Saturday, May 30, 2009

Happy 100th Birthday, Benny Goodman!

The Prof and others celebrated The King of the Ray's centennial by attending a glorious concert organized and starring that louche loupgarou of the licorice stick, Dan Levinson with James Langton's New York All-Star Big Band, ably assisted by Molly Ryan, vocals. (Happy Anniversary, Dan and Molly!)

Set List

First set:

Bashful Baby
Don't Be That Way (arrangement by Fletcher Henderson)
King Porter (arrangement by Fletcher Henderson)
Frelechen Swing (And the Angels Sing)
Clarinet a la King (arranged by Eddie Sauter)
One O'Clock Jump (arranged by Basie and Durham)
Silhoutte in the Moonlight
Life Goes to a Party (arranged by Harry James)

Second set:

Bugle Call Rag
You Turned the Tables on Me
He Ain't Got Rhythm
Down South Camp Meeting (arranged by Fletcher Henderson)
Roll 'Em (arranged by Mary Lou Williams)
Sing Me a Swing Song
Avalon (trio)
These Foolish Things (arranged by Jimmy Munday)
Stealin' Apples (arranged by Fletcher Henderson)
Why Don't You Do Right (arranged by Mel Powell)
Sing Sing Sing

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Sometimes Saturday

It's Saturday, cats and kittenheads, and that means a lot to the prof. He looks forward to that state of bliss in the summertime that Gudalcanal Diary (one of the zillion talented bands from Athens, GA) describes as "Always Saturday." (You can get the song on this album and check out the band here.) But summer doesn't start for the prof until the school board says it does, no matter when the solstice comes, or when the prof's nephew is unleashed from college back upon an unsuspecting populace. So for fish jumping and cotton highing, he'll exercise his patience.

Still, today will be a little taste of summer, what with Ninjaboy coming over for an indoor barbecue and some disc swapping and tune playing. Burgers will be served and some surf records will be cranked up. I may even post about new discoveries and old favorites. Later I'll finish the organ jazz posting, too.

For now the prof links for your delectation and edification this NY Times editorial on the subject of reading, by someone with the unlikely handle VERLYN KLINKENBORG. The prof is lucky enough to be aquainted with several kittenheads with a tendency to read aloud and hence finds the dude's opinion to be righteous. Pictured above is an inter-species reading session where another righteous dude implores the big kittenhead to "Brang It to Jerome." Now, bring it on home, kids, and enjoy the day.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


MMEF (My Most Excellent Friend) Mr. Retail saved me the trouble of deciding what to post about by posing this question: Who are the great jazz organists?
The place to begin is the Prof's birthplace, Camden, NJ, where in 1926 Fats Waller made jazz organ recordings for Victor on the RCA Estey organ. Waller played organ in his father's church in Harlem and in silent picture theaters before he develped his jazz chops. (For more fascinating information about Fats and all things organically jazz, try this site.)

Monday, May 11, 2009

New Kid on the Blo(g)ck

Greetings, all you cool cats and krazy kittenheads! The Prof is in the house. At the urging of many friends (and against the better judgment of some others) I hereby begin blogging. This postlet is to test-drive blogger around the block. More bloggery soon.