Monday, April 30, 2012

In Memory of Muddy Waters

Today in 1983, blues legend, the king of Chicago blues, Muddy Waters, passed away.

Here's a live version of "King Bee", a track from his final album of the same name in 1981 (2 years before he died):

[Video Link]

Happy International Jazz Day!

Earlier last month I mentioned that today is the official (and inaugural) UN sponsored International Jazz Day.

So to celebrate I hope you all listen to some great jazz music, and read up on some history.

Incidentally my previous blog post has been highlighted at Kuwait Music which you can see [here].

Also, follow @IntlJazzDay for the latest updates!

Kuwait Makes it to 9GAG

Found this on 9GAG; some people sitting in the Shaab Zone (Sakura, Ruby Tuesdays etc) and snapped a photo of someone's butt.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Happy Birthday Duke Ellington!

Today in 1899 (damn that's a long time) jazz great Duke Ellington was born.

Duke is one of the most prolific jazz artists, having recorded dozens of albums and was a great band leader and pianist.

So we salute the Duke for his birthday today, and here's one of his classic songs, "Take the 'A' Train", recorded in 1941 originally:

Saturday, April 28, 2012

John Coltrane's Saxophones

There's an old document I found online describing some of John Coltrane's saxophones (tenor and soprano) for an auction.

A short but interesting read!

Look [here].

Jabriya Co-op Ad Fail

If you go to the Jabriya co-op branch at the visitor's entrance of Mubarak Hospital, you will be greeted by a withered away warning ad for cigarettes.

Obviously this is not the real intention of the ad, but thanks to mother nature and lack of follow up on behalf of the co-op staff, we get to have a few laughs.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

62 Years Ago: Muddy Waters' First Greatest Hits Album

By 1958, Muddy Waters was already a blues legend; a great bandleader who came from Mississippi up north to Chicago and "made it" in the music world with his haunting electrified Delta blues. Chess Records compiled his greatest hits from 1948 to 1954 and released a greatest hits album, simply called "The Best of Muddy Waters". Just see the tracklist: 1. I Just Want to Make Love to You 2. Long Distance Call 3. Louisiana Blues 4. Honey Bee 5. Rollin' Stone 6. I'm Ready 7. I'm Your Hoochie Coochie Man 8. She Moves Me 9. I Want You to Love Me 10. Standin' Around Cryin' 11. Still a Fool 12. I Can't Be Satisfied All 12 songs are considered blues standards, and all helped shape the sound of rock n' roll. Hell even the Rolling Stones took their name from the song title! So enjoy one of those blues classics, "Louisiana Blues":

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Camel Herd Wanders

Taken in Kabd, while I was on the way to a project site.

Happy Birthday Albert King!

On this day in 1923, blues guitar legend Albert King was born in Mississippi.

One of the three "kings" of blues, the other two being BB King and Freddie King, Albert King was one of the chief movers of blues music.

Being left handed, he was known for playing a Gibson Flying V (an oddity in the blues world) in a right handed configuration with the heavy strings on the bottom, unlike Hendrix who switched the strings, giving him a voodoo aura. He passed away in 1992.

Wishing Albert a happy birthday; and here's his most famous song, Born Under a Bad Sign, with another blues legend, Stevie Ray Vaughan!

International Jazz Day Website Opens

The official International Jazz Day webiste is now online; it's got some great features and stuff going on there! It's under the UNESCO umbrella.

Here's the concerts going on this weekend:

Wish i was part of that party!!! Visit the website [here].

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Bija Concert Next Week

Me, taken from the concert photoshoot

I will be performing alongside a great group of musicians at Nawaf Ghraibah's Bija Concert in Bayt Lothan on May 2nd.

Nawaf is a multi-instrumentalist, an ethnomusicologist and composer, who set up this performance and brought about a great team of artists; some young, some old, to bring this unique fusion of sounds of original compositions. There are over 20 musicians performing that night.

You can read the preview and see more pics on Kuwait Music's website here.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

2 Birthdays Today! Charles Mingus & Paul Chambers

Two reasons to celebrate today April 22!

First, in 1922, bassist and band leader Charles Mingus was born. He went on to be one of the greatest jazzmen ever.

