The San Quentin Prison Jazz Band

Perhaps one of the most underrated alto saxophonists in jazz history, Frank Morgan was best known not for a specific album or project, but for the years spent in the notorious San Quentin prison, where he formed part of the warden’s jazz ensemble. The last two decades of his life, clean of heroin and out …

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Brothers in Jazz – It’s a Family Affair

It’s often fascinating to discover how the greatest jazz musicians of all time grew from young, budding students to idols of the style. As if there was ever any doubt, the role their upbringing played can be seen in the sheer number of family connections sprinkled throughout the upper echelons of jazz history. Whether nature …

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Jazz Puns – Countdown To The Best Album Titles

jazz puns (best album titles)

I was about to start by writing “I like jazz puns as much as the next person” but that’s not true; I like them a lot more! So for no other reason than personal entertainment (and I hope a smile for you, too) I thought I’d dig up some of the best – or worst …

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The Pork Pie Hat That Defined 1930s Jazz

Lester Young and his Pork Pie Hat

There aren’t many opportunities to compare a 1930s jazz musician with Madonna, David Bowie or Kanye West but, decades before social media and the modern era of ‘celebrity’, jazz musicians were at the forefront of pop culture – as the story of Lester Young and his pork pie hat attests. It seems like a cliché …

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