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Archive for the ‘Blogfinger Jazz Corner’ Category

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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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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Tampa, Florida.  Food truck event. 2013.   Paul Goldfinger photo. ©

Tampa, Florida. Food truck event. 2013. Paul Goldfinger photo. ©

THE HOT SARDINES:

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"The Duo by David Hosteler, 1997."  Photograph by Lee Morgan ©.  March 15, 2015.

“The Duo” by David Hosteler, 1997.” Photograph by Lee Morgan ©. March 14, 2015.

By Lee Morgan, Blogfinger staff.

Barbara and I had taken the A train to Columbus Circle. We were off to see the French film Trois Coeurs (3 Hearts) at the Lincoln Plaza Theatre at 64th and Broadway. As we were walking by the Trump International Hotel and Tower (the one with the large silver-colored globe in front), we noticed on the Tower’s side plaza along Broadway a very large sculpture of two figures who appeared to be strolling. They looked content, not a concern in the world.  This was one of those moments where art and life becomes blurred. We communed with them silently and hurried off to the film.

Trois Coeurs was about the usual drama of a man falling in love with two women and the ensuing saga. (No spoiler!)

While we loved taking the imaginary trip to France, the film was not as memorable as our earlier moment on the plaza.

It is Sunday, the day after seeing the film, and we are still talking about the surreal aspects of our encounter with the artwork.  A New York moment for sure!

MEL TORME´

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Avalon Arms.  Ft. Myers downtown.  By Paul Goldfinger.  March, 2015. ©

Avalon Arms. Ft. Myers downtown. By Paul Goldfinger. March, 2015. ©

DUO GADJO and their hot friends.  From the album Meet Me in Paris

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Photo by Lee Morgan, Blogfinger staff. ©  March 6, 2015

Photo by Lee Morgan, Blogfinger staff. © March 6, 2015

Text, photo and music selection by Lee Morgan, Blogfinger staff.

It’s Friday afternoon in early March. I found myself walking up Broadway and stopped across from Lincoln Center.  Turning around 360 degrees , it occurred to me that NYC isn’t unlike Ocean Grove this time of year.  I was struck by the lack of activity.  A few cars were heading north and the occasional strolling pedestrian seemed to enjoy being outside. Thought I would ask one of the few passers-by what corner around which spring might be found.  Suddenly I looked south towards Columbus Circle and was struck by the sunlight on the facades of the skyscrapers.  I imagined the warmth we would all feel when we find that elusive  corner.  Shaking my head I smiled and thought about trying to find that corner myself.

BENNY CARTER and his orchestra.   “I’ll be Around.”   from the album  New Jazz Sounds–the Benny Carter Verve Story

The year was 1944. Composer and lyricist Alec Wagner, while riding in a cab, suddenly had the idea for “I’ll Be Around.” He scribbled it on an envelope and later noticed his note when he was about to discard it. Story goes that since he was near a piano, he quickly wrote the melody by using the title phrase as an opener.
This cover is by Benny Carter and his orchestra from the album Benny Carter: New Jazz Sounds/The Urbane Sessions. They do not disappoint! Smooth orchestral arrangements from the 50s. Alto Saxophonist Benny Carter played a significant role in the Jazz world from the 30s to the 90s.

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Whiplash is particularly attractive if you have a background in music, especially if you have ever taken music lessons. But anyone can be engrossed by this story of a brilliant percussion student, Andrew Neyman (played by Miles Teller), who enrolls in a prestigious Manhattan college-level music school to study under a famous and notorious teacher, Terence Fletcher (played by J.K. Simmons.)

For most of us who ever played a musical instrument, we were exposed to teachers who tended to be soft spoken and artistic, introducing us to Mozart, Glenn Miller, Sousa and Vaughn Williams. But at this music school, the students enter as freshman already outfitted with great musical understanding and abilities. They are poised to move up to pre-professional levels of education.

Andrew got into the school because he is a musical talent who could read the most complex charts and play the most difficult pieces. But his goal is to get to the top where his role models are way above the rock and roll drummers that high school kids often admire.

Andrew is looking for inspiration from not only jazz drummers Jo Jo Jones and Buddy Rich, but he also admires the great be-bop alto sax super star Charlie Parker. The freshman immediately sets his goal on being the number-one drummer in the number-one jazz band among college ensembles.

But to do so, he has to impress Fletcher, who has unusual methods of teaching and motivating students. Fletcher is a sadistic, intimidating, fearful and unforgiving professor who drives Andrew into a state of hopeful despair bordering on insanity, even as his abilities become super-charged.

J.K. Simmons won an Oscar last month as best supporting actor. Although you might not know his name, most of you will recognize him because he is a character actor who has taken on a huge variety of roles over the years. His character is so abusive, that it is hard to believe that he could have kept his job at any college, and especially one that receives the finest young talent in the country.

Interestingly, Simmons’ father was Director of the School of Music at the University of Montana where J.K graduated with a degree in music. Simmons plays a beautiful piano solo in one scene in the film

Miles Teller is a young actor/musician with tremendous range in the role of Andrew. He plays a character that most of us will never meet unless we attend school at Juilliard. Miles is 28 years old and has appeared in quite a few films before Whiplash. Then name “Whiplash” refers to a challenging jazz orchestra arrangement which Andrew and his fellow student musicians need to master. The name also references the dynamics of Andrew’s relationship with his teacher.

Surprisingly, the film comes across as a suspenseful thriller. The jazz soundtrack is glorious, and even though Whiplash is about musicians, the film will keep you at the edge of your seat with its driving energy fueled by the music.

You don’t have to be a musician to appreciate the universal themes which include the quest for the greatest success in the arts and in life, the relationship between student and teacher, and the price that artists may have to pay to be the very best.

I give Whiplash 4 of 5 Blogfingers, and you should see it in a cinema with a superb sound system.  What a waste to rent or stream it and play it on your puny TV speakers.

JOHN WASSON  (from the movie score of Whiplash)  “Caravan”

—Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger

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Sunday morning after the snow. It's drizzling, a bit warmer, and there is snow that needs to be removed from both sides of my car.

Sunday morning after the snow. It’s drizzling, a bit warmer, and there is snow that needs to be removed from both sides of my car.

Swinging My Way to Snow Removal

Text and photo by Lee Morgan, contributing Grover  @Blogfinger.

Grrrr!!!    Don’t feel like going out and getting wet and cold, but…. Energy is the boost I need!  Music to get the adrenaline going. 

I’m listening to Walter Davis, Jr’s. “Scorpio Rising” which he recorded several times during his life. This particular piece was recorded in 1989 with Santi Debriano on bass and Ralph Peterson on drums.  

As I close the door behind me and enter the snowy ground, I can still hear the pulsing rhythm and Mr. Davis’s closing bars. 

WALTER DAVIS, JR. AND TRIO:  “Scorpio Rising.”

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By Paul Goldfinger.  NOvember 4, 2014.  ©

Ocean Township.   By Paul Goldfinger. November 4, 2014. ©  Click to enlarge.

ALEXIS COLE.  “Indian Summer” from her album A Kiss in the Dark.

Alexis Cole

Alexis Cole

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