Scott Yanow

Scott’s Contributions


December 2007    The Archivist

Penthouse Serenade/The Piano Style of Nat King Cole
Nat King Cole

One of the great swing pianists of the 1940s, Nat “King” Cole was a highly rated jazz performer in 1950 when he struck pay dirt with “Mona Lisa.” That recording, which featured his warm vocal, a string orchestra and none of his piano, became a No. 1 hit...


December 2007    The Archivist

Live at the 1971 Monterey Jazz Festival
Sarah Vaughan

The Monterey Jazz Festival reached the half-century mark in 2007, being the only jazz festival held at the same venue for 50 straight years. While there have been “live at Monterey” recordings before, most notably the arguable high points in the careers...


December 2007    The Archivist

John Coltrane

The five-CD box set Interplay (Prestige) contains John Coltrane’s Prestige recordings in which there was no leader or he was a co-leader with others. Dating from 1956-58 with all of the music previously released, this intriguing collection finds Trane interacting...


December 2007    The Archivist

Dig Ben!
Ben Webster

Ben Webster, who became famous while with Duke Ellington during 1939-43, was one of many saxophonists completely overshadowed by Coltrane in the 1960s. Afraid of flying, he sailed for Europe in late 1964 and never came back to the United States, spending...


November 2007    Books

The Art of Jazz: Monterey Jazz Festival 50 Years
Keith and Kent Zimmerman

In 1997, Bill Minor wrote Monterey Jazz Festival: 40 Legendary Years, a detailed history of the first 40 years of the Monterey Jazz Festival. Now at the time of the 50th festival, The Art of Jazz celebrates the occasion with a breezier look at Monterey’s...


October 2007    The Archivist

Lady Day: The Complete Billie Holiday on Columbia 1933-1944
Billie Holiday

The Billie Holiday recordings of 1935-42, both with and without pianist Teddy Wilson, are rightfully famous. Teamed with all-stars drawn from a variety of swing bands including tenor saxophonist Lester Young (a perfect fit) and trumpeter Buck Clayton, Lady...


October 2007    The Archivist

Live at the Savoy 1939-40
Ella Fitzgerald

Ella Fitzgerald’s Live at the Savoy 1939-40 (Hep) is probably the only CD under Ella’s name that does not have a single vocal. Taken from radio broadcasts that I believe were previously unreleased, it features the Ella Fitzgerald Orchestra performing instrumentals...


October 2007    The Archivist

The Duke Box
Duke Ellington

The Duke Box, an eight-CD reissue from Storyville, features the Duke Ellington Orchestra on broadcasts and concert performances from 1940-49. Most serious Ellington collectors will already own the great majority of this material, which includes two radio...


October 2007    The Archivist

Louis Armstrong: In Scandinavia Vol. 1 - 4
Louis Armstrong

With the exception of a few selections, even the most dedicated archivist will not have previously heard the material on the four-CD Louis Armstrong in Scandinavia (Storyville). The first three selections, from Copenhagen in 1933, are the soundtrack of a...


October 2007    The Archivist

Bing & Louis: Havin' Fun
Bing Crosby & Louis Armstrong

The two-CD set Havin’ Fun (Storyville) is taken from the Bing Crosby radio shows of 1949-51 that featured Louis Armstrong as his special guest. In addition to a lot of Dixielandish music, a special treat is hearing the often-hilarious verbal interplay of...

October 2007    The Archivist

Mosaic Select: Cohn, Newman & Green
Al Cohn/Joe Newman/Freddie Green

The mid-1940s found the jazz world having a civil war between the insurgent beboppers and those who supported the Dixieland revival, while most of the swing-era big bands were breaking up. In the 1950s, the jazz world was more peaceful, with much common...


October 2007    The Archivist

Mosaic Select: Onzy Matthews
Onzy Matthews

Onzy Matthews was an arranger and pianist who wrote for Lou Rawls, Esther Phillips, Ray Charles, Duke Ellington and others without achieving any fame. Matthews recorded 51 selections as a leader, all of which are on the three-CD Onzy Matthews (Mosaic Select...

September 2007    Features

Quick Takes: 10 Classic Jazz Cameo Performances

Many types of movies have involved jazz, including concert and performance films, documentaries, Hollywood films with jazz in their soundtracks, fictional melodramas incorporating jazz as part of the plot, biopics on swing-era bandleaders, 1930s and ’40s...


June 2007    The Archivist

McCoy Tyner

A pair of recent Mosaic Select limited-edition three-CD box sets focuses on music that was generally overlooked at the time it was recorded. McCoy Tyner (Select 25) features the great pianist’s Blue Note recordings of 1968-70, music originally released as...


June 2007    The Archivist

Bobby Hutcherson

Vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson (Select 26) was one of the few remaining Blue Note artists in the 1970s who was still recording stirring postbop music. His Select box reissues Cirrus, Inner Glow, Waiting, The View From the Inside and Knucklebean. While some...


June 2007    The Archivist

Snuggled on Your Shoulder
Beverly Kenney

Jazz history is full of personal tragedy and heroic music. At age 28, Beverly Kenney committed suicide in 1960 from a combination of alcohol and sleeping pills, due to a broken love affair. During the previous six years, the promising singer had recorded...

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About Scott Yanow