William Price King meets some Legends – Bruce Springsteen – Part Four – 1990’s to 2006


We are now entering the 1990s and Bruce Springsteen would later acknowledge that the 1990s were a “lost period” for him: “I didn’t do a lot of work. Some people would say I didn’t do my best work.”

I will now hand over to William Price King to explore the changes in Springsteen’s career during the decade.

Following Bruce Springsteen’s move to California in 1991 there was a change in the mood and tone of his music. He was clearly much happier in his personal life, and the rawness and intensity in his music that had propelled his career to such success in the previous decade, was evolving into a more measured delivery. Part of this was that he no longer recorded with the E Street Band, which to many of his fans, was a disappointment. He still continued to work with pianist Roy Bittan and Springsteen added studio musicians including Randy Jackson on bass guitar and Jeff Porcaro on drums to work on his next albums.

He released two albums on the same day on March 31st 1992 – Human Touch and Lucky Town. Springsteen had been working on Human Touch since the late 1980s with the intention of releasing in 1990. As he had shelved the project in 1991 as he began recording Lucky Town coming back to it the following year.

Human Touch featured mainly love songs and received critical success with some considering that the title track was amongst some of his best work, however his fans were not as enthusiastic. Lucky Town had a different folk theme and focused on specific events in Bruce Springsteen’s life rather than his love life. Living Proof for example was about the birth of his first son.

However, there was good news in 1994 when the multiple Grammy Award winner also won an Academy Award for his song Streets of Philadelphia, from the soundtrack of the film Philadelphia.

This haunting ballad captures the pain and the loneliness that accompanied the AIDS crisis. It was also a comeback for Springsteen, earning him a spot in Billboard’s Top 10, four Grammys as well as the Oscar. The vocal track from the video was recorded live during the shooting, using a hidden microphone – a new modern day technique at the time which was quite appropriate for emotionally intense songs.

His next release in 1995 followed a temporary reunion with the E Street Band to record a handful of new songs for his first Greatest Hits Album. This was followed by his second predominantly solo guitar album, The Ghost of Tom Joad which was inspired by John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath and by Journey to Nowhere: The Saga of the New Underclass, a book by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Dale Maharidge and photographer Michael Williamson.

Although Springsteen’s first guitar solo album Nebraska had done fairly well, this second album did meet with some criticism for the poor melody and vocals although some praised it for giving a voice to immigrants and others who rarely featured in American Culture. The extended Ghost Tom Joad Tour which was performed in small venues also included some of his older and popular tracks, stripped back in a new acoustic form.

However the decade did end on a high note when Springsteen was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1999 by Bono of U2. To the delight of his fans, 1999 also brought Springsteen and the E Street Band together for a year long Reunion Tour. The final two shows were recorded for HBO and the corresponding DVD and album were released as Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band: Live in New York City.

In 2002, Springsteen released his first studio effort with the full band in 18 years, The Rising, produced by Brendan O’Brien.  This record became Springsteen’s best-selling album of new material in 15 years. Kicked off by an early-morning Asbury Park appearance on The Today Show, The Rising Tour commenced, barnstorming through a series of single-night arena stands in the U.S. and Europe to promote the album in 2002, then returning for large-scale, multiple-night stadium shows in 2003.

Waiting on a Sunny Day is from the album The Rising, which predominantly deals with themes of relationship struggles, existential crisis, and social uplift, in the aftermath of the September 11 terror attacks. But this particular upbeat song is a reflection of a much simpler world, before the terror attacks. For Bruce Springsteen, this song was “a good example of pop song writing,” which he wrote in the style of Smokey Robinson.

Springsteen’s fan base both in the USA and in Europe had remained loyal throughout the 1990s but there had definitely been a cooling off in his popularity in the central and southern states due to his political leanings. Now however, The Boss was definitely back, and this was demonstrated by the 10 nights the band played in the Giants Stadium in New Jersey that has seldom been equalled. The Rising Tour finished with three nights in Shea Stadium with a guest appearance by Bob Dylan.

This successful album and tour was followed in April 2005 with the release of Devils and Dust, recorded without the E Street Band. Another low key acoustic album it did feature more orchestration than Nebraska and The Ghost of Tom Joad albums. The title track is about an ordinary soldier’s feelings and fears during the Iraq War and the rest of the album reinforced Springsteen’s anti-corporate sentiments. The album entered the charts at #1 in ten countries including the US, UK, Italy, Germany and the Netherlands.

In April 2006, Springsteen released We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions, an American roots music project focused around a big folk sound treatment of 15 songs popularized by the radical musical activism of Pete Seeger. This was Springsteen’s first album of cover songs and his second consecutive non-E Street Band and non-rock music project.

It was recorded with a large ensemble of musicians including only Patti Scialfa, Soozie Tyrell, and The Miami Horns from past efforts. In contrast to previous albums, this was recorded in only three one-day sessions, and frequently one can hear Springsteen calling out key changes live as the band explores its way through the tracks.

A tour began the same month. The tour proved very popular in Europe, selling out everywhere and receiving some excellent reviews. Bruce Springsteen with The Sessions Band: Life in Dublin, containing selections from three nights of November 2006 shows at the Point Theatre in Dublin, Ireland, was released the following June.

Old Dan Tucker is from the album, which won the Grammy Award for Best Traditional Folk Album in 2007. This song is largely Anglo-American in nature but has black influences and falls into the idiom of minstrel music, relying on rhythm and text declamation as its primary motivation with a very simple melody and a simple harmonic base.

Additional material: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bruce_Springsteen

For concert schedules and news: http://brucespringsteen.net/

Buy Bruce Springsteen’s Music: https://www.amazon.com/Bruce-Springsteen/e/B000AQ2ZLQ

The previous Bruce Springsteen posts: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/william-price-king-meets-some-legends/

About William Price King

William Price King is an American jazz singer, musician and composer. Originally he studied classical music and opera but over the years his style has evolved to what many refer to as the ‘sweet point’ where music and voice come together so beautifully.

His vocal mentors are two of the greatest giants in jazz, Nat King Cole and Mel Torme. His jazz album, ‘Home,’ is a collection of contemporary songs and whilst clearly a homage to their wonderful legacy it brings a new and refreshing complexity to the vocals that is entrancing.

His latest album Eric Sempe and William Price King is now available to download. The repertory includes standards such as “Bye Bye Blackbird” (a jazz classic), Sting’s “Englishman in New York,” Queen’s “The Show Must Go On”, Led Zepplin’s “Stairway to Heaven” and other well-known jazz, pop, and rock classics.

William and Eric Sempe have also brought their own magic to the album with original tracks such as Keep on Dreaming and Red Snow with collaboration with Jeanne King
Download the new album. http://cdbaby.com/cd/williampriceking

William is currently in France where he performs in popular Jazz Venues in Nice and surrounding area.

Connect to William

Website – http://www.williampriceking.com/
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/WilliamPriceKing
Twitter – @wpkofficial
Regular Venue – http://cave-wilson.com/
ITunes https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/william-price-king/id788678484

You will find the previous artists..  Luciano Pavarotti, Andrea Bocelli, Kiri Te Kanawa in this directory.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/classical-music-with-william-price-king/

And for the Jazz in this directory.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/william-price-king-jazz-and-music-series/

Thank you so much for stopping by and your feedback is always very welcome. Thanks Sally

William Price King meets some Legends – Bruce Springsteen – The 1980s


Welcome to this week’s post on the legend that is The Boss, Bruce Springsteen. There are few of us in our 50s and 60s who do not know his music and in particularly the iconic songs such as Born in the USA and Dancing in the Dark.  This week William Price King takes us through the 1980s and the success that it brought for Bruce Springsteen after a frustrating start to his career.

Bruce Springsteen was seen as the advocate for the hard working Americans who also gave up their lives to fight for freedom. This was reinforced with his double album The River which was released in 1980. It was an eclectic mix of rock and roll and ballads that were delivered with intensity and emotion. It was also an album that hinted at the direction that Bruce Springsteen was headed both intellectually and musically.

The album was also cause for celebration as it yielded the first Top Ten single for Springsteen with the releases of Hungry Heart. The album itself became Springsteen’s first #1 on the Billboard Pop Albums chart and he followed it up with an extended tour through to 1981 across Europe and multi-night arena performances in key US cities.

Springsteen originally wrote Hungry Heart for the Ramones but was convinced to keep it for himself by his manager and producer Jon Landau. This was Springsteen’s first top 10 hit, reaching #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 in late 1980. The song is about a guy who walks out on his wife and kids. The lyrics are pretty dark, but you’d never know it from the bright melody and arrangements. Furthermore, Springsteen’s voice was sped up a little on the recording which produced a higher pitched vocal. It’s a great song.

