Monday morning, “Now’s The Time,” Charlie Parker
Charlie Parker (alto sax),
Miles Davis (trumpet),
Dizzy Gillespie (piano),
Curley Russell (bass),
Max Roach (drums).
Thanks to YouTuber Joeio95
Monday morning you wake up in a panic and realize it’s been more than a year since you posted another version of “All The Things You Are.” (For other versions I’ve posted, see here, here, here, and here)
So, another great take here:
Sonny Stitt – alto & tenor saxophone
Joe Newman – trumpet
Duke Jordan – piano
Sam Jones – bass
Roy Brooks – drum
Burton Cummings of the Guess Who does a great vocal on his bandmate Randy Bachman’s quirky and evocative song. Some may recall the story of Diane Linkletter…
According to Ever-Reliable Wikipedia, after her death, June Christy was called “one of the finest and most neglected singers of her time.” I only stumbled across her songs this week, and I’m really surprised I hadn’t known of her before that.
To me, she is reminiscent of Rosemary Clooney, Keely Smith, and also Anita O’Day, who she replaced as singer for the Stan Kenton Orchestra. The melancholy bar song, “Something Cool” was one of her biggest hits.
Thanks to YouTuber MexicoCityFood
David Amram’s impossibly beautiful waltz from “After The Fall,” with Paquito D’Rivera on saxophone.
The piece was composed for use in the original Elia Kazan stage production of Arthur Miller’s play After The Fall.
Thanks to YouTuber newportclassic
Monday morning, Mama nixes making music, but that doesn’t stop David Amram and company.
Has there ever been a musician more accomplished in so many fields of music than David Amram? Whether it be in folk music, classical, jazz, or even movie scores (Splendor in The Grass and The Manchurian Candidate were his compositions), he’s been an eclectic, generous presence.
Here he is playing a musical introduction at the Philadelphia Folk Festival with Larry Campbell on guitar, Erik Lawrence on sax, Somoko on violin, and Amram’s son, Adam, on drums. Be sure to catch Amram playing two pennywhistles at 4:25.
Amram is about eighty years old in this video and still making great music now at age 87.
Thanks to YouTuber Ky Hote
Monday, and knee deep in alternative facts. This Yip Harburg-Harold Arlen song spills the beans.
Nat King Cole was such a great singer that sometimes people forget that he started out as a first-class jazz pianist, as you can see on his piano solo here.
Reunald Jones on trumpet, John Collins on guitar.
Thanks to YouTuber Johnny Brown
Billie Holiday performed this song throughout her career, but I especially like this 1956 live version, which has much less of an intrusive orchestral backing than the studio Decca recordings of the 40s had. I think this was the first Billie Holiday song I ever heard, and it remains one of my favorites.
Thanks to YouTuber RoundMidnightTV
Monday morning says a few more minutes lying in bed, staring at the ceiling fan, wondering what happened.
Count Basie, piano
Herschel Evans, Tenor Sax
Lester Young, Clarinet
Jo Jones, drums
I first encountered this piece while acting in a production of Lorraine Hansberry’s The Sign in Sidney Brustein’s Window. I had to dance drunkenly in the dark to this.
Thanks to YouTuber Rick Russell
Monday morning starts with my favorite jazz standard. I like so many versions of it. This Coleman Hawkins take was new to me, but it’s already become a regular on my playlists.
Coleman Hawkins (tenor sax), Bud Powell (piano), Oscar Pettiford (bass), Kenny Clarke (drums), at the Essen Jazz Festival, in West Germany, April 2, 1960
Click on the grey triangle above to listen.
Thanks to YouTuber In Nomine Porcus
Five-time Grammy award nominee jazz vocalist Karrin Allyson does it all: sings, plays classical and jazz piano, interprets the Great American Songbook with her unique musical sensibility, and writes her own songs. With the informal intimacy and spontaneity that David Kenney fosters at his monthly Everything Old Is New Again Live cabaret series, Ms. Allyson decided to alter her planned program in order to sing one of her own songs for the packed house, apropos for the rainy day in NYC.
Each month at Everything Old Is New Again Live—stationed at the elegant Metropolitan Room—Kenney and co-producers Frank Dain and Cabaret Scenes Magazine present a veritable master class of vocal wizardry and interpretation. This month, the enthusiastic audience was treated not only to Karrin Allyson, but also Jim Caruso and Billy Stritch, Eric Comstock and Barbara Fasano, Natalie Douglas, Stacy Sullivan, Gay Marshall, Nick Adams, Erich Bergen, Jonathan Karrant, Dane Vannatter, Ross Patterson, and Jon Weber, experts all at their craft.
