Articles by Arthur R George

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History of Jazz

Clifford Brown’s Trumpet and One Summer in Atlantic City

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For 22-year-old trumpeter Clifford Brown, the summer of 1953 in jny: Atlantic City, New Jersey, was transformative. Playing with bebop elders, he cumulatively opened the door for what came next: a groove-oriented swinging style, in which small groups used structured arrangements like big bands, with room for improvisation, but less frenzy. It became known as hard bop, or “mainstream." In early June, Brown went to jny: New York City at the call of Tadd Dameron. Dameron planned a ...

21

Just For Fun

Sinatra In Vegas With Sun Ra Discovery

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Atomic! Sun Ra and Frank Sinatra at The Sands, a previously unknown 1966 recording of the Intergalactic Navigator onstage with The Chairman of the Board, was released today in a joint venture by Blue Note and Mobile Fidelity. “We didn't know if it was real when we first found these recordings. Had we been had? Or did we have what we thought we had? Was it really what it was?," Don Was, president of Blue Note, wondered about his first ...

9

History of Jazz

That Slow Boat to China: How American Jazz Steamed Into Asia

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A kind of jazz was already waiting in Asia when American players arrived in the 1920s, close to a hundred years ago. However, it was imitative and incomplete, lacked authenticity and live performers from the U.S. Those ingredients became imported by musicians who had played with the likes of Joseph “King" Oliver, Louis Armstrong, Earl Hines, Chu Berry, Josephine Bakerand W.C. Handy. Notably, Buck Clayton, later trumpeter for Count Basie, and Paul Gonsalves, who would find fame with Duke Ellington, ...

12

From Far and Wide

Out of the Roma Villages of Turkey, Clarinet Reigns Beyond Its Traditions

Read "Out of the Roma Villages of Turkey, Clarinet Reigns Beyond Its Traditions" reviewed by Arthur R George


The clarinet, foundational for jazz from Sidney Bechet unto Eric Dolphy, remains in strong use in the indigenous Roma music of the eastern Mediterranean. Elsewhere in the world clarinet generally has been moved aside by saxophone's bigger sound. But in the Balkans, Greece, and Turkey, clarinet provides jazz shadings to traditional music, speaks a range of human emotions, and engages in electronically-enhanced experimentation. Clarinetist Barbaros Erköse is Turkish, and Roma: “gypsy," the oft-utilized but less preferred word. He ...

12

Profile

American Frederick Thomas: 'The Black Russian' Who Connected Jazz To The Margins Of Asia

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The child of former slaves, Frederick Bruce Thomas' New York Times obituary called him “the sultan of jazz," for the jazz palace he founded in Constantinople (now jny: Istanbul) after World War I, a jazz borderland beyond even the music's early jny: Paris outpost. He was hosting bands in Constantinople in 1921 even before Louis Armstrong joined King Oliver (1922) or started the Hot Five (1925). Frederick Thomas had journeyed from his 1872 birthplace in Mississippi northward, and ...

16

Profile

Cynthia Lin: Teaching Jazz Ukulele on Four Strings of Aloha

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"Aloha, everyone!" is Cynthia Lin's cheerful greeting to start her ukulele instructional videos which have compiled millions of views on YouTube. It is like a dear friend's individual welcoming. Her site mixes jazz classics: “Night and Day" by Cole Porter, “Don't Get Around Much Anymore," “On the Sunny Side of the Street," and “Unforgettable," among ballads and Beatles songs, all on the instrument closely associated with the Hawaiian Islands. Island-inspired jazz, bossa nova, and traditional Hawaiian music awaken ...

16

Profile

Bucky Pizzarelli: Remembering Family Rhythms On The Roads Of New Jersey

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Guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli, from 1926 to his passing at age 94 on April 1, lived his entire life in New Jersey, and had said that he couldn't imagine living anywhere else. Forget the turnpike jokes. Remember instead the nearness to jazz in New York, the closeness of family, shared driving in the New Jersey night, the miles that make a life. Formed by a World War II-era swing style, influenced by Django Reinhardt and Freddie Green, and the ...


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