Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Rare Ronnie Deauville

Judy's Groceries

click image twice for full screen

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

It runs in the family

His great grandfather helped "invent" Bug Bunny; his grandfather is one of West Coast Jazz's most respected instrumentalists; his grandmother is a doyenne of American jazz singers and his parents are widely regarded architecture photographers. Is it any wonder he plays so wonderfully?

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Dodo 2day

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

It's that time of year again!

. . .my true love gave to me this special Smith and Wesson mix of the Phil Spector Christmas album. 

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Eugene Landau Murphy's Got Talent

The winner of this year's America' Got Talent. Finally someone from all these multifarious so-called TV talent shows who actually seems to be able to sing without sounding like a moose in heat. A tad too Sinatra-cloney for my tastes. But he's only 36 years old. Give him time. He definitely swings!

This is the music video for his first CD. . .out tomorrow. Shot at the legendary Capitol Records' Studio A. (And how many first call sidemen could you spot?) Not a bad way to start out for this good ole West Virginia boy (I'm sooooo proud). Another music victory for "our side."

Veteran Japanese singer tops foreign album charts

November 11, 2011

NEW YORK—A collaboration between the veteran Japanese singer Saori Yuki and the Portland, Oregon-based jazz orchestra Pink Martini is topping the album charts in the United States, Canada and Greece.         

 The album, "Pink Martini and Saori Yuki – 1969" features 12 songs from the past, including Yuki's 1969 debut hit "Yoake no Scat (Melody for a new dawn), "Blue Light Yokohama" sung by Ayumi Ishida, and "Puff the Magic Dragon" by Peter, Paul and Mary. Released early in November, the album ranked at the top of the jazz chart in Apple Inc.’s iTunes store in the United States.

In Canada, it rankedat the top of iTunes' foreign music category and stood fourth in the overall album chart in Greece.
Pink Martini's leader Thomas Lauderdale first encountered Yuki’s music after buying one of her albums at a used record store in Portland, and that eventually led to a joint concert in Japan in 2010.
Yuki and the orchestra also took part in a charity concert for March 11 quake relief in late March as they were putting together the album.
Commenting on the new recording of "Yoake no Scat," her first in 42 years, Yuki told The Asahi Shimbun that she had tried to sing in the same key she had used in the 1960s.
“A bassist in the orchestra commended me, saying, 'You sing precisely on the key. I feel great!'" she said.
The album is expected to be sold in 22 countries.
Born Akiko Yasuda, Yuki started her singing career in a choir when she was attending elementary school. She debuted as Saori Yuki with "Yoake no Scat" in 1969.
Her extensive career included hosting a children's television music program, acting in various films and television dramas and performing with her sister Sachiko Yasuda, who is also a singer.
In essence, then, this is the number one CD in the world. Score one for our side! --- Dr Chilledair /  LISTEN

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Jazz Times review of "Listen Here"


Sue Raney
Listen Here

One of the most underappreciated jazz vocalists of the past half-century, Sue Raney is also proving one of the most durable. Raney, who has been singing professionally since age 14, delivered a trio of excellent albums for Capitol while still in her teens and early 20s, then endured a peripatetic recording career that involved multiple labels and occasionally lengthy gaps (filled with teaching and jingle work—as both writer and performer). Through it all, she has never stopped plugging and, remarkably, still sounds as vibrant and clarion-pure as ever.
In recent years, Raney has formed a mutually beneficial alliance with pianist Alan Broadbent. It was Broadbent at the helm, as arranger, conductor and accompanist, on Raney’s previous album, the silken Doris Day tribute Heart’s Desire. Here it’s just Broadbent and Raney, two thoroughbreds shaping an exemplary exercise in simpatico intimacy. They open with Dave Frishberg’s tenderly introspective “Listen Here,” then keep the tempo on simmer through a spectrum of major league ballads, extending from the romantic coziness of “My Melancholy Baby” and “You’ll Never Know” to the hazy heartache of “He Was Too Good to Me” and “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes.”
The pace quickens slightly for a sprightly “It Might as Well Be Spring” and a shimmering “A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square.” But the standout piece in this sea of marvelous tracks is Raney and Broadbent’s gorgeously realized treatment, neither too maudlin nor too wistful, of Joe Raposo’s “There Used to Be a Ballpark.”

