Let's Give Thanks for the DVD
There are, of course, more than big bands in the DVD library. Among the small group videos worth mentioning are those by pianist Hank Jones, trumpeter Chuck Mangione, baritone saxophonist Gerry Mulligan, trumpeter Marvin Stamm and another by Zoot Sims, this one with a quartet taped, I believe, in San Francisco. Documentaries are beginning to appear as well, and they include splendid overviews of the lives of Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw, drummer Stan Levey (The "Original" Original), Rob McConnell and the Boss Brass, Bud Shank (Against the Tide) and Phil Woods (A Life in E Flat), with others on Stan Kenton and Woody Herman among those in the works. Last but not least, mention must be made of our own Albuquerque Jazz Orchestra, which has recorded videos with trumpeters Wayne Bergeron and Scott Wendholt and others showcasing the music of Dizzy Gillespie and Johnny Richards' "Cuban Fire" suite, as well as a live broadcast on KUNM Radio. In sum, what has been videotaped to date is less than a treasure chest but enough to give anyone many hours of pleasure. And for that we should be thankful.
Northwoods Camp Returns
Saxophonist Kim Richmond says the annual Northwoods Jazz Camp will be held May 11-14 at the Holiday Acres Resort in Rhinelander, Wisconsin. Owing to the size of the resort, the number of students is limited to 25-30, so those who are interested in attending are encouraged to sign up as soon as possible. As usual, the Northwoods Big Band will be a part of the camp whose faculty members include Richmond, trumpeter Clay Jenkins, trombonist Scott Whitfield, guitarist Tom Hynes, pianist Lee Tomboulian, bassist Jeff Campbell, drummer Tim Davis and vocalist Betty Tomboulian. For information, visit the camp's web site, www.northwoodsjazzcamp.com
A Farewell to Margaret Whiting
Margaret Whiting, whose long and successful singing career on radio, television and in night clubs began when she was a teenager in California, died January 10 in Englewood, New Jersey, She was 86 years old. As the daughter of Hollywood songwriter Richard Whiting (whose hit songs included "Sleepy Time Gal," "Beyond the Blue Horizon," "Too Marvelous for Words" and "Hooray for Hollywood"), Margaret Whiting became friends with a number of other writers including Jerome Kern and Johnny Mercer, whose lyrics helped launch her career when at age 18 she recorded Mercer / Harold Arlen's "That Old Black Magic." Next came "Moonlight in Vermont," followed in 1945 by Rodgers and Hammerstein's "It Might as Well Be Spring." Mercer penned the lyrics to another Whiting hit, "Come Rain or Come Shine," and her duet with Mercer, "Baby It's Cold Outside," spent 19 weeks on Billboard magazine's list of hit songs. Whiting had more successes with "A Tree in the Meadow," "Now Is the Hour" and "Faraway Places," and her nine duets with country music star Jimmy Wakeley, brought more accolades. Whiting recorded her last big hit, "The Wheel of Hurt," in 1966. She was a regular on television in its early years, and later appeared in touring productions of such Broadway plays as "Call Me Madam," "Gypsy," "Pal Joey" and "Over Here!" In the 1950s she had co-starred in the TV comedy "Those Whiting Girls" with her younger sister, Barbara, who died in 2004. In 1997, Whiting appeared on Broadway for the first and only time in "Dream," a tribute to her lifelong friend Johnny Mercer who died in 1976.
And that's it for now. Until next time, keep swingin' . . . !
New and Noteworthy
1. Ray Brown's Great Big Band, Kayak (Brown Cats Productions)
2. Marcus Shelby Orchestra, Soul of the Movement (Porto Franco Records)
3. Dirk Fischer & George Stone, Coming of Age (Sea Breeze)
4. Dani Felber Big Band, More Than Just Friends (No Label)
5. John Burnett Swing Orchestra, Down for Double (Delmark)
6. Bobby Watson / UMKC Jazz Orchestra, Gates BBQ Suite (Lafiya Music)
7. Fatum Brothers Jazz Orchestra, Here to Say! (No Label)
8. Kurt Rosenwinkel and OJM, Our Secret World (Word of Mouth Music)
9. Mike Barone Big Band, Live 2005! Redux (Rhubarb Records)
10. Paquito D'Rivera / WDR Big Band, ImproviseOne (Connector Records)
11. University of North Texas One O'Clock Lab Band, Lab 2010 (UNT Jazz)
12. Stephen Guerra Big Band, Namesake (Bada Beep Music)
13. Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra,
14. Western Australia Youth Jazz Orchestra, Road to Red Hill (WAYJO)
15. University of WisconsinEau Claire, Soul Searching (Sea Breeze Vista)
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