Friday, December 14, 2018

RIP Nancy Wilson (1937-2018): Lady With A Song

Originally posted on 21/12/2013. Re-posted on 14/12/2018.

Moving on with our Women in Jazz series, sooner or later I had to mention Nancy Wilson whom I came to know and admire in the Nancy Wilson/Cannonball Adderley album.

Here is a digitised copy of a tape of mine from 1997, recorded off air during Bern Jazz Festival,  featuring Lew Matthews on keyboard, John Williams on bass and possibly Roy McCurdy on drums. They perform Lady With A Song.

Monday, March 5, 2018

A Date with Dizzy (1958)

Aside from being the greatest trumpeter since Louis Armstrong, or being held high as one of the greatest composers in jazz, Dizzy Gillespie was a comedian of sorts. Alluring the audience with weird hats, funky language, and cake-walking, Dizzy was more than a musician, dominating any stage with charisma, an animated performance and a rare sense of ease.

In 1958, a filmmaker tried to capture some of these features on film, though camera's fascination with Dizz can be traced back to the 1940s and his first Soundie films. Directed by the independent American animator John Hubley, A Date With Dizzy presents Dizzy Gillespie Quintet with Sahib Shihab, Wade Legge, Nelson Boyd and Charlie Persip.

Combing comedy with animation and fragments of Dizzy's classic pieces, the story concerns a day in the studio, while in presence of an indecisive director and a nervous company representative, the band is trying to score for a couple of silly cartoon commercials such as Instant Rope Ladder and E-Z Popcorn.