Jazz Raconteurs

Jazz is well into its second century and has developed a remarkably rich folklore. Storytelling has been instrumental in furthering our appreciation of the art form. Many of our readers are familiar with the stories of great artists, festivals and landmark events. Equally interesting are the stories that happen on a much smaller scale, for example, a great night of music in some far away club where musicians played to just a handful of drunken people who came expecting to see a Dixieland band. At this point in time, jazz music is almost universal in reach and the sound of jazz has been immensely enriched with a wide array of cultural influences from every corner of the world. No doubt there are countless stories worth hearing that are unknown except to a small number of people. We want to give our musician and industry friends the opportunity to tell their stories to a much broader audience. Curated by David Kaufman.

JAZZ RACONTEURS

Larry Coryell: Free Spirit and Pioneer

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Not too long ago, I learned that sadly, one of my great inspirations, guitarist Larry Coryell had passed away here in New York on February 19th, 2017. Somewhere around 1968, I remember being in college at U.C.L.A. and going several times to see Larry play as part of the visionary Gary Burton Quartet. Usually they played at Shelly's Manne-Hole. Perhaps the second time that I saw the group, they were recording their second album, Lofty Fake Anagram in the afternoons ...

JAZZ RACONTEURS

Bill Evans on meeting Miles

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Miles Davis said: “Bill left the band in 1958 and went down to Louisiana to live with his brother. Then he came back after a while and formed his own group. After a while he got Scott LaFaro on bass and Paul Motian on drums and he became very popular with that group, winning a number of Grammy Awards. He was a great little pianist, but I don't think he ever sounded as good after that as he did when ...

JAZZ RACONTEURS

As Dizzy's World Turns

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Master raconteur, award winning jazz broadcaster and Downbeat contributor, Michael Bourne recounts a series of remarkable stories about Dizzy Gillespie based on experiences that stretch over a couple of decades. Embodying Bobop I happened to be at home in jny: St. Louis when Dizzy Gillespie was playing at this new jazz joint near the baseball park, called The Gourmet Rendezvous, owned by jazz DJ Spider Burks, so I went. I was still relatively new at Downbeat ...

JAZZ RACONTEURS

Live Trane: Never Before, Never After

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NEA Jazz Master and much celebrated saxophonist, composer, bandleader, educator and author Dave Liebman recounts the life-changing experiences of witnessing live performances by John Coltrane as told to Dave Kaufman. I always say my epiphany was the first time I saw Coltrane in February of 1962 at Birdland. The fact that I even knew about Birdland at 15 years old was because I was invited to go there a few months earlier by some of the older guys ...

JAZZ RACONTEURS

David Weiss: Memories of Freddie Hubbard

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Noted trumpeter, composer, and New Jazz Composers Octet founder, David Weiss shares several stories about his experience with trumpet legend Freddie Hubbard. As told to David Kaufman. I met Freddie Hubbard soon after he damaged his lip. I guess what basically happened was he had a blister on his lip that popped and got infected. His doctor thought it might be cancer or something related so they did a biopsy. It came back negative and he thought he ...

JAZZ RACONTEURS

Todd Barkan: Early days of Keystone Korner

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In the summer of 1972, at the age of 25, I was working by day as a Customs Broker for the venerable jny: San Francisco firm of Hoyt, Shepston & Sciaroni, and by night as a jazz pianist and arranger for an Afro Cuban jazz band called Kwane and the Kwandito's, which played a lot of the repertoire of Mongo Santamaria, Cal Tjader, and Horace Silver five to six nights a week throughout the Bay Area. At the ...


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