December 2021
Browse the December Issue
Bertha Gonsoulin: Sidewoman and Sidenote

Bertha Gonsoulin: Sidewoman and Sidenote

The trumpeter Bunk Johnson has received plenty of press, including several features and a full profile—written last year by Scott Yanow—in this magazine. This coverage

The Unsettled Life and Career of Robert B. Joplin

The Unsettled Life and Career of Robert B. Joplin

Scott Joplin had two brothers who were musicians—Robert B. and Will. Scott’s one-time student and then colleague Arthur Marshall wrote the following about Robert and

Max Morath: Records That Changed Ragtime History

Max Morath: Records That Changed Ragtime History

Within the space of three years, ragtime pianist-composer Max Morath released four vinyl LPs on the prestigious Vanguard label: The Best of Scott Joplin (double

Texas Shout #1 "Dixieland"

Texas Shout #1 “Dixieland”

The following introduction was added when the Shouts were reprinted in the late 90s: Set forth below is the initial “Texas Shout” column, reprinted from

Fats Waller

Texas Shout #57 Fats Waller, etc.

Set forth below is the fifty-seventh “Texas Shout” column. The concluding installment of a two-part essay, it first appeared in the December 1994 issue of

Jazz National Park

Texas Shout #66 Government Subsidies

Set forth below is the sixty-sixth “Texas Shout” column. The concluding installment of a two-part essay (part 1), it first appeared in the October 1995

The Harlem Renaissance

Eubie Blake: Profiles in Jazz

Everyone cherished Eubie Blake, particularly in his later years. A lovable character who had survived a long lean period, in the 1970s he was the

Isham Jones: Profiles in Jazz

Isham Jones: Profiles in Jazz

Isham Jones, whenever he is mentioned today, is cited as being a talented songwriter who added several standards to the Great American Songbook. However he

Seems Like Old Times…

Seems Like Old Times…

Lovely weather and lots of music greeted us in New Orleans for what is often considered the “wedding” month. Many postponed nuptials and their attendants

From the Central Pennsylvania Ragtime Festival

No Fests—but Lots of Music!

Although the French Quarter Festival and The Jazz & Heritage Festival were cancelled for October and postponed to its usual April-May period for next year,

Jazz in the Mountains

Jazz in the Mountains

While Hurricane Ida was heading towards New Orleans and the State of Louisiana, we were up in the northern part of Arizona at the Prescott

Felder #2

Live Jazz Returns to Tel Aviv

Considering that Israel is a country about the size of New Jersey with a population of about nine million, I would guess that per capita,

The Remarkable Mr. Porter

The Remarkable Mr. Porter

Any seasoned record collector is likely aware of the baritone Steve Porter. He was a main fixture of the famous American Quartet, and a common

More Notes on Jimmy Hager

More Notes on Jimmy Hager

Last year, in this column was an article on drummer Jimmy Hager, bandmaster Fred Hager’s brother, but since that publication, more has been discovered about

Hager beefsteak(1911) detail

Boston Brass and Beefsteak

In 1910, a new phonograph company emerged in Boston, it was founded upon a few generous donations from local elites. Their donations set the company

Jew-ish

Jew-ish

I haven’t been to High Holiday services in a very long time. My last memory was crashing Yom Kippur services at my local synagogue where

Kirk Whalum, Dave Koz, and Mindi Abair at the Bowl. (Randi Cee photo)

The Tears of a Clown

My desire to lead my band and sing the old tunes hasn’t cooled, but my hustle has. My reality with an at-risk mother has devolved

Second Hand Rows

Second Hand Rows

4 years BC (Before Covid) my life hit a scary financial pothole. I had a small, yet vital secondary income and theoretically it would have

New Black Eagle Jazz Band, Sunnyvale, CA 1984

New Black Eagle Jazz Band, Sunnyvale, CA 1984

“This session is not simply a historical record. It’s the culmination of 14 years of gigs, tours, festivals, recording sessions and lots of rehearsal: spontaneous,

Buck Clayton’s Jazz World, Part Two

Buck Clayton’s Jazz World, Part Two

Also See: Buck Clayton’s Jazz World, Part One Jazz trumpeter Buck Clayton published a colorful and sincere autobiographical memoir thirty-five years ago. His literary voice is

Buck Clayton’s Jazz World, Part One

Buck Clayton’s Jazz World, Part One

The year 2021 marks 110 years since the birth of jazz trumpeter Buck Clayton, best known for his role in the classic early Count Basie

The Busking Experiment

The Busking Experiment

Recently I read about a social experiment performed a decade ago involving world-renowned classical violinist Joshua Bell. (I know, I’m a little late to the

Music Education

Music Education

The curious thing I’ve noticed about studying jazz at university, is that it sells all the glamour of becoming a jazz star, but largely ignores

An American Art Form

An American Art Form

Jazz has had quite an amazing journey this last hundred years. It is no longer the music of the downtrodden and uneducated lower classes. It

Neighbors Unaware…

Neighbors Unaware…

I recently made a connection that has been in front of me for 40 plus years and which has nearly bowled me over. I spent

Song Introductions

Song Introductions

I was writing an autumn poem for our local nature reserve newsletter this morning describing family trips I remember as a kid. I grew up

Sutter Creed

From the 2021 Sutter Creek Ragtime Festival

The emergence of music festivals in America during the last century contributed greatly to the preservation and appreciation of the nation’s musical heritage. I have

Dave Donohoe

UK Trombonist Dave Donohoe has died

Trombonist Dave Donohoe passed away on October 23, he was 81. Well known among jazz musicians inn the UK he shared the local focus on

Ken Salvo

Banjoist Ken Salvo has died at 74

Banjoist and guitarist Ken Salvo passed away peacefully in Florida on September 15th, he was 74. Sandra, his wife of 52 years predeceased him by

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