Finding one’s calling in life is never easy, and for jazz saxophonist, pianist, flutist, and clarinet player Carol Sudhalter, that proved to be an exceptionally rocky path, despite growing up in a family of jazz musicians.
“It’s a funny thing. I didn’t even think that I would be a jazz musician,” said Sudhalter. “I grew up on jazz. I loved it. I followed bands around … [but] I was a biology major in college. Then all of a sudden, in the summer before my last year, I started therapy because I was in a depression. After therapy, I realized I didn’t want to be a biologist.”
Even though she still loved biology, Sudhalter knew that she had to pick up an instrument.
When Rus Perry arrived at WTJU in 1972, he was really into rock ’n’ roll. But the more he hung out at the station, the more he expanded his musical horizons, playing the latest Bruce Springsteen or Elvis Costello cut next to Ornette Coleman or Blind Lemon Jefferson.
“We learned from each other,” Perry recalls, reading liner notes that led from one artist to another. “My introduction to jazz was curated by friends and acquaintances who knew the music. That’s the way it’s supposed to be,” he says.
With his “Jazz at 100” series now airing Fridays on WTJU, Perry introduces listeners to the history of recorded jazz—which began 100 years ago, on February 26, 1917, with the Original Dixieland Jazz Band’s “Livery Stable Blues”/“Dixie Jazz Band One-Step” recording.
Bulgaria’s public radio has been given a surprise boost in listeners after a copyright war limited the broadcaster to airing music recorded at least 70 years ago.
The station has been playing classical music and long-forgotten jazz and folk pieces for almost two months now after its management refused to pay increased annual royalty fees to the Musicautor performers’ rights organization.
The refusal has forced the radio to drop contemporary music and dig up older tunes from its dusty archive. Under European Union regulations, copyright lasts for 70 years after a composer’s death.
Instead of Rihanna and Justin Bieber, the crooning sounds of Glenn Miller and the Andrews Sisters now fill the airwaves.
Bill Evans was a genius: The jazz world, which can be roiled by factions and jealousies, usually agrees on that. He was a composer and pianist with a light, lyrical touch that was once described as what you might hear at the gates of heaven. But like many geniuses, Evans died too young — in 1980, at the age of just 51, after years of cocaine and heroin addiction.
A new documentary by filmmaker Bruce Spiegel helps capture that genius with interviews of musicians, family members, and archival footage of Bill Evans himself.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Grammy-winning jazz singer Al Jarreau, who transcended genres over a 50-year career, died at a Los Angeles hospital Sunday, just days after announcing his retirement from touring because of exhaustion, his manager Joe Gordon confirmed.
The Milwaukee native won seven Grammys over the course of his half-century in music. His biggest single was 1981’s “We’re in This Love Together” from the album “Breakin’ Away.” Jarreau was also a vocalist on the all-star 1985 track, “We Are the World,” and sang the theme to TV’s “Moonlighting.”
“We feel very fortunate to have worked with Al, one of the most distinctive and extraordinary vocalists in the music,” said Concord Records President John Burk in a statement. “He was truly a force of nature and a beautiful human being that will be fondly remembered and deeply missed by us all.”
Renowned jazz blues pianist, singer and songwriter Mose Allison died Tuesday at his home in Hilton Head, S.C. He was 89.
A native of Mississippi, Allison grew up on his grandfather’s farm, where he started taking piano lessons at age 5 and shortly after began writing his own songs. His musical career took off in 1956, when he joined a quintet with the prominent saxophonist Al Cohn. By 1957, Allison produced his first album “Back Country Suite,” which combined sounds evocative of his southern background combined with a blues emphasis.
Former Miles Davis and current Keith Jarrett drummer Jack DeJohnette’s decisive energies and musicality make him, at 73, one of the marvels of contemporary jazz. This trio joins him with John Coltrane’s saxophonist son Ravi, and bass guitarist Matthew Garrison, son of Coltrane Sr’s quartet bassist Jimmy Garrison.
Blues history celebrates mythical turning points. Robert Johnson going to the crossroads to sell his soul. Leadbelly being discovered in—and sprung from—prison by John and Alan Lomax. The 1913 arrest that set 12-year-old Louis Armstrong on his musical career.
J.D. Allen’s moment was less dramatic: It came in a classroom in Seattle, where he asked a student to play a blues pattern.
“He did a 12-bar form, but he did everything but the blues scale. He said, ‘That’s for kids. That’s for third graders,’” the 43-year-old tenor saxophonist recalls. “ I understood where he was coming from. When I was his age, I thought that type of music wasn’t sophisticated enough for a jazz musician. I had to do some investigation.” Source: The Atlantic
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Jazz impresario George Wein took another step to secure the future of his 62-year-old Newport Jazz Festival on Thursday, as the nonprofit foundation that runs it named Grammy-winning bassist Christian McBride as artistic director.
Wein, who is 90, also told The Associated Press that he planned to donate the bulk of his estate, around $10 million, to the foundation upon his death so that the jazz festival and its sister Newport Folk Festival can continue for years to come. Wein produced this year’s festival completely, but recognizes he’s old and his hearing and health have started to diminish even as he remains mentally sharp.
“Not many people can engineer their own demise,” Wein said. “I’ve been working on this a few months with Christian. Nobody knew about it. I wanted to make sure Christian was the right person.”