Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Music Column with William Price King with John McLaughlin, English guitarist, bandleader, and composer.


This week William Price King shares selected music from John McLaughlin, guitarist, bandleader and composer.

John McLaughlin is an English guitarist, bandleader, and composer. His music includes many genres of jazz combined with elements of rock, Indian classical music, Western classical music, flamenco, and blues. He is a pioneer of jazz fusion.

After contributing to several key British groups of the early 1960s, McLaughlin made Extrapolation, his first album as a bandleader, in 1969. He then moved to the U.S., where he played with Tony Williams’s group Lifetime and then with Miles Davis on his electric jazz-fusion albums In a Silent Way, Bitches Brew, Jack Johnson, and On the Corner. His 1970s electric band, the Mahavishnu Orchestra, performed a technically virtuosic and complex style of music that fused electric jazz and rock with Indian influences. Read more at : Wikipedia

Now time for some tracks from some of John McLoughlin’s albums.

“My Goal’s Beyond”, released on Douglas Records in 1971, is greatly influenced by Indian music and dedicated to Sri Chinmoy, McLaughlin’s spiritual guru. The first half of the album spotlights McLaughlin’s energetic acoustic guitar. There are three jazz standards and five original songs including the classic ‘Follow Your Heart.’ The second part of the album explores the intricate fusion of Indian rhythms, notably ‘Peace One’ and ‘Peace Two.’ The album features heavyweights Dave Liebman on flute and soprano saxophone; Billy Cobham on drums; and Jerry Goodman on violin. On Billboard’s Top 200 “My Goal’s Beyond” peaked at #194 and at #34 on their Jazz Albums Chart. Here is ‘Peace One‘ from the second part of the album.

To listen to the full album: Youtube

“The Inner Mounting Flame” was recorded by the jazz-rock fusion band Mahavishnu Orchestra and released on Columbia Records in 1971. All of the original material was written by McLaughlin. Though this album was influenced by jazz improvisation, it is the rock element that predominates, reminiscent of the electronic innovations of Jimi Hendrix.
McLaughlin’s post-Hendrix edgy guitar riffs on the double-necked electric guitar and Jerry Goodman’s virtuosity on the violin are outstanding, not to mention Billy Cobham’s hard-charging drums, whose jazz-trained technique became the standard for all rock drummers. This album was designed for young rock fans and was very popular in its day. On Billboard’s Jazz Album chart it reached #11 and on their Pop Albums Chart it peaked at #89. The Mahavishnu Orchestra consisted of John McLaughlin on guitar, Rick Laird on bass, Billy Cobham on drums, and Jan Hammer on keyboards and organ. Here is Meeting of the Spirits from the album.

To listen to the full album: Youtube

“Shakti”, released on Sony International in 1976, was recorded live at South Hampton College in New York State. This record presented a hybrid of jazz and far Eastern modes that helped set in motion the commercialization of ‘World Music’ by opening up the ears of many jazz-rock fans to sounds they had never heard before. « Shakti » created an amazing fusion with virtuosic guitar runs; unison playing among all the musicians; mesmerizing percussion duels between Hussain and Raghavan; and Shankar’s Far Eastern violin which matched McLaughlin’s guitar in call and response. All of this made « Shakti » one of the most exciting live albums around. “Shakti” peaked at #37 on Billboard’s Jazz Albums chart in 1976, and at #194 on Billboard’s Top 200.

“Friday Night in San Francisco” was recorded live by John McLaughlin, Al Di Meola, and Paco de Lucía at the Warfield Theatre on December 5, 1980, a musical event compared to that of Benny Goodman at Carnegie Hall in 1938 by critics. This album brings together three of the greatest guitarists at that time in a very relaxed and spontaneous performance, and has been considered one the most influential of all live acoustic guitar albums. This album is divided into three duo and two trio performances, filled with the fire and virtuoso that one expects from guitarists of this caliber at the peaks of their careers. The quality of the compositions and the sensitivity and dynamic variation coming from their performances stand out on this album and exemplifies the and artistry of these three great musicians. “Friday Night in San Francisco” peaked at #6 on Billboard’s Top Jazz Albums chart and #97 on Billboard’s Top 200 in 1981. Here is Mediterranean Sundance from the album.

You can listen to the full album here: Youtube

Buy the albums by John McLaughlin: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

To find out more and check for tour dates: John McLaughlin Official Site

William Price King is an American jazz singer, crooner, and composer.

