Granddad Does Dallas
"Every time you play, he once said, "you've got to play your best, give it everything you have as if it were your last solo. One of the few musicians of his generation to have beaten a heroin habit, McLean later devoted himself to community activism and educating young men and women, especially those from the inner city. He also continued to play, enjoying popularity in the States and superstar status in Japan, a country he visited frequently. In Yokohama, he jammed with Japanese musicians in the "Jackie McLean Coffeehouse. One of McLean's three children, Rene, is a well-known saxophonist in her own right.
There's one more death to report, that of Oscar Treadwell. If the name doesn't sound familiar, he wasn't a professional musician but was well-known among musicians as an ultra-hip disc jockey for many years and the dean of Cincinnati, Ohio's Jazz historians. He's also remembered for "An Oscar for Treadwell, a bop tune written for him by none other than Charlie Parker. Treadwell died at age seventy-nine, shortly after having donated his entire CD collection (6,226 discs) to the Cincinnati/Hamilton County Public Library. One more sign that Jazz deejays are a dying breed...
Nothing to Do with Jazz But...
On Sunday, March 26, Betty and I attended our first zarzuela (Spanish opera), and it was quite simply marvelouslovely costumes, great voices, splendid acting, and thoroughly entertaining in spite of its creaky plot (well, it was set in pre-civil war Spain in the early '30s, a time when a kiss was tantamount to an engagement). We saw it in the state-of- the-art Roy E. Disney Center for the Performing Arts at the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque.
The opera was sung in Spanish but there were English "super titles on a wall above and to the right of the stage. They weren't at all intrusive but quite helpful, even though I suspect we were given an "edited version of what was being sung or spoken. The several leads in "La del Manojo de Rosas (The Woman with a Rose Bouquet, I think) were so good that I have to name namesMabel Ledo, Armando Mora, David Robinson, Samantha Phillips, Vic Silva, José Daniel Apodaca, Nelly Maria Kirmer, Esteban Mariscaland everyone else in the large cast, ably accompanied by members of the NM Symphony Orchestra. If you have a chance to see a zarzuela, grab it. If it's anything like this one, you'll find yourself smiling from ear to ear and wishing, as I was, that you'd discovered them years ago.
And that's it for now. Until next time, keep swingin'! ...
New and Noteworthy
- Mike Barone Big Band, Live 2005! (Rhubarb Recordings)
- Maria Schneider Orchestra, Days of Wine and Roses (ArtistShare)
- Kenichi Tsunoda Big Band, Jumping Big (KTBB)
- Junko Moriya Orchestra, Points of Departure (Spice of Life)
- University of Toronto 10 O'Clock Jazz Orchestra, Rivers (Arbordisc)
- Sammy Nestico / SWR Big Band, Basie-cally Sammy (Hänssler Classic)
- Blue Notes Orchestra, 30th Anniversary (Muse)
- Irvin Mayfield New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, Strange Fruit (Basin Street Records)
- Lungau Big Band, Live at Montreux / The Monk's Progress (LBB)
- Bob Mintzer Big Band, Old School: New Lessons (MCG)
- Paris Jazz Big Band, Paris 24 Heures (Cristal Records)
- Kansas City Jazz Orchestra, Take One (KCJO)
- BargaJazz, Sound & Score (Philology)
- Bill Warfield Big Band, A Faceless Place (Laurel Hill)
- UMO Jazz Orchestra, Sauna Palaa! (UMOCD)