Saturday, July 31, 2010

Green Dolphin Street

"Lover, one lovely day,
Love came, planning to stay;
Green Dolphin Street supplied the setting,
The setting for nights beyond forgetting..."

Green Dolphin Street (1947) is a historic drama film starring Lana Turner that was based on the historical novel Green Dolphin Country (1944) by Elizabeth Goudge. The title song "Green Dolphin Street" (sometimes given as "On Green Dolphin Street") is a song written for the film by Bronislaw Kaper and Ned Washington. This song has become a jazz standard.  

Friday, July 30, 2010

Someone Like You

The song "Someone Like You" expresses our deepest feelings for that one person to love.  This artwork was originally done in acrylic paint on canvas.  It is now in my shop as a signed fine art print.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Kitchen Man

I took this photo in my kitchen after hearing the saucy, sassy lyrics of the  song “Kitchen Man” recorded in 1929 by the legendary jazz and blues singer Bessie smith.

Here an excerpt from a recording for the Public Radio series "Riverwalk Jazz," featuring The Jim Cullum Jazz Band and guests—singer Catherine Russell and pianist Dick Hyman at Pearl Stable, San Antonio, TX, May 2010. 

Halfway through the video Catherine Russell sings.

Madam Bucks
Was quite de-luxe;
Servants by the score,
Footmen at each door,
Butlers and maids galore!

But one day Dan,
Her kitchen man,
Gave in his notice, he's through!
She cried, "Oh Dan, don't go,
It'll grieve me if you do."

I love his cabbage, crave his hash,
I gotta have me some of that succertash,
I can't do without my kitchen man!

Wild about his turnip tops,
Like the way the man warms my chops,
I can't do without my kitchen man!

Anybody else could leave
And I would only laugh,
But he means that much to me,
And you ain't heard the half!

Oh, his jelly roll is so nice and hot,
Never fails to hit the spot,
I can't do without my kitchen man!

His frankfurters are oh so sweet, 
How I like his sausage meat.
I can't do without my kitchen man!

Oh, how that boy can open clams,
Nobody else will ever touch my hams,
I can't do without my kitchen man!

When I eat his doughnuts,
All I leave is the hole!
Any time he wants to,
Why, he can use my sugar bowl!

Oh, his baloney's worth a try,
Never fails to satisfy,
I can't do without my kitchen man!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Jazzy Summer Breezes

Is summer ever complete without a day at the beach?  It is especially cool if you are with the one who has your heart!

George Benson and Al Jarreau's rendition of "Summer Breeze" is so smooth.  Hope you enjoy it.

Friday, July 16, 2010

September Sun Goddess

When a painting doesn't turn out the way I want it to, I shelve it until I learn something new -- some way to improve it.  This was one of those cases.  I took my original portrait into Photoshop and turned into a fiery September goddess.  Jazz pianist Ramsey Lewis enhances her power.   

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Straighten Up and Fly Right

So the BP Oil guys think they can fix the gusher! Popular pre-bop jazz crooner Nat King Cole wrote the song “Straighten Up and Fly Right”. The lyrics are totally appropriate for the BP crew.


1919-1965. Crowned long before Elvis. The King Cole Trio was a popular pre-bop jazz group (with the definitive "Route 66"). He had huge pop success as a crooner of the 50s/60s: "Ramblin' Rose", "Nature Boy", "The Christmas Song"... "Send For Me" was great rock and roll, but he didn't pursue that road. His 50s NBC variety show was controversial, not for its innocuous fare, but because he was black. Father of Natalie Cole, who duetted on "Unforgettable", via the alchemy of digitalia.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Are You In or Are You Out?

Jazz festivals are happening all over the world — yeah, right now! Musicians form groups and fill the air with cool sounds. Everyone loosens up and lets the music get deep inside. This is an abstract print of an original painting of mine. It’s all jazzed up for summer!

Ramsey Lewis was born in Chicago, Illinois, to Ramsey Lewis, Sr. and Pauline Lewis.[2] Lewis began taking piano lessons at the age of four. At 15 he joined his first jazz band, The Cleffs. The seven-piece group provided Lewis his first involvement with jazz; he would later join Cleffs drummer Isaac "Redd" Holt and bassist Eldee Young to form the Ramsey Lewis Trio.

