Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Archive for the ‘Jazz’ Category

A Dance to ‘Swing, Swing, Swing,’ by Benny Goodman Orchestra (from a riff by Chick Webb)

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Written by LeisureGuy

8 April 2021 at 8:12 pm

Posted in Art, Daily life, Jazz, Music, Video

Hellzapoppin (colorized)

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Written by LeisureGuy

14 March 2021 at 4:35 pm

Posted in Jazz, Movies & TV

The most feared song in jazz, explained

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Written by LeisureGuy

24 February 2021 at 6:32 pm

Posted in Jazz, Music, Video

Wow! Watch this Instagram

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Written by LeisureGuy

25 January 2021 at 8:02 pm

Posted in Jazz, Music, Video

Gene Krupa and Buddy Rich with Sammy Davis, Jr.

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Not to forget Zutty Singleton:

Written by LeisureGuy

16 January 2021 at 6:39 pm

Posted in Jazz, Music, Video

Elton John interviews Diana Krall

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I have loved Diana Krall’s work since her first album, which blew me away. I actually saw her perform in Santa Cruz. It was packed and at the intermission people were in line to to use the rest rooms. She walked up, asked where the rest rooms were, and as she walked away a woman standing near me turned and said, “It must be reincarnation. She’s too young to be that good.”

And she’s from just up the road in Nanaimo (home of the famous Nanaimo Bar), though she now lives in Vancouver and London with her husband Elvis Costello and their twin sons (age 11). Interview is from December 27, 2019.

I really enjoyed this interview and you can search on YouTube and Spotify for more songs by her. (And I also love Julie London’s work and I think I had CDs of everything. And I had lots of Nat King Cole CDs. I remember hearing Nat King Cole from my childhood.)

Written by LeisureGuy

3 December 2020 at 6:57 pm

Posted in Daily life, Jazz, Music, Video

A more pleasant video: Doris Day and Kirk Douglas in a scene from “Young Man with a Horn”

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Young Man with a Horn is an excellent movie in which Hoagy Carmichael also plays (a role and the piano). It continues awhile after the actual ending of the movie, doing an after-the-fact pasted-on fakei-cheery epilogue narrated by Carmichael, but if you stop the movie just before that starts, it’s a great movie. Here’s the scene:

Written by LeisureGuy

3 December 2020 at 6:02 pm

Posted in Jazz, Movies & TV, Video

Autumn Leaves

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These are leaves from cherry blossom trees (which, although there was an abundance of blossoms, gave rise to no cherries that I’ve seen). It struck me as an autumnal image, and of course there’s a tune to go with it.

Written by LeisureGuy

25 November 2020 at 2:38 pm

Posted in Daily life, Jazz, Video

The Nicholas Brothers were polished performers from a young age

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This clip of the Nicholas Brothers is from 1936, but YouTube has one from four years earlier and even in that they are totally professional. They were born in 1914 and 1921, so they are not so young as they appear — but still.

Written by LeisureGuy

15 November 2020 at 9:01 am

Posted in Jazz, Movies & TV, Video

Another look at “Giant Steps”

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Written by LeisureGuy

11 November 2020 at 6:41 pm

Posted in Jazz, Video

ANFSCD: Tuba Skinny – Jubilee Stomp – Royal Street I 2018

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Recorded in New Orleans 04/07/2018

Shaye Cohn – Cornet
Todd Burdick- Tuba/Sousaphone
Robin Rapuzzi – Washboard
Jason Lawrence – Banjo
Max Bien Kahn – Guitar
Greg Sherman – Guitar
Barnabus Jones – Trombone
Ewan Bleach – Clarinet

Buy CD’s: http://tubaskinny.com/updates/

Written by LeisureGuy

8 November 2020 at 11:05 am

Posted in Jazz, Video

Mystery solved: The box-back coat Phil Harris mentions in “That’s What I Like About The South”

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Listen to the song and you’ll hear the line:

I always wondered about the “box-back coat,” and as it happens Harris is wearing one. See the last two coats on the second row.

