It’s a little late this year, but here is Jazz History Online’s Summation of 2023. Not too many changes in my little corner of the jazz world this year, except for one issue that I will discuss presently. Excuse me, as I step up on my soap box… The Compact Disc’s demise continued its slow […]

2023: THE SUMMATION Read More »


…And another year has passed. This one seemed to move quicker than the others but not being in quarantine might have made the difference. In 2022, Jazz History Online covered more concerts than in any other year in its history; however, this was also the year with the fewest full issues. Only 3 books and

2022: THE SUMMATION Read More »


2021 was a roller coaster of a year, filled with contradictions and false starts. However, there was great music performed live and on disc, plus excellent historical reissues and books. We note these accomplishments, and say farewell to those who left us in this year’s Summation.

2021: THE SUMMATION Read More »

Music for a Cool Yule 2021

Happy Holidays from Jazz History Online! For our annual feature, Music for a Cool Yule, Thomas Cunniffe and Marti Mendenhall offer capsule reviews of the best in holiday jazz, both new and classic. We have received far less holiday discs for review this year, so we hope that you will look through the entire list to find a new holiday favorite, regardless of whether it is a new release, or one from years past.

Music for a Cool Yule 2021 Read More »


2020: THE SUMMATION Read More »


The COVID-19 virus shut down live concerts within a few days. The re-emergence of concerts is a slow process, but Thomas Cunniffe reports that musicians can get back to work if they are willing to create their own opportunities.

BACK TO WORK! Read More »


Jazz History Online’s annual recap of the year in jazz. Includes listings of the year’s best books, concerts, and CDs, and a memorial for those jazz musicians and supporters who died in the past year.

2019 SUMMATION Read More »


In honor of the upcoming Summer equinox, Jazz History Online’s principal writer has retrieved and revised one of his vintage articles, discussing 17 different of George Gershwin’s “Summertime”. Embedded YouTube clips are included, so grab an iced tea and take this article out on the porch.


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.)

Remembering Amy Duncan Read More »

The Dave Frishberg Songbook

When someone says they don’t write good songs anymore, they must not referring to Dave Frishberg. Since the early Sixties, Frishberg has created witty, off-beat songs which have the repertoire of many singers. Thomas Cunniffe offers his own salute to this superb musician with a selection of Frishberg’s best songs, some performed by the composer himself.

The Dave Frishberg Songbook Read More »

Camille Bertault: The Girl on the Internet

Since the summer of 2015, when she uploaded her remarkable scat version of John Coltrane’s Giant Steps, French jazz vocalist Camille Bertault has been an internet sensation. In this edition of Sidetracks, Bertault tells Thomas Cunniffe about the inspiration for that video, and her unique and varied background. The article includes four embedded videos (and links to several more) plus a review of Bertault’s new CD, En Vie.

Camille Bertault: The Girl on the Internet Read More »

Ella Fitzgerald at 100

2017 marks the 100th anniversary of Ella Fitzgerald’s birth, and the occasion is being marked with a plethora of reissues, compilations and tributes. In this special Sidetracks article, Thomas Cunniffe pays homage to the First Lady of Song with an appreciation of her art, and an overview of this spring’s salutes.

Ella Fitzgerald at 100 Read More »

The Essence of Billie

For many jazz fans and historians, there are two categories of jazz singers: Billie Holiday and everyone else. Thomas Cunniffe has a similar rating system for Billie Holiday tribute albums: there’s Carmen McRae’s and everyone else’s. However, two new Holiday tributes by José James and Cassandra Wilson stand up well to comparisons with McRae’s classic LP. The similarities and differences are discussed in this month’s Sidetracks.

The Essence of Billie Read More »

Jazz and Standup Comedy

Standup comedians like Mort Sahl, Lenny Bruce, Woody Allen and Bill Cosby have readily acknowledged the influence of jazz in their work but few comedians talked about the music in their acts. There were a few exceptions, and Thomas Cunniffe shares them in this month’s Sidetracks.

Jazz and Standup Comedy Read More »

Scroll to Top