Jazz, blues & beyond in Amman: Pops, Bird, Diz, Lady Day @ UJordan

I spoke on jazz and blues at the University of Jordan, a modern 45,000-student institution, in an event sponsored by the American Embassy while in Amman on family matters a couple weeks ago. About 50 avid students of music, arts and literature and their informed faculty watched videos of Louis Armstrong at age 32 doing "Dinah," Charlie Parker & Dizzy Gillespie playing "Hot House," Billie Holiday with all-stars singing "Fine and Mellow" and Muddy Waters among other immortals from the American Folk Blues Festival, 1962-69, vol. … [Read more...]

James Moody, bop saxophonist, flutist, humorist: 3/25/25 – 12/9/10

Sad news: Jazz giant James Moody died of pancreatic cancer today, age 85. This is confirmed on Moody's own website. A brilliant improviser who emerged from Dizzy Gillespie's big band to join the young turks of bebop (Monk, Bags, Klook, Blakey) in the late 1940s, he became internationally admired for his tenor sax and flute mastery and on-stage good cheer, as when he'd sing both male and female parts to "Moody's Mood for Love," his etched-in-gold solo given lyrics by his pal Eddie Jefferson. … [Read more...]