Category Archives: jazz appreciation month

Jazz Appreciation Month: American Folk-Blues Festival 1962 session

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I know I don’t have to say it, but I will: there’s no jazz without the blues.

An extremely awesome performance by some extremely awesome blues musicians:

Helen Humes : vocal
Sonny Terry : harmonica
Brownie ‘Kazoo’ McGhee : vocal, guitar
Willie Dixon : vocal, bass
T-Bone Walker : vocal, guitar
Memphis Slim : vocal, piano
Jump Jackson : drums

I really like this clip. I might even have considered leaving my man for Willie Dixon : “you know, if it’s good to me, must be good to you.” Yowzers.
The call and response stuff within the band feels like partner dancing to me.
The bit of dancing at the end is neat, and I really like the type design (the original white stuff, not the shitty bit someone’s put over the top).

..I’ve included this clip not just because I _love_ it, but because this festival was important for bringing American blues to Europe, where it influenced people like the Stones, Eric Clapton, etc.

Jazz Appreciation Month: Jimmy Giuffre Three

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Jimmy Giuffre Three playing ‘the River and the Train’ over the opening credits of ‘Jazz On A Summer’s Day’, which was filmed at the Newport Jazz Festival.

I overuse this song, but I love it. Love it. Nothing danceable here at all. The film, of course is excellent stuff, and the history of the Newport Jazz Festival is pretty interesting. There’s been some cool stuff written about the festival’s valorising of ‘traditional’ jazz and swing (at the expense of modern stuff).

Jazz Appreciation Month: Billie Holiday and friends

Am I nuts? Why, yes, I probably am. Ryan Swift has drawn my attention to the fact that it’s Jazz Appreciation Month over at the Smithsonian. So I’m going to see if I can come up with a different song or artist every day of this month. I struggled with the Women’s History Month thing (though in a good way – stretch and learn!), so I might need your help. I’ll try to make it women musicians, but that might be difficult. Also, as Loggins says – “why not just list all the people who inspire you? Do they have to be all women?”

Because men can be inspiring too. :D

I’m going to start with a song I overtweet, overlink, overuse. Billie Holiday doing ‘Fine and Mellow’ with some of her friends, live on telly in 1957.

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