Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Couldn't have said it any better myself

Review: by Dick Lapalm
WCS 056 - Double Exposure
Frank D'Rone
If Jazz had four seasons, FRANK D'RONE would be Spring. Something to look forward to, and something absolutely distinct. It's his first recording in several years, and actually surpasses any album he's recorded. Not an easy task.
"Double Exposure" expertly showcases D'Rone with Phil Kelly's swinging band, alternately with just Frank as he accompanies himself on guitar. He brings intelligence, originality, and ultra-high standards to the music. His lyrical insight, and command over the material is truly staggering.

WCS 056 - Double Exposure
Frank D'Rone
"Frank D'Rone is a world-class singer and a fantastic guitarist. Double Exposure is a well thought-out disc with nothing less than an outstanding track among the eleven." -Chicago Jazz Journal

"There's nothing I can praise about D'Rone's singing and playing that doesn't, in some way, sell him short. This cd is a masterful display of his capabilities and more." -Tommy LiPuma

"What a joy to find that not only has D'Rone's voice lost none of its richness and accuracy of pitch, but that he still swings like the complete musiciab he is." -Journal Into Melody

"Frank is a singer with an individual sound that invites no comparisons; a singer who understands a lyric and tells a story when he sings it." -Nat King Cole

"He has never sung a bad song. When you listen to D'Rone, you're listening to the real thing." -Tony Bennett

"One of the many things I've always looked forward to when playing (in Chicago) is inviting Frank on-stage to sing a few songs. The guy's amazing." -Oscar Peterson (Interviewed by WGN Radio's Mike Rapchak -10/20/91)

"Frank D'Rone is another singer who blows me away. He's a great player, and no matter what song he's doing, it always sounds fresh and brand new. That's not easy." -Anita O'Day (Houston Chronicle 4/19/02)


Sunday, March 18, 2012

Jackie and Roy on PBS

It's about time for more J&R moving footage on youtube, doncha think?

Friday, March 16, 2012

Not always as easy as it sounds

Extracted from Wall Street Journal jazz critic Will Friedwald's liner notes for the CD, The Undiscovered Jane Harvey, part of the jazz singer's new retrospective 5-CD set. Buy at amazon.

"The session by Jane, and Les Paul comes from a period when both principals were newly divorced. Around 1960, Jane, who had recently separated from [record producer Bob] Thiele was awakened by a phone call in the middle of the night from a deejay named Bob Landers. He had Les Paul with him in the studio, and the guitar legend was looking for a female vocalist to replace Mary Ford. 'He asked me to come over immediately,' says Jane. 'I got dressed, and actually left my son (Bob Thiele, Jr.) alone. Just praying that he wouldn't wake up while I was gone.' Once there, she proceeded to cut nine songs, with the pre-recorded tracks (guitar, keyboards---mostly celeste and bass, all overdubs by Les Paul).

'I had no idea what they wanted me to sing, or what tune was coming up next. Les just called out all these standards, one after another' she recalls. 'I never even knew they were going to want me to do a second, third, or fourth chorus, or when I was supposed to "finish a take" chorus after chorus.' She remembers that there was only one song that Les wanted to sing a second time, 'You Made Me Love You." She sings it as she normally would, slow and romantically, the first time round, and then 'Les told me to make it sound as sexy and breathy as as possible. She sounds rather like Marilyn Monroe wishing JFK a happy birthday here. When it was done [in the wee small  hours of the morning], she had passed the audition. 'Les wanted me to come on the road with him, but I couldn't leave Bob Jr, so I turned him down."

What Jane had just achieved was the singer's equivalent of pitching a no hitter, with a gun pointed at her head. . .and without a net (to mix several metaphors). The engineer yells 'roll 'em,' she hadn't even warmed up or rehearsed, it's midnight, she's working without lyric sheets, had probably never even sung most of the songs before (there are 9 tunes, 10 tracks in the session). What a pro! And. . .half her powers of concentration are probably still back at her flat where she has just, prrrrractically committed something resembling temporary child abandonment. (Hey! A gal---and her son's--- gotta eat.) And yet. . . . Well, you take a listen below and be the judge.  And in their own way, nearly every single track on this 5 CD set (sold separately) contains similarly miraculous moments. (And, oh yes, Bob JR slept through the night, and is still in fine shape these many years later.)

Take a listen:

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Kay Penton 1943 Soundie

Here's why Kay Penton was being rushed by all the major film studios.

Film courtesy of Mark Cantor Jazz on Film

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Friday, March 02, 2012