The album that followed in 1982 was a definite contrast to The River.  Springsteen had recorded a demo tape at his home on a simple four-track tape deck and studio sessions expanded on the resulting tracks. However both Bruce and his producer decided that the songs worked better as solo acoustic numbers and the original demo tape was released as the album Nebraska. Although not as popular with the fans as his previous three albums it did receive high praise from the critics and was named Album of the Year by Rolling Stones magazine.

The fans had a very different reaction to the Born in the USA album released in 1984 and it propelled Bruce Springsteen into musical super stardom.  Selling 15 million copies in the US and 30 million worldwide it became one of the best-selling albums of all time with seven singles in the Top Ten.

The title track Born in the USA is a protest song. It’s patriotic chorus is an ironic counterpoint to the verses which tell a heartbreaking story of a Vietnam vet, and casts a shameful eye on how America treated its Vietnam veterans. This song was originally entitled Vietnam, but when Springsteen received a script for a movie called Born in the USA, (from movie director Paul Schrader) about a rock band’s struggle with life and religion, he changed the title of the song to Born in the USA. Later, when the movie was finally made, the title Born in the USA was too associated with the song. So, to make up for that Springsteen provided Schrader with the song Light of Day, which became the new title for movie and the feature song in the film.

 

Born in the USA made a huge political statement that reverberated around America. His name was on the lips of prominent politicians including Ronald Reagan who said “America’s future rests in a thousand dreams inside your hearts. It rests in the message of hope in the songs of a man so many young Americans admire—New Jersey’s own, Bruce Springsteen.”

This commercial success was followed by a more unsettled time for Bruce Springsteen’s personal life. There was a short-lived marriage to actress Julianne Phillips in 1985 followed by his relationship with one of the E Street Band’s back up singer Patti Scialfa, both sharing similar working class New Jersey roots. However, Springsteen was very affected by his failed marriage and he released a much more toned down and refective album in 1987. Tunnel of Love explored the rollercoaster of love, loss and heartbreak of relationships.

In Tunnel of love Springsteen tells quite a sentimental story about two people taking their first “sweethearts’ ride” together, the promises they make to each other, and their dreams. But then the tunnel becomes a metaphor for a romantic relationship which slowly sinks into the abyss. It is thought that Springsteen is referring to his own failing relationship with his wife in this song. On Tunnel of love, Springsteen plays most of the instruments and is backed by Roy Bittan on synthesizers, Nils Lofgren on lead guitar, and Max Weinberg on drums. His future wife, Patti Scialfa sings the background vocals.

 

On July 19, 1988, Springsteen held a concert in East Germany that attracted 300,000 spectators. Journalist Erik Kirschbaum has called the concert “the most important rock concert ever, anywhere”, in his 2013 book “Rocking the Wall! Bruce Springsteen: The Berlin Concert That Changed the World.”

Later in 1988, Springsteen headlined the worldwide Human Rights Now! tour for Amnesty International. In late 1989 he dissolved the E Street Band, and he and Patti Scialfa relocated to California, marrying in 1991.

Additional material: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bruce_Springsteen

For concert schedules and news: http://brucespringsteen.net/

Buy Bruce Springsteen’s Music: https://www.amazon.com/Bruce-Springsteen/e/B000AQ2ZLQ

The previous Bruce Springsteen posts: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/william-price-king-meets-some-legends/

About William Price King

William Price King is an American jazz singer, musician and composer. Originally he studied classical music and opera but over the years his style has evolved to what many refer to as the ‘sweet point’ where music and voice come together so beautifully.

His vocal mentors are two of the greatest giants in jazz, Nat King Cole and Mel Torme. His jazz album, ‘Home,’ is a collection of contemporary songs and whilst clearly a homage to their wonderful legacy it brings a new and refreshing complexity to the vocals that is entrancing.

His latest album Eric Sempe and William Price King is now available to download. The repertory includes standards such as “Bye Bye Blackbird” (a jazz classic), Sting’s “Englishman in New York,” Queen’s “The Show Must Go On”, Led Zepplin’s “Stairway to Heaven” and other well-known jazz, pop, and rock classics.

William and Eric Sempe have also brought their own magic to the album with original tracks such as Keep on Dreaming and Red Snow with collaboration with Jeanne King
Download the new album. http://cdbaby.com/cd/williampriceking

William is currently in France where he performs in popular Jazz Venues in Nice and surrounding area.

Connect to William

Website – http://www.williampriceking.com/
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/WilliamPriceKing
Twitter – @wpkofficial
Regular Venue – http://cave-wilson.com/
ITunes https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/william-price-king/id788678484

You will find the previous artists..  Luciano Pavarotti, Andrea Bocelli, Kiri Te Kanawa in this directory.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/classical-music-with-william-price-king/

And for the Jazz in this directory.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/william-price-king-jazz-and-music-series/

Thank you so much for stopping by and your feedback is always very welcome. Thanks Sally

William Price King meets some Legends – Bruce Springsteen – Part Two


Welcome to the second post in the new series from Jazz singer, musician and composer William Price King.

William has informed and entertained us for the last three years with wonderful behind the scenes and insightful posts about some of the most iconic artists in jazz and classical music.

For those of us of a certain age – there are certain contemporary artists who have weaved their musical magic over the last 50 years or so. In this series William will be exploring the lives and music of those artists and in this series we are exploring the life and music of  The Boss.. Bruce Springsteen.

Last week we looked at Bruce Springsteen’s early life and career and you can find that post here. https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/william-price-king-meets-some-legends/

Now over to William for part two.

His prolific song writing ability, with “More words in some individual songs than other artists had in whole albums”, as his future record label would describe it in early publicity campaigns, brought his skill to the attention of several people who were about to change his life: new managers Mike Appel and Jim Cretecos, who in turn brought him to the attention of Columbia Records talent scout John Hammond, who auditioned Springsteen in May 1972.

Although this was a huge turning point in Bruce Springsteen’s career it would get off to a somewhat slow start. His first studio album with Columbia Records, Greetings from Asbury Park, NJ brought critical acclaim but was slow to catch on with the buying public. Comparisons were being made between his lyrical style and that of Bob Dylan but that did not sell records. This experience was to be repeated later in the year when Springsteen and the E Street Band followed up their debut with The Wild, The Innocent, & The E Street Shuffle in January 1973. Again the critics found little fault with the album but sales were slow.

“Blinded by the light” was Springsteen’s first single from the “Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J.” album in 1972. He admitted in interviews that this was the first time that he used a rhyming dictionary to write a song because he was under pressure to come up with a “hit” from his record label. He described the song as a sort of coded autobiography: “I wanted to get blinded by the light, I wanted to do things I hadn’t done, see things I hadn’t seen.” The track was later covered by Manfred Mann’s Earth Band in 1977 and reached number one in America and Canada.

In 1974, music critic Jon Landau wrote, after seeing a performance at the Harvard Square Theater, “I saw rock and roll future, and its name is Bruce Springsteen. And on a night when I needed to feel young, he made me feel like I was hearing music for the very first time.” Landau helped to finish the epic new album Born to Run and subsequently became Springsteen’s manager and producer.

The album took 14 months to record with six months of that spent on the title track Born to Run. Despite the time spent on the album, Bruce Springsteen was not happy with the finished product and told his new manager that he wanted to cut it live at his regular venue The Bottom Line.

In mid August 1975 the E Street Band began a five night, 10 show gig at the club which attracted a great deal of media attention. It was broadcast live on WNEW-FM and many years later Rolling Stone Magazine recognised that gig as one of the 50 Moments That Changed Rock and Roll. The album was released two weeks later and went to #3 on the Billboard 200 with the single Born to Run reaching # 23 on the Billboard charts.

“Born to Run” is Springsteen’s signature song. This song is what rock-n-roll is all about – escape, romance, redemption, and the hope of something better. In this performance Springsteen expresses the hunger, doubt, courage, and fear one has in stepping out into the world for the first time on his own, and he does it with an irresistible force.

After struggling for recognition from the buying public for a number of years the floodgates opened and Bruce appeared on the covers of both Time and Newsweek the same week on October 27th of 1975. Despite the wait, the new found fame did not sit easily on Springsteen and he found the promotional aspects of their first overseas tour in London challenging.

There was also trouble on the home front with a dispute with former manager Mike Appel that kept the bank out of the studio for a year. Bruce kept the E Street Band together by touring across the US but fans did notice that there was a darker edge to his performances than before. A settlement was reached with Mike Appel in 1977 and Springsteen and the band returned to the studio to record Darkness on the Edge of Town which was released in 1978.

The album did not produce high charting singles but stayed in the album charts for 97 weeks and was certified Triple Platinum by the RIAA. Reviews were positive with critics noting a new maturity in the lyrics. The fans certainly approved of the album and many of the tracks have become performance favourites to this day.

