A bit of a retrospective emphasis this week:
- Miles Davis Blindfold Test, 1964. He doesn't hold back. This version is complete, as opposed to the version getting passed around this week on social media. Also, there are other Miles Blindfold Tests at this web site: 1955, 1958, 1968. And a Thelonious Monk one too.
- Charles Mingus in his own words. A selection of his writings and statements, including his own Blindfold Test and his response to Miles about his 1955 test. This is from the official Mingus site. Also, previously unreleased Mingus. (Listen.)
- Sonny Rollins picks 10 top tenor saxophone performances — not all straight-ahead jazz. A bunch of other saxophonists name some favorites too, and an "essential" list of 50 albums is compiled. Nate Chinen profiles saxophonist Tim Berne; Jeff Tamarkin profiles saxophonist Harry Allen. All for JazzTimes, which clearly went on a bit of a saxophone kick for the latest issue.
- Coleman Hawkins was a pretty good saxophonist too. (Please note the understatement lest we receive angry comments.) Will Friedwald looks at a big box set of his early career works for the WSJ.
- John Coltrane, another good saxophonist, talks about some influences. Highlights: All of it. DownBeat, 1960.
- Miles Davis didn't write "Solar" apparently — guitarist Chuck Wayne came up with it and even recorded it way before Miles. Old news for some but this blog had been on vacation status so it seems to merit a mention just in case. JazzWax has some good context.
- 53 Minutes of Newport Jazz Festival footage from 1962. Basie, Oscar Peterson, Roland Kirk pre-Rahsaan, Duke, more.
- Clarinetist Evan Christopher has a column in a New Orleans publication and uses it to talk to George Wein about booking Newport Jazz Festival. Christopher was selected for Newport this year but the piece seems more than self-promotional.
- Bass guitarist Jerome Harris is interviewed by bandmate George Colligan. Interesting him describe his initial crisis of confidence in working with Jack DeJohnette.
- Tenor saxophonist Joel Frahm is the subject of a short profile in the New England Public Radio jazz blog. Fun fact: He went to high school with Brad Mehldau.
- RIP saxophonist Lol Coxhill.
- A Spotify playlist of 2,000 jazz standards, as picked by Ted Gioia in a new book about jazz standards. (It's called The Jazz Standards.)
- Eric Harland is selling a bunch of beats he made. He's pretty good at drums.
- Gerry Mulligan rises from the dead.
- The Hamster Jazz Band.
- Destination: Out is giving away Wadada Leo Smith's new album.
- JazzWax had a few interesting features including an interview with pianist Bill Charlap on Bill Evans and an interview with author/historian Ted Gioia.
- The Jazz Session spoke with saxophonist Brad Linde and guitarist Scott Burton.
- The Checkout sat down with saxophonist Darius Jones.
Elsewhere at NPR Music:
- Bassist Linda Oh was interviewed last weekend.
- For Albert Ayler's birthday this week: the "avant-garde made easy" feature from Fresh Air in 2001.
- JazzSet features Newport Jazz Festival highlights from previous years.
- Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz features the episode with vibraphonist and pianist Dave Samuels.
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