• The publication of Arya Jenkins’ “LULU AND ME” is the 13th in a series of short stories she has been commissioned to write for Jerry Jazz Musician. 

     

  • In Robbie Robertson’s entertaining biography Testimony, the rock guitarist tells a short story about a conversation he overheard Bob Dylan having with The Byrd’s Jim (a.k.a. “Roger”) McGuinn concerning John Coltrane’s influence on McGuinn when he wrote “Eight Miles High.” 

  • Robert Hecht remembers his trip to Kansas City, and the impact it has had on his life 

     

     

  • An appreciation for the poetry of Mike Faran, who passed away in December
  • "Lulu and Me" - a story by Arya Jenkins
  • Dylan, The Byrds, and John Coltrane
  • "Bird Lives" -- a memory of Charlie Parker's K.C.
  • "The Passing of a Poet"
Art

“All is Heard in Painting” — the art of Jazzamoart

The visual artist Jazzamoart of Guanajuato, Mexico has long enticed serious jazz collectors with his uncommon, audacious, and joyful paintings. Possibly the most important expressionist artist interpreting jazz, the critic Antonio Rodriguez wrote that Jazzamoart’s paintings “are reminiscent of Jackson Pollock’s style and the expression takes from the horrorific elements of Willem de Kooning’s work,” while Jose Luis Cuevas describes it as “if he were a mad jazz dancer who discovers the origins of the earth every time his toe dips into it.”  His color-filled work includes abstract interpretations of musicians and the settings they perform in.  The musicians often wear masks which symbolize, according to the artist, “the multiplicity of human identity, that life is improvisation and invention.”

 

Examples of his work follow…

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Features » Historic Journalism

“Rate it? How can I rate that?” — the Miles Davis “Blindfold Test” June 1964

In this June, 1964 Down Beat Blindfold Test hosted by pianist, composer, producer and journalist Leonard Feather — who created this famed feature and first published it in the late 1930’s in Melody Maker  — the ears of Miles Davis are tested. 

Although Feather writes in the introduction that Davis “does not have an automatic tendency to want to put everything down,” he appeared to be in rare form on this date.  His remarks are brilliant, blistering, biting, sarcastic, insulting…and that’s just in his comments on the first record!  Miles take aim at artists and record companies, musical styles and

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Uncategorized

Lose weight…with the Duke Ellington “simply steak” diet!

After you indulge on Thanksgiving, consider giving Duke Ellington’s “simply steak” diet a try!  In his 1973 autobiography Music is My Mistress, from a chapter titled “The Taste Buds,” Duke Ellington writes about his special diet, losing thirty pounds while on it, and the resulting onstage antics.

 

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      In 1955 my doctor, Arthur Logan, told me I would have to take off twenty-two pounds. I tore up his suggested menu and made one of my own. Mine was simply steak (any amount), grapefruit, and black coffee with a slice of lemon first squeezed and then dropped into it. With the exception of a binge one day a week, I ate as much of this

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Features » In Memoriam

Remembering Jon Hendricks, 1921 – 2017

The great jazz singer Jon Hendricks died in New York earlier today at the age of 96.  In his New York Times obituary, Peter Keepnews writes that “Mr. Hendricks did not invent this practice, known as vocalese — most jazz historians credit the singer Eddie Jefferson with that achievement — but he became its best-known and most prolific exponent, and he turned it into a group art.” 

His work with Lambert, Hendricks and Ross was one of my gateways into jazz music.  My childhood home had only a few mostly dreadful record albums (and my beloved mother’s favorite radio station was KABL/San Francisco, with Mantovani and 101 Strings in heavy rotation on the Philco clock radio on the kitchen counter), but somewhere in the bowels of the house was Sing a Song of Basie LP that would somehow occasionally make its way on to our Hoffman stereo system’ turntable — in competition for time with Creedence and the Doors and Beatles 45’s.  Even as a little kid I could tell this was “hip” music, and it ultimately led me to an unforgettable experience.   

When I was living in Berkeley in the late seventies I went to see him on stage in a small North Beach

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