Alto saxophonist Frank Morgan, born in 1933, is one of the last great bop storytellers and living connections to that age of music. He’s also one of the last musicians left from the glory days of Los Angeles’ Central Avenue scene, a school-of-the-streets from which Dexter Gordon, Charles Mingus, Art Farmer, and many others graduated…
My jazz-DJ colleague Joe Bourne noted yesterday that it was the 65th anniversary of the American Federation of Musicians recording ban, which began on Aug. 1, 1942 and didn’t completely end until major labels Columbia and Victor came to terms with the union in late 1944. (Decca, the other of the “Big Three” during…
Compilations are usually anathema to jazz aficionados, but Allen Lowe's Devilin' Tune project offers a highly compelling tour of music history.
Jazz greats such as Dexter Gordon, Bud Powell, Kenny Clarke, and Don Byas spent long periods of time on the European continent and made many recordings there.
In the 1940s and 50s the colorful, laidback radio personalities who helped introduce bebop and other new music to audiences inspired tributes from musicians.
As the swing era gave way to new and challenging sounds, a generation of bandleaders was forced to take notice.
Jam sessions, bebop, r and b, big bands, visits from Hollywood celebrities--as the center of African-American culture in L.A., Central Avenue had it all.
The best pianist you never heard: the story and posthumous musical legacy of Frank Hewitt.
Several years ago an amazing audio find came to light–a June 1945 Town Hall concert in New York City featuring Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, and Max Roach–the rising stars of the then-revolutionary new music bebop–accompanied by Al Haig on piano and Curley Russell on bass. The performance, captured in sound that’s stellar by the era’s standards…
We'll hear collaborations with former Basie big-band singers Billie Holiday and Helen Humes, as well as a live version of some bop anthems.