“Racing in the Street” is a mournful – like ballad which begins with a slow, graceful, and elegant introduction on the the piano played by Roy Bittan. This is a song which celebrates a man’s desire for freedom from responsibility, which is symbolized by the ability to drive to freedom in a fast car, thus using a fast car as a means of escape. This is Bruce Springsteen at his best.

Musically, this album was a turning point in Springsteen’s career. “The whole force of “Darkness” was a survival thing,” he said. “After Born to Run, I had a reaction to my good fortune. With success, it felt like a lot of people who’d come before me lost some essential part of themselves. My greatest fear was that success was going to change or diminish that part of myself.”

In order to promote the album, Springsteen and the E Street Band embarked on a cross-country tour that would make them famous for their marathon performances (three or four hours per show), boisterous behavior and infectious energy, captivating audiences from California to New York. During this time, Springsteen also became famous for his integrity and pride as a performer, as stories of his exhausting performances and perfectionism in the recording studio became legend.

Not only was Bruce Springsteen seen as a consumate performer but he was rapidly earning a reputation in the pop world as a songwriter. Apart from Blinded by the Light which was a hit for Manfred Mann, in 1978 Patti Smith reached #13 with Because the NIght and The Pointer Sisters hit #2 in 1979 with Springsteen’s so far unreleased Fire.

Bruce Springsteen wrote “Fire” for his idol Elvis Presley, after having seen him perform in Philadelphia. Springsteen said: “I sent Elvis a demo of it but he died before it arrived.” Following The Pointer Sister’s hit it was included in Springsteen’s “Live/1975-85” concert album and released as a single. It reached #46 on the Billboard Hot 100, #18 in Ireland, #54 in the UK and #82 in Australia.

Additional material: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bruce_Springsteen

For concert schedules and news: http://brucespringsteen.net/

Buy Bruce Springsteen’s Music: https://www.amazon.com/Bruce-Springsteen/e/B000AQ2ZLQ

About William Price King

William Price King is an American jazz singer, musician and composer. Originally he studied classical music and opera but over the years his style has evolved to what many refer to as the ‘sweet point’ where music and voice come together so beautifully.

His vocal mentors are two of the greatest giants in jazz, Nat King Cole and Mel Torme. His jazz album, ‘Home,’ is a collection of contemporary songs and whilst clearly a homage to their wonderful legacy it brings a new and refreshing complexity to the vocals that is entrancing.

His latest album Eric Sempe and William Price King is now available to download. The repertory includes standards such as “Bye Bye Blackbird” (a jazz classic), Sting’s “Englishman in New York,” Queen’s “The Show Must Go On”, Led Zepplin’s “Stairway to Heaven” and other well-known jazz, pop, and rock classics.

William and Eric Sempe have also brought their own magic to the album with original tracks such as Keep on Dreaming and Red Snow with collaboration with Jeanne King
Download the new album. http://cdbaby.com/cd/williampriceking

William is currently in France where he performs in popular Jazz Venues in Nice and surrounding area.

Connect to William

Website – http://www.williampriceking.com/
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/WilliamPriceKing
Twitter – @wpkofficial
Regular Venue – http://cave-wilson.com/
ITunes https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/william-price-king/id788678484

You will find the previous artists..  Luciano Pavarotti, Andrea Bocelli, Kiri Te Kanawa in this directory.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/classical-music-with-william-price-king/

And for the Jazz in this directory.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/william-price-king-jazz-and-music-series/

Thank you so much for stopping by and your feedback is always very welcome. Thanks Sally

Classical Music with William Price King – Leontyne Price – The Finale


classical musicWelcome to the last part in our series on Leontyne Price. The American soprano paved the way for so many young singers, particularly those African American artists who wanted to take their rightful place in the world of opera.  William Price King takes us through Leontyne’s final official performances.. Although I am sure at age 90, this wonderful singer still enjoys singing in private.

indexLeontyne Price was now at the peak of her career in the early 1970s and as such was often invited to sing at state occasions.  She had been invited to sing at President Lyndon B. Johnson’s inauguration in 1965 and she attended his funeral in January 1973 where she sang Precious Lord, Take My Hand and Onward Christian Soldiers.  Leontyne also perforned at state functions during President Jimmy Carter’s term in office including on the visit of Pope John Paul II.

Having missed the 1972 season, Leontyne returned to the Met in 1973 to sing Madama Butterfly for the first time in ten years.

Leontyne Price’s “Un Bel Di” from Madama Butterfly is ravishingly beautiful and demonstrates why she was one of the greatest lirico spinto sopranos ever. Here, she gives a commanding and fearless performance which would delight any Puccini enthusiast, with her rich low tones, her vibrant middle and her radiant top.

In 1976, the Met mounted a long-delayed new production of Aida, with James McCracken as Radames and Marilyn Horne as Amneris, directed by John Dexter. In 1977 Leontyne renewed her partnership with Herbert von Karajan in a Brahms Requiem with the Berlin Philharmonic at Carnegie Hall.  Following this she and Karajan returned to perform what would be her final opera performances in Europe, in Il Travatore at the Salzburg Easter Festival and Vienna’s Staatsoper.

1977 also saw Leontyne sing her last new role as the Strauss heroine Ariadne in San Francisco to rave reviews.

Leontyne Price sings “Ein Schönes War” from Ariadne auf Naxos

I believe that most opera buffs would agree that Ariadne was a great role for Ms. Price. Her voice easily encompassed the wide range that this role offers. Her German is practically faultless, and there is such a wealth of gorgeous tone, sensitive artistry and impeccable musicianship.In this aria,Ariadne recalls her love for Theseus,andimagines herself as a chaste girl, awaiting death.


In 1979 she did bring the role of Ariadne to the Met, but she was suffering from a viral infection and only performed two of the scheduled perfomances.

However, there were still some exceptional performances to come and in fall of 1981 Leontyne stepped in for soprano Margaret Price as Aida in San Francisco. In 1983 she hosted two televised performances of ‘In Performance from the White House‘.

After revisiting some of her most famous roles in San Francisco and at the Met, Price gave her operatic farewell on January 3, 1985, in a televised performance of Aida from the Met which was hailed as one of the most successful operatic performances in the Met’s history. . Time Magazine described it as a “vocally stunning performance… that proved she can still capture her peak form.” Donal Henahan wrote that the “57-year-old soprano took an act or two to warm to her work, but what she delivered in the Nile Scene turned out to be well worth the wait.

In 2007, PBS viewers voted her singing of the aria, “O patria mia”, as the No. 1 “Great Moment” in 30 years of “Live from the Met” telecasts. The performance ended with 25 minutes of applause.

Leontyne Price sang 201 performances with the Met, in 16 roles, in the house and on tour, including galas. (She was absent for three seasons—1970–71, 1977–78, and 1980–81—and sang only in galas in 1972-73, 1979–80, and 1982–83.)

Over the next twelve years, Leontyne Price continued to perform concerts and recitals with her longtime accompanist David Garvey. The programme usually combined Handel arias, French melodies, German Lieder and one or two arias

Leontyne often included American Art Songs and Spirituals in her concerts. “This little light of mine” was her mother’s favorite spiritual and one audiences loved to hear. Ms. Price used her *timbre as a form of embellishment as she moved deftly between a polished art song sound and a more robust gospel style sound to deliver spirituals. It worked beautifully.

*timbre – the character or quality of a musical sound or voice as distinct from its pitch and intensity.


Before retiring, Price gave several master classes at Juilliard and other schools. In 1997, at the suggestion of RCA-BMG, she wrote a children’s book version of Aida, which became the basis for the hit Broadway musical by Elton J and Tim Rice in 2000.

In October 2001, at the age of 74, Price was asked to come out of retirement to sing in a memorial concert at Carnegie Hall for the victims of the September 11 attacks. With James Levine at the piano, she sang her favorite spiritual, “This Little Light of Mine”, followed by an unaccompanied “God Bless America,” ending it with a bright, easy high B.

Leontyne Price now lives in Greenwich Village in New York City and it seems a fitting way to end this look at her wonderful and inspiring career with a song that demonstrates her versatility.

Ms. Price often sang songs from the Great American Songbook. Here is her concert version of “What I did for love” from the Broadway show “A Chorus Line”. She lends her deliciously silken tone to this famous tune. Breath taking!

 

Additional Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leontyne_Price

Buy the music of Leontyne Price: https://www.amazon.com/Leontyne-Price/e/B000AQ1580

William and his music

About William Price King

William Price King is an American jazz singer, musician and composer. Originally he studied classical music and opera but over the years his style has evolved to what many refer to as the ‘sweet point’ where music and voice come together so beautifully.

His vocal mentors are two of the greatest giants in jazz, Nat King Cole and Mel Torme. His jazz album, ‘Home,’ is a collection of contemporary songs and whilst clearly a homage to their wonderful legacy it brings a new and refreshing complexity to the vocals that is entrancing.

