Sunday, December 31, 2006

this mail to wish you HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!

this e-mail to wish you a Happy New Year!!!!!!!!

Friday, December 01, 2006

Vocalist Audrey Silver Appearing At Sweet Rhythm Tuesday, December 5th sets at 8pm and 9:30pm

Vocalist Audrey Silver

Appearing At

Sweet Rhythm
  88   Seventh Ave. South
   (bet. Grove & Bleecker)

Tuesday, December 5th
sets at 8pm and 9:30pm

Jon Cowherd - Piano
John Hart - Guitar
Joe Fitzgerald - Bass
Anthony Pinciotti - Drums

link to website:

"... A sincere, multi-talented singer and an intelligent entertainer with class and vibrant originality.  You will love her lyrical style... and luxurious voice.  This woman is on her way to stardom."
New York Monthly Herald, May 2006

"Her voice rings true, with lovely tone and fine diction. She seems to pick the right tempo for each song she chooses. The ballads don't just die there— they move! And most of all, when there is a tempo, she swings!!! I dug it. You'll dig it too."
– Bob Dorough, Singer/Pianist

"Audrey Silver has that rare quality of light infectious swing that lights up her tall willowy persona."
– Mark Murphy, Vocalist


Acclaimed Tuba Player Don Butterfield Dies

November 29, 2006

Don Butterfield, a tuba player who performed with such stars as Dizzy Gillespie and Frank Sinatra and whose work can be heard on the 'Godfather: Part II,' has died at age 83.

Butterfield died Monday of an illness related to a stroke he suffered about a year ago, his wife, Alice Butterfield, said Wednesday.

Born in Centralia, Wash., Butterfield wanted to play the trumpet for his high school band but was handed a tuba by the band's director because there were no more trumpets. He went on to study at the Juilliard School in New York.

During a five-decade career, Butterfield performed as a studio musician, recording with notable artists, and for television commercials and movie soundtracks.

Alice Butterfield said her husband played in just about every music club of note in New York. He was a member of the American Symphony and the Radio City Music Hall Orchestra, and toured the country.

'He just loved the tuba when he got it, that was his instrument,' said Alice Butterfield, who said her husband's stroke left him unable to play music. 'He just fell in love with it.'

David Demsey, a professor of music and coordinator of jazz studies at William Paterson University, said Butterfield 'brought back the tuba and took the oompa out and added a melodic tone.'

In a 2003 interview with The Record of Bergen County, Butterfield acknowledged that the tuba could be viewed as ungainly and unglamorous. He compared the instrument to 'an interstate truck driver.'

'We're not going to be racing in the Indianapolis 500,' he said. 'At the same time, we understand that we have a certain function in the orchestra.'

Wizard of Oz returns to cinemas

Judy Garland, Jack Haley and Ray Bolger in The Wizard of Oz
Judy Garland (l) was 16 years old when she made the film
A digitally restored version of 1939 Hollywood classic The Wizard of Oz is to open in UK cinemas next month.

Working from the original three-strip Technicolor negatives, experts at the Warner Bros studio have removed dirt, dust, debris and scratches.

The result, according to the British Film Institute, boasts "amazing image clarity and breathtaking colour".

Based on L Frank Baum's 1900 novel, the film stars Judy Garland as a farm girl transported to a magical kingdom.

Winner of three Academy Awards, it opens in 40 cinemas across the country on 15 December.

Lavish costumes

The three-strip Technicolor process - which combined three strips of coloured film - yielded excellent colour quality but was expensive and difficult to handle.

That, combined with the lavish sets and costumes, swelled the budget to a then enormous $2.7m.

Judy Garland was 16 years old when she won the part of Dorothy - a role she won after MGM decided Shirley Temple's talents were not extensive enough to do it justice.

Wicked, a musical based on the witches in The Wizard of Oz, is currently running in London's West End.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Anita O'Day Memorial/Funeral Saturday Dec 2, 1pm Hollywood Forever Cemetery



Thursday, November 23, 2006

Anita O'Day - A Biography

Born Anita Belle Colton in Chicago, Illinois on October 18, 1919, O’Day got her start as a teen. She eventually changed her name to O’Day and in the late 1930’s began singing in a jazz club called the Off- Beat, a popular hangout for musicians like band leader and drummer Gene Krupa. In 1941 she joined Krupa’s band, and a few weeks later Krupa hired trumpeter Roy Eldridge. O’Day and Eldridge had great chemistry on stage and their duet “Let Me Off Uptown” became a million-dollar-seller, boosting the popularity of the Krupa band. Also that year, “Down Beat” magazine named O’Day “New Star of the Year” and, in 1942, she was selected as one of the top five big band singers.
After her stint with, Krupa, O’Day joined Stan Kenton's band. She left the band after a year and returned to Krupa. Singer Jackie Cain remembers the first time she saw O’Day with the Krupa band. “I was really impressed,” she recalls, “She (O’Day) sang with a jazz feel, and that was kind of fresh and new at the time.” Later, O’Day joined Stan Kenton’s band with whom she cut an album that featured the hit tune “And Her Tears Flowed Like Wine”
In the late’40s, O’Day struck out on her own. She teamed up with drummer John Poole, with whom she played for the next 32 years. Her album “Anita”, which she recorded on producer Norman Granz’s new Verve label, elevated her career to new heights. She began performing in festivals and concerts with such illustrious musicians as Louis Armstrong, Dinah Washington, Georg Shearing and Thelonious Monk. O’Day also appeared in the documentary filmed at the Newport Jazz Festival in 1958 called “Jazz on a Summer Day”, which made her an international star.
Throughout the ‘60s Anita continued to tour and record while addicted to heroin and in 1969 she nearly died from an overdose. O’Day eventually beat her addiction and returned to work. In 1981 she published her autobiography “High Times, Hard Times” which, among other things, talked candidly about her drug addiction. More biographical information reprinted with permission from Posted by Picasa

Anita O' more

October 18, 1919 - November 23, 2006

Jazz vocal legend Anita O'Day passed this morning November 23, 2006 at 6:17 AM in West Los Angeles. The cause of death was cardiac arrest according to her manager Robbie Cavalina.

Born Anita Belle Colton in Chicago, Illinois on October 18, 1919, O'Day got her start as a teen. She eventually changed her name to O'Day and in the late 1930's began singing in a jazz club called the Off- Beat, a popular hangout for musicians like band leader and drummer Gene Krupa. In 1941 she joined Krupa's band, and a few weeks later Krupa hired trumpeter Roy Eldridge. O'Day and Eldridge had great chemistry on stage and their duet "Let Me Off Uptown" became a million-dollar- seller, boosting the popularity of the Krupa band. Also that year, "Down Beat" magazine named O'Day "New Star of the Year" and, in 1942, she was selected as one of the top five big band singers.

After her stint with, Krupa, O'Day joined Stan Kenton's band. She left the band after a year and returned to Krupa. Singer Jackie Cain remembers the first time she saw O'Day with the Krupa band. "I was really impressed," she recalls, "She (O'Day) sang with a jazz feel, and that was kind of fresh and new at the time." Later, O'Day joined Stan Kenton's band with whom she cut an album that featured the hit tune "And Her Tears Flowed Like Wine"

In the late'40s, O'Day struck out on her own. She teamed up with drummer John Poole, with whom she played for the next 32 years. Her album "Anita", which she recorded on producer Norman Granz's new Verve label, elevated her career to new heights. She began performing in festivals and concerts with such illustrious musicians as Louis Armstrong, Dinah Washington, Georg Shearing and Thelonious Monk. O'Day also appeared in the documentary filmed at the Newport Jazz Festival in 1958 called "Jazz on a Summer Day", which made her an international star.

Throughout the '60s Anita continued to tour and record while addicted to heroin and in 1969 she nearly died from an overdose. O'Day eventually beat her addiction and returned to work. In 1981 she published her autobiography "High Times, Hard Times" which, among other things, talked candidly about her drug addiction.

Her final recording was "Indestructible Anita O'Day" and featured Eddie Locke, Chip Jackson, Roswell Rudd, Lafayette Harris, Tommy Morimoto and the great Joe Wider. A documentary, "ANITA O'DAY - THE LIFE OF A JAZZ SINGER" will be released in 2007.

For more info visit:

Patti Wicks Trio - Italian Sessions

Basic Feeling
Patti Wicks Trio
Italian Sessions
Patti Wicks - piano/vocals
Giovanni Sanguineti - bass
Giovanni Gullino - drums

Gianni Basso - tenor sax

-This Hotel
-I've Got the World on a String
-Where Do You Think You're Going?
-E Minor Waltz for Gavin (Wicks)
-A Beautiful Friendship
-I Keep Going Back to Joe's
-It Might As Well Be Spring
-Here's To Romance (Wicks)
-Baby, Don't You Quit Now





Josephine Baker: A Jazz-Age Madonna

See the original article here.

