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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: BOOK EXCERPTS

On Highway 61: Music, Race, and the Evolution of Cultural Freedom

Read "On Highway 61: Music, Race, and the Evolution of Cultural Freedom" reviewed by Dennis McNally

The following is an excerpt from the “Spirituals to Swing" chapter of On Highway 61: Music, Race, and the Evolution of Cultural Freedom by Dennis McNally (Counterpoint Press, Berkeley, 2014).

Danny Barker, who in the 1930s was Cab Calloway's guitarist, told a particularly revealing story of working at the Nest Club, a Harlem ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEWS

Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra at Mesa Arts Center

Read "Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra at Mesa Arts Center" reviewed by Patricia Myers

Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra
Mesa Arts Center
Mesa, Arizona
March 7, 2014

The Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra, one of the best big bands in the nation for three decades, swung mightily all night long with strong section work and stylish solos arranged for specific members, per Duke Ellington and Count Basie. A brief ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEWS

Rick Lawn's Power of Ten at Chris' Jazz Cafe

Read "Rick Lawn's Power of Ten at Chris' Jazz Cafe" reviewed by Victor L. Schermer

Power of Ten
Rick Lawn, Musical Director
Chris' Jazz Café
Philadelphia, PA
February 4, 2014

The Power of Ten is a cracker-jack ensemble of some of the best Philadelphia-based musicians. Powered by its founder and leader, Rick Lawn, their first and only CD, Earth Tones (Self-produced, ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEWS

Sligo Jazz Project 2013: Days 4-6

Read "Sligo Jazz Project 2013: Days 4-6" reviewed by Ian Patterson

Sligo Jazz Project
Various Venues
Sligo, Ireland
July 16-21, 2013

After three action-packed days at Sligo Jazz Project, with SJP founder/bassist Eddie Lee and drummer David Lyttle's world premiere of The Barinthus Suite providing an unforgettable highlight, the first signs of attrition amongst the students were beginning to show. The non-stop nature of the ...

ARTICLE: UNDER THE RADAR

Eddie Durham: Genius in the Shadows

Read "Eddie Durham: Genius in the Shadows" reviewed by Jim Gerard

On December 13, 1932, in the eye of the Great Depression that was devastating the record industry, the Bennie Moten Orchestra shuffled “on their uppers" into a converted church in Camden, N.J., and silently launched the Swing Era, three years before clarinetist Benny Goodman's formal inauguration as the “King of Swing" at the Palomar Ballroom in ...

ARTICLE: EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Mel Powell: Four Classic Albums Plus

Read "Mel Powell: Four Classic Albums Plus" reviewed by David Rickert

Mel Powell

Four Classic Albums Plus

Avid Records

2012

Mel Powell replaced Teddy Wilson in the piano chair in the Benny Goodman band, took over the Glenn Miller Orchestra after the leader's demise, and followed both gigs with a career in the studios as a pianist and arranger. Then in the ...

NEWS: EDUCATION

On This Date in Music History: Lester Young Born

On This Date in Music History: Lester Young Born

On August 27, 1909, 100 years ago, Lester Young one of the true jazz giants, a tenor saxophonist, was born. Lester Young was the major influence on a generation of tenor saxophonists who preferred his relatively light, pure tone and agile swing to the husky heaviness of the once-dominant Coleman Hawkins. "Although he spent his earliest days ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEWS

Jymie Merritt: Dedication Personified

Read "Jymie Merritt: Dedication Personified" reviewed by Victor L. Schermer

Jymie Merritt came up in Philadelphia during the evolution of bebop and hard bop, when the town was a hotbed of musical activity. Players like John Coltrane, Benny Golson, and Philly Joe Jones were getting started there, and musicians like Charlie Parker, J.J. Johnson, Dizzy Gillespie and Miles Davis would come to the city to perform ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Oscar Peterson: Oscar Peterson: The Complete Clef/Mercury Studio Recordings of The Oscar Peterson Trio (1951-1953)

Read "Oscar Peterson: The Complete Clef/Mercury Studio Recordings of The Oscar Peterson Trio (1951-1953)" reviewed by Samuel Chell

How do you criticize pianist Oscar Peterson? The two primary meanings of such a question expose the divide among those who must confront his talent--and, like it or not, no musician or supporter of the music can duck the issues raised by the most prolifically recorded pianist in jazz history. To the one camp, Peterson's playing ...