Here are some half hour radio shows I produced near the 'Turn of the Century'.... 2,000. Some featured artists have left us for the Great Jazz Band in the Sky - but their spirits still touch our hearts -- and our ears.
The Midiri Brothers - Today, Joe and Paul, multitalented identical twins are receiving the praise and acclaim they deserve. Listen to their stories of how they were enticed by a school teacher to play a musical instrument . To catch their entertaining act at Jazz Festivals - google them. Please say 'hello' and give them a hug from me.
Matt Domber - Founder of the prestigious ARBORS RECORDS label, Matt describes how, by chance, he and his wife began his successful recording business and took 'Patrons of the Arts' to a new level. Catch the sounds of just a few of their favorite recording artists. Matt produces Jazz Festivals annually in Clearwater, Florida and features outstanding musicians from across the country.
Ed Polcer, Cynthia Sayer & Ed Metz, Sr. - This show has a theme. -- three separate interviews with talented Jazz musicians who have a link with New Jersey - where I lived happily before moving to Florida - where I continue to live happily. Hear Ed Polcer on cornet, Cynthia Saye on vocal and banjo and Ed Metz on piano as they describe their careers - interspersed with samples of their enjoyable music.
America's Youngest Jazz Band - One of the first bands I saw when I came to Florida was Sonny LaRosa's group of youngsters. ranging from 5 - 13 years old. Sporting tuxedo style red jackets and black pants, they played music of the Big Band era and knocked my socks off. I interviewed Sonny at his house to get the background of this fascinating project.
Vince Giordano - You'll love him. Everyone does. We met decades ago when I sang with the Friday night band "Speakeasy Jazz Babies" and Vince's band played Mondays at The Red Blazer in NYC. Vince was recently featured in the PBS documentary of Michael Feinstein. They share a passion for the music of the 1920's & 30's. Today, Vince Giordano's Nighthawks perform in NY and also record for TV and film soundtracks. This interview took place during a band break, outside the club. You'll hear the ambiant sound of traffic. Sorry, it's real life, folks.
Lionel Hampton - In Sarasota, I was asked to produce a tribute radio show to Lionel Hampton. At the time, he was in the hospital in NYC and within two weeks - he passed away at the age of 94. I spoke to both Phil Leshin and to Phoebe Jacobs. Both had managed Lionel's career and loved him dearly. My friend Buck O'Neil, Negro League baseball hero shared stories of his closeness with the colorful and beloved master of the vibes.
Dick Hyman - Dick and I are from NJ, where I first met him when we were booked in the annual NJ Jazz Society Festival. Needless to say, he's on a higher level. Dick's fame as pianist, songwriter and arranger grew as the Musical Director for a number of Woody Allen films plus "Moonstruck". This modest man and his wife, artist Julia Hyman, now live in Florida where he has been very responsible for the success of the Jazz Club of Sarasota.
Terry Blaine and Mark Shane - Serendipity brought Terry and Mark together on an ordinary club date booking. The rest is history. Mark's nimble fingered piano expertise and Terry's vocal stylings combine to entertain with delightful musical treats. We met originally when we were all booked on a New Jersey Jazz Society event. Years later, I interviewed them after a concert in Sarasota, FL .
Ken Burns - Ken's historical PBS series "JAZZ" is the focus of our conversation. Hear this award-winning filmmaker describe his reasons for creating this masterpiece and the difficulties he had determining who would 'make the cut' in the final production and why. I selected some of my personal favorite music from the soundtrack to intersperse between our conversation.
Lou Carter - 'Louie, the Cabdriver' on the Perry Como show, was an extremely witty songwriter and talented pianist. I had the good fortune of working with him in "Ace in the Hole" Productions (NJ) for a couple of years. He recalls the joy of gigging with his trio "The Gentle Winds", collaborating on "I Told Ya I Love Ya' - Now Get Out" - and more. Lou wrote "For a Girl" for pianist/vocalist Dardanelle (heard here). I am one of many female musicians who relate to the lyrics..and we enjoy performing it.
Jazz in England - One of the highlights of my so-called career was performing as pianist/vocalist at "Pizza On The Park" in London where I worked with super talented and hospitable Stan Greg, Johnny Parker, Eddie Thompson and Neville Dickey during the dual piano sets. What fun! On this radio show, I only have samples of stride pianist Neville Dickey, Digby Fairweather (trumpet), extraordinary Cleo Laine (vocals) plus a recording of me singing with NYC group "The Speakeasy Jazz Babies"..which led to my London engagement. Carmen Mastren plays guitar with us ..he played with Glenn Miller in England.
Bucky Pizzarelli, Darryl Sherman & Norman Simmons - Bucky, masterful guitarist, is truly a gentleman of jazz. He describes his mentors in Paterson, NJ and more. He passed his musical genes to his children and if you're a Jazz buff...you already know about his son, John Pizzarelli the very successful/guitarist/entertainer. Delightful Darryl Sherman reminds me of the legendary Blossom Dearie with her charming girlish vocals and piano talent and comments. At a NJJS annual picnic, pianist Norman Simmons recalls highlights of his career in Jazz and you'll hear samples of his creative composing as well.
Regan Ryzuk - Regan is a creative pianist, composer and teacher.. To demonstrate his versatility, this show includes a sample of music from an original opera, "Jack, the Ripper"which he co-wrote with his mother, plus a Jazz selection with his buddy Grover Kemple. Now,several years since this interview, Regan taught my grandson Teddy Comora, who can be seen tickling the ivories on Youtube.com.
Jazz for Easy Driving - or "Easy Driving in Heavy Traffic", is a compilation of soothing sounds by song stylists: Paulette Pepper, Renee' Safier, Laura Benanti, Marjorie Jasper, a duet with Ronny Whyte & Betty Comora..ending with an appropriate Ruby Braff recording "Love is Just Around the Corner"..so drive carefully.
Jack Peterson & Jerry Jerome - This split-celebrity show focuses on two outstanding musicians in Sarasota, Florida. First you'll hear Jack Petersen, who created the guitar course at Berkeley College of Jazz, in Boston. I had a fun weekly gig with Jack, an excellent guitarist, pianist and gentleman.. at the local Mona Lisa restaurant. Unfortunately, for me and other fans, Jack moved to Arizona. The second half of the show is dedicated to the late, beloved Jerry Jerome....one of the finest reed players and band leaders. You'll enjoy his anecdotes.
Ragtime Dixieland Barbershop - Here's the 'demo' program I was asked to make for WFDU fm in Teaneck, NJ..when I lived in Paramus. Catch samples of music by pianist Dick Hyman, trumpteter Pee Wee Erwin, Renee Craig & her Sweet Adeline QT, NY's pianist Chuck Folds, John Bucher's Speakeasy Jazz Babies, Jack Maheu's group, Terry Waldo and legendary Bix Beiderbecke. The station manager liked it...and the rest is 'history'.
Ruby Vinson - I visited and interviewed lovely Ruby in her home as she recalled highlights of her musical career. As pianist/vocalist, she was generous with her talents and a very active lifetime member of the Jazz Club of Sarasota. Unfortunately, the quality of the audio tapes she gave me were not very sharp - but her comments are! You can hear the birds chirping by her kitchen window. Ruby, in her 80s, died a few years later and I hope all her fans will enjoy hearing her on this show... 'One More Time'.