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Browse the January Issue
King Oliver

Long Live the King (Oliver, That Is!)

In my opinion, King Oliver doesn’t really receive the credit he is due. He’s all too often treated as a “stop along the way” for

Art Hickman and his Orchestra

The Best of 2020

Features Artist Profiles From our Monthly Columns

jazz puzzles 4

Jazz Puzzles Vol. 4 now available for preorder

Jazz’Edit is a project by European record collector Jean-François Villetard to help publish important books about jazz history in the limited quantities the market will

Jen Hodge

Bassist Jen Hodge is in the Groove!

It’s tempting to describe Jen Hodge—female bassist, bandleader, composer, arranger and singer—as a rare phenomenon. But that’s not how she saw herself, growing up surrounded

Lew Shaw and Les Swanson late 1990s

Lew Shaw Still on the Beat at 95

Lew Shaw thanks his lucky stars that he was born in 1926. That meant he came of age—as a man and as a music fan—at

Texas Shout #15 How to Improvise Solos

Texas Shout #15 How to Improvise Solos

Set forth below is the fifteenth “Texas Shout” column. It first appeared in the March 1991 issue of the West Coast Rag, (now Syncopated Times.) Because

Paris Washboard

A Visit with Paris Washboard

The renowned French quartet Paris Washboard made a brief trip across the pond in February to play four concerts in my neck of the woods.

World's Greatest Jazz Band

Yank Lawson and Bob Haggart: Profiles in Jazz

Trumpeter Yank Lawson and bassist-composer Bob Haggart, while having separate careers, were musical friends and collaborators for nearly six decades. They came together during at

Benny Carter 1946

Benny Carter: Profiles in Jazz

Was any jazz musician as consistent for as long a period as Benny Carter? One of the top alto saxophonists of 1927, he also ranked

Edmond Hall

Edmond Hall: Profiles in Jazz

Edmond Hall was one of a handful of jazz musicians who could be identified after one note. Playing on a famous filmed version of “St.

Museums and Meetings and All That Jazz

Museums and Meetings and All That Jazz

The New Orleans Jazz Museum is strategically located in the Old U.S. Mint—built in 1838—at the juncture of the French Quarter and Frenchmen Street where

The Quiet Quarter

The Quiet Quarter

Live music venues are still not open in the French Quarter. Since May, the Jazz Museum on Esplanade is enjoying Tuesday afternoon “balcony concerts” outside

With CalBal Live, We Need Not Stop Dancing

With CalBal Live, We Need Not Stop Dancing

As much as I’ve missed dancing during the pandemic—more than I can express, really—it’s not something I’ve sought out online. People have put a ton

Bass Drum Conundrum

Bass Drum Conundrum

In the 19th century, the bass drum in military bands was essential. The use of bass drums continued into the earliest days of recording, but

Justin Ring and Fred Hager in 1902.

Milo and Rega

Justin Ring had a lot of love to give in his long life, as he cared for so many close friends and family. Later in

Justin Ring's family (late 1920's)

Justin Ring’s Family Life

For many decades, Justin Ring has been an elusive character in the world of early recording and ragtime. Researcher Jim Walsh spoke of him only

Randi Cee

Clichés in the COVID Cabaret

I am a bacon-wrapped cliché, an idiom in puffed pastry. And sometimes I am the wrong that proves the right. I have been absent from

Social Distance Line

Keep Your ?#@*&%! Distance!

My eyes are drilling into a Walgreens cashier as she chats up a small boy with his family. I look to the other person in

Casa Loma Band

Casa Loma Orchestra: A Vanguard of Swing

At the outset of the Swing era, Casa Loma Orchestra set the highest standards for superb musicianship, arranging, presentation, sweet ballads and hard-driving dance rhythms.

Nighthawks logo

My Time With The Nighthawks

Such is the nature of pandemia—with its unapologetic ravaging of one’s gigging calendar—that to find inspiration, it can be useful to look backwards. And lately

Passing the Torch

Passing the Torch

Jazz is a unique tradition, one that continues to evolve from its humble New Orleans roots. This noble American art form is unique within Western

5th Anniversary of The Syncopated Times

5th Anniversary of The Syncopated Times

It doesn’t seem like five full years since the first issue of The Syncopated Times began appearing in our mailboxes. Since the February 2016 issue,

Railroad Rag

Ragtime and the Railroads

Recently, I have been considering the relationship between ragtime and the railroads more intently than ever. First, because Marcello Piras wrote to inquire about railroad


The Saga of Brun Campbell Challenged

When I get a message from Ed Berlin, it gets my immediate attention. Last month I received a most fascinating document Ed was passing along,

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