Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Weekly Round up – Social Media Woes, Jazz, Gardening, Italian Recipes, Nutritional cooking, Flash Fiction and Books Galore


Welcome to the round up of posts that you might have missed this week… especially if you normally pick them up on Facebook!

I won’t go into detail as I covered it in a post early in the week, but suffice to say that I was in Facebook quarantine for two days with my posts removed as not meeting the community standards and I also received notification that someone has reported my posts as offensive.  I also got this message when I tried to share other blogger’s posts.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/05/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-removal-of-the-facebook-link-button/

Those clicking the Facebook share button were also getting a blocked message and rather than cause them upset, I removed the button until Friday after I had sent numerous appeals to the governing body and emails (still no response) and I was able to finally share from other blogs and those sharing from here got through.

I have not posted any links to the blog posts themselves until today.. and hopefully you are reading this because it has gone onto my timeline.

I am not the only person to be affected this week including Debby Gies who you know as a regular contributor here. It is allegedly down to the new policies on fake news and too many external URLS being posted.

Clearly though someone thought that book promotions and health posts were offensive and rather than hit the unfriend button, decided to report me.

That’s life… Going forward I am restricting my own links to other blogger’s posts and once week my round up and hopefully we can maintain the status quo.

In the meantime several of us have also joined MeWe with is a similar interface as Facebook but is more user friendly. They also guarantee that none of our data will be sold. It is early days, but if you are an author you might like to check it out, as Colleen Chesebro, Debby Gies and myself are part of a Literary Diva’s Library on the new site to help you promote your books, reviews and interviews. Just click the image and it will take you there.. my personal profile is mewe.com/i/sallycronin

Anyway.. no more drama…… and on with the week’s posts…

This week William Price King introduces us to the unique talents of jazz bassist and singer Esperanza Spalding.

 

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/05/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-music-column-with-william-price-king-esperanza-spalding-jazz-bassist-and-singer/

This week Paul Andruss introduces us to the Hellebores… and some of the poisonous beauties much loved in ancient times as instruments of death…including deadly nightshade.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/09/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-gardening-column-with-paul-andruss-heavenly-hellebores-3/

The next in the series to prevent nutritional deficiency by creating dishes containing the nutrient for the whole family… Carol Taylor has produced some wonderful recipes using ingredients rich in Vitamin B1.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/06/smorgasbord-health-column-with-sally-cronin-and-carol-taylor-cook-from-scratch-to-prevent-nutritional-deficiency-vitamin-b1-thiamin/

In the second of this series, Silvia Todesco shares a traditional ricotta and beef meatballs in tomato sauce….

IMG_2826

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/10/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-guest-writer-silvia-todesco-italian-cookery-ricotta-and-beef-meatballs-an-italian-classic/

My personal stuff – Short stories and poetry

My response to Diana Wallace Peach’s monthly speculative fiction photo prompt..a story titled A Moment of Alignment.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/07/smorgasbord-short-stories-diana-wallace-peach-marchs-speculative-fiction-a-moment-of-alignment-by-sally-cronin/

Colleen Chesbro’s weekly poetry challenge is an escape from my WIP that I look forward to…. this week my poem was an etheree… March Hares

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/07/smorgasbord-poetry-colleen-chesebro-weekly-poetry-challenge-march-hares-etheree-by-sally-cronin/

This week’s Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction was to create a story about a mouse.. in 99 words, no more, no less….

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/09/smorgasbord-short-stories-carrot-ranch-flash-fiction-my-mouse-by-sally-cronin/

This week a look at how our childhood can influence both our willpower and how we regard the food that we eat. Understanding your relationship to food is important for health and also for weight loss.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/09/smorgasbord-health-column-size-matters-the-sequel-emotional-factor-willpower-and-childish-things/

This week a look at more of the official human rights as laid down by the United Nations, and our obligation to protect that right and to abide by the law… and when you look at the mortality rates of car accidents vs. murder rates and the high percentage of fatalities associated with texting and drink driving, you will find it hard to separate the two.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/05/something-to-think-about-survival-in-modern-world-our-rights-part-two-by-sally-cronin/

An unexpected gift of a turkey causes untold mayhem in the farmyard which as always creates an entertaining episode from the family archives of Linda Bethea

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/07/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-guest-writer-linda-bethea-pass-the-chicken-please-or-fowl-friends/

There are a number of flash fiction challenges on WordPress that are really fun to take part in and certainly do hone our skill at brevity.. Here is a post from Joy Lennick’s archives on the subject and an example of her own flash fiction.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/08/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-guest-writer-on-the-subject-of-flash-fiction-and-minimilism-by-joy-lennick/

I am delighted to welcome author L.T. Garvin (Lana Broussard) to Smorgasbord with a series of guest posts, and her first is a heartrending poem about the past, her family and the devastating loss of a mother in wartime. Lana will be joining us every two weeks until April 8th.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/04/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-guest-writer-l-t-garvin-poetry-looking-homeward/

My guest this week is author Ann Barnes who shares the animal she would like to have a conversation with, her weirdest dream, what is in her handbag, and what she would have done differently.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/10/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-sunday-interview-getting-to-know-author-ann-barnes/

This series offers you a chance to share posts from your own archives that you would like seen by a new audience. Perhaps a post your wrote a year or so ago. If you are interested you can click on the link in any of the posts below to get the details. It is another opportunity to promote your books or other creative work as well.

