thelonious monk plays duke ellington

Thelonious Monk Plays Duke Ellington – Album Review

The rise and fall of legendary jazz musicians is an overlapping narrative of eras, styles, and historical moments. Thelonious Sphere Monk is one of the undisputed greatest American musicians of all time, though the journey to his legendary status was far from glamorous. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KshrtLXBdl8 Monk was a “musician’s musician,” praised by the artistic community, but…

The Newport Jazz Festival – A Brief History

In 1954, Newport, Rhode Island hosted the “First Annual American Jazz Festival.” It was the first time that live acts travelled and gathered in one place to perform live jazz music for an audience. An estimated 12,000 people packed themselves into the Newport Casino to see the world’s biggest names in jazz of the day:…
tom harrell american jazz trumpetist

Tom Harrell – American Jazz Trumpeter Bio

Tom Harrell is an American jazz trumpeter, arranger, flugelhorn player, and composer born in Urbana, Illinois on the 16th of June, 1946. Here's a sample of Tom's playing, as Wayne Escoffrey looks on, enjoying every moment of it.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PDshTFnBaAo Tom Harrell Bio Moving to the San Francisco Bay area at the age of 5, Tom began…
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Live Jazz and the Beauty of Improvised Performance

Jazz music is arguably the most unpredictable and visceral performance art that exists. During improvisational bouts, in the flash of a second before an improvising musician’s next note, no one—sometimes not even the musician—knows what will come next. While classical music can be deeply, profoundly expressive, and while theatre and dance can promote tension and…

What are the Main Genres of American Music?

"Good" music means something different to everyone these days, and this is highlighted by the growing number of genres and sub-genres that circulate in both mainstream and underground circles. Most of these genres have evolved over the years due to several cultural and societal influences, and this is why every region of the world has…
tom jobim and joao gilberto

A Brief History of Bossa Nova Jazz Music

Jazz is regularly declared an American art form, referred to as the first truly American contribution to the canon of music. In some ways, this is true. Jazz was born in the US, and it flourished and changed with the tides of the nation. But to say that jazz is strictly American, that is, US…
coleman hawkins

The Hawk & The Reed

The tenor saxophone was not generally considered a jazz instrument when Coleman Hawkins took it up at the age of nine. At that time, around 1915, swing music was a developing genre—jazz as a whole was a developing sound, for that matter. Coleman Hawkins is a figure who drifts through the history of jazz as…
art_tatum

Art Tatum – Striding Through Life

Some artists are born for their craft. Perhaps the greatest among musicians—whose very name has become synonymous with virtuosity and genius—is Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. This towering, Classical era composer demonstrated a capacity for musical genius at an extremely young age, and in a radical, almost supernatural way. The legend regarding Mozart’s transcription of Allegri’s Miserere…
john coltrane live

A Fight And A Love Supreme

The late 50s and early 60s were a turbulent time in both American history, and in the history of jazz.  Much of the established culture was being subverted by civil rights activism, and the world at large was turning its attention to the birth of rock & roll. Here's a crash course in '50's Civil…