Monday, October 19, 2009

Mid-October Surprises All Around

While a doozy of a nor'easter pounded the already fragile Massachusetts shore line yesterday, the fabulous New England Patriots were frolicking in the snow, ice and wind at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, making mischief (and football history) while dancing on the heads of the hapless Tennessee Titans. The final score was a totally unbalanced 59-0. As we watched the show from the comfort of our easy chairs, the snow flakes falling outside my living-room window were the size of salad plates. Wild weather for mid-October.

In this terrific Jim Davis photo which ran in today's Boston Globe, you can see our beloved coach grinning from ear to ear, and you have to take my word for it that for him, this is a jack-o-lantern wide smile.

Until such time as it becomes available in stores, please visit the Arbors site here to purchase "We'll Meet Again". And many thanks.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Wait 'til next year ....

****** We experienced the loss of the American League Championship Title over the weekend when the Boston Red Sox were defeated by the Los Angeles Angels in the third game of the series played at Fenway Park, a game we woulda-should-a won but for a number of bad pitches thrown by the perhaps overly-confident Ace Closer Jonathan Papelbon. (Granted, he wasn't the only problem). But now, like millions of other Boston fans, I shall root for those who beat us because they MUST prevail over the NY Yankees, the team I've loved to hate for all of my seventy-odd (you can say that again) years following Red Sox baseball.

My mother and father were ardent Sox fans, and most certainly, they could have predicted the choking and near paralysis which overcame the team in the final games of this 2009 season. The saddest fact for me is that Frank and Claudia didn't live to see our fabulous 2004 World Series victory. Why, my mother might even have shared a cold 'Gansett lager with her husband in wild celebration. I haven't fully embraced the concept of an after-life, but one can only hope that they were rejoicing in some other dimension. Millions shared that happy thought.

****** I am happy to report that Arbors has confirmed an official release date for my new cd called "We'll Meet Again" for January 12, 2010. Meantime, it is available for purchase at the Arbors web address. See the repeat October 6 post below for additonal information.

****** My sister Lois and I are off to Sarasota at the end of the month to visit my darling niece, her husband and their adorable daughters. I am on a particular expedition this year to locate and purchase a fine specimen of a wentletrap (pictured here):

Since we won't have time to drive to Sanibel Island, I will search for my ribbed spiral treasure in shops devoted exclusively to the beauty of sea shells. Choncology is the branch of zoology that deals with the study of mollusks and shells. I have become more interested in the science in recent months, and owe it all to a dear friend who taught me what to look for and how to clean the ones I chose from the beaches along the North Carolina coast. Her collection is truly most impressive, and I defy anyone to hold a magnificient sea shell and not be enchanted and dazzled.

****** SINGER ALERT: My good friend and exceptionally fine singer Carol Fredette is appearing tomorrow night at The Iridium in New York City. Go there and have a great time listening to one of our best.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

"We'll Meet Again" Repeat Post

We've been frozen in time, more or less. The reasons for the long silence are varied and many and waaaaaay too complicated to bore you with. I trust SloaneView will demonstrate a more consistent presence from here on.

In the meantime, the new cd titled "We'll Meet Again" on the Arbors Label is available at the site, but not yet at Amazon.

The choice of the title song is a deliberate and heartfelt tribute to Dame Vera Lynn whose WWII recording is not only cherished, but will continue to be heard as long as governments of all nations sacrifice their young men and women in the deserts and mountains of this world. With the recent news of the relatively robust health of Dame Vera at age 92, and the even more extraordinary revelation that her 1939 version of "We'll Meet Again" achieved Number One status on the UK charts of most-played recordings, I have some legitimate concern the BBC or any other radio facility over there will give my WMA so much as half a listen. One can only hope it will be accepted for what it is.

