Monday, August 31, 2009

Some lyrics for Y.S.

ONE NOTE SAMBA


(Antonio Carlos Jobim - Newton Mendonca)

(Scat chorus)

This is just a little samba
Built upon a single note
Other notes are bound to follow
But the root is still that note

Now this new one is the consequence of the one we've just been through
As I'm bound to be the unavoidable consequence of you

* There's so many people who can talk and talk and talk
and just say nothing or nearly nothing
I have used up all the scale I know and at the end I've come
to nothing or nearly nothing

** I must come back to my first note as I must come back to you
I will pour into that one note all the love I feel for you
Any one who wants the whole show ré-mi-fá-sol-lá-ti-dó
He will find himself with no show, better play the note you know

* repeat

** repeat

(Scat chorus)

SO DANCO SAMBA


(Antonio Carlos Jobim - Vinicius de Moraes)

Só danço samba,
Só danço samba,
Vai, vai, vai, vai, vai
Só danço samba,
Só danço samba,
Vai
Só danço samba,
Só danço samba,
Vai, vai, vai, vai, vai
Só danço samba,
Só danço samba,
Vai

* Já dancei o twist até demais,
Mas não sei, me cansei,
Do calipso, ao chá chá chá
Só danço samba,
Só danço samba,
Vai, vai, vai, vai, vai
Só danço samba,
Só danço samba,
Vai

Só danço samba,

Só danço samba,
Vai, vai, vai, vai, vai
Só danço samba,
Só danço samba,
Vai, vai, vai, vai, vai

* repeat
A FELICIDADE


(Antonio Carlos Jobim - Vinicius de Moraes - Susannah McCorkle)

Tristeza nao tem fim
Felicidade, sim
A felicidade como gota de orvalho
Pétala de flor
Brilha tranqüila
Depois de leve oscila
E cai como uma
lágrima de amor

Happiness must end, but sadness goes on and on
Happiness is like the dew drops on a flower that sparkle for a moment in the dawn,
Then falls like teardrops from the eyes of a young girl
Who cries to realize her love is gone.

* Poor folks work all year to make one dream come true
To share a night of joy [another night] at carnaval
They dress up as clowns, and pirates and kings
And dance the night away, they’re still dancing at daybreak
As long as they dance they can pretend
That happiness and carnaval won’t end

* repeat

Happiness and carnaval won’t end

E cai como uma
lágrima de amor
Happiness and carnaval won’t end
Uma lágrima de amor
Happiness and carnaval won’t end
That happiness and carnaval won’t end
E cai como uma
lágrima de amor

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Chris Connor R.I.P.

TWO ENCOUNTERS WITH CHRIS CONNOR
(from my e-book, A Fine Romance: My Lifelong Affair With Jazz Singing and Singers

I was very young, and modern jazz was just reaching mass popularity when rock came in and swept it all away. Prior to then, the arrival of a new LP by such as Dave Brubeck, June Christy, George Shearing et al. was a fairly big deal with record buyers. This was certainly true of singer Chris Connor. Nevertheless, some jazz critics---complaining of her "flatness," "bad pitch," "horrible intonation," etc.---didn't like her. And, indeed, her intonation can seem odd. But, in fact, she's totally in control and knows exactly what she's doing at all times: If she's singing some series of notes not in the original melody, she still manages to reflect the original melodic sense of the song. Then for a moment she'll hop back on the melody as written, only to jump back off again a couple of bars later. But there's no faltering, and she always lands on her feet. It's a very tricky thing that she does. The operative description for Chris Connor in the early stage of her career was "far out," and it still holds true today. Critics who try to compare her to Anita O'Day and June Christy are missing the boat entirely. I'll "buy" the husky voice part; beyond that, though. Listening to her is at least as intellectually stimulating as trying to crack the Sunday New York Times crossword puzzle. If you follow her harmonic and rhythmic logic all the way through a song to the bitter end, often, by the time you get there, you're worn out. But it's a good kind of tired. This holds true as much for the ballads as the flagwavers. She lags behind the beat, then rushes ahead. And you can hear her musicians trying to keep up with her tempo-wise, slowing down, speeding up. This rhythmic tension between singer and players is a great part of the appeal. I saw her in a rehearsal session once; she’s a tough taskmistress. Connor’s most challenging album might well be the one cut "live" in Rio in the early sixties (alas a bootleg affair that has never received wide circulation). On this opus, she's so rhythmically and harmonically (the word that leaps to mind is) "perverse"). It must have been something in the water in Rio.

