• The publication of Arya Jenkins’ “VOODOO RUN” is the twelfth in a series of short stories she has been commissioned to write for Jerry Jazz Musician.

  • This extended excerpt from Ean Wood’s 2000 biography The Josephine Baker Story looks at the debate surrounding the issue of morality and entertainment that took place in Austria during her 1928 tour. The fascinating story — featuring economics, politics and religion — is a reminder of the complexity of the time in which she lived, and ends with a wonderfully ironic punchline.

  • In this edition, Paul features album covers of his favorite pop singers of the 1950’s 

     

     

  • Ms. Hawbaker’s story is the winner of the 45th Jerry Jazz Musician Short Fiction Contest.

  • "Voodoo Run" - A short story by Arya Jenkins
  • A Moment in Time: Josephine Baker, Vienna, 1928
  • Cover Stories, with Paul Morris; Vol. 22
  • "Last Stop with Louis Armstrong," by Laura Hawbaker
Features » In Memoriam

Ella is 100

2017 is the 100th birthday year of several jazz immortals – among them Thelonious Monk, Dizzy Gillespie, Buddy Rich, and, today, Ella Fitzgerald.

As a young and naïve jazz fan in the 1960’s, like Louis Armstrong, Ella seemed “square” to me – her voice too sweet and happy for my ears, especially when compared to the singer who most moved my soul to discover more of the music, Billie Holiday.   Plus, the Songbook series she became internationally famous for seemed too smartly packaged, slick in a Madison-Avenue-way that tore me away from the bins that stocked her record albums.

Over the years, however, I eventually came to appreciate and cherish her, especially as I learned the courageous and inspirational nature of her biography, and played her recordings with Chick Webb, and dug the collaborations with the Ink Spots, Louis Jordan, and eventually, of course,

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“Born With It” — a story by Rod Martinez

Do you remember growing up and always running into that one kid that just could do it all? Or at least did something better than you that you just wished you could do? It could have been art, sports, holding his breath under water – whatever it was it seemed it was a natural gift for him, like he was born with it. Who didn’t wish he or she was “born with it”?

During my childhood, I was always told I was special. Sure we all hear that growing up, and each one of us believes it. No one could make a bed as well as you, no one could

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“Space Age Greetings” — a letter to President Trump, from Sun Ra

Space Age Greetings, President Trump:

I am reaching outwards to you from outer space, the other side of nowhere.  (It is a place we both call home).    

I come bringing harmony in the face of the planet’s doom, which I predicted long ago, when I lived on Earth.

I believe you are throwing out a certain vibration that may bring about Earth’s doom.  When I lived on that planet I once said that “knowledge is laughable when attributed to a human being.”  But, I am thinking that under the circumstances, maybe it wouldn’t be such a bad idea for you to acquire some knowledge. 

I wrote something once that I believe can apply to you:

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Beyond “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised”

You will not be able to stay home, brother
You will not be able to plug in, turn on and drop out

So begin the lyrics to Gil Scott-Heron’s most famous poem set to music, “The Revolution Will Not be Televised.”  The original version of this song – recorded and released in 1970 on Bob Thiele’s Flying Dutchman label – had Gil accompanied by bongos and congas only.  In 1971, a new and subsequently more popular version was recorded – which included a full band – and released on Pieces of a Man, Scott-Heron’s most accomplished album.  

“Revolution” has since become an anthem of sorts, and so relevant that it was used in the opening theme of this year’s season of the popular TV series

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