Fifty years ago I would have backed away from this music, finding Konitz too angular, his tone too vinegary, Rowles too unpredictable, Mitchell and Manne too wayward. But we can expand our horizons of pleasure and understanding, and in the same way I now love Sichuan peppers and vindaloo — food that terrified the child-self.
And if this music does not speak to you in a familiar tongue, waste no energy disdaining it. It’s there for you to delight in. Others will revel in it. Every note has its own life, lyrical and seeking.
Coincidentally — I only learned this after this post had been published — today would have been Lee’s 94th birthday. I don’t think he would have wanted cake and fussing, but he would have liked to be remembered.
MINOR BLUES (Konitz out) / STAR EYES / THE PEACOCKS (Konitz out) / SWEET GEORGIA BROWN // Lee Konitz, alto saxophone; Jimmie Rowles, piano; Red Mitchell, string bass; Shelly Manne, drums. Grande Parade du Jazz, July 7, 1978. Originally broadcast on French radio.
This set, blessedly preserved, reminds me of inventive restaurant cuisine, where one reads a listing of items one doesn’t expect to find together . . . but the result is surprising and memorable: music that tastes good to the ear. Violinist Stephane Grappelli’s group was patterned after the Quintette of the Hot Club of France — violin, two guitars, string bass — although he, not Django, was the star . . . with guitarists John Etheridge and Diz Dizley, string bassist Jack Sewing, whom I initially mis-identified as Brian Torff. Add to this established group the wondrous individualists Jimmie Rowles, piano, and Lee Konitz, alto saxophone, and unusual sounds result.
Whether everyone dispersed after the set saying, “Wow, that was fun!” or “Why can’t I pick my own friends to perform with?” I have no idea, but the three-quarters of an hour that we have is certainly not formulaic. You can do your own assessment: late-period Stephane, still rhapsodic, given to heroically fast tempos, playing “jazz standards,”; Lee Konitz and Jimmie Rowles on top of a QHCF rhythm team. I think the assemblage is both unpredictable and wonderful:
Stephane Grappelli, violin; Diz Dizley, John Etheridge, guitars; Jack Sewing, string bass. I WONDER WHERE MY BABY IS TONIGHT / DO YOU KNOW WHAT IT MEANS TO MISS NEW ORLEANS / CRAZY RHYTHM / I CAN’T GIVE YOU ANYTHING BUT LOVE /
add Lee Konitz HONEYSUCKLE ROSE
add Jimmie Rowles LET’S FALL IN LOVE / I’LL REMEMBER APRIL /
Grappelli Quartet: MANOIR DE MES REVES – DAPHNE /
Konitz, Rowles return SWEET GEORGIA BROWN (incomplete on original):
Bless these players, and bless the Grande Parade du Jazz also.
Note: the first version of this post was completely in chaos: the audio was Konitz and colleagues but the video was the World’s Greatest Jazz Band — enough to make anyone race for Dramamine. I was informed by several attentive readers, withdrew everything for repairs, and hope it is now brought into unity. Apologies!Barney Bigard’s hand gesture at the start of the video (the last seconds of his set) conveys my feelings about technical difficulties.
“Strange bandfellows?” you say. I think some festival producers operate on the principle of the one Unexpected Element creating a great Chemical Reaction, that if you line up seven musicians who often play together, you might get routines. But add someone unusual and you might get the energy that jam sessions are supposed to produce from artists charged by new approaches. Or, perhaps cynically, it could be that novelty draws audiences: “I never heard X play with Y: I’ve got to hear this!”
Here are Lee Konitz, alto saxophone; Jimmie Rowles, piano; Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis, tenor saxophone; Bucky Pizzarelli, guitar; Red Mitchell, string bass; Shelly Manne, drums, placed together at the Grande Parade du Jazz on July 9, 1978.
I’m not ranking these remarkable musicians, but this is a group of players who hadn’t always been associated in the past: yes to Konitz and Rowles, Rowles and Mitchell; Bucky and Shelly played with everyone. But Lockjaw comes from another Venn diagram.
I can imagine Lee, who was strong-willed, thinking, “What am I supposed to do with this group?” and I wonder if that’s why he asked Shelly to improvise a solo interlude, why he chose to begin the set with a duet with Bucky — rather than attempting to get everyone together to play familiar tunes (as they eventually do). At times it feels like carpooling, where Thelma wants to eat her sardine sandwich at 8 AM to the discomfort of everyone else in the minivan. But sets are finite, and professionals make the best of it.
And if any of the above sounds ungracious, I know what a privilege it was to be on the same planet as these artists (I saw Bucky, Lee, and Jimmie at close range) and how, forty-plus years later, they seem surrounded by radiance.
The songs are INVITATION Lee – Bucky / WAVE / THE VERY THOUGHT OF YOU Bucky, solo / IMPROVISATION Shelly, solo / COOL BLUES, which has been shared in whole and part on YouTube, but this, I believe, is the first airing of the complete set.
All of them, each of them, completely irreplaceable.
Jazz is often dominated by our personal Star Systems: people like and listen to their particular favorites, and are suspicious of the New, but if you open the gate and look around, you will find pleasures. Those four names in the title and the four faces above may be new to you — even though I’ve profiled drummer-composer Doron Tirosh here — but they make beautiful music and they’ve created a CD: Ofer Shapira, clarinet, alto, flute; Ofer Landsberg, guitar; Ram Erez, string bass.
Jazz is sometimes joyously assertive. Having soundwaves rocking the room or the inside of your skull can be an experience you abandon yourself to. But there’s also a sweetly subversive music that woos and insinuates, quietly, music with pauses, air space, nearly translucent, but still paying homage to melody, harmony, rhythm, improvisational swing. To put it another way: this new CD adds oxygen to the room rather than removing it.
Here’s BIRD OF PARADISE (based on Charlie Parker’s improvisation on ALL THE THINGS YOU ARE):
and the Gil Evans – Miles Davis classic:
This music in itself doesn’t need explication, although I will say it’s melodic and thoughtful rather than “running changes”; this quartet walks into the songs rather than treating them as stereotypical “bebop and cool tunes that everyone has to know.” But Ofer’s note is valuable:
2020 has been a challenging year for everyone associated with the world of music and art, including myself, but it has also given me a chance to let go of the everyday activities and look deeply into myself and my art. This album – Lockdown, has been a product of this search within. After several intensive years of playing in different jazz bands, combos, teaching, etc. I had the welcome chance of playing with no special purpose, deciding what and how I wanted to practice, focusing on my sound and approach and trying to refine them and so I got the urge to record and capture this moment. The great Duke Ellington once said: “I don’t need time, what I need is a deadline,” and so I set myself a record date and started writing some new tunes – two of which I liked and will feature on this album. I also carefully handpicked some jazz standards that I really liked playing over the years and that I felt complemented the sound and feel of this album. I’m so grateful to the three wonderful musicians who agreed to join me on this project – Ofer, Ram, and Doron. They simply played magnificently and I’m sure anyone who listens to this album would agree. And so here is the album is in front of you – I hope you’ll enjoy the music and that the 2020 lockdown will have some positive memories for us all.
