Archive for the ‘Blogfinger Jazz Corner’ Category


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.”




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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




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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.

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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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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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June 3, 2014. By Paul Goldfinger ©

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

LOUIS ARMSTRONG  (live performance:)

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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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Waretown, New Jersey. Paul Goldfinger photograph. October 2015 © Blogfinger.net

Waretown, New Jersey. Paul Goldfinger photograph. October 2015 © Blogfinger.net

Coleman Hawkins, Stan Getz, Thelonius Monk, Art Tatum, Gil Evans  performing “Early Autumn” from an album called “Autumn Serenade—–Smokey Romantic Jazz for Cooler Weather.”




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