…The orchestra, conducted from the keyboard, plays with chamber-like assurance and great sensitivity, adding greatly to this wholesome delight. This is one of the longest-running performance- and recording projects in this increasingly short-lived industry, dating back to 1998 (the first self-conducted Mozart performance of Uchida’s in Cleveland) and 2009 (the first recording of that
In The Wall Street Journal last week, I interviewed basketball legend Elgin Baylor for my “House Call” column in Mansion (go here). Elgin talked about the harrowing racism he and his family endured in Washington D.C., in the 1940s and ’50s, and the game that helped him develop his notorious hanging jump shot.
SiriusXM. Last Thursday, I was on Feedback with hosts Nik Carter and Lori Majewski to break down my latest “Anatomy of a Song” column for the WSJ on Joe Jackson’s hit, Steppin’ Out (1982). If you missed the hour-long live broadcast, here’s a link to listen (go here).
Speaking of Anatomy of a Song, Katy Herman at BuzzFeed picked my book as one of 35 Cheap Things to Treat Your Dad to This Father’s Day. Go here.
Ed Wood. Director Raymond de Felitta recently posted on Tim Burton’s Ed Wood at his blog, Movies Til Dawn. Raymond calls it “the best film ever made about the life of an artist.” I tend to agree. In his post, he includes a YouTube clip that places scenes from Ed Wood next to the actual scenes from Ed Wood’s films. Go here.
The Connection. Following my post on Freddie Redd’s music for the Living Theatre’s production of The Connection, I received many emails from readers who saw the play between 1959 and ’61 in New York. I received two I wanted to share with you.
The first from Mike Oliver-Goodwin…
“I saw the original production three times. The music was stupendous and the play and production were knock-outs. I still remember how director Judith Malina and designer Julian Beck had the actors (including the musicians) wander around the “lobby” space during intermission panhandling handouts from the audience. I gave Jackie a five-spot. It was undoubtedly one of the greatest theater experiences I’ve ever seen. One of the high spots was Jackie and Freddie playing Confirmation. For some reason it was cut from the film. Maybe Clarke couldn’t afford the rights.”
And from poet Billy Collins…
“Wee claim. I saw The Connection senior year of high school. I’d never seen anything like it, and it reassured me there was life beyond or below the suburbs. At the time, I had little to no grasp of the status of the musicians but there I was in my khakis.”
Louis Armstrong radio. Starting on Tuesday night, July 3, at 11:59 p.m. (EDT) and then all day and night on July 4, WKCR-FM in New York will air its annual Louis Armstrong Birthday Broadcast. You can listen from anywhere in the world on your phone or computer by going here.
In Las Vegs on Sunday? Go dig the Jimmy Wilkins’s New Life Orchestra, which will perform from 1 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, July 1, at the German-American Club in Las Vegas. Jimmy, of course, is one of the last surviving members of Count Basie’s original New Testament band and the brother of the late saxophonist and arranger Ernie Wilkins. For more information, go here.
Oddball album cover of the week.
One of the most self-deprecating album titles in vinyl history. On the other hand, the title kinda makes you wonder how bad he really sounds.
Nick Carter from The Backstreet Boys was fined $1,200 (£664) after admitting to drink-driving in California. The 25-year-old singer was also put on probation for three years, ordered to attend an alcohol education course and banned from driving for 90 days.