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Articles by Richard J Salvucci

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Dot Time Legends Series: Is Every Night New Year's Eve Around Here?

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Soon after The Embers opened in New York City in late 1951, Joe Bushkin and His Quartet spent 16 memorable weeks there. With Milt Hinton and Jo Jones, Bushkin was joined by Buck Clayton on trumpet. Astoundingly, Art Tatum had a solo piano gig there at the same time. Bushkin and Tatum listened to each other every night. The crowd was as distinguished as the players. Louis Armstrong sat in with Bushkin, and Vladimir Horowitz was in the house one ...

BOOK REVIEWS

My Life in the Key of E

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My Life in the Key of E: A Memoir Pete Escovedo with Sarah Spinner Escovedo 284 Pages ISBN: 978-0-692-87885-9 2017 It's not news that the music business is tough. There are some phenomenally talented people who scuffle for years trying to pay the rent. And, yes, there is the other phenomenon too,a commercially successful mediocrity elevated by the vagaries of popular taste. If for no other reason, Pete ...

BOOK REVIEWS

Good Morning Blues

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Good Morning Blues: The Autobiography of Count Basie as told to Albert Murray William James Basie 399 Pages ISBN: 978-1-5179-0143-1 University of Minnesota Press 2016 (1985) In May 1959 Count Basie and his Orchestra played a “Breakfast Dance and Barbecue," like back in Kansas City, hosted by Roulette Records, for whom Basie had recently started to record. Lord, what a band: Thad Jones, Joe Newman,, Snooky Young and Wendell Culley on trumpet; ...

BOOK REVIEWS

Softly, With Feeling

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Softly with Feeling. Joe Wilder and the Breaking of Barriers in American Music Edward Berger 378 Pages ISBN: 978-1-4399-1127-3 Temple University Press 2014 It's a long way from Darby Colwyn PA to Manhattan NY in more ways than one. There's an old Fels Naptha plant that has always seemed the pride of Colwyn, that is, until you know about Joe Wilder. Many of us discover him scandalously late in life, decades after our ...

BOOK REVIEWS

Go Slow: The Life of Julie London

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Go Slow. The Life of Julie London Michael Owen 296 Pages ISBN: 9781613738573 Chicago Review Press 2017 “Vinyl Viagra" “Mainly I'm a lyric reader." “Mickey Mouse...she can even make that sexy." “I'm not a singer. If all her movie footage over the years were put together, “there still wouldn't be enough to add up to one presentable part."

REASSESSING

Shorty Rogers: Short Stops

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In the 1980s, trumpeter and Kenton alum Mike Vax put together a Supersax-type group called TRPTS. It released an album of harmonized trumpet classics, one of which was “Short Stop." There are lots of great tunes including “Night in Tunisia," “Trumpet Blues and Cantabile," and “Heckler's Hop." Oh yeah, one I never heard, Shorty Rogers' Short Stop. Really? How do you get to 35 years of age, listen to jazz almost daily, and not know about Shorty Rogers? I vaguely ...

PROFILES

Billy Krechmer: A Philadelphia Story

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There is a story told of the last night of an iconic jazz club in Philadelphia in 1966. The bandleader-owner, it was said, had been called away prior to closing. He was unable to return before the end of the last set. Walking back, he watched the crowd filing out. Some, I am told, had tears in their eyes. Ok. Too good to be true. Or too sentimental to be true. Unconfirmed by independent sources. All true. But if the ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Rick Hirsch's Big Ol' Band: Pocono Git-Down

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Years ago, in liner notes forgotten somewhere, Phil Woods said, “There are good players everywhere. You don't have to go to New York to find them," or words to that effect. I was reminded of that observation listening to Rick Hirsch's . It is composed of players from Central Pennsylvania, with Hirsch himself in State College. If you ask someone from Southeastern Pennsylvania--ok, Philadelphia--what is there between Philly and Pittsburgh, the standard answer is “Alabama," which, no offense intended, means ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Chet Baker: Boston, 1954

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Is there any reason to write anything more about Chet Baker? Stuff of legend, subject of multiple books, focus of a classic documentary: Surely, someone, somewhere hadn't written a doctoral dissertation on him in American studies. Great player, not so great person, or, whatever kind of person, not so great player. You sort of get to choose which Baker you want. Whether it's an idiotic greeting to pianist Romano Mussolini (did he really say: “Sorry about your old man")?; or ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Quartet: Live at the Deer Head Inn

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A few months ago, I discovered the Deer Head Inn at the Delaware Water Gap.. That led to discovery of Deer Head Records. Which led to the discovery of this recording. Sometimes, ignorance can lead to bliss. I hadn't heard much of Joe Locke, and aside from Bill Goodwin, the other musicians were unknown to me. I clearly don't get out enough. This is, no exaggeration, a spectacular recording of a group put together for, I ...