Don Byron is an American composer and multi-instrumentalist, rooted in jazz. However, his stylistic influences range from heavy metal to klezmer and more. In this edition ofLiner Notes, Rabbi and jazz historian Neil Blumofe explores what it means to go beyond the idea of “avant-garde” and remain inspired and open to all elements of musical expression in this post-post modern era. Photo credit Hans Wendl Produktion
Dexter Gordon was an American jazz saxophone player, who helped to cement the bebop style post Charlie Parker and others. He spent most of his career playing, composing and recording in Europe, as it was a more, “harmonious” place to live and create. In this edition of Liner Notes, Rabbi and jazz historian Neil Blumofe, talks about what the life and legacy of Dexter Gordan can teach us about exploration, diversity, and acceptance. Photo credit jazzinphoto.
Dave Brubeck was an American jazz pianist and composer who helped to bring jazz to a mainstream audience, during very turbulent days in America’s history. In this edition of Liner Notes, Rabbi and jazz historian Neil Blumofe discusses how listening to Brubeck’s music provides us with an opportunity to make change and fight injustices by finding our own voice. Photo credit pursuitist.com.
Coleman Hawkins, the great saxophone player, helped to establish jazz as a stand alone art form, distinguished from swing — the popular music of the day. With his originality, lyricism, and his keen sense of appreciating the latest trends, his work was the influence and foundation for bebop and the most expressive jazz ballads. And yet, what is the dearest price given for the artist who expresses his art? Photo credit colemanhawkins.tumblr.com.
Cole Porter had a unique way to explain life’s existence to us through is music and his lyrics. He demonstrated both on Broadway and in Hollywood the dual worlds one would have to live in to have both success and a life. He understood that we have to demonstrate our material wealth outwardly to be perceived as successful, yet how do we allow our soul to sing at the same time? Porter instructs us to ask ourselves what we yearn for in a world where we sacrifice ourselves in order to gain something that is already gone. What lies do we tell ourselves to help us cope with our live as they have been constructed by each of us? Photo credit punchnels.com.