As days go, yesterday was pretty fabulous. First came lunch with Doug Ramsey and Bill Kirchner. Doug, of course, posts at Rifftides, has written hundreds of jazz album liner notes, and is author of Take Five: The Public and Private Lives of Paul Desmond here. Bill is a jazz saxophonist, jazz historian who has written award-winning liner notes, and now teaches jazz at The New School University. Catching up with Doug and Bill was terrific fun. [Sunrise, 1965, by Roy Lichtenstein]
Then it was off to The Jazz Standard to attend the Jazz Journalists Association Awards. I spoke with singer Mark Murphy, organist Dr. Lonnie Smith and pianist Hank Jones. I also was nominated in two categories—The Helen Dance-Robert Palmer Award for Excellence in Newspaper Magazine or Online Writing and Best Blog About Jazz. The winner of the first category was Nate Chinen of The New York Times. The second category winner was Howard Mandel, president of the Jazz Journalism Association and producer of the event.
For a complete list of the JJA winners, go here.
As soon as the JJA event ended at 6 p.m., Dan Morgenstern, Ira Gitler, Doug Ramsey and I hopped into a car and headed up to ASCAP's annual Jazz Wall of Fame Ceremony, where John Coltrane, Tito Puente, Randy Weston, Johnny Mandel and Lambert, Hendricks & Ross were inducted. In addition, Anat Cohen was awarded the Jazz Wall of Fame Prize and Regina Carter was given The ASCAP Foundation Vanguard Award. Anat, Regina, Joe Lovano, Eddie Palmieri, Randy Weston, Karrin Allyson and Annie Ross and Jon Hendricks each performed with their groups.
The high point was a touching and instructive acceptance speech by pianist Randy Weston, who talked for about 10 minutes about the feeling and meaning of jazz. Before his speech, Weston performed Hi-Fly with Benny Powell, TK Blue and Billy Harper. Another touching and rousing segment came when Annie Ross and Jon Hendricks flawlessly sang Everyday I Have the Blues, Twisted, Jumpin' at the Woodside and Cloudburst.
Before the event I spoke with Jon Hendricks, pianist Tardo Hammer and trombone legend Benny Powell (see my interview series with Benny here). At the end of the evening, I caught up with Johnny Mandel, whom I had the pleasure of interviewing last year. Go here to read my series of conversations with Johnny. [Pictured: Bill Holman and Johnny Mandel at last year's ASCAP Wall of Fame Induction Ceremony]
An exciting day all around!