His latest album Eric Sempe and William Price King is now available to download. The repertory includes standards such as “Bye Bye Blackbird” (a jazz classic), Sting’s “Englishman in New York,” Queen’s “The Show Must Go On”, Led Zepplin’s “Stairway to Heaven” and other well-known jazz, pop, and rock classics.

William and Eric Sempe have also brought their own magic to the album with original tracks such as Keep on Dreaming and Red Snow with collaboration with Jeanne King
Download the new album. http://cdbaby.com/cd/williampriceking

William is currently in France where he performs in popular Jazz Venues in Nice and surrounding area.

Connect to William

Website – http://www.williampriceking.com/
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/WilliamPriceKing
Twitter – @wpkofficial
Regular Venue – http://cave-wilson.com/
ITunes https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/william-price-king/id788678484

You will find the previous artists..  Luciano Pavarotti, Andrea Bocelli, Kiri Te Kanawa in this directory.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/classical-music-with-william-price-king/

Thank you so much for stopping by and your feedback is always very welcome. Sally

N.B.  Next week marks the first in the Creative Artist’s interviews and William Price King is the first guest.. For those of you who have enjoyed William’s music post since 2014 it will be an opportunity to ask your own questions in the comment section of the post.  I know that William is looking forward to hearing from you.. Next Wednesday March 1st.  Please join us for the first of the interactive interviews.

If you are a poet, photographer, musician, artist, storyteller then here are the details of the new series.. I already have some wonderful guests lined up but would be delighted to hear from you.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/02/05/new-series-smorgasbord-creative-artist-interview-musicians-bloggers-artists-photographers/

Smorgasbord Weekly Round Up – Rum Cocktails, Blog Sitters and all that Jazz


round-up

I have had a lovely week with a birthday and Valentine’s Day and I am now about to pack my bags to head off for a girls week with my two sisters to celebrate all our birthdays which all fall in February. I will report on the activities they have planned on my return… at least those I can talk about!

I got very excited when I read the headlines in the Daily Mail online yesterday that promised hotter temperatures than Spain with a high of 16 degrees and sunshine.. As I was planning what to pack, I thought I better check a more reliable source than the DM!  Sure enough, apart from a couple of days with a glimpse of yellow behind the clouds there is a 45 – 55% of rain all week and a high of 10 or 11.

I have put away my swimsuit, shorts and flip flops again in the attic with the other summer clothes that I fear may never see the light of day again.

However, all is not lost as David bought me a therapy lamp with safe tanning for my birthday. I have been using as advised and retire upstairs to the spare bedroom and don goggles, my iPod and pretend for 15 minutes that I am on a tropical island on a sandy beach. It was not quite there…. but David solved that by buying a bottle of rum, and a dram of that in my coconut water and Bob’s your uncle.. (please drink responsibly with only one cocktail per tanning session and only at sundown)

images

I was going to put up a few regular posts during my absence just to keep things ticking over. I then thought that it seemed a shame not to use this as an opportunity to promote a few of my blogging friends and so posted a part-time blog sitter vacancy.

I know how busy everyone is with their own blog and projects so was very grateful to receive a wonderful response to the advert.  I have put together a programme of events for the week that I am away beginning Tuesday with posts from this group of talent writers.

Paul Andruss, Tina Frisco, Colin Chappell, Debby Gies, William Price King, Geoff Le Pard, Noelle Granger, Susan M. Toy, Mary Smith, Robbie Cheadle, John W. Howell and Linda Bethea.

The full programme details can be found here: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/02/18/smorgasbord-blog-sitting-special-21st-28th-february-programme-of-events/

Time for some of the posts you might have missed during the week.

William Price King – Leontyne Price

classical music

As always my thanks to William Price King for his weekly music post and this week we follow the career and performances of Leontyne Price during the 1960s. Look out for William’s Creative Artist Interview on Wednesday March 1st.  It is an interactive interview and I hope that you will drop in and ask William questions about his life and career in the comments.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/02/15/classical-music-with-william-price-king-leontyne-price-part-three-1960s/

Paul Andruss

Thomas the Rhymer

Although Paul has contributed articles for the blog over the last couple of months I was delighted when he accepted my invitation to be a regular contributor going forward.. This is his official first post as Writer in Residence.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/02/17/writer-in-residence-paul-andruss-or-the-horse-might-talk/

Personal Stuff

A short story for Valentine’s Day.. about love.. of course..

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/02/14/smorgasbord-short-story-the-other-side-of-heaven-sally-cronin/

Weekly Image and Haiku

robin-2

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/02/18/weekly-image-and-haiku-aniseed/

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update

51et2jncwzl-_uy250_charlene-new 51pgonihral

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/02/13/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-barb-caffrey-angie-dokos-and-deanie-humphrys-dunne/

glimpsesCover Art by Jon Hunsinger51abcfiqqgl-_uy250_

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/02/17/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-hugh-w-roberts-charles-e-yallowitz-and-stevie-turner/

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New on the Shelves

51thptj4l-_uy250_

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/02/13/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-on-the-shelves-both-sides-of-love-by-kimberly-wenzler/

51rezzjnual-_uy250_

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/02/14/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-on-the-shelves-the-beast-within-mended-souls-book-2-by-jacquie-biggar/

51m13eldxkl-_uy250_

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/02/15/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-on-the-shelves-who-said-i-was-up-for-adoption-by-colin-chappell/

hinting-at-shadows_ebook-cover_sarah-brentyn-resizedhttps://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/02/16/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-on-the-shelves-hinting-at-shadows-by-sarah-brentyn/

51dzsqrppnl-_uy250_https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/02/17/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-on-the-shelves-denny-ryder-paranormal-crime-series-by-deborah-a-bowman/

61jgxmsp-sl-_uy250_

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/02/18/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-on-the-shelves-keys-of-the-origin-book-1-the-scions-of-balance-aeldynn-lore-by-melissa-a-joy/

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily showcasing 25 bloggers and their posts.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/02/13/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-13th-february-2017-love-haitian-healing-50-words-reviews/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/02/14/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-14th-february-2017-upcoming-release-daisies-love-poetry-free-books-frank-immersed-and-sir-chocolate/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/02/15/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-15th-february-2017-devil-story-ruby-wedding-1960s-kathmandu-rrbc/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/02/16/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-16th-february-2017-valiant-blogger-angels-wings-runners-stretches-the-classics-and-columbian-roses/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/02/17/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-leyton-hollywood-trysts-llandeilo-and-dna/

Health

Smorgasbord Health 2017Seasonal Affective Disorder

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/02/13/smorgasbord-health-seasonal-affective-disorder-tryptophan-and-winter-blues/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/02/17/smorgasbord-health-seasonal-affective-disorder-part-four-immune-system-and-people/

Food to pep you up a bit.. and not just for Valentines Day.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/02/13/st-valentines-day-food-aphrodisiacs-a-meal-and-red-roses-here-are-the-ingredients-the-rest-is-up-to-you/

New series – Top to Toe – The Human Body – The Brain

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/02/15/smorgasbord-health-2017-top-to-toe-the-brain-introduction-and-anatomy/

A -Z of Common Conditions… nothing more common than the cold!

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/02/16/smorgasbord-health-a-z-common-conditions-nothing-more-common-than-a-cold/

Humour

1456492584453-image011

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/02/16/time-for-some-laffs-from-around-the-usual-haunts-2/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/02/14/afternoon-video-how-to-beg-for-forgiveness/

That’s me done for the week.. It is a bit early for a rum and coconut juice but I might take a cup of coffee up with me to the tropical paradise and listen to some calypsos!

N.B. If you would like to promote your books and blog here on Smorgasbord the details are here. If you contact me and I don’t respond immediately don’t worry I will get back to you on my return after 28th of Feb.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/smorgasbord-free-author-and-blogger-promotion-2017/

Thanks for dropping by and see some of you tomorrow for a few of the regular promotions before I head off.

Classical Music with William Price King – Leontyne Price Part Three – 1960s


classical musicWelcome to the third part of Leontyne Price’s career and performances. And to set the scene a few words from her admirers.

In The Grand Tradition, a 1974 history of operatic recording, the British critic J.B. Steane wrote that “one might conclude from recordings that [Price] is the best interpreter of Verdi of the century.” For the Russian soprano Galina Vishnevskaya, a 1963 Price performance of Tosca at the Vienna State Opera “left me with the strongest impression I have ever gotten from opera.” In his 1983 autobiography, Placido Domingo writes, “The power and sensuousness of Leontyne’s voice were phenomenal—the most beautiful Verdi soprano I have ever heard.”

index

William Price King now picks up Leontyne Price’s story in the 1960s.

