Ella at 100: virtuosity, joy and swing 4

Music
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arts·meme jazz critic Kirk Silsbee excerpts his liner notes to the new four-CD set, Ella Fitzgerald: 100 Songs For a Centennial (Verve 2016-00957) At first blush, one hundred songs from any artist seem like overkill. In the case of Ella Fitzgerald (1917-1996), whose recordings number in the thousands, one hundred is just about enough to ...

Jazz the weekend away @ the Aero

Dance · Film · Music
Jazz on a Spring Day Stormy Weather Jazz’s greatest artists in vintage shorts, digitally restored by the Cohen Film Collection. Includes: “Symphony in Black: A Rhapsody of Negro Life” with Duke Ellington and Billie Holiday; “A Rhapsody in Black and Blue” with Louis Armstrong; “St. Louis Blues” with Bessie Smith; “Cab Calloway’s Hi-De-Ho”; “A Bundle ...

Billie Holiday in Los Angeles: the blues were brewing 2

Music
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Billie Holiday and her dog Mister, New York, c. June 1946, William P. Gottleib One of the greatest jazz singers who ever lived had a small voice, never more than 15 notes at her disposal, and recorded many throwaway tunes. But Billie Holiday (1915-1959) was great by virtue of her sure-footed musical gifts: behind-the-beat phrasing, ...

Capitol Records “Hollywood Jazz” mural celebrated

Music
  “Hollywood Jazz – 1945-1972,” a jazz mural, image posted above, commissioned by the Los Angeles Jazz Society, deteriorated since its unveiling on October 27, 1990. But great news — it has just been beautifully restored by Capitol Records. Artists featured in the mural include Chet Baker, Gerry Mulligan, Charlie Parker, Tito Puente, Miles Davis, ...

Los Angeles jazz history evoked in Kenny Barron concert

Architecture & Design · Music
I’m super excited to attend a concert by a jazz giant, pianist Kenny Barron, at the historic Dunbar Hotel on Central Avenue in L.A. The event is being staged by the Da Camera Society’s “Music in Historic Places” run by the Society since 1980  – a series of concerts matching world-class ensembles with historically and ...

African-American photojournalists capture L.A.’s rich post-War arts world 1

Dance · Fashion · Music · Visual arts
These arts images are drawn from “Identity and Affirmation: Postwar African-American Photography,” an exhibition of 125 images produced by Los Angeles African-American photographers during the postwar years from 1945 to 1980. The marvelous show, now on at Cal State Northridge, also includes social and political photographs. It’s part of the Getty’s “Pacific Standard Time” survey ...

Skirball’s “Get down, Moses” listening party

Language & ideas · Music
The “listening party” — a groovy event in which cultural anthropologist Josh Kun spins discs to illustrate the complex historic relationship between African-American and Jewish popular music — had serious naming issues. Kun launched it as “Black Sabbath.” It got changed to “Go Down, Moses.” Then, some genius in the Skirball Center p.r. department tweaked ...