What else do you need to know? The CD contains a lovely mix of standards, jazz classics, and two melodic originals by the leader: BIRD OF PARADISE / SHALIACH / CELIA / LOCKDOWN / SUBCONSCIOUS-LEE / YOU ARE TOO BEAUTIFUL / SKYLARK / JITTERBUG WALTZ / BOPLICITY. It’s issued on Gut String Records (seehere) and it’s available on Spotify and iTunes as well. Your ears will tell you everything else about this unpretentious warm music.
In front, Bobby Hackett, Louis Armstrong, George Wein; behind them, Joe Newman, Dizzy Gillespie — at the July 1970 celebration of Louis at the Newport Jazz Festival.
I saw the pleasing news on Facebook — and in an online source called CELEBRITY ACCESS, which summed it all up with a video and these words (if the New York Times had a front-page story, it eluded me, alas):
NEWPORT, RI (CelebrityAccess) — George Wein, the legendary pianist, jazz and festival promoter, turned 95 on Saturday.
Wein, who founded the Newport Jazz Festival and co-founded the Newport Folk Festival, also played a key role in the creation of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.
Wein’s birthday was marked by tributes from the likes of James Taylor, Senator Jack Reed, Dianne Reeves, Jason Moran, Nate Smith, and Ben Jaffe.
George deserves a little more fuss.
The Newport Jazz Festival, which he founded in 1954 — and is still a going concern — featured everyone. The Preservation Hall Jazz Band to Archie Shepp. Duke, Louis, Miles, Trane, Dizzy, Monk, Hamp, Benny, Billie, Roy, Hawk, Pres, Ben. What other festival featured both Donald Lambert and Sonny Rollins? If you didn’t appear at Newport — in its now sixty-six year span — you had died before it began [Bessie Smith, Charlie Parker, Frank Newton, Hot Lips Page] or you had missed your set. George’s reach was extensive and his tastes heroically inclusive. Those who never got to Rhode Island were nourished by recordings and performance film footage; George created tours — Europe and Japan — that brought the music to eager audiences who would otherwise not have partaken of it first-hand.
Before Newport, George had clubs in Boston: Storyville and Mahogany Hall, where you could enjoy Sidney Catlett, Stan Getz, Sidney Bechet, Lee Konitz, Erroll Garner, and other deities. When the Newport Jazz Festival took a brief trip to New York, as the Kool Jazz Festival or the JVC Jazz Festival, I was able to see Benny Carter, Allen Eager, Charles Mingus, Lee Wiley, Gene Krupa and others who gladden my heart. In the early Fifties, George also had a record label — Storyville — where you could hear Milli Vernon and Beryl Booker, Ruby Braff, Teddi King, Ellis Larkins, Johnny Windhurst and Jo Jones. I’m also reasonably sure that George’s generosity — not publicized, but apparent — kept some musicians in gigs and dinner for long periods.
Incidentally, I am doing all of this delighted salute from memory: George’s 2004 autobiography, MYSELF AMONG OTHERS, is a much more detailed view at almost six hundred pages, so I know I have left out a great deal for which George deserves praise.
George also loves to play the piano and to sing, and although I think those activities have slowed down or ceased in recent years, his pleasure in these activities emerged most fully in the Newport All-Stars, a group that at various times featured Tal Farlow, Pee Wee Russell, Buzzy Drootin, Stephane Grappelli, Joe Venuti, Red Norvo, Norris Turney, Scott Hamilton, Warren Vache, Bud Freeman, Slam Stewart, and others: George’s discography begins in 1951 and its most recent entry is 2012.
I’d like to offer some swinging evidence of George as pianist: not at his own festival in Newport, but at the Grande Parade du Jazz in Nice, in July 1977: a nearly nineteen-minute jam on TAKE THE “A” TRAIN, nominally under the leadership of clarinet legend Barney Bigard — featuring Jimmy Maxwell, Joe Newman, trumpet; Clark Terry, trumpet and flugelhorn; Eddie Daniels, tenor saxophone; Slam Stewart, string bass; Bobby Rosengarden, drums. Notice the atypically expansive piano solo that George creates at the start: percussive, surprising, mobile . . . and watch Barney Bigard’s delighted face at the end.
Happy birthday, George! Our lives would be much poorer had you chosen another career.
And with that thought — and the passing-away of Lee Konitz this month at 92 — I present this poignant performance from a CD (which just arrived in the mail) called OLD SONGS NEW by Lee’s 2017 Nonet — arranged by Ohad Talmor. You can hear more music from this CD, purchase a download or an actual disc here. I encourage you to do the latter two.
The members of the Nonet are Lee Konitz, alto saxophone; Ohad Talmor, tenor saxophone (5), arranger, conductor; Caroline Davis, flute and alto flute; Christof Knoche, clarinet; Denis Lee, bass clarinet; Judith Insell, viola; Mariel Roberts, cello; Dimos Goudaroulis, cello; Christopher Tordini, bass; George Schuller, drums. And Talmor’s music is such a wildly delicious repast that I found myself listening — for the third time today — to it, alone, as best I could.
Here is Gordon Jenkins’ heartbreaking GOOD-BYE:
It is right to say Farewell to the Lee Konitz who carried a saxophone case, spoke, sang, and played. That temporal envelope is gone. But much remains: the songs, the passions, the intelligence, the sound. So this is, to me, the fitting countermelody and countertruth, by Harry Warren:
I could write this post in honor of so many people, both dear to me and others, nameless but dear to others, who have moved to another neighborhood where they seem inaccessible. But I will leave such griefs to you, and, instead, offer this music to console, to solace, to uplift — to attempt to keep us buoyant in darkness.
Others who knew him well have written with great eloquence about Lee Konitz, who moved into spirit a few days ago, having shared his gifts with us for 92 years. So I will simply share a video-recording of the one performance I was privileged to attend and record, and the story around it. I am sharing this performance at the request of several of the participating musicians, to honor Lee Konitz as he was in life, moving from WHAT IS THIS THING CALLED LOVE? into SUBCONSCIOUS-LEE (a title given the line by string bassist Arnold Fishkind).