Can you remember your first flight in a plane? Poet and author Balroop Singh shares hers which was a magical experience… she would love to hear about yours.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/04/smorgasbord-blogs-from-your-archives-family-my-first-flight-by-balroop-singh/

Childrens/YA author Darlene Foster, shares more of her extended family that emigrated to Canada in the 1900s… this time her father’s relatives.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/05/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-family-the-other-side-of-the-family-by-darlene-foster/

Jennie Fitzkee who has over 30 years experience as a pre-school teacher, and loves sharing stories with her class, shares her childhood in relations to fairy stories and how many have an element of violence. She explores the need for a reality check for children from an early age about life in general, but there need to be guidelines on how they are introduced.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/06/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-family-my-mothers-fairy-tales-by-jennie-fitzkee/

Robbie Cheadle spends a great deal of time tempting us to eat scrumptious baked delights, and this is no exception as she shares the family recipe of Granny Una’s apple pie…bibs on…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/07/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-family-granny-unas-apple-pie-by-robbie-cheadle/

Sharon Marchisello learnt some valuable financial lessons from her parents, and this week the advice given to her by her father.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/08/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-family-financial-lessons-from-my-father-by-sharon-marchisello/

Children’s author Bette A. Stevens shares her poem in tribute to her grandmother.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/09/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-family-poetry-grandmas-legacy-by-bette-a-stevens/

New Book on the Shelves

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/06/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-romance-skating-on-thin-ice-by-jacquie-biggar/New book on the shelves

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/08/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-shades-of-sepia-cover-model-book-2-by-laura-m-baird/

Author Updates – Reviews

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/04/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-updates-reviews-deborah-jay-andrew-joyce-and-jacqui-murray/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/08/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-rachele-baker-dvm-marina-osipova-and-d-wallace-peach/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/05/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-doctors-and-side-effects/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/07/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-guest-comedian-d-g-kaye-and-a-joke-from-my-archives-5/

Thank you very much for visiting today and I hope you have enjoyed the posts. Thank to those who have shared to Facebook, sometimes using alternative methods!  I appreciate the support.

Hopefully all is more or less back to normal!!!!!!

 

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Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Music Column with William Price King – Esperanza Spalding – #Jazz Bassist and Singer


This week William Price King introduces us to a young and vibrant jazz bassist and singer whose unique style has captured both the critics and jazz fans’ attention. Meet Esperanza Spalding.

Esperanza Emily Spalding (born 1984) is an American jazz bassist and singer. Spalding was raised in Portland, Oregon, and was a musical prodigy, playing violin in the Chamber Music Society of Oregon at five years old. She was later both self-taught and -trained on a number of instruments, including guitar and bass. Her proficiency earned her scholarships to Portland State University and the Berklee College of Music. In 2017 she was appointed Professor of the Practice of Music at Harvard University.

She has won four Grammy Awards, including the Grammy Award for Best New Artist at the 53rd Grammy Awards, making her the first jazz artist to win the award.

Spalding has an interest in the music of other cultures, including that of Brazil, commenting that the melody and language of songs in Portuguese are inextricably connected. Spalding’s mother shares her interest in music, having nearly become a touring singer herself. Spalding’s mother took note of her musical proclivity when Spalding was able to reproduce Beethoven by ear on the family’s piano. Spalding has credited watching classical cellist Yo-Yo Ma perform on an episode of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood as an integral part of her childhood, and what inspired her to pursue music.

By the time Spalding was five, she had taught herself to play the violin and was playing with the Chamber Music Society of Oregon. She stayed with the group until she was fifteen years old, and left as concertmaster. Due to a lengthy childhood illness, Esperanza spent much of her elementary school years being home-schooled, but also attended King Elementary School in northeast Portland. During this time, she also found the opportunity to pick up instruction in music by listening to her mother’s college teacher instructor, who instructed her mother in guitar. According to Esperanza, when she was about eight, her mother briefly studied jazz guitar in college. She said that she accompanied her mother to the classes, sat listening under the piano, then at home repeated what the teacher had played. Spalding also played oboe and clarinet before discovering the double bass in high school. She sings in English, Spanish and Portuguese.

“Junjo” is Esperanza Spalding’s debut album, released in 1996 on the Spanish label Ayva Music. Her emotional soft scatting along with her conversational bass playing is a musical celebration of folk art. Her style is natural and sensual, and her concept is lyrical throughout as she sails along with a comfortable rhythmic drive that never fades. There are Latin flavors, free moments and implied and direct swing. She is accompanied by pianist Aruan Ortiz and drummer Francisco Mela.

“Radio Music Society”, the fourth studio album by Esperanza Spalding won the Grammy Award for Best Jazz Vocal Album and Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s) for the track “City of Roses”. With this album Spalding injected her jazz roots with soul and gospel, and displays her ability to make it swing, big-band style. The smooth jazz arrangements helped make this album successful beyond the jazz genre as she branched out sonically. “Radio Music Society” became Spalding’s first Top 10 album reaching #10 on the Billboard 200 chart and #1 on the Top Jazz Albums chart.

“Chamber Music Society”, Spalding’s third studio album (released in 2010) became the best-selling contemporary jazz album of 2011, making her the bestselling contemporary jazz artist that year. This album earned its title as “chamber music” by bringing together two trios representing different aspects of Spalding’s past: a jazz one featuring pianist Leo Genovese and drummer Terri Lyne Carrington, and a classical strings group. This production illustrates the endless potential of a young artist who can draw from any musical source on the planet, and make music that is personal, profound, unique and impassioned. “Chamber Music Society” introduces Latin rhythms alternating with funk, swing and Brazilian grooves. Spalding’s bass playing is more economical and expressive and her vocals are stronger. That said, with its musical diversity, stylistic panache, and soul, this is a fantastic super album.

