David Brent Johnson http://wvasfm.org en In Memoriam: Jazz Elegies http://wvasfm.org/post/memoriam-jazz-elegies New Orleans may be the nominal birthplace of jazz, though it's also where a jazz tradition associated with death began: The jazz funeral, in which mourners taking a casket to the cemetery are accompanied by a band playing spirituals, hymns and dirges.<p>In the post-1945 era, that tradition manifested in a more modern form of jazz elegy. Jazz artists recorded instrumental tributes (with lyrics sometimes added later) for musical friends and colleagues who had died and had served as figures of inspiration. Sun, 25 May 2014 09:03:00 +0000 David Brent Johnson 48638 at http://wvasfm.org In Memoriam: Jazz Elegies Wade In The Water: 5 Jazz Takes On Spirituals http://wvasfm.org/post/wade-water-5-jazz-takes-spirituals <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJ1AL2bzmpY</p> Thu, 05 Dec 2013 17:34:00 +0000 David Brent Johnson 39192 at http://wvasfm.org Wade In The Water: 5 Jazz Takes On Spirituals Duke Ellington: Highlights Of His Twilight http://wvasfm.org/post/duke-ellington-highlights-his-twilight When <a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/15396582/duke-ellington">Duke Ellington</a> received the news that <a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/15396578/billy-strayhorn">Billy Strayhorn</a>, his songwriting and arranging partner of 28 years, had died, Ellington reportedly cried and told a friend, "No, I'm not all right! Nothing is going to be all right now."<p>The cancer-stricken Strayhorn passed away on May 31, 1967, and Ellington himself would follow seven years later, dying on May 24, 1974, at the age of 75. Thu, 23 May 2013 20:38:00 +0000 David Brent Johnson 28475 at http://wvasfm.org Duke Ellington: Highlights Of His Twilight The Women In Charge Of The Band http://wvasfm.org/post/women-charge-band The narrative of jazz history often credits the music as a powerful, progressive force for racial integration in American culture. But what about gender equality? On that score, jazz in its first few decades would have to be given a less than stellar grade.<p>Jazz critic George Simon embodied the belief of many when he wrote that "only God can make a tree, and only men can play good jazz." Although female singers were generally accepted and often spotlighted with the big bands, female instrumentalists found the going much more difficult. Fri, 29 Mar 2013 18:24:00 +0000 David Brent Johnson 25371 at http://wvasfm.org The Women In Charge Of The Band History As Symphony: The African-American Experience In Jazz Suites http://wvasfm.org/post/history-symphony-african-american-experience-jazz-suites The Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s inspired several black artists to explore their African heritage and the black experience in America, from enslavement to life after emancipation and migration to cities in the north. In the musical world, pianist James P. Johnson composed <em>Yamekraw</em>: <em>A Negro Rhapsody</em>, a 12-minute portrait of a black community in Savannah, Ga. Thu, 21 Feb 2013 21:15:00 +0000 David Brent Johnson 23355 at http://wvasfm.org History As Symphony: The African-American Experience In Jazz Suites