“Passing the Axe,” a Baltimore jazz history chapter


Recently I was lucky enough to re-visit Baltimore jazz in my writing as I contributed a chapter to a new history book.  My essay, “Passing the axe : the Baltimore saxophone tradition,” appears in Music at the Crossroads, published by Loyola University’s Apprentice House press.

As the founding newsletter editor for the Baltimore Jazz Alliance, it was a privilege to return to Baltimore with the chance to write something in depth on the city’s tradition. Thank you’s go to BJA president and book editor Mark Osteen, and to all my sources who shared their time: Andy Ennis, Gary Bartz, Whit Williams, Craig Alston, Ellery Eskelin and Rosa Pryor.

The book was released May 16 at the Eubie Blake Jazz Center, and is available for purchase on Amazon.com.

Per the volume’s back cover:  The first book to analyze and celebrate Baltimore’s underappreciated jazz tradition, Music at the Crossroads shines new light on legends such as Eubie Blake and Cab Calloway, honors neglected figures such as Ellis Larkins, Hank Levy, and Ethel Ennis, pays tribute to the legacies of Pennsylvania Avenue and the Left Bank Jazz Society, and analyzes the current Baltimore jazz scene.