Book Review: ‘Jazz Beat Encore: More Notes on Classic Jazz’ by Lew Shaw

Jazz Beat Encore: More Notes on Classic Jazz
By Lew Shaw
AZtold Publishing, Scottsdale, AZ

Lew Shaw is a multi-faceted writer, having a dual career as both sports and jazz writer who lives in Scottsdale, Arizona. Our paths crossed when we were both active in The American Federation of Jazz Societies and both had served as president of that organization. He was an organizer and served as president of Arizona Classic Jazz Society in Phoenix.

Shaw has written for jazz publications “West Coast Rag,” “The American Rag” and, for the past few years, “The Syncopated Times.” His first book, Jazz Beat, Notes of Classic Jazz was a collection of his columns from “West Coast Rag” and “The American Rag.” His current book, Jazz Beat Encore, is a collection of forty-three columns from the past few years.

Each column features a jazz musician, or group, along with a photograph and occupies about four pages. Most of the artists are American born but also feature clarinetist-bandleader Adrian Cunningham of Australia and pianist Paolo Alderighi, a native of Milan, Italy.

Of special interest to will be featured artists who have appeared for the Jazz Society of Pensacola events: guitarist Howard Alden, saxophonist Harry Allen, trombonist Dan Barrett, clarinetist Evan Christopher, trumpeter Duke Heitger, vocalist Rebecca Kilgore, clarinetist Tim Laughlin, The Midiri Brothers, and clarinetists Ken Peplowski and Allan Vache.

Also, as a bonus, cartoonist Bill Keane’s Family Circus cartoons related to jazz were included courtesy of Jeff Keane, son of the late cartoonist.

This book, as well as Shaw’s previous one, will grace the shelves of our Jazz Room at the downtown West Florida Public Library. It awaits your reading. The book, of course, is available at Amazon and other booksellers.

Norman Vickers featured in Syncopated Times

Norman Vickers, Jazz Pensacola Volunteer Executive Director Emeritus, is featured in the August 2020 edition of The Syncopated Times, a popular publication for fans of jazz, ragtime and swing.

Norman Vickers is known as a harmonica-playing physician who was a pioneer in his field in his adopted city, and who for the past 40 years, has been the jazz ambassador and moving spirit behind Jazz Pensacola, one of the country’s more active jazz societies,” reads the article, with the headline “Norman Vickers: Jazz Doc and More.”

Read the complete article here or via the PDF below.

vickersarticlesynctimes

Remembering Bucky Pizzarelli and the joys of jazz parties

I recently received a delightful note from Joe Galetovic of Denver, Colorado. He is a jazz friend who I first met in the 1980s while we were both attending the famous Dick Gibson Labor Day weekend jazz party in Denver. We have kept in contact and he and his wife Linda are now more active than I in traveling to similar events. Consequently, he updates me on their activities and comments about the performers.

He had recently attended the San Diego Jazz Party and kindly sent me the program. Interesting, duo pianists Stephanie Trick and Paolo Alderighi were among the performers. (I’ve blogged about this couple and saw them a week or so later at the Ragtime Festival in Starkville, Mississippi.) Interestingly, some of the other performers at the SD Jazz Party had performed for us previously in Pensacola. They include saxophonist Harry Allen, trombonist Dan Barrett, vocalist Rebecca Kilgore, bassist/vocalist Nicki Parrott, clarinetist Ken Peplowski and guitarist Frank Vignola.

Painting by Nina Fritz of jazz violinist Johnny Frigo, left, and guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli, based on a photo by Norman Vickers.

Longtime guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli was a recent death, along with his wife, both victims of COVID-19. Bucky was a wonderful person and a wonderful jazz ambassador. Bucky was a regular performer at the Gibson parties and jazz host Dick Gibson always would schedule a duo performance along with jazz violinist Johnny Frigo. There is a Nina Fritz painting in the jazz room at our downtown West Florida Public Library depicting Bucky and Johnny. It was painted based on a photo I took of them rehearsing — each had their instrument in hand. In five minutes, they would discuss songs and keys and then perform them for one hour.

We had Bucky and Johnny perform for Pensacola JazzFest but separately, as their schedules did not mesh. Frigo came with Frank Vignola and, a few years later, Bucky came with Nicki Parrot. Both duos were marvelous.

I want to quote the tribute that Joe Galetovic wrote me about loss of Bucky and wife to the virus:

“Linda and I were left breathless — like losing a member of the family. Over the years Bucky was a regular at Summit Jazz in Denver, so it was Bucky who ‘took us’ to San Diego Jazz Party first time. It was Bucky who made us go to West Texas Jazz Party, Bucky was ‘the reason’ we went to Atlanta Jazz Parties. Bucky introduced us to Matt and Rachel Domber and Arbors Jazz parties. He also took us to Elkhart and Cleveland … not to speak of all the times we went to New York to listen to him; tape new CDs ad NOLA studies, heard him at 92nd Street Y, at Symphony Hall on the West side, in Cavatappo; at Hotel Carlisle, Feinstein’s at Regency etc …”

Yes, Bucky will be greatly missed, but his son John is carrying on the legacy.

So thanks, Bucky for brightening our lives and leaving loving children to honor your tremendous musical legacy. Also, thanks Joe and Linda Galetovic for your friendship and enthusiasm for jazz. Keep us in the loop!

CD Review: ‘Just Imagine,’ The Rebecca Kilgore Trio

JUST IMAGINE
Classic Jazz at Classic Pianos
The Rebecca Kilgore Trio
With Dan Barrett and Paolo Alderighi
Blue Swing Recordings

This is a delightful trio album with Rebecca Kilgore providing vocals and occasional guitar, Dan Barrett and trombone and Paolo Alderighi on piano. Since I was already a fan of all three, when I read about the album, I ordered it immediately.

