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Updated: Sep 25, 2020

The first annual Jazz Vibes Showcase at the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina went off like fireworks on the Fourth of July. Forget that it was January and the weather was spring-like. Rich Speer, my co-producer, and I expected four vibes players that Sunday afternoon. We ended up with five. Here’s what happened. Headliners Joe Locke, Tony Miceli, Warren Wolf and David Friedman were signed, sealed and almost delivered when Friedman, at the last minute, realized he couldn’t make the trip from Berlin, his home. The three remaining vibesmen decided they could play the gig as a threesome so we went with it. Meanwhile Anthony Smith, a player from the West Coast and author of Masters of the Vibes, was coming and would give what would have been the fifth workshop on Saturday. Turned out it was the fourth of the day, without David, and a good one it was with Junior Jazz Foundation camper 12-year-old Duncan Ward taking a duo with Smith on “Take On Me.” By then we were set for Sunday with Tony, Warren and Joe. Tony, who is always full of ideas, thought, “Anthony and I play together a lot.” (They’ve even made a CD together, California Here We Come.) “Why don’t I invite him to share my set with me?” We were back up to four.

Saturday night we all went to dinner at the Jazz Corner and were happily surprised to see and hear Chuck Redd, another renowned vibraphone player, playing that weekend, with the Kevin Bales Quartet. An idea percolated upwards, let’s invite Redd to play in the finale, “Bags’ Groove” written by none other than legendary vibist Milt Jackson whose nickname was Bags. Redd was more than happy to share the finale spotlight with his colleagues. And then there were five. To the enjoyment of a very enthusiastic audience.

Photo by Lauren Vogel Weiss for Rhythm! Scene

Updated: Sep 25, 2020


Paul Jost by Chris Drukker

When jazz club doors close, sometimes other doors open. There’s a literal cottage industry cropping up, as people are opening their homes to fellow jazz lovers, charging a fee to pay musicians to perform and serving refreshments in a cozy atmosphere. If there is such a group in your area, get on their mailing list – they’re usually private and space is limited. Or, host one yourself.

One of my favorite vocalists, Paul Jost, emailed me about a gig of his on a December Sunday afternoon not far from where I live. The cost was a reasonable $50 each, which included the music, appetizers, wine and the comfort of someone’s living room. Granted, it was a fairly big space, accommodating about 25 people and the Dean Johnson Quartet comfortably, including Jim Ridl on piano, Johnson on bass and Tim Horner on drums

Paul is an amazing vocalist who also plays harmonica and drums. He swings through tunes with an innovative scat language all his own and enhances tunes with percussive tricks drawn from his cuffs or some other magical place. He announces that the next tune he’ll sing is one of his favorites and laughs, “They all are.” You know that’s true by the way he lets each tune sink in before attempting another, as if he is collecting his emotions from where they’ve spilled and calling them back in an orderly fashion so they are available for the next. That’s as true of the traditional American folk song “Shenandoah” as it is of Harry Nilsson’s “Everybody’s Talkin’,” also known as the theme from the movie Midnight Cowboy.

Jost has also written a great deal of music, including “Livin’ in the Wrong Time,” part of the afternoon’s repertoire. As he sings, his right hand often forms a loose fist, which he taps rhythmically on his chest, resembling a beating heart that cannot be contained. “Wrong Time” will be included on his new CD, Simple Life, due out in March 2019, along with standards like “Caravan” and contemporary tunes like “Girl from the North Country” and features special guest Joe Locke on vibraphone. Check him out at: www.pauljostmusic.com

Photo of Paul Jost by Chris Drukker

  • Writer's picture Gloria Krolak

Updated: Sep 25, 2020

Some years ago, while in a group called "Jazz Friends" on a social media site, some of us got to talking about music that makes us cry. Contributors, both men and women, began offering examples, like "Goodbye" and Bill Evans playing "My Foolish Heart." Thus was born the sub-group, "The Crybabies Club." If you identify with this idea, here's an article you might want to read: "If Music Sends Shivers Down Your Spine, You Have A Special Brain" by Sheena Vasani.

https://mymodernmet.com/music-and-the-brain/

Photo Credit: Wuhuiru55/Wikimedia Commons

"Which Way Did She Go?"

Joe Maita, creator of jerryjazzmusician.com, does it again! 

He curates one of the best jazz poetry collections I’ve ever read.

(Poetry, you say?  Don’t think you have to be a “longhair” to read poetry.  These are readable, thought-provoking and memorable.  In poetry, every word, every piece of punctuation is important. Poems are meant to savor, read again and again to absorb the mood and feeling the poet intended.)

Joe’s Summer 2022 Collection is not to be missed.  Nor is the rest of his highly  erudite and informed website of jazz, interviews, history, paintings and commentary.  IMHO, this is the very best of what the internet offers. 

Here is a link to the Summer Poetry Collection, including one of mine, “Which Way Did She Go?”  My poems, less serious than the others, are playfully built of jazz tune titles and tell a little story. 

https://jerryjazzmusician.com/a-collection-of-jazz-poetry-summer-2022-edition/  

Leave a comment if you enjoy your visit. 

