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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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MilesDavis_EsmondEdwards_CTSimages

Miles Davis and the First Quintet

BY ARMAND LEWIS ON THE EVENING OF July 17th, 1955, Columbia Records producer George Avakian realized that he had a problem. He had just witnessed Miles Davis’ stellar performance at the Newport Jazz Festival and knew that if...
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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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haden-hall

Haden and Hall

Duet Masters Together ~By Armand Lewis Some musical partnerships are simply meant to be, even though they may not be long term. Some come together early in their musical careers, like Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie, only to...
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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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Teddy Wilson

The Jackie Robinson of Jazz: Teddy Wilson

Bebop And Beyond By Armand Lewis n every field, someone is the first to accomplish something. For instance, George Washington was the first U.S. President, the Wright Brothers were the first to fly in a self-powered aircraft, a...
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errol_garner

Erroll Garner – Ready for Take One

by Armand Lewis During much of the twentieth century, many jazz musicians had little formal training. There may have been basic lessons as children, but often by high school age, they were being taught informally by older musi...
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Lester Young

Lester Young — The Complete President

BY ARMAND LEWIS PAST GENERATIONS OF Americans were fond of giving nicknames to their friends and peers. From “Honest Abe” Lincoln, to Julius “Groucho” Marx, nicknames were used to celebrate someone by highlighting a pe...
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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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