A Man and his Music – William Price King meets Sir George Shearing – Collaborations


We now move into the mid-50s and 60s and the decision to move to America permanently has offered George Shearing to work with the best in music. William Price King now picks up the story……

George Shearing and his Jazz Combos became more and more successful and popular through the 50s and 60s and he would release 48 albums, some in collaboration with other jazz artists of the day such as Nat King Cole, Peggy Lee, Nancy Wilson and Mel Torme.

Most of George’s albums in the early 50s were with the MGM label but as his popularity grew other record companies wanted to sign him. From 1955 until 1969 he formed a very lucrative association with the Capitol label releasing several runaway albums including Beauty and the Beat with Peggy Lee in 1959.

The Rodgers and Hart – Nobody’s Heart featuring Peggy Lee – vocals; George Shearing – piano; Toots Thielemans – guitar; Ray Alexander – vibraphone; Warren Chiasson,
Jimmy Bond – double bass; Roy Hayens – drums; Armando Peraza – conga.

George had invented a unique quintet sound with the combination of piano, electric guitar, bass, drums and the introduction of a vibraphone. This enabled him to develop further a style called ‘locked hands’ which he had picked up when playing with and listening to other bands in the 40s such as Lionel Hampton and the King Cole Trio. The written description does not really explain the style of ‘locked hands’ very well if you are non-musical. The style involves stating the melody on the piano with closely knit, harmonised block chords with the vibraphone and guitar tripling the melody in unison… See what I mean. But you might get a better idea by watching this short (under two minutes) tutorial actually on the piano.

Here is George and another wonderful female jazz artist Nancy Wilson — vocals The George Shearing Quintet: George Shearing — piano Dick Garcia — guitar Warren Chiasson — vibraphone Ralph Pena — double bass Armando Peraza — percussion Vernel Fournier — drums recorded in 1961 which was a very busy year for the quintet.

Next week we will be looking at two other styles that George brought into his performances very successfully which were Latin and a focus on his first style which was Classical. Over the 60s he also began showcasing smaller lineups trios, duos and of course his own solo work. Particularly with a duo, George was able to perform more freely within the styles that he favoured most, moving effortlessly between classical to bebop in the same number. He certainly was sought after to accompany other greats of the music world and here is another wonderful collaboration with Nat King Cole.

Here is Let There Be Love written in 1940 with music by Lionel Rand and lyrics by Ian Grant, recorded by Nat King Cole and the George Shearing Quintet on their 1961 album for Capitol – Nat King Cole Sings and George Shearing Plays.

George’s career was firmly established by the end of the 60s and audiences around the world delighted in the variety of his styles both in his larger combos and his solo work. The early influences that set him on the path to musical success still featured in his own playing including both ends of the spectrum of boogie-woogie and classical. He was admired by other pianists of the day for his light and refined touch and his ability to move seamlessly between styles and he added the odd surprise when he would pick up the accordion or sing on occasion.

It is fitting to end this episode on collaborations in the 60s with another great performer Mel Torme and the song How Do You Say Auf Wiedersehen?

Mel Torme and George Shearing – composer Tony Scibetta and lyricist Johnny Mercer’s masterpiece is covered in masterful style by Shearing & Tormé. This comes from a 1983 Concord recording, their second together, entitled “Top Drawer.”

Links
Buy his music. http://www.amazon.com/George-Shearing/e/B000APYEA2

Additional material.
http://www.georgeshearing.net/bio.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Shearing

The Previous two episodes.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2015/06/20/a-man-and-his-music-william-price-king-meets-sir-george-shearing/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2015/06/27/william-price-king-and-man-and-his-music-meets-sir-george-shearing/

William Price King – Jazz composer, musician and singer.

cover of Home by 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 debut jazz album is called ‘Home,’ 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.

William is currently in France where he performs in popular Jazz Venues in Nice and surrounding area. His album ‘Home’ is available to download and more details in the Buy Music for Christmas.

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

 

 

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William Price King in Concert – A taste of Jazz with a quartet of exceptional musicians


William Price King in Concert – A taste of Jazz with a quartet of exceptional musicians.

William Price King in Concert – A taste of Jazz with a quartet of exceptional musicians


This week we are treated to a Jazz medley from William Price King accompanied by Eric Sempe – Guitars, Nicolas Luchi – Bass and Jean-Luc Veran on drums.  This coming Saturday it is part four of the Nina Simone story and we both hope you will pop in and join us.

William Price King – Jazz composer, musician and singer.

cropped

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 debut jazz album is called ‘Home,’ 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.

William is currently in France where he performs in popular Jazz Venues in Nice and surrounding area. His album ‘Home’ is available to download and more details in the Buy Music for Christmas.

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

Last week’s post of the Nina Simone Story.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2015/05/23/a-man-and-his-music-william-price-king-meets-nina-simone-part-three-the-civil-rights-movement/

Last week’s William Price King in concert

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2015/05/20/william-price-king-in-concert-a-medley-of-original-compostions-and-jazz-standards/

All previous performances

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/william-price-king-in-concert/

Links to the stories on all Jazz Royalty.. Nat King Cole, Mel Torme, Ella Fitzgerald and Roberta Flack.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/william-price-king/

Please feel free to share the music.

