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Dynamic Women of Early Jazz and Classic Blues, Part 2 of 2

By | September 5th, 2019|Categories: Dagogo|Tags: , |

Read Dynamic Women of Early Jazz and Classic Blues, Pt 1

Concealed in the shadows of early Jazz and Blues history are dynamic and accomplished women who nurtured, guided and developed the music.  In this column are profiles of Ethel Waters, who was the most popular female singer in America around 1930; accomplished jazz violinist Ginger Smock and the vaudeville trouper Sophie Tucker who was known as “The Original Red Hot Mama.”  Also featured are the tough and independent “Mother of the Blues”Ma Rainey and Mary Lou Williams–a composer, arranger, bandleader and Jazz giant who became a bold modernist.

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Dynamic Women of Early Jazz and Classic Blues, Part 1 of 2

By | August 16th, 2019|Categories: Dagogo|Tags: , |

Concealed in the shadows of Jazz, Swing and Blues history are dynamic women who nurtured, guided and developed the music.  In this column, several of the most talented and accomplished are profiled: Blanche Calloway — who was the first woman to lead an all-male jazz band — “Empress of the Blues” Bessie Smith; and Ina Rae Hutton, leader of the all-female Melodears Swing orchestra.

The International Sweethearts of Rhythm. Select images are from Swing Shift by Sherrie Tucker, 2000.

The International Sweethearts of Rhythm

The International Sweethearts of Rhythm (1937-49) was a racially mixed orchestra, the term ‘International’ denoting its diverse ethnic makeup including Hispanic, Asian and Native American women. 

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James P. Johnson: Forgotten Musical Genius

By | June 12th, 2019|Categories: Dagogo|Tags: , |

In this award-winning production, the life, music and career of early Jazz piano player James P. Johnsonare explored with musical examples and audio clips from the radio series, Jazz Rhythm. Actor Peter Coyote readsfrom Johnson’s recollections and Mark Borowsky expertly traces his career, sharing insights gleaned from a lifetime studying this overlooked American genius.

JAMES P JOHNSON_A Introduction with Peter Coyote, narrator & Drums.mp3

James P. Johnson in the 1920s.

Forgotten Genius

James Price Johnson (1894-1955) should be hailed as one of the greatest composers, jazz musicians and song writers of American music. 

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Duke Ellington Orchestra Live

By | May 29th, 2019|Categories: Dagogo|Tags: , |

 

 

Location recordings, live broadcasts and transcriptions of Duke Ellington and his Famous Orchestra 1940-63 reveal performances distinctively different from their studio sound.  This column presents music from dances, live shows and the legendary 1940 Fargo, North Dakota concert.  Freshly restored broadcast tapes from Duke’s Birthday Sessions recorded in Portland 1953-54 are also heard.

Heat of the Moment

“Duke” Ellington (1899-1974) was an inventive, charming, gifted, hard-working jazz musician and composer of some 2000 musical works.  Yet, considered solely as a performing bandleader and pianist he would be ranked a premier jazz musician — his other vast accomplishments aside.

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Imagining Buddy Bolden

By | April 30th, 2019|Categories: Dagogo|Tags: , |

Publisher’s note: Bolden opens on May 3rd in select theaters.

Created from the only known photograph of Bolden and his band.

This column marks the release of the motion picture Bolden, directed by Daniel Pritzker with music by Wynton Marsalis.  Like them, I’ve gone in search of the true story of the first known jazz man and his legend.

The First Jazz Celebrity

Buddy Bolden (1877 – 1931) was the first to play jazz in New Orleans c. 1895-1905 — or something we would recognize as Jazz not Ragtime.  

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The Real Billie Holiday, Part Three – 1950s

By | April 16th, 2019|Categories: Dagogo|Tags: , |

Also read The Real Billie Holiday, Part One – 1930s

Also read The Real Billie Holiday, Part Two – 1940s

Monterey Jazz Festival, 1957.

This profile of Billie Holiday is presented in three chapters covering the 1930s, ‘40s and ‘50s respectively.  She’s quoted from interviews and her famed autobiography, Lady Sings the Blues.  Representative recordings, podcast clips and readings add detail and perspective to each decade of her compelling story.  It’s notable that photographs of Billie’s mercurial visage are constantly shifting, never the same twice.

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The Real Billie Holiday, Part Two – 1940s

By | April 1st, 2019|Categories: Dagogo|Tags: , , , |


Also read The Real Billie Holiday, Part One – 1930s

This profile of Billie Holiday is presented in three chapters covering the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s respectively.  She’s quoted from interviews and her famed autobiography, Lady Sings the Blues.  Representative recordings, podcast clips and interviews add detail and perspective to each decade of her compelling story.  It’s notable that photographs of Billie’s mercurial visage are constantly shifting, never the same twice.

An Artist in Full

During the 1940s Billie Holiday (Eleanora Fagan, 1915-1959) emerged as a fully formed artist, her voice at its richest and most expressive. 

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The Real Billie Holiday, Part One – 1930s

By | March 19th, 2019|Categories: Dagogo|Tags: , , |

 

 

This profile of Billie Holiday is presented in three chapters covering the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s respectively.  She’s quoted from interviews and her famed memoir, Lady Sings the Blues.  Representative recordings, podcast clips and readings add detail and perspective to each decade of her compelling story.  It is notable that photographs of Billie’s mercurial visage are constantly shifting, never the same twice.

2A) Fur and cocktail

Singing Style

It’s not an exaggeration to call Billie Holiday (Eleanora Fagan, 1915-59) the best of all jazz singers. 

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Frank “Big Boy” Goudie: Jazz on Three Continents Part 3 of 3, San Francisco 1956-64

By | February 15th, 2019|Categories: Dagogo|Tags: , |

 

“Behind his easy smile lies one the most colorful stories in jazz.” Richard Hadlock, San Francisco Examiner, July 1963. Goudie photograph by, and copyright of William Carter, 1962.

Frank “Big Boy” Goudie (b. 1899 Louisiana – d. 1964 California) has been almost completely overlooked by jazz history, a mere footnote until recently.  A skilled musician, his career paralleled the history of jazz itself: origins in Louisiana, migration to Europe, transition to Swing, integration with Latin music and the New Orleans revival.

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Frank “Big Boy” Goudie: Jazz On Three Continents Part 2 of 3, South America 1939-46 and Europe 1946-56

By | January 2nd, 2019|Categories: Dagogo|Tags: , |


Also read: Frank “Big Boy” Goudie: Jazz On Three Continents  Part 1 of 3, France and Europe 1924-1939

Goudie at Chikito Club. Bern, Switzerland, 1949. Jazzindex.

Frank “Big Boy” Goudie (b. 1899 Louisiana – d. 1964 California) has been almost completely overlooked by jazz history, a mere footnote in the jazz chronicles until recently.  A skilled musician, he played saxophone, trumpet and clarinet.  He performed jazz, swing, dance, Latin and ethnic music on three continents.

This article traces his intriguing years in South America, centered in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  

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