By Roger Crane What is left to say about the lovely and iconic “Over the Rainbow?” Well, some basics. The music is by Harold Arlen and the lyric by E. Y. “Yip” Harburg. As many of you know, it was written for and featured in the 1939 Judy Garland movie The Wizard of Oz. The… Read More Keeping the GAS (Great American Songbook) Flame Burning: “Over the Rainbow”
by Roger Crane, the Song Scout BACKGROUND/DISCUSSION When Chelsea Clinton got married, her father, the jazz-loving Bill Clinton showed up with a recording of Frank Sinatra singing the Jerome Kern-Dorothy Fields’ “The Way You Look Tonight.” This was the ex-President’s choice for the Bride-Father dance. (“Good selection, Mr. President.”) Fred Astaire introduced this lovely, warm song in the… Read More Keeping the GAS (The Great American Songbook) Flame Burning: “The Way You Look Tonight”
By Roger Crane Los Angeles. In 2013 jazz pianist, Keith Jarrett, who issued a series of albums that featured the standards, was asked “What do standards mean to you and why have you recorded so many?” Jarrett replied, “First of all, they are anything but standard by today’s standards. But they are exceptional.” These exceptional… Read More Live Music: The Great American Songbook is Alive and Well at Catalina Bar & Grill with Barbara Morrison, Stephanie Haynes and Jackie Ryan
By Don Heckman Bel Air. Mention an area of the music world and Steve Tyrell has been there and done that. Whether it’s from a business perspective, running a record company or producing albums by major artists, or if it’s in the creative arena, clearly establishing his own identity as a performer Tyrell knows how… Read More Live Music: Steve Tyrell at Vibrato Grill Jazz…etc.
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
By Norton Wright It was such a class act, it reminded me of those sophisticated nights long ago at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City where the ballroom shows were graced by the likes of Lena Horne and Peggy Lee. So it was no surprise that jazz songstress Bonnie Bowden’s date on Sunday afternoon… Read More Live Jazz: Bonnie Bowden at Vitello’s
By Don Heckman Christmas caroling was a regular seasonal activity in my young life. Growing up in an Eastern Pennsylvania rust belt city, singing carols while slip-sliding our way across icy sidewalks was as necessary to the holiday as going to Mass on Christmas eve. In a way, it was an equally necessary counter to… Read More Here, There & Everywhere: Sing! Sing! Sing!
By Michael Katz There is a moment at the Musicians Institute Saturday night when all is stillness. Guitarist Jim Hall has just announced the next tune, “All The Things You Are.” The near capacity house is riveted as Hall plucks the first few chords, his left hand working up and down the frets like a… Read More Live Jazz: The Jim Hall Quartet in a Jazz Bakery Movable Feast Concert
By Don Heckman Like everyone else who ever heard Mary Cleere Haran perform, I was stunned last weekend to see the news of her death. It couldn’t have happened in a more unlikely, even absurd, fashion. Riding a bicycle in Florida, where she’s been taking a break from performing, she was struck by a car… Read More Here, There & Everywhere: R.I.P. Mary Cleere Haran
By Don Heckman Believability is one of the most vital elements in the convincing singing of songs. And one that’s too often overlooked or forgotten — both by singers and by listeners. Believability, that is, in the sense that a song is a form of musical storytelling, with a beginning, a middle and an end. … Read More LIve Jazz: Carol Welsman at Vitello’s