Jazz Legends Update
Once again, I extend my sincerest thanks to each and every one of you for your good wishes in line with my medical condition. Things are improving and healing well, though there will be additional treatments and surgeries down the line. The immediate concern, not just for me but for all of us in the states, is the insane prices being charged for essential prescription medicines. By and large, medical insurance only covers a fraction of this, so I would ask you again to take advantage of our JazzLegends $15 sale–now extended through Labor Day–and order as much as you can. Though we always work on the honor system here, because we offer free shipping worldwide, we do ask that you order a minimum of two items to defray these costs.
There is often a price to pay in some form when trying to keep up with what is considered state-of-the-art these days. Specifically, I am speaking of our brand new, stellar, high-tech web site, and the great community that is coming out of it. I have received nothing but glowing comments on the site, but the price to pay I speak of has to do with a frustrating glitch or two that we’re working on. Several of you have thankfully contacted me directly after attempting, unsuccessfully, to contact me by way of the JazzLegends.com web form. A few of you seemed to think that I dropped off the face of the earth, as I did not receive emails noting that you were attempting to contact me about shipping dates, questions about product, etc. The contact form on the web, quite simply, stopped working. We have now put in place a foolproof–we hope–contact email icon that will put you in touch with me directly and personally. Have a problem, an issue, a request, a question? Email me at DrumAlive@aol.com It’s that simple, and you have my apologies for the tech breakdown.
In addition to the unbelievable Krupa discoveries that have come to us by way of great friends and colleagues like Bob Bierman and Dean Platt, we will continue to endeavor to offer items by other players and drummers that will, without doubt, be of interest to each and every JazzLegends supporter. Examples? The best print of “Las Vegas Nights” featuring Tommy Dorsey and the crew, The Steve Goodman Trio’s singular jazz version of Broadway’s “Phantom of the Opera” (featuring a guy named Klauber at the traps), and now the film “Second Chorus,” starring the 1940 version of the Artie Shaw big band. There aren’t many examples of the Shaw band on film, so this is well worth having. Rumors still abound about the drummer on the soundtrack of “Second Chorus.” Nick Fatool, in all his glory, is seen onscreen, but if you listen closely, the drummer who preceded Fatool in the Shaw band may actually be playing on the soundtrack.
Joy Adams and I want to thank the large and enthusiastic crew who joined us for our short stay at Dino’s Restaurant in Naples, FL. Dino proved to be a fine host and the venue was a fun and intimate one. Our group, consisting of pianist Jean Packard, bassist Frank Begonia and trumpeter Bill Papineau was superb. We also want to thank the many supporters in attendance, including guest players Gus Maywald on saxophone the great voice of Rosemarie Smedile. Others special guest stars in the room that night included vocalist Jebry, guitarist Dan Smedile, pianist Mel Rosen, drummer John Lamb and others too numerous to mention. Upon our anticipated return to Naples in September, given that health issues hold up, we will hopefully take on another engagement or two. This has been a busy off-season for Jebry, one of our great vocalists. And musically, to our ears, she’s never been better. By the way, our thanks to Jeb and Bobby (“World’s Greatest Drummer”) for letting Joy and I “borrow” their band for a night.
We’ve given a good deal of space over the past several years to the wonderful line-up of talent appearing at The Naples Philharmonic Center for the Arts. The 2008-2009 season has just been announced, and jazz-wise, the slate is as impressive as ever. Attractions include Wynton Marsalis with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, Dianne Shurr, George Benson’s tribute to Nat Cole, smooth jazzers David Sanborn and Dave Koz, genre’ benders Turtle Island Quartet, Ernestine Anderson and Phil perennial Dick Hyman with Eddie Metz, Jr., Howard Alden, Alan Vache, Randy Sandke and more. There is one, very interesting surprise at The Phil this season. Whatever your personal take is on singer/pianist Michael Feinstein, he certainly has brought the legacy of American popular song to a wider public. So give him credit where credit is due. He did record for Maynard Ferguson, after all. Feinstein’s show at The Phil this season is a salute to Hollywood and MGM musicals, and there are two special guests set to be featured. One is 1950s, B-movie actress and cosmetics mogul Arlene Dahl, and I have no idea what she’ll do on the stage. The other guest is a singer Frank Sinatra once said had “the best pipes in the business.” He was referring to the one and only Vic Damone who has supposedly been retired since 2001. Check out Vic’s website for the actual story. I don’t know who–or what convinced this great artist to come out of retirement, but watch this space for updates and more information.
Our Buddy Rich collection of original VHS videos from the 1970s–on the Carson, Cavett and Merv Griffin programs–is still up for bid. Contact me about this, or for any other reason, at DrumAlive@aol.com