Artist of the Month

Often when a selection of bossa nova jazz is played by Stan Getz, Donald Byrd, or Dizzy Gillespie, it is attributed to them from an American perspective. The 1964 groundbreaking release in the US by Verve Records, Getz/Gilberto, sold over 2 million albums the first year and made Getz an international star. This overwhelming success, […]

In the arena of large jazz orchestras – whether it be Duke Ellington, Count Basie, or Dizzy Gillespie – the choice of an individual musician becomes a critical decision for any bandleader. Ray Brown, legendary acoustic double-bassist, DownBeat Jazz Hall of Fame winner, and peer-less performer of his instrument, was the obvious choice for many […]

As you look at all the seminal legends and stars of jazz that have performed and recorded for over 60 years, there are only a few currently active. An even shorter list, indeed, if you consider the list of performers still alive today who have intersected with jazz leaders from the 1940s and participated in […]

If ever there were a jazz singer whose musical career could not be separated from the legacy of their own political and social positions, it would be Nina Simone. From early on in her performances and recordings, her establishment and approach as a Black female and individual artist, particularly during the late ‘50s and ‘60s, […]

As one of the greatest crooners and stylists of the Great American Songbook, Tony Bennett has been influenced by and taken vocal impressions from many singular, legendary jazz performers. Bennett’s well-known emotional and physical reaction to hearing the birth of Bebop through Charlie Parker’s rapid-fire saxophone soloing at Birdland one night in the 1950s would […]

A sweeping messenger of the widest of musical genre explorations (classical, traditional jazz, post-bop, jazz-rock fusion, funk, electronica, hip-hop, pop, and ambient); jazz pianist, keyboardist, bandleader, and composer Herbie Hancock is true to his own label as “cultural ambassador.” Early in his musical career, Hancock followed a seemingly unbroken trajectory through some of the most […]

When the Afro-Cuban jazz sound traveled to the U.S. in the 1940s, with roots rhythmically based on Cuban popular dance music and a percussion that, in fact, incorporated the earliest sounds of a syncopated beat from ancient Africa, it became a performance vehicle for many Cuban musicians. The initial prominent modern musical force in this […]

In the 1950s, with the advent of “cool jazz” and Miles Davis leading the way with a modal change with Birth of the Cool (1957) Milestones (1958), and later the seminal, legendary recording of Kind of Blue (1959) with its stellar cast of musicians, there were suddenly jazz recordings that became million-sellers. Along with Kind […]

If you happened to be on the Williamsburg Bridge anytime from the summer of 1959 through roughly the autumn of 1961, you would have been privileged to hear the sound of a true artist seeking to find new directions and an inner voice on his instrument. Already famous and successful, with constant performing and recording, […]

If legendary jazz musicians were collected together in one giant jigsaw puzzle and each musician was one piece – Thelonious Monk’s individual piece would be impossible to cut out. As a singular artist, his shape or place in jazz is too uniquely non-conforming. From a musical and historical standpoint, he is recognized as one of […]


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