Mike Stoller, of Leiber & Stoller fame, sent along an email yesterday with a link to a brand new city song he has written for Charlotte, N.C., with Steve Tyrell singing. Charlotte's mayor asked Mike for the song, and Mike, who wrote Kansas City (recorded most famously by Little Willie Littlefield in 1952 and Wilbert Harrison in 1959) was happy to oblige. Best of all, Charlotte can be downloaded now for free by going here. It looks like you can download the video as well. [Pictured above: Steve Tyrell and Mike Stoller]
Here's the song and clip...
Readers have, like, a few comments. Following my post last week on the use of the word "like" in common language, readers across the ponds sent along comments. [Photo below: Showroom Girls, Willem Popelier, 2011]
"As a rider of public transport in Manchester, England, I can tell you that the use of 'like' is alive and well here, though it now may be going into decline. It seemed to be habitual last year among 16 to 19-year-olds—irritatingly so!
So 'like' isn't an exclusively American phenomenon, though I concede that when I hear visiting American students, they can 'out-like' everyone else!" [Photo below: Open Air Screen, Palermo by Wim Wenders, 2007]
"I read with interest your piece on ‘like.’ I live in the U.K. and one word that nearly everyone uses a lot here is ‘brilliant’—and it drives me crazy. It’s used in several radio and television commercials as well. When speaking with people, it's used like this: ‘Oh that was brilliant.’ ‘Wasn’t she brilliant?’ ‘You should buy it, it’s brilliant.’
"On one of the quiz shows I watch occasionally called Pointless (an apt title), the host uses ‘brilliant’ all the time. I counted 14 times on one 45-minute show. On another show, Countdown, the host uses that same word over and over again as well."[Photo below: Luminogramm, Otto Steinert (1915–1978), 1952]
"Use of the word 'like' has reached downunder, mainly with teenage schoolgirls. Take the bus or train at school-out time and all you will hear from the airheads is: 'And she was like, like, y'now and I go, like, etc."
Wrecking Crew drummer Hal Blaine sent along this fabulous street-art project....
Revelation Records. Following my post on Forrest Westbrook last weekend, saxophonist Gary Foster wrote...
"I am a daily reader of JazzWax and I enjoy your writing and subject
matter very much. I was prompted to write to you after seeing your
mention of Forrest Westbrook and the photo of his Revelation LP.
"John William 'Bill' Hardy (a distinguished PhD in ornithology) moved to L.A. in 1960 to work at UCLA. We had been friends at Kansas University, where Bill had encouraged a student band that I had set up with trumpeter Carmell Jones.
"In L.A., Bill made contact with Dick Bock at Pacific Jazz, and over several years in the early 60s, he wrote excellent liner notes for many of Dick’s recordings.
"Back in Kansas, I was finishing graduate school and Carmell had dropped out to became a railroad porter. Bill insisted that Carmell and I make our way to L.A. Carmell came right away and I finished the year at school.
"Bill introduced Carmell to Dick Bock. In his first year in L.A., Carmell recorded with Bud Shank as well as his own first LP for Pacific Jazz. He also made a big band recording for Pacific Jazz with Gerald Wilson. Exactly a year later, my wife and I moved into Bill's house where Carmell was living as well.
"Revelation records came into existence a few years later when Bill started the label. Bill felt that many West Coast artists were not being recorded. There were a total of 48 Revelation LP’s released up to 1986. Bill’s enthusiasm and imagination helped many of us to have a record of our own in that long ago world.
"Guitarist Dennis Budimir and I were on Revelation #1. Other artists Bill recorded soon after were Clare Fischer, Anthony Ortega, Bobby Bradford, John Carter, Joe Albany, Forrest Westbrook, Putter Smith and Alan Broadbent, Jack Reilly, Frank Strazzeri and Jerry Coker to name a few.
"Revelation #12 (Ne Plus Ultra) in 1969 featured a piano-less quartet that Warne Marsh and I had as a working group. It was Warne’s first recording in 10 years. That one is still in bootleg circulation somewhere in the world. At one point, John Horwich became a partner in Revelation, and I believe he is today the custodian of the Revelation master tapes.
"The point of this is simply to reminisce about Bill Hardy, having seen the Revelation LP cover in your post. Bill retired some years ago as curator of the Florida State Museum. He is in severely diminished health and sadly, I feel, barely remembered in the jazz world for what he did for the music except by those of us who were the recipients of his drive and enthusiasm."
Michele Rosewoman radio. Jazz musician Bill Kirchner hosts "Jazz From The
Archives" on Sunday on New York's
WBGO-FM. This week, he's featuring the music of pianist-composer Michele Rosewoman, whose work often is based around a quintet
that includes two expert reed doublers. Tune in on your computer from anywhere in the world at 11 p.m. (EDT) by going here.
