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This week in The Wall Street Journal,
I interviewed Lou Piniella, the former Yankee left fielder and manager, for my “House Call” column (go here). Lou talked about growing up in West Tampa, Fla. and the red sauce that gets him weepy.

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Also in the WSJ,
I interviewed Brazilian jazz pianist Eliane Elias on her favorite song—Antonio Carlos Jobim’s Waters of March (go here). She recalls playing it as a piano duet with Jobim at his apartment in the 1980s. Here’s a promo video for her new album, Dance of Time (Concord)…

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Email ads.
Many subscribers to the JazzWax newsletter wondered last week about the ads that suddenly started appearing in the emails. I’ve taken care of that so they’re now ad-free. If you want to subscribe for free, scroll down the right-hand column until you find “Subscribe Free.”

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Rolling Stones: Olé, Olé,
Olé.
There probably two dozen documentaries on the Rolling Stones. Off the top of my head, the list includes Charlie Is My Darling, Robert Frank’s Cocksucker Blues, the Maysles brothers’ Gimme Shelter, Martin Scorsese‘s Shine a Light, Rock and Roll Circus, Let’s Spend the Night Together to name a handful. But of all of them, a new one—Olé, Olé, Olé—may be the one with the most heart.

The documentary, directed by Paul Dugdale, traces the band’s Latin American tour in 2016 leading up to their March concert in Havana, Cuba, becoming the first rock band to play in the country. 

Instead of featuring the band doing hit after hit on foreign stages, the film sensitively digs into the culture of each country where they perform. The stops include Argentina, Uruguay, Colombia, Peru, Brazil and Mexico before the Stones fly to Havana.

But this isn’t a Stones worship video nor one that strives to show how youthful they are. In each country, the cameras explore the locale with the Stones as they reconnect with old friends, embrace dance, music and food, and let their boundless curiosity run free. What stands out are the miles of hard-core Stones fans there are in South America—people of all ages who recognize the music as something soulful, purposeful and inspiring. For examples, in Buenos Aires, there’s a guy who plays Stones songs on his car stereo and perfectly mimics Mick Jagger’s stage choreography in the middle of the street.

The access is terrific. The cameras are in on the planning meetings for Havana, they enter Keith Richards’ suite when he accidentally opens the door, and they visit local clubs where local musicians play Stones songs (two get to visit Mick at his hotel).

The stadiums in South America are built for soccer and are enormous—much bigger than in the States. The crowd’s size in each city is staggering, and adulation for the band’s music is palpable. We also get to see how hard the Stones and the crew work on these tours. You quickly come to realize that these guys just throw themselves on the alter of art.

A high point for me comes in a scene where Keith and Mick are sitting casually in a dressing room reminiscing about the birth of Honky Tonk Women. Then Keith begins to play the song how it originally was conceived on his acoustic guitar and Mick sings. Talk about stripped down! We also learn that Keith carries a primitive-looking wooden club that he uses to get the rain to stop (wishful thinking). In Sao Palo, bassist Ronnie Wood meets up with an older artist he knows from years back and they paint together. 

But the climax is the Havana concert. It’s heartbreaking to hear Cubans say they were arrested for listening to rock records and breathtaking to see how overcome with excitement in anticipation of the Stones arrival, especially the older ones. Today, rock’s toleration is viewed as the essence of liberation. As one person said in Havana, “Music has no borders.”

I recommend this documentary for anyone who loves the Stones and for anyone curious to see the humanity of this band, now in their 70s. Here’s a promo video…

And here’s Keith and Mick singing Honky Tonk Women in a dressing room…

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Music for the BBQ.
Cooking this weekend? Here are a bunch of my favorite “full albums” on YouTube to keep you company and motivated in the kitchen or in front of the grill…

Here’s Clint Eastwood (not that one) & General Saint’s Stop That Train (1983) album…

Here’s Hector Lavoe’s Comedia album (1978)…

Here’s a mix of 1960s bossa nova recordings…

Here’s Brother Jack McDuff’s Down Home Style (1969)…

Here’s a fab Motown collection…

And here’s the Very Best of Roy Ayres

What the heck: Here’s Madness’s music video for Our House in 1982. The Brit pop hit went to #7 on the Billboard pop chart…

Oddball album cover of the week.

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When high-fidelity records and phonograph consoles hit the market in the late 1950s, it took two men to explain the benefits to every woman. And most women, like the one above, did a great job making it seem they cared.

       

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