CONCERT JOURNAL: SUMMER-FALL 2022

Now appearing in abbreviated form due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, Jazz History Online’s Concert Journal continues to cover the finest jazz concerts from the Eastern US. Thomas Cunniffe is your guide to the wide variety of jazz performed from Boston to DC.

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DEDICATION

The word “Dedication” is a synonym for commitment, as well as the act of honoring others. The double meaning applies to the recordings, as many of the honorees are lauded for their sense of commitment. Thomas Cunniffe reviews four new CDs by Lynne Arriale, Eli Degibri, Fred Hersch, and Martin Wind.

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REFLECTIONS

The word “reflection” has two distinct meanings: the image seen in a mirror, and the act of remembering. This set of Vocal CD Reviews includes instances of both definitions. Thomas Cunniffe reviews the albums of Alex Baird, Dawn Derow, Carol Sloane, Melissa Stylianou, Tierney Sutton and Mark Winkler.

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MARY LOU WILLIAMS: MUSIC FOR THE SOUL (by Deanna Witkowski)

Mary Lou Williams was not only the most important female musician in jazz history; she was a major force in the music’s development. For the past two decades, Deanna Witkowski has researched Williams’ life and music. Thomas Cunniffe reviews Witkowski’s new book on Williams’ life, and her new CD which features Williams’ music.

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DO YOU REMEMBER THE CONCERT WHEN…

Of the hundreds of concerts we may attend in our lifetimes, the ones we remember best are the ones with stories attached. Usually, the stories are exaggerated over time…unless the concert was recorded. In this month’s Retro Review, Thomas Cunniffe reviews newly issued vintage concerts by Ella Fitzgerald, Dave Brubeck, Charles Mingus, and Oscar Peterson, each attached to a unique story.

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“THE SPIRITS WITHIN”: THE COLLABORATIONS OF RED RODNEY AND IRA SULLIVAN (Part 1)

The Red Rodney/Ira Sullivan Quintet was one of the most exciting bands of the early 1980s. Trumpeter Rodney and multi-instrumentalist Sullivan co-lead the house band at Chicago’s Bee Hive in the mid-1950s. They reunited 25 years later and fronted a quintet with a young rhythm section that explored contemporary jazz from a bebop foundation. In this extended Historical Essay, Thomas Cunniffe explores the collaborations of Rodney and Sullivan, encompassing nine LPs and six newly-discovered live recordings.

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VERONICA SWIFT: “HER INFINITE VARIETY”

In “Antony and Cleopatra”, Shakespeare wrote, “Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale, her infinite variety”. The words were originally a tribute to the Egyptian queen, but they have special significance in the career of jazz vocalist Veronica Swift. Thomas Cunniffe explores the music and life of this multi-talented young lady in this JHO Profile.

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JATP at The Opera House

In 1957, Norman Granz launched the 18th tour of Jazz at the Philharmonic. The concerts yielded 5 separate albums featuring Ella Fitzgerald, Oscar Peterson, the Modern Jazz Quartet, Stan Getz, J.J. Johnson, Coleman Hawkins, Roy Eldridge and the JATP All-Stars. All of the albums were titled At the Opera House but on four of the five albums, the mono editions were recorded at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles! In this Historical Essay, Thomas Cunniffe sorts out the discographical maze and discusses all five of the albums in both their mono and stereo editions.

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