The performance took place on December 6, 2015, at a session celebrating Ted Brown, held at the Drawing Room, Michael Kanan and Stephanie Greig’s strudio in Brooklyn: the late Lee Konitz is far right, Brad Linde, tenor, in the center, Ted Brown, tenor, to the left, Judy Niemack, vocal; Michael Kanan, piano; Murray Wall, string bass; Jeff Brown, drums.
Before I tell my tale, I am grateful to Brad Linde for writing about that night:
Birthday party performances with and for Ted Brown were perennial favorites for me to host at the Drawing Room in Brooklyn. Over the years, there has been a cast of characters from the Tristano School family and adjacent musicians that frequently play with Ted and myself.
This particular night I drove up from DC, returning Aaron Quinn, Miho Hazama, and Jon Irabagon to the city after a gig at the Kennedy Center. I picked up Ted’s cake and made it to the venue with less than the usual time to spare. Two big surprises awaited me. The first was that my tenor has suffered damage in transit and was leaking in the middle of the horn – a devastating discovery. The second was the improbable appearance of Lee Konitz in Brooklyn!
For years, I had dreamed of situating myself in a performance alongside Ted and Lee. And here the dream came true at the worst possible time for my Conn 10M. We started off with “All The Things You Are” and after my stuttering improvisation on a out-of-balance horn, Lee said to me “Nobody’s perfect,” and smiled.
Lena Bloch arrived and graciously loaned me her horn while she diligently worked to repair mine. The night became a family affair with Judy, Lena, Aaron, Murray, Joe Solomon, Jeff, Michael, Ted, and Lee playing familiar standards with unfamiliar results. Lee, at the time known for scatting as much or more than playing, was on fire, playing long choruses and revisiting the sinewy lines.
A big, fun night with heroes and friends. The sounds of surprise.
My perspective on the evening is possibly more humanly embarrassing than Brad’s leaking tenor saxophone. I met Michael Kanan in 2010 through Joel Press, and Michael impressed me immediately as musician and person, so when I could I came to his gigs and often brought my video camera, about which he was both gracious and scrupulous. I think it was through Michael that I met Ted Brown and Brad Linde, both of whom extended the same welcome to me. Thus I attended a number of sessions at The Drawing Room, the upstairs studio on Willoughby Street, Brooklyn, that Michael and Stephanie Greig maintained.
When I heard of this December 2015 session in celebration of Ted, I immediately bought a ticket and came with my camera, as I had done before. The studio was a long narrow room, and I took up the best position I could, a chair to the far right in the first row, set up my tripod, and waited for the music to begin. As you can see on the video, the chairs in the front row were not far from the front line. When Brad and Ted arrived, bringing Lee with them, the room was not wide enough to accommodate all the horn-players in one straight line, so Lee ended up sitting right in front of me. Reluctantly and with hesitation, I might add. I chose the large photograph for this blogpost because his expression carries some of the same unspoken emotions.
Lee did not speak to me, but he was clearly discomfited to find someone he did not know seated almost at his elbow with an (admittedly small) camera aimed at him and the rest of the front line. I did not hear precisely what he said to Brad, but motioning to me, his face turned away, I could see his face in a grimace of inquiry. Other musicians have said of me, speaking to someone in the band whom they knew, “What [not who!] is that?” and I believe Lee asked Brad something similar, and I think Brad replied, “That’s Michael. He’s OK. I asked him to come here,” which mollified Lee so that he didn’t turn to me and tell me to leave, but whenever he did notice me, his facial expression was shocked and stern. But he was a professional, with decades of blocking out nuisances, and the evening proceeded. I spent the evening in anxiety, waiting for him to decide he had had enough of my proximity, but perhaps he lost himself in the joy of playing and singing among friends. You can see the results for yourself.
All I can hope for myself is that Lee’s spirit forgives me interloper who was much too close and, without asking permission or begging his pardon, gobbled up a piece of his art and has given it to the public. And all I can hope for us is that we crate what we are meant to with such prolific energy, and that we, too, leave such a large hole in the universe when we move into spirit.
The astonishing eBay treasure chest called jgautographs has opened its lid again. Apparently the trove is bottomless, since the latest offering is 118 items under “jazz,” with only a few debatable entries. “Donovan,” anyone? But the depth and rarity and authenticity are dazzling.
Consider this Ellington collection, including Joe Nanton, Billy Taylor, Fred Guy, Juan Tizol, Johnny Hodges, Harry Carney, and the Duke himself:
The appropriate soundtrack, give or take a few years — Ellington at Fargo, 1940 with the ST. LOUIS BLUES (wait for “WHISTLE WHILE YOU WORK”):
Incidentally, someone wrote in and said, “Michael, are they paying you to do this?” and the answer is No, and that’s fine. Imagine my pleasure at being able to share Joe Nanton’s signature with people who just might value it as I do.
Here’s Meade Lux Lewis:
And his very first Blue Note issue, from 1939, MELANCHOLY BLUES:
Taft Jordan, star of Chick Webb, Duke, and his own bands:
Taft in 1936, singing and playing ALL MY LIFE with Willie Bryant:
“Mr. Rhythm,” Freddie Green, with an odd annotation:
a 1938 solo by Freddie (with Pee Wee, James P. Dicky, Max, and Zutty):
Tyree Glenn, a veteran before he joined Louis (Cab Calloway and Duke):
Tyree’s ballad, TELL ME WHY:
The wonderful Swedish singer Karin Krog:
Karin and Bengt Hallberg, joining BLUE AND SENTIMENTAL and SENTIMENTAL AND MELANCHOLY:
The link at the top of this post will lead you to more than a hundred other marvels — the delighted surprises I will leave to you. And as in other eBay auctions, you or I are never the only person interested in an item . . .
Less than a week ago, I published a post here, marveling at the riches made available in an eBay auction by “jgautographs” which have been all bought up now, including this glorious relic.
I don’t know how much Lester’s signature fetched at the end of the bidding, but Mr. Page’s (with the telltale apostrophe, another mark of authenticity) sold for $147.50, which says there is an enlightened and eager audience out there. That auction offered more than 200 items, and I would have thought the coffers were empty.
Now, the gracious folks as “jgautographs” have offered another seventy items for bid. I can say “gracious with certainty,” because I’ve had a conversation with the head benefactor.
