My wife and I took off on Friday for Upstate New York to see the fall foliage. But just because I hit the road this weekend doesn't mean you should be left empty-handed. So I have a treat for you. In 1960, while in Italy and just before his drug bust and incarceration there, Chet Baker appeared and sang in the Italian film Urlatori alla Sbarra (loosely translated, "Howlers of the Dock"). Here's how the Internet Movie Database describes the film:
"Follows the adventures of a group of friends, teddy boys and rock-and-roll chicks whose crazy, fun-loving habits inspire jiving from some of Rome's citizens and bitter complaints from others that inspire a group of corrupt officials determined to bring the group down."
Loosely translated: Budget film. Here is Baker singing Arrivederci (an obvious overdub) in one of the most romantic video clips you'll ever see of the trumpeter...
Latin-jazz. Drummer and educator Bobby Sanabria sent along an e-mail letting me know that on October 12th, PBS-TV will broadcast parts 1 and 2 of Latin Music USA. Parts 3 and 4 will be shown on October 19th. The documentary covers the influence of Latin music on American culture and other forms of music. Watch the trailer here.
Ray Charles. Bret Primack has released another installment of his video podcast series on Ray Charles. This time, a look at how Charles minded his own business...
Two-piano jazz. Jazz musician and educator Bill Kirchner hosts a radio show tonight on New York's WBGO-FM that focuses on three examples of jazz-piano duets: Elmo Hope and wife Bertha Rosamond Hope (Hope-Full, Riverside); Kirk Lightsey and Harold Danko (Shorter by Two, Sunnyside); and Dick Hyman and Ray Kennedy (What Is There to Say?, Victoria). The show airs at 11 p.m. (EDT). Go here to listen anywhere in the world.
Bill Perkins. Among the many e-mails I received following my post on Bill Perkins' On Stage were these two from photographer Hank O'Neal and Michael Simonetti:
"On our next to last Floating Jazz Festival, we presented 11 bands, 2 solo pianists and 1 solo guitarist. One band was Bud Shank & Silver Storm. Conte Candoli, Bud Shank and Bill Perkins made up the front line. The rhythm section was an interesting mix: Bill Mays, Bob Magnusson and Joe LaBarbera. On a day at sea, the band played a 1:30 p.m. concert, and it really cooked. Unbeknownst to the musicians and the audience, there had been an announcement that everybody should go back to their cabins and ride out a nasty storm. Nobody heard the announcement, or if they did they didn't pay any attention. This was the last time I heard Bill,, and he was simply terrific."
"Enjoyed your piece on Bill Perkins, long one of my favorites. Perkins following Stan Getz in the tenor chair with Woody Herman's band after the success of Getz's Early Autumn," which must have been like Mantle following DiMaggio. Woody held Perkins in high regard, as did Stan Kenton. Perk's brief solo with Kenton' on My Old Flame, from Back to Balboa is truly lovely."Vintage Perkins from the mid-50's can also be found on Tenors Head On (Liberty/Pacific Jazz) with his musical alter ego the fine tenor saxophonist Richie Kamuca; the swinging Just Friends session including Richie Kamuca and Art Pepper (Pacific Jazz); and the quintet recording on Pacific Jazz entitled Bud Shank (and) Bill Perkins.
"Perk was a superb doubler as well as a first-call member of the exclusive West Coast studio scene fraternity. His personal grace and humility were well known by those fortunate to be on the stand with him. He battled cancer for much of his adult life and eventually succumbed to it."