jazz

Hipsterism
5:27 am
Mon December 9, 2013

Don't You Dare Call Me A Hipster! I, Sir, Am A 'Hep Cat'

Jazz trumpeter Louis Armstrong signs autographs in the Blue Note nightclub in Chicago in 1948.
Edward S. Kitch AP

Originally published on Mon December 9, 2013 8:54 am

Aside from racial and ethnic slurs, there aren't many words that prompt a more immediate and visceral response than "hipster." Many associate the term with craft beer, smugness and, of course, Brooklyn. Modern-day hipsters have inspired a huge number of Tumblrs, memes and trend pieces in the media.

It may seem like hipsters sprang up out of nowhere sometime in the late 1990s, but the original hipsters were around several generations before that. And they were strongly associated with another uniquely American phenomenon — jazz.

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liner notes
10:43 am
Fri September 13, 2013

Stan Getz: Unifying Paradigms

“My life is music, and in some vague, mysterious and subconscious way, I have always been driven by a taut inner spring which has propelled me to almost compulsively reach for perfection in music, often – in fact, mostly – at the expense of everything else in my life. – Stan Getz

Stan Getz brought a lush, carefree future into the collective imagination of post-World War II America with tunes like “The Girl From Ipanema“. But in his own life he struggled with addiction and lived recklessly in juxtaposition to the possibility and light he offered through his music.

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Liner Notes
12:00 am
Sun July 7, 2013

Hank Mobley: An Individual's Individual

Hank Mobley was a self-taught hard bop and soul jazz tenor saxophone player whose sound was situated between that of John Coltrane and Stan Getz. As a bandleader he worked to encourage musicians to develop their concepts and skills past what they may have thought possible, as he created a space for performers to work out their own vision within his compositions.

In this short feature, Rabbi Neil Blumofe illuminates the importance of those who will not settle for a glory in mediocrity – but who urge others to reach further and extend their concept of what is possible.  

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liner notes
12:00 am
Sun June 30, 2013

Lena Horne: A Disarming Revolutionary

Jazz singer, actress, dancer and activist Lena Horne began performing at the Cotton Club in her teens before moving to Hollywood where she worked as an actress - and was blacklisted during the Red Scare. Over a long career spanning the mid-1930s to 2000, she enchanted audiences yet never budged from her principles and beliefs.

In this short feature, Rabbi Neil Blumofe talks about the revolutionary life and work of Lena Horne.  

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liner notes
12:00 am
Sun June 23, 2013

Rembering 'The Judge,' Milt Hinton

Milt Hinton, known as “The Judge”, was the most recorded jazz musician in history.

Over his extensive career he played on more than 1,100 sessions as a bassist. He was also a very accomplished photographer whose images captured intimate moments shared between some of the greatest jazz legends in history.

In this short feature Rabbi Neil Blumofe discusses the significance of Hinton’s life, his work and his perspective, and offers a view of what his legacy can teach us today.  

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Liner Notes
12:00 am
Sun June 16, 2013

Horace Silver: Jazz on a World Stage

Horace Silver’s powerful and transcendent music pushed him beyond the label of jazz pianist. The composing and instrumentation of his quintet created a unique sound that combined rhythm-and blues and gospel music with the jazz known as “Hard Bop.”

It’s this style of composing that helped him respond to the social and cultural upheavals of the 1960′s and 70′s with records like “United States of Mind” and “The Music of the Spheres.” 

Listen for a moment as Rabbi Neil discusses what lies behind the meaningful simplicity of Silver’s music.

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liner notes
12:00 am
Sun May 12, 2013

Cab Calloway: The Media And Sense of Cool

Singer, dancer, and bandleader Cab Calloway is often referred to as the “hi-di-hi-di-ho” man. His nonsensical sounds and improvised melodies made him one of the fathers of scat. He was also a commercial success as a performer on stage and in film. In the 1979 movie “The Blues Brothers, ”he donned his trademark white tie and tails to perform “Minnie the Moocher.”

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liner notes
12:00 am
Sun April 28, 2013

Ella Fitzgerald: First Lady of American Song

Ella Fitzgerald found solace in music and song. Discovered at age 17 in a talent competition, she went on to become the world's top female jazz singer for the next 50 years.

Fitzgerald's distinctive vocals and her ability to personally hear and feel the emotion in her songs made her an inspiration for female vocalists such as Aretha Franklin, Vannesa Williams, and Janis Ian.

Join us for this segment of Liner Notes discussing the impact of Ella Fitzgerald’s life and music.  

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liner notes
12:00 am
Sun April 21, 2013

Dizzy Gillespie: A Relentless Innovator

With his revolutionary harmonics and driving tempos, Dizzy Gillespie was an architect of modern sound.  His virtuosity and creativity helped to define a whole new approach to improvisation and self-expression. An entertainer as well as an accomplished artist, Dizzy brought intelligence and wit to his playing – an example of confidently showcasing what is possible.

In this short feature Rabbi Neil Blumofe explores how Gillespie’s legacy can teach us about living in accordance with an authentic self, while acknowledging the masks we wear.

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12:00 am
Sun April 14, 2013

Clifford Brown: A Beacon Of Hope

Jazz trumpeter Clifford Brown is known for his precise and captivatingly smooth technique. He recorded most notably with drummer Max Roach and saxophonist Sonny Rollins, and his compositions Joy Spring and Daahoud are jazz standards to this day. His lasting impact on the jazz cannon is profound.

In this short feature, Rabbi Neil Blumofe discusses what Brown’s legacy teaches us about the strength and importance of following one's own path, in spite of contradictory expectations.

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liner notes
12:00 am
Sun April 7, 2013

Billie Holiday: To Touch The Sun

Billie Holiday once said, “No two people on earth are alike, and it’s got to be that way in music or it isn’t music.” 

As we look back on her life and legacy, we gain a deep appreciation for Holiday's unique voice and the authenticity and openness of her approach to music. Even as she struggled with drugs, alcohol, abusive relationships and racism, she maintained a raw understanding of her perspective.

Listen to our contemplation of Billie Holiday's life and works below.

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