Thisis the eBay link, for those who want to get in line early. The new listing has only one item held over from the past sale, and it is full of riches (including blues luminaries). I’ll mention only a portion: Ellington, Brubeck, Armstrong, Cootie Williams, Paul Gonsalves, Johnny Hodges, Horace Silver, Stan Getz, Cannonball Adderley, Paul Desmond, Don Byas, Dizzy Gillespie, Cat Anderson, Alberta Hunter, Little Brother Montgomery, Coleman Hawkins, Sippie Wallace, Rex Stewart, Ruby Braff, Lee Konitz, Zoot Sims, Jay McShann, Flip Phillips, Billy Butterfield, Phil Woods, Buck Clayton, Buddy Tate, Benny Carter, Bud Freeman, Thad Jones, Charlie Ventura, Teddy Wilson, Eubie Blake, Roy Eldridge, Sweets Edison, Erroll Garner, Tommy Flanagan, Kenny Dorham, Sonny Rollins — you can explore these delights for yourself, and if you have disposable income and wall space, some treasure might be yours. Those whose aesthetic scope is larger than mine will also see signatures of Chick Corea, Archie Shepp, and Keith Jarrett among others . . .
For now, I will offer only five Ellingtonians. And as David Weiner pointed out to me years ago, a sloppy signature is more likely to be authentic, since musicians don’t have desks to sit at after gigs.
Incidentally, “jgautographs” has an astounding website — not just jazz and not just their eBay store: spend a few hours at www.jgautographs.com.
Bob Wilber with the superb drummer Bernard Flegar, after their gig in Bülach, Switzerland, June 11th 2005.
Once again, it is my great privilege to have asked Hank O’Neal to talk about the people he knows and loves — in this case, the recently departed jazz patriarch Bob Wilber, whom Hank knew and recorded on a variety of rewarding projects.
But even before we begin, all of the music Bob and other luminaries (Earl Hines, Joe Venuti, Zoot Sims, Dick Wellstood, Dave McKenna, Lee Konitz, Ruby Braff, Dick Hyman, Buddy Tate, Don Ewell, Mary Lou Williams and dozens more) created can be heard 24/7 on the Chiaroscuro Channel. Free, too.
Here’s the first part, where he recalls the first time he saw Bob, and moves on — with portraits of other notables — Marian McPartland and Margot Fonteyn, Eddie Condon, Bobby Hackett and Vic Dickenson, the World’s Greatest Jazz Band, Teddy Wilson, Bobby Hackett, Soprano Summit, Bobby Henderson, Pug Horton, Summit Reunion, and more:
Bob’s tribute (one of many) to his wife, singer Pug Horton, from 1977, with Scott Hamilton, Chris Flory, Phil Flanigan, and Chuck Riggs:
With Kenny Davern, George Duvivier, Fred Stoll, and Marty Grosz, SOME OF THESE DAYS (1976):
Here’s the second part of Hank’s reminiscence:
and a magical session from 1976 that sought to recreate the atmosphere of the Thirties dates Teddy did with his own small bands — the front line is Bob, Sweets Edison (filling in at the last minute for Bobby Hackett, who had just died), Vic Dickenson, Major Holley, and Oliver Jackson:
Summit Reunion’s 1990 BLACK AND BLUE (Bob, Kenny Davern, Dick Hyman, Milt Hinton, Bucky Pizzarelli, Bobby Rosengarden):
and their 1995 WANG WANG BLUES, with the same personnel:
Too good to ignore! DARLING NELLY GRAY:
and my 2010 contribution to the treasure-chest or toybox of sounds:
Another visit with our favorite Jazz Eminence who, having spoken first of saxophonists Dexter Gordon here, Sonny Stitt, and Lee Konitz here, moves on to pianists Solal (with a digression to critic / violinist Hodeir), pianist-vibraphonist Costa, and pianist-force of nature Willie “the Lion” Smith . . .
In a previous conversation Dan had spoken of Solal with great enthusiasm, so I followed his lead:
I also wondered what Dan knew of the brilliant, short-lived, multi-talented Eddie Costa:
and finally, for that afternoon, glimpses of Willie “the Lion” Smith:
Now, some music.
Martial Solal, 1963, playing Django (with whom he recorded) — accompanied by Teddy Kotick and Paul Motian. (The sessions were recorded in New York City.):
Eddie Costa, Wendell Marshall, Paul Motian:
Willie “the Lion” Smith, 1965, introduced by Humphrey Lyttelton — accompanied by Brian Brocklehurst and Lennie Hastings.
Thank you so much, Mister Morgenstern! More stories to come . . . Randy Weston, Jaki Byard, Ira Gitler, Slim Gaillard, Harry Lim, Jeff Atterton, Kiyoshi Kuyama . . . and others.
Update: I am reposting this because yesterday, April 15, 2020, Lee Konitz moved into spirit at the clock-age of 92, from pneumonia resulting from COVID-19. There are already many tributes, but I thought it wisest to remind people of Dan’s.
More affectionate sharply focused tales from my favorite Jazz Eminence, Mister Morgenstern — recorded at his Upper West Side apartment last summer.
Here’s the first part of Dan’s recollections of Sonny Stitt, which include an ashtray and a bottle of vodka, not at the same time or place:
More about Sonny and the wonderful trumpeter / arranger Willie Cook:
In these interviews, I’ve concentrated primarily on the figures who have moved on to other neighborhoods, but Dan and I both wanted to shine a light on the remarkable Lee Konitz:
More to come, including Dan’s recollections of a trio of wondrous pianists, Martial Solal, Eddie Costa, and Willie “the Lion” Smith. And Dan and I had another very rewarding session three days ago . . . with more to come this spring.
Here is delightful evidence of a heartfelt creative evening of music by the Jon De Lucia Octet, with arrangements and compositions by Jon, Jimmy Giuffre, Lee Konitz, and Dick Hyman, Recorded on November 8, 2018, at the Slope Lounge (formerly the Tea Lounge) in Broooklyn, New York. The saxophones in addition to Jon are John Ludlow, Dan Block, Adam Schneit, Andrew Hadro; Roberta Piket, keyboard; Kevin Thomas, string bass; Steve Little, drums (not his own, as always).
If you’d asked me two decades ago whether I liked “cool jazz” or “West Coast jazz,” from a position of relative ignorance I would have said no immediately, dismissing it as pale and cerebral where the music I loved was passionate. But time after time, Jon De Lucia has (gently and sweetly) shown me the error of my ways. The music he brings forth and composes is rooted deeply, and that word is central, in the sweet ardor of Lester Young: melodically, harmonically, and rhythmically rich and multi-layered even when it might initially seem spare. Jon and his varied ensembles are now wonderfully rewarding . . . . music to my ears. I hope they are to yours also.
