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Bessie Smith

“Empress of the Blues” She embodied the meaning of the blues, living the life she sang about. Bessie Smith set the standard for blues singers on how it should be done. Bessie Smith, born on Apr. 15, 1894, in Chattanooga, Tennessee, was one of ten children. Her parents died by her eighth birthday, and she was raised by her older sister Viola. She was taught to sing and dance by her older brother Clarence, who later arranged an audition for Smith with the traveling Moses Stokes Show where she was hired as a dancer in 1912. She became friends with Gertrude "Ma" Rainey, a blues singer, who became her mentor

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Ada Bird Wolfe, Jamieson Trotter: He & Me

Read "He & Me" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

Ada Bird Wolfe's 2018 debut CD, Birdie (Self Produced), was one of the best recordings released that year. For Wolfe, music has been a lifetime love, even while in school and after, working in business, and writing full time. Wolfe has sojourned from the East to the West Coast, where she finally landed, set down roots ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Mauro Ottolini: Nel cuore pulsante di Storyville

Read "Mauro Ottolini: Nel cuore pulsante di Storyville" reviewed by Paolo Marra

Con il disco Storyville Story, prodotto dall'etichetta Parco della Musica Records, Mauro Ottolini ci riporta nel cuore pulsante della vita artistica di New Orleans facendoci rivivere lo spirito esuberante della tradizione del jazz degli anni'20 del secolo scorso. L'album, registrato dal vivo ad Orvieto e Perugia tra fine 2018 ed estate 2019, vede Fabrizio Bosso come ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEW

Festival International de Jazz de Montréal 2020

Read "Festival International de Jazz de Montréal  2020" reviewed by Mark Sullivan

2020 Festival International de Jazz de Montréal Various Venues Montréal, Canada June 27-30, 2020 Above all else the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal is a spectacular ten-day event: with around 2 million visitors and 500 concerts on 20 stages, it is ranked as the world's largest jazz ...

Sex & Drugs & Jazz & Jive: Top Ten Stash Records Albums

Read "Sex & Drugs & Jazz & Jive: Top Ten Stash Records Albums" reviewed by Chris May

With all the transgressive flair you would expect of bohemian New York City in the 1970s and 1980s, Bernie Brightman's Stash Records made its name with a hugely entertaining series of sex and drugs-themed compilations of swing-era recordings. The first was Reefer Songs in 1976. But Brightman's legacy extends much further. There was a finite amount ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Big April Birthdays & More

Read "Big April Birthdays & More" reviewed by Marc Cohn

April birthdays this week on G&M with the Carmen McRae centennial, along with the 90th birthdays of Herbie Mann, pianist Frank Strazzeri (who toured in the 1970's with Elvis!), Claude Bolling and Richard Davis (the latter 2 still with us); as well as the 80th birthdays of George Adams and the very much alive Herbie Hancock! ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out - Celebrating Bessie Smith

Read "Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out - Celebrating Bessie Smith" reviewed by Mary Foster Conklin

Halfway through April, which is also Jazz Appreciation Month, the broadcast includes new releases from vocalist Nanette Frank, composer Wayne Alpern, trumpeter Johnny Summers and pianist Monika Herzig, with birthday shoutouts to the Empress of the Blues, Bessie Smith, pianist Herbie Hancock, plus vocalists Marilyn Maye and Dusty Springfield. Thanks for listening and please support the ...

AACM: Together We Are Stronger

Read "AACM: Together We Are Stronger" reviewed by Chris May

With the passing in 2017 of the pianist Muhal Richard Abrams and trumpeter Phil Cohran, the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, formed in Chicago in 1965, lost the last two of the four musicians who organised its inaugural meeting. But with two succeeding generations of standard bearers stepping up to the plate, the AACM ...

ARTICLE: BLUES DELUXE

Cotton Pickin' Blues

Read "Cotton Pickin' Blues" reviewed by Martin McFie

Blues began with enslaved African peoples' work songs in the cotton fields of the Deep South of America. The Slave Narrative of Mr. Sam Polite, given at 93 years of age, chronicles that life. It was written on St. Helena, a cotton producing Sea Island in the Carolinas, where Mr. Polite was born into slavery. The ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Another Edition of Listeners’ Favorites!

Read "Another Edition of Listeners’ Favorites!" reviewed by Marc Cohn

Listeners' favorites from Gifts and Messages shows 401-410. 'We play the hits!.' See if yours made it to the top of the chart. Enjoy. (That would be a VERY young DrJ in the photo) Playlist Mose Allison “I'm Not Talking" from The Word from Mose (Atlantic) 00:00 Mike LeDonne “From The Heart" from From ...


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