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.

Captain Walter Henri Dyett (1901-1969)

Captain Walter Henri Dyett (1901-1969)
by Richard Wang

Long before Jazz was an accepted study within the music education curriculum, a black South-Side band director was busy preparing his students for professional careers in this music called Jazz. Beginning in 1931 with his appointment as the band director at Wendell Phillips High School, Captain Walter Henri Dyett trained more than 20,000 musicians until his retirement from DuSable High School thirty years later in 1961.

John Steiner

John Steiner
by Charles Sengstock

JIC founding member Dr. John Steiner died in June of this year, and the JIC, Chicago and the jazz world lost a fine scholar and historian. John was a prodigious record collector and owner of the early Paramount and S&D jazz record labels. More than that, he was a friend to many and, to some, a mentor.

Betty Carter

Betty Carter
by Stuart Nicholson

Sounds (Movin' on). I think I got it now. Caribbean sea. The trolley song. Everything I have is yours. I'll buy you a star. I could write a book. Can't we talk it over/Either it's love or it isn't. Deep night. Spring can really hang you up the most. Tight. Fake. So.... My favourite things. Open the door (theme song).

Former Beneke sax man Cecil Hill still “swings his thing ”

Former Beneke sax man Cecil Hill still “swings his thing ”
An interview with Bob Knack

Paul Desmond

Paul Desmond
by Stuart Nicholson
Paul Desmond Live
Horizon A&M SP-850, Verve 543 501-2 (+CD issue).

Desmond (alt); Ed Bickert (g); Don Thompson (bs); Jerry Fuller (d)
Toronto
25, 27, 30, 31 October and 1 November 1975.

Wendy. Wave. Things ain't what they used to be. Nancy. Manha de Carnival. Here's that rainy day. My funny Valentine. Take five.

Bird in Chicago

Bird in Chicago
by Joe Segal

I don't remember exactly when I met Charlie Parker for the first time. I'm sure it was in Chicago in 1946 or '47. He played Chicago frequently, sometimes with his quintet but more often as a single, usually at the Pershing Hotel Ballroom. In the hotel's basement, once called the E1 Grotto, Bird first shook up Chicago musicians as a tenor saxophonist with the 1943 Earl Hines Band.

Most Valued Player: Hampton Hawes

Most Valued Player: Hampton Hawes
by Nic Jones

Though the division between the east coast and west coast schools of jazz in the 1950s was rather more than the product of geography, it was simplistic. Put simply, consensus decreed that music emanating from New York was the work of hard-driving soloists accompanied by rhythm sections who knew only too well how to find and maintain a groove, while music coming out of Los Angeles was a less heated, more genteel affair.

David X. Young RIP

David X. Young RIP
by Bob Brookmeyer

[Painter and Loft Jazz impresario, David X. Young (1930-2001), died May 22 in New York City.]

We lost a gifted painter and a friend of jazz last night. For those of you under 50, you wouldn't likely have been present at the justly famed "Loft Sessions"—now in CD and booklet form.

Mel Tormé

Mel Tormé
By Steve Voce

This article first appeared in The Independent of London.

Mel Tormé was the most gifted and creative musician amongst all of the jazz singers, be they Ella Fitzgerald, Bing Crosby, Cleo Laine or Frank Sinatra. Apart from the impeccable lustre of his singing, he was an inspired composer, an outstanding drummer, an accomplished actor, a gifted author and a dedicated jazz fan who knew as much about the music as most of its historians. He began his jazz record collection when he was twelve.

Classic recordings—Chick Corea

Classic recordings—Chick Corea
by Stuart Nicholson

Now He Sings, Now He Sobs
Blue Note CDP 7900552.
Chick Corea (p); Miroslav Vitous (bs); Roy Haynes (d).
New York City, 14, 19 & 27 March 1968.

Matrix. My one and only love. Now he beats the drum—now he stops. Bossa. Now he sings—now he sobs. Steps—what was. Fragments. Windows. Pannonica. Samba yantra. I don’t know. The law of falling and catching up. Gemini.

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