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John Bunch


John Bunch was born in Tipton, Indiana, at the end of 1921. Harding was in the White House, the Teaport Dome scandal was brewing, early radio broadcasts were spurring the sales of crystal receiving sets, and the only jazz records available were made by a white New Orleans group called the Original Dixieland Jazz Band. All that had changed by the early thirties, when his mother made the wise decision to give him a piano: now Franklin D. Roosevelt was preparing to move to Pennsylvania Avenue; a lid had been placed on the teapot, and newspaper headlines ere created by angry strikers, a growing army of unemployed, and the Lindbergh baby; radio had come of age, boosting to national prominence such vaudeville stars as George Burns, Fred Allen and Jack Benny; and a fast-growing catalog of jazz recordings had brought international fame to the likes of Louis Armstrong, Fletcher Henderson and Duke Ellington. To parallel some of the significant social and political events of John Bunch's lifetime is to point out how young jazz music still is, and how far it and the media that helps perpetuate it have come in just a few decades


Article: Year in Review

2021: The Year in Jazz

Read "2021: The Year in Jazz" reviewed by Ken Franckling

The jazz world continued grappling and adjusting in year two of the COVID-19 pandemic. International Jazz Day again went virtual for the most part. Singer Tony Bennett put the final stamp on his touring—and likely recording—career after his Alzheimer's disclosure. Trumpeter Irvin Mayfield was headed to federal prison. The National Endowment for the Arts welcomed four ...


Article: Interview

Glenn Zottola: A Jazz Life - On the Road and In Demand

Read "Glenn Zottola: A Jazz Life - On the Road and In Demand" reviewed by Nicholas F. Mondello

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 World-renown trumpeter, saxophonist, musical director, producer and entrepreneur. These are but a mere handful of words that describe the vast talent in Glenn Zottola's bag of musical marvels. There are others: child prodigy, creative genius, “musical natural" and aural savant also percolate rapidly to mind. Now ...


Article: Live Review

Norwich Jazz Party 2010

Read "Norwich Jazz Party 2010" reviewed by Bruce Lindsay

Norwich Jazz Party Norwich, UK May 1-3, 2010 Norwich may well be one of the loveliest cities in Britain, but the May Day holiday weekend was wet and miserable, volcanic ash from Iceland was still threatening travel plans and even the exciting prospect of a General Election the following week ...


Article: Big Band Report

Sonny Rollins Elected as Member of American Academy of Arts & Sciences

Read "Sonny Rollins Elected as Member of American Academy of Arts & Sciences" reviewed by Jack Bowers

This month's most welcome news has nothing to do with big bands but everything to do with artistry and excellence: saxophonist and jazz icon Sonny Rollins has been elected to membership in the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. The Academy, a center for independent policy research (I don't quite understand what that has to do ...


News: Interview

Interview: John Bunch (Part 2)

Interview: John Bunch (Part 2)

The late John Bunch is best remembered as an elegant trio pianist. But back in the late 1950s and into the 1960s and 1970s, John played fearlessly in some of the best big bands still touring and recording. The list includes one of the most revered band recordings of the late 1950s, Maynard Ferguson's A Message ...


News: Interview

Interview: John Bunch (Part 1)

Interview: John Bunch (Part 1)

John Bunch liked to be underestimated. The courtly and congenial pianist who died last week at age 88 enjoyed projecting an everyman image and often made a point of telling people that he didn't have much technical training. But what John did have was something that most jazz musicians spend a lifetime trying to acquire--perfect rhythm ...


News: Obituary

John Bunch, 1921-2010

John Bunch, 1921-2010

Jazz this week lost John Bunch, a pianist whose imagination and adaptability kept him in demand for more than 60 years. Establishing his career in New York following his World War Two military service, Bunch slid smoothly from swing into bop and remained a reliable sideman and soloist who incorporated aspects of both eras in a ...


News: Obituary

John Bunch, Pianist with Goodman and Bennett, Dies at 88

John Bunch, Pianist with Goodman and Bennett, Dies at 88

John Bunch, a jazz pianist whose elegant style led to prominent sideman posts with Benny Goodman and Tony Bennett as well as an accomplished solo career, died on Tuesday in Manhattan, where he lived. He was 88. His death, at Roosevelt Hospital, was caused by melanoma, said Cecily Gemmell, his wife and only immediate survivor. Mr. ...


The John Bunch Trio Plays the Music of Irving Berlin (except one)

Label: Arbors Records
Released: 2009
Track listing: Soft Lights and Sweet Music; Coquette; How Deep Is the Ocean?; What'll I Do?; I've Got My Love to Keep Me Warm; The Best Thing for You; Isn't This a Lovely Day?; I'm Putting All My Eggs in One Basket; They Say It's Wonderful; All By Myself; Better Luck Next Time; Change Partners.


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