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Bebop Spoken There

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As we all know there are no live gigs taking place in the immediate future. However, any links to jazz streaming that are deemed suitable - i.e. with a professional approach - will be considered for posting.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

CrescENDo

I bought the first issue of Crescendo in July 1962 and for many years I was a regular reader - I even contributed an article to the April 1970 edition - then it disappeared for a while before returning on a subscription only basis which is when I jumped ship.
Looking at that first edition with Woody Herman on the cover I noted the editorial described it as 'For musicians and would be musicians.'
Perhaps this was both its strength and its weakness. Not enough fan appeal.
Also in that inaugral issue were articles on Basie, Peterson, Jack Parnell, George Chisholm and Nelson Riddle.
Les Evans' reed clinic provided valuable hints for sax/clarinet players as well as including serial numbers for the different makes thus allowing you to put a date on an instrument.
Ocasionally a score would be printed - Horace Silver's "Filthy McNasty" is one that springs to mind. Just what every musician needed, you might think.
I recall, around the time it made the first of several re-appearances, I worked in a music shop that stocked the revamped Crescendo. A prominent local musician came in to the store to buy some reeds.
"It's back!" I said excitedly, thinking I was going to make this guy's day.
"What's back?"
"Crescendo - its back on sale again."
"Really?" he replied as he held a Rico number 4 alto reed up to the light examining it closely for any irregularity of texture - or whatever is it was that we sax players used to look for - I never quite knew. Now they are sold in sealed packs so that rigmarole no longer takes place.
I showed him an article by possibly Cannonball Adderley or Phil Woods.
No interest whatsoever.
The moral of the story being - don't depend on musicians to buy magazines (or to support other musicians' gigs come to that).
Still it is sad to see it go as it covered ground the other jazz mags with the exception of Down Beat didn't.
RIP.
Lance.

1 comment :

Roly said...

I used to get the Crescendo for quite a few years. As you say Lance, very much a 'technical tips' type of magazine. There used to be a regular article by guitarist Ike Isaacs - a harmonic master who was apparently greatly admired by Joe Pass and our own Martin Taylor. I remember reading, with detached curiosity, Leslie Evans' amazing technical dissertations on sax embouchure, reeds, mouthpieces, lay etc etc. It was a unique magazine with it's own specialised readership I suppose. Talking of Leslie Evans, I am reminded of his brother George, a legendary player and arranger, who lived and played locally later in his life. I found this link below which may be of interest to younger players and jazz fans who may not know of him and his great achievements.
Roly
http://www.jazzprofessional.com/profiles/George%20Evans.htm

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