It's Jazz History Online's 5th Anniversary!
Our commemorative issue features some of our finest articles!
Notes from the Editor:
Five years ago, Jazz History Online launched with a handful of reviews, an artist profile, and a Historical Essay. We now have over 435 pages of material covering the wide horizons of jazz past and present. This month, we look back on some of our favorite essays from the last five years. We hope that your favorites are also here, but keep in mind that every article on JHO is archived and can be accessed through our search page and through the directories available through our navigation page.
You might wonder why we're still here on GoDaddy. We were all set to move the site to SquareSpace when I discovered that GoDaddy had decided to continue support for our current web platform. I'm very grateful to all who offered help, either through financial or in-kind donations. We have cancelled our GoFundMe campaign, but we still welcome donations through the PayPal port located on this page underneath the photo of the newspaper.
We hope you enjoy this special edition of Jazz History Online. New articles coming in August.
Our Profile section offers extended-length, in-depth discussions of contemporary musicians. The astounding progressive jazz vocalist Gretchen Parlato graced our inaugural issue, and that was followed by one of our most popular features, an interactive history of the Swingle Singers. If your taste runs toward avant-garde jazz, check out our profile of the wonderful soprano saxophonist Jane Ira Bloom. We have also spotlighted the superb British/Australian vocalist Anita Wardell, and our most recent profile features the resourceful Brazilian composer and vocalist Luciana Souza.
The history of jazz holds endless fascination for us, and we've reviewed several fine biographies, histories, anthologies and jazz fiction. When two major biographies of Charlie Parker appeared in the same month, we took the opportunity to compare the two works for their similarities and differences. We have explored the history of love songs with Ted Gioia, examined a wide range of critical opinions on Duke Ellington, and saw the legendary San Francisco nightclub, the Keystone Korner through the lens of Kathy Sloane. We have also celebrated the imaginative works of Mick Carlon, who juxtaposes fictional characters with iconic jazz musicians in his novels for teens and young adults.
Jazz History Online offers detailed essays on important music of the past. Our interactive essay on the classic television show "The Sound of Jazz" includes the entire hour-long program with corrected speed. We also have a extensive essay on the Duke Ellington/Billy Strayhorn collaboration "Such Sweet Thunder". And did you know that the great song "Body and Soul" was recorded seventeen times before it was premiered on Broadway? You can hear those recordings complete (many with surprising differences) in our interactive article. Our most recent essay spotlights a 6-month period in 1968 when the Bill Evans trio included drummer Jack DeJohnette. DeJohnette brought a new energy to the group, and their recordings (some newly issued) are quite remarkable.
Retro Reviews: Since this is a jazz history site, we review old records as well as new ones. In our Retro Review section, we alternate between reissued albums and classic LPs. Some of the vinyl discs have never been reissued, but are worthy contenders (such as "Memories Ad-Lib", a great Count Basie/Joe Williams small group session that features guitar solos by Freddie Green!) We detailed the long-hidden history of the performance that became Erroll Garner's "Concert by the Sea". Our Retro Review of the Louis Armstrong live performances on Mosaic stands as the most detailed discussion of the album in print or online.
is an open forum for historical information that is a little off the
beaten path. We've included a wide range of material in this section,
including a famous Paul Desmond solo that has appeared in edited form
since the mid-1950s (and no one realized it was an edit!). Our article
includes audio of both the complete and edited solos--thanks to the
estates of Desmond and Dave Brubeck. We've also used this space to
examine the music and career of vocalist Jeri Southern, and explore the
source of jazz's most famous anthem. Our current Sidetracks feature is
about French vocalist Camille Bertault, who has become an internet
celebrity from a series of YouTube videos where she flawlessly scats the
solos of John Coltrane, Brad Mehldau, Chick Corea, Hermeto Pascoal and
Interviews: Interviews have been an occasional feature on our site. One of our earliest supporters was Clare Fischer. Marissa Dodge set up an interview with Clare, but to her (and our) surprise, Clare's son Brent answered the questions. As it turned out, Brent had been co-writing most of his father's arrangements. Jazz History Online was the first to reveal this information (with the blessings of the Fischer family). A couple of years, I did a rollicking interview with the vocal trio, Duchess. Their love for the music and their light-hearted attitude made for a delightful article.
Jazz History Online is currently based in Denver, and we cover as many jazz concerts here as we can. On one memorable night, Anat Cohen and her brothers Avishai and Yuval brought authentic Brooklyn progressive jazz to Denver. We have also reviewed concerts outside of Denver, including the Vail Jazz Party, as well as New York performances by Ryan Truesdell's Gil Evans Project, and the duet of Luciana Souza and Romero Lubambo (courtesy of our East Coast correspondents, Chris Coulter and Nicky Schrire). In May 2016, JHO's Thomas Cunniffe made a long-delayed trip to the East Coast and reviewed six different groups in a single week.
CD Reviews: Each month, Jazz History Online reviews the best new CD releases for both vocal and instrumental jazz. Tony Bennett's brilliant recital of Jerome Kern songs was presented in a feature review . I explored the music of progressive singers Sara Serpa, Andrea Wolper, Clare Wheeler and Jay Clayton in "Vocalists at the Edge". CDs by Renee Rosnes, Lew Tabackin and the duet of Kenny Wheeler and John Taylor was the basis of an essay review titled "Four Jazz Masters". Our most recent instrumental reviews featured tribute albums of many kinds from Jane Ira Bloom, Roberta Piket and Matt Wilson, while our vocal section explored singers from all over the globe, including Beat Kaestli, Sarah McKenzie, and Kurt Elling.
DVD Reviews: Jazz DVDs have become something of a rarity these days, but Jazz History Online tries to cover any worthwhile releases. In our first issue, I compared the television series and feature versions of "Icons Among Us", a fascinating look at the contemporary jazz scene in Brooklyn, New Orleans and Western Europe. Both versions were available separately on DVD, but no one ever issued the most logical box set, which was "all of the above". We've also screened Criterion's beautiful edition of "Anatomy of a Murder" which offers the option of hearing Duke Ellington's score in Dolby Digital Surround. We also look at independent jazz films, such as the women-in-jazz history "The Girls in The Band" and the wonderful documentary on Tubby Hayes, "A Man in a Hurry".
And don't forget...
There's plenty more to discover here at Jazz History Online. The samples on this page represent only about 10 percent of our work. Feel free to explore the site--you'll never know what treasures you might find!
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