New to JazzWax? Welcome! You'll find more than 300 interviews with jazz, rock and soul legends down the right-hand column under "Jazzwax Interviews." Plus lots of other goodies—all linked. You also can follow me during the day at Twitter (type in "JazzWax") and Facebook (type in "Marc JazzWax Myers").
Want to reach me? Look at the top of the right-hand column at JazzWax and click the link under "Email me." While you're there, click below to become a JazzWax fan.
Want a free e-subscription? Take five seconds to enter your email address. Each day's issue is emailed at around 8:30 p.m. (EDT).
Want to share a JazzWax post on Twitter, Facebook and other social networking platforms? Just click the appropriate icon at the bottom of each post.
Brian Wilson just set up a site devoted to the upcoming Nov. 1 release of Smile. In addition to audio featuring the piano tinkling of Heroes & Villains, there's a YouTube video of Good Vibrations. Go here.
Sonny Rollins on the other side of Charlie Parker was just one of Bret Primack's themes last week explored on his new daily Day by Day video blog:
Sonny Rollins radio. Tonight (Sunday), jazz musician Bill Kirchner will be spotlighting Sonny Rollins' Oleo during his Jazz From the Archives program. Bill will feature renditions of the jazz standard by Miles Davis, pianist Phineas Newborn, the all-star quartet of Lee Konitz, Brad Mehldau, Charlie Haden, Paul Motian and Rollins' own monumental (and seldom-heard) dissection from his 1962 album, Our Man in Jazz. When: 11 p.m. to midnight (EST). You can listen on your computer from anywhere in the world by going here.
Drum book. Talk about a drum book to end all drum books. Sticks 'n' Skins: A Photography Book About the World of Drumming (Fotos by Follett) weighs in at nine pounds and features images by Jules Follett and Lissa Wales. Both photographers spent years in the entertainment industry training their camera lenses on drummers. More than 500 drummers are featured alphabetically in color images across 552 pages, along with bios and appreciations. Quite an undertaking. You'll be hard-pressed to find favorites missing. Sticks 'n' Skins is available here. For more about the book and project, go here.
Art Blakey video. In 1989, German television celebrated Art Blakey's 70th birthday by broadcasting a performance by Blakey and guests. Joining the hardbopper—Terence Blanchard, Freddie Hubbard, Brian Lynch (tp) Curtis Fuller, Frank Lacy (tb) Donald Harrison, Jackie McLean (as) Benny Golson, Javon Jackson, Wayne Shorter (ts) Walter Davis Jr., Geoff Keezer (p) Essiet Okon Essiet, Buster Williams (b) Roy Haynes (d) and Michelle Hendricks (v). Here's the show, in its entirety, thanks to the keen eye of JazzWax reader Jimi from Greece. [Photo by Carlo Rondinelli]
Stax fund drive. The Soulsville Foundation is the heart of Stax's money-raising efforts and the nonprofit organization that keeps the Stax schools and Stax Museum in Memphis humming. Soulsville is now in the middle of a fund drive. So if you love Stax and the many musicians who gave you joy in the '60s and early '70s, give a few bucks here. I was down there in August. It's a great cause.
The music of Bill Kirchner. On Tuesday, New York's Manhattan School of Music Concert Jazz Band (plus string quartet) will perform Kirche Tönen: The Music of Bill Kirchner. The band and strings will be conducted by Justin DiCioccio. When: Tuesday, October 18 at 7:30 p.m. Where: Borden Auditorium at the Manhattan School of Music on West 122nd Street & Broadway (northwest corner). Tickets: $10 adults, $5 seniors and students. Box office: (917) 493-4428. Or go online here.
CD discoveries of the week. By now, the story of guitarist Pat Martino's near-death experience in 1980 is fairly well known. After suffering a brain aneurysm at age 36, he underwent surgery that saved his life but left him with amnesia. So after years spent becoming a monster player, he had to start all over again, learning to play and improvise. His latest album, Undeniable (High Note), is a stellar example of how perseverance and a big heart can conquer the toughest break. Martino is joined on this live hardbop date by saxophonist Eric Alexander, organist Tony Monaco and Jeff "Tain" Watts. Through the years, Martino has retained his spirited, high-energy attack, which is grown even groovier. All of the tracks except 'Round Midnight are originals, which gives this album a boss, '70s feel. Sample Lean Years, Double Play and Side Effect. You'll find this one at iTunes and here. More on Pat Martino here.
Peter Wolf is truly an underrated rocker. Best known as the J. Geils Band's vocalist between 1967 and 1983, Wolf became a solo artist after the group broke up, reuniting briefly with the band in 1999. His most recent album, Midnight Souvenirs (Verve), was released last year and did quite well with the critics and polls. I only recently discovered the CD and was quite taken by the high quality of the songwriting and vocal passion. It's country-rock wrapped in a smart acoustic package, allowing Wolf's voice and lyrics to stand out. All of the tracks were written by Wolf, many with Will Jennings. If Bob Dylan could carry a tune, you'd have Peter Wolf. Even if you're a jazz-only JazzWax reader, sample a few tracks for kicks. I think you'll be surprised. You'll find this one at iTunes or here. More on the Bronx-born Peter Wolf here.
Paul Nelson is a hardcore blues-rock session guitarist. He's currently touring with guitarist Johnny Winter, a gig that demands serious chops and heavy lifting for any sideman. Johnny can easily do a 90-minute set of nonstop blues, requiring his band to bring its A-game to every venue. Back in 2001, Paul recorded Look (BWB) a fascinating blues-fusion album that combines his wailing guitar with funky beats and soaring moods. You'll find this one here. More on Paul Nelson here.
Oddball album cover of the week. The Command label was part of a shift in the '60s toward improved fidelity to better meet the capability of higher-quality stereo systems. The point of the label was to provide more information in the records' grooves and greater dimension to the sound. Much of its fare was space-age pop, what we now call "lounge." So I suppose it's only fitting that gracing this cover are a pair of Stepford Wives, who either are hypnotically entranced or just bored out of their minds.