• Klein’s pupil in the studio seemed to be trying to erase his presence through sheer aggression. Had Mozart started that way? Till didn’t think so.

  • In 1961 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer had purchased Verve Records from Norman Granz. Creed Taylor became the new executive director, and made a number of crucial policy decisions, including the sacking of the majority of Verve’s contract artists. One of a handful to survive was

  • Club Havana was known for hosting decent Afro-Cuban jazz bands. There was dancing Thursdays through Sundays, and Sunday afternoons, the management handed out free cigars. Hector became close to the house band, whose rhythm section inspired him.

  • This edition features a selection of “glamour girl” covers !

  • "Till's Piano Lesson" -- Short Fiction Contest-winning story
  • Great Encounters: In the studio with Bill Evans and Stan Getz
  • "A Man's Hands En Clave" -- a short story by Arya Jenkins
  • Cover Stories with Paul Morris, Vol. 11
jk Uncategorized

“Whiplash” — teaching success the old fashioned way, through humiliation

I finally got around to watching Whiplash over the weekend, accurately described by The Guardian’s Peter Bradshaw as the “Full Metal Jacket of jazz drumming.” Other than being recommended by several friends and casually knowing it involved a young musician attending a music conservatory, I did no research of the film prior to watching and had no expectation for it. I was struck by the brilliance of the performances – both acting and musical – but taken aback by the bizarre, near sadistic relationship between teacher (Terence Fletcher, played by Academy Award winner J.K. Simmons) and student (Andrew Neyman, played by Miles Teller).

It was great, but ultimately dispiriting art. How could anyone who purports to love music as much as Fletcher treat […] Continue reading »

armstrongportland Uncategorized

“Jumptown”

I am proud to report that I have recently been named President of PDX Jazz, the presenting organization of the Portland Jazz Festival (going forward it will be known as the PDX Jazz Festival). We just completed our 12th annual Festival season, hosting over 100 performance and education events, including shows by the likes of Ron Carter, Vijay Iyer, Christian McBride, Kurt Elling, Bill Charlap, Lee Konitz, Lou Donaldson, Billy Childs and Nicholas Payton, and our educational endeavors – a critical component of our mission – reached many of the city’s public school students. The Festival is an important component of the winter arts scene in Portland, which has become, as advertised, a model city for progressive politics and cultural pursuits.

We have recently moved our offices from downtown to the inner Northeast Alberta Street Arts District, and while putting together a brochure for an upcoming performance in this space, I am reminded of the long love affair Portland has had with jazz – a romance that continues to this day, evidenced by the […] Continue reading »

baker1 Features » A Moment in Time

A Moment in Time — Chet Baker, 1956

One of the iconic images of jazz — Chet Baker and wife Halema — is a shot taken by William Claxton during a photo session for the cover of a Pacific Jazz anthology album called The Blues. It was a time of brilliant artistry for Baker, and of course rampant and destructive drug abuse.

A story of their relationship and of this photo session, as told in this book excerpt from James Gavin’s Deep in a Dream: The Long Night of Chet Baker begins with the dark, drug-caused decline of the band Baker played with at the time — Phil Urso, Peter Littman, Bobby Timmons, Jimmy Bond and Bill Loughbrough — who had most recently recorded the album […] Continue reading »

kenton10 Quiz Show » Jazz History Quiz

Jazz History Quiz #69

Often described as one of the “great jokesters in jazz,” this trumpeter became a popular figure on the west coast who, in addition to playing with artists like Stan Kenton (pictured), Benny Goodman, Jimmy Giuffre and Art Pepper, also starred in a short-lived TV series called Run Buddy Run. Who is he?

Don Ellis

Ruby Braff

Shorty Rogers

Red Rodney

Jack Sheldon

Al Hirt

Go to the next page for the answer!
[…] Continue reading »