Midweek Music Moment: Newport Jazz Festival

Today’s jazz fan could only dream of a line-up like this: Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, the Modern Jazz Quartet, Billie Holiday, Oscar Peterson, Gerry Mulligan, Lee Konitz. Yet those are just a few of the artists who performed at the first Newport Jazz Festival July 17-18, 1954.

Newport is the granddaddy of the […]

Midweek Music Moment: Waka/Jawaka, Frank Zappa

With the Fourth of July upon us, it seems an appropriate time to celebrate a unique American music: jazz. So, you wonder, why is this post about Frank Zappa? The vast majority of the uninitiated think Zappa was just a weird rock musician. In point of fact, he was a too often unheralded explorer of […]

Midweek Music Moment: Kind of Blue, Miles Davis

If you hadn’t heard already — and you should have — Kind of Blue is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. In fact, it was 50 years ago this week — March 2, 1959 — that the first of the two recording sessions that created the best selling jazz album of all time took place.


Midweek Music Moment: Dave Brubeck/Paul Desmond

This time of year has always been one of transitions, even if it’s just an effort to make a New Year’s resolution. The jazz world saw a transition on December 26, 1967. That was the day the Dave Brubeck Quartet formally disbanded.

Since the quartet had been founded in 1951, there were two mainstays: Brubeck, […]

Thankful for a fortuitous jazz “education”

I could simply just rave about how Friday night’s performance by the Joe Lovano Quartet ranks among the top shows in my memory in the SFJB Concert Series. Yet a particular thought often came to mind during the concert: how grateful I am that I had college roommates who helped me develop an appreciation for […]