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Marc Myers' JazzWax

JazzSnap: Charlie Ventura (1947)

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When I posted the first of Betty's photo collection from the '40s (sent to me by Chris), the emails flooded in begging for more. As promised, Betty's photos will appear little by little, as surprises. This one is from Betty, but it's a professional publicity still that Betty had in her possession. (Click the photo to enlarge.)

Sunday Wax Bits

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Eric-Clapton-Wynton-Marsalis-600x427Last night, Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York brought together trumpeter Wynton Marsalis and guitarist Eric Clapton for a first—an evening of blues performed by a jazz legend and rock superstar. Backed by eight gifted musicians who added authenticity and traditional flavor, Marsalis and Clapton worked through upward of 10 songs, most dating back to the 1920s.

Interview: Ralph Carmichael (Part 3)

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ImagesIn the last years of Nat King Cole's life, he sounded comfortable in the arms of Ralph Carmichael's charts. Admittedly lighter and more commercial than Cole's earlier Capitol dates, these albums need to be put in context. Easy listening LPs like Touch of Your Lips; Lazy Hazy, Crazy Days of Summer and L-O-V-E were indeed lighter than earlier releases, they remain period pieces—prime examples of an era when traditional pop was nearly exhausted and at the same time confused by the swell of pop-rock popularity.

Interview: Ralph Carmichael (Part 2)

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Screen shot 2011-04-06 at 8.07.32 PMRalph Carmichael likes to arrange strings in clusters. This technique allows him to take the largest possible group of violins, violas and cellos and, by bunching them into groups and voicing them as mini ensembles, he ensures richness and clarity without clutter and sweetness. For Ralph, the goal always is to create a luminous frame for singers and not let the arrangement become cute or shmaltzy.

JazzSnap: Harry James ('43)

Jazz-Sam Marowitz, Helen Forrest-vocal, Sam Caplin-Violin, Harry James-playing Violin, Al Monte-Rd. manager

That's Harry James tuning up the fiddle, along with members of his 1943 orchestra. Upon enlargement, I could make out the string charts on the stand: Dancing in the Dark (left) and I Remember You. Clockwise from the upper left-hand corner is saxophonist Sam Marowitz, first violinist Sam Caplan, James and vocalist Helen Forrest, probably in Hollywood.

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