Jazz Institute of Chicago

Welcome to the Jazz Institute of Chicago Journal, an archive of jazz writing. You'll find incredible articles about the history of Jazz in Chicago, as well as interviews with a variety of musicians and jazz related figures and reviews of recordings and live shows.

Charles 'Truck' Parham

Charles 'Truck' Parham
by Jim Beebe

'Truck' Parham called me recently to tell me that WGN-TV was running a piece on him that night on their news show. I'm very glad that he did call as it was an excellent piece. Well deserved. WGN did about 15 minutes on Truck with nice interviews, pictures with Art Tatum, Pearl Bailey etc. and shots of him with Franz Jackson at Joe's Bebop Cafe.

Lester Young: An American original

Lester Young: An American original
by David Simpson

Bill Evans

Bill Evans
by Stuart Nicholson

This excerpt from The Essential Jazz Records Vol. 2: Modernism to Postmodernism, adapted by the author for this website, is the first article in what we hope will become a series about classic jazz recordings.

Waltz for Debby
Original Jazz Classics OJC20 210-2
Evans (p); Scott LaFaro (bs); Paul Motian (d).
New York
25 June 1961
My foolish heart, Waltz for Debby (two versions), Detour ahead (two versions), My romance (two versions), Some other time, Milestones, Porgy (I loves you, Porgy).

Sunday at the Village Vanguard

A Conversation with Brad Shepik

Brad Shepik: interview with Lazaro Vega

Rain Shortens Jazz Unites Festival

Rain Shortens Jazz Unites Festival
reviewed by Rahsaan Clark Morris

This is a truncated story because Jazz Unites’ Festival, held August 5-6, 2000 at the South Shore Cultural Center was a truncated fest. The promise of two sunny days of beautiful jazz free to all turned out to be one-and-a-third muggy and ultimately washed out days of beautiful free music. I’ll say this: true jazz fans hung tough and were rewarded.

My Music

My Music
by Art Hodes

There used to be (but it's not there anymore; I looked) a barbecue place at 48th and State. Louis Armstrong took me there one time; after that I found my own way, night after night. It wasn't the food that charged me, though I'd strip those bones bare. No, it was the music, the people, the atmosphere. There was an old electric player piano that I'd feed nickels. The music came out blues. Oh, how I longed to be able to play that way. I was in love with a music. It turned into a life-long love affair.

Remembering Russ Freeman

Remembering Russ Freeman
by Bill Moody

[Russell Donald 'Russ' Freeman, born May 28 1926; died June 27, 2002. He was 76.]

The host of the Riviera Hotel's Monday Night Jazz in Las Vegas called me one day and said he'd met a guy named Russ Freeman. Given this host's penchant for smooth jazz, I thought he meant the leader of the Rippingtons. "No," he said. "This guy is a piano player. Who is he?"

Donald G. Miller: Ellington Scholar

Donald G. Miller: Ellington Scholar
by Tony Schmidt

An occasion for member input was the recent death of Donald G. Miller, a long time JIC member but known to a selected Chicago group primarily as the catalyst in the development of (a) the worldwide Duke Ellington Study Group and (b) the resulting yearly international Ellington Conferences.

Melba Liston

Melba Liston
By Steve Voce

This article first appeared in The Independent of London.

The code of behaviour at ladies' finishing schools never recommended taking up the trombone. The instrument didn't rival the piano or the cello in drawing room decorum. And yet the only two well-known women trombonists were both glamorous to look at. Melba Liston was one of them and the English Annie Whitehead, assured enough to appear naked with her horn on the sleeve of her last CD, was the other.

Cindy Blackman

Cindy Blackman
reviewed by Rahsaan Clark Morris

Spring 2001—The drummer Cindy Blackman has been on the scene for many years, at least since the early Eighties with Sam Rivers and, later, Wallace Roney, and I was pleasantly surprised to see her one evening a few years back when I was working lights at the Aragon Ballroom and she was backing the guitarist Lenny Kravitz, kicking much harder and funkier than Sheila E. had playing behind Prince. On record, I recalled her playing on Roney's The Standard Bearer with Gary Thomas, Mulgrew Miller, and bassist Charnett Moffett.

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