All About Jazz

Home » Articles | Reviews Only

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

Just For Fun

JUST FOR FUN

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

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

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 ...

JUST FOR FUN

Yogi Berra Explains Jazz

Read "Yogi Berra Explains Jazz" reviewed by

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 ...

JUST FOR FUN

Top Five Funniest People in Jazz

Read "Top Five Funniest People in Jazz" reviewed by

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 ...

JUST FOR FUN

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

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, ...

JUST FOR FUN

Hear Me Talkin' to Ya: Jazz Aphorisms

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

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 ...

JUST FOR FUN

Motel 5: As For You

Read "Motel 5: As For You" reviewed by

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 ...

JUST FOR FUN

Sinatra Slang

Read "Sinatra Slang" reviewed by

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 ...

JUST FOR FUN

Paul Desmond-isms

Read "Paul Desmond-isms" reviewed by

Alto saxophonist Paul Desmond worked with pianist Dave Brubeck for 18 years. He's best known for his composition “Take Five," which helped make Brubeck's record Time Out a mega-hit. Desmond's saxophone playing was always marked by an unusual fluidity and warmth. Through a number of solo records, he expanded on a relaxed but sophisticated sound.Who would have guessed that Paul Desmond had a wickedly acerbic wit, ironic and self-deprecating at the same time?“I have won several ...

JUST FOR FUN

Rod Stewart: Hot Rod, Jazz God

Read "Rod Stewart: Hot Rod, Jazz God" reviewed by

That smirk. That roguish, self-satisfied, da-ya-think-I'm-sexy smirk. It's back and getting bigger everywhere you look. On Leno. On Letterman. In fashion magazines. Holiday TV specials. What's next--a Super Bowl halftime smirkfest?2000 should have been the end of The Smirk. His rock star career, which started in swingin' London during the late 1960s and peaked artistically in 1971 with Every Picture Tells A Story, skyrocketed with the disco craze. Eighties hip-pumping video hits strengthened The Smirk's sex-symbol status, before ...

JUST FOR FUN

BugHouse: Pages 11-13

Read "BugHouse: Pages 11-13" reviewed by

Pages 1-5 | Pages 6-10 | Pages 11-13 Page 11...

Page 12...

Page 13...

Pages 1-5 | Pages 6-10 | Pages 11-13 | Purchase BugHouse

About BugHouse Set in an “insect noir" Manhattan of the early fifties, BugHouse is the tumultuous story of Tenor saxophonist, Jimmy Watts, as he leads his talented jazz band of “bugs" from the swing era into the uncharted maelstrom of Bop. And as he ...