Daily Archives: February 28, 2012

“TUNED UP FOR FREEDOM” with BENNY, TEDDY, LIONEL, and GENE

The caricatures aren’t subtle, and what was inclusive perhaps fifty-five years ago might seem narrow in our more diverse society . . . but the message remains true.  Before the Freedom Riders and the lunch-counter heroes, there was Hot Lips Page in Artie Shaw’s brass section — and (a story only readers of Richard M. Sudhalter’s LOST CHORDS know) Bobby Hackett gave Lips a place in his band, too.  And then there’s that Eddie Condon fellow, breaking color lines in 1929 . . . but here we can celebrate Benny, Teddy, Lionel, and Gene, runnin’ wild for freedom and tolerance:

Thanks, once again, to 1964Mbrooks, who’s got rhythm as well as taste — his other postings on YouTube are worth your attention.

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“THEY THOUGHT THEY WERE LOOKING AT GOD”: RUBY BRAFF CELEBRATES LOUIS ARMSTRONG

Thanks to Jon-Erik Kellso (who embodies the truths of Louis Armstrong and Ruby Braff) for pointing us to this July 2000 Boston University public radio program where Ruby — with questions from Christopher Lydon — explains what Louis gave us.  And — just in passing — there’s some beautiful music and surprising insights: ruby-braff-on-louis-armstrong

Every day’s a holiday with music like this.

EV’RYTHING WE LOVE: CHRIS DAWSON at the PIANO

I wrote recently in praise of the Teddy Wilson School for Pianists.  Chris Dawson is a wonderful embodiment of that tradition — with his own special touches.  Here he plays Cole Porter’s EV’RYTHING I LOVE . . . music that lives up to its title.  Delicacy, strength, gentleness, melodic and harmonic subtleties all blossom forth here:

I would contribute to the Chris Dawson School for Pianists — in the name of the best, most enlightening kind of higher education — watch this and see if you don’t agree!