ART FARMER (1928-1999) made an album in 1958 with the great pianist Bill Evans. It is called “Modern Art.” The group consists of Art Farmer on trumpet, Bill Evans on piano, Benny Golson on tenor sax, Addison Farmer on bass and Dave Bailey on drums.
The song “Like Someone in Love” was written in 1944 for a film called “Belle of the Yukon.” Jimmy Van Heusen wrote the music, and Johnny Burke—the lyrics. This is one of the great love songs of all time, but you won’t hear the lyrics on this version. Being an old saxman, I love the interplay between the sax and the trumpet early in the song. Listen for it.
—-Paul Goldfinger (reposted from August 2013 on Blogfinger)
Ever since we began Blogfinger in 2009 we avoided commercialization. But we have always run “in the red.” Now we are permitting some advertising on a trial basis , in cooperation with WordPress’ “WordAds” program, to help pay blog bills and to make some profit for our efforts. If a video shows up, putting your cursor on the video will bring up the audio.
Blogfinger is viewed all over the world, and although we might not be as busy as a Kardashian butt-blog, quite a few readers enjoy our style of communicating, so what the Heck Avenue?
We don’t know if this effort will be fruitful (and I don’t mean rotten fruits tossed in our direction), but we are looking at other options as well as this one, including publishing an e- book from the BF archives about Ocean Grove.
Meanwhile, Blogfinger will continue posting news, shtick, photographs, music, and the rest of our smorgasbord of e-stuff. So don’t worry if you find a commercial while you are perusing our site. Or maybe you won’t, but just be aware.
Please tell your friends about us and send links all over the place. At the bottom of each post is an email icon which will send a link for that post to whomever you address with the email.
This Disney song is on everybody’s favorite list. When the Disney cruise ship comes into port, it is playing this song. But Tammy Scheffer, a young jazz singer, provides a new twist. Tammy was raised in Israel, but now she lives in Brooklyn, NY where she composes, teaches and performs a style of music which she calls “contemporary jazz.” She works with musicians who share her interest in finding new sounds and musical techniques. Our featured selection is from her first CD (2010) : “Wake Up, Fall Asleep.”
This song, “When You Wish Upon a Star,” starts out with the melody, but then heads off into the starry night with an instrumental section featuring an alto sax and Tammy’s vocal interpretations. Then, at the end, it returns to earth with a soft landing.
Reposted from August 21, 2012 —By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger.net
(This piece is re-posted. It was first presented on Blogfinger in July, 2014.)
It was Saturday night, July 18, 1925, at 8:15 p.m., when vocalist Paul Robeson and his accompanist Lawrence Brown strode onto the stage of the Great Auditorium to present a concert of “Soul Stirring Negro Spirituals” (1) to an integrated audience of three thousand people. Mr. Robeson, an imposing black man, was twenty seven years old. He was already famous as a screen and stage actor as well as a singer. He was a true Renaissance man who would become one of the most popular performing artists of the 1930’s and 1940’s.
Robeson, who was born (1898) and raised in New Jersey, was an All-American football player and Phi Beta Kappa at Rutgers University and an honors graduate of the Columbia University Law School. As a college student, Robeson was friends with the Day family who owned Day’s Ice Cream “Gardens” in Asbury Park and Ocean Grove. He had a summer job as a singing waiter at Day’s. (3) When he came to Ocean Grove for his 1925 concert, he had just completed a triumphant run at The Provincetown Theatre in New York, where he performed the lead role in Eugene O’Neill’s “All God’s Children Got Wings.”
He had friends at the Algonquin Round Table in New York City, and it was there, with the encouragement of his colleagues, that he decided to do a concert tour with an entire program of “Negro” spirituals and secular songs also known as “slave or plantation music.” This would be the first time that this music would be performed in concert, and he would appear with his close friend Lawrence Brown, also an African-American, who was a gifted composer, pianist and singer. The two would work together for thirty years. The first stop on the tour was The Greenwich Village Theatre in New York City, and then, three months later, he appeared in Ocean Grove.
