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Tommy Newsom

Tommy Newsom a jazz saxophonist and arranger who gained national visibility as a key member of Johnny Carson's "Tonight Show" band for three decades, and whom Carson nicknamed "Mr. Excitement" for his stone-faced demeanor and somber outfits. One night Carson turned to Newsom during his monologue and asked why he always had his hands clasped together behind his back. Newsom replied "Vapor lock!", bringing down the house with laughter. Carson quipped, "I'm out here busting my buns to get a laugh, with one joke after another, and you just say 'vapor lock' and crack us all up!" Newsom, normally known for wearing bland suits, in contrast to Severinsen's colorful attire, once appeared in a loud sport coat

ARTICLE: BIG BAND REPORT

Los Angeles Jazz Institute Festival - Woodchopper's Ball: Part 3-4

Read "Los Angeles Jazz Institute Festival - Woodchopper's Ball: Part 3-4" reviewed by Simon Pilbrow

Los Angeles Jazz Institute Festival “Woodchoppers' Ball" Four Points by Sheraton at LAX Los Angeles, CA May 23-27, 2018 Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 Concert 8: The Herdsmen -Bobby Shew meets Larry McKenna Trumpeter Bobby Shew is a well- known ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEW

Anat Cohen at Davidson College

Read "Anat Cohen at Davidson College" reviewed by Perry Tannenbaum

Anat Cohen/Davidson College Jazz Ensemble & Jazz Combo Davidson College / Duke Family Performance HallDavidson, NC April 21, 2017 We've known for a long time that Anat Cohen can electrify audiences whenever she picks up her clarinet and plays. After her recent residency at Davidson College, we can now proclaim that ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

U.S. Army Blues: Live At Blues Alley

Read "Live At Blues Alley" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki

Times have surely changed since The U.S. Army Blues was founded in 1942 (as “Pershing's Own," the Army Dance Band) to entertain soldiers and civilians in combat zones during WWII. But this Blues band has managed to keep pace, and has performed at the Monterey and Montreux Jazz Festivals and at New York City's hallowed Birdland, ...

Artistry in Rhythm: Afro-Cuban Epiphany to Haitian Voodoo

Read "Artistry in Rhythm: Afro-Cuban Epiphany to Haitian Voodoo" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki

Brian Andres & the Afro-Cuban Jazz Cartel This Could Be That Self-Produced 2016 This Could Be That celebrates the first decade of Brian Andres & his Afro-Cuban Jazz Cartel, which came together in 2007 in and around the jny: San Francisco Bay Area's Latin jazz hothouse. Music ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

U.S. Army Blues: Live At Blues Alley

Read "Live At Blues Alley" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

When thinking of military bands, many tend to focus on their sterling technique and punctilious performances above all else. Creative concerns are rarely part of the conversation, but this album makes you wonder why. The U.S. Army Blues, a blue-chip big band of brothers that serves as the flagship jazz ensemble in the titular military branch, ...

The "Desert Island" Revisited

Read "The "Desert Island" Revisited" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Back in the last millennium, shortly after this column first saw the light of day, I posted a list of twenty “desert island" albums, those that would be snugly ensconced in a crash-proof, water-tight carrying case should yours truly ever be marooned on a miniature atoll with nothing to relieve the boredom save palm trees, coconuts, ...

ARTICLE: BIG BAND REPORT

Big Band Jazz: It's Not Just for Guys Anymore

Read "Big Band Jazz: It's Not Just for Guys Anymore" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Back in the early '90s, Stanley Kay, one-time back-up drummer for the incomparable Buddy Rich, later a manager of such artists as Maurice Hines, Michelle Lee and Paul Burke and the entertainment director for the New York Yankees, had a good idea: the time had come, he reasoned, to assemble an all-woman big band that would ...

ARTICLE: BIG BAND REPORT

These Are a Few of My Favorite....Charts

Read "These Are a Few of My Favorite....Charts" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Whenever the topic of desert islands arises among jazz fans, the focus is invariably on which albums (discs) one would choose to cram into a suitcase if one were ever stranded on an otherwise barren island. While the consideration of particular arrangements seldom governs the debate, I really think it should. After all, few albums, however ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Lorraine Feather: The Girl With the Lazy Eye

Read "Lorraine Feather: The Girl With the Lazy Eye" reviewed by Carl L. Hager

While writing the tune “Scrabble" for her recently released CD Ages (Jazzed Media, 2010), lyricist and singer Lorraine Feather's songwriting partner, Dick Hyman, had an unusual request that bordered on a dare: could she work the name of the venerable pianist/composer's family friend Dushka into the lyrics? After all, the middle section of his stride composition ...


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