• 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
Interviews

“Up From New Orleans: Life Before, During and After Hurricane Katrina” — A conversation with transplanted New Orleans musicians Mark DiFlorio and Devin Phillips

Watching the impact Hurricane Irma is having on countless lives this week brought back memories of stories that came out of New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina in August of 2005.  In the midst of all the devastation, many people left the Crescent City permanently, including a handful of jazz musicians who made the move to Portland at the invitation of the Portland Jazz Festival organization (now known as PDX Jazz).

In 2006 I interviewed two of those musicians — Devin Phillips, who has become a fixture on Portland’s jazz scene and is its most popular and accomplished saxophonist, and Mark DiFlorio, a drummer who lived in Portland before moving to Seattle (his website indicates he is now living in Los Angeles).  Their stories are remarkable, and this interview is worth revisiting…

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Literature » Jazz Fiction by Arya Jenkins

“Voodoo Run” — a short story by Arya Jenkins

Allie drove her taxi with a smart ass attitude, smacking gum ceaselessly, and wore a Yankees cap backwards on her head on the job, even though she’d never watched a baseball game in her life, didn’t even like the game. Her dad had named her after a pitcher who’d won five straight World Series and Allie was always grateful that pitcher hadn’t been named Lefty or something like that.

Allie’s father had been the true baseball fan and Allie wore his cap in his memory. His real gift to her was love of music, jazz in particular. In her cab, she listened to WBGO, 88.3, remembering times she hung out with her dad in the garage listening to Miles Davis, Chick Corea, Wayne Shorter, experiments in sound, beautiful chaos while he fixed things. The garage was Bert’s space and his peace, or rather, the music was, and the smoke and silence that rose between them accentuated this. Whenever the strangers she drove around asked about her father, Allie always told them, “He went the way of the Marlboro man.” Cancer.

It surprised people to hear that she, a Millennial should enjoy jazz. “Jazz was like my Gerber food,” she liked to say. As a teen she dug hip hop enough to explore its fusion with jazz, but the fusion didn’t

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Uncategorized

Witnessing the brilliance of Cecile McLorin Salvant

Last week I had the privilege of attending a show in Portland by vocalist Cecile McLorin Salvant, the fast emerging superstar of jazz, of whom Wynton Marsalis has said “you get a singer like this once in a generation or two.”

The show – performed at the city’s 300 seat Old Church on August 30 – was one of the more astounding jazz performances I have ever seen.  Having been to hundreds (hell, probably thousands by now) of shows over the years in venues all over the globe, that is saying something!  I came away feeling as if I witnessed contemporary “greatness” of historic proportions.

Ms. Salvant, a 28-year-old native of Miami, was elegant, breathtaking, sensitive, angry, political, intellectual, adventurous, and everything in between (and always brilliant).  So many highlights — including Aaron Diehl’s performance on the Old Church organ, accompanying her on

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