Vitality 5

The Vitality Five are Perfectionists with Pep

For some musicians, good enough just ain’t good enough—only perfection will do. In his autobiography Trumpet on the Wing, Joe Manone remembers Bix Beiderbecke chastising

Music Class

Texas Shout #58 Learning To Play, Part 1

Set forth below is the fifty-eighth “Texas Shout” column. The initial installment of a three-part essay, it first appeared in the February 1995 issue of

Fats Waller

Texas Shout #57 Fats Waller, etc.

Set forth below is the fifty-seventh “Texas Shout” column. The concluding installment of a two-part essay, it first appeared in the December 1994 issue of

Vince Giordano by Aidan Grant

An Important Message from Vince Giordano

What are you—yes YOU—doing to keep traditional jazz alive? That was the recurring theme of my recent conversation with Vince Giordano, leader of the Nighthawks,


Ethel Waters: Profiles in Jazz

During the 1921-25 period, it seemed as if every African-American female singer who could carry a tune was being rushed into a recording studio to

Eddie Lang

Eddie Lang: Profiles in Jazz

The finest jazz guitarist of his short lifetime, Eddie Lang was masterful as both a melodic soloist and a sophisticated accompanist, whether playing bluesy single-note

Vintage bottles at The Sazerac House (Photo Chris Granger)

The Sazerac House Opens on Magazine St.

The grand opening of the Sazerac House at 101 Magazine (at Canal) took place Wednesday, October 2nd. This estimated $50 million project began as a

Carousel Bar New Orleans 1960s

New Orleans’ Carousel Bar Turns 70

The Carousel Bar inside the Hotel Monteleone in the two hundred block of Royal Street is the only revolving bar in New Orleans. Installed on

John Hallam & Tom Kincaid

From the Pershore UK Jazz Festival

The last thing I expected from my 10th annual visit to the Pershore Jazz Festival was the premiere of an unreleased Benny Goodman tune. Yet

Adam Swanson Ragfest 2019

Ragfest 2019: Scintillating Syncopation

A surfeit of syncopation descended on Southern California’s Orange County on September 7 as RagFest 2019 attracted a goodly complement of enthusiasts to revel in

frogandhenry 300x172 - From the 2019 Bude Jazz Festival

From the 2019 Bude Jazz Festival

How does one summarize a four-day festival? Let’s start with the setting. The program lists 35 bands, not all OKOM, or at least my kind

The Hager Brothers (illustration by R.S. Baker)

James: The Other Hager Brother

In this column, I often speak of the studio pianists that were the driving force on thousands of records made from 1889 to 1925. Perhaps

Hager(July 1898) phonoscop

Fred Hager tangles with Victor Herbert

In 1895, a twenty year old Fred W. Hager organized his military orchestra of 26 musicians. At that time, Hager was the youngest professional bandleader

Arthur Pryor and another bandmember

Arthur Pryor and the Birth of Ragtime

In 1893, twenty two year old Arthur Pryor performed his first trombone solo with Sousa’s Band. The time and place couldn’t have been better. The


Everybody Comes to Curley’s!

David Boeddinghaus, Banu Gibson, Tim Laughlin, Chloe Feoranzo, The entire Baker/Clancy family, Ralf and John Reynolds, Bob Ringwald, Dawn Lambeth, Chet Jaeger, and Pieter Meijers

Trial by Jury WS GIlbert


I recently observed that, in your youth, you know you have a dear friend if they help you move. At my age, if they show

FARGO G Band 1 color

Duke Ellington and his Famous Orchestra Live!

Live concerts, location recordings and broadcast transcriptions of Duke Ellington and his Famous Orchestra from 1940 to 1963 reveal a distinctive body of work separate

Frank Chace The Hunt Club

Frank Chace: Jazz Clarinet Legend

Frank Chace was admired for his expressive clarinet style in a lineage from Chicago jazz of the 1920s and ‘30s. Little-known but intensely creative, his

Jam Session de Paris Franz etal NYC 1943

James P. Johnson: Forgotten Musical Genius

The music of early Jazz piano player James P. Johnson, the creator of Harlem Stride Piano, is explored in this award-winning production. Actor Peter Coyote

I'm sorry I made you cry

A Sincere Apology

Hi folks. I’ve been writing this regular column for a few years now, a pursuit that I’ve very much enjoyed. However, recently I received a

Inside the Musicians Brain

The Mind of the Jazz Musician

Jazz musicians are highly trained professionals, just as in any other skilled professional field. Whilst on stage, it may appear to the causal observer that

Melton Family John Melton Photo

My Musical Family

My column requires a disclaimer this month because frankly, it amounts to little more than a grandfather bragging obnoxiously about his grandchildren. That written, I’ve

Orr School before 1020 300x178 - Joplin's Landmark School

Joplin’s Landmark School

In my April 2018 column, I wrote of the accomplishments of the good people of Texarkana and the work they are doing to preserve their

Elliot Adams and Michael Chisholm at the 2017 Santa Cruz Ragtime Festival

Michael Chisholm’s Labors of Love

Making new friends and learning more about older acquaintances is one of the many rewards of being part of the on-line ragtime community. I am

george masso

Trombonist George Masso has died at age 92

Trombonist, vibraphonist, composer, and bandleader George Masso died Tuesday, October 22, 2019, he was 92. The son of a trumpet-playing bandleader, George Masso’s musical education

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