Daily Dose Of Jazz…

Bobby Short was born Robert Waltrip Short on September 15, 1924 in Danville, Illinois. With his mother’s permission he left home for Chicago and began performing as a busker at the age of eleven.

He started working in clubs in the 1940s and in 1968 he was offered a two-week stint at the Café Carlyle in New York City’s Carlyle Hotel, a relationship that lasted until 2004. His seemingly effortless elegance and vocal phrasing were perfected at the feet of Mabel Mercer and Ethel Waters. Bobby’s presentation of unknown songs worth knowing and his infectious good cheer made him tremendously popular and earned him great respect.

He became best known for his interpretations of songs composed by Rodgers and Hart, Cole Porter, Jerome Kern, Harold Arlen, Vernon Duke, Noel Coward and the Gershwin brothers but was equally adept at championing the works of Duke Ellington, Billy Strayhorn, Eubie Blake, James P. Johnson, Andy Razaf, Fats Waller and Bessie Smith.

Bobby Short, the pianist and cabaret singer, recorded 22 albums from 1955 to 2001, appeared in ten movies and 3 television shows and who was instrumental in spearheading the construction of the Ellington Memorial in his beloved New York City, passed away on March 21, 2005.

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Hollywood On 52nd Street

Riz Ortolani and Nino Oliviero composed the theme song More that found its place in the pantheon of jazz classics. It was a part of the score for the 1962 film Mondo Cane. The film title translates to Dog’s World, or as the soundtrack album states, “a world gone to the dogs”.

Some melodies are used repeatedly, in different styles, each named for the part of the movie where the music is used. Of the 15 music tracks on the soundtrack album, one melody is presented 6 times, another melody 2 times. The melody which became known as “More” is presented 4 times, named “Life Savers Girls”, “The Last Fight/L’Ultimo Volo”, “Models In Blue/Modelle in Blu”, “Repabhan Street/Repabhan Strasse”, in styles ranging from lush to march and 3/4 waltz.

Originally composed as an instrumental and titled “Ti guarderò nel cuore”, lyrics were later provided by Marcello Ciorciolini, which were adapted into English by Norman Newell. At that point, “Theme from Mondo Cane” became “More” (not to be confused with an earlier pop song of the same name).

The Story: The movie Mondo Cane is filmed as a documentary and uses a variety of music to accompany various segments. The film uses a series of stories that take place in different cities around the world, i.e. dog pound, Rudolph Valentino statue, bikini-clad girls wooing sailors, pigs being slaughtered, and a manhunt among various others.

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Daily Dose Of Jazz…

Harry Connick, Jr. was born Joseph Harry Fowler Connick, Jr. on September 11, 1967 and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana. His musical talents soon came to the fore when he started learning the keyboards at the age of three, played publicly at age five and recorded with a local jazz band at ten.

When Harry was nine years old, he performed with the New Orleans Symphony Orchestra and later played a duet of “I’m Just Wild About Harry” with Eubie Blake at the Royal Orleans Esplanade Lounge in New Orleans. His musical talents were developed at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts and under the tutelage of Ellis Marsalis and James Booker.

Moving to New York, Connick studied at Hunter College and the Manhattan School of Music. It was here that Columbia Records A&R exec Dr. George Butler persuaded him to sign with the label releasing first a self-titled album and then “20” as his sophomore project. He soon acquired a reputation in jazz because of extended stays at high-profile New York venues.

Over the course of his career Harry has sung on film soundtracks, ventured into acting on Broadway and the big and small screens, has sold over 25 million albums worldwide, has seven top-20 US albums, and ten number-one US jazz albums, earning more number-one albums than any other artist in the U.S. jazz chart history. Harry Connick Jr., singer, big-band leader, conductor, pianist, actor, and composer, continues to perform, record and tour.

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Daily Dose OF Jazz…

Roy Ayers was born on September 10, 1940 in Los Angeles, California and grew up in the epicenter of southern California Black music scene known as South Park, now called South Central. He received his first set of mallets at age five from Lionel Hampton thus leading him to the vibraphone.

He studied music attending Central Avenue area schools Wadsworth elementary, Nevins Middle and Thomas Jefferson High that also graduated Dexter Gordon. He became part of the West Coast jazz scene in the early ‘60s, played withCurtis Amy as well as Herbie Mann for four years and recorded his first album West Coast Vibes in 1963 and several albums for Atlantic Records as a post-bopper. It was during this period that he became exposed to new styles of music outside bebop.

The 70s saw the advent of jazz funk and Roy was there to help pioneer its rise. With highly successful soundtracks like “Coffy” Ayers went on to record “Mystic Voyage”, “Everybody Loves The Sunshine”, “Running Away” and a string of hits throughout the decade. By 1980 he had teamed with Fela Kuti releasing Afrobeat “Music of Many Colors, went on to produce Sylvia Striplin’s “Give Me Your Love”, and released several albums on the Ichiban label. He collaborated on the Stolen Moments: Red, Hot+ Cool project, turned his attention to house music, founded two record labels – Uno Melodic and Gold Mink, and currently is the feature of the documentary called the Roy Ayers Project.

Roy Ayers, vibraphonist, vocalist, keyboardist, producer, jazz, funk and soul composer has recorded over 50 albums during his long and prolific career and he continues to perform, record and tour.

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Hollywood On 52nd Street

The Look Of Loveis another jazz standard from the iconic pop library composed by Burt Bacharach and Hal David. The tune was sung by English pop singer Dusty Springfield in the 1967 James Bond film spoof, Casino Royale. It also received a Best Song nomination at the 1968 Academy Awards and in 2008 the song was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.

 David Niven starred in Casino Royale as the original 007, Sir James Bond. It is loosely based on Ian Fleming’s first novel. Forced out of retirement to investigate the deaths and disappearances of international spies, he soon battles the mysterious Dr. Noah and SMERSH.

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