Thursday, January 27, 2011

Sean Smith's forthcoming album, "Trust"

Sean Smith Quartet's "Trust," third album from jazz bassist/composer Smith, to be released on Smithereen Records next March 1st. CD features guitarist John Hart, saxophonist John Ellis & drummer Russell Meissner.
Jazz bassist/composer Sean Smith makes a welcome return to recording with "Trust" -- his third album as a leader, his first since 2001, and the debut release for his own imprint, Smithereen Records. Smith's swinging, finely attuned quartet, which consists of guitarist John Hart, saxophonist John Ellis, and drummer Russell Meissner, is dedicated to exploring Smith's original compositions.

"Trust is such a big part of what we do," Smith says. "I trust that these guys are going to interpret my pieces without me telling them very much. Oftentimes they make them sound better than I had envisioned. They'll suggest something, or go with an idea and trust that it will be the right thing at the moment."

Among the 12 highly melodic, evocative originals on the new CD are the bracing opener "Betting Blind," an homage to Wayne Shorter titled "Wayne's World," the deceptively simple "Homemade Japanese Folk Song" (performed in a round), and the samba "Margin of Error." "Melody is incredibly important to me," Smith says. "The other foundations are crucial, but melody is usually what the tunes are based on, not a set of chord changes that sound good to play on."

Over the past two decades, the Connecticut native has earned the respect and confidence of his musical peers with his commanding technique, rich tone, prolific output as a composer, and chameleon-like ability to match his shading to a multitude of rarefied musical settings. He's performed and recorded with many of jazz's most influential and revered artists, including Benny Carter, Clark Terry, Phil Woods, Lee Konitz, Johnny Griffin, Art Farmer, Gerry Mulligan, Tom Harrell, Peggy Lee, Andy Bey, and Jimmy Scott. A productive four-year stint with pianist Jacky Terrasson greatly heightened his international profile.

Smith's compositions have been recorded by jazz luminaries such as Phil Woods, Bill Charlap, Leon Parker, Gene Bertoncini, Bill Mays, and supreme jazz vocalist Mark Murphy, who added lyrics to Sean's "Song for the Geese" (BMG) and used it as a title track for his outstanding 1998 Grammy-nominated album.

The bassist's debut as a leader was the 1999 Chiaroscuro album "Sean Smith Quartet Live!," with alto saxophonist Allen Mezquida, pianist Bill Charlap, and drummer Ron Vincent. Smith followed with "Poise" (Ambient, 2001), which once again featured Mezquida and Charlap as well as guitarist Keith Ganz and drummer Russell Meissner. Critic Ira Gitler has called Smith's work "thought-provoking music for both head and heart."

Smith's career was threatened by a March 2007 incident related to his volunteering for a local animal shelter, when a dog he had never walked before turned out to be a dangerous animal. The dog bit off the end of his left middle finger, and Smith was plunged into an intense post-surgery rehabilitation that required him to, as he puts it, "relearn how to play several times." He kept working throughout the ordeal, and though he's fully recovered now, the experience changed his life -- and the way he plays his instrument. "It forced me to prioritize my own music," says Smith. "For that, I'm grateful."

The Sean Smith Quartet (l. to r.: Ellis, Hart, Smith, Meissner) has been together for a dozen years in one form or another. Now that Smith has established his own label, might jazz fans anticipate more frequent recordings from them? "I can't tell you how empowering it is for an artist to have complete control over every aspect of a project -- not only the music but the entire presentation. It's exciting," says Smith. "I'm already looking forward to the next CD with the quartet as I have many compositions I'd like to record."
The Sean Smith Quartet will perform at Birdland, New York City, on Monday, 4/4, from 7:30 to 9:00 pm. ▪

Sean Smith Quartet: Trust (Smithereen Records)
Street Date: March 1, 2011

The Quartet performing "Lawn Ornaments":

Photos by Barney Kulok

Sean Smith Web Site:

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Holly Zell Jurgensen live @ Steamers, tonite!


Steamers Jazz Club and Cafe
138 W. Commonwealth Ave
Fullerton, CA 92832

Jazz-inflected pop sensibilities; sensual, soulful songs: Meet Holly, the single-moniker of singer/songwriter Holly Zell Jurgensen, a Southern California-based artist whose melodic finesse and vocal intimacy are in full bloom on her full-length debut, "Butter & Chocolate."

Born in San Clemente, California, Holly graduated from UCLA with a master’s degree in music. She has since become a charter member of the Southern California songwriting community – a loose-knit group of friends and collaborators. Listeners might know her from her inclusion in "Women on the Move" (Red Coyote Records), a collection praised as possessing “…a fluidity that is rarely seen in compilation records.”

Within the 12 new tracks that constitute "Butter & Chocolate," breezy references to the ocean, tides, and the moon confirm Holly’s west coast origins. “I Love This Place,” introduces the song suite, with Holly’s serene voice floating over chiming acoustic guitars and a rippling piano. Between swelling strings and hypnotic rhythms, “Helplessly in Love,” illuminates the intoxication of infatuation as it reinforces a primary theme of the CD – different shades of love. “There is lost love, there is in love and there is true love,” notes Holly. “I want to represent the whole person.”

Subtle Latin grooves, acoustic guitars and a declaratory chorus of female voices underscore the candid declaration of “I Love Him.” With “That Look,” the mood is definitively sharpened – as a stinging electric guitar and sly innuendo annotate the flash point of physical attraction. Confirming the theme in her song, “Helplessly In Love,” Holly notes, “I’m a helpless romantic -- I like that sense of ‘Danielle Steele hotness.’”

“Butter,” also celebrates the power of the sensual. “Baby tastes like butter/Simmering sweet and slow,” she intones. The album’s other delectable bookend, “Chocolate,” is a bluesy invitation, with the narrator equating through metaphor how physical desire mirrors a craving for sweets.

But all is not candy coated: The mood transitions into profound shades of blue with the CD’s emotional centerpiece, “Over the Rainbow.” By appropriating a well-known title, Holly creates a new reflection on an historic metaphor. “You have hope and expectations when you’re young,” she says. “All of the challenges are there. These lyrics talk about the idea of dreams not coming true, and what do you do then?”

Diabetes, autism, cancer and loss -- it is her response to these very human frailties that inspires her art and bonds her to others dealing with similar realities . “Another Day, Another Night,” and “I Miss You,” both reveal a connection to trial and loss. “When you’re sharing authenticity that’s art,” notes Holly. “I’m not afraid to do that as a songwriter.”

A select group of collaborators -- including Nashville/L.A. veteran Warren Sellers, Music City luminary Marc-Alan Barnette (Shelby Lynne, David Ball); the late tunesmith Marty Martin (a prime architect in the Los Angeles “Breakout” songwriters group), and James Grey (Tyrone Wells) and Rascal Flatts/Sara Evans songwriter, Kevin Fisher --worked with Holly on crafting the songs that constitute "Butter & Chocolate." Holly co-produced with Randy Emata, whose resume includes marquee artists like Chaka Khan and Aaron Neville.

