Nat Hentoff's At the Jazz Band Ball: Sixty Years on the Jazz Scene PDF

By Nat Hentoff

ISBN-10: 0520261135

ISBN-13: 9780520261136

Nat Hentoff, well known jazz critic, civil liberties activist, and fearless contrarian--"I'm a Jewish atheist civil-libertarian pro-lifer"--has lived via a lot of jazz's historical past and has recognized a lot of jazz's most crucial figures, frequently as good friend and confidant. Hentoff has been a tireless recommend for the overlooked components of jazz background, together with forgotten sidemen and -women. This quantity contains his top contemporary work--short essays, lengthy interviews, and private memories. From Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong to Ornette Coleman and Quincy Jones, Hentoff brings the jazz greats to lifestyles and strains their artwork to gospel, blues, and lots of other kinds of yankee tune. on the Jazz Band Ball additionally contains Hentoff's willing, cosmopolitan observations on quite a lot of concerns. The ebook exhibits how jazz and schooling are a necessary partnership, how loose expression is the essence of liberty, and the way social justice concerns like overall healthiness care and powerful civil rights and liberties continue the entire arts--and all contributors of society--strong.

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Some of the musicians were in their sixties and seventies. As is usual in the jazz life, most had not seen each other for some time and greeted each other warmly, jocularly, and started riffing on the times, good and bad, they’d had together. Among the musicians was drummer Gus Johnson, whose crisply elegant riding of “the rhythm wave,” as Basie’s guitarist Freddie Green used to call it, has never gotten the fullness of recognition he deserved. And Harry “Sweets” The Family of Jazz 13 Edison, who captured Miranda’s attention when—as the band ran down one of the arrangements for the evening—he stopped the music and turned his score back to the arranger.

In this country, part of the fault for Monk-the-enigma is chargeable to the jazz writers. And for lack of words from the source, writing and talking about Monk by nonmusicians often has been unusually expressionistic. There is, for example, this note on his melodies by German critic Joachim E. Berendt: “I like to think of them as ‘al fresco melodies,’ painted directly on ‘a blank wall’ with nothing under it but hard stone. You cannot take them with you as you can with paintings which are framed.

For me, the highlight of the evening was the vivid presence of the Boston Latin School Jazz Band, brilliantly directed by faculty member Paul Pitts (BLS class of 1973). The band was there because my award citation included my involvement in jazz, which began, at age eleven, the year I entered Boston Latin School. I first heard these players—integrated by gender, race and ethnicity—a few years ago when I visited the school. They were playing Duke Ellington’s “Things Ain’t What Essentially Duke (and Wynton) 25 They Used to Be,” and I was surprised, and impressed, by how deeply they got into his music.

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At the Jazz Band Ball: Sixty Years on the Jazz Scene by Nat Hentoff

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