Posts filtered by tags: Marc Myers[x]


 

Stacy, Pinky and Ella

In The Wall Street Journal this week, I interviewed actor Stacy Keach for my "House Call" column in the Mansion section (go here). Stacy talked about his cleft lip and the step his mother took to make sure a bully never picked on him again. Stacy is currently in the CBS sitcom Man With a Plan. [Photo above of Stacy Keach courtesy of CBS] Here's the film's final scene with Keach and Jeff Bridges... And here's director John Huston being interviewed about the film... SiriusXM. If you mi...
Tags: Marc Myers


Count Basie Videos: 1959-'61

By the late 1950s, Count Basie's European tour schedule was becoming increasingly crowded. Here are three recently uploaded YouTube videos of Basie's New Testament band on the road in 1959, 1960 and 1961: Here's Basie in Zurich, Switzerland, in 1959... Here's Basie in Milan, Italy, in 1960... And here's Basie in Paris in 1961...         Related Stories Andre Persiany Plays the Count  [Author: Marc Myers]
Tags: Count Basie, Marc Myers


Johnny Mandel at the Movies

Another jazz artist who became a spectacular composer, arranger and conductor for the movies starting in the late 1950s is Johnny Mandel. His haunting love themes, sweeping strings and nocturnal horns were more brooding and jazz influenced than perhaps any other Hollywood arranger. Here are 10 of my favorite Johnny Mandel scores: Here's the main theme from I Want to Live (1957), with Gerry Mulligan on baritone saxophone... Here's Emily from The Americanization of Emily (1964)... Here's Th...
Tags: Hollywood, Jazz, Johnny, Emily, Glengarry Glen Ross, Wayne Shorter, Gerry Mulligan, Marc Myers, JazzWax, Johnny Mandel, Ruth Price, Jack Sheldon, Irene Kral, Sea Dawn


Neal Hefti at the Movies

Like Henry Mancini, arranger-composer Neal Hefti turned to the movies (and television) for work in the 1960s and beyond. Best known in the '50s for updating the swing and snap of Count Basie's New Testament band, Hefti wrote movie scores in the '60s that were distinctly jaunty, jovial and wistful They crystallized the young-adult mood of those years. Hefti knew how to write simple, catchy melodies and bring strings together with horns and reeds in a way that kept the music hip and light. [Photo...
Tags: New York, Manhattan, Jazz, Mancini, Boeing Boeing, Henry Mancini, Marc Myers, Neal Hefti, Hefti


Betty Carter: Music Never Stops

After singing with Lionel Hampton in the late 1940s, vocalist Betty Carter had her first hit with Hampton's Red Top in 1952. Teamed with vocalist King Pleasure, their vocalese duet put words to the solo melodies of tenor saxophonist Gene Ammons and trumpeter Gail Brockman on their 1947 version of Red Top. Between 1956 and 1964, Carter recorded six studio albums and then took a break to raise a family. By the time she returned at the end of the decade, she was in less demand. Her unusual way of ...
Tags: Spotify, Jazz, Lincoln Center, Vermont, Carter, Ben, Maynard, Geri Allen, Joe Temperley, Cyrus Chestnut, Marc Myers, Lionel Hampton, Joe Randazzo, Jon Hendricks, Jerry Dodgion, Kenny Washington


Alan Broadbent: New York Notes

I began paying attention to pianist-arranger Alan Broadbent in 1973, when Woody Herman's Giant Steps came out. It was my senior year in high school, and the wife of the band's drummer, Ed Soph, was one of my teachers. I wasn't much of a student during high school until my last year, when I began acing everything. I have no idea what motivated the turnaround. Perhaps the editorship of the high school newspaper straightened me out. Or maybe it was the new batch of young teachers who were less for...
Tags: New York, Jazz, Miles Davis, Alan, Chet Baker, Herman, Bill Evans, Bud Powell, Dandy, Lennie Tristano, Woody Herman, Marc Myers, Tristano, Sonny Stitt, Harvie, Alan Broadbent


Wolfgang, Joe and Nancy

In The Wall Street Journal this week, my "Anatomy of a Song" column drilled down on  at T. Rex's Bang a Gong (Get It On) (go here). I interviewed the great Tony Visconti (the song's producer and David Bowie's long-time producer) and drummer Bill Legend, the last surviving member of T. Rex from the early 1970s. Get It On launched the glam-rock movement and predates Bowie's Ziggy Stardust. Here's Marc Bolan, who died in an auto accident in 1977, and the rest of T. Rex in December 1971 on the B...
Tags: Jazz, Marc Myers


