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Marc Myers' JazzWax

Bev Thorne on Brubeck East

Today is Dave Brubeck's 90th birthday. At 5 p.m. (EST), Turner P1040499 Classic Movies will broadcast In His Own Sweet Way, a new documentary on Dave's life and music directed by Bruce Ricker and produced by Clint Eastwood. It is a valentine to the pianist and composer whose music continues to wow listeners. [Photo of Dave Brubeck at home, courtesy of Beverley D. Thorne]

Hidden Jazz Downloads (Vol. 16)



Warning: Reading this post is going to cost you money. That's because the five downloads that follow are superb. New to JazzWax? My "Hidden Jazz Downloads" series is ongoing and meant to expose you to albums at iTunes and Amazon that are little known. I call them "hidden" because e-retailers add vintage jazz albums without any sign that they've done so. You'd never know they were there unless someone told you. I find them by rummaging around the sites or by hearing about them through the e-grapevine. All of the albums below can be sampled at iTunes or Amazon:

JazzWax List: 7 for Thanksgiving

Pumpkin_pieHungry? Here's the downloadable version of a Thanksgiving TV dinner, complete with all the trimmings. Dig in, drive safe and have a great holiday! For my readers outside of the U.S., don't be shy. Pull up a chair:

  • Turkey HopJohnny Otis (1950)
  • YamsJackie McLean (1963)
  • Stuffin'Willis Jackson (1963)
  • CranberriesPaul Williams (1949)
  • Pumpkin PieOrganissimo (2005)
  • Family TalkMuhal Richard Abrams (1993)
  • Dishrag BluesLeola B. Wilson (1926)

Written by Marc Myers, copyright © by JazzWax (Marc Myers LLC

Gene Krupa: '46 and '47 Bands

Screen shot 2010-11-22 at 2.18.07 PM51E6hem3W4L._SL500_AA280_

To truly understand the big band era, you have to think of orchestra leaders as inventors. Instead of building better mousetraps, they assembled bands. And reassembled them. And reassembled them again. Three factors drove the tinkering: First were the commercial pressures to create music that large numbers of people would pay to hear. Second was the need to replace band members who departed or defected to other bands. And third was a personal and competitive search for the sound they heard in their heads. In the inventor's lab, this is called vision. Gene Krupa was one of those visionaries, the results of which can be found on the CD Hop, Skip and Jump—1946 (Vol. 3) from Hep Records

Bird: Complete Savoy & Dial


ImagesWhat better time than Thanksgiving week to rave about Bird and a feast. Bird, of course, is alto saxophonist Charlie Parker, and the feast is Charlie Parker: The Complete Savoy and Dial Studio Recordings, an eight-CD set that was released in 2000. I finally grabbed a copy after years spent listening to the master takes in one form or another and was blown away by the package. Like you, I used to think that alternate takes of Parker's Savoy and Dial dates were for neurotics and fussy completists. Not so. If you don't already own this box, do yourself a favor and consider treating yourself to an early holiday gift. It's a miraculous set.

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