Kurt Reichenbach reviewed @ TUC/Tokyo 11/11 by Makoto Gotoh

フランク・シナトラ張りの歌を聴かせるカーク・ライケンバックが今週水曜から全国6カ所で公演、「TOKYO TUC」にも出演するというので出かけてきた。カートは1953年メリーランド生まれの57歳。オトナの歌を聴かせるオトコの歌手だけにお客さんも厳選。違いのわかる本物のオトナのみだ。歌手のみならず俳優としても芸能活動を続けるカートは2003年に初アルバムをリリース、2009年4月には日本でのデビュー作となるライブ盤『ウィズ・ア・ソング・イン・マイ・ハート』を出し、そして今回が待望の初来日。

Kurt Reichenbach(vo)福井ともみ(p)俵山昌之(b)岡田朋之(ds)伊勢 秀一郎(tp,flh)
1st set
1.With a Song in My Heart (Rodgers-Hart)

2.The Way You Look Tonight (Jerome Kern)
3.Here's to My Life (Artie Butler;Phyllis Molinary)
4.I Thought about You(James Van Heusen;Johnny Mercer)
5.Here's That Rainy Day(James Van Heusen;Johnny Burke)
6.All the Things You Are(Jerome Kern;Oscar Hammerstein II)
7.All the Way(Jimmy Van Heusen;Sammy Cahn)
8.The More I See You(Mack Gordon;Harry Warren)
9.Manha de Carnaval(Antônio Maria;Luiz Bonfá)
10.The Christmas Waltz(Jule Styne;Sammy Cahn)
11.My Romance(Rodgers-Hart)
12.What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life(Alan and Marilyn Bergman;Michel LeGrand)
13.Come Dance with Me(Sammy Kahn-Jimmy Van Heusen)
2nd set
14.I Only Have Eyes For You(Al Dubin;Harry Warren)
15.I Can't Get Started(Ira Gershwin;Vernon Duke)
16.Lush Life(Billy Strayhorn)

17.I Remember You(Johnny Mercer:Victor Schertzinger)

18.Call Me Irresposible(James Van Heusen;Sammy Cahn)
19.Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!(Jule Styne;Sammy Cahn)
20.My Heart Stood Still(Lorenz Hart;Richard Rodgers)
21.All My Tomorrows(James Van Heusen;Sammy Cahn)
22.Teach Me Tonight(Gene DePaul;Sammy Kahn)
33.My Foolish Heart(Ned Washington;Victor Young)
34.Speak Low(Kurt Weill;Ogden Nash)
35.The Last Dance(Jimmy Van Heusen:Sammy Cahn)
36.I'm All Smiles(Herbert Martin;Michael Leonard)
37.Day by Day(Axel Stordahl;Paul Weston;Sammy Cahn)

Friday, November 11, 2011

Norman Granz bio reviewed

The Forgotten Man of Jazz

by Terry Teachout
Wall Street Journal, November 11, 2011

According to Percy Bysshe Shelley, poets -- and, by extension, artists of all kinds -- are "the unacknowledged legislators of the world." Yet the people who make it possible for artists to make art typically get even less acknowledgment. Agents, managers, editors, patrons, producers, art dealers, even the odd critic: All play pivotal roles in the creation and dissemination of art, but few are known by name save to insiders, and fewer still receive the posthumous credit that they deserve. Yes, Joe Orton's emergence as a major playwright was one of the great theatrical success stories of the 1960s -- but the author of "What the Butler Saw" might never have gotten anywhere if Peggy Ramsay, Orton's agent, hadn't taken him on. Yes, Jasper Johns is now universally acknowledged as a key figure in the history of postwar American art -- but it was Leo Castelli's decision to show Mr. Johns's work at his gallery in 1958 that set the painter on the path to fame.

Nowadays the name of Norman Granz, who died in 2001, is known only to gray-headed jazz buffs, but there's a fair chance that you own at least one of the hundreds of albums that he produced for Verve, the record label that he founded in 1956. The "songbook" albums in which Ella Fitzgerald recorded her interpretations of the collected works of such classic songwriters as Harold Arlen, George Gershwin and Johnny Mercer were Granz's idea. So were the 14 albums taped at a series of marathon sessions in 1954 and 1955 in which Art Tatum, the greatest of all jazz pianists, recorded 120 stupendously virtuosic solo performances -- nearly the whole of his working repertoire. So was Jazz at the Philharmonic, the now-legendary series of concert tours in which Granz brought together such illustrious artists as Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington, Stan Getz, Coleman Hawkins, Charlie Parker, Oscar Peterson, Buddy Rich and Lester Young.

