My interest in New Orleans music ramped up to infatuation on July 3, 1973, when I heard Professor Longhair for the first time in Central Park. The event still stands as the single greatest unanticipated musical discovery of my life.
The highlight of what I saw of last night's Oscars was Darlene Love singing "His Eye Is on the Sparrow" as she joined the makers of 20 Feet From Stardom to accept the Academy Award for Best Documentary. I saw the film last summer at Amherst Cinema, and here's what I wrote.
Dexter Gordon should have owned the Fifties. As the tenor playing counterpart to Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie, and as a player revealed on concert air checks of the late forties as one who could sustain long, thematically cohesive solos...
Joe Henderson raised the standard of tribute albums from homage to art with the sessions he devoted to Billy Strayhorn and Miles Davis in the early nineties. They also marked a veritable rebirth of Henderson as a major figure in music.
Notwithstanding his bold efforts on behalf of integration and civil rights, Norman Granz’s name was often uttered in derisive tones when I began listening to jazz in the late sixties. As the man who’d founded Jazz at the Philharmonic in 1943 and established Clef/Norgran/Verve Records a few years later, he’d made a lot of money.