Helpless Dancer

The Endless Note

Sunday Sounds – A Great Day In Harlem


The above picture “A Great Day In Harlem” is perhaps one of the most iconic photographs in the history of music.

Art Kane, a freelance photographer working for Esquire magazine, took the picture around 10 a.m. 12th August 1958. The musicians had gathered on 126th Street, between Fifth and Madison Avenues in Harlem.

Esquire published the photo in its January 1959 issue. Jean Bach, a radio producer of New York, recounted the story behind it in her 1994 documentary film, A Great Day in Harlem. The film was nominated in 1995 for an Academy Award for Documentary Feature.

The photo was also a key object in Steven Spielberg’s film, The Terminal. The film starred Tom Hanks as Viktor Navorski, a character who comes to the United States in search of Benny Golson’s autograph, with which he can complete his deceased father’s collection of autographs from the musicians pictured in the photo.

Only four musicians in the photo are still alive: Benny Golson, Marian McPartland, Sonny Rollins and Horace Silver.

Musicians in the photograph

  • Red Allen
  • Buster Bailey
  • Count Basie
  • Emmett Berry
  • Art Blakey
  • Lawrence Brown
  • Scoville Browne
  • Buck Clayton
  • Bill Crump
  • Vic Dickenson
  • Roy Eldridge
  • Art Farmer
  • Bud Freeman
  • Dizzy Gillespie
  • Tyree Glenn
  • Benny Golson
  • Sonny Greer
  • Johnny Griffin
  • Gigi Gryce
  • Coleman Hawkins
  • J.C. Heard
  • Jay C. Higginbotham
  • Milt Hinton
  • Chubby Jackson
  • Hilton Jefferson
  • Osie Johnson
  • Hank Jones
  • Jo Jones
  • Jimmy Jones
  • Taft Jordan
  • Max Kaminsky
  • Gene Krupa
  • Eddie Locke
  • Marian McPartland
  • Charles Mingus
  • Miff Mole
  • Thelonious Monk
  • Gerry Mulligan
  • Oscar Pettiford
  • Rudy Powell
  • Luckey Roberts
  • Sonny Rollins
  • Jimmy Rushing
  • Pee Wee Russell
  • Sahib Shihab
  • Horace Silver
  • Zutty Singleton
  • Stuff Smith
  • Rex Stewart
  • Maxine Sullivan
  • Joe Thomas
  • Wilbur Ware
  • Dickie Wells
  • George Wettling
  • Ernie Wilkins
  • Mary Lou Williams
  • Lester Young
“When I found out there was going to be this big meeting for a picture in Esquire,” Dizzy Gillespie recalled, “I said to myself, ‘Here’s my chance to see all these musicians without going to a funeral.'”
The subjects caught in Kane’s lens spanned the stylistic range from New Orleans to Chicago to Swing to Bebop to Modern. The oldest, Harlem stride pianist Luckey Roberts, was 71.
The youngest, Sonny Rollins, was 27. Yet the concept of cliques was alien to all. Rollins, for example, viewed his onsite elders Coleman Hawkins and Lester Young as personal heroes, direct inspiration for his own calling as a musician.
“Body and Soul” – Coleman Hawkins
“Plain Jane” – Sonny Rollins
For more information visit the Official Art Kane website by clicking HERE
All of the above is a mere drop in the ocean that is jazz.
To buy the music of Sonny Rollins click HERE
To buy the music of Coleman Hawkins click HERE
PS Art Kane was also responsible for this photograph of The Who which was edited for use as the cover of the film soundtrack “The Kids Are Alright”

June 20, 2010 Posted by | Blast from The Past, Interesting Fact, Jazz, Old Music, Photography, Video | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sunday Sounds – Antonio Forcione

Antonio Forcione  is an Italian guitarist, composer and performer. He possesses a virtuso technique which is displayed on stage with accomplished showmanship, often including comic elements. Forcione started recording in 1983 and has appeared on dozens of albums.

Antonio Forcione was born in a village on the Adriatic shore of Molise. He drew first public attention at 13 when he toured Italy with his own band as a guitarist, mandolinist and drummer. A few years later he obtained a diploma in art and sculpture from the Art Institute in Ancona where he started studying percussion. For two more years he studied harmony and mime in Rome, before moving to London in 1983.

Unable to speak English, he initially resorted to busking in the streets of London’s Covent Garden. Within 2 months he had won an award which led to a BBC television appearance before being whisked off to open for Barclay James Harvest on a major European tour, culminating in a concert at Wembley Arena.

Forcione toured and performed with comedians Boothby Graffoe, Django Edwards, Stephen Frost, Tanderika and Ursus & Nadeschkin. Between 1992 and 1996 he performed with (and was musical director for) the musical group Olé. In 2001 he won the ‘Best Spirit of the Fringe Award’ at the Edinburgh Festival with a resulting tour of Australia, doing both straight music and music-comedy.

He also regularly tours the world with a sophisticated 4 piece ensemble that includes a cello, flute, double bass and percussion.

