Helpless Dancer

The Endless Note

Sunday Jazz – Mose Allison


My mind may be on vacation but my body ain’t!

July 10, 2011 Posted by | Jazz, Jazz Vocal, Video | | Leave a comment

Sunday Jazz – It May As Well Be Spring

…………………….because it sure doesn’t feel like summer!

“It May As Well Be Spring” –  The Bill Evans Trio

William John Evans, known as Bill Evans (August 16, 1929–September 15, 1980) was an American jazz pianist.

His use of impressionist harmony, inventive interpretation of traditional jazz repertoire, and trademark rhythmically independent, “singing” melodic lines influenced a generation of pianists including: Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, John Taylor, Steve Kuhn, Don Friedman, Marian McPartland, Denny Zeitlin, Bobo Stenson, Warren Bernhardt, Michel Petrucciani and Keith Jarrett, as well as many other musicians world-wide.

The music of Bill Evans continues to inspire younger pianists like Fred Hersch, Bill Charlap, Lyle Mays, Eliane Elias and arguably Brad Mehldau, early in his career. He is considered by some to be the most influential post World War II jazz pianist.

Evans is an inductee of the Down Beat Jazz Hall of Fame.



To buy the music of The Bill Evans Trio click HERE

June 12, 2011 Posted by | Jazz, Old Music | | Leave a comment

Sunday Jazz – Oscar Peterson Trio

Recorded in ’59 this homage is described by pianist Oscar Peterson as “not only a tribute to Frank Sinatra but also my emotional interpretation of the feeling I get when I hear him.”

The album was part of a popular five album songbook set of the music of various songwriters and singers, all recorded in the same year.

Smartly and very concisely arranged by Peterson, all the tunes on A Jazz Portrait of Frank Sinatraare associated with the vocalist widely considered to be the best male interpreter of the American popular song. And like Sinatra, they all swing and show a deep love of rich melody and intelligent lyrics.

On “Come Dance With Me” and “Witchcraft,” for example, Peterson and his trio mates hold the famous melodies very tightly to their chests, allowing the listener to practically sing along as they play chorus after chorus. On “Just in Time” and “You Make Me Feel So Young,” the master pianist demonstrates his exquisite timing.

“You Make Me Feel So Young” – Oscar Peterson Trio

Peterson’s renditions, however, are generally a little too faithful to the originals. And like Sinatra’s singing style, he takes no risks. It is only on “All of Me” and “How About You?” that Peterson begins to employ his considerable chops and improvise, but only for a very brief period. The solos end before they have barely begun.

A Jazz Portrait of Frank Sinatra is an easy-listening jazz album perfect for a Sunday or a candlelit dinner.

Review Source:

To buy the music of the Oscar Peterson Trio click HERE

May 8, 2011 Posted by | Jazz | , | Leave a comment

New Music – Little Miss Higgins

Somewhat amazingly it has taken until the recent relaunch of her fourth album from April 2010 for the music of Little Miss Higgins to catch my radar.

Little Miss Higgins  (aka Jolene Higgins) was born in Brooks, Alberta.

The blues, folk and jazz performer was however in fact raised in Independence, Kansas prior to moving back north. Now based in Saskatchewan the singer-songwriter strikes out in a wonderful, cultured style as she showcases her fine work on guitar as well as vocals.

Supported by her partner, Foy Taylor (guitar), Joey Lorer (upright bass), Joanna Miller (drums), Jimmie James McKee (trumpet) and others the music contains a great vibrancy as her and the band swing through a varied set of tunes including some splendid ones of a ragtime nature.

There is a rare live feel to the new album “Across The Plains”  the 1930s come to mind as she continually prompts and probes boundaries to produce a huge joyful sound.  


‘Glad Your Whiskey Fits Inside My Purse’ could just as easily come from America’s infamous prohibition era as the listener is taken on a whistle stop trip through that period in time.

“Glad Your Whiskey Fits Inside My Purse” – Little Miss Higgins

Her stage name, Little Miss Higgins suits the undeniably inflammatory mix of her blues and country music repertoire but the moniker was largely accidental. “When I moved to Saskatchewan in 2002 I started hanging out with this Greek guy,” she recalls “He started calling me Little Miss Higgins so I used it on poster for a gig I was doing and it just stuck.”

As a songwriter, she has been influenced by a range of artists from Memphis Minnie, Billie Holiday, Big Bill Broonzy to Joni Mitchell, Dolly Parton and Bob Dylan.

