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This week Riverwalk Jazz takes a look at three early masters of American music. All three were born in the late s, and they all left an indelible stamp on jazz. They've been revered and studied by generations of jazz musicians, but none of them came out of New Orleans, the traditional cradle of jazz. Born in in Florence, Alabama, W. He came from a middle class family that believed in the value of education. His father was a preacher, and though Handy received classical music training in the European tradition, his roots ran deep in the music of the Black church.

Handy was a young man traveling the back roads of Mississippi as a bandleader when he fell in love with the blues he heard being played by ordinary black people in the countryside. Handy went on to devote his life to composing, collecting, orchestrating and publishing blues melodies, many of which have since become jazz standards. In thousands of white people heard genuine bar blues for the first time when they bought the sheet music of Handy's own composition, "Memphis Blues" and played it for themselves.

Handy moved to New York City.

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By then he'd written and published his most successful songs, including "Memphis Blues," "Beale Street Blues," and "St. Louis Blues. Bessie Smith came from Blue Goose Hollow in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and rose to stardom as the highest paid black entertainer of the day. Born in , Bessie grew up in a one-room wooden shack. She was an orphan before she was ten years old.

If history gave W. Handy the title "Father of the Blues," it was a savvy concert promoter who dubbed Bessie Smith the "Empress of the Blues.


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Bessie's brand of blues singing sprang directly from the Southern soil and ripened at an early age by the hard life she lived. Those who heard her perform said she had her style in place by the time she was 18 years old. She learned her stuff as a street performer, singing and dancing for tips in front of saloons as her brother Andrew played guitar. Bessie Smith embodied the blues that W.

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Handy sought to collect and compose, but Bessie owed one of her greatest successes to Handy. Her recording of Handy's "St. Louis Blues" is considered by most critics to be one of the finest recordings of the 20th century. James P. Johnson was born in in New Brunswick, New Jersey. He made hundreds of ragtime piano rolls and solo piano recordings, then spent his later life writing classical pieces.


  1. RETURNING PASSION.
  2. Worried Sick: A Prescription for Health in an Overtreated America (H. Eugene and Lillian Youngs Lehman Series).
  3. Beale Street Blues Sheet Music by William Christopher Handy.
  4. Weihnachtsmusik!
  5. Forever Changed.
  6. As a teenager James P. The new "East Coast" or "Harlem stride" jazz piano style that Johnson created drew on rags, blues and his training in European classical piano techniques. So why do they call James P. Johnson's style of piano playing "stride"?

    This is a killer album! There are several standout cuts here. At 53 minutes, there is plenty of blues satisfaction in this package. Sit down, grab some BBQ, relax, and let Santini and company take you away. By JenJo on June 11, Tune into B. By JenJo on April 21, A hot blues rocker, Santini has a cool voice and can really get the harp flaming.

    Beale Street Brass Notes — Beale Street

    Bill Ruffino on bass and James Cunningham on drums hold down the bottom and Jeff Jensen flys through with some slick riffs of his own on guitar. This Time Another Year , along the lines of Help Me, is a great track with roots deep in the blues with really great harp tone. Santini holds the band back to a simmer as he builds the pressure vocally and then drop in on harp for the swat.

    Really masterful. Jensen coaxes some nice riffs from the strings and Santini has the control of Jim Morrison just waiting to unleash the dogs. Santini has a real great sensitivity for when and how to reel in the track. Interesting guitar work backed by Victor Wainwright on vocal and piano makes this a particularly strong track. Maybe I am! I mean this is terrific. Jensen has a nice sensitivity to this track and plays a strong but sensitive guitar passage.

    By Duke Ellington, Jack Teagarden, Jelly Roll Morton, W.C. Handy

    Up pops Santini to take it home. All I can say is wow! This is really really strong! Jensen opens with a really nice solo and Santini has such a strong voice… instrumentation overall.. This release is just consistently really super. Things You Putting Down is a great New Orleans blues style track and again Santini shows that he has a really super voice. Jensen plays another solid solo on this track and the band remains contained.

    Been So Blue gets Santini out front right away and Jensen plays some really jazzy chords under the melody taking the blues to a richer spot. Help Me With The Blues is a really hot track.

    Carl Sonny Leyland - "Beale Street Blues"

    This is a fast paced jump track and Jensen does his share of crankin the spring, followed by the superb Wainwright. Santini steps in and throws on the gas… ouch… that is hot!!