Forbes reports the “lost album” earned John Coltrane his first Billboard Top 40 entry:
Jazz fans got a monumental treat last week in the form of John Coltrane’s posthumously released Both Directions at Once: The Lost Album, which the virtuosic saxophonist recorded with his Classic Quartet in 1963. Those fans responded by giving Coltrane his first Top 40 album on the Billboard 200, 51 years after his death.
You can hear all seven tracks on the single-disc version here.
Since 1982, the National Endowment for the Arts has awarded Jazz Masters Fellowships, the nation’s highest honor in jazz, to individuals who have made significant contributions to America’s classical music. Last week, the 2019 Jazz Masters were announced.
The 2019 NEA Jazz Masters are:
- Bob Dorough, vocalist, composer, arranger and pianist
- Abdullah Ibrahim, pianist and composer
- Maria Schneider, composer, arranger, and bandleader
- Stanley Crouch, jazz historian, author, critic, and co-founder of Jazz at Lincoln Center
NEA Acting Chairman Mary Anne Carter said:
The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to celebrate jazz, an art form born in the United States that has since been embraced worldwide. These four new NEA Jazz Masters have been key players in jazz throughout their lives and careers, ensuring that the music will continue to grow and reach new audiences.
The honorees will be celebrated at a free tribute concert on April 15, 2019 at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in DC. For more info, go here.
Voting is underway for the annual DownBeat Readers Poll.
The categories include:
- Hall of Fame
- Jazz Artist
- Jazz Group
- Big Band
- Jazz Album
- Historical Album
- Soprano Saxophone
- Alto Saxophone
- Tenor Saxophone
- Baritone Saxophone
- Electric Bass
- Female Vocalist
- Male Vocalist
- Blues Artist or Group
- Blues Album
Click here to vote.
In jazz’s heyday, there were clubs named the Blue Note across the country. Philadelphia had three such clubs, the most famous of which was located at 1502 Ridge Avenue where the Miles Davis Quintet, featuring John Coltrane (tenor saxophone), Red Garland (piano), Paul Chambers (bass) and Philly Joe Jones (drums), performed on December 8, 1956.
But there’s only one Blue Note record label that was home to such greats as Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Lee Morgan, Herbie Hancock, Thelonious Monk, Art Blakey, Horace Silver, Dexter Gordon and Sonny Rollins.
A new documentary, “It Must Schwing! The Blue Note Story,” retells the journey of Alfred Lion and Francis Wolff, two German Jewish immigrants who fled Nazi Germany and founded Blue Note Records in 1939.
Fittingly, the film premiered at the Munich Film Festival on July 2.
For more information, go to https://itmustschwing.com/en.
Jazz musicians were about intersectionality before the term was coined. During 2018 Jazz Appreciation Month, I moderated a conversation on art, jazz and activism, curated by Black Quantum Futurism and Icebox Project Space.
The panel discussion and community forum featured artists/activists Josh Graupera, Stormy Kelsey, Michael O’Bryan and Tieshka K. Smith. The audio is now available on Artblog Radio.
Trumpeter Clifford Brown was 25 when he died in a car crash in 1956. His last performance was at Philadelphia’s famed Music City.
Although his life was cut short, Brown left an indelible impact. There are 334 versions of Philly native and NEA Jazz Master Benny Golson’s composition, “I Remember Clifford.”
Since 1988, his hometown of Wilmington, Delaware, has held the Clifford Brown Jazz Festival. It’s the largest free jazz festival on the East Coast. This year’s lineup includes Marcus Miller, Brian McKnight and Arturo Sandoval.
From 1953 to 1956, comedian and television pioneer Soupy Sales hosted a late-night television show in Detroit, “Soupy’s On.”
A jazz head, Soupy’s guests included jazz giants like Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Billie Holiday, Lester Young, Gerry Mulligan, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk and Miles Davis. The only extant footage of Clifford Brown is from his 1956 appearance on the show.
For info about the DuPont Clifford Brown Jazz Festival, click here.
Black Music Month was first observed on June 7, 1979 at the White House.
As B.B. King observed, African Americans first got the blues when “they brought [us] over on a ship.”
Enslaved Africans used the message in the music to plan their escape.
Music helped runaways navigate the pathway to freedom.
On their quest for freedom, some of our enslaved ancestors found sanctuary in Abolition Hall and the surrounding fields. A developer’s plan to develop the fields struck a discordant note with Sydelle Zove, convener of Friends of Abolition Hall, and Avenging The Ancestors Coalition. ATAC Founder Michael Coard recently wrote:
Abolition Hall was built in 1856 by George Corson, a Quaker abolitionist. It, its adjacent family home, and purportedly its adjacent fields were where Black men, women, and children took shelter in courageous attempts to flee slavery. Zove says the developer proposes to “subdivide and reconfigure” this historic homestead to construct 67 townhouses on the open fields directly next to the hall. Once divided, notes Zove, the developer plans to sell the hall, the stone barn, and the Thomas Hovenden House – all listed on the aforementioned National Register. She continues by pointing out that it’s not just the hall that’s in jeopardy but also the “fields where cornstalks hid fugitives”—fields she describes as an “integral part of the site.”
The developer’s proposal would box in the national historic landmark. So Friends of Abolition Hall and ATAC are asking concerned citizens to raise their voices and tell Whitemarsh Township: Abolition Hall deserves better. The Board of Supervisors will meet on Thursday, June 14, 2018, at 7pm, 616 Germantown Avenue in Lafayette Hill. If you need a ride, holler.