On July 26, 2017, Spalding did something audacious by announcing that her new album “Exposure” was to be recorded in 77 hours with no previously prepared songs and limited to 7777 copies. The idea for this concept sprang from what she heard on an elevator one day when a man, headed to the seventh floor, said “seven is a divine number. It’s the number of completion. It represents the earthly culmination of a divine thought.” She liked that sentiment and decided to act on it.

This was to be streamed live, giving her fans the chance to see her create songs from scratch and record them in real time with her band. Her band included Ray Angry on keyboards, Matthew Stevens on guitar, and Justin Tyson on drums, with a little help from her friends Andrew Bird on violin, LaLah Hathaway on vocals, and Robert Glasper on piano. Spalding’s outstanding musicality is present throughout. All 7,777 physical albums were completely sold out by the final day of Spalding’s live stream on September 15, 2017.

“12 Little Spells” is Spalding’s seventh studio album. It was released in 2018, by Concord Records. All of the songs were released individually and every track contains a music video. Each one of the songs, which Spalding refers to as “spells”, is dedicated to a different part of the body, and was created with the notion of the song healing or helping listeners with those particular parts of their anatomy. On this album Spalding sings to various parts of her body, examining the complications existing within the female skin as opposed to focusing on what some popular beauty magazines consider as flaws.

The idea of this album came from her work in the field of musical therapy. The number 12 is an allusion to the 12 tones of the chromatic musical scale. Musically, the album is extremely organic with great instrumentation, soulful vibes, and her amazing voice. She is accompanied by Matthew Stevens on guitar, Justin Tyson on drums, Aaron Burnett on saxophone, Burniss Travis on bass, Corey King on background vocals, and Rob Schwimmer on continuum.

Additional sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Esperanza_Spalding

Buy music by Esperanza Spalding: https://www.amazon.com/Esperanza-Spalding/dp/B0014HC56K

Website: http://www.esperanzaspalding.com/
Buy Limited Run and exclusive Music: http://esperanzaspalding.limitedrun.com/
Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_ghFm78RhT2eg6rPIVHRVg

About William Price King

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

Connect with William

Websitehttp://www.williampriceking.com/
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/WilliamPriceKing
Twitterhttps://twitter.com/wpkofficial
Regular Venuehttp://cave-wilson.com/ 
ITunes https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/william-price-king/id788678484

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

As always we would love to receive your feedback.. thanks Sally and William

 

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Music Column with William Price King -#Jazz – Ted Nash – Saxophonist and Composer – Portraits in Seven Shades


Welcome to the music column with William Price King and this week the featured artist is Ted Nash, Saxophonist and Composer  and his work Portrait in Seven Shades.

About Ted Nash courtesy of Ted Nash Website

Born in Los Angeles into a musical family (his father, Dick Nash, and uncle, the late Ted Nash, were both well-known jazz and studio musicians), Nash has that uncanny ability to mix freedom with substance, blues with intellect, and risk-taking with clarity. He is a co-founder of the New York-based Jazz Composers Collective, a musician-run, non-profit innovative entity dedicated to presenting the original works of composers pushing the boundaries of their self-expression. Nash is also a long-standing member of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, with Wynton Marsalis.

Nash has become one of the most significant jazz composers of the 21st century. His recordings have received wide critical acclaim, appearing on the “best-of” lists in The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Village Voice, and The Boston Globe. Portrait in Seven Shades, his first big band recording, garnered two Grammy nominations. His following big band album, Chakra, received critical acclaim and charted on Billboard. Jazz Times Magazine on Chakra:

A lover of film and television scores as well as symphonic works and big-band jazz, Nash turns what could have been an esoteric, new-agey affair into music that swings and pops with tension and release as much as it beguiles.

Receiving two Grammy® Awards, Presidential Suite is Nash’s most significant work. Inspired by great political speeches of the 20th century dealing with the theme of freedom, it is rich with social and political awareness. It also involved a very creative approach; Nash transcribed the speeches for their actual musical pitches and created themes, placing them into contexts that embraced the speakers and the location and era of the speeches. For the recording, each track is introduced by an excerpt from the speech that inspired it, read by significant figures from the world of entertainment, politics and sports, including actors Glenn Close and Sam Waterston; Ambassador Andrew Young; Senator Joe Lieberman; authors Deepak Chopra and Douglas Brinkley; diplomats William vanden Heuvel and David Miliband.

You’ve learned how to make your instrument beautifully sing. You ‘slap’ the listener in the face with your daring and the unexpected (creating vital anticipation) at one moment, then later sooth it with even more precious, deeper feelings of the heart. Bravo!!!Benny Golson

About Portrait in Seven Shades courtesy of Wynton Marsalis

Portrait in Seven Shades, performed by the word-renowned Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis and composed by JLCO reedman Ted Nash. Nash s suite consists of seven movements, each inspired by a master of modern art who worked in the century around the apex of jazz; Chagall, Dali, Matisse, Monet, Picasso, Pollock and Van Gogh. The recording also features special guest musicians Nathalie Bonin (violin), Wycliffe Gordon (tuba), and Bill Schimmel (accordion). The writer Will Friedwald said Music is like painting in time, painting is like music in space. Portrait in Seven Shades illustrates this point masterfully.

Chagall

This piece is inspired by two of Chagall’s iconic works: “I and the Village (1911) and Calvary (1912) “ and by costume designs and renderings Chagall created for the character of Zemphira, a gypsy from the ballet Aleko.

