The historic Jazz at the Philharmonic (JATP) concert series started by Verve impresario Norman Granz debuted at the Philharmonic Auditorium in Los Angeles, California on July 2, 1944. It was a star-studded affair, featuring legends such as Buddy Rich, Lester Young, Nat King Cole, Illinois Jacquet, Les Paul, J.J. Johnson, and others. The fascinating thing about the recordings from this show is they serve as an excellent document of the bridge period between the late Swing era and the dawn of Bebop. I've updated by Spotify Sunday Jazz playlist with some choice cuts from the excellent compilation album The Complete Jazz at the Philharmonic on Verve, 1944-1949. Additionally I'd like to share some photos of that first JATP show, taken by Life magazine photographer Gjon Mili.
It's not even 2012 yet and this is turning out to be one of the saddest and most lackluster presidential campaign seasons in recent memory. Barring a societal or economic meltdown of Mayan Prophecy proportions (and no, the so-called Great Recession doesn't quite reach that level), I don't see how Barack Obama can lose. That's not to say that he's been kicking ass for the last three-or-so-years. Aside from taking out bin Laden, perhaps Obama's most memorable accomplishment this term has been that he kept McCain and Palin out of the White House. And for me at least, that still counts for something. I just wonder if he'll have much ammo to use when a Republican candidate finally emerges from the farcical battle royale that has been the GOP Octagon, which is down another competitor now that