Lost Masters

Jim Gerard unearths those brilliant, influential musicians who've fallen through the cracks of jazz history


LOST MASTERS

Eddie Durham: Genius in the Shadows

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On December 13, 1932, in the eye of the Great Depression that was devastating the record industry, the Bennie Moten Orchestra shuffled “on their uppers" into a converted church in Camden, N.J., and silently launched the Swing Era, three years before clarinetist Benny Goodman's formal inauguration as the “King of Swing" at the Palomar Ballroom in Los Angeles. While composer/bandleader Moten has vanished into the mists of history, his band boasted an assemblage of jazz legends: trumpeter Oran “Hot Lips" ...

LOST MASTERS

Don Redman: Setting the Template

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As someone who came to jazz as a young man in the 1970s, I can attest that subsequent generations of both its chroniclers and, even sadder, its practitioners, have succumbed to the peculiarly and regrettable American disease of a-historicism.They've shoved jazz history through a sieve, reducing it from an epic tale of heroic evolution with a cast of hundreds--if not thousands--to a denuded sliver of text that could fit in a single tweet--one that might read like this: ...



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