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HISTORY OF JAZZ

Bird's Trumpets

Read "Bird's Trumpets" reviewed by Matt Lavelle

Looking closely at all the trumpet players that played with Thelonious Monk in a piece I wrote in March 2018, I decided to continue the focus, and explore the trumpet players that played with Charlie Parker. As challenging as the trumpet is to play, playing Bebop raised the technical bar. Playing with Charlie Parker at fast tempos where he thrived took trumpet playing to an extreme that may have never been matched since. Parker certainly enjoyed the alto saxophone and ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Charlie Parker: Bird: The Complete Masters 1941-1954

Read "Bird: The Complete Masters 1941-1954" reviewed by Chris May

All roads lead back to Charlie Parker, and if ever a musician's recorded output is worth collecting in its entirety, it is his. Only Louis Armstrong's corpus of work is comparably important. Much of Parker's output has been made available over various box sets, of which the three most comprehensive are the 8-CD The Complete Savoy And Dial Studio Recordings 1944-1948 (Savoy, 2002); the 10-CD Bird: The Complete Charlie Parker On Verve (Verve, 1989); and the 7-CD The ...

RADIO

Yardbird - The Savoy and Dial Recordings of Charlie Parker (1945 - 1948)

Read "Yardbird - The Savoy and Dial Recordings of Charlie Parker (1945 - 1948)" reviewed by Russell Perry

Emerging from the Jay McShann Orchestra in Kansas City and relentlessly curious about how to play the new music he heard in his head, Charlie Parker found sympathetic players in New York, especially Dizzy Gillespie. In November of 1945, Bird, as he was universally known, began to record with his own quintets and sextets in a legendary series of recordings for Dial in Hollywood and Savoy in Newark. By the end of 1948, when he began to record for Norman ...

JAZZ FICTION

Last Song for Valentine, Part 1-4: Dancing in the Dark

Read "Last Song for Valentine, Part 1-4: Dancing in the Dark" reviewed by Jakob Baekgaard

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 It was at the end of the second set when Cory realized that he couldn't play. Nothing had really changed. He looked across the room in Jan's Supper Club and saw the same familiar faces and some new ones too. Valentine wasn't there. She would never be. He had tried to persuade her many times. “Look," he had said, “it's free. I'll write you on the guest ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Charlie Parker: Now's The Time

Read "Now's The Time" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

In the pantheon of jazz saxophonists, Charlie Parker has been among the most transformational of artists, despite not living nearly long enough to fulfill his potential. Parker's lifetime, as a principal architect of bebop, and a self-destructive force, has been documented ad nauseam but his music continues to significantly influence new generations. Since Parker's death in 1955, an unprecedented two-hundred albums of his music have been released, very few containing newly discovered material; it's a testament to his enduring legacy. ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Roland Dahinden: Talking with Charlie - An Imaginary Talk with Charlie Parker

Read "Talking with Charlie - An Imaginary Talk with Charlie Parker" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

There have been numerous Charlie Parker tributes over the years, which is to be expected, yet Swiss trombonist, composer Roland Dahinden is no stranger to thinking outside the box via his contemporary classical experience, performing pieces written for him by the likes of Anthony Braxton, John Cage and Daniel Wolf. He's also a jazz improviser and highly regarded 'idea man.' This album signifies the output of his compositions based on imaginary discussions with Parker, interpreted and executed by this multinational ...

PROFILES

Savoy Records: From Newark To The World

Read "Savoy Records: From Newark To The World" reviewed by Jordan Levy

On June 26, 1942, James Petrillo, President of the American Federation of Musicians, the nations union for working musicians did the unthinkable and announced a recording ban on all major labels. The ban was set in place due to perceived uneven compensation for musicians. The AFM ban on recording occurred at a critical time, as it was right in the middle of radio's Golden Age. Independent labels rose to the challenge of accommodating the now-stranded artists and fought ...

BOOK REVIEWS

Bop Apocalypse: Jazz, Race, the Beats, and Drugs by Martin Torgoff

Read "Bop Apocalypse: Jazz, Race, the Beats, and Drugs by Martin Torgoff" reviewed by Steve Provizer

Bop Apocalypse: Jazz, Race, the Beats, and Drugs Martin Torgoff 448 pages ISBN: 0306824752 Da Capo Press 2017 The vilification and suppression of marijuana and narcotics in the U.S. was fueled in the 20th century by a campaign that whipped up fear of “the other"--Mexicans, Caribbean islanders, South Americans and African-Americans. Bop Apocalypse limns the history of this campaign and uses it to frame the story of how our own American “others"--(black and ...

BOOK REVIEWS

Godfather of the Music Business: Morris Levy by Richard Carlin

Read "Godfather of the Music Business: Morris Levy by Richard Carlin" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

Godfather of the Music Business: Morris Levy Richard Carlin 294 Pages ISBN: # 978-1496805706 University Press of Mississippi 2016 Well, I don't suppose it is an understatement to say that club owner and mid-20th Century music entrepreneur Morris Levi was a Son-of-a-bitch. That has been very well documented before Richard Carlin's in depth and informative biography, Godfather of the Music Business: Morris Levy. What Carlin has done is bring together ...

BOOK EXCERPTS

The Royal Roost: Birthplace of Bop

Read "The Royal Roost: Birthplace of Bop" reviewed by Richard Carlin

The story of the development of jazz in New York is tied to the story of a few seminal clubs and promoters who helped nurture the music. Just as new musical styles were developing during World War II that would lead to the birth of bebop, so was the jazz scene changing. The clubs that thrived on Fifty Second Street during the mid to late '30s were strictly segregated; black musicians could play at them but could not patronize them. ...

THE VINYL POST

Charlie Parker: The Complete Savoy and Dial Studio Recordings 1944-1948

Read "Charlie Parker: The Complete Savoy and Dial Studio Recordings 1944-1948" reviewed by C. Andrew Hovan

So it is no secret that the entertainment industry is floundering these days and that record companies are doing just about anything to snatch some bucks away from the pirates and casual listeners. Perhaps this is why vinyl has become such a hot commodity. Blue Note spent the past two years reissuing classic titles on black wax and word on the street is that Impulse will be doing the same shortly. There was a minor hint that Savoy ...

JAZZ FICTION

Now's the Time: Part 5-5

Read "Now's the Time: Part 5-5" reviewed by Sean Murphy

Introduction The life and times of a minor jazz legend are recounted through his narrated memories. In this fictional treatment of jazz music in the mid-to-late 20th century, issues of race, creativity, addiction and, ultimately, redemption, are explored. With a title taken from the immortal Charlie Parker tune, “Now's The Time" is an extended meditation on the artistic life. Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 You ...


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