It has been said that Antonio Forcione is “probably the best acoustic guitar player in the world” a pretty subjective statement in my view.

His technique is similar to that of Tommy Emmanuel, as is his musical eloquence, though Forcione tends towards more jazz (especially Spanish Gypsy style) and South American influenced styles of playing.

Forcione has performed and recorded with such artist as Eduardo Niebla, Sabina Sciubba,Neil Stacey, Charlie Haden, Trilok Gurtu, Bireli Lagrene Jason Rebello, Ronu Majumdar, Barney Kessel, Rony Barrak and others.

Here is a track from one on my favourite jazz albums, pefect for a Sunday morning.

“Why Can’t We Live Together” – Antonio Forcione & Sabina Sciubba

Finally here is the track which popped up on random play on ye olde iPod which triggered this post.

“Fragile” – Antonio Forcione

To buy the music of Antonio Forcione click HERE

May 2, 2010 Posted by | Jazz, Jazz Vocal, Old Music, Video | , , | Leave a comment

Friday Fun – Japanese Culture Hits New Low

“Up Our Sleeve” (Live) – Humble Pie

To buy the music of Humble Pie click HERE

“John John Put Your Trousers On” – Mr Billy Williams


April 16, 2010 Posted by | Humour, Jazz, Old Music, Video | , , , | Leave a comment

The Odd Couple

One of my favourite comedy series from the US.

“The Odd Couple” – Martin Taylor

To buy the music of Martin Taylor click HERE

February 3, 2010 Posted by | Blast from The Past, Humour, Jazz, Old Music, Television | , | Leave a comment

Memories – The Blue Train

Approaching Dumbarton Central

Nicknamed the Glasgow Blue Train, the Class 303 units operated around the Glasgow Electric network for over 40 years.

Ninety one of these 3-car trains were built by Pressed Steel at Linwood from 1959 to 1960.

The original livery of ‘Caledonian blue’ with yellow and black lining and grey roofs, gave these distinctive trains their nickname.

The electric trains entered service on the North Clyde routes in November 1960, but a series of incidents saw steam trains reintroduced in December, while the electric trains underwent modifications.

The North Clyde electrics resumed in October 1961 and South Clyde services started in May 1962.

Similar Class 311 units were built for the Inverclyde electrification in 1967.

A down turn in passenger numbers saw 12 sets sent to the north west of England in the early 1980s.
50 units were refurbished at Glasgow Works between 1984-87 with new interiors.

Interior of refurbished 303012, July 2001. Photo by Dysgraphyk

The remaining unrefurbished units were replaced by new Class 320 units, and were withdrawn from service by November 1990.

One unrefurbished unit, 303048, was restored to original blue livery in March 1991, and was used on special duties for a number of years. It was scrapped in 1998.

By the late 90s there were only 40 units left in service and eventually they were withdrawn once the class 334s became more reliable.

The last units in service were 303011 and 303088, which worked the 09:27 Bellgrove – Helensburgh on 30 December 2002.

Only 303032 survives and is based at the Bo’ness & Kinneil Railway where it can operate in push-pull mode with a diesel loco.


Milngavie Station


All this to justify posting this track

“Blue Train” – John Coltrane

To buy the music of John Coltrane click HERE

January 14, 2010 Posted by | Educational, Family, Jazz, Old Music, Photography | , , , | 4 Comments

Christmas Jukebox 3

Sunday Jazz Special

Jingle Bells” – Duke Ellington

“Santa Claus Is Coming To Town” – Dave Brubeck Quartet

“O Come All Ye Faithful” – Chet Baker

December 20, 2009 Posted by | Christmas, Jazz, Old Music | , , , | Leave a comment

Play Misty For Me………okay

Erroll Garner

Erroll Garner

“Misty” – The Erroll Garner Trio

This Erroll Garner composition has of course taken on alife of it’s own beyond the world of jazz as the song that was the centre piece for the Clint Eastwood film “Play Misty For Me”

Despite this celebrity it should be remembered that the song was already regarded as a jazz standard and that Garner was without doubt a very distinctive pianist with a unique style unlike anyone else.

play misty for me

As for the film, released in 1971, it was of course directed by Clint Eastwood who plays David “Dave” Garver, a KRML radio disc jockey who becomes the target of Evelyn Draper, an obsessed female fan, played by Jessica Walter. Donna Millsplays his re-acquainted girlfriend, Tobie Williams. The title comes from Draper’s habit of phoning in to Garver’s radio show and asking him to play “Misty”.

The film paved the way for later stalker films such as Fatal Attraction, particularly those with a female antagonist, and also those where the villain appeared to have died prematurely. It is also notable for its use of location shooting, mostly in the area of Carmel-by-the-Sea, California, where Eastwood has long made his home, and where he was elected Mayor in 1986. Additional scenes were shot at the Monterey Jazz Festival in September 1970, featuring jazz greats Johnny Otis, Cannonball Adderley, and future Weather Report founder Joe Zawinul.

The film features a romantic montage backed by Roberta Flack‘s recording of “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face.”