Written by LeisureGuy

30 October 2020 at 11:58 am

Posted in Daily life, Jazz, Music

Betty Boop as Snow White, and Cab Calloway doing the moonwalk

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The above is from this Open Culture post, well worth reading. You’ll notice that the ghost Cab Calloway does the moonwalk. From the Wikipedia article on the step:

1930s

There are many recorded instances of the moonwalk; similar steps are reported as far back as 1932, used by Cab Calloway. In 1985, Calloway said that the move was called “The Buzz” when he and others performed it in the 1930s.

Written by LeisureGuy

30 October 2020 at 10:51 am

Posted in Jazz, Movies & TV

A synesthete shows what music looks like to her

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Synesthesia is more common than we once realized — perhaps having a term for it enables people to recognize the phenomenon and realize, if they experience synesthesia, they are not alone and so are more willing to talk about it. It turns about that about 1 in 30 people have some form of synesthesia to some degree. There are a few Reddit synesthesia groups devoted to synesthesia — here’s one.

Synesthesia is a condition in which senses meld, so that you see music, or hear numbers, taste shapes, or smell words. Richard Cytowic, in fact, wrote an interesting and informative book on synesthesia titled The Man Who Tasted Shapes. Brain Pickings has a post that discusses synesthesia, and from that post:

Synesthesia is a neurological crossing of the senses, in which a stimulus in one sense (say, sight) evokes a sensorial response in another (say, smell), so that the synesthete registers a particular smell as inherently endowed with a particular color (or a number with a sound, or a tactile texture with a smell). Although synesthesia has long been thought to be an extremely rare condition, a growing body of neurological research and scholarship exploring centuries of written accounts from the world’s body of literature have revealed it to be far more common. Oliver Sacks has written about its science. The writings of Virginia Woolf, Dylan Thomas, James Joyce, William Faulkner, and Charles Baudelaire reveal them to be among its famous embodiments. But no one has described the interior experience of synesthesia and its transcendent sensorial discombobulation more electrically than Vladimir Nabokov (April 22, 1899–July 2, 1977) in his 1951 autobiography, Speak, Memory (public library).

“The confessions of a synesthete must sound tedious and pretentious to those who are protected from such leakings and drafts by more solid walls than mine are,” Nabokov writes, confessing that he has frequently experienced various mild aural and optical hallucinations since childhood. But as the crowning curio of his unusual sensory apparatus, he holds up his “fine case of colored hearing.” Constructing a kind of private Newtonian rainbow or Moses Harris color wheel of the alphabet, Nabokov writes:

Perhaps “hearing” is not quite accurate, since the color sensation seems to be produced by the very act of my orally forming a given letter while I imagine its outline. The long a of the English alphabet (and it is this alphabet I have in mind farther on unless otherwise stated) has for me the tint of weathered wood, but a French a evokes polished ebony. This black group also includes hard g (vulcanized rubber) and r (a sooty rag being ripped). Oatmeal n, noodle-limp l, and the ivory-backed hand mirror of o take care of the whites. I am puzzled by my French on which I see as the brimming tension-surface of alcohol in a small glass. Passing on to the blue group, there is steely x, thundercloud z, and huckleberry k. Since a subtle interaction exists between sound and shape, I see q as browner than k, while s is not the light blue of c, but a curious mixture of azure and mother-of-pearl. Adjacent tints do not merge, and diphthongs do not have special colors of their own, unless represented by a single character in some other language (thus the fluffy-gray, three-stemmed Russian letter that stands for sh, a letter as old as the rushes of the Nile, influences its English representation)… In the green group, there are alder-leaf f, the unripe apple of p, and pistachio t. Dull green, combined somehow with violet, is the best I can do for w. The yellows comprise various e’s and i’s, creamy d, bright-golden y, and u, whose alphabetical value I can express only by “brassy with an olive sheen.” In the brown group, there are the rich rubbery tone of soft g, paler j, and the drab shoelace of h. Finally, among the reds, b has the tone called burnt sienna by painters, m is a fold of pink flannel, and today I have at last perfectly matched v with “Rose Quartz” in Maerz and Paul’s Dictionary of Color. The word for rainbow, a primary, but decidedly muddy, rainbow, is in my private language the hardly pronounceable: kzspygv.