William Price King in Concert – Like Bojangles an original song


This week an original song written and composed by William Price King and Jeanne King. The song is called “Like Bojangles” and it is a tribute to one of the great American tap dancers “Mr. Bojangles” who lived at the beginning of the 20th century.

Jazz at its best..

This Saturday join us for part three of the Roberta Flack story with some of her most popular performances.  You will find the previous two parts of her story here as well as Nat King Cole, Mel Torme and Ella Fitzgerald.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/william-price-king/

Previous performances by William

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/william-price-king-in-concert/

Price tuxedo jazz comedy club

William Price King – Jazz composer, musician and singer.

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 debut jazz album is called ‘Home,’ 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.

William is currently in France where he performs in popular Jazz Venues in Nice and surrounding area. His album ‘Home’ is available to download from his website.

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

A Man and his Music – William Price King sings Jazz – ‘Prelude to a Kiss’


Welcome to the mid-week performance by William Price King and this week he has chosen “Prelude to a Kiss” a 1938 song composed by Duke Ellington with lyrics by Irving Gordon and Irving Mills. William has put together a brief introduction to the song and then you can enjoy it yourself with his own version of this much loved song.

Duke Ellington was probably the most influential band leader of the Jazz era and over his 50 year career he collaborated with the best musicians and singers of the day. With over 1000 compositions to his credit it is no wonder that songs such as “Prelude to a Kiss”, “It Don’t Mean A Thing (If It Don’t Have That Swing)” and “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore” are still performed and recorded today.

Irving Gordon had started collaborating with Duke Ellington in 1937 and over his long career as a songwriter had seen many of his lyrics in the charts with various artists. Apart from “Prelude to a Kiss” he is also remembered for songs such as “Allentown Jail” and “Unforgettable” memorably performed by Nat King Cole.

Irving Mills was a Jazz music publisher and musician who had discovered Duke Ellington back in the 20s and signed him and his band. Apart from collaborating with Duke Ellington he went on form and sign other key bands of the day including the all-female orchestra ‘Ina Ray Hutton and her Orchestra’. Eventually he became head of the American Recording Company which evolved into Columbia Records.

“Prelude to a Kiss” was first recorded as an instrumental in August 1938 by Duke Ellington and featured Johnny Hodges who was the Alto Saxophonist with the orchestra. Only two weeks later a second version was recorded on another label by Johnny Hodges with his own orchestra with vocalist Mary McHugh. The vocal version went into the charts and rose to number thirteen whilst the instrumental entered a week later rising to number eighteen.

According to experts on Duke Ellington the piece was adapted from a melody by alto saxophonist Otto “Toby” Hardwick and has been characterized as graceful, sensual, seductive and tender….

The song has been recorded by Mel Tormé, Ella Fitzgerald, Billy Holiday, Sarah Vaughn, Roberta Flack and many other popular performers over the last 75 years..

Which brings us to another very popular singer, William Price King, who has recently released his version of the song on video.

William Price King – Jazz composer, musician and singer.

pricestudio

William Price King is an American jazz singer, musician and composer. Originally he studied classical music and opera but over the last 30 years his style has evolved to what many refer to as the ‘sweet point’, where music and voice come together so beautifully. He performs in the most popular Jazz venues in Southern France.

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

Links to the Nat King Cole series

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/william-price-king/

William Price King meets Mel Tormé
https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2015/01/10/a-man-and-his-music-william-price-king-meets-mel-torme/  Part One.
https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2015/01/17/a-man-and-his-music-william-price-king-meets-mel-torme-part-two-1940s/  Part Two
https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2015/01/24/a-man-and-his-music-william-price-king-meets-mel-torme-part-three-the-50s/ Part Three

 Additional Sources  http://www.jazzstandards.com/compositions-0/preludetoakiss.htm

 

A Man and His Music – William Price King meets Mel Tormé – Part Three – The 50s


Mel torme album

It is time to pick up the story of Mel Torme’s career in the 50s and early 60s which in many respects was an unsettled and frustrating period commercially. Mel blamed the increasingly popular rock and roll music for the demise of Jazz as music of choice and even referred to it as “three-chord manure”

After leaving Capitol records in 1952, a year passed in limbo until Mel signed up with the Coral label which was a subsidiary of Decca Records. It had been formed in 1949 and had signed and released music from both swing, Jazz and the new dreaded Rock and Roll with the likes of Buddy Holly and the Crickets. Mel recorded a number of singles with Coral and then in December 1954 a live performance was recorded at the very popular Crescendo Club in Los Angeles that would mark the beginning of Mel’s many “Live” albums.

The Crescendo Club via Hollywood Pictures.