“Chagall” opens with an accordion on a short cadenza.* The theme is played by the clarinet and by the violin – an instrument that appeared often as a subject in his paintings, like a muse. The movement ends with a klezmer*- styled romp in celebration of the artist and his heritage.

*Klezmer-style – Originally, the word “klezmer,” from the Yiddish language, meant ‘vessel of song’ and later, simply ‘musician.’ However, it has come to characterize the style of secular music played by Ashkenazi Jews for joyful celebrations.

*Cadenza – In music, a cadenza is, generically, an improvised or written-out ornamental passage played or sung by a soloist or soloists, usually in a “free” rhythmic style, and often allowing virtuosic display. During this time the accompaniment will rest, or sustain a note or chord.

Dali

Nash’s motivation for this piece comes from Dali’s “The Persistence of Memory” which depicts a barren landscape populated by melting clocks. This surreal scene is what inspired Nash to develop the time signature 13/8, a time signature which is quite unusual. An ostinato bass line opens this composition and the persistent drum groove exposes the aggressive quality of Dali’s painting. There are many intricate melodic patterns flowing over the beat and it culminates with flamenco – style claps coming from the band, paying tribute to Dalí’s Spanish heritage.

Van Gogh

To compose this piece, Nash had many references from which to choose, but there was one in particular which stood out and that is “The Starry Night “,  the view of the night sky from Van Gogh’s sanitarium which he painted from memory. This composition features the wistful, melancholic playing of Wynton Marsalis who expresses, with his trumpet, the broad strokes and textures that one finds in Van Gogh’s paintings. Marsalis’ solo ends with an allusion to “Nobody Knows You When You’re Down And Out”, a blues standard popularized by Bessie Smith. This is also the first composition in which Nash wrote his own lyrics, interpreted by Vincent Gardner.

Picasso

Nash thought of Picasso as the Miles Davis of the art world. Picasso was responsible for analytical and synthetic cubism whereas Miles pioneered bebop and modal jazz, becoming more daring in the development of fusion just like Picasso dared to overturn established conventions. This piece, inspired by “Les Demoiselles d’Avignon”, is divided into two movements and expresses Picasso’s romantic and emotional side as well as his intellectual side – cubism. To do this Nash explored the idea of fourths* (four sides to a square – cubism) with four tonal centers, though its root is in the standard flamenco key, which is E major.

*Fourths – A fourth is a musical interval encompassing four staff positions in the music notation of Western culture, and a perfect fourth is the fourth spanning five semitones.

Matisse

Nash, inspired by “Dance “, set out to express the joyful childlike-quality and playfulness which he found apparent in Matisse’s paintings and in particular this one. Unlike Picasso who became more sophisticated in his art, Nash found that Matisse, a master of color, had a quirkiness in his works and was more simple. Nash compares Matisse’s non-conformity to that of jazz pianist Thelonious Monk and was inspired by Monk’s rhythmic quirkiness when he approached this composition. Matisse wrote, “I do not literally paint that table, but the emotion it produces in me”. That’s about how Nash felt when he composed this piece.

Buy Ted Nash Music: Amazon

Additional sources: https://tednash.com/
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/tedrnash

About William Price King

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

Connect with William

Websitehttp://www.williampriceking.com/
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/WilliamPriceKing
Twitterhttps://twitter.com/wpkofficial
Regular Venuehttp://cave-wilson.com/ 
ITunes https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/william-price-king/id788678484

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

As always we would love to receive your feedback.. thanks Sally and William

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Music Column with William Price King – #Jazz Charlie ‘Bird’ Parker #Saxaphone


Today William Price King shares the life and music of Charlie ‘Bird’ Parker. His name is very familiar to jazz lovers, but I had not idea that he was only thirty-four years old when he died. He certainly left an amazing legacy behind of unique and memorable music. I am sure that you will enjoy the music that William has selected to showcase this remarkable talent.

Charles Parker Jr. (August 29, 1920 – March 12, 1955), also known as Yardbird and Bird, was an American jazz saxophonist and composer.  He  was a highly influential jazz soloist and a leading figure in the development of bebop, a form of jazz characterized by fast tempos, virtuosic technique and advanced harmonies.  Parker acquired the nickname “Yardbird” early in his career on the road with Jay McShann. This, and the shortened form “Bird”, continued to be used for the rest of his life, inspiring the titles of a number of Parker compositions, such as “Yardbird Suite”, “Ornithology”, “Bird Gets the Worm”, and “Bird of Paradise”.

“Swingmatism”, recorded in 1942 by Charlie Parker, was written by William Scott. This piece, composed in F minor and modulates to its parallel major, is noted for its implied 12 – bar blues in a 16 – bar form. This structural ambiguity is highlighted both by the composer and Parker because whatever he played, and however complex it was, he always managed to make it swing (as you will hear in this piece), illustrating how a good ‘swing’ rhythm section can play bebop and make it fit. Parker’s tone on the alto sax was clipped, light, skittering – actually more like solo piano than other saxophone players of the time.

Charles Parker was born in Kansas City to Charles and Adelaide Parker, Her was raised there and then Westport. His father was a pianist, dancer and singer on the vaudeville circuit for African American performers in the 1920s and when home provided the early musical influence for Charlie.After a year in high school he left to join the local musicians’ union and to pursue his music career full time. He had begun to play saxophone at the age of 11 and joined his high school band at 14, with an alto saxophone which was a gift from his mother.  This led to Charlie meeting a young trombone player called Robert Simpson who taught him improvisation.