Granz is now the subject of a much-needed biography by Tad Hershorn called "Norman Granz: The Man Who Used Jazz for Justice" (University of California Press). The title may sound a bit sober-sided, but it serves as a useful reminder of what Granz thought to be his most important achievement: A passionate opponent of racial segregation, he insisted as early as the '40s that all Jazz at the Philharmonic concerts be open to mixed-race audiences, and he went well out of his way to ensure that the many musicians who worked for him, be they black or white, were generously paid and properly treated wherever they went, even in the Deep South. "I insisted that my musicians were to be treated with the same respect as Leonard Bernstein or Jascha Heifetz because they were just as good, both as men and musicians," Granz said.

He wasn't kidding. All Jazz at the Philharmonic contracts contained ironclad antisegregation clauses, and Granz would cancel a show whenever those clauses were violated, no matter what it cost him at the box office. Moreover, he was equally respectful of his artists in the recording studio. A hands-off producer, he believed in letting the musicians whom he admired play whatever they wanted to play, and his concert tours were so lucrative that he was able to release albums that had no chance of turning a profit, simply because he thought that the music on them deserved to be heard.

Though Granz goes unmentioned in the standard histories of the civil-rights movement, his contribution to the cause of racial justice in America was considerable. That said, it seems likely that he will be remembered longest for his work as a record producer. It's extraordinary in retrospect how many of the albums he released on Clef, Norgran, Pablo and Verve, the four jazz labels he ran at various times between 1947 and 1987, have proved to be of permanent interest. "The Art Tatum-Ben Webster Quartet," "The Astaire Story," "Count Basie Swings, Joe Williams Sings," "Ella and Louis," "The Oscar Peterson Trio at the Stratford Shakespearean Festival," "Stan Getz and J.J. Johnson at the Opera House": All of these records, and many more like them, exist because of Norman Granz.

Granz was notorious in the world of jazz for his arrogance. He was the kind of man who never hesitated to say that he knew better than you, even when he didn't. But when it came to the musicians he admired, he was genuinely modest. "He looks upon himself as a kind of conduit down which the music has flowed, that's all," one of his close friends said. "In that sense, he has no ego at all." That's why he was reluctant to cooperate with the many scholars who sought to chronicle his achievements. "I don't care about posterity," he told Mr. Hershorn. "I don't care about what I accomplished, if anything." Maybe he didn't -- but posterity will.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Be there or be square OR you can be both

For those of you who didn't read his review in the International Review of Music, here's jazz crit Tony Gieske's "take" on singer Jane Harvey's 5/5/11 turn at L.A's Catalina B @ G. In case you missed that show, there's another chance upcoming this 11/16, same time, same station. Here's some additional info

Live Jazz: Jane Harvey at Catalina Bar & Grill

By Tony Gieske

No need to add encomia to the already overloaded resume of  the great Jane Harvey,  who transformed Catalina’s into a hip little branch of the Apple the other night.

She probably could have gotten by with just singing her resume, this lady. (Lorraine Feather could have written the music.)
Harvey might have started the job list with her employment on the Benny Goodman band back in the 1940s. Her version of  “He’s Funny That Way,” recorded with Goodman’s sextet (Slam  Stewart on bass!) as the war clouds departed, still gives off plenty of steam in the version  you can still hear on the net.

Then she could put down the band of  Desi Arnaz before he met Lucy,  when he worked with Bob Hope.

There’d be a subhead for television, headed by Steve Allen on “The Tonight Show” and proceeding to Jane Pauley on “The Today Show”; a Broadway section (”Bless You All” with Pearl Bailey); and a long stretch of recordings as they advanced from 78 rpm to mp3.
At Catalina’s, Harvey did  utterly convincing, if not transformative, performances of tunes from her newly re-released CD,  “Jane Harvey Sings Sondheim.” Not too many gals in their 80s are out there pushing their latest sides, right?

I was struck by the unusual skill with which she sang, and with her adroitly supportive trio of piano, bass and drums.  Her time and her pitches were kept precise.  That, of course, got her carefully weighed phrasing working. Each lyric became a moving little drama — tragic, comic, anecdotal… no sweat.