And while you’re here, check out my book Jazz Lines…free verse in the key of jazz.

Best,

Gloria

8/15/22

JERRY JAZZ MUSICIAN PUBLISHES KROLAK POETRY 

December 16, 2022

jerryjazzmusician.com is a non-commercial website to which you’ll want to subscribe.  It’s all things jazz curated by Joe Maita, founder and publisher, in Portland, Oregon in 1997.  Music, culture, history, art, poetry, interviews, fiction, Maita shares the best in jazz.  It’s as if the best museum, book, magazine and newspaper united to present its worldly view of the subject. 

The name came from one of Woody Allen’s stand-up routines from the 1960’s.  Called “Unhappy Childhood,” Allen describes traveling the subway to his clarinet lessons dressed as “Jerry Jazz Musician,” his idea of what a jazz musician looked like.  That might have included a beret, black turtleneck sweater and maybe a beard, if he’d been able to grow one at the age of 15, when he began his lessons.  Maybe this was Allen’s first acting role that mattered.  Joe Maita doesn’t need to act; his fascination with everything jazz is real and natural and you’ll see it when you visit his website. 

The winter 22/23 issue is another sweet poetry collection, which includes a new poem of mine, “And In Vibraphone News…” Different than my previous poetry, this one builds with album titles, not song titles.  They’re in italics for easy identification.  Here’s the link.

https://jerryjazzmusician.com/a-collection-of-jazz-poetry-fall-winter-2022-23

My lighthearted poetry has to stand on tiptoe trying to reach the height of insightful odes by true poets, to the giants of jazz like Billie Holiday, Nina Simone, Miles Davis, and many worthy others.  I’m so excited to be included! 

Joe Maita, Oregon

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          Christian Tamburr                 Count Basie Orchestra                     Charlton Singleton

                           Hail to the Chief!

by Gloria Krolak 
We've been almost on music overload (notice I wrote "almost") these past few days as the Jazz for All Ages annual festival spooled out at the Sonesta Resort on Hilton Head Island, once again the host site. Presented by The Jazz Corner as a fundraiser for their Junior Jazz Foundation, it all began at a jazz brunch with vibraphonist Christian Tamburr and pianist Scott Giddens, a formidable duo under any circumstances. With a vibraphone in the room, you know I'm in my element. They played a variety of tunes honoring Gary Burton and the late Chick Corea, as well as a Tamburr original called "The Chief,' which Tamburr explained is his dad's nickname for him.

The brunch is a new addition to the festival. A hot breakfast, a mimosa in hand and an unbeatable playlist by two well-seasoned players is a great way to start the day! Tamburr/Giddens included "Libertango," an Astor Piazzolla original that Burton recorded on an album of the same name, bringing the tune around full circle.
That night the Count Basie Orchestra headlined the program, after a set by the Junior Jazz Band, a quartet of musicians raised in music by the JJF. Having watched them grow physically and musically as little guys over the years at the summer bandcamp, it is always a pleasure to be entertained by the Rising Stars.
When the Basie band started up it was like standing behind a jet ready for takeoff. What do they call that, the blast zone? Neal Hefti's "Lil Darlin'" was on the playlist, as well as "Honeysuckle Rose," with vocalist Carmen Bradford. And it wasn't just the volume that blew the audience a few feet back, it was the artistry, talent and professionalism that made the orchestra such a big hit.
On the next and last night we heard trumpeter Charlton Singleton and his tribute to the seminal Earth, Wind and Fire band (mostly fire). Quiana Parler paired with Singleton on vocals, both Grammy winners, were explosive together, and the rest of the band played at that same high level. Hearing "Sun Goddess" made my day.
It was a weekend to remember. Next year get your tickets early. It's a festival worth attending and the island is your playground.

10/31/2022
#jazz #hiltonhead #JazzFestival #ChristianTamburr #CountBasieOrchestra #CharltonSingleton #QuianaParler #ScottGiddens 

#JuniorJazzFoundation #TheJazzCorner #GoodVibes #EarthWindFire #GaryBurton #ChickCorea 

In Which Nica Reveals Her Dreams 

by Gloria Krolak

April 2022

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The real life Rothschild heiress and Baroness Pannonica de Koenigswarter (1913-1988) was a fervent patron of jazz.  She fearlessly left her husband and five children to support and encourage the jazz artists she loved.  Although the  Rothschilds disowned her and her husband won custody of the children, she maintained contact with them.  She is especially well-known for her assistance to Thelonious Monk, but many others benefitted from her generosity in the form of rent payments, grocery deliveries, hospital stays and the famously speedy adventures in her Bentley.  She chaperoned them to  gigs and defended them against racism.  There are at least 11 tunes by various musicians named for her. “Nica’s Dream” was written by Horace Silver.  There is even a jazz club in Nantes, Frances named for her, Le Pannonica. 

You can read "Nica's Dream," my latest verse, at the website, Jerry Jazz Musician.  Joe Maita, founder,  publisher, and jazz enthusiast, curates one of the most comprehensive and best jazz websites.  Go ahead and get lost in it! 

http://www.jerryjazzmusician.com/

Food For Thought
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