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PAL JOEY

Hollywood On 52nd Street

Pal Joey makes its second appearance as a 1957 drama musical film starring Rita Hayworth, Frank Sinatra and Kim Novak. The Lady Is A Tramp and My Funny Valentine (Babes In Arms/1937), There’s A Small Hotel (On Your Toes/1936), I Didn’t Know What Time It Was (Too Many Girls/1939) were introduced in their respective Broadway plays and all make their debut in the film, while I Could Write A Book and Bewitched Bothered and Bewildered make sophomore appearances. All of the above compositions composed by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart became jazz standards.

The Story: The setting is San Francisco; Joey Evans (Sinatra) is a second-rate singer, a heel known for his womanizing ways, calling women “mice”, but still charming and funny. When Joey meets Linda English (Novak), a naive chorus girl, he has stirrings of real feelings. However, that does not stop him from romancing a former flame and ex-stripper, now society matron Vera Prentice-Simpson (Hayworth), a wealthy, willful, and lonely widow, in order to convince her to finance his dream, “Chez Joey”, a night club of his own.

Soon Joey is involved with Vera, each using the other for his/her own somewhat selfish purposes. But Joey’s feelings for Linda are growing. Ultimately, Vera jealously demands that Joey fire Linda. When Joey refuses, Vera closes down “Chez Joey”. Linda visits Vera and agrees to quit in an attempt to keep the club open. Vera then agrees to open the club, and even offers to marry Joey, but Joey rejects Vera. As Joey is leaving for Sacramento, Linda runs after him, offering to go wherever he is headed. After half-hearted refusals, Joey gives in and they walk away together, united.





 

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MITCHEL FORMAN

Daily Dose Of Jazz…

Mitchel Forman was born January 24, 1956 in Brooklyn, New York and began studying classical piano at the age of seven. At 17 he entered the Manhattan School of Music for three years of study and began working with bands in New York. Shortly after graduation he began touring and recording with Gerry Mulligan’s big band and quartet, followed by a stint with Stan Getz.

In 1980 Mitchel began a solo career with a piano performance at the Newport Jazz Festival and the subsequent recording became his first album, Live at Newport. He went on to work with Phil Woods, Carla Bley, Mel Torme and Astrud Gilberto; record for Soul Note Records and tour Europe regularly.

He joined guitarist John McLaughlin for a year and a half, recorded Mahavishnu and Adventures in Radioland. Then he joined Wayne Shorter and in between touring, contributed to and recorded Phantom Navigator.

In 1985, Forman began leading his own band and recorded his group debut for Magenta Records “Train of Thought”. At the same time he continued to work with other well-known jazz and music figures, including John Scofield, Mike Stern, Janis Siegel, Dave Samuels, Diane Schuur, Gary Burton, Pat Metheny, “Freddie Hubbard and numerous others.

Pianist Mitchel Forman continues to record and play under his own name and has recently started his own record label, Marsis Jazz. His move to California has him co-leading the band Metro with guitarist Chuck Loeb and performing around Los Angeles with his own bands.

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DJANGO REINHARDT

Daily Dose Of Jazz…

Jean Reinhardt better known as “Django” was born on January 23, 1910 in Liberchies, Pont-a-Celles, Belgium into a French family of Manouche Romani descent. His family made cane furniture for a living but it was comprised of several good amateur musicians. He spent most of his youth in Romani encampments close to Paris, where he started playing violin, banjo and guitar.

Reinhardt was attracted to music at an early age, first playing the violin. At age 12, he received a banjo-guitar as a gift and quickly learned to play by mimicking the fingerings of musicians he watched. By age 13, Reinhardt was able to make a living playing music. He received little formal education and acquired the rudiments of literacy only in adult life. His first known recordings, made in 1928, were of him playing the banjo.

At age 18 in 1928 Reinhardt was injured in a fire started by a knocked over candle. Over half his body suffered burns, two fingers and one leg were paralyzed and it was thought he would never walk or play again. But with therapy and practice he re-learned to play differently and walked with a cane.

The years between 1929 and 1933 were formative musically for Django when he became attracted to jazz listening to Louis Armstrong. Shortly thereafter he met Stephane Grappelli who had similar interests. The two became musical partners. In 1934, with an invitation by Hot Club de France secretary Pierre Nourry, he and Grappelli formed the Quintette du Hot Club de France. Over the years it hosted different players and adding a singer but for the most part allowed only stringed instruments.

In 1933, Reinhardt recorded two takes each of vocal numbers “Parce-que je vous aime” and “Si, j’aime Suzy”, continued to record into 1934, and in 1935 he and Stephane recorded sides for Decca Records. He played and recorded with Adelaide Hall, Coleman Hawkins, Benny Carter, Rex Stewart, Louis Armstrong, Dizzy Gillespie, and Duke Ellington.

