President And Friends

The Kennedy Center Honors ceremony held last Sunday will be televised on CBS December 29. In the meantime, the White House has released a clip of President Obama's informal talk at the reception before the event. It runs about 18 minutes, with the camera on the President the whole time. The following video, nicely edited and produced, incorporates a shortened version of his remarks and interaction with the honorees, Dave Brubeck, Mel Brooks, Grace Bumbry, Robert De Niro and Bruce Springsteen. I … [Read more...]

Bill Evans: Autumn Leaves

It was six degrees above zero here last night, but the calendar says we have eleven more days until winter. Before autumn leaves, let's enjoy Bill Evans playing his signature arrangement of one of his favorite pieces. This was Copenhagen in 1965, with Eddie Gomez on bass and Alex Riel playing drums. There are several videos of Evans playing the song, but this one comes closest to the spirit of the version he first recorded in Portrait In Jazz, the 1959 album that brought him to wider attention … [Read more...]

Speaking Of Vince Guaraldi…

Indiana Public Media's Night Lights has posted on the internet a one-hour program about Vince Guaraldi. The host, David Brent Johnson, traces the pianist's career, plays a broad selection of his recordings and talks with guitarist Eddie Duran, Charlie Brown specials producer Lee Mendelson, Guaraldi's son David, pianist Luke Gillespie providing analysis, and others who were close to Guaraldi. I am pleased to be included in the broadcast. To hear It's Jazz, Charlie Brown: The Vince Guaraldi Story, … [Read more...]

The Kennedy Center Honors

The Kennedy Center Honors for 2009 went last night to Dave Brubeck on his 89th birthday, and to Mel Brooks, Grace Bumbry, Robert De Niro and Bruce Springsteen. CBS-TV will broadcast two hours of highlights from the ceremony at 9 pm EST on December 29. This morning's papers and tonight's newscasts will be full of the story. Googling the name of the event will turn up dozens of items on the web. Brooks, Brubeck, Bumbry, De Niro, Springsteen For the jazz community, of course, the big news is the … [Read more...]

We Are All In This Together

It has been a long while since the Rifftides staff acknowledged the extent of our readership. These are just a few of the places where you have recently allowed us into your computers. EUROPE Cagliari, Italy Luxembourg, Belgium Andover, Hampshire, UK London, England Dublin, Ireland Viskafors, Sweden Skara, Sweden Zurich, Switzerland Prague, Czech Republic Berlin, Germany Moscow, Russia Rekyavik, Iceland ASIA Bangkok, Thailand Tokyo, Japan Kyoto, Japan Seoul, South Korea Beijing, China Mumbai, … [Read more...]

Listening Tip: Christlieb & Caliman

The Rifftides staff thought you would be interested in this announcement from Jim Wilke of an imminent broadcast pairing. Besides, the photographs by Jim Levitt are too good not to use. Tenor saxophonists Hadley Caliman and Pete Christlieb first played together in LA in the 60s and have remained friends ever since. They reunited in Seattle last month to record a CD together for Origin Records and to play at The Ballard Jazz Walk. Highlights from their reunion (with Bill Anschell, Chuck … [Read more...]

Recent Viewing: Art Blakey

Art Blakey, Live in '65 (Jazz Icons). The Blakey entry in the new Jazz Icons DVD release will come as a surprise even to many of the drummer's most persistent fans. The band it presents in France was not an edition of Blakey's celebrated Jazz Messengers, but a short-lived quintet billed in the opening credits as "Les Art Blakey's New Jazzmen." Assembled for a European tour, it had played a few concerts by the time it appeared at the Palais de la Mutualite as part of the Paris Jazz Festival. … [Read more...]

Compatible Quotes: Art Blakey

Jazz is known all over the world as an American musical art form and that's it. No America, no jazz. I've seen people try to connect it to other countries, for instance to Africa, but it doesn't have a damn thing to do with Africa. Music washes away the dust of every day life. … [Read more...]