Holly smiles enigmatically when asked why this project, now. “It is so if someone important, or someone from the music industry asks me, ‘Do you have an album?’ I’m prepared.” Moreover, she concludes with this these thoughts: “I wanted to kill every bird with one stone. To create a vehicle that would act as an introduction to other songwriters and to listeners. But most of all, I needed to pour my heart into the emotions of these songs.”

Obama: "Arnaldo, we do big things"

"Dear Arnaldo:

According to our records, you are currently registered in California's 30th Congressional District.

Tonight I addressed the American people on the future we face together.

Though at times it may seem uncertain, it is a future that is ours to decide, ours to define, and ours to win.

I know we will.

Because, after the worst recession in decades, we see an economy growing again.

Because, after two years of job losses, we've added private-sector jobs for 12 straight months -- more than 1 million in all.

Because, time after time, when our resolve has been tested, we, as a nation, have always prevailed.

Overcoming the challenges we face today requires a new vision for tomorrow. We will move forward together, or not at all -- for the challenges we face are bigger than party, and bigger than politics.

Yet the story of America is this: We do big things.

Just as the progress of the past two years would not have been possible without your hard work, we will not realize the agenda I described tonight without you.

So as we continue this great mission together, and we set out the plans for how far we can go, I need to know that you are ready to work side by side with me once more.

Will you stand with me as we strive to win the future?

The last two years have been marked by unprecedented reforms and historic progress.

But there is much more work to do.

Moving forward, America's economic growth at home is inextricably connected to our competitiveness in the global community. The more products American companies can export, the more jobs we can create at home.

This vision for the future starts with innovation, tapping into the creativity and imagination of our people to create the jobs and industries of the future. Instead of subsidizing yesterday's energy, let's invest in tomorrow's. It's why I challenged Congress to join me in setting a new goal: By 2035, 80 percent of America's electricity will come from clean energy sources.

It means leading the world in educating our kids, giving each of our children the best opportunity to succeed and preparing them for the jobs of tomorrow.

We must build a 21st century infrastructure for our country, putting millions of Americans to work rebuilding roads and bridges and expanding high-speed Internet and high-speed rail.

We must reform government, making it leaner, smarter, and more transparent.

And we must take responsibility for our shared debt, reining in our long-term deficit so we can afford the investments we need to move our country forward.

That is the vision I laid out tonight. That is how we win the future.

It is going to take a lot of work -- but I have no doubt we are up to the task.

Half a century ago, when the Soviets beat us into space with the launch of a satellite called Sputnik, we had no idea how we'd beat them to the moon. The science wasn't there yet. NASA didn't even exist.

But after investing in better research and education, we didn't just surpass the Soviets. We unleashed a wave of innovation that created new industries and millions of new jobs.

This is our generation's Sputnik moment.

Please stand together with me:

It is because of each of you, who define the will of a people, that the state of our union is strong in the face of tough challenges. You are the reason our future is still bright in the face of deep uncertainty.

And you are the reason I believe that future is ours to win.

Thank you,


Organizing for America
A project of the Democratic National Committee
430 South Capitol Street
SE, Washington, D.C. 20003

Big Band meets Bukowski in Nicholas Urie's new CD, "My Garden"

Composer/arranger Nicholas Urie is back! In his new CD "My Garden," Urie honors Charles Bukowski's postmodern American poetry by wedding it to some of the most intriguing, scintillating and innovative big band music in the contemporary jazz landscape.

The CD features Jeremy Udden, soprano saxophone; Douglas Yates, alto and clarinet; Kenny Pexton, tenor; and Brian Landrus, bass clarinet; Albert Leusink, Ben Holmes, and John Carlson on trumpets; trombonists Alan Ferber and Max Seigel; Frank Carlberg, piano; Michael Sarin, drums, John Hebert on the contrabass; and vocals by Christine Correa.

Bukowski is best known for his "fratboyesque" musings on love and life that have branded him as a kind of chauvinistic literary bad boy. The poems in this cycle highlight a more personal and less veiled side of a very complicated and diverse figure in American literature. These works are more introspective and touch on the author's feelings of abandonment, depression, isolation and insecurities in the world as both a man and a writer.
Urie's debut CD "Excerpts from an Online Dating Service" earned wide acclaim:

"Urie does not simply blow off the dust of the large jazz ensemble, he sandblasts it off with Uranium." Ø C. Michael Bailey, All About Jazz.

"Remember his name - judging by the music and scope of Excerpts From An Online Dating Service, Nicholas Urie has a great future." Ø Richard Kamins, Hartford Courant.

"If Kurt Weill had lived in the internet age, he may well have conjured something like composer Nicholas Urie's "Exerpts from An Online Dating Service." - DownBeat.

Diane Hubka & Rich Eames Duo live @ The Gardenia, Jan 27

Thurs. Jan. 27, 2011 @ The Gardenia
9:00 - 10:15 PM - ONE SHOW ONLY!

7066 Santa Monica Boulevard
West Hollywood, CA 90038-1043
(323) 467-7444
Diane Hubka - vocalist, guitar
Rich Eames - piano

Back from another successful Japanese tour last December, Diane Hubka is back in LA and will be performing, tomorrow night, a rare duo date with pianist Rich Eames (who, btw, played in the first album I ever produced, back in 1980, Yana Purim's self-titled debut LP for RCA.)

"I was privaleged to be invited back again, by Sinatra Society of Japan's SSJ Records, this time to tour twelve different cities in 3 1/2 weeks," Diane says. "It was wonderful to see so much of the country, (albeit in brief visits!) and to play with a wonderful trio. You can see photos on my website - both of the club dates, and also my "tourist" photos.

She plans to post videos on her website, too, but for now you can see these two on youtube:

"Rich Eames has long been a force in the L.A. music scene as a pianist, arranger and composer. Join us for an evening of music from the American Popular Songbook, Brazilian Bossa Novas and surprising originals!"

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

R.I.P.: Brian Rust

Brian Rust, Father of Modern Discography, Dies at 88
New York Times - January 25, 2011

Brian Rust, a discographic detective who compiled comprehensive guides to recorded jazz and other popular music, in the process setting the standard for the modern field, died on Jan. 5 in Swanage, in southern England. He was 88.

The cause was complications of prostate cancer, said his son, Victor, who was named for the RCA Victor record label. (The elder Mr. Rust, according to family oral tradition, declined a friend’s suggestion that he name Victor’s twin sister Decca.)

Often described as the father of contemporary discography, Mr. Rust embarked in the 1940s on a rigorous, deeply personal project that continued long afterward as he haunted archives and hunted down artists to reconstitute long-vanished recording sessions on paper.

He was best known for “Jazz Records,” first published in 1952 and reissued many times since. It is currently available in a two-volume, 1,971-page version titled “Jazz and Ragtime Records, 1897-1942” (Mainspring Press, 2002), edited by Malcolm Shaw.