Here's a classic track off his essential album "Mingus Am Um" (1959):

And second, in 1935, master session bassist Paul Chambers was born. He is perhaps best known for performing in Miles Davis' quintet (and later sextet) including best selling jazz album ever "Kind of Blue" as well as recording with John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk, and dozens of others including solo albums.

with Miles Davis
Here's a select track where Chambers is the bassist, one of the most difficult/complex jazz songs, Coltrane's "Giant Steps":

Joe Henderson - "Out of the Night"

This is a great track off the "Page One" album (1963) I was listening to this morning (in the long traffic jam). Joe Henderson is a leading figure in jazz sax.

This album is also one the staples of hard-bop jazz.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Freddie Hubbard - "Open Sesame"

A little hard bop track to get you moving this morning. This song has Latin influence (as heard in the main theme).

Good morning!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

My Take on Ridiculously Photogenic Guy

Zeddie Little, also known as the Ridiculously Photogenic Guy, is a hit meme that took the internet world by storm. Thought maybe I had some funny things to say with meme. This is what I came up with:

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Research Shows Rats Prefer Jazz When on Cocaine. No Joke.

I kid you not.

Times Union posted an article that says Albany Medical College conducted "music" tests on rats.

And then:

In one of the Albany Med studies, researchers exposed 36 rats to "Fur Elise" by Beethoven and "Four," a jazzy horn piece by (Miles) Davis.

The rats overwhelming preferred Beethoven over Davis, but they liked silence best of all.

Then Glick's research team injected some rats with cocaine and played Miles Davis to them over a period of days. After that, the drug-addicted rats preferred the jazz song even when they weren't on cocaine.

This study and another experiment showed the drug-exposed rats had increased dopamine levels in their brains and moved around more when they listened to music associated with their drug use. The findings indicate music may evoke drug cravings.

Well I'll be damned... pass the white stuff and put on "Milestones"!

If Trouble was Money; Albert Collins

Just need some slow blues for this morning... enjoy this clip from the Master of the Telecaster, blues legend Albert Collins, who says:

If trouble was money, I swear I'd be a millionaire.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Freddie King Inducted to Rock Hall of Fame

On Saturday, April 14, blues master Freddie King was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Billy Gibbons and Dusty Hill of ZZ Top gave a speech in his honor.

Freddie King was a blues guitar master and was highly influential.

In 1976, Freddie passed away at the age of 42.

Here's a clip; Long live the King! (There's 2 more Kings in blues I know)


Monday, April 16, 2012

Aliens Love Jazz

I dunno why... but I laughed.

5 Years Ago: Pulitzer Honors John Coltrane

On April 16, 2007, The Pulitzer Prize Board awarded John Coltrane a posthumous Special Citation award for his contribution to jazz music and his influence.

From the official press release:

... The citation lauds Coltrane for “his masterful improvisation, supreme musicianship and iconic centrality to the history of jazz.


”The committee said of Coltrane:
“His exalted stature arises from his composition and recordings. In ‘A Love Supreme,’ he produced an imposing composition expressing faith. In ‘Africa/Brass Selections,’ he achieved astonishing orchestral feats. His work has weight, an artistic quest and searching nature. Coltrane infused the existing tradition with innovation and radical approaches. The surface of his music is dynamic and palpable, the underlying structure is suffused with spirituality and provocative political content.”

2Pac Performs with Snoop & Dr. Dre at Coachella... as a Hologram!


At the Coachella 2012 music festival, people got stunned to see 2Pac perform with Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre... until they figured out it was a hologram!

Here's the video... unreal!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

The Evolution of Jazz (photo)

Miles Ahead.

H&M Price Screwup

So how would you describe this number?

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Kuwait Jazz: Tiny Steps

In 1960, John Coltrane released one of his most famous albums, "Giant Steps". The title track features some of the most complex chord changes, hence the name. The term also is a marketing strategy to announce leaps in the jazz world.

In 1969, Neil Armstrong uttered the famous words upon landing on the moon: "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind."

In Kuwait however, we have tiny steps.

These steps have occurred sporadically and without pattern; I have delved on issues on the local jazz scene in the past... and as part of the Jazz Journalists Association's blogathon on Jazz Day, April 13, I have decided to discuss the issues of the local jazz community.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Jazz at Lincoln Center Opens First non-US Branch in Qatar!!

The Jazz at Lincoln Center, a jazz community, education, and performance cultural center in New York City, has opened it's first non-US branch in Qatar!

