27 November 2008

Out of Office

I'm off to Miami for Thanksgiving weekend. Enjoy your holiday, here are some links...
  • Jazz Lives posted a copy of a letter Sonny Rollins sent to Coleman Hawkins in 1962.
  • On Rifftides, Doug Ramsey unearthed a great YouTube clip of the Bill Evans Trio in a 1966 Swedish television program. Bill speaks about the groups approach to improvisation, and the trio follows with a wonderful performance of "Emily."
  • The New Yorker briefly covers a lecture on cell biology, evolution, and cancer by Harold Varmus, which is accompanied by a jazz quintet led by his son Jacob Varmus. Perhaps next time he could arrange for the Giant Steps robot to open...
  • Over on Do The Math, The Bad Plus posted some choice photos from the Life Magazine collection newly hosted on Google. Here's one of my favorites after browsing the collection briefly: Louis Armstrong and Dizzy Gillespie on stage at the 1958 Monterey Jazz Festival.
  • NPR's All Songs Considered takes a look at the Beatles' White Album, which was released forty years ago this week. Host Bob Boilen interviews Beatles scholar Bruce Spizer, and shares some wonderful demos of songs from the album recorded in May of 1968 at George Harrison's house. Though they were not a jazz group, they were certainly influenced by jazz and left a sizable influence on jazz (would there have been fusion without the Beatles? Probably, but it would have been different, I think).
  • Again at Rifftides, here's a retelling of Paul Desmond's final birthday in 1976, which fell on Thanksgiving. He spent it with Jim Hall at Hall's daughter's apartment in New York City. After dinner, the two went to see Thelonious Monk at the Village Vanguard, later hanging out with Monk in the Vanguard's kitchen. I am a sucker for jazz-legends-as-regular-dudes stories like this, they make Desmond and Hall seem like Jerry and George meeting Kramer at the coffee shop...
  • Sharing a birthday with Desmond on Tuesday was Willie "The Lion" Smith (1897-1973). Here he is in Germany in 1966:

1 comment:

Michael said...

Dear David,
Thanks for directing readers to my blog and to the Rollins-Hawkins letter, which I still find very touching. I read your self-portrait with pleasure: your heart is in the right place! I've put Hot House on my blogroll and wish you the time to write many more thoughtful posts! Cheers, Michael Steinman ("Jazz Lives": http://www.jazzlives.wordpress.com)