Phil Woods writes a regular column in The Note, the semi-annual publication of the Al Cohn Memorial Collection at East Stroudsburg University in Pennsylvania. In the Winter 2015 edition, I was saddened to read him frankly stating, "Gradually my improv powers are declining along with my breathing."
Dexter Gordon vies with Duke Ellington as the most charismatic jazz artist I've ever seen in person. His horn shook with the same swagger as the Los Angeles native's 6'5" gait, and good looks landed him occasional acting roles that culminated in his portrayal of Dale Turner in the movie 'Round Midnight.
Clark Terry died on Saturday, February 21. The trumpet great was 94, and had been in declining health for several years. Clark was a genuinely beloved figure who won hearts and minds not so much as an icon but through his artistry and the wisdom, encouragement, and patient direction he imparted to countless aspiring musicians, including Miles Davis and Quincy Jones.
Peter Wolf is a driven verbalist. The former frontman of the J. Geils Band and WBCN deejay of “Woofer Goofer" legend had a memorable way of describing the easy access that he and his peers enjoyed with the great bluesmen who began playing clubs and coffeehouses around Boston in the mid-60s.
I’ve never been to New Orleans for Mardi Gras proper, but my wife and I were in the Crescent City a few years ago on the Feast of the Epiphany, better known as Twelth Night, the traditional start of the Mardi Gras season...