All About Jazz: The web's most comprehensive jazz resource

Serving jazz worldwide since 1995
All About Jazz: The web's most comprehensive jazz resource

Lost Masters

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


November 12, 2012

Eddie Durham: Genius in the Shadows

Read "Eddie Durham: Genius in the Shadows"

By JIM GERARD

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" Page, pioneering bassist Walter Page, tenor saxophonist Ben Webster and pianist Bill Basie, before his appointment as Count. But the ...

Read More
May 29, 2012

Don Redman: Setting the Template

Read "Don Redman: Setting the Template"

By JIM GERARD

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: “MilesTraneTraneTraneTranebirdsomeoldguysluvTraneisawesome!"This column was conceived to restore at least a fraction of the historical record and to enumerate and ...

Read More