New Orleans Matt Sakakeeny 248 pages ISBN: 978-0-8223-5567-0 Duke University Press 2013 In his fascinating book Roll With It: Brass Bands in the Streets of New Orleans, ethnomusicologist and journalist Matt Sakakeeny delves deep into one of the great institutions of American music. In this searingly honest portrait of 21st-century brass bands, Sakakeeny shares the stories of musicians in three contemporary brass bands: Rebirth, Soul Rebels, and Hot 8. The musicians' personal stories are interwoven with historical information, academic reflection, and personal experience, combining ...

ARTIST PROFILES

Buddy Bolden: The insane life of the founder-father of jazz

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The roots of American jazz twist, turn, and spiral all the way back to the turn of the century... not this century, but the last century. In the 20th century's first decade down in jny: New Orleans, the story is told that one could frequently hear a cornet (which is similar to a trumpet) squawking loudly from the park bandstands and through dance hall windows. With no formal training, Charles “Buddy" Bolden created a unique improvising style with his horn. Essentially, he paved the way for jazz by arranging rural blues, spirituals and ragtime music for brass instruments. ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Kidd Jordan & Hamid Drake: A Night In November - Live in New Orleans

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New Orleans is valued for its storied traditional jazz legacy, and not so much for avant-garde persuasions. But when it comes to off-center or free-jazz music, saxophonist Kidd Jordan's artistic persona frequently becomes a topic of conversation. He's performed and recorded with iconoclastic musicians and is perhaps the Crescent City's most prolific improviser. This excursion features his duets with the exceptional Chicago jazz drummer Hamid Drake, segmented into two sets and emanating from their encounter in front of a small audience at Piety Street Recording in New Orleans on November 20, 2011. Except for “Wade in the Water" ...

LIVE REVIEWS

John Jorgenson’s Gypsy Jazz Quintet: Phoenix, AZ, June 27, 2013

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John Jorgenson's Gypsy Jazz QuintetMusical Instrument MuseumPhoenix, AZJune 27, 2013The swinging sound of gypsy jazz popularized by Django Reinhardt and the Quintet of the Hot Club of France was elegantly interpreted by John Jorgenson in a quintet setting that imbued the 1930s genre with modernistic verve.The program was a mix of soulful romance and gleeful flamboyance, plaintive sadness and rollicking celebration, with Jorgenson's fingers a blur that created avalanches of notes and chords. His dazzling prowess often caused listeners to gasp at the speed and sound. His three- and four-note voicings, blazing arpeggios ...

JAZZ EMERGES

Part 7: Sing Miller: This Little Light of Mine

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Born in 1914, pianist/vocalist Sing Miller was active on the New Orleans scene from the late 1920s until his death in 1990. If Sing didn't like something, he'd let you know. “Man...that ball don't bounce," is a Sing-saying drummer Jeff Hamilton remembers.Early one winter morning in Iowa in 1984, when I was traveling as a photojournalist with the Percy Humphrey band, Sing sat alone in the lobby for most of an hour, staring glumly out at the blustery weather. Finally he lumbered over and checked out. “Have a nice day," said the lady at the desk. Sing: “How ...



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