My Year in Listening | The New Yorker

Where do you find new music? People—often closer to forty-five than twenty-two—sometimes ask me this, and I never know what to say, since the answer is everywhere. In the foreground of a bar, in the background of a viral video, through recommendations of friends and strangers, in hour-long doses on twenty-four-hour Web radio stations. Music … Read more

Jazzy ‘Charlie Brown Christmas’ swings on after 57 years

NEW YORK (AP) — The Mendelson family would love to find the envelope where their father, Lee, scribbled some lyrics to jazz musician Vince Guaraldi’s composition “Christmas Time is Here” for an animated TV special featuring the “Peanuts” gang in 1965. The producer always said it had taken less than half an hour to write, … Read more

7 Essential Blues Chord Substitutions

Staying creative and phrasing musically while playing chords, especially over a blues progression, seems like an impossibility to many players. After all, most blues songs contain only three chords, the I, IV, and V. So how can you make those simple chords more interesting? The answer is by using chord substitution. Substitution is when two … Read more

Why jazz greats like Frank Sinatra flourished in mob empires

When jazz was born in the brothels of New Orleans in the early 20th century, its parents were musicians and mobsters. Author TJ English’s latest book, “Dangerous Rhythms: Jazz and the Underworld,” which comes out on Aug. 2, explains why jazz greats such as Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington and Frank Sinatra flourished within mob empires … Read more