• In honor of the First Lady of Jazz’s 100th birthday…

  • 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.

     

     

  • When Billie Holiday and jazz greats appeared on CBS Televisionn…a moment indelibly etched in the minds of those who honor this great woman and those who accompanied her on this date.

  • But by making this song the focus, “people…overlooked what the hell the whole album said.  We didn’t just do one tune and let it stand, we did albums and ideas, and all of those ideas were significant to us at the time we were working on them.”

  • Ella is 100
  • A Letter to President Trump, from Sun Ra
  • A Moment in Time: Studio 58, New York, December 8, 1957
  • Beyond "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised"
Features » In Memoriam

On Nat Hentoff’s memorial service

Nat Hentoff’s memorial service was held at St. Peter’s Church in New York on Friday, February 24. Aidan Lee reported on the service for the Jazz Journalists Association, and the Village Voice — a longtime employer of Hentoff — provided an extensive photographic account of the day’s events. Click through to the next page to view a performance of pianist Joe Alterman playing Errol Garner’s “Gaslight” at the memorial

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Uncategorized

Is it the “jazzless age” at the New York Times?

A must-read for those interested in the challenges facing contemporary music journalism is Max Cea’s February 23 Salon piece on the changing state of jazz coverage at the New York Times (on the heels of longtime writer Nate Chinen’s departure from the paper), and how those changes will impact jazz music…Perhaps the most chilling sentence in the piece (but hardly the only one): “… the current political situation makes devoting significant resources to increasingly esoteric arts coverage seem inessential.” 

 

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Given the typical adversarial rendering of critics by artists — pedantic, sadistic and envious of their victims — you might expect two New York Times music critics leaving the paper in the span of six months to be cause for

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Art

“Jazz in the Schools”

Many thanks to Doug Ramsey, honored jazz journalist and publisher of the blog Rifftides, who during his visit to Portland to cover the PDX Jazz Festival, took the time to meet with me and learn about the “Jazz in the Schools” program we instituted at PDX Jazz.  You can read his report and get information about the program by clicking here.

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Literature » Poetry

“Alabama: Jack DeJohnette, Ravi Coltrane, Matthew Garrison” — a poem by John McCluskey

                Yes, it is hot,
     night sweats beneath
     Spanish moss and the terror in trees
     now knowing no cover of darkness
     to greet a Sunday morning

     10:22 a.m.
                      under the stairs
                                     16th Street Baptist Church.

     “Three minutes”
     and the siren wails

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Uncategorized

Armstrong and Portland

As board president of PDX Jazz, I have been busy of late in preparation for the Feb. 16 – 26 PDX Jazz Festival…Great lineup this year, including Maria Schneider, John Scofield, Jimmy Heath, Roy Ayers, Branford Marsalis, Kurt Elling and countless others. To keep up on the events of the Festival, check out Doug Ramsey’s blog Rifftides.

Portland has a long history of presenting jazz. In Jumptown: The Golden Years of Portland Jazz, 1942 – 1957, author Bob Dietsche reports on the neighborhoods where jazz thrived, the clubs, the local artists, and of course the national artists who came to town. This mid-1950’s poster announcing the performance of

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