The Jazz at Lincoln Center Doha is located at the St. Regis Hotel; here's what they have to say:

Doha embraces a new Jazz Age

Jazz at Lincoln Center Doha brings a taste of the jazz world, in every sense, to the region for the first time ever.

Classic jazz is often about improvisation on a classic theme and this is an approach which inspires the jazz culture cuisine presented to guests and visitors at their table when they dine at Jazz at Lincoln Center Doha. The menu may change monthly, but Bourbon Streeet Crawdaddies, mouthwatering soups and soul-satisfying sandwiches are always on offer.

Jazz at Lincoln Center Doha is very much part of a continuing tradition. Since the original Jazz Age, at the dawn of the 20th century, jazz has been the soundtrack to the St. Regis experience. The Rooftop Ballroom at the landmark hotel in New York has played host to many legends, with performances from the likes of Count Basie Duke Ellington and Buddy Rich.

At the St. Regis Doha, a program of jazz performances selected by the connoisseurs at the world-famous JALC New York – artistic director Wynton Marsalis – mix virtuosity with verve to entertain and enlighten.

Sensational jazz demands an equally sensational setting, and Jazz at Lincoln Center Doha takes place in a wonderfully theatrical ambience that recalls a legendary jazz venue of the golden era.

Like modern jazz itself, cocktails bring a contemporary freshness to authentic greats and the new-world wine selection is the largest in Doha.

This is simply awesome... if I go to Qatar, that's where you will find me!

The Father and The Son (photo)

Eric Dolphy.

In the last few weeks I've become mesmerized by the unique (and sometimes insane) sounds of alto sax, bass clarinet, and flute avant-garde jazz player Eric Dolphy.

I never delved into his solo career heavily, but after hearing Coltrane's "The Complete 1961 Village Vanguard Recordings", of which Dolphy was a sidesman, I was hooked.

His style is chaotic yet it all makes sense.

He died at at early age in 1964; Coltrane was also influenced by his playing as were many others... Eric also performed with Charles Mingus and Ornette Coleman and several other jazz greats.

He only released five official albums, his last, "Out to Lunch", was released on Blue Note Records a few months before his death in June 1964.

Here's a live video for you; Eric's solo starts at 1:00.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Hand Made License Plate

Not what you thought when you read the title did ya!

2012 Blues Hall of Fame Inductees Announced

The Blues Foundation has announced the 2012 Blues Hall of Fame inductees, which will be presented on the 9th of May, the day before the 2012 Blues Music Awards (see the full nominations for the Blues Music Awards [here].)

From The Blues Foundation:
Allen Toussaint
Billy Boy Arnold
Buddy & Ella Johnson
Frank Stokes
Furry Lewis
Lazy Lester
Matt "Guitar" Murphy
Mike Bloomfield

Classic of Blues Literature
"The Voice of the Blues: Classic Interviews from Living Blues Magazine
The Voice of the Blues: Classic Interviews from Living Blues Magazine, edited by Jim O'Neal &
Bessie, by Chris Albertson
The Voice of the Blues: Classic Interviews from Living Blues Magazine, edited by Jim O'Neal & Amy va

Classic of Blues Recording - Album

"Damn Right, I've Got The Blues" -- Buddy Guy (Silvertone, 1991)
Bad Influence -- The Robert Cray Band (HighTone, 1983)

Classic of Blues Recording - Single or Album Track
"All Your Love" -- Magic Sam (Cobra, 1957)
"It Hurts Me Too" -- Tampa Red (Bluebird, 1940)
"Pine Top's Boogie Woogie - Pine Top Smith (Vocalion, 1928)


Doc Pomus
Horst Lippmann and Fritz Rau
Pervis Spann

Blend Music Fest 1: Our "So What" Video

Once again with thanks to TJC Films, here's the "So What" - Miles Davis jazz tune we performed on stage at the 1st Blend Music Festival.


Gary Ruston - Trumpet
Kevin Owen - Tenor Sax
Ali Sleeq (that's me!) - Bass
David Laidlaw - Drums

Hope you all enjoy this video as much as I did :) Thanks TIM!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Review: Coco York & Mike Del Ferro @ US Embassy

I was invited to the "pre-show" of jazz singer Coco York and pianist Mike Del Ferro at the US Embassy last night.