His interest in music began at an early age when he studied piano and clarinet in high school. At Morehouse College in Atlanta where he grew up, he sang in the Glee Club and studied classical music. After graduation he went off to the Yale School of Music where he earned a Masters degree. From there he journeyed to New York where he created a jazz trio ‘Au Naturel’ which performed in some of the hottest venues in Manhattan including gigs on Broadway and the famous ‘Rainbow Room.’ These gigs opened doors for performances in Montreal and a European tour.

While touring Europe he met a lovely French lady, Jeanne Maïstre, who, a year later became his wife. King left the group ‘Au Naturel’ and settled in the south of France where he started a new life on the French Riviera, opening his own music school – the “Price King Ecole Internationale de Chant.” He has had the pleasure over the years of seeing many of his students excel as singers on a professional level, and some going on to become national celebrities. He continues to coach young singers today, in his spare time.

His debut jazz album was entitled “Home,” and was a collection of contemporary compositions he composed, with lyrics written by his wife Jeanne King. His second album was a Duo (Voice and Guitar) with Eric Sempé on the guitar. This album included original songs as well as well known standards from contemporary jazz and pop artists. The “King-Sempé” duo toured France and thrilled audiences for more than three years before going their separate ways. King has formed a new duo with French/Greek guitarist Manolis, and is now exploring new ideas, in a smooth jazz/soul/folk direction.

In addition to singing and composing, King has been collaborating with author Sally Cronin over the past few years on her blog “Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life,” with the series “A Man And His Music – Jazz, Contemporary, Classical, and Legends” and now, the “William Price King Music Column.” Working with author Sally Cronin has been an exhilarating experience in many ways and has brought a new dimension to King’s creative life. King has also created a micro blog, “Improvisation,” which features and introduces mostly jazz artists from across the jazz spectrum who have made considerable contributions in the world of jazz; and also artwork from painters who have made their mark in the world of art. This micro blog can be found on Tumblr.

His vocal mentors are two of the greatest giants in jazz, Nat King Cole and Mel Tormé. King has a distinctive wide-ranging voice which displays a remarkable technical facility and emotional depth.

William Price King on Tumblr – IMPROVISATION https://williampriceking.tumblr.com

Buy William’s music ITunes https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/william-price-king/id788678484

Connect with William

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/WilliamPriceKing
Twitterhttps://twitter.com/wpkofficial
Regular Venue http://cave-wilson.com/ 

You can find all of the Music Column series in this directory: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/william-price-king-music-column/

Thanks for dropping in today and as always William looks forward to your feedback. Thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Music Column with William Price King – The King of Swing – Benny Goodman.


Welcome to this week’s music Column and William Price King will be sharing the life and music of the renowned King of Swing, Benny Goodman.

Benny Goodman was born in May 1909 in Chicago, the ninth child of Russian immigrants David and Dora Goodman. There were 12 children eventually and David worked for a tailor to support them. Although it was tough to make ends meet, his father sent Benny to study music at the Kehelah Jacob Synagogue, where he learned the clarinet whilst his two brothers learned tuba and trumpet.  Despite his youth, Benny’s talent was obvious and he became a professional musician playing for several bands in the city from the age of 11. At 14, and already a member of the American Federation of Musicians he left school and used the money he earned to support his family.