The concert was reviewed by the Asbury Park Press, which said, “Robeson showed an intelligent appreciation of his task and a splendid voice.” They called him “a talented son of this state” and they described “great applause” in the Auditorium. Among the songs which he and Lawrence Brown sang were “Go Down Moses,” “Weepin’ Mary” and “Swing Low Sweet Chariot.”
The following month he performed his concert in Spring Lake. They would tour for five years, all over the world, with this program. Later, Robeson would become the third most popular radio artist in the USA in the 20’s and 30’s. In the 1940’s he was the highest paid concert performer in the country and he was also successful as a recording artist. He would sing in the first production of “Showboat” and he would play Othello on Broadway and in England. He would star in eleven movies.
But his visit to OG that night was not only about music; it was also about recognition of African American culture and the elevation of that folk music to high art. In addition, Robeson always was about hope for African Americans, and performing that music was his way to offer pride and encouragement to his people. In 2004, when Barack Obama gave his “Audacity of Hope” speech at the Democratic convention, the first example he cited was, “…the hope of slaves sitting around a fire singing freedom songs.”
Robeson would accomplish much in his life, but his greatest contribution would be his tireless and life-long advocacy for civil rights. In 1925, Martin Luther King wasn’t born yet, and the “civil rights movement” would not begin until the 1950’s. Imagine how much courage was required for a black man to step forward publicly on behalf of racial justice at a time when lynchings were still occurring in this country. In 1921 a race riot in Tulsa, Oklahoma resulted in the deaths of 20 whites and 60 blacks. In 1922, an anti-lynching bill was defeated by filibuster in the US Senate. In 1925, the year of the concert, there were 17 reported lynchings in the US. Jim Crow laws could be found in many states, but Paul Robeson pressed for racial justice wherever he went and for his entire life.
Robeson had been “eagerly” (1) looking forward to his concert in The Great Auditorium. It is likely that he was aware that many “extraordinary African Americans” (2) had appeared there in the past, including the famous Marian Anderson (1921), Booker T Washington (1908), the singing evangelist Amanda Berry Smith (late 1800’s) and many renowned black preachers. The Ocean Grove Historical Society has documented the African American History Trail in our town. (2)
In 1998, the Ocean Grove Historical Society celebrated the 100th anniversary of Robeson’s birth by a day-long commemoration featuring lectures, dance, a book signing and an exhibition. The centerpiece of the program was a re-creation of the 1925 concert in the Auditorium. They brought the noted African American bass Kevin Maynor, who used the original program and reproduced the concert from 73 years earlier. This remarkable event was made possible by a committee of Ocean Grovers led by Rhoda Newman (chairman), Kevin Chambers, Phillip May, Jr., and others.
Paul Robeson’s contributions have been recognized many times in the form of tributes at Carnegie Hall and NJPAC, plus many articles, books, exhibits and documentaries. He is a part of Ocean Grove’s musical heritage which includes Enrico Caruso, Duke Ellington, John Phillip Sousa, and Pearl Bailey (2). Paul Robeson died in 1976 at age 77. Five thousand people attended the funeral in Harlem.
Paul Robeson sings “Swing Low Sweet Chariot” from The Complete EMI Sessions 1928-1939, remastered 2008.
1. Asbury Park Press Archives (Asbury Park Library)
2. Ocean Grove Historical Society Archives (Ms. Rhoda Newman)
3. Mr. Kevin Chambers, Ocean Grove Historian
4. Ocean Grove Times Archives (Neptune Township Library: Mrs. Marian R.Bauman, Director)
This post was originally published by Blogfinger on July 17, 2012—exactly four years ago today. The Bastille Day tradition in the Grove has continued and was celebrated again this 2016 summer.
Here is the 2012 report:
July 14 was Bastille Day, and certain Grovers of French heritage had a party to celebrate. There were French foods including mussels and paté. Chandon champagne flowed, there was live entertainment, French sailors with red pom poms on their hats, and lots of laughs. Notice the efficient use of outdoor space at OG parties.