The savvy old chanteuse kept the program moving right along. For every “Send in the Clowns” tear dropper there was a sarcastic “Could I Leave You.” She made “Send in the Clowns” quite palatable; she even saved the inevitable “I’m Still Here” with a touch of weariness that proved moving, even to the sated L.A culture  quaffers — present company excepted — who came to listen to this remarkable artist.

From the archives here at Oblivion Towers

Thursday, November 03, 2011

two Two TWO books in one!

Upcoming in Los Angeles on Fri & Sat, Nov. 11 & 12, is a book launch for author Tad Hershorn's long-awaited bio of legendary jazz producer/promoter Norman Granz. Subtitled "The Man Who Used Jazz for Justice,"  not only does this remarkable University of California Press publication function as a biography and a superb history of jazz circa 1940 up through the near-present, but it also serves as an invaluable overview of Civil Rights struggles in the U.S. during the same period.

The event will also offer the opportunity to purchase a  signed-by-the-author copy of the Granz biography; a reading by author Hershorn; a screening of Norman Granz and Gjon Mili's Oscar nominated short "Jammin' the Blues" (presented by film archivist Mark Cantor) AND a Jazz at the Phil-style jam session featuring some of L.A's finest jazz musicians.

Here are some of the advance reviews this book received prior to its  Oct 17, 2011 pub date:

"The JAZZ AT THE PHILHARMONIC concerts were a turning point in my life. My fellow Californian Norman Granz figured it out. This biography lays out, in impressive detail and insight, the incredible contribution of Mr. Granz to the world of music and art. The deed of the vast recordings of ART TATUM says it all." --Clint Eastwood

"Norman Granz was one of the most important people in the world of jazz. He did more to escalate respect for jazz and raise our salaries than anybody else. He absolutely loved jazz and jazz musicians. I'm honored to have shared a beautiful friendship with Norman for many, many years. Hopefully, with this incredible book by Tad Hershorn, the world will have a chance to learn about Norman, and his phenomenal contribution to our beloved music--jazz."--Clark Terry, author of Clark: The Autobiography of Clark Terry

"Tad Hershorn's Norman Granz: The Man Who Used Jazz for Justice is a relentlessly readable, rigorously researched, deeply empathic portrait of the complex and heroic man who was arguably the greatest champion of this great American art form--and its great artists. Essential reading for anyone who loves jazz." --James Kaplan, author of Frank: The Voice

"Norman Granz was renowned as a vivid force in jazz history, both as a producer of invaluable classic recordings by many of the music's most original performers and also for his world-wide, all-star Jazz at the Philharmonic tours. Moreover, he broke the color line dividing jazz audiences by mandating the end of segregated seating his continually popular concerts. Yet until this magisterial, deeply researched biography of Granz by Tad Hershorn, there has been no full-scale inside account of the achievement and combats of this often larger-than-life personality who, without playing an instrument, was so swingingly instrumental in making jazz an international language." --Nat Hentoff, author of At the Jazz Band Ball: Sixty Years on the Jazz Scene

"Norman Granz, one of the most significant non-musicians in jazz history, took gutsy public stands but remained a private person. Tad Hershorn's years of dedicated research reveal the man behind the lasting legacy, on which he sheds new light as well.. This great American story is a must read--and not just for jazz fans!" --Dan Morgenstern, author of Living with Jazz

"Norman Granz was an institution in jazz. He was loved by some, hated by others, often controversial, and always fearless. But Granz was also elusive and, until now, sometimes came across as more symbol than man. Tad Hershorn has changed all that in this stunning, beautiful biography of the music's most relentless advocate of social justice." --Robin D. G. Kelley, author of Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an American Original

"Norman Granz was an important man, and Tad Hershorn tells his story with a fearless compassion grounded in yeoman research. Imperious, vain, and rude, Granz was also generous, inventive, and brave. He fought valiantly for jazz and civil rights, made pots of money, and never failed to bet it on his passions and beliefs. If you do not know him, you couldn't ask for a better introduction than Hershorn's judicious portrait; if you think you do know him, you are in for more than a few surprises." --Gary Giddins, author of Visions of Jazz

For further info, phone the Ebony Repertory Theatre:
Phone: 323.964.9768
Box Office: 323.964.9766

The Ebony Repertory Theatre is located at: 4718 West Washington Boulevard,Los Angeles, California 90016