Charlie Haden

Compiled by Louise Vogel Charlie Haden (Charles Edward), bassist, composer, and bandleader was born in the Midwest in 1937 into a musical family. The Haden Family Band played folk music, and sang country and western songs for the Haden Family Radio Show, with Charlie joining them at the tender age of two. He contracted polio…

Details

Benny Carter

Album Cover: Further Definitions Compiled by Louise Vogel As Duke Ellington once wrote: “The problem of expressing the contributions that Benny Carter has made to popular music is so tremendous it completely fazes me, so extraordinary a musician is he.” Bennett Lester Carter was born in New York City in 1907, and was largely self-taught,…

Details

Wes Montgomery: Pure Musical Genius

Album Cover: Riverside Records Wes Montgomery (1923-1968) Compiled by Deanne Savage While researching Wes Montgomery, I found this JazzTimes article from 2005, by Josef Woodard. I simply could not come close to writing anything as great as this – so I recommend, you open up this article and read it: http://jazztimes.com/articles/15844-wes-montgomery-the-softer-side-of-genius Also, this YouTube video,…

Details

ART BLAKEY: Messenger with a Mission

Featured image, from Ken Burns Jazz Series Art Blakey also known as Abdullah Ibn Buhaina 1919 – 1990 By Deanne Savage Art Blakey: Messenger with a Mission. Jazz drummer Art Blakey was one of the most inspirational and important figures in Jazz for four decades – in fact, his work and sense of helping other…

Details

LESTER YOUNG: The “Pres”

  photo credit, pbs.org, ken burns jazz series    Lester Young (1909 – 1959) Photo credit, dailymusicbreak.com   By Deanne Savage Before Pharrell Williams sported his hat to become the ultimate contemporary hip-cat; there was a group of young jazz musicians who transformed the jazz world with their playing and their sense of cool style –…

Details

Earl Hines: Jazz Legend

Earl Hines   One of the most important pianists in the history of jazz… Earl Hines has been called the first modern jazz pianist. His style differed from other pianists of the Twenties in his use of what were then considered unusual rhythms and accents. Earl Kenneth “Fatha” Hines was born on December 28, 1903,…

Details

Lester Young

Biography: In his 1985 biography on Lester Young, entitled Lester Young, Lewis Porter describes Young as a man of few words, who often “spoke through silence” (Porter P.4). Young’s language was one of his own creation, wrapped in “exquisite loneliness” and passed from musician to musician as treasures of wisdom and wit (Porter P.29). “When…

Details

Nina Simone

Biography: “There’s no other purpose, so far as I’m concerned, for us except to reflect the times, the situations around us and the things we’re able to say through our art, the things that millions of people can’t say.” Nina Simone Nina Simone was an amazing personality; her politics, her activism, her piano, her often…

Details

Wayne Shorter

Biography: Wayne Shorter didn’t pick up a musical instrument until he was fifteen, a relatively late start for a jazz great.  He’d always preferred the visual arts, specifically film.  It wasn’t until a revelatory moment of hearing Thelonious Monk’s ‘Off Minor’ on the radio that Wayne Shorter’s direction in life was affirmed.  “My ears perked…

Details

Tito Puente

Biography: (1923 – 2000) El Rey de Mambo Caliente by Mark Allred As summer rolls around the Puget Sound, the longer days and hotter temperatures can conjure memories of palm trees blocking stunning sunsets. A yearning can be felt for sand, swimsuits, swimming in the ocean, and warm Southern Hemisphere nights with a tropical breeze blowing…

Details