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December 2020

You can purchase the issue digitally here.

-A Brief History of JazzTimes by Lee Mergner
-Selections from Our Greatest Artist-to-Artist Interviews
-The Top 50 Jazz Albums of the Past 50 Years

One hundred and twenty-five years ago, Cliff Edwards entered the world. You may know him as the voice of Jiminy Cricket in Pinocchio and other Disney productions. But in the 1920s and ’30s, he was Ukulele Ike—a major American pop star and a pioneering jazz singer. Steely Dan’s Donald Fagen pays his respects.

A quarter-century after Ukulele Ike, Norma Deloris Egstrom was born. As Peggy Lee, she would go on to give us fever, then ask if that’s all there is. But before those immortal hits, she created what many still consider her finest full-length work: Black Coffee. In an exclusive excerpt from her new book on Lee, Tish Oney celebrates that 1953 album.

In the mid-1980s, two creative titans met, one from the jazz world and one from the pop world. A newly expanded, multi-disc exploration of Prince’s eclectic ’87 masterpiece Sign o’ the Times partly reveals what happened—and what could have been—between him and Miles Davis. A.D. Amorosi uncovers the rest.

Opening Chorus: The Detroit Jazz Festival carries on, as do the Royal Bopsters; Philadelphia’s Institute of Contemporary Art hosts a Milford Graves career retrospective; Allegra Levy writes the words that make John McNeil’s songs sing; and farewells to Mark Colby, Toni Belengeur, Stanley Crouch, and Ira Sullivan
Chronology: Ethan Iverson on Meredith D’Ambrosio
Artist’s Choice: Brian Blade selects his favorite tracks from 1970, the year he and JazzTimes were born

Before & After: Ladies’ choice—memorable moments from 30 years of listening sessions featuring Anita O’Day, Dorothy Donegan, Jane Bunnett, Anat Cohen, Terri Lyne Carrington, Dee Dee Bridgewater and more
Audio Files: Brent Butterworth on getting better sound out of livestreaming

Reviews: Keith Jarrett, Ron Miles, Diana Krall, Yellowjackets, and a forgotten gem by Neil Swainson

Cover image by Nate Silva