Blues fans grieve the Queen

Koko Taylor, singer and survivor of the grittiest Chicago blues, died yesterday (June 3) at age 80 following surgery for gastro-intestinal problems. She may be best known for her first hit, "Wang Dang Doodle" which she recorded in 1966 and performed with Little Walter Jacobs on harmonica for the American Blues Festival in Germany in 1967, as featured here on Youtube. But the vocal track on the clip is too far off from the visual, so I prefer this video of a song I can't identify with raunchy rhymes and for the great good humor with which … [Read more...]

Losing a jazz mag?

Rumors abound that JazzTimes magazine is folding -- it's laid off employees, notified writers of waits for May payments, not shipped its June issue to the printers and failed to sell itself to a new publisher. A senior contributor says he was told not to write his next column until asked for it. These are rumors, I stress: I've emailed JT's publisher and editors for confirmation or denial, comment and clarification, without response so far. It wouldn't be terribly surprising, given the economic drift and hard times for print media. But the … [Read more...]