History of Jazz


Banding Together Against Segregation in Los Angeles

Read "Banding Together Against Segregation in Los Angeles" reviewed by Eve Goldberg

Once upon a time, jazz musicians in jny: Los Angeles led a groundbreaking struggle for racial justice and economic opportunity that sent ripples of change across the country. Most of us are aware of the seminal names and events of the civil rights era: Rosa Parks spearheading the Montgomery bus boycott; Martin Luther King leading the Selma to Montgomery march for voting rights; Jackie Robinson integrating the Brooklyn Dodgers, to name a few. But the big national needle-movers ...


Groove Town: Buffalo Jazz And Its Legacy - Historical Insights

Read "Groove Town: Buffalo Jazz And Its Legacy - Historical Insights" reviewed by Barbara Ina Frenz

From early on, Buffalo attracted musicians as a place to live and pursue their artistic endeavors—and they were excellent ones: Lil Hardin Armstrong, Jimmie Lunceford, Pete Johnson, and Stuff Smith. Dodo Greene, two masters of polyrhythm, Frankie Dunlop and Clarence Becton, as well as pianist and bassist Wade Legge grew up here. Two distinctive voices on the saxophone, Charles Gayle and Grover Washington Jr., come from and developed their respective sounds in this city. Juini Booth and Sabu Adeyola as ...


Bebop, Beats, and the Drive of Beat Literature

Read "Bebop, Beats, and the Drive of Beat Literature" reviewed by Arthur R George

"Mulberry-eyed girls in black stockings, Smelling vaguely of mint jelly and last night's bongo drummer... fling their arrow legs / To the heavens / Losing their doubts in the beat" of jny: San Francisco nights, announced poet Bob Kaufman's “Bagel Shop Jazz." (Solitudes Crowded with Loneliness, New Directions Publishing, 1965; Collected Poems of Bob Kaufman, City Lights, 2019) “Angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery of night,.. floating across the tops of ...


The Roma: The Roots of Flamenco, Gypsy Jazz, and Miles Davis' "Sketches of Spain"

Read "The Roma: The Roots of Flamenco, Gypsy Jazz, and Miles Davis' "Sketches of Spain"" reviewed by Martin McFie

In 1959, a magical year for jazz albums, Miles Davis, inspired by some flamenco performances he had heard, recorded Sketches of Spain (Columbia, 1960) at Columbia's 30th Street studio. Half of the album is a beautiful orchestral interpretation of the classical guitar piece “Concierto de Aranjuez," written twenty years before the Davis recording, by Joaquin Rodrigo, which is about the gardens in the royal palace at Aranjuez. Davis was drawn to strong melodies, and the melodies here are certainly powerful, ...


Canaries In A Musical Mineshaft

Read "Canaries In A Musical Mineshaft" reviewed by Richard J Salvucci

1955 was an interesting year. Disneyland opened in Anaheim, CA The Mickey Mouse Club made its TV debut. A quiz show called “The $64,000 Question," (we might call it, with reason “The $1,000,000 Question" today) was all the rage. The singer Donna Brooks briefly joined Hal McIntyre's band. At the relatively late age of 30, jny: Philadelphia singer Terry Morel released her first recording on Prestige. If you are a devoted reader of All About Jazz, you just ...


Vince Guaraldi’s Christmas Sauce: Adding Spice to Charlie Brown Vanilla

Read "Vince Guaraldi’s Christmas Sauce: Adding Spice to Charlie Brown Vanilla" reviewed by Arthur R George

It's not simply that pianist Vince Guaraldi slipped jazz past the unsuspecting in composing A Charlie Brown Christmas, the evergreen “Peanuts" animation and soundtrack that has become inescapably part of the holiday. First broadcast in 1965, going on to six decades ago, A Charlie Brown Christmas is a tradition unto itself. It returns to television through PBS and PBS Kids on the evening of Sunday, December 19. Some who can't wait, or want to watch and listen again and again, ...


Phil & Me

Read "Phil & Me" reviewed by Keith Henry Brown

When I first came to work at Jazz at Lincoln Center in 2001, I was deeply intimidated. I was hired by Wynton Marsalis himself, and I honestly wasn't sure how I'd do, working with such incredibly smart and talented people. Over time, I settled into a groove and made friends and allies. First among them was esteemed jazz historian Phil Schaap. Phil always had a smile and a “hi" for me as we passed by in the halls ...


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