In September 1961, Leontyne Price opened the Met season as Minnie in La fanciulla del West. A musicians’ strike had threatened to abort the season, but President Kennedy sent Secretary of Labor Arthur Goldberg to mediate a settlement.

Following her second Faniciulla performance it became apparent that Leontyne had a problem with her voice. After losing it completely , she was forced to shout her lines until the end of the act, when standby soprano, Dorothy Kristen replaced her in the third act.

After several weeks recovering from a reported viral infection, Leontyne returned for another Fanciulla performance and Butterfly in December. Having carried out her commitments she then left for a three months to Rome. She would later comment that she was suffering from nervous exhaustion.

However, in the April, Leontyne returned to the Met to perform in her first fully staged Tosca and following that up with the Met tour which included Tosca, Butterfly and Fanciulla. It was also a landmark tour that saw Leontyne Price as the first African American to perform in a lead role in the South, specifically in Dallas.

La fanciulla del West (The Girl of the West) is an opera in three acts by Giacomo Puccini to an Italian libretto by Guelfo Civinini and Carlo Zangarini. It was based on the the play The Girl of the Golden West by American David Belasco and followed Butterfly which was also based on one of his plays. Whilst not as well known as other Puccini operas, it still has wonderful orchestration and is regarded as more melodic than some of his previous work.

At the end of Act I, Price, as Minnie, recalls her happy childhood and sings about her ideal love in the aria “Laggiù nel Soledad.” This is the only role Leontyne Price sang which was not exactly for her. Nonetheless, her voice is captivating and she soars up to those high C’s with no problem and makes them ring.

Although other African American opera stars had performed in leading roles at the Met, Leontyne Price was the first to achieve recognition on both sides of the Atlantic, the first to be repeatedly invited to perform with the Met in various leading roles, and the first to earn the highest fee, which put her on a par with the leading sopranos at the time such as Joan Sutherland and Maria Callas. Not an easy road to success in a time of segregation and continued racism against African Americans in opera. Especially when opportunities in general were limited in the world of opera.

Following the successful tour, Leontyne added more roles to her repertoire at the Met. These included Elvira in Verdi’s Ernani, Pamina in Mozart’s The Magic Flute, Fiordilgi in Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte, Tatyana in Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Oenegin, Cleopatra in Barber’s Antony and Cleopatra, Amelia in Un ballo in maschera, and Leonora in La forza del destino.

Così fan tutte, ossia La scuola degli amanti (Thus Do They All, or The School for Lovers) by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is an Italian opera buffa. Buffa was first used as an informal description of Italian comic operas, also know as commedia in musica or dramma bernesco, and were particularly associated with productions in Naples in the first half of the 18th century. A buffa in the beginning tended to contain everyday settings, local dialects and simpler librettos. If you like to our modern day soap-opera. Cosi fan tutti was first performed in Vienna in January 1790. The libretto was written by Lorenzo Da Ponte who also wrote Le nozze di Figaro and Don Giovanni.

Here is Leontyne who loved singing Mozart, and her Fiordiligi is considered one of the best. “Come scoglio” (Like a rock) demands a singer who can handle the extreme parts of the soprano range with great ease and Price was perfect in the role.

By 1966 Leontyne Price was at the peak of her career when she sang Cleopatra in Antony and Cleopatra by American composer Samuel Barber and conducted by Thomas Schippers in the newly opened Met’s house at Lincoln Center. Leontyne and Samuel Barber had worked together several times from her early career and remained close friends. This collaboration allowed Samuel Barber, who knew her voice well, to tailor the music for Cleopatra’s role perfectly to suit both her register and range.

Following this role, Leontyne decided to cut back on her operatic performances and to focus on recitals and concerts. The schedule of new productions at the Met and also the need to adjust her vocal technique as she moved into her forties was tiring. However her career continued to flourish as she toured major cities and large universities.

As she moved into the 1970s, Leontyne returned to Europe to perform in Hamburg and London’s Covent Garden with further recitals in Vienna, Paris and the Salzburg Festival. She was so popular at the festival that she continued to return six times between 1975 and 1984.

Leontyne was invited back to the Met, but only undertook three new roles after 1970 which included Ariadne in Richard Strauss’ Ariadne aux Naxos in San Franciso and New York.

In 1971 she performed in Il tabarro (The Cloak), which is one act opera by Giacomo Puccini with an Italian libretto by Giuseppe Adami. It was based on Didier Gold’s play La houppelande.. It is the first of a trio of operas known a Il Trittico first performed at the Met in New York in 1918.

Here is Leontyne Price singing “E ben altro il mio sogno” Il Tabarro Live 1971. In the role of Giorgetta from Puccini’s “Il Tabarro”  Leontyne Price is at home. This role is perfectly fit for her voice and she does a magnificent job in this impassioned duet with Luigi, dreaming of a better life in Paris, in the aria “E ben altro il mio sogno.”The characterization is rapturous.

Additional Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leontyne_Price

Buy the music of Leontyne Price: https://www.amazon.com/Leontyne-Price/e/B000AQ1580

William and his musicAbout William Price King

William Price King is an American jazz singer, musician and composer. Originally he studied classical music and opera but over the years his style has evolved to what many refer to as the ‘sweet point’ where music and voice come together so beautifully.

His vocal mentors are two of the greatest giants in jazz, Nat King Cole and Mel Torme. His jazz album, ‘Home,’ is a collection of contemporary songs and whilst clearly a homage to their wonderful legacy it brings a new and refreshing complexity to the vocals that is entrancing.

His latest album Eric Sempe and William Price King is now available to download. The repertory includes standards such as “Bye Bye Blackbird” (a jazz classic), Sting’s “Englishman in New York,” Queen’s “The Show Must Go On”, Led Zepplin’s “Stairway to Heaven” and other well-known jazz, pop, and rock classics.

William and Eric Sempe have also brought their own magic to the album with original tracks such as Keep on Dreaming and Red Snow with collaboration with Jeanne King
Download the new album. http://cdbaby.com/cd/williampriceking

William is currently in France where he performs in popular Jazz Venues in Nice and surrounding area.

Connect to William

Website – http://www.williampriceking.com/
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/WilliamPriceKing
Twitter – @wpkofficial
Regular Venue – http://cave-wilson.com/
ITunes https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/william-price-king/id788678484

You will find the previous artists..  Luciano Pavarotti, Andrea Bocelli, Kiri Te Kanawa in this directory.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/classical-music-with-william-price-king/

Thank you so much for stopping by and your feedback is always very welcome. Sally

Smorgasbord Round up – Eagles, Irish Fairies, Opera and thrills and spills.


round-up

Welcome to this week’s round-up of posts you might have missed. It has been a fairly busy week as I prepare for the new series of interviews beginning in March and I am thrilled with the response. Twenty five talented authors, poets, musicians and other creative people have come forward to take part in either Book Reading at the Bookstore or The Creative Artist Interview.

Whilst there are some set questions there are also three personalised questions that I am including in each interview so as you can imagine I am taking my time with that. I hope to have them all out by Monday… It looks like I may go to two posts a week to make sure that nobody is hanging around for weeks waiting for their interview to go live. That being the case if you have not already volunteered.. here is the link which includes the format for the interviews.

Here are all the new promotional opportunities, with something for everyone, all on one page.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/smorgasbord-free-author-and-blogger-promotion-2017/

On the subject of promotions.

On the 21st I am off on a girls week with my two sisters to celebrate our three birthdays that are all in February. I will be taking a break from writing posts for the blog but the blog will be handed over to some fabulous and talented members of the blogging community who will be filling in for me in my absence.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/02/08/a-little-blog-sitting-requested-february-21st-28th-part-time-position/

I have no worries about leaving the blog for the week to fend for itself but I thought it was another promotional opportunity for you all. As well as the guest post.. I will make sure to top and tail with an intro, feature books, blog, art etc as well as links. Definitely good for the blog and perhaps a little boost for you. Especially as I will not be doing the usual book promotions that week.

If you would like to apply for the job of part-time blog sitter please come back to me by Thursday so that I can get it scheduled in time.

As always I am hugely grateful for your wonderful support, comments, shares and motivation. ♥♥

Enough of the mushy stuff.. and on with the posts from the week…..

