17 Comments
Jun 18, 2022·edited Jun 19, 2022Liked by Ted Gioia

Will have to pick up that Ella LP - did Pablo ever put out even a mediocre album? I think Granz was at his peak as a producer in the '70s - and the musicians he recorded were, too. Basie's small-group recordings on Pablo are uniformly revelatory.

And McCartney's superb bass playing has almost always been overshadowed by his songwriting and singing - but he and Ringo formed one of the most supple rhythm sections ever in rock 'n roll.

Besides, he IS aging gracefully! I don't remember if it was Paul or Mick Jagger, but one of them said that seeing the earlier generations of swing, jazz and blues musicians keep producing vital music into their 80s had inspired them, and made them realize that their earlier notion that rock was strictly a young person's game was foolish.

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Jun 19, 2022Liked by Ted Gioia

Ella....what a talent. In my day I was a pretty good singer, and once in a while I tried to imitate that kind of scat vocalizing and failed miserably.....it's really difficult to get that kind of control...or it was for me anyway. She was amazing.

Music to alleviate dental pain? Isn't the varying tone of the drill supposed to do that?

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Jun 18, 2022Liked by Ted Gioia

Regarding that Phone book - Forget Zappa - what about Betty Hutton, Randy California, Betty Garret

& Donald O' Connor ?

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I always come away knowing more and feeling like my time was well-spent reading and listening to you. That is no small thing!

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Jun 18, 2022Liked by Ted Gioia

I am seriously digging the tour through your emporium. Over the years I have printed every article & interview I could find on Frank Zappa. At last count I have 15 - 4" binders. I've never seen his phone number listed before. I'm going to have to print out part of your post & add it to my collection. THANKS

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Jun 18, 2022Liked by Ted Gioia

Loved your answer on how cities form musicians. I did read your book and failed to take that away from it so thanks for posting that here!

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Jun 18, 2022Liked by Ted Gioia

It's not surprising to note that telemarketers have a pretty low opinion of their own job, as well.

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I'm going to file "super-vinyl technology" next to "Pono", "HD audio in general", and whatever the name of the last "super format" that T-Bone was hawking fifteen or so years ago. The market for hifi is currently between retirement and death. If it's it not free and portable, it's a non-starter.

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Randy California! The singer-guitarist-leader of Spirit! Saw them once and chatted with their bass player outside the venue. As a young dude I was impressed that Randy's father-in-law, Ed Cassidy, was the drummer. He was an experienced jazz drummer before playing in Spirit.

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While we’re on random topics, does anyone have an answer to why so many non-American artists employ an American accent when singing? Obviously there’s countless exceptions but I think most can agree that a large swath of English speaking singers do so and perhaps unnecessarily...

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I love that the “female drummer” poster has the same sensationalist quality you might see with a freak show poster for a three-headed lizard boy.

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Hi Ted.

I read all of the Gene Lees Jazz letters on line last year and hugely enjoyed them, finding a lot of great music too get into.

As you doubtless know, Gene had a very poor opinion of Stan Getz as a person. (He was pretty down on Benny Goodman too…)

Since you knew both Gene & Stan, I wonder if you can shed a little light on this?

Cheers

Robert

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I seem to remember that Michael Nesmith’s mother invented post-it notes by accident. I’m going to look it up now to see if I have invented that memory.

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Michael Nesmith’s mother invented white-out!

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Speaking of telemarketers who look down on artists, at one point some "psychologist" opined that the I.Q one would need to play in a symphony orchestra was on par with a moron . . . seems like most of the folks I knew from either of the symphony orchestras I played with (irregularly) were smarter than that, but I reckon I'm not smart enough to make such a judgment. Well, duh!

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My not too in depth research attempt on Duck Duck Go did not come up with anything that would reveal the plot of A Female Drummer. But I’d bet that the “drummer” involved is not of the musical variety.

I suspect that the “drummer” was “A traveling sales representative” per the secondary definition at https://www.lexico.com/en/definition/drummer . Apparently that usage derives from the idea of “drumming up business.” The strange looking fellow on the poster could be a department store manager.

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I hadn’t noticed the comment about the store in the lower right hand corner, which makes it pretty obvious, so I’m sure you were ahead of me on this!

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