Her first two studio albums “Cobbler Shop Sessions” (2006) and “Junction City” (2007) superbly showcase Little Miss Higgins as a highly-developed songwriter as well as a remarkable country blues performer in a style gracefully highlighted by her partner, guitarist Foy Taylor and occasionally a handful of other roots musicians.

To her fan’s delight, there was the 2009 release “Little Miss Higgins Live: Two Nights In March”.  The album was recorded at Amigo’s Cantina in Saskatoon, and Engineered Air Theatre in Calgary.  The album features such favourite performance fare as “The Dirty Ol Tractor Song,” “Velvet Barley Bed,” “In The Middle Of Nowhere” and “I’m Gonna Bake My Biscuits.” As well as a couple of previously unreleased songs including “Snowin’ Today: A Lament For Louis Riel.”

“I’m Gonna Bake My Biscuits” (Live) – Little Miss Higgins

With her newest release, “Across The Plains” and partner Foy Taylor, Little Miss Higgins now enters international waters with a tour to the UK in the spring of 2011.

To buy the music of Little Miss Higgins click HERE 

April 21, 2011 Posted by | Blues, Folk, Jazz, New Music, Old Music, Video | | Leave a comment

Sunday Jazz (sort of) – So What

Source :-

In the spring of 1981 a group of reggae studio musicians from Jamaica gathered in New York City under the direction of Jeremy Taylor, a music professor at NYU at that time. The result was this Reggae Interpretation of Kind of Blue.’

As fate would have it, several weeks after directing the sessions Taylor passed away in his Paris hotel room while on a speaking tour of Europe.  A final mix of the album was never released though it existed subrosa in rough, lo-fi, cassette form among genre enthusiasst.

In 2009, Secret Stash Records began working with the Taylor estate to finally release the album creating both final mixes and dub versions. Reggae Interpretation of Kind of Blue is the result of their efforts.

“So What” – Jeremy Taylor

April 10, 2011 Posted by | Jazz, Old Music, Reggae, Video | , | Leave a comment

Sunday Jazz – George Shearing

Somehow the news of Sir George Shearing OBE dying on 14th February in New York from heart failure at the age of 91 had passed me by until yesterday when I noticed an obituary in a magazine.

George Shearing enjoyed an international reputation as a pianist, arranger and composer.  Equally at home on the concert stage as in jazz clubs, Shearing is recognized for inventive, orchestrated jazz. 

He has written over 300 compositions, including the classic “Lullaby of Birdland,” (words by George David Weiss) which has become a jazz standard since it’s creation in 1952, the title being a reference to Charlie “Bird” Parker and the club named after him.

Oh, lullaby of birdland, that’s what I
Always hear when you sigh,
Never in my wordland could there be ways to reveal
in a phrase how I feel
Have you ever heard two turtle doves
Bill and coo, when they love?
That’s the kind of magic music we make with our lips
When we kiss
And there’s a weepy old willow
He really knows how to cry,
That’s how I’d cry in my pillow
If you should tell me farewell and goodbye
Lullaby of birdland whisper low
Kiss me sweet, and we’ll go
Flying high in birdland, high in the sky up above
All because we’re in love

Born in 1919 in the Battersea area of London he moved to the US in 1942 to seek out a career in jazz and became well-known and respected over a period of time, however, it was 1949 when he formed a quintet to record “September in the Rain” for MGM.  The record was an overnight success and sold 900,000 copies. 

His U.S. reputation was permanently established when he was booked into Birdland, the legendary jazz spot in New York.  Since then, he has become one of the country’s most popular performing and recording artist.

For a full biography click HERE

Click HERE for a full obituary as published in The Guardian.

My own tribute comes from two tracks from my favourite albums featuring him.

First up is his brilliant album recorded in 1959 with the great Peggy Lee

“Don’t Ever Leave Me” – Peggy Lee & George Shearing

Don’t ever leave me, now that you’re here
Here is where you belong
Everything seems so right, when you’re near
When you’re away, it’s all wrong

I’m so dependent when I need comfort
I always run to you
Don’t ever leave me, ’cause if you do
I’ll have no one to run to

I’m so dependent when I need comfort
I always run to you
Don’t ever leave me, ’cause if you do
I’ll have no one to run to

Next up is Shearing’s 1961 recording “Nat King Cole Sings/George Shearing Plays”

“Pick Yourself Up” – Nat King Cole & George Shearing

Pick yourself up…
Take a deep breath…
Dust yourself off
And start all over again.

