Art Pepper was born 90 years ago today. The saxophonist’s life was scarred by violence, ravaged by drug addiction, confined by prisons, and restricted by parole requirements that prevented him from leaving California for decades. Pepper came to prominence in the early fifties, but he didn’t play New York as a leader until 1977.
Louis Armstrong appeared in Copenhagen, Denmark in 1933, and the film made then is one of the earliest records of Armstrong’s live performances. It forms an invaluable touchstone for jazz scholarship. Tom Reney explores Louis’ stage personas and samples some music from that Danish appearance.
My favorite version of the Louis Armstrong-Jack Teagarden staple “Rockin’ Chair” is from a 1957 television special seen below. Armstrong had first recorded this homespun lament by Hoagy Carmichael on December 13, 1929, with the composer in the voice of the aging father and Armstrong as the dutiful son.
I’m still buzzing from the double dose of New Orleans-in-New England that highlighted Saturday’s Springfield Jazz & Roots Festival. Performances by Donald Harrison and Henry Butler brought the one-day, twelve-hour festival to a rousing conclusion at Court Square, where an estimated 5000 people from every walk of life gathered downtown for the second annual festival.
Barney Kessel was one of the best jazz guitarists of all time. This podcast is a look at his story and his style, with some great music mixed in.
New England Public Radio’s Tom Reney reflects on jazz singer Sheila Jordan and the quality of her recent performances.
“If you don’t love him, I don’t think you really know how to love.” Mahalia Jackson on Louis Armstrong I assume the Danes who filmed […]
July 25th marked the 50th anniversary of Bob Dylan going electric at the Newport Folk Festival. The milestone is being widely commemorated, and it follows the sale two years ago of the Fender Stratocaster he played that Sunday night. Elijah Wald’s new book, Dylan Goes Electric: Newport, Seeger, Dylan, and the Night That Split the Sixties, tells the story more accurately and contextually than any previous renderings.
Saturday marked the 50th anniversary of Bob Dylan going electric at the Newport Folk Festival. The milestone is being widely commemorated, and it follows the sale two years ago of the Fender Stratocaster he played that Sunday night, July 25, 1965.
What a pleasure it was hearing Sheila Jordan this week at the Northampton Jazz Workshop. She’s nearly 87, which she makes no secret of, and why should she? Sheila’s a bonafide survivor: of a harsh, Depression-era childhood shuttled between her teenage mother’s digs in Detroit and her grandparents’ home…