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Louis Armstrong

LOUIS ARMSTRONG AND his All Stars performed at UCLA’s Royce Hall in November 1965. It was the most important musical event I could imagine at the time and perhaps still holds that honor. I was a freshman at UCLA so,…

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Deane Hagen

ON MAY 6 I learned my lifelong pal, Deane Hagen, had died from a massive stroke. Deane was a complete musician. He not only was a superb drummer but also could compose, arrange, and orchestrate. He was the most creative…

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I DELIBERATELY HAVE taken a long break from writing anything here because, from a practical standpoint, it seems unproductive. None of the posts has helped to sell an album and it is very unlikely any has influenced your own thoughts,…

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Why Did Jazz Die?

THE ANSWER IS easy: Jazz died because it stopped being fun and expressing happiness. Given today’s mood, it would seem melodic, upbeat jazz is long past due for a comeback. In the mid 1940s, when Bebop began its systematic dismissal…

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Jazz And Success

IF YOU WERE to scour the world, you would find a handful of terrific jazz musicians whose names and recordings are unknown to all but their families and colleagues. They live and perform in relative obscurity. Festival directors and club…

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WHAT A HOOT! On Monday night, June 26, 2011 I was fortunate to perform with the Jonathan Stout Orchestra again, this time at New York City’s Lincoln Center. It was an inspirational two hour concert and the opening event for…

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