 Crescendo club. hollywoodphotographs.com

It was time for Mel to move on again and this time back to his roots with a small Jazz label, Bethlehem Records, who had released first albums for up and coming singers such as Nina Simone. Mel released a ballad LP, It’s a Blue World with Bethlehem in 1955 and this marked the first of many recordings in association with pianist/arranger Marty Paich. They formed the Marty Paich Dek-tette with a strategy to try and loosen Frank Sinatra’s hold on the charts at the time by recording little known songs that Frank had not covered as yet… This included the perennial favourite “Lulu’s Back in Town” in 1956 written in 1935 by Al Dubin and Harry Warren.

Along with recording, Mel also began to tour more including overseas visiting Australia in 1955. In 1956, a single from the live album Mel recorded with Coral, the Rodgers & Hart song “Mountain Greenery,”was released as a single in the UK reaching the top ten in time for Mel’s first tour in Europe.

On his return to Los Angeles in late 1956 Mel recorded an new LP – Mel Tormé Sings Fred Astaire with Marty Paich. This should have been a time of consolidation for Mel and a new opportunity to get a foothold in the charts. Unfortunately his record company Bethlehem was having problems and despite recording another Live Album at the Crescendo in 1957 and a further LP, Songs for Any Taste” the label went out of business. Mel returned to England that summer and cut a record for his fans there with Philips Records – Tormé Meets the British. Back in the US he signed a contract with a small label, Tops, and recorded the concept album Prelude to a Kiss in 1958. The album charted the course of a relationship with the songs linked with dialogue. One of the songs on the album is “I’ve Got the World on a String” by Harold Arlen and Ted Koehler

This was followed by a new label signing back to his Jazz roots with Verve Records where Ella Fitzgerald was recording. Over the next four years he released eight albums under the label Tormé; Olé Tormé: Mel Tormé Goes South of the Border with Billy May; Back in Town (with the Mel-Tones); Mel Tormé Swings Shubert Alley; Swingin’ on the Moon; Broadway, Right Now! (with Margaret Whiting); I Dig the Duke! I Dig the Count!; and My Kind of Music. All the albums did well with Jazz fans but were not huge sellers and by the early 60’s Mel decided to move on to the Atlantic Record Label.

A great boost to Mel’s career came along in the form of a revival in his acting career including in the television drama The Comedian and in appearances in a number of films including Girls Town and Walk Like a Dragon in 1960 with the added bonus of the title song being written and performed by Mel.

A final performance from the CD, “Olé Tormé: Mel Tormé Goes South of the Border with Billy May.” Mel Tormé is accompanied by the great Billy May and His Orchestra. Originally released on the Verve label, April 2, 1959. Vaya con Dios was composed in 1953 by Larry Russell, Inez James, and Buddy Pepper. Courtesy of davidhertzberg1

On Wednesday another featured iconic song performed by William Price King and next Saturday we follow Mel into the 60s and early 70s.

Here are Part One and Part Two of the series so far.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2015/01/10/a-man-and-his-music-william-price-king-meets-mel-torme/ Part One.
https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2015/01/17/a-man-and-his-music-william-price-king-meets-mel-torme-part-two-1940s/ Part Two
https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2015/01/21/a-man-and-his-music-william-price-king-iconic-jazz-my-funny-valentine/
https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2015/01/14/william-price-king-iconic-songs-of-the-last-century-stardust/

Links to the Nat King Cole series.
https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/william-price-king/

Sources
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miss_Otis_Regrets
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/It%27s_a_Blue_World_%28Mel_Torm%C3%A9_album%29
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mel_Torm%C3%A9
Album covers – http://www.amazon.com/Mel-Torme/e/B000APVACW

William Price King – Jazz composer, musician and singer.

Price King Eric Sempe

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 debut jazz album is called ‘Home,’ 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.

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

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

 

A Man and His Music – William Price King – Iconic Jazz – My Funny Valentine


There are certain songs that do not belong in any one period in time or to just one generation. One of these is ‘My Funny Valentine’. A Jazz Standard that has been recorded on over 1300 albums and performed by over 600 artists… These have included Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Shirley Bassey, Andy Williams and of course Mel Torme.

words and music

The song began life as a show tune written by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart for the 1937 musical Babes in Arms. The show opened at the Shubert Theatre on Broadway and ran for nearly 300 performances. It was made into the filmed version in 1939 with Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland. The song My Funny Valentine began its long tenure as a popular favourite in the charts in 1945 and is now part of the Great American Songbook.

Here it is performed by William Price King. Over the last few months William has been following the lives and careers of Jazz musicians and singers that inspired him and who have left behind an enormous legacy of music and lyrics.

A Man and His Music – William Price King meets Mel Torme Part Three is this Saturday and if you have missed the previous two episodes here are the links.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2015/01/10/a-man-and-his-music-william-price-king-meets-mel-torme/ Part One.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2015/01/17/a-man-and-his-music-william-price-king-meets-mel-torme-part-two-1940s/ Part Two

Nyika with wakanda 

William Price King – Jazz composer, musician and singer.

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 debut jazz album is called ‘Home,’ 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.

William is currently in France where he performs in popular Jazz Venues in Nice and surrounding area. His album ‘Home’ is available to download from his website.

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

Additional sources

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Babes_in_Arms_%28film%29