Month: October 2014

Top 5 Jazz Biopics That Are Long Overdue

By Sam Griffith

In the last 25 or so years, we have had a handful (a pathetically small handful) of movies made that focus on the lives of jazz musicians. We’ve had a flurry of jazz-movie news over the last few months with the production of the Miles-Davis biopic, the national release of “Whiplash” (about an abused jazz drummer), the documentary “Keep On , Keeping On” and the casting of Ethan Hawke as Chet Baker in another movie. That got us thinking, which jazz musician is the most overdue for a dramatized theatrical release. (more…)

Last Week’s Jazz – 10/28/14

By Sam Griffith

Here are some a few interesting jazz-related tidbits from last week.


Jazz Concerts Streaming This Weekend – 10/24/2014

By Sam Griffith

Here is a list of jazz concerts that are streaming for FREE this weekend. Notable performances include the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra playing the Brazilian-inspired music of Duke Ellington and the E.J. Strickland Quartet.  (more…)

Albums from the past 365: Rudy Royston’s 303

by Grant Larson

I have to admit that when I first saw that drummer Rudy Royston was releasing his first album as a leader, I was pretty excited to take a listen. I heard Royston play live for the first time in 2005 at Dazzle Jazz in Denver, CO. At the time, I was a budding musician that had just relocated to Boulder, CO for graduate school at the University of Colorado. Royston left a strong impression on me with his lively, melodic, and tasteful playing. Those qualities certainly are on display in his recently released album 303. (more…)

Jazz Concerts Streaming This Weekend – 10/17/14

By Sam Griffith

Here is your list of jazz concerts that are streaming online for FREE this weekend. Notable performances include: Anat Cohen, the DIVA Big Band, Victor Goines, Ralph Lalama and John Ellis. (Click on the artist to be redirected to the site where the concert will be streamed!) (more…)

Spotlight Tune: Dear Old Stockholm

By Sam Griffith

Great musicians are usually quite adept at making any song sound easy. Skilled rhythm section players support the melody (and soloists) by marking the form clearly, or providing interacting with the soloists. Soloists are able to improvise around the melody fluidly, create quality phrases, and shape solos in a dramatic fashion. Without looking at a leadsheet, or analyzing the tune, Dear Old Stockholm SOUNDS very easy to play.

It is not easy to play. (more…)

Jazz In The Mainstream: Boardwalk Empire Season 5 “Devil You Know” (plus Whiplash and Keep On Keepin’ On)

By Sam Griffith,

I’ve been tracking jazz’s presence in mainstream media (or at least attempting to), specifially on TV. I know there are lots of small instances where jazz is mentioned or showed, but I’ve attempted to just limit myself to media where jazz plays a significant role. Boardwalk Empire is a great example of a show that uses jazz in a variety of ways. I have written a series of posts starting from the first episode of season 5 that highlight Empire’s use of jazz. Today’s post will discuss a little bit of Empire, in addition to two recently released movies that feature “jazz” – Whiplash and Keep On Keepin’ On. (more…)