Dexter in Denmark, 1962

At a New York bar In 1962, Dexter Gordon ran into saxophonist Ronnie Scott, the co-owner of Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club in London. Scott asked Gordon if he wanted to work at his place. Gorden, as his wife, Maxine, notes in her 2018 book, The Life and Legacy of Dexter Gordon, had never been out of the country except for a brief visit just over the border in Mexico. Gordon surely asked Scott about pay and any other incentives he wanted. Then he agreed to play there that fall, and they shook hands. [...
Tags: Jazz, Dexter Gordon, Marc Myers, Sahib Shihab, Maxine Gordon, Alex Riel, Benny Nielsen, Hanne Borchsenius, Harold Goldberg, Lars Gulin


Gene Cipriano: First Time Out

Since 1947, reed player Gene "Cip" Cipriano has recorded on thousands of albums, singles, TV shows and movies. He's one of the most recorded session musicians in the business. Cip can be heard playing the flute solo on Henry Mancini's Baby Elephant Walk in Hatari! and soloing on tenor sax for Tony Curtis in Billy Wilder's film Some Like It Hot (1959). He's on albums with Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, Rosemary Clooney and dozens of others. And that's just on the pop side. In the j...
Tags: Los Angeles, Jazz, Rosemary, Billy Wilder, Tony Curtis, Don, CIP, Buddy Collette, Henry Mancini, Artie Shaw, Jerry Williams, Ranier, Dennis McCarthy, Marc Myers, Johnny Mandel, Pete Christlieb


Gary McFarland on Madison Ave.

Following my post on Gary McFarland last week, I nosed around online and found a Fresca TV ad that McFarland wrote, arranged and conducted in 1966. It was posted by Kristian St. Clair, who directed the documentary This Is Gary McFarland. First, here's the Fresca soda ad, with McFarland in the ad conducting... So I reached out to Kristian to find out more about McFarland's advertising career. Here's what Kristian told me: Hi Marc. I'm glad you asked. It's definitely one of my favorite Gary ...
Tags: Jazz, Volvo, Gary, Kristian, McFarland, Marc, McCann Erickson, Gary McFarland, Kristian St Clair, Corky Hale, Marc Myers, Bob Brookmeyer, Herb Pomeroy, Gerwin, Chico Hamilton, Gail Gary


Olivia, Gary and the Zombies

In The Wall Street Journal this week, I interviewed Olivia Newton-John for my my "House Call" column in the paper's Mansion section (go here). Until I began my pre-interview research, I had no idea Olivia's grandfather was Max Born, the physicist and mathematician who received a Nobel Prize for developing quantum mechanics. Or that when her mother was little, Albert Einstein played violin in her mother's home in Germany while her father played piano. As Olivia pertly remarked, "Well, at leas...
Tags: UK, England, New York, Milan, Germany, US, America, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Atlantic, Broadway, Jazz, Denmark, Albert Einstein, Scandinavia, Baltimore


Sahib Shihab: Danish Group

As a member of the Quincy Jones Big Band, saxophonist and flutist Sahib Shihab had a chance to travel extensively abroad. In 1959 and '60, the band was in Paris, where Sahib had an opportunity to record and experience Europe for the first time. He found the city relaxing, racially tolerant, art-focused and beautiful during the day and late at night. I know this because Sahib told me when I interviewed him at Rutgers University in the early 1980s, when he was a visiting professor there. [Photo a...
Tags: Europe, Sweden, Germany, Paris, Jazz, Denmark, Copenhagen, Jones, Rutgers University, Harvey, Marc Myers, Quincy Jones Big Band, Sahib Shihab, Sahib, Niels Henning Orsted Pedersen, Jan Persson