Image courtesy National Portrait Gallery IT'S BEEN SAID that she could contort her body in shocking ways. That when she walked or even waddled onto a stage, audiences were captivated.

She was born Freda MacDonald in St. Louis to parents Carrie MacDonald and Eddie Carson. She was a civil rights activist and she served France during World War II. She was a dancer, a comedian, an actress, a mother of 12 adopted children of differing nationalities who she called her "Rainbow Tribe," and an international star. She was Josephine Baker.

And to observe the 100th anniversary of her birth, the National Portrait Gallery honors her life and achievements with " Josephine Baker: Image and Icon."

Opening Friday, this celebration of Baker's contributions to everyday American life visits our nation's capital from her hometown, where it was organized by the Sheldon Art Galleries. Consisting of nearly a hundred pieces chosen from numerous collections, "Image and Icon" explores Baker's desire to transform her public persona.

The young Freda's life was plagued by contradictions. After being abandoned by her parents, she was brought up by a grandmother and an aunt who took her in only because her light skin provided much-welcomed evidence of her Indian heritage. Born into poverty, she spent much of her youth cleaning and baby-sitting in the homes of wealthy white families. Soon, these mounting paradoxes proved too much, and at the age of 13 Freda ran away to join a traveling road show.

Around the same time, the teenager also took a job waiting tables, through which she met Willie Wells, who she was married to briefly. And while it was uncommon for a woman during her time, she remained financially independent and, thus, never hesitated to divorce and remarry again — which she did three more times. Her second marriage to Willie Baker, whose name she decided to keep, gave Freda and the world her alter ego.

This is when "Image and Icon" enters the story of Baker's life. She went on to become a somewhat
overnight success in Paris. A corridor filled mostly with posters, prints and sketches by French graphic artist Paul Colin — who helped cement Baker's image — anchors the exhibition halls on either side of it and seems a mini-tribute to Colin's artistic talents as much as to Baker.

From there, the exhibit takes you chronologically through Baker's modes with ephemera (music sheets and programs) and photographs — some blown up to ooh-and-aah sizes one could easily stare at for hours. The more candid photos document her wartime service and provide an honest and satiating glimpse of the woman who seemed to fear nothing except, of course, the usual.

National Portrait Gallery, 8th and G streets NW; through March 18; 202-633-1000. (Gallery Place-Chinatown)

Image courtesy National Portrait Gallery.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Talking with Tony Bennett, who has a new TV special next week

Scripps Howard News Service

Tony Bennett's new TV special, which airs at 8 p.m. EST Nov. 21 on NBC, calls him "An American Classic." What more can you say? The crooner recently released "Duets: An American Classic," in which he sings with Bono, Paul McCartney, Elton John and more, doing songs that range from standards to Green Day.

In the special he'll sing with Barbra Streisand, John Legend and others. He recently got on the phone with producer-director Rob Marshall ("Chicago") and reporters and spoke about his career at age 80.

Q: What impressed you about the artists you worked with on this disc and on the special?

A: Well, there are a lot of good artists. But I think my son really did a great choice of artists that are on the album. Every one of them is just magnificent. I had questions whether they were going to be prepared and professional. Everyone was and everyone had a great time. And you never know when the labor of love happens, but that's what happened to me on that special and with this album.

Q: What was the visual concept?

A: (From Rob Marshall): It really is in some ways like 10 small different films. We have 10 numbers and the look of it was really, I mean, I really took the whole idea of the special from Tony's career. So they begin, for instance, with a '40s jazz club where Tony was inspired to sing and we move to the Columbia artist recording studios of the '50s and we go to variety specials from the '60s and Vegas of the '60s.

Q: Frank Sinatra called you the best singer in the world. Who would you choose for that title these days?

A: Well, I like Michael Buble an awful lot. John Legend is going to be around. They're not going to be fading out in a year or five years from now. After finding out how professional they all were and how prepared they were when they came in, everybody is just a consummate artist already.

Q: You're known for your positivity despite hardships in your early life.

A: Well, I just think that only comes from someone that has a very strong passion and as far back as I could remember since I was a little boy I've always just loved (music). I just adore it. And I love to study it, and you know just get wrapped up in the creative zone of music and art. So when happy times come, which it's just something that happens to everybody in life, I've just learned to just, you know, realize that you have to be very flexible and go for it.

Q: How do you prepare for performing?

A: I just learned a long time ago learning from masters _ in fact, the late Buddy Rich. ... He said: "You know they usually say in show business you're only as good as your last show." But, he said that's not an accident. He says: "You're only as good as your next show. The last one is gone already." So you have to really strive every time you go in front of an audience. You have to make it like the first time you've ever done it and go for it.

Q: What's the secret of your ongoing popularity?

A: Well, I just try to be as consistent as possible, but I just can't believe that for 45 years I've been sold out everywhere in the world. I think because of that you want to just, you know, get, as Sting once mentioned on an interview, he said you get addicted to the audience. You know you hear the applause. It turns you on. You know you just can't wait for that next show in the next town.

Q: You're called an American classic. Does such praise ever embarrass you?

A: Not really. I mean, I've very flattered by it. My God, I can't believe _ where I came from, you know, from during the Depression and where I've landed, it's so fantastic. And I don't like to regress.

Monday, November 20, 2006

This Week At Cornelia Street Cafe

This Week At Cornelia Street Cafe

Mon Nov 20
(Natalie Michan, vocals; Yakir Ben-hur, piano; Assaf Hakimi, bass; Harvey Valdes, oud; EJ Fry, percussion; Luke Notary, percussion)
Natalie Michan performs a fusion of Latin-American and Middle-Eastern music, drawing on the traditions of Spain, Cuba Peru and the Orient. Her songs are poems and prayers that celebrate the spirit. And it is Natalie's pure and haunting voice that carries listeners on a journey through exotic traditions of the past arriving at a transcendent moment of the present.
Cover $10
Tue Nov 21
(Dylan Heaney, saxophones; Simon Kafka, guitar; Mike Cassedy, piano; Ben Campbell, bass; Jordan Perlson, drums)
The East West Quintet is fast emerging as a new voice in jazz music. With a strong repertoire of innovative and original music, the group showcases the individual talents of its five members while maintaining a tight, cohesive group sound. Since forming in 2003, the Quintet has been playing to packed houses of enthusiastic fans in New York City and throughout the West Coast. Described by one of their fans as "Jazz with the energy of a rock band," the Quintet always puts on an exciting show, attributing their fast growing popularity to their ability to connect with audiences of all types. The group is currently promoting its second CD, "The Brooklyn EP," which it released in June of 2006.

"The East West Quintet plays hard bop for the 21st century, combining solid swing with smart writing, assured improvisation and a tight band sound."
- Mark Meyers, All About Jazz

cover $6/cover + CD: $10
Thu Nov 23
Check out our fabulous Thanksgiving Day menu in another part of this forest--FOOD! Served from 2pm and almost certainly sold out . . .
Fri Nov 24
(Anat Fort, piano, composer; Gary Wang, bass; Roland Schneider, drums)
“You’ll be hearing a lot more from Israeli-born pianist and composer Anat Fort shortly. Her astonishing compositions and gift for band-leading recently caught the attention of ECM records – a disc is being readied for next year. Here’s your chance to catch her on the way up."
– K. Leander Williams, Time Out New York
Cover $10
Sat Nov 25
(Jonathan Finlayson, trumpet; Chris Lightcap, bass; Ted Poor, drums; James Carney, rhodes, compositions)
"An intriguing pianist whose compositional sense almost overshadows his instrumental know-how, Carney sets up shop with the city’s most engaging young improvisers. His stuff is well sculpted, and you’ll hear its sophistication."
-Jim Macnie, The Village Voice

"Mr. Carney, a smart keyboardist and a broadly imaginative conceptualist and composer, leads a cadre of adventurous and versatile players."
-Nate Chinen, The New York Times

Keyboardist & composer James Carney received the 1999 Thelonious Monk International Composers Award, and he also received the "Best Jazz Artist" award from the LA Weekly in 2002. He has released three well-received albums: "Fables from the Aqueduct" (1994); "Offset Rhapsody" (1997); and "Thread" (2002). He will be recording a new album in June 2006 for the Songlines label.

