Bob Florence

Last week I found the following cd for 3 € in a second hand bookstore :

Bob Florence Big Band Live at Concerts by The Sea
Trend records TRCD 523
Recorded 15-18.06.1979 at Concerts By The Sea, Redondo Beach

Setlist :
1. Be Bop Charlie
2. Lonely Carousel
3. Evie
4. Wide Open Spaces
5. I'll remember
6. Party Hearty


Amongst the musicians of the big band we can Nick Ceroli, Bob Cooper, Pet Christlieb, Bill Perkins en Buddy Childers are the most well known. They play only Bob Florence compositions. The music is very appealing and offers a great listen. Ah it does some good to listen at some big band recordings and no it must not always be Duke or Basie. Since the music on the cd is recorded during several days one might hope more of it might pop up…

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Anita O' Day RIP

October 18, 1919-November 23, 2006

Jazz Vocal legend Anita O'Day passed this morning October 23, 2006 at 6:17AM in West Los Angeles. The cause of death was cardiac arrest according to her manager Robbie Cavalina.

Born Anita Belle Colton in Chicago, Illinois on October 18, 1919, O'Day got her start as a teen. She eventually changed her name to O'Day and in the late 1930's began singing in a jazz club called the Off- Beat, a popular hangout for musicians like band leader and drummer Gene Krupa. In 1941 she joined Krupa's band, and a few weeks later Krupa hired trumpeter Roy Eldridge. O'Day and Eldridge had great chemistry on stage and their duet "Let Me Off Uptown" became a million-dollar-seller, boosting the popularity of the Krupa band. Also that year, "Down Beat" magazine named O'Day "New Star of the Year" and, in 1942, she was selected as one of the top five big band singers.

After her stint with, Krupa, O'Day joined Stan Kenton's band. She left the band after a year and returned to Krupa. Singer Jackie Cain remembers the first time she saw O'Day with the Krupa band. "I was really impressed," she recalls, "She (O'Day) sang with a jazz feel, and that was kind of fresh and new at the time." Later, O'Day joined Stan Kenton's band with whom she cut an album that featured the hit tune "And Her Tears Flowed Like Wine"

In the late'40s, O'Day struck out on her own. She teamed up with drummer John Poole, with whom she played for the next 32 years. Her album "Anita", which she recorded on producer Norman Granz's new Verve label, elevated her career to new heights. She began performing in festivals and concerts with such illustrious musicians as Louis Armstrong, Dinah Washington, Georg Shearing and Thelonious Monk. O'Day also appeared in the documentary filmed at the Newport Jazz Festival in 1958 called "Jazz on a Summer Day", which made her an international star.

Throughout the '60s Anita continued to tour and record while addicted to heroin and in 1969 she nearly died from an overdose. O'Day eventually beat her addiction and returned to work. In 1981 she published her autobiography "High Times, Hard Times" which, among other things, talked candidly about her drug addiction.

Her final recording was "Indestructible Anita O'Day" and featured Eddie Locke, Chip Jackson, Roswell Rudd, Lafayette Harris, Tommy Morimoto and the great Joe Wider. A documentary, "ANITA O'DAY-THE LIFE OF A JAZZ SINGER" will be released in 2007.

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Miles On Sunday

Even on syndays the NYT is interesting ;-). First of all there is the ongoing series of Michael Connelly's 'The Overlook' (see Funny Pages in the NYT Magazine) and in it's today edition they have an articles on Miles. Read more here.

Have a nice sunday!

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Maria Schneider

Interesting article as well in the NYT on Maria Schneider who discusses some recordings. Here's an excerpt on the Gil and Miles collaboration :

She put on “Concierto de Aranjuez,” from “Sketches of Spain,” one of Evans’s collaborations with Miles Davis. It starts with castanets and harp; then soft orchestral lines move in for the theme, before Davis enters, a minute into the piece. “Check this out,” she said.

Davis enters with a soft flourish, and the orchestra goes into a kind of slow motion. “You know how Armani knows how to dress a woman up and make her look just incredible?” she asked. “Gil knew how to dress a soloist and make that soloist so beautiful, you know? So there’s all this fluttering — this movement, the tuba’s playing these melodies, there’s all these things going on — and when Miles enters, everything stops.” As if stirring to life again, more lines form after a minute, with curious crisscrossing momentum; it sounds improvised, but it was all was precisely composed.


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Dave Douglas in Antwerp

While spending a long weekend in Antwerp we used it to meet some friends at a Dave Douglas Concert. I saw mr. Douglas a few years ago with quite the same 5tet : Uri Caine on fender, James Genus b, Clarence Penn ds. The it was Rick Margitza on ts and now Don MacCaslin.

Well to be honest, i enjoyed a lot the concert a few years ago but this one will be one of the fast forgotten ones. The first half of an hour they played new pieces, recently written. They didn't knock me out, nor didn't they grip my attention. They had the same all soulless feeling, no atmosphere to react to.

The second half of the concert (yes the last 30 minutes) were used to play some older tracks and had some more groove.

After one hour the gentleman decided it was enough but gave us still 2 encores so in total the concert took about 90 minutes. Anyway for such a boring concert i don't know they had to play 2 encores. From the first note to the last i heard all the time the Ornette - Don Quartet and Miles 2nd Classic Quartet sounds coming through. Better staid at home, invited the friends and listen at the real stuff. Or were some friends so enthusiastic they bought even some cd's from Mr. Douglas?

The way to heaven is long ;-)





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Yesterday we spent a marvellous day in Paris walking around around the Bd St. Michel. I bought a copy of Ornette Colemans 'Sound Grammar' and a Miles Davis boot recorded in Canada early 1990.

On the other hand, why buy a cd when you have a radio who gives you 24/24 jazz. It's called TSF and you can listen at it on the FM radio when you live near enough to Paris ( we do ;-))or via internet.It's a real delight to listen at Trane, Miles, Ella, Diana, Eric Legnini, Brad Mehldau, ... while driving to work and you just forgot a new cd to listen at in the car...



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Maynard Ferguson

Life's getting very slowly back to normal and i had the chance to listen at some cd's. One of them is a recording i did of a tribute program on BBC 3 on Maynard Ferguson. They broadcasted two studio tracks from the 50's but then they broadcasted a few tracks from a 1997 concert with his Big Bop Nouveau Band at The Mill, Wigan Pier.

There was a really interesting arrangement of 'Milestones' with a major role for the pianist who also lead the piece to his end in quite an unexpected way, well for those who know the original theme of course.

Maynard showed also that there are no boundaries in Jazz by playing a tune written by one of his former pianoplayers : 'Birdland' , world famous through Weather Report.The pianist is of course Joe Zawinul. Great rendition of Birdland, what a groove and drive he's band had. I played it twice while driving home from the office yesterday evening which was a good energy injection...

RIP Maynard, that marvelous music you left us is a real solace!

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