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Ira Gitler

“Ira is very honored to receive this award; advocacy is a fitting description of his life in jazz. He has been sharing his love of the music since he wrote about Dizzy Gillespie for his high school paper in 1946.” – Fitz Gitler Ira Gitler is an American jazz historian, journalist, educator, and author who has written several books about jazz and hundreds of liner notes for jazz recordings. He has also written for many jazz publications, and served as associate editor of DownBeat during the 1960s. In the 1980s and '90s he produced concerts for George Wein’s New York jazz festivals. Gitler also taught jazz history at several colleges and is considered one of the great historians and champions of the music. From age seven, Gitler immersed himself in the music of the swing bands of the 1930s and early 1940s

Impulse! Records: An Alternative Top 20 Zeitgeist Seizing Albums

Read "Impulse! Records: An Alternative Top 20 Zeitgeist Seizing Albums" reviewed by Chris May

There can be little argument that a jazz label ever captured a zeitgeist more completely than Impulse! did during its original 1960s incarnation. In the US, the fight back against white racism was cresting, opposition to the Vietnam war was growing, outrage over the assassinations of figures of hope such as President Kennedy, Martin Luther King ...

Prestige Records: An Alternative Top 20 Albums

Read "Prestige Records: An Alternative Top 20 Albums" reviewed by Chris May

Along with Alfred Lion's Blue Note and Orrin Keepnews' Riverside, Bob Weinstock's Prestige was at the top table of independent New York City-based jazz labels from the early 1950s until the mid 1960s. Like those other two labels, Prestige built up a profuse catalogue packed with enduring treasures. Originally a record retailer, Weinstock ...

ARTICLE: YEAR IN REVIEW

2019: The Year in Jazz

Read "2019: The Year in Jazz" reviewed by Ken Franckling

The year 2019 was robust in many ways. International Jazz Day brought its biggest stage to Australia. An important but long-shuttered jazz mecca was revived in a coast-to-coast move. ECM Records celebrated a golden year. The music and its makers figured prominently on the big screen. The National Endowment for the Arts welcomed four new NEA ...

Bret Primack on Jazz Video and the Ira Gitler Documentary

Read "Bret Primack on Jazz Video and the Ira Gitler Documentary" reviewed by Steve Provizer

Since the 1990's, Bret Primack has probably been the most prolific video chronicler of jazz in the world. He has just released a documentary about jazz writer-record producer Ira Gitler called Ira Gitler Lives. Since Gitler was a big fan of Charlie Parker, I presume this is a play on a famous bit of graffiti—"Bird Lives." ...

NEWS: OBITUARY

Ira Gitler (1928-2019)

Ira Gitler (1928-2019)

Ira Gitler, a jazz author, journalist and producer who was a wealth of eyewitness knowledge and whose liner notes starting in the early 1950s appeared on more albums than many of the musicians he wrote about recorded, died on February 23. He was 90. Ira is perhaps best known for writing Leonard Feather's Encyclopedia of Jazz ...

ARTICLE: YEAR IN REVIEW

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 ...

ARTICLE: YEAR IN REVIEW

2016: The Year in Jazz

Read "2016: The Year in Jazz" reviewed by Ken Franckling

The year 2016 bubbled with events and initiatives to strengthen jazz's place in American and world culture, as well as a variety of venue openings, closings and cancellations. Jazz hit the silver screen in many ways throughout the year, and International Jazz Day continued to thrive--complete with a major all-star concert at the White House. Pop ...

ARTICLE: BIG BAND REPORT

The Albuquerque Jazz Orchestra Meets Fred Sturm

Read "The Albuquerque Jazz Orchestra Meets Fred Sturm" reviewed by Jack Bowers

The Albuquerque Jazz Orchestra was onstage January 23, 2010 at the University of New Mexico's Woodward Hall for a concert featuring the compositions and arrangements of Fred Sturm, director of Jazz Studies at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin. The concert was a part of the New Mexico All-State Band Competition, which was being held at the ...

ARTICLE: MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Gene Harris, Tommy Flanagan, Hank Jones: For the Love of Ivory

Read "Gene Harris, Tommy Flanagan, Hank Jones: For the Love of Ivory" reviewed by Dr. Judith Schlesinger

These CDs have two major things in common: they each represent the very best of jazz piano, and they're both recorded live, with appreciative audiences whose rapture is contagious. With no studio fixes and no second chances, they also provide that pure, breathless excitement that comes from working without a net. Gene Harris ...


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