Carney's music might be described as inclusive jazz; he favors assymetrical forms and complex harmonic models influenced as much by classical, rock, pop, world and the avant-garde as by the jazz tradition. He also composes long-form chamber music; recent commissions include a 10-minute brass quintet for the Extension Ensemble, and a 90- minute written/improvised score for Universal Pictures' 1925 silent film "His People", which Carney premiered live with his group at the 2006 Syracuse International Film Festival.
Cover $10
Mon Nov 27
(Mandola Joe York, mandolin; Jeff York, guitar; Ratzo B. York, bass; Frank York, fiddle)
(Photo credit: Heidi Ihrig/SculptureCenter)

November 27, 2006 is the 15th anniversary of the death of Harry Everett Smith, whose 6 LP Anthology of American Folk Music has an inspiration to generations of folkies, alt rockers, and ethnomusicologists. In fact, my listening to and transcribing tracks from the Harry Smith Anthology led to my interest in performing old timey music and forming The String Messengers with Mandola Joe and a rotating personnel over these past 15 years. Aside from his discographical arcana, Harry Smith was also an experimental film maker and devotee of string figures, a real schizoid. For this "schizoid music" tribute, The String Messengers will explore his musical legacy as well as share some string figures assisted by frequent Messenger collaborator and string figure maven Jim Murphy.
Cover $10

Ruth Brown Passes at the Age of 78

Ruth Brown, whose musical legacy was matched by her fight for royalty reform for herself and other R&B Artists, passed away on November 17, 2006 in a Las Vegas area hospital from complications following a stroke and heart attack. Howell Begle, longtime friend and legal representative, made the announcement for the family. Known as The Girl with a Tear in her Voice, The Original Queen of Rhythm & Blues, Miss Rhythm & Blues, and the well-known moniker of Miss Rhythm, the nickname given her by Mr. Rhythm, Frankie Lane, Ruth Brown was also credited as the first star made by Atlantic Records. Her regal hit-making reign from 1949 to the close of the 50s helped tremendously to establish the New York labels predominance in the R&B field, a track record for which the young label was referred to as The House That Ruth Built.
Ruth Brown, whose musical legacy was matched by her fight for royalty reform for herself and other R&B Artists, passed away on November 17, 2006 in a Las Vegas area hospital from complications following a stroke and heart attack. Howell Begle, longtime friend and legal representative, made the announcement for the family. Known as "The Girl with a Tear in her Voice", "The Original Queen of Rhythm & Blues", "Miss Rhythm & Blues", and the well-known moniker of "Miss Rhythm", the nickname given her by Mr. Rhythm, Frankie Lane, Ruth Brown was also credited as the first star made by Atlantic Records. Her regal hit-making reign from 1949 to the close of the '50s helped tremendously to establish the New York label's predominance in the R&B field, a track record for which the young label was referred to as "The House That Ruth Built."

Brown's two dozen hit records included the single "So Long", the signature song of Little Miss Cornshucks, and a favorite of Atlantic Records' Executive Herb Abramson's partner, Ahmet Ertegun, as well as "Teardrops From My Eyes" which brought out the more swaggering, aggressive side for which Ruth was rewarded with her first Number One R&B hit. For the duration of the Fifties, Brown dominated the R&B charts with such red-hot sides as "5-10-15 Hours" and "(Mama) He Treats Your Daughter Mean."

The relationship with Atlantic Records would last until 1961. With the onset of the turbulent '60s, musical styles changed and, like so many R&B Pioneers, Miss Brown was left behind. Ruth was thrust into the role of single parent raising two boys alone, forcing her to take jobs as a maid, driving a school bus, and as a Head Start teacher.

The story might have ended there, but Brown enjoyed a career renaissance in the mid-Seventies. She began recording blues and jazz for a variety of labels. She toured overseas in 1979 and 1980 and upon her return to the United States, she starred in Allen Toussaint's off-Broadway musical "Staggerlee" and made a spectacular splash in the film "Hairspray" as Motormouth Maybelle. Beginning in 1985, Ruth hosted the Harlem Hit Parade series on National Public Radio and in 1989 won a Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical for the Broadway revue "Black And Blue."

In 1989 Ruth Brown received a Grammy Award for the album "Blues On Broadway." In 1993, she was inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Ruth was recognized in 1999 with a Lifetime Achievement Award from The Blues Foundation, in addition to receiving two W.C. Handy Awards from the organization. Her autobiography, "Miss Rhythm", received the Ralph Gleason Award for Music. Ruth was given a Pioneer Award from the Rhythm and Blues Foundation, an organization which was founded as a direct result of her efforts to foster wider recognition and provide financial assistance to Rhythm and Blues musicians of any stature.

The firstborn of seven children in a family with deep religious roots, Ruth Weston's father worked on the docks at the seaport in Portsmouth, VA and was choir director at Emmanuel AME Church. Ruth is survived by her two sons, Earl Swanson and Ron Jackson, and siblings: Leonard Weston, Delia Weston, Benjamin Weston and Alvin Weston.

The Rhythm and Blues Foundation will be planning a public memorial to honor Ruth Brown and celebrate her contribution to Rhythm and Blues in New York City, details to be announced at a later date.

Johnny Mathis - Gold: A 50th Anniversary Celebration

By Big Geez

Gold: A 50th Anniversary Celebration, a soon to be released offering from Columbia/Legacy is part of a larger effort that's been put together to commemorate the long and notable career of Johnny Mathis. It joins the already released A 50th Anniversary Christmas Celebration, and both tie in with an upcoming PBS special.

The album is a compilation of recordings generated during the course of his long career, which means, of course, the Johnny Mathis of 2006 will inevitably be compared to his youthful self in terms of quality of voice. It's a valid approach since this is, after all, a 50 year commemorative album, and it gives fans a chance to revisit his sound in different eras.

Not surprisingly, among the songs on this album are some that also appeared on Johnny's Greatest Hits, which he released in 1958. In retrospect, that might have seemed a surprising step for so young an artist, but by then he had the hits to back it up. After being discovered and helped along by Mitch Miller (yes, the sing-along guy), who acted as producer for many of his early recordings, he had generated a number of best-sellers by that time. That 1958 album is said to have been the first "greatest hits" collection ever generated by any artist, and it remained on the Billboard charts for a record 490 weeks.

Among those early hits were "Chances Are," "It's Not For Me To Say," and "Wonderful, Wonderful."  Those songs and others from that same era are part of this new 50th Anniversary album. These recordings from the late 1950s, in most cases backed by Ray Coniff and his orchestra (and in all cases sung by Johnny in his full, youthful, vibrant voice) will reacquaint you with many of those tunes and how he warbled them. His distinctive vibrato and styling are impossible to mistake for anyone else.

I found it a little surprising that the first dozen or so songs were all from the late 1950s, and then the rest are from 1986 or later - a gap of over 25 years. Mathis was active during that period, but was shifting genres and looking for new avenues. He also began doing a number of duets, including one that became a big hit, "Too Much, Too Little, Too Late," with Deniece Williams. None of that period is covered on this album. Instead, it picks up again with an older Mathis, starting with "True Love," where he's backed up by Henry Mancini, and continuing on through his collaboration with Sergio Mendes, "So Many Stars," both recorded in the late 1980s.

His voice is still very familiar and sounds pretty good, although a little more subdued than the younger version. That's followed by Ellington's "In A Sentimental Mood," recorded in 1990, and I had a difficult time evaluating the vocal on this, because I didn't listen to it for very long. Maybe that seems unfair, but this tune has always been one of my favorites as an instrumental and I just cringed when I heard him sing it. (Although according to Johnny's album notes, Ellington offered the song to him.)

The last two cuts on the album are something a little different. On "The Shadow Of Your Smile," recorded just this year, "smooth jazz" reigns supreme as Johnny is accompanied by Dave Koz on sax and Chris Botti on trumpet, and both have a number of long and extensive solos that cut back on Johnny's portion of the song. Still, though, it all works pretty well and is a pleasant listen.

The album closes with Johnny's duet with Ray Charles on "Over The Rainbow," and this one just didn't work in my opinion. I felt that the styles of the two singers are too different for them to mesh. It was recorded a couple of years back and, according to Johnny's album notes, they did actually sit side by and side and record this, so it wasn't one of those virtual things that are often put together. (And he sounded surprised that Ray was actually there, which I found curious.)

Overall, a lot of good listening to be found on this new release. 

Johnny Mathis - Gold: A 50th Anniversary Celebration

1 Chances Are
2 Wonderful! Wonderful!
3 It's Not For Me To Say
4 The Twelfth Of Never
5 When Sunny Gets Blue
6 Wild Is The Wind
7 Misty
8 Small World (from "Gypsy")
9 A Certain Smile
10 Maria (from "West Side Story")
11 What'll I Do?
12 One God
13 Deep River
14 True Love
15 So Many Stars
16 In A Sentimental Mood
17 The Shadow Of Your Smile / Dave Koz & Chris Botti
18 Over The Rainbow / Ray Charles

Kim Nalley: The Heart of Lady Day

Contributed by Jerry Karp   
Sunday, 19 November 2006
Kim Nalley sings Billie Holiday
Kim Nalley sings Billie Holiday Friday-Sunday, November 24-26 at Jazz at Pearl's. On the heals of her triumphant month-long performance as Billie Holiday in the theatrical production, Lady Day in Love, Kim Nalley brings the tender side of Holiday to life in this special weekend performance of her show, "The Heart of Lady Day" at Jazz at Pearl's in San Francisco. Nalley, in her own unique and heartfelt style, will interpret the songs made famous by Holiday. She'll be joined by sensitive, bluesy pianist Tammy Hall, swinging guitarist Josh Workman, cool-hand bassist Mike Zisman and steady-swinging drummer Kent Bryson.

