January 7, 2012

Farewell (for Now)

I started this blog two years ago today. Its purpose was to express my love and interest in jazz music. That love continues, but over the last year I have had less time and energy to devote to blogging. So, I am suspending adding any new posts to Riffs on Jazz. I have enjoyed this blog immensely, especially hearing from people who share the same passion. Keep listening to jazz and I hope to write in some form (perhaps a book) about jazz in the future.

January 1, 2012

This Week in Jazz History: December 30 to January 5

December 30
  • Pianist/arranger Jimmy Jones born 1918 in Memphis, TN.
  • Trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie records “Manteca,” with percussionist Chano Pozo, 1947.
  • Duke Ellington records “The Clothed Woman,” 1947.
December 31
  • Trumpeter Jonah Jones born 1909 in Louisville, KY.
  • Bassist John Kirby born 1908 in Baltimore, MD.
January 1
  • Vibraphonist Milt Jackson born 1923 in Detroit, MI.
  • Pianist Albert Ammons records "Shout for Joy," 1939."
  • Bassist Al McKibbon born 1919 in Chicago, IL.
January 2
  • Drummer Nick Fatool born 1915 in Milbury, MA.
  • Gene Krupa records "Blue Rhythm Fantasy," 1940.
  • Vocalist Arthur Prysock born 1929 in Spartanburg, SC.
January 3
  • Count Basie records Blues In The Dark, featuring vocalist Jimmy Rushing, 1938.
  • Pianist/composer Herbie Nichols born 1919 in New York, NY.
  • Alto saxophonist John Jenkins born 1931 in Chicago, IL.
January 4
  • Trumpeter Frankie Newton born 1906 in Emory, VA.
  • Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie record "What's The Matter Now?" with vocalist Rubberlegs Williams, 1945.
  • Saxophonist/flutist Frank Wess born 1922 in Kansas City, MO.
January 5
  • Cornetist "Wild" Bill Davison born 1906 in Defiance, OH.
  • In 1959, Trumpeter Blue Mitchell records Out of the Blue with Art Blakey, Wynton Kelly, Benny Goldson and Sam Jones.
  • Trumpeter Jerry Gonzalez born 1949 in New York, NY.

Source: Smithsonian Jazz

December 28, 2011

Jazz News: Sam Rivers has Died

Sam Rivers, a key figure in the post-war avant garde jazz scene, has died at the age of 88. The New York Times published an obituary.

Sam Rivers, Jazz Artist of Loft Scene, Dies at 88
By Nate Chinen

Sam Rivers, an inexhaustibly creative saxophonist, flutist, bandleader and composer who cut his own decisive path through the jazz world, spearheading the 1970s loft scene in New York and later establishing a rugged outpost in Florida, died on Monday in Orlando, Fla. He was 88. More...

December 23, 2011

This Week in Jazz History: December 23 to December 29

December 23
  • Coleman Hawkins records “The Man I Love,” 1943.
  • The first Spirituals To Swing concert is held at Carnegie Hall, 1938.
  • Louis Armstrong records “Sweethearts on Parade,” 1930.
December 24
  • Drummer Warren ‘Baby’ Dodds born 1898 in New Orleans, LA.
  • Wayne Shorter records Speak No Evil, 1964.
  • Miles Davis and Thelonious Monk record “Bag’s Groove,” 1954.
December 25
  • Trombonist/bandleader Kid Ory born 1886 in La Place, LA.
  • Pianist/organist/composer Don Pullen born 1941 in Roanoke, VA.
  • Bandleader/singer Cab Calloway born 1907 in Rochester, NY.
December 26
  • Bassist Monty Budwig born 1929 in Pender, NE.
  • Tenor saxophonist John Coltrane records “Do I Love You Because You’re Beautiful?” with trumpeter Freddie Hubbard, 1958.
  • Guitarist John Scofield born 1951 in Dayton, OH.
December 27
  • Tenor saxophonist Ben Webster records “Old Folks” with alto saxophonist Benny Carter and bassist John Kirby.
  • Bassist/author Bill Crow born 1927 in Othello, WA.
  • Pianist Walter Norris born 1931 in Little Rock, AR.
December 28
  • Bassist/composer Charles Mingus records Changes I with trumpeter Jack Walrath, tenor saxophonist George Adams, pianist Don Pullen, and drummer Dannie Richmond, 1974.
  • Lester Young records first session as a leader (“Sometimes I’m Happy”), 1943.
  • Two pianists born: Earl Hines 1903 in Duquesne, PA, and Michel Petrucciani 1962 in Orange, France.
December 29
  • Tenor saxophonist Joe Lovano born 1952 in Cleveland, OH.
  • Pianist Art Tatum records “Without A Song,” 1953.
  • Snub Mosely born 1909 in Little Rock, AR.