Paris, July 14, 2012
If you are having a party, send us some photos so that we can all enjoy it vicariously. No names — just pictures. You might recall our most recent Halloween party report last October.
These photos are by Lee Scogno of Ocean Grove who also added an Italian touch by bringing his own recipe: pasta with clams. The naked photos of Bridgette Bardot in her prime have been rejected by our censors. —-Paul Goldfinger (Doigt d’or).
SOUNDTRACK; Play this while you look at the photos. Madeline Peyroux sings “J’ai Deux Amours” which means “I have two loves.” That’s a French thing to do, but none of that was going on at the OG Bastille Day party, but then again, who knows?
Note: Run your cursor along the bottom of the slide show, and a tool will appear to let you view the photos more carefully. (Cursors—foiled again!)
I was walking home from a movie in Asbury Park Friday night, June 3, just before midnight, when I bumped into Carol Rizzo on the OG side of the bridge. We talked for a few minutes, and while we were talking we witnessed a hit and run accident less than a block away.
A drunk driver smashed into a parked car and then took off eastbound on Asbury Ave, Ocean Grove.
What I saw next surprised me. Carol immediately ran after the car yelling to the driver to stop, while running she called 911 and when she caught up to the car she stood in front of the vehicle preventing him from leaving the scene until the police came and eventually arrested the driver.
Let me say, I don’t know Carol Rizzo; Friday night was the first time we spoke. What I saw that night was someone acting bravely, throwing themselves into harm’s way to protect our town.
At the time it seemed very dangerous and a little foolish to stand in front of a car with a drunk driver behind the wheel. But later I realized she was only concerned with getting this drunk off the roads and preventing more property damage —- and potentially much worse that night.
Ocean Grove, NJ. June 5, 2016
CHAMBER ORCHESTRA OF LONDON: This theme music is called “Such Good Luck” from Downton Abbey. Soundtrack by John Lunn.
It’s for Carol Rizzo who fortunately was present when others needed her courage.
By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger (This post was originally published on Blogfinger in April, 2013)
While shooting some images in Greenwich Village, I wandered over to University Place for a Blogfinger Film Festival meeting with our producer Marlee. On the way I spotted a small restaurant just a few steps down the block on East 9th Street. The restaurant caught my eye for two reasons. One is that it is a place that looks like Europe. There were tables out front with flowers , and the rich colors of the facade and the lights showing from inside said, “Eat here—it’s authentic.”
The other element that made the image even more visually arresting was the presence of a very tall young lady walking back and forth in front, speaking on a cell phone. Her striking appearance was enhanced by her color scheme—-bright turquoise shoes and yellow skirt.
I went up to her and asked if I could photograph her. She said, “Sure.” It turns out that she is Violet Hasangjekja. I could not resist asking about her nationality. She said that she and her family are from Montenegro. Violet is the manager, supervisor, and event planner for the family-owned Arte Restaurant at 21 East 9th Street. The cuisine is Northern Italian. The neighborhood is very scenic—right near the Washington Mews, one of the most famous streets in the City.
I was intrigued, so I went home later to review all the visitors that came to Blogfinger from Montenegro in 2012. There was just one. Violet’s image on the blog will make her our second Montenegrin visitor.
GLORIA ESTEFAN: This song “Hablas de mi” is not what you might probably hear in Montenegro, but it means “talking about me” and we are talking about Violet, and this music seems to fit with her charming image.
Hi Paul – First I just want to thank you for the amazing job you do. You keep me more informed on Ocean Grove than any other news source available to us here!
I have a question that I believe Blogfinger has touched on in the past…about a problem that seems to have reached new highs (lows?) this year: Blocking parking spots with cones, lawn chairs, human bodies, strollers, flower pots, and/or small children. As I type, someone has placed orange cones in front of my next door neighbor’s house on Asbury Ave (not her — she’s already parked! — it’s another ‘neighbor’ saving a spot for himself). On Saturday, someone on Main Street was *hauled away in handcuffs* after getting in a verbal altercation with a police officer over the spot she was blocking. So yeah, it’s getting a little nutty.