Billy VerPlanck: Playgirls Jazz

Arranger-trombonist Billy VerPlanck's real first name was John. He called himself Billy after hearing Woody Herman's trombonist Bill Harris in the 1940s. VerPlanck was in Jimmy Dorsey's orchestra in 1952, and with Claude Thornhill from 1953 to 1955. Then he played with Charlie Spivak, where he met his future wife, Marlene, the band's singer. They both moved to Tommy Dorsey's band for seven months in '56. When Dorsey died in November, Billy re-joined Jimmy Dorsey's band and wound up on his So Ra...
Tags: Playboy, Jazz, Woods, Dorsey, Billy, Chet Baker, HARRIS, Allen, Powell, Savoy, Charlie Parker, Tommy Dorsey, John He, Marlene, Phil Woods, Horace Silver


Gary McFarland: Departure Point

In the late 1950s and early '60s, a new breed of jazz arranger began to surface. Some were deeply influenced by modern classical orchestral music. Others such as Johnny Mandel, Manny Albam, Johnny Pate and Oliver Nelson were swayed by the drama and subtle incidental melodies of television and the movies. Among the latter group, the most innovative and musically dashing was Gary McFarland. Born in Oregon in 1933, McFarland was something of a savant, teaching himself to play boogie-woogie piano....
Tags: Spotify, New York, Oregon, David, Army, Manhattan, Jazz, East Coast, Gary, Lewis, Lisa, Greenwich Village, Bill Evans, McFarland, Oliver Nelson, Henry Mancini


Five Videos: Papa Jo Jones

Few drummers make me smile more than Jo Jones. Jones began jazz drumming professionally in the 1920s and first recorded in 1931 with Hunter's Serenades. Jones is probably best known for playing with Count Basie's earliest band in 1934 and recording with Basie starting in 1936. He was one of the first drummers to make use of the brushes and among the first to steer timekeeping away from the bass drum and turn that job over to the hi-hat cymbal, producing what today is jazz's familiar modern soun...
Tags: Jazz, Cbs, Philips, Illinois, Louis Armstrong, Jones, Eddie Jones, Hunter, Philly, George Benson, Ben Webster, Oscar Peterson, Teddy Wilson, Count Basie, Ray Brown, Gerry Mulligan


Bobby Jaspar: The Early Years

Jazz musicians in continental Europe who emerged in the 1940s held a special distinction. They survived World War II in countries occupied by the Germans. Jazz was used by them almost as therapy to express the terror of brutality and the joy of liberation. This certainly was true of the young Bobby Jaspar, a resourceful Belgian woodwind player who would go on to become one of the most significant European jazz musicians of the 1950s and early '60s. Born and raised in Liège, Belgium, Jaspar watc...
Tags: Europe, Sweden, Paris, Belgium, Jazz, Gillespie, Tunisia, Bobby, Don, Stan Getz, Dizzy Gillespie, John Ward, Getz, Liege, David Johnson, Haig


Roxy Coss: Future Is Female

Jazz and politics go way back. One can argue that Louis Armstrong's Hot Five and Hot Seven recordings in the 1920s were political since they were a daring push to be taken seriously and treated equally. Most blues recordings of the 1930s and '40s also were political in that they were creative expressions of an impoverished "low-down" life experienced by many Americans during the Depression, particularly African-Americans in the South. In the 1950s and beyond, jazz as an individualized form too...
Tags: Nigeria, Alabama, Harvey Weinstein, Jazz, John Coltrane, Seattle, South, Charles Mingus, Sonny, John Scofield, Sonny Rollins, Marc Myers, Max Roach, Louis Armstrong s Hot Five, Roxy Coss, Coss


More Japanese Big Bands

Last week, I posted on top Japanese big bands that accompanied touring American singers in the early 1960s as well as a couple of top ones today. Your response was huge, so I decided to feature another post with readers' picks: The first three featuring the Free Hills Jazz Orchestra (FHJO) of Japan are from Dave Walker. Talk about girl power!: Here's the FHJO in 2018 playing Gordon Goodwin's The Check's in the Mail... Here's the FHJO last year at the Nagoya Young Jazz Festival that includes ...
Tags: Japan, Australia, Jazz, Tokyo, Art Blakey, Miles Davis, Jeff, Bobby Timmons, Alan Matheson, Marc Myers, Lee Morgan, Jack Teagarden, Dave Walker, Blakey, Jymie Merritt, Les Johnston


