Jazz.com Blog Highlights

Below are links to some of the highlights from the jazz.com blog.


Life on the Road: The Journal of a Traveling Jazz Musician: Frøy Aagre’s three-part article may be the most insightful account you will ever read about the realities of road life for most jazz musicians. It is not a pretty picture, but it was a story that very much needed to be told.

Jazz and Hip-Hop: Can They Really Mix? Jared Pauley presented a smart mini-history of the courtship between jazz and hip-hop in this two-part article. And he also stirred up a mini-war on our blog pages. Alan Kurtz stepped in to annul this unholy union, responding with his typical rebarbative repartee in a memorable piece entitled Hip-Hop is to Jazz as Termitz R2 Wud. Both articles are well worth reading.

Life at Gypsy Jazz Camp: One of the most interesting developments in the jazz world is the great resurgence of interest in Django Reinhardt and Gypsy jazz. Bill Barnes took us into the heart of this subculture in his three-part article on his experiences at a jazz camp devoted to jazz Manouche.

A Jazz Success Story in Vermont: In a series of articles for jazz.com, Willard Jenkins presented case studies on the people and organizations that are keeping the music alive in various communities around the United States. In this installment, Jenkins explored a jazz success story in Burlington Vermont , and talked with Arnie Malina, the man behind it.

Ornette: The Blue Note Years: In this two-part article, Chris Kelsey looked at a controversial period in Ornette Coleman’s career. Blue Note’s move into the avant-garde was a symbolic moment, and produced music that critics are still debating almost a half-century later.

On Discography: If the jazz world is a subculture, then the most cultish members of all are the jazz discographers. Will Friedwald peers inside the universe of the experts who keep tabs on all of the songs.

Where Copyright Goes Wrong: Jazz.com’s Alan Kurtz is best known for his curmudgeonly critiques and the controversies these engender. But he could have been a lawyer (or at least played one on TV) judging by this convincing assault on the current state of US copyright law.

The Once and Future Strings:When electric guitar first showed up in the jazz world, most fans treated it as a novelty effect. But after the impact of Chicago blues, rock-and-roll and other related styles, the plugged-in guitar has become the defining sound of contemporary music. Bill Barnes looks at the state of the guitar in jazz. This three-part article offers historical perspective on the current situation, and assesses the future potential for this instrument.

The Secret Jazz Festivals: These private events allow a small group of insiders to hear a range of up-and-coming artists. Casual fans are not invited, but concert promoters, booking agents and critics get a glimpse of the new generation of talent. But here's the catch: you won't find them in the US. Thierry Quénum, a leading jazz critic based in Paris, offers an inside look.

And here are links to some other articles of note from the jazz.com blog.

Inside View of a Jazz Success Story
A Forgotten 1959 Masterpiece
The Artistry of George Russell
Keeping Track of 1,144,341 Jazz Tunes
How Jazz is Funded in France
A Fitting Epitaph to Mingus's Score
Remembering Don Ellis
How to Keep a Festival Afloat
Ugly News on the Jazz Audience
Nurturing Jazz in a Tough Town
The Strange Case of Nat King Cole
Talking to Myself About the State of Jazz
Bringing Jazz Back into the Schools
A Giant's Steps: John Coltrane on Atlantic
Peter Gunn Turns Fifty
Listen to These CDs . . . Even if They Sound Awful
Is Bird Dead?
The Future of Jazz Radio
Monk in Morse Code
Radio France Pulls the Plug on Jazz
How Smooooth Can You Get?
Bringing Old Jazz Records Back to Life
The Curmudgeon & Smooth Jazz
The Festival that Avoids the 'J' Word
Remembering Bill Finegan
Revisiting Keith Jarrett's American Quartet
Capitol Records: The Golden Age
Elvis & Jazz: A Cautionary Tale
Putting Queens on the Jazz Map
Conversations with Myself
Could Chet Baker Play Jazz?
Is the Laptop a Jazz Instrument?

The Dozens: 12 Essential Max Roach Recordings

Max Roach, photo by Richard Laird

Selected by Nasheet Waits

Max Roach did more than anyone to bring jazz drumming into the modern age. In the course of a career that spanned seven decades, he put his stamp on everything from bebop to hip-hop, constantly reinventing his musical persona. In this installment of Guest Artist Dozens, edited by Ted Panken another master drummer, Nasheet Waits, surveys Roach's career and highlights 12 essential tracks.

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The Dozens: Twelve Jazz
Perspectives On Björk


Hailing from Reykjavik, Iceland, Björk burst onto the music scene in 1993 with Debut, an album featuring the jazz standard “Like Someone in Love.” Since then, this global star has maintained ties with the jazz world, even earning her biggest hit with “It’s Oh So Quiet,” a swing number dating back to 1948. Jazz artists have returned the respect, covering versions of Björk songs. Brad Farberman highlight 12 worthy renditions in this installment of the Dozens.

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The Dozens: Trombone


12 Classic Performances

Back in New Orleans, long before the saxophonists or guitarists showed up in jazz, the trombonists were making their elongated presence felt on the scene. And they're still going strong a century later. Alex W. Rodriguez, resident bone-ology specialist at jazz.com, highlights 12 classic trombone tracks in this installment of the Dozens.

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Interview: Sonny Rollins

Sonny Rollins by Ron Hudson

No living artist has done more than Sonny Rollins to define the role of the tenor sax in jazz. He is an iconic figure, a founding father of modern jazz still active and playing at top form in his late 70s. Jazz.com's Stuart Nicholson talks with Rollins in a free-wheeling interview.

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Recent Articles

New Orleans Second Line by Bob Graham

Feature | A History of New Orleans Music in 100 Tracks

Editor Ted Gioia, helped by a dozen contributors, presents a history of New Orleans music in 100 tracks. Come to the musical Mardi Gras!

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Charlie Parker by Merryl Jaye

THE DOZENS | Steve Coleman on Charlie Parker

Saxophonist and composer Steve Coleman offers an in-depth analysis of key recordings by the alto icon Charlie Parker in this installment of Guest Artist Dozens, edited by Ted Panken.

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The Dozens

Art Tatum:
12 Essential Tracks

Song of the Day

Art Tatum redefined the scope of jazz piano and left behind a body of work that is still unsurpassed for its creativity and virtuosity. Ted Gioia highlights twelve essential tracks.

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The Dozens

Early Django
12 Essential Tracks

Django Reinhardt by Suzanne Cerny

Born far from the music's home and despite a crippling injury, Django became one of the greatest jazz guitarists. Thomas Cunniffe highlight 12 of his best pre-war tracks.

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The Dozens

Moran Picks Byard:
12 Essential Tracks

Jaki Byard by Suzanne Cerny

Pianist Jason Moran surveys the career of fellow master of the keyboard Jaki Byard and highlights 12 essential tracks, in this installment of Guest Artist Dozens edited by Ted Panken.

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More Articles & Reviews

Women in Jazz

FEATURE | The Young Lionesses

Who are the Young Lionesses of jazz? In this feature for jazz.com, S. Victor Aaron looks at the up-and-coming female jazz talent and highlights ten ladies who have the potential to go far.

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Bill Frisell by Michael Wilson

The Dozens | Essential Bill Frisell

Guitarist Bill Frisell has built his reputation by bravely staking out new soundspaces and constantly reinventing his musical persona. Eric Novod surveys Frisell's recordings, and highlights 12 essential tracks.

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