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Article: Album Review

Juliet Varnedoe: Cajun Blue

Read "Cajun Blue" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey


New York based singer songwriter Juliet Varnedoe has a plan. She has developed a New Orleans themed recording, Cajun Blue, which is to be released later this year, a collection of eight original blues and jazz songs combining the disparate influences of King Oliver Creole Band, the classical French chanson as realized by Blossom Dearie and ...

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Article: Album Review

Rich Halley: Boomslang

Read "Boomslang" reviewed by Mark Corroto


Jazz has, to some extent, always been about making connections and pointing out interrelations. Ever since Buddy Bolden blew his cornet in New Orleans around the start of the twentieth century, listeners have been playing connect the dots, linking Bolden's innovations to King Oliver and Oliver's to Louis Armstrong, likewise Buck Clayton to Dizzy Gillespie and ...

16

Article: The Jazz Life

Fit As A Fiddle: How The Violin Helped Shape Jazz, Part 1

Read "Fit As A Fiddle: How The Violin Helped Shape Jazz, Part 1" reviewed by Peter Rubie


Part 1 | Part 2 That was then... Considering jazz is an art form that mostly makes it up as it goes along, it's ironically appropriate that printed records--i.e., data--from the days of its birth are decidedly sparse. We know, at least, that during the 18th and 19th Centuries in New Orleans white plantation ...

27

Article: Building a Jazz Library

Instrumental Duos

Read "Instrumental Duos" reviewed by Karl Ackermann


The early days of jazz were not always harmonious. Converted dance orchestras often sounded like unbalanced acoustic junkyards; a single violin, cornet, trombone, clarinet, tuba, drums, banjo, and piano, all fighting for attention. The piano was meant to be the glue holding the shrill and boisterous elements together. In 1921 a prodigy pianist named Zez Confrey ...

11

Article: History of Jazz

That Slow Boat to China: How American Jazz Steamed Into Asia

Read "That Slow Boat to China: How American Jazz Steamed Into Asia" reviewed by Arthur R George


A kind of jazz was already waiting in Asia when American players arrived in the 1920s, close to a hundred years ago. However, it was imitative and incomplete, lacked authenticity and live performers from the U.S. Those ingredients became imported by musicians who had played with the likes of Joseph “King" Oliver, Louis Armstrong, Earl Hines, ...

4

Article: Profile

Albert Ayler. Un ardito sogno futuristico

Read "Albert Ayler. Un ardito sogno futuristico" reviewed by Giuseppe Segala


Come una meteora, Albert Ayler ha attraversato il firmamento della musica neroamericana, dal 1962 al 1970. E ha lasciato il segno. Una traccia presente e attiva tutt'oggi, nell'operato di numerosi musicisti che dedicano il proprio lavoro all'improvvisazione e alla ricerca di un'autenticità dell'espressione artistica. L'apparizione del sassofonista nel mondo del jazz, una vera epifania, ...

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Article: Extended Analysis

Soundpath

Read "Soundpath" reviewed by Victor L. Schermer


Muhal Richard Abrams (1930-2017) was a revered pianist, composer and teacher of great capability and range who, in addition to his own achievements, inspired and influenced many jazz musicians in both the mainstream and avant-garde categories. Largely self-taught as a result of a personal decision to follow his own path, and early on pursuing church music, ...

Article: Interview

Mauro Ottolini: Nel cuore pulsante di Storyville

Read "Mauro Ottolini: Nel cuore pulsante di Storyville" reviewed by Paolo Marra


Con il disco Storyville Story, prodotto dall'etichetta Parco della Musica Records, Mauro Ottolini ci riporta nel cuore pulsante della vita artistica di New Orleans facendoci rivivere lo spirito esuberante della tradizione del jazz degli anni'20 del secolo scorso. L'album, registrato dal vivo ad Orvieto e Perugia tra fine 2018 ed estate 2019, vede Fabrizio Bosso come ...

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Article: Radio & Podcasts

August Birthdays

Read "August Birthdays" reviewed by Marc Cohn


August birthdays this week, celebrating the centennials of Charlie Parker, singer Jimmy Witherspoon and bassist George Duvivier. George only did one session as a leader for a French label, which I have never been able to find. So, we pair him with other August celebrants: Jimmy Rushing, Lester Young, Arnett Cobb and Art Farmer. We also ...

14

Article: Profile

American Frederick Thomas: 'The Black Russian' Who Connected Jazz To The Margins Of Asia

Read "American Frederick Thomas: 'The Black Russian' Who Connected Jazz To The Margins Of Asia" reviewed by Arthur R George


The child of former slaves, Frederick Bruce Thomas' New York Times obituary called him “the sultan of jazz," for the jazz palace he founded in Constantinople (now jny: Istanbul) after World War I, a jazz borderland beyond even the music's early jny: Paris outpost. He was hosting bands in Constantinople in 1921 even before Louis Armstrong ...


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