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mingus

The Shadows of Charles Mingus

Bebop and Beyond By Armand Lewis In the 1930s and ’40s the film industry was totally controlled by the major studios. These companies (including MGM and Paramount) controlled not only production and distribution, but also alm...
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lester-young-featured

Lester Young “Pres” in Chicago

Bebop and Beyond by Armand Lewis There are very few people in the world who can claim to be true originals. But, while everything builds on what came before, someone had to be the first. The first “cool” sound. The first to...
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four-brothers-featured

Four Brothers in Europe

By Armand Lewis In 1947, tenor saxophonist Jimmy Giuffre wrote a composition featuring a four-part harmony arrangement for the saxophone section of the Woody Herman Orchestra. Though Giuffre was not a member of Herman’s band ...
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dizzy-gillespie

Jazz Ambassador

Dizzy Gillespie by Armand Lewis In the early 1950s, with the Cold War heating up to a fevered pitch, rhetoric on both the U.S. and Soviet sides ratcheted up the propaganda as well as the weaponry, with literally every aspect of...
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BlueNote

The Look of Blue Note

by Armand Lewis It’s rare to see what goes on behind the scenes in any artistic creation. Even more elusive is the opportunity to see the inner workings of an entire company throughout its most creative decades. While it was ...
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charlie parker strings

Charlie Parker and Strings

Bebop and Beyond By Armand Lewis Several generations of musicians did not regard themselves as having “made it” until they recorded an album with a string orchestra. In the 1940s, ‘50s and ‘60s, this symbolized not only...
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playboy-jazz-trumpet

Playboy Magazine’s Jazz Legacy

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Overall Review 3 / 5 - Above Average
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art blakey

Art Blakely in England 1961

By Armand Lewis Jazz has a rich history of mentoring — notably King Oliver’s mentoring of a young Louis Armstrong and Charlie Parker’s mentoring of a teenaged Miles Davis. Davis himself subsequently mentored a number of j...
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sonny-crhss_600

Sonny Criss: Imperial Sessions

By Armand Lewis Historians have dated the dawn of modern jazz in Los Angeles to December 10, 1945: the Jazz is one of the very few musical genres that has a capitol. The capitol of country music may be Nashville, but the capito...
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