Arranger, composer and pianist Malcolm “Mal” Waldron played in a number of big bands and fronted his own before a drug overdose left him unable to play or remember music. As he regained his technique through listening to his own records, Waldron began a second leg of his career with a decidedly different sound than the first. In this edition of Liner Notes, jazz historian and Rabbi Neil Blumofe recalls Mal Waldron, his struggle with addiction, and how he interpolated his former style.
Through his innovative post-bop, fusion and soul jazz, guitarist Pat Martino overcame a memory crisis and focused on the present to rediscover his technique. In this edition of Liner Notes, jazz historian and Rabbi Neil Blumofe recollects Pat Martino, his struggle with amnesia, and how he re-learned his iconic technique.
Rhythm and blue architect and Birdland opening night band member Oran Thaddeus “Hot Lips” Page was never well known, but undeniably an influential journeyman. On the most recent edition of KUTX’s Liner Notes, Rabbi and jazz historian Neil Blumofe guides us through the career of trumpeter and vocalist “Hot Lips” Page.
This past week commemorated the 77th anniversary of Bobby Hutcherson‘s birthday, the “world’s best vibist” who passed away in 2016.
In this edition of Liner Notes, Rabbi and jazz Historian Neil Blumofe guides us through the life, contributions and influence of Bobby Hutcherson.
Music: “Little Angel”, “Montara”, “Catta” – Bobby Hutcherson
“Groovin Blue” – Curtis Amy, “Blue Rondo” – Jackie Maclean, “Naima” – San Francisco Jazz Collective
Wynton Kelly was a piano prodigy who accompanied legendary performers across hundreds of songs but failed to make it big as a bandleader.
In this edition of Liner Notes, Rabbi and jazz Historian Neil Blumofe walks us through Kelly’s upbringing, aspirations, and why he was often viewed simply as a “first rate sideman”.
Music: “Freddie Freeloader” – Miles Davis 
“Cornbread” – Hal Singer 
“Come Rain or Come Shine”, “Surrey With the Fringe On Top”, “Quiet Village” – Wynton Kelly
Melba Liston was a master arranger and a trombonist with an incredible but often overlooked talent.
On this episode of Liner Notes, Rabbi and jazz historian Neil Blumofe discusses life and legacy.
Music: Melba Liston – “Insomnia” 
Dizzy Gillespie – “Annie’s Dance” 
Randy Weston – “Caban Bamboo Highlife” 
Melba Liston – “Very Syrian Bamboo” 
Melba Liston – “You Don’t Say” 
Celebrating its 80th anniversary in 2019, Rabbi and jazz historian Neil Blumofe walks us through the origins of Blue Note Records and how genres like bebop helped to understand the turbulence of the times.
Music: Horace Silver – “Silver’s Serenade”Sidney Bechet – “Early In The Morning”Thelonious Monk – “Thelonious”.
Reflecting on 2018 and welcoming 2019, Rabbi and jazz historian Neil Blumofe connects jazz and reinvention, then recites “New Year’s Recipe” by Carlos Drummond de Andrade.
Music: Art Tatum – “Prisoner of Love”
“Jazz is the ultimate common denominator of the American musical style.”
In the 1950s Leonard Bernstein made a series of educational recordings on jazz with the goal of bringing jazz to a generation of listeners who were entering the world of rock n’ roll.
In this edition of Liner Notes Rabbi and jazz historian Neil Blumofe talks about the significance of recognizing jazz and a music that belongs to everyone, and that can inform us about not only what it means to be American but what it means to be human as well.
“Summertime” is an aria composed in 1934 by George Gershwin for the 1935 opera Porgy and Bess. In this edition of Liner Notes, Rabbi and jazz historian Neil Blumofe talks about what unique lessons we can learn listening to “Summertime” today.
In this edition of Liner Notes Rabbi and jazz historian Neil Blumofe talks about the significance of jazz in the “Live Music Capital of The World.”
In this edition of Liner Notes Rabbi and jazz historian Neil Blumofe talks about love and its discontents.
T-Bone Walker was an American Blues guitarist, singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who’s sound and technique influenced generations of blues artists and helped create the foundation for what would become rock and roll.
In this installment of Liner Notes Rabbi and jazz historian, Neil Blumofe talks about how the life and legacy of T-Bone Walker can teach us to value being grounded and dedicated to fully knowing ourselves instead of trying to catch up with the latest trends.
Sidney Bechet was an American jazz saxophonist, clarinetist, and composer. He was one of the first important soloists in jazz and was perhaps the first notable jazz saxophonist.
In this edition of Liner Notes, Rabbi and jazz historian, Neil Blumofe, discusses the transitional music stylings of Sidney Bechet, using his legacy as a model for how we can open ourselves up to unhinged expression and set a legacy of our own.
Larry Coryell was an American jazz guitarist known as the “Godfather of Fusion”.
In this edition of Liner Notes, Rabbi and jazz historian, Neil Blumofe, uses the complex fusion of Larry Coryell’s music to reflect on our own sense of contradicting feeling and give us the courage to face and exist in these many worlds simultaneously.
Jason Marsalis is an American jazz drummer and member of the Marsalis family of musicians. He worked as a sideman in mainstream jazz, funk, and jazz fusion groups, as well as with esteemed pianist, Marcus Roberts.
In this edition of Liner Notes, Rabbi and jazz historian, Neil Blumofe, uses Jason Marsalis’ freedom in self-expression to encourage us not to compromise the many facets of our identity.
James Moody was an American jazz saxophone and flute player, playing predominantly in the bebop and hard bop styles.
In this edition of Liner Notes, Rabbi and jazz historian, Neil Blumofe, talks about how the versatility of James Moody can teach us to embrace the complexity of human nature.
Herbie Mann was an American jazz player, most noted for being among the first jazz musicians to specialize on the flute as an important early practitioner of world music.
In this edition of Liner Notes, Rabbi and jazz historian, Neil Blumofe, uses the life and music of Herbie Mann to emphasize the need for sharing and creating together in a world that is yearning for transformation.
Booker Little, Jr., was an American Jazz trumpeter and composer, performing with John Coltrane and Eric Dolphy until his early death at the age of 23.
In this edition of Liner Notes, Rabbi and jazz historian, Neil Blumofe, uses the music and legacy of Booker Little to remind us of the fragility of life and the importance of having courage to face each day as a new and open door, an opportunity of immeasurable value.