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Suddenly, It's the Hi-Lo's

As far as jazz-pop male vocal groups of the 1950s go, I always favored the Four Freshmen. Albums by the Hi-Lo's, their chief rivals, seemed a bit flat. Song choices on the Hi-Lo's early Columbia albums were often corny and stiffly arranged instrumentally by Frank Comstock, while vocal arrangements for the Four Freshmen's Capitol dates, many ...


STLJN Saturday Video Showcase: Cactus Truck Hitting Lemp Neighborhood Arts Center on Sunday, November 30

Prickly and persistent, loud and as unsubtle as an 18-wheeler careening down a stretch of bad road at 70 miles an hour, the music of Cactus Truck certainly fits their name. Their balls-to-the-wall skronk also seems like an appropriate soundtrack for a state of emergency, either real or imagined, and so the upcoming visit by the ...


Videos: Jo Stafford

There was a time in the late-1940s and early '50s when Jo Stafford was America's most popular female singer, eventually matched only by Ella Fitzgerald. The maternal warmth of Stafford's voice, her soulful tones and her relaxed sense of swing made her a favorite of white and black audiences. With the advent of TV in the ...


STLJN Saturday Video Showcase: Jeff Coffin and the Mu'tet

Today, let's spend a little time with saxophonist Jeff Coffin and the Mu'tet, who will be in St. Louis to play next Wednesday, November 19 through Saturday, November 22 at Jazz at the Bistro. Now based in Nashville, Coffin first gained wide attention in the 1990s as member of Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, and in ...


Videos: Horace Silver

I wound up on a Horace Silver jag yesterday. While writing, I let Silver run on my iTunes and found myself marveling yet again at Silver's gospel-funk syncopation and the tight, bright Latin-influenced horn lines. Silver perfected the hard bop quintet, rivaled only by Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers. I thought I'd share a few ...


Not the Miles Davis Nonet

Not the Miles Davis Nonet

Picking up where we left off yesterday, 1949 was quite a remarkable year for jazz. The second American Federation of Musicians' ban ended in late '48, allowing record production to resume after nine months. The LP record was introduced by Columbia, RCA unveiled the 45, magnetic tape started to roll in recording studios, bebop was peaking, ...


STLJN Saturday Video Showcase: A Trip to "Swing Xing" with Bucky Pizzarelli, Frank Vignola and Vinny Raniolo

If you enjoy jazz guitar played in a traditional style, today's post might be right up your alley, as we feature not one, not two, but three guitarists - Bucky Pizzarelli, Frank Vignola and Vinny Raniolo - who will be performing together in a show called “Swing Xing: Three Generations of Jazz Guitar" next Saturday, November ...


Weekend Extra: Shelly Manne and Friends

Weekend Extra: Shelly Manne and Friends

From 1960 to 1972 in Hollywood, drummer Shelly Manne operated Shelly’s Manne Hole, one of the great jazz clubs in the world. It was headquarters for his quintet known as Shelly Manne And His Men, which over the years included many of the era’s premier players, among them Charlie Mariano, Bill Holman, Richie Kamuca, Conte Candoli, ...



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