January 14, 2008. Posted by Joshua Jackson.
Yeah, that's really the cover of a Chick Corea record. As if The Leprechaun and The Mad Hatter weren't enough...
I just read that the Smurfs, the lovable band of blue forest denizens who lived in mushroom houses, are celebrating their 50th Anniversary this year. Belgian Pierre Culliford (aka "Peyo"), a projectionist turned comic artist, introduced the original blue man group in a 1958 comic strip, a story of Johan & Peewit in "Le Journal de Spirou". I, however, remember them very fondly from my TV-heavy childhood. At that time, I thought Gargamel and Asrial (meow) were a lot cooler. Expect a Smurf Tour later this year (yes, really), plus new comics and DVDs of the television series. "La - la - la la - la la, sing a happy song ..."
"La - la - la la - la la, Smurf the whole day long ..."
© 2008 WBGO
December 31, 2007. Posted by Joshua Jackson.
The Jazz Standard's address is 116 East 27th Street in Manhattan, between Park Avenue and Lexington Avenue. The club seems to exist in some type of gray area, as far as Manhattan neighborhoods. The location is conceivably an eastern part of the Flatiron section of town, but more like a northern extension of the Gramercy area, since it's a full six blocks from the exclusive enclave of Gramercy Park.
Whatever. I'm glad we're spending New Year's at Jazz Standard.
Don't get me wrong. I've spent some quality time at clubs during the last six Toast of the Nation celebrations. Each one of them has contributed some special moments. And there are always some delightful stories when you work in the trenches to bring people across the country some live music. Here are the last six I've worked as field producer, in order:
The Village Vanguard - Michael White's Original Liberty Jazz Band 2001/02
Blue Note New York - Chick Corea New Trio with Gary Burton 2002/03
Blue Note New York - Herbie Hancock Quartet 2003/04
Yoshi's in Oakland for Joshua Redman's Elastic Band 2004/05
Tipitina's in New Orleans for Big Chief Monk Boudreaux, The Hot 8 Brass Band, and Galactic 2005/06
The now-defunct Tonic on the Lower East Side - Steven Bernstein's Millenial Territory Orchestra 2006/07
So this year, we're at Jazz Standard. Thanks to Seth Abramson, it's one of the most creatively booked jazz clubs in the city. And thanks to Danny Meyer, it has some rockin' barbeque (not bad, considering we're above the Mason-Dixon line).
Not so incidentally, WBGO broadcast Ben Allison's Medicine Wheel, with the kora player, Mamadou Diabate, live during the club's opening week celebration. It's been a long time since that show, but we're finally back at the club for another live shot. "Ain't that good news?"
© 2007 WBGO