Acclaimed Japanese Jazz Pianist Yōsuke Yamashita Plays a Burning Piano on the Beach

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Unlikely as it might seem, the Japanese jazz scene has for decades and decades produced some of the finest players in the world, from traditionalists to experimentalists and everything in-between.


The History of Spiritual Jazz: Hear a Transcendent 12-Hour Mix Featuring John Coltrane, Sun Ra, Herbie Hancock & More

≡ Category: Jazz, Music, Religion |11 Comments

Jazz has inspired a great many things, and a great many things have inspired jazz, and more than a few of the music’s masters have found their aspiration by looking — or listening — to the divine. But that doesn’t necessarily mean they subscribe to traditional religion.


Hear 508 Hours of Songs Recorded by Rudy Van Gelder (1924-2016), the Engineer Who Created the Sound of Modern Jazz

≡ Category: Jazz, Music |2 Comments

The art of audio engineering is mostly a dark one, an alchemy performed behind closed studio doors by people who speak a technical language most of us don’t recognize. That is until recently.


Hear the One Night Sun Ra & John Cage Played Together in Concert (1986)

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It’s hard to imagine two figures more representative of two disparate directions experimental music took in the 20th century than John Cage and Sun Ra. Cage’s aleatory arrangements and instruments improvised from radios and TV sets left much to the discretion of the performer.


How Jazz-Loving Teenagers–the Swingjugend–Fought the Hitler Youth and Resisted Conformity in Nazi Germany

≡ Category: History, Jazz |1 Comment

Nearly every Western youth subculture in existence eventually gets its own Hollywood film. Like most such films, 1993’s Swing Kids—which tells the story of jazz-loving German youth during the rise of the Third Reich—managed to be both inaccurate and critically reviled.


A 103-Year-Old Harlem Renaissance Dancer Sees Herself on Film for the First Time & Becomes an Internet Star

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The Harlem Renaissance lives in the form of Alice Barker, a soft spoken lady who just last week received a belated Happy 103rd Birthday card from the Obamas.
That’s her on the right in the first clip, below. She’s in the back right at the 2:07 mark. Perched on a lunch counter stool, showing off her shapely stems at 9:32.


Sun Ra Plays a Music Therapy Gig at a Mental Hospital; Inspires Patient to Talk for the First Time in Years

≡ Category: Health, Jazz, Music |4 Comments

For some time now it has been fashionable to diagnose dead famous people with mental illnesses we never knew they had when they were alive.


Ralph Steadman’s Evolving Album Cover Designs: From Miles Davis & The Who, to Frank Zappa & Slash (1956-2010)

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Ralph Steadman will always best be known—and for good reason—as the visual interpreter of Hunter S. Thompson’s druggy gonzo vision of American excess and hubris.


Radiohead’s “Creep” Performed in a Vintage Jazz-Age Style

≡ Category: Jazz, Music |5 Comments”>Creep

Smashing Pumpkins’ leader—and sole remaining original member—Billy Corgan is a man of many opinions, most of which I find easy to ignore. But in one of his recent made-for-headlines quotes, he referred to fellow nineties alt-rock superstars Radiohead as “the last band that did anything new with the guitar.


Miles Davis Covers Michael Jackson’s “Human Nature” (1983)

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What happens when the Prince of Darkness covers the King of Pop?
Miles Davis’ decision to record a studio version of Michael Jackson’s 1983 hit, “Human Nature,” caused Al Foster, his friend and drummer, to walk out mid-session, thus putting an end to their longtime collaboration.


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