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Helen Humes

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Helen Humes - vocalist ( 1913 - 1982) Helen Humes hails from Louisville, Kentucky, she came from a happy, close-knit musical family and learned to play trumpet and piano when she was young. As a child she sang with the local Sunday school band, which boasted future jazz stars such as Dicky Wells and Jonah Jones. In 1927 she made her first records for the OKeh label in St. Louis. Humes then went to New York where she recorded again, this time accompanied by stride pianist James P. Johnson, and worked for several years with the orchestra led by Vernon Andrade, star of Harlem's Renaissance Ballroom. She also recorded with Harry James and in 1937, was offered a job by Count Basie but turned it down because the pay was not enough

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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: Radio

Phineas Newborn Jr. and Miles Davis

Read "Phineas Newborn Jr. and Miles Davis" reviewed by Joe Dimino


To commemorate the 600th full episode of Neon Jazz outta Kansas City, we focus on the life of Memphis-born bass cat Jamil Nasser. His son, Muneer, penned his biography and it's called Upright Bass: The Musical Life & Legacy of Jamil Nasser. George Joyner, Jamil Sulieman, and Jamil Nasser are three names that appear on the ...

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Article: Radio

Phineas Newborn Jr. and Oscar Dennard

Read "Phineas Newborn Jr. and Oscar Dennard" reviewed by Joe Dimino


To commemorate the 600th full episode of Neon Jazz outta jny: Kansas City, we focus on the life of Memphis-born bass cat Jamil Nasser. His son, Muneer, penned his biography and it's called Upright Bass: The Musical Life & Legacy of Jamil Nasser. George Joyner, Jamil Sulieman, and Jamil Nasser are three names that appear on ...

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Article: Album Review

Joe Smith & The Spicy Pickles: Gin & Moonlight

Read "Gin & Moonlight" reviewed by James Nadal


Long before jazz became a spectator event, it was dance music. The big bands that played swing made their reputations on being able to flood the floor with dancers. Joe Smith & The Spicy Pickles are on a mission to bring back those days, and Gin & Moonlight has them on the right track. Formed in ...

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Article: Album Review

Champian Fulton: After Dark

Read "After Dark" reviewed by Edward Blanco


Veteran New York pianist and vocalist Champian Fulton offers another recording of time-honored standards on After Dark, except this particular effort focuses on the music of the Queen of the Blues, the music of the great Dinah Washington, who was her first major vocalist influence early on in her life. Though she grew up listening to ...

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Article: Interview

Wardell Gray, "Forgotten Tenor:" An Interview with Filmmaker Abraham Ravett

Read "Wardell Gray, "Forgotten Tenor:" An Interview with Filmmaker Abraham Ravett" reviewed by Victor L. Schermer


Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 [This is one of two interviews and an article intended to bring readers' attention to the revered but neglected tenor saxophonist, Wardell Gray, whose brief career spanned the transition from swing to bebop and whose life was cut short by sudden and tragic circumstances.]

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Article: Extended Analysis

Red Norvo: Four Classic Albums

Read "Red Norvo: Four Classic Albums" reviewed by David Rickert


Red Norvo played the vibes while leading his own band during the swing era and grew into smaller groups in the forties and fifites once the practicality of leading a large ensemble became too much. He was one of the first to specialize of what has always been somewhat of an unusual instrument for jazz, but ...

News: Radio

Girl Singers Of The Swing Era This Week On Riverwalk Jazz

This week on Riverwalk Jazz, vocalists Nina Ferro, Topsy Chapman and Stephanie Nakasian join The Jim Cullum Jazz Band to recall female singers of the Swing Era— from Ella and Billie to Martha Tilton, Ivie Anderson and Helen Humes. Also on our radio show, rare interview clips with Ella Fitzgerald, Martha Tilton and Helen Ward telling ...

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News: Radio

Dick Hyman, Stephanie Nakasian On Riverwalk Jazz This Week

Dick Hyman, Stephanie Nakasian On Riverwalk Jazz This Week

The historic Filoli Estate and Gardens south of San Francisco is the setting for this week’s Riverwalk Jazz broadcast, “Sweet Ballads and Red Hot Pianos." Piano legend Dick Hyman and jazz vocalist Stephanie Nakasian join The Jim Cullum Jazz Band for an outdoor concert including a set of songs by composer Walter Donaldson. The program is ...


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