Henry Stone swivels in his chair as the music blares from the speakers. He is excited. Tito Puente Jr. is doing a Latin- techno-hip hop-disco version of his father’s classic “Oye Como Va,” and Stone wonders if this could be his next winner.
If not, well, we have a great Japanese remix here. And did you know dance-oriented Italian remixes are very hot right now? They’re doing great in the clubs, he says. Kids go crazy with that. Then he shrugs.
He listens intently but never taps his foot.
At 70, after 50 years of making and selling records, Henry Stone is still trying to figure out what makes a hit — while hyping his latest release, of course.
JAZZIZ Magazine, December 2007
Nat King Cole was not the first, nor would he be the last, jazz artist whose success as pop singer nearly eclipsed his brilliance as an instrumentalist. Consider Louis Armstrong and, a generation later, George Benson, just to name two prominent examples.
JAZZIZ Magazine Editor’s Letter May, 2005
“Jazz is known all over the world as an American musical art form and that’s it. No America, no jazz,” said drummer and bandleader Art Blakey. “I’ve seen people try to connect it to other countries, for instance to Africa, but it doesn’t have a damn thing to do with Africa.”
Blakey knew a thing or two about the music and educated several generations of musicians in his rolling graduate school the Jazz Messengers. He was, of course, right.
In the beginning, there was America.
The Washington Post, January, 2001
Popular music offers a window into the society that creates it. But in “Jazz,” the 10-part, 19-hour documentary that winds up its PBS run next week, filmmaker Ken Burns peered at life in the United States through a narrow window.
He has construed jazz — and the society that created it — almost completely in terms of black and white. In the United States of “Jazz,” the Latin music and musicians who were so important to the development of this art form — and Latinos and their culture in general — barely merit a footnote.
The Boston Globe, November, 1992
Proclaiming the death of jazz every so often has been, well, a jazz tradition. It has been part of the ritual of renewal that is at the heart of the music. Now jazz seems to be in its best shape in decades and no one talks about death. Carnegie Hall has added a jazz season, Lincoln Center has made jazz part of its regular programming, the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, featuring Wynton Marsalis, recently passed through Boston playing Duke Ellington’s music, and even The Smithsonian has organize d a repertory orchestra. And last year, the Lila Wallace Foundation granted $3.4 million to fund a national jazz network, the largest grant ever for jazz. But the renewal has stopped.