If you're ready for four-piano fun, see the reply to the last comment in this Rifftides post. … [Read more...]
Doug is a recipient of the lifetime achievement award of the Jazz Journalists Association. He lives in the Pacific Northwest, where he settled following a career in print and broadcast journalism in cities including New York, New Orleans, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, Portland, San Antonio, Cleveland and Washington, DC. His writing about jazz has paralleled his life in journalism... Read More…
Voted 2010 blog of the year by the international membership of the Jazz Journalists Association. This blog is founded on Doug's conviction that musicians and listeners who embrace and understand jazz have interests that run deep, wide and beyond jazz. Music is its principal concern, but it reaches past... Read More...
Doug's most recent book is a novel, Poodie James. Previously, he published Take Five: The Public and Private Lives of Paul Desmond. He is also the author of Jazz Matters: Reflections on the Music and Some of its Makers. He contributed to The Oxford Companion To Jazz and co-edited Journalism Ethics: Why Change? He is at work on another novel in which, as in Poodie James, music is incidental.
Ron Miles: Quiver (enja yellow bird)
Miles’s playing on “There Ain’t No Sweet Man Worth the Salt of My Tears” draws 21st century Denver and 1928 Chicago close. Some of his flurries of wildness on this album are as daring as the work of any modern trumpeter, but the Bix Beiderbecke lyricism in Miles’s soul extends into everything he plays. With just Bill Frisell’s guitar and Brian Blade’s drums, Miles may seem to be operating lean. No, there is richness in their harmonic inventiveness and rhythmic compatibility. The nine pieces are not officially a suite, but unity of conception runs through the performances. This is a satisfying album.
Heather Masse And Dick Hyman: Lock My Heart (Red House)
With The Wailin’ Jennys and the Wayfaring Strangers and appearances on radio’s Prairie Home Companion, Heather Masse has attracted a following among folk and bluegrass fans. This album of duets with master pianist Dick Hyman discloses the jazz foundation that has long been evident in her singing. Their treatments of Strayhorn’s “A Flower is a Lovesome Thing” and Buddy Johnson’s “Since I Fell For You” are ballad perfection. In their delightful “I’m Gonna Lock My Heart and Throw Away the Key,” she manages to combine Billie Holiday and Marilyn Monroe. Hyman’s accompaniments and solos are reminders that this 86-year-old wonder is one of the most interesting pianists alive.
Miles Davis Quintet Live In Europe 1969: The Bootleg Series Vol. 2 (Columbia/Legacy)
This three-CD, one-DVD set finds the trumpeter fomenting even more dramatic change than usual. The first volume in the so-called bootleg series of Davis concert recordings found his primarily acoustic 1967 quintet already tending toward electronic music and rock. Saxophonist Wayne Shorter remains from that band. Here, the transition intensifies. Electric pianist Chick Corea, bassist Dave Holland and drummer Jack DeJohnette accelerate the shift Davis initiated with In A Silent Way. The repertoire is redolent of Davis’s Bitches Brew period. We hear the headiness, excitement and—sometimes—the aimlessness of newfound freedom. The DVD’s superb sound and picture bring the band alive.
Bill Frisell, The Disfarmer Project (La Huit)
Belgian filmmaker Guillame Dero captures the eclectic guitarist Frisell, violinist Carrie Rodriguez, guitarist Greg Leisz and bassist Viktor Krauss in a live performance set to portraits by the 1950s Arkansas photographer Mike Disfarmer. Some of the music was on a 2009 CD mentioned in this Rifftides post. Hearing it in new versions with Disfarmer’s eccentric and vaguely disturbing photos looming over the band is an adventure. Watching interaction and reaction among the quartet increases the fascination. Frisell salts his original compositions with songs by Hank Williams, Arthur Crudup and Cliff Friend.
Paul de Barros, Shall We Play That One Together? The Life and Art of Jazz Piano Legend Marian McPartland (St. Martin’s Press)
The nonagenarian pianist presented de Barros with every biographer’s hope, unrestricted access to his subject’s personal papers and nearly unrestricted access to her private thoughts. He made the most of it, turning exhaustive research and hundreds of hours of interviews into a true story with the sweep of a novel. From the early discovery of McPartland’s musical gift through her wartime service, her ecstatic and stormy marriage to Jimmy McPartland, her growth as a pianist, her deep affair with Joe Morello, and the radio show that made her a national figure, she has had a fascinating life. It makes a splendid read.
Mulligan’s Concert Jazz Band had three fewer musicians than most big jazz outfits. Its size permitted precision, flexibility and subtlety, yet the band had the power of sprung steel. In this concert from a half century ago, the CJB is as fresh as yesterday. Arrangements by Mulligan, Bob Brookmeyer, Al Cohn and Johnny Mandel set standards to which big band writers still aspire. Bassist Buddy Clark and drummer Mel Lewis inspired Mulligan, Brookmeyer, Conte Candoli, Gene Quill and Zoot Sims to some of the best soloing of their careers. This beautifully produced issue of the complete concert is a basic repertoire item.
All About Jazz
Jazz Beyond Jazz: Howard Mandel
The Gig: Nate Chinen
Wonderful World of Louis Armstrong
Here, There and Everywhere: Don Heckman
Ted Panken: Today is The Question
George Colligan: jazztruth
Jazz Music Blog: Tom Reney
Mule Walk And Jazz Talk
Darcy James Argue
Jazz Profiles: Steve Cerra
Notes On Jazz: Ralph Miriello
Patrick Jarrenwattanon: A Blog Supreme
Bob Porter: Jazz Etc.
Marc Myers: Jazz Wax
Jason Crane:The Jazz Session
Jazz Clubs/Find The Best
John Robert Brown
Remembrance of Swings Past
Night After Night
Do The Math/The Bad Plus
Jazz My Two Cents Worth
Jazz History Online
Roots, Rhythm and Rhyme
The Disgruntled Jazz Critic
Personal Jazz Sites
Chris Albertson: Stomp Off
Armin Buettner: Crownpropeller’s Blog
Cyber Jazz Today, John Birchard
Dick Carr’s Big Bands, Ballads & Blues
Noal Cohen’s Jazz History
Easy Does It: Fernando Ortiz de Urbana
Bill Evans Web Pages
Ronan Guilfoyle: Mostly Music
Willard Jenkins/The Independent Ear
Ken Joslin: Jazz Paintings
Free Jazz Piano Lessons: Steve Nixon
People vs. Dr. Chilledair: Bill Reed
Jim Wilke’s Jazz After Hours