Bix And Dick

A British company is releasing a two-CD package tracing Bix Beiderbecke's influence on musicians of his era. Proceeds from sale of the set will be devoted to medical care of Dick Sudhalter, a musical descendant of Beiderbecke and his greatest biographer. Sudhalter is in bad health with MSA (muscular system atrophy) and getting worse. He needs help. From the Jass Masters news release: The CD set contains a number of tracks that are being re-issued for the first time since their original release … [Read more...]

Other Places: A Newport Report

It is now called the JVC Jazz Festival, but it still takes place in Newport, Rhode Island. If the festival no longer has the jazz purity of its beginnings in the 1950s, at least it has survived. It continues to include major jazz artists among the tangential pop figures who attract the big crowds that pay the bills. In today's Boston Globe, Steve Greenlee summarizes the two days of Newport and evaluates the highlights as if he were scoring Olympic events. Gold medal: Sonny Rollins. The … [Read more...]

Rollins On Rollins

In an interview a few days before the Newport performance, Rollins told Rick Massimo of the Providence Journal why he has kept bassist Bob Cranshaw in his band for more than four decades... ...because he maintained the fixed portion of it, and that would allow me to extemporize freely and the song would still be maintained. It was a contrast; if he had the fixed part, then I could go into all of my wild dreams. ...and why he rarely works with pianists. At the risk of alienating my … [Read more...]