David Brent Johnson http://wclk.com en In Memoriam: Jazz Elegies http://wclk.com/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 1631 at http://wclk.com In Memoriam: Jazz Elegies The Women In Charge Of The Band http://wclk.com/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 18:00:00 +0000 David Brent Johnson 562 at http://wclk.com The Women In Charge Of The Band History As Symphony: The African-American Experience In Jazz Suites http://wclk.com/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 421 at http://wclk.com History As Symphony: The African-American Experience In Jazz Suites