Source: Smithsonian Jazz

December 17, 2011

Jazz News: Bob Brookmeyer has Died

Legendary valve trombonist and composer Bob Brookmeyer has died. The announcement was made on his website:

Bob Brookmeyer (1929 - 2011)

12/17/2011 7:19:22 PM - It’s with great sadness that we share the news that Bob Brookmeyer passed away last night, just three days shy of his 82nd birthday. More...

December 16, 2011

This Week in Jazz History: December 16 to December 22

December 16
  • Vocalist Sarah Vaughan records “You’re Not The Kind” with trumpeter Clifford Brown and pianist Jimmy Jones, 1954.
  • Jelly Roll Morton’s Red Hot Peppers record “Grandpa’s Spells,” 1926.
  • Saxophonist Joe Farrell born 1937 in Chicago Heights, IL.
December 17
  • Pianist Bud Powell records A Portrait of Thelonious with drummer Kenny Clarke, 1961.
  • Alto saxophonist Charlie Parker records “Crazeology” with drummer Max Roach and trumpeter Miles Davis, 1947.
  • Arranger Sy Oliver born 1910 in Battle Creek, MI.
December 18
  • Jimmie Lunceford records “Rhythm Is Our Business,” 1934.
  • Two saxophonists born: Eddie ‘Cleanhead’ Vinson 1917 and Harold Land 1928, both in Houston, TX.
  • Bandleader/arranger Fletcher Henderson born 1897 in Cuthbert, GA.
December 19
  • Drummer Lenny White born 1949 in New York, NY.
  • Trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie records Sonny Side Up with tenor saxophonists Sonny Rollins and Sonny Stitt, 1957.
  • Valve trombonist and composer Bob Brookmeyer born 1929 in Kansas City, MO.
December 20
  • Clarinetist Sidney Bechet records “Blue Horizon,” 1944.
  • Saxophonist Arne Domnerus born 1924 in Stockholm, Sweden.
  • Pianist Larry Willis born 1940 in New York, NY.
December 21
  • Drummer Panama Francis born 1918 in Miami, FL.
  • Ornette Coleman Double Quartet records Free Jazz, 1960.
  • Composer/conductor/cellist/trombonist David Baker born 1931 in Indianapolis, IN.
December 22
  • Red Onion Jazz Babies record “Cake Walking Babies From Home,” with trumpeter Louis Armstrong and soprano saxophonist Sidney Bechet, 1924.
  • Pianist Ronnie Ball born 1927 in Birmingham, England.
  • Four bands record, 1947 - Stan Kenton (“Interlude”), Dizzy Gillespie (“Woody ’n’ You”), Duke Ellington (“On a Turquoise Cloud”), and Fats Navarro/Dexter Gordon (“Index”).

