Tonight’s film is the 1935 Duke Ellington vehicle Symphony in Black: A Rhapsody of Negro Life. Directed by Fred Waller, who was a director of short films, it highlights Ellington’s new com
The great jazz pianist is gone, at the age of 81. Tyner’s famous for his legendary work with John Coltrane at the peak of the saxophone master’s career between 1961 and 1965. Somewhat oddl
This is the grave of Stéphane Grappelli. Born in 1908 in Paris, his mother died young. But his father, who was an Italian writer, knew Isadora Duncan and when he was drafted into World War I by the I
This is the grave of Lester Young. Born in 1909 in Woodville, Mississippi, Young grew up in New Orleans as part of a family of musicians. But although professional musicians, they were also poor, as t
This is the grave of Lionel Hampton. Born in 1908 in Louisville, he and his mother moved frequently in his youth–to Birmingham, then to Kenosha, and then to Chicago. He took an interest in music
Cecil Taylor, one of the greatest artists and musicians to ever walk the planet, has died. The Times has a really great, comprehensive overview of his life.
A 1948 number one hit written by a California naturmensch and performed by an African-American jazz singer spawns countless renditions. “Nature Boy” was written in 1947 by an early
This is the grave of Cab Calloway. Born in 1907 in Rochester to a fairly well-off family, Calloway grew up in Baltimore. His parents saw their son’s talent early on and paid for voice lessons. T