Musically speaking, it's hard to discern much of a connection to The Rite Of Spring in saxophonist Phil Woods' Rights Of Swing suite. But in the final "Presto" section, he and his French horn player leave a little Easter egg for us — like many jazz recordings before and after it.
The music is only about 100 years old, but it's already seen scores of geniuses creating joyful noises against all odds. We examine time-honored masterpieces and tell the narratives around them — and in doing so, refract the cultural history of the United States and beyond.
"Women in Jazz Day" officially hits New York City Friday, complete with a new documentary on the subject. While the celebration is deserving, it remains incomplete, commentator Lara Pellegrinelli says. She lists many more resources on the subject — on film, print and wax.
In 1982, Jaki Byard and Tommy Flanagan played a duet date in San Francisco. Both pianists were of equal stature, among the best-respected in jazz history. But a newly released recording of that event illustrates why their differences are plenty interesting, too.
From 1948 until 1966, the Palladium Ballroom, at the corner of 53rd and Broadway, was the city's mecca for Afro-Caribbean dance music. And for a lot of that time, Puente was one of the main attractions. A new box set compiles the Latin music legend's RCA recordings of this crucial period.
As NPR's employees file their federal returns and take up shop in a new building, we look back at an interesting historical moment in the 1940s. A cabaret tax led to more jazz being performed in smaller venues that couldn't accommodate dancing. Of course, that's not the only reason why bebop sounds the way it does.
After he helped to develop the bluesy, driving hard bop style in the '50s and '60s, his funkier commercial hit recordings shaped black pop music through the advent of hip-hop. A committed music educator, the Detroit native was 80 when he died last week.
The prodigious drummer Marcus Gilmore, 25, has been playing with the biggest names in jazz since he was a teenager. He's coming off a career year that saw him named the top rising star among jazz critics. It helps that his grandfather is Roy Haynes, one of the great pioneers of the drum kit.
WBGOThe highest federally supported awards for jazz artistry are presented to singer-songwriter Mose Allison, alto saxophonist Lou Donaldson, club owner Lorraine Gordon and pianist Eddie Palmieri. On Monday, Jan. 14, watch a webcast of the ceremony live from Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York.
Starting around the 1960s, the music's advocates increasingly turned to institutions of higher education. Within a few decades, college campuses became an unavoidable part of the modern jazz world, training generations of musicians, providing employment and shaping the future audience.
This fall marks the centennial anniversaries of two all-time great improvisers, born in 1912. The fat-toned saxophonist and the fleet, sparkling pianist were peers, and if they didn't record a lot together, the story of their generation comes out in their shared histories.
Born Peter Sims, the New York native played what he called his first jazz gig in 1957. It was immortalized as a Sonny Rollins live recording, and led to work with Joe Henderson, John Coltrane and more. The first-call player of New York's '50s and '60s heyday was 74 years old.
Today, institutions of higher learning — high schools, summer camps and university-level programs — are an industry unto themselves, dominating formal jazz pedagogy. But before they arrived, many creative individuals had plenty of reasons to seek them out.
The jazz artist suffered from a condition that rendered his bones brittle and his stature three feet tall. But in the '80s and '90s, he still lived a full — if brief — life at the top of the international touring circuit, as captured in a new documentary.
In 1961, the great bassist and composer started a long residency at a club in Queens, N.Y., called Copa City. It was a period of bold artistic statements from Mingus. Now, a new box set of live recordings immortalizes that moment in time, and why it can be called a "titty."
The pianist and the drummer were born two years and one day apart. Nearly a century later, we consider both of them to be jazz legends, in part because their working relationship lasted more than two decades.