Highlights from Benny Goodman’s long career with thanks to Benny Goodman Website

  • At age 16 Benny joined the Ben Pollack Band and moved to Los Angeles and stayed with them for four years, becoming a featured soloist.
  • In 1929, Benny left the band to pursue a career in New York in recording sessions and radio shows.
  • In 1933, Benny began working with John Hammond the Jazz promoter who introduced him to drummer Gene Krupa and trombonist Jack Teagarden with their recordings launching Benny to a wider audience.
  • In 1934 Benny fronted his first band with a month long gig at Billy Rose’s Music Hall with band members Bunny Berigan, Gene Krupa and Jess Stacy. Their music had its roots in the southern jazz foms of ragtime and Dixieland. Benny reached a wider audience when his band was engaged to play on the weekly NBC radio show Let’s Dance which was taped live with a studio audience.
  • The new swing music quickly caught on and in August 1935 the band played the Palomar Ballroom in Los Angeles and were an instant hit. New dance steps were being invented by the young audience and along with other swing bands, Benny became very successful on radio across the country.
  • Benny’s success as an icon of the Swing Era prompted Time magazine in 1937 to call him the “King of Swing.” The next year, at the pinnacle of the Swing Era, the Benny Goodman band, along with musicians from the Count Basie and Duke Ellington bands, made history as the first jazz band ever to play in New York’s prestigious Carnegie Hall.
  • The Swing Era came to an end as the USA became more involved in World War II, with many musicians drafted into the services and gas rationing impacting touring. However, Benny Goodman continued to play swing as well as classical music performing solos with major orchestras and studying with acclaimed classical clarinetist Reginald Kell.
  • From 1953 Benny embarked on a tour of the world including Asia and Europe to introduce his music to new and younger audiences
  • In 1955 The Benny Goodman Story about his life was released.
  • During the late 1960s and 1970s, Benny appeared in reunions with the other members of his quartet: Teddy Wilson, Gene Krupa, and Lionel Hampton. In 1978, the Benny Goodman band also appeared at Carnegie Hall again to mark the 30th Anniversary of when they appeared in the venue’s first jazz concert.
  • In 1982, Benny was honored by the Kennedy Center for his lifetime achievements in swing music. In 1986, he received both an honorary doctorate degree in music from Columbia University and the Grammy Award for Lifetime Achievement. He continued to play the music that defined his lifetime in occasional concert dates until his death in June 1986 of cardiac arrest.

Let’s listen to just a small selection of Benny Goodman’s music.

“Room 1411”, Glenn Miller’s first known composition, was written in collaboration with Benny Goodman in 1928 when Miller was part of the group the ‘Benny Goodman’s Boys’ (comprised of an all-star ensemble featuring Miller on trombone, Ray Bauduc on drums, Dick “Icky” Morgan on guitar, Fud Livingston on tenor saxophone, Jimmy McPartland on cornet, Vic Breidis on piano, Harry Goodman on tuba, and Benny Goodman on clarinet and baritone saxophone). The title of the song came about as a note of gratitude referring to the room number of the hotel where lyricist Walter Melrose, who bought the song from Goodman and Miller, stayed while he was sick in New York.

“Sing, Sing, Sing (With A Swing)”, strongly identified with the big band and swing eras, was written by Louis Prima who first recorded it with the ‘New Orleans Gang’ and released by Brunswick Records on the 78 rpm format in 1936. Benny Goodman recorded Jimmy Mundy’s arrangement of the song in Hollywood in 1937. The standard length of a song at that time did not exceed three minutes but Goodman’s version, recorded on side A and B went up to 8 minutes and 43 seconds of the 12-inch 78 rpm. What stands out in this piece, which also makes it more recognizable, is the drum motif (played by Gene Krupa) which opens the piece and is heard throughout the song.

“Rose Room” was written in 1917 by drummer, pianist, and bandleader Art Hickman and composer, lyricist, and publisher Harry Williams. The song was named after the ‘Rose Room of the St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco’ (a favourite place for film stars – the likes of Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks, and Mary Pickford) where Art Hickman was playing at the time. Two years later, Columbia took the band to New York to record “Rose Room”. The recording became a best-seller for the record label and the band the following year. Duke Ellington is credited for reviving the popularity of “Rose Room” with his 1932 recording. When Ellington recorded the tune, it also gained a subtitle “Rose Room – In Sunny Roseland”. In1939, guitarist Charlie Christian came on to the bandstand one night where the Benny Goodman Quartet was playing and jammed “Rose Room” for 45 minutes of solo after solo. Goodman was impressed, Charlie Christian was hired and the song was then recorded by the Benny Goodman Sextet, featuring Charlie Christian on guitar.

“Why Don’t You Do Right”, considered a classic ‘woman’s blues,’ is a minor key twelve-bar blues which was originally recorded as “Weed Smoker’s Dream” composed by Joseph ‘Kansas Joe’ McCoy in 1936. The song was originally about a pot smoker reminiscing about his lost financial opportunities from the perspective of his female partner who chastised her lover for his irresponsible ways. Probably the best known version of this song is that of Peggy Lee and Benny Goodman, recorded in 1942 in New York. This song was featured in the 1943 film, “Stage Door Canteen” and sold over a million copies, reaching #4 on the Billboard charts. Peggy Lee’s alluring tone, her smooth and sultry delivery, and her rich vocal style brought her to nation-wide attention with this, her breakthrough hit.

