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    Interview: Fats Domino (Part 2)

    JazzWax

    ImagesLike a parent playing favorites, New Orleans dotes too heavily on its jazz heritage. I know this sounds like heresy, but it's true. The airport is named for Louis Armstrong, there's a 150-foot trompe-l'oeil mural of a clarinet running up the side of a Holiday Inn, and you don't have to look too hard for the Dixieland sound. All of which is wonderful and good for jazz. The problem is jazz isn't the only form of music that was born in the city. Rock 'n' roll began there, too. Yet the city has done little to preserve rock's history there or turned notable rock sites into thriving tourist attractions.

    Interview: Fats Domino (Part 1)

    JazzWax

    Picture 2aLast Wednesday I was in New Orleans for the Wall Street Journal to interview Fats Domino. You'll find my conversation with rock's creator on the "Leisure & Arts" page of today's Personal Journal section. Or go here. The interview was something of a coup, since the early rocker rarely grants interviews. I can tell you that those close to Fats, including his loving family, are wonderful, loving, soulful people who are rightly proud of their city and their most famous and beloved living artist. [Pictured: Fats tapping out his famed beat on the back of my hand. Photo by Haydee Ellis]

    Interview: Will Friedwald (Part 2)

    JazzWax

    Will friedwald dictionary author photo also good 020_5AEach entry in Will Friedwald's new book, A Biographical Guide to the Great Jazz and Pop Singers, goes off like a firecracker. There are no dull openings, there's plenty of mischievous humor and pop-culture references, and most of Will's positions on singers are provocative. And in some cases, you may disagree with his take. That's what makes his "essaypedia" interesting. The reasoning for one singer over another is personal. But each of Will's points is well argued and all are designed to get you thinking.

    Interview: Will Friedwald (Part 1)

    JazzWax

    Picture 2Will Friedwald is one of the most knowledgeable writers on American Songbook singers. Will's byline appears regularly in The Wall Street Journal, and he's author of eight books, including revealing works on Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett. Will also is one of the nicest and most generous people around, and in this business, that's saying something.

    Hidden Jazz Downloads (Vol. 15)

    Every so often, I e-rummage through the iTunes Store to Images assemble a list of albums you should own. These albums are "hidden"—meaning that unless you stumbled upon them, you'd never know they existed. That's because the folks at Apple work hard to make it impossible to browse iTunes the way people used to linger at record stores. Unless you provide the search bar with the name of an artist, you're out of luck in terms of casually viewing entries of newly added albums. Here are five hidden gems I found at iTunes that are worth sampling:

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