What Beautiful Magic This! Make Some Noise!

Oscar Peterson                                           Oscar Peterson 15/8/1925, Montréal!

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C Jam Blues.

1964.  Live Denmark

Piano: Oscar Peterson

Bass: Ray Brown

Drums: Ed Thigpen

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Boogie Blues Etude.

1974.  Ronnie Scott’s Club

Piano: Oscar Peterson

Bass: Niels Pedersen

Guitar: Barney Kessel

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Night Train.

Piano: Oscar Peterson

Bass: Ray Brown

Drums: Ed Thigpen

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Cakewalk.

1987 Live Tokyo

Piano: Oscar Peterson

Bass: Dave Young

Guitar: Joe Pass

Drums: (Martin Drew)

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1964 Live Denmark

Piano: Oscar Peterson

Bass: Ray Brown

Drums: Ed Thigpen

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© 2013-2020 Arvin da Brgha.  All Rights Reserved.

Happy 100th Birthday Billie Holiday!

a-billie-holiday

Billie Holiday.

07.04.191517.07.1959

God Bless The Child

Voice: Billie Holiday

Composition: Billie Holiday, Arthur Herzog Jr. c. 1939

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Fine and Mellow

Written: Billie Holiday c. 1939

Live TV recording 1957.

Voice: Billie Holiday

Piano: Mal Waldon

Double Bass: Milt Hinton

Guitar: Danny Barker

Tenor Saxophone: BenWebster & Lester Young & Coleman Hawkins

Baritone Saxophone: Gerry Mulligan

Trombone: Vic Dickenson

Trumpet: Doc Cheatham & Roy Eldridge

Drums: Osie Johnson

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Strange Fruit

Written: Abel Meeropol c. 1937

Composition: Billie Holiday c. 1939

Live TV Performance

Voice: Billie Holiday.

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Lover Man, Oh Where Can You Be.

Written: Jimmy Davis & Roger Ramirez & James Sherman c. 1941

Live performance 1958, Oakdale Music Theater, Wallingford, Connecticut.

Voice: Billie Holiday

Piano: Mal Waldron

Bass: Milt Hinton

Trumpet: Buck Clayton

Drums: Don Lamond

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One of my all-time favourite Billie Holiday tunes.  I first fell in love with it whilst working at the Underground Railroad Restaurant on King Street East just west of Sherbourne Street back in the late 1970s – all whilst finding time to run around the city taking ballet class and studying in high school then later at York University – when Salome Bey was doing her Cabaret show and her husband, Howard Matthews was part owner, along with Jazz drummer, Archie Alleyne.  There was an intense and wonderful Jazz education!

Too, there was that memorable Sunday Brunch in late 1982 at the actress, Patricia Neal’s grand Upper West Side apartment which Merlin took on a short-term sublet.  Frederick Jones and his Puerto Rican-born lover were there, along with a couple of dancer friends of mine and, of course, fellow dancer and friend of Merlin’s, Miguel Godreau.

Merlin the night we met, Friday, October 1, 1982, had excused himself from dinner at the Afro-Cuban restaurant, around from my West 49th Street apartment, on 9th Avenue in Hell’s Kitchen.  He had gone to make a phone call – ah yes, there was an age before the cellphone’s ubiquity – and cancelled getting together with Miguel.  They had been dating after Miguel had appeared in Ken Russell’s 1980 film, Altered States starring, William Hurt and who at that time was a member of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.

Just in case, I had proven an utter bore, Merlin had made alternate plans; however, after I had passed most of dinner to the groovy music massaging his burgeoning lap across the deuce from me with my nimbly dexterous pointed feet, Miguel did not stand a chance.

Besides, one does not exactly say no to one’s task companion when first meeting on the physical plane… again, especially when it was planned.  In any event, after fruit-filled pancakes drowned in Canadian maple syrup, Merlin and I – who by then had had multiple ménage-à-trois with Miguel – blew each other soft kisses whilst he sat admiringly looking at Miguel and me slow dance to this truly haunting tune.

Merlin almost never danced; however, our pas de deux between the sheets has left Merlin an unsurpassed lover of magical skills.

Happy Birthday Billie Holiday and, wherever you are, may your current incarnation be a most blessed lucid dream.  You know, I really ought to do her overleaves…

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© 2013-2020 Arvin da Brgha.  All Rights Reserved.

Night In Tunisia.

© 1953 Live The Quintet At Massey Hall, Toronto.

Night in Tunisia composed: Dizzy Gillespie & Chano Pozo.

Trumpet: Dizzy Gillespie

Alto Saxophone: Charlie ‘Bird’ Parker

Bass: Charles Mingus

Piano: Bud Powell

Drums: Max Roach.

It begins and ends with Dizzy!

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© 2013-2020 Arvin da Brgha.  All Rights Reserved.

Mood Indigo.

Duke Ellington and Orchestra.

Nothing like some Ellington after a truly sublime dream.  These are our high-priests.  Happy Black History Month!

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© 2013-2020 Arvin da Brgha.  All Rights Reserved.

Corner Pocket.

© 1962 Corner Pocket, Count Basie Orchestra Live Performance.

Various artists.  I dare you listen to this without hitting the repeat button at least twice.  Music is life – what in the hell do you know about living talking jive ’bout “Jazz has its roots in klezmer.”  Shit is so not cool!

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© 2013-2020 Arvin da Brgha.  All Rights Reserved.

Groovin’ High.

© 1953.  Groovin’ High, Live Performance, Verve Records

Alto Saxophone: Charlie ‘Bird’ Parker

Trumpet: Herbie Williams

Bass: Jimmy Woode

Piano: Rollins Griffith

Drums: Marquis Foster

Bebop is where it is at.  Bird knows how to fly-without-moving.

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© 2013-2020 Arvin da Brgha.  All Rights Reserved.

Body and Soul.

© 2014 Molly Johnson Live in Paris.

1930 Music: Johnny Green

Lyrics: Frank Eyton/Robert Sour/Edward Heyman

Beautiful interpretation by a Canadian mover.

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© 2013-2020 Arvin da Brgha.  All Rights Reserved.

All or nothing at all.

© 1993 Betty Carter (Live in Concert, Hamburg)

© 1994 Feed the Fire, Betty Carter (Live) Verve Records

Vocals: Betty Carter

Double Bass: Dave Holland

Piano: Geri Allen

Drums: Jack DeJohnette

Master linguist.  Griot.  Shaman.  The One.  The voice.

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© 2013-2020 Arvin da Brgha.  All Rights Reserved.