This book is a model for jazz biography (and really for a biography of any creative person.) It not only documents the striving of an individual artist, in this case, William Parker, but also the dynamic communities that are essential for the development of artists.
I strongly recommend this book for music educators, music students, and anyone who wants to get “under the hood” of what goes into making an artist who succeeds in expanding the boundaries of the art.
Anyone interested in (or nostalgic for) the stunning flowering of creative music that took place in the 1970s when, believe it or not, rents in the East Village and Soho of Manhattan were low and musician-operated venues were abundant will also love this book.
1. Moten’s Swing (1933) – (00:00)
2. Hittin’ the Bottle (1935) – (03:24)
3. Topsy (1937) – (06:24)
4. Good Morning Blues (1937) – (09:38)
5. Swinging the Blues (1938) – (12:26)
6. Countless Blues (1938) – (15:10)
7. Way Down Yonder in New Orleans (1938 – two takes) – (18:07)
8. Jumpin’ at the Woodside (1939) – (24:09)
9. In the Mood (1939) – (27:18)
Documentary about Eddie Durham by the Center for Texas Music History
– Ken McCarthy
Jazz on the Tube
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Music credit: The Jazz on the Tube podcast theme song is “Mambo Inferno” performed by The Manhattan School of Music Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra conducted by Bobby Sanabria from the CD ¡Que Viva Harlem!
The Annual San Marcos Texas, Eddie Durham Tribute Sponsored by the Calaboose African American History Museum
The secret creative “spark plug” behind the success of the Blue Devils, Jimmy Lunceford, Lester Young, Freddie Green, Charlie Christian and Count Basie. Arranger of Glen Miller’s “In the Mood” too!
The entire wide-ranging, free-wheeling conversation – unedited – complete with numerous sidebars, including some genealogical information which despite Aurora’s surprise may actually have a degree of accuracy (to be continued.)
In 1967, as a seven year old I used to take my 5 year old brother to school and we changed buses at Fillmore and Geary. Public transit. Different times!
Later I lived on California and Fillmore from 1990 to 1998, a glorious time to live in San Francisco.
During that period, I built one of the world’s first online-only museums and it was dedicated to – of course – the history of Fillmore Street.
Every shred of Fillmore’s illustrious jazz history had been stripped away by that point, but bit by bit I reassembled what I could.
Then along came Elizabeth Pepin and Lewis Watts who began an ongoing multi-decade labor of love documenting one of America’s great African-American communities and what at the time was one of the hottest jazz scenes west of the Mississippi.
Their book – now in a brand new addition with 100 brand new pages of photos and text – is luscious.
You can’t understand the history of jazz without having a feel for the “scenes” that made jazz possible and this may be the best capture of a 1940s+ era jazz scene ever.
My fervent wish is that every “scene” find archivists, historians, and story tellers with the same passion and dedication as Pepin and Watts to capture their story while it’s still possible to talk with the people who lived it. This is not just important jazz history, it’s important American history.