Just For Fun

JUST FOR FUN

Columbia Releases Miles Davis: The Rest

Read "Columbia Releases Miles Davis: The Rest" reviewed by Patrick Burnette

The can't-miss box set of the year Miles Davis: The Rest completes Columbia Records' thorough excavation of the great trumpeter's session work. As the press release notes, “Columbia was proud to offer eight steel-spine box sets of Davis' sessions, followed by our 70-disc Complete Studio Albums Collection, followed by our The Genius Of Miles Davis set that collected the steel-spine boxes in a trumpet case, followed by our six-volume Bootleg series, followed by our mono issues on vinyl. Now, with ...

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ECM Records Announces Change in Name, Direction

Read "ECM Records Announces Change in Name, Direction" reviewed by Geno Thackara

European label turns its eye toward the future as EDM. ECM Records will mark its golden anniversary with a defining change in direction, according to an announcement released today. After operating as Edition of Contemporary Music since its small-scale beginning in 1969, the eclectic European label has confirmed plans to adopt the new title Exciting Dynamic Music to signify a wholly revamped outlook. Though the new abbreviation EDM began as a simple typo in a promo poster mock-up, ...

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RARE!! Florence Foster Jenkins Find

Read "RARE!! Florence Foster Jenkins Find" reviewed by Nicholas F. Mondello

Dyspepsia Records Announces the April 15 release of “The Greatest Arias and Duets of Florence Foster Jenkins." Dyspepsia CEO, John Featherwhistle announced today that the long-awaited album of the great operatic Diva's hits will be released April 15. Fully re-mastered, re-mixed and enhanced with the latest in digitized auto-tune technology, the recording sheds new light on the legendary Soprano who was memorialized recently cinematically by Meryl Streep. “We here at Dyspepsia are pleased to ...

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Tragedy Strikes at CES

Read "Tragedy Strikes at CES" reviewed by Patrick Burnette

In a little-reported story from this year's CES, an audience of over a hundred late-middle-aged men was inadvertently vaporized by a malfunctioning demonstration. Attendees arrived eagerly anticipating the public debut of the latest collaboration between Japan's Mitsubishi Corporation and Sony Music Group, the Chanteuse 3000, Mark IV. This Chanteuse 3000 is a fully programmable “jazz"-singing android capable of performing any song whatsoever -as long as it is from the Great American Songbook. The designers have been close-lipped about the most ...

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Love Jazz, Hate Jazz

Read "Love Jazz, Hate Jazz" reviewed by Michael Ricci

Years ago, when I dabbled in cartooning, I developed a presentation style where the character on the left makes a statement with a speech balloon while the character on the right responds with a thought balloon--typically in sharp contrast. I had a lot of fun with it. Here, illustrator Keith Henry Brown and I collaborated on this speech / thought exchange. Just in time for the holidays, we've made the illustration available on a poster, t-shirt, ...

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Hey, George Frazier--I’m 10 Years Old Over Here

Read "Hey, George Frazier--I’m 10 Years Old Over Here" reviewed by Brian Dunn

I went a little crazy when I discovered jazz as an 8-year-old kid. I already played trumpet in the school band, but none of that music swung. My ears begged for something with more energy and urgency. The family record collection was of little help. We owned precisely five albums, the jazziest of which was Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass. Herb and the boys kept some decidedly mixed company in my house. I remember a Barbara Streisand LP only ...

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Yogi Berra Explains Jazz

Read "Yogi Berra Explains Jazz" reviewed by Steve Chalke

In memory of the man who came to the fork in the road, and took it. Interviewer: What do you expect is in store for the future of jazz trumpet? Yogi: I'm thinkin' there'll be a group of guys who've never met talkin' about it all the time... Interviewer: Can you explain jazz? Yogi: I can't, but I will. 90% of all jazz is half improvisation. The other half is the part ...

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Top Five Funniest People in Jazz

Read "Top Five Funniest People in Jazz" reviewed by Michael Ricci

Despite that serious expression you often see on a jazz musician's face, the truth is that laughter gets him through the day. The late, great pianist Horace Silver knew it. If you didn't see it in his impish smile, you could hear it in his music. Especially in his last studio album, which knowingly proclaimed Jazz Has A Sense of Humor (GRP, 1999). We've gotten to know lots of musicians over the years, and though we ...

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Hot Rod Jazz God, Part 2: An Open Letter to Rod Stewart

Read "Hot Rod Jazz God, Part 2: An Open Letter to Rod Stewart" reviewed by Jason West

Um, Mr. Stewart, if you're reading this, first I want to apologize. In the past I wrote some things that you may have found slightly offensive.Like those bits about harmless Uncle Rod who shows up on holidays with a bottle-shaped microphone and comparing your interpretation of standard jazz melodies to a bull in downtown Pamplona. Sorry, mate. I take it back. I admit I was bitter.Bitter because I'm a jazz musician. And like most jazz musicians, ...

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Hear Me Talkin' to Ya: Jazz Aphorisms

Read "Hear Me Talkin' to Ya: Jazz Aphorisms" reviewed by Chris May

For artists who express themselves in a non-verbal medium, jazz instrumentalists have come up with a bundle of choice aphorisms. Here are four attributed to, or about, tenor saxophonists, which were coined too late for inclusion in Nat Shapiro and Nat Hentoff's Hear Me Talkin' to Ya (Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1955). If you feel like sharing some favorites of your own, you can post in the comment box below. Frank ...

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Motel 5: As For You

Read "Motel 5: As For You" reviewed by Jason West

The phone in my office rang twice. I let the machine get it. The voice on the other end sounded desperate. “Hey, West, I need a band to play Bill Gates' house. Rough life, I mused, planning private parties for billionaires. Imagine all the stress involved in picking out the hippest flower arrangements, trendiest color schemes, fanciest hors d'oeurves, and ice sculptures shaped like a school of humpbacked whales in full breach. All on ...

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Sinatra Slang

Read "Sinatra Slang" reviewed by AAJ Staff

Based on The Frank Sinatra Scrapbook by Richard Peters (1982) with additions from Sinatra fans on the internet.

18 KARAT All the way, full-out: “An 18 karat idiot." BABY Used as an exclamation as well as a term of endearment. BAG As in “my bag," a person's particular interest. BARN BURNER A very stylish, classy woman. BEARD A male friend who acts ...


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