Classical music with William Price King

William and his music

So pleased that so many of you are enjoying the last in the classical music series and the story of American soprano Leontyne Price. This week a look at her performances in the 1950s and the bigotry that she endured in her early career.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/02/08/classical-music-with-william-price-king-leontyne-price-part-two-star-on-the-rise-2/

Weekly Image and Haiku

I am so lucky to have some wonderful co-hosts on occasion for the blog and one post this week seemed to touch the hearts of many of you. Wayne Barnes of Tofino Photographs has been a blogging friend for the last three years and he sent me some recent photographs of the eagles Romeo and Juliette.. he very kindly agreed to let me use one of the images for this week’s Haiku.. You can see the full sized version in the post.

together-for-lifehttps://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/02/11/weekly-image-and-haiku-together-for-life/

Short Story – After the Festival 

Another collaboration with illustrator Donata Zawdska with After the Festival. I was very privileged to be able to use the artwork for my short story..a new one from my upcoming Tales from the Irish Garden later in the year.. I hope you enjoy.

after-the-festival-1https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/02/07/smorgasbord-short-story-tales-from-the-irish-garden-after-the-festival-illustrated-by-donata-zawadzka/

The new interview series if you missed them last week.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/02/04/new-series-sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-book-reading-and-interview/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/02/05/new-series-smorgasbord-creative-artist-interview-musicians-bloggers-artists-photographers/

Book Promotions

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore New on the Shelves

51q6zxxpzul-_uy250_

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/02/06/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-on-the-shelves-wind-follower-by-carole-mcdonnell/

copertina_inglese_the_annwyns_secret

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/02/07/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-on-the-shelves-the-annwyns-secret-by-claudine-giovannoni/

51jyfophdxl-_uy250_

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/02/08/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-on-the-shelves-frank-immersed-a-frank-rozzani-detective-novel-frank-rozzani-detective-novels-book-5-by-don-massenzio/

41zdy7g5rpl-_uy250_

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/02/09/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-on-the-shelves-the-golden-age-of-charli-rsvp-by-jena-c-henry/

41cnhvv29l-_uy250_

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/02/10/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-on-the-shelves-the-sleeping-serpent-by-luna-saint-claire/

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update

41jwrqyo45l-_uy250_the-heart-stone-chronicles getpart

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/02/06/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-teri-polen-colleen-chesebro-and-sally-cronin/

51qgvzagl1l 51-yoxohzql-_uy250_ 51jo3ypdlbl-_uy250_

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/02/10/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-amy-m-reade-olga-nunez-miret-and-gigi-sedlemayer/

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Another 25 bloggers promoted this week.

If you would like to be included in the Blogger Daily then just leave a link to your most recent post in the comments section of the round up today..

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/02/06/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-6th-february-2017-welsh-chapels-interviews-celebrating-books-and-angry-bird/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/02/07/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-7th-february-2017-share-buttons-reviews-crime-settings-poetry-and-octopus/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/02/08/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-8th-february-2017-dr-dolittle-the-turin-shroud-sexism-politics-and-emotional-beats/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/02/09/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-9th-february-2017-smoking-dickens-leftovers-water-shortages-and-childrens-illustrations/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/02/10/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-10th-february-2017-multi-culturism-drinking-war-correspondent-snow-cream-and-dog-rescue/

Smorgasbord Health – series Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

seasonal-affective-disorderhttps://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/02/07/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-on-the-shelves-the-annwyns-secret-by-claudine-giovannoni/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/02/10/smorgasbord-health-seasonal-affective-disorder-part-two-vitamin-d-the-sunshine-vitamin/

Smorgasbord health – A – Z of Common Conditions – Lung Cancer.

smorgasbord healthhttps://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/02/09/the-lungs-part-five-smoking-and-lungcancer/

Humour and Afternoon Video

10917441_10204094386659873_228916681783823954_n

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/02/07/time-for-some-laffs-and-some-cat-and-dog-views-on-life/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/02/09/time-for-some-laffs-from-around-the-usual-haunts/

That is it for another week on Smorgasbord.. Couldn’t do it without you.. Please remember that it saves me time if you volunteer your news about new book releases, fantastic reviews or share your blog post link.. Help me share your work.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend.  Thanks Sally

Smorgasbord 2016 in Review – Open House – Meet author Claire Fullerton


Smorgasbord Open House

This was the top viewed Smorgasbord Open House in 2016 for the interview with author Claire Fullerton.

My guest today is Claire Fullerton author of Dancing to an Irish Reel which is set in Connemara, Ireland and A Portal in Time, a paranormal mystery across two time periods, set on California’s Monterey Peninsula in the famous village of Carmel-on-Sea, both published by Vinspire Publishing.

index

Claire is a three- time award winning essayist, a former newspaper columnist, a contributor to magazines including Celtic Life International and Southern Writers Magazine. She is a five-time contributor to the “Chicken Soup for the Soul” book series and can be found on Goodreads as well as the website under her name. She is currently working on her third novel and you can find out more about that later in the post.

First a look at Claire’s books beginning with her latest release in 2015, the wonderfully titled Dancing to an Irish Reel set in Connemara.

51nljcd9dgl-_uy250_

About the book.

On sabbatical from her job in the LA record business, Hailey takes a trip to Ireland for the vacation of a lifetime. What she finds is a job offer too good to turn down.

Her new job comes with one major complication—Liam Hennessey. He’s a famous Irish musician whose entire live has revolved around performing. And Hailey falls in love with him. Although Liam’s not so sure love is in the cards for him, he’s not willing to push her away completely.

And so begins Hailey’s journey to a colorful land that changes her life, unites her with friends more colorful than the Irish landscape, and gives her a chance at happiness she’s never found before.

Some of the many reviews for the book also now in audio.

Dancing to an Irish Reel is awesome!!!!! By Amazon Customer on February 5, 2016 Format: Audible Audio EditionVerified Purchase

A lovely, leisurely trip to Ireland from my couch By Sophie Quist on January 24, 2016 Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase

Distinctive and Convincing Writing By Gracelikestoread on December 13, 2015 Format: Kindle Edition

 Direct Links to Purchase “Dancing to an Irish Reel”

Amazon Books and Kindle
Barnes and Noble Books and Nook

Google Play

Kobo Books

Now a look at A Portal in Time released in November 2013.

51xyrp8hy7l-_uy250_

When we are inexplicably drawn to love and a particular place, is it coincidence, or have we loved before?

Enigmatic and spirited Anna Lucera is gifted with an uncanny sixth-sense and is intrigued by all things mystical. When her green, cat-eyes and long, black hair capture the attention of a young lawyer named Kevin Townsend, a romance ensues which leads them to the hauntingly beautiful region of California’s Carmel-By-The-Sea where Anna is intuitively drawn to the Madiera Hotel. Everything about the hotel and Carmel-By-The-Sea heightens her senses and speaks to Anna as if she had been there before. As Anna’s memory unravels the puzzle, she is drawn into a past that’s eerily familiar and a life she just may have lived before.

Claire has received some great reviews for this book.

A Wonderful Page-Turning Romance By Ellen Comeskey on December 11, 2013

I highly recommend this enchanting book. By virginia muller on December 19, 2013

Direct link on Amazon to buy A Portal in Time. Amazon

Claire’s Essays on her website.

If you click on the link to Claire’s website you will not only find out more information on her writing in general but some wonderful published essays. She feels a deep connection to Ireland and this is evident in her essay Irish Connections. Irish Connections

Whilst you browse all her essays I also recommend that you read Carmel. Claire has a personal connection to Carmel as she spent her honeymoon there and she returned on her first anniversary. This essay was published in the Carmel Living Magazine. Claire and her husband spent part of their time after this and the history and atmosphere of the town provided the inspiration for her first novel A Portal in Time. Having stayed their one weekend myself I can also recommend that you visit if you are on the west coast. Delightful place with a huge amount of places of historical interest and charm; perfect setting for a book.

Before we move onto Claire’s interview questions, here is how she describes herself and her Southern upbringing in a previous interview last year. Sunday Lunch

‘I grew up in the Deep South, that part of the US that many consider the last romantic place in America. And it is; the region has its own culture that is so steeped in tradition, it seems that time has stood still. At the heart of the ways and means of the South is an iron-clad code of manners handed down at birth. It is an imperative code of civility that is society’s glue, and there is no more egregious error one can commit than to display bad manners.

When people talk about Southern hospitality, what they’re talking about is how a Southerner will treat a guest, even if that guest is only someone a Southerner accidently brushes up against while walking down the street. The most salient characteristic of Southern hospitality is the ability to extend oneself, which means putting another first, to focus such a high beam of gregarious concern that anyone caught in the headlight will think they’re the most important soul on earth. But you have to be born into the South to know this, for the guidelines of Southern ways are taught through the power of example, wrought through simply observing the glittering Southern people that come before you, who never lower themselves to a gauche confession of their inner-workings, but prefer to walk the line of implication instead in a “show-don’t tell” manner. It is a way of being in the world that is confident enough in its own animal grace to know the unspoken influence of its own attraction’.

So welcome Claire and delighted that you could drop by this morning… Over to you.

What genre do you read and your favourite authors?

My idea of heaven is to immerse myself in the works of contemporary Southern writers, especially when they write in the first person.

