Sidney Bechet’s 117th birthday anniversary was on May 14, Fats Waller’s 110th on May 21, recent datelines that coincide with an anecdote I gleaned from an interview heard two weeks ago in New Orleans.
When my wife Meg and I visited New Orleans a year ago, we heard Aurora Nealand in person for the first time, and I wrote […]
In my recent review of the Mike Bloomfield anthology, From His Head to His Heart to His Hands, I mentioned some of the artists he recorded with who are missing from the Al Kooper-produced, 3-disc set.
The blues-rock icon Michael Bloomfield is the subject of a new 3-CD retrospective produced and “curated” by Al Kooper for Columbia/Legacy. From His Head to His Heart to His Hands includes a smattering of….
I blogged about Mike Bloomfield and Bob Dylan in December, writing here about their first encounter in Chicago in 1963, the crucial role that Bloomfield played backing Dylan at the Newport Folk Festival, the beautiful licks he laid down on Highway 61 Revisited…
I’ve lately been enchanted by a couple of Percy Heath features produced by Artists House and posted on the internet. In the first, the great […]
Boston was second only to New York as an important location for Ellington in his early years as a bandleader, and it remained a favored destination till the end.
How’s this for perfect pitch? Jim Hall said he tuned his guitar to Ella Fitzgerald’s voice. “If it was a choice between her and the piano, I would go for her!” Hall’s tenure with Ella was fairly brief, but it included the European tour that yielded one of her most celebrated concert recordings, Ella in Berlin.
The jazz world lost another of its important stewards this weekend. Dr. Herb Wong, a stalwart of the Bay Area jazz scene for over 65 […]
But while Emerson later supported John Brown and abolitionism, he failed to observe the presence or validity of what his spiritual descendant Ralph Waldo Ellison called the “specifically American cultural idioms,” that slaves and their descendants were creating in his midst.