May 21, 2024

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George Booth, João Gilberto and Dinah Washington: Photos, Videos

In The Wall Street Journal this week, I interviewed cartoonist George Booth for my “House Call” column in the Mansion section.

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If you’re a New Yorker magazine reader, then you know George’s cartoons well. Photo above of George Booth in his Brooklyn home by Chris Sorensen for The Wall Street Journal.Here’s one of George’s cartoons…

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Catch me on Sirius XM
 on Wednesday, May 16, when I’ll join Nik Carter and Lori Majewski to discuss my “Anatomy of a Song” column on the Cars’ My Best Friend’s Girl. Tune in Feedback on SiriusXM talk music channel VOLUME (Ch. 106).

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João Gilberto. 
Following my post last week of Jon Hendricks’s¡Salud! João Gilberto, Originator of the Bossa Nova, an album that I noted is without a single Gilberto song, Bob Fletcher sent along the following email pointing out that Gilberto was largely an exquisite interpreter:

“Hi Marc, Great post. A word about the Gilberto album. Calling João a composer is like calling Elvis or Sinatra a composer. While technically true, having co-written one or two songs, Gilberto never wrote anything. Instead, he’s the father of bossa-nova guitar and thought by many to be the father of the bossa nova along with Antonio Carlos Jobim. The album you posted about is a tribute to the guitarist using songs Gilberto is known for playing and recording. The arrangements are more or less direct arrangements of Gilberto studio takes on the track. But instead of Joao singing them, it’s Hendricks.”

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Fifties singers. 
If you dig jazz-pop singers of the 1950s, you’ll find plenty of them and their albums in Bill Reed’s book, The Last Musical Hurrah: Jazz and Pop Singing and the Onslaught of Rock.

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David Thompson
, a superb pianist, sent along to a YouTube clip of him playing The Touch of Your Lips

Is David playing a Bill Evans transcription, you ask? I posted the question to him…

“Hi Marc. This is me playing the way I play and not a Bill Evans transcription. From the time I was 19 and first heard Bill play, there was never a question for me about the beauty and profound nature of his playing as well as the depth of his understanding and insight into the music he created. Nothing else ever seemed as profound or nearly as compelling as Bill’s playing and music. It was a real connection to beauty and truth that transcended category.

“I studied and worked on my playing on my own for most of my 20’s. Then I studied with George Shearing in New York in 1980 and with JoAnne Brackeen in 1981. But the real work I did happened with Don Haas in the San Francisco Bay Area. I studied with Don for the better part of 10 years. He was an extraordinary pianist and arranger who had the keenest ears of anyone I’ve ever met. We spent countless hours working on harmonic stuff. Much of that time we spent listening to Bill’s versions of standards and his own compositions, taking them apart measure by measure, to understand what was going on musically, and to understand how to create such beauty and lyricism.”

You’ll find David Thompson’s album Introspect

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Gerald Cyrus, a fabulous photographer, sent along the following email:

“For the second time in a month, The New York Times ran an article last weekend with my Stormy Monday photos, this time in the Lens Blog. Hope you can check it out.”

Photo above, Dancing at St. Nick’s Pub, Harlem, 1995 by Gerald Cyrus.

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Dinah Washington radio.
 On Sunday, May 13, Sid Gribetz, a 2018 nominee for the Jazz Journalists Association Awards, will be hosting one of his fabulous five-hour radio profiles—this time featuring singer Dinah Washington. He’ll be providing biographical information but mostly he will be spinning Washington’s recordings. If you’re unfamiliar with Sid, a hip and wise radio legend, tune in on Sunday.

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Bossa nova in New York.
 If you’re in the city between May 29 and June 2, you must reserve seats at Birdland to hear bossa nova singer-composer and legend Marcos Valle. Marcos comes up from Rio de Janeiro only once each year to perform at New York’s Birdland, and this is his sole trip this year. He’s bringing with him vocalist Paula Morelenbaum and husband-cellist Jacques Morrelenbam. And of course, his wife, Patricia, will sing as well. The BossaBrasil event is produced by the one and only Pat Philips-Stratta. For more information and reservations at Birdland. Photo above of Marcos and his wife and singer, Patricia.

What the heck. While researching Marty Gold last week, I came across this surreal clip of models in the winter of 1969 walking the icy asphalt catwalk in Paris as Eleanor Rigby from Gold’s album, Moog Plays the Beatles, serves as the spacey soundtrack…

Oddball album cover of the week.

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What a lucky gal. After all, women just love trumpets blaring inches from their face. The “pops” part refers to her eardrums.

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