Posted inMusic

The Reader’s Jazz Festival jukebox

Like any music fest, the Chicago Jazz Festival is basically a Choose Your Own Adventure that you listen to. It’s even more multifarious than most—not only does it take over Millennium Park for four days, it also books events at the Cultural Center and Maxwell Street Market and a series of neighborhood concerts (copresented with […]

Posted inBlogs

Happy 100th, Lester Young

Lester Young Today is the 100th anniversary of Lester Young‘s birth. I’m not going to take up your time telling you who he was or why you should care—chances are you already know and already do, or else there’s no persuading you. What I am going to tell you to do is look at this […]

Posted inFilm

Too Big for the Screen

The sheer impossibility of encompassing jazz bassist, composer, and bandleader Charles Mingus (1922-’79) in a single film limits Don McGlynn’s ambitious 1997 documentary, Charles Mingus: Triumph of the Underdog, from the outset. Which doesn’t mean you shouldn’t see it—it’s playing at the Gene Siskel Film Center, and Mingus’s second wife, Celia Mingus Zaentz, will lead […]

Posted inMusic

Duke Ellington: The Blanton-Webster Band; Duke Ellington Orchestra/Count Basie Orchestra–First Time! The Count Meets the Duke; Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus, Max Roach–Money Jungle

DUKE ELLINGTON: THE BLANTON-WEBSTER BAND RCA Bluebird 5659-1-RB FIRST TIME! THE COUNT MEETS THE DUKE Duke Ellington Orchestra/Count Basie Orchestra Columbia Jazz Masterpieces CJ 40586 MONEY JUNGLE Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus, Max Roach Blue Note BT 85129 Few American popular musicians were quite as honored and lionized in their lifetime as Duke Ellington. The great […]