Archive for the ‘Blogfinger Jazz Corner’ Category

PAUL DESMOND  (1924-1977)  was a great jazz alto sax player who came out of the West Coast cool jazz scene.  He was most famous for playing with the Dave Brubeck quartet. Desmond had a unique tone. It was very light, minimalist,  and melodic. As an alto sax player myself, I always admired him.  He played a Selmer (French) alto like mine, so I felt a sort of kinship and always tried to emulate his sound.  Unknown-1

In Desmond’s album “Summertime” he performs a touching Broadway song that is rarely done by jazz players—“Where is Love?” from Oliver.

This arrangement was by Don Sebesky.   Of this version, a jazz critic said, “..a thing of great beauty—now and for always.”


—Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger

Read Full Post »

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

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




Read Full Post »

This is the Aurora in Ocean Grove in 2014.  It is a former hotel, and  later a single family  (albeit a big one) home, and now on its way to becoming  4 condos.

Many have photographed this scene, but no one produces a unique image like Bob Bowné.  Bob, a professional fine art photographer,  is a regular contributor to Blogfinger.  Re-post from July 4,  2014.

The Aurora by Bob Bowné of Ocean Grove. © Special to Blogfinger.

The Aurora by Bob Bowné of Ocean Grove. © Special to Blogfinger. 2014.


RUBY BRAFF  (trumpet)  AND DICK HYMAN  (organ.)    From their album America the Beautiful.

Read Full Post »


By Paul Goldfinger Blogfinger music and women’s fashion editor.

The Avalon French Hot Jazz Band brings back music from the hot jazz scene in the 30’s and 40’s in Paris.  It reminds me of the Gypsy jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt of that era.

Also, in 1998, Woody Allen made a film called Sweet and Lowdown, and Shawn Penn played a Reinhardt sort of musician. It’s geat fun

Cole Porter wrote “I Love Paris,” and in this video Tatiana Eva-Marie does a nice job with the band, but I have to say, “That dress is ugly–a genuine schmatta.”  But I also have to say, “Tatiana would look good dressed in your mother’s table cloth.”

But, perhaps Tatiana might consider  a wardrobe consultation with Storm Large who sings with Pink Martini.

——–Schmatta*:  a Yiddish word meaning “rag.”


Storm Large with Pink Martini singing “Amado Mio” A link below from Blogfinger


Pink Martini Amado Mio

Read Full Post »

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


Read Full Post »

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”


Read Full Post »


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.

Read Full Post »

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.

Read Full Post »

June 3, 2014. By Paul Goldfinger ©

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

LOUIS ARMSTRONG  (live performance:)

Read Full Post »

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

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: