Category Archives: Chet Baker

Queen Mary 2 Jazz Lectures (Playlist 1: The Great Jazz Singers 1950-Present)

Thanks to everyone who attended my jazz history talks last week on the Queen Mary 2 during its voyage from Quebec to Nova Scotia to New York. I got a few requests to post the playlists, so here’s the first one, covering “The Great Jazz Singers (1950-Present).”

Queen Mary - Jazz Lecture

The Great Jazz Singers (1950-Present) Playlist

  1. “A Tisket, A Tasket” – Ella Fitzgerald w/Chick Webb Orchestra (1938).
  2. “Blue Skies” – Ella Fitzgerald (from Get Happy, 1959)
  3. “You Make Me Feel So Young” – Frank Sinatra, w/Count Basie Orchestra conducted by Quincy Jones (live video, 1965)
  4. “Tenderly” – Sarah Vaughan (live video, 1958)
  5. “I Fall in Love Too Easily” – Chet Baker, from Chet Baker Sings (1958)
  6. “Chega de Saudade” – João Gilberto from album Chega de Saudade (1959)
  7. “Every Day I Have the Blues” – Lambert, Hendricks & Ross w/Joe Williams and Count Basie (live video from Playboy’s Penthouse TV show, 1959)
  8. “No Love Dying” – Gregory Porter (live video from CBS This Morning 2013)
  9. “I Wish That I Could Shimmy Like My Sister Kate” – Cecile McLorin Salvant (live video from KNKX Public Radio, 2014)
  10. “Marrakesh Express” – Accent (video from AccentVocal.com, 2018)
  11. “Look For The Silver Lining” – Tony Bennet & Bill Charlap, promo video for album of the same name, 2015
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Filed under Accent, Allen Morrison, Bill Charlap, Cecile McLorin Salvant, Chet Baker, Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, Gregory Porter, Hendricks & Ross, Joao Gilberto, Jon Hendricks, Lambert, Lectures, Sarah Vaughan, Tony Bennett

The Sound of Film to Come (The Guardian)

The Sound of Jazz to Come (Guardian)

Here’s my first piece for The Guardian: a look back on the history of jazz-on-film – the good, the bad and the ugly – pegged to the forthcoming release of two remarkable films about jazz. “Born to be Blue,” with Ethan Hawke as Chet Baker, opens March 25. Don Cheadle’s “Miles Ahead,” about you-know-who, opens April 1.

The article includes a list of my five favorite films about jazz and jazz musicians. The Guardian didn’t have room for my honorable mentions, but here they are:

  • Keep On Keepin’ On (2014) – poignant, inspirational documentary about the great trumpeter Clark Terry and his star pupil, the blind pianist Justin Kauflin;
  • Mo’ Better Blues (1990) – Spike Lee’s serious attempt to portray the lives of modern jazz musicians, with stirring music by the Branford Marsalis Quartet and Terrence Blanchard);
  • Ray (2004) – Taylor Hackford’s conventional but still exhilarating biopic about Ray Charles, with a pull-all-the-stops-out performance by musician/actor Jamie Foxx; and
  • Robert Altman’s Kansas City (1996) – Despite jazz being somewhat peripheral to the rather hackneyed crime story, it includes one of the best sequences of live jazz ever filmed, a cutting contest between Coleman Hawkins (saxophonist Craig Handy) and Ben Webster (saxophonist James Carter).

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Filed under Bing Crosby, Charlie Parker, Chet Baker, Clark Terry, Craig Handy, Dexter Gordon, Don Cheadle, Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis, Nat King Cole, Robert Glasper