Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Here I Go Again ...

****** The Editor-In-Chief wishes to apologize to all faithful SloaneView readers:

Preparations for next week's activities in New York City have consumed us, and we still don't have firm song selections for the cd. Well, there are fourteen on the list, but one or two reside in the "Iffy" column. This situation is causing restless sleep and frightening Performance Anxiety Dreams. These nocturnal intruders involve clubs or concert halls filled to capacity, audience eagerly anticipating my impending arrival on stage in five minutes, although I am pacing the floor, have yet to apply makup and can't find my music. Last night, Frank Sinatra popped into my dressing room, beaming and bright, announcing he'd made the trip from beyond just to hear me for the first time, a treat he'd denied himself when he walked among us and for which he was profoundly contrite.

This sort of disturbing, even slightly poisonous atmosphere pervades and grows more noxious each day as the actual performance date approaches. I can see next Wednesday through Sunday looming darkly, a great chasm of uncertainty. Streisand's legendary stage fright is a mere chilly breeze compared to the Category 5 tornado I am subjected to. Some of my closest friends have been long aware of this stifling stranglehold which fluctuates in intensity but has accompanied me every step of the way during my fifty-plus years of singing. (I once began to hyper-ventilate while singing in Carnegie Hall. Those moments were admittedly a lot of unexpected fun, but I've been doing my utmost ever since to prevent a similar barrel of laughs.)

I know many singers and musicians who simply can't wait to walk into the spotlight. I, however, realize full well that when the M.C. begins his introductory remarks about Carol Sloane, my knees will become liquid poles upon which my substantial frame teeters, heart-rate will accelerate to dangerous levels, hands will become icy claws shaking with fear as they grasp a microphone which waves about like a horrid black snake. (Are you getting the picture?)

With some obvious (but not much) exaggeration, I have attempted to describe the tortures I KNOW will be all mine to savour next week. Is it any wonder my first request leaving the stage is that somebody will PLEASE hand me a flute filled with a bit of the Dom . (Okay: Veuve Clicquot will do).

The Schedule:
Record new cd for Arbors: May 6 & 7, New York City
Sing a few songs with Ken Peplowski and Warren Vache at
The Iridium Jazz Club, NYC (scroll below to particulars)
May 8, 9, 10
*********************************************************************

Monday, April 13, 2009

The Daily Reminder

CAROL SLOANE
Joins An All-Star Jazz Line-up At

The Iridium
1650 Broadway at 51st Street
New York City

212.582.2121 - May 8, 9, 10

Shows: 8:30 & 10:30 PM
$35.00

A BENNY GOODMAN CENTENNIAL

Featuring: Ken Peplowski, Warren Vache, Ted Rosenthal, Chuck Redd and Pat O'Leary

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Where do I change? ....

****** In anticipation of the three-night engagement at The Iridium (see below), I emailed my girl-friend/marvelous singer Carol Fredette for some advice. Carol enjoyed a successful run at the club recently, so I knew she could give me some tips on what to expect, most specifically the location of and amenities provided in the dressing room. The mere fact that some sort of space actually exists is always a comfort since it indicates the club managers understand the rudimentary fact that FEMALE ARTISTS NEED A PRIVATE PLACE TO GET DRESSED!!!! *

The gladest of tidings? Carol has a new cd on the SOUNDBRUSH LABEL entitled "EVERYTHING IN TIME", and she's chosen a terrific group of songs sung to perfection. Visit this site and listen to some samples of her work. Brava, Freeeeeeeee!


* The absolutely best example of laughable dressing room facilities: None, Zero, Nada ... A small and very popular club in Ohio which was really a neighborhood bar that enjoyed cult status and attracted a devoted jazz crowd ... stage lighting consisted of a 75-watt bulb hanging on a single cord from the center of the ceiling, dangling over an old piece of furniture disguised as an upright, tinny piano Fats Waller would have instantly recognized, and a unisex, closet-size toilet immediately stage right, with a flushing mechanism as subtle as Niagara Falls. I haven't been on any gig since that comes close to this disaster, or one that was so much fun in spite of it all. The poor piano player had to give it up, so my pal Cal Collins stepped in and saved me'bacon, eliminating the sour note problems in a flush ... FLASH!

Engagement News:
CAROL SLOANE
Joins An All-Star Jazz Line-up At

The Iridium
1650 Broadway at 51st Street
New York City

212.582.2121 - May 8, 9, 10

Shows: 8:30 & 10:30 PM
$35.00

A BENNY GOODMAN CENTENNIAL

Featuring: Ken Peplowski, Warren Vache, Ted Rosenthal, Chuck Redd and Pat O'Lear

Friday, April 10, 2009

I would never mislead you ...