Of course, the marvelous Miss Nalley is no stranger to the songs and personna of the great Billie Holiday. Her fans have frequently enjoyed her performances channeling Holiday in her award winning show "Ladies Sing the Blues." That's in addition to Nalley's recent series of triumphant concert tributes to the great Nina Simone, and her many shows in San Francisco and around the world, treating audiences to her own sweet and sassy personna and astounding talents.

"Ever have that feeling that you're sitting in on something special - a music, a singer, a style that makes you feel a certain wistful reminiscence for this same night to begin all over again, even though it's barely begun? That is the effect of a Kim Nalley performance." -Jean Bartlett, Pacifica Tribune

Image Kim Nalley combines a lithe, beautiful sound and compelling sense of swing with just enough old-school charm to create an instant and genuine rapport with her audience.

Nalley topped the success of her 2003 CD, Need My Sugar, with this year's astounding She Put a Spell on Me, her powerful, heartfelt and hugely entertaining tribute to the great Nina Simone. SFStation gave the CD 4 stars, saying, "Nalley shows off her soaring, sultry vocals as she powers through an appropriately eclectic set of jazz, blues, showtunes and folk . . . . Invariably, her bold voice and impressive range will inspire comparisons to the likes of Dinah Washington and Ella Fitzgerald, but it's a tribute to Nalley that she distinguishes herself as a unique talent. . . ."

No secret to the music world at large, Kim Nalley has performed at most of the major Jazz festivals throughout the world, garnering rave reviews along the way, and performed with heavyweights from James Williams, Jimmy McGriff and Billy Higgins to Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony.

Buy or listen to Kim Nalley's singing Billie Holiday here!

November 24-26
Doors open 30 minutes prior to each show.
2 Shows:
8:00 pm & 10:00 pm
Shows are 75 - 90 minutes each.

Artist gives lyrics to old tunes

Instrumental jazz by Coltrane, Silver gets fresh take by singer

By Rebecca C. Howard
Deseret Morning News
      Smooth, natural fit. Lyrics are intelligent and sound as if they could have been originally written for each tune. High marks for creative concepts, craftsmanship and fun listenability.
Randee St. Nichols
When Karrin Allyson comes to Salt Lake City, she'll be drawing from new album "Footprints."
      Sometimes singers are described as "instrumental" in their style, but jazz vocalist Karrin Allyson takes that to a whole new level with her album, "Footprints."
      "'Footprints' is a group of what are thought to be instrumental tunes that are pretty well-known just as instrumentals, and we put words to them," said Allyson. "I've always wanted to sing these tunes, but they never had any words that I knew of."
      It started, she said, a couple of years ago when she got together with lyricist Chris Caswell to write some original songs together. She mentioned that she was interested in doing some classic instrumental jazz tunes with lyrics, and Caswell said, "Let me try them."
      The result is a CD of such tunes as Dizzy Gillespie's "Con Alma," John Coltrane's "Lightning" and "Equinox," Horace Silver's "Strollin'," and several tunes by Cannonball Adderly. "Like anything, you just kind of try to make it your own and tell a story with it. Each one is its own challenge. Mostly, you're hoping that the lyrics fit the idea of the tune, and I guess that they do, so it's my job to sort of tell the story through the new lyrics and great melodies."
      Allyson is joined by vocalists Jon Hendricks and Nancy King on the album. "I love Nancy, she's amazing," said Allyson. "She's been a great friend for several years, but really is my idol, and I think she does a beautiful job of sort of just being my horn player, as she says — harmonizing with me. And, obviously, she sings on her own on the album, too.
      "And Jon Hendricks also, obviously, has many, many lyrics written to instrumental tunes. He's really a pioneer of that. I've just been a huge fan of his for years."
Randee St. Nichols
When Karrin Allyson comes to Salt Lake City, she'll be drawing from new album "Footprints."
      Released earlier this year, "Footprints" quickly found itself at the top of the playlist for radio stations. "It was No. 1 on the jazz charts for eight or nine weeks, I think."
      When Allyson comes to Salt Lake City, she'll be drawing from "Footprints," but she also plans to do a mix of material. "We have 10 CDs out with Concord records, and there's a lot of material that we've recorded — aside from stuff that we like to play, and maybe new stuff that we might be working on. So it's pretty eclectic, but I think a lot of it will be from 'Footprints."'
      Allyson said she got started in music on the piano and majored in classical-piano performance in college. "I was pretty serious about it but also liked to sing on my own. I never really studied voice, per se, but then I discovered jazz in a college class.
      "Before that I was doing some folk/pop tunes for my own enjoyment. I'd go out and get the sheet music to popular tunes that were playing on the radio those days, like Carly Simon songs or Joni Mitchell songs or James Taylor. We actually did an album of those kinds of songs right before Footprints — it's called 'Wild For You.' So we included that era of my life into our recording discography.
      "Then jazz pretty much took over the repertoire that I was doing. I started to get involved in improvisation, and it pretty much took off from there."
      She moved to Minneapolis for a few years and then to Kansas City, where she became a fixture in the jazz scene. It was in Kansas City that she met guitarist Rod Fleeman, bassist Bob Bowman and drummer Todd Strait, who will be joining her when she comes to Salt Lake City.
      Allyson is now based in New York, although she travels frequently. At the time of the interview, she was in Washington, D.C., where she's doing a four-night run at Blues Alley.

CD review

      Title: "Footprints"
      Singer: Karrin Allyson
      Label: Concord Jazz
      Price: $18.98

If you go ...

      What: Karrin Allyson
      Where: Sheraton City Centre Ballroom, 150 W. 500 South
      When: Monday, 7:30 p.m.
      How much: $25
      Phone: 278-0411
      Also: Preconcert lecture, 6 p.m.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Ella at Lincoln Center October 23 1972

Ella Fitzgerald & Others Live From Lincoln Center DVD

Soon to be reissued, this DVD features so many jazz giants is nearly impossible to name all (Dave Brubeck, Paul Desmond, Benny Goodman, Joe Williams, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Dizzy Gillespie and much much more!)
I have this on VHS, and I'm sure with this DVD edition we'll have a treasure forever!
To pre-order, just visit this link, or search for it on your favorite store!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Kurt Elling Signs With Concord Records

Concord Records announced that Grammy-nominated singer Kurt Elling has signed an exclusive recording contract with the company. His Concord debut is scheduled to be released in early 2007. Elling has risen to international acclaim as a jazz artist and singer, in just 10 short years as professional. All of his six previous albums have been nominated for Grammy awards, including three nods for Best Jazz Vocal Album. Kurt has topped Downbeat Critic's and Jazz Times Readers polls every year since 2000. He's won the Jazz Journalists Association award for best male vocalist three times and earned the Prix Billie Holiday from the Academie du Jazz in Paris. One of Elling's major contributions is as a writer and performer of vocalese, the art of putting words to improvised solos of jazz artists.

Kurt is extremely excited about joining Concord Records. He states, "I'm so very happy to be part of the Concord family. I have the utmost respect for the label. They produce some amazing music and I am looking forward to releasing my Concord debut."

John Burk, Executive Vice President of A&R at Concord Music Group, commented, "We're honored that Kurt has teamed with Concord to continue his remarkable career. We believe there is no limit to his talent and potential and look forward to an incredibly rewarding relationship."

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Tina Sinatra remembers her dad

NEW YORK (AP) - Frank Sinatra was never happier, his daughter Tina says, than when he was working in Las Vegas. Those years are now captured in song by "Sinatra in Vegas," a box set of four concert CDs, and one DVD, ranging from the Rat Pack peak of the early 1960s to the late 1980s, just before his voice and memory began to give way.

As Tina Sinatra remembers it, you could pretty much tell how her dad was feeling on stage by the musicians he chose to sing with.

"If he was happy, he would use a larger swing band, a lot of brass," she said during a recent phone interview from Los Angeles. "If he was feeling melancholy, he might work with something a little more intimate, like the sextet he performed with in Paris in the '50s. He would stick closer to saloon songs."

Sinatra, who died in 1998 at age 82, didn't have a Vegas theme song, the way "New York, New York" and "My Kind of Town" (Chicago is) worked for other cities. But his real home in concert was the desert haven of gambling and other recreation that he as much as anybody made famous.

"Those were the magic years, his senior statesman years," Tina Sinatra says. "He was the sassy cat in Vegas."

Working with bands led by such favourites as Count Basie, and Sinatra's son, Frank Sinatra, Jr., he comes on sassy for most the Vegas tracks, camping "The Lady is the Tramp" to the point of obscenity; cracking up during the most sensitive of ballads, "I've Got a Crush on You," and warning "Hold on to your handbags" as the Basie band kicks into the break of "I've Got You Under My Skin." Even on a disc from 1987, when he's in his early 70s, he can open with "I've Got the World on a String" and never hint that he doesn't believe it.

Vegas was hardly the place for protest music, but the set does include a Sinatra interview in which he recalls his anger that the black musicians in his group were told to stay in a separate hotel.

