Just wanted to let you know that you can follow me on Twitter or "friend" me at Facebook. What does this mean? For those who hear these phrases all the time but haven't a clue as to what they mean because no one bothers to explain them, let me fill you in:
Twitter is what's known as a social networking site. You go here and create a free account. Then you can make comments and post them. People who are interested in what you have to say will follow your comments. You also can follow the comments of people who interest you. Twitter allows you to use only 140 characters per message, which isn't much. Hence, you have to get to the point fast.
Some people "tweet" all day—meaning they are constantly posting Twitter messages about what they think at any given moment, what they are seeing or hearing, where they are traveling and what they are doing. I, for one, hold my comments to one or two a day. I think that's all that most people can bear.
Facebook is a little more involved. Like Twitter, you go to the Facebook site here to set up a free account. Then you can write things on your private Facebook page, allow only the people you choose to have access to your page. You also can request access to other people's Facebook pages. This is the electronic equivalent of knocking on someone's door. If the person lets you in, you can read what they have to say and make comments on their page. Here again, I limit comments on my page to one or two a day.
Facebook and Twitter are two ways to express yourself for free on the web, get information about you out there, share your taste, and build a circle of online followers and friends who have similar interests. [Photo by Helen Levitt]
At Twitter you'll find me by typing in "JazzWax." At Facebook, you'll find me by typing in "Marc JazzWax Myers." Be sure to say hi.
Joao Gilberto, live! I'm looking forward to seeing Brazilian legend Joao Gilberto perform Tuesday night at Carnegie Hall as part of George Wein's CareFusion Jazz Festival New York. Gilberto is old school: a chair, an acoustic guitar and a microphone—just like in the Rio clubs of the late 1950s. No shooting flames or showgirls on swings. Just hushed singing. Tickets are still available here.
Over the coming weeks, in advance of Billy's 89th birthday on July 24th, video documentarian Bret Primack will be posting on Billy's site a different Sunday Morning segment that Billy narrated and appeared in. Billy produced more than 250 of the Sunday Morning shows between 1981 and 2000.
This week's installment is on Sarah Vaughan. You watch this powerful segment from July 1983 and realize how far television today has slipped over the years as an educational and enlightenment tool.
Bret tells me that future Sunday Morning clips will feature Carmen McRae, Ron Carter, Anita O'Day, Tito Puente and Benny Carter. You'll find more Billy Taylor videos here.
For my JazzWax interview with Billy, go here.
More Jazz Journalists Association awards. So you've watched all of your Netflix orders this weekend and there's nothing much on TV tonight but repeats? You can watch last Monday's Jazz Journalists Association awards ceremony in its entirety—including performances by pianist Ayako Shirasaki and others—here.
CD discovery of the week. Denny Zeitlin is demanding, in a glorious way. He approaches the piano as an Impressionist, letting his heart and soul dictate what he does with standards and original compositions. Sometimes the journey can take a bit of time. But that journey is always an adventure with Denny. He's like the kid at the beach who's furiously working with a shovel. If you spend time watching what's going on, you realize that the kid is assembling one seriously amazing sand castle.
Denny constructs quite a few of these sand castles on Precipice, his latest CD. Recorded at Ralston Hall in Santa Barbara, CA, in 2008, the album opens with a suite of Free Prelude, What Is This Thing Called Love? and Fifth House. The piece runs just over 12 minutes, and there's enormous energy throughout. Rodgers and Hammerstein's ballad Out of My Dreams follows, as do a range of standards and originals.
The high points for me are Wayne Shorter's Deluge, originally recorded by Shorter on JuJu, and Denny's own Love Theme From Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Denny probes Deluge, inspects the chord changes, rotates the melody and probes again, never loosing his grip on the melody. Body Snatchers opens with a strum of the piano strings and slips instantly into the composition's shapely melody line.
You can find Precipice (Sunny Side) at iTunes or here.
You'll find my JazzWax interview with Denny here.
Oddball album cover of the week. Back when the word "party" came with an "a" in front of it, Decca released this one in the mid-1950s featuring a George Petty pinup illustration on behalf of Esquire magazine. The tag line at the top says, "Music for the Girl Friend." Which is all quite exciting. Just to be sure, for this hot party, the recommended music of choice is by the guy with the clarinet, right?