Steve Tyrell

I mentioned that a friend of mine was in New York City a couple of weeks ago, and saw Cole Porter‘s piano in the cocktail lounge of The Waldorf Astoria.

She had asked me for ideas on where to go for some good music one evening. After checking around on what was happening (thanks New Yorker magazine) I recommended they consider seeing Steve Tyrell, who was performing at The Blue Note.

Steve Tyrell at The Blue Note

Steve Tyrell at The Blue Note

They went, and they really enjoyed it. The Blue Note is a terrific, intimate venue for this kind of act. The performance was built largely around Steve’s Back to Bacharach album, but included some tunes from the Great American Songbook. At the very beginning of his music career, Steve worked as an assistant producer for Burt Bacharach, and he has a special feel for all the Bacharach/Hal David material.

Back to Bacharach album

Back to Bacharach album

On most tunes, Tyrell’s voice has certain rough, growly quality. I think of it as “a little taste of Louie.” This makes for an interesting interpretation of some of the classics on his Standard Time album, which includes several of my all-time favorites like Stardust. Probably my favorite track on the album is Fats Waller‘s Ain’t Misbehavin’ from way back in 1929.

Tyrell followed up Standard Time with A New Standard offering more of the great old stuff. This time we get Cheek to Cheek , I Can’t Get Started and Smile. Where you really hear “a little taste of Louie” is on A Kiss To Build A Dream On. It’s not Louie, but it’s close.

Any of you who saw my post on the Denise Brigham recording sessions for Hotel Lafayette knows that I am always intrigued by the process behind the final track. While not quite the same as the ‘live look” at the recording process we saw there, the following video has Steve talking about what it was like working with, and learning from, Burt Bacharach, as well as some of the production work and strategy that has gone into some of his best tracks.

Steve Tyrell will take over at The Carlyle Hotel for a run fro November 10- December 30, plus a special performance on New Year’s Eve. We recommend it. Read more of this post

Jazz Online – Listen While You Work

There are a number of excellent online, or web-radio, sources of good Jazz. What better way to work, blog, email or whatever, than to have some good jazz bangin’ in your ear? get yourself a nice set of sound isolating earplugs or, even better, headphones and let the cool notes flow over you.

I have all but quit carrying around CDs of my favorite compilations, and shoving them in-and-out of the DVD drive. Why bother, when you can find all the best waiting for you in streaming broadcasts over the web? Some broadcasts feature excellent dj input, with solid background and commentary to supplement the music. Others are solid music, one track after another. It seems that you can have your internet radio any way you want it.

Everyone who reads thejazzmonger already knows I am a big fan of Kevin Kneistedt’s Groove Notes blog. His page is always worth reading and ought to be in your bookmarks. Kevin also hosts a live streaming broadcast on Jazz24. I recommend it.

Of course, the queen of all jazz broadcasters, the incomparable Marian McPartland, has been holding forth on NPR for many years. You can find her excellent show, with a collection of podcasts at Marian McPartland’s Piano Jazz. This incredible talent knows everybody who has ever been in the music business, every song that has ever been recorded. Her insights, stories, and love of music make every moment a delight. Down through the years, McPartland has hosted the both famous and the obscure of jazz with equal joy. And she can hit the keys and play a duet of any song, on a moment’s notice. Startling. the show is fun, and educational and not to be missed.

Pizzarelli Hackensack 05

Jazz performer John Pizzarelli

I have written, in the past, about John Pizzarelli. I am a fan, particularly of his work keeping the Great American Songbook alive and active. I saw John and his wife, the talented Jessica Molaskey, perform live earlier this year (see original post) and was thoroughly entertained. John and Jessica produce Radio DeLuxe from their “deluxe living room.” They host guest and friends from the music business, chat, reminisce and play excellent music, introduced with the performer’s special insight.

Southern California‘s KTWV-FM radio aka 94.7 The Wave broadcasts Smooth Jazz over one of the cleanest, clearest signals on the web. you can crank this up to drown out a noisy Starbuck’s and get nothing but crystal clear notes.

My newest favorite is AccuJazz.com. This incredible site features 45 channels (at my last count. Forty-five! And they have them organized all kinds of great ways. You can go for genre (Cool, BeBop, Modern Mainstream, Fusion, Old School, New School, Latin, Avant-Garde, New Stream, you get the idea). They have channels that bracket eras (pre-1940, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s). You can go for featured instrument (trumpet, sax, guitar, piano, organ, bass, trombone, drum, vocal).  They even have a set of channels organized around regional specialties (Chicago, New Orleans, Europe, New York, Modern West Coast). Are you getting the idea that this site is a terrific resource? This is not juts an entertainment site, it is marvellously educational. Check it out and enjoy. Tell them thejazzmonger sent you!

This is far from a comprehensive sample of all the streaming jazz available on the net. These are just my current favorites. Check the most popular jazz links on Delicious.com and find your own.

To make it easy, here is a list of all the links buried within this post:

Jazz24 Live

Marian McPartland’s Piano Jazz

John Pizzarelli’s Radio DeLuxe

94.7 The Wave FM

AccuJazz.com

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Inside a recording session

Singer Denise Brigham recently released her major album, Hotel Lafayette. A collection of standards from the Great American Songbook, the album is excellent. Brigham’s deeply smokey voice gives a new twist to classic standards like At Last, Fly Me to the Moon and In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning. I particularly enjoyed the second track, The Cincinnati Kid, the title song from the Steve McQueen movie about a young, hotshot, poker player in New Orleans, out to challenge “the Man” played by Edward G. Robinson. The theme song in the movie was performed by [ta-dum] Ray Charles. Normally I am not in favor of newer singers taking on an iconic performance. But Denise does a great job of making the song her own, and it is a treat to hear this gritty tune updated.

The album is available from cdbaby.com which we always recommend as a great source of music, especially new talent.

Recorded  at Tone Zone Studio of the Chicago Recording Company, Hotel Lafayette features terrific production values, and you can get an insider’s look at how the producer, singer, musicians and sound engineers collaborated to create this very enjoyable album. Carey Deadman, a highly acclaimed record producer, arranger and musician produced all the tracks. the video of the recording session, broken into three parts, shows instrumental tracks being laid down, Deadman’s coaching of Brigham on the mood and feel of a song and other aspects of a modern, mutli-tracked recording session. There are informative text overlays to explain what is happening and how pieces are eventually integrated into the final cut. Listen for the electronic metronome.

Take a look at how recorded music really happens:

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