By Nat Hentoff
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 background and has recognized lots of jazz's most vital figures, usually as pal and confidant. Hentoff has been a tireless recommend for the missed components of jazz historical past, together with forgotten sidemen and -women. This quantity contains his top contemporary work--short essays, lengthy interviews, and private reminiscences. From Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong to Ornette Coleman and Quincy Jones, Hentoff brings the jazz greats to existence and lines their paintings to gospel, blues, and plenty of other kinds of yankee song. on the Jazz Band Ball additionally comprises Hentoff's willing, cosmopolitan observations on a variety of concerns. The publication exhibits how jazz and schooling are an essential partnership, how unfastened expression is the essence of liberty, and the way social justice concerns like wellbeing and fitness care and powerful civil rights and liberties retain the entire arts--and all participants of society--strong.
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Extra info for At the Jazz Band Ball: Sixty Years on the Jazz Scene
I just walked away from all of it. ” Once, in Seattle, playing with Count Basie’s small group, Clark was approached by a “little kid who came in, said he was learning to play trumpet and also wrote music, and asked if he could take some lessons from me. We worked it out so he could come in for a couple of hours—like 6 o’clock or so in the morning before he went to school—and before I went to bed. “I couldn’t dare to say no to this kid. I shudder to think what would have happened if I had said no.
I can’t forget him because he brought me into the music that has given me ceaseless reason to shout aloud in pleasure. 3 The Family of Jazz Years ago, I took my daughter, Miranda, to a rehearsal of Count Basie alumni the morning of a Carnegie Hall tribute to their former leader. 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.
Back then, and even now, I get into arguments when I claim that while Goodman surely could swing and was a superb technician, Artie Shaw surpassed him in the range of his imagination and the exhilaration he conveyed of continually expecting more of himself and his horn. As Matt Snyder once wrote of the clarinetist, “Shaw’s playing was on a consistently higher level linearly and harmonically [than Goodman’s]. . ” I was pleased to see in the New York Times obituary, written and archived long ago by the late John S.