Jane Fielding. Following my post on singer Jane Fielding, I received the following from James Harrod of Jazz Research...
"When I interviewed Herb Kimmel, founder of Jazz West, his recollection was that Jane got married and gave up her singing career. Herb said that they had a devil of a time recording that second album (Embers Glow).
"The February 1956 recording session featured arrangements by Drew, who conducted the group from the piano. Kimmel recalled that they had problems recording Fielding. She couldn’t relax, and her voice became very metallic.
"They finally solved the problem by removing Fielding from the main studio and placing her in an improvised isolation booth where she could be miked separately from the band. She could not hear the band and relied on seeing Drew’s hands as he conducted the group.
"Kimmel felt that the end result was very unnatural which was the opposite of what he strove for in his recordings."
Pops, Bud and Lou. Bret Primack sent along this clip of Louis Armstrong with Abbott and Costello...
Don Redman. Don't know much about the bandleader Don Redman? Blogger Armin Buter sent along a link to an in-depth post about Redman's 1946 European tour. Go here.
CD discoveries of the week. I was never a big fan of Thelonious Monk tributes. My feeling is if I want to hear Monk, I'll put him on. But Greg Lewis' Organ Monk: Uwo in the Black cut right through my bias, largely because he doesn't treat this as a "Hey I sound like Monk, don't I?" album. Instead, he turns Monk's tunes into a base for what he wants to achieve—an expressive, swinging, Prestige-like organ date with an edge. On track after track, Lewis, tenor saxophonist Reginald Woods, guitarist Ronald Jackson and drummer Nasheet Waits give Monk new meaning by keeping things loose and wise. Dig Little Rootie Tootie, GCP and Bright Mississippi. This ain't your grandmother's Monk, that's for sure.
Earlier this year, educator, Latin-jazz historian and drummer Bobby Sanabria did the unthinkable: He took on the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences for eliminating 31 Grammy categories. In June, Bobby's pressure helped convince the organization to re-instate the Latin Jazz Grammy. On Multiverse (Jazzheads), Bobby brings the same level of determination and drive to tracks with different potent feels—from Latin-rock fusion to Latin-jazz big band. Sample Jump Shot and Wayne Shorter's Speak No Evil. Yow.
Dr. Lonnie Smith is one of the kindest, sweetest guys—but you'd never know it once he sits down behind a Hammond organ. On The Healer (Pilgrimage), you get a taste of his smoldering funk attack and intricate improvisational style, live at multiple venues here and abroad. Lonnie tends to play the organ like a saxophonist, focusing on powerful reedy statements rather than exploding the instrument's entire breadth percussively. Sample Dapper Dan, Chelsea Bridge and the title track.
Adam Glasser plays harmonica and keyboards. On Mzansi (Sunnyside), the South African musician keeps the spirit high and melodic, working through originals and works by other African artists. This is world music of the highest order and fascinating to hear, since so much sounds like church music from across the world. Sample Abdullah Ibrahim's Blues for a Hip King, the gorgeous Silika and the festive Ekhaya.
Sanford & Townsend had one hit, Smoke From a Distant Fire in 1977. The song reached No. 9 on Billboard's Hot 100 chart. Now, the albums Smoke From a Distant Fire and Nail Me to the Wall (Real Gone Music) have been combined on a single CD. Though this is mostly exurban jukebox music, it retains a certain gentle charm—Doobie Brothers-ish vocals with Steely Dan Lite instrumentals. It's the kind of obscure release from blue-eyed Southern soulsters that shouldn't matter, but the more you listen to it, the easier it goes down.
On Unfolding, trombonist Natalie Cressman's debut album with her group Secret Garden, she serves up enchanting originals and a few jazz standards with enormous tenderness. In Cressman's hands, the trombone is a passionate and melodic instrument. As a bonus, she has a beautiful voice, as is evidenced on Whistle Song. And like Chet Baker, she sings and plays with underrated poetry. Sample Walking, Reaching for Home and Skylight.
Guitarist Mitch Seidman has done his Wes Montgomery homework. On For One Who Waits (Kyran), Seidman along with bassist Jamie MacDonald and drummer Claire Arenius play mostly originals by the group. Each track has a swinging '50s simplicity that lets you hear the rich sound of a vulnerable guitar thinking its way through melodies and improvised harmonies. Dig Arebnius' Movin' On, Seidman's Three and Darn That Dream.
Oddball album cover of the week. Murder Inc. (1960) was Sarah Vaughan's screen-acting debut. Naturally she played a nightclub singer. Except judging by this cover, it's not clear if she's singing out or getting rubbed out by the movie poster.