‘The award-winning music service that’s taken Europe by storm will soon be landing on US shores. Millions of tracks ready to play instantly, on your computer and your phone. Sign up to get your invite now’ – (via Spotify).
‘Two years before Ellington died, in 1972, Yale University held a gathering of leading black jazz musicians in order to raise money for a department of African-American music. Aside from Ellington, the musicians who came for three days of concerts, jam sessions, and workshops included Eubie Blake, Noble Sissle, Dizzy Gillespie, Charles Mingus, Max Roach, Mary Lou Williams, and Willie (the Lion) Smith. During a performance by a Gillespie-led sextet, someone evidently unhappy with this presence on campus called in a bomb threat. The police attempted to clear the building, but Mingus refused to leave, urging the officers to get all the others out but adamantly remaining onstage with his bass. “Racism planted that bomb, but racism ain’t strong enough to kill this music,” he was heard telling the police captain. (And very few people successfully argued with Mingus.) “If I’m going to die, I’m ready. But I’m going out playing ‘Sophisticated Lady.’ ” Once outside, Gillespie and his group set up again. But coming from inside was the sound of Mingus intently playing Ellington’s dreamy thirties hit, which, that day, became a protest song, as the performance just kept going on and on and getting hotter. In the street, Ellington stood in the waiting crowd just beyond the theatre’s open doors, smiling.’ (The New Yorker)
‘The hidden track dates all the way back to The Beatles’ Abbey Road, which includes “Her Majesty,” a 23-second unlisted song at the end of the album’s second side. Since then, many bands have surprised their fans with secret songs, though many of them are merely discordant noise or otherwise eminently forgettable. Sometimes, though, these tracks are hidden gems that deserve to be heard. For that reason, we decided to put together a list of the very best hidden tracks, and listened to dozens of them to find the standouts.’ (The Top 13)
Abstract: “A variety of neurological problems have affected the lives of giants in the jazz genre. Cole Porter courageously remained prolific after severe leg injuries secondary to an equestrian accident, until he succumbed to osteomyelitis, amputations, depression, and phantom limb pain. George Gershwin resisted explanations for uncinate seizures and personality change and herniated from a right temporal lobe brain tumor, which was a benign cystic glioma. Thelonious Monk had erratic moods, reflected in his pianism, and was ultimately mute and withdrawn, succumbing to cerebrovascular events. Charlie Parker dealt with mood lability and drug dependence, the latter emanating from analgesics following an accident, and ultimately lived as hard as he played his famous bebop saxophone lines and arpeggios. Charles Mingus hummed his last compositions into a tape recorder as he died with motor neuron disease. Bud ‘Powell had severe posttraumatic headaches after being struck by a police stick defending Thelonious Monk during a Harlem club raid.’ Neurological problems of jazz legends. (J Child Neurol. 2009)
Why Music Sounds Worse (NPR)