"I did make some demand on some people and, said, 'If they all have to live on the other side of town, then you don't need me,' " he says. "I guess I was the biggest mouth in town."

Listening to the Vegas tracks brought back musical and nonmusical memories for Tina Sinatra, who explains how her dad loved the desert because it was good for his throat, and was bothered when all the hotels became air conditioned and he needed a humidifier to keep the rasp out of his voice.

Tina Sinatra has worked on numerous projects about her father, serving as executive producer of the 1992 miniseries, "Sinatra," and writing a memoir, "My Father's Daughter." She still listens to his music all the time - "he's always one of six CDs I have in the player in my car" - and remembers the calls she would receive at 6 o'clock every night, from Vegas or anywhere else.

"I miss his humour, his way of dealing with things. He had a way of saying, 'You're wasting your energy,' " she recalls. "I know he had that other side, but I remember him being soothing and wise. He gave me room to grow. He understood the meaning of seek and search."

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Dee Dee Bridgewater performs with Jon Faddis and the Chicago Jazz Ensemble


CHICAGO, November 14, 2006 – The Chicago Jazz Ensemble (CJE) and Artistic Director Jon Faddis continue the Eighth American Heritage Series at the Harris Theater on Friday, December 15, at 8:00 p.m. in concert with special guest vocalist Dee Dee Bridgewater. Tickets are $45, $35, $20 and $15 with a 10% discount to senior citizens and students and a 20% discount to groups of 10 or more. For tickets and information, visit or call (312) 334-7777.

An award-winning vocalist, actress and radio host, Bridgewater is known the world over as a vibrant storyteller and as the captivating host of National Public Radio's JazzSet©. Making her debut with the CJE, she first performed with Faddis in 1971 when they were members of the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Big Band (now the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra). They also performed together at Chicago's Symphony Center in the fall of 2004. Featuring holiday favorites, jazz standards and original tunes, the evening is sure to be full of surprises when these two old friends get together.

Bridgewater ranks among an elite group of artists. Few entertainers have been rewarded with Broadway's coveted Tony Award (Best Featured Actress in a Musical for "The Wiz"); nominated for the London theater's West End equivalent, the Laurence Olivier Award (Best Actress in a Musical for "Lady Day"); won two Grammy® Awards (1998's Best Jazz Vocal Performance and Best Arrangement Accompanying a Vocal for "Cottontail" and "Dear Ella "); and France's 1998 top honor Victoire de la Musique (Best Jazz Vocal Album). She made her New York debut in 1970 as the lead vocalist with Jones and Lewis and later made her mark in concerts and on recordings with jazz giants including Sonny Rollins, Dizzy Gillespie, Dexter Gordon, Max Roach and Roland Kirk. She also gained rich experiences with Norman Connors, Stanley Clarke and Frank Foster's "Loud Minority." In 1974, she jumped at the chance to act and sing on Broadway where her voice, beauty and stage presence won her great success. This began a long line of awards and accolades as well as opportunities to work in Tokyo, Los Angeles, Paris and London. Taking over the reigns of JazzSet© from Branford Marsalis, Dee Dee continues to bring her message to listeners while presenting today's best jazz artists in performance on stages around the world.

The Chicago Jazz Ensemble is recognized internationally as one of America's leading jazz ensembles. Founded in 1965 by distinguished composer and conductor William Russo, and currently led by trumpeter Jon Faddis, the CJE remains dedicated to preserving the innovative tradition of American jazz music, performing and reinterpreting the classics of big-band repertoire, while promoting the continuing evolution of the art form by regularly performing and commissioning contemporary works. As a professional jazz ensemble in residence at Columbia College Chicago, the CJE is equally committed to education, building new audiences and fostering the next generation of American talent by training and mentoring young musicians.

The 2006/2007 season marks the CJE's 41st Anniversary and third year with Jon Faddis as Artistic Director. Faddis draws on more than 30 years experience in performing with superb big bands and leaders, including Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra (now the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra) and Gil Evans. Faddis served as music director for Dizzy Gillespie's GrammyTM-award winning United Nation Orchestra, for Dizzy Gillespie's 70th Birthday Big Band, and, after his mentor's passing, Faddis led the Dizzy Gillespie All-Stars Big Band. Renowned for his leadership of the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band, Faddis conducted more than 40 concerts in 10 years at Carnegie Hall, featuring over 135 musicians and 70 guest artists. Faddis is reaping great audience and critical acclaim with his new album, Teranga, which was released on Koch Records in June.

The American Heritage Series continues at the Harris Theater on February 16, at 8:00 p.m., with guest artist Ramsey Lewis; three concerts at The Black Orchid Supper Club, March 15, at 8:00 p.m., with "Women in Jazz" featuring saxophonist Ada Rovatti, pianist Helen Sung, plus vocalist Bobbi Wilsyn and SHE on April 12, at 8:00 p.m. and The Chicago Jazz Ensemble Cabaret Event on May 10, at 8:00 p.m.; and the CJE stars in an additional concert at the Hot House on December 16, at 3:00 p.m.

The Chicago Jazz EnsembleTM is: JON FADDIS, Artistic Director & trumpet; JOHN WOJCIECHOWSKI, alto saxophone; JARRED HARRIS, alto saxophone; PAT MALLINGER, tenor saxophone; ROB DENTY, tenor saxophone; TED HOGARTH, baritone saxophone; AUDREY MORRISON, trombone; TIM COFFMAN, trombone; TRACY KIRK, trombone; JOHN BLANE, bass trombone; MARK OLEN, trumpet; LARRY BOWEN, trumpet; SCOTT HALL, trumpet & Music Director; ART HOYLE, trumpet; PHAREZ WHITTED, trumpet; PETER SAXE, piano; FRANK DAWSON, guitar; DAN ANDERSON, bass; DANA HALL, drums; BOBBI WILSYN, vocals.

For more information on performances by the CJE, visit

Music Review: Benson & Jarreau together

The Associated Press

(AP) — George Benson & Al Jarreau, "Givin' It Up" (Concord Records/Monster Music): Guitarist/vocalist George Benson and singer Al Jarreau both started out in straightahead jazz before crossing over into pop and R&B to enjoy Grammy-winning, chart-topping success. But surprisingly, "Givin' It Up" (Concord Records/Monster Music) is the first album they've recorded together.

The duo opens the disc by reinventing two of their biggest hits. Benson's "Breezin" is turned into a vocal number with lyrics penned by Jarreau, who mixes crisp vocal lines with some scat singing over Benson's guitar licks. On Jarreau's "Morning," Benson returns the favor by making it over as an instrumental with Jarreau sounding like a percussionist in his backup vocals.

The covers include Billie Holiday's "God Bless the Child," given a contemporary flavor by Benson and neo-soul singer Jill Scott, who trade lead vocals; Seals & Crofts' pop tune "Summer Breeze"; and John Legend's "Ordinary People," done as an instrumental with Benson's soulful guitar supported by Marion Meadows' smooth sax.

On Miles Davis' hardbop classic "Four," Benson and Jarreau engage in spirited vocal interplay in a mostly acoustic setting with a rare performance by Stanley Clarke on upright bass, while Davis' later electronic fusion period is represented by the funky blues "'Long Come Tutu" with composer Marcus Miller's bass lines underscoring Jarreau's lead vocal, and Herbie Hancock contributing a stirring acoustic piano solo.

Among the 13 tracks are several Jarreau originals, including the infectiously funk-jazz "Don't Start No Schtuff" with Benson's piercing guitar runs and Jarreau's scatting; and the moody romantic ballad "Let It Rain" featuring Jarreau, Patti Austin and Chris Botti's poignant muted background trumpet.

Unlike much of today's overproduced, formulaic smooth jazz, "Givin' It Up" is loose, spontaneous and full of surprises, particularly on the closer, Sam Cooke's "Bring It On Home to Me." Paul McCartney, who was recording in a nearby studio, makes an impromptu vocal cameo before the session ends in a spirited call-and-response gospel groove.

Lincoln Center Brings the Rhapsody Home

by Will Friedwald
New York Sun, November 13, 2006

In December 1959, Frank Sinatra, introducing a special guest on his ABC television program, made the following speech: "You know, a couple of weeks ago when somebody told me there was a record album coming out that was going to sell for a hundred dollars, I figured he was a real ding-a-ling! But when I learned that it was really five albums, I thought well, that's closer to reality. Twenty clams apiece -- that's not bad. And then when I found out it was recorded by Ella Fitzgerald, with Nelson Riddle's arrangements, and that it was an autographed set of all Gershwin songs, well I ran right out and grabbed me a few!"

Sinatra, who almost never plugged one of his own recordings, was so jazzed by the idea of Ella Fitzgerald and Nelson Riddle doing a deluxe package of George and Ira Gershwin songs that he devoted more than 10 minutes of his prime-time special to promoting this new Fitzgerald album. Part of this was in deference to the magic of the name of George Gershwin, the most universally admired of all American composers.

