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In The Wall Street Journal this week, I interviewed 21-year-old professional golfer Annie Park for my “House Call” column on her Korean heritage and why her mom took her golfing when she was 8 (go here). And for my “Playlist” column, I interviewed actress Lorraine Toussaint, who stars in TV’s Quantico and Rosewood, and has appeared on more than 60 televsion series (go here). [Photo of Annie Park above courtesy of the LPGA]

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Me on SiriusXM.
This past week, Feedback hosts Nik Carter and Lori Majewski had me on their terrific radio show to talk about progressive rock and Yes’s Roundabout. You can hear our half-hour conversation by going here. It’s like a music poker game, with each of us raising the other and calling. Tremendous fun.

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Here comes the sun
. Wrecking Crew drummer Hal Blaine reminded me that after spring comes summer (go here).

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So much for B-flat.
April 1st was April Fool’s Day. Here’s how Boston’s Berklee College of Music celebrated. A special thanks to Mary Helen Rossi for sending it along…

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NEA Lifetime Honors Video.
Fellow blogger Doug Ramsey at Rifftides alerted me to the 2017 NEA Jazz Masters Tribute Concert webcast. The event was held on April 3 (go here).

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Pete Rugolo.
Last week I received the following email from Eric Niam:

“I was Pete Rugolo’s copyist and occasional orchestrator from 1976 to 1983. Pete and I first met in 1976. I had written a few arrangements of his compositions for Stan Kenton’s band, and when I moved to Los Angeles in ’76, Stan set up a meeting with Pete. When I went to Pete’s house, he had food, drink and music waiting.

“One of the first records we listened to were the Patti Page albums he had arranged. I had never heard them before and was blown away by the arrangements and Page’s voice. Pete really liked the two albums he did with her (In the Land of Hi-Fi and The West Side). He told me he met with her once and they worked out what keys the songs would be in. He said she didn’t try suggesting how any of the arrangements should be written. She left all of the creative process up to Pete. That would never happen today.

“Pete was very complimentary of her artistry. His arrangements could be very difficult to sing with his complex harmonies, key changes and tempo changes. Page never had any problems with anything, sang perfectly in tune and really enjoyed the Rugolo albums. They recorded the albums very quickly with a minimum number of takes.

“Unfortunately, her buying public wasn’t very accepting of these recordings. Back to the Tennessee Waltz for her, and on to many years of TV and films for Pete.

“Pete took me under his wing, worked with me, helped me get work with others, introduced me to anyone who could help and was always generous to a fault with his own personal time. He was kind, knew everything about food and was a great dinner host and chef. I will always remember how much he did for me. I miss him greatly.”


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Looks like there was another “In the Land of Hi-Fi” album released in the mid-1950s by Mercury.

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Denny Zeitlin. Over the past three years, pianist-composer Denny Zeitlin has featured annual solo piano concerts at the Piedmont Piano Co. in Oakland, Calif., where he re-imagines the work of jazz artists whose compositions and performance have inspired him. Now its Thelonious Monk’s turn.

Beginning the week of March 14, individual videos from his “Exploring Thelonious Monk” series will be posted each week. You can find them by typing “Zeitlin meets Monk” in the YouTube search. Here’s the posting schedule…

March 14: An introduction to the series, with brief clips from the concert, and Denny’s story of his only encounter with Monk.

March 21: Trinkle Tinkle

March 28: Brake’s Sake/Let’s Call This

April 4: Evidence

April 11: Ugly Beauty

April 18: Ba-lue Bolivar Ba-lues-are

April 25: Off Minor

May 2: ‘Round Midnight

May 9: I Mean You

May 16: Played Twice

May 23: Ask Me Now

May 30: Rhythm-A-Ning

June 6: Jackie-ing

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Hampton Hawes.
Bret Primack sent along this video of pianist Hampton Hawes playing Stella by Starlight with Bob Cooper on tenor saxophone, Ray Brown on bass and Shelly Manne on drums at Shelly’s Manne-Hole in Hollywood in 1970…

What the heck. Here’s Mickey & Sylvia singing their 1956 hit Love Is Strange on the Steve Allen Show… (apologies for the onscreen numbers but it’s worth it)

Oddball album cover of the week.

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Jimmy Smith was one of the greatest jazz organists of all time. Whoops, not that one. This one…

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