CD review: “The Music Never Ends” by Susan Watson

By Don Heckman & Faith Frenz A new album by Broadway musical star, Susan Watson, has just been released to a myriad of praises from many of her most luminary peers. We are about to add our own with the unnecessary disclaimer that she is also our longtime friend of whom we are extremely proud.… Read More CD review: “The Music Never Ends” by Susan Watson

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A ROGER SONG SCOUT AURAL BACK RUB: Ella and Louis– “Sandpaper and Satin”

By Roger Crane, the Song Scout Ah, the gruff grit-and-gravel voice of Louis Armstrong and the warm, precise silky delivery of Ella Fitzgerald, a match made in heaven. Sandpaper and satin – but the difference is what makes it work. Ella and Louis displayed an extraordinary yin/yang vocal chemistry. As writer Doug Ramsey once noted… Read More A ROGER SONG SCOUT AURAL BACK RUB: Ella and Louis– “Sandpaper and Satin”

Keeping the GAS (Great American Songbook) Flame Alive: “It Had To Be You”

By Roger Crane the Song Scout When I meet jazz performers, composers and fellow music fans I often inquire as to their favorite songs. I recall that the masterful jazz pianist Dave McKenna chose “I’ll Be Around,” giving particular praise to Alec Wilders’s bridge (where his lyrics state “Goodbye again.”). Another jazz pianist, Gerry Wiggins,… Read More Keeping the GAS (Great American Songbook) Flame Alive: “It Had To Be You”

Keeping the GAS (Great American Songbook) Flame Burning: “Laura”

    By Roger Crane, the Song Scout BACKGROUND / DISCUSSION Admittedly I lose objectivity when discussing the song “Laura.” In fact, I love the song so much that a friend once recorded eighty-three versions (yes, 83!) for me, ranging from trumpeter Clifford Brown to the Four Freshman to saxman Sonny Stitt. Of course, my… Read More Keeping the GAS (Great American Songbook) Flame Burning: “Laura”

The Song Scout: On “Dutchess” and Keeping the Boswells Alive

By Roger Crane Unlike earlier vocal groups The Boswell Sisters were truly three voices singing as one, acting and interacting with each other as musicians and not simply vocalists. And each was a superb musician, Martha played piano, Helvetia (Vet) played violin, banjo and guitar and Connie played cello, sax and guitar. Although their career… Read More The Song Scout: On “Dutchess” and Keeping the Boswells Alive