Jon’s own PRELUDE TO PART FIRST:
DREAMILEE, Jon’s arrangement of a Lee Konitz solo on I’LL SEE YOU IN MY DREAMS:
VALSE VIVIENNE, scored for four clarinets by Jon, in honor of his goddaughter:
Jimmy Giuffre’s arrangement of Jerome Kern’s THE SONG IS YOU:
Jon’s transcription of Giuffre’s arrangement of LOVE LETTERS — an extraordinarily beautiful piece of music and performance:
Dick Hyman’s arrangement of the Gershwin TREAT ME ROUGH from a Trigger Alpert recording:
Cole Porter’s LOOKING AT YOU:
Jon’s own I RESEMBLE YOU:
Jon and friends make wonderful music, multi-layered and translucent. For his new CD, visit here. And to keep track of where he is playing next, here. Take it from me: he’s someone worth following around for glorious surprising music.
This is not really a post about shopping, but since shopping is one of the experiences held in common by so many of us, it works as metaphor. A dozen years ago, if I thought I needed a new shirt, I would have headed to The Mall, where I could gaze at two dozen machine-made shirts, identical except for size and perhaps color. The plenitude was a reassuring reminder that we live in the Land of Too Much, and often I bought more than I needed.
As my clothing style became more personal, the racks of identical product no longer charmed. I began to go thrift-shopping for the quest for unique pleasures. Surprise was the rule, even among the inexplicable proliferation of plaid shirts (why?). I would spot something thirty shirts away, move towards it as if magnetized, and might have a small breath-taking experience. “That’s for me! I could wear that! That looks like it belongs to me!”
Illustration by Jesse Rimler
Such impassioned bonding happens with music also: I was two minutes into the first track of a new CD — its cover above — and my mental soundtrack alternated between, “Oh, my goodness, this is wonderful!” and the more defensive, “You’re not getting this CD away from me.” And then,addressing the invisible JAZZ LIVES audience, “You need to hear this,” I thought.
“This” is the debut CD of Jacob Zimmerman and his Pals called MORE OF THAT, and to use my own catchphrase, it has increased my happiness tremendously.
The cover drawing, which I love, by Jesse Rimler, says much about the cheerful light-heartedness of the enterprise. Why has this twenty-first century Nipper got his head in a protective cone? Has he been biting himself? Is the cone a visual joke about the morning-glory horn? Is this the canine version of cupping a hand behind your ear to hear your singing better? All I know is that this dog is reverently attentive. You’ll understand why.
Here is Jacob’s website, and you can read about his musical associations here.
I had heard Jacob’s name bandied about most admiringly a few years ago; he appeared in front of me in the Soho murk of The Ear Inn and was splendidly gracious. He’d also received the equivalent of the Legion of Honor: he was gigging with Ray Skjelbred. But even these brightly-colored bits of praise did not prepare me for how good this CD is.
The overall ambiance is deep Minton’s 1941, Keynote, and Savoy Records sessions, that wonderful period of music where “swing” and “bop” cuddled together, swinging but not harmonically or rhythmically constrained. And although Jacob and Pals have the recorded evidence firmly in their ears and hearts, and under their fingers as well, this is not Cryogenic Jazz or Swing Taxidermy (with apologies to Nipper’s grandchild on the cover).
As a leader, Jacob is wonderfully imaginative without being self-consciously clever (“Didja hear what the band did there? Didja?”) Each performance has a nifty arrangement that enhances the song rather than drawing attention from it — you could start with the title tune, MORE OF THAT, which Jacob told me is based on MACK THE KNIFE, “MORITAT,” so you’ll get the joke — which begins from elements so simple, almost monochromatic, and then builds. Each arrangement makes full use of dynamics (many passages on this CD are soft — what a thing!), there’s some dark Ellingtonia and some rocking neo-Basie. And each song is full of delightful sensations: when I get through listening to BALLIN’ THE JACK (a song often unintentionally brutalized) I think, “That’s under three minutes? How fulfilling.” So the Pals are a friendly egalitarian organization with everyone getting chances to shine.
A few words about the compositions. SIR CHARLES is Ray’s homage to our hero Sir Charles Thompson; Jacob says RADIATOR “was composed as a feature for Ray and was inspired by the Earl Hines record “Piano Man.” It’s based on “Shine.” SOMETIMES I’M HAPPY “is a feature for bassist Matt Weiner and pays homage to the record of that tune by Lester Young and Slam Stewart.” “FIRST THURSDAY is based on”Sunday.” My monthly gig at the jazz club “Egan’s Ballard Jam House” has happened every first Thursday for over 5 years.” And SCULPT-A-SPHERE “is based on “Nice Work If You Can Get It”…I tried to imagine what it would be like if Thelonious Monk and Lester Young wrote a tune together.”
Before I get deeper into the whirlpool of praise, some data. Jacob plays alto and clarinet (more about that in a minute), aided immeasurably by: Matt Weiner, string bass; Josh Roberts, guitar; Ray Skjelbred, piano; D’Vonne Lewis, drums; Cole Schuster, guitar; Christian Pincock, trombone; Meredith Axelrod brings voice and guitar to the final track. And the compositions: RADIATOR / SOMETIMES I’M HAPPY / FIRST THURSDAY / SONG OF THE ISLANDS / BLUE GUAIAC BLUES / BLUES FOR SIR CHARLES / IN A SHANTY IN OLD SHANTY TOWN / MORE OF THAT / BALLIN’ THE JACK / BROTHER, CAN YOU SPARE A DIME? / SCULPT-A-SPHERE / I AIN’T GOT NOBODY. All immensely tasty, none crowding its neighbor.
This being the twenty-first century, many saxophonists live in a post-Parker era, which works for some. But Jacob has deeply understood that there are other sounds one can draw upon while playing that bent metal tube: a mix of Pete Brown (without the over-emphatic pulse), Hilton Jefferson (rhapsodic but tempered), and Lee Konitz (dry but not puckering the palate). On clarinet, he suggests Barney Bigard but with none of the Master’s reproducible swoops and dives: all pleasing to the ear.
Because I have strongly defined tastes, I often listen to music with an editor’s ear, “Well, they’re dragging a little there.” “I would have picked a brighter tempo.” “Why only one chorus?” and other mind-debris that may be a waste of energy. I don’t do that with MORE OF THAT, and (imagine a drumroll and cymbal crash) I love this CD so fervently that I will launch the JAZZ LIVES GUARANTEE. Buy the disc. Keep the jiffybag it came in. Play it twice. If you’re not swept away, write to me at email@example.com, send me the CD and I’ll refund your money and postage. I don’t think I will be reeling from a tsunami of mail, and should some people (inexplicably) not warm to this disc, I’ll have extra copies to give away.
