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Birth of the Cool: 2009

2 months agoMusic / Jazz : JazzWax

To fully appreciate how seductive and spectacular Miles Davis's so-called Birth of the Cool recordings were in 1949 and '50, you actually have to see the music being played. Listening doesn't quite provide all the thrills and chills. Today, you're...       Related Stories 5 Albums That Cast a Spell West Coast Jazz: Early Sounds Gerry Mulligan: Three Videos  

Techno I love you but you’re bringing me down

Ah sweet techno.  Your drums hitting with a thud, like so many metal rods, tree trunk thick, pounding into mud. Ah sweet techno.  Your filtered notes always suggesting collapse.  Their analogue edges carrying the seeds of their decay. Ah sweet techno.  No matter what I am feeling I can rely on you to bludgeon all […]

They Didn't Believe Me

2 months agoMusic / Jazz : JazzWax

Just before the outbreak of World War I in 1914, Herbert Reynolds and Jerome Kern wrote the words and music, respectively, to a most enduring song—They Didn't Believe Me. Composed for the Broadway musical, The Girl From Utah, the song...        

Repeating figures

Dissonance, spirals, flurries, repeating figures, sacral. No dramatic contrast, no large fluctuations. Morton Feldman – Piano, Violin, Viola, Cello (part 1) Buy Piano Violin Viola Cello from Discogs Art is Jackson Pollock, White Light, 1954

Dardanelle: Piano, Vibes + Voice

2 months agoMusic / Jazz : JazzWax

Before Beyoncé, Madonna and Cher, there was Dardanelle. Billed solely by her first name starting in the early 1940s, Dardanelle was an enormous talent. She could sing and play jazz piano and vibes, appearing at New York's tony cocktail bars...        

Monday Recommendation: A Film About Rhaasan Roland Kirk

2 months agoMusic / Jazz : Rifftides

Rahsaan Roland Kirk, The Case Of The Three Sided Dream (Arthaus Musik/Monoduo Films) Producer-Director Adam Kahan includes biographical facts throughout his film about Kirk (1935–1977), the most prominent jazz multi-instrumentalist of the late twentieth century. Show More Summary

Chet Baker: Cold Trumpet

2 months agoMusic / Jazz : JazzWax

In 1959, trumpeter Chet Baker was in Europe touring and recording. An addict since the early 1950s, Baker found scoring drugs abroad relatively easy. When his connections in Italy dried up, he began visiting doctors, complaining of headaches and leaving...       Related Stories Phil Urso and Carl Saunders New Year's Day Recordings John Williams: Rainbows  

Hod O'Brien Meets Sal Nistico

2 months agoMusic / Jazz : JazzWax

Jazz was in a strange place in the 1980s. I remember being fresh out of college and working my first job at The New York Times. There were plenty of clubs in town, but other than the big ones where...       Related Stories Rare Hod O'Brien + Doug Raney  

Chuck Stewart And Ed Berger, RIP

2 months agoMusic / Jazz : Rifftides

Two non-musicians prominent in the US jazz community have died in the past week. One was a photographer whose images are among the most prominent in jazz history. Chuck Stewart’s intimate work appeared on dozens of album covers and in magazines. He was 89. Among his most familiar photographs were those of John Coltrane. Stewart […]

Music for Commuting

Today we bring you sweet jams from a couple of members of Spain’s 1970s-1990s experimental electronic/ambient music scene. With their music, they steel our nerves and soothe our limbic systems as we begin the unpredictable adventure of our commute into work; when the time comes, they dull the sharp shock of delays, cancellations and general […]

Melissa, Marcos and Maynard

2 months agoMusic / Jazz : JazzWax

In The Wall Street Journal this week, I interviewed singer-guitarist Melissa Etheridge for my "House Call" column (go here). Melissa, who has won an Oscar and a Grammy, started playing professionally at age 12. Her new album, Memphis Rock and...        

Doc: Charles Mingus 1968

2 months agoMusic / Jazz : JazzWax

By 1966, touring slowed considerably for bassist and leader Charles Mingus. He hadn't recorded a studio album since 1963 (Mingus, Mingus, Mingus, Mingus, Mingus for Impulse), and live dates had begun to dry up in 1965. Unable to pay the...        

No sermons

Another slept on 2017 jam for you today.  This time from the (ever) awesome Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith. Once again we stalk through New Age worlds, overgrown with time, sprouting mutant forms like a blissful Californian Chernobyl. Once again, this is music for the synths and as ethereal as ever.  But this time, this time a […]

Doing It Better: CCM as Bond

2 months agoMusic / Jazz : JazzWax

The reason most jazz orchestras steer clear of the James Bond catalog is fear of ridicule. Bond music is deceptively difficult. To be convincing, the feel has to be sultry while the attack must be elephantine and brassy. Anything short...        

Recent Listening: New Old Brubeck

2 months agoMusic / Jazz : Rifftides

Dave Brubeck Quartet With Paul Desmond At The Sunset Center 1955 (Solar) New music by the Dave Brubeck Quartet has surfaced on the European label Solar. Previously unissued, it finds the group brimming with the harmonic daring, contrapuntal interaction and humor that were beginning to make them famous. A 1954 TIME magazine cover story about […]

Warne Marsh: Dec. 1975

2 months agoMusic / Jazz : JazzWax

Whenever I put on a Warne Marsh recording, I don't think of him as a jazz musician. Rather, I imagine the tenor saxophonist as an architect and that I'm looking at his designs rather than listening to musical notes. It's...       Related Stories Warne Marsh: Dahoud Konitz and Marsh: Half Note  

Tony Bennett: Pennies in '58

2 months agoMusic / Jazz : JazzWax

On Sunday, June 29, 1958, Tony Bennett appeared on NBC's Steve Allen Show to sing two songs. The first, Young and Warm and Wonderful, had been released weeks earlier by Tony on Columbia and reached #23 on the Billboard pop...       Related Stories David Allyn on Steve Allen Interview: Tony Bennett  

Monday Recommendation: Outset

2 months agoMusic / Jazz : Rifftides

Dan Meinhardt, Outset (ears&eyes records) When the venerable Chicago jazz entrepreneur Bob Koester opened a new record store last fall, he initiated a live music policy by bringing in Outset, a quartet formed in 2013 by tenor saxophonist Dan Meinhardt. Koester, the founder of Delmark Records and the Jazz Record Mart, has for decades kept […]

Dennis Coffey: In the D

2 months agoMusic / Jazz : JazzWax

In 1972, guitarist Dennis Coffey had a hit with the funk-soul instrumental Scorpio, which reached #6 on the Billboard pop chart. He had been there many times before as a member of Motown's Funk Brothers house band. That's Coffey's wah-wah...       Related Stories Dolo Coker: California Hard Bill Evans: Some Other Time Larry Young: 1964-65  

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Let us tell you something about our latest obsession, Toshifumi Hinata: Toshifumi Hinata is an accomplished piano player who studied classical piano and composition in several US universities. He is a prolific composer of soundtracks for TV series and dramas, and he has been referred to as ‘The Henry Mancini of Japanese Drama music”. According […]

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