It can be frustrating to be a jazz lover. Even in New York, you run into culturally sophisticated people who would be embarrassed to admit their unfamiliarity with the latest Brooklyn indie rock band (as of this moment, that would be the Dirty Projectors, of course), but are perfectly comfortable confessing their ignorance about an Read More
By Devin Leonard 11/24/09 4:29pm
It’s hard to pin down the drummer-composer John Hollenbeck stylistically. You can frequently find him playing gigs as a sideman at clubs like the Village Vanguard and the Jazz Standard. This would suggest rather strongly that Mr. Hollenbeck is a jazz musician.
But is he?
“Uh, I can play jazz,” Mr. Read More
By Devin Leonard 11/11/09 6:17pm
The Maria Schneider Orchestra’s Thanksgiving week residency at the Jazz Standard, which starts on Nov. 24, has become one of those things: an Annual Event. Before the club opens each night, a long line will snake along the wall on the sidewalk, speaking as reverently about the headliner of the evening as a crush of Read More
By Staff 11/04/09 12:32am
On the first night of the World Series, there were only six people in Puppets Jazz Bar in Park Slope. Three of them, including a reporter, had come to see the pianist Arturo O’Farrill. The rest worked there.
But Mr. O’Farrill, a cherubic 48-year-old pianist-composer who was dressed casually in a black turtleneck, black Read More
By Devin Leonard 10/21/09 3:32pm
DELAWARE WATER GAP, Pa.—The saxophonist Phil Woods returned from the Jersey shore last year to discover a crime had been committed at his home. Someone had stolen the fresh-cut firewood a handyman had stacked out front after trimming the trees.
“If I was 20 years younger, I would seriously consider moving back to France,” Read More
By Devin Leonard 10/15/09 2:54pm
The bassist Linda Oh has an unusual background for a jazz musician. She was born in Malaysia to parents of Chinese descent. She and her two older sisters grew up in Perth, Australia. Their mother and father worked hard and encouraged their girls to do the same.
Ms. Oh’s parents were overjoyed when her Read More
By Devin Leonard 9/30/09 6:32pm
The pianist James P. Johnson was born in 1894. He played his first gig when he was 8 years old at a bordello in his Jersey City neighborhood. The patroness sat him down at the keyboard and told him to keep his eyes to himself. She paid him 25 cents.
So begins the tale Read More
By Devin Leonard 9/25/09 12:30pm
The jazz bassist Joe Martin wishes he could forget some of the gigs he has played. There was the boozy party on Long Island where the wealthy host ended up in a drunken screaming match with his young companion. There were the nights Mr. Martin spent backing up an electric violinist in New Jersey, who Read More
By Devin Leonard 9/18/09 2:29pm
Alto saxophonist–composer David Binney was in the back of a van on the way to a gig in Italy two years ago when he had an epiphany listening to his iPod. He dutifully recorded the moment on the Internet.
“I realize that so many of the records I love are from the Seventies,” Mr. Read More
By Devin Leonard 8/20/09 2:56pm
One of the Strickland brothers opened the door to the Fort Greene flat that he shares with his twin brother to usher a reporter in. It was E. J., right? Nope, it was Marcus. He chuckled at the mistake. It must happen all the time. “They ought to put name tags on us,” he said. Read More