Additional information: https://www.bennygoodman.com/

Buy the music of Benny Goodman: https://www.amazon.com/Benny-Goodman/e/B000APWEM2

Thanks to William for this fascinating look at the music of Benny Goodman and we would love your feedback.

William Price King is an American jazz singer, crooner, and composer.

His interest in music began at an early age when he studied piano and clarinet in high school. At Morehouse College in Atlanta where he grew up, he sang in the Glee Club and studied classical music. After graduation he went off to the Yale School of Music where he earned a Masters degree. From there he journeyed to New York where he created a jazz trio ‘Au Naturel’ which performed in some of the hottest venues in Manhattan including gigs on Broadway and the famous ‘Rainbow Room.’ These gigs opened doors for performances in Montreal and a European tour.

While touring Europe he met a lovely French lady, Jeanne Maïstre, who, a year later became his wife. King left the group ‘Au Naturel’ and settled in the south of France where he started a new life on the French Riviera, opening his own music school – the “Price King Ecole Internationale de Chant.” He has had the pleasure over the years of seeing many of his students excel as singers on a professional level, and some going on to become national celebrities. He continues to coach young singers today, in his spare time.

His debut jazz album was entitled “Home,” and was a collection of contemporary compositions he composed, with lyrics written by his wife Jeanne King. His second album was a Duo (Voice and Guitar) with Eric Sempé on the guitar. This album included original songs as well as well known standards from contemporary jazz and pop artists. The “King-Sempé” duo toured France and thrilled audiences for more than three years before going their separate ways. King has formed a new duo with French/Greek guitarist Manolis, and is now exploring new ideas, in a smooth jazz/soul/folk direction.

In addition to singing and composing, King has been collaborating with author Sally Cronin over the past few years on her blog “Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life,” with the series “A Man And His Music – Jazz, Contemporary, Classical, and Legends” and now, the “William Price King Music Column.” Working with author Sally Cronin has been an exhilarating experience in many ways and has brought a new dimension to King’s creative life. King has also created a micro blog, “Improvisation,” which features and introduces mostly jazz artists from across the jazz spectrum who have made considerable contributions in the world of jazz; and also artwork from painters who have made their mark in the world of art. This micro blog can be found on Tumblr.

His vocal mentors are two of the greatest giants in jazz, Nat King Cole and Mel Tormé. King has a distinctive wide-ranging voice which displays a remarkable technical facility and emotional depth.

William Price King on Tumblr – IMPROVISATION https://williampriceking.tumblr.com

Buy William’s music ITunes https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/william-price-king/id788678484

Connect with William

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/WilliamPriceKing
Twitterhttps://twitter.com/wpkofficial
Regular Venuehttp://cave-wilson.com/ 

You can find all of the Music Column series in this directory: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/william-price-king-music-column/

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you have enjoyed the music…thanks William and Sally.

Summer Jazz with William Price King – The music of Mel Torme


William and his music

Welcome to the start of the summer jazz sessions on the regular Wednesday music slot. William has a very busy schedule over the next couple of months so he is taking a break from the blog but will be returning in September with a brand new series on some of the exception and popular classical singers of the last fifty years.

It is almost a year since we featured Mel Torme, a particular inspiration of William’s and so we will begin the summer season with his story.

Mel torme albumMelvin Howard Tormé (September 13, 1925 – June 5, 1999)

Mel Tormé was a multi-talented performer across the music and film industries from the 1940s through to the 1990s and most of us of a certain age will certainly remember seeing him on television or hearing him on the radio in the 50s and 60s. What most of us will not appreciate is that many of the well-known songs of the time were written by Mel and sung by iconic stars of the day such as Nat King Cole.

Timing was everything and Mel felt that being born in 1925 rather than in the previous decade such as Frank Sinatra in 1915 and Nat King Cole in 1919, meant that he had missed the gold rush of the popularity for Big Band sound and early Jazz music. He was the crossover artist of his generation as his career bridged the transition from Big Bands and Jazz into the rock and pop era of the 60s and 70s.

His early career also encompassed the world of film and television and he became the teen idol of the late 40s and early 50s which brought him to public attention particularly with the younger generation.

Around the world however, Mel Tormé will be best remembered as a singer, although because of the transition in the music industry to pop and rock during his career, he never reached the commercial success of stars such as Frank Sinatra and Nat King Cole. This was frustrating for him especially as he was an accomplished musician, songwriter and performer. The audiences were changing and he found that he was moving further away from his musical roots in Jazz and Swing as he revised his style to suit the new demands.

