It's been a busy month here at JHO Central. As I wrote in my Retro Review of Erroll Garner's complete "Concert by the Sea", a shroud of mystery has surrounded this album since its release, from the origin of the tape to the location of the concert. For my review, I sorted through several eyewitness accounts to find logical answers to these questions. Because of a production delay, I (and virtually every other jazz journalist) reviewed the reissue from a download rather than a physical disc. The CDs finally arrived on September 18th, the day we published the review. I was relieved to see that the package confirmed my findings that the concert had occurred at Carmel's Sunset Auditorium. However, several of the new reviews--including the one in the New York Times--insisted that the concert had taken place at Fort Ord. A journalist from California saw the JHO and NY Times reviews, and sent me an e-mail that offered several pieces of evidence (concert attendees, advertisements, newspaper articles, etc.) that the concert venue was indeed the Sunset. Over the next few weeks, the journalist and one of his colleagues made a laborious attempt to get the Times to correct their story (I also sent an e-mail to the Times correction desk). After several e-mails and some bitter quarreling, the Times finally conceded and corrected the story--but blaming the problem on a publicist, and not acknowledging the research and evidence from the California journalist or myself!
In addition to the above activity, I've written six new articles for the site. We have a new Profile article featuring the remarkable vocalist Luciana Souza. Luciana performs in a wide range of musical styles (jazz, Brazilian and contemporary classical!) and is a prodigious composer and improviser. Her music is filled with passion, and she retains her unique sound no matter what style of music she performs. As with all of our profiles, the article includes audio and video recordings (including an excerpt from her latest album) so you can hear Luciana's music for yourself.
Playboy magazine made the news the other day with the surprising announcement that they would no longer publish nude photographs. Coincidentally, this month's Book Review also concerns Playboy and Hugh Hefner, but not their pictorials. "Playboy Swings" chronicles the history of Playboy's forays into the entertainment world, including their jazz polls, jazz festivals, television shows and the Playboy clubs.
Looks like we're on a roll with new jazz DVDs! For the first time in years, we will have new DVD reviews every month--at least until the end of the year! This month, we feature a marvelous new documentary on Tubby Hayes, "A Man in a Hurry". Look for the long-awaited DVD release of "The GIrls in the Band" next month, and Robert Mugge's film "Sun Ra: A Joyful Noise" in December.
Our CD reviews are a little different this month. Instead of the usual categories of vocal and instrumental reviews, I've written a feature review of Tony Bennett's amazing new Jerome Kern tribute, "The Silver Lining", and wrote an essay review on three new discs which celebrate living jazz musicians. It's good to see tribute albums where the honorees are still around to receive the accolades; it's even better (as on two of these three discs) when the masters record alongside their admiring colleagues.
Finally, I have a real treat for you in this month's Retro Review: a wonderful and very rare concert recording by the Modern Jazz Quartet.. "Concert in Japan '66" catches the group in an unusually relaxed mode, breaking their standard concert demeanor while performing riveting versions of their greatest works. This is not an easy album to find, but it is well worth the hunt!
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