Joe Turner from INA's vaults [1]

The French Institut National de l'Audiovisuel (INA) has opened its jazz vaults. They include about one hundred hours of video and audio archives, that can be enjoyed online or purchased (by download and by transfer to DVD at reasonable costs). According to INA, this process is all legal, claiming that they cleared the legal problems with the various right-holders and musicians unions. However, videos of musicians whose estates are notoriously difficult to deal with, are mostly absent for now (let's think about Charles Mingus).

A few Joe Turner gems have been added. Let's start with these two solo piano performances, recorded on August 10, 1963 for the RTF and produced by Jean Christophe Averty:

I have tried to embed the videos on this blog, but the code provided by INA didn't worked. Any help on this technical issue would be much appreciated!


El Institut National de l'Audiovisuel (INA) francés acaba de hacer accesibles sus archivos de jazz, que incluyen alrededor de cien horas de video y audio, y que pueden disfrutarse online o adquirirse mediante descarga o grabación en DVD, con unos costes más o menos razonables. Según el INA, todo este proceso es legal, puesto que han solucionado los problemas legales con los distintos propietarios de los derechos y los sindicatos de músicos. Sin embargo, por ahora se echan en falta videos de algunos músicos cuyos herederos son "difíciles de tratar" (un claro ejemplo es Charles Mingus).

Algunas joyas del pianista stride Joe Turner ya están accesibles, como estos estos dos temas a piano solo, grabados el 10 de agosto de 1963 para la RTF y producidos por Jean Christophe Averty:

He tratado de incluir los videos en este blog, pero el código que facilita INA no ha funcionado, así que se agradece cualquier ayuda en este sentido.


Chesterfield Presents... Paul Whiteman

From Linda Fitak's inexhaustible wizard's hat of jazz treasures, here's a matchbook advertising Paul Whiteman's Orchestra. From 1937 to 1939, Whiteman broadcast for the CBS Radio Network, the program being called Chesterfield Presents. A sample of these programs can be found at the Red Hot Jazz website.


Sax ads [3] - Selmer saxophones... All of one mind!

This ad for Selmer saxophones, courtesy of Linda Fitak, comes from Rhythm magazine (March, 1931). It pictures Jack Hylton's alto sax trio (Andre Ekyan, E. O. Pogson & Chappie D'Amato) and mentions other big bands' sax sections using Selmer only, among them Paul Whiteman's (Frankie Trumbauer, Chester Hazlett & Charles Strickfadden).


Sarpila, Heitger, Allred, Lhotzky, Parrott, Locke - 21st Century caviar

For our listening and visual pleasure, here's a couple of videos ("I Think You're Wonderful" and "Linger Awhile") from the First Annual Arbors Records Invitational Jazz Party that took place in Clearwater, Florida on January 16, 2009. The very cosmopolitan and international line-up is a who's who in the traditional jazz scene of the 21st Century: Antti Sarpila (cl), Duke Heitger (t), John Allred (tb), Bernd Lhotzky (p), Nicki Parrott (b) & the late Eddie Locke (d).


Donald Lambert - Bells in your head for two weeks

Jim Maher (collaborator with Alec Wilder on American Popular Song) is quoted in James Lester's Too Marvellous For Words: The Life & Genius Of Art Tatum (Oxford University Press, 1994), remembering about the ragtime and stride pianists of the late 1920s and early 1930s:

"I can remember going out to New Jersey to hear Donald Lambert with either Lennie Kunstadt of maybe Rudi Blesh. You'd ask for something, say "Twelfth Street Rag", and instead Donald would launch into "The Bells Of St. Mary's" and he'd go on and on through one variation after another. (...) Sometimes I think about Art Tatum and Eubie Blake and Donald Lambert, and the common thread of their virtuosity. But that was an essential part of the ragtime tradition -pure showmanship and entertainment. They really loved to enthrall you. Oh my God, Donald Lambert could do "The Bells Of St. Mary's" until you'd have bells in your head for two weeks."


En Too Marvellous For Words: The Life & Genius Of Art Tatum (Oxford University Press, 1994), James Lester cita a Jim Maher (que colaboró con Alec Wilder en American Popular Song) recordando a los pianistas de ragtime y stride de los años 20 y primeros años 30:

"Recuerdo ir a New Jersey a escuchar a Donald Lambert con Lennie Kunstadt o quizás con Rudi Blesh. Pedías algún tema, por ejemplo "Twelfth Street Rag", y en vez de tocarlo, Lambert se lanzaba con "The Bells Of St. Mary's" y seguía interpretando variación tras variación. (..) A veces pienso en Art Tatum, en Eubie Blake y en Donald Lambert, y en el nexo común de su virtuosismo. Pero esa era una parte esencial de la tradición del ragtime: pura teatralidad y diversión. Realmente les encantaba cautivarte. Dios mío, Donald Lambert era capaz de tocar "The Bells Of St. Mary's" hasta que te resonaran las campanas en la cabeza durante dos semanas".


Leonard Feather on swinging the classics

"The main danger of the whole business of swinging the classics lies in the fact that jazz is laying itself open to an accusation that it lacks new material of its own and is obliged to draw on these themes. Nothing could be further from the truth. Jazz does not need the classics any more than the classics need jazz".

[Leonard Feather - NYTimes, May 18, 1941]

[Click on image to see full size version]


Rex Stewart - Jazz Festival Time in Old Barcelona

After moving to California in the early 1960s, Rex Stewart contributed jazz reviews regularly to the Los Angeles Times. This one was published on November 12, 1966 and was part of a series of reports on the European jazz scene.