In today's Wall Street Journal (go here or please buy the Weekend edition), I interview Raquel Welch on one of her favorite songs—Elvis Presley's Heartbreak Hotel. Raquel first heard the song on the radio in early 1956 and then saw Elvis perform it in concert in San Diego that spring. Eight years later she had a small role in a movie with him (Roustabout).
I grew up in the 1960s, when Raquel was larger than life (hey, it's still One Million Years B.C. in my adolescent brain). So chatting music with her was fascinating, as you might imagine. I found Raquel to be blunt, girl-next-door funny and surprisingly analytical. I waited 50 years for that interview and loved every minute of it.
Johnny Mandel and Voices. Today (Saturday), the L.A. Jazz Institute is hosting an all-star tribute to the film music of Johnny Mandel. The festivities start at 8 pm. and will include the Inner Voices singing Close Enough For Love and Quietly There, featuring Sue Raney. Other singers are Pinky Winters, Kurt Reichenbach and Andrea Baker. Then the Johnny Mandel Big Band goes on. The Inner Voices include Shelby Flint, Morgan, Clydene Jackson, Michael Mishaw and Bob Joyce. For my interview with Johnny, go here.
Henri Renaud update. In the wake of my post last week on French pianist Henri Renaud, Klaus Kilian of Germany wrote to tell me that Renaud's 1951 Saturne session is still available on CD from ParisJazzCorner.com here.
Message from Clark and Gwen Terry. As donations continue to pour in to help offset the cost of Clark Terry's at-home care (go here), Clark's wife Gwen sent along a lovely note:
"Clark l-o-v-e-d the post!!! He was smiling big smiles as I told him all about it. He said, 'Marc, man, thanks for doing all of that on your website for me. You and Maxine [Gordon] are beautiful friends. Very beautiful. And I want you to know that whenever we can spend a little time on the phone, I will be happier than I am already. I love you both, and you have to know that I've got to keep on keepin' on because you and so many beautiful people keep giving me reasons to do my best. God bless you!'
"You are making him happier than you can imagine. We talk about how much it means to us. It's amazing and humbling it is to receive so many donations from all over the world. There just aren't enough words to tell you how sincerely grateful we are each day. Thank you, thank you, thank you. If ever you want to see living miracles, just look in the mirror at yourselves."
Miles Davis radio. On Sunday (Oct. 27), saxophonist-educator Bill Kirchner will feature trumpeter Miles Davis' 1969 quintet on his WBGO-New York "Jazz From the Archives" show. Known as Davis' "Last Quintet" or "Lost Quintet," the group (with Wayne Shorter, tenor and soprano saxophones; Chick Corea, Fender Rhodes electric piano; Dave Holland, bass; Jack DeJohnette, drums) is captured in Europe on Sony's new multi-CD (and DVD) package. You can listen on your computer from anywhere in the world on WBGO at 11 p.m. (EDT). by going here.
Clifford Brown radio. On Wednesday (Oct. 30), WKCR-New York will present its annual Clifford Brown Birthday Broadcast, playing the trumpeter's music around the clock for 24 hours. You can listen on your computer from anywhere in the world by going here.
Stan Getz radio. Radio host David Brent Johnson recently covered the last years of Stan Getz's life on his Night Lights radio show. Perfect for early autumn. To listen to David's podcast on Stan Getz, go here.
The Pauly Cohen Story, a documentary by Bret Primack, is being screened at the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival today (Oct. 26). Bret will be there along with Pauly. Go here. Here's the trailer...
Fania Records. JazzWax reader Tom Fine tells me that Fania Records has been revived and is now offering their classics remastered and for sale as reasonable-priced downloads. Go here.
CD discoveries of the week. Houston Person remains the most seductive tenor saxophonist on the scene today. He swings with such poise on uptempo tunes and cries through the instrument on ballads. On Nice 'n' Easy (High Note), Houston plays a range of tunes, from All My Tomorrows and the title track to It's All in the Game and Ill Wind. A sublime blend of jazz and soul.
Trumpeter Marquis Hill's The Poet blends hardbop and jazz-soul neatly with touches of experimentation. All of the tracks are Hill originals, and the sextet here works the material tightly. Hill's Blacktet features saxophonist Christopher McBride, vibist Justin Thomas, pianist Josh Moshier, bassist Joshua Ramos and drummer Makaya McCraven. Sample Vella and Again Never. Engaging, heat-seeking songs and arrangements that are compact and have a late-night feel.
The Verse Music Group released additional albums from its newly acquired Bethlehem catalog. They include Dexter Gordon's Daddy Plays the Horn, Nina Simone's Little Girl Blue, Oscar Pettiford's Modern Quintet, Chris Connor's Sings Lullabys for Lovers, Booker Ervin's The Book and Charles Mingus' Jazz Experiments. All have been remastered and are avialble at iTunes and Amazon.
Oddball album cover of the week.
Yikes! Based on our model's face, the shepherd swinging again can't be a good thing. Of course, the title has meaning. Reed player Moe Koffman's recording of Swinging Shepherd Blues in 1957 became a hit—hence the playful title. But I'm still not certain about the intent of the imagery. Did the off-camera "shepherd" provide our model with the shearling—or is she the lamb? Either way, the poor flute seems caught in the middle of the drama.