“First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” – Roberta Flack.

To buy the music of Roberta Flack click HERE

To buy the DVD click HERE

play misty still

September 27, 2009 Posted by | Jazz, Movies, Old Music, R&B, Soul, Video | , , | Leave a comment

The Cry Of Love

the cry of love

Spent some time on Sunday at a good old “Record Fair” now known as a “Music Fair”.

I am rediscovering my love of the old vinyl album and a such this was agreat way of replacing my long lost stock and with “6 Lp’s for £10” deals on the go I managed to get a fair amount for the money I was willing to spend.

record fair

One album I picked up was  “The Cry Of Love” by Jimi Hendrix.

This album, in effect his fourth studio release, was released after his death.

The pairing of The Cry of Love with Rainbow Bridge comprises the bulk of the most complete tracks that Hendrix was intending to release on his next (double) LP, First Rays of the New Rising Sun. All songs on the album were written by Hendrix and recorded from late 1969 to summer 1970, except surprise addition “My Friend“. ‘Gers’ plays harp on “My Friend“. Mitchell and Kramer’s involvement gave the album credibility, and it was well received by fans and critics alike. The album managed to reach #3 in the U.S. and #2 in the UK, and was regarded as the most accurate approximation of Hendrix’s final album until First Rays of the New Rising Sun was released in 1997. “Freedom” b/w “Angel” was released as a single in the U.S., but only reached #59. In the UK, “Angel” b/w “Night Bird Flying” was the single released, though it did not manage to enter the charts. All of the songs from The Cry of Love are featured on the 1997 compilation First Rays of the New Rising Sun.

The song “My Friend” was recorded during the early stages of the Electric Ladyland sessions in 1968. It is a humorously delivered, but ultimately serious, song about loneliness. It features a dubbed background of Hendrix and friends creating a busy bar atmosphere. This dubbed audience idea also ended up being used in the 15-minute blues song “Voodoo Chile“. The final track on the album, “Belly Button Window”, was Jimi’s last studio recording with vocals. It was recorded at Electric Lady Studios on August 22, 1970.

Here is perhaps the best known tune from the album, the brilliant “Angel”

“Angel” – Jimi Hendrix

Angel came down
From heaven yesterday,
Stayed with me just long enough
To rescue me….

And she told me a story yesterday;
About the sweet love
Between the moon and the deep blue sea.

Then she spread her wings high over me.
She said,Ill come back again to see you tomorrow….

And I said fly on, my sweet angel.
Fly on through the sky.
Fly on, my sweet angel.
Tomorrow Im gonna be by your side….

Sure enough,
This woman came home to me.
Silver wings silhouetted against a childs sunrise….

And my angel,
She said unto me,
today is the day for you to rise.
Take my hand, youre gonna be my mind,
And she took me high over yonder…..

And I said fly on, my sweet angel.
Fly on through the sky.
Fly on, my sweet angel.
Tomorrow Im gonna be by your side….

Here is a cover version by Rod Stewart

And one with a jazz feel by Gil Evans

“Angel” – Gil Evans

gil evans plays the music of jimi hendrix

September 16, 2009 Posted by | Jazz, Old Music, Video | , , | Leave a comment

Tortured Souls

The Beatles have been my soundtrack for the daylight hours, however as darkness engulfs us and midnight passes the tortured soul has to to be soothed and to this end there is no better than Chet Baker


Chet Baker was somewhat unique in the world of jazz as he was renowned both as a vocalist and as a trumpet player.

Here he is in his vocalist role with a sublime version of “You’re Driving Me Crazy” from the 1950’s album “It Could Happen  To You”

it could happen to you

“You’re Driving Me Crazy” – Chet Baker

Here he is with just his trumpet for solace with “You’d Be Nice To Come Home To’ from his 1959 album “Chet”


“You’d Be Nice To Come Home To” – Chet Baker

As I am sure most of you are aware Baker was cursed with the side effect of many a talented genius and paid the ultimate penalty via an early death on May 13th 1988.

Although he recorded an album of Christmas songs, “Silent Nights” in 1987 his last real contribution to the world of popular music was recorded at the behest of Elvis Costello who asked him to contribute the soulful trumpet solo on Costello’s own version of “Shipbuilding” recorded in 1986.

“Shipbuilding ” – Elvis Costello

The song with lyrics by Costello and a melody by producer Clive Langer was of course originally recorded by Robert Wyatt in 1983, Langer having written the melody to reflect Wyatt’s own interpretation of Billie Holiday’s “Strange Fruit”

Before his death Baker repaid the Costello favour by recording Elvis’s “Almost Blue”

Goodnight……………and sleep tight.

September 8, 2009 Posted by | Jazz, Jazz Vocal, Old Music, Video | , , | Leave a comment

Sunday Jazz – Body and Soul

django reinhardt

I feel drained today so here is the great Django Reinhardt with something for the Body and Soul.

“Body and Soul” – Django Reinhardt

June 28, 2009 Posted by | Jazz, Old Music, Video | | Leave a comment

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