For decades, “Jazz Records” — known to jazz mavens simply as “J. R.” — has been the de facto standard reference work in the field, furnishing meticulous information on session dates, personnel and much else for tens of thousands of recordings.

Aimed at scholars and aficionados, the book has also been the starting point for countless reissues of early-20th-century jazz.

“Discography is a road map to the recorded past,” said Tim Brooks, who collaborated with Mr. Rust on “The Columbia Master Book Discography,” a four-volume work published in 1999. “Virtually any historical jazz reissue goes back first to Rust to find out what to look for — what recordings an artist made, how many versions of each that artist made and where they might have been issued, so you can get your hands on it. And he would trace all of that.”

“All of that” is now standard information in discographies across musical genres, and it is to Mr. Rust, colleagues say, that such comprehensiveness is owed.

“Jazz research at its beginnings was the purview of dedicated amateurs,” Bill Kirchner, a jazz musician and historian, said in an interview. “There was no precedent to dictate what the nature of it was going to be, and what the details were going to be. And he was really one of those people who decided, ‘This is what it should encompass.’ ”

Brian Arthur Lovell Rust was born in London on March 19, 1922. As a boy, he became enraptured by the jazz he heard on the radio and was soon spending all his pocket money on secondhand recordings.

At its height, his collection comprised 8,000 to 10,000 records — a somewhat modest haul by the standards of truly obsessed collectors. With benevolent indifference to the ravages of summer heat and winter cold, Mr. Rust stored them in an extension behind his garage.

“He was not a particularly painstaking person in terms of caring for stuff, though his mental work was extremely painstaking,” Mr. Shaw said.

As a young man, Mr. Rust took a job as a clerk in the Bank of England, which pleased his mother though not him. A conscientious objector, he was a firefighter in London during the Blitz.

After the war, he joined the staff of the BBC Gramophone Library, where he worked until about 1950. It was there, wishing to improve on the scanty discographies then available, that Mr. Rust began his private research in earnest.

Reconstructing a long-ago recording session is like trying to grasp a fistful of quicksilver. Mr. Rust first scoured record-company archives to compile his data; because files were often lost or incomplete, he eventually left the BBC, packed a suitcase full of rare European jazz records and set out for the United States.

Arriving in 1951, he sold the recordings to American collectors and used the money for bus fare, traveling the country in search of aging jazzmen, whom he proceeded to debrief. The result was “Jazz Records,” originally issued by Mr. Rust as a mimeographed loose-leaf volume.

In the decades that followed, Mr. Rust devoted his life to freelance music writing and discography, an unremunerative, solitary but, to him and his fellow travelers, deeply necessary enterprise. He worked quietly, away from the limelight, from his home in Swanage, a coastal town in Dorset.

“Brian lived sort of a hermit’s life,” Mr. Shaw said. “He was quite content with his own company and the company of other collectors and his family.”

His other work includes “The American Dance Band Discography 1917-1942” (1975), “British Music Hall on Record” (1979), “Discography of Historical Records on Cylinders and 78s” (1979) and legions of liner notes.

In the late 1950s and early ’60s, Mr. Rust played the drums in the Original Barnstormers Spasm Band, a British skiffle band.

In addition to his son, Victor, Mr. Rust is survived by his wife, the former Mary Denning; two daughters, Angela Kidd and Pamela Jackson-Cooke, (who escaped being named Decca); three grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.

He is also survived by Brian, a discographic software program named for him. “Which is ironic,” Mr. Brooks said in an interview, “because he himself hated computers and never used them.”

Monday, January 24, 2011

Anna Mjöll back @ Vibrato, Jan 29

Anna Mjoll @ Vibrato, January 29
2930 Beverly Glen Circle
Bel Air, CA

After stuning sets @ Charlie O's last week, the one & only LA-based Icelandic jazz diva Anna Mjöll is back @ Herb Alpert's Vibrato.

"As far as repertoire goes...everything from Ipanema to Invitation to Desafinado to 500 Miles High to Round Midnight to One Note Samba to How High The Moon, All of Me, Perdido, Blue Skies, Lover Man, Old Black Magic, Cry Me A River, Misty, Summertime, How Insensitive," says Anna, one of the Top Jazz Singers of 2009 and 2010 in the Jazz Station Poll, thanks to her two solo CDs, "Shadow of Your Smile" and "Christmas Jazzmaz," which features such guests as Vinnie Colaiuta, John Robinson, Dave Carpenter, Don Grusin and Luis Conte.

ANNA MJÖLL / vocals
ED CZACH / piano

Call for reservations! 310.474.9400
(pic by Barbra Porter)

Mike Longo live @ Trumpets, Jan 29

If you are in the East Cost, join us for some foot-stompin’, burnin’ jazz when Mike Longo returns with his swingin' 17-piece Big Band, The NY State of the Art Jazz Ensemble with vocalist Miss Hilary Gardner, to Trumpets (6 Depot Square in Montclair, New Jersey) on Saturday night, January 29. Show times are 8:30 & 10:30 p.m. Cover is $15.00 and minimum is $10.00. Call Trumpets at 973-744-2600 for reservations and information.

They are welcoming back Miss Hilary Gardner as vocalist with the Big Band, direct from her lead role in Twyla Tharp’s Broadway tribute to Frank Sinatra “Come Fly Away”.

This is the big band that thrilled a sold-out house this past October at Dizzy Gillespie's birthday celebration and was voted "Band of the Year" in the 2004 Jazz Station Poll. You will be delighted by the NYSAJE's repertoire from their latest CD "Oasis", that topped the charts at # 7 in December 2004 and remained in the top 20 for an unprecedented 16 weeks. And you won't want to miss Hilary Gardner’s renditions of some jazz classics as well as some new compositions and arrangements.

Mike Longo has performed with a list of jazz legends that include saxophone great Cannonball Adderley, Henry Red Allen, Coleman Hawkins, George Wettling, Gene Krupa, Nancy Wilson, Gloria Lynn, Jimmy Witherspoon, Joe Williams, Jimmy Rushing, James Moody, Astrud Gilberto and many others. It was in the mid-60s when Longo’s trio was playing at the Embers West, that Roy Eldridge told Dizzy Gillespie about this new pianist he had heard. Dizzy came to hear him play and soon asked him to become his pianist.

This started a life-long musical relationship and friendship. From 1966 through 1975, Longo worked exclusively as Dizzy’s pianist and musical director. Mike left the Gillespie group officially in 1975 to venture out on his own, but continued to work for Gillespie on a part-time basis until his death in 1993. Since that time Mike has recorded numerous albums and CDs on various labels with some 45 recordings with artists such as Gillespie, James Moody, etc.

At present he has over 20 solo albums to his credit. He is sought after as a music instructor and is in demand for jazz clinics and concerts at universities and music schools throughout the world, and has appeared at the Lincoln Center’s new jazz room “Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola.” Longo is founder and President of Consolidated Artists Productions (CAP), an independent recording label, dedicated to allowing artists to pursue the types of projects that are in line with their career objectives.