After a delightful staff escorted me and my wife to the Ambassador's Residence, I was also greeted by Ambassador Matthew H. Tueller himself, along with the public relations, cultural and economic mission staff.

After mingling with the invitees, the Ambassador Tueller introduced Coco and Mike to the stage.

Mike performed a solo piece called Adagio, inspired by an old classical piece (he later did tell me the name of the composer but I honestly don't recall the name).

Ms. York then walked on stage and greeted us with great words about love; she then sang "Sometimes I Feel like a Motherless Child"; it was very haunting. Her voice is so powerful and she really can reach those high notes.

She then sang a medley of several blues songs; first "Stormy Monday", then "Everyday I have the Blues", and finally "Rock me Baby". Obviously she hit my sweet spot!

After that, she sang "My Funny Valentine", "Misty", "Summertime" and one more I couldn't catch. They were all beautifully sung; she even improvised some scat vocals! The crowd really enjoyed that part.

After she said goodnight, the crowd wanted more, and Ambassador Tueller asked for an encore, where she sang "Bye Bye Blackbird". A lovely end to the night.

I was happy to hear these songs as I know most of the instrumental versions of those standards (Miles Davis, John Coltrane etc) but to hear it in a jazz lounge/vocal style was amazing. The weather fit in perfectly with the atmosphere.

A delightful buffet dinner ended the great event.

I met both Coco and Mike and they are amazing people to talk to. They really are pros and I don't think anyone would be dissapointed in watching them.

I recommend all of you to go and watch the shows on 9 and 10th April. See the details [here].

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Invitation to Modern Jazz (pic)

Apparently there's a Jazz Hotel opening in Kuwait

Any information about this?

BBC Special: 1959: The Year that Changed Jazz

A good year for Jazz.

I stumbled across this 4 part series about the state of jazz in 1959, by the BBC.

A total of 1 hour, the report focuses on 4 albums: Miles Davis' "Kind of Blue", Dave Brubeck's "Time Out", Charles Mingus' "Mingus Ah Um" and and Ornette Coleman's "The Shape of Jazz to Come".

Read more information the official site [here]. The videos are on Youtube are below:

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

Review: Miles Davis - "In a Silent Way"

It took me many listens over the last month to write this review. This is not an album that can be easily defined.

In 1969, Miles Davis entered the studio and recorded this controversial album; indeed... back then everyone hated on "In a Silent Way".

It's not a jazz record... it's not a rock record... what the heck is it?!

Put simply, this is the first album released by "electric" Miles. His next album "Bitches Brew" would break all sonic grounds and was the foundation for jazz-fusion. However "In a Silent Way" was the precursor to it.

It's got John McLaughlin on electric guitar; Chick Corea & Herbie Hancock on electric piano, and Joe Zawinul on organ. This already is a recipe for outrage... how could one of jazz's lead authorities break the tradition of acoustic instruments?

"In a Silent Way" is perhaps the first fusion album to be recorded.

And what goes on in the album is the "less is more" concept. Very spaced out, with repeated vamps (riffs) going for what seem to be forever... even McLaughlin, who is known for his high speed and intricate guitar solos, is playing loose lines and chords. Herbie and Chick just play chops and chords so gently into an unknown infinity. Tony Williams (drums) almost plays the same double time for the entire two track album with minor changes or fills (that's almost 40 minutes of music!) Dave Holland (bass) also plays too minimal... for the first 10 minutes of the first track he basically plays the same two notes.

Miles enters in between; cool and subdued. Nothing extreme... nothing as I dare say "impressive".

But the space ... the vamps... the mood! I can't put my finger on it but I have come to the conclusion that "In a Silent Way" is an ambient music album, to be heard in a background unlike other jazz albums where you want to pay attention.

It took me a while to understand it; but now that I do ... I can't stop humming the theme (if that's the right term) of the second track.


1. Shhh/Peaceful
2. In a Silent Way/It's About That Time (written by Zawinul)

Here's track 2 for you guys:

Thursday, April 5, 2012

We're Joining the Jazz Journalists Association Blogathon for Jazz Day

via Jazz Journalists Association

I'm happy to announce that Speakin' the Blues will be part of the Jazz Jouralists Association blogathon as part of the US Jazz Day celebrations.

My article will be about the local jazz scene in Kuwait; how it's developing, some of the artists, and it's significance.

