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TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT

Hollywood on 52nd Street

How Little We Know was originally written as a waltz. It was composed by Hoagy Carmichael for Lauren Bacall to sing in the 1942 film To Have and Have Not. Starring Humphrey Bogart, Walter Brennan and Lauren Bacall in her film debut. Although it was nominally based on the novel of the same name written by Ernest Hemingway. The story was extensively altered for the film.

The Story: Harry Morgan and his alcoholic sidekick, Eddie, are based on the island of Martinique and crew a boat available for hire. However, since the second world war is happening around them business is not what it could be and after a customer who owes them a large sum fails to pay they are forced against their better judgment to violate their preferred neutrality and to take a job for the resistance transporting a fugitive on the run from the Nazis to Martinique. Through all this runs the stormy relationship between Morgan and Marie “Slim” Browning, a resistance sympathizer and the sassy singer in the club where Morgan spends most of his days.

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MELISSA WALKER

Daily Dose Of Jazz…

Melissa Walker was born the youngest of three sisters on July 3, 1964 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. She attended Brown University considering a career in law but instead after graduation local performance and out-of-town dates led her to launch a career as a vocalist in Washington, D.C., in 1990. She produced her own debut album in 1993 titled Little Wishes, which she sold at her performances.

Moving to New York she studied with pianist and master vocal accompanist Norman Simmons. In 1997, Walker signed to Enja Records and recorded May I Feel and released in Germany. She expanded her performing range with her rich, multi-octave textures and impeccable phrasing, formed her own group and appeared with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, directed by Wynton Marsalis. Her 1999 release of Moment of Truth marked her commercial U.S. album debut and two years later came I Saw The Sky.

She has been nominated for a Juno Award, won the U.S. Indie Award for Vocal Jazz, has created new material unrivaled in the American jazz tradition, and has appeared on a number of television networks and magazines. Melissa has performed across continents, working and/or recording with such talents as Hank Jones, Gary Bartz, Kenny Barron, Ray Brown, Christian McBride, Stefon Harris, Mokoto Ozone Phil Woods, Buster Williams, Russell Malone, Beny Green, Geoff Keezer, Steve Wilson, Ron Blake, Lenny White, Paul Bollenback, Steve Turre and Geri Allen. Vocalist Melissa Walker continues to perform, compose, record and tour.


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SHERRI ROBERTS

Daily Dose Of Jazz…

Sherri Roberts was born on June 28, 1957 in Greenville, South Carolina and raised in Atlanta. She graduated from college in 1979 with a theater degree and moved to San Francisco. That same year she began exploring both jazz and classic pop, studying with Jeri Southern and working locally.

She began recording for Brownstone, starting with her 1994 Twilight World and continuing with Dreamsville in 1997. She moved to the Blue House/Pacific Jazz label in 2006 with The Sky Could Send You followed by Lovely Day in 2013.

She has worked with Phil Woods, Chris Potter, Lew Soloff, Mark Soskin, Danny Gottlieb, Harvie S and Carmen McRae. Sherri Roberts, vocalist with the warm voice continues to perform, record and tour.


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GILBERTO GIL

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Gilberto Passos Gil Moreira was born June 26, 1942 in Salvador do Bahia, Brazil though he spent much of his childhood in the countryside of Ituaca. The offspring of a doctor and a schoolteacher, he attended the Marist Brothers school until he was nine and then returned to Salvador for secondary school.

Gil’s interest in music began when he was two and grew up listening to the forro music and the street performers of Salvador. Early on, he began to play the drums and the trumpet, and then took up the accordion before attending music school. He first played classical music, but grew more interested in the folk and popular music of Brazil, influenced by accordionist Luiz Gonzaga. He discovered the samba music of Dorival Caymmi, American big band jazz and tango.

In 1950 while still in high school he joined his first band, Os Desafinados (The Out of Tunes), playing accordion and vibraphone and singing. Soon afterwards he settled on the guitar as his instrument after hearing Joao Gilberto and started playing bossa nova. Gil met guitarist and singer Caetano Veloso at the Universidade Federal da Bahia in 1963 and immediately they began collaborating and performing together, releasing a single and EP soon afterwards. Along with Maria Bethania, Gal Costa and Tom Ze, they opened the Vila Velha Theatre with a night of bossa nova and traditional Brazilian songs in 1964.

Gilberto would go on to become musical director of the theatre’s concert series, sold bananas, composed jingles for tv ads and work for Unilever before moving to Sao Paulo in in 1965. Though he had a hit single with Louvação that was later recorded by Elis Regina, his first solo hit was the 1969 song Aquele Abraco. Arrested with Veloso he spent seven months in jail and house arrest and then instructed to leave the country. After a concert in Salvador in ’69 they left for Portugal, Paris and London where he listened to Bob Marley, Jimmy Cliff and Burning Spear. He performed with Yes, Pink Floyd and the Incredible String Band. It was in London that he recorded Gilberto Gil Nega and attended Miles Davis and Sun Ra concerts.

Over the course of his career he participated in the Aids benefit album Red, Hot + Rio, win Grammy awards, receive the Legion d’honneur from France, and was the first Latin American recipient of the Polar Music Prize in Stockholm. In between performances he turned to politics becoming the Salvador Secretary of Culture, founded the environmental protection organization Onda Azul (Blue Wave), was a Good will Ambassador for the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, became Brazil’s Minister of Culture and then retired due to a vocal cord polyp.

Tenor, baritone and falsetto vocalist, guitarist, lyricist and composer Gilberto Gil who is one of the pioneers of tropicália, and became increasing interested in the welfare of Black culture and focused on Afro-Brazilian culture. He continues to transcend the eras of dance and music trends emerging on the other side with a blend of music styles that stay true to his traditional Bahian roots while engaging with commercial markets.


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ST. LOUIS BLUES

Hollywood On 52nd Street

W.C. Handy composed St. Louis Blues used as the title track for the 1958 film of the same name. The movie had as its stars Nat King Cole portraying W.C. Handy and Ruby Dee as Elizabeth as well as a host of musicians and vocalists not limited to Eartha Kitt, Cab Calloway, Ella Fitzgerald, Mahalia Jackson, Barney Bigard, Red Callender and Pearl Bailey.

The Story: Will Handy grew up in Memphis with his preacher father and his Aunt Hagar. His father intends for him to use his musical gifts only in church, but he can’t stay away from the music of the streets and workers. After he writes a theme song for a local politician, Gogo, a speakeasy singer, convinces Will to be her accompanist. Will is estranged from his father for many years while he writes and publishes many blues songs. At last the family is reunited when Gogo brings them to New York to see Will’s music played by a symphony orchestra.

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