Of the fifteen selections on this album, most will be familiar to the average jazz fan—examples: Oh, Look at Me Now; Daddy, Won’t You Please Come Home and Cry Me a River. Whereas, some are less so—as Ellington’s Serenade to Sweden, I’m in a Lowdown Groove.

Paolo plays Three Coins in the Fountain as a delightful solo on the Bosendorfer piano in the studio. And as a surprise, the final piece is entitled Mis’ry and The Blues as duet by Paolo and Dan Barrett on twin Bosendorfers.

All three performers were favorites of mine already. I had seen Becky and Dan frequently at jazz parties around the country and both had appeared previously at Pensacola events. Although I’d read about Paolo and knew of his training in Milan, his interest in early jazz and his romance and marriage to American pianist Stephanie Trick, I didn’t see him in person until this February when they were featured artists at the Ragtime and Jazz Festival at Miss. State U. in Starkville.

Another plus for this album are liner notes by Michael Steinman whose jazz blog is likely familiar to many who will read this review. They mystery is why it took so long to get this delightful item into public view. It was recorded in December 2013. Hope we won’t have to wait that long for the next one.

A jazz broadcaster has fond memories of JazzFest

Editor’s note: Michael Gourrier is a New Orleans native, now living in Richmond, Va. He has been broadcasting jazz for 43 years, initially in Galveston, TX in the early 70s and then at WWOZ-FM in New Orleans for another 24 years. After Hurricane Katrina, he relocated to Richmond, VA in 2006 and has been affiliated with WRIR-FM and was named Jazz Director in 2008.

Michael has been affiliated with University of New Orleans and Loyola University as well as serving in various capacities at Snug Harbor Jazz Bistro. He has also served as Master of Ceremonies at several Satchmo Summerfests.

Michael Gourrier

Currently he’s guest lecturer at Virginia Commonwealth University’s Jazz Studies Department. He’s been presenter at both the Richmond Jazz Festival and the Richmond Folk Festival.

Michael has made donation of CDs to Jazz Pensacola for our Jazz Room at downtown West Florida Public Library and for our CD sales.

Michael wrote: “I am a living testimony to the pleasure that was the Pensacola Jazz Festival. I looked forward to the Spring of the year to make my annual trek to Pensacola to experience America’s Original Performance Art Form under a shady tree right on the Gulf of Mexico.

“My old friend, Dr. Norm Vickers and his krewe of aficionados would line up a really nice presentation on a yearly basis of national acts along with regional and local performers to whet the appetite of any serious music devotee.

Michael Gourrier.

“Highlights over several years, in no particular order, included former Charlie Parker Bandleader Jay McShann; phenom at the time, Christopher Holliday; native Floridian, Nat Adderley with multitalented Larry Willis on piano; the inimitable Miss Betty Carter. From California came the rocking aggregation of Jimmy and Jeannie Cheatham and the Sweet Bay Blues Band that included one of Charles Mingus’ teachers Red Callendar. From Philadelphia, the student of the occult, Kenny Barron (Marie Laveau, Things Unseen, Other Places). Vibe Master and educator, Gary Burton showed how four mallets are handled. Also, vibes master Bobby Hutcherson wowed the audience.

“They are all just fond, pleasant memories lingering over the Gulf. And the band played on!”

Editor’s note: Gourrier refers primarily to the period 1988 to 1997 when Pensacola JazzFest was under the superb direction of WUWF-FM with Jazz Society and Pensacola Arts Council in supporting roles.

Remembering Bob Haggart

Bassist Bob Haggart (1914 -1998) was a remarkable person in many ways. He’s known to most as a string bassist. But he was also a composer and talented artist.

He was guest bassist for the three Pensacola Jazz Parties 1989-1991 and at the 1991 event, trumpeter Yank Lawson also attended. Lawson had been a colleague with him in the Lawson-Haggart Jazz Band and also, they led the World’s Greatest Jazz Band from 1968-1998.

Haggart was best known for two compositions, Big Noise from “Winnetka” and the ballad What’s New?

Photo by Norman Vickers

But I should also mention Haggart’s tune My Inspiration and his co-composition also with drummer Ray Baduc, South Rampart Street Parade.

Bob’s artistic talents can be seen on several record covers. When he’d go to a recording session, during the lag times, he’d sketch scenes from the session. These have been featured on record covers, especially LPs since there was adequate room to show artwork. Haggart also was a painter, like vocalist Tony Bennett. I was told that his art frequently won prizes in art exhibits.

Photo by Norman Vickers

The story I heard about the spontaneous composition by Haggart and Baduc came about when they were entertaining a group from Winnetka. Baduc was a talented New Orleans drummer and the spontaneous bass and drum composition included Haggart whistling through his teeth and Baduc taking part of his solo by beating on the bass strings while Haggart did left handed fingering of bass strings to provide the melody. This tune became so popular that emerging string bassists were almost required to add this piece to the jazz bassist repertoire.

Photo by Norman Vickers

The second composition that requires mention is Haggart’s 1939 ballad, What’s New? with lyrics by Johnny Burke. I was at an Arbors Jazz Party in the ‘90s and Roger Kellaway was playing solo piano on stage. He played a very angular and dissonant arrangement of Haggart’s ballad. I happened to be standing next to Haggart and asked him if he was pained to hear his lovely tune stretched and distorted to this degree. His reply, “No it doesn’t bother me. There was one man who made tape recordings of arrangements of What’s New and sent them to me. It filled up two cassettes. I don’t know why anybody would want to do that.”

Thanks Bob, wherever you are in the hereafter. Thanks for enriching our lives!

Arbors Records has a CD entitled “Piano Giants at Bob Haggart’s 80th Birthday Party.”