Italian House Party @ Bypass, Jan 28, with DJ Deborah de Luca

This Friday, at "Bypass", my favorite club in all over Switzerland: "Italian House Party" with superDJ Deborah de Luca. Enjoy!!!

Carrefour de l’Etoile 1 ,
1227 Les Acacias
Genève, Switzerland
Ph: 0022 300 6565

CD Reissue of the Week - "Paul Desmond: Pure Desmond"

CD Reissue of the Week
Paul Desmond: "Pure Desmond" (CTI/Sony Masterworks) 1975/2011

Rating: *****
Original album produced by Creed Taylor & engineered by Rudy Van Gelder
Musical supervision by Don Sebesky
Recorded at Van Gelder Studio, September 1974
Cover photo: Jerry Sarapochiello
Liner photo: Tony Ynocencio
Album design: Bob Ciano
Reissue produced by Richard Seidel & mastered by Mark Wilder

Featuring: Ed Bickert (guitar), Ron Carter (bass) & Connie Kay (drums)
This new 13-track CD reissue, in mini-LP papersleeve format, includes the eight tracks from the original LP release plus 2 bonus tracks ("MASH" and "Wave") and alternate takes of "Nuages," "Just Squeeze Me" and "Till The Clouds Roll By."

Vinyl Reissue of the Week - "A Bolha: Um Passo a Frente"

12" Vinyl Reissue of the Week
A Bolha: "Um Passo a Frente" (Continental/Groovie) 1973/2011

This precious LP reissue by the Spanish label Groovie, in gatefold sleeve, is already available at Dusty Groove.

That's what they say:
"Massively heavy sounds from A Bolha – a Brazilian group who were previously known as The Bubbles, and backed up Gal Costa during the Tropicalia years – but who work here in a fuzzy, bassy groove that's totally great – definitely an heir to the headier sounds of the UK scene at the start of the 70s! The guitars are definitely in full force here, but the basslines drive things along strongly too – echoing some of the Peruvian sounds of the time, but with a bit more Brazilian sophistication – and definitely a musical echo of lessons learned during Tropicalia, even though the set's a fully instrumental one. Organ also figures in the mix too – and titles include "Bye My Friend", "Razao De Existir", "Um Passo A Frente", "A Esfera", and "Neste Rock Forever". © 2011, Dusty Groove America, Inc."

Judy Wexler @ Moz Buddah Lounge, Jan 26

January 26, 8pm-11pm
Judy Wexler @ Moz Buddha Lounge
30105 Agoura Rd.
Agoura Hills, CA

Sensual atmosphere, inspired Euro-Asian cuisine, exotic cocktails and jazz with Judy Wexler Trio featuring Jeff Colella on piano & Chris Colangelo on bass!
If you're around the West Valley, this is a great hang for jazz.
No cover, no minimum.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Casting: Engaged Couples & Brides

The Casting Firm is looking for Engaged Couples & Brides! We want to give you a COUTURE GOWN for your Wedding Day from Couture Designer Monique Lhuillier!
NOW CASTING: Brides-to-be with stories that will touch hearts across America!

· Do you have an emotional or inspirational story connected to your upcoming wedding?
· Do you have a particularly emotional or dramatic story that led to your engagement?
· Have you always wanted to walk down the aisle in the wedding gown of your dreams?
· Do you know someone getting married who has a great emotional story?

Monique Lhuillier is among the worlds leading creators of haute couture bridal wear -- brides and celebrities all over the world have sought her out to design their gowns.

On this new show, lucky brides will have the opportunity of a lifetime to wear the dress of their dreams!

To apply email the Casting Firm at CASTINGs@THECASTINGFIRM.COM

In case you’re not familiar with her, Monique Lhuillier is one of the most sought after designers of Bridal Gowns and Couture Gowns for the red carpet. Her gorgeous dresses have been worn down the isle or on the red carpet by celebrities like Catherine Zeta Jones (last week at the Golden Globes!), Angelina Jolie, Jennifer Aniston, Jennifer Lopez, Drew Barrymore, Reese Witherspoon, Jessica Alba, Sharon Stone, Teri Hatcher, Britney Spears, Kristin Stewart, Debra Messing, Kristin Bell, Katherine Mcphee...just to name a few!!!

Scot Alberton & Dr. Joe Utterback live @ Blueberry Art House, Jan 29

Scot Albertson & Dr. Joe Utterback
Vocal/Piano Duo Evening
Next Saturday, January 29, 7pm
Special guest: vibist extraordinaire Arthur Lipner!

Blueberry Music & Art House
135 Mason Street
Greenwich, Connecticut
Ph: (203) 987-6445

Friday, January 21, 2011

Spiritual Events next week in the LA Area

Spiritual Events next week in the LA Area
For Full Details:;

* Spirit Dance LA
* Love Conquers All: Protection & Purification Workshop
* Akashic Records Practitioner Certification training
For Full Details:;

* Book Signing - Prisoners of Fame - Bodhi Tree
* Tapping the Source
* Druids In Space: The Future of Paganism
* The Skye's the Limit - Book Signing
* "Finding Home: A Spiritual Journey"
* Celebrating Our Raw Nature
For Full Details:;

* Sit with the Angels Group Experience w/ Lisa Beachy
* Tarot Basics 101 - Suits & Elements of the Minor Arcana
* Prepare for the Year of the Golden Rabbit
* Hermetic Symbolism of the Major Arcana Tarot Major Arcana Pt. 1
* Book Signing with Dr. Audrey Levy "Noelle’s Ark"
* Vision of 2011 - Shamanic Dance and Toning
* The Artist's Way Workshop: Sunday Nights
* Kyoto Clinic - Reiki
* Astrology 102 w/Maja - The Houses
* Intro to Animal Communication
* The Source
* Dreams: The Hidden Language of the Soul with Leanne Whitney
* An evening with Vaishali - Self Emergence teacher & Empowerment Speaker
* walking in this world
* Kara Delle Donne SOUL SERIES workshops
* "How to Survive Spirituality in Our Times"
* Psychic Protection
* Tess Whitehurst "Magical Housekeeping": holistic clutter clearing
* Guided Meditation w/Harpist Aedan
* Tarot Basics 102 - The Numbers/Minor Arcana
* Tarot Major Arcana Pt.2 - Covers the 2nd half of the Major Trumps
For Full Details:;

* Chants Encounter w/Charley Thweatt
* Tarot Class
* Make Your Mind Your Friend: The Fine Art of Creating a Life Worth Living

Follow us for daily updates on Twitter:

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Tatiana Fontes back in LA @ Playhouse, Jan 21

Get ready for this Friday! Back from Vegas, LA-based Brazilian SuperDJ & über model Tatiana Fontes will be spinning tomorrow nite @ Playhouse (6506 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, CA), one of the most versatile and unique spaces done for house music. With its $500k Funktion One sound system, live preformances, screens, lay out and design....this is the first true House Music Boutique Venue in LA.
Tables are highly recommended.