He did hold a place in the hearts of each generation of music lovers throughout his lifetime. Combined with his own persistence to succeed, and also a supportive record label later in his career, he achieved a far reaching popularity in the 1980s and 1990s. This brought him a great deal of pleasure as he performed the music that he had always loved to a very appreciative Jazz audience around the world.

He wrote over 250 songs many of which are classics that were performed by the headliners across the decades. And this is the legacy that he left behind for performers such as myself, who have such awe for his talent and his music. As a performer he gave even the classics a new sound and respect that delighted his audiences

Here he is performing one of those classics of the day written by Harold Arlen with lyrics by Johnny Mercer courtesy of Mel Torme — That Old Black Magic (VintageMusic.es)

Mel’s private life was often turbulent and certainly well publicized. He ‘fascinated’ many rich, talented and famous women including Lana Turner and Ava Gardner. He was married four times and was father to five children and two step-children, several of whom keep the name Tormé well known in the music and film industry.

It wasn't all velvetIn 1988 Mel Tormé wrote his autobiography titled It Wasn’t All Velvet. The title was a nod to his nickname, “The Velvet Fog”, given to him by a DJ in the 1940s to describe his husky and wide-ranging voice. For those of you who have enjoyed his music across the decades you will find the book and his others on Amazon and find it a fascinating read.

http://www.amazon.com/Mel-Torm%C3%A9/e/B001HMPC1C

Mel acted in over a dozen feature films and on radio and television as well as hosting popular music shows on both. He was an excellent musician in great demand as a drummer touring with the Big Bands of the 40s. A songwriter responsible for some of the all-time classics of Jazz and popular music including that festive and much recorded The Christmas Song. He was also an accomplished writer of television dramas, articles in upscale publications such as the The New York Times and five books of fiction, biography and music criticism. A man of many parts and over the following weeks I shall be sharing just some of those talents with you.

Mel covered some of the well-known Jazz songs of the 1930s including this classic Harlem Nocturne. Words & Music by Earle Hagen & Sid Robin, 1939. Mel recorded his version in 1963 and here is my own tribute to him with guitarist Gabriel Anfosso live at the Jazz Comedy Club in Nice.

Next time I will be looking at the early music and film career of Mel Torme and hope you will join us again next Wednesday.

Additional sources
http://www.mtv.com/artists/mel-torme-00/biography/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mel_Torm%C3%A9
http://www.amazon.com/Mel-Torm%C3%A9/e/B001HMPC1C

About William Price King

williampriceking
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 with William

LINKS
Links to 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 can explore all of William’s series at this link:

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

Thank you for joining us today and for those of you who missed the Mel Torme series the first time around we hope you enjoyed the performances.

 

Smorgasbord Open House – Jazz singer, composer and musician William Price King


smorgasbord open house twoFor the last two years I have had the wonderful experience of collaborating on music posts with my friend jazz singer, musician and composer, William Price King.

We met through Twitter when I was researching guests in the music industry for the first of my Sunday morning shows. I sent William an email and was delighted when he immediately agreed to do the interview.. You can read that original post here. William Price King

I love music and I wanted the blog to reflect this with posts on artists and their work. I needed someone with expertise in the subject to do justice to the subject and approached William in the hopes that he might have the time to write an occasional post. I certainly got more than I bargained for.

Since November 2014 William has been providing us with fascinating insights into the lives and work of some of the greats of the music industry including his two mentors, Nat King Cole and Mel Torme…followed by Ella Fitzgerald, Roberta Flack, Nina Simone, Sir George Shearing, Quincy Jones, Diana Krall and Tony Bennett.. Currently we have a series on the late Natalie Cole which began this week. If you would like a trip down memory lane then you will find the previous series here. Jazz Royalty

Before we head into William’s interview I thought I would give you an brief overview of his life and work to this point and share some of his performances that show the breadth and talent that he brings to the stage.

pricestudioWilliam was born into a family that loved music and both his parents sang in Church. He studied piano from an early age, sang in the Youth Choir and then studied the clarinet at High School. This led to William joining the marching and concert bands and performing in parades at half time at football games. As a family, there were also visits to concerts by the Atlanta Symphony and the opera.

