Posts filtered by tags: Frank Morgan[x]


This Actor Played Five Separate Roles In The Wizard Of Oz

Because of the popularity of 1939's "The Wizard of Oz," a movie that was notoriously dangerous to film, modern audiences have a great deal of information about its production. Many books have been written about "The Wizard of Oz." I recommend "The Making of The Wizard of Oz: Movie Magic and Studio Power" (1977) by Aljean Harmetz for a good historical view of film production in 1939. But even for those of us who have seen the film dozens if not hundreds of times, there may be details, lyrics, nua...
Tags: Movies, West, Kansas, Rooney, Dorothy, Florence, Eddie Murphy, Morgan, Emerald City, Fleming, Zeke, Frank Morgan, Frank Baum, Mickey Rooney, Victor Fleming, Jack Haley

Jimmy Heath (1926-2020)

Jimmy Heath, a tenor saxophonist with exceptional gifts as a composer, arranger and player who spent critical years of the 1950s in prison for the sale of heroin but rebuilt his career in the 1960s and beyond, died on January 19. He was 93. [Photo above of Jimmy Heath by Francis Wolff (c) Mosaic Images] Nicknamed "Little Bird" for his Parker-like fluidity when he played alto saxophone in the late 1940, Jimmy didn't start recording leadership albums until 1959, when Orrin Keepnews brought him i...
Tags: John Lewis, New York, Navy, Fats, Ireland, Paris, Davis, Wisconsin, Newfoundland, Jazz, Bird, PERCY, Philadelphia, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Gillespie

Spud Murphy: New Orbits

Lyle "Spud" Murphy was an extraordinary composer-arranger who recorded only two LP albums as a leader in the mid-1950s—despite having started his recording career in 1928. Murphy arranged for Benny Goodman in 1935 and '36 before recording as a leader in 1939 in the 78 era and playing trombone in Charlie Barnet's band from '39 to '41. During the pre-war years, Murphy wrote more than 600 arrangements and more than 100 compositions. After service in the Merchant Marine during World War II, Murphy...
Tags: Hollywood, Jazz, Murphy, Buddy Collette, Frank Morgan, Lennie Tristano, Benny Goodman, Marc Myers, Arnold Schoenberg, Benny Carter, Merchant Marine, Larry Bunker, Chico Hamilton, Buddy Clark, Bob Gordon, Charlie Barnet

Prisoner #B57661

Reggie Austin rehearsing with Grace Kelly in Taos NM. ©NC Heikin Over the weekend, I met NC Heikin*, a fellow filmmaker for a drink in Paris. She ordered a green healthy juice and I had a cosmopolitan, my toddler was sleeping in her stroller next to us, then we started talking about our projects as filmmakers usually do. NC told me she'd been following the story of Reggie Austin, a man who'd killed his girlfriend when he was high on heroine. He was given parole after 35 years in prison. I'm ver...
Tags: News, California, France, US, America, San Francisco, Austin, Netflix, New York Times, Paris, International criminal court, Lincoln Center, Huffington Post, New York State, Grace Kelly, Sundance

Weekend Wax Bits

This week in the Wall Street Journal, I had a rare opportunity to interview novelist Herman Wouk, pronounced "woke" (go here). The 100-year-old author of Marjorie Morningstar, the Caine Mutiny, the Winds of War and War and Remembrance among others, talked about his childhood growing up on Aldus St. in the Bronx. We did the interview by video Skype, and the experience was fascinating. I have to say, I've ghosted many great authors for the "House Call" column, including Joyce Carol Oates, Amy ...
Tags: New York, Bbc, New Jersey, Bronx, Shirley Bassey, Skype, Wall Street Journal, Baker, WSJ, Woodstock, Chet Baker, West Village, George, Duke Ellington, Penny Lane, Leslie

'Sound of Redemption' plays it straight and true on jazzman Frank Morgan

Jazz progressed rapidly during the 1950s and 1960s but be-bopper Frank Morgan mostly missed it because he was in jail, paying for the crimes he committed to support his heroin habit. Incredibly, when Morgan re-emerged in the 1980s he picked up where he left off, playing old-fashioned music that still sounded fresh and exciting.
Tags: Morgan, Frank Morgan