Tati: "Back in La La Land!!! Unpack, super disco nap and get ready Playhouse La! Me + David Tort under the same roof! Oh yeah!"
Btw, here are 2 pics from her "making of" for RACK 75 photo shoot. Design by the talented Lorrayne Mathias.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Laurie Antonioli live @ The Jazzschool, Jan 29

Laurie Antonioli & The American Dreams Band
Saturday, January 29 -8pm
One Show Only! $15

The Jazzschool
2087 Addison Street
Berkeley, CA
Ph: (510) 845-5373

Voted one of the top 5 vocalists of the year in the 32nd Annual Jazz Station Poll, Laurie will be backed by Matt Clark (piano), John Shifflett (bass), Jason Lewis (drums), Dave MacNab (guitar) & Sheldon Brown (clarinet, sax), performing songs from her critically acclaimed "American Dreams" CD, elected one of the best 5 vocal jazz albums of 2010 in our poll.
To see the complete results:

To buy tickets:
To read the review about the "American Dreams" CD:

For more details, bio and pics, please check:

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Indie songs urgently needed by Taxi Music Supervisor

Below is a special opportunity that we wanted to give you a heads up about. Just got the word about this project today, and Taxi Music needs the song by 10 AM on Monday, January 24, 2011. You can find this listing under the AAA/Alternative/Modern Rock (Film & TV) genre in the Submit Music section of your hosting site.

VERY WELL CONNECTED MUSIC SUPERVISOR/PUBLISHER/MUSIC LICENSING VETERAN needs a WIDE RANGE of Contemporary INDIE SINGER/SONGWRITERS, POP ARTISTS and "COOL INDIE BANDS" for a compilation CD he will be using to represent TAXI's Members as he meets with HEAVY-WEIGHT MUSIC SUPERVISORS to get them to use TAXI as a go-to resource on MAJOR STUDIO and NETWORK projects.

This gentleman has music supervised, coordinated, and licensed music on many projects, and is a family member with very active and highly regarded music supervisors. He has just joined TAXI's A&R team and wants to get familiar with as many of our great sounding members as quickly as possible so he can hit the street running and bring in some KILLER listings! This listing is an AWESOME opportunity to have this gentlema n (and his supervisor friends) get to know your music QUICKLY, rather than hearing it over several months as he screens regular TAXI listings.

The bar for this will be high, but wide, and it basically comes down to him feeling that your song(s) are appropriate and will impress his fellow supervisors. Please submit Broadcast-Quality (great home recordings are fine) full-length SONGS. The supervisor has requested that we don't give out his name. If you ARE chosen, he will contact you. Please submit up to (3) songs via CD or online. Submissions will be screened personally by the listing party on a YES/NO basis; there will be NO TAXI CRITQUES. Deadline for submissions is Monday, January 24, 2011 at 10am PST. TAXI #Y110124IA

More CTI gems to be reissued on Jan 25

(Creed Taylor & Arnaldo DeSouteiro)

Sony Masterworks Jazz continues the celebration of the 40th anniversary of CTI Records --the revolutionary jazz label founded in 1970 by producer Creed Taylor -- with the reissue of 6 more classic albums scheduled for CD release in the USA next week, on January 25th, 2011. They include: "White Rabbit" by George Benson, "All Blues" by Ron Carter (first time on CD in the U.S.), "Prelude" by Deodato, "Pure Desmond" by Paul Desmond, "Concierto" by Jim Hall, and Milt Jackson’s "Sunflower." All albums recorded & mixed by the legendary engineer Rudy Van Gelder. The reissues are packaged in eco-friendly softpack mini-LP sleeves that replicate the original gatefold LP design (by graphic artist Bob Ciano) and their iconic covers most with amazing pics by genius photographer Pete Turner.

"White Rabbit" is perhaps George Benson’s finest album for CTI, featuring the signature title track arrangement of the Jefferson Airplane classic – a 1972 Grammy® nominee for Best Jazz Performance by a Group. Other highlights include "El Mar" and a superb adaptation of Villa-Lobos' "Little Train," on which Herbie Hancock performs one of his best Fender Rhodes solos ever! Arranged & conducted by Don Sebesky, it also features Ron Carter, Billy Cobham, Airto Moreira (not only as a percussionist but also providing great wordless vocals), John Frosk, Hubert Laws, Earl Klugh and specially the Spanish-tinged acoustic guitar playing of the underrated master Jay Berliner."All Blues," Ron Carter's second solo album for CTI, makes its debut on CD in the USA (it was previously only released in Japan). Ron, heard on both acoustic & piccolo basses, leads a quartet with Roland Hanna, Billy Cobham and Joe Henderson, with Richard Tee (Fender Rhodes) guesting on the lightly funky "117 Special." Top tracks: "Light Blue" and "Will You Still Be Mine." Carter was voted Bassist of the Year in Downbeat’s Readers’ Poll in 1973, 1974 and 1975, highlighting his work with CTI.Eumir Deodato’s "Prelude" includes his Grammy®-winning hit track, a superb arrangement of Richard Strauss’s fanfare from "Also Sprach Zarathustra," which had been used four years earlier as the main theme on Stanley Kubrick's movie "2001: A Space Odyssey." Deodato's adaptation became the biggest hit the CTI label would ever have. The album’s main track won 1974 Grammy Award for Best Pop Instrumental Performance (Deodato also got a nomination for "Best New Artist"), among several other awards from Billboard, CashBox, Record World etc, and rose to No. 2 on the U.S. pop charts in the Spring of 1973. It's a perfect album, including strong Deodato's originals ("Spirit of Summer," "Carly & Carole" and "September 13"), a Latin-tinged version of "Baubles, Bangles and Beads" and a wonderful adaptation of Debussy's "Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun." Besides Deodato's solos on Fender Rhodes, ace guitarist John Tropea is the second main soloist in a stellar cast: Ron Carter, Billy Cobham, Airto, Ray Barretto, Jay Berliner, Marvin Stamm, Hubert Laws & Bill Watrous, amongst others."Pure Desmond," Paul Desmond's second and last album for CTI, was not only highly praised but it also brought to the spotlight the considerable talents of Canadian guitarist Ed Bickert in a mainstream-jazz context. It also features Ron Carter on bass and Connie Kay on drums. Paul Desmond was voted by Downbeat’s readers into its Jazz Hall of Fame in 1977. This CD reissue includes 5 tracks not available in the original LP release - two bonus songs and three alternate takes.For his work on "Concierto," his CTI album, Jim Hall received a Grammy® nomination in 1975 for Best Jazz Performance by a Soloist. Conceived & arranged by Don Sebesky, brings together the talents of Paul Desmond, Chet Baker, Roland Hanna, Ron Carter & Steve Gadd. The highlight is the extended jazz version of the Adagio from Joaquin Rodrigo's "Concierto de Aranjuez." Several alternate takes of other tracks were added to this CD reissue. Btw, Hall had been named Guitarist of the Year in Downbeat’s Jazz Poll in 1974, the year before he recorded "Concierto.""Sunflower" is the most revered solo album by Milt Jackson, one of the greatest of jazz vibraphone players, and one of the most acclaimed improvisational blues instrumentalists of all time. He was a founding member of the legendary Modern Jazz Quartet, voted by Downbeat’s readers into its Jazz Hall of Fame in 1999. Thanks to Creed Taylor's impeccable production and Don Sebesky's sumptuous scores, it became an instant classic, and Milt's better and most commercially successful album ever. Jackson's own ballad "For Someone I Love" (featuring the famous acoustic guitar intro performed by Jay Berliner), the Thom Bell/Linda Creed's r&b classic "People Make The World Go Round" and Freddie Hubbard's lovely title track are the highlights, featuring such players as Hubbard himself, Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter, Billy Cobham and Ralph MacDonald.Sony Masterworks Jazz kicked off the CTI 40th anniversary celebration with the release of "CTI Records: The Cool Revolution," a deluxe 4-CD multi-artist box set retrospective in the Fall, receiving rave reviews. The Associated Press dubbed it “…the most comprehensive anthology to date” and NPR said it was “… as striking a portrait of the Jazz World in the ‘70s as you’ll find anywhere.”
Also released in the Fall was the double-CD restoration of "California Concert: The Hollywood Palladium" (1971) which included 90-minutes of music rarely heard and never before available. It is the most complete version of the historic Hollywood Palladium all-star concert recorded July 18, 1971. It doubles the content of the original five-song LP release with five additional tracks - three of them previously unreleased - and restores the original concert sequence for the first time. Creed Taylor hand-picked a dream team of CTI artists for the occasion: Freddie Hubbard, Hubert Laws, Hank Crawford, Stanley Turrentine, George Benson, Johnny Hammond, Ron Carter, Billy Cobham and Airto Moreira. The original liner notes are by the legendary jazz historian Leonard Feather.The celebration also included reissues of the first set of 6 classic CTI albums: "She Was Too Good To Me" (Chet Baker), "God Bless the Child (Kenny Burrell), "Red Clay" (Freddie Hubbard), "Stone Flower" (Antonio Carlos Jobim), "Morning Star (Hubert Laws, first time on CD), and Stanley Turrentine’s Sugar.In addition, Sony also released the following 180-gram vinyl LP reissues of 4 classic CTI albums using the original gatefold sleeve designs accompanied with digital download cards: "Red Clay" by Freddie Hubbard, Stanley Turrentine’s "Sugar", "White Rabbit" by George Benson, and Eumir Deodato's "Prelude."
In the 1970s, CTI, its music, its style and its discriminating quality transformed contemporary jazz. The roster worked almost like a repertory company, in which great musicians took turns in the spotlight and accompanying each other. The albums they and their colleagues created set new standards in their look as well as their sound. “[Creed Taylor’s] plan was ingeniously simple, yet famously maverick: record top-tier musicians, keeping their artistic integrity intact while also making their art palatable to the people. CTI thus achieved that rare balance of jazz and commercialism,” writes Dan Ouellette in the liner notes. CTI surpassed the majors and fellow indies to be named the #1 Jazz Label of 1974 by Billboard. The immediate success of CTI’s recordings has echoed across the decades in a profound influence on jazz, pop, R&B and hip-hop.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Anna Mjoll live @ Charlie O's, Jan 21

