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The Question of Miles Davis. An Advance Excerpt from boundary 2

The Question of Miles Davis. An Advance Excerpt from boundary 2 The recent publication of the Complete Miles Davis & John Coltrane Sessions 1955- 1961 by Columbia / Sony Records formally annotates the permanent significance of an iconoclastic artistic partnership. Davis’s anecdotal, putatively “autobiographical,” musings about his relationship to Coltrane lend cartoonish caricature to a […]

Ellington at the White House

3 August 2002 Duke Ellington’s seventieth birthday was celebrated with a patriotic royal flair on April 29, 1969. Richard Nixon’s White House gathering of jazz, cultural and political luminaries joined to wave bright flags of appreciation for America’s most significant composer and bandleader — Edward Kennedy Ellington, a man beyond category. That is the good […]

Singing in the Shower: Ralph Ellison and the Blues

La Folia Online Music Review [April 2002.] Ralph Ellison’s commentary on jazz and blues in his now-legendary volume of essays, Shadow and Act [Random House, 1953], presents a case for black musical creation as a universally representative art form. When he asserts that his “desire, beginning at a very early age, to be more fully […]

Smoke & Light: The Jazz Photos Of Herman Leonard At The Monterey Jazz Festival, 2001

Photographer extraordinaire Herman Leonard mounted an eye-opening display of jazz photos at the recent Monterey Jazz Festival (September 21 – 23) in the intimate confines of the Coffee House Gallery. For three days, Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday, Miles Davis, Sarah Vaughan and others again stood side by side, revealing momentary personal candor and permanent visual […]

Jim Merod’s Jazz Column

CHICO O’FARRILL: CARAMBOLA. Milestones MCD 9308. [January 2001. Originally appeared in La Folia 3:2.] “Carambola,” indeed ! Now that maestro Chico O’Farrill has been rediscovered all over again — and he never went anywhere in the first place — the Afro-Cuban scene can smile a broad grin of recognition that one of its central figures […]