Nothing’s impossible, I have found
For when my chin is on the ground.
I pick myself up,
Dust myself off
And start all over again.

Don’t lose your confidence
If you slip
Be grateful for a pleasant trip
And pick yourself up,
Dust yourself off
And start all over again.

Work like a soul inspired
Until the battle of the day is won.
You may be sick and tired,
But you’ll be a man, my son.

Will you remember the famous men
Who had to fall to rise again
They picked themselves up
Dust themselves off
And start’d all over again.


Work like a soul inspired
Till the battle of the day is won.
You may be sick and tired,
But you’ll be a man, my son.

Will you remember the famous men
Who had to fall to rise again?
So take a deep breath…
Pick yourself up…
Dust yourself off
And start all over again.

To buy the music of George Shearing click HERE

March 13, 2011 Posted by | Jazz, Jazz Vocal, New News, Old Music, Uncategorized, Video | , , , | Leave a comment

2010 Top £0 New and Old #3

Josh Ritter released another great album this year in the form of “So Runs The World Away”

However my favourite is from the famous Daytrotter Sessions and is a great cover of one of Fiona’s favourite songs.

“Moon River” – Josh Ritter

To buy the music of Josh Ritter click HERE

For another post on Josh Ritter click HERE

Paul Newman & Duke Ellington

I rediscovered the joys of “Paris Blues” both film and soundtrack this year.

“Take The “A” Train” – Duke Ellington

To buy the soundtrack click HERE

December 28, 2010 Posted by | Blast from The Past, Cover Stories, Fiona, Jazz, Movies, Mrs D, Old Music, Video | , , , , | Leave a comment

Tom Waits 78 Fling

On November 19th, Preservation Hall Recordings will release 504 limited edition hand-numbered 78 rpm vinyl records featuring two tracks by the Preservation Hall Jazz Band with very special guest Tom Waits.

Proceeds from the sale of this very special project will benefit the Preservation Hall Junior Jazz & Heritage Brass Band.
Tom Waits traveled to New Orleans in 2009 to record two songs with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band for the critically acclaimed project Preservation: An album to benefit Preservation Hall and the Preservation Hall Music Outreach Program,

Both “Tootie Ma Was A Big Fine Thing” , and “Corrine Died On The Battlefield” were originally recorded by Danny Barker in 1947, as such these two selections are the earliest known recorded examples of Mardi Gras Indian chants.

The two tracks will now be packaged in a special limited edition 78 rpm format record, each signed and numbered by Preservation Hall Creative Director Ben Jaffe.

The first one hundred records will be accompanied by a custom-made Preservation Hall 78rpm record player as part of a Deluxe Donation package. The remaining four hundred and four will be available as a stand alone record for the Basic Donation package.
This special limited edition recording will be made available in two different tiers, based on the level of donation: Deluxe Donation Tier: $200 – Limited Edition 78rpm record featuring Tom Waits & The Preservation Hall Jazz Band AND a custom-made Preservation Hall 78 record players – and Basic Donation Tier: $50 – Limited Edition 78rpm record featuring Tom Waits & The Preservation Hall Jazz Band

Both packages will be available for in-person purchase at Preservation Hall in New Orleans on November 19, 2010 at 10:00am Central and available for purchase online November 20th here.

“Tootie Ma Is A Big Fine Thing” –  The Preservation Hall Jazz Band With Tom Waits

To buy the music of Tom Waits click HERE

To buy the music of The Preservation Hall Jazz Band click HERE

October 19, 2010 Posted by | Jazz, Jazz Vocal, New News, New Releases, Old Music, Video | , | Leave a comment

Autumn In Houston (Renfrewshire)

17th October 2010


“‘Tis Autumn” – Stan Getz

To buy the music of Stan Getz click HERE

October 17, 2010 Posted by | Jazz, Old Music, Photography | , | Leave a comment

Buddy Rich

Buddy Rich was born on this day of September back in 1917, he was without doubt one of the greatest drummers to walk the planet.

He did, like many a genius, have a bit of a temper!

Here is his version of a Simon & Garfunkel classic.

“Keep The Customer Satisfied” – The Buddy Rich Big Band

To buy the music of Buddy Rich click HERE

September 30, 2010 Posted by | Blast from The Past, Jazz, Old Music, Video | | Leave a comment

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