It will be posted a few days before Jazz Day (April 13) and will posted on the JJA website as part of the worldwide blogathon.

I'm happy to be representing the local music scene :)

Avant-Garde Music Projects Facebook Page

US Embassy in Kuwait Jazz Event - Coco York & Mike Del Ferro

The US Embassy in Kuwait and American Voices present two nights of Jazz & Blues with Coco York & Mike Del Ferro!

It will be held the Amricani Cultural Center and at LOYAC on the 9th & 10th of April respectively (see the poster for info).

I have been invited to the US Embassy private show on Saturday, so expect my review before the gigs!

Please go and support your local scene!!

Stealth Palm Tree!

I took this photo in front of the Palace of Justice in Kuwait City (in the small green area).

At first I was like; "damn that's a tall palm tree".

But then I looked again.

It's a communications post/antenna, but disguised in a palm tree!

Interesting choice. I wonder how many there are in Kuwait!

The Blues + Coltrane = WIN

When you think of John Coltrane you don't immediately think of the blues; however in 1962 Atlantic Records released the album "Coltrane Plays the Blues", which included unreleased tracks from the "My Favorite Things" sessions.

It's a great album, a change of the music Coltrane was making at the time. He was delving more and more into modal and avant-garde jazz; while this album is pretty tame in comparison. In '62 he also released "Ballads" on the Impulse! Label, an attack on critics who said he couldn't play slow anymore.

This song from the album called "Blues to Elvin", is a straight up 12 bar blues; not a jazzy blues, but a simple 3 chord, I-IV-V progression, with a late night feel.


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Happy Birthday Muddy Waters!

On April 4, 1913, the legendary bluesman Muddy Waters was born.

I really don't have to say too much; let's put it this way:

The Rolling Stones were named after one of his songs,
Led Zeppelin and countless other rock stars used his material to be famous,
Each band member he had ended up having successful careers,
Transformed blues into an unstoppable force by using electric guitar sounds.

No need to go more!

Long live the king of the blues!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Pharaoh Sanders Still Kicking Ass

Pharaoh Sanders, the legendary tenor sax player and one of the leaders of avant-garde/free jazz, is still alive and taking names.

Albert Ayler famously stated that "Trane was the Father, Pharaoh was the Son, I am the Holy Ghost."

Sanders was on board with John Coltrane during the mid to late 60's till Coltrane's death, present on the free jazz recordings of the latter including the famous (or infamous, depending on how you see it)Ascension album.

Since then he has developed on his own as a band leader, releasing several albums and touring live since then.

His latest gig was just 2 weeks ago at the legendary jazz club The Birdland in New York City (see the review on All About Jazz.

Read his bio on his official site [here.]

Here's one of his most known songs:

Not Sure if Toilet or Classroom...

One of the toilets at a public hospital.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Jazz Appreciation Month & 112 Ways to Celebrate!

As some of you might know, April is Jazz Appreciation Month (JAM) as designated and initiated by the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History.

If you need some ideas on how to celebrate, the Smithsonian Institute has complied a list of 112 ways to celebrate (note that many of the ideas are very American-centric)

Here's a few:

Attend a concert by your local high school or college jazz band.

Listen to a jazz CD that is new to you. Try to stretch your ears. If you need some guidance, try The Penguin Guide to Jazz on CD, 4th edition, by Richard Cook and Brian Morton, Tom Piazza's Guide to Classic Recorded Jazz.

Read a good book on jazz.

Find a new jazz website.

Listen to a radio station that plays genuine jazz.

oin your local jazz society. If none exists, organize one.

Subscribe to a jazz magazines, such as Down Beat, Jazz Times, Jazziz. Others include: Cadence, Marge Hofacre's Jazz News, The Mississippi Rag, and from

Canada, Coda, Planet Jazz, and The Jazz Report.

Host jazz listening sessions in your home.

For the full list go [here.]

List of Jazz Regulations from Nazi Germany

Nazi Anti-Jazz Propaganda

Thought you might enjoy this:

During the period leading to World War 2 and the war itself, the Nazis were strictly Anti-Jazz (due to racial and suppressive ideology)... during this time Jazz in Germany was on a steep decline.

