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Al Jolson

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Al Jolson lived "The American Dream." Born in Lithuania, Jolson rose through the ranks of vaudeville as a comedian and a blackface "Mammy" singer. By 1920, he had become the biggest star on Broadway, but he is probably best remembered for his film career. He starred in THE JAZZ SINGER (1927), the first talking movie ever made, and his legend was assured in 1946 with the release of the successful biography of his life called THE JOLSON STORY. Jolson was the first openly Jewish man to become an entertainment star in America. His marginal status as a Jew informed his blackface portrayal of Southern blacks

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Article: History of Jazz

That Slow Boat to China: How American Jazz Steamed Into Asia

Read "That Slow Boat to China: How American Jazz Steamed Into Asia" reviewed by Arthur R George


A kind of jazz was already waiting in Asia when American players arrived in the 1920s, close to a hundred years ago. However, it was imitative and incomplete, lacked authenticity and live performers from the U.S. Those ingredients became imported by musicians who had played with the likes of Joseph “King" Oliver, Louis Armstrong, Earl Hines, ...

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Article: Album Review

Marco Rottoli: New Year's Eve

Read "New Year's Eve" reviewed by Mike Jurkovic


Nothing earth shattering, surely, but a very fine listen nonetheless. New Year's Eve, young Italian bassist and composer Marco Rottoli's debut, serves two truly noteworthy goals: First, as a promising warmup to more adventurous things from the trio itself in the future and, secondly, as a good opening ensemble readying you for the evening's anticipated headliner. ...

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Article: Album Review

Norma Winstone: Descansado - Songs For Films

Read "Descansado - Songs For Films" reviewed by John Ephland


Norma Winstone has had her current trio since 2001, long enough to have released five albums (four for ECM). Descansado, a celebration of cinema through the language of music, is that fourth CD, and it's a winner from start to finish. The album's title derives from a Armando Trovajoli composition, used in Italian director Vittorio De ...

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News: Radio

Class Of '29 This Week On Riverwalk Jazz

This week on Riverwalk Jazz, we follow the year 1929 in music, from Harlem cabarets to Broadway shows, to Hollywood movies and jazz recordings. The program is distributed in the US by Public Radio International. You can also drop in on a continuous stream of shows at the Stanford Archive of Recorded Sound. In 1929, jazz ...

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News: Radio

Dick Hyman, Stephanie Nakasian On Riverwalk Jazz This Week

Dick Hyman, Stephanie Nakasian On Riverwalk Jazz This Week

The historic Filoli Estate and Gardens south of San Francisco is the setting for this week’s Riverwalk Jazz broadcast, “Sweet Ballads and Red Hot Pianos." Piano legend Dick Hyman and jazz vocalist Stephanie Nakasian join The Jim Cullum Jazz Band for an outdoor concert including a set of songs by composer Walter Donaldson. The program is ...

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Article: Hardly Strictly Jazz

Beyond The Blues

Read "Beyond The Blues" reviewed by Skip Heller


Back when I was a kid—I was born in 1965—the first comprehensive push for children's education about American Black History was on. Elementary school libraries suddenly included books about Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, and George Washington Carver, and there were even a few books about jazz and blues for young readers.I wish I could ...

News: Radio

Class Of 29: Jazz On The Move On Riverwalk Jazz This Week

Class Of 29: Jazz On The Move On Riverwalk Jazz This Week

This week on Riverwalk Jazz, we follow the year 1929 in music, from Harlem cabarets to Broadway shows, from Hollywood movies to jazz recordings. The program is distributed in the US by Public Radio International, on Sirius/XM satellite radio and can be streamed on-demand from the Riverwalk Jazz website. In 1929, jazz was making its way ...

News: Recording

Mingus, Monk & Weather Report: From Legacy in July

The ultimate year-round jazz festival of Legacy Recordings continues to set a new industry standard with three new Complete Album Collections from the Columbia and RCA archives by the greatest names in modern jazz: Charles Mingus: The Complete Columbia & RCA Albums Collection: 7 titles, 10 CDs The Thelonious Monk Quartet: The Complete Studio Albums Collection: ...

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Article: Album Review

Bill Evans: Live at Art D'Lugoff's Top of the Gate

Read "Live at Art D'Lugoff's Top of the Gate" reviewed by Larry Taylor


The two-CD Bill Evans Live at Art D'Lugoff's Top of The Gate--a never-before-released recording of the Bill Evans Trio made over 50 years ago--consists of two sets recorded by then-college student George Klabin in the New York City club, October, 1968. Until now, the music has only been heard on a Columbia University radio show; now, ...


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