Wednesday, May 9, 2012

“We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.” Oscar Wilde.


Scott  Dennis had been sinigng most of his adult life when he found his way to my studio over a year ago where I began intensive study with him. A year later this sight challenged  highly gifted man has transformed into a first rate jazz singer. Id like to share his thank you note with you. It is humbling and at the same time a reason for great celebration.

"How do you thank someone who has not only changed your life, but enriched it beyond your wildest dreams? How do you thank a person who has made you embrace what you already have, and like it enough to want to make it even better? Who inspires you to not only do your best, but see your best? How do you thank a person who shares their music, their gift, their soul so openly with you, and teaches you that the best way to show your appreciation for such a gift is to share it? Who's voice can stop you from looking down at the ground and stare into the stars? How do you thank someone who has become an inspiring teacher, gentle philosopher, part-time psychologist, and treasured friend? ...I guess you just say "thank you". Scott Dennis, Jazz singer

Friday, April 6, 2012

The future of Jazz

People often ask me will jazz ever come back and my answer is always no. The music popular during an era is the result of the emotional state of mind of the society at that time in history .The people are or never will be in the frame of mind that created the music again or in the frame of mind to enjoy the music and those circumstances will never happen again. It was unique to that time in history .I think with some guidance and education the listener can be taught to appreciate it but it will never be popular again.
There is some good news, it is an art form and will always be at the top of the musicale mountain. Capitalism has all but destroyed art in our country. Soon it will be once again up to the family as it was centuries ago to expose their children to art.

Friday, July 30, 2010

No Justice

oooo I'm tilted right now. Just heard a musician told a comedian I work with from time to time, "You don't have to pay her big money ,she works for cheap" You better hope I don't find out who you are.. There's a big difference between Local Jazz club work where there's no cover charge and show and concert work. Every cat in the business and I mean every cat and I ain't droppin names, takes gigs at their local clubs and they don't always do it for the bread but to keep the chops up. Now you understand why It pays to stay home period? I have cut way back on "Local " gigs just for this reason. I'm between a rock and hard place not being a really big Marquee name that can take only the cream of the crop gigs .There is no justice or anyone that can be trusted in the music business or any business for that mater.. ooh I could just bite someone.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Lyman "Butch "Strong

The passing of yet another great musician. Lyman “Butch” Strong. I met Butch 15-20 years ago. He Played the B3 and we gigged at a black jazz club in Auburn NY. His ability on the organ was astounding. We became musical friends and then real friends over the years into his smooth jazz era where he gave up the Organ for a keyboard and did Orchestrations that Johnny Mandel would be envious of.
I often called Lyman for duo gigs. He was perfect for the small gigs with the entire band under his hands. Our ballad work together was legendary. I loved his work so much I used him on my 2nd cd Singin and Swingin. Which was ,as all my cd’s, released nationally and internationally. I felt so happy and proud to share him with the world. Check out "Come in from the rain" on that cd , Its all Lyman and his arrangement.
We worked all over upstate New York . We developed a wonderful following around central New York as a duo. We became very good friends. I work with many piano players and have my favorites But Lyman and I shared more than just the music. He called me, I called him, and we chatted for hours. He loved to sew and made many treasured things for me. When I called him for a gig he never asked me “What does it pay?” He trusted me. I could call Lyman and say “Hey I need to learn some new tunes” and he’d drive up to my house to help me... He spent days sequencing my shows. We were invested. We recorded tunes for free to raise money for Children hospitals at Christmas. He was very giving and loving. We were getting ready to put together a cd of our beloved Ballads when I heard of his passing. I will truly miss him and his tremendous talent. I’m so grateful he shared his many “gifts” with me.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Return to Love

For the past 4 years I’ve basically lived alone. Oh I would Love to have a fabulous guy in my life but life just doesn’t agree apparently. So I forge forward without. But I am not without love. Unconditional love from my family which includes our wonderful family pets. There’s Cubby that lives with my sister and family and there’s little Miss that was my mother’s cat I took in when mother passed away. Missy has been my true sister and love, always there at the door to greet me and make me feel needed.
Then there is Blue dog that lives with my daughter and family. Blue dog was rescued by Kellie (my Daughter) when she was a pup. She was bred to fight and kill by some very misguided neighbors .The puppy cried for love and Kellie saved her. Blue has been a part of our lives for 14 years. Blue and I had a very special bond which I will be ever grateful for.She is possibly the most compassionate being I have ever known. She has been a very important part of all our lives. She went back to spirit today. We are all lost without her. I will never walk in the woods again without feeling her spirit. I will never walk down Graham ave in Williamsburg without thinking of her and our late night walks there. She loved me and I loved her. She loved us all. Now anit that what life’s all about... Thank you Blue dog.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Joe Romano

Joe Romano.....April 17, 1935-November 26, 2008
Joe was the real deal. He lived the “jazz life” and his playing was authentic. The sound Joe had was from years on the road working and playing with the best cats out there. You can’t get it from a classroom, you have to live it. Working with Joe was a great learning experience for me. He pushed me to uncharted territory and we flew high on the band stand. Hearing of Joe's passing has not been easy for me. When Joe was on the gig I never felt uncomfortable. Joe always made me feel valid as a singer. His style of playing encouraged me to take musicale risks and he genuinely liked me and my work and trust me that’s not the case very often as we singers at best are a necessary evil for most musicians and I know who digs me and who doesn’t. He did and I loved him big time. We became friends and kept in touch all thru the years and gigged when we could. He was very giving and forgiving on and off the bandstand. He was a great hang too.. Thanks Joe for everything you shared with me. I have lost one of my brothers in deed. I gonna really miss you...

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Not so " Menza Menza"

You often hear folks talk about the talent that was born and bread in upstate New York . Many have made history and will be remembered for their contribution to the music. Don Menza is definitely one. Nice gig with Don Friday night. Don is originally from Buffalo now living in L.A. Plays his everlovin butt off and has a ball on stage. What a gas. It's good to know your not alone sometimes. Thanks Don..