That same magic has led Jazz at Lincoln Center to present two separate concerts, "Manhattan Rhapsody: A Celebration of George Gershwin" (tonight), and "Gershwin" (Thursday through Saturday), both of which star Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Orchestra as well as the American Composer's Orchestra, but with an entirely different array of guest stars. Tonight's concert is the annual JALC gala and, as such, presents a panoply of star singers: Patti Austin, Kitty Carlisle Hart, Angela Lansbury, Brian Stokes Mitchell, and spotlights the singer-pianist- scholar Michael Feinstein, one of the world's authorities on all matters Gershwin. The weekend program features the two orchestras, as well as pianist Marcus Roberts in a largely instrumental program with special emphasis on the orchestrations of Riddle, which were written for that 1959 album that Sinatra regarded so highly.

According to Mr. Feinstein, who worked for many years as Ira Gershwin's personal assistant, the 1959 "Ella Fitzgerald Sings the George and Ira Gershwin Songbook" was Ira's personal favorite album. It is almost inarguably the greatest collection of Gershwin music, not to mention a highlight of Fitzgerald's career.

In 1959, when the producer Norman Granz began planning what would be the fifth in the Fitzgerald songbook series, he knew it had to be something spectacular. Granz had to top the Gershwin songbook packages that had already been released by such big-selling competitors as Sarah Vaughan and Chris Connor. More important, he had to outdo Fitzgerald's previous Gershwin project from 1950, "Ella Sings Gershwin," which was a model of intimacy and economy on which Fitzgerald sang eight classic Gershwin songs accompanied only by the matchless pianist Ellis Larkins.

Granz, who had made a career out of helming large and lavish productions, knew it would be unwise to overdo it, so he brought in a musical director who could make the new project into an intimate spectacular.

Nelson Riddle was, on the strength of his orchestrations for Sinatra and Nat King Cole, recognized by 1959 as the classiest arranger in the business. Together, he and Granz both expanded and narrowed the focus of the new Gershwin songbook, making the project a five-album set, the biggest entry in the songbook series. But they excluded from it the songs that George Gershwin had written in the earliest part of his career, before he began collaborating with his lyricist brother Ira.

For his part, Ira Gershwin was delighted, not only that Granz gave him much-deserved title status with his late brother (who had died abruptly at 38 of a brain tumor in 1937), but that the producer sought his approval. After every night of recording, over the course of 10 sessions between January and July 1959, Granz stopped at Gershwin's house to play him an acetate of the day's work.

Sinatra's championing of the set is especially interesting because he did far fewer Gershwin songs than one might have expected. The brothers rarely wrote what Sinatra would have called "saloon songs" in the style of Cole Porter, Harold Arlen, or Lorenz Hart. "They Can't Take That Away From Me" was one of their most touching texts, but the song might never have broken anybody's heart had it been recorded by Sinatra. Gershwin himself later expressed surprise that his "I've Got a Crush On You," originally conceived as a peppy foxtrot, was slowed down by singers and musicians into a largo love song.

Sinatra specialized in the extremes of "sadness and elation," as he put it, whereas Fitzgerald was happiest in the middle, which is where most Gershwin songs are emotionally. Throughout the recording of the Gershwin Songboom, both Fitzgerald and Riddle underscored this sense of middle-ness by making the Gershwins' happy songs a little bit less happy and the sad songs significantly more upbeat. The most somber tune in the whole works is "Oh, Lady Be Good," which Fitzgerald had long treated as a swinger, but here repurposed, as the song's verse states, as "a tale of woe / terribly sad but true." "How Long Has This Been Going On," originally an upbeat air of romantic discovery, became a melancholy contemplation of the possibilities of love, the questioning nature of the lyric intensified by Fitzgerald's interplay with the trombonist Milt Bernhart.

Neither Riddle nor Fitzgerald ever distorted any of the original meanings of the 59 songs, but that doesn't mean they weren't playful: The 1924 "Half of It Dearie Blues" opens with Fitzgerald scatting a more authentic blues line and Riddle's orchestration includes some minor growling from trumpeter Pete Candoli and a very modern modulation. "He Loves And She Loves" opens with a sustained string line over a bass vamp that sounds downright modal, while "Just Another Rhumba" (which is hardly that) is decked out in polyrhythmic and polytonal splendor.

"Ira loved that album," Mr. Feinstein said. So does everyone else: The set was an immediate hit, especially for a five-album mega-box. Fitzgerald and Riddle reinvented Gershwin for the age of the LP and it's safe to say that more people in the modern era know the great Gershwin songs from this album than from any other source. In fact, it's likely where Mr. Marsalis and the members of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra were first introduced to the Gershwins.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Hollywood Pays Homage to Tony Bennett

The Associated Press
November 10, 2006

Tony Bennett left a little of his heart in Hollywood after an emotional 80th birthday bash thrown by movie and music stars spanning three generations _ from Paul Newman to Kelly Clarkson.

Other luminaries at the Thursday-night party at the Kodak Theatre included Quincy Jones, Bruce Willis, Stevie Wonder, George Clooney, Jennifer Lopez, Billy Crystal and Marc Anthony. The bash came a little late; Bennett's birthday was August 3.

The big names walked an appropriately elegant black carpet before entering the packed Hollywood Boulevard auditorium, home of the annual Academy Awards ceremony.

'Unforgettable, I'll never forget this night as long as I live,' Bennett told AP Television.

Bennett's nearly six decades of performing are filled with hits and standards, such as 'I Left My Heart in San Francisco' and 'Rags to Riches.' And the crooner is still going strong _ his current release, 'Duets,' recently reached No. 3 on Billboard's Top 200 album chart.

Bennett said there is no secret to his sustained success.

'I just kept performing and I've been sold out for 45 years around the world. I get commissioned to sing everywhere around the world,' he explained. 'I think the public has been so wonderful to me right through the years that it just kind of makes me feel so gratified and I just want to give them all that love back.'

Clooney walked the arrivals line with longtime friend Bruce Willis _ both big-time Bennett friends and fans.

'Everything else keeps changing and moving around,' observed Clooney, 'and (Bennett) continues to do the same stuff, which is the classic jazz, classic music that we all grew up loving.'

'He's like the last beatnik,' Willis added. 'He's the coolest person that I know, he's just swinging and he's always so calm and easy about things.'

Thursday night's celebration was a fund raiser for Newman's Hole in the Wall camps for children with chronic or life-threatening illnesses.

'It's a good cause and a good reason to come out and hang and get dressed up,' Willis said. 'Look, we are normally covered in blood ... .'

Newman introduced the event, thanking supporters of his charity, dubbing them 'the real coalition of the willing.'

Crystal served as show host, paying hilarious homage to the honoree with a rendition of the Bennett standard 'Put on a Happy Face,' as performed by Bob Dylan, Sammy Davis Jr., Yul Brynner and others.

Anthony, Clarkson and others sang Bennett songs, and Jones conducted the orchestra with Bennett performing 'Sing You Sinners.' Of course Bennett gave the audience what it really came for, closing his solo set with his 'San Francisco' signature.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Rerelease: Brubeck at Wilshire Ebell

I know this is not a vocal-jazz person. However, I feel the need to share that the ultra-rare album "Dave Brubeck at Wilshire Ebell" has been released on the Spanish label "Fresh Sound Records", probably without Brubeck's consent. He has always maintained that it should not be reissued.

The original LP album,

looks like this on CD.

Side A:
I’ll Never Smile Again
Let’s Fall In Love

Side B:
All The Things You Are
Why Do I Love You
Too Marvelous For Words

Paul Desmond (sax), Dave Brubeck (piano), Ron Crotty (bass), Lloyd Davis (drums).
Recorded 1953.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Vocalist Audrey Silver Appearing At Sweet Rhythm Tuesday, December 5th sets at 8pm and 9:30pm

Vocalist Audrey Silver

Appearing At

Sweet Rhythm
  88   Seventh Ave. South
   (bet. Grove & Bleecker)

Tuesday, December 5th
sets at 8pm and 9:30pm

Jon Cowherd - Piano
John Hart - Guitar
Joe Fitzgerald - Bass
Anthony Pinciotti - Drums

link to website:

"... A sincere, multi-talented singer and an intelligent entertainer with class and vibrant originality.  You will love her lyrical style... and luxurious voice.  This woman is on her way to stardom."
New York Monthly Herald, May 2006

"Her voice rings true, with lovely tone and fine diction. She seems to pick the right tempo for each song she chooses. The ballads don't just die there— they move! And most of all, when there is a tempo, she swings!!! I dug it. You'll dig it too."
– Bob Dorough, Singer/Pianist

"Audrey Silver has that rare quality of light infectious swing that lights up her tall willowy persona."
– Mark Murphy, Vocalist


Thursday, November 09, 2006

Norah Jones to Release New CD in January

November 06, 2006

Fans of Norah Jones will get a little more insight into the Grammy-winning singer when she releases her new album, 'Not Too Late,' in January: For the first time, she has written or co-written all the songs.

