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Happy Birthday, Clifford, Horace and Hugo

Three notable birthdays today: Hugo Montenegro, Horace Silver and Clifford Jordan.

There is relatively little video of tenor sax player Clifford Jordan (born in 1931). This is a great version of one of my all time favorite songs, Leadbelly’s “Silver City Bound.” Here is Leadbelly’s version, with reminiscences about his exploits with Blind Lemon Jefferson. The jazz/old blues connection is interesting.

Jazz pianist Horace Silver (1928), unfortunately, passed away in June. Here is a post on Silver, which includes “Song for My Father,” his most famous song.

Montenegro (1925) most famously covered the theme for “The Good, The Bad and the Ugly,” which was written for the movie by Ennio Morricone and performed by Bruno Niolai’s orchestra. A fabulous version — played humorously but also quite seriously and beautifully on ukuleles — is here.

This Day in Music and All About Jazz were used to prepare this post. Cover image is by jessandinca

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The Daily Music Break explores every genre of music, from hip hop to opera. It's simple: Boundaries are dumb. It's all good. Here is more about the site and here is our index:

--A Tribe Called Quest to The Dick Hyman Trio (In other words, A to H)

--Indigo Girls to Queen Ida (I to Q)

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Reading Music

The stories of the great bands and musicians are fascinating. Musicians as a group are brilliant, but often troubled. The combination of creativity and drama makes for great reading.

Here are some books to check out.

Duke Ellington brought class, sophistication and style to jazz which, until that point, was proudly unpolished and raucous. His story is profound. The author, Terry Teachout, also wrote "Pops," the acclaimed bio of Louis Armstrong. Click here or on the image.


What else is there to say? Here is the story behind every song written by The Beatles. Click here or on the image.


The Grateful Dead don't get enough credit for the profound nature of its lyrics. Many of the band's songs are driven by a deep and literate Americana ("I'm Uncle Sam/That's who I am/Been hidin' out/In a rock and roll band" and "Majordomo Billy Bojangles/Sit down and have a drink with me/What's this about Alabama/Keeps comin' back to me?").

David Dodd's exhaustive study tells the story, song by song. Click here or on the image.

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