From the Editor 11-14

In our continuing efforts to keep this website online and (eventually) profitable, we are now soliciting and accepting advertising. Before you cringe too much, please understand that I spend a tremendous amount of time working on this site every month, and if I actually got paid for that work, this would be my full-time job. The advertising revenue will help me stay afloat, and I hope to attract enough revenue so that I can hire additional writers to the staff. I plan to include ads for goods that musicians use on a regular basis. Our first advertiser is a saxophone shop from Windsor, Colorado, Sax Alley. If you are a woodwind specialist, I encourage you to click on the ad and explore their website (and if you know any saxophonists, please encourage them to visit both our site and Sax Alley’s). In the coming months, I will endeavor to find companies that market to vocalists, brass and rhythm section players. I sincerely hope that all of you will support this effort. By the way, the PayPal portal for donations will remain active, should you prefer to contribute in that manner.

OK, commercial over. We have a HUGE issue this month, with several new articles. The latest Historical Essay concerns the “Opera House” LPs, a series of five albums recorded during Jazz at the Philharmonic’s last annual tour in the autumn of 1957. And what an amazing lineup: Ella Fitzgerald, Stan Getz and J.J. Johnson, Coleman Hawkins and Roy Eldridge, the Modern Jazz Quartet, the Oscar Peterson Trio, Lester Young, Illinois Jacquet, Flip Philiips, Sonny Stitt and Jo Jones! These recordings have quite a back story: on three of the LPs, the mono and stereo editions come from different concerts in different cities, and on a further disc, a concert from the Los Angeles concert was issued as a concert from Amsterdam! I solved a few mysteries concerning these albums, but there are several questions that may never be answered.

New in the Book Review section is James Gavin’s new biography of Peggy Lee, “Is That All There Is?”, and our latest DVD Review tells the story of legendary arranger and vibraharpist Gary McFarland. The Retro Review features a new 4-CD release of the Miles Davis Quintet with John Coltrane during their final tour of Europe. These broadcast recordings have been bootlegged for years, but the new release is notable for its improved fidelity and an outstanding liner note essay by British saxophonist Simon Spillett. Three sophisticated ladies are included in the Vocal CD Reviews: Cat Conner (with an autobiographical collection), Nancy Kelly (with a Hammond B3 combo) and Melissa Stylianou (on a live-to-2-track small group session). On the instrumental CD side, I examine Jimmy Greene’s poignant tribute to his daughter (who died at Sandy Hook Elementary), a nostalgic collection of standards by Houston Person and a wonderful ballad set by Dayna Stephens.

Our annual survey of holiday music, “Music for a Cool Yule”, will be updated and published on December 1, and our summation of 2014 (featuring JHO’s picks for best CDs, DVDs and books of the year) will appear on January 1, 2015.

Jazz History Online’s Facebook page continues to gain members. If you are not yet one of our 1200 fans, please go to and like us! If you’d like a monthly e-mail update of new articles (no, we won’t sell your addresses to anyone else), or would like to communicate with me, please write to [email protected]


Thomas Cunniffe

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