September 3, 2000
It would be unrealistically generous and unthinking of old swing and jazz fans like me to accept music critic Terry Teachout's pronouncement about Artie Shaw: that it's true he is the finest and most innovative of all jazz clarinetists ("Artie Shaw Talking," by Aram Saroyan, Aug. 6). I believe that a greater number reserve that niche for Benny Goodman. Goodman's musicality is much more memorable and swinging. Mere longevity over a deceased colleague should not rearrange the musical hierarchy in favor of the survivor.
December 19, 1999 |
OK, there are six shopping days until Christmas and you still haven't figured out what to give your favorite jazz lover. Take heart. 1999 was a bumper year for boxed collections--in part because of the Duke Ellington centennial, in part because there's simply so much marvelous material overflowing the vaults of nearly every record company. So here, perfectly timed for last-minute shopping, are a few key selections from the year's cornucopia.
September 7, 1999 |
Vibraphonist Terry Gibbs proved the main attraction during the closing night of the three-day West Coast Jazz Party at the Irvine Marriott hotel. The 74-year-old Gibbs opened the evening in a sextet jam session with clarinetist Ken Peplowski that paid tribute to Benny Goodman, then returned to close the evening in grand style with his 16-piece Dream Band.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 1, 1998
Helen Ward, 82, whose supple voice and sense of swing contributed to the early success of the Benny Goodman band. Ward toured and recorded with Goodman's band from 1934 to 1936 and rejoined Goodman for performances and recordings after World War II. Born in New York, she performed in several bands and on radio programs in the city before Goodman heard her at an audition.
April 27, 1998 |
Mel Powell was a very good composer. But that is something easy to overlook in remembering the man who became the first dean of music at the California Institute of the Arts and who did more than his share to give the often unfettered arts college credibility and class in his three-decade tenure there. Powell, who died Friday morning from liver cancer, less than three months after his 75th birthday, was more loved and better known than his music. The reason for that is simple.
April 25, 1998 |
Mel Powell, Pulitzer Prize-winning composer and founding dean of the CalArts School of Music in Valencia, died Friday. He was 75. Powell, who began his long career as jazz pianist for Benny Goodman, died of liver cancer at his Sherman Oaks home, California Institute of the Arts officials said. The educator and composer won the Pulitzer in 1990 for "Duplicates: A Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra," which had been commissioned by music patron Betty Freeman for the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
December 22, 1997 |
The holiday season is a particularly appropriate time to note the ecumenical qualities of jazz--the music's ability to reach across time, style and national border. And this selection of releases provides a quick, diverse overview, from the historic Goodman outings of the '30s, through the work of established contemporary players Corea and Burton, and into the new sounds of Duran.
July 17, 1997 |
Vibist Terry Gibbs, at 72, technically may be a senior member of the jazz community, but age hasn't slowed down his facility or his fast-tongued comic patter. That much was obvious as he laid into fleet-handed, crisply detailed solos Saturday night at the Jazz Hall in Santa Barbara.
June 13, 1996 |
The swing era was booming when Ray Sherman came of age in Chicago. As a preteen, he listened to the radio every day to hear his favorite artists. The Dorsey Brothers. Earl Hines. Benny Goodman. "I used to sing along with the solos," Sherman says. "I loved the way that music felt. It was so melodic." It was those melodic soloists, like Tommy Dorsey and pianist Teddy Wilson, who influenced Sherman and helped him form his style.