Category: History & Biographies

  • A Tribute to Artie Shaw: The King of Clarinet

    A Tribute to Artie Shaw: The King of Clarinet

    To play any instrument is a form of slavery,” he observed. “You’ve got to really sit down and work at it all the time, if you want to do it well. Artie Shaw Tweet Table of Contents Early life (Born Arthur Jacob Arshawsky on May 23, 1910 – Dec. 30, 2004) Artie Shaw was born […]

  • The Artie Shaw Spouse Carousel

    The Artie Shaw Spouse Carousel

    The King of the clarinet, Artie Shaw, was a great hero the big band and swing jazz age. His off the chart talent, good looks, and sex drive made him the dream of every gossip columnist. He went through a pile of marriages, eight in total, including some of the biggest film stars of the […]

  • The Amazing Eric Dolphy: Top Bass Clarinet Player

    The Amazing Eric Dolphy: Top Bass Clarinet Player

    Alto saxophonist, flutist, and bass clarinetist Eric (Allen) Dolphy (1928-1964) was single-handedly responsible for introducing the bass clarinet to jazz as a viable solo instrument. Eric Dolphy and his bass clarinet was a key figure on New York’s early avant-garde scene, and he made formative contributions to the music of John Coltrane and Charles Mingus. He […]

  • Remembering Clarinet Great: Pee Wee Russell

    Remembering Clarinet Great: Pee Wee Russell

    Portrait of Pee Wee Russell, Dave Tough, and Max Kaminsky, Eddie Condon’s, New York, N.Y., between 1946 and 1948 Remembering Pee Wee Russell (March 27, 1906 – February 15, 1969) By Don Rouse These are remembrances that Jimmy Hamilton, a clarinetist and long-time friend of Pee Wee Russell, has of the time when he knew […]

  • Afro-Latin Jazz to Modern Creative Jazz

    Afro-Latin Jazz to Modern Creative Jazz

    Table of Contents The term Afro-Latin covers a huge variety of music, resulting from the combination of elements of African styles with the Spanish, Portuguese, and even French cultures transplanted to South and Central America. The blend was achieved earlier and more thoroughly than any such hybrid in North American music before the 1970s – […]

  • From Cool Jazz to Soul Jazz

    From Cool Jazz to Soul Jazz

    Table of Contents Cool Jazz Cool jazz followed bop but was entirely different in mood, in its approach to arranging, and even in its choices of instruments. World War II was over-the country was relaxed and jazz relaxed. In this era, which began in 1947, many instruments were used in jazz for the first time. […]

  • Scat and Bebop Jazz History

    Scat and Bebop Jazz History

    Table of Contents Scat “Anyone who attempts to sing extemporaneously, that is scat, will tell you that the hardest aspect of that kind of singing is to stay in tune. You are wondering all over the scales, the notes coming out of your mouth a millisecond after you think of them.” Mel Torme Tweet Scat […]

  • Big Band and Swing Music Era

    Big Band and Swing Music Era

    Table of Contents Swing Swing is the jazz style that emerged during the early 1930s and emphasized big bands. Propelled by the popular Benny Goodman, it spilled into the late 1940s and then remained popular in recordings, film, and television music long after its main proponents had disbanded. Most swing-style groups had at least 10 […]

  • Tin Pan Alley Jazz

    Tin Pan Alley Jazz

    Table of Contents Tin Pan Alley “Tin Pan Alley was a real alley on East Fourteenth Street near Third (in New York). But it was never just a place, Tin Pan Alley has come to be known for an era of songwriting when many musical ideas mixed together to form American Popular Music. Tin Pan […]

  • History of the Early Jazz Age

    History of the Early Jazz Age

    The powerful music that we call jazz originated around the end of the 19th century in New Orleans. It welded together the elements of Ragtime, marching band music, and the Blues. What made Jazz significantly different from the other earlier forms of music was the use of improvisation. Jazz displayed a break from traditional music […]