Daily Archives: April 22, 2012

GOODBYE, JOSEPHUS

My readers won’t need to be told who Joe Muranyi — clarinetist, soprano saxophonist, singer, composer, raconteur — was.  I am sorry to say was — but Joe died on April 20.

I remember seeing Joe on television with Louis, in person with Roy and at “Highlights in Jazz,” and at a concert in North Babylon, New York, where Joe (alongside Marty Grosz, Peter Ecklund, and Dan Barrett — if I remember correctly) sang LOUISIANA FAIRY TALE, amending the lyrics with a grin, “Can it be / North Babylon at last?”  He played in David Ostwald’s Louis Armstrong Centennial Band — and — most recently and bittersweetly — when I called him at the nursing home to ask if I could put my readers in touch with him, he was very kind to me.  So that is the way I shall remember him.

But I have help in loving memories: please click josephus to read my friend Ricky Riccardi’s deeply loving tribute to the man Louis Armstrong called “Josephus.”

May your happiness increase.

MORE CONVERSATIONS: HARRY ALLEN and ROSSANO SPORTIELLO at SMALLS (April 12, 2012)

It was a CD release party — and the CD, a series of duets devoted to the songs for which Johnny Burke wrote the lyrics, is called CONVERSATIONS:

But the conversations weren’t going on among the audience — they were appropriately reverent — nor were they restricted to the round piece of plastic in the sleeve above.  No, tenorist Harry and pianist Rossano were exchanging ideas, sweet and swinging, at the highest artistic and emotional level.

Here’s the second set:

The Rodgers and Hart THIS CAN’T BE LOVE, not too fast:

A wondrous reading of BUT BEAUTIFUL:

In praise of couplehood!  JUST YOU, JUST ME:

A high point of the evening for me — one of those performances that stays in the heart — SOME OTHER SPRING, both melancholy and serene:

A BLUES that summoned up Basie and Dave McKenna, Ben, Zoot, and Al:

And — to close — a positively exuberant RUNNIN’ WILD:

About that CD.

The best way (as I write this) to purchase a copy of the CD is to encounter Harry or Rossano on a gig — pleasure redoubled.  But it’s now also available at iTunes and CD Baby — click here — or, contact Harry here or Rossano there and either gentleman will find a way to get a copy to you.  It is worth it, I assure you.

P.S.  Starting on Friday, April 20, 2012, I will be watching and hearing Harry and Rossano and two dozen other jazz masters play and sing at the Atlanta Jazz Party . . . hope to meet some of my readers there!

May your happiness increase.