There's a book called "Talkin' Moscow Blues: Essays About Literature, Politics, Movies, and Jazz", written by Czech author Josef Skvorecky, describes many of the issues involving free thought in Nazi Germany; and one of the interesting things is a set of regulations towards jazz as written by Nazi officials:

1. Pieces in foxtrot rhythm (so-called swing) are not to exceed 20% of the repertoires of light orchestras and dance bands;
2. in this so-called jazz type repertoire, preference is to be given to compositions in a major key and to lyrics expressing joy in life rather than Jewishly gloomy lyrics;
3. As to tempo, preference is also to be given to brisk compositions over slow ones so-called blues); however, the pace must not exceed a certain degree of allegro, commensurate with the Aryan sense of discipline and moderation. On no account will Negroid excesses in tempo (so-called hot jazz) or in solo performances (so-called breaks) be tolerated;
4. so-called jazz compositions may contain at most 10% syncopation; the remainder must consist of a natural legato movement devoid of the hysterical rhythmic reverses characteristic of the barbarian races and conductive to dark instincts alien to the German people (so-called riffs);
5. strictly prohibited is the use of instruments alien to the German spirit (so-called cowbells, flexatone, brushes, etc.) as well as all mutes which turn the noble sound of wind and brass instruments into a Jewish-Freemasonic yowl (so-called wa-wa, hat, etc.);
6. also prohibited are so-called drum breaks longer than half a bar in four-quarter beat (except in stylized military marches);
7. the double bass must be played solely with the bow in so-called jazz compositions;
8. plucking of the strings is prohibited, since it is damaging to the instrument and detrimental to Aryan musicality; if a so-called pizzicato effect is absolutely desirable for the character of the composition, strict care must be taken lest the string be allowed to patter on the sordine, which is henceforth forbidden;
9. musicians are likewise forbidden to make vocal improvisations (so-called scat);
10. all light orchestras and dance bands are advised to restrict the use of saxophones of all keys and to substitute for them the violin-cello, the viola or possibly a suitable folk instrument.

Just a reminder to everyone that Jazz transcends politics and race; for it is a true bastion of freedom of thought and expression.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Random Thought about Hospital/Clinic Flooring

So I was in Amiri Hospital today for a few hours... mostly looking for parking and waiting to see the doc.

Out of random boredom I looked down at the floor; those tiles seems to be the official pattern of the hospital/clinic system of Kuwait.

It always makes me remember the days of old...

I hate hospitals!

A True Living Delta Bluesman - T-Model Ford

T-Model Ford, real name James Lewis Carter Ford, is a surviving bluesman from the Mississippi delta; he currently lives in Tennessee at 88 years old, and STILL got the blues.

Brief from his official page:

T-Model's credentials are impeccable; if anything he's over qualified. He was born James Lewis Carter Ford in Forrest, a small community in Scott County, Mississippi. T-Model thinks he's seventy-five but isn't sure. He was plowing a field behind a mule on his family's farm by age eleven, and in his early teens he secured a job at a local sawmill. He excelled and was later recruited by a foreman from a bigger lumber company in the Delta, near Greenville, and eventually got promoted to truck driver. Between that and working in a log camp T-Model was sentenced to ten years on a chain-gang for murder. He lucked out and was released after serving two. He says, grinning, "I could really stomp some ass back then, stomp it good. I was a-sure-enough- dangerous man."

Here's a track for ya:

April Fools: Jazz Style

A funny read over on All About Jazz! here are a few bites:

John Coltrane. Albert Ayler is well known for his love of leather suits (green ones, particularly). Less well known is fellow saxophonist Coltrane's obsession with lederhosen. Coltrane bought his first pair on tour in Germany in 1963 and is believed to have acquired over 300 pairs by the time of his death four years later. He regularly threw barbecues at his upstate New York home where he and pianist Alice Coltrane would model their latest purchases to music provided by a local oompah band. Pianist McCoy Tyner and drummer Elvin Jones both quit Coltrane's "classic quartet" when Coltrane insisted they wore lederhosen on stage.

Miles Davis. The trumpeter's impish sense of fun sometimes bordered on the absurd. He would surprise audiences by turning his back to them, slipping on a red clown nose and then stopping the band while he told jokes. Critics accused him of tomming, but Davis said he got his inspiration from Louis Armstrong. "You can't tell a single joke that hasn't already been told by Armstrong," he once said. "We is happy folks, yassuh boss," he added.

For more fun read the full article [here.]