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2017: The Year in Jazz

Read "2017: The Year in Jazz" reviewed by Ken Franckling

A year of achievements, challenges to gender inequality, scandal and losses The year 2017 was quite something for the jazz world. Incidents or discussions of misogyny and sexual misconduct bubbled up even before the #MeToo phenomenon developed. Beyond that, woman musicians made significant contributions to the genre. International Jazz Day brought its biggest stage ...


David Ostwald’s Louis Armstrong Eternity Band at Birdland

Read "David Ostwald’s Louis Armstrong Eternity Band at Birdland" reviewed by Tyran Grillo

David Ostwald's Louis Armstrong Eternity Band Birdland New York, NY November 22, 2017 Every Wednesday night at Birdland, concertgoers can be sure of having a rollickingly good time with David Ostwald's Louis Armstrong Eternity Band. But on 22 November 2017, this weekly making of music took on a mournful ...


Jon Hendricks, George Avakian: RIP

Jon Hendricks, George Avakian: RIP

We can be thankful today that Jon Hendricks and George Avakian made so many important contributions to jazz during their long lives. Both died in New York yesterday. Hendricks was 96. Avakian was 98. Jon Hendricks, Dave Lambert and Annie Ross formed the vocal group Lambert, Hendricks and Ross for their album Sing A Song Of ...


George Avakian (1919-2017)

George Avakian (1919-2017)

George Avakian, who as an executive and producer at Columbia Records in the 1940s and '50s created a successful formula for packaging jazz as popular music and who signed Miles Davis, Dave Brubeck and Johnny Mathis to the label, among others, died November 22. He was 98. [Photo above by Ian Clifford] In the early 1950s, ...


Louis Armstrong House Museum Holds Gala - Celebrating 25 Years!

Louis Armstrong House Museum Holds Gala  - Celebrating 25 Years!

A WHO'S WHO OF THE JAZZ WORLD TO CELEBRATE TWENTY-FIVE YEARS OF GROWTH FOR THE MUSEUM Proceeds To Fund Continuing Operation of Satchmo's Corona, Queens, Home NEW YORK, NY: A who's who of the jazz and cultural world is slated to gather for the first annual fundraising gala celebrating the historic Louis Armstrong House Museum (LAHM) ...


Louis Armstrong's Memories and Reflections This Week on Riverwalk Jazz

Louis Armstrong's Memories and Reflections This Week on Riverwalk Jazz

As befits a legend, Louis Armstrong had two birthdays. He always said with a smile that he was born on the 4th of July, 1900. His baptismal birth certificate gave another, less romantic date—August 4, 1901. Honoring “the man who taught the world to swing," this week we hear from people who knew and worked with ...


Interview: George Avakian (Part 5)

Interview: George Avakian (Part 5)

Columbia's first 12-inch jazz LP was George Avakian's idea. In 1950, when company president Ted Wallerstein played George a test pressing of Benny Goodman's band live in 1938, George knew instantly what he was listening to: Goodman's famed Carnegie Hall concert, which had been languishing in a closet and had never been released in its entirety. ...


Interview: George Avakian (Part 4)

Interview: George Avakian (Part 4)

By the mid-1950s, George Avakian was a record-industry rainmaker. As head of Columbia's Pop Album Department, George had enormous power. When he decided to sign talent, there was no question about whether the artist had the chops or stamina. Both were a given, since George had sized up both carefully in advance. The only question that ...


Interview: George Avakian (Part 3)

Interview: George Avakian (Part 3)

If you were a record producer in the late 1940s, you pretty much had to invent the job. At the dawn of the LP era, there were no rules, no models and no mentors. As George Avakian discovered at Columbia Records, new ways to package pop and jazz music for long-playing albums had to be developed. ...


Interview: George Avakian (Part 2)

Interview: George Avakian (Part 2)

In 1938, recordings by the latest swing bands were plentiful. The three major record companies that dominated the market (RCA, Columbia and Decca) saw to that. But earlier releases from the 1920s and 1930s that were recorded by companies that had gone bust were out of print. And other than a magazine or two, there were ...


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