Roy Haynes

Still Snap! Crackle! at 88

Back in the day, a magazine article highlighting the longevity of an esteemed group of Boston Brahmins asked one of the octogenarians, it may have been Samuel Eliot Morison, how it was that they managed to live such long and productive lives. 

Bill Charlap

For the Record

The Bill Charlap Trio will be at the Regatta Bar in Cambridge on March 21-22 and the Iron Horse in Northampton on the 23rd. This is mildly reassuring, but how is it that this genius of jazz piano hasn’t made a trio record in the U.S. since 2006?

Charles Cajori, R.I.P.

The jazz inspiration of a New York painter

Charles Cajori, who died on December 1 at the age of 92, was one of the last of what constituted the 2nd generation of Abstract Expressionist artists. Born in Palo Alto in 1921, grandson of the renowned mathematician Florian Cajori, Charles grew up in Philadelphia

Professor Longhair

Mardi Gras in New Orleans

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.

20 Feet From Stardom

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: Daddy Plays the Horn

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’s Musings for Miles

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.

Count Basie Small Groups

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.

Web for Webster

Ben Webster plays Chelsea Bridge

You say Web, I think Webster. But what Peter Chilton means is the website he manages for New England Public Radio. Pete launched a new one today, and in honor of his efforts, I’m dedicating my first post on the site to Ben Webster playing Billy Strayhorn’s renowned work of jazz impressionism, “Chelsea Bridge.”

Miles Davis at Philharmonic Hall

NPR Music reported this month on the 50th anniversary of Miles Davis’s concert at Philharmonic Hall at Lincoln Center in New York. The concert took place on Lincoln’s birthday, February 12, 1964, and was a benefit for voter registration efforts in Louisiana and Mississippi.