History of Jazz

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

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History of Jazz

Jazz in Cleveland: A Storied Past, Surviving Present, and an Optimistic Future

Read "Jazz in Cleveland: A Storied Past, Surviving Present, and an Optimistic Future" reviewed by Matthew Alec


Cleveland, Ohio. Having lived here for my entire life, the word “city" does not quite describe what Cleveland truly is. There is of course a downtown urban area, one filled with noteworthy neoclassic architecture and an overall stately appearance that is often overlooked by those who live here. That said, most “Clevelanders" don't actually live within the downtown city limits. In the 1950's Cleveland was heralded as an “All-American City" and its population grew to one of the largest in ...

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History of Jazz

That Slow Boat to China: How American Jazz Steamed Into Asia

Read "That Slow Boat to China: How American Jazz Steamed Into Asia" reviewed by Arthur R George


A kind of jazz was already waiting in Asia when American players arrived in the 1920s, close to a hundred years ago. However, it was imitative and incomplete, lacked authenticity and live performers from the U.S. Those ingredients became imported by musicians who had played with the likes of Joseph “King" Oliver, Louis Armstrong, Earl Hines, Chu Berry, Josephine Bakerand W.C. Handy. Notably, Buck Clayton, later trumpeter for Count Basie, and Paul Gonsalves, who would find fame with Duke Ellington, ...

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History of Jazz

Richie Beirach: Exploring Who Matters Most Among the Jazz Pianists

Read "Richie Beirach: Exploring Who Matters Most Among the Jazz Pianists" reviewed by Victor L. Schermer


[The following is a commentary on pianist Richie Beirach's 2020 e-book The Historical Lineage of Modern Jazz Piano: The 10 Essential Players (Conversations between Richie Beirach and Michael Lake), downloadable for free here.] Jazz piano has always garnered (no intended reference to Erroll Garner) special interest among the instruments because it is truly an orchestra in itself. Its keys cover the full range from low bass to highest soprano, and it is tailored (no allusion to Dr. Billy ...

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History of Jazz

Charlie Parker: In Praise of Bird on His 100th Birthday!

Read "Charlie Parker: In Praise of Bird on His 100th Birthday!" reviewed by Victor L. Schermer


A hundred years ago, on August 29, 1920, soon after jazz was born, Charlie Parker came into this world, and in the 35 years of a life cut short by addictions and impulse-driven living, he changed the face of the music. His innovations as one of the creators of bebop and his stunning sound and virtuosic saxophone playing changed the way music is composed and played, not only in jazz but most other musical genres as well. The changes he ...

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History of Jazz

Harvey Husten Presents "Jazz in Jersey": The Red Hill Inn

Read "Harvey Husten Presents "Jazz in Jersey": The Red Hill Inn" reviewed by Richard J Salvucci


On October 13, 1957, there was a concert at the Red Hill Inn in Pennsauken, New Jersey. Leonard Feather was there. Erroll Garner too. And Cannonball Adderley, Gerry Mulligan, and Oscar Pettiford. The occasion was the first annual memorial concert for one Harvey Husten. And the beginning of what was supposed to be a living memorial to Harvey Husten, the Harvey Husten Memorial Fund. As Jim Donahue wrote in Camden's Courier Post:"It will provide scholarships for music students, be they ...

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History of Jazz

Leo Smith and New Dalta Ahkri

Read "Leo Smith and New Dalta Ahkri" reviewed by Daniel Barbiero


Coming to New England: Emerson, Ives and Brown When trumpeter/composer Leo Smith returned to the United States after having spent 1969-1970 in Europe, he settled not in New York, as most jazz musicians might be expected to do, or even in jny: Chicago, where he'd spent a fruitful several years in the 1960s. Instead, he chose to settle in jny: New Haven, Connecticut.New Haven at the time was, as it largely still is, an economically straitened, post-industrial college ...

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History of Jazz

The John Coltrane Home in Philadelphia: The Fight to Preserve an Historic Landmark

Read "The John Coltrane Home in Philadelphia: The Fight to Preserve an Historic Landmark" reviewed by Victor L. Schermer


John Coltrane (1926-1967) was in the upper echelon of the greatest jazz musicians of all time. He, along with Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker, Dexter Gordon, Miles Davis, and other innovators, changed the face of jazz forever. Beyond such encomiums, Coltrane has become a great African American hero, overcoming his heroin addiction, experiencing a spiritual awakening which he brought to realization in his devoted marriages to Naima and Alice Coltrane, their children, and music (the iconic albums A Love ...


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