Ten Jazz Albums to Hear Before You Die

June 27, 2014

Because there are multiple decades of jazz, it’s almost impossible to pick the top 10 albums of all time; the hip cats with their canes and cool shades will throw their used saxophone reeds in my direction and call me a young whippersnapper.

But so many people out there, young or even a bit older, are curious about jazz, and they’re not exactly sure where to start. Think of this as a jazz bucket list, filled with masterpieces of a true American music.

Let’s go!

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On Writing a Life of Coltrane

June 6, 2014

A few years ago I found a used, first-edition hardcover of Dr. Cuthbert Ormond Simpkins’s 1975 book, Coltrane: A Biography, online for $150. I had long admired its feverish, street-pulpy story about the saxophonist John Coltrane, whose powerful music increasingly seemed capable of altering one’s consciousness before he died in 1967, at age forty. Posthumously, the mythology and exaltation of Coltrane, as well as his musical influence, only grew. But by that point, Simpkins had already researched and written Coltrane’s story, expressing an uncompromising, unapologetic black voice rarely found in the annals of jazz before or since.

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Miles Davis honored with renamed New York street

May 30, 2014

Legendary musician Miles Davis’ name will now forever be tied to the Manhattan street he called home. NY1’s Jon Weinstein filed the following report.

The familiar sounds of Miles Davis’ famous trumpet filled 77th Street on what would have been his 88th birthday.

Hundreds turned out to rename this block after the musician.

And just how excited was everyone?

After a string snafu during the street sign unveiling, one enterprising and athletic fan climbed the lamp post to make sure this stretch between Riverside and West End officially became Miles Davis Way.

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Santana and Friends Team to Save Coltrane Home

September 21, 2013

Santana and Friends Team to Save Coltrane Home
Benefit planned to open residence where “A Love Supreme” was written to the public

By Emily Hutton

The Coltrane Home in Dix Hills, N.Y., where the late saxophonist John Coltrane lived from 1964-67, Long Island has long been deemed historic. The Long Island home is not only where Coltrane and his wife, Alice, raised their children, but it is also where Coltrane composed A Love Supreme. Now, according a press release, the National Trust for Historic Preservation has named the Coltrane residence “one of the most endangered historic places in the country,” and Carlos Santana and friends are stepping in to help.

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Coltrane’s ‘Afro Blue Impressions’ to be reissued

July 28, 2013

Concord to Reissue Coltrane’s ‘Afro Blue Impressions’ with Bonus Tracks
Expanded edition marks 50th anniversary of original recording dates

By Jeff Tamarkin

Concord Music Group will reissue a remastered and expanded edition of John Coltrane’s Afro Blue Impressions album on August 20. Enhanced by 24-bit remastering by Joe Tarantino, three bonus tracks, and new liner notes, the new reissue celebrates the 40th anniversary of Pablo Records, the jazz label founded by Norman Granz in 1973.

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Wayne Shorter at 80

June 27, 2013

A legendary artist, an extraordinary career.

Wayne Shorter, though, at 80 years old is not merely resting on his laurels.

He is still active, still performing in concert, and recording music.

His artistry, dedication, passion and enormous love of music is truly inspiring.

At 80, Still a Figure of Vitality and Influence
By LARRY BLUMENFELD

Bassist John Patitucci remembers the LPs his grandfather gave him when he was 10. “I kept listening to Art Blakey’s ‘Mosaic’ album, with Wayne Shorter in the band,” he said in an interview. “Wayne’s composition ‘Children of the Night’ sounded strange and magical. His playing was great, but it was his writing that reached inside a little kid who had no experience with jazz and touched him.”

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The Girls In The Band

June 12, 2013