Paul Butterfield

The Blues-Rock Icon Deserves Your Vote

Martin Scorsese captured something of Paul Butterfield’s singular stature in the way he framed the harmonica player’s appearance in “The Last Waltz.”  Following an interlude in which The Band recounts meeting Sonny Boy Williamson near the end of his life in Helena, Arkansas, the blues portion…

Jimmy Rogers on Conan O’Brien

A Selfless Perspective on Blues History

Jimmy Rogers looks like he enjoyed himself on Late Night with Conan O’Brien in 1994.  By then, the great bluesman was 70, and nearly 25 years into the second act of a career that he’d abandoned in the sixties for the sake of…

Booker Ervin

Randy Weston has no end of praise for Booker Ervin. Weston’s tonal portrait of his mother, “Portrait of Vivian,” was introduced on his 1963 recording, […]

Bunny Price, R.I.P.

Worcester's Keeper of the Flame

Bunny Price, the bassist who was at the center of Worcester’s jazz scene for over 60 years, died on September 27 at age 82. Born Elwood Price, Jr. on February 10, 1932, Bunny graduated from…

Art Tatum

At the Three Deuces

If you’ve seen the Ken Burns documentary on jazz, or just about any other film related to jazz history, you’ve probably seen part of this footage of the Art Tatum Trio playing “Tiny’s Exercise.” 33 seconds of it was produced for a “March of Time” film…

Jay Hoggard

I’m featuring Jay Hoggard in tonight’s Jazz a la Mode. The vibraphonist is performing this weekend in Middletown, CT, not far from the campus of […]

Ray Charles

Ray Charles was born 84 years ago today. His birthday must have meant a lot to him, as RC923 was the license plate on his tour bus. I saw Ray about a dozen times, all quite memorable.

Jackie Cain

Jackie Cain died on Tuesday at 86.  For over 50 years, she partnered with pianist Roy Kral in marriage and song. I loved the wit and warmth of their collaboration, the kick they seemed to give each other in tune after tune. Marc Myers said it well in noting, “There is no cheerier voice in jazz than Jackie Cain’s.”

Iron Horse Memories

The Jazz Legacy of a Northampton Institution

Jordi Herold opened the Iron Horse in 1979, and for the better part of 25 years offered a comprehensive array of jazz, blues, folk, roots […]

Scott Hamilton on View

Sublime swing as a career-long pursuit-- and achievement

On the few occasions when I’ve said hello to Scott Hamilton, he’s been just as shy and diffident as he is here with Peter Appleyard in a 1977 appearance in Toronto. Perhaps that’s why there’s a paucity of cover stories and interviews with the Providence native in the jazz press.