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Billie Holiday

Billie Holiday ("Lady Day") is considered by many to be the greatest of all jazz singers. In a tragically abbreviated singing career that lasted less than three decades, her evocative phrasing and poignant delivery profoundly influenced vocalists who followed her. Although her warm, feathery voice inhabited a limited range, she used it like an accomplished jazz instrumentalist, stretching and condensing phrases in an ever-shifting dialogue with accompanying musicians. Famous for delivering lyrics a bit behind the beat, she alternately endowed them with sadness, sensuality, languor, and irony

ARTICLE: UNDER THE RADAR

Women in Jazz, Pt. 3: The International Women in Jazz Organization

Read "Women in Jazz, Pt. 3: The International Women in Jazz Organization" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

In part 1 and part 2 of the Women in Jazz series, we looked at the historical marginalization of women in jazz from Lil Hardin Armstrong and Blanch Calloway in the 1920s to Tia Fuller in 2019. Part 2 focused on several prominent pioneering artists including the all-female International Sweethearts of Rhythm, Marian McPartland, and Melba ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Gemini Jazz - Birthday Celebrations for Irene Higginbotham, Hazel Scott, Geri Allen and More

Read "Gemini Jazz - Birthday Celebrations for Irene Higginbotham, Hazel Scott, Geri Allen and More" reviewed by Mary Foster Conklin

Included are mid-June birthday shoutouts to Irene Higginbotham ("Good Morning Heartache"), and pianists Hazel Scott, Kenny Barron, Monika Herzig and Geri Allen, along with new releases from La Lucha, Dena DeRose, Sara Serpa and a final recording from Larry Willis. Thanks for listening and please continue to support all of these fine musicians -buy their recordings ...

ARTICLE: PROFILE

Cynthia Lin: Teaching Jazz Ukulele on Four Strings of Aloha

Read "Cynthia Lin: Teaching Jazz Ukulele on Four Strings of Aloha" reviewed by Arthur R George

"Aloha, everyone!" is Cynthia Lin's cheerful greeting to start her ukulele instructional videos which have compiled millions of views on YouTube. It is like a dear friend's individual welcoming. Her site mixes jazz classics: “Night and Day" by Cole Porter, “Don't Get Around Much Anymore," “On the Sunny Side of the Street," and “Unforgettable," among ballads ...

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

Fire Music: When Jazz Speaks Out - Part 1

Read "Fire Music: When Jazz Speaks Out - Part 1" reviewed by Ludovico Granvassu

Music often distills the truth in ways that make it hard to ignore. The history of jazz is intertwined with the struggle for the advancement of the African-American society that birthed it. Many of its masterpieces were inspired by events that marked the civil rights movement, which, in turn, drew inspiration from them. Let's look back ...

ARTICLE: OPINION

Black Lives Matter, Black Culture Matters

Read "Black Lives Matter, Black Culture Matters" reviewed by Franz A. Matzner

Black lives matter. I am a jazz writer, so my lens on this truth is in some respects through music. The protests sweeping the country—and globe—are potent and necessarily focused on ending racial violence and police brutality. The images we see with increasingly open eyes of the barbaric treatment of African Americans are changing perceptions and ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Jimmy Cobb: We're Remembering U

Read "Jimmy Cobb: We're Remembering U" reviewed by Scott H. Thompson

Drummer Jimmy Cobb was a 91-year old NEA Jazz Master who was (until recently) still playing hard and keeping the groove with his trio consisting of Tadataka Unno on piano and Paolo Benedettini on drums. Remembering U (his 12th album as a leader and first release on his own Jimmy Cobb World label) was released in ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

John Swana: Philly Gumbo

Read "John Swana: Philly Gumbo" reviewed by Victor L. Schermer

From the 1995-2003 archive: This article first appeared at All About Jazz in June 2000. In addition to being one of the finest contemporary jazz trumpet players, John Swana is a human being who is spontaneously authentic and refuses to play a false role. Having reached the ripe old age of 38, John has ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Chuck Granata: On Sinatra, The Beach Boys, and Johnny Mandel

Read "Chuck Granata: On Sinatra, The Beach Boys, and Johnny Mandel" reviewed by Nicholas F. Mondello

Chuck Granata is a record and radio producer, author, music historian and archivist. He has written four books on music and sound recording: Sessions with Sinatra: Frank Sinatra and the Art of Recording (Chicago Review Press, A Capella Books, 1999), Wouldn't it be Nice: Brian Wilson and the Making of the Beach Boys' Pet Sounds (Chicago ...


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