Eliane Elias Trio – Live at the Munich Philharmonic (2003) [Full Concert] – YouTube

July 4th, 2015 by

I came across Eliane Elias because she was playing at the Stanford Jazz Festival and I had never heard of her. I am kicking myself for not going to see her.  Virtually, every album she has made had won awards and she has played with many of the jazz greats. She has a CD which is duets with Herbie Hancock. She is Brazillian and has many albums doing Bossa Nova. She has a wonderful voice. She was teaching jazz piano by the time she was 15 and touring by 17. She moved to the US and went to Juliard so besides her natural gifts she is highly trained in composition.  She has one CD where she plays only classical. 

3:15 / 1:05:01 5:42 Suggested by OranDzTiger Gaza Under Attack : A short introduction about occupied Palestine Eliane Elias Trio – Live at the Munich Philharmonic (2003) [Full Concert]

Ghost Riders in the Sky – Scatman Crothers – YouTube

June 19th, 2015 by

This gem of a song has been done by Gene Audrey, The Sons of the Pioneers, Riders in the Sky (appropriately) and countless other cowboy country bands but I have not any version that is quite so spooky and sincere as this one.

78 RPM: The Spirits Of Rhythm – Honeysuckle Rose (Honey-Sock-Me-On-The-Nose) – YouTube

June 8th, 2015 by

This is a remarkable version of this song. It is enlightening to look at the history of “vocalese.”  Vocalese is of a style of singing where people write lyrics to instrumental solos and sing the notes of the instruments in a band or orchestra. Some of the greats that followed were Jon Hendricks, Lambert Hendricks and Ross, Jackie and Roy, The Swingle Singers, Manhatten Transfer and many more.

A person that is considered the innovator was Eddie Jefferson, but Jefferson would say that he was inspired by Leo Watson, the main singer on this recording.

I like to find music that is not derivative. The Spirits of Rhythm knock me out. Their guitarist, Teddy Bunn, is remarkable and the whole band swings like crazy. They make this song their own, no question.

Barney Kessel – On a Clear Day, You Can See Forever – YouTube

June 4th, 2015 by

I saw Barney Kessel a few times. The first time I saw him he has a local pickup band and so it really just him.  Other times I saw him with “Great Guitars.” That included Herb Ellis and Charlie Byrd (and sometimes Bucky Pizzarelli). When he was by himself he told jokes throughout. He said that if he just played with no break between the songs they become a blur to the audience so he would do three songs and then some jokes. He was extremely funny and could have been a stand-up comic if he wanted.

Charles Mingus – Goodbye Pork Pie Hat – YouTube

June 4th, 2015 by

This is one of the great classic jazz pieces. Charlie Mingus was a bass player and composer. He wrote this song as a tribute to Lester Young. This was the original version most people heard from the album Ah Um. It was produced in a studio in 1959.

It has been done by many people since. One notable version is by Joni Mitchell with lyrics she composed. She worked with Mingus not long before his death and produced an album called Mingus.



Flat Feet Floogie – Slim and Slam

June 1st, 2015 by

This song,  written by Bulee  “Slim” Gaillard, Leroy “Slam” Stewart and Bud Green is played here by Slim and Slam. It is one of my favorite songs of all time.  Slim plays guitar, vibes and sings, and Slam plays the bass and sings.  Slam had a unique (at the time) style where he would play the bass with a bow and harmonized scat along with it.

The lyrics were originally “flat feet floozie” but floozie was too risque for the record company.  “Floy floy” was slang for “venereal disease” but the record company didn’t know that, so it slipped by. 

The song speaks for itself. Have a listen.