History of Jazz

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

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

HISTORY OF JAZZ

Elis Regina and Antonio Carlos Jobim: A Musical Love Story and a Timeless Recording

Read "Elis Regina and Antonio Carlos Jobim: A Musical Love Story and a Timeless Recording" reviewed by Victor L. Schermer

One of my all-time favorite albums and desert island picks is Elis and Tom (Phillips, 1974), featuring duets by the legendary Antonio Carlos “Tom" Jobim and Elis Regina, an iconic Brazilian singer lesser known in the U.S. who a few years later died of a drug overdose at the age of 36. I'm writing about it now because recently I was listening to some of Jobim's records and took this one off the shelf and played it. I marveled as ...

HISTORY OF JAZZ

Coleman Hawkins: Fifty Years Gone, A Saxophone Across Time

Read "Coleman Hawkins: Fifty Years Gone, A Saxophone Across Time" reviewed by Arthur R George

Fifty years ago this past year, Coleman Hawkins, considered the father of tenor saxophone in jazz, passed away. Thelonious Monk was pacing back and forth in the hallway outside Hawkins' hospital room when the saxophonist succumbed at age 64 on the morning of May 19, 1969, from pneumonia and other complications. Monk was holding a short stack of albums that Hawkins had gifted him just before being hospitalized. With Monk was the Baroness Pannonica de Koenigswarter, attendant to ...


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