Keith, Tony and Bill

In The Wall Street Journal this week, I interviewed Keith Richards and Steve Jordan on their 1988 song, Take It So Hard, off of Keith's first solo album, Talk Is Cheap (go here). The interview was for my "Anatomy of a Song" column. I interviewed Keith once before, when we talked about the writing and recording of Street Fighting Man. As rockers go, Keith is about as hip and verbally interesting as they get. Always fun. Talk Is Cheap will be re-issues with bonus tracks today here. Also in t...
Tags: Hbo, England, London, Los Angeles, Jazz, Bill, Keith Richards, Wall Street Journal, Jackie, WSJ, Gary, Keith, Tony, Marty, George Benson, Bill Evans


Bill Perkins + J.C. Heard

In late 1963, as gigs and recording work slowed in New York for drummer J.C. Heard, he began to listen more intently to his brother-in-law, bassist Al McKibbon. If you want more work, McKibbon said, come out to Los Angeles. A seasoned protege of Papa Jo Jones, Heard had played with many of the top big bands and recorded behind virtually every major jazz leader since 1939. In the 1940s and '50s, he could play swing, bop, blues and everything else in between. [Photo of J.C. Heard above by Francis...
Tags: New York, Los Angeles, Jazz, Bob, West Coast, Nelson, Harlem, Perkins, Don, Esquire, Francis Wolff, Oliver Nelson, Hoss, Milt Hinton, Howard Rumsey, Rumsey


5 Japanese Big Bands

When many American big-band singers toured Japan and Australia in the early 1960s, musical directors brought along the arrangements rather than 18 to 21 musicians. In some cases it was cheaper. In other situations, countries and unions had regulations that insisted that artists hire their own musicians for the job. Like Australia, Japan had top-notch big-band players then and today, the nation still does. Here are five videos featuring terrific Japanese bands: Here's Anita O'Day in 1963... H...
Tags: Japan, Australia, Jazz, Australia Japan, Big Bands, Marc Myers, Bill Watrous, Four Freshmen, Anita O'Day, Ali Ryerson, Masaru Uchibori


Deodato: Os Catedráticos 73

In 1972, around the time that Eumir Deodato was recording Prelude, an album for CTI that would become a massive hit, the Brazilian arranger and keyboardist also was recording Os Catedráticos 73 in Rio de Janeiro and New York. The album was a gentler and more lyrical, samba-rich ride than the fusion-y Prelude and something of a hedge. The glorious album has just been remastered and reissued by the U.K.'s Far Out Recordings. By the time these two albums were released in 1973, most record buyers ...
Tags: New York, Brazil, Jazz, Rio De Janeiro, CTI, Marc Myers, Eumir Deodato, Pete Turner, Walter Wanderley, Deodato, Catedráticos, Os Catedráticos, Carly Carole, White Puma


Perfect Album; Plays for Bird

It's hard to pick a perfect Sonny Rollins album. So many of them are great. They all have distinct personalities, and nearly all are monumental expressions and achievements. So I made my decision based on feel. I know Sonny. We frequently have long phone conversations. I can hear on albums when he wasn't in a good mood, when he was ferociously competitive, when he was upbeat or unhappy, and so on. [Photo above of Sonny Rollins by Chuck Stewart] The album I chose for this series is Rollins Play...
Tags: Boston, House, Jazz, Norway, Louisiana, Parker, Sonny, Rollins, Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Morrow, Roach, Horace Silver, Sonny Rollins, Marc Myers, Max Roach


Meredith and Marian in 1994

In 1994, singer-pianist Meredith d'Ambrosio was a guest on Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz program on NPR. As always, there were solo pieces by both artists and then a couple of duets. But on Alone Together, Meredith demonstrated her "paraphrasing" vocal style on which which she sings a solo using words, not notes. As she told Marian, her fingers tended to fall over each other when soloing and didn't seem able to accomplish what her brain wanted them to do. So Meredith soloed with words instead ...
Tags: Jazz, Meredith, Ambrosio, Marian McPartland, Marian, Marc Myers, Meredith D Ambrosio, MASHPEE Mass


Irene Kral: Steveireneo!, 1959

Irene Kral recorded quite a few good albums but four great ones. My favorites by the singer and sister of Roy Kral (of Jackie and Roy fame) include her very first tracks on Maynard Ferguson's Boy With Lots of Brass (1957), on which she sang Imagination, The Song Is You, I Hadn't Anyone But You and Moonlight in Vermont. She would marry Ferguson trumpeter Joe Burnett a year later. I also love the two albums she recorded with extraordinary pianist Alan Broadbent—Where Is Love? (1974) and Gentle Ra...
Tags: New York, Jazz, Ferguson, Roy, Nye, Jackie, Vermont, Steve, Melissa, Allen, Riverside, Jodi, Steve Allen, Alan Shulman, Joe Newman, Kral


