Thomas Cunniffe

NOTES FROM THE EDITOR 6-19

Welcome back to Jazz History Online! I’m pleased to report that our entire archive is now fully functional on the new site. With help from a few of our supporters, we’ll do some work inside the site which will help our search visibility on Google and other search engines, and correct several outdated links. We […]

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The Sound of Jazz: An Interactive Essay

Long considered the greatest presentation of jazz on television, Robert Herridge’s “The Sound of Jazz” succeeded by just letting the musicians be themselves, and allowing them to develop their music on their own terms. This newly revised interactive essay includes the complete show and a running commentary by Thomas Cunniffe.

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Swingle Singers Discography

Thanks to Ward Swingle, Olive (Molly) Simpson, Michael Dore, Joanna Forbes L’Estrange, Rachel Weston, Patrick Ardagh-Walter, Jacqueline Barron, Simon Grant, Wendy Nieper, Kineret Erez,  Kevin Fox, Tobias Hug, John Neal, Edouard Reichenbach, Tom Lord, Daniel Richard.

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“St. Louis Blues” playlist personnel

“ST. LOUIS BLUES” (by W.C. Handy) 1. Bessie Smith (3:10) BESSIE SMITH (v); LOUIS ARMSTRONG (cor); FRED LONGSHAW (harm). NYC; 1/14/25. 2. The Dixie Stompers (Fletcher Henderson & His Orchestra) (3:03) RUSSELL SMITH, JOE SMITH, TOMMY LADNIER (tp); JIMMY HARRISON (tb); BUSTER BAILEY, DON REDMAN, COLEMAN HAWKINS (r); FLETCHER HENDERSON (p); CHARLIE DIXON (bj); JUNE […]

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Jazz Adaptations of “Porgy and Bess”

George Gershwin’s “Porgy and Bess” lives in two disparate worlds: opera and popular music. With an award-winning, but controversial production running on Broadway, the show has never been more popular. In this Historical Essay, Thomas Cunniffe discusses several jazz adaptations of this American masterwork.

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Old, New, Borrowed, and Blue

This month’s vocal CD reviews spotlight four remarkable singers–two who have been reviewed here before (Sara Serpa and Elisabeth Lohninger), and two others who are new to our pages (Alyssa Allgood and Maggie Herron). Reviewer Thomas Cunniffe is eager to note that the adjectives in the review title are not intended as descriptions of each disc in turn, but a collection of qualities shared throughout the group.

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Standards, Old and New

Many of today’s jazz vocalists strive to find unique repertoire. This month’s Vocal CD Reviews spotlights three singers with their own solutions to the problem. Catherine Russell and Ann Hampton Callaway both explore classic songs written before 1950, with notably different results, while Cyrille Aimée transforms the music of Stephen Sondheim. Thomas Cunniffe notes the strengths of each album.

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Notes from the Editor 4-19

Welcome to the new and improved Jazz History Online! Consider this a “soft” opening. We planned to launch this new version in mid-May, but a technical issue occurred, which made it impossible for me to edit articles on the old site. Bear with us! We have 7 new articles to share right now in the […]

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Keyboard Heritage

The twin concepts of personal and stylistic heritage is examined and celebrated in this month’s Instrumental CD Reviews. Ehud Asherie performs music from several different jazz eras on “Wild Man Blues”, Benny Green celebrates his mentors on “Then and Now”, Stu Mindeman explores the indigenous music of Chile on “Woven Threads” and Kenny Werner adds his artistry to the long tradition of solo pianists on “The Space”. Thomas Cunniffe reviews the four CDs.

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Remembering Amy Duncan

Former Jazz History Online contributor Amy Duncan passed away in June 2018. With the exception of a single Facebook post by jazz critic Chip Deffaa, no obituaries or memorials have appeared in print or online since Amy’s passing. In this special edition of Sidetracks, Thomas Cunniffe curates a tribute to our friend and colleague, Amy Hildreth Duncan. (Cover photo by Robert Serbinenko.)

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