Growing up William was not your typical teenager despite the then rock ‘n’ roll scene and he instead preferred ballads and beautiful singing voices. His first exposure to Nat King Cole was on television and he identified with the emotional expression and phrasing.

William went to the prestigious Morehouse college to major in music and rather than studying the clarinet he took up voice training. This included the classics which suited his voice perfectly and he travelled across the US with his College Glee Club and Quartet. The Glee Club also did many concerts the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and William was one of their soloists.

His first Nat King Cole number that he performed in public was The Christmas Song written ironically by Mel Torme, at a gala in honor of Martin Luther King’s parents. William also felt privileged to have heard Martin Luther King speak at one of his rallies and also the great Sidney Poitier at a graduation ceremony. Here is William with The Christmas Song written by Mel Torme.

William auditioned for the School of Music at Yale University and was given a full scholarship as a classical singer. This opened up wonderful opportunities to travel with the Yale Symphony as a soloist and this included a tour of Europe. Following his graduation, William moved to New York with the attention of following a career in opera but found that he was too young and that it was a challenge to find gigs in the classical field.

This resulted in a change in direction and performance style over the next two years and it was listening to a recording of Mel Torme’s that proved to be a turning point. William immediately felt an affinity with both Mel’s style and delivery and with this revelation came new opportunities including the formation of Au Naturel with two other singers in Manhattan. With a repertoire of jazz and pop the trio auditioned for record companies and agents which led to bookings all over New York including at the famous Rainbow Room.

Here is another performance from William. This time a Mel Torme classic – Love Me Or Leave Me.


William spent his spare time going to performances of the top artists such as Lena Horne, Josephine Baker and Sarah Vaughn and having absorbed elements of their individual talents, he and the trio embarked on a tour of Canada and Europe. This was to be a fateful tour as William met and fell in love with his wife Jeanne when in France and has lived and performed there successfully since then.

I will now hand over to William to share the questions he has chosen about his place of birth, favourite leisure pastime, the most important event to affect our lives in the last 100 years and a delicious recipe for Chicken Crumble.

Welcome William and perhaps you can tell us more about where you born and can you tell us something about the history of your place of birth or any interesting historical fact.

I was born in Atlanta, Ga., the home of the late Dr. Martin Luther King (Nobel Peace Prize, 1964); the Atlanta Braves (baseball, three world series championships); the Atlanta Falcons (football, NFC champions); CNN (founded in 1980); Coca-Cola (since 1944); the Centennial Olympic Park (1996 Summer Olympics); and the world’s busiest airport, “Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport.” Atlanta is called the “gateway” to the South, a “world city” ranking 36th among world cities and 8th in the USA. Atlanta played an important role in both the Civil War and the 1960s Civil Rights Movement. The Atlanta History Center chronicles the city’s past, and the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site is dedicated to King’s life and times.

From an historical point of view, the “Battle of Atlanta” was fought on July 22, 1864. Union forces, commanded by General William T. Sherman, defeated the Confederate forces who were defending the city. This was a major turning point in the Civil War. Atlanta was totally destroyed, which destroyed the southern morale and sent them the last big blow. Sherman’s victory is credited for aiding the re-election of Abraham Lincoln, preserving the Union, and the abolishment of slavery. The battle was later dramatized and brought to popular attention through “Gone with the Wind.”

Atlanta is cosmopolitan in every sense of the word, from world-class restaurants and a myriad of cultural attractions to a hip night life and sporting events galore.

Which is your favourite leisure pastime?

Price - Mountain climbing
Without a doubt my favorite pastime is hiking in the mountains. This is an exhilarating and rewarding experience which allows me to commune with nature as well as testing my limits. There is nothing more gratifying than winding my way up the side of a mountain enjoying the beauty along the way, not to mention the satisfaction when I reach the summit. I get goose bumps when contemplating its majesty.

The changing colors from the clouds and snowy peaks are mesmerizing, as are the flora and fauna. Mountain climbing gives me inspiration and joy because it is more than a pastime or a sport, it’s a passion. It’s stress-free, and I always take the time to stop and contemplate the beauty around me. It is good for my heart, lungs, legs, ankles, feet, blood pressure, and peace of mind. Moreover, it helps me to connect with myself and with nature in a way that brings serenity and a sense of well-being.

What do you believe is the most important event to have affected our lives in the last 100 years?

