Dave McKenna RIP

That grim parade that Bill Crow mentioned a couple of postings ago shows no sign of running out of marchers. The latest major jazz artist to go is Dave McKenna. The pianist died this morning at the age of 78. His family posted the announcement on his web site, which includes a good biography. YouTube has a slew of videos of McKenna playing. This medley of two of his favorite tunes, "Nobody Else But Me" and "I'm Old Fashioned," is a good one to start with.   … [Read more...]

Clax Speaks, Hefti Swings

William Claxton, the master photographer who died a week ago, was a great raconteur. A sample of that side of his personality is available on the internet. In 1988, Terri Gross interviewed Claxton on her National Public Radio program Fresh Air. He discussed his experiences photographing, among others, Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk, Gerry Mulligan and Chet Baker. To hear the conversation, go here and click on "Listen Now." As a bonus, listen to Felix Contreras's short biography of arranger and … [Read more...]