Synesthetes who are musicians may experience sound as having color (Duke Ellington, Marian McPartland, Franz Liszt, Richard Wagner, Pharrell Williams) or as having shapes (Greg Jarvis, who founded the Canadian Synethesia Association.

Michal Levy is a synesthete who experiences musc as colored shapes, and his graduation thesis for Bezalel Academy of Art & Design, Jerusalem, is this animation that depicts her experience of John Coltrane’s “Giant Steps.”

She has another animation that shows her experience of J.S. Bach’s “Prelude in C Minor.” That, along with a description of Kandinski’s experience of music as lines and color, is contained in this post in Open Culture.

I read a science-fiction story when I was in high school in the 1950s in which the protagonist suffered an accident that affected his perceptions. I cannot now recall exactly the effect, but it ended up with a tricky surgery. The final line of the story was his saying, as he recovered consciousness after the operation, “What smells purple?” I wonder whether the writer was a synesthete.

Written by LeisureGuy

29 October 2020 at 10:38 am

Posted in Daily life, Jazz, Music, Video

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Emily Remler, fine jazz guitarist, plays “Softly As In A Morning Sunrise”

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I constantly learn things of which I had never heard, and Emily Remler is one from just this morning. I wasn’t all familiar with her (impressive) jazz guitar. She died of a heart attack in May of 1990 at the age of 32. Michael West has a good article in JazzTmes on her life and work. Here’s just one of her pieces on YouTube.

Written by LeisureGuy

23 October 2020 at 10:48 am

Posted in Jazz, Video

Wes Montgomery – Four On Six

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Written by LeisureGuy

15 October 2020 at 8:31 pm

Posted in Jazz

RIP Stanley Crouch (1945–2020), great jazz and cultural critic

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A great loss, with a remembrance by Paul Berman in Tablet magazine:

In 1993, at one of the periodic highpoints of Black-Jewish acrimony, Delacorte Press commissioned me to put together a reader on Black-and-Jewish themes, and I right away went to Stanley Crouch to ask him to contribute an essay. He gave it some thought and concluded that, between his journalism and his book projects and everything else he had going, he was too busy to take it on.

But meanwhile he and I fell into a rambling conversation, which was an old habit of ours from many years of laboring shoulder to shoulder at the Village Voice. And, as had happened many times, the talk wandered from present-day circumstances into the past and thence to our literary and intellectual heroes among the older writers. We got onto Ralph Ellison, about whom Stanley spoke often, always with reverence, and Irving Howe, who figured among my own heroes.

Stanley drew a significant portion of his own concept of how to be Black in America from Ralph Ellison, and how to be a writer and thinker (and the rest of his concept from Ellison’s comrade-in-arms, Albert Murray). And I drew a number of parallel inspirations from Irving Howe. Stanley, though, was less than keen on Howe. He tolerated Howe sufficiently to have contributed an essay to Howe’s magazine, Dissent, back in 1987, on Malcolm X. The opening sentence was aggressively blunt and vivid, in a fine display of the Stanley Crouch panache: “When compared to men like Frederick Douglass and Martin Luther King, Malcolm X seems no more than a thorned bud standing in the shadow of sequoias.” But it may be that, in Stanley’s eyes, Irving Howe was likewise a thorned bud.

That was because, back in 1963, Howe and Ellison had conducted a magazine debate, and, after 30 years, some of the digs and counterdigs in that debate had not entirely faded away. It was a debate about the place of politics in literature in general, and about its place in the literature of Black America in particular. Howe took the view that politics are appropriate in the novel, and angry protests against oppression are unavoidable for the Black writers of America. He granted that politics is coarsening, which makes for a tension between art and social protest.

