Adele M. Stan

Adele M. Stan is a columnist for The American Prospect. She is research director of People for the American Way, and a winner of the Hillman Prize for Opinion & Analysis Journalism.

Recent Articles


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. 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 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="">Ada "Bricktop" Smith, the African-American entertainer and entrepreneur who championed the careers of blues singer href="">Alberta Hunter and cabaret songbird href="


A "CLEAN" BILL OF HEALTH: BIDEN DECLARED TOO ARTICULATE BY WHITE GUYS. Here in Washington we have this marvelous thing called C-SPAN Radio, which on Sundays airs all of the big political TV talk shows back to back, allowing one to do one's laundry, cook a duck or practice one's ukulele with the sound of self-important white men droning in the background. And so it is that I spend my Sundays. (Don't cry for me, Argentina...) Senator Joe Biden 's "unfortunate" comments last week about the presidential candidate from Illinois, Sen. Barack Obama (last discussed here by Garance ) proved to have legs, leaving a lot of white guys, and the occasional white gal (occasional is all we gals are allowed in world of punditry) to roll their eyes at Biden's apparent eccentric-uncle act, and then assert that the senator from Delaware is not a racist. Herein lies the problem: In the American media, if you say about an African-American something based on racial stereotypes that is not overtly malicious...