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Archive for the ‘Blogfinger Jazz Corner’ Category

Ocean Grove. October 3, 2014

Ocean Grove. October 3, 2014. By Paul Goldfinger ©  Click to enlarge.

Count Basie orchestra.   “Flight of the Foo Birds”  from Woody’s movie Scenes from a Mall

 

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Sunset Avenue in Wanamassa (Ocean Township). Paul Goldfinger photo ©

Sunset Avenue in Wanamassa (Ocean Township). Paul Goldfinger photo © 2014.       JOHN GOLDSBY:   “Every Time We Say Goodbye”

 

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Marion

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger.  Re-post from 2013.

Marian McPartland, jazz pianist, died last week at the age of 95.  She was born in Britain and came to New York in the 1940’s as a young musician.  Critics said that she had three strikes against her:  she was British, white, and a woman. Upon hearing her play, some said, “You sound just like a man.”

She eventually became known among the underground 1950’s jazz community in New York and she got to know all the greats in the jazz world. She married one of them— a jazz cornetist,  Jimmy McPartland.

In the 1960’s, jazz lost ground as the rock and roll invasion began. In addition to teaching at the college level, she continued to perform and to work as a disc jockey . She soon developed the idea of an interview show coupled with live performances.  In 1979 she began her famous NPR show  “Marian McPartland’s Piano Jazz.”  I listened to that show often.  It was wonderful. She would bring on musicians—mostly piano players—discuss jazz theory and music–and then she and her guest would improvise solos and duets.

We heard her play live a few times, including once in a small theatre in Southhampton, New York.  She was so warm and friendly, and her playing was melodic and interesting.

Below is an NPR link about her sent to us by Lee Morgan of Ocean Grove who emailed, ” Just read that you are going to do a piece on Marian. Curiously, I had recently bookmarked an NPR item on her. (See link below). I loved to listen to her on Piano Jazz.”

NPR McPartland report

Birdland was a fabled  jazz club in mid-town Manhattan where my friends and I often went. We didn’t see her there, but here is Marian McPartland playing that jazz favorite:” Lullaby of Birdland.”  Following that is a beautiful ballad called “Blackberry Winter,” from her album “Twilight World.”  Grab a tissue, it’s about a cold snap bringing spring to an unexpected halt.

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Asbury Park. June, 2014. Three is a lucky number. The lovely lady in the middle is Rose of Washington Square.   Paul Goldfinger photo. ©   Do the math.

JAZZMEN TOO NUMEROUS TO COUNT:  Warren Vaché, Randy Sandke, Wyclif Gordon, Ken Peplowski, Joe Temperley, Howard Alden,  Eric Reed, Rodney Whitaker, Joe Ascione and Scott Robinson at the JVC Jazz Festival.

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June 3, 2014. By Paul Goldfinger ©

Southern exposure.   June 3, 2014. By Paul Goldfinger ©

LOUIS ARMSTRONG  (live performance:)

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Café Volan. A.P. Paul Goldfinger photo. July 15, 2015.

Café Volan. A.P. Paul Goldfinger photo. Re-posted from July 15, 2015. Ocean Grove still lacks an authentic coffee shop, and that is a real missing link for our community. ©

 


Eileen Goldfinger at Volan sampling a scone from Balthazar’s * in SoHo. Paul Goldfinger ©

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger.  There are a few minor revisions in this 2015 re-post.

Some of you might wonder about the persistent search for a coffee shop near OG, since there are several places in the Grove where you can buy coffee.  The reason is, for some of us, we seek more than just coffee.  In our culture, and in Europe, the coffee shop is a comfortable gathering place where one can appreciate the best coffees from around the world.

Such shops are not general practitioners, they are specialists, and they know how to create a first rate cappuccino or latte.  Coffee is of primary interest in such places, not an afterthought.  The Barbaric Bean was beginning to be like that, but the Grove’s only true coffee shop has vanished.

A real coffee shop is a welcoming place which  has seating and where you can savor the barista’s drinks  while reading the paper, having a fascinating conversation, people watching,  or enjoying a special snack. It tends to be where the local characters go. Wi-Fi is often available for those who are working on the next great American novel.  After all, J.K. Rollings wrote Harry Potter while sipping some brew in a local coffee shop.

In Asbury Park today an Ocean Grove friend introduced me to a real coffee shop;  in fact, Café Volan  seems like a throwback to old Soho or Greenwich Village in the ’60’s.   Café Volan  on Bangs Avenue, just off Cookman near the Brick Wall, is so laid back that you can imagine Bob Dylan singing unamplified on a stool, or Lenny Bruce doing shtick.

It is a dumpy place, but that’s fine because it feels like home—–like cafés I visited when my friends and I would wander around Bleeker or Christopher Streets in “The Village.”   It is the sort of coffee house where the locals and regulars wander in.

My impression from the moment I walked in was:  “I am going to like this place.”  It resonated at a very personal level and felt like somewhere you might re-visit again and again.

A visit to Café Volan is  like time travel, but there is one thing that doesn’t spell nostalgia—it is the delicious high quality of their coffee.  They also serve some unique snacks and toasted exotic breads.  They get their coffee from North Carolina, and their breads and pastries are brought in from Brooklyn.  I haven’t been to Williamsburg for many years, but this entire place seems to have been shipped intact from there.

If you like places that seem authentic and live up to it, try Café Volan —within walking distance of the Grove.

 

*Link to our post about Balthazar’s from 2013:

Blogfinger post on Balthazar 2013

 

CHARLIE PARKER.  He got his start in New York, but this jazz great didn’t play in coffee houses. Mostly he was up in Harlem in jazz clubs.   The folk singers were in the Village coffee houses  in the ’60’s, but there were jazz venues in the Village which my friends and I visited often, growing up in a Jersey bedroom community, 20 minutes from downtown.

This is “All the Things You Are.” It was written by Jerome Kern (music) and Oscar Hammerstein II (lyrics)   We recently posted a Miles Davis version, and the song holds up even without those magnificent poetic lyrics.

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger

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Allenhurst, New Jersey. By Paul Goldfinger. 2014 © click to enlarge

Paul Goldfinger ©  Allenhurst, New Jersey.  2014.  Click to enlarge

JULIE RAFFERTY.   Music from The Fantasticks.  From her album No Finer Place.

PS  It will rain tomorrow—Tuesday.

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Broad Street. Red Bank, NJ. Birthplace of Count Basie

Broad Street. Red Bank, NJ. Birthplace of Count Basie. By Paul Goldfinger © 2013.  Reposted on Blogfinger.

SOUNDTRACK: “It Had to be You.” The Count Basie Orchestra.

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June, 2007. This image was featured in Bell, Bell and DuFresne's book on the Great Auditorium. By Paul Goldfinger ©

June, 2007. This Ocean Grove image taken from inside the GA, was featured in Bell, Bell and DuFresne’s book on the Great Auditorium—–available in the Historical Society Museum. Photo by Paul Goldfinger

 

BOB DYLAN with “But Beautiful.” From his new album Triplicate.

“Love is funny, or it’s sad
Or it’s quiet, or it’s mad
It’s a good thing or it’s bad
But beautiful…
Beautiful to take a chance and if you fall you fall
And I’m thinking I wouldn’t mind at all

 

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Central Park. By Paul Goldfinger © NYC STreet Series. Summer, 2014

Central Park. By Paul Goldfinger © NYC Street Series. Summer, 2014

REBECCA LUKER

 

 

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