Monday, May 18, 2015

Encore for Ozzie Bailey

When I wrote tentatively about little-known Jazz vocalist Ozzie Bailey (revisit it Here), somehow I touched a nerve. Both the Bailey essay and its sequel several months later (that one archived Also, Here) proved to be among the most-read pieces I've written in over a decade of blogging. (The Duke still makes a difference, it seems.)

Prior to that I wrote about another Ellington curiosity, his valiant attempt at composing in long-form, that odd
mix of Jazz, song-and-dance, and symphony known mostly as Black, Brown and Beige. Ellington's tone-parallel--as he defined it--to the American Negro, BB&B began as the music for a night at Carnegie Hall, rose and fell and reformed at various lengths and with select motifs, and finally limped over the line as a source theme ("Come Sunday") for the Duke's late quasi-religious "sacred concerts."

No version much pleased the Jazz critics and popular culture reviewers. Read about the Duke's long and painful experience Here As Well.