A few weeks ago I wrote about an effort underway to lobby Kennedy Center Honors judges to name singer Nancy Wilson as an honoree this year. I'd like to add Mike Stoller of Leiber & Stoller and Al Green to that list. [Pictured above and below: The Kennedy Center in Washington, DC]
Have other names in mind? I'm told that this year, for the first time, the Kennedy Center is accepting nominations from the general public. Simply go here and scroll down. On the right-hand side you'll see a brief e-form.
Tony Bennett. In the weekend edition of the Wall Street Journal today (the Review section), you'll find my chat with Tony about one of his favorite songs—Duke Ellington's (In My) Solitude. Go here, or please pick up the paper.
Ross Porter—president and CEO of JAZZ.FM91, Canada's leading jazz station and a long-time JazzWax supporter and sponsor—was named to the Order of Canada by His Excellency, the Governor General of Canada, David Johnston. His Excellency David Johnston is Queen Elizabeth II's representative in Canada. The award given to Ross is Canada's highest recognition for a lifetime of outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation. I would only add that Ross [pictured] also is a terrific guy.
Johnny Smith RIP. Guitarist Johnny Smith died on June 11. He was 90. A patient and pretty melodist in an age of speed demons and technicians, Smith recorded dozens of beautiful albums. Among the best known of his small-group sides was Moonlight in Vermont with Stan Getz in 1952. For more on Smith and his Roost Sessions, go here. And Here's Moonlight in Vermont—perhaps the only time Stan Getz was bested in the taste department...
Pops radio. WKCR-New York will present its annual Louis Armstrong special broadcast playing the trumpeter's recordings around the clock on July 4. You can access the show from anywhere in the world on your computer by going here.
Hank and Ron. Bret Primack, the Jazz Video Guy, sent along a link to a video performance of Hank Jones and Ron Carter in Kobe, Japan in 1996...
Brazil in New York. If you're in New York on July 25, head over to Joe's Pub. The Toninho Horta Trio will be performing in association with Brasil SummerFest. The trio consists of Toninho Horta (vocals and guitar) [pictured], James Genus (bass) and Manolo Badrena (percussion). For more information, go here. And here's Toninho Horta playing and singing Stella by Starlight with Gary Peacock and Billy Higgins...
Jazz radio. Looking for uninterrupted jazz while you work? Tired of Pandora? Try Paul Roark's Rev Hot & Blue here. Good stuff. [Pictured above: Paul Roark]
Roots of Boots Brown. In the wake of my posts (here and here) last week on Boots Brown—Shorty Rogers' alter ego—Todd Selbert, Bob Porter, Will Friedwald and others wrote in to note that Rogers had recorded Big Boy, a jump-boogie track by Rogers and Jimmy Giuffre, in late 1951 for the Skylark label. I don't have a recording of it to share with you but go here for an in-depth article by James Harrod.
Paul Desmond. Looks like Take Five: The Public and Private Lives of Paul Desmond by Doug Ramsey of Rifftides is now available as an ebook. For more information, go here. [Pictured: Paul Desmond]
Oddball cover of the week.