Anna Mjöll & The John Heard Trio
January 21st - 8pm, no cover!
Charlie O's
13725 Victory Blvd
Valley Glen, CA
Ph: (818) 994.3058

ANDY LANGHAM/piano - NO COVER! - 818.994.3058

Spiritual Events this week in the LA Area

For Full Details:;

* Healing Reiki Circle with Live Music by Ed Wing
* Full Moon Psychic Circle
For Full Details:;

* Energy Clearing for New year
* Book Signing - Pope Annalisa
* Predictions for 2011 and Beyond and the TRUTH about 2012
* Book Signing - Prisoners of Fame
For Full Details:;

* Book Signing and Discussion “One-Way Ticket” By: Rita Lowenthal
* Victorian Glass Seance Group
* Clairvoyance 102
* How to Do An Angel/Oracle Card Reading Workshop with Wendy Allamby
* Manifesting with the Angels
* Psychic Fair
* Introduction to the course "Wisdom of the east and west'
* St Germaine Channeling Circle
* kundalini yoga for beginners
* Reiki Clinic
* Tibetan Yoga Breath & Meditation Workshop
* Astrology 101 w/Maja - The Planets
* Heart Centered Speakers meeting
* The Source
* An Evening with Shaman Durek
* The Artist's Way Workshop: Sunday Nights
* Shamanic Voyage - Guided Meditation
* walking in this world
* Kara Delle Donne SOUL SERIES workshops
* Reiki Share Intro & Demo/ Full Moon
* Workshop with Dr. Audrey Levy
* Introduction to Crystals
* Eckankar Book Discussion Group
* Animal Comunicator Workshop: for a fun evening getting to know what your pet is really thinking
* Advanced Intuitive Guide Workshop
* "Vibration" - Crystal Singing Bowl Meditation
* Sit with the Angels Group Experience
* Tarot Basics 101 - Suits & Elements of the Minor Arcana
For Full Details:;

* Everyday Zen Relaxation Studio
* Tarot Class

Follow us for daily updates on Twitter:;

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Alan Pasqua: Tribute to Bill Evans @ Vittelo's

Tonight, January 15, pianist/composer Alan Pasqua, bassist Darek Oles & drummer Joe LaBarbera will be playing the music of Bill Evans and beyond @ Vitello's. A unique event!

January 15, $20 8pm & 10pm
Vitellos Jazz & Supper Club
4349 Tujunga Avenue
Studio City, CA
Ph: (818) 769-0905

Friday, January 14, 2011

Tatiana Fontes @ Mynt Lounge, tonite!

January 14, 2011 - 11:30pm
1921 Collins Ave.
Miami Becah, FL 33139
ph: (305 ) 532-0727
Don't miss this night with one of the top DJs in the world, LA-based Brazilian dancefloor diva Tatiana Fontes!
"Ready to go have a breakfast of champions, do some shopping, enjoy a little sun and prepare a sick set to bring the house down @ Mynt/Miami Tonight! I missed my Mynt and my Miami Peeps! Want to see u all there!" Tati says. (Tati on her way to Miami)

If there's one club on Miami Beach synonymous with exclusivity, it is Mynt Lounge. During its seven-year reign the definitive Über lounge on the 2100 block of Collins has earned a reputation for the tightest door policy and most fabulous crowd in the Magic City.

The list of celebrities that have passed through Mynt's doors would fill a dozen Rolodexes, butserial offenders include Ricky Martin, Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, Britney Spears, Cameron Diaz, Mickey Rourke, Sean Penn, Jennifer Lopez, Giselle Bundchen, Colin Farrell, and Jamie Foxx.

Add to these boldface names the hordes of models, designers, fashionistas, top DJs, scene makers, and high rollers, and you understand why Mynt's velvet rope has long been the highest hurdle in Miami Beach nightlife.

