John Dankworth, RIP

Sad news from London that Johnny Dankworth --Sir John Dankworth-- has died at 82. The alto saxophonist, composer and band leader and his wife, the singer Cleo Laine, have been pillars of jazz in England since the early 1950s. To read the BBC's announcement of his death, go here. John Dankworth … [Read more...]

Weekend Extra: Woody Herman’s Second Herd

Browsing YouTube, I came across what must be among the rarest pieces of jazz film, a sequence of Woody Herman's Second Herd, the celebrated Four Brothers band. We hear Herman's vocal and a bit of Stan Getz's tenor saxophone on "Caldonia," then most of "Northwest Passage," both pieces holdovers from the First Herd destined to be staples in the Herman book for the rest of his life. Herman, Getz and Shorty Rogers play the trio section of "Northwest Passage," then there's a succession of four-bar … [Read more...]