That’s a pretty tough one because there are so many events that have happened on the world stage over the last 100 years which have had direct or indirect consequences on our lives. To name a few, we have survived major wars; stock markets have crashed and the economy has fallen flat on its face; we saw the fall of the Berlin wall; apartheid came to an end; and the Twin Towers came tumbling down. Now we’re engulfed in a war on terrorism which will, undoubtedly, have ramifications for years to come. There is an on-going refugee crisis, a crisis that is putting the European Union in grave danger of collapse.

For me, living in Europe, this crisis, caused by armed conflict and global warming, is probably the most important event of the last 100 years because it affects us now and there seems to be no end to it. The influx of refugees and the recent terror attacks in Paris have placed the E.U. system of passport-free travel under tremendous strain and if it were to collapse then this could be the beginning of the end of the European Union, which could have dire consequences. Of course, the rights of these voiceless people who have experienced hunger and indignity, and who have seen death with their own eyes, must be defended, too. We are all humans.

Perhaps the answer, if there is one, can be found in the Middle East because it will be impossible for Europe to provide sanctuary to everyone in need. In the meantime, our leaders must come up with long term solutions on how to bring about genuine peace through education and development and take serious action on climate change. Time is running out!

If you cook do you have a signature dish that everyone loves to eat? Can we have the recipe?
I learned how to cook when I was a student living in the dormitory on campus in New Haven, CT. I was lucky in that there were a lot of good cooks among students my age (I was 21 then). I watched how they prepared their meals, took notes, and tried to do the same thing more or less. Sometimes it worked, most times it didn’t, but It helped me to be patient in the kitchen and to learn the hard way.

When I finished school and went to New York I had a few culinary skills under my belt to keep me alive so I didn’t have to be a regular at McDonald’s. When I was dating my future wife in France, I was amazed at her cooking skills. Being “French,” believe me, she knew how to cook! Once married and with a family to raise, my wife did all of the cooking as she wanted to make sure our kids ate the right things, had enough vegetables, proteins, etc. I would do desserts, mostly American brownies, carrot cakes, pumpkin pies, and the like.

The kids finally grew up and left home, by then my wife had had more than enough of being in the kitchen cooking. So, I took over the reins of preparing meals and got promoted from desserts to full menus. I must say that I do enjoy cooking on a daily basis. Cooking a meal is one of the most personal and intimate things you can do for someone. You’re literally providing plated nourishment made with your own hands and creativity. I have found that cooking can be really relaxing, fun, and I love the challenge of preparing good food. Since I consider cooking to be an art, I always try to create something new – another way to express myself. I also love to explore new tastes and get a tremendous sense of satisfaction when I make a dish that rivals one in a good restaurant.

In our family and among our friends, my Chicken Crumble is well received and it’s one of my favorite dishes. It’s simple and filling.  (Also it looks like it would be very welcome after a day in the mountains. SC).

Nyika,Gene,MarionI must admit that I rarely stick to a recipe 100%, I always improvise. That probably comes from my being a jazz singer. Why not?

Chicken Crumble Recipe

6 chicken breasts
3 apples
2 medium size onions (you can always substitute with shallots)
2 garlic cloves
2 tea spoons of curry (or more depending upon how much you like curry, I always put more)
½ cup of raisins
3 table spoons of fresh cream
2 table spoons of olive oil

Crumble:
150 grams of oatmeal
120 grams of soft butter
90 grams of parmesan cheese

Method.

Peel and mince the onions. Cut the chicken breasts and pealed apples into cubes. Preheat the oven at 180°C.

Heat the olive oil in a wok or skillet over medium heat. Add onions and garlic, stirring occasionally until they soften or are translucent. Add the cubes of chicken breasts and apples. Salt and pepper and let cook for about 10 minutes. Add the curry, cream, and raisins and stir gently. Rectify the seasoning, you can always add more curry, salt, and pepper if you like. Pour into an oven dish. Prepare the “crumble” by mixing the soft butter with the oatmeal flakes and the parmesan. Spread the mixture evenly over the meat and place it into the oven and let it cook for 20 minutes. Bon appétit!

That sounds delcious and a recipe I shall definitely be trying out.  My thanks to William for joining us today in a different capacity and I will leave you with another performance from one of his live gigs.. Lullaby of Birdland

Thanks for dropping by and please leave a note and feel free to share William’s Interview. We hope you will join us next Wednesday for the second part of the Natalie Cole Story.