David’s show can be heard on Sunday nights from 9-11pm on WBAI 99.5 FM, simulcast on WBAI.org on the Internet. And David’s live cabaret show continues on the first Sunday of each month from the Metropolitan. The next live show will be on Sunday, May 1st. If you’re in the NYC area then, join him for some great entertainment.
Click on the gray triangle above to hear Karrin Allyson’s “Wrap Up Some of That Sunshine.”
Hold tight to your hat, scarf, and shirt this Monday as Hurricane Ella knocks you over with her incredible live performance and some amazing solos by Herb Ellis, Oscar Peterson, and Roy Eldridge, Belgium 1957.
“It Don’t Mean a Thing, If It Ain’t Got That Swing.”
Ray Brown, bass
Oscar Peterson, piano
Jo Jones, drums
Herb Ellis, guitar
Roy Eldridge, trumpet.
Thanks to YouTuber Jimmy John
Mongo’s Manteca! Monday Morning
Click on the video to play Dizzy Gillespie’s and Chano Pozo’s Afro-Cuban Latin jazz classic performed by Mongo Santamaria.
Thanks to YouTuber andrescabreraf
A word we don’t see much when it comes to constructing art, whether it’s an acting performance or a magic performance: taste. We talk a lot in magic about method, effect, and even presentation, but taste is something different. Our friend Andy over at The Jerx, is one of the few who talk about it, if not explicitly. In fact, almost every post of his is about taste. So what is taste, and why is it important?
It’s tempting to say about artistic taste, as Louis Armstrong said about jazz, that if you have to ask, you’ll never know. But I’m here to try: Taste is about proportion, and the humanity underneath the artwork.
An acting story: when I was in my twenties I stage managed a number of Off- Off-Broadway productions. I loved watching the older veteran actors, how effortlessly they seemed to ply their craft. And I remember one older actor, Gene—maybe one day I’ll remember his last name, but no matter, I still remember his first name, Gene—had a scene in a play that I was stage managing that was very moving, a family drama where he was playing the father. With every rehearsal I was spellbound by his depth of feeling. And opening night, I looked on from the wings as I always did and watched Gene do that stunning scene. Only this time, he was not only emotional, but he was crying profusely throughout the scene. Real tears. I was so impressed. But when the scene was over, he stomped offstage angrily into the wings muttering, “Dammit! I let myself go too far!”
He knew he was a good actor; he didn’t need to prove it. He had gone beyond the bounds of taste right then. Just as in real life, we don’t always spill our guts, sometimes the way to be true to a playwright is to hold back a little. The issue is this: how much do you call attention to your own power as an artist?
Which is what is missing (necessarily, given the format) of every performer on an American Idol-type show. The performers are forced, like trained seals, in the three minutes they have, to reveal everything they have, all their power, all at once, stripped naked.
Even a burlesque stripper is more tasteful.
In magic, magicians are particularly susceptible to lapses in taste—and I don’t just mean their wardrobes. There are two major ways that they violate good taste: first, if they attribute all the magical will to themselves, they look egotistical—this is something I’ve written about before; but second, for the most part, you look like an idiot if you’re dressed in a Merlin costume and maintain that your magic is real. This is really the problem that Andy addresses in almost all his posts. Nobody with half a brain or a beating heart can ever believe that the magician’s Linking Rings are the ocular proof that real magic exists. If the magician acts as if it does, if the magician insists that somehow it’s more than just a form of entertainment, it’s creepy. The majority of actors playing magicians seem to believe that they must really deny that they are just actors.
So how as a magician can one avoid seeming to be a jerk?
Understand that a play is play. And a magician’s performance is play. Play is a context that tells others how to frame the present interaction. There should always be what that fine magician Pop Haydn calls the wink behind the mask. That is, the wink that says: I know you know that this is all BS, but we’re still having fun anyway, and I’m still going to fool you and amaze you. Without that wink—and one doesn’t want to be too obvious about the wink, or else that would be insulting to the spectator’s intelligence, as if s/he weren’t capable of knowing that the magician was winking—it’s no longer in the context of a game, but the context of a demonstration, and that is a hell of a lot more boring and uninteresting.
Let me try to connect these two strands: the wink and the holding back. They are both ways to say that there is a real person behind all of this, and that the mission here tonight is something larger than bringing attention to the performer. For the actor, the mission is to tell the story; for the magician, it’s to play with the audience. If there’s no proportion, the mission can get overwhelmed and lost. How big to make the emotion, how big to make the wink, these are all matters of experimentation and matters of taste. But interestingly, the metric is not out in the audience; after all, people still go for Barbra Streisand. No, there is some internal aesthetic that tells one what the proper proportion must be.