In the interest of full disclosure, I must write that the Iridium gig listed below will be led by supreme reed player and old friend Ken Peplowski who graciously asked me to sing a few tunes in each of the two sets the band will perform nightly in tribute to Benny Goodman. I sang with one of Benny's small but flawless groups in the mid-1960's, which may be one of the reasons Ken asked me to participate. Luckily for the audience, I have not also been asked to repeat any of my own personal interactions with BG although I think they are all pretty hilarious. Well, there are tons of "Benny stories", a good many of which have been published by jazz historian and ambulatory encyclopedia Bill Crow in his must-have volumes "Jazz Anecdotes" and "From Birdland to Broadway".

******************************************
CAROL SLOANE
Joins An All-Star Jazz Line-up At

The Iridium
1650 Broadway at 51st Street
New York City

212.582.2121 - May 8, 9, 10

Shows: 8:30 & 10:30 PM
$35.00

A BENNY GOODMAN CENTENNIAL

Featuring:

Ken Peplowski
Warren Vache
Ted Rosenthal
Chuck Redd
Pat O'Leary

Thursday, April 9, 2009

"On the road again .... "

****** Even though we have notified all friends in our Data Base, the following announcement will appear at this site each day leading up to May 4. May 5 is a travel day (train to New York), recording a new cd May 6 & 7, followed by May 8, 9 and 10 singing at The Iridium Jazz Club. I hope this news reaches all of you, and perhaps you'll be able to drop by.


CAROL SLOANE
Joins an All-Star Jazz Line-UP

at

The Iridium
1650 Broadway at 51st Street
New York City

212.582.2121


May 8, 9 & 10

Shows: 8:30 & 10:30 PM
$35.00

A BENNY GOODMAN CENTENNIAL

Featuring:

Ken Peplowski
Warren Vache
Ted Rosenthal
Chuck Redd
Pat O'Leary

Show Times: 8:30 and 10:30 PM
$35.00

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Remembering Carmen ...




This photograph was taken backstage some years ago at Symphony Hall in Boston. I was honored to introduce Carmen so I became somewhat heavy-handed with the make-up, while she gave the capacity audience a flawless demonstration of what it means to be a jazz singer.

My first encounter with Carmen is related in this story which has been published previously. Carmen was born on this date, and an additional story of a previous birthday Ernestine Anderson and I shared with her is this one:


Carmen's Birthday
The following true story is just one of many precious memories of her I will forever hold dear.

Kyoto, April 8, 1983 ...

The Japanese promoters labelled the tour "The Three Pearls": Chris Connor, Ernestine Anderson and me. We appeared in concerts and also performed singly in clubs. On this date, Ernestine and I had the night off while Chris pulled the duty with Norman Simmons playing for her.

Our hotel rooms were adjacent, and each provided mini-bars among other amenities. As girl friends will do, we sat in E's room, talking and laughing and sipping Japanese Sake. When we depleted that beverage, we repaired next door to my room for a fresh supply.

I suddenly realized April 8 was Carmen's birthday. "Let's call her up and sing "Happy Birthday", says I, terribly pleased with myself for coming up with such a thoughtful gesture. "I happen to know she's in D.C., and I know the hotel where she likes to stay. AND it's perfect timing: she'll just be getting ready for the gig.

The phone in her room rang three or four times, and then a typically abrupt "Yeah?" came through. Ernestine and I burst into a lusty version of Happy Birthday and waited to hear her laugh. Silence. Long silence. And then a low growl which escalated into a perfect screech: "Do You Bitches Know WHAT TIME IT IS???"

When Norman Simmons returned to the hotel, I told him what had taken place. He offered this profound advice: "There are three things one should never do: Never spit into the wind, never step on Superman's cape, and NEVER call Carmen McRae at 6 o'clock in the morning!"

The next day I had a headache, I paid a very expensive telephone bill, and I bought a clock that displays the world's time zones.

Remebering dear Carmen on this day.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Post Post-Time

****** I anticipated a weekend of fun and frolic with my sister, initially spending a chunk of time locating the non-smoking area at the Twin River Casino, then settling in and studying handicapping information my husband had kindly provided. On Friday, I concentrated on the horse races simulcast from beautiful Gulf Stream Park in Florida.

I cashed modest tickets in the third and fifth races, and made my final bet on the 8th, a $3 trifecta box which cost me $18. The horses complied with my selections: I held the winning ticket. I sent my neophyte sister to collect. She told me the cashier gazed at the winning combination with some surprise, then asked if Lois would accept large bills. Lois said "Sure", not knowing what the payoff would be, and then placed $730.00 in my eager hands. Nice work if you can get it, and it was pure, dumb luck, believe me. Not one of the three winning horses was considered favorably by my husband. He, on the other hand, played the races through his computer account, in the comfort of the seat appropriately called "The Captain's Chair".

We are now preparing for the annual serious fun of handicapping the Kentucky Derby (May 2nd). We will bet the races via computer while sipping a mint julep or two. Ain't technology grand?