Passings: Dave Carpenter, Ronnie Mathews

Last week, jazz lost two journeyman artists valued for their dependability, versatility and swing. On the west coast, bassist Dave Carpenter died suddenly of a heart attack at the age of forty-eight. Most recently, Carpenter had been in drummer Peter Erskine's trio, which also included pianist Alan Pasqua. A veteran of the Buddy Rich, Woody Herman, Maynard Ferguson and Bill Holman big bands, he also worked with Bill Perkins, Jack Nimitz, Al Jarreau, Herb Geller, Bill Cunliffe, Jan Lundgren, … [Read more...]

Bruce Janu: Sinatra And Sudan

It sometimes takes Rifftides posts a while to catch up with their subjects. On August 22, 2006, I reported the results of research into the matter of a high school teacher who received a lot of attention in 1993 for using Frank Sinatra to punish miscreant students. Sinatra did not come to class to administer the discipline. Bruce Janu, the teacher, made the wayward kids listen to Sinatra recordings. Over the weekend, Mr. Janu, who teaches at John Hershey High School northwest of Chicago, … [Read more...]