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StLJN Saturday Video Showcase: Remembering Charles "Bobo" Shaw

StLJN Saturday Video Showcase: Remembering Charles "Bobo" Shaw

Today, let's take a break from previewing upcoming performances here in St. Louis to look at some videos of the late drummer Charles “Bobo" Shaw. Shaw, who died Monday in a St. Louis nursing care facility at age 69, was a founder of the Black Artists Group and played with many well-known jazz and creative musicians ...

Boy! What a Girl!: 1947

Boy! What a Girl!: 1947

By 1946, African-American casts were making musical films geared for theater distribution nationwide, not just movie houses in African-American communities. In 1947, one independent production company, Herald Pictures, hired Arthur Leonard to direct an hour-long film called Boy! What a Girl!, starring bassist Slam Stewart, drummer Big Sid Catlett, the Brown Dots vocal group, singer Beryl ...

Martin Luther King + Jazz

Martin Luther King + Jazz

Today in the States, it's Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a national holiday since 1986 but not observed by all states until 2000. I thought it would be fitting to hear seven jazz tributes to the civil rights leader and the movement. Each of the jazz pieces that follows is a heartfelt work rooted in the ...

Gene Kurpa: Drummer Man

Gene Kurpa: Drummer Man

To fully appreciate the power and bop of Gene Krupa's band and his drumming in 1947, I thought the full short of Drummer Man would do the trick. It features Carolyn Grey on vocal, Tommy Lucas on alto sax, Bill Baker on piano and one heck of a trumpet section that likely featured John Bello, Ray ...

Buddy Bregman (1930-2017)

Buddy Bregman (1930-2017)

Buddy Bregman, a West Coast big-band arranger who could write with sensitivity and swing, and spent much of his career orchestrating music for leading jazz-pop singers, television and the movies, died Jan. 8. He was 86 and had been suffering from Alzheimer's disease. Bregman was a nephew of songwriter Jule Styne, which is how he managed ...

Tom Jobim: Melody Master

Tom Jobim: Melody Master

With New York's temperatures down in the 20s today with snow, what better way to warm up than with the late pianist, guitarist and singer-songwriter Antonio Carlos Jobim. Millions of people can play his music, but only Jobim had the right time, the romantic heart and the distinct feel. Here are five video clips of the ...

Who Was Eddie Fisher?

Who Was Eddie Fisher?

With the stunning deaths this week of Carrie Fisher on Dec. 27 and her mother, Debbie Reynolds, the following day, the media has been awash in articles on Star Wars, cocaine abuse, extra-marital affairs on the set of Star Wars, depression, Singin' in the Rain, Tammy and the Bachelor, drinking, Elizabeth Taylor and whether a mother ...

Jack and Don in the Studio

Jack and Don in the Studio

I know little about Newvelle Records, other than they seem to spend big producing vinyl jazz packages for well-off listeners with high-end stereo systems who appreciate superb recordings of great artists. You'll find more on Newvelle and its offerings here. Reader David Langner brought the label to my attention primarily for two videos the label taped ...

7 Nancy Wilson Videos Clips

7 Nancy Wilson Videos Clips

I'm convinced that one of these years, singer Nancy Wilson will become a Kennedy Center Honoree. Her artful ability to pull jazz into the pop realm and the peerless way in which she proved that pop was open to African-American interpretation without losing an ounce of pop's appeal was remarkable. Here are seven video clips to ...

More Bands on WGN-TV in '65

More Bands on WGN-TV in '65

A few weeks ago, I posted on an appearance by Count Basie, Duke Ellington and Harry James' appearance on WGN-TV in 1964 and '65. Back then, WGN aired a series of shows that featured Swing-era big bands. Most of these bands were at the tail-end of their commercial careers, since their core market was in their ...


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