Ronnie, Meredith and Dorothy

In The Wall Street Journal this week, I interviewed Ronnie Spector of the Ronettes for my "House Call" column in the Mansion section (go here). We talked about life in the suburbs of Connecticut, the wild animal that caused her to move from a house to a condo and the reason she started to cry during our touching interview. [Photo above courtesy of Ronnie Spector] Here's Ronnie and sister Estelle, left, and cousin Nedra, in November 1965 in the jukebox film The Big T.N.T. Show, singing their ...
Tags: Japan, New York, Boston, America, Britain, Mtv, Connecticut, Brian Wilson, James Bond, Jazz, Roy, Mansion, Meredith, Dorothy, Wall Street Journal, Jackie


Perfect Album: Louisiana Slim

One of my favorite 1970s Hammond organists is Leon Spencer. Along with Melvin Sparks (g) Idris Muhammad (d) and Buddy Caldwell (cga), Spencer was a virtual house organist for Prestige during that decade. In addition to recording behind Sonny Stitt and Gene Ammons, Spencer was on several Blue Note albums by Lou Donaldson. In between, Spencer recorded a handful of leadership albums for Prestige. His finest, Louisiana Slim, is perfect on every score. Recorded in 1971 and produced by Bob Porter, t...
Tags: New York, Boston, Jazz, Bob, Marvin Gaye, Hammond, Spencer, Grover Washington Jr, Buddy Caldwell, Horace Silver, Lou Donaldson, Marc Myers, Oscar Pettiford, Maynard Ferguson, Sonny Stitt, Idris Muhammad


Meredith d'Ambrosio in 1981

One of my regrets about my college years in Boston during the 1970s is not going to see Meredith d'Ambrosio perform around town. Back then, I was either at the Harvard "Coop" buying jazz LPs, at Paul's Mall and the Jazz Workshop at night during the week and at discos on the weekends. Soon after I started JazzWax in 2007, I made up for lost time, and Meredith and I have been pals ever since. Yesterday, I spent much of the afternoon with Meredith's Another Time. Recorded in 1981 at the Beacon Hi...
Tags: Apple, Amazon, Boston, Jazz, Meredith, Johnny Mercer, George, Ken, Wilder, Aren, Copley, Beacon Hill, Bill Evans, Ambrosio, Jimmy Van Heusen, Ira Gershwin


Meredith D'Ambrosio in 1981

One of my regrets about my college years in Boston during the 1970s is not going to see Meredith D'Ambrosio perform around town. Back then, I was either at the Harvard "Coop" buying jazz LPs, at Paul's Mall and the Jazz Workshop at night during the week and at discos on the weekends. Soon after I started JazzWax in 2007, I made up for lost time, and Meredith and I have been close pals ever since. Yesterday, I spent much of the afternoon with Meredith's Another Time. Recorded in 1981 at the Bea...
Tags: Amazon, Boston, Jazz, Meredith, Johnny Mercer, George, Ken, Wilder, Aren, Copley, Beacon Hill, Bill Evans, Jimmy Van Heusen, Ira Gershwin, Bob Dorough, Hoagy Carmichael


Peterson + Dandridge, 1958

Cast in the 1954 film Carmen Jones, Dorothy Dandridge became the first African-American actress to be nominated for an Oscar in a leading role. The attention was both a blessing and a curse. She earned a fortune from the film and was suddenly the toast of Hollywood. But her relationships with men ended in disaster, Confidential made mincemeat of her reputation before she successfully sued the Hollywood tabloid to cease publishing false scandalous stories, abusive husbands siphoned off her savin...
Tags: Hollywood, Jazz, Dorothy Dandridge, Oscar Peterson, Ray Brown, Otto Preminger, Dandridge, Marc Myers, Porgy Bess, Norman Granz, Granz, Herb Ellis, Alvin Stoller, Oscar Peterson Trio, Peterson Dandridge, Carmen Jones Dorothy Dandridge