Keeping the GAS (Great American Songbook) Flame Burning: “What Is This Thing Called Love”

By Roger Crane, the Song Scout Background/Discussion “What Is This Thing Called Love” is certainly one of Cole Porter’s most inventive songs and, thankfully, it also became popular. The song was first heard in New York the night before New Year’s Eve with the opening of the English revue Wake Up and Dream. In that… Read More Keeping the GAS (Great American Songbook) Flame Burning: “What Is This Thing Called Love”

Keeping the GAS (Great American Songbook) Flame Burning: “These Foolish Things”

  By Roger Crane, the Song Scout BACKGROUND / DISCUSSION “These Foolish Things” was composed by two Brits, Jack Strachey and lyricist Eric Maschwitz (writing under the name Holt Marvell). The structure is what’s known as a “list song” or sometimes a catalog song. Such songs typically develop by working through a list – sometimes… Read More Keeping the GAS (Great American Songbook) Flame Burning: “These Foolish Things”

Doc Wendell’s Prescription For Bop: Sonny Rollins’ “Worktime” (Prestige)

By Devon Wendell To many critics and part-time jazz enthusiasts; Saxophone Colossus is considered to be Sonny Rollins’ greatest studio recording. Yes, Colossus brought Rollins much worldwide acclaim, but it also overshadowed one of Rollins’ most masterful recordings: Worktime, recorded a year earlier on December 2, 1955. Saxophone Colossus was much more accessible. Even non-jazz… Read More Doc Wendell’s Prescription For Bop: Sonny Rollins’ “Worktime” (Prestige)

Live Jazz: Roberta Gambarini and Kenny Burrell at Catalina Bar & Grill

By Don Heckman Roberta Gambarini didn’t waste any time establishing her impressive jazz credentials at Catalina Bar & Grill Thursday night. Relying on her perfect pitch and her brilliant interpretive skills, she strolled on stage, picked up a microphone and began to sing a stunning version of Cole Porter’s “So In Love” without a whisper… Read More Live Jazz: Roberta Gambarini and Kenny Burrell at Catalina Bar & Grill

CD Review: George Benson “Inspiration: A Tribute to Nat King Cole”

Inspiration: A Tribute To Nat King Cole (Concord Records) By Brian Arsenault Two versions of “Mona Lisa,” perhaps Nat King Cole’s most famous song, frame Inspiration: A Tribute to Nat King Cole. The first, opening the album, was recorded by “Lil” George Benson in 1951 after he won a singing contest at the age of… Read More CD Review: George Benson “Inspiration: A Tribute to Nat King Cole”

Live Music: Michael Feinstein at the Valley Performing Arts Center

By Don Heckman Northridge, CA. One of the first times (and there were many) that I reviewed a Michael Feinstein performance was in 1991 for the Los Angeles Times. I described him then as a “reincarnation of a classic movie juvenile lead. Slicked-back Dick Powell hair, flashing Russ Columbo eyes, a smile that would charm… Read More Live Music: Michael Feinstein at the Valley Performing Arts Center