In order to maintain its blue-chip status, Mynt demands elegance, chic, and a winning smile of its patrons. "Those are the minimum requirements," says owner Romain Zago. "Mynt is for the famous and fabulous."

As for the paparazzi, Mynt enforces a strict rule: no entry. "Mynt is where celebrities come to escape the paparazzi," explains Zago. "They come here to party and have fun without being hassled." Most clubs let photographers stalk their A-list guests in the hope of some publicity,he explains, but Mynt doesn't need cheap exposure. "We know that great people will come anyway - the famous and the fabulous - so we prefer to maintain that aura of exclusivity.

Another distinguishing factor: Mynt never rests on its laurels. Mynt is completely refitted every summer, from carpets to light fittings, including new furniture and furnishings. Its latest renovation cost $1.2 million - a sum that none of its so-called rivals would dream of investing.

But that's why Mynt maintains its reputation as the ultimate high-end, luxury-service nightspot. "We have a simple but radical philosophy," explains Romain Zago. "The customer is the star. We never forget that without the paying customer, nobody has a job - and that includes the entire team, from waitresses to managers."

LA Times: "Jazz Bakery Finds a Home"

Jazz Bakery Finds a Home -The club will build a new facility in Culver City adjacent to the Kirk Douglas Theatre
by Chris Barton
Los Angeles Times, January 14, 2011

In a major step toward the return of the Jazz Bakery, the itinerant jazz venue has found a new home in downtown Culver City and is moving forward with ambitious plans for the space.

This week the Bakery, which has been homeless since 2009, has seen the convergence of two key elements that began coming together last summer. The first was a $2-million seed grant from the Annenberg Foundation, and the other was an agreement with the Culver City Redevelopment Agency, which approved the club for exclusive negotiation rights to develop a vacant property at 9814 Washington Blvd., on the same block as the Kirk Douglas Theatre, one mile from its former location.

"It's just all kind of incredible that it's happening, who would've thought?" said the Bakery's president and artistic director, Ruth Price, who had targeted a return to the Westside practically from the moment the club lost its lease at the old location.

"And it turns out they wanted us. A lot of places had been calling me about coming into their area, and some of them were very appealing, like downtown L.A. But that's not us."

While the news marks the end of a long journey for a club that has been part of the L.A. jazz scene since 1992, it also marks the beginning of another. Price said that a concerted fundraising effort now lies ahead to move forward with the club's new design, which is still pending final approval before construction can begin. The club has targeted the end of 2012 for its return.

Since losing its lease at the Helms Bakery complex shortly after the death of philanthropic landlord Wally Marks Jr., the Bakery has remained a vital presence in Los Angeles by hosting a series of "Movable Feast" concerts that brought jazz to venues around the city. Price said these concerts would continue.

If all goes as planned, the Jazz Bakery's new life will begin in an auspicious fashion. In a layout that Price said was partly inspired by a recent "Movable Feast" held at Pasadena's Boston Court, the new Bakery will be spread over two stories in a 10,000-square-foot space, with a 200-plus capacity main space with balcony seating on the second floor and a smaller room with just over 70 seats on the first floor. Referring to the new addition as "the black box," Price believes the space will give the club greater booking flexibility and allow for two shows to be held on the same night.

In addition to enhancements to the performance spaces, the club also hopes to be more of a daytime presence with a larger lobby cafe and wine bar, a dedicated art gallery and long-term plans for what Price called a "virtual museum" for West Coast jazz. Discussions are also underway to ensure the club includes free or reasonably priced parking.

Moving into downtown Culver City, the Bakery will join a vibrant neighborhood that includes trendy bars and restaurants, a bustling gallery scene and the Kirk Douglas Theatre, a new neighbor that Price considers a collaborative arrangement.

"Without sounding absurd, it's kind of like a mini-mini Lincoln Center," she said, referencing the giant New York City performing arts complex.

Though current plans include a number of changes and improvements, Price stressed that key elements of the Bakery's identity will remain unchanged. The club will still operate as a nonprofit, and its longtime policy of keeping refreshments separate from the performance space will continue, in contrast with the traditional food and drink minimums that are a part of many jazz clubs.

Price wouldn't get into specifics as far as how great a fundraising goal still lies ahead, but she said the end result will give the Bakery a greater sense of permanence than ever through owning its building. While getting to this point was a lengthy journey and many hurdles lie ahead, she's hopeful about the timing for the club's rebirth.

"If we're lucky, we'll come right back in when people are a little less scared about money," Price said. "Maybe we were out of the main business when it was at its darkest. At least I hope so."

R.I.P.: Mario Jansen

(born January 6, 1951 in Nova Friburgo, RJ, Brazil;
died January 12, 2011 in Nova Friburgo, RJ, Brazil)

Regarded as Brazil's top blues pianist ever, a mix of Pinetop Perkins and Dr. John, Mario Jansen was also a great composer, arranger and vocalist, having released four solo CDs.

CD of the Day - "Mario Jansen: Cine, Cine"

CD of the Day
Mario Jansen: "Cine, Cine" (MJR) 2010

Obama: "Standing together in service"

"Dear Arnaldo:

According to our files, you are currently living in California's 30th Congressional District.

The Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., is usually remembered for his heroic leadership of the civil rights movement -- he led the successful Montgomery bus boycott, delivered the "I Have A Dream" speech at a time when such words were still controversial, and ultimately gave his own life to the cause of equality.

But Dr. King was much more than a civil rights champion -- he was a man who lived his entire life in service to others, speaking out against poverty, economic injustice, and violence. Wherever he saw suffering, he did what he could to help, no matter who it was that needed him or why they were in pain. Through his leadership, he showed us what we can accomplish when we stand together.

Each January, we remember Dr. King on his own holiday -- and one of the best ways to preserve his legacy is to engage in service ourselves. As Dr. King told us, "Life's most persistent and urgent question is: 'What are you doing for others?'"

That's why this Monday, January 17th, Organizing for America volunteers will be participating in service projects all across the country in Dr. King's honor. There will be food drives, neighborhood clean-ups, education projects, blood drives, and more.

Will you find and sign up for an event in your area, and help make this country an even better place?

This movement is about so much more than politics -- it is about coming together through progress, change, and community. Lifting each other up in dedication and service is one of the best ways not only to honor Dr. King, but to honor each other. By giving service a new role in this country, we can establish a new foundation for our economy and a brighter future for our children.

That is why service is key to achieving our national priorities, and why Barack recently helped out at a Boys and Girls Club service event. Since moving to Washington, D.C., two years ago, he and I have gotten to know the community through similar service projects, including past Martin Luther King Day events. I treasure those opportunities, and I look forward to another one next week. Every time we pitch in, we get so much back, and always learn amazing things from our neighbors.

All of us have something to contribute, and all of us can make a meaningful difference in someone's life. It's a great way to remind others that they are not forgotten, and to remind ourselves that there are always things we can do.