He admired Richard Wright and the volcanic tremors of social bitterness in Native Son and Black Boy. He held James Baldwin in awe—“one of the two or three greatest essayists this country has ever produced”—but he expressed reservations about some of the early essays, in which Baldwin criticized Wright. He admired Ralph Ellison. But he considered that Ellison’s Invisible Man lacked the sharp edge of Wright’s anger. And he shook his head in disapproval at Ellison’s enthusiasm for the wider American culture—the American enthusiasm that Ellison and Saul Bellow, the author of The Adventures of Augie March, seemed to share.

And Ellison responded in a fury. Ellison considered that Howe understood nothing of the Black writer’s situation in America. Ellison explained that, if he had an oppressor, it was Irving Howe, who was telling him what to do—Irving Howe, who wanted to consign Black writers to the crudest of themes, in conformity to his own left-wing ideological predisposition. Ellison wrote: “My reply to your essay is in itself a small though necessary action in the Negro struggle for freedom.” And why did Howe speak in the voice of a guilt-stricken white, anyway, as if he were the descendant of slave owners, when Howe was, after all, Jewish—and the Jews “have enough troubles of their own,” as is well known to the Negroes? The authentic self was Ellison’s principle.

The whole thing took a personal turn, such that, by the end, Ellison introduced his concluding remarks by writing, “Dear Irving.” And both writers displayed satisfaction with what they had written. Howe reprinted his opening essay, “Black Boys and Native Sons,” in his essay collection, A World More Attractive, with its title drawn from Trotsky. And Ellison reprinted his reply, “The World and the Jug,” in his own collection, Shadow and Act—which lifted the debate upward from the lower plains of throwaway magazines to the loftier zones of bookshelf immortality.

Stanley Crouch, 30 years later, stood with Ellison, not just as a matter of personal loyalty. Ellison’s responses to Howe amounted to a personal manifesto, and the manifesto had endless meanings for Stanley himself. My own view was mixed. I recognized the legitimacy and power of Ellison’s argument, which is to say that, if I looked closely at the debate, Howe seemed to me to have been unjust to Ellison. Then again, I considered that Ellison had turned Howe’s argument into a cartoon, which was likewise unjust—an observation made very astutely by the critic Darryl Lorenzo Wellington in Dissent some years ago. Really the whole debate was an American reprise of the Russian literary quarrels of the 19th century, with Howe in the role of Chernyshevsky and Ellison in the role of Dostoevsky—a debate that Dostoevsky is deemed to have won, from a classic literary standpoint. But was Chernyshevsky wrong to insist on speaking about social conditions?

II.

So Stanley and I were not of the same mind. Still, our conversation led to an inspiration for my Blacks-and-Jews anthology. Cynthia Ozick had written an essay on the friction between Blacks and Jews in which she took a close look at the Ellison-Howe quarrel. She came down on Ellison’s side. Ellison’s knife jab at Howe for failing to take into consideration his own Jewishness was particularly to her taste. I wrote to her and asked if I could reprint her essay in the anthology. We got on the phone. I invited her to write a postscript, too, if she had anything further to say. She was voluble, she did have more to say, and she agreed to do it.

And I went back to Stanley with an alternative idea. . .

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

13 October 2020 at 3:08 pm

Posted in Art, Books, Jazz

Ella Fitzgerald: “Taking a Chance on Love” — Live

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Written by LeisureGuy

1 October 2020 at 6:04 pm

Posted in Jazz, Video

Johnny Costa, jazz pianist

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I was not familiar with him. Here’s a sample.

I came across his name via this this video about his music for Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood:

Written by LeisureGuy

19 September 2020 at 3:29 pm

Posted in Jazz, Video

Good listening, by my lights

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Hot Jazz Saturday Nights, an archive of previous programs.

Written by LeisureGuy

23 August 2020 at 6:16 pm

Posted in Jazz

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