Dick Hyman was born on March 8, 1927, which makes him just shy of 87 1/2 years of age on August 9, 2014 performances at Piedmont Piano Company in Oakland, California — part of Mike Lipskin’s Stride Summit, a generous tradition. Mr. Hyman remains a marvel of consistently surprising creative joy.
A little cosmology, with HOW HIGH THE MOON:
Jerome Kern’s YESTERDAYS:
For Mister Waller, YACHT CLUB SWING:
May your happiness increase!
Posted in "Thanks A Million", Bliss!, Generosities, Ideal Places, Irreplaceable, It's All True, Jazz Titans, Pay Attention!, Swing You Cats!, That Was Fun!, The Heroes Among Us, The Real Thing, The Things We Love, Wow!
Tagged bebop, Dick Hyman, Fats Waller, Jazz Lives, Jerome Kern, Michael Steinman, Mike Lipskin, Piedmont Piano Company, solo piano, virtuoso
Guitarist Howard Alden could double as a travel agent — taking us all on a musical tour. In his recital at Jazz at Chautauqua (Sept. 16, 2011), we found ourselves in Brazil, the mountains, Japan, Kansas City — with a surprise visit from an immediately recognizable Italian virtuoso pianist. In this first segment, Howard plays a medley of lilting Brazilian jazz tunes. My Portuguese is very poor, so I haven’t transcribed the titles, but the music is lovely no matter what it’s called:
Then, Howard’s tribute to the Master, George Van Eps — a medley of LAP PIANO and MOUNTAIN GREENERY:
From Howard’s latest CD (on Arbors), here’s Joe Pass’ FOR DJANGO and a rocking NAGASAKI:
And, since everyone needs an Italian guide to understand Southwest swing, here’s BASIC RHYTHM with comradely assistance from Rossano Sportiello:
All of this without a heavy suitcase or standing on line at the airport. Thanks, Howard (and Rossano)!
Posted in "Thanks A Million", Ideal Places, Irreplaceable, Jazz Titans, Pay Attention!, Swing You Cats!, The Heroes Among Us, The Real Thing, The Things We Love, Wow!
Tagged Arbors Records, Brazilian music, choro, Count Basie, Django Reinhardt, George Van Eps, Howard Alden, Jazz At Chautauqua, Jazz Lives, Joe Pass, Michael Steinman, Rossano Sportiello, virtuoso
Melissa Collard pointed out this YouTube extravaganza. It has something for everyone: lovers of custom-made guitars, dog fanciers, ukulele mavens, conoisseurs of SWEET GEORGIA BROWN. Of course it comes from the dynamic duo of West Coast string music, Craig Ventresco and Meredith Axelrod:
Here’s Meredith’s commentary: “Craig Ventresco the Mad Scientist of the Strings (as I call him) plays Sweet Georgia Brown on ukulele. This feat is especially impressive because he has his dog sleeping in his lap the whole time. He is one talented virtuoso! (Craig’s not so bad either. We almost had the dog play uke, but decided at the last minute to use Craig instead.) I accompany him on a custom-made guitar build by Todd Cambio of Wisconsin. The brand is Fraulini. Dog is Mr. Woofles. Mr. Woofles plays the ukulele about as well as Craig, and he also can perform operations in advanced algebra at the university level.”
I see a future for this trio!
Posted in "Thanks A Million", Irreplaceable, Pay Attention!, The Heroes Among Us, The Things We Love
Tagged Craig Ventresco, Doggin' Around, duets, Fraulini guitar, jazz blog, Jazz Lives, Melissa Collard, Meredith Axelrod, Michael Steinman, Mr. Woofies, sleeping puppy, string band music, Sweet Georgia Brown, Todd Cambio, ukulele, virtuoso, YouTube
Stride is such a triumph of instinct and athleticism that it always amazes me. Here’s a rare clip of the American pianist Joe Turner (not to be confused with Big Joe Turner) — who appeared in 1931 as one half of a duo backing the singer Adelaide Hall. The other pianist? A kid from Ohio named Tatum.
I love what I call Jazz Manglish — so James P.’s title, an admonitory KEEP OFF THE GRASS, is transformed here into KEEPING OUT OF THE GRASS, which is gentler and more descriptive, but hardly the same thing. We know what it means, though. And it seems as if stride demands a cigar — think of the Lion and James P. — although Fats got by with cigarettes. But he was Fats, of course.
Posted in "Thanks A Million", Swing You Cats!, The Real Thing, The Things We Love
Tagged Adelaide Hall, Art Tatum, Big Joe Turner, Dailymotion, Fats Waller, James P. Johnson, jazz blog, jazz in Europe, Jazz Lives, jazz on television, Joe Turner, Manglish, Michael Steinman, Stride piano, virtuoso, Willie "the Lion" Smith