THE SUMMER WIND AND OTHER HOT STUFF
My sincerest and most heartfelt thanks to the Suzanne Cloud and the other movers and shakers behind Philadelphia’s Jazz Bridge, a non-profit organization devoted to helping jazz musicians in need. In addition to being a marvelous singer, Ms. Cloud is one heck of a human being. She–and Jazz Bridge–have helped me personally and professionally. I look forward to helping get the word out about this marvelous organization in the future. I was so moved by what they did for me–and what they do–that I wrote The President. Whatever you may think of the man, he has the good sense to stay away from the tenor sax, which could not be said for another recent President.
This area has recently lost two, great jazz pianists, George Mesterhazy and Don Wilson. Both were players and human beings of the highest order. George could swing and improvise like the wind. Everything he played was joyous. Wilson was quite an individual stylist. Singers, and everyone else, loved him. He was particularly effective at very slow tempos, a quality that few could duplicate, though Trudy Pitts, Shirley Horn and singer Joy Adams came close. The scene here will never be the same without George and Don.
Wilson had a regular Thursday night gig at one of Philadelphia’s premiere restaurants, The Prime Rib, which is also THE place to hear piano greats like Tom Lawton. Taking over the Thursday spot is my friend Andy Kahn.
Andy, by the way, will be involved in a very, very special promotion for Jacob’s Music, which concerns the piano owned and played by one Vladimir Horowitz. Andy Kahn, who also does some work for Jacobs, will be interviewed by Temple University’s WRTI radio about the Maestro and the instrument, and plans to play a few numbers as well. I plan on being there when the interview takes place at Jacobs, and will report to you thusly.
As you likely already know, JazzLegends.com has reduced the price of everything we have to $10, with shipping free worldwide. I urge you to take advantage of this.
I also look forward to reporting my musical encounter in late June with pianist Peter Beets, who will be visiting these parts shortly.
Atlantic City, a.k.a. “Beirut by the Sea,” continues to get battered by the economy, other gambling outlets, and the sheer fact that A.C. does not yet have it together. A front page story in the Philadelphia Inquirer alleged that mental health organizations and similar organizations in New Jersey and surrounding areas are “dumping” patients and others in terrible need–where else?–A.C. Not surprising, nor is the fact that in the list of top 10 beaches in New Jersey, Atlantic City didn’t make the cut.