BLOGGIN’ AROUND, Autumn 2013 edition.
People who know me are often startled by the hours I spend in front of the computer, but if they knew what friendships and generosities I find there, they would be less appalled, or at least I hope so. Here are four blogs that will capture your attention for the best reasons, if you love this music.
My ebullient friend Ricky Riccardi has been writing and sharing music connected with Louis Armstrong for some years now, but just the other day he offered us an amazing treat: the earliest recordings we have (new discoveries) of live performance by Louis’ All-Stars, in Chicago, performing ROYAL GARDEN BLUES. The band — a heaven-sent ensemble — was Louis, Jack Teagarden, Barney Bigard, Dick Cary, Arvell Shaw, and Sidney Catlett. It’s a marvelously leisurely performance, full of controlled power and ease. Hear it here and read Professor Riccardi’s lively commentary.
My pal and colleague Andrew Jon Sammut has also been pedaling along in cyberspace, creating his own path, for some time now: enjoying “pop music” from several centuries, from Vivaldi to Venuti and back again. Here he shares his latest discovery with us — some music in a variety of forms from the much-respected yet often-undervalued clarinetist William C. “Buster” Bailey from Memphis, Tennessee.
David J. Weiner is a newcomer to the world of blogging but certainly not to the world of music. A generous humorous fellow who is erudite about a large variety of music, he never wields his knowledge violently. David (whom I first met before I had my driver’s license) has started a new blog, which he calls — in proper Millerite adulation — COMMUNITY SWING and its early entries have startling discoveries about Duke Ellington, Chick Webb, even Charles Ives. I’ve been enjoying it fervently.
And someone I’ve not met, James A. Harrod, has created a new blog devoted to the television program JAZZ SCENE USA, the mid-Fifties creation of Steve Allen. On it you can see information about television that will make you rethink Newton Minnow’s characterization of it as a “vast wasteland,” for Allen’s love for jazz reached from Ben Pollack to Jutta Hipp, which is admirable. Visit here for all of the good stuff.
Generous, informed, wise people — and they never tell us what they had for breakfast. I treasure them!
May your happiness increase!