The wonderful singer-pianist Joyce Collins died yesterday in North Hollywood, CA after a long illness. Here is a re-post of my entries about a fund-raising event for Joyce early last year. The cause of death was pulmonary fibrosis, the cause of which is quite often cigaratte smoking. Sadly and ironically, Joyce was a dedicated life-long non-smoker. No details for services or a memorial have yet to be announced.
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
A Night for Joycie
Here's a rundown of the musicians and singers who performed Monday night at the L.A. Jazz Bakery benefit for pianist-singer Joyce Collins. (The stalwart rhythm section throughout conisisted of Roy McCurdy, drums and Jim Hughart, bass.) Each featured performer did two numbers.
Singer-pianist Dave McKay; singer Marilyn Lovell Matz, widow of arranger Peter Matz; comedian Steve Landesberg; comic-singer-pianist Jack Riley; actor-singer Wilford Brimley; singer (and I might add "the legendary") Sue Raney; singer Effie Joy; singer-pianist Mike Melvoin; comedian Steve White; singer Bill Henderson!; singer-pianist-songwriter (and I might add "the great") Dave Frishberg; and. . .singer-trumpet man Jack Sheldon. Here's one Sheldon aside (of several) that brought down the house: "I'm dating a homeless woman now. That's great, 'cause after a date, I can just drop her off anywhere."
The night was produced by comedian-actor-etc. Howard Storm.
The evening lasted for almost three hours sans intermission, but I didn't feel my ass twitch even once (welllll, maybe once). High praise, indeed. More later!
Saturday, March 15, 2008
JOYCE, DAVE AND BILL
Here (courtesy of James G.) in a video are three of the participants in last Monday night's L.A. benefit for singer-pianist Joyce Collins (Joyce Collins was there in spirit). She is seen here with two jazz greats: singer, Bill Henderson and singer-pianist Dave McKay. From 1981.
The entire 2008 benefit came off beautifully. I was really knocked out by Henderson and McKay, the latter who is a much under-rated singer in addition to his piano work. And Bill simply sounds---if at all possible---better than ever. YES. . .better than ever. At least half of the performers who were heard last Monday deserve Kennedy Center Honors. Or at least a postage stamp featuring their likeness. Also participating was Jack Sheldon who, at age 76, is playing trumpet at the peak of his powers and still singing wonderfully. And funneeeee! Just this side of OUT-OF-CONTROL. Singer Sue Raney, there too, sounds and LOOKS as great as ever.
Knowing what I know now, I'd have ponied up the fifty bucks to get in even if all the proceeds hadn't gone to Joyce Collins. Which they did! A night to remember.
UPDATE: DOUG RAMSEY OVER AT RIFFTIDES HAS POSTED THIS ABOUT JOYCE.