We have entered a strange time over the last few months. Who could have expected that a virus would so affect our lives and our livelihoods? As we try to pull ourselves out of quarantine and back into our daily routines, let us not forget the lessons of COVID-19 by appreciating all of the comforts and pleasures which suddenly disappeared with the appearance of this virus.
If you follow me and/or Jazz History Online on Facebook, you are aware that my personal life has taken several unexpected turns in the wake of the quarantine. I will spare you the details, except to relay the good news that Jazz History Online is relocating to the East Coast in the next few weeks. I’m not sure of the exact location yet, but it is likely that the new headquarters will be somewhere in the Mid-Atlantic region (Pennsylvania, Delaware or Maryland). Once live music resumes, JHO will offer coverage of concerts from New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Pittsburgh and Washington, DC.
We have several new articles this time. Two Historical Essays have been revised in recent weeks. An incomplete broadcast recording of “Such Sweet Thunder” surfaced on the web. It presents most of Duke Ellington’s performance of the suite at the 1957 Stratford Shakespearean Festival. The recording has not been commercially issued, so I cannot offer an audio stream. However, I have described the most important points about the recording. “Paul Desmond and the Canadians” has also been revised because, after years of delays, Mosaic has issued a 7-CD collection of this mostly unissued material. I encouraged Mosaic to create this set, and I contributed to the booklet, but I had no input on the set’s musical contents. The JHO essay has been updated to include discussions of the music that I heard for the first time on the Mosaic collection.
We have lost several great jazz musicians to COVID-19, including Ellis Marsalis, Wallace Roney, Bucky Pizzarelli, Mike Longo and Lee Konitz. This month’s Retro Review combines the 1967 classic “Lee Konitz Duets” with a newly released collection of duos by Lennie Tristano and his students. COVID-19’s devastating effect on the music industry is reflected in a new (and hopefully, NOT long-running) review series, “Jazz in the Time of COVID-19” which will focus on CDs released during the pandemic. We always recommend that our readers purchase the albums covered on the site, but now that request is most urgent. If you can help your favorite musicians, please buy their CDs. Also in this month’s mix is “The French Connection”, a review of two CDs which explore the cross-influence of French classical music and jazz. And to celebrate the centennial of Dave Brubeck, there is a review of the new biography, “A Life in Time”.
Believe it or not, it has been nearly 9 years since this website went live. Our next issue will publish on July 19, 2020 with another new mix of articles. We now have over 2700 Facebook fans! Are you one of them? If not, please go to https://www.facebook.com/JazzHistoryOnline/ and join the party! To be sure you get our Facebook messages, hover over the “liked” button on our Facebook page, and click the top two selections (“Get Notifications” and “Following”). 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@example.com
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to start packing!