"Moe finds a new lease on life when rich venture capitalists take an interest in his homemade whiskey. Then, Grampa injures himself while babysitting Bart, and quickly discovers he prefers being cared for by his grandson than the staff at the nursing home. Also, Lisa takes exception to a "Tupac-at-Coachella”-style hologram of jazz legend Bleeding Gums Murphy and Sonny Rollins (guest-voicing as himself) appears to ask her not to boycott the record label."
A big thanks to singer-professor Teri Roiger, bassist-professor John Menegon and the rest of the jazz faculty at SUNY New Paltz (N.Y.) for inviting me to campus last week for my multimedia jazz history presentation. The roughly 60 students and musician-professors who attended were engaged and asked superb questions. It's always exhilarating to see that those who love the music and play the music have an insatiable appetite for where the music came from and why it turned out the way it did.
Jazz's other bias. Above is a photo by Shaun Mader from August 2008 based on Art Kane's iconic Harlem 1958 photo for Esquire. Click to enlarge. A who's who in the photo is below.
Between the 1920s and 1960s, black jazz musicians endured bias, harassment and much worse on the road, particularly in the South and West. The struggle has been well-documented in interviews, oral histories and books. Less well known is the uphill and often futile battle female jazz musicians faced (and still face) trying to work with male counterparts and gain recognition. For decades jazz has been a male bastion and female players have been viewed as a novelty act—their contribution to jazz history often marginalized.
A documentary on this subject—The Girls in the Band—was released last year and is currently being screened around the country. For dates and venues, go here.
Who's in the Harlem photo above?
- Row 1—Seated, right: Sherrie Maricle
- Row 2—Seated in chairs, from left: Stanley Kay, Roz Cron, Helen Jones Woods, Carline Ray, Billy Taylor, Marian Mcpartland, Jean Davis, Viola Smith, Rosa Caruso
- Row 3—From left: Kim Thompson, Mayra Casales, Kit McClure, Carol Chaikin, Carol Comer, Kerry Politzer, Jamie Baum, Ann Patterson, Claire Daly, Geri Allen, Toshiko Akiyoshi, Lesa Terry, Janice Friedman, Dotti Anita Taylor, Allison Miller, Jami Dauber
- Row 4—From left: Jan Leder, Jennifer Leitham, Maryann Mc Sweeney, Nicki Parrott, Sue Terry, Virginia Mayhew, Lauren Sevian, Cyndy Elliott, Mala Waldron, Leigh Pilzer, Leisl Whitaker, Tia Fuller, Tanya Darby
- Row 5—From left: Bob Cranshaw, Miriam Sullivan, Lisa Parrott, Bertha Hope
- Row 6—From left: Brenda Earle, Joan Stiles, Joanne Brackeen, Kim Clarke
- Row 7—From left: Roberta Piket, Renee Rosnes
- Row 8—From left: Ada Rovatti, Jill Mc Carron, Linda Oh, Paula Hampton
- Row 9—From left: Laura Dreyer, Debbie Kennedy, Sara Jacovino, Sherel Cassity
- Row 10—From left: Barbara Merjan, Helen Sung, Scheila Gonzalez
- Row 11—Joy Archer Bravin, Jennifer Wharton, Janelle Reichman
- Row 12—From Left: Anat Cohen, Noriko Ueda, Carol Morgan, Sumi Tonooka
- Row 13—From left: Jenny Hill, Deborah Weisz, Tomoko Ohno, Melissa Slocum
For more information on the photo, go to Jersey Jazz here.
More gals. Recently Jim Eigo of Jazz Promo Services had the good fortune to be at Daryl Sherman's gig in New York at Kitano. When he spotted all of these great singers there to see and support Daryl, he asked them to pose as a group. Pictured, from left: Carol Fredette, Marlene Ver Planck, Anne Phillips, Helen Merrill and Daryl Sherman.
Stax, at your leisure. Last weekend, Chris Cowles and Tom Shaker of Hartford's WRTC-FM were in Memphis broadcasting their annual Stax Records Marathon live from The Stax Museum of American Soul Music. Now you can listen-in when you have the time. Here are links to the podcasts of their six-hour show...
Jack Kleinsinger’s Highlights In Jazz. The final show of New York’s longest running jazz concert series will be held on Thursday, May 9th at 8 p.m. at the TriBeCa Performing Arts Center. The show—A Salute to George Wein [pictured above]—will feature Ron Carter, Anat Cohen, Wycliffe Gordon, Jay Leonhart, Kenny Washington and Lew Tabackin. George will receive the Highlights In Jazz Annual Award.
Michael Cuscuna, unveiled. So who is Michael Cuscuna [pictured above] of Mosaic Records fame? He has had quite a jazz recording and producing career. See a multipart video interview here.
Trumpet battle. In July 1958, at the Cannes Jazz Festival in Cannes, France, Dizzy Gillespie, Roy Eldridge, Teddy Buckner and Bill Coleman appeared on the same stage. How did it go? See for yourself, from reader John Cooper...
The last of Harry James. In April 1983—just three months before he died—Harry James recorded three tunes for Japanese singer/actress Kei Marimura's album The Man I Love. Reader John Cooper sent these along.
"Free jazz," West Coast Canadian style. If you dig "free jazz" (the jazz style, not the price), you may be interested in a site that sells albums of West Coast Canadian free artists. All LPs are shrink-wrapped and have never been played. Go here.
CD discoveries of the week. Delmark recently acquired the Jump label and has just released Zoot Sims' Compatability, which is a remastering of Nash-Ville, a spectacular West Coast date recorded in February 1955. There has been a version of Nash-Ville available on the web since 2010 from Hallmark, but this new issue from Delmark sounds significantly better. There's now depth, and the bottom and top registers are much richer. The musicians on the date were Hall Daniels (tp,arr), Dick Nash (tb), Zoot Sims (ts), Bob Gordon (bar), Paul Atkerson (p), Tony Rizzi (g), Rollie Bundock (b) and Jack Sperling (d).
Speaking of reissues, Albert King's Born Under a Bad Sign (Stax) from 1966 and '67 has been remastered, placing King's wailing guitar front and center. King wasn't a huge blues voice, delivering his lyrics more matter- of-factly. But his guitar made up for his laid-back singing style. Just as important are the arrangements and musicians backing King: Steve Cropper (guitar), Booker T. Jones and Isaac Hayes (piano), Donald "Duck" Dunn (guitar), Al Jackson Jr. (drums) and the Memphis Horns (Wayne Jackson, Andrew Love and Joe Arnold).
(U)nity's Peace, Love & Music is a new entry in the textured radio-fusion jazz movement. In the spirit of Robert Glasper, Jose James, Esperanza Spalding and others, the group overlays multiple instruments and sound effects along with a Latin-jazz feel. The band features Axel on keyboards, Amaury Acosta on drums and percussion, Chris Smith on bass, Max Cudwoth on alto sax, Michael Valeanu on guitar with a long list of special guests. This new music continues to fascinate me, and now with a Latin twist. Sample DMT Song and Stevie Wonder's Creepin'.
Oddball album cover of the week.
In keeping with our theme up top this week—of women in jazz getting short shrift—here's an album cover that probably cost a buck to design—including the time it took to think up pasting Tina Dixon's image atop dorian library columns.