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ARTICLE: 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 ...

The Creative Music Improvisers Forum: New Haven's AACM

Read "The Creative Music Improvisers Forum: New Haven's AACM" reviewed by Daniel Barbiero

The late 1960s through the 1970s and '80s were difficult years for jazz and jazz-derived improvised music, but they were also years that saw musicians--by necessity--respond to these difficulties with creative solutions. With first the rise and then the commercial dominance during those years of rock music and the corresponding eclipse of jazz, creative musicians in ...

ARTICLE: HISTORY OF JAZZ

Bird's Trumpets

Read "Bird's Trumpets" reviewed by Matt Lavelle

Looking closely at all the trumpet players that played with Thelonious Monk in a piece I wrote in March 2018, I decided to continue the focus, and explore the trumpet players that played with Charlie Parker. As challenging as the trumpet is to play, playing Bebop raised the technical bar. Playing with Charlie Parker at fast ...

ARTICLE: HISTORY OF JAZZ

Chet Baker’s Singing: A Cultural Shift

Read "Chet Baker’s Singing: A Cultural Shift" reviewed by Steve Provizer

We think of the 1950's as a time of relative social conformity, but in fact, there were significant cultural shifts happening. For one, male stereotypes were being unpacked and to some degree, unfrozen. Where once films and music gave us male characters that were either hyper-macho or limp-wristedly homosexual, male characters and performers who showed emotional ...

ARTICLE: HISTORY OF JAZZ

Ella Plays Dice

Read "Ella Plays Dice" reviewed by Eve Goldberg

Ella Fitzgerald was eating a piece of pie when the police burst into her dressing room, guns drawn. Nearby, Dizzy Gillespie and saxophonist Illinois Jacquet were playing a game of craps. The place was Houston, Texas. The date was October 7, 1955. The occasion was a sold-out concert at The Music Hall, one stop on tour ...

ARTICLE: HISTORY OF JAZZ

Monk's Trumpets

Read "Monk's Trumpets" reviewed by Matt Lavelle

Thelonious Monk's recording career as a leader only lasted twenty-four years, from 1947 to 1971. When it comes to horn players, most people interested in Monk associate him with the tenor saxophone, and rightfully so as Johnny Griffin, Sonny Rollins, John Coltrane, and Charlie Rouse stand tall in Monk's recorded legacy. The alto saxophone was present ...

ARTICLE: BOOK EXCERPTS

Jazz Bursts Forth in Delaware Water Gap, PA

Read "Jazz Bursts Forth in Delaware Water Gap, PA" reviewed by Debbie Burke

The following is an excerpt is from Chapter 1 of The Poconos in B Flat by Debbie Burke (Xlibris, 2011). All Rights Reserved. The iconic image of your approach from Interstate 80 coming from New York City and going west is of the negative space between two massive mountains that form a backdrop ...

ARTICLE: HISTORY OF JAZZ

Pittsburgh Jazz: A Brief History

Read "Pittsburgh Jazz: A Brief History" reviewed by Steve Rowland

This article was first published at the Explore PA History website. At first glance, Pittsburgh might not seem the most likely place to produce great jazz musicians. Situated on the western edge of the state, “Smoketown" was a gritty industrial city, better known for being the center of the nation's steel industry, than for ...

Philadelphia Jazz: A Brief History

Read "Philadelphia Jazz: A Brief History" reviewed by Jack McCarthy

This article was first published at the Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia website. Jazz began to emerge as a distinct musical style around the turn of the twentieth century, a merging of two vernacular African American musical styles—ragtime and blues—with elements of popular music. New Orleans, the “cradle of jazz," was the most important city ...

ARTICLE: HISTORY OF JAZZ

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