Over the past few years, I’ve posted several blogs about Dizzy Gillespie. Click here for a compendium that includes features on his collaboration with Chano […]
Sister Rosetta Tharpe
I first learned of Sister Rosetta Tharpe when I read Tony Heilbut’s landmark book, The Gospel Sound, in the early 1970s. It was an eye-opener […]
Andy Jaffe Octet
Illness notwithstanding, I ventured out into the bitter cold of Saturday night for the second half of the Easthampton Jazz Festival’s nighttime lineup with the […]
Rex Stewart, Django, and Louis Armstrong
Parisian Encounters in 1939 and 1947
“Finesse” earned Stewart the French Grand Prix for the best composition of 1939, and Gunther Schuller considers it “the most remarkable in its effect…Four simple guitar chords…
Barbara Carroll, R.I.P.
Alas, the Worcester-born pianist Barbara Carroll has died at age 92. My Worcester-born mother told me about her the first time I mentioned jazz, for […]
As for fame, Wardell Gray, who composed “Twisted” and was depicted as an iconic jazzman in Jack Kerouac’s On The Road, was a brilliant, in-demand saxophonist, influenced by Lester Young and the new direction that jazz was taking in the mid-forties. He worked for a Who’s Who of bandleaders including Earl Hines, Benny Carter, Billy Eckstine, Benny Goodman, and Count Basie, and with such trailblazing colleagues as Charlie Parker and Dexter Gordon.