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RADIO

April Birthday Salutes

Read "April Birthday Salutes" reviewed by Marc Cohn

This week we salute Alfred Lion (co-founder of Blue Note) with three tracks (Hubbard, Green, Turrentine with James Oscar). Then we add two blues with lyrics by Alberta Hunter, including Bessie Smith's very first recording; the April 'first ladies of song' do Ellington; Ellington does Ellington in three different settings; and Mingus celebrates in Paris (impress your friends by identifying the many Bird tunes quoted!). There's more, so don't be shy. Hit the button, relax and enjoy yourself.

RADIO

Beyond Category - Duke Ellington in the 1930s (1931 - 1940)

Read "Beyond Category - Duke Ellington in the 1930s (1931 - 1940)" reviewed by Russell Perry

In the last hour, we heard Count Basie emerge as an exciting new voice from Kansas City. In this hour, we return to New York to follow Duke Ellington's innovative path through the 1930s as he experiments with longer musical forms while building one of his greatest bands featuring tenor player Ben Webster and bassist Jimmy Blanton. We are joined in this hour by Peter Spaar -bassist, composer, educator and member of the performance faculty of the McIntyre ...

RADIO

Up In Harlem - Duke Ellington (1927 - 1930)

Read "Up In Harlem - Duke Ellington (1927 - 1930)" reviewed by Russell Perry

In previous programs in this series, we have listened to Stride pianists and jazz orchestras from New York. In this hour, we'll return to Harlem to listen to maybe the most important band leader in jazz history and one of the most significant composers of the music—Duke Ellington. A contemporary of Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington moved (from Washington, DC) to New York at roughly the same time and established himself as a recording artist. By 1927, he was ...

RADIO

Christmas Gifts and Messages, Some From the Grinch

Read "Christmas Gifts and Messages, Some From the Grinch" reviewed by Marc Cohn

If you haven't had your fill of Christmas, click the play button for last Saturday's holiday show. One of our rotating traditions is to program the Duke Ellington version of “The Nutcracker Suite." Our first segment tracks mostly old favorites that we play almost every year. The rest are offered for the first time on the show, including a 'Bah Humbug' segment.

ALBUM REVIEWS

Duke Ellington: Duke Ellington In Coventry

Read "Duke Ellington In Coventry" reviewed by Chris Mosey

During World War Two, the Germans rained tons of high explosives, including parachute air-mines and incendiary petroleum mines on the English city of Coventry. In addition to factories supporting the British war effort, they destroyed the city's emblematic cathedral. Joseph Goebbels, Hitler's Minister of Propaganda, took to using “Coventry" as a synonym for mass destruction. Enemy cities would be “Coventried," Goebbels proclaimed. It was revealed after the war that Churchill had received advance warning of the blitz ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Duke Ellington on Storyville Records

Read "Duke Ellington on Storyville Records" reviewed by Chris Mosey

The legend of Duke Ellington--one of very few jazzmen worthy of the overworked accolade “genius"--continues to unfold four decades after his death. In large part this is thanks to the efforts of Ellington himself. From 1950 to 1974, he kept a private “stockpile" of recordings made for his own pleasure... and with an eye on posterity. Following his death on May 24th 1974, Duke's son Mercer donated this “stockpile" to Danish Radio. Since then ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Duke Ellington & His Orchestra: Rotterdam 1969

Read "Rotterdam 1969" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Here's a succulent and long-hidden treat for Duke Ellington aficionados: a wide-ranging and reasonably well-recorded concert performance by the Ellington orchestra from 1969 at the Do Doelen Concert Hall in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Many of Ellington's tried-and-true favorites are here, along with a number of lesser-known themes such as tenor Paul Gonsalves' feature, “Up Jump"; “Come Off the Veldt (and Into the Bush)," a showpiece for drummer Rufus Jones; alto Johnny Hodges' star turn, “Black Butterfly"; and trumpeter Cat Anderson's ...

ANATOMY OF A STANDARD

"Prelude to a Kiss" by Duke Ellington

Read ""Prelude to a Kiss" by Duke Ellington" reviewed by Tish Oney

Last month's initial installment of this column opened with an introduction to the concept of analyzing jazz standards for the purpose of adding to our understanding about the structure and elements of great songs having enduring qualities. I did not feel it required mentioning that a song's final structure and the process of songwriting were completely different viewpoints. One purview implies looking back at a final product of art and the other requires looking ahead at a blank page of ...

BOOK REVIEWS

Why Jazz? A Concise Guide

Read "Why Jazz? A Concise Guide" reviewed by Douglas Groothuis

Why Jazz? A Concise Guide Kevin Whitehead 184 pages ISBN-10: 0199731187 Oxford, University Press 2011 Small books on big themes are a tough gig. Jazz is a uniquely American, musically challenging, and highly improvisational musical form. Jazz is also a rather vexing topic to explain to the uninitiated (or even to the initiated, who quarrel much over it). Several years ago, I played some late-period work of John Coltrane (the first four ...

WHAT IS JAZZ?

How Teachers can Swing in the Classroom

Read "How Teachers can Swing in the Classroom" reviewed by Douglas Groothuis

I am a jazz aficionado as well as a philosophy professor. Being in front of a classroom teaching is my favorite place on earth, second to a good jazz club with hip friends. In the midst of a philosophy class, I may wax enthusiastic about the transcendent qualities of a John Coltrane saxophone solo or the preternatural swing of Buddy Rich's timekeeping or the song-writing and band-leading genius of Duke Ellington. These comments are not merely idiosyncratic. They reflect something ...

YEAR IN REVIEW

Top 15 "Read" Articles: 2015

Read "Top 15 "Read" Articles: 2015" reviewed by Michael Ricci

All About Jazz tracks how often an article is read, and the articles listed below represent our top 15 published in 2015. Deconstructing Money Jungle Duke Ellington by Graham E Peterson Published: October 23, 2015 John Coltrane and the Meaning of Life John Coltrane by Douglas Groothuis Published: January 22, 2015 Kind of Purple: Jazz Musicians on ...

WHAT IS JAZZ?

Deconstructing Money Jungle

Read "Deconstructing Money Jungle" reviewed by Graham E Peterson

Duke Ellington was born at the turn of the century. Because his career stretched from the roaring twenties to just after the Nixon scandal, and because of the large breathe of his work he has been a household name for decades. Most individuals know Ellington for his work pioneering big band music, as a bandleader, composer, and brilliant improviser. Few ever reference Ellington's solo piano music or small ensemble work; mainly because he did not make many recordings of this ...


40 Years Of The Festival International De Jazz De Montréal

The Montreal Jazz Festival celebrates its 40th edition this year with some outstanding presentations scheduled at various venues around the city. Running from June 27 to July 6, this year's festival includes both indoor and outdoor events, free and ticketed events, with a program that includes Melody Gardot, Norah Jones, Brad Mehldau, Kendrick Scott, Richard Galliano, Stacy Kent, Joshua Redman, John Pizzarelli, Keyon Harrold, Gilad Hekselman, Roberto Fonseca, Donny McCaslin and more.

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