Encounter #1 I once went to see Chris Connor at NYC’s famed Birdland jazz club sometime during the early 1960s. Sweet Bird of Youth was playing first run in Times Square, so you do the chronological math). I can still recall that the legendary midget mc Pee Wee Marquette announced her as "Chris ConnorS." Years later, I learned that it was tradition at the club that if one didn't ante up with a bribe, Marquette, who jazz man Lester Young once described as "half-a-mother fucker," would intentionally screw up the pronunciation of your name in his intro. I guess Chris wouldn't come across.I also remember that some time during the proceedings I lost a contact lens and I had prrrractically the entire place crawling around on its hands and knees, Connor included, trying to help me find it. Now just how hip is that? And we finally DID find the lens! (I eventually had it bronzed.)

Encounter #2 Late one night, years ago when I lived in Greenwich Village, I espied Connor walking along 8th Street all alone. It was late and I didn't want to frighten her. I've only ever approached two other famous folk in my life---and then in broad daylight--- Billy Wilder and Myrna Loy. I crept up as cautiously as I could and introduced myself. Chris was so. . .COOL. She didn't even appear startled. Trust me, it was VERY late. I couldn't believe how kind and sweet she was. She even invited me to be her guest the next night---all expenses paid---at the Greenwich Village jazz club where she was appearing. I was just off the turnip truck from West Virginia, and if this was what life in big city was going to be like, well, gee whiz and boy howdy!

Sue Raney "Live"

One always hesitates to write that an artist is "better than ever," for the logical response to that might well be, "Well, what was wrong before." In the case of Sue Raney, nothing has ever been wrong with her singing. But yesterday evening at her Marina Del Rey (California) concert she seemed to boost things up just a notch and even top herself. I have witnessed Sue sing numerous times in person, under many circmstances, from intime boite to vast concert hall (when she was touring with Michel Legrand). But last night was the best yet! Aside from Barbra Streisand (a different kettle of stylistic fish altogether), Sue might well be the last woman standing from the Golden Era of mainstream pop/jazz singing. She has been doing all of this big time for more than a half century and even pre-dates the wonderful Marilyn Maye. If not for Sue's artistry, then for just plain old-fashioned tenacity, she deserves some sort of medal. Or at least, a beauty prize.

Backed by a state of the art trio, led by pianist Alan Brodbent (with Putter Smith and Kendall Kaye), Sue worked---it didn't feel like work at all---her way through a 17-song set that clearly held the large outdoor audience spellbound every step of the way. Many of the songs were from her latest (2007) CD, "Heart's Desire," a tribute to Doris Day.

As if all of this weren't enough, the concert setting was that of SoCal's famed boat marina, with vessels floating by in the background of the outdoors concert stage where the concert took place. Sue began singing at just around sunset and when it was all over, the skies were full of stars, none of which glowed any more brightly than she. Except for the flapping of the occasional yacht sail, one could have heard the ping of the proverbial pin drop throughout the entirety of the slightly more than one-hour affair. As much as the enthusiastic applause after every number, this, too, must have done the singer's ol' heart good.

Lest I tumble headlong into a sea of hyperbolic overkill---perhaps I already have?---let me close now with the advice that the next time Sue swings through your area with her copy of the Great American Songbook in tow, do yourself a favor. . .. Last night was free, but even if you had to pay big bucks, it'd be worth it!

Saturday, August 29, 2009





A Month of Wonders

In conjunction with the e-publication of my new I'll Take Romance: My Lifelong Affair With Jazz Singing and Singers, each day for the next month, I'll be uploading a different One Shot Wonders. Here is the intro from the book to the section about such rarified and recherche creatures:

The one thing that every one of the singers in this chapter have in common is that they recorded only one album bearing their name, and mostly between 1955 and 1965. This was the time when rock music was coming along and beginning to commercially blow every other kind of recorded music out of the water. There was simply no room for peaceful mutual co-existence. If an artist like Peggy Lee or Frank Sinatra was established by this time, for the most part they were able to maintain careers as recording artists, but for a great number of others just beginning to come along during this period it was over almost as soon as it began. I have now collected a list nearly 300-singers-long who fall into that category. The one thing that nearly all have in common, as well, is that they were uncommonly talented. But it was all to no avail. Most continued to perform---many on the Holiday Inn and Playboy Club circuits---or teach music, but some gave up music altogether. I did my best to track down the whereabouts or the outcome of these singers, but in a couple of instances they seem to have just fallen off the edge of the planet.

