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I'll Remember April - Happy Jazz Appreciation Month!

Read "I'll Remember April - Happy Jazz Appreciation Month!" reviewed by Mary Foster Conklin

A smooth segue from Women's History into Jazz Appreciation Month, commencing with a celebration of Gene Bertoncini, Freddie Hubbard and John Pizzarelli's birthdays in the first hour and concluding with a celebration of Billie Holiday in the final hour, plus new releases from Ashley Pezzotti, Ulysses Owens, Jr., Alicia Olatuja and Claire Martin & Jim Mullen and more birthday nods to Alberta Hunter, Doris Day and Andre Previn, among others. Playlist Tom Wolfe & Gene Bertoncini “I'll Remember ...

BOOK REVIEWS

Billie Holiday: Lady Sings The Blues

Read "Billie Holiday: Lady Sings The Blues" reviewed by Ian Patterson

Lady Sings The Blues Billie Holiday/William Dufty 180 Pages ISBN: 978-0-241-35129-1 Penguin Modern Classics 2018 For many, Billie Holiday was the greatest of all the jazz singers, while her emotive delivery and tragic persona seemed to embody the early jazz life in all its boho chic and with all its dark undertones. Six decades after her death from alcohol-related illness at the age of forty four, Holiday remains a hugely admired and somewhat ...

BOOK REVIEWS

Tracy Fessenden: Religion Around Billie Holiday

Read "Tracy Fessenden: Religion Around Billie Holiday" reviewed by Steve Provizer

Religion Around Billie Holiday Tracy Fessenden 280 pages ISBN: #9780271080956 Cambridge University Press 2018 This is one of the most unusual books about a jazz figure that I've encountered in a long time. The premise, as spelled out in this interview with author Fessenden, is fascinating. She is the Steve and Margaret Forster Professor and interim Director of the School of Historical, Philosophical, and Religious Studies at Arizona State University. Her previous ...

CHARTS OF ELEGANCE

The Timeless Voice Of Billie Holiday

Read "The Timeless Voice Of Billie Holiday" reviewed by Ava Louise

The name Billie Holiday seems indelibly linked with jazz. Her vocal quality and style were unique and masterful, and her work helped to define the genre. Modern jazz musicians and vocalists earn their chops from refining their performance of standards and many of these were recorded and performed for the first time by Holiday. She was also a pioneer in civil rights activism through protest song performance. By her own account, she was a vocalist who needed a ...

WHAT IS JAZZ?

Jazz: The Sacred and the Profane

Read "Jazz: The Sacred and the Profane" reviewed by Victor L. Schermer

“As above, so below" --Hermes Trismegistus A warning: this article is worth reading only if you believe, as I do, that jazz is not just a form of entertainment, but an art form that has deep significance for our lives and contributes to our search for meaning. I fully appreciate the value of “digging the music" and leaning into it for its rhythmic syncopation and feelings of fun and excitement. But for many of us, jazz is part ...

BUILDING A JAZZ LIBRARY

Vocal Jazz: 1917-1950

Read "Vocal Jazz: 1917-1950" reviewed by Mathew Bahl

There have been as many variations on the definition of vocal jazz as there have been people with opinions. Over the years, the consensus within the jazz community has shifted frequently as critics and fans have wrestled with the often-competing imperatives of improvisation and interpretation. For some people, vocal jazz should be exactly that -voices improvising solos in the manner of jazz instrumentalists. For others, that view disregards a singer's unique relationship to lyrics. At the turn of ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Billie Holiday: Four Classic Albums Plus

Read "Billie Holiday: Four Classic Albums Plus" reviewed by David Rickert

Billie HolidayFour Classic AlbumsAvid Records2011 Back in the 1950s, when the American people were buying television sets and driving gas guzzlers on brand new superhighways under the threat of nuclear war, singer Billie Holiday was still turning out fine performances on record and on stage, defying a lot of expectations raised by her wayward lifestyle. Holiday only had a few years left--she died in 1959--but continued performing right up to the ...


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