A “jazz standard” is defined as “a musical composition which is an important part of the musical repertoire of jazz musicians, in that they are widely known, performed, and recorded by jazz musicians, and widely known by listeners” (forgive me for quoting Wikipedia, but I think that’s a pretty good description). By these terms, one [...]
Joe Henderson is one of those musicians that didn’t gain huge recognition from the casual jazz lover, but every jazz musician and fanatic will sing his praises for days. He had awesome command of the tenor saxophone, a unique sound and harmonic conception, and composed some classics of the jazz idiom, including “Recorda Me” (which [...]
Longtime friends and collaborators Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter headline the numerous performing artists, ensembles and recordings awarded for achievement in the year 2013.
“There are no natural barriers. It’s all music. It’s either hip or it ain’t.” – Lee Morgan Lee Morgan is one of the most recorded and celebrated trumpeters in jazz, and one of my personal favorites. His playing is brash, assured, big-toned and has a swagger not matched by many other trumpeters of his day [...]
“My music is the spiritual expression of what I am — my faith, my knowledge, my being. When you begin to see the possibilities of music, you desire to do something really good for people, to help humanity free itself from its hangups…I want to speak to their souls.” ― John Coltrane We could spend [...]
“A genius is the one most like himself.” – Thelonious Monk Pianist and composer Thelonious Sphere Monk is another true original. He did what very few other people have done, which is to develop a distinctive, unique sound on the piano. It’s much harder to sound different on the piano because so many of the [...]
“Just don’t give up on trying to do what you really want to do. Where there is love and inspiration, I don’t think you can go wrong.” – Ella Fitzgerald Yesterday I mentioned that we’d talk about Thelonious Monk today, but I realized that it’s Ella Fitzgerald’s birthday, so I’d be remiss if I didn’t [...]
Cape Cod’s “First Lady of Jazz” performs a medley of tunes by Fats Waller, her stride-piano mentor, in this session from 1983.
The singer performs two of Billie Holiday’s signature songs, “Loverman” and “God Bless the Child,” and discusses the haunting experience of portraying Holiday onstage.
Structured and free, sonic and rhythmic, poems and jazz music seem like natural partners. For National Poetry Month and Jazz Appreciation Month, here are some notable collisions between the two.