8/16/09 I'll Take Romance Donna Brooks Dawn DLP 1105 (1956)

8/17/09 Renee Raff Among the Stars Audio Fidelity AFSD 6142 (1957)

8/18/09 Charlie Appplewhite Love Affair Design DLP 57 (1958)

8/19/09 Joyce Bryant Runnin' Wild Epic LG 1016 (1954)

8/20/09 Juanita Cruse Juanita GNP 51 (1960)

8/21/09 Charlene Bartley Weekend of a Private Secretary RCA LPM 1478 (1957)

8/22/09 Marlene Cord Marlene Cord Dot DLP 3081 (1958)

8/23/09 Don Nelson The Wind Mode 111 (1957)

8/24/09 Kevin Gavin Hey! This is Kevin Gavin Charlie Parker PLP-8100 (1962)

8/25/09 Deno Kannes The Kid from Salt Lake City (Coral CRL 57205 (1957)

8/26/09 Larry Hovis My Heart Belongs to Only You Capitol LP/ST 1218 (Hovis also sang as part of a vocal group on Carlton LP by the Bill Gannon Trio.)

8/27/09 Diana Dors Swinging Dors Columbia CL 1436 (1960)

8/28/09 George Kirby The Real George Kirby Argo LPS 4045 (1965)

8/29/09 Doris Drew Delightful Doris Drew Mode 126 (1957)

8/30/09 Corky Shayne In the Mood for a Song? Salem SLP-1 (1956)

8/31/09 Flo Handy Smoky and Intimate Carney LPM 201 (1964)

Note: After 9/1/09, the pre-pub price of 5.99 for A Fine Romance will no longer be in effect. The new price will be 9.99.

New from SSJ Records


Friday, August 28, 2009

Quel Bazazz!







______________
If this wonderful stalking horse for Sam Irvin's forthcoming 2010 bio of the great Kay Thompson is any indication, we are in for a real treat. This one has me reaching for my French Roget's for every single synonym for "fabulous" that there is, i.e. fabuleux, formidable, sensationnel. . .and you can quote me.
Suds of great photos, impeccable disographical info, terrific sound restoration, and a wonderfully warm and informative essay by Irvin.
More about the disc, that will be released 9/10, here

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Falling under the heading of. . .

. . .Too Much Spare Time on My Hands:

"There I go, there I go, there I go"

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Ta-Da!


















__________________

Here is the link to the Scribd Store where one can purchase an (exclusively) ebook version of my new collection, A Fine Romance: My Lifelong Affair With Jazz Singing and Singers. For Scribd sales outside of the U.S. contact me at drchilledair@yahoo.com.

After 9/1/09, the pre-pub price of 5.99 will no longer be in effect. The new price will be 14.99.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

A "Fine" index

Here is the index for my forthcoming ebook, A Fine Romance: My Lifelong Affair With Jazz Singing and Singers.

It will be available next Friday, Aug. 14, 2009, at Scribd

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Track o' the Day

Hear here

The Air-Minded Executive
(Bernie Hanighen/Johnny Mercer)

Sung by Johnny Mercer

Life, Look, Pic, Peek always run a beautiful calf
And another thing they love
Is a certain photograph
That goes for Time, Tide, Newsweek, ev'ry editorial staff
Over a beer all agree
The man of the year
Was the air-minded executive
He dearly loves to fly
He was an up to date go-getter
His lady friend was even better
She went along to take a letter
Just to be nearby
The air-minded executive
Would take off on the sly
He was a most romantic fella
Oh the things he used to tell her
Above the roar of his propeller
Somewhere in the sky
Foggy or fair,they would be there
Meetin' a square at the airport
Fillin' the tanks
Callin' the banks tellin' 'em,
"Hold up the contract!" Contact!
The airminded executive became a wealthy guy

*(And) So he wed his secretary
They settled down in Waterbury
And they commute by stratos-ferry
My, they love to fly
Even as you and I

*repeat