Rifftides Reader Marc Myers writes from New York City:
Some jazz tidbits…
1. Desmond’s Bridge Over Troubled Water is an iTunes download for $9.90. This is an absolute gem (thanks so much for turning me onto it). Wow.
2. The rare and expensive import, Chubby’s Back (Chubby Jackson, about whom not enough has been written or re-released) is a $6.90 iTunes download. Chubby’s Back is a fun album–but I did have to do a Google search for the personnel, which turned up at a Tiny Kahn site.*
DR: It is absurd that Verve won’t reissue Bridge Over Troubled Water on CD. As for Chubby’s Back, originally on the Argo label, Verve owns the master to that, too, and they could easily put it on CD for domestic consumption at standard prices. People still want to own albums with packaging and liner notes. I don’t consider myself a technological troglodyte, but I do not welcome a future in which I have to buy an iPod or a computer with a CD burner in order to hear music that becomes available only through digital downloads. I’ve written about this recently in connection with the disappearance of other important CDs. It brought a fair amount of comment.
MM: I know. My absolute joy after a hard week of reporting and writing is spending two hours in Tower in NYC (Lincoln Center). The place is slowly and steadily becoming a dump. The racks aren’t managed, new stuff isn’t in stock, headphones are busted. Hence, the iPod add-on, since “shopping” around the iTunes site allows you to listen to clips and find stuff that isn’t available on CD. Part of the problem is that CDs are terribly overpriced, and many people are running out of room in their homes. I’m at the point where I’ll buy CDs only if it’s a wonderfully produced classic. Otherwise, I’ll download it. I had a choice–spend $70 on Desmond and Jackson CDs from Japan or spend $18 for both via iTunes download. The download won–and the sound is great.
MM: 3. I watched an odd, colorful 1966 film the other night, Made in Paris, with Ann-Margaret and Louis Jourdan. The big surprise was that Count Basie and Mongo Santamaria are in it (swinging nightclub cameos). We should start a list of films in which jazz artists appear (i.e. Young Man with a Horn, etc.). Best part of Made In Paris was seeing Lockjaw Davis take a solo, though way too brief. Wish they’d release the entire footage v. chopped song for flick. Be fun to see entire filmed appearance. Lockjaw–talk about Mr. Cool!
DR: Made in Paris sounds intriguing. I looked for it on Netflix and Amazon and did a general web search. It seems not to be available on either DVD or VHS.
MM: I caught it on Turner Classic Movies
DR: Young Man With a Horn is a cliched but powerful film with Kirk Douglas as Rick Martin, who is, more or less, Bix Beiderbecke. The only real musicians who appear in it are Hoagy Carmichael in a character role and Louis Armstrong, uncredited, as himself.
*Date: March 31, 1957
Chubby Jackson (ldr), Don Geraci, John Howell, Don Jacoby, Joe Silva (t), Cy Touff (btp), Bill Harris, Tom Shepard (tb), Howard Davis (as), Sandy Mosse, Vito Price (ts), Bill Calkins (bar), Remo Biondi, Jimmy Gourley (g), Marty Rubenstein (p), Chubby Jackson (b), Don Lamond (d), Tiny Kahn (a)