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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 ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Jason Palmer, Charlie Rouse, Bennie Moten & More

Read "Jason Palmer, Charlie Rouse, Bennie Moten & More" reviewed by Joe Dimino

This week we start with the well-established and talented Russian-born jazz pianist Yelena Eckemoff and from there we continue to delve into new jazz releases with Jason Palmer and Native Soul. We profile the talented saxophonist Benjamin Boone with work off his CD The Poetry of Jazz Volume 2 featuring the late great poet Phillip Levine. ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Kansas City and the Territory Bands (1927 - 1940)

Read "Kansas City and the Territory Bands (1927 - 1940)" reviewed by Russell Perry

Outside of the Chicago—New York nexus, jazz thrived during the late 1920's and 1930's in Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas, with its center in Kansas City. Under the careful control of Boss Pendergast, Kansas City was a wide open town with a thriving night club music scene, nurturing musicians like Joe Turner, Mary Lou Williams, Count Basie, ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Floyd Domino's All-Stars: Floyd Domino's All-Stars

Read "Floyd Domino's All-Stars" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

At the time in which traveling bands of the Southern Plains were reaching their peak popularity--the 1920s--Texas and Oklahoma contingents were experimenting beyond their typical formulaic performances. At the same time Western music was on the verge of dying and likely would have were it not for the efforts of folklorists John Lomax (the father of ...

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, ...

Rare and Unusual Instruments in Jazz

Read "Rare and Unusual Instruments in Jazz" reviewed by Hrayr Attarian

Historically the cornet was the quintessential jazz instrument but over a century of its evolution other instruments have also become part of the regular jazz armamentarium. These include common ones such as the piano, saxophone, bass and drums to the more occasionally appearing violin, clarinet and other percussion instruments. There are few, however, that exhibit unique ...

NEWS: RADIO

This Week On Riverwalk Jazz: Lester Leaps In

This week on Riverwalk Jazz, Vernel Bagneris and Topsy Chapman paint a picture of Lester Young’s life based on his own first-person accounts and those of musicians who knew him. The Jim Cullum Jazz Band, with tenor saxophonists Brian Ogilvie and Ken Peplowski offer their homage to the President of Tenor Sax. The program is distributed in ...

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 ...

Sun Ra: The Eternal Myth Revealed Vol. 1

Read "Sun Ra: The Eternal Myth Revealed Vol. 1" reviewed by Skip Heller

Author's note: Michael Ricci has ordained me with the power to come to you once a month and throw a little information your way. A lot of great music falls through the cracks, often enough because the people who make it don't live comfortably in some nice categorical box. If you're someone who prefers music to ...

NEWS: RADIO

The Music of President Lester Young This Week on Riverwalk Jazz

The Music of President Lester Young This Week on Riverwalk Jazz

This week on Riverwalk Jazz, Vernel Bagneris and Topsy Chapman paint a picture of Lester Young's life based on his own first-person accounts and those of musicians who knew him. The Jim Cullum Jazz Band, with tenor saxophonists Brian Ogilvie and Ron Hockett, offer their homage to the “President of Tenor Sax." The program is distributed in the US by ...