On the eve of the London Jazz Festival, Phil Johnson ponders the genre’s future
Kit Downes and Stan Tracey riff on the state of their art ahead of the London Jazz Festival
After beginning her career in British music halls, the pianist Marian McPartland left for the United States and became an unexpected jazz star. She forged a distinctive style, made scores of albums and composed music that was recorded by superstars.
Banning rape porn will not make it go away, but send it underground where we are less able to observe the safety of performers
Musician Ben Tucker performed with stars from Quincy Jones to Peggy Lee before he settled in the 1970s in Savannah, where the jazz bassist became one of the Georgia city's best-known working musicians.
Since the 1980s, John Zorn has composed 500 songs inspired by traditional Jewish music, a series known as the Masada Book, variously recorded by adventurous musicians such as Marc Ribot and now Pat Metheny.
There was never a clear school of thought on the films of Jesus Franco. His work was variously given a retrospective at the Cinémathèque Française in 2008, and mocked on Mystery Science Theater 3000, a show devoted to ridiculing the most inept of B-movies, in 1992. What was beyond argument was that his "sexadelic" horror output, running to over 190 films – many made during his most productive period in the late 1960s and 1970s – and boasting titles like Vampyros Lesbos (1971) and A Virgin Among the Living Dead (1973), typified his work, as did his habitual use of the zoom lens.
The Doodle shows singer on stage with a band
Steve Earle's latest album pulls no punches in its survey of the American social landscape. The “low highway” of the title track is a sort of hardship highway travelled by the underclass. It's Springsteen territory, occupied with pride in songs like “21st Century Blues” and the elegiac closer “Remember Me”.
Jim Godbolt was one of those background figures who contribute much support to the jazz world, without receiving adequate recognition. Known as the author of two volumes on the history of British jazz, he worked in the music industry before beginning to write.
Over three decades as They Might Be Giants, the Brooklyn duo of John Flansburgh and John Linnell have developed into a sort of post-modern Flanders & Swann, crafting sharp, witty and entertaining little satires on contemporary mores, set to a dizzying range of styles chosen for humorous emphasis.
No other band got close to Cream – or ever will I played the drums, Eric [Clapton] was the best guitarist of all time and our sets [featuring hits such as "Sunshine of Your Love"] were never the same two nights running; it was magic. Unfortunately it didn't last [the band broke up in 1968] but the reunion at the Royal Albert Hall [in 2005] was amazing; it felt like we'd not seen one another for a few weeks, not 35 years!
As Grace Slick once remarked, ‘If you remember the sixties, you weren’t there!”
There are not many artists who reignite their careers in their ninth decade, but the Pittsburgh-born pianist Ahmad Jamal, who comes to London's Barbican on 8 February, is really on a roll, at 82. The knockout title track from his latest album, Blue Moon, has been nominated for a Grammy and his London performance will be a showcase for the disc
New Orleans is known as The Big Easy for two reasons: it's a big place, and everyone is really easy-going.