Source: Smithsonian Jazz

December 9, 2011

This Week in Jazz History: December 9 to December 15

December 9
  • Two trumpeters born: Donald Byrd 1932 in Detroit, MI, and Jimmy Owens 1943 in New York, NY.
  • The John Coltrane Quartet records A Love Supreme, 1964.
  • Louis Armstrong records “Struttin’ With Some Barbecue,” 1927.
December 10
  • Trumpeter/violinist Ray Nance born 1913 in Chicago, IL.
  • Clarinetist Irving Fazola born 1912 in New Orleans, LA.
  • Bassist Bob Cranshaw born 1932 in Evanston, IL.
December 11
  • Duke Ellington records “The Controversial Suite,” 1951.
  • Tenor saxophonist Coleman Hawkins records “Angel Face” with pianist Hank Jones, 1947.
  • Pianist McCoy Tyner born 1938 in Philadelphia, PA.
December 12
  • Pianist Earl Hines records “Fifty-Seven Varieties,” 1928.
  • Vocalist Joe Williams born 1918 in Cordele, GA.
  • Drummer Tony Williams born 1945 in Chicago, IL.
December 13
  • Drummer Sonny Greer born 1895 in Long Beach, NJ.
  • Louis Armstrong records “Hotter Than That,” 1927.
  • Bennie Moten’s band makes its last recordings, including “Moten Swing,” featuring pianist Count Basie, tenor saxophonist Ben Webster, trumpeter Hot Lips Page, and arranger/guitarist Eddie Durham, 1932.
December 14
  • Trumpeter Clark Terry born 1920 in St. Louis, MO.
  • Jelly Roll Morton records “King Porter Stomp,” 1939.
  • Two saxophonists born: Budd Johnson 1910 in Dallas, TX, and Cecil Payne 1922 in Brooklyn, NY.
December 15
  • Bandleader/composer Stan Kenton born 1911 in Wichita, KS.
  • Drummer Dannie Richmond born 1935 in New York, NY.
  • Pianist Cecil Taylor and drummer Max Roach record a duo concert at Columbia University, 1979.

Source: Smithsonian Jazz

December 2, 2011

This Week in Jazz History: December 2 to December 8

December 2
  • Vocalist Sylvia Syms born 1917 in New York, NY.
  • Composer/arranger Eddie Sauter born 1914 in New York, NY.
  • Two pianists born: Wynton Kelly 1931 in Jamaica, and Ronnie Mathews 1935 in New York, NY.
December 3
  • Tenor saxophonist Booker Ervin records The Freedom Book with pianist Jaki Byard, 1963.
  • Valve Trombonist/arranger Brad Gowans born 1903 in Billerica, MA.
  • Alto saxophonist Benny Carter plays and sings his composition “Goodbye Blues” with The Chocolate Dandies, 1930.
December 4
  • Guitarist Jim Hall born 1930 in Buffalo, NY.
  • Duke Ellington records “Daybreak Express,” 1933.
  • Duke Ellington’s band historic opening at New York’s Cotton Club, 1927.
December 5
  • Bassist Art Davis born 1934 in Harrisburg, PA.
  • Louis Armstrong and pianist Earl Hines record their duet “Weatherbird,” 1928.
  • The BeBop Boys, featuring trumpeter Fats Navarro, record Nostalgia, 1947.
December 6
  • Guitarist Remo Palmier born 1923 in New York, NY.
  • Bassists Slam Stewart and Major Holley record “Shut Yo’ Mouth!” 1981.
  • Pianist/composer Dave Brubeck born 1920 in Concord, CA.
December 7
  • The Casa Loma Orchestra records “Casa Loma Stomp,” 1930.
  • Bandleader Teddy Hill born 1909 in Birmingham, AL.
  • Pianist Matthew Shipp born 1960 in Wilmington, DE.
December 8
  • Organist Jimmy Smith born 1925 in Norristown, PA.
  • Louis Armstrong records “That’s My Home” with drummer Chick Webb’s band, 1932.
  • The Sound of Jazz is broadcast live, setting a standard for jazz television that has yet to be equaled, 1957.

Source: Smithsonian Jazz