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JEWEL BROWN

Daily Dose Of Jazz…

Jewel Brown was born on August 30, 1937 in Houston, Texas. Her first professional performance was at the age of 12 in the Manhattan Club in Galveston, Texas. Before graduating from Jack Yates High School, Lionel Hampton offered her the opportunity to tour professionally in Europe.

In 1957 while on vacation in Los Angeles, California she sat in with organist Earl Grant at the Club Pigalle. Grant hired her that night and her performing relationship lasted for a year. Jewel went on to work for Dallas, Texas nightclub owner Jack Ruby. In the next decade she was approached with offers of vocal positions with Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong. She chose Armstrong and appeared with him in the films Louis Armstrong and All Stars and Solo.

Brown retired from singing and performing in 1971 to care for ailing family members and later established a hair salon in Houston. In recent years she has revived her singing career and in 2012 she released her first album as a co-leader title Milton Jackson & Jewel Brown. The following year she was nominated for a Blues Music Award in the Koko Taylor Award: Traditional Blues Female category. She is currently a member of the Heritage Hall Jazz Band.


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ANITA WARDELL

Daily Dose Of Jazz…

Anita Wardell, born August 23, 1961 is an English jazz singer born in Guildford, Surrey, England and from age 12 was raised in Australia. In due time she completed a four-year performance course in jazz and improvised music at Adelaide University. She began singing professionally and appeared at jazz festivals with Richie Cole, James Morrison and Don Burrows, with whom she later sang on tracks on two albums.

1989 saw Anita returning to the UK where she studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. In the early 90s Wardell worked extensively in Europe and also visited the USA, singing at festivals in San José, Edinburgh and in Finland. She formed a close working relationship with John Stevens, performing drums/voice duos, and recording together in 1994.

Her debut album as a leader was a duet project titled Notes with pianist Liam Noble that allows her to exhibit her rich expressive and agile voice on standards but also her scat skills on bebop classics. Her sophomore project Kinda Blue came in 2008 and her third, The Road, was released in 2013 on the Specific Jazz label.

Wardell has won the BBC Best Jazz Award, and is noted for her vocalized rendition of Lee Morgan’s solo from Moanin’. An educator at heart, she teaches annual jazz course in Loire, France and continues to perform, record and tour.

 


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GOING PLACES

Hollywood On 52nd Street

The familiar standard, Jeepers Creepers is a collaborative effort between Harry Warren and Johnny Mercer for the 1938 musical comedy film Going Places. In the film Louis Armstrong sings the song to a horse by the name of Jeepers Creepers. Dick Powell and Anita Louise are the film’s stars and it received a nomination for an Oscar for Best Original Song when it premiered in the movie.

The Story: A sporting goods salesman is forced to pose as a famous horseman as part of his scheme to boost sales and gets entangled in his lies.

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FUNNY FACE

Hollywood On 52nd Street

George and Ira Gershwin composed S’Wonderful and How Long Has This Been Going On were composed for the 1927 Broadway musical Funny Face by George and Ira Gershwin. S’Wonderful was used in the 1951 musical movie An American In Paris before making its appearance in this film. How Long Has this Been Going On was dropped from the Broadway musical and makes its introduction when Audrey Hepburn sing it in this 1957 movie musical of Funny Face that also starred Fred Astaire in a reprisal of his Broadway role. Although having the same title as the Broadway musical, the plot is totally different and only four of the songs in the stage musical are included. Kay Thompson also stars in a supporting role as Astaire portrays still photographer Dick Avery, loosely based on photographer Richard Avedon.

The Story: Maggie Prescott (Thompson) is a fashion magazine publisher and editor for Quality magazine, looking for the next big fashion trend. She wants a new look to be both “beautiful” and “intellectual”. She and famous fashion photographer Dick Avery want models that can “think as well as they look.” The two brainstorm and come up with the idea to find a “sinister-looking” bookstore in Greenwich Village and discover “Embryo Concepts.”

They put Jo Stockton (Hepburn) in the first shot and toss her out of the store until the shoot ends. Jo wants to go to Paris to hear famed philosopher Emile Flostre speak on empathicalism. Dispatched on an assignment, New York City-based fashion photographer Avery is struck by Jo’s beauty, a shy bookstore employee he’s photographed and he believes has the potential to become a successful model. He gets Jo to go with him to France, where he snaps more pictures of her against iconic Parisian backdrops. In the process, they fall for one another, only to find hurdles in their way.

Joao Gilberto & Lonette McKee/Dexter Gordon 

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THE SCARLET HOUR

Hollywood On 52nd Street

The song Never Let Me Go was composed by Jay Livingston (music) and Ray Evans (lyrics) and introduced by Nat King Cole in the 1956 crime drama film titled The Scarlet Hour.

The movie was a relatively bold experiment for a mid-1950s Paramount release. The studio expended a great deal of money on the project and enlisted the services of top-flight director Michael Curtiz and populated with a cast of young unknowns. Carol Ohmart and Tom Tryon (future novelist) star with supporting cast including Jody Lawrence, Elaine Stritch, James Gregory and Edward Binns.

The Story: Ohmart and Tryon portray Paulie and Marsh, respectively the film’s villainess and protagonist. Knowing that Marsh is hopelessly in love with her, Paulie uses him as a dupe in an upcoming jewelry heist. Only after a killing has occurred does Marsh come to his senses. Lawrence is good girl to whom Marsh eventually retreats.

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