Wednesday, June 22, 2016
What is jazz?
I am asked this again and again.
The topic of jazz is especially confusing to anyone who takes Ken Burns seriously.
Burns, the autheo of the supposedly definitive book, “Jazz,” failed to mention such important historical jazz icons as Chet Baker, Bing Crosby and Mel Torme in his manuscript, which was later turned into a similarly exclusionary TV documentary series. And that’s just for starters.
He ridiculed Paul Whiteman, George Gershwin and Benny Goodman, all pioneers in bringing jazz to the mainstream in the early part of the 20th Century.
And what of Rogers & Hart, Kurt Weill, Cole Porter, Irving Berlin and other composers who turned Broadway into the biggest stage jazz music has ever seen? Or Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly and Oscar Levant, who sang, danced and acted their way into the history books to the accompaniment of the greatest music ever written?
Hmm… or Kay Thompson, MGM’s vocal coach, who incorporated the idiom of jazz in her arrangements for movies like “Funny Face” and “Meet Me In St. Louis?”
And what of Tommy Dorsey, Artie Shaw and countless others – possibly mentioned in passing, but given short shrift.
Not important to Burns, evidently.
Burns even left out The Boswell… Read the full story »
Monday, April 25, 2016
Monday, February 8, 2016
Lou Delmonico, one of the original founders of the Orange County Performing Arts Center in Southern California, turned 75 in January. He’s a pretty special guy.
Lou sits on many arts-related Boards. His love of opera and chorale music is legendary.
He’s also a great fan of… Read the full story »
Sunday, July 12, 2015
It’s been nearly five years since we drove two cars from Southern California to what would become our home in Dallas, TX.
In the thirty years we lived in California, a lot of things changed there – some for the better, and some not.
Texas is… Read the full story »
Thursday, June 11, 2015
The internet is loaded with stuff like this:
“Fly Me To The Moon” by Frank Sinatra.
Shame on you, Pandora.
Sinatra may have had the hit, but he didn’t write the song.
A guy named Bart Howard did.
To me, this is about as bad as looking at the… Read the full story »
Wednesday, September 24, 2014
Reflecting upon the state of jazz in the state of Texas, it’s alive and well. A recent club date was big-time proof that the art of improvisation lives in the hearts, minds bodies and talents of some very fine young musicians here. Was I dreaming,… Read the full story »
Saturday, July 12, 2014
Might be that nobody really knows what jazz is anymore.
Some think it’s a dowdy antique, while others are certain it’s a mariage of rap and hip hop.
Neo-soul gets to be called “jazz” these days, too.
Oh, and original music…or maybe anything with a… Read the full story »
Monday, January 14, 2013
Many of our clients are entertainers themselves! One of my favorite memories is getting to sing “California Dreaming” at the wedding of its composer, my great good friend Papa John Phillips. My daughter Jennifer, who was 13 at the time, sang backup. We did all… Read the full story »
Monday, September 3, 2012
Dallas Morning News
Name a song, and she’ll sing it.
A huge repertoire testifies to singer Judy Chamberlain’s first love: jazz.
By JON M. GILBERTSON
Friday, April 27, 2012
What makes a great band?