Author Krin Gabbard sets aside the myth-making around bassist Charles Mingus to argue that he created a unique language of emotions—and not just in music. After exploring the most important events in Mingus’s life, Gabbard’s book takes a careful look at Mingus as a writer as well as a composer and musician. Classically trained and of mixed race, he was an outspoken innovator on his instrument as well as a bandleader, composer, producer, and record-label owner.
Italian scholar Sara Villa, whose work focuses on Beat Generation writers, discusses Jack Kerouac's jazz criticism--and finds that Kerouac was more musically literate, and critically adept, than is conventionally thought. Villa gave this lecture at a talk on Jack Kerouac and jazz organized by the Center for Jazz Studies on March 12, 2009.
© 2009 Sara Villa. Used with permission. All rights reserved.
Columbia Professor of Music John Szwed discusses improvisational techniques and references to jazz in Kerouac's writings. He notes that Kerouac, who first experienced Harlem as a student at Columbia, thus believed that "Harlem is part of my alienation."
Legendary Columbia Records producer George Avakian discusses his relationship with Beat Generation author Jack Kerouac. Avakian's brother, film director Aram Avakian, was a character in a Kerouac novel. In this video excerpt, George Avakian begins by discussing his brother's friendship with Kerouac stemming from their days as classmates at the Horace Mann School in Upper Manhattan during the late 1930s. He goes on to describe the relationship he developed soon after with Kerouac, who reviewed of some of Avakian's first recording production efforts.
Composer, french horn player, writer and raconteur David Amram talks about his association with Beat Generation artists Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, Peter Orlovsky, Larry Rivers, and Gregory Corso. Amram moves then to a discussion of the multiple connections of jazz and improvisation with modern culture. In this clip, Amram is introduced by Sara Villa, who talks briefly about Amram's role as a character and score composer in the movie "Pull My Daisy."
© 2009 David Amram. Used with permission. All rights reserved.
This comprehensive study, the first to be written by an African American, is a precursor to the fields of cultural studies and critical race theory. William J. Harris discusses the implications of this sociocultural history of African American music and its unique place in American music history and culture. The talk marks the 50th anniversary of Amiri Baraka’s classic, which was published in New York City On September 25, 1963 with a first impression of 5000 copies and never went out of print.
The Chase. Recorded on June 12, 1947 in Hollywood, CA. Originally released as two sides of a 78rpm disc. Appears on the 2002 Spotlight CD "The Chase."
Dexter Gordon, tenor saxophone
Wardell Gray, tenor saxophone
Jimmy Bunn, piano
Red Callender, bass
Chuck Thompson, drum
A clip from disc 2, track 2 of Bopland: The Legendary Elks Club Concert L.A. 1947. Performed by Trummy Young, Dexter Gordon, Howard McGhee, Wardell Gray, Barney Kessel, and Hampton Hawes.
An excerpt of Disc 2, track 3, from Bopland: The Legendary Elks Club Conert L.A. 1947. Performed by the Bopland Boys: Howard McGhee, trumpet; Trummy Young, trombone; Dexter Gordon, Wardell Gray, tenor saxophones; Hampton Hawes, piano; Barney Kessel, guitar; Red Callender, bass; Roy Porter, drums; and Al Killian, trumpet.
Track 8 from Bopland: The Lengendary Elks Club Concert L.A. 1947. Performed by the Howard McGhee Orchestra. Likely bandmembers include Red Callender on bass and Roy Porter on drums.