Although this CD is rather unobtrusive, no fuss or ornamentation, it captures a truly uplifting musical event, and I do not write those words lightly: music from tenor saxophonist Ted Brown, a mere 88 at the time of this gig, and a splendidly unified, inventive ensemble.
I’ve only known Jon De Luciafor a few years, but I trust his taste completely, and his performances always reward me. Now, if I know that one of Jon’s groups is going to perform, I head to the gig with determination (and my camera). He asked me to write a few lines about this disc, and I was delighted to:
Some jazz listeners disdain “West Coast jazz,” “cool jazz,” or any music in the neighborhood of Lennie Tristano (not just East 32nd Street) as so cerebral that it’s barely defrosted. Jon De Lucia’s Octet shows how wrong that perception is: this music is warm, witty, embracing, not Rubik’s Cube scored for saxophones. Rather, the playful, tender spirit of Lester Young dances through everyone’s heart. This impassioned group swings, even when the players are intently looking at the score. For this gig, the Octet had a great spiritual asset in the gently fervent playing of Ted Brown, a Sage of melodic invention. Also, this session was recorded at one of New York City’s now-lost shrines, Michael Kanan and Stephanie Greig’s “The Drawing Room,” a sacred home for all kinds of music. I am grateful that Jon De Lucia has created this group: so delightful in whatever they play. You’ll hear it too.
Here’s what Jon had to say:
Saxophonist Jon De Lucia met the great tenorist Ted Brown in 2014, and got to play with him soon after. He was and is struck by the pure lyricism and honesty in his improvising. One of the original students of forward thinking pianist Lennie Tristano in the 1940s, Brown, along with Lee Konitz, is among the last of this great school of players. Later, when De Lucia discovered some of Jimmy Giuffre’s original scores from the Lee Konitz meets Jimmy Giuffre session of 1959, which Brown and Konitz both participated in, he knew he wanted to put a band together to play this music with Ted.
Thus the Jon De Lucia Octet was formed. A five saxophone and rhythm lineup with unique arrangements by the great clarinetist/saxophonist Jimmy Giuffre. The original charts featured Lee Konitz on every track, and the first step in 2016 was to put a session together reuniting Brown and Konitz on these tunes. An open rehearsal was held at the City College of New York, Lee took the lead and played beautifully while Ted took over the late Warne Marsh’s part. This then led to the concert you have here before you.
De Lucia steps into Lee’s shoes, while the features have been reworked to focus on Brown, including new arrangements of his tunes by De Lucia and daughter Anita Brown. The rest of the band includes a formidable set of young saxophonists, including John Ludlow, who incidentally was a protege of the late Hal McCusick, who also played on the original recording session of Lee Konitz meets Jimmy Giuffre, and plays the alto saxophone, now inherited, used in the session. Jay Rattman and Marc Schwartz round out the tenors, and Andrew Hadro, who can be heard to great effect on “Venus De Milo,” plays the baritone. In the rhythm section, Ray Gallon, one of NYC’s most swinging veterans on the piano, Aidan O’Donnell on the bass and the other legend in the room, the great Steve Little on the drums. Little was in Duke Ellington’s band in 1968, recording on the now classic Strayhorn tribute …and His Mother Called Him Bill, before going on to record all of the original Sesame Street music and much more as a studio musician.
The show was sold out at Brooklyn’s now defunct Drawing Room, operated by Michael Kanan and Stephanie Greig. Along with the music previously mentioned, De Lucia had recently acquired some of the original parts from Gerry Mulligan’s Songbook session, which featured Konitz, Al Cohn, Zoot Sims, and Allen Eager in another great sax section recording, this time arranged by Bill Holman. Here the band plays “Sextet,” and “Venus De Milo” from that session. Brown, here making the band a Nonet, plays beautifully and takes part in every tune, reading parts even when not soloing. Not included in this CD is an extended take of Konitz’s “Cork n’ Bib” and Giuffre’s piece for three clarinets, “Sheepherders.” Possible bonus releases down the line!
Since this concert, the Octet has taken on a life of its own, covering the repertoire of the original Dave Brubeck Octet, more of the Mulligan material, Alec Wilder, and increasingly De Lucia’s own material. De Lucia continues searching for rare and underperformed material, rehearsing regularly in NYC and performing less regularly.
Earlier in this post, I wrote about my nearly-obsessive desire to bring my camera to gigs, and this session was no exception. However, I must preface the video below with a caveat: imperfect sight lines and even more imperfect sound. The CD was recorded by the superb pianist Tony Melone — someone I didn’t know as a wonderful live-recording engineer, and the sound he obtained makes me embarrassed to post this . . . but I hope it acts as an inducement for people to hear more, in delightfully clear sound:
If you gravitate towards expert warm ensemble playing, soloing in the spirit of Lester, a mixture of romping swing and tender introspection, you will applaud this CD as I do.
You can buy it here, with digital downloads available in the usual places.
I don’t know if Daniel Huck, alto saxophone, vocal, has a pilot’s license. But he can certainly soar, do loops and rolls like no one else. The cheerful-looking man in the mauve shirt, his reading glasses perched on his nose, has surprises for those unacquainted with him. (As an aside, I know some finicky readers will turn away from this post. “Who is that? I never heard of him.” Too bad.)
This band is called (I believe) JAZZ A BICHON, and these nice videos (there are more) were recorded by the musician-videographer Jeff Guyot at the Hermes Jazz Festival in Frejus, France, on June 10 of this year. The personnel is Shona Taylor, cornet, vocal; Guy Champeme, clarinet, alto; Marc Bresdin, clarinet, alto, tenor; Philippe Anhorn, piano, vocal; Jean-Pierre Dubois, banjo, tenor guitar; Eric Perrion, tuba; guest star Daniel Huck, alto, vocal. I knew M. Huck’s work from the Anachronic Jazz Band, but these videos are a special pleasure, building from peaceful to electrifying by my choice.
Here’s a very sweet introduction to M. Huck, on the irresistible tune HONEY.
But wait! There’s more! A performance that reminds me of Lillie Delk Christian’s TOO BUSY:
That wonderful one-chorus explosion makes me think of Little Louis — as well as Leo Watson and the recent vocals of Lee Konitz (since time is a field and not a series of beads on a string). If you can watch it just once, without bobbing your head, you are made of genetic material unlike mine.