Please help Barack and me honor the legacy of Dr. King, and join us in service to our country once again this year:


Michelle Obama"

Organizing for America, a project of the Democratic National Committee
430 South Capitol Street SE
Washington, D.C. 20003

Spiritual Events next week in the LA Area

For Full Details:;

* Healing Reiki Circle with Live Music by Ed Wing
* Full Moon Psychic Circle
For Full Details:;

* Energy Clearing for New year
* Book Signing - Pope Annalisa
* Predictions for 2011 and Beyond and the TRUTH about 2012
* Book Signing - Prisoners of Fame
For Full Details:;

* Book Signing and Discussion “One-Way Ticket” By: Rita Lowenthal
* Victorian Glass Seance Group
* Clairvoyance 102
* How to Do An Angel/Oracle Card Reading Workshop with Wendy Allamby
* Manifesting with the Angels
* Psychic Fair
* Introduction to the course "Wisdom of the east and west'
* St Germaine Channeling Circle
* kundalini yoga for beginners
* Reiki Clinic
* Tibetan Yoga Breath & Meditation Workshop
* Astrology 101 w/Maja - The Planets
* Heart Centered Speakers meeting
* The Source
* An Evening with Shaman Durek
* The Artist's Way Workshop: Sunday Nights
* Shamanic Voyage - Guided Meditation
* walking in this world
* Kara Delle Donne SOUL SERIES workshops
* Reiki Share Intro & Demo/ Full Moon
* Workshop with Dr. Audrey Levy
* Introduction to Crystals
* Eckankar Book Discussion Group
* Animal Comunicator Workshop: for a fun evening getting to know what your pet is really thinking
* Advanced Intuitive Guide Workshop
* "Vibration" - Crystal Singing Bowl Meditation
* Sit with the Angels Group Experience
* Tarot Basics 101 - Suits & Elements of the Minor Arcana
For Full Details:;

* Everyday Zen Relaxation Studio
* Tarot Class

Follow us for daily updates on Twitter:;

Thursday, January 13, 2011

R.I.P.: Margaret Whiting,0,4077126.story

Margaret Whiting, Pop Singer Mentored by Johnny Mercer, Dies at 86
by Don Heckman
Los Angeles Times - January 13, 2011

Margaret Whiting, a pop singer for television, film, cabaret and Broadway whose recordings of such standards as "That Old Black Magic" and "Come Rain or Come Shine" sold millions of copies in the 1940s and '50s, has died. She was 86.

Whiting died Monday at the Lillian Booth Actors' Home in Englewood, N.J., said Jordan Strohl, administrator for the retirement home. The cause was not given.

Blessed with a distinctive voice and a warm, insightful singing style, Whiting had a career that stretched over seven decades. She recorded for the first time while she was still in her teens and was still performing as a cabaret artist in her 70s and 80s.

Her duet with Johnny Mercer on "Baby It's Cold Outside" continues to be heard every holiday season. And as recently as 2009, her 1947 recording of "Time After Time" was heard in the film "Julie and Julia."

Whiting was born July 22, 1924, in Detroit. Her father, Richard "Dick" Whiting, was a songwriter. Her mother, Eleanor Youngblood Whiting, managed singers such as Sophie Tucker. Her aunt, Margaret Youngblood, was a vaudeville artist.

Raised in New York City, where her father wrote for musicals, and in Los Angeles, where he was active in films, Whiting was surrounded by entertainment-world icons. Judy Garland was a childhood friend. And on any given night she heard new songs from the likes of Cole Porter, Jerome Kern, George Gershwin and Harold Arlen.

One of the most important of those show-business friends was Mercer, who began partnering with Richard Whiting in the '30s, writing, among other songs, "Hooray for Hollywood" and "Too Marvelous for Words." After starting to sing, with Mercer's encouragement, as a child, Whiting began working with him when she was 7. When her father died in 1938, Mercer -- already her mentor -- also took on the role of surrogate father.

Whiting often mentioned the advice Mercer had given her when she announced her youthful ambitions to become a singer.

"One night when I was about 7 or 8," she told The Times, "my mother asked him to listen to me perform. When I finished singing, he called me over and said, 'I've got two words of advice for you: Grow up.' Then he said I should try and find a style that was uniquely my own."

It was advice that Whiting took to heart. Barely out of her mid-teens when Mercer and two partners formed Capitol Records in 1942, she became one of the new label's first signings. Her wartime recordings, her performances at USO concerts and her appealing, girl-I-left-behind charm established her as a favorite of young men in the armed forces.

Her first hit song, Mercer and Arlen's "That Old Black Magic," was recorded with the Freddie Slack Orchestra a week after Whiting's 18th birthday. A year later, she recorded her late father's "My Ideal," written in 1930. A string of her hits followed -- "It Might as Well Be Spring," "Come Rain or Come Shine" and "Guilty" among them -- resulting in more than a dozen records that sold more than a million copies each.

But what was to become one of Whiting's signature songs, "Moonlight in Vermont," with the Billy Butterfield Orchestra, almost wasn't recorded, because, she said, "I've never been to Vermont." Nonetheless, in Whiting's hands the song -- with its unusual six-bar phrases and lack of rhymes -- became a hit and an American songbook classic.

In the late 1940s, her maturing musical skills and expanding interests led Whiting into different stylistic genres. "Far Away Places," "Now Is the Hour" and "A Tree in the Meadow" continued her string of mainstream hits. But she also produced a series of duets with country singer Jimmy Wakely, with "Slippin' Around" crossing over into the wider pop audience.

Her successes -- more than 700 songs recorded and a dozen gold records -- reflected a natural ability, enhanced by her relationship with Mercer, to find material best suited to her interpretive style.

"I like to dramatize songs -- to tell stories," she told the Chicago Tribune in 1985. "I look for a terrific lyric and a wonderful melody, the kind you hear once or twice and your ears go up."

Whiting stayed with Capitol until the mid-1950s, when she and her sister, Barbara, starred in the CBS-TV comedy "Those Whiting Girls." Her recordings for Dot (in 1957) and Verve (1960) were largely eclipsed by the arrival of rock 'n' roll. But her last big hit, "The Wheel of Hurt," was released in 1966, after she returned to her old home at Capitol.

Her lifelong dedication to Mercer peaked in 1994 when Whiting became the head of the Johnny Mercer Foundation. In 1997 she starred in "Dream," a Broadway revue based on Mercer's music.

And in the last decade, Whiting, still active and buoyant, told Mercer stories and sang his songs for entranced audiences across the country in "I Remember Johnny."

Evaluating her own performances at the time, she told The Times, "I started out as a person who was musical, singing songs the way I was told they should be sung. Now, I am singing as a woman who has been through the ultimate experience of living."

Whiting married four times. Her first husband was Hubbell Robinson, a CBS-TV executive. Her second husband, Lou Busch, used the name Joe "Fingers" Carr in his persona as a ragtime pianist, and was the father of Whiting's daughter, Deborah, who survives her. In 1958, Whiting married John Richard Moore, a founder of Panavision. She married her last husband, gay porn star Jack Wrangler in 1994, after years of living together. Wrangler died in 2009.