In our minds, we tend to divide 20th century history into two periods—black-and-white and color. We expect the years before 1950 to be illustrated with dramatic black-and-white photos and film while the years after 1950 to be depicted in friendly color. So when lush and lively color images surface of pre-1950 jazz musicians, we're a bit taken aback. That's because color lets us view them as our contemporaries, not figures from a thick book. Jim Eigo of Jazz Promo Services sent along a link to 20 such color photos by Nat Singerman published online by The New York Times. Go here. [Photo above of Mary Lou Williams by Nat Singerman, circa 1950]
Happy Birthday Sonny Rollins! Sonny turns 83 today, so Bret Primack reached out to capture a birthday message from the mighty improviser. Listen as Sonny speaks. He delivers his message in musical measures—four beats and a rest. Fascinating—and a lovely message from the man who changed the sound of the tenor saxophone in the mid-1950s...
Wall Street Journal alert: In the weekend's edition of the Review section, I interview John Farrell [pictured above], manager of the Boston Red Sox, on his favorite song—Bruce Springsteen's Darkness on the Edge of Town. Go here or please buy the paper.
Bert van den Brink. JazzWax reader Gezinus Wolters of the Netherlands sent this along this video of Bert van den Brink, a blind Dutch pianist, with Toots Thielemans on harmonica...
Jazz in New York. Cornetist Ed Polcer [above] leads the Bechet Society fall concert at Symphony Space on Monday, Sept. 9. He'll be joined by Joe Midiri on soprano sax and clarinet, Paul Midiri on trombone and vibes, Mark Shane on piano, Frank Tate on bass, and Marion Felder on drums. For more information, go here... If you're in New York looking for music on Sunday, September 15, music writer and pianist Stuart Isacoff will join bassist Ratzo Harris at Smalls Jazz Club at 183 W. 10th St. They'll be playing from 4:30 to 7 p.m.
CD discoveries of the week will return next weekend.
Oddball album cover of the week.
Let's focus on the album's title. I see only one cocktail that our gentleman friend is on the verge on shoving down our model's throat. As for that conversation part, well his wolf-like eyes seem to be doing all the talking.