Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Downbeat at 75

Downbeat, America's oldest magazine devoted to coverage of jazz, celebrates its 75th anniversary this month.  The July issue, available to subscribers but not yet in stores, features interviews and profiles on musicians culled from 1934 to the present. There is a great profile on Benny Goodman's decision in the mid- to late 1930s to integrate his band and then subsequently dare promoters and club owners not to hire what was then then the nation's pre-eminent swing band; another one with Louis Armstrong, who believed that "bebop" might well ruin the audience for jazz; critical comments on Dizzy Gillespie and Thelonious Monk, who were viewed initially by the mainstream jazz press as heretical and anti-musical; a terrific feature on Dave Brubeck, who responds now to articles written about him dating back to the early 1950s; a long piece on Sonny Rollins; and much, much more.

You can pick up some features on-line by clicking here. The 75th anniversary edition should be available in about a week or so.

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