“Yardbird Suite”,* composed by Charlie Parker in 1946, is a bebop standard. The title comes from Parker’s nickname ‘Bird.’ This piece is not a suite, rather, it follows an AABA* form. Charlie Parker was fascinated by Igor Stravinsky, the classical composer. In Carl Woideck’s book “Charlie Parker: His Music and Life” he states that ‘although Parker generally tended to only write new melodies over pre-existent forms, “Yardbird Suite” whose title is a pun on the piece “Firebird Suite” by Stravinsky, is a wholly original composition in both melody and chord progression.’ You will hear that each note is articulated with focused energy, each phrase smoothly executed but infused with an acerbic aftertaste. Parker made the most radical innovations seem instantly understandable, masking both the bristling complexity of the musical language and the disciplined intellect behind it.”

*Suite – In music a suite is a collection of short musical pieces which can be played one after another. The pieces are usually dance movements.

*AABA – The AABA song form (a thirty-two-bar form) is a song structure commonly found in Tin Pan Alley songs and other American popular music, especially in the first half of the 20th century.

Charlie was a dedicated musician despite being so young and in an interview he said he spent the first three to four years of his career practicing and mastering improvisation up to 15 hours a day. His other early influences included band leaders such as Count Basie and Bennie Moten. As he played with local bands around Kansas City, he continued to perfect his technique with the help of Buster Smith, whose dynamic transitions to double and triple time helped develop Charlie Parker’s unique style.

In 1936 when on the road with a band to play in Missouri, the cars carrying the musicians were involved in a serious accident resulting in Charlie breaking three ribs and fracturing his spine. This led to a lifetime struggle with painkillers and opioids. Despite the accident, Charlie continued to play and in 1938 joined Jay McShann’s band which toured nightclubs in the southwest including Chicago and New York and it led to Charlie’s first recording.

“Now’s The Time” was first recorded in 1945 by Parker, Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Curley Russell, and Max Roach. This is a riff* – based blues. Parker drew on his Kansas City jazz roots to craft this simple, bluesy composition. It goes without saying that Parker is at the helm here. His beautiful, soulful tone and his technical expertise are out of this world. The melody of “Now’s the Time” was used for the recording ‘The Hucklebuck,’ which became a hit for saxophonist Paul Williams four years after Parker’s original recording. Despite being released by the same record label and the same producer, Parker was not given credit; instead, the composition was attributed to Andy Gibson, who recorded it as ‘D-Natural Blues.’

Riff – a short rhythm phrase, an ostinato, a repeated chord progression or melody used in music that is often played when a soloist is performing or when chords and harmonies are changing.

In 1939 Charlie moved to New York City to pursue his career but also had to work other jobs to pay the rent. However, this was to be a pivotal moment in his musical career as he played with the established musicians in New York, and he returned to Kansas City in 1940 bringing this new sound with him. He would later state in an interview in the 1950s, how one night in 1939 he was playing “Cherokee” in a jam session with guitarist William “Biddy” Fleet when he hit upon a method for developing his solos that enabled one of his main musical innovations. He realized that the 12 semitones of the chromatic scale can lead melodically to any key, breaking some of the confines of simpler jazz soloing.

Early in the development of bebop, this new type of jazz was rejected by many of the established, traditional jazz musicians who disdained their younger counterparts. The beboppers responded by calling these traditionalists “moldy figs”. However, some musicians, such as Coleman Hawkins and Tatum, were more positive about its development, and participated in jam sessions and recording dates in the new approach with its adherents

He rejoined Jay McShann’s band and played some prominent gigs in the summer 1940 before embarking on a tour of the region. In 1942 Charlie left the band and played for a year with Earl Hines whose band also included Dizzy Gillespie, who would go on to play with Charlie as a duo. Few professional recordings were made during the musicians’ strike of 1942-1943 by the American Federation of Musicians, but Charlie Parker joined other young musicians and played in after-hours clubs in Harlem. These included Dizzy Gillespie, pianist Thelonious Monk and drummer Kenny Clarke.

“Moose the Mooche” was, supposedly, named after Parker’s drug dealer, Emry ‘Moose the Mooche,’ who dealt him drugs for years. This composition is in the key of B-flat, with a 32-bar AABA structure. The chord progression is based on the George Gershwin piece “I Got Rhythm”. It was recorded in Los Angeles for Dial Records in 1946 as the Charlie Parker Septet with Miles Davis, Lucky Thompson, Dodo Marmarosa, Vic McMillan, Arvin Garrison and Roy Porter.

Because of the two-year Musicians’ Union ban of all commercial recordings from 1942 to 1944, much of bebop’s early development was not recorded. As a result, it gained limited radio exposure. It was not until 1945, when the recording ban was lifted, that Parker’s collaborations with Dizzy Gillespie, Max Roach, Bud Powell and others had a substantial effect on the jazz world. Bebop soon gained wider appeal among musicians and fans alike.
Charlie Parker with Strings

A longstanding desire of Parker’s was to perform with a string section. He was a keen student of classical music, and contemporaries reported he was most interested in the music and formal innovations of Igor Stravinsky and longed to engage in a project akin to what later became known as Third Stream, a new kind of music, incorporating both jazz and classical elements as opposed to merely incorporating a string section into performance of jazz standards. On November 30, 1949, Norman Granz arranged for Parker to record an album of ballads with a mixed group of jazz and chamber orchestra musicians. Six master takes from this session became the album Charlie Parker with Strings: “Just Friends”, “Everything Happens to Me”, “April in Paris”, “Summertime”, “I Didn’t Know What Time It Was”, and “If I Should Lose You”.

