Last Week’s Jazz – 3/2/15

By Sam Griffith

Here is the week in jazz. Ethan Iverson shares his thoughts on Whiplash (and drums) (and North Texas!), Orrin Keepnews passed away, some nice writing about Willie Ruff (who is Willie Ruff!) and some announcements about new jazz films out on DVD.



Last Week’s Jazz – 2/23/15

By Sam Griffith

A pretty eventful week in jazz, unfortunately ending with the passing of Clark Terry. Whiplash won 3 academy awards (jazz wins!), the Village Vanguard is old, Fred Hersch has some new music and Branford answers some questions.


Jazz And Sports: One Play Doesn’t Define You

By Sam Griffith

In the aftermath of a devastating (or lucky) super bowl, I read a quote from Pete Carroll, the Seahawks coach, discussing the final play of the Seahawks season.

One moment doesn’t define you. The journey does.

-Pete Carroll

This particular quote struck home, especially with regards to jazz improvisation. This quote has some incredible validity to it…and is also not completely accurate with regards to jazz and sports. (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…)

Albums from the past 365: Keith Jarrett/Charlie Haden Last Dance

By Grant Larson

Pianist Keith Jarrett and bassist Charlie Haden are two stalwarts in the 21st century jazz community. They have been playing and recording for nearly the past 50 years. Although they have not recorded together with much frequency in recent years, Last Dance is a testament to the musical connection that two close friends can produce.

The impetus for choosing this album is twofold:

1) I love listening to Keith Jarrett’s creativity, and

2) this discussion is to serve as a tribute to Charlie Haden, given his recent passing earlier this summer. (more…)