Friday, January 2

Home Movies of Duke Ellington Playing Baseball (And How Baseball Coined the Word “Jazz”)


"... In this clip unearthed by the Smithsonian earlier this year, we find two great American traditions intertwined — baseball and jazz. As John Edward Hasse explains in his online essay, jazz and baseball grew up together. According to some, the first documented use of the word 'jazz' came from a 1913 newspaper article where a reporter, writing about the San Francisco Seals minor league team, said 'The poor old Seals have lost their jazz and don’t know where to find it.' 'It’s a fact … that the jazz, the pepper, the old life, has been either lost or stolen, and that the San Francisco club of today is made up of jazzless Seals.' Or, if you listen to this public radio report, another use of the word can be traced back to 1912. That’s when a washed-up pitcher named Ben Henderson claimed that he had invented a new pitch — the 'jazz ball.'”
Open Culture (Video)

2011 November: Duke Ellington - "It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)", 1943, 2011 September: "Take the A Train" - Duke Ellington, 2012 June: The Sound of Jazz (1957), 2013 May: Duke Ellington’s Symphony in Black, Starring a 19-Year-old Billie Holiday.

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