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

Great TV bio on Les Paul

Les Paul at The Iridium in New York City

Les Paul at The Iridium in New York City

PBS’ American Masters series has recently been showing a terrific retrospective on the life and career of the incomparable Les Paul. If you have not seen this program, look for it in your schedule and make time to watch, TIVO it, whatever you have to do. Les is the true “Godfather” of Rock ‘n Roll and, in fact, all of the modern recording industry. He is the inventor of the solid-body electric guitar, over-dubbing, multi-tracking and hundreds of other innovations in sound recording. He holds nearly fifty patents, last I heard, and the modern recording studio, with its multi-tracking sound board would not exist without his creativity and curiosity about music and sound.

On the program, you will see the original eight-track recording unit that Les built in his garage workshop and learn how he came up with many crucial inventions. But, most of all, you will hear some terrific music. There is film from the great days of Les Paul & Mary Ford, when they were dominating the pop charts. You will see him in duets with a host of contemporary musical icons, all of them worshiping this unique genius.

Amazingly, now in his 90’s, Les is still playing Monday night gigs at The Iridium in New York City and jamming at each performance with the likes of Keith Richards, Eric Clapton, & Mark Knopfler who come up out of the audience to play with the best of them all, Les Paul.

Check out Les’s official website, here:  Official Les Paul website

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Check out Marian McPartland’s podcasts

Marian McPartland - piano
Image by Tom Marcello via Flickr

Marian McPartland has been hosting Piano Jazz – the best performance/interview show on radio for many years. You can hear podcasts of past shows and it is well worth your time to work your way through the entire catalog. This wonderful lady knows everybody who has ever been in the music business, and every song ever written. Some of the best moments are the duets she plays with her guests. Give a listen today!

Enhanced by Zemanta
%d bloggers like this: