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A Passion for Jazz! History of Jazz music, styles and musicians featuring photo gallery, timeline, festivals, webcasts, piano & guitar chords, scales and online lessons.

"A Passion For Jazz - Music History & Education"

David "Fathead" Newman Passes At Age 75

David "Fathead" Newman (born February 24, 1933), jazz musician tenor sax soloist who played with the Ray Charles Band for about 12 years (beginning in 1954) has passed away at age 75. He started out with Ray Charles as his baritone sax player and eventually was featured as the star tenorist with the band. Newman played and recorded with a wide range of jazz and soul luminaries. In addition he had a successful solo career. He was nominated for a Grammy Award in 1990 for his work with Art Blakey and Dr. John. His wife, Manager Karen Newman, says the jazz musician died Tuesday January 20th of pancreatic cancer in a Kingston, New York hospital. I had the pleasure of seeing him perform many times and actually got a chance to meet him after a Ray Charles Tribute Show that he did in Chicago a couple of years ago with several other former members of the various Ray Charles Bands. According to music history lore, David got the nickname of "Fathead" in high school music class. His music teacher, Mr. Miller supposedly saw David's sheet music upside down on the stand, and knowing that Newman couldn't read music very well at the time, walked over and tapped him on his head with the conductor's baton and called him "Fathead." The entire classroom laughed, and Newman, having good humor, did not find it derogatory. The nickname stuck. You can sign the memorial book by clicking here.
Here David plays on Alto sax:

Top 10 Jazz & Blues Music Blogs Of 2008

Here is a list of "The Top Ten Jazz & Blues Music Blogs" compiled for a Las Vegas website that sells tickets to various shows. I came across this list when I was checking on jazz-related blogging sites on Google. Although my favorite aggregate news site for this type of info is, I thought I would share this with you. My own JAZZzology blog (which tends to be Chicago-oriented as I am familiar with that scene) is not included in the list this year (this site was just started), but hopefully that will change by the end of 2009. Anyway here is a reprint of the article from 19NOV2008 by Lawrence Stelder for your perusal and cogitation:

I was commissioned to seek out the best jazz and blues blogs & sites on the Internet today by the people at BestShowTicketsLasVegas. So I spent some time compiling a list of blogs and sites that I thought were cool, and then used a bunch of different variables to come up with the top ten. I used Google and Yahoo popularity, Alexa ratings, Technorati visiblity, wealth of information, frequency of updates and my own jazz opinion. I've been a fan of jazz music for 20 years and love the greats like Coltrane, Miles Davis, McCoy Tyner, Herbie Hancock, Monk, Freddie Hubbard and I could go on and on. So, below are the ones I deem the top 10 jazz blogs (and blues), and I think these are some of THE best jazz & blues sites online now. And keep in mind, it's just my humble opinion:

  1. Blog - An excellent jazz blog that has reviews, interviews, historical overviews and other materials, and encourage visitors to share their expertise and opinions on their Forums and elsewhere on the site. They have a cool Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians section and a thriving community.
  2.'s Jazz Blog - Jacob Teichroew writes this blog that includes artist profiles, reviews, jazz festival information, and history of jazz.
  3. Squeeze My Lemon - A blues blog that has some really cool pictures and videos.
  4. Swing, Jazz & Blues - Written by Henrik Eriksson from Sweden who's a disc jockey that plays swing, jazz and blues for dancers. This blog is about music that makes you want to dance. Find tips about music and dancing resources: cd reviews, book reviews, video clips and jazz photography.
  5. Jazz Lives - An entertaining and well-written jazz blog by Micheal Steinman, an author who has a wealth of jazz writing experience.
  6. Straight No Chaser - A blog covering all things jazz - the music, the artists, the performances - from both yesterday and today. A source for links and podcasts.
  7. All About Jazz - This is much more than a jazz blog and includes photos, forums, reviews, articles and featured stories all about jazz.
  8. Jazz Improv Magazine - Although not a true blog, this site just had to be mentioned in this list. Find CD reviews, articles, a jazz store, Jazz Improv TV and more.
  9. My Jazz World - This blog offers a good mix of things that have to do with the jazz world. Great writing and interesting opinions.
  10. Jazz Portraits - A blog that discusses jazz news, reviews, gossip and some blues.

Benny Golson's 80th Birthday Party Is 30JAN2009

The great jazz tenorist, Benny Golson, will be celebrating his 80th Birthday at the Chicago Symphony Center on Friday, January 30th, 2009...and you're invited. He is a legendary composer, arranger and musician. His tuneful gems like "I Remember Clifford", "Whisper Not", "Killer Joe", and "Blues March" are enduring favorites in the Great American jazz songbook. Golson will lead an all-star version of his Jazztet, the legendary band he founded in 1959 with the late Art Farmer. Opening the program will be pianist Mulgrew Miller, whom I have caught on several occasions at The Jazz Showcase and Andy's Jazz Club, both located in downtown Chicago. A list of the musicians to be featured for both Golson's JAZZTET and Miller's TRIO can be found below:

Benny Golson, tenor saxophone
Eddie Henderson, trumpet
Steve Davis, trombone
Mike LeDonne, piano
Buster Williams, bass
Carl Allen, drums

Benny Golson with Art Farmer at the Playboy Jazz Fest 1982:

Mulgrew Miller, piano
Ivan Taylor, bass
Rodney Green, drums

The Mulgrew Miller Trio (Atessa In Jazz 2008):

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