The musicians on WMA are top-drawer and it was a genuine pleasure to share those moments in the Nola Studios in New York City May 6 and 7, and June 4, 2009. They are Bucky Pizzarelli and Howard Alden on guitars, Steve LaSpina bass, Ken Peplowski tenor and clarinet and the gifted young jazz violinist Aaron Weinstein contributes just the right touches. And here is the song list:

1. Exactly Like You
2. Something To Remember You By
3. Anytime, Anyday, Anywhere
4. I Haven't Got Anything Better To Do
5. If You Could Love Me
6. Why Don't You Do Right?
7. The Meaning Of The Blues
8. Zoot Walks In
9. Where Are You?
10. Spring Will Be A Little Late This Year
11. A Cottage For Sale
12. I Never Loved Anyone
13. We'll Meet Again

There is a distinctly upbeat atmosphere at the Nola Studios because Jimmy Czak, Chief In Charge Of All Things Technical, is the master of his domain, and will not permit tension or attitude or any other nonsense to distract from the project at hand. He even agreed to let me stand in the middle of the room, not confined to the vertical sound-booth many prefer but which I hate.

Marc Myers, whose consistently informative and interesting web site is a "must-read" in this house, has written detailed notes for WMA. His enthusiasm for jazz, jazz musicians and jazz singers, is infectious and takes the form of extensive interviews with those bearing famous names and some not quite so well-known but who have devoted their life's energies to jazz. Marc also keeps us aware of new recordings and re-issues. Great site.

The cover photograph is a work of genius. Eric Stephen Jacobs (who has produced several outstanding covers for me) has, to say the least, "done it again". I am not nearly as glamorous as his lens always manages to make me look, but because we have worked so often in the past, I am able to relax during the shoot which eventually means we have diverse quantity and quality. Eric's brilliant talent and a Vitamin D each day ... magic.

I will be happy to hear from anyone who wishes to comment or ask for additional information about "We'll Meet Again". I have been forced to install a protective shield which will allow me to read submissions before they are published. I'm sorry about all this, but some offensive posts were previously available until I deleted them.

I am really happy to have added "We'll Meet Again" to my discography, and I hope it will please most of the people most of the time.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Sure-Fire, Almost-Instant Sleep Inducers

****** On occasion, like many of you, I have trouble falling asleep. I used to force my mind to clear itself of stressful debris, envisioning a blissfully comfortable lounge chair in which I loll luxuriously. It's a tropical paradise with no one around except the unobtrusive staff who respond in an instant to my subtle request (a languid wave of the hand), and bring me whatever I desire. You're right: this fantasy soon becomes boring, achieving the desired effect: me, deep in slumber.

****** The dream, however, works especially well during the dull, long, gray days of winter here in New England, a time when we immerse ourselves in the carefree pleasure of monitoring and measuring falling snow and/or sleet, playfully shovelling the stuff, driving through blinding blizzard conditions, all the while maintaining a cheerful demeanor and light-hearted good will toward our fellow man.

****** Lately, the most effective method I use to fall asleep very quickly is the fantasy that I am Her Majesty, the Queen of England. Talk about unobtrusive staff, performing all sorts of tasks merely because I raise an eyebrow or wiggle a Royal digit. I am and have been a devoted fan of the Monarchy since I sat rivetted beside my radio at an ungodly early hour, listening to the voice of the BBC commentator describing the November 20, 1947, Westminster Abbey wedding of Her Royal Highness The Princess Elizabeth to Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten. I was ten years old.

****** Sorry about the size of the photograph. I haven't a clue how to enlarge it.

****** Her Majesty was photographed hundreds of times while on a Walk-About commemorating her 80th birthday. She chose to wear bright, cherry red, a brilliant idea. She's radiant.


****** Without the use of OTC or prescription drugs, I find it amazingly easy to fall into the gentle embrace of Morpheus, usually just as I'm about to see to the Corgis or confer a royal decoration for outstanding service to Queen and Country.

****** It occurs to me that simply reading this post has quite possibly caused you to glide into a light doze. Have a nice nap.