By 1946, he was debuting at the Cleveland Music Hall as a special guest soloist with Duke Ellington and His Orchestra. As part of the U.S. tour Django also played two nights at Carnegie Hall, then secured an engagement at Café Society Uptown, where he played four solos a day, backed by the resident band drawing large audiences.

Returning to France in ’47, Reinhardt became re-immersed in Gypsy life, finding it difficult to adjust to the postwar world. Missing sold-out concerts, showing up without guitar or amplifier and wandering off were commonplace. However, during this period he continued to attend the R-26 artistic salon in Montmartre, improvising with his devoted collaborator, Stéphane Grappelli.

From 1951 until his death at age 43 on May 16, 1953 of a brain hemorrhage, Reinhardt retired to Samois-sur-Seine near Fontainbleau. He had continued to play in Paris jazz clubs and began playing electric guitar. (He often used a Selmer fitted with an electric pickup, despite his initial hesitation about the instrument.) His final recordings made with his “Nouvelle Quintette” in the last few months of his life show him moving in a new musical direction; he had assimilated the vocabulary of bebop and fused it with his own melodic style.

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LIZZ WRIGHT

Daily Dose Of Jazz…

Lizz Wright was born January 22, 1980 in the small town of Hahira, Georgia, one of three children and the daughter of a minister and the musical director of their church. She started singing gospel music and playing piano in church as a child, and also became interested in jazz and blues.

She attended Houston County High, where she was heavily involved in choral singing, receiving the National Choral Award. Lizz moved to Atlanta and went on to attend Georgia State University, studying singing. Since then she has studied at The New School in New York and also in Vancouver.

Wright joined the Atlanta-based vocal quartet In The Spirit in 2000, performing at the local jazz haven Churchill Grounds and with the guidance of then manager, Ron Simblist, she was consistently featured on the late night jazz radio program Serenade To The City,and was soon achieving critical acclaim and notoriety. In 2002 she signed a recording contract with Verve Records, where her musical compositions and vocal style were comparable to that of Norah Jones.

Her debut album, “Salt’ was released in the spring of 2003 and reached number two on the Billboard Top Contemporary Jazz chart in 2004. Her sophomore release in 2005 ”Dreaming Wide Awake”, maintained the jazz and pop blend, while incorporating folk music to her musical blend. It reached number one on the Top Contemporary Jazz chart in 2005 and 2006.

Lizz has most notably performed and recorded with the late Joe Sample, Danilo Perez, David Sanborn, Toots Thielemans, Amos Lee, Regina Carter, Jakob Dylan, Massimo Biolcati and Meshell Ndegeocello among others.

In 2008, she released “The Orchard” to positive reviews and then released her fourth album, “Fellowship”, a collection of gospel standards, in 2010. Vocalist and composer Lizz Wright continues to perform and tour and is currently working on the release of her fifth album.

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AIDAN CARROLL

Daily Dose Of Jazz…

Aidan Carroll was born on January 21, 1984 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and grew up in the blues-infused city with his musical parents’ unwavering support. He studied music classical, rock and roll and R&B drumming avidly from a young age beginning with playing drums in his father’s band at age 10. After winning numerous awards on classical marimba and percussion, Carroll was drawn to the bass and to the world of jazz and improvisation.

In high school Aidan attended the Classen School of the Advanced Studies where he eventually switched from percussion major to bass major to play in jazz band and orchestra. He performed regularly with his school jazz band in big band and combo formats at local functions, and seasoned his experience with several awards at state competitions. Receiving a full jazz scholarship to the University of Central Oklahoma, he played in the top jazz big band all four years, as well as the orchestra and wind ensemble.

Prior to a move to New York City and matriculating through the City College of New York under the tutelage of John Patitucci, Aidan attended the Banff Creative Workshop and worked with the likes of Dave Douglas, Rez Abassi, Donny McCaslin and others.

A consummate sideman Carroll has recorded with Fred Hersch, Seamus Blake, Ralph Alessi, and toured with the Dan Tepfer Trio, Logan Richardson’s SHIFT, multilingual singer Marta Topferova, Zimbabwean singer Chiwoniso (R.I.P.), Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds, and Melody Gardot.

His debut album “Original Vision” is due out in March 2015. In the meantime he is touring with Grammy winner Lisa Fischer, when not regularly working with his New York peers playing in town with groups led by Sullivan Fortner, Chris Dingman, Julian Shore, John Raymond, Richie Barshay, Jason Palmer and others.

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