Blue Bossa: What You Don’t Know About The Standard

By |July 10th, 2014|

A little-known story behind the standard “Blue Bossa” reveals that most jazz musicians are missing something huge when they play it.

Blue Bossa. A standby in any jazz musician’s repertoire. Likely one of the first bossas they ever learned. The very mention of its name immediately conjures slightly out-of-tune horns played by a middle school jazz combo at their first recital […]

Kenny Dorham’s Afro-Cuban: Part II

By |March 29th, 2014|

As a continuation of the initial posting concerning KD’s record Afro-Cuban, this post will explore the session from March 29, 1955 which was first released on a 10” LP (BLP 5065). The session from March 29 included four tunes: “Minor’s Holiday,” “Afrodisia,” “Lotus Flower,” and “Basheer’s Dream.” Evidently, both sessions from January 30 and […]

“Did I ever tell you?”: Mythology and jazz history

By |February 25th, 2014|

“Did I ever tell you the one about Hank Mobley and the baseball?”

The best moments of the workday tend to begin with Don wandering past my desk with a sly smile and a knowing twinkle in his eyes. “Did I ever tell you?” he’ll begin. I lean back in my chair. Don is offering […]

Afro- Cuban: Parts Unknown Part 1

By |January 31st, 2014|

       Yesterday marked an important day in the discography and music of Kenny Dorham: the first session off his iconic second album, Afro-Cuban.
KD’s first album as leader was called the Kenny Dorham Quintet. Originally released on the Debut label, it was recorded on December 15, 1953 with brothers Jimmy and Percy Heath […]

KD, Whistle Stop, Blue Note, Oh My!

By |January 27th, 2014|

Fun news! SFM has a new intern, Jeremiah Briley. And Jeremiah happens to be something of an expert on Kenny Dorham. So without further ado, here’s Jeremiah’s take on a classic album–

It’s January 15: the 53rd anniversary of one of Kenny Dorham’s seminal recordings as leader, Whistle Stop. We pause to reflect on the […]

Rahn Burton: A year later

By |January 27th, 2014|

Late last January, Don emailed me with unexpected news — Second Floor Music composer Rahn Burton had passed away on January 25, 2013 at age 78.

I was surprised, to say the least. I had last seen Rahn in August 2012 and he was full of life. A jovial, easy-going man, Rahn took great pleasure […]

Hipsters: 1959

By |January 7th, 2014|

Is hipsterism still a thing?

Even the New York Times trendpieces are at least five years old by this point. Williamsburg is aging (Bushwick’s barely affordable), Urban Outfitters so longs to be relevant that it repeatedly tries to make racism twee, and ironic mustaches are so eyeroll-worthy that anyone sporting one is likely doing so with another […]