Language of the Blues: CONJURE

In The Language of the Blues: From Alcorub to ZuZu, author and rocker Debra Devi explores the meaning of a word or phrase from a blues song. The award-winning book includes a foreword by Dr. John and is blurbed by Bonnie Raitt and Joe Bonamassa. To conjure is to cast a spell, to call upon supernatural powers [...]

Five New Dexter Gordon Videos

As jazz musicians go, Dexter Gordon was among the coolest. He walked cool, he talked cool and he played cool. Cool came naturally to him. Perhaps that side of him came from growing up in Los Angeles in the 1930s. Or perhaps it came from meeting all of the cool musicians his physician father treated, [...]

Burt Bacharach: Jazz Covers

The late Burt Bacharach's music for songs worked neatly as jazz instrumental covers, especially by jazz artists who were compelled to recorded albums of contemporary hits in the 1960s and '70s. Like Henry Mancini's music, Burt's melodies were clean and catchy and weren't tied directly to specific artists, which is what made so many rock [...]

Frank Sinatra’s Drummer Tells the Story of His Final Concert

Gregg Field worked with the legendary singer for the last few years of Sinatra's professional career. In honor of Ol’ Blue Eyes’s 100th birthday, Field reflects back on both the good and the bad. The following appeared in the December 11, 2015 edition of Vanity Fair magazine.  It’s very difficult for musical artists, especially those [...]

Harvie S and Yukimi M: ‘New York Memories’

Harvie S cranks it out. The bassist is either gigging, traveling to a gig or releasing albums as a leader or sideman. I love his energy, his passion for jazz and his music. His latest album, New York Memories, is a beautiful duet recording with his wife, pianist Yukimi Maeda. It's the kind of album [...]

Documentary: Dame Shirley Bassey

Most Americans know Shirley Bassey only from her three brassy James Bond film themes—Goldfinger, Diamonds Are Forever and Moonraker. In the U.K., Dame Shirley was enormously popular from the late 1950s on. She delivered on stage the way Judy Garland did, belted songs out the way Barbra Streisand did and was as coy and as [...]

Documentary: Don Byas Returns

In 1970, tenor saxophonist Don Byas returned from Europe to perform at New York's Village Vanguard. He had been living abroad since 1946. A Dutch documentary called Homecoming was made of Byas's one-time return visit. In the documentary, the artist who Byas refers to as his close friend is pianist Jaki Byard. The band he [...]

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