It’s been another exciting month at Jazz History Online. A friend and I traveled from Denver to Santa Fe for a concert by the current edition of the Swingle Singers. The photo to the left was taken shortly after the concert, and features L-R: Joanna Goldsmith-Eteson, Oliver Griffiths, yours truly, Kevin Fox, Christopher Jay, Sara Brimer, Clare Wheeler and Tobias Hug. Despite a horrendous 36-hour journey from Italy to New Mexico, the Swingles performed a wonderful concert, and were very gracious in meeting the audience afterwards. On the subject of the Swingles, the Swingle Singers history on JHO now includes a complete discography of the group. Compiled with the assistance of several former and current Swingles (including founder Ward Swingle), the discography lists all of the group’s recordings and all of the personnel, giving you a nearly complete listing of every singer who performed with the group.
This month’s Historical Essay is an interactive look at the classic television program, “The Sound of Jazz“. Just the artist lineup is enough to garner your attention: Count Basie, Billie Holiday, Thelonious Monk, Jimmy Rushing, Pee Wee Russell, Red Allen, Jimmy Giuffre, Lester Young,. Coleman Hawkins, Ben Webster, Roy Eldridge, Milt Hinton, Danny Barker, Osie Johnson and Papa Jo Jones. The show is a model for how jazz should be portrayed on television. Frequently excerpted in documentaries, our essay offers the entire program in Flash video, along with a history of the show’s production. If you’ve never seen this, or if it’s been a few years, take a look–you will be amazed at the music and the production. Better yet, show it to a newcomer to jazz–they will be a fan forever!
Our newest writer, Chris Coulter, is a Masters’ candidate in Jazz History at Rutgers University. He is also a professional jazz saxophonist and music educator. His first contribution to JHO is a Retro Review on Stan Getz’ “The Dolphin”. Expect to see many more articles from Chris in the coming months. My Retro Review reflects to my own college years, where I researched the music of the Marty Paich Dek-tette. The recording in question is “Ella Swings Lightly“, which teams Ella Fitzgerald with Paich and his 10-piece cool jazz ensemble. It is a wonderful recording well worth seeking, and we offer it in commemoration of the 95th anniversary of Ella’s birth. Our latest book review is of Ricky Riccardi’s “What A Wonderful World“, a study of Louis Armstrong from 1947-1971. Using Armstrong’s recorded memoirs, Riccardi upends many long-held beliefs on the merits of Pops’ later years. Ellen Johnson has contributed a review of Don Braden‘s latest CD, while I discuss the newest releases by Robert Glasper, Esperanza Spalding and Kate McGarry. I also review the lovely and reverent “Easter Suite” by Oscar Peterson, newly released on DVD.
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