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429

Article: First Time I Saw

Connie Kay Plays the Drums Impeccably

Read "Connie Kay Plays the Drums Impeccably" reviewed by Rob Mariani


The impeccable Mr. Connie Kay plays perfectly." If you say that sentence out loud in a chamber where there is just the slightest echo, and emphasize the “p" sounds and the hard “c" sounds just a little, you get a feeling of what this remarkable percussionist's drumming actually sounds like. In all music, I ...

229

Article: First Time I Saw

Billie's Last Chorus

Read "Billie's Last Chorus" reviewed by Rob Mariani


She came on last at a concert that started at midnight at the Lowe's Sheraton on Seventh Avenue in The Village. It was one of those big, everybody-gets-to-play jam sessions they called concerts then, and it probably cost the promoters less than what Kenny G spends on hair gel these days. But there were at least ...

506

Article: First Time I Saw

Lullaby of Birdland

Read "Lullaby of Birdland" reviewed by Rob Mariani


This month, instead of writing about a jazz personality, I decided to write about a room. A jazz room which sadly no longer exists but that had a personality as unique as the great musicians who played there. I'm talking about a club called Birdland-- the original Birdland on Broadway near 56th Street in Manhattan's Times ...

378

Article: First Time I Saw

Saturdays With Mort (Fega)

Read "Saturdays With Mort (Fega)" reviewed by Rob Mariani


Coming out of the fifties at 19 years old, I'd had my fill of doo-wop and R & B. One windy Saturday afternoon in April, I heard this music on the radio coming from a little station in New Rochelle, NY, WNRC AM & FM. There was no sledge hammer back-beat and no loopy falsetto singing, ...

404

Article: First Time I Saw

Who's The Hippest Chick In Town? Anita.

Read "Who's The Hippest Chick In Town? Anita." reviewed by Rob Mariani


Who the hell shows up at a midnight jam session at the Loews Sheraton Theater in Greenwich Village wearing white, elbow-length gloves, a little, flowered print dress and a hat that looks like an inverted birdbath? Who dares to show up on stage like that where guys like Zoot Sims and Conte Condoli and Al Cohn ...

317

Article: First Time I Saw

Miles On A Good Day

Read "Miles On A Good Day" reviewed by Rob Mariani


The men's room at Birdland was, like the rest of the club, pretty much about economies of scale. A pair of urinals too close together. One cramped toilet stall. One gray-jacketed, tired old attendant who maybe could feel the vibrations through the walls when Philly Joe was playing “Two Bass Hit. But there was no way ...

679

Article: First Time I Saw

Cooking with Philly Joe

Read "Cooking with Philly Joe" reviewed by Rob Mariani


Sitting over by the bar in the cheap seats at Birdland during a Monday night jam session, I watched a group of aspiring young drummers roll their eyes and shake their heads in disbelief. I saw them nudge each other, smile and even laugh out loud. They sat forward with their chins on their hands watching ...

733

Article: First Time I Saw

Diana Krall

Read "Diana Krall" reviewed by Rob Mariani


The twilight skies over the aged wood shingled roofs at the Newport Tennis Hall of Fame were looking ominous. The air was damp and flecks of rain started and stopped as we walked into the beautiful Stanford White-designed courtyard with its hanging flowerpots and dark green shutters. It was like traveling back to another era of ...

442

Article: First Time I Saw

The Amazing One

Read "The Amazing One" reviewed by Rob Mariani


At Birdland, Pee Wee Marquette, the diminutive MC, had a way of shouting into the mike when he announced the names of band members. Anyone who has heard it can not forget it. It made your jaw ache like you'd just eaten a quart of ice cream on a bad filling. “Ladies and gentlemen, he shrilled ...

823

Article: First Time I Saw

Crepuscules With Monk

Read "Crepuscules With Monk" reviewed by Rob Mariani


Something was happening down on the lower East Side of Manhattan, down south of 14th Street way down in the rusty Bowery as the summer of 1957 was beginning. News of it spread out through the jazz community like the subterranean rumble of the subways underneath the clubs up on 52nd Street.Monk was back.


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