Lego Jazz Quartet

Jazz needs some serious love right now so this Lego Ideas set is well-timed. It looks like this idea has already achieved liftoff status with 10K votes, but feel free to show some love and build out your dream jazz club at home while supporting live jazz.

Some Choice Toussaint

I have been listening to a lot of Allen Toussaint this week to honor his huge contribution as a musician, composer, producer and one of the great New Orleans pianists. Here are some of the highlights: Life Love and Faith This entire album is “desert island” Toussaint Cast Your Fate to the Wind I love […]

Mancini on Piano Jazz

  NPR has posted an archive of a 1985 Piano Jazz episode to commemorate his 91st birthday. It is definitely worth listening to. Marion McPartland plays some particularly tasteful solo renditions of Mancini tunes and there are some interesting facts revealed in the hour-long interview: Mancini always believed that The Pink Panther theme painted a […]

“Outstanding” Funk

I love the punchy congas and low end piano in the intro to this fine piece of Gap Band funk craft. Enjoy. Inspiration http://uproxx.com/smokingsection/2012/10/the-gap-band-outstanding/

It is April but this Ain’t Paris

I have always thought Vernon Duke / Yip Harburg’s April in Paris is particularly evocative of a time and place and a fantastic marriage of melody to lyric but I never really gave it’s origin much thought. It turns out Yip Harburg had never been to Paris. He wrote the lyrics at Lindy’s while looking out […]

Leonardo Da Vinci’s viola organista

Are you a keyboard player who is a frustrated guitarist? Solution: Keytar   Are you a keyboard player who is a frustrated cellist? Solution: Viola Organista   Inspiration: Leonardo Da Vinci’s wacky piano is heard for the first time, after 500 years.

My Old Used Record Store Rat Run

I still buy a lot of used vinyl online, mostly out of print jazz, soul and funk online but sometimes I wish I lived nearer to more used record stores. One thing that was great about growing up in Rochester, NY in the 80s was the record stores. These were the cathedrals of my youth. […]

6 Music Degrees Stress Test

I have been having a good time wasting time trying to find the most obscure and/or ridiculous links between musicians using this handy tool. The examples provided Kanye-Tayor Swift, for example seem like easy lobs for a social graphing system.  Here are some far more interesting tidbits of commonality that I have unearthed for your […]

TV theme music – back from RIP

Are Netflix and HBO are rescuing the TV theme song from sad decline? A few years ago it was widely reported that the TV theme song was likely to disappear altogether as hunger for ad slots encroached on once sacred 30-60 second intro/outro time real estate. Today, the theme song is once again a critical […]

Checking Out Soundslice

Adrian Holovaty of Django project fame has launched an HTML5 interactive music notation app that works really well. Back when I was learning how to play, everyone owned a Marantz tape deck that you could slow down to “half-speed” (optimally an octave lower) in order to transcribe solos. These were durable machines but they were […]

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