By 1966, Lewis was one of the nation’s most successful jazz pianists, topping the charts with "The In Crowd", "Hang On Sloopy", and "Wade in the Water". All three singles each sold over one million copies, and were awarded gold discs. Many of his recordings attracted a large non-jazz audience. In the 1970s, Lewis often played electric piano, although by later in the decade he was sticking to acoustic and using an additional keyboardist in his groups.

Lewis still lives in Chicago, Illinois, the city of his musical roots. He has seven children, fourteen grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.

—Source: Wikipedia

Monday, July 12, 2010

Summer and Sambas

What would summer be without the bold big sunflower?  And how could it be summer without the samba played by Brazilian Eliane Elias?

Eliane Elias (eh-lee-AH-neh eh-LEE-ahs) (born March 19, 1960 in São Paulo, Brazil) is a Brazilian jazz pianist, arranger, vocalist and songwriter.  She is one of my favorite jazz pianists.  Her mother was a classical pianist who had a huge collection of jazz records.  When Eliane was a little girl she grew up listening to jazz music being played in her home.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Listen -- Is That a Blackbird Singing?

This abstract print was inspired by both the melody and the lyrics of this Beatles's song.  I hope your heart will be renewed by the depth of their meaning as expressed in the simple lines of the artwork.

"Blackbird" is a Beatles song from double-disc album The Beatles (also known as The White Album). Blackbird was written by Paul McCartney, but credited as usual to Lennon/McCartney. McCartney was inspired to write it while in Scotland as a reaction to racial tensions escalating in America in the spring of 1968.

McCartney explained on PBS's Great Performances (Paul McCartney: Chaos and Creation at Abbey Road), aired in 2006, that the guitar accompaniment for "Blackbird" was inspired by Bach's Bourrée in E minor, a well known classical guitar piece. As kids, he and George Harrison tried to learn Bourrée as a "show off" piece. Bourrée is distinguished by melody and bass notes played simultaneously on the upper and lower strings. McCartney adapted a segment of Bourrée as the opening of "Blackbird," and carried the musical idea throughout the song.
— Source: Wikipedia

Here is how the print looks in a digital frame.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Night in Sicily Godfather Style

In the film “The Godfather”, Michael Corleone married his first wife, Apollonia, in the medieval town of Taormina. This abstract print celebrates that night and foretells the turmoil that encompasses the mafia family.

Here's an incredible jazz rendition of the theme from "The Godfather" played by Harry Connick, Jr. 

Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Very Thought of You

“The very thought of you and I forget to do the little ordinary things that everyone ought to do.” I’m living in a kinda daydream, I happy as a king, and foolish though it may seem that’s everything. The mere idea of you, the longing here for you you’ll never know how slow the moments go until I’m near to you. I see your face in every flower, your eyes in stars above it’s just the thought of you the very thought of you my love.”

Monday, July 5, 2010

Slip Out the Back, Jack

My original painting entitled "Slip Out the Back, Jack" takes its name from Paul Simon's song "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover". Rosemary Clooney's rendition is awesome. What a jazz legend! I thought you'd enjoy seeing vintage photos of her in a video. The song was included on her 1977 album "Nice to Be Around".

Here's what Wikipedia says:

"50 Ways to Leave Your Lover" was a 1975 hit song by Paul Simon, from his album Still Crazy After All These Years. "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover" broke in the U.S. in late December 1975 becoming number one on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 on February 7, 1976, and remaining there for three weeks. It was certified gold on March 11, 1976, and remained a best seller for nearly five months. The song also topped the adult contemporary chart for two weeks.

Written after Simon's divorce from first wife Peggy Harper, the song is a mistress's humorous advice to a husband on ways to end a relationship: Just slip out the back, Jack / Make a new plan, Stan. Studio drummer Steve Gadd created the unique drum beat that became the hook and color for the song consisting of an almost military beat. The song was recorded in a small New York City studio on Broadway.