connick

Beacons of song: Marsalis/Calderazzo/Connick

Publication: Dark Forces Swing Blind Punches
Author: Hank Shteamer
Date: January 9, 2012

“If you give a soloist an open solo for thirty seconds, he plays like he’s coming from the piece that you wrote. Then he says, ‘What the hell was that piece I was playing from?’ And the next thirty seconds is, ‘Oh, I guess I’ll play what I learned last night.’ And bang! Minute two is whoever he likes. Which is probably Coltrane.”—Bob Brookmeyer (RIP), quoted in Ben Ratliff’s The Jazz Ear

I think about this quote a lot when I’m hearing jazz live. Often it’s because I’m thinking how much Brookmeyer’s cautionary anecdote applies to the situation at hand. Last night, thankfully, this was not the case.

The show was Branford Marsalis’s “A Duo of Duos” at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Allen Room (TONY preview here), during which he dueted first with Joey Calderazzo—his partner on 2011’s Songs of Mirth and Melancholy, over which I’ve already gushed extensively—and second with Harry Connick Jr., the latter of whom didn’t sing. So these were pure saxophone/piano duos, with Marsalis switching between tenor and soprano. Read more »

Submitted by Courtney on January 10th, 2012 — 03:58pm

'The Happy Elf’ song now a children’s book Read more: The Herald-Sun

Publication: Durham Herald-Sun
Author: Dawn Baumgartner Vaughan
Date: December 3, 2011

“Eubie, Eubie, Eubie.” So says Santa Claus to his elf that breaks North Pole rules – but all for the good of children at Christmas.

Musician, singer, composer and actor Harry Connick Jr. can add picture book author to his list of talents with the new children’s book “The Happy Elf” (Harper Collins, $17.99).

It’s a fun Christmas story about Eubie’s love for Christmas, so much so that he must find a way for children on the naughty list in Bluesville to move over to the nice list. It turns out unburnable coal looming over the town brings the blues to Bluesville, but Eubie has an idea of how to shine and spruce it up. He used his elf hat to transport himself, which is against North Pole rules, but all in the name of kindness.

It’s a sweet story aimed at children ages 4 to 8, but this reviewer’s 3-year-old loved it, too, every bit of the story as well as the illustrations by Dan Andreasen. Read more »

Submitted by Courtney on December 5th, 2011 — 04:18pm