Monthly Archives: August 2011

Bird as Shaman

I meant to mention Charlie Parker’s birthday yesterday but was just too busy with this and that. I’ve been listening a lot to Bird recently. I’ve been listening to Bird as long as I’ve been listening to jazz. But I’ve … Continue reading

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Thelonious Monk as Wittgenstein of the Piano

Mostly the comments on YouTube range from the stupid to the forgettable, but once in a while there’s a gem. I was listening to my CD Thelonious Monk Plays Duke Ellington, a charmingly faithful (for Monk) rendition of some Ellington … Continue reading

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Round Midnight

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Jerry Leiber, RIP

Billy and Dad just heard that Jerry Leiber died, the songwriter who with Mike Stoller crafted some of the finest popular songs of the past fifty years, like “Hound Dog” and “Stand by Me.” Here’s the obit from Rolling Stone. … Continue reading

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In Praise of Papa Jo

It’s very hard to compare even good non-jazz drummers to jazz drummers. A good jazz drummer plays with time and yet is completely synched with the rhythm. Rock drummers for the most part beat out the time. They smash the … Continue reading

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Bill Evans and the Secrets of Jazz

If you’re up for a bit of a lecture, this is a very articulate expression of many important points about jazz. First, that jazz is about “freedom with responsibility” – a profound openness to the passing moment, but also a … Continue reading

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Joe and John

Even if you just saw this last night, it’s worth seeing again. Nothing quite like it. You enter some twilight zone where parody and homage and cool duetting all merge into one hilarious, charming, rollicking performance. By the way, on … Continue reading

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