Get Rhythm

Legendary Dan Hicks Battling Liver Cancer

Monday, 22 June 2015 06:38 AM Written by

Dan Hicks, the iconic and iconoclastic San Francisco singer, songwriter and guitarist who combined his original songs with Django Reinhardt-style swing, jazz vocals and folk music to create Dan Hicks And His Hot Licks, is suffering from liver cancer. He announced the diagnosis on his website recently.

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The Stones 'N The Blues

Friday, 19 June 2015 06:37 AM Written by

Everyone who knows the Rolling Stones' heritage and musical roots know they took their name from a Muddy Waters song and that Brian Jones, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards became fans of American blues and R&B when they were teenagers. They scarfed up all the Chuck Berry, Muddy Waters, Bo Diddley, Little Walter and Howlin' Wolf records (to name just a few of the acts they loved) they could find and copied them closely. By the time they started working together, they already had the seeds of their sound.

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This week's "Believe Your Ears" music podcast examines the just-released anthology Dylan, Cash & The Nashville Cats: A New Music City looking at a period when 60's rockers and folk-rockers began recording in Nashville.  This is accompanying an exhibit on the subject at the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville. Disclosure: I've compiled and annotated collections for Legacy in the past (though not this one).

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The news that Pittsburgh jazz icon Erroll Garner's professional archives have been donated to the University of Pittsburgh's Library System, thanks to the estate of his Pittsburgh-born manager, the late Martha Glaser, is welcome in the extreme.  So is the upcoming September 18th release of a revised and expanded 60th Anniversary Edition of his landmark 1955 Columbia album Concert By The Sea, with notes by, among others, Pitt Jazz Program Director Geri Allen, who co-produced the collection with Steve Rosenthal.  The three-disc edition will include the complete concert, a new version of the edited (originally released) show and interviews done right after the Carmel show with Garner and his sidemen.

It more than justifies this revised re-post of the "Pittsburgh Jazz Legends 8: Erroll Garner" entry that first ran on this blog back in 2012.

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RIP To Two Masters: Ornette Coleman, Jim Ed Brown

Friday, 12 June 2015 06:34 AM Written by

In the past 24 hours, two masters, one in jazz, the other in country, died, both acclaimed and not that far apart in age. This is by no means a definitive overview of their work, but just a brief survey.

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 My take on Kurt Elling's just-released album.  Elling wil be at the "Celebration Of Jazz" at Heinz Hall wiht Ramsey Lewis and Sean Jones on June 16.t


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The Weavers' Ronnie Gilbert: Singer-Actor-Activist

Wednesday, 10 June 2015 06:56 AM Written by


Singer-actress Ronnie Gilbert died four days ago in Mill Valley, Californa at age 88. Her passing received ample notice because of her role as vocalist and social activist, most notably as a member of the folk quartet the Weavers, consisting of herself, Pete Seeger, Fred Hellerman and Lee Hays. Hellerman is the last surviving member of the original group.

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Colbert's New Bandleader Jon Batiste: A Sampler

Friday, 05 June 2015 06:36 AM Written by


Stephen Colbert isn't fooling around. It's no surprise he's helping gin up buzz prior to the start of the September 8 debut of CBS's The Late Show With Stephen Colbert. It seems he isn't fooling around when it comes to picking a bandleader. The choice: the celebrated New Orleans musician Jon Batiste.

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