I mentioned recently that I performed in a concert on Sunday, November 18, singing with my church choir a bunch of songs about St. Cecilia. Then a concert on Sunday, November 25, with people who had sung with organist Don Ingram in the past, singing the Christmas section of Handel’s Messiah in honor Don’s 80th birthday, a benefit for his church’s organ fund.
So the logical thing to do on Sunday, December 2 would have been to do nothing. Instead, Continue reading Treadmill of my own design
If you know the name Vince Guaraldi, it’s probably because you associate the pianist as the composer of the music for the Peanuts television specials, starting in the mid-1960s. However, Doctor Funk, one of his nicknames, codified in a song he wrote and performed a decade earlier, was a well-respected performer and composer in the Bay Area/northern California jazz scene.
Derrick Bang notes in the preface of Vince Guaraldi at the Piano that he was a reluctant writer of Vince’s legacy, expecting that someone more personally knowledgeable of the performer would surely show up to pen his story. Finding none, he put together an almost encyclopedic recollection of the musician’s life Continue reading Book review: Vince Guaraldi at the Piano
I decided that I don’t REALLY want to explain what jazz is, mostly because it’s too difficult. You can read all about it on the page dedicated to Ken Burns’ Jazz, the third in his trilogy of documentary miniseries about Americana, along with the Civil War and baseball. The Wikipedia reads: “Jazz is a musical style that originated at the beginning of the 20th century in black communities in the Southern United States. It was born out of a mix of African and European music traditions… As the music has developed and spread around the world it has drawn on many different national, regional and local musical cultures giving rise, since its early 20th century American beginnings, to many distinctive styles.”
This level of cultural integration is evident as musicians of different races often played together Continue reading J is for Jazz
I’ve long been a sucker for those Red, Hot and Blue albums. Not only are they generally great compilations, but they aid AIDS research.
At some point, I purchased By George & Ira: Red Hot on Gershwin, which I was quite fond of. Some critics complained about the multiple versions of a few songs, but I love the way Nina Simone’s version of I Loves You Porgy segues into Bill Evans’ instrumental take, e.g.
There are four versions of Summertime. The first is by an unlikely participant on this mostly jazz album Continue reading Summer Songs: Summertime