jazz

How Johnny Hodges Shaped Boston’s Jazz Legacy

Con Chapman

Eventually, Hodges left for the money and the opportunities in New York.  In the City That Never Sleeps, bars could serve liquor until 4 in the morning, while last call in Boston was a puritanical 11 p.m.  With so many more hours in the day to play, it is no wonder that New York pulled jazz musicians away from Boston like an outgoing riptide. After stints with Bechet, Chick Webb, Willie “The Lion” Smith and others, at the age of 20, Hodges was hired by Duke Ellington, with whom he would be associated for the rest of his life. 

Life in New Orleans, According to a New New Orleanian

Sam Chapin

I met fellow New Orleans transplant, Ellery Burton, 12 years ago, when we were fellow New York transplants, she hailing from Los Angeles. In the city we both attended The New School University; after graduating I stayed in New York and she immediately bee-lined to New Orleans, where she’s been living ever since. Though she’s only been living here for eight years, walking through the Bywater with her makes it seem as though she’s lived here forever. I recently sat down with her at her house in the Lower Ninth Ward to discuss how the city has changed over the past eight years, what makes New Orleans so unique, and what it means to “hustle.”

Celebrating 80 Years of History at The Apollo

Ted Fox

From its inception 80 years ago this past Sunday, the Apollo Theater probably exerted a greater influence on popular culture than any other entertainment venue in the world. Throughout the years the Apollo, and the thousands of great entertainers who have performed there, have led the way in the presentation of swing, bebop, rhythm and blues, modern jazz, commercially presented gospel, soul, funk and hip-hop. 

All That Jazz: A Night in Montreal

Steven J. Chandler

Jazz in a concert hall? It’s a trend and can appear contrived and devoid of the spontaneity that’s the essence of jazz music. This was Redman’s challenge as he and his quartet performed at the Maison Symphonique de Montreal, an acoustically rewarding venue that on most dates is the home of Montreal’s acclaimed Symphony Orchestra. Backed with strings and performing from his latest release, Walking Shadows, Redman’s quartet made use of the acoustics by playing compositions that employed an orchestral landscape. 

The Many Moods of Charles Mingus

Steven J. Chandler

John Coltrane, for example, told of his religious awakening through his four-part suite A Love Supreme in 1965. Two years earlier, Charles Mingus released The Black Saint & The Sinner Lady, a masterful composition in six movements (or dances) which he described in the liner notes as his “living epitaph from birth ‘til the day I first heard of Bird (Charlie Parker) and Diz (Dizzy Gillespie).” Of all jazz composers, Charles Mingus understood best the capacity for jazz to delve into the mind and spirit of the musician. 

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