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Vol. 1: Singin' the Blues
Bix was the only jazz musician of the '20s whose improvising prowess could possibly be compared to Louis Armstrong, and these 1927 Okeh tracks are the source of his legend, with such showpieces as Singing the Blues; Clarinet Marmalade , and For No Reason at All in C ."h3"Amazon.com "p"In jazz's childhood, Bix Beiderbecke was the only cornet player to rival Satchmo in terms of influence on other musicians and on the development of the genre. Armstrong's syncopated delivery, his blues shadings, his unique phrasing--in short, his swing--became, rightly so, the benchmark, the standard by which jazz improvisation was not only judged, but actually defined. In a way, Bix represented both a practical and symbolic alternative to Armstrong. Though he was completely self-taught and couldn't read music, Bix's tone was incredibly pure, full, and lush, and his style was cooler, more restrained (but not reserved), and more plaintive than Louis's hot, ebullient playing--even though his actual tone remained bright and his note choices forceful. All of these 20 cuts come from 1927, and many of them rank among the finest performances of that classic era nudged between Dixieland and swing. A key component of these successes is Frankie Trumbauer, a remarkably fluent and lyrical C-melody sax player who was Beiderbecke's close friend and musical kindred spirit. The septet cuts from February and May are uniformly excellent, but "Singin' the Blues" (featuring Eddie Lang's prominent single-string guitar support), "Riverboat Shuffle," "I'm Comin' Virginia," and "Way Down Yonder in New Orleans" are astonishing landmarks in jazz history. Also worth noting are two trio cuts featuring Beiderbecke on piano supporting Trumbauer and Lang, and "In a Mist (Bixology)," a Bix piano solo full of bold, unorthodox melodies, harmonies, and rhythms. --Marc Greilsamer
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Photos of insects and people from the Spring 2021 gathering in Louisiana, April 28-May 2
National Moth Week 2020 photos of insects and people.
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Photos of insects and people from the 2015 gathering in Wisconsin, July 10-12
Photos of insects and people from the 2014 gathering in Virginia, June 4-7.
Photos of insects and people from the 2013 gathering in Arizona, July 25-28
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