Parker died on March 12, 1955. The official causes of death were lobar pneumonia and a bleeding ulcer, but Parker also had an advanced case of cirrhosis and had suffered a heart attack. The coroner who performed his autopsy mistakenly estimated Parker’s 34-year-old body to be between 50 and 60 years of age.

“Ornithology” was composed by Charlie Parker and Benny Harris. The title of this piece is in reference to Parker’s nickname ‘Bird’ – ornithology is the study of birds. This piece was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1989. “Ornithology” is a contrafact, a newly created melody written on the chord progression of another song, in this case from “How High The Moon”. Back in those days, jazz musicians could create new pieces for performance by using pre-existing chord progressions on which they could improvise without seeking permission or pay publishers for copyright materials.

Buy the music of Charlie ‘Bird’ Parker: https://www.amazon.com/Charlie-Parker/e/B000APVGYY

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charlie_Parker

About William Price King

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

Connect with William

Websitehttp://www.williampriceking.com/
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/WilliamPriceKing
Twitterhttps://twitter.com/wpkofficial
Regular Venuehttp://cave-wilson.com/ 
ITunes https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/william-price-king/id788678484

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

As always we would love to receive your feedback.. thanks Sally and William

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – Good music, food, books, humour and great guests.


Welcome to the weekly round up of posts that you might have missed and I hope you have had a great week. This morning the sun is shining although it is cold. Being close to the south east coast we rarely get snow here, although last year it was an exception and it lasted a week. I know that some of you are facing extremely harsh conditions and whilst I may moan about the rain here in Ireland, we don’t have the extremes of weather that cause havoc.

It has been a busy week offline as I am back to writing everyday, posts for the blog and also new projects. One of those projects is to revive some of the stories and books that were started and then fell by the wayside. Apart from paper copies from long ago, there are also digital files that have been designated to a folder and then forgotten. I am enjoying reading stuff I wrote long ago, including some song lyrics from my 20s that have been lying dormant. I don’t remember the angst that I clearly felt when penning some of them, nor to be honest the people who caused such emotional outpourings!  Anyway, some of it will find its way into stories and poetry going forward and at least it won’t have gone to waste.

It is a lesson however, to make sure you do revisit previous stories or poems, as it is amazing how time, age and experience can bring new life to them.

Here are the posts from the week and as always my thanks to the team who contribute such amazing posts and for you for coming in to read and share them.

William Price King shares the life and music of Wee Pee Russell… Jazz Clarinettist

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/22/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-music-column-with-william-price-king-with-pee-wee-russell-clarinettist-jazz/

Carol Taylor, who is in the middle of her summer, kindly creates some winter warmers for those of us who are freezing…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/23/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-food-and-cookery-column-with-carol-taylor-winter-warmers/

This week my guest is American author Karina Bartow sharing her craziest experience, fashion sense and her love of country life.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/27/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-sunday-interview-getting-to-know-author-karina-bartow/

The R’s of Life – Recognition

As a young manager over forty years ago, I was tasked to manage an established team who were all at least twenty years older than I was. I had already run my own business and also managed good-sized teams in the catering industry, but this was daunting. Thankfully I had been lucky enough to have worked for a wonderful manager, when beginning my career, who had given me a valuable piece of advice. That was to identify as quickly as possible, what motivated an individual member of staff and to develop a relationship based on the recognition of that motivation.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/22/something-to-think-about-the-rs-of-life-recognition-our-place-in-a-modern-society-by-sally-cronin/

It is 1998 and we move into our new home in Ireland, find the dog of our dreams and I buy a business.. all to the beat of Shania Twain.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/24/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-music-column-and-memories-1998-new-home-meeting-sam-a-health-food-shop-and-shania-twain/

This week’s  Colleen Chesebro poetry challenge – Freezing and Tempest – My first attempt at a Butterfly Cinquain

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/23/smorgasbord-poetry-colleen-chesebros-tuesday-poetry-challenge-120-freezing-and-tempest-sally-cronin/

The second part of our trip to New Mexico.. with a hike in McKittrick Canyon and a visit to the living desert.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/25/smorgasbord-letters-from-america-1986-new-mexico-mckittrick-canyon-and-the-living-desert-part-two/

This week the accumulation factor of food and life.

It is very easy to think that a couple of biscuits with coffee every morning and with tea in the afternoon, will not make any difference to your weight.. but the accumulation factor tells a different story. Over a year having four digestive biscuits a day adds up to 32lbs or nearly 15kilos in body fat! Having a healthy diet is not about giving up everything we enjoy, but moderating how much of it you eat.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/26/smorgasbord-health-morbid-obesity-size-matters-the-sequel-chapter-two-the-accumulative-factor-of-food-and-life-sally-cronin/

Now that I have scheduled more time to write, I thought that I might join the many participants of the Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge under the dedicated management of Charli Mills. It is a great exercise in brevity and I am looking forward to challenging myself. Here is my response…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/26/smorgasbord-short-story-carrot-ranch-flash-fiction-challenge-broken-by-sally-cronin/New book on the shelves

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/21/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-the-bright-side-of-darkness-by-j-e-pinto/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/24/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-pre-order-price-life-in-a-conversation-by-geoff-le-pard/

Author update

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/21/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-update-reviews-teagan-riordain-geneviene-robbie-cheadle-elsie-hancy-eaton-and-vashti-quiroz-vega/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/25/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-update-reviews-c-s-boyack-balroop-singh-and-patty-fletcher/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/22/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-guest-comedian-d-g-kaye-debby-gies-and-another-dip-into-my-archives/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/24/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-guest-comedian-d-g-kaye-and-jokes-from-the-archives-3/

Thank you again for being part of my week and for all your support.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Christmas – The Sixth Day of Christmas with Guests William Price King, Annette Rochelle Aben and Jan Sikes


Welcome to the sixth party in this series and today my guests are the amazing William Price King, American Jazz singer, crooner and composer who has been providing the music content for Smorgasbord for over four years. Joining him today is friend but also new and very welcome collaborator, who has a background in broadcasting and music, Annette Rochelle Aben who will be writing her own Numerology column from the New Year. Also with a wonderful career in both publishing and the music industry, is my third guest, Jan Sikes.