'I think it reflects more sides of my personality than my first two records did. It has different sides to it, it has a lot more variety to it,' the 27-year-old singer said in a phone interview with The Associated Press on Friday.

Jones' first record, a mix of jazzy, folky tunes, 2002's 'Come Away With Me,' was a runaway success and sold more than 8 million records in the United States, fueled by the smoky tune 'Don't Know Why,' which she didn't write.

Her sophomore album, 'Feels Like Home,' featured more of Jones' songwriting talents. But 'Not Too Late,' due out Jan. 30, is the first time she has had a hand in all the songs.

'The main reason I didn't do it before is because I didn't have the songs!' Jones said with a laugh.

But she's been spending more time over the last few years working on songs.

'Songwriting was a newer thing for me in the past five, six years. I'm just excited that I have these songs. I'm really proud of them, I do feel they're a little different than the songs I wrote on my first two records,' she said.

Jones said her new songs are a bit more intimate, with a bit of humor, but still retain the laid-back feel of her previous records.

'It has more of a playfulness to it,' she said. 'There's different elements we haven't used in the past, like horns.'

She also has been experimenting with different styles of music; she's been spotted in a New York City club playing with a punk band, and Jones and her friends released an album comprised of mainly country covers such as The Little Willies earlier this year.

Jones' music hasn't been the only thing she's been working on lately. She also has a starring role in the upcoming film 'My Blueberry Nights,' with Jude Law, Natalie Portman and Rachel Weisz.

She said the movie was a welcome diversion: 'I've been playing music since I was a little kid ... it's fun to do something different.'

But while Jones said she'd love to do another film, she isn't planning to quit her day job.

'I'm not going to be making a bunch of movies,' she said. 'I don't consider myself a double threat or anything. It was a great opportunity ... something fun to try.'

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Patti Austin to perform at Koger Center

COLUMBIA — She made her debut at the Apollo Theater at age four and had a contract with RCA Records when she was only five. Quincy Jones and Dinah Washington have proclaimed themselves as her godparents.

By the late 1960s Patti Austin (pictured) was a prolific session musician and commercial jingle singer. By the 1980s she was signed to Jones’ Qwest Records and she began having hits. She charted 20 R&B songs between 1969 and 1991 and had success on the Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart, where she hit number one in 1981 with “Do You Love Me?’

The album containing that hit, “Every Home Should Have One,” also produced her biggest mainstream hit. “Baby, Come To Me,” a duet with James Ingram, peaked at number 73 on the Hot 100 in early 1982. After being featured as the love theme in a prominent storyline on the soap opera “General Hospital,” the song re-entered the pop chart in October and went to number one in early 1983.

In 1991, she recorded the duet “You Brought Me Love” with openly gay music legend Johnny Mathis, which was received with critical acclaim. That same year she was invited to be a guest on a Johnny Mathis television special that was broadcast across North America.

Coming up in November at the Koger Center, the jazz, R&B and dance music diva will undoubtedly take Columbia by storm.

Long a friend of the LGBT community, Austin was endeared to queer fans with a number of dance music classics that kept gays and lesbians hoping on dance floors throughout the ’80s.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Ella Fitzgerald's Christmas

Ella Fitzgerald's Christmas
new twofer reissue from Capitol


1. O Holy Night Listen Listen
2. It Came Upon A Midnight Clear Listen Listen
3. Hark! The Herald Angels Sing Listen Listen
4. Away In The Manger Listen Listen
5. Joy To The World Listen Listen
6. The First Noel Listen Listen
7. Silent Night Listen Listen
8. O Come All Ye Faithful Listen Listen
9. Sleep, My Little Lord Jesus Listen Listen
10. Angels We Have Heard On Hight Listen Listen
11. Oh Little Town Of Bethlehem
12. We Three Kings Listen Listen
13. God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen Listen Listen
14. Abide With Me Listen Listen
15. Just A Closer Walk With Thee Listen Listen
16. The Old Rugged Cross Listen Listen
17. Brighten The Corner (Where You Are) Listen Listen
18. I Need Thee Every Hour Listen Listen
19. In The Garden Listen Listen
20. God Will Be With You Till We Meet Again Listen Listen
21. God Will Take Care Of You Listen Listen
22. The Church In The Wildwood Listen Listen
23. Throw Out The Lifeline Listen Listen
24. I Shall Not Be Moved Listen Listen
25. Let The Lower Lights Be Burning Listen Listen
26. What A Friend We Have In Jesus Listen Listen
27. Rock Of Ages, Cleft For Me Listen Listen

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Essential O'Day: Basin Street West 1964: Music: Anita O\'Day

Track Listings
1. Get Out of Town
2. S'Wonderful/They Can't Take That Away From Me
3. Just the Way You Look Tonight
4. Honeysuckle Rose
5. Four Brothers
6. Little Girl Blue
7. When the World Was Young
8. Quiet Nights
9. Street of Dreams
10. You'd Be So Easy to Love
11. You Can Depend On Me
12. You're Nobody `til Somebody Loves You
13. I Hear Music
14. Try Your Wings

More of Anita's music from her Emily label, October 28, 2006
Reviewer: Steve Emerine (Tucson, AZ United States) - See all my reviews
When Anita O'Day left Norman Granz and the Verve label, her next major recording stop was her own company, Emily, for which she recorded a number of swinging live LPs. This is the latest of them to be reissued on CD, and while the packaging and liner notes leave a little to be desired, the music itself is classic Anita. This live session from Basin Street West in 1964 includes a number of Anita's personal favorites from that era, including "Get Out of Town," "'S Wonderful," "Street of Dreams" and "Honeysuckle Rose," along with other tunes like the lesser known "Try Your Wings." The 14 tunes give you a 45-minute example of the jazz singer in her prime. She's still doing occasional appearances now that she's in her 80s, but -- unfortunately (and understandably) -- not singing as well as she did for the Verve and Emily labels.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Leopard Lounge Presents - The Reprise Years by Ella Fitzgerald

Track List:
1 Get Ready
2 Hunter Gets Captured By The Game
3 Yellow Man
4 I'll Never Fall In Love Again
5 Got To Get You Into My Life
6 I Wonder Why
7 Ooo Baby Baby
8 Savoy Truffle
9 Open Your Window
10 Knock On Wood
11 Sunny
12 Mas Que Nada
13 Man And A Woman
14 Days Of Wine And Roses
15 Black Coffee
16 Tuxedo Junction
17 Heard It Through The Grapevine
18 Don't Dream Of Anyone But Me
19 Things Ain't What They Used To Be
20 Willow Weep For Me
21 Manteca

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Mary Foster Conklin East Coast CD Release Event - Blues For Breakfast - Remembering Matt Dennis November 7th at Sweet Rhythm


November 7 - 8pm and 9:30pmMary Foster ConklinEast Coast CD Release Event -

Sweet Rhythm88 Seventh Avenue SouthNYC$15 cover + 2 drink minimum

with: John di Martino-piano/Greg Ryan-bass/Ron Vincent-drums/Tony Romano-guitar/Joel Frahm-sa

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

This Week At Cornelia Street Cafe

Mon Oct 23
(Joel Harrison, guitar; Liberty Ellman, guitar; Mark Feldman, violin; Chris Howes, violin; Jeremy Kittel, viola; Dana Leong, cello)
Joel Harrison's String Choir presents the music of Paul Motian
Paul Motian is well known as one of the living legends of jazz drumming. He is also a wonderful composer. His sense of harmony and melody are truly unique. Guitarist /composer Joel Harrison has arranged several of Motian's pieces for String quartet and two guitars. The group consists of some of the most original, gifted string improvisers anywhere.

2nd set: improvisations based on music from Paul Motian's legacy- Monk, Bill Evans, Free, etc.
Cover $10

Tue Oct 24
(Murray Weinstock, vocals, piano, compositions; Andy Stack, guitar, vocals; Elaine Caswell, vocals)
Andy Stack will be playing guitar and singing back-up along with favored singer, Elaine Caswell, who has backed up Al Green, Bette Midler and Dolly Parton to just name a few.
Singing dogcatradio's most requested song "Dog Day Afternoon" and other songs from Tails of the City. There will be some new songs like "Tug-a-Pug" from More Tails of the City! Everyone can join in on that one.

