March 4, 2008. Posted by Doug Doyle.
As my tenth anniversary at Jazz 88 is fast approaching, I remember my first few days at the radio station. I didn't know enough about the music to comment on anything. I had to rely on my personal Jazz Dictionary, Gary Walker. Thanks to the morning maestro, I've learned so much about jazz now...to a point where I play air drums, piano and sax in the studio in between newscasts. I'm also blessed to be working at a radio station where so many talented artists come to visit. Two recent events made me realize I've actually become a part of the jazz community. Trumpeter Jon Faddis agreed to shoot the breeze with me about sports and jazz on SportsJam and bassist John Lee complimented my work during a recent visit to Cecil's Jazz Club in West Orange. Very cool to have two terrific guys who played with Dizzy Gillespie make me feel special!
© 2008 WBGO
March 1, 2008. Posted by Joshua Jackson.
Today is the birthday of drummer Barrett Deems, called "The World's Fastest Drummer" by his contemporaries Buddy Rich and Gene Krupa. I can't say that I would call Barrett Deems a jazz giant, but I always found him entertaining. Have you ever seen High Society with Grace Kelly, Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, and Louis Armstrong? If you answered yes, then you've seen Barrett Deems. He played drums for Louis Armstrong's All-Stars during the 1950s, and his hyperkinetic drumming was an excellent foil to the super-cool swing of Pops.
Here's "The World's Fastest Drummer" playing the drums, the stage, and a chair.
© 2008 WBGO
February 29, 2008. Posted by Joshua Jackson.
I don't really care so much about why Herbie Hancock won a Grammy. All of the bloggers from the indie rock camp should get over it, which, I'm sure, they have by now (it's just the Grammys, folks...). I'm just happy that jazz gets any attention from television. On that note, check out CBS Sunday Morning this weekend. Correspondent Rita Braver visits Herbie Hancock at home. What she discovers about Herbie is as interesting as you can imagine from someone as interesting as Herbie Hancock. Jazz people already know this. Now, folks who watch TV before church service can get an insider portrait of the recent GRAMMY Album of The Year winner. And how many of us have ever been inside Herbie's pad, anyway?
And tomorrow, The Harvard Foundation (for Intercultural and Race Relations) of Harvard University will name Herbie Hancock 2008 Artist of the Year at their annual Cultural Rhythms ceremony. Cool.
© 2008 WBGO