And the roaring finale — hilarious and astounding all at once. Two choruses on SUSIE, from the Wolverines by possibly circuitous routes:
Isn’t M. Huck splendid — singing lines that others couldn’t sing or play — rambunctious, joyous, and precise as well. It’s a very cloudy day here, with rain predicted, but the sun is out because of him. Thanks to Jeff Guyot for the videos. You might want to subscribe to his YouTube channel: it’s better than pharmaceuticals.
First, please watch this. And since it’s less than two minutes, give it your complete attention. I assure you that you will feel well-repaid:
I first began listening to GOLDEN EARRINGS, a series of duets between alto saxophonist Sam and pianist Michael, a few months ago. I was entranced, yet I found it difficult to write about this delicately profound music, perhaps because I was trying to use the ordinary language of music criticism to describe phenomena that would be better analogized as moments in nature: the red-gold maple leaf I saw on the sidewalk, the blackbird eating a bit of fruit in the branches of the tree outside my window.
There’s nothing strange about GOLDEN EARRINGS: it’s just that the music these two create is air-borne, resonant, full of feeling and quiet splendors. Think of quietly heartfelt conversations without words between two great artists.
Coming down to earth, perhaps, hereare Sam’s own words — excerpted from an article by Phil Hewitt:
I grew up in Dereham, Norfolk and played the saxophone in school and also in the Norwich Students’ Jazz Orchestra. I gradually became more interested in jazz through my teenage years and went to study jazz saxophone at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama when I was 18 in 2007. Since graduating I’ve been freelancing in London and doing a fairly wide range of jazz gigs. I met Michael on my first trip to New York in 2014 although I already knew his playing from a few records. I’m a big fan of his playing: he’s incredibly tasteful and has a beautiful touch. He is melodic, swinging and really plays what he hears. I think we like a lot of the same musicians: Lester Young, Charlie Parker, musicians from the Tristano school, Hank Jones, Ahmed Jamal, Thelonious Monk. Michael is also incredibly nice, generous and encouraging. We kept in touch and we played a bit informally when he was in London a few times in 2015 on tour with Jane Monheit. I then took part in a summer school run by Jorge Rossy near Barcelona, which Michael teaches on every year alongside people like Albert ‘Tootie’ Heath, Ben Street, Chris Cheek and Peter Bernstein. So after all that I felt like I knew him quite well, and decided to ask him to do a duo recording with me. I really like playing in small combos like duos and trios, and I know Michael does too: you can have a more focused, conversational musical interaction, and I enjoy the challenge of keeping the texture varied despite the limited instrumentation. The recording process itself was fairly old school: just a few microphones in a room with a nice acoustic and a nice piano (Michael’s own The Drawing Room in Brooklyn, New York), one quick rehearsal and no edits. The repertoire is mostly slightly lesser-known tunes from the Great American Songbook and jazz canon – including compositions by Duke Ellington, Jerome Kern, Victor Young, Nat King Cole and Irving Berlin – plus there’s one original composition by me. I really enjoy digging a bit deeper and trying to find tunes to interpret which are slightly off the beaten track, and Michael is a real expert on the American Songbook in particular, so it was great to utilise his knowledge in that respect. It was fantastic to play with someone of Michael’s calibre. He’s played with people like Jane Monheit, Jimmy Scott, Peter Bernstein, Kurt Rosenwinkel and Ted Brown . . . .
The music was both recorded and photographed by the eminently gifted Neal Miner — whom most of us knew as a superlative string bassist. When I received a copy of the CD (released on Jordi Pujol’s FRESH SOUND NEW TALENT label) and wanted to let you all know about it, I asked Sam if he would share his notes on the music, because they were like the music: gentle, focused, and intuitive.
Like most jazz musicians of my generation, I have been introduced to this type of repertoire through listening to and playing jazz, rather than by growing up with it as pop music in the way that, say, Sonny Rollins would have done. However, I have become increasingly interested in the songs themselves. Rollins playing “If Ever I Would Leave You” is amazing, but it is also fascinating to hear the Lerner and Loewe song in its (very different) original form. (I am referring more to American Songbook songs here, rather than compositions by the likes of Charlie Parker and Duke Ellington, which have obviously always existed as jazz performances).
By listening to original recordings, learning lyrics and consulting published sheet music, I have tried to access the ‘composer’s intention’ – something that Michael Kanan, an expert in this area, talks about. We tried to use this as our starting point for interpretation and improvisation, rather than existing jazz versions.
I feel very fortunate to have recorded with Michael. His wonderful playing is plain to hear, but he was also incredibly generous and encouraging throughout the entire process of making this album.
Our approach to recording was fairly old fashioned: just three microphones in a room with a nice piano; no headphones and no edits. Neal Miner took care of all this, and his kind and positive presence in the studio made the whole thing a lot easier.
Thank you for listening to this music. I hope you enjoy it.
Dancing In The Dark: Michael takes the melody while I play a countermelody partly derived from the sheet music and the dramatic orchestral arrangement that Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse dance to in the film The Band Wagon.
Cardboard: the melodies that Bird writes are incredible; he is perhaps undervalued as a composer. Michael and I solo together. Some of his lines here are so hip!
Irving Berlin Waltz Medley: three beautifully simple songs. Michael plays a moving solo rendition of “Always”, which Berlin wrote as a wedding present for his wife. Hank Mobley’s Soul Station contains the classic version of “Remember”. I love that recording but the song in its original form is almost an entirely different composition.
BSP: the one original composition here, this is a contrafact (a new melody written over an existing chord sequence) based on Cole Porter’s “Love For Sale”. It was written a few years ago when I was particularly interested in the music of Lennie Tristano, Lee Konitz and Warne Marsh. The melody is heard at the end.
All Too Soon: originally recorded as an instrumental by the classic Blanton-Webster edition of the Ellington band, this ballad was later given lyrics by Carl Sigman.
In Love In Vain: I love the original version from the film Centennial Summer. We begin with Kern’s verse and end with a coda that is sung in the film but does not appear in the sheet music I have for this. Perhaps it was added by the film’s orchestrators? So much for getting to the composer’s original intention!
The Scene Is Clean: there are a few mysterious corners in this tune from the pen of Tadd Dameron, the great bebop composer, and this is probably the most harmonically dense composition to feature here. The version on Clifford Brown & Max Roach at Basin Street is fantastic.
Beautiful Moons Ago: I don’t know many other Nat ‘King’ Cole originals, but this is a lovely, sad song by one of my favourite pianists and singers (co-written by Oscar Moore, the guitarist in his trio). I don’t think it is very well known.
