2008: not a good year for the economy, certain politicians, or the Detroit Lions. In the realm of reissues and historical releases, however, it was a surprisingly good year. A highly subjective and belated list follows, presented in alphabetical order:
The Living Theater is reviving Jack Gelber’s groundbreaking 1959 play The Connection, a study of drug addicts (some of them jazz musicians) pontificating on their lives and chemical loves. The cast includes saxophonist Rene McLean, whose father Jackie performed in the original version, and will be directed once again by Judith Malina, who will also play the role of Sister Salvation.
Blue Note Records sent out an e-mail today announcing more catalogue deletions, on the heels of a similar announcement two weeks ago. You can view the entire list (which includes titles from a larger family of Blue Note-related labels) at True Blue Music. Warning, folks: it’s a veritable bloodbath.
Many of Horace Silver's compositions, such as “Opus de Funk,” “The Preacher,” “Nica’s Dream,” and “Peace” have become jazz standards heard frequently today.
News came this Friday morning that tenor saxophonist and hardbop great Johnny Griffin has passed away from a heart attack at the age of 80.
Jazz pianist Ronnie Mathews has passed away at the age of 72 after a battle with pancreatic cancer.
Booker Little was a talented young trumpeter and composer who’d already begun to fulfill his promise when illness struck him down at the age of 23.
Handy discusses why his quintet broke up, his experiences as a jazz educator, and his memories of Monterey and the mid-1960s rock scene.
A musical portrait of the early years of one of the few surviving saxophone heroes from the 1950s and 60s golden age of hardbop.