Our new series, Jazz for Dabblers, is all about helping you amaze and astound your pals with your jazz knowledge. It's a roundup of some of the fun and/or oddball little stories behind the great music of jazz, written in retellable ways just for you. In this instalment, we have Brad Mehldau, Shirley Horn and "Body and Soul."
The Beatles, 'Blackbird' and Brad Meldau
One of the best songs ever written about black segregation in the 1960s was penned at a table in a Scotland farmhouse. Paul McCartney wrote "Blackbird" as the symbolic idea of a change that was about to happen in America, all because nine young, black schoolchildren were about to attend classes with white school children in Little Rock, Ark.
Even throughout Britain, race issues in America were captivating the British people as some of them watched in horror and wondered “Why?” Years later, jazz would have the chance to celebrate imperfect progress. Here’s a haunting version of the Beatles classic "Blackbird," from pianist Brad Mehldau.
Send your child to work. Get 'em started early.
Do you know a 13-year-old child? Or, if you don’t currently know someone that age, remember what it was like when you were 13? When jazzer Shirley Horn was 13, she had a job playing piano on the radio for 13 weeks. I’m just trying to get my 13-year-old to get out of bed in the morning. Here's Horn, with "Fever."
Sometimes jazz is just too sexy
A song that was banned from the radio because it was – gasp – too sexy! Would you call for a ban on a song you heard on the radio because of “sexual content” in the song? You might have a huge job on your hands these days, because just about every song the kids are listening to are about sex. The jazz standard “Body and Soul” was banned from the radio airwaves for almost a year when it first came out because of its sexual, racy lyrics.
Jazz for dabblers: Crowning Nat 'King' Cole
Occhipinti sees Lennon's universe through jazz-coloured glasses
The Baroness: Friend of Charlie Parker
J is for Jazz, and also for Jelly Roll Morton
on Aug 03, 2012