Hans Groiner (Larry Goldings in disguise) offers some new perspectives on the music of the inimitable Thelonious Monk — with a few laughs along the way.
By Don Heckman
Spending yesterday at a 4th of July barbecue party with friends was a reminder of how many former New Yorkers are among our close circle. And, as so often happens at our get-togethers, most of us who made the cross country move from New York City to Los Angeles couldn’t help but share our memories of the Village, Brooklyn, the lower East Side, the upper West Side and beyond. There are a lot of songs about New York. But none capture those memories — with wit and style — any better than Dave Frishberg’s “Do You Miss New York?”
Here’s a delightful Frishberg video of the song with images to illuminate the words. (Thanks to Roger the Song Scout for telling us about it.)
“Jazz Dispute” by Jeremiah McDonald, a film-maker and actor who identifies himself as the “Weeping Prophet,” has been going viral on YouTube since 2006. If you haven’t seen it, now’s the time. Starting with the Charlie Parker/Dizzy Gillespie recording, “Leap Frog,” McDonald creates a brilliantly mimetic, one-man musical pantomime. And in doing so he captures the essence of spontaneously improvisational jazz at its best. While adding his own oddball humor.
Here it is:
By Don Heckman
This hilarious video has been floating around YouTube in various forms lately. But the most entertaining, to me, is this one, with the narrative in French, with English subtitles. Which not only makes it more offbeat, it makes it a delightful tool, either for French language classes or for those of us eager to brush up on our own bi-lingualism (such as it is).
The two cats are a sheer delight. And, from a musical perspective, there are occasional passages in the narrative exchanges that remind me of the craziness in more than a few band rehearsals I’ve been a part of.
So watch, listen, read and enjoy the Pattycake Cats.
(And check out the Jedi Cats in the additional pages at the end of the video.)
The Perpetuum Jazzile Choir from Slovenia is a superb ensemble of young singers whose repertoire reaches from jazz, pop and Swing to bossa nova, funk and gospel. They’ve toured Europe, Canada and the U.S., performing the music of Jobim, the Beatles, Van Halen, Lady Gaga and beyond, usually done in rich a cappella harmonies and rhythms –- and always with striking musical authenticity. Here they perform Jobim’s “Wave.”
* * * * * * * *