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Artie Shaw

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Artie Shaw, a brilliant jazz clarinetist, was one of the most enigmatic, daring and adventurous bandleaders of the swing-era. An intellectual, he hated public life and the music industry. Over the course of his short career he formed ten orchestras and disbanding most of them after only a few months. At the peak of his career in the years just before World War II, Shaw was matched by few other musicians in popularity and technical skill. Born Arthur Arshawsky in New York City and raised in Connecticut, Shaw took up the saxophone at an early age and began playing professionally when he was only 14

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Article: History of Jazz

Jazz in Cleveland: A Storied Past, Surviving Present, and an Optimistic Future

Read "Jazz in Cleveland: A Storied Past, Surviving Present, and an Optimistic Future" reviewed by Matthew Alec


Cleveland, Ohio. Having lived here for my entire life, the word “city" does not quite describe what Cleveland truly is. There is of course a downtown urban area, one filled with noteworthy neoclassic architecture and an overall stately appearance that is often overlooked by those who live here. That said, most “Clevelanders" don't actually live within ...

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Article: Building a Jazz Library

Eddie Sauter: A Wider Focus

Read "Eddie Sauter: A Wider Focus" reviewed by Chris May


For many people, composer and arranger Eddie Sauter's reputation begins and ends with Stan Getz's Focus (Verve, 1962). The album is, indeed, a masterpiece. But it is only one of the pinnacles of Sauter's career, which started during the swing era. Nor is Focus Sauter's only collaboration with Getz. The partnership continued with the less widely ...

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Article: Rediscovery

International Sweethearts of Rhythm: una big band di donne afroamericane nella società sessista degli anni Quaranta.

Read "International Sweethearts of Rhythm: una big band di donne afroamericane nella società sessista degli anni Quaranta." reviewed by Maurizio Zerbo


Il genio creativo di Mary Lou Williams nell'era dello swing costituisce la punta di diamante della creatività jazzistica femminile, la cui storia è tutta da riscrivere. La presunta mancanza di forza fisica, abilità strumentale, senso dello swing fu alla base sello scetticismo della comunità jazzistica nei confronti delle donne, relegate al ruolo di vocalist in brani ...

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Article: Film Review

Billie

Read "Billie" reviewed by Ian Patterson


Billie New Black Films 96 minutes 2020 A victim of her own self-destructive excesses is a common trope when assessing Billie Holiday. Yet James Erskine's handsome documentary Billie makes a convincing case for Holiday--arguably the greatest of all jazz singers--as more a victim of poverty, racism, manipulation and brutal misogyny. ...

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Article: Building a Jazz Library

Rahsaan Roland Kirk: An Alternative Top Ten Albums Guaranteed To Bend Your Head

Read "Rahsaan Roland Kirk: An Alternative Top Ten Albums Guaranteed To Bend Your Head" reviewed by Chris May


Jazz musicians are rarely called shamanistic but the description fits Rahsaan Roland Kirk precisely. Clad in black leather trousers and heavy duty shades (he was blind from the age of two), a truckload of strange looking horns strung round his neck—two or three of which he often played simultaneously--twisting, shaking and otherwise contorting his body, stamping ...

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Article: Album Review

Susie Meissner: Tea for Two

Read "Tea for Two" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey


Natural but determined evolution makes for well conceived and produced projects. Vocalist Susie Meissner has proved this statement as she progressed from her debut recording I'll Remember April (Lydian Jazz, 2009), through her sophomore effort, I'm Confessin' (Lydian Jazz, 2011) to the present Tea for Two. Using a well-worn repertoire, Meissner, mostly with the support of ...

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Article: Profile

Greg Abate: Man on a Journey

Read "Greg Abate: Man on a Journey" reviewed by Rob Rosenblum


After a warm up tune by the trio of Frank Puzzullo on piano, Sam Edwards on bass and Edwin Hamilton on drums, a medium sized fellow with slicked back hair and very casual attire walks on stage. He seems almost reticent as he acknowledges his audience at Fox's Music House in North Charleston, South Carolina—most of ...

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Article: Album Review

Michel Herr: Positive: Music For Sextet And String Quartet

Read "Positive: Music For Sextet And String Quartet" reviewed by Ian Patterson


Although perhaps best known as a jazz pianist who has worked with the likes of Archie Shepp, Bill Frisell, Philip Catherine, Joe Lovano, Zbigniew Seifert and Toots Thielemans, Michel Herr has long enjoyed a parallel career as a conductor / musical director, and as an arranger for cinema, television and radio productions. It is in these ...

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Article: Album Review

Jeff Hamilton Trio: Catch Me If You Can

Read "Catch Me If You Can" reviewed by Jack Bowers


Any trio anchored by drummer Jeff Hamilton has a clear head start when compared to any would-be rivals. That's because Hamilton's unerring and tasteful timekeeping and resourceful use of brushes and sticks would be any trio's dream come true. In this case it's Hamilton's own trio, recording at least the sixteenth album under that name, the ...


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