Jazz on My Mind

Liner Notes, Anecdotes and Conversations from the 1940s to the 2000s


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About the Book

Dr. Herb Wong (1926–2014) was an internationally recognized jazz industry leader and the author of more than 400 liner notes from the 1940s through the early 2000s. He reviewed not only the tracks on those albums but the artists and their eras as well. This book features the best of Wong’s liner notes, articles and album selections, his personal stories about the artists, and his illuminating one-on-one conversations with many jazz greats, providing an insightful jazz primer and invaluable discography.

About the Author(s)

A DJ at radio station KJAZ for 30 years, the late Herb Wong was a jazz producer, writer, and a pioneer in jazz education.
Paul Simeon Fingerote has worked as a writer and creative director with major ad agencies world-wide. He was marketing director of the Monterey Jazz Festival for more than 30 years. He is an on-air host for NPR radio station 90.3 / KAZU in Monterey, California.

Bibliographic Details

Herb Wong with Paul Simeon Fingerote

Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 248
Bibliographic Info: 10 photos, index
Copyright Date: 2016
pISBN: 978-0-7864-9640-2
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2547-8
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments v
Preface (Paul Simeon Fingerote) 1
Introduction (Herb Wong) 3
1. Big Bands 5
Duke Ellington 6; Woody Herman 10; Stan Kenton 13; Louie Bellson 16; Buddy Rich 17
2. Trumpet 21
Dizzy Gillespie 21; Pete Candoli / Conte Candoli 23; Freddie Hubbard 26; Tom Harrell 28; Terence Blanchard 32
3. Drums 41
Max Roach 41; Shelly Manne 49; Elvin Jones 52; Art Blakey 54
4. Tenor Saxophone 56
Stan Getz 56; David Liebman 61; Wayne Shorter 64; Zoot Sims 66; Joshua Redman 69
5. Alto Saxophone 77
Phil Woods 77; Richie Cole 83; Charles McPherson 87; Art Pepper 89; Lanny Morgan 93; Bud Shank 97
6. Baritone Saxophone 102
Gary Smulyan 102; Pepper Adams 105; Nick Brignola 107
7. Bass 111
Milt Hinton 111; Red Mitchell 114; Ray Brown 116
8. Trombone 119
Robin Eubanks 119; Steve Turre 128
9. Clarinet 131
Eddie Daniels 131; Buddy DeFranco 134; Benny Goodman 136
10. Piano 141
Oscar Peterson 141; Herbie Hancock 146; McCoy Tyner 148; Marian ­McPartland 151; Tee Carson 163; Dave Brubeck 165; Taylor Eigsti 174; Denny Zeitlin 176; Nat King Cole 179
11. Guitar 181
Jim Hall 181; Kenny Burrell 190; Bola Sete 192; Django Reinhardt 194
12. Vibraphone 197
Cal Tjader 197; Bobby Hutcherson 199; Milt Jackson 202
13. Vocal 205
Carmen McRae 205; Giacomo Gates 209; Tierney Sutton 212; Dianne Reeves 215; Mel Tormé 218; Billie Holiday 220
Index 225

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “a critical and essential addition to any jazz fan’s library…an illuminating and educational read…a welcome addition to any jazz lover’s bookshelf as there is truly something here for everyone”—ARSC Journal
  • Jazz On My Mind is a delightful and substantial addition to jazz commentary, full of the vivid anecdotes and insightful, accessible analysis of the late Dr. Herb Wong, a lifelong enthusiast and acclaimed educator who came to work with and know the musical heroes he depicts here. With exemplary assistance from Paul Fingerote, longtime marketing and public relations director of the Monterey Jazz Festival, Dr. Wong selected and shaped his memories and his earlier writings into a volume that stands tall among those concerning composers and performers of the second half of the 20th century whose sounds will ring forever.”—Howard Mandel, president of the Jazz Journalists Association
  • “Offers readers a delightful curated vision of America’s music genre…. Reading Wong’s liner-note prose is a pure joy. His enthusiasm will send you to the record store, and his encyclopedic knowledge will inform your listening. You can read the book from cover to cover, and you’ll be tempted to do just that. But it is also perfect for causal reading, and as a reference if you’re listening to the music. If you’re unfamiliar with jazz music and want a starter’s guide, I cannot imagine a better book. This is truly fun to read, a time capsule into another era and even another version of English that you simply won’t read or find anywhere else.”—Rick Kleffel, KQED, NPR Contributor; Editor, Bookotron.com