Golden Earrings: another selection from a film, this mystical, haunting song was a hit for Peggy Lee. Victor Young’s harmony is quite classical at certain points.
Way Down Yonder In New Orleans: if this tune is played nowadays it tends to be by traditional jazz or Dixieland bands, but I’m a fan of it. The form is an unusual length and it contains a harmonic surprise towards the end. This take features more joint soloing and we finish by playing Lester Young’s masterful 1938 solo in unison.
Thanks: Michael Kanan, Neal Miner, Jordi Pujol, Walter Fischbacher, John Rogers and Mariano Gil for their invaluable help and expertise. London friends who helped by playing through the material with me before the recording, lending their ears afterwards and by offering general advice: Helena Kay, Will Arnold-Forster, Gabriel Latchin, Matt Robinson, Nick Costley-White and Rob Barron. All my teachers over the years. Special thanks to Mum and Dad, Lois and Nana.
Sam Braysher, September 2016.
And here’s another aural delicacy:
I think the listeners’ temptation is to find a box into which the vibrations can conveniently fit. Does the box say TRISTANO, KONITZ-MARSH, PRES, ROWLES-COHN? But I think we should put such boxes out for the recycling people to pick up.
This music is a wonderful series of wise tender explorations by two artists so much in tune with each other and with the songs. So plain, so elegantly simple, so deeply felt, it resists categorizations. And that’s how it should be — but so rarely is.
My only objection — and I am only in part facetious — is that the format of the CD encourages us to continue at a medium tempo from performance to performance. I would have been happier if this disc had been issued on five 12″ 78 discs, so that at the close of a song I or any other listener would have to get up, turn the disc over, or put the needle back to the beginning. The sounds are nearly translucent; they shimmer with feeling and intelligence.
Sam’s website is here; his Facebook page here. New Yorkers have the immense privilege of seeing Michael on a fairly regular basis, and that’s one of the pleasures of living here.
Here are two of my favorite explorers, captured in a marvelous series of duets. My title may seem a touch fanciful: the only climb a session at The Drawing Room, Michael Kanan and Stephanie Greig’s serene studio, necessitates, is a few flights of stairs. But the music created the night of May 20, 2017, by Lena Bloch, tenor saxophone, and Roberta Piket, piano, makes me think of limitless vistas full of stars. Listen and I think you will agree.
LENNIE’S PENNIES (Tristano’s minor-key improvisation on PENNIES FROM HEAVEN, first recorded with Konitz and Warne in 1952):
Lena’s ruminative composition, SHORTER NIGHTS:
Tristano’s line on the classic song — theoretically requested by drunks, but the drunks no longer know it. You do, even when you are sober:
Improvsations on a lovely Fifties ballad, NEVER LET ME GO:
and, to close the recital, an explosively energized HOT HOUSE:
Dan Morgenstern and Vic Dickenson are heroes of mine, and I am not alone. That’s Dan, below.
I first heard Vic on records in adolescence and tried to see him as often as possible in New York City, 1970-1981. Always surprising, always rewarding.
This is the closing segment from a long and glorious afternoon of video interviews — here are the preceding ones:
Since it would pain me that someone had never heard BOTTOM BLUES — Vic, Hot Lips Page, Don Byas, Albert Ammons, Israel Crosby, Sidney Catlett — here’s spiritual uplift for the week:
For those who like my explications (and it’s fine if you don’t) here is the post I wrote in 2008 about BOTTOM BLUES. No saucy video, but another sound source. And another opportunity to hear that music.
News flash: yesterday, April 20, Dan and I completed another round of interviews — recollections more than interviews, really — around two hours of video in thematic segments, which will appear on JAZZ LIVES in due time. Because I was spoken to in terms from gentle to harsh about the previous videos being hard to hear, I bought a different microphone and we made sure more light came into the room. Thus, the April 20 sessions will be loud and clear, which is as it should be.
Blessings on Dan and the men and women he keeps alive for us all.
Jon De Lucia, saxophonist, composer, arranger, archivist, brought together five saxophonists (including himself) and rhythm to play arrangements by Bill Holman, Gerry Mulligan, members of the early Dave Brubeck Octet, Jimmy Giuffre, and others. The reed players — from left — are Jay Rattman, John Ludlow, Jon, Marc Schwartz, Andrew Hadro; the rhythm is Ray Gallon, Fender Rhodes, Aidan O’Donnell, string bass; Steve Little, drums (playing on a borrowed set). All this took place on February 6, 2017, at Sir D’s Lounge in Brooklyn, New York — on the surface of it, an odd place for a jazz recital, but a comfortable room with very gracious staff.
Here is the first half of the evening, a generous helping of delicious sounds.
I know that some listeners still stereotype this music as “cool” or “cerebral,” but these performances definitely swing and the temperature is warm. Remember that the inspiration for so much of this music came from Lester Young: how chill could it be? And Jon’s leadership is very comfortable — see how happy the players are — and that pleasure conveys itself right away to the audience, with no hint of the classroom or the museum. I told someone at the end of the evening that I felt I’d been at a birthday party.
To begin, DISC JOCKEY JUMP (or DJ JUMP), composed by Gerry Mulligan for the Gene Krupa Orchestra, arranged in this version by Bill Holman:
The beautifully gauzy PALO ALTO, composed by Lee Konitz and arranged by Jimmy Giuffre:
VENUS DI MILO, which is most familiar from the Birth of the Cool sessions, although in a different arrangement:
The classic THE SONG IS YOU:
The Gershwins’ LOVE WALKED IN, via Dave Brubeck:
The eternal question, WHAT IS THIS THING CALLED LOVE?
Gerry Mulligan’s REVELATION, which concluded the first half:
Thanks for the memory! This delightful original by Jon De Lucia is based on the harmonies of a familiar song (hunt: the two titles are similar). The Octet for this performance is Jon, alto saxophone, alto clarinet; John Ludlow, alto; Marc Schwartz, tenor; Jay Rattman, tenor, clarinet; Andrew Hadro, baritone, bass clarinet; Ted Brown, tenor saxophone; Ray Gallon, piano; Aidan O’Donnell, string bass; Steve Little, drums.
Yes, the Ted Brown! And the Steve Little!
This is from Jon’s presentation of arrangements by Jimmy Giuffre, Ted, and himself, performed at The Drawing Room (56 Willoughby Street in Brooklyn, New York) on October 22, 2016.
The view on my video is something one can (or must?) adjust to; the sound is decent. BUT Jon and Co. will be releasing some of the music performed on this glorious evening on an actual compact disc — and I suppose downloads. I’ll let you know more as I find out the details.