In this week's Wall Street Journal, I interviewed Hamilton biographer Ron Chernow for the Mansion section's "House Call" column on growing up in Forest Hills, Queens in New York (go here). Ron was a straight-A student, graduated first in his class in high school and went to Yale. But tragedy struck in 2006, delivering an emotional blow he still hasn't completely recovered from. Ron is currently hard at work on a biography of Ulysses S. Grant.
Also in the WSJ, my interview for the Review section's "Playlist" column with surgeon, author and New Yorker magazine writer Atul Gawande (go here). His favorite song is Peter Gabriel's Solsbury Hill. Atul only owns the song on vinyl, and he talks about how it helps him make difficult decisions. His book, Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End, is fabulous (go here).
I'll add this one from the same album—Jones and Thielemans (whistling) on What's Going On...
Reader Gregory Lee sent along this clip of Jaco Pastorius on piano and Thielemans on harmonica playing Three Views of a Secret...
Larry Adler. Following my post on Larry Adler, the harmonica's first superstar, reader John Herr drew my attention to British composer Ralph Vaughan Williams's Romance in D-flat for Harmonica, Piano & Strings, originally written for Tommy Reilly in 1951. John sent along this clip of Adler performing the work with Sir Malcolm Sargent and the BBC Symphony...
Bobby Hutcherson. Following my in memoriam post on vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson, reader Jimi Mentis reminded me that Hutcherson appeared as Ace in Bertrand Tavernier's 1986 film, Round Midnight. Here's Hutcherson, as the food-obsessed U.S. expatriate living in Paris next door to Dexter Gordon's character...
Jazz in Sweden. Reader Ian Mackenzie sent along a link to a site of mostly Swedish jazz that also features concert videos by Monty Alexander, Bobby McFerrin and Gregory Porter....
Charlie Parker and Lester Young radio. If you live outside of New York City, you're in luck. WKCR-FM is once again streaming live worldwide on the web. This weekend, the station is presenting its annual 72-hour radio show featuring Lester Young and Charlie Parker for 72 hours straight. The marathon broadcast started at midnight (EDT) and will continue through Monday. Tune in from anywhere in the world on your computer by going here. [Photo above, from left, Max Kaminsky, Lester Young, Hot Lips Page, Charlie Parker and Lennie Tristano]
Jimmy Raney radio. On Sunday, Danny O'Bryan, host of Jazz Insights on WFPK-FM in Louisville, Ky., is re-broadcasting a rare 1978 interview he conducted with the late jazz guitarist Jimmy Raney. To tune in from anywhere in the world on your computer, go here.
Jazz-soul radio. Chris Cowles, who typically hosts Greasy Tracks on WRTC-FM in Hartford, recently filled in for a jazz host. He sent along links to a three-hour podcast of the show. If you're working this weekend, this is perfect background music.
Here's the playlist...
Sookie Sookie—Grant Green
Blooze In G—Brother Jack McDuff (above)
Baby You Know—Chico Hamilton
Inner City Blues—Gil Scott-Heron
Space Circus Pt. II—Return To Forever
Go Lil Lisa—Coleman Hawkins Quartet
Slippin’ & Slidin’—Yusef Lateef
Country Road—John Mayall
Stolen Moments—Oliver Nelson
Asso Kam—Blue Mitchell
No Trouble on the Mountain—Groove Holmes
Sweet Sister Funk—Ramon Morris
Solid Air—John Martyn
Fat Albert Rotunda—Herbie Hancock
Senorita Eula—Don Wilkerson
Severe Tire Damage—Zero
A Little Busy—Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers
Mahdi (The Expected One)—Tower of Power
Soul Special—Andrew Hill
Memphis Junction—Milt Jackson
Ghetto Woman—Marlena Shaw
Black Fox—Freddie Robinson
Heaven on Earthy—Larry Young
Baby Baby—Steve Kimock
What the heck. I'm sure I became a journalist as a result of watching endless episodes of The Adventures of Superman in the early 1960s. On the show, Daily Planet editor Perry White (John Hamilton) had a habbit of insisting that reporter Jimmy Olson (Jack Larson) not call him "chief." I found this clip on YouTube...
Oddball album cover of the week.
Easy listening for the kids? "Music for Children Who Think Dad's a Jerk?" "Music to Drown Out Dad's Tired Stories?" Or "Music When You're Going Straight to the Moon?" Actually, the Gleason recording is even creepier than you might imagine. More like "Soliloquies for Dads Who Can't Express Themselves"...