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Archive for the ‘Blogfinger Jazz Corner’ Category

The Nighthawks. Vince Giordano is playing tuba and singing. Upper right corner. All photos by Paul Goldfinger. © April, 2013.

The Nighthawks. Vince Giordano is playing tuba and singing (but not simultaneously). Upper right corner. All photos by Paul Goldfinger. © April, 2013.  Click left for full view

 

 

dancers ver 2

 

dancers two

 

VINCE GIORDANO AND THE GRAMMY WINNING NIGHTHAWKS from their album  “The Cotton Club Revisited.”  Vince does the vocal. Harold Arlen wrote this song for the 1932 Cotton Club Parade.

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Ocean Grove beach. By Paul Goldfinger ©.

Ocean Grove beach. By Paul Goldfinger ©. 2014.   Click to enlarge.

 

JOHN COLTRANE  “Too Young to Go Steady”  from his album Ballads.

 

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

Café Volan. A.P. Paul Goldfinger photo. Re-posted from 2018.

 


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 and 2018  re-post.

Some of you might wonder about the persistent search for a great 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.

Note:  2020:  There now is a coffee shop in the Grove . Odyssey is on Main Avenue, and Buskerdoo is at the intersection of Sunset and Memorial in Asbury.

And the OG bakery does a nice job with coffee, and they do have a wide selection of baked goods.

*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.  Below is Charlie Parker on alto sax.

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger

 

 

 

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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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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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Paul Goldfinger photo taken from the DVD of Ken Burns’ “Jazz” doc.  click to enlarge.  Times Square 1920’s.

 

Paul Goldfinger, Blogfinger.net

Notice Roseland on the left, where Louis Armstrong played as one of the first black musicians to perform in a white dance establishment.

Roseland could hold 2000-3000 people, most of whom came to dance, but many, like me, would come just to listen.

This is one of Louis’ most famous songs, “West End Blues.”

 

 

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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

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Prior to the concert, J.P. Rasmussen interviews Bucky Pizzarelli . Paul Goldfinger photos. ©

Prior to the concert, PJ Rasmussen interviews Bucky Pizzarelli . Paul Goldfinger photos. © June 26, 2014  Click images to enlarge.

 

By Paul Goldfinger,  Editor @Blogfinger    Re-posted after learning of the death of Bucky Pizzarelli on April 2. 2020 at age 92

 

Thursday June 26,  2014 at the Langosta Lounge, on the boardwalk,  in Asbury Park:

PJ Rasmussen, a 23 year old jazz guitarist, grew up in Ocean Grove and went to St. Rose High School where he took up guitar at age 14. He wanted to play rock, but his teacher, Andrew Light, got him hooked on jazz. PJ went on to William Patterson University where he met the legendary jazz guitarist (from New Jersey)  now 88 year old, Bucky Pizzarelli.  The two became friends, and that story winds up at the Langosta Lounge in Asbury Park tonight where P.J. and Bucky played together at the summer-long Boardwalk Jazz Thursday night series at the Langosta venue which PJ has organized.  (http://boardwalk-jazz.com  )

Busy night; happy crowd at the Langosta Lounge for Jazz night. ©

Busy night; happy Thursday crowd at the Langosta Lounge for Jazz Night. ©

 

I have been a huge fan of Bucky Pizzarelli and his musical family which includes John Pizzarelli, Martin Pizzarelli, and Jessica Molaskey. They often perform together, but last night Bucky was playing with three guys in their twenties, and he appeared to be having a great time. Bucky is a giant of the jazz world and he has performed with Benny Goodman, Les Paul, The Tonight Show Band, and many others.

 

Classic jazz fills the room. JP Rasmussen quartet (for the night). ©

Classic jazz fills the room. PJ Rasmussen quartet (for the night). ©

PJ  Rasmussen alternated lead guitar with Bucky and they played solos and duets. The rhythm section included a fine 27 year old bass player from South Korea named Daseul Kim and a skilled and innovative drummer, Joseph Spinelli, who rocked the room during the quartet’s version of Benny Goodman’s “Sing, Sing, Sing.”

 

Daseul Kim, bassist. Age 27.

Daseul Kim, bassist. Age 27. Paul Goldfinger photo ©

Some people say that jazz will die as the old timers leave the scene. But if you have ever listened to Wynton Marsalis discuss this issue or seen the Jazz at Lincoln Center orchestra, you will find many bright young faces.

PJ agrees that a whole new generation of jazz players are emerging now, including himself. PJ says that jazz is “music that anyone of any age can love.” He tries to teach his audiences to enjoy jazz—-“If they listen, they will get it.”   He also loves other musical forms including rock and he likes to experiment with various sorts of fusion music such as hip-hop and jazz.

For the Thursday night 3 hour concert, PJ and Bucky pretty much stuck to jazz standards such as Tangerine, Don’t Get Around Much Anymore, Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me, Ellington’s In a Mellow Tone, and There Will Never Be Another You.   PJ  performed a lovely solo rendition of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”

PJ has made two CD’s, all with his original compositions. He says that “there is a lot of young talent out there,” and, although he is interested in modernizing and fusing jazz to capture the interest of young adults today, he has great respect for traditional jazz. He loves much of the “American songbook” which features music from the 1920’s, ’30’s, ’40’s and beyond . The bassist Daseul Kim agreed about the passion for vintage jazz that young musicians like him continue to play.

For 17 weeks, Rasmussen will bring a wide variety of jazz performers to the Langosta Lounge including a big band on September 11. Each Thursday the concerts go from 7:00 pm-10:00 pm. They do two sets with a 30 minute intermission, and there is no cover charge or minimum. You can just sit at the bar, or have snacks or dinner. We enjoyed a fine meal with Asian accents.

My only complaints were that it was extremely noisy by the bar where we were sitting, and our chairs, placed at a high table, had no backs. If you go, make a reservation for dinner and sit at a table near the bandstand.

The service at Langosta Lounge was friendly, although the wait staff needed some more people.

PJ RASMUSSEN  AND DASEUL  KIM.    “Love Letter (Goodnight)”  from Kim’s album Relationship.  This piece is mesmerizing and beautiful.   PJ’s albums include Another Adventure and Adventures in Flight  which are more avant garde than the material with Bucky Pizzarelli

BUCKY PIZZARELLI AND FRIENDS  “Every-time We Say Goodbye” by Cole Porter.   Bucky is part of an amazing ensemble on this album  including Jay Leonhart on bass. This is such an emotional song, even without lyrics.

And here is a brief BUCKY PIZZARELLI SOLO  with  “Last Night When we Were Young.”

 

VIDEO LINK

http://t.co/rYJC4UcWRu

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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

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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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