On Sunday September 15th 1963, four black girls (11 to 14 years old) were murdered by a bomb placed in the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham. Just like Nina Simone, John Coltrane was inspired to compose a musical tribute/response. Recorded on November 18th 1963, “Alabama” is Trane’s most compelling commentary, inspired by a . . . → Read More: John Coltrane – Alabama, by Pat Thomas
Based on his stellar work as the voice of Bob Belcher on Bob’s Burgers (the only show that matters) and Sterling Archer on Archer, it is clear that H. Jon Benjamin is not only the most gifted actor of all time, he is the greatest human on the planet since the passing of Mother . . . → Read More: Star of Bob’s Burgers and Archer, H. Jon Benjamin Records Experimental Jazz Album
Strangely, this version of “Joe Cool” sung by Vince Guaraldi is NOT featured on any of the countless Peanuts soundtracks issued by Fantasy Records (their albums only have an instrumental version) – I had to buy a CD called Lost Cues from his family’s estate.
– Pat Thomas is the author of Listen, . . . → Read More: Vince Guaraldi – Joe Cool, by Pat Thomas
I caught this on the local jazz station a few days ago. Called “Christmas Will Really Be Christmas,” this 1967 tune is an extraordinary Christmas meditation which deserves some reconsideration in 2015. As one friend described it, “Damn man, this really is a stone groove. Totally dig it.”
“Ava taught him how to sing a torch song. She taught him the hard way.”
The idea is that Frank Sinatra’s impossible, unresolvable romantic relationship with Ava Gardner—for whom he left his wife at a time (1950) when it simply wasn’t done; to whom he was married for a brief, tumultuous . . . → Read More: Frank Sinatra – Everything Happens to Me, by Tom Fredrickson
This is a recent conversation between two unquestioned experts on Sinatra, Pete Hamill, author of Why Sinatra Matters, and Jonathan Schwartz, the writer and radio host who coined the phrase “Chairman of the Board” in regard to Frank. A pleasant remembrance.
– Chuck Strom
A couple of Spotify samplers for Sinatra anniversary week.
The first recreates (almost) the singer’s last recording project, now out of print: Everything Happens to Me, a self-selected anthology of the songs that meant the most to him. No ring-a-ding-dings here; just the deepest ballads and most penetrating readings from his later years. In . . . → Read More: Sinatra 100, by Tom Fredrickson
In September 1998, shortly after Frank Sinatra’s passing, the jazz critic Francis Davis described Sinatra’s career in The Atlantic as a two-decade procession of taking songs off the market, meaning that once Frank had recorded them, his interpretations were immediately accepted as definitive and thereby discouraged other singers from recording them afterward. I thought . . . → Read More: Frank’s 100th Birthday – Let the Celebration Begin! by Chuck Strom
Lester Young with his trademark hat.
What a gorgeous piece of music.
“Goodbye, Pork-Pie Hat” is a 1959 composition, written by jazz composer and bassist Charles Mingus, as en elegy for saxophonist LESTER YOUNG (“Pres”), 1909-1959.
Mingus wrote and recorded it immediately after Pres died, for one of his peak albums, Mingus Ah . . . → Read More: Jeff Beck – Goodbye, Pork Pie Hat, by Daniel Housman
Yes, a staggering talent, like discovering the next Dalai Lama in the body of a six year old American boy…
This is from one of my favorite recently acquired jazz albums, Rising Son by Takayu Kuroda, a great up-and-coming jazz trumpeter. Modern jazz with a distinctive afro-beat influence (I’m a big afro beat fan).
– Don Lundell
this is my very favorite MOOG record – The ELECTRIC ECLECTICS of DICK HYMAN (his real name, by the way). stop laughing. i have 3 copies of this (just in case i ever lose one.)
this is actually a really great over-the-top MOOG synthesizer recording done by a guy who is a trained jazz . . . → Read More: The ELECTRIC ECLECTICS of DICK HYMAN, by Art Chantry
In New York City, a gig with Norwegian jazz singer Karin Krog joined by piano maverick Steve Kuhn for $14 is almost “free” – at Joe’s Pub on Wednesday September 30th, at 7:30 pm (one set only) – I think I may even roll into town for this. Click here for ticket info. Here’s . . . → Read More: Karin Krog – We Could Be Flying, by Pat Thomas
This might be on Spotify but I went out and bought this 1974 unreleased album by the late Chris Wood on CD. Wood was the flautist and saxophonist of Traffic. Recorded just after the demise of Traffic in 1974, Vulcan was begun for Island records but shelved in 1978. The sessions featured contributions from . . . → Read More: Chris Wood – Vulcan, by Pat Thomas
If 1970’s Journey in Satchidananda was a game changer for you – then prepare yourself for this obscure 1982 ‘cassette only’ release just out on CD. Alice Coltrane‘s vocals are ‘other worldly’ as if she made up her own language (in the form of Vedic Chants) – it’s a spiritual message drowned in a . . . → Read More: Alice Coltrane – Turiya Sings, by Pat Thomas
Love knows no boundaries in dreambear’s animated video for Amana Melomé’s “Save My Soul Tonight.” Pastel colors and abstract masses create a vast, open style, matching the sensuous tone of the music. The main character, portrayed by Melomé, travels through varying periods of time and space, stopping at nothing to find her true . . . → Read More: Amana Melome – Save My Soul Tonight
This is how Swedes had fun in the 70s while ABBA was out of town. Though I continued to expect it to turn into an Ikea commercial– yes Ikea dominated the north country in those days, too– a quick Googling shows this to be a bona fide Swedish short…
Today is Miles Davis’ birthday – as Joe Zawinul said about him “a genius isn’t someone who invents one great thing and keeps doing it over and over again, a genius is someone who keeps changing and evolving” – In 1970 Miles and company (including tabla and sitar) cut a version of Crosby Stills . . . → Read More: Miles Davis – Guinnevere, by Pat Thomas
Fantagraphics Books has just released Invitation To Openness: The Jazz & Soul Photography Of Les McCann 1960-1980 a beautiful hardcover coffee table book which collects the photographs of legendary musician Les McCann; he documented the jazz and soul scene —across several decades. All of them previously unpublished until now. Perhaps the largest collection of . . . → Read More: Invitation To Openness: The Jazz & Soul Photography Of Les McCann 1960-1980