The Photography of Sigitas Kondratas

The photography of Sigitas Kondratas — a resident of Vilnius, Lithuania — caught my eye this week.  His interesting technique conveys the music’s movement, artistry and intimacy.  It is refreshing to see contemporary jazz musicians interpreted by an artist from Eastern Europe.

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February 17th, 2019

(More of) “A Great Day in Harlem”

An iconic image of music history is Art Kane’s August 12, 1958 photograph of 57 of the music’s most important (and now beloved) figures in jazz music, who congregated on the curb and stairs at 17 East 126th Street, between Fifth and Madison Avenue.

Forever known simply as “A Great Day in Harlem,” the photograph was taken, as John Leland reminds us in the September 28 edition of the New York Times, in the era when “the generation of Count Basie and Duke Ellington was yielding to the newer bebop players, who in turn were starting to be challenged by the next wave, not seen in this shot.”  Many in New York’s scene came that morning, among them Monk, Basie, Dizzy,

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October 3rd, 2018

The Memorial for Peace and Justice — a critic’s analysis

     In the June 4 New York Times, the art critic Holland Cotter describes the new National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Alabama as an artistic opportunity to “encourage truth-telling far and wide.”

     The Memorial is one of two newly opened sites in the city (the other is the Legacy Museum: From Enslavement to Mass Incarceration) created by Bryan Stevenson, director of the non-profit advocacy group the Equal Justice Initiative and author of the best-selling book

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June 4th, 2018

The art of John Allinson

In his description of Welsh painter John Allinson’s work “House of Dreams” – a mural in progress “celebrating a viewpoint of entertainment as an art form” that will eventually be 1000 feet wide – the art critic Rex Harley wrote that “a host of artists and entertainers emerge from a swirl of colours, in the same way that their counterparts stepped out from the stream of history to entertain and enrich our lives.” 

This is also an apt view of Allinson’s prolific and noteworthy interpretations of jazz ensembles.  His work evokes appropriate nostalgia and sentimentality while expressing passion for the culture of jazz music by

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May 18th, 2018

Masters of Jazz Photography: Paul Hoeffler

Photographer Paul Hoeffler, who studied with the likes of Ansel Adams, Alfred Eisenstadt, and Nancy Newhall, discovered an interest in photographing jazz musicians through his regular attendance at Rochester, New York jazz clubs the Pythodd, the Ridgecrest Inn, the Auditorium Theater, the Eastman Theater, and the University of Rochester auditoriums.  He cites Louis Armstrong as an early inspiration, and he subsequently photographed Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Billie Holiday, Chet Baker, Dave Brubeck and a variety of others during their tours through

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March 17th, 2018

“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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November 28th, 2017

Chick Corea at the Blue Note — photos by John McCluskey

Photographer, writer John McCluskey contributes these photographs he took while attending the Chick Corea show on Saturday, September 30 at the Blue Note in New York. 
 
“At the end of the performance Chick’s wife Gayle Moran joined them onstage and sang,” McCluskey wrote in his email to me.  “It was a very intimate scene with Chick and Gayle collaborating and exchanging

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October 3rd, 2017

Nancy Ostrovsky — performance artist inspired by jazz music

Jazz music has long been inspiration for artists, poets, and writers (Romare Bearden, Jack Kerouac and Langston Hughes are some obvious examples)…For more contemporary evidence, check out these remarkable videos featuring performance artist Nancy Ostrovsky, who creates wondrous paintings while accompanied by 1) the Roswell Rudd Trio, 2) saxophonist Patrick Cress, 3) saxophonist Stan Strickland, and 4) by a

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September 13th, 2017

“Cover Stories with Paul Morris,” Vol. 22


Paul Morris is a graphic designer and writer who collects album art of the 1940’s and 1950’s. He finds his examples of influential mid-century design in the used record stores of Portland, Oregon.
 

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

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July 29th, 2017

In This Issue

This issue features an interview with Thomas Brothers, author of Help! The Beatles, Duke Ellington, and the Magic of Collaboration…Also, previous winners of the Jerry Jazz Musician Short Fiction Contest reflect on their winning story; two new podcasts from Bob Hecht; a new collection of poetry; recommendations of recently release jazz recordings, and lots more…

Poetry

"The Thing of it Is" -- a poem by Alan Yount

Short Fiction

In celebration of our upcoming 50th Short Fiction Contest, previous winners reflect on their own winning story, and how their lives have unfolded since.

Poetry

Twelve poets contribute 15 poems to the February collection

Interviews

In Help! The Beatles, Duke Ellington, and the Magic of Collaboration, Duke University musicologist Thomas Brothers – author of two essential studies of Louis Armstrong – tells a fascinating account of how creative cooperation inspired two of the world’s most celebrated groups. He joins us in an interview to discuss his book, described by the Wall Street Journal as “a historically masterly and musically literate unraveling of some of the most-admired credits in 20th-century popular music.”

The Joys of Jazz

In this podcast, Bob Hecht tells the story of the song now synonymous with Feb. 14

Poetry

Steve Dalachinsky's poem of John Coltrane is dedicated to Amiri Baraka

Black History Month Profile

The life of Rosa Parks is discussed with biographer Douglas Brinkley

On the Turntable

Recommended listening…20 recently released jazz tunes by, among others, Brad Mehldau, Matt Penman, Ethan Iverson/Mark Turner, Ben Wendel, Julian Lage, and Don Byron

Great Encounters #54

In this edition, Joe Hagan, author of STICKY FINGERS: .The Life and Times of Jann Wenner and Rolling Stone Magazine, writes about how co-founders Wenner and legendary San Francisco music critic Ralph Gleason came upon the name for their revolutionary publication, Rolling Stone magazine.

“What are 3 or 4 of your favorite recordings of the 1940s?”

Chick Corea, Rickie Lee Jones, Gary Giddins, Michael Cuscuna, Randy Brecker and Tom Piazza are among those responding to our question, "What are 3 or 4 of your favorite jazz recordings of the 1940's?"

Cover Stories with Paul Morris

In this edition, Paul writes about the album art of the 1950's classical label Westminster Records

Coming Soon

Romare Bearden biographer Mary Schmidt Campbell is interviewed about the great American artist; Maxine Gordon discusses her biography of Dexter Gordon, her late husband... . . .

In the previous issue

This issue features a roundtable discussion among religious scholars Tracy Fessenden, Wallace Best and M. Cooper Harriss, who talk about how the world of religion may have impacted the creative lives of Billie Holiday, Langston Hughes and Ralph Ellison; also a new collection of poetry; previous winners of the Jerry Jazz Musician Short Fiction Contest reflect on their winning stories; three podcasts from Bob Hecht; recommended jazz listening; and lots more

Contributing writers

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