Sunday Wax Bits - JazzWax

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April 17, 2011


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Bill Kirchner

For those in the NYC area, there will soon be a concert at the Manhattan School of Music (122nd & B'way) of Manny Albam's arrangements for Joe Lovano's "Celebrating Sinatra" CD. The MSM student ensembles are professional-caliber.

Tuesday, April 26, 7:30pm:
MSM Chamber Jazz Ensemble, Justin DiCioccio, Conductor.
"Celebrating Sinatra!"--The arrangements of Manny Albam.
Featuring Joe Lovano, tenor saxophone, and Judy Silvano, voice


Without sacrificing the stinging intensity of great blues guitar, Robben frequently incorporates a rhythmic and harmonic sophistication derived from his love of jazz. A good example is his arrangement of Ellington's "I Ain't Got Nothing But the Blues" which very effectively uses a variety of unusual syncopations, metrical modulation, passing chords, and a surprise key change in the last chorus. Another great example of metrical modulation can be found in Robben's tune "Step On It" in which the band slips effortlessly into a compound 7/8 + 4/4 meter for the first 12 bars of one 16 bar section.

Ed Leimbacher

Thanks to Marc for the plug and link to my I Witness piece regarding some Rockabilly discoveries. If any of you JazzWax fans do bop on by, you could also scan the write-up on Magic Sam and West Side Soul, at (or move to actual Home page and scroll down a few posts). Catch the Magic!


The first song that Jo sings is a lesser known Ellington gem with lyrics by John LaTouche. In one of the other verses, residents lounge under "cigarette trees" by a "scotch and soda fountain" "while the cops fan off the flies."

Greg Lee

Robben Ford, absolutely. America's best-kept blues secret. He can play not only Magic Sam, but Wayne Shorter as well. The guy refuses to recongize barriers. If he's in your town, you gotta go see/hear him, you won't regret it!

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  • Marc Myers writes regularly for The Wall Street Journal and is author of "Anatomy of a Song" (Grove) and "Why Jazz Happened." Founded in 2007, JazzWax is a two-time winner of the Jazz Journalists Association's best blog award.

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