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Musician

Fred Astaire

Born:

Elegance is usually an imposition, a set of mannerisms employed by the swells to cover their emptiness and maintain their distance from us plebeians. Fred Astaire's achievement — no, his glory — was that he made elegance infectious. He democratized and Americanized the word most overused to describe himself. And he did the same thing for dancing. Before the advent of sound movies, dance for most Americans meant tap dancers "laying down iron" in vaudeville. Before Astaire, screen dance was a thundering herd of chorines tapping out a Busby Berkeley abstraction. "I didn't think I had too much of a chance," Astaire would later say — with good reason

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Article: Album Review

Dorothy Ashby: With Strings Attached, 1957-1965

Read "With Strings Attached, 1957-1965" reviewed by John Chacona


Imagine if Sidney Bechet, Charlie Christian and Jimmy Smith were barely remembered and recordings of their music were long unavailable and known only on the geekiest corners of Discogs. That is essentially the status of harpist Dorothy Ashby. Like the three figures cited above, Ashby essentially created a language for her chosen instrument, the harp, where ...

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Article: Radio & Podcasts

Fred, Bird, Carmen, Nat, Abbey, New Bu & More

Read "Fred, Bird, Carmen, Nat, Abbey, New Bu & More" reviewed by Marc Cohn


Oh, do we have a show for you. I was reading Will Friedwald's great book, The Great Jazz & Pop Vocal Albums, and discovered a Fred Astaire recording on Verve. We checked it out and spent a couple of very pleasant hours with Fred talking and singing in company of esteemed jazz artists. Our first segment ...

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Article: Live Review

Noel Freidline Quintet At The Jazz Corner's 20th Anniversary Party

Read "Noel Freidline Quintet At The Jazz Corner's 20th Anniversary Party" reviewed by Martin McFie


Noel Freidline Quintet The Jazz Corner 20th Anniversary Party Hilton Head Island March 31, 2019 The All About Jazz worldwide poll to find member's favourite jazz clubs had closed (view results), and The Jazz Corner on Hilton Head Island reached the top 20 clubs in the world. At that same ...

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Article: Live Review

Sligo Jazz Project 2018: Days 3-4

Read "Sligo Jazz Project 2018: Days 3-4" reviewed by James Fleming


Days 1-2 | Days 3-4 Sligo Jazz Project Various Venues Sligo, Ireland July 24-29, 2018 July 26, 2018When the wind died down the day turned humid and heavy. Clouds hung low in the sky, grey and oppressive. And as Sligo's people sipped their coffees and settled down at their ...

Album

The Astaire Story

Label: Verve Music Group
Released: 2017
Track listing: DISC 1: 1. Overture: The Astaire Blues; 2. Isn’t This A Lovely Day; 3. Puttin’ On The Ritz; 4. I Used To Be Color Blind; 5. The Continental; 6. Let’s Call The Whole Thing Off; 7. Change Partners; 8. ’S Wonderful; 9. Lovely To Look At; 10. They All Laughed; 11. Cheek To Cheek; 12. Steppin’ Out With My Baby; 13. The Way You Look Tonight; 14. I’ve Got My Eyes On You; 15. Dancing In The Dark; 16. The Carioca; 17. Nice Work If You Can Get It; 18. New Sun In The Sky; 19. I Won’t Dance; 20. Fast Dances (ad lib).

DISC 2: 1. Intermission: Jam Session For A Dancer; 2. Top Hat, White Tie And Tails; 3. No String, I’m Fancy Free; 4. I Concentrate On You; 5. I’m Putting All My Eggs In One Basket; 6. A Fine Romance; 7. Night And Day; 8. Fascinating Rhythm; 9. I Love Louisa; 10. They Can’t Take That Away From Me; 11. Medium Dances; 12. You’re Easy To Dance With; 13. A Needle In A Haystack; 14. So Near And Yet So Far; 15. A Foggy Day (In London Town); 16. Oh, Lady Be Good!; 17. Slow Dances (ad lib); 18. I’m Building Up To An Awful Letdown; 19. Not My Girl.

Bonus Tracks: 20. I Won’t Dance; 21. Exit Music: The Second Astaire Blues.

Album

Funny Face

Label: Verve Music Group
Released: 2017
Track listing: 1. Main Title/Funny Face/'S Wonderful; 2. Think Pink; 3. How Long Has This Been Going On; 4. How Long Has This Been Going On - Reprise; 5. Funny Face; 6. Bonjour Paris; 7. Basal Metabolism; 8. Let’s Kiss And Make Up; 9. He Loves And She Loves; 10. On How To Be Lovely; 11. Bonjour Paris; 12. Clap Yo Hands; 13. ‘S Wonderful.

Bonus Tracks: 14. Funny Face – alternate version; 15. Think Pink – alternate version; 16. How Long Has This Been Going On – alternate version; 17. Bonjour Paris – alternate version; 18. He Loves And She Loves – alternate version; 19. On How to Be Lovely – alternate version; 20. Clap Yo Hands – alternate version; 21. ‘S Wonderful – alternate version.

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News: Recording

"Funny Face" 60th Anniversary Celebrated With Deluxe, Expanded Version Of Soundtrack via Verve Records/UMe

"Funny Face" 60th Anniversary Celebrated With Deluxe, Expanded Version Of Soundtrack via Verve Records/UMe

60th ANNIVERSARY OF “FUNNY FACE” CELEBRATED WITH DELUXE, EXPANDED VERSION OF SOUNDTRACK FROM CLASSIC FILM STARRING FRED ASTAIRE AND AUDREY HEPBURN ORIGINAL 13 SELECTIONS ARE FULLY RESTORED AND AUGMENTED BY EIGHT PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED BONUS TRACKS To celebrate the 60th anniversary of the classic Audrey Hepburn/Fred Astaire musical film, “Funny Face,” Verve Records/UMe is releasing an expanded ...

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News: Recording

Fred Astaire's Greatest Jazz Recording "The Astaire Story" Returns As Deluxe 2CD Set For 65th Anniversary On October 20 Via Verve Records/UMe

Fred Astaire's Greatest Jazz Recording "The Astaire Story" Returns As Deluxe 2CD Set For 65th Anniversary On October 20 Via Verve Records/UMe

FRED ASTAIRE’S GREATEST JAZZ RECORDING, THE ASTAIRE STORY, RETURNS AS DELUXE 2CD SET FOR 65TH ANNIVERSARY ON OCTOBER 20 VIA VERVE RECORDS/UMe ASTAIRE’S ENCOUNTER WITH OSCAR PETERSON AND THE JAZZ AT THE PHILHARMONIC ALL-STARS PRESENTED IN FORM OF SOUNDTRACK, INCLUDES PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED BONUS TRACK In 1952, the famous dancer, singer and film star Fred Astaire teamed ...

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Article: Album Review

Various Artists: Verve The Sound of America: The Singles Collection

Read "Verve The Sound of America: The Singles Collection" reviewed by Marc Davis


Verve is one of the greatest labels in the history of jazz, and Norman Granz was one of jazz's greatest producers. So why is The Sound of America: The Singles Collection such a mess of a box set? This had such great promise. After all, Verve was home to many legendary performers: Ella Fitzgerald, ...


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