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ALFIE

Hollywood On 52nd Street

Alfie, the title song, written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David, for the 1966 British romantic comedy-drama directed by Lewis Gilbert. The film starred Michael Caine, with supporting roles by Shelley Winters, Millicent Martin and Vivien Merchant.

The original film soundtrack featured jazz saxophonist Sonny Rollins with local musicians from London including pianist Stan Tracey, who improvised “Little Malcolm Loves His Dad”, Rick Laird on bass, drummer Phil Seamen and tenor saxophonist Ronnie Scott.  The released soundtrack album, recorded back in the States with orchestration by Oliver Nelson, featured Rollins, but with other musicians.

The Story: Alfie tells the story of a young womanizer who leads a self-centered life, purely for his own enjoyment, until events force him to question his uncaring behavior and his loneliness. He cheats on numerous women, and despite his charm towards women, he treats them with disrespect and refers to them as “it”, using them for sex and for domestic purposes. Alfie frequently breaks the fourth wall by speaking directly to the camera narrating and justifying his actions. His words often contrast with or totally contradict his actions.


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DANCING LADY

Hollywood On 52nd Street

Everything I Have Is Yours easily entered the jazz catalogue and was written by Burton Lane and the lyrics by Harold Adamson, published in 1933 and was first sung by Art Jarrett in the 1933 film Dancing Lady. The musical film starred Joan Crawford, Clark Gable in the lead roles and featured Franchot Tone, Fred Astaire, Robert Benchley and the Three Stooges.

The Story: Janie Barlow is a young dancer who is reduced to stripping in a burlesque show. Arrested for indecent exposure, she’s bailed out by millionaire playboy Tod Newton, who was attracted to her while slumming at the theatre with his society pals. When she tries to get a part in a Broadway musical, Tod intercedes with director Patch Gallagher to get her the job: he’ll put his money into the show, if Janie is given a part in the chorus. Even though he needs the money, Patch is resistant, until he sees Janie dance and realizes her talent.

When, after hard work and perseverance, Janie is elevated to the star’s part, replacing Vivian Warner. Tod is afraid he’ll lose any chance of gaining her affection if she becomes a star, so he closes the show, and Janie, out of work, goes away with him. Patch starts rehearsals up again using his own money, and when Janie returns and finds out the Tod has deceived her and manipulated things behind the scenes, she dumps him and joins up with her new sweetheart, Patch, to put on the show, which is a smash hit.

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PATTI AUSTIN

Daily Dose Of Jazz…

Patti Austin was born on August 10, 1950 in Harlem, New York City to a jazz musician father and grew up on Long Island. She made her debut at the Apollo Theater at age four and had a contract with RCA Records when she was five. Quincy Jones and Dinah Washington have proclaimed themselves as her godparents. But it was a reluctant outing as a teenager to hear one of Judy Garland’s last concerts and the experience-helped focus her career, giving her the desire to interpret a lyric like that.

By the late 1960s Austin was a session musician and commercial jingle singer. During the 1980s, she was signed to Jones’s Qwest Records and began her most prolific hit-making period. By this time she was both one of the leading background session vocalists and also was known as Queen of The Jingles for such companies as Burger King, Almay, KFC, McDonald’s, Avon, Stouffers, Maxwell House and the US Army.

Charting twenty R&B songs between 1969 and 1991, hitting #1 for her hits “Do You Love Me?” / “The Genie”, Baby Come To Me” – a duet with James Ingram, and also hits with “How Do you Keep The Music Playing”, again teaming with Ingram and “It’s Gonna Be Special”. She would sing background for Billy Joel’s “Just The Way You Are” along with Luther Vandross, Jocelyn Brown and Chaka Khan. She would be enlisted to sing duets with Michal Jackson, George Benson, Luther, Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons, Narada Michael Walden and Johnny Mathis.

Austin would be seen leading a new group of Raelettes for the 2006 album “Ray Charles + Count Basie Orchestra = Genius”; participating in the AVO Session Basel tribute to Ella Fitzgerald, and after nine nominations, winning her first Grammy Award for Best Jazz Vocal Album for her 2008 album Avant Gershwin.

Patti co-produced and was one of over 70 artists singing on “We Are The World: 25 for Haiti” to raise awareness and aid for those affected by the 2010 earthquake. In 2011 she released a mostly covers album project titled “Sound Advice” re-working Bob Dylan, Michael Jackson, Brenda Russell, Bill Withers and Don McLean songs and a female take on “My Way” among others.

No to be idle Austin co-wrote and sings in the star-studded L.O.V.E. – Let One Voice Emerge, encouraging especially younger Americans to get out there and exercise their right to vote; has been seen in the Bridges/Coppola film “Ticker: The Man And His Dream, and appears in the Academy Award-winning documentary film “20 Feet From Stardom” in 2013. She continues to perform, compose and tour.

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HIGH TIME

Hollywood On 52nd Street

The Second Time Around is a song with words by Sammy Cahn and music by Jimmy Van Heusen. It was introduced in the 1960 film High Time, sung by Bing Crosby with Henry Mancini conducting his orchestra. The song was nominated for and Oscar for Best Original Song.

The Story: High Time is a comedy film directed by Blake and starred Bing Crosby, Fabian and Tuesday Weld. The film is told from the perspective of a middle-aged man who enters the world of a new generation of postwar youth. In the years since its release, the film has come to be viewed as a comedic study of the slowly emerging generation gap between the music and mores of an older generation and postwar youth, as well as an inadvertent time capsule of American adolescents and lifestyles in 1960.

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JERI SOUTHERN

Daily Dose Of Jazz…

Jeri Southern was born Genevieve Hering on August 5, 1926 in Royal, Nebraska and began playing piano at age three. At age six she started formal study in classical piano and studying classical piano and voice at Sacred Heart in Omaha, Nebraska. It was during this period that her interest in jazz developed.

Southern began her career at the Blackstone Hotel in Omaha, then joined a United States Navy recruiting tour during WWII. In the late 1940s, she worked the Chicago club scene, once playing piano for Anita O’Day and where she became known for torch songs.

Signing with Decca Records in 1951, Jeri became known both for jazz and pop, rising to the height of her career during the decade. In 1955 her recording of “An Occasional Man”, reached #89 in the Billboard pop chart and in 1957 she had a Top 30 hit with “Fire Down Below”, that also hit #22 on the UK Singles Chart.

After her switch to Capitol Records, Southern found more success performing interpretations of Cole Porter with Billy May arrangements of some of the more humorous examples. She also sang in a few films

By the 1960s Jeri gave up the performing side of the music industry opting to teach instead, leaving a catalogue of more than two-dozen recordings. She would later move to Hollywood, California and work on film composing with Hugo Friedhofer. She wrote Interpreting Popular Music At The Keyboard during her final years.

Pianist and vocalist Jeri Southern passed away in Los Angeles, California of pneumonia on August 4,1991, at the age of 64.

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