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The Black Swan: A History of Race Records

Read "The Black Swan: A History of Race Records" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

Montgomery, Alabama native Perry Bradford was an African-American composer and vaudeville musician when he approached General Phonograph Company, Director of Artists, Fred Hagar in 1920. Bradford was pitching Mamie Smith, a relatively unfamiliar pianist and singer from Cincinnati, Ohio, and Hagar agreed to a two-side recording deal. Widely regarded as a blues singer, Smith more frequently ...

Experimentalists: Talking with Adam Berenson, Dana Jessen, and Abdul Moimême

Read "Experimentalists: Talking with Adam Berenson, Dana Jessen, and Abdul Moimême" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

The newly opened Théatre des Champs-Elysées was sold out on the night of May 29, 1913. The well-heeled Parisian audience had come to enjoy the much-anticipated premiere of Igor Stravinsky's “Rite of Spring" which featured the choreography of the acclaimed Russian ballet dancer Vaslav Nijinsky. Some accounts of what transpired that night appear to be exaggerated. ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

March Birthdays Including Nat Cole & Lennie Tristano Centennials

Read "March Birthdays Including Nat Cole & Lennie Tristano Centennials" reviewed by Marc Cohn

We've got a nice slug of celebrants to honor in addition to our 'centennialins.' Our best wishes go out to Bill Frisell (playing here with Andrew Cyrille and Wadada Leo Smith), Joe Locke, Charles Lloyd, and Roy Haynes (backing Sarah Vaughan). A very special shout out to Jessica Williams! Enjoy the show!

Playlist Joe ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Bix and the Boys (1924 - 1928)

Read "Bix and the Boys (1924 - 1928)" reviewed by Russell Perry

(If this program is unavailable in your country from Mixcloud, please scroll down and listen via Soundcloud.)

In the last hour we heard the most important jazz recordings of the 1920s—the Hot Fives and Hot Sevens led by cornetist Louis Armstrong. Perhaps the other most influential cornet player of the era was a ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Up In Harlem - The Bands (1924 - 1929)

Read "Up In Harlem - The Bands (1924 - 1929)" reviewed by Russell Perry

In the last hour, we explored the jazz of King Oliver's Chicago in the 1920s, and heard from The New Orleans Rhythm Kings, clarinetists Jimmy Noone and Johnny Dodds, pianists Earl Hines and Lovie Austin, cornetist Freddie Keppard and trumpeter Jabbo Smith.

Now we move to the other emerging center of the music, New ...

ARTICLE: UNDER THE RADAR

Blue Highways and Sweet Music: The Territory Bands, Part II

Read "Blue Highways and Sweet Music: The Territory Bands, Part II" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

Part 1 | Part 2

Part 1 of Blue Highways and Sweet Music: The Territory Bands looked at the roots, drivers and challenges of the travelling groups who brought jazz music to the non-urban areas of the Southern Plains, through one-night-stands, in often impromptu venues. A black phenomenon, often misappropriated by white musicians, promoters, ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Michel Legrand: Legrand Jazz

Read "Legrand Jazz" reviewed by Patrick Burnette

Michel LeGrand is best known for his long and fruitful career in movie soundtracks, but as a young man in 1958 he was featured in an arranger's showcase with a collection of jazz masters, including Ben Webster, John Coltrane, Bill Evans, and Miles Davis.

Columbia Records in 1958 had an unparalleled roster to offer ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Claudia Döffinger: Monochrome

Read "Monochrome" reviewed by Gareth Thompson

The turkey trot and tango became so popular by 1914 that the Vatican saw fit to denounce them. American ballrooms, once invaded by European dance steps, were now throbbing to these sexier moves. In his eminent book, The History Of Jazz, author Ted Gioia argues that such new currents in social dancing also forced a change ...

ARTICLE: UNDER THE RADAR

Blue Highways and Sweet Music: The Territory Bands, Part I

Read "Blue Highways and Sweet Music: The Territory Bands, Part I" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

Part 1 | Part 2

OriginsBy the second half of the 1920s, New York had supplanted jny: Chicago as the center of jazz. The “Jazz Age"--a label incorrectly ascribed to F. Scott Fitzgerald--could rationally have been framed as the “Dance Age." Prohibition, and the speakeasies that it spawned, were packed with wildly enthusiastic patrons ...

Meet Mark Weber

Read "Meet Mark Weber" reviewed by Tessa Souter and Andrea Wolper

Almost every aspect of Mark Weber's life ends up intersecting with jazz; he just might be the original Renaissance jazz fan. A former wedding photographer, he found himself photographing nearly every jazz musician to pass through Los Angeles and Albuquerque in the past several decades and, without planning to, ended up writing for CODA, deejaying a ...