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JT Notes: Them Changes

One of my favorite movies is D.O.A., a superb film noir from 1949. It includes a priceless jazz-ploitation scene with uncredited appearances by James Van Streeter and Teddy Buckner, but that’s not why I’m recalling it in this space. The film’s ingenious premise involves a man named Frank Bigelow, played by Edmond O’Brien, who gets … Read More “JT Notes: Them Changes”

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IAJE Conference and NEA Jazz Masters: Notes from the Great White North

Every year, the conference of the International Association for Jazz Education showcases the two main demeanors in the current state of jazz, often back to back: One is of well-deserved reverence and big-hearted nostalgia-that is where the National Endowment for the Arts’ annual Jazz Masters celebration comes in; the other camp looks forward more than … Read More “IAJE Conference and NEA Jazz Masters: Notes from the Great White North”

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JT Notes: The Dearly Departed

We’re a small but dedicated group of writers and editors who bring you JT each month, but often we feel like morticians. Instead of formaldehyde and makeup, we arrange the use of hyperbole and half-remembered anecdotes to dress up our departed, ignoring their embarrassments and failures-like all respectful eulogizers-and sending them off into the annals … Read More “JT Notes: The Dearly Departed”

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JT Notes: Our Prayer

Skimming this issue, you might get the false impression that jazz is well heeled and glamorous: Bossa-nova chanteuses on major labels, Starbucks-assisted crossover projects, Queen Latifah. But many of jazz’s stories are unspeakably sad, including that of Donald Ayler, who died in obscurity in Ohio on Oct. 21 of an apparent heart attack. He was … Read More “JT Notes: Our Prayer”

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JT Notes: On Movies, Jazz and Jake LaMotta

As you might surmise from how the words “jazz,” “film” and “Hollywood” appear in different arrangements no less than 38,000 times throughout it, this edition of JT is concerned with when and where jazz crops up in the movies. In all the “jazz is/isn’t dead” tomfoolery, a rare discussion is one that realizes jazz-like classical … Read More “JT Notes: On Movies, Jazz and Jake LaMotta”

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JT Notes: Ponce de León Should’ve Checked the Vanguard

In “Flee as a Bird,” Gary Giddins’ 2003 Village Voice farewell column that’s more a commencment address than any sort of official goodbye, the author caps his first paragraph with what’s not necessarily a jazz adage, but damn well should be. “In jazz, time is all,” he writes. As majestic as that phrase is, I’d … Read More “JT Notes: Ponce de León Should’ve Checked the Vanguard”

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Motion Sound SRV-212 Rotary Speaker Cabinet

It probably wasn’t long after guitar-organ-drums combos became a swinging staple in neighborhood bars that guitarists began looking for ways to emulate their Hammond and Leslie-toting brethren. Now there’s an entire market dedicated to making guitars sound like B3s, with effects pedals and rack-mount processors claiming to have that perfect mix of chorus and tremolo … Read More “Motion Sound SRV-212 Rotary Speaker Cabinet”

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JT Notes: Paying Homage to Honoring the Tributes

In the course of Bob Blumenthal and Christian McBride’s intellectual sparring match at the 2007 IAJE conference in January, a topic arose that-like most every subject covered in this duo’s face-offs-received a quick one-two punch before morphing into another hot-button issue. McBride’s query was something to the effect of: Why can’t today’s A-list players (and … Read More “JT Notes: Paying Homage to Honoring the Tributes”

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JT Notes: Jazz Police Brutality

On Do the Math, the Bad Plus’ astute and amusing blog covering topics as disparate as Ornette Coleman and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, pianist Ethan Iverson recently posted a link to a Sept. ’06 interview with Police drummer Stewart Copeland-a rock drummer with undeniably jazz-influenced chops. during the interview, published online at hippie-haven JamBase.com, Copeland … Read More “JT Notes: Jazz Police Brutality”

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Moe Denham: The Soul Jazz Sessions

A guitar album masquerading as a B3 burner, Moe Denham’s The Soul Jazz Sessions collects a handful of Music City’s fiercest chicken pickers and indulges them in predictably swinging and grooving organ jazz. Touchstones for this outing include Western swing, Lenny Breau’s Nashville-inflected bop and Danny Gatton’s “redneck jazz”-particularly Relentless, Gatton’s 1994 outing with B3 … Read More “Moe Denham: The Soul Jazz Sessions”

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Saga Gitane John Jorgenson "Tuxedo" Guitar

Session musician, solo artist and guitar cult-hero John Jorgenson has a signature ax for every facet of his playing: a Takamine acoustic for countrified strumming, a Custom Fender Telecaster for the fleet-fingered chicken-pickin’ he performs with the Hellecasters, and not one, not two, but three Selmer-style Gypsy-jazz-boxes by Saga Gitane. This latest model is called … Read More “Saga Gitane John Jorgenson "Tuxedo" Guitar”

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Fender Jazzmaster Ultralight Guitar Amplifier

While Fender completely missed its target market when it launched the Jazzmaster guitar in 1958-aiming to replace the hollowbody but instead creating the ax of choice for surf guitarists and alt-rock hipsters-the company’s new Jazzmaster Ultralight amp will delight archtop junkies while providing the versatility that fusion heads demand. It’s a surprisingly loud, great-sounding unit … Read More “Fender Jazzmaster Ultralight Guitar Amplifier”

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Peavey JF-1 EXP Guitar

For developing guitarists with an interest in jazz, inexpensive yet playable hollowbodies and semihollows were once as elusive as the intricacies of “Rhythm” changes. Not so today, as a number of manufacturers have managed to produce good-sounding, good-looking, well-built instruments for the 15-year-old high school ax-man on a budget. Peavey’s JF-1 EXP is a prime … Read More “Peavey JF-1 EXP Guitar”

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