Three authors stand out for me: Pat Conroy, Ann Rivers Siddons and Donna Tartt. I am in awe of these writers and could ace a blind test wherein I was given a sentence by each and asked to name who wrote it. All three are considered Southern writers by virtue of the fact that they were born in the American South, and I’ve been pondering this term of late because I am a writer who hails from Memphis, Tennessee.

Not to get off point by digression, but my first two novels have nothing to do with the South, yet my third is set in Memphis and thematically about the repercussions of the culture. This has led me to ponder what it truly means to be a Southern writer. One hears this categorization bantered about, and it does evoke classification that has to do with regional setting, but to me, it is so much more. When a writer hails from the South, they cannot help but carry a certain frame of reference from which they view and interact with the world. This frame of reference is unknown to outsiders and therefore often misunderstood. I say this because I am now a transplanted Southerner living in California. I am well aware that the accent I wield invites assumption.

People “out here,” as any Southerner would label a region north of the Mason Dixon line, think the South is more back woods than it actually is. They don’t know that the South maintains a soft gentility passed down in families, that there is an iron-clad code of civility, and that there is nothing more unforgivable than bad manners. I’ve heard it said that the South is the last romantic place in America, and I believe it to be so. The romance hangs in the air with Southern humidity and informs everything from the way people move to their speech. I have had the great largess of growing up with many a flamboyant Southerner in my immediate circumference.

I will generalize here for the sake of clear explanation by saying those that affected my childhood were proud Southerners intent on perpetuating the social mores of the South, whose heart maintains the love of story. Southerners are a long winded lot, intent on detail and incapable of making any point without offering fifteen minutes of background. But they are bright, upbeat creatures who exist in packs and feel a moral obligation to entertain both literally and figuratively. In the South, great importance is placed on connections, which includes familial lineage, ties to the land, and the jury of one’s peers. They are ever mindful of the value of relationships and measure themselves in relation to one another.

This constitutes a certain regional consciousness and gives rise to a tacit, cultural paradigm that eludes the casual observer. What outsiders don’t know about Southerners is that they are in love with the peculiarities of being Southern, and will defend their Southerness to the hilt. All three of the authors I have mentioned know well of these Southern eccentricities, and it flavours their writing. All three are masters of lyrical language and are sensitive to and sing praises of the nuances of the South.

Which book in your opinion is the best you have ever read and why?

Hands down, Pat Conroy’s “The Prince of Tides.” It’s first two sentences read, “My wound is my geography. It is my anchorage, my port of call.” We’ve all read brilliant writers, but what gets me about Conroy is he takes a knife to the soul and can open up unhealed, dormant wounds that we all carry ( of this I am convinced) and explains them to us through the love of words and story. In the two sentences I have quoted above, he covers everything about what it means to be a product of a family born to a region that defines you and explains everything about who you are. “The Prince of Tides” is the ultimate “sins of the father” story, whose theme of cause and effect perpetrated within the family draws the lines of each character and shapes the course of each of their life.

But it is Conroy’s lyrical use of language throughout the book that sets the mood of the story. It is languid, sonorous, and fluid in a way that is commiserate with the tides of South Carolina’s low country, which is the setting of the book. Not content with economy of language, Pat Conroy takes the reader into the undertow of this family saga and invites them to fend for themselves through the story’s ebb and flow, until they are cast upon the shore panting for breath. This book blew my world wide open. It showed me what is possible with the written word.

What kind of music do you listen to and who are your favourite musicians?

Sally, you’re a woman after my own heart with this question! Here we go: being raised in Memphis, which is literally “The home of the Blues” and having had the good fortune of growing up with a brother named Haines, who was eighteen months older than me, and who picked up a guitar at the age of eight and never put it down, music was the only thing I ever cared about for the first twenty some-odd years of my life! I came into the world that The Beatles defined, and lived in the region that was the hot seat of the impetus of that definition! By this, I mean Elvis Presley. Elvis took the Delta Blues and created Rock-n-Roll, and The Beatles took Rock-n-Roll and revolutionized it. It all came from Memphis; The Beatles knew this, The Rolling Stones knew this, and to one degree or another, contemporary music has Memphis to thank.

I’m a fan of “Pop music” and could keep you here all day naming names. Instead, I’ll tell you I spent nine years as a music radio DJ in Memphis; that I worked in the music business in Los Angeles discovering bands that went on to “make it big” and will now mention that my brother, Haines, was instrumental in the formative years of The Dave Matthews Band.

Okay, let me give you the respect of answering your question and name a few names: The Beatles, The Who, Led Zeppelin, Peter Gabriel, David Bowie, Crowded House, Neil Finn solo, Toad the Wet Sprocket, anything Glen Phillips does, who could not see the merits in U2, Cold Play is not actually the U2 rip-off many proclaim them to be, Ed Sheeran thrills me; don’t judge me, but I’m a fan of Country Music; Keith Urban comes to mind; I’m in love with Mike Scott and love The Waterboys, as well as Karl Wallinger (you’re in the know if you know their connection.) Lastly, I applaud Irish traditional music; it speaks to my genetic lineage, and I’ll now say that if you don’t have a copy of “A Place among the Stones” by Davy Spillane, then you’re at a complete disadvantage.

Buy A Place Amongst the StonesA place amongst the stones

What are the top five experiences or activities that you feel that everyone should complete in their lifetime?

I’ll provide a list here in no order of importance.

  1. Move to a foreign country and stay. Submerge yourself in the culture until it makes you forget where you came from.
  2. Study dance and incorporate it into your way of being in the world.
  3. Share your life with a dog. Love it, tend to it, be responsible for it, let it love you, and you will know the nature of unconditional love.
  4. Arrive at a clear idea of how to be of service to others. Identify your peculiar, individual gifts that you came into the world carrying, and get about the business of using them to the benefit of others.
  5. Stay connected to God as you know Him, which means cultivate a daily spiritual practice that’ll lend itself to daily renewal, humility, hope, faith, and a healthy perspective.

Tell us about your work in progress, plans for your blog in the next year any special events that are coming up that are very special to you.

I recently completed my third novel, which is a Southern family saga set in 1970’s and 1980’s Memphis. Its title is “Mourning Dove,” and it is written in the first person voice of Millie Crossan, as she tells about growing up with her brother, Finley, in their mother’s genteel world, where all that glitters is not gold.

I wanted to tell a family story set in post-civil- rights Memphis that depicts the opulent South, where the region is changing, yet a certain sect of society still clings to old world manner and form, even in the face of tragedy. The themes in “Mourning Dove” are a search for place, a search for identity, and ultimately a search for God. It was my aim to capture the era in which I grew up. Much has changed now, as has the world, but I was well aware of the uniqueness of the Memphis I was born into while I grew up; I found it beautiful and very specifically civilized, yet in a cloistered way.

And as life is life no matter where you set it, how people handle life’s vagaries is often dictated by social customs, and the adherence of those customs colors the experience. Currently, the book is under review.

My thanks to Claire for providing us with an insight into her life and what inspires her to right. Also a big thank you for suggesting we listen to the beautiful Celtic music of Davy Spillane.

Find details and buy links to Claire’s books via her website and of course the usual online bookstores including: Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Claire-Fullerton/e/B00HRJEUJ4

Connect with Claire on her website and social media.
Website: http://www.clairefullerton.com
Author Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/clairefullertonauthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/cfullerton3
Dancing to an Irish Reel – Facebook page: Link
Dancing to an Irish Reel -Google+ page:Link
Claire on Pinterest:Lin

Thank you for dropping by and it would be wonderful if you could sign the visitors book… and also before you leave spread the word about Claire Fullerton across your own networks.

If you would like to be a guest on Open House it is very straightforward.. here is the link that tells you about the interview and also has the questions that you can choose from.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/sunday-open-house-writers-artists-musicians-guest-spot/

Enjoy the day.. thanks Sally

 

Smorgasbord 2016 in review – A Man and his Music – William Price King meets Kurt Elling – Part Two.


William and his musicPart one and part two of the career and music of  Kurt Elling were the top music posts of 2016..here is part one https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/william-price-king/kurt-elling/

1995

Moving into the 1990s, Kurt Elling became a regular at the Green Mill Club Monday Night sessions. The Green Mill Cocktail Lounge.. also known as the Green Mill Jazz Club is a venue in uptown Chicago with a reputation for outstanding music and some historical connections to the Chicago mob.

It had opened in 1907 as Pop Morse’s Roadhouse and evolved over the years into the Green Mill Gardens. During the prohibition, a member of Al Capone’s organisation became part owner of the venue, and over the next few years, tunnels under the property were used by the mob for various nefarious activities. Al Capone had a favourite booth that was conveniently located with a line of sight on the front and back entrances and it is still in the bar today.

