Saturday, November 8, 2008
Jazz.... I dabble
My girl Kelly posted a piece about some jazz influences she had as a child. It got me thinking back to that sixties era when I was influenced by the music my parents listened to. And while they preferred solo artists in that Italian vein (they weren't Italian, go figure) .. Bennett, Martin, Martino, Sinatra, Connie Francis; they dabbled around the fringes of jazz, as did my more progressive Uncle Bob. Bobby worked as a machinist in Minneapolis and he was a macho, hard liquor, individualist kinda guy. He brought jazz into the mix and we got some Dixieland and New Orleans jazz/blues from his favorites: Al Hirt, John Coltrane, Ray Charles.
Today, I skirt around jazz, normally with soloists - Krall, Cassidy, Simone, Jarreau and Benson.. and listen to Sanborn, Botti and Brian Bromberg.
You could sense a change, in the 60's, when Herb Alpert arrived on the scene... a jingoistic song writer who played a mean trumpet -- he was literally, after Elvis and the Beatles, the biggest thing around. He and his Tijuana Brass gave some mariachi influenced music to the world... despite the fact that none of them were Hispanic. Kelly mentioned his "Whipped Cream" album and there was also "Going Places". My family literally wore out the vinyl on both. He had a couple of TV specials, and I hope you enjoy "Wade In the Water" from a show in 1967. At the close of this piece, Alpert, who has toured recently with wife Lani Hall (what I'd give to see them), I couldn't resist giving you the amazing video he made for "Rise", long after he'd gone solo... in 1979.
Enjoy, especially you, Kelly.