Category archive for ‘All that Jazz’ rss

  • A behind-the-scenes star who makes the dancers shine

    This week, I am putting the spotlight on one of the “stars” of the very popular TV show “Dancing With The Stars.” He is the heart and soul of all the great music used on the show, other than that provided by musical guests. He is Harold Wheeler, the musical director of the show that is now in its 16th season.

  • The man who brought the Bossa Nova sound across the equator

    This week I am featuring a man whose music is a favorite of many jazz artists and pop singers — Antonio Carlos Brasileiro de Almeida Jobim, or Tom Jobim, as he is known in the music world.

  • A great gone before her time

    This week I am featuring a relatively unknown American vocalist, Eva Cassidy. A few years back, friends gave my wife and me a recording by Eva; we instantly became fans.

  • Billie Holiday’s extraordinary voice and story

    Neighbor Stan Auster asked that I write about his favorite vocalist, Billie Holiday. Billie, born Eleanora Harris (1915-1959), was an American jazz singer and songwriter who was nicknamed “Lady Day” by her friend Lester Young.

  • The harmonica, a unique spice in the jazz cookbook

    Here’s an instrument that has a long history in jazz music, but very little recognition. Its unique sound capabilities add a warm, bluesy quality to any arrangement.

  • All about vibes

    One of my favorite instruments is the vibraphone, or vibes, as they are commonly known. Over the years, three performers stand out as the best vibes players ever: Lionel Hampton, Red Norvo, and Gary Burton.

  • Bebop era marked by giant steps in jazz

    This column is all about the Bebop era. Fundamentally and simply put, Bebop, or Kansas City jazz as it was originally called, was and is a major component of all jazz music.

  • An exploration of great modern-era sax men

    This column is all about the Sax Men.

  • Paying homage to the first lady of song

    In previous columns, I’ve only mentioned some of the great female vocalists while writing about other musicians. It’s time to pay homage to an all-time great vocalist who began as a jazz singer but later became hugely successful in pop. The undisputed First Lady of Song is, of course, Ella Fitzgerald, who used her voice like a musical instrument.

  • How the Count made great vocalists greater

    Any study of the history of jazz music would be incomplete without the inclusion of another royal member: William “Count” Basie. Born in 1904, he lived for 80 years as one of the most revered American jazz pianists, bandleaders, and composers. His first piano lessons came from his mother, and he was performing in his teens.

  • How pretending can lead to a new appreciation of jazz

    I’ll bet I can get you to read the rest of this column by just posing this question: Do you remember using the expression “let’s pretend” when you were a kid?

  • Duke Ellington, the man who gave American music its sound

    There are two “Dukes” I revere: John Wayne, of course, and Duke Ellington. Since this is a column about jazz, let’s look at the legend that is the Duke of Jazz. Surely there aren’t too many people in the world who haven’t heard of him or heard his music.

  • Get to know Living Out Loud before they become famous

    It’s time to put the spotlight on a local group – a very young local group. This week, it’s all about Living Out Loud (LOL), the grandchildren of Kay and Lou Beugnet of N.33. The kids are triplet boys, Andrew, Steven, and Jason, age 12, and sister Kaela, 14.

  • The Real Group does it all with only its voices

    I love it when a new group suddenly catches my interest. This week, it’s all about The Real Group, which actually isn’t new at all. Born and raised in Sweden, TRG recently celebrated its 25th anniversary as Sweden’s number one a cappella group.

  • Satchmo, the one and only king of jazz

    There’s no way I can write a column about jazz and leave out the undisputed ambassador of this idiom, the man known as Satchmo: Louis Armstrong.

  • Bringing big band into the 21st century

    In a previous column, I wrote about the man most responsible for the big band era, Benny Goodman. This week, it’s all about the man I consider the BG successor, bringing big band into the 21st century: Gordon Goodwin and his Big Phat Band.

  • A voice and style beyond her years

    In my last column, I wrote about a legend in the music world, Benny Goodman. This week, it’s the other end of the spectrum, as the subject of this edition is a relative newcomer, Renee Olstead. Perhaps you remember this young vocalist from a TV sitcom called “Still Standing.”

  • How the king of swing earned his name

    I’m sure there isn’t a Sun Day reader who hasn’t heard of Benny Goodman, “The King of Swing.” My first encounter with him and his band occurred while I was beginning my musical career as a drummer in the Carl Schurz High School band. One of my best friends and a fellow member of the Cavaliers Drum & Bugle Corps, Bruce Tietgen, had saved his money so he could purchase a prized album, “The 1938 Concert at Carnegie Hall.”

  • The rich vocal talents of Al Jarreau

    Next up is one of my favorite jazz vocalists, seven-time Grammy Award-winning American jazz singer, Al Jarreau.

  • The often controversial, always skillful Stan Kenton

    Next up is one of my favorite big band leaders, pianists, composers, and arrangers, Music Hall of Famer Stan Kenton.

  • The unique and funny Michael Franks

    Next up is one of my favorite vocalists and songwriters, Michael Franks.

  • Taking Five with the Dave Brubeck Quartet

    One only needs to hear the 5/4 strains of “Take Five” to immediately recognizes it as this group’s signature tune from their most famous album by the same name. For those non-musicians, the time signature of 5/4 simply indicates that there are five beats to every measure instead of the most commonly used 4/4 time.

  • A look at two artists who represent jazz’s past and present

    First, a few words of explanation about this new column. Each edition will feature musicians from various generations and genres with a variety of styles, each talented and unique in their time. My primary objective is to introduce or re-introduce readers to some of the great musicians of our time. Secondly, I hope that I am able to assist readers who are unaccustomed to using the Internet to find and listen to music. I will also be calling your attention to local performances of jazz, rock, classical, and other musical styles at nearby venues.