March 7, 2016
e remains one of jazz's most broadly popular figures, yet still holds on to an unshakable degree of respectability. - BBC Mark Randall is a Philadelphia writer The BBC was talking about Ramsey Lewis, but what's interesting here is not the subject or even the opinion but rather the inference lurking in that little word yet . Broadly popular yet still respectable? What that yet implies is that jazz players who achieve broad popularity do so at the expense of their authenticity and hence, the respect of their more properly unpopular peers.
March 2, 2016 |
For its 39th season, the Philly Pops continues its successful formula, presenting highlights from pop, rock, jazz, and Broadway. The roster includes tributes to the Beatles, Elvis, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Fleetwood Mac, and Les Misérables . Designing a season from the vast pop genre represents a juggling act for Michael Krajewski, in his third season as music director. (He has just signed on for three more years.) Five shows must offer familiar fare to an audience that relates to music from previous generations.
October 8, 2014 |
As a kid growing up in the Boyle Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles, Herb Alpert heard a lot of music around the house. His father, Louis, played mandolin, and his brother was a drummer. He himself started on trumpet at age 8, getting classical training. After high school, he went to the University of Southern California, where he played trumpet in the marching band for two years before dropping out. He went on to the Army - and from there to pop superstardom. That little boy is now 79, with a slew of chart-topping hits, albums, a leading music company (A&M)
November 20, 2012 |
It takes a brave theater critic to write a play, and an even braver one to review it - especially since Satchmo at the Waldorf is by Terry Teachout, the esteemed critic of the Wall Street Journal. So it's both a pleasure and a relief to tell you it's a great show. This add-on to Wilma's season comes from Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven, Conn., directed by Gordon Edelstein. It stars John Douglas Thompson, who plays Louis Armstrong, the world's greatest trumpet player - and also plays Armstrong's manager, as well as the musicians of the next generation, Miles Davis and Dizzy Gillespie, who think Armstrong is an Uncle Tom, a clown to entertain rich white folks.
April 30, 2012
Joe Muranyi, 84, a clarinetist whose mastery of pre-World War II jazz led to a four-year stint with Louis Armstrong's last band - and to an improbable moment of pop stardom - died April 20 in Manhattan. The cause was congestive heart failure, said his daughter, Adrienne Fuss. Mr. Muranyi was among a handful of jazz musicians who began their careers in the 1950s but looked to an earlier era for inspiration. Although he once studied with the forward-thinking pianist and composer Lennie Tristano, he spent most of his career with Dixieland bands, and he was widely regarded as one of the premier clarinetists in that genre.
December 29, 2011 |
AL RUSSELL JUST didn't want to quit. At age 90, he was still considering getting back to the piano and belting out his signature R&B and jazz vocals for a grateful audience. After all, he'd been doing it since the eighth grade. Why quit now? But Wilbert "Al" Russell, founder of musical groups that performed all over the country and in England and Ireland at their height, a composer and self-taught piano player with a rich tenor voice, died of cancer on Christmas Eve. He was 90 and was living in a Wynnewood nursing home, but had lived in West Philadelphia since 1946.
August 24, 2010 |
BUDDY BOLDEN is probably the most influential musician you've never heard of. He's certainly the most influential musician those he's influenced have never even heard. A renowned cornetist and bandleader in New Orleans at the turn of the 20th century, Bolden was a jazz innovator during the music's earliest development. But struggles with alcoholism and schizophrenia cut his career short at age 30, when he was admitted to the insane asylum, where he spent the rest of his life. He left behind no recordings, only a legacy passed through word of mouth and the testimony of his musical disciples.
October 16, 2003 |
For a few sweet, sultry seconds yesterday, the notes of Louis Armstrong's gold-plated trumpet once again blew magically over working-class Queens. It was a sound that serenaded 107th Street for almost 30 years beginning in 1943, when Armstrong's wife, Lucille, bought the frame house where the jazz legend often played for neighborhood children, who called him "Pops. " Yesterday, the city of New York unveiled it as a museum, and man, the joint was jumpin'. The Gully Low Jazz Band, featuring clarinetist Joe Muranyi, who once played with Armstrong, transformed the street into a New Orleans-style party.
March 5, 2003 |
Andr? De Shields believes that there are many lessons to be taken from the story of Louis Armstrong, so it's fitting that Ambassador Satch began life in a classroom. Ten years ago, De Shields, whose Broadway credits stretch from The Wiz and Ain't Misbehavin' in the late '70s to his Tony-nominated performance as Noah in The Full Monty, dutifully took on a public service project for the New York City school system. "The idea was to bring the art to kids in the public schools in the five boroughs," he recalled over coffee in a midtown hotel.
March 4, 2003 |
Andr? De Shields conjures Louis Armstrong back to vibrant and captivating life in Ambassador Satch, but the show has to struggle with the inescapable fact of what happened to the jazz icon's image after his death 32 years ago. Armstrong was arguably the most significant force in American popular music in the last century. While jazz aficionados and historians rightly focus on his staggering achievements, the rest of the world remembers the sunny global entertainer that Armstrong became in the latter and less creative part of his career.