(Roy Zimmerman, vocals, guitar, compositions, lyrics)
What's funny about war, poverty, ignorance, greed, lust and fear? Ask Roy Zimmerman.
“Faulty Intelligence” is ninety minutes of Zimmerman’s hilarious original songs. The title has as artful ambiguity but there’s no mistaking Zimmerman’s point of view. His engaging melodies and wickedly inventive rhymes take the Bush administration to task not only for the “faulty intelligence” which led us to war in Iraq, but for the greater lapses which have inflamed the Culture and Class Wars.
There’s a love song to the sexiest man alive, "Dick Cheney" and a lesson in “Creation Science 101.” There’s an anthem to same-sex marriage, “Defenders of Marriage,” a metaphor for the "Patriot Act" that's hard to get off your shoe, and the bawk- along “Chickenhawk,” already a Zimmerman classic.
Performing at New York City's Symphony Space during the 2004 Republican Convention, he drew this review from the New York Times' Stephen Holden: "Roy Zimmerman lifted the evening with his song 'Chickenhawk,' ridiculing the military policies of Bush administration officials who didn't serve in the armed forces. Zimmerman's squawking and clucking conveyed his scorn with contagious irreverence."

The Los Angeles Times says, "Zimmerman displays a lacerating wit and keen awareness of society's foibles that bring to mind a latter-day Tom Lehrer."

Tom Lehrer himself says, "I congratulate Roy Zimmerman on reintroducing literacy to comedy songs. And the rhymes actually rhyme, they don't just 'rhyne.'"

Joni Mitchell says, "Roy's lyrics move beyond poetry and achieve perfection."

Wed Oct 25
(Angelo M; Mala Waldron)
This month's Soul of the Blues features Angelo M., Mala Waldron. SOUL OF THE BLUES, NYC's premiere *inexpensive* live blues and soul music series, happens the fourth Wednesday of every month at Cornelia Street Cafe.

for more information on the artists, please visit:

Jon Sobel, host. Cover $10

Thu Oct 26
(Maria Neckam, Voice; Franz von Chossy, Piano; Thomas Morgan, Bass; Dan Weiss, Drums; Sunny Kim, Vocals)
Maria Neckam can sound like Flora Purim to Franz von Chossy's Chick Corea, but she's working on many other levels, from Björk and Urszula Dudziak to Astrud Gilberto, Basia and any number of classically-trained vocalists. Her supple, reedy voice hits the notes clearly and has that wonderful quality of articulating syllables as notes rather than words, turning even standards into wordless vocals. Neckam, part of the Austrian-American Outreach Jazz Collective, writes impressively in English and her native tongue. Her album "Crossing and Blending" is an ambitious debut that ranges through the breadth of her stylistic tropes and suggests that she's going to be a special voice. (John Swenson, OFF BEAT Magazine)

Sunny Kim is a vocalist, pianist, composer, creator of multimedia shows, educator and improvisor. A native of South Korea, her vocal improvisation style and experiments with electronics gained her recognition in the recent years in the US as well as abroad. Since her arrival in the US in 1998, Kim's career has included work with Pheeroan akLaff, Ran Blake, Dave Fiuczynski, Michael Cain, Frank Carlberg, Carlos Alomar, Jason Hwang, Stomu Takeishi, and Min Xiao Fen to name a few. Kim received her BM at the University of Denver, and MM at the New England Conservatory, both in Jazz Studies, Voice Performance. Kim studied improvisation with Marguerite Juenemanne, Dominique Eade, Bob Moses, John McNeil, composition with Hankus Netsky and Michael Gandolfi, and wing chun with Sifu Stanley Jue.
David Devoe, curator. Cover $10

Fri Oct 27
(Tony Malaby, saxophone; Ron Horton, trumpet, flugelhorn; Mario Pavone, bass; Mike Sarin, drums)
We continue our Tony Malaby Quartets Series on the fourth friday of the month, this time with the Mythos Quartet.
The Mythos Quartet is a lean outfit built for dancing fast and scrimmaging hard ........ new compositions that negoiate continually shifting tonal and textural centers ..

" the bassist's music is threaded with vamps and hard-driving bass lines, his groups stocked with all the most interesting new players,connecting free improvisation with tonal harmony and swinging structure......... his work has never been less than compelling ."
- Ben Ratliff , new york times
Cover $10

Sat Oct 28
(Jeremy Steig, flute; Vic Juris, guitar; Cameron Brown, bass; Anthony Pinciotti, drums)
Come and hear the HOTTEST jazz flutist playing in NY. Jeremy Steig has played with Bill Evans, Art Blakey, Jimi Hendrix, Johnny Winter and many others. He brings with him three legendary musician.
Cover $12

Sun Oct 29
(Hélio Alves, piano; Paulo Paulelli, bass; Rogerio Boccato, drums; special guest: Rodrigo Ursaia, saxophone)
An exciting and unique piano trio that combines the openness of modern jazz withBrazilian music, the BR Trio is a breath of fresh air in the world of contemporary music.Working within the traditional instrumentation of the classic jazz piano trio, the BR trio draws on their extensive knowledge of the Brazilian repertoire playing and reinventingstandards by composers like A.C. Jobim, João Donato, Johnny Alf and interpreting newermusic by the next generation of Brazilian composers such as Djavan, Ivan Lins, Rosa Passos and Guinga. This music, however, is presented with an openness and focus onimprovisation and group interaction not often heard in this idiom. It all starts with theamazing chemistry of these gifted musicians.
The BR Trio is Helio Alves on piano, Paulo Paulelli, on bass, and Rogerio Boccato on drums. Three Brazilian musicians who had always been involved with the music ofdifferent artists, are now following their own track, an improvisational adventure, searching for new sounds within the Brazilian musical universe.

Mon Oct 30

Spoken Word

Mon Oct 23
Scenes, monologues, and poems from The Bard, performed by a high-energy troupe of youthful NYC actors.
Boil, Boil, Toil and trouble.... Come and see some of the more gruesome, magical and down right villianous pieces from the Canon! The Shakespeare Anyone players will bring you The Ghost from Hamlet, Macbeth and his witches, the fantastical Puck, the compulsory Gravediggers, and of course a surprise or two from the Netherworld!!!

Begin your Halloween festivities with some horror from the 16th century, be there or we'll find you Bwahahahah!!!!
Jonathan Escobio, host. Cover $6

Tue Oct 24
(Melissa Fadul, Sarah Lawrence College; Rebecca Keith, Sarah Lawrence College; Emily Wolahan, Columbia University; Nicole Steinberg, The New School)
The Graduate Poetry Series (GPS) is held on the fourth Tuesday of every month. it was established to give poets in NYC area graduate writing programs an opportunity to present their poetry in a safe, intimate, and supportive environment.
If you would like to participate as a reader, please submit a cover letter with contact info, name of your school, and 5-7 pages of poetry to
Alissa Heyman & Sylvia Lee, hosts. Cover $6

Wed Oct 25
Southern California comes to the west village. An evening highlighting Red Hen Press authors featuring: Leslie Heywood, Jeffrey Levine, Helene Cardona, Susan Thomas and Kim Burwick.
Kate Gale, host. Cover $6
Thu Oct 26
(Page Delano; Katt Lissard; Ellen Geist)
Our reds are left wingers, raven haired, and wonderful writers. The east is red, the west (village) is ready.
Cover $6
Fri Oct 27
Jackie Sheeler's open mic poetry series. Arrive before 6 pm to sign up. Featured poet, fresh after her role in the Howl festival, Larissa Shmailo.
Jackie Sheeler, host. Cover $6
Sat Oct 28
The Human Experience
"Poetically Incorrect" who invites you to an evening of irreverence, language and soul.

open mic 6-6:45 ; features : Advocate of wordz, and Falu, 7 – 7:45 .

Paper, stages, mics and chastity belts, the Advocate of Wordz rips them all! This Bronx native's bold and diverse tongue has been touring Poetry and Hip-Hop venues in and out of the New York City area for 3 years, as well as hosting various poetry performance workshops all around New York City for the youth and adults. Wordz is a proud co-producer of the "21 Poetz Mixtape", and is currently in the process of finishing up projects with the "Whispered Words" poetry and music series, as well as his first 2 solo projects entitled "Advocate of Language" (spoken word CD) and "Advocate of Words" (book of self published poetry), both due out in '07

Wordz is the co-founder of "21 Poetz" and creator of "". He is also a member of "El Grito De Poetas" and "The Savants". Media credits include the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Orlando Sentinel, New Orleans Times-Picayune, the Baltimore Sun and more. PBS list HipHopPoetry[dot]com as a resource for educators.

Falu : Current member of the 2006 Nuyorican Slam Team. Ranked 7th in the nation;Poet, teacher and performer. It's so much bigger than hip hop!
Johnny "Chance" Acevedo, host. Cover $8

Sun Oct 29
Pre-Halloween parade we have our annual celebration of poets & poems, witches, graveyards, tall black hats, cats, ghosts, all things other worldly, frightening and fun.
Featured readers will include among others: • Joel Allegretti • Patricia Brody • Nicholas Johnson • Linda Lerner • Timothy Liu • Phil Miller • Rochelle Ratner • Willa Schneberg • Anita Velez-Mitchell • Gloria Vando * Sallly Bliumis-Dunn.
Gloria Vando & Phil Miller, hosts. Cover $6

Mon Oct 30
(Myriam Chapman; Joel Hinman; Mary Lyon; Deb McAlister)

Gene Albertelli & Teresa Giordano, hosts. Cover $6