All will be sharing their most cherished Christmas memories throughout today’s post.

My Christmas memories…

In early 1965 a film was released in the UK that was to be a turning point for me and the start of a lifelong crush on the lead actor. Christopher Plummer was 36 at the time that The Sound of Music became available to the general public and not just musical theatre goers. I was just twelve but I saw myself as Maria from that moment on. I saw that film three times in the next 18 months and I could rattle all the songs off at a drop of hat including The Lonely Goatherd with requisite yodelling.

My ardour did not diminish, and when we returned to Portsmouth in 1967, I managed to coerce a school friend into forming a double act. At age 14 we were encouraged to reach out to the community at Christmas, and undaunted by the prospect of performing publicly, my friend and I dressed ourselves in replicas of the film costumes. Actually my mother was missing a pair of old curtains, so we did not stray too far from the script…and we offered our services to three old people’s homes in the local area.

We would turn up after school in the weeks before Christmas and join the residents for a cup of tea and a piece of cake before performing our repertoire of songs from The Sound of Music. I must admit that a couple of songs in and there was a fair bit of nodding off…not to be outdone I would burst into The Lonely Goatherd and it served to enliven the audience who would look around bemusedly at the sound of a strangled cat in between the verses.

I did however have a ‘moment’ in my early 40’s. We were on holiday in the French Alps one summer and had hiked up one of the surrounding mountains. We reached a plateau that was dotted with alpine flowers and after we had consumed our packed lunch and with no one else in sight, I took my chance. I stood in the middle of the meadow and gave the title song as loud a rendition as I possibly could. I threw my arms wide as I finished and turned in a slow circle to receive the applause of my husband, only to find that a large group of Japanese tourists had just reached the edge of the plateau and were snapping photographs and clapping madly…I think they thought that it was especially laid on for their lunchtime entertainment. A quick descent was called for in the opposite direction.

As my first guest is William Price King it seems more than appropriate to get the party started with one of his own performances. We will meet him in person a little later.

My thanks again to Why Christmas for their detailed information on the traditions around the world. The Falkland Islands are in the South Atlantic Ocean about 300 miles from the east coast at the bottom of South America. They are a British Overseas Territory even though they’re about 8,000 miles away from the rest of the UK. There are only around 3,000 residents of the Islands with most living in the capital Stanley, and considering the land mass occupies around 4,700 square miles, it is hardly over populated.. But there 150,000 sheep.

It is summer in the Southern Hemisphere and being British the Islanders share many of the traditions with the UK. It is very windy which means few trees, but artificial ones are on display. As you might guess roast lamb is the most likely Christmas dinner and it is very expensive to fly turkeys in from South America.

As at home, pantomime is very popular and children on the more remote parts of the islands get their presents flown in from the capital. Carol singing takes place under a ‘Whale Bone Arch’  constructed from the jaw bones of two blue whales… and on Boxing Day the horse races attract punters and spectators from all over The Falklands.

Time now to meet William Price King and find out about his most favourite Christmas gift ever..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. You can find out more about William and his career in his latest Music Column

William shares his most treasured Christmas memory...

It was Christmas Eve. Before starting the day I called our youngest daughter who lives in Germany to wish her good luck for her performance as Rosina in “The Barber of Seville” that evening and to get confirmation that she and her boyfriend were still planning to celebrate Christmas at his parents’ home in Düsseldorf. She answered affirmatively and said that they were looking forward to it as they had done in the previous years. We spoke for a moment and then I wished her a good show and said we would call them on Christmas.

I finished decorating the tree and put the presents in place. Wakanda, our cat, took quick possession of her Christmas box and happily installed herself under the tree. In the meanwhile my wife and I continued preparing for the big day and began making the final touches, reminiscing over the good old days when we had the entire family at home for Christmas. Those days were gone.

Around midnight we went to bed happy that everything was ready for our Christmas celebration in anticipation of seeing the grand kids frantically open their gifts. Around 6 a.m. my wife woke me up and said that she heard someone walking in the house. I told her it must have been a dream, as we live alone. Plus, why would Santa be walking around in our house at 6 a.m. on Christmas day, right? My wife insisted it wasn’t a dream. She really was frightened and believed that someone had broken into the house. A bit annoyed I lurched downstairs, opened the living room door and there stood our opera singer with her boyfriend. “Merry Christmas!” they shouted gleefully. My mouth dropped in disbelief. I pinched myself to make sure it wasn’t I who was dreaming this time around. I knew that life could yield unexpected surprises but this one beat them all. It was the first time that she had come home for Christmas in 10 years, a gift from the stars, and the best Christmas gift I ever had.

Definitely a wonderful Christmas memory and I can imagine that the celebrations were fantastic.

