Geoffrey Smith surveys the career of baritone saxophonist Serge Chaloff
Lydia Wellington and Andrew Scordato in The Four Temperaments, New York City Ballet (photo by Paul Kolnik)
The second program of the New York City Ballet’s visit to the Kennedy Center Opera House was not as marvelous as the first. The formula was the same as the first program: classic Balanchine paired with new works by the company’s best young choreographers.
The Balanchine was a choreography
The Selection Section flips through some of the favorite releases of up and coming artists, DJs and musicians. This week we’re joined by UK based House artist, Fort Romeau. Fort Romeau, a.k.a Michael Greene, has been an avid vinyl collector since the tender age of 8, joining his father on digging expeditions every weekend at record fairs […]
He’s 7-foot 2 and loves jazz. In The Wall Street Journal this week, I interviewed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for my “House Call” column (go here). We talked about growing up in the Inwood section of Manhattan (where I grew up), listening to jazz and how Kareem gravitated to basketball. It all started with Go Man Go…
Also this week in WSJ, I interviewed a towering figure of another sort—actor Alan Alda, on the Beatles’ She’s Leaving Home from Sgt. Pepper and the song’s personal connection (go here). One of my favorite Alan Alda roles…
Hal Blaine, the Wrecking Crew drummer who’s on more hits than 40 #1 Billboard singles and 150 top-10 hits, sent along a link to a new Modern Drummer magazine interview on the birth of rock drumming (go here).
Harry Warren radio. On-air jazz maven Sid Gribetz presents a five-hour radio broadcast celebrating the career of composer Harry Warren on “Jazz Profiles” this Sunday from 2-7 p.m. on WKCR-New York. You can access Sid’s special show on the great American Songbook composer on your computer or smartphone from anywhere in the world by going here.
Saxophonist Bill Kirchner’s four CDs are now available at YouTube and Spotify: Old Friends, with Bill Kirchner and Marc Copland (here); One Starry Night, featuring the Bill Kirchner Nonet with Sheila Jordan (here); Lifeline, featuring the Bill Kirchner Nonet (here); and An Evening of Indigos (here).
Dion—Kickin’ Child: The Lost Album 1965 (Norton). Dion’s #1 hit Runaround Sue in 1962 for Laurie Records landed him a five-year contract with Columbia. But the music shifted radically during those five years, leaving Dion struggling to carve out a niche for himself. In 1965, between Runaround Sue and Abraham, Martin and John in 1968, Dion recorded a strong-voiced folk-country album that was never released (though a few singles were). Universal producer Rob Santos found the album in Sony’s vaults and released it. It’s Dion like you’ve never heard him before singing originals and three Bob Dylan songs, including It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue. Go here.
Glen Campbell—Adiós (Universal). In 2011, Campbell announced he had Alzheimer’s and began a series of farewell albums and performances as he coped with his illness. This album features Campbell in superb voice recording favorites in 2012 and 2013 that he never had an opportunity to record. The album is heartbreakingly beautiful for a range of reasons. Go here. Here’s Everybody’s Talkin’ at Me…
Chuck Berry—Chuck (Dualtone). In October 2016, the king of rock ‘n’ roll announced that he was going to release an album in 2017 featuring previously unreleased material recorded between 1991 and 2014. It would be his first album in 38 years. When Berry died on March 18 of this year, the album was scheduled for released on June 9. It’s out now, and the album is fresh and strong, with old-school beats and Berry’s lanky vocals. The album has a few soft spots (You Go to My Head, Enchiladas and Jamaica Moon, for example), but for the most part, it has plenty of back-beat energy and rock guitar. (Go here).
What the heck. Here’s New Orleans soul artist King Floyd singing Groove Me, a #1 R&B hit in 1971…
Oddball album cover of the week.
Holy dentures, Batman! Seems our suitor is gnawing on the cover model’s face. And judging by her expression, he may have dropped something in her drink. What is this thing called love, indeed.