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Fletcher Henderson

The bands Fletcher Henderson led in the 1920s and 1930s were vitally significant incubators of new developments in jazz. Henderson played a key role in bringing improvisatory jazz styles from New Orleans and other areas of the country to New York, where they merged with a dance-band tradition that relied heavily on arrangements written out in musical notation. The new music that developed at Henderson's hands and under his mentorship allowed the composer's art to flourish, yet left room for the improvisatory talents of individual jazz soloists—striking a balance that has influenced jazz ever since. Born in Cuthbert, Georgia, on December 18, 1897, James Fletcher Henderson enjoyed the best education available, his father was a teacher and a school principal, and both his parents played the piano

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Sun Ra Arkestra: Live In Kalisz 1986

Read "Live In Kalisz 1986" reviewed by Ian Patterson

In December 1986, the Sun Ra Arkestra performed at the 13th International Jazz Piano Festival in Kalisz. The Arkestra was making its first ever appearance in Poland and the historic occasion was duly recorded for posterity. The tapes, however, languished in a basement, unloved and forgotten, until they were unearthed over three decades later. Thanks to ...

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: LIVE REVIEWS

Brilliant Corners 2020

Read "Brilliant Corners 2020" reviewed by Ian Patterson

Brilliant Corners 2020 Various Venues jny:Belfast, N. Ireland February 27 to March 7, 2020 Maybe it's global warming, for just as the first bloom of spring in these strange times appears in February, so too, Brilliant Corners starts ever earlier. From its first, modest edition over three days ...

ARTICLE: PROFILES

Pete Brown: White Rooms & Imaginary Westerns, Part 1

Read "Pete Brown: White Rooms & Imaginary Westerns, Part 1" reviewed by Duncan Heining

Part 1 | Part 2 Poet, lyricist, rock musician, producer and scriptwriter—Pete Brown has covered a lot of bases in his six decades in music and literature. His career embodies that era that began with the Beatles' “Love Me Do" in October 1962 and ended in January 1969 with the band playing live on ...

ARTICLE: HISTORY OF JAZZ

Coleman Hawkins: Fifty Years Gone, A Saxophone Across Time

Read "Coleman Hawkins: Fifty Years Gone, A Saxophone Across Time" reviewed by Arthur R George

Fifty years ago this past year, Coleman Hawkins, considered the father of tenor saxophone in jazz, passed away. Thelonious Monk was pacing back and forth in the hallway outside Hawkins' hospital room when the saxophonist succumbed at age 64 on the morning of May 19, 1969, from pneumonia and other complications. Monk was holding a short ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Wayne, Newk, 21st Century Tunes & A Vault Dive

Read "Wayne, Newk, 21st Century Tunes & A Vault Dive" reviewed by Marc Cohn

Our 2 features this week: quartet tracks from Wayne Shorter's Emanon (the Downbeat Magazine's Critics and Readers Poll best album of the year) and Sonny Rollins' monumental Saxophone Colossus. We've got 21st century music from four bass players and two Chicago trumpeters. And, of course, a waltz through the vaults with Fletcher Henderson, Bessie Smith, Charles ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Veronica Swift, Fletcher Henderson, Fred Hersch and More

Read "Veronica Swift, Fletcher Henderson, Fred Hersch and More" reviewed by Joe Dimino

This week we open with one of the hippest jazz singers on the planet, Veronica Swift with a track off an album that is charting very well. This sets a trend of an hour of music that will look into the very rather fluid and exciting state of today's jazz as we move on to Dan ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEWS

Vilnius Jazz 2019

Read "Vilnius Jazz 2019" reviewed by Ian Patterson

Vilnius Jazz 2019 Russian Drama Theatre jny:Vilnius, Lithuania October 16-20, 2019 Is a jazz festival primarily about entertainment, or is it meant to challenge the expectations of its audience? Does programming risk mean financial suicide? What responsibility does a festival have to promote young, emerging talent? What place do women ...

ARTICLE: UNDER THE RADAR

The New Golden Age of Jazz Radio

Read "The New Golden Age of Jazz Radio" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

There was the Jazz Age, and later, the Golden Age of Radio. There was no golden age of jazz radio unless one considers the brief, ten-year reign of devolution when swing music dominated the airwaves. Think about this: New York City has not had a twenty-four-hour commercial jazz radio station in over ten years; decades longer ...


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