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ARTICLE: BIG JAZZ NERD

Real Jazz at The Real School

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Big Jazz Nerd,

I'm a high school senior and the first-chair alto saxophonist in my school's jazz ensemble. I like playing in the band and I'm thinking about majoring in music in college. Could you recommend some top of the line music schools that specialize in jazz performance?

Spencer McLaughlin, Ponca ...

ARTICLE: BIG JAZZ NERD

The Adorable Mr. Jarrett

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Dear Mr. Nerd,

I think Keith Jarrett is an extraordinary jazz pianist and I really enjoy his playing, but what I don't quite understand is why he regularly bounces out of his seat, makes contorted facial expressions and produces long, constipated whining noises that sound like NNNEEEAAAAAHHHHHUUUUUGGGGHHH!!! when he's playing. What's that about? ...

ARTICLE: BIG JAZZ NERD

Who Was Duke's Sophisticated Lady?

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Dear Big Jazz Nerd,

Whom was Duke Ellington referring to when he wrote “Sophisticated Lady"?

Amy Alexander
Houston, Texas


Amy,

A good guess would be his mom, Daisy Kennedy Ellington. History tells us that she was a beautiful, intelligent, educated woman who doted on her son, Edward Kennedy ...

ARTICLE: BIG JAZZ NERD

Bass and Bitter Rivals

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Dear BigJazzNerd:

Given the fact that there have been many publicized rivalries among musicians over the years, which do you consider to be the most bitter?

Bob Peterson
Cleveland, Ohio


Bob,

Try as they might, some musicians just don't get along. Pat Metheny and Kenny G don't exactly see eye-to-eye. Charles Mingus ...

ARTICLE: BIG JAZZ NERD

Who was Spider Martin?

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Big Jazz Nerd,

I read somewhere that the famous civil rights photographer Spider Martin was also a badass tenor player. True?

Tony Pelligrini
Ft. Lauderdale, Florida




Tony,

I'm afraid yours is a case of mistaken identity. James “Spider" Martin, the photographer, was born in 1939 in a small ...

ARTICLE: BIG JAZZ NERD

George's Braithophone

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Big Jazz Nerd,

Whatever happened to George Braith? I remember listening to him play on the street in NYC decades ago. Is he still playing?

Roger Sales, Darien, Connecticut

Roger:

Yes, George Braith is still making music at age 67. His home base is in ...

ARTICLE: BIG JAZZ NERD

Shut Yo' Mouth

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Yo, Dr. Pravitz,

I say Slam Stewart and Major Holley were singers. My friend says they were bass players. Who's right?

Bill Dunlop, Cambridge, Mass.

Bill:

Turns out you're both right. Stewart and Holley were bass players and contemporaries, and they both sang while they soloed on the ...