Jazz and Blues

Jazz and Blues
9:00 am
Sat March 15, 2014

Why Jazz Fans Shouldn't Be So Quick To Dismiss Pop Music

Cannonball Adderley
Michael Ochs Archives Getty Images

I belong to a Facebook group called “Jam Of The Week.” Each week, the group’s founder, a wonderful Portland trumpet player named Farnell Newton, picks a jazz tune, and any musician from anywhere in the world can post a video of himself or herself playing a one chorus solo over the tune.

In about a month the group had more than 10,000 members, and hundreds and hundreds of videos posted. (Check it out if you get a chance, even if you’re not a musician.)

The other day, one of the members posted the idea of using a pop song one week. The comments that ensued were varied, but many of the jazz snobs on the site reacted negatively to this idea, with many of them slamming pop music as a whole as vacuous and worthless to jazz musicians.

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Jazz and Blues
7:01 am
Sat December 14, 2013

John Kessler’s Top 10 Blues Albums Of 2013

FILE - Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks perform with the Tedeschi Trucks Band at the Newport Jazz Festival in Newport, R.I.
Joe Goblin Associated Press

Boz Scaggs: Memphis (429 Records)

A tribute to the Memphis soul-blues tradition, made with some of the city’s best players. His unique rasp has only improved with age, and perfectly complements the laid-back groove that permeates the release. Not all the material is “soul” music, some of the best tracks are the bluesy “Cadillac Walk” and “Dry Spell”. Boz is a master of the simmering blues vibe, slightly restrained, but overflowing with mojo.

James Cotton: Cotton Mouth Man (Alligator Records)

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Jazz and Blues
10:00 am
Fri October 18, 2013

Lady Be Good: Instrumental Women in Jazz

International Sweethearts of Rhythm, Girls in Jazz album, Victor HJ-11
bunky's pickle

Female instrumentalists of all types have been part of jazz since its inception, but for the most part, they have been erased from the history of the music. The film "Lady Be Good: Instrumental Women in Jazz" intends to put the spotlight on the many talented women who have nearly been forgotten.

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Jazz and Blues
10:00 am
Wed October 9, 2013

Pat Martino, Guitar Hero—Twice in a Lifetime

Pat Martino
wikipedia

Guitarist Pat Martino was a jazz and soul-jazz star since the mid-1960s, recording for the Prestige, Muse, Warner Bros. and Blue Note labels.  In 1980, after operations for a brain aneurysm, he could remember nothing.

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Jazz and Blues
12:00 pm
Thu June 20, 2013

Seattle author and Seattle broadcaster win National awards

Jim Wilke
Steve Korn

Two Seattle natives have been honored by the Jazz Journalists Association Awards for Journalism and Media. 

Seattle author Paul de Barros was presented with the Best Book About Jazz award for his in-depth biography Shall We Play That One Together? The Life and Art of Jazz Piano Legend Marian McPartland.

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Jazz and Blues
10:18 am
Tue April 30, 2013

Jazz April Birthday #30: Percy Heath

Percy Heath (1923-2005) with his brothers Jimmy and Albert
Jack Vartoogian/FrontRowPhotos

Best known for his work with the Modern Jazz Quartet for its entire run (1952-1974), Percy Heath had only been playing bass for about four years when he joined the band.

Heath also recorded with most of the leading musicians in modern jazz, including Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk, John Coltrane and Ornette Coleman.

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Jazz and Blues
10:46 am
Mon April 29, 2013

Jazz April Birthday #29: Duke Ellington

Duke Ellington, 1946
Library of Congress

One of the most influential figures in American music and one of the twentieth century's best known African-American personalities, pianist, composer and bandleader Duke Ellington was, to use one of his signature phrases, "beyond category."

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Jazz and Blues
10:00 am
Thu April 25, 2013

Jazz April Birthday: Ella Fitzgerald

Ella Fitzgerald 1917-1996
pbs.org

The "first lady of song" Ella Fitzgerald was the most popular female jazz singer in the U.S. for more than half a century. In her lifetime, she won 13 Grammy awards and sold more than 40 million albums.

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Jazz and Blues
10:00 am
Wed April 24, 2013

Jazz April Birthday: Joe Henderson

Joe Henderson 1937-2001
wikimedia commons

Influenced by Lester Young initially, then by Sonny Rollins and John Coltrane, Joe Henderson created his own unique sound. 

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Jazz and Blues
10:00 am
Mon April 22, 2013

Jazz April Birthday: Charles Mingus

Charles Mingus 1922-1979
wolfgangsvault.com

Charles Mingus was a virtuoso bass player, accomplished pianist, bandleader and composer.  Influenced both by church choirs and Duke Ellington, he studied double bass and composition with classical masters.

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Jazz and Blues
10:00 am
Wed April 17, 2013

Jazz April Birthday: Buster Williams

Buster Williams
lushlife.com

Bassist Buster Williams is a living legend of jazz,who has worked with Miles Davis, Count Basie, Herbie Hancock, Art Blakey, Chet Baker, McCoy Tyner, Woody Shaw, Benny Golson, and Kenny Baron, Sarah Vaughan, and Nancy Wilson.

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Jazz and Blues
10:00 am
Mon April 15, 2013

Jazz April Birthday: Bessie Smith

Bessie Smith 1894-1937
wikipedia

Bessie Smith started out as a street musician in Chattanooga.  She was mentored in traveling shows and vaudeville by Ma Rainey.

By the early 1920s she was one of the most popular Blues singers in vaudeville.

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Jazz and Blues
10:00 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Jazz April Birthday: Herbie Hancock

Herbie Hancock
jazzuality.com

Pianist, bandleader, composer and producer Herbie Hancock has had a career that's lasted five decades and garnered 14 Grammy® Awards.

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Jazz and Blues
10:00 am
Wed April 10, 2013

Jazz April Birthday: Joey DeFrancesco

Joey DeFrancesco
theamiagency.com

The incredibly talented organist Joey DeFrancesco comes from a musical family, brought up in the rich Philadelphia jazz scene: his grandfather played reeds, his dad Papa John DeFrancesco is a fine jazz organist.  Joey went to jazz clubs with his father and learned the piano and the B-3, and by age 6, he was sitting in on his father's gigs.

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Jazz and Blues
10:00 am
Mon April 8, 2013

Jazz April Birthday: Carmen McRae

Carmen McRae
Ron Hudson

Singer, composer, pianist, and actress Carmen McRae was considered one of the most influential jazz vocalists of the 20th century. 

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