Nat Cole’s Birthday

It’s a bit late in the day, but I didn’t want to ignore Nat Cole’s birthday. If he were still among us, he would be 92. He died in 1965 a month short of his 46th birthday. The world remembers him as one of the great popular singers. Pianists revere him. Don’t ignore his singing here—that would be hard to do—but listen to his playing following the vocal and see if you detect some of what helped form Ahmad Jamal, one of countless pianists inspired by Cole. … [Read more...]

Compatible Quotes: Duke Ellington

Ellington gazing down

It is becoming increasingly difficult to decide where jazz starts or where it stops, where Tin Pan Alley begins and jazz ends, or even where the borderline lies between between classical music and jazz. I feel there is no boundary line. The most important thing I look for in a musician is whether he knows how to listen. Fate is being kind to me. Fate doesn't want me to be too famous too young. (On the Pulitzer board denying him the prize the Pulitzer jury voted him in 1965.) … [Read more...]