I learn a lot from reading obits in the New York Times. Not only are you able to get a sense of why someone was special, but if the obit writer is good, you also learn a few valuable lessons used by the deceased. Case in point: Dick Goldstein's obituary of Angelo Dundee [pictured], Muhammad Ali's boxing trainer and corner man. For anyone who has managed a smart staff, here's a bit of advice from Dundee, from his memoir written with Bert Sugar:
“So every now and then I’d subtly suggest some move or other to [Ali], couching it as if it were something he was already doing. I’d say something like: ‘You’re getting that jab down real good. You’re bending your knees now and you’re putting a lot of snap into it.’ Now, he had never thrown a jab, but it was a way of letting him think it was his idea, his innovation.”
Lesson: Make talented, headstrong employees think your great suggestions are theirs—and that they are really making progress using them.
Count and Lock. JazzWax reader John Cooper sent along this splendid clip of Count Basie with soloist Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis...
Serena Cobb, daugher of Eleana and Jimmy Cobb (yep, that Jimmy Cobb), is looking to raise enough money to record an album. She has a warm voice and a terrific personality. View her video at Kickstarter, where all donations are welcome.
Helen Humes radio. On Sunday, "Symphony" Sid Gribetz is presenting a five-hour radio broadcast honoring vocalist Helen Humes. His Jazz Profiles special will air from 2 to 7 p.m. on New York's WKCR. You can tune in from anywhere in the world on your computer by going here.
Piano jazz radio. Sunday night, musician-writer-educator Bill Kirchner is hosting Jazz From The Archives, which is presented by the Institute of Jazz Studies. Bill will be focusing on the collaborations of Chick Corea and Stefano Bollani... Marc Copland [pictured] and Bill Carrothers... and Bill Charlap and Renee Rosnes. The show airs from 11 p.m. to midnight. You can tune in anywhere in the world on your computer by going here.
Lionel Hampton. I found this one yesterday...
Brooks Tegler. If you find yourself in Antwerp, Belgium, on February 19, drummer Brooks Tegler will be driving the Jack Million Band. The concert will be held at the De Roma Theater. For more information, go here.
Oddball album cover of the week. I have no idea how the art director of Roost Records worked things back in the day. But I have a sense of how this cover went down: "Hey Bob, our Sonny Stitt cover is due to my guy at the press in two hours! No, we don't have time for a shoot. Look, give me your grandfather's pocket watch. That's it. Now open the thing and set it down on the table there. Good. We'll shoot it like that and I'll paste in Sonny's photo on the left side." Judging by the hands of the watch, they even had time for that four martini lunch 25 minutes later.