Jo Stafford

Jo Stafford, a perfect singer, died on Wednesday. She was ninety years old. There will be obituaries this morning in newspapers all over the world. Web sites have them already. Many people who read them will be hearing of her for the first time because in the 1960s, at the top of her game, she walked away from the music business. Tributes to Jo and memories of her showed up today across the internet. My artsjournal colleague Terry Teachout has a fine one, as does Bill Reed. I know of … [Read more...]

Recent Listening, But First…

...An Explanation: As recently as the early 1980s, relatively few major labels made jazz records. Columbia, RCA Victor, Decca, Capitol, United Artists, Warner Bros, Atlantic and Mercury were the big names. Independent companies that specialized in regular jazz releases included Prestige, Savoy, Blue Note, Riverside, Contemporary, Fantasy, Bethlehem, Verve and Commodore. Mode, Dooto, Roost, Dig, Tampa, Debut and dozens of other small labels occasionally produced and released jazz recordings on … [Read more...]