Music

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. 

As Hip as Elvis: Caruso the Pop Idol

John Potter

Every generation seems to reinvent the tenor as something closer to a pop star than an opera star. The Three Tenors were among the late 20th century’s great musical marketing successes, and the brightest star that they acknowledged in the tenor firmament was cinema heartthrob Mario Lanza. Lanza himself claimed Enrico Caruso as his greatest influence and famously played him on screen, reminding a wider audience that there was nothing incompatible with classical tenors and genuine popularity, whatever they were singing.

The Passing of a Legend: Bossa Nova Musician João Gilberto Dies at 88

Tatiana Bautzer

Born in Bahia, a notheastern Brazilian state, João Gilberto Prado de Oliveira began singing at 18. After moving to Rio de Janeiro, he released the record Chega de Saudade in 1959, which marked the beginning of the world-famous bossa nova music style. His 1964 album “Getz/Gilberto” with American saxophone player Stan Getz sold millions of copies, won several Grammy awards and popularized bossa nova around the world.

New Motley Crue Film Offers Tale of Success and Excess

Emily G. Roe

The Dirt, based on the band’s best-selling autobiography, charts the rise of four Californian youngsters who channel the punk rage of the 1970s into the big-haired rock genre that, for many people, defined the 1980s. Like the hugely successful Queen movie Bohemian Rhapsody, it is a rags-to-riches tale of flamboyant showbiz glory and the perils of a rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle.

Recording Academy Task Force to Investigate Music Industry

Randall

As part of its charter, the task force will identify the various barriers and unconscious biases faced by underrepresented communities throughout the music industry and, specifically, across Recording Academy operations and policies. In an effort to determine pathways toward greater parity at every level of the organization, the task force will look specifically at Recording Academy governance, hiring and promotion practices, membership, awards, and telecast.Grammys

Farewell Rock ‘n’ Roll: Hip Hop, R&B Are Biggest U.S. Music Genres

Jill Serjeant

Powered by a 72 percent increase in on-demand audio streaming, eight of the top 10 albums came from the world of rap or R&B, including Kendrick Lamar’s “DAMN,” Drake’s “More Life” and “24K Magic” by Bruno Mars, according to Nielsen Music’s 2017 year-end report, released on Wednesday. Rap and R&B also dominate the Grammy awards later in January, with rapper Jay-Z and Lamar leading nominations.

Carrying on Musical Family Traditions at the Grammys

Geraldine Wyckoff

As the title suggests, Gumbo stirs up a mixture of genres all of which remain solidly in Morton’s comfort zone and mastery. He gets funky on another original, the dance-ready, “Sticking to My Guns” that gets down with a full band – horns and all – plus background singers. He sends his message with a groove on “Religion,” and offers some old-school style soul on “Everything’s Gonna Be Alright” that features The Chicago Kid and background vocals by the Hamiltones. Morton 

Racial Dynamics and Latin Music in the U.S.

Angelo Franco

Much like American Hip-Hop, reggaeton was first an “underground” genre that came from urban, predominantly black, working-class communities. In the Puerto Rican context, reggaeton’s emergence in the 1990s is tied to public housing developments that were part of anti-crime initiatives in the island. Dubbed Mano Dura contra el Crimen (Iron Fist against Crime), it was enacted in 1993 by then governor Pedro Roselló (the very same one who danced to the Macarena in his campaign rallies). 

Radiohead Didn’t Change the Music Industry, But at Least They Tried

Sandra Canosa

Few alternative rock bands from the 1990s should still honestly be described as “contemporary” artists, but at least Radiohead can be safely counted among them. Their May 2016 release and ninth studio album, A Moon Shaped Pool, once again showcased the band’s continuous refusal to become irrelevant, despite the usual statutes of popular culture regarding people over 40. The record explores new landscapes sonically, but its actual release proved, yet again, that the band knows how to take advantage of the Internet.

Censorship or Hate Crime?: Analyzing Rapper YG’s Controversial Song

Gloria Liao

Critics say the lines are in essence a how to manual for robbing Chinese and other Asian American homes and businesses. Protest organizers have already successfully gotten YouTube to remove the video. They have circulated a petition to ban the song from public media and have YG investigated by federal authorities. The petition has already garnered the necessary 100,000 signatures for it to go before the Obama administration. 

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