Music Therapy to lift the soul and provide good health outcomes

IN ONE scene of “Alive Inside” (2014), a documentary film, a member of nursing-home staff offers headphones to a wheelchair-bound man named Henry. He had been unresponsive and hunched over, but as Cab Calloway plays, he sits up, opens his eyes wide and begins singing and moving his arms and hands. The music was triggering memories for Henry; family members say he had always been a huge fan of jazz and blues. A shorter version of the film is available on YouTube, and has been viewed more than 2m times to date.  

There has been much research on music’s effect on those with progressive disorders like Parkinson’s, where it can help to regulate gait and involuntary body movem....

The Engine, the Weapon and the Ax of Rock

Every guitar player will want to read ‘Play It Loud’ twice. The casual fan will find a thrilling narrative that weaves cultural history, musical history, race, politics, business, advertising and technological discovery.

A Gretsch 6120 Chet Atkins model (left) and a Gretsch Falcon.ENLARGE

A Gretsch 6120 Chet Atkins model (left) and a Gretsch Falcon. PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES

We know their names—Chuck Berry, Keith Richards, Jimi Hendrix, Eddie Van Halen,Jack White—but how many of us can name the bass players or drummers in their ....

The Rudy Van Gelder Sound

August Kleinzahler 26 August 2016


When you’re listening to jazz in, I would argue, its greatest and most significant incarnation, a folk-based, body-based chamber music recorded during the 1950s – Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis, John Coltrane et al – it was probably recorded by Rudy Van Gelder on analogue equipment in his parents’ living room in Hackensack, New Jersey, a room specifically designed for their son’s sound recording and where he made use of hallways and alcoves to tease out acoustic effects. By day, Van Gelder worked as an optometrist in Teaneck. He died ....

Who’s Your Daddy? Reflections of a Humbled Son on Thelonious Monk’s 98th Birthday

T.S. Monk Headshot

T.S. Monk

Internationally acclaimed jazz drummer, composer, bandleader, and vocalist


John Bulmer via Getty Images

My life began with one perplexing question: Who is daddy?

Let me explain. From my earliest recollections, adults, when first meeting me, would invariably ask the question, “Do you know who your father is?” The query came from musicians and fans alike. I didn’t really und....

Little Did they Know

1962 – February – The Beatles played a concert at the Birkenhead YMCA for a fee of £30. The audience didn’t enjoy the show and the Beatles were booed off stage. They left early for a second gig at Liverpool’s Cavern Club, and the rest, as they say, is history.....

The Bill Evans Legacy

35 years after his death, the pianist remains a huge influence on jazz.



Bill Evans, who died 35 years ago this year at age 51, has remained a central influence on how pianists play jazz. His conception of the jazz trio became the model for balancing the good of the group with individual freedom in the modern rhythm section of piano, bass and drums. And musicians unborn when Evans was at his peak are inspired by his harmonic concepts, the way he touched the keyboard, the flow of his rhythm as he phrased his solos.

Evans conceived of a trio that could master simultaneous improvisation.


50 Greatest Jazz Albums

All lists are of debateable merit but here is a start. This list has the fact that all the albums on it are readily available via the usual outlets on and off the net:

At the end of any year it’s a great time to look back and so we’ve decided to attempt to come up with a definitive list of the 50 Greatest Jazz Albums of all time. Impossible, you are probably thinking, and it probably is, but rather than just thinking of our favourites we decided to take a good look through the web to see what other lists there are and combine our findings.

As usual we expect many of you to disagree, sometimes strongly, but as usual we will love hearing from you.

It took us ....

Riff on the world–Wynton Marsalis

FOR decades, jazz-club owners looked at their more well-heeled cousins in other genres with envy. Unlike metropolitan orchestras or opera houses, jazz groups usually lacked a steady home or grand performance space and a foundation of patrons to help them thrive. The art form that was rooted in the blues and folk music of African slaves in America was often performed in smoky basement joints. Fans paid a modest cover charge or nothing at all to hear music, and the musicians often took home a pittance as their reward for a ha....

Beliebing in Streaming

Record bosses now hope that online streaming could become a big enough business to arrest their industry’s long decline

Mar 22nd 2014 | The Economist

AT THE headquarters of Pandora, an online-radio firm, in Oakland, about a dozen headphone-clad analysts fill in a long questionnaire as they listen. They rank whether a song’s mood is “joyful” or “hostile”, the vocalist “breathy” or “gravelly”. They note whether they can hear electric guitars, lutes or bagpipes. Their ratin....

I have a Stream

The land of Abba takes to streaming

(The Economist 22nd March)

“WE THINK the whole world will look like Sweden,” says Daniel Ek, the 31-year-old boss of Spotify, a streaming service headquartered in Stockholm. The world’s music executives hope Mr Ek is correct. They have been sending delegations there to study how Sweden pulled off its musical makeover. Between 2008 and 2013 the turnover of the country’s recorded-music market rose by around 27%, to SKr991m ($155m). Streaming now makes up more than 70% of revenues.

Spotify’s launch in 2008 was vital in Sweden’s movement from diminuendo to crescendo. Sweden was early to have fast broadband. At first this facilitate....

Merry Christmas to all and an appraisal of 2013 jazz

Lists are often – nay usually, a bit pointless, but the argument at the beginning of this appraisal of 2013 is an interesting one……

Best Jazz of 2013

by Larry Blumenfeld

23/12/13 3:38 PM EST

My ambivalence about year-end top-10 lists (or any top 10s not associated with ESPN or David Letterman) hasn’t changed much since last year. Yet if I look at these choices less as a winners’ circle and more as a distillation of larger stories and basic truths, I begin warming to the exercise. The story told by my list here was also last year’s best story,....

Idle Moments

A favourite album has to be Grant Green’s Idle Moments. Recorded at a time when new musical ideas clashed and fought for attention – 1964 with Miles on fire, the Beatles filling the popular space, burgeoning British blues players showing Americans what they had and didn’t know about and the fragmented but jewel studded hard bop jazz players ever opening different lines, this album and Grant Green and his work stand out for a serenity probably only matched for relaxing qualities by the Jobim, Getz, Gilberto adventure in bossa.

Friend and arguably the most....