Articles

Daily articles carefully curated by the All About Jazz staff. Read our popular and future articles.

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What is Jazz?

Ghosts In The Machine, Part 1: Jazz Musicians And Popular Music

Read "Ghosts In The Machine, Part 1: Jazz Musicians And Popular Music" reviewed by Kurt Ellenberger


Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 Part I: The MachinesJazz and classical musicians have long had a troubled relationship with pop music. (By “pop music," I mean all styles outside of classical and jazz--country, rock, hip-hop, rap, etc.--any style that enjoys a double-digit market share is properly called “popular," as opposed to the dismal 4-6% (combined) that is shared by jazz and classical music.) Admittedly, most of pop ...

1

Album Review

Duke Ellington: Uppsala 1971

Read "Uppsala 1971" reviewed by Chris Mosey


From his first visit in 1939 to a concert a few months before his death in 1973, Duke Ellington took special pleasure in visiting Sweden. He composed a “Serenade to Sweden" and wrote a new arrangement for a very Swedish pop song, “I en rod liten stuga (In a Red Little Cottage)." He also entered into a fruitful collaboration with Swedish vocalist Alice Babs. This album, recorded at a concert in the great hall of Uppsala University on ...

46

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.

2

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 ...

4

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 ...

40

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.

2

Album Review

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 ...


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