Thankfully by the time Kurt Elling began playing on Monday nights in the 90s, the mob years were over but the club had established itself as a top jazz venue. The leader of the jazz sessions was Ed Petersen a tenor saxophonist who had been playing at the Green Mill since the 80s. Petersen was well established in the Jazz scene in Chicago and having played with emerging artists such as guitarist Fareed Haque and trumpeter Brad Goode, he was well placed to give Kurt career advice. This was to focus on his lyric abilities and this led to Kurt developing what was to become the highly successful collaboration with the pianist in the band, Laurence Hobgood.

On a side note.. Ed Petersen would continue to work with Kurt Elling over the years playing on his albums along with those of Fareed Haque and Frank Mantooth as well as releasing two albums on the Delmark label: Upward Spiral in 1988 and The Haint in 1994. He is now Associate Chair of Music and Coordinator of Jazz Studies at the University of New Orleans.

Laurence Hobgood at this time was in his early 30s and had moved to Chicago in 1988 where he began to establish himself in the Jazz Scene before being invited to join the Monday sessions at the Green Mill with Ed Petersen. He and Kurt Elling met in 1993 and began their musical collaboration.

Laurence introduced Kurt to the other members of Trio New which were bassist Eric Hochberg and drummer Paul Wertico. This led to a demo tape that was co-produced by Laurence. After obtaining the finance to book studio time, Kurt Elling recorded his first album and this was sent for feedback to the manager of a musician friend. It became a whirlwind courtship at that point with offers of representation and an unexpected call from the president of the Blue Note label, Bruce Lundvall.

A few months later after signing to the label, Close Your Eyes was released  in 1995 as it had originally been recorded in Chicago. The album featured Laurence Hobgood, Eric Hochberg, Paul Wertico with acoustic bassist Rob Amster, saxophonists Von Freeman and Ed Petersen and guitarist Dave Onderdonk.

As well as jazz standards such as Wait Till You See Her by Lorenz Hart and Richard Rodgers, the title track Close Your Eyes by Bernice Petkere and Never, Never Land by Betty Comden, Adolph Green and Julie Styne there were original tracks that were arranged to showcase Kurt Elling’s emerging signature style.

Here is a review of the album by Michael G. Nastos.

For his debut recording, Chicago vocalist Elling pushes the envelope, challenging listeners and his musicians with beat poetry, ranting, and his Mark Murphy-ish singing. There’s quite a bit of dramatist/actor in Elling, although the romantic in him is also pretty prevalent. Acting much like a tenor saxophonist, Elling can wail and shout, expound on social themes, and scat like a demon. Help from the extraordinary pianist Laurence Hobgood, bassists Eric Hochberg and Rob Amster, and drummer Paul Wertico inspires Elling to even higher plateaus, while tenor saxophone foils Ed Petersen and Von Freeman appear separately on three of the 13 tracks.

Elling writes a ton of lyrics. His take on Wayne Shorter’s “Dolores” is “Dolores Dream,” on which the singer speaks of Chi-Town in terms both favorable (hanging out at the Green Mill jazz club) and not so favorable (“fat frying, spluttering rank Chicago smeltering along, smothered in hot wooly sweat”), with a maniacal swing following his a cappella intro. His ramrod scatting is amazing both on this piece and on an exploratory take of Herbie Hancock’s “Hurricane.” A “So What”-type modality informs “(Hide The) Salome,” with vicious scatting and Freeman’s tenor in complete, frustrated agreement. Elling’s poetic recitation of “Married Blues” and the avant beat style of “Now It Is Time” show his reverence for Rexroth and Rilke, respectively.

As far as pure singing goes, “All the Sad Young Men” is beautifully rendered — similar to Murphy, but not as overtly pronounced. “Close Your Eyes” opens with a tender piano intro, flowing into bass/vocal wistfulness and a mid-tempo romp. Elling extrapolates on the original lyric and scats feverishly on the bridge. He is at his most sexual on the slinky bossa “Never Say Goodbye” and the ballad “Storyteller Experiencing Total Confusion,” with Petersen’s sax shyly filling in cracks of fear and disillusionment. There’s clearly more in store for Elling as he matures, but this is as auspicious a vocal jazz debut as the world has heard.

Close Your Eyes was nominated for Best Jazz Vocalist Performance in the 1996 Grammys and following the critics’ accolades for the album, Kurt Elling received invitations to play at Carnegie Hall and top Jazz festivals. 1996 was also spent on a world tour and the recording of his second album The Messenger released in 1997. The existing collaborative team was enhanced by the addition of Jim Widlowski on drums, Orbert Davis on Trumpet, Eddie Johnson on tenor saxophone and Cassandra Wilson with vocals on track 11, Time of the Season.

Kurtmess

Jazz critics and fans loved the album and its fresh arrangements and establishment of his unique style and range with standout tracks including Nature Boy, Tanya Jean, Gingerbread Boy and It’s Just a Thing.

As with his previous album, The Messenger brought Kurt Elling his second Grammy nomination for Best Jazz Vocalist.  http://kurtelling.com/news/awards.php

indexThe last album of the 90s was This Time It’s Love in 1998 with the addition of drummer Michael Raynor saxophonist Brad Wheeler and veteran jazz violinist and bassist Johnny Frigo.

The Allmusic review by Tim Sheridan awarded the album four stars, and said Elling “finds a happy medium between romantic rumination and vocal experimentation. The highlight of the disc is “Freddie’s Yen for Jen,”a stellar jazz experience that comes pretty damn close to committing the pure emotion of love to tape.

The tracks covered most of the romantic spectrum including My Foolish Heart, The Very Thought of You, She’s Funny That Way, and Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye.

Here is what one fan has to say about the album.

A Real Jazz Singer By Mark Jamison on September 27, 2000

I’ve been a fan of Kurt Elling’s for years. His concurrent sophistication with a musical line, understanding of the lyric, and his vocal control make him unsurpassed among contemporary jazz singers, and on this “record” he wields his ax sublimely. For example, the Freddie Hubbard tune (Frddie’s Yen for Jen) is a multi-leveled tour de force with vocal licks so true to Freddie’s trumpet form and intent, it’s amazing. Unfortunately his sophistication doesn’t have mass appeal and so he’ll never sell as many CDs as the popular wanna-be jazz vocalists.

While I would subjectively argue that “Close Your Eyes” is his best CD, “This Time It’s Love” is a great introduction to Kurt if you are new to the fold. If you like jazz, do yourself a favor and get this CD. Live he is even better.

To end the 1990s here is the performance that I have selected; My Foolish Hear live at the Montreal Jazz Festival in 2007. In my opinion, Kurt Elling gives a staggering performance in this video of the Oscar nominated song, “My Foolish Heart.” A real tour de force.

As usual, he is in total command of his instrument. His robust baritone sound is flawless, and he weaves in and out of his head voice (falsetto) in an appealing pianissimo with the ease and virtuosity of a master. He is at ease with the emotion and the beauty of the text which he exploits profoundly. Chill bumps guaranteed.

At times his manner of interpretation, for me, is reminiscent of my mentor Mel Tormé. Elling’s musicians lay the groundwork with a myriad of rhythmical colors and textures making  incredible sounds that help create the magic of the moment, especially the sublime piano solo of Laurence Hobgood. This performance is a work of art, I would even say a “masterpiece.” Enjoy!

Buy Kurt Elling Music: http://www.amazon.com/Kurt-Elling/e/B000APALCM
Find out more about Kurt Elling: http://kurtelling.com/
Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kurt_Elling
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kurtelling
Touring schedule: http://kurtelling.com/touring/

Additional information:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_Mill_Cocktail_Lounge
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laurence_Hobgood
http://www.uno.edu/cola/music/faculty/edward-petersen.aspx

About William Price King

williampricekingWilliam Price King is an American jazz singer, musician and composer. Originally he studied classical music and opera but over the years his style has evolved to what many refer to as the ‘sweet point’ where music and voice come together so beautifully.

His vocal mentors are two of the greatest giants in jazz, Nat King Cole and Mel Torme. His jazz album, ‘Home,’ is a collection of contemporary songs and whilst clearly a homage to their wonderful legacy it brings a new and refreshing complexity to the vocals that is entrancing.

His latest album Eric Sempe and William Price King is now available to download. The repertory includes standards such as “Bye Bye Blackbird” (a jazz classic), Sting’s “Englishman in New York,” Queen’s “The Show Must Go On”, Led Zepplin’s “Stairway to Heaven” and other well-known jazz, pop, and rock classics.

William and Eric Sempe have also brought their own magic to the album with original tracks such as Keep on Dreaming and Red Snow with collaboration with Jeanne King
Download the new album. http://cdbaby.com/cd/williampriceking

William is currently in France where he performs in popular Jazz Venues in Nice and surrounding area.

You can find the other artists in the previous series here: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/william-price-king-jazz-and-music-series/

Thank you for dropping by today and always look forward to your feedback.. Sally