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Monday Recommendation: A Captivating Book Of Photos

2 hours agoMusic / Jazz : Rifftides

Jean-Pierre Leloir, Jazz Images (Elemental) Jean-Pierre Leloir, who died in 2010, left a remarkable legacy of photographs from his work in the years when France was a destination for, and in a few cases home to, many of the world’s principal jazz musicians. The technical perfection of Leloir’s photographs was matched by his ability to […]

Dick Hyman: Sacramento, 1980s

3 hours agoMusic / Jazz : JazzWax

Dick Hyman is easily the most gifted and accomplished living jazz pianist. At 90, Dick played with Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillepsie together on TV in 1952, and he recorded with Lester Young and many jazz greats. He recorded hundreds...       Related Stories Dick Hyman in Concert  

Dick Meldonian and Sonny Igoe

yesterdayMusic / Jazz : JazzWax

Saxophonist Dick Meldonian began his recording career in Charlie Barnet's band in 1950. He then moved on to Stan Kenton at the start of 1952. He remained with Kenton until the mid-1950s, when he left to record on 12-inch LPs...     ...


Ebi is Susumu Yokota making acid house music in 1994. It has a shrimp in the front-cover (see below) and it sounds blue, blue like the image results when you google ‘AI’, blue like memories of Keanu in Johnny Mnemonic, blue like the background for the best Netrunner ICE breaker card ever devised, an ocean […]

Kirk, Lily and Frank

3 days agoMusic / Jazz : JazzWax

This week in The Wall Street Journal's Mansion section, I interviewed Kirk Douglas, who is 100 years old (go here). The actor, who first appeared in the movies in 1946, overcame poverty in Amsterdam, N.Y., and made it to Hollywood,...        

Videos: Sue Raney, 1963

3 days agoMusic / Jazz : JazzWax

In August 1963, West Coast singer Sue Raney appeared on the Australian TV program Brian Henderson's Bandstand. Henderson had been a newsreader on the country's Nine Network when he began hosting its music show from 1958 to 1972. Sue was...       Related Stories CD Discoveries: June 2015  

Recommendation: Miles Davis At Newport 1955-1975

3 days agoMusic / Jazz : Rifftides

Miles Davis At Newport 1955-1975:The Bootleg Series, Vol. 4 (Columbia/Legacy) Miles Davis’s importance and recognition grew dramatically in the decades covered by the recordings on these four volumes. When he played in an all-star group at the 1955 Newport Jazz Festival, the trumpeter was barely known to the general public. By the end of the […]

The Vanity Wars

Arising from the eerie hum of unknown machines, Brian Case’s cover of Ship Building taps into the electronic terror of the early 80s.  It’s a cover from an alternate timeline where Elvis Costello gave the song to Throbbing Gristle rather than Robert Wyatt.  Of course in this timeline TG were fronted by Alan Vega as […]

Chico Hamilton: Broadway, 1960

4 days agoMusic / Jazz : JazzWax

As a drummer and leader, Chico Hamilton was vastly important in the evolution of small-group jazz in the 1950s and '60s. Unfortunately, he is nearly forgotten today. Hamilton was a member of the seminal Gerry Mulligan Quartet in the early...       Related Stories Bob Whitlock (1931-2015)  

Jay Cameron: Sax Band, 1955

6 days agoMusic / Jazz : JazzWax

Saxophone bands hold a special place among jazz fans. Reeds playing melody and harmony in unison is tremendously exciting, whether they are alone or as lead instruments in a band. As reeds, they assume a vocal harmony group feel, which...        

Charles Mingus: Changes One

6 days agoMusic / Jazz : JazzWax

One of my favorite Charles Mingus albums is Changes One, recorded for Atlantic Records at the tail end of December 1974. There something about the recording that exceeds even Mingus's routinely high composing standards and sensitivity. The album is moody,...        

Ontogeny recapitulates Philogeny

Today we tell you about the happiest animal identified by science, a pastel pink cephalopod that crawled out of the Mediterranean and into Balearic shores a long time ago. Instead of continuing its journey into land, this cephalopod basked under the sun in a beach devoid of predators, and this beach became its habitat, and […]

Sonny Rollins & Monk

last weekMusic / Jazz : JazzWax

Tenor saxophonist Sonny Rollins didn't record much with pianist Thelonious Monk, but what they did record together remains remarkable. It's a shame they weren't brought together for several albums or recorded live, but the timing was never quite right. By...       Related Stories Thelonious Monk: Movie Music Interview: Denny Zeitlin 5 Albums That Cast a Spell  

Peter, Paul and Andy

last weekMusic / Jazz : JazzWax

In The Wall Street Journal this week, I interviewed James Patterson, the country's bestselling author of adult fiction, for my "House Call" column in the Mansion section (go here). What you may not know about Jim: His father didn't give...        

Video: Maynard Ferguson

last weekMusic / Jazz : JazzWax

In the fall of 1969, Maynard Ferguson toured Europe with a great book of arrangements and a clutch of American players, adding top local musicians along the way. On Nov. 29, he was in Vienna at the Konzerthaus, a formal...       Related Stories Maynard Ferguson: Fox Hunt  

Hank Mobley: Roll Call

last weekMusic / Jazz : JazzWax

Starting with Soul Station, tenor saxophonist Hank Mobley embarked on a powerful series of recordings for Blue Note in the 1960s. His sixteen releases recorded during the decade tapped into virtually every musical trend, including bossa nova, boogaloo, funk and...       Related Stories Lee Morgan: The Rajah  

The More Things Change…(Or Do They?)

last weekMusic / Jazz : Rifftides

The following post appeared on Rifftides eleven years ago this spring. What thoughts does it stimulate in readers now? Have there been significant changes in jazz since 2008? Originally posted on March 4, 2008 Rifftides reader George Finch sent this message in reaction to a ten-year-old article in The Atlantic. There has been so little […]

Baden Powell: Tristeza on Guitar

last weekMusic / Jazz : JazzWax

In the States, guitarist Baden Powell remains one of the least known bossa nova pioneers of the late 1950s and 1960s. Rather than play the smoothed-out, laid-back samba popularized by João Gilberto, Luiz Bonfá, Carlos Lyra, Roberto Menescal, João Donato...        

Monday Recommendation: Mat Walerian

last weekMusic / Jazz : Rifftides

Mat Walerian, Matthew Shipp, Hamid Drake, Jungle: Live At Okuden (ESP-Disk) His adventurism ranges far and he occasionally makes harsh sounds, but Polish reed artist Mat Walerian ultimately projects a calming effect not often found in avant garde music. The album is from the concert that produced a previous Walerian album with American pianist Matthew […]

Rolf Ericson & American Stars

2 weeks agoMusic / Jazz : JazzWax

If you check the personnel of Charlie Barnet's band in 1949—the killer one with arrangements by Bobby Sherwood, Manny Albam, Pete Rugolo, Gil Fuller, Dave Matthews and Johnny Richards—you'll find a guy named Rolf Ericson in the trumpet section. Ericson...        

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