Nick Morrison



Thu April 18, 2013
A Blog Supreme

Jazz Salutes Its Disc Jockeys

Originally published on Fri April 19, 2013 4:42 pm

Symphony Sid Torin (left) hosts a program at WHOM featuring the saxophonist Arnett Cobb.
William Gottlieb The Library of Congress

The advent of bebop added a fresh sound to American music. It also added new voices to some metropolitan radio stations: the late-night jazz DJs who specialized in presenting this new music to their fellow hipster nightflies.

To recognize the work of the groundbreaking DJs who lent them critical exposure, jazz musicians of the period would occasionally write songs in their honor. Here are five of those songs.

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Sat March 2, 2013
Favorite Sessions

Juan De Marcos And The Afro-Cuban All Stars: Dig That 'Dundunbanza'

Originally published on Mon July 7, 2014 4:22 pm

Juan de Marcos González of the Afro-Cuban All Stars performs live for Jazz24.
Justin Steyer Jazz24

Many music lovers know Juan de Marcos González as the man who teamed up with guitarist Ry Cooder to create Buena Vista Social Club. But González was busy celebrating the history of Cuban music long before Cooder arrived on the scene.

Concurrently with the Buena Vista project, González was recording an album with his own band, The Afro-Cuban All Stars. The orchestra now contains expatriate Cuban musicians, young and old alike, from around the world.

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Thu February 28, 2013
A Blog Supreme

A List Of 5 Songs About ... Lists

Originally published on Fri March 1, 2013 11:42 am

Detail from the cover art to Louis Armstrong Meets Oscar Peterson.
Verve Records

Over the past few years, Take Five's theme-based jazz lists have covered a wide variety of subjects. We've covered the careers of legends, the cutting-edge work of up-and-coming artists, styles, periods, holidays, regional scenes and more. Today, Take Five goes "meta" and presents a list of songs about... lists.

The lyrical conceits of these five songs are simply to list things. And, of course, feel free to suggest your favorite songs about lists that weren't included here. ("What, no 'Route 66'? Really?")

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Fri January 18, 2013
A Blog Supreme

5 Blues Songs That Feel Your Midwinter Chill

Originally published on Sat January 19, 2013 10:21 am

Muddy Waters, c. 1979.
Keystone Getty Images

In the Northern Hemisphere, January is typically the coldest month of the year. If we can somehow drag ourselves through the month, things will begin to turn around and we'll be on the road to springtime. But January often feels as if it'll never end.

So as we slog through the cold rain and snow, awaiting January's demise, here are five blues songs to help get us through the winter.

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Sat December 1, 2012
Favorite Sessions

Graham Dechter: Youth, Steeped In Tradition

Originally published on Mon July 7, 2014 5:30 pm

Graham Dechter performs at the Jazz24 studios in Seattle.
Justin Steyer Jazz24

Graham Dechter is a 26-year-old jazz guitarist who's been living his dream. Dechter was invited to join the world-famous Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra at 19, and now, seven years later, he's leading his own group — and just released his second album, Takin It There. Here's a clip of the Graham Dechter Quartet performing the title track in the Jazz24/KPLU studios.


  • Jeff Hamilton, drums
  • Josh Nelson, piano
  • Christoph Luty, bass


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Wed November 21, 2012
A Blog Supreme

Coleman Hawkins: Tenor Saxophone, Front And Center

Originally published on Thu November 22, 2012 10:54 pm

Coleman Hawkins in 1946.
William Gottlieb The Library Of Congress

When tenor saxophonist John Coltrane recorded his composition "Giant Steps" in 1959, he created something that changed the way musicians thought about improvisation and harmony. Decades earlier, the man who took the first leaps and bounds with the tenor sax in jazz was Coleman Hawkins.

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Sat November 17, 2012
Favorite Sessions

Bill Charlap: The American Songbook, Handled With Care

Originally published on Tue July 8, 2014 8:53 am

Bill Charlap performs at KPLU in Seattle.
Justin Steyer KPLU

It's no wonder that pianist Bill Charlap loves the music that has come to be called The Great American Songbook — the songs of great Tin Pan Alley composers such as Jerome Kern, George Gershwin and Irving Berlin. He grew up with it. Charlap was born and raised in New York, the son of Moose Charlap (a Broadway composer) and Sandy Stern, a self-described "popular singer with jazz overtones."

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Fri October 5, 2012
A Blog Supreme

Django's Legacy: 21st-Century Gypsy Jazz

Originally published on Sun October 7, 2012 5:05 pm

Versatile guitarist Frank Vignola has clearly studied Django Reinhardt-style jazz.
Courtesy of the artist

Django Reinhardt has achieved an almost godlike status among those who love jazz guitar. When he and violinist Stephane Grappelli formed the Quintet of the Hot Club of France in 1934, they created a new sound in jazz: The guitar and violin served as the lead instrumental voices, propelled by two hard-swinging rhythm guitars and a bass.

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Wed October 3, 2012
Favorite Sessions

Cyrus Chestnut: Nobody Like 'The Nutman'

Originally published on Wed July 2, 2014 3:53 pm

Cyrus Chestnut performs on Jazz24.
Justin Steyer Jazz24

Pianist Cyrus Chestnut took his time making a name for himself on the jazz scene: For a decade starting in the mid-1980s, he apprenticed as pianist for Jon Hendricks, Betty Carter, Donald Harrison and Wynton Marsalis. But since then, he's toured the world and recorded 15 albums as a bandleader.

In this performance and interview, Cyrus describes his gospel roots and his discovery of jazz, and discusses how he approaches interpreting other composers' music.

Set List

  • "Tonk"
  • "Polka Dots And Moonbeams"
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Sat September 15, 2012
A Blog Supreme

Cannonball Adderley: 5 Songs From A Joyous Soul

Originally published on Sun September 16, 2012 8:56 pm

Cannonball Adderley.
Michael Ochs Archives Getty Images