Adele M. Stan

Adele M. Stan is a columnist at The American Prospect, and editor of Clarion, the newspaper of Professional Staff Congress, a New York City labor union. The views expressed here are her own.

Recent Articles

RONNIE WELLS HAS PASSED.

RONNIE WELLS HAS PASSED. When the music programs in public schools began dwindling -- and as D.C.'s great jazz musicians found fewer and fewer venues in which to share their art with regular people -- singer Ronnie Wells founded the East Coast Jazz Festival , a singular event that drew together the greater area jazz community, from little children to wizened national treasures. Ms. Wells died on Wednesday of lung cancer. I didn't know Ronnie Wells as a singer though, by all accounts, she was wonderful, both as a vocalist and an educator. I simply knew her as the force behind that magnificent festival, which -- free of charge and absent of auditions -- brought me into workshops with some of the nation's great jazz musicians, and brought new people into my life. The East Coast Festival operated on many different levels, and was a place where musicians came both to teach and renew their relationships within the community . In placing the emphasis on education, Wells was hoping to see the...

IT'S ALIVE

IT'S ALIVE . I have seen the future of jazz 'n' soul, and her name is Alison Crockett . (Okay, okay; I couldn't resist. Apologies to Landau and Springsteen .) At a tribute on Friday to Keter Betts , Washington's late, great bass player, Crockett, a stranger to most in a room jam-packed with serious jazz fans, proved a deserving heir to Ella Fitzgerald , for whom Betts was the regular bass player -- not by channeling Ella's ghost, but by inviting the ancestress to guide her as Crockett brought a new sensibility to the straight-ahead form. It was a breathtaking tightrope act that Crockett performed before a not-so-young audience Friday night at Southwest D.C.'s Westminster Presbyterian Church , weaving together melodic scats with the sort of vocal technique that developed much later in such iconic but hard-to-define acts as Bobby McFerrin , Tuck and Patti , and Sweet Honey in the Rock . In a particularly daring feat, Crockett quoted (without parroting) a famous Fitzgerald scat, "How...

CHENEY: ME-NOT-ME DON'T PLAY THAT WAY.

CHENEY: ME-NOT-ME DON'T PLAY THAT WAY. A day after Richard V. Cheney shook his finger at Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf for not doing enough to rid Pakistan's border region of Taliban and al-Qaeda, Cheney got a taste of what it's like to be Musharraf when a Taliban suicide bomber detonated, within Cheney's earshot, a device that killed 23 people at the U.S. base at Bagram Airport. But the latest twist, in a story that gets more bizarre by the minute, is an interview given by "a senior administration official" who would only allow him or herself to be identified that way, using the first person to discuss the way in which the vice president operates. From the AP : "Let me just make one editorial comment here," the official said. "I've seen some press reporting says, 'Cheney went in to beat up on them, threaten them.' That's not the way I work. I don't know who writes that, or maybe somebody gets it from some source who doesn't know what I'm doing, or isn't involved in it. But the...

NEW FRONT IN WAR ON TERROR: G.O.P. DONORS

NEW FRONT IN WAR ON TERROR: G.O.P. DONORS The AP has just reported the arrest of a donor to the Republican Party -- a self-described lifetime member of National Republican Senatorial Committee's ''Inner Circle" and appointee to the NRCC's ''White House Business Advisory Committee'' has been indicted on terrorism charges for allegedly providing aid to an Afghan terrorism training camp. His name is either Michael Mixon or Abdul Tawala Ibn Ali Alishtari , depending on the day and hour. One can't help but wonder just how long the U.S. attorneys who brought these charges will last, given the recent firings of seven who dared to take cases that made the G.O.P. look bad. (Now we know why the administration was so quick to yank the collective bargaining rights of U.S. attorneys.) --Adele M. Stan

All that Jazz

In the Paris of the 1920s and '30s, Chez Bricktop was one hot jazz club. As depicted in a delightful, bittersweet new musical , Bricktop (playing at Metro Stage in the D.C. area), the club was frequented by those who needed to be seen. There, European royalty met the monarchs of American music. "King" Sidney Bechet , the great New Orleans clarinetist, might sit only tables away from the Duke of Windsor -- a scene rendered impossible in the United States, thanks to Jim Crow. It was racism as much as anything else that first brought jazz to Paris, making Bricktop all the more special, owned as it was by the indefatigable href="http://www.aaregistry.com/african_american_history/1072/The_original_Bricktop_Ada_Smith">Ada "Bricktop" Smith, the African-American entertainer and entrepreneur who championed the careers of blues singer href="http://www.redhotjazz.com/hunter.html">Alberta Hunter and cabaret songbird href="http://www.aaregistry.com/african_american_history/1383/...

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