Guitarist John McLaughlin’s resume reads like a Who’s Who of Jazz. Born in 1942, McLaughlin had joined drummer Tony Williams’ highly influential fusion group Lifetime, performed on Miles Davis’ seminal albums In A Silent Way, Bitches Brew (which also features a track named for him), Jack Johnson, and Live-Evil before he turned 30 (shortly after he turned 30, he also appeared on the influential Davis album On the Corner).
As if that were not enough, McLaughlin is also responsible for one …
Photo: Hugo van Gelderen
John Coltrane would have celebrated his 88th birthday on the 23rd. His status as one of the most universally beloved, admired, and imitated jazz artists has held true for more than half a century. In 2012, Jazz at Lincoln Center hosted a John Coltrane festival, and in preparation for that, we asked several artists to discuss the impact of John Coltrane, as well as to list their favorite Trane albums. What resulted was a remarkable range …
Today marks what would have been John Coltrane’s 88th birthday. In recognition, the extraordinary saxophonist Gary Bartz shares some of his thoughts about Trane:
“John Coltrane gave me an insight of how hard one needs to work in order to create music that has never been heard before. His work effort continues to inspire me. What a wonderful musical scientist he was. In order to compose music on the spot, one cannot leave any stone unturned. One lifetime is not long …
While many discographies exist that document the appearances of great jazz artists on recording sessions, they don’t all necessarily document whether a great artist is actually soloing on a given session. Consequently, if you are searching for examples of the beautiful solo work of, for example, altoist Hilton Jefferson (who was an inspiration to many great lead alto players of the big band era), you may find yourself combing through many recordings struggling to determine which moments feature his solo …
On May 9, the legendary trumpeter and bandleader Joe Wilder passed away at the age of 92. He leaves behind an extraordinary legacy.
Shortly before he passed, Mr. Wilder witnessed the release of his biography, Softly, With Feeling: Joe Wilder and the Breaking of Barriers in American Music, a collaborative project undertaken with the scholar Ed Berger.
Ed Berger, who is also an instructor at our Swing University program, shares his thoughts on the passing of Mr. Wilder:
With Joe Wilder’s passing at …
Last year, Phil Schaap joined us to film a series that discusses the early origins of Jazz. It’s an engaging eight-part series that will answer some questions you may not yet have thought of, like:
Why is Marco Polo important to the development of Jazz?
What made New Orleans so special and so crucial in the creation of Jazz?
What was Congo Square?
How did Jazz originate?
How did the solo develop?
Check out the series here, and learn more about the origins and the dawn …
Was one of your New Year’s resolutions to read more books?
If so, our curator–the great scholar and radio personality Phil Schaap–has graciously provided us with a recommended set of books for you to check out. This list below provides a starting point, with texts focusing primarily on earlier styles of Jazz. Phil provided even more titles covering later styles of the music, and we’ll list them in future posts.
We’ve added a few extra thoughts to accompany each book, and we …
This month, the pianist and composer Thelonious Monk would have celebrated his 96th birthday. While his singular style of piano playing is not necessarily considered BeBop, he is nevertheless sometimes referred to as the “High Priest of Bop,” and his many compositions are canonical in BeBop repertoire (as well as Swing, Hard Bop, and many other styles).
In these videos, pianist Eric Reed pays tribute to Monk in various ways. In this video, he explains Monk’s importance in jazz. In other …
To many, Freddie Green serves as the epitome of a big band rhythm guitarist. A member of the “All-American Rhythm Section” of the Count Basie Orchestra (along with Basie on piano and initially Walter Page on bass and Papa Jo Jones on drums), Green developed a comping style so distinctively influential that even today, Jazz guitarists will be asked to play in the style of Freddie Green.
To understand what made Freddie Green’s sound and rhythm sense so unique, check out …