Harry Warren and Al Dubin wrote it for the smooth harmonies of the Mills Brothers in the 1935 film Broadway Gondolier. Fats Waller popularized it with more spark and swing soon after, and Art Tatum performed a blistering yet tuneful version that same year. Young heartthrob Frank Sinatra crooned it in 1945, and 11 years later Mel Tormé crooned it some more. Thelonious Monk had a humorous take on it in 1964, while 1968 saw two wildly different versions from Oscar Peterson and an actual Lulu. Need more? Here's The Four Freshmen, Leon Redbone, and Ellis and Branford Marsalis. TV loves Lulu too! Sanford and Song on Sanford and Son, and Circe on the Justice League (voiced by Broadway singer Rachel York). But here's what happens when Lulu's back on Sesame Street. (With introduction by Mr. Hooper, Bob, Susan, Matt Robinson's Gordon, and a very orange Oscar.)
Keith Richards saw it fourteen times, albeit not for it all, which is what you get here:
Jazz On A Summer's Day [more inside]
Jazz On A Summer's Day [more inside]
No musician of Bud Powell’s era had such capacity for improvisatory excellence and was so ready to unleash it, instantly, in such concentrated form onstage. [more inside]
In the last decade, no organ of music criticism has wielded as much influence as Pitchfork. It is the only publication, online or print, that can have a decisive effect on a musician or band’s career.... [W]hatever attracts people to Pitchfork, it isn’t the writing. Even writers who admire the site’s reviews almost always feel obliged to describe the prose as “uneven,” and that’s charitable. Pitchfork has a very specific scoring system that grades albums on a scale from 0.0 to 10.0, and that accounts for some of the site’s appeal, but it can’t just be the scores.... How has Pitchfork succeeded where so many other websites and magazines have not? And why is that success depressing? A lengthy history and review of Pitchfork [Media], from an inexpensive online alternative to a music zine, to "indie" music kingmaker, and thoughts on pop music (criticism). [more inside]
For Friday the 13th of January, WFMU DJ Kurt Gottschalk played about 20 different versions of Thelonious Monk's Friday the 13th, including quite a few sent in by his listeners. Here's the playlist and 3 hour mp3 stream (below the blinky picture of Monk), including listeners' comments. Good luck!
"Young Bert Stern was already one of the leading fashion photographers of the 1950's when he resolved to shoot his first film before he was thirty. He made it, with two years to spare. The result, Jazz on a Summer's Day, is a luminously breezy film that brings the rich color palette of Vogue or Harper's Bazaar of those years into the world of the documentary cinema." [more inside]
27 live recordings from the 1959 Newport Jazz Festival can be streamed for free at Wolfgang's Vault. Here's a few of the musicians you can listen to: Count Basie & His Orchestra, Dizzy Gillespie, The Modern Jazz Quartet, Oscar Peterson Trio and Thelonious Monk. Registration is required but it's oh so worth it. The New York Times has the backstory of how these recordings ended up at Wolfgang's Vault.
Legendary jazz producer and writer Orrin Keepnews was recently interviewed for a series of podcasts for the Concord Group (formerly Riverside, and Fantasy-Prestige-Milestone Records) . They usually deal with specific recordings and run about 6-9 minutes each, many now on YouTube. Fascinating accounts of his early work for Riverside with Thelonious Monk , (and the "Town Hall" album), to Sonny Rollins, Cannonball Adderley, McCoy Tyner, and the latest one on the classic Bill Evans "Portrait in Jazz" album. Great stuff for jazz fans of the late 50s- early 60s era.
I say play your own way. Don’t play what the public wants. Play what you want and let the public pick up on what you are doing, even if it takes them fifteen or twenty years. - Thelonious Sphere Monk