It suddenly dawns on me that many JazzWax readers may not be aware of JazzWax's presence on Facebook, Tumblr and Twitter. If your natural reaction to this news is, "Oh, goodness, not you, too?" or aren't aware of what these things are, let me explain. They're actually pretty neat.
All three are what's known as "social networks" that connect like-minded folks on your computer and mobile devices. All allow you to sign up for free, and all allow you to follow or "friend" others to keep up with what they're saying or doing. And they can read what you're up to, too.
You will find that some people post information artfully, while others yammer all day long about incidental stuff. The beauty is you can pick and choose who you follow or friend.
To read my tweets at Twitter, go here and type in "JazzWax."
To friend me at Facebook, go here and type in "Marc JazzWax Myers."
And to catch me at Tumblr, go here and type in "JazzWax."
In each case, you may have to create a free account of your own first.
You may or may not find that what I have to say at Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr bores you to tears. You also may or may not find what others are saying of interest. But I guarantee you'll have a wee bit of fun for the few seconds you spend checking. And you may make a few new global friends along the way.
JazzWax Insider. The March issue of the JazzWax Insider, my extra bonus e-newsletter, is ready and will be emailed to subscribers early this week. The JazzWax Insider is free—so if you haven't signed up yet, take 7 seconds to subscribe here.
Cry of Jazz. The Jazz Video Guy Bret Primack sent along a link to what may be one of the oddest and worst-acted jazz movies ever made. And yet there's a certain charm. Here's Part 1...
Jimmy Heath. Bret Primack captured an animated Jimmy Heath in the groove at the Mid-Atlantic Jazz Festival in February...
Mary Osborne. My main radio man David Brent Johnson of WFIU's Night Lights has posted his most recent show on swinging guitarist Mary Osborne. Go here.
CD discoveries of the week. Italian-born Dado Moroni approaches the piano with enormous power but he never overstays his welcome. When you have as much technique as he does, there's always great temptation to pound the life out of the keyboard. Moroni carries huge clout in his left hand but his right hand remains as lyrical and as tender as a vocalist. His latest album is Live in Beverly Hills, and his originals are as arresting as his treatment on the four standards. This is superb jazz. Ghanian Village is a great example. But Where Is Love will really knock you out. Joining Moroni are Marco Panascia on bass and Peter Erskine on drums. You'll find this one at iTunes. The CD package comes with a DVD here.
The Sean Smith Quartet's latest album, Trust, is the group's third. Bassist Smith composed all of the songs, and he's joined by saxophonist John Ellis, guitarist John Hart and drummer Russell Meissner. Smith's songwriting is sensitive, edgy and experimental, with a '70s, Steely Dan feel. Whoever miked and mixed this album did a swell job bringing Hart's guitar up so that it plays an equal sonic role to Ellis' saxes. Sample Wayne's World and Lawn Ornaments. Both are enormously smart and sophisticated. A terrific package from start to finish. You'll find this one at iTunes and here.
I've always been a softy for Michel Legrand's music. You, too? Then you'll dig pianist Roger Davidson and bassist David Finck's Umbrellas & Sunshine: The Music of Michel Legrand. As author James Gavin writes in the liner notes: "To hear his songs in the stripped down versions—just piano, with and without bass—is the true proof of their seductiveness." Davidson's left hand is so rhythmic that you never miss the sound of drums. All the songs you'd want to hear are present and accounted for—Theme to Umbrellas of Cherbourg, The Summer Knows, Watch What Happens, You Must Believe in Spring and How Do You Keep the Music Playing. But there also are a few left-fielders—Les Enfants Qui Pleurent, Look and one of my favorites, His Eyes Her Eyes, from The Thomas Crown Affair. You'll find this one at iTunes and here.
The late singer Abbey Lincoln recorded in Paris with tenor saxophonist Archie Shepp in February 1980. The result is spotty, but several tracks stand out: What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life and Golden Lady. The latter is so good one wishes Lincoln had recorded an entire album of Stevie Wonder's material. Her voice was perfect for Wonder's melodic complexity and poetic depth. Wonder tunes that could have used the Lincoln treatment are Tuesday Heartbreak, Creepin', Bird of Beauty and Ordinary Pain. This one is available at iTunes or here.
Oddball album cover of the week: The musicians on this 1959 Coral album were top shelf: Pete Candoli, Buddy Childers (tp) Milt Bernhart (tb) Bud Shank (fl,as) Herb Geller (as) Bill Holman (ts) Dave Pell (bar) Russ Freeman (p) Joe Mondragon (b) Shelly Manne (d) Johnny Mandel (arr) Leith Stevens (dir). A child prodigy, Stevens was big in Hollywood, having scored The Wild One, The James Dean Story and others. He also was musical director of about two dozen TV series. Pretty arresting cover.