I spent some time wondering what William might enjoy for his Christmas gift… and I hope that he will enjoy something from his home town. The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra with O Come O Come Emmanuel. Courtesy of Thomas Trimborn

The Sixth day (30th December) is dedicated to St Egwin of Worcester. Egwin was of noble if not royal blood and was born in the late 600’s and became a monk. Because of his lineage the royal court and hierarchy in the church pushed for his elevation to Bishop in in 693. He had strict moral code and was a benefactor for the poor and orphans. He was also very strict with worshippers and clergy alike and became increasingly unpopular when he began insisting that marriage vows should be taken seriously and that the clergy should be celibate… In the end tired of the resistance to his firm stance on these issues he took himself off to Rome to get the blessing of the Pope.

A number of ‘miracles’ occurred on the route and having received vindication from the Holy Father he returned to Evesham. He lived until between 917 and 920 bringing about many changes including founding Evesham Abbey which was one of the most important Benedictine Monasteries of medieval times. He died and was buried there but all was destroyed in the purges in the 16th century.

 

Six geese a laying – some say this symbolises the six days of creation but most assume it was a continuation in the bird theme from the Four Colley Birds, Three French Hens, Two Turtle Doves and a Partridge in a Pear Tree…..

Time to meet my next guest, the delightful Annette Rochelle Aben – Annette has an attitude of gratitude that she spreads around on a daily basis… Annette’s Blog and also by interviewing authors on radio Tell Me A Story with Annette Rochelle Aben | The Magic Happens (TMH)

Over the years, Annette has been blessed with having both hobbies and jobs that required her to write. This resulted in her winning the admiration of peers and industry professionals alike. Publication lead to awards, which provided even more encouragement and now, Annette Rochelle Aben is a #1 Best Selling Author! These days, Annette writes poetry books, coaches others through the writing of their books, and edits articles for the digital magazine The Magic Happens.

In the New Year Annette will be joining the team here with her own column Universal energy – Numerology and I am delighted to welcome her to the blog.

Annette shares her most treasured Christmas Gift

Seventeen years ago, at our Christmas gift exchange, I opened the lovingly wrapped package from my nephew Danny, to find a statue of a black cherub sitting on a cloud. I choked back tears because I knew he originally planned to give it to my mother, but she rejected the gift because Angels couldn’t possibly be anything other than white you know.

As I drove home, I hit an ice storm and what would have taken me 45 minutes, took me over 5 hours. The whole way, that Angel sat on my dashboard. I made it home safely.

Very difficult after that very special memory to find a gift that compares for Annette, but knowing her love of angels and music.. I hope that she enjoys one of my favourite tracks In the Arms of an Angel by Sarah McLachlan

You can find all of Annette Rochelle Aben’s books: http://www.amazon.com/Annette-Rochelle-Aben/e/B00MSQTGUY
Blog: www.annetterochelleaben.wordpress.com

Here is a selection of Annette’s books

booku_cover_for_kindle

A recent review for A Tanka Picture Book

Annette Rochelle Aben writes the most beautiful and heartfelt poetry, most frequently in the form of tanka and haiku verse. Annette bares her thoughts, feelings and soul to the world with her writing and enables you to experience her joy and delight at living with her. One identifying feature of Annette’s poetry is that she appeals to all five of the senses. I frequently find that poems focus on the visual, what the writer sees, but not that many poets manage to capture the smell, sound and touch of life in quite the way Annette does. One of the poems in this book that filled me with delight is this one: We found paradise Filled with rolling hills of green Houses so cozy Paths strewn with flowers fragrant Watercolor painted skies

Over the next few days I will be sharing some of the wonderful Christmas delicacies  that appeared on Carol Taylor’s Vegetarian Christmas Menu 

Ricotta, Blackberry and Walnut Toasts.

• 2 tbsp of maple syrup
• 150 gm blackberries
• 4 slices of your favorite bread I used sourdough
• 100 gm soft ricotta
• 1 tbsp toasted walnuts
• A few mint leaves

To Prepare

  1. Warm the maple syrup in a small pan and add the blackberries cook for 3-4 mins gently squashing a few blackberries with the back of your wooden spoon.
  2. Toast the bread.
  3. To serve spread some ricotta over the toast then spoon over the warm syrup and fruit, top with your toasted walnuts and a few mint leaves.

Enjoy!

And now my final guest today who also has a wonderful life of music and love. Jan Sikes is an Award Winning Author, screenwriter and songwriter. She began her writing career as a young girl. Her first work was a gospel song. She had an uncle whom she loved dearly, but he was an alcoholic and his drinking caused such family discord that at times, resulted in him being banished from their home. So, she wrote a song about Uncle Luke finding Jesus. That is her first memory of feeling the passion deep down to her toes for writing and for music.

And here is Jan’s most favourite Christmas gift of all time

The best Christmas I can remember is 2003. Rick was just finishing the recording of his new music CD and he had a jacket monogrammed for me with the album cover on the back and my name in the front. I couldn’t have been more surprised or proud! That year all of our children, my mom and aunt came to our house for the celebration. There was an abundance of food, laughs and love. It is a sweet memory.

Another tough challenge to find a gift for Jan following that heartfelt memory… but I hope that this will make her smile and remind her of the first song that she wrote for her uncle. A wonderful Gospel Christmas.

Featuring the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra again with The Pointer Sisters and  Adam L. McKnight..- Amen courtesy of Adam L. McKnight

You can find all of Jan’s books here: https://www.amazon.com/Jan-Sikes/e/B00CS9K8DK
Website: https://www.jansikes.com/

One of the reviews for Home at Last

Almost Home is the third book in this series and every bit as exciting as the first two books! Mrs. Sikes lets us into their lives, finally lived together, and their love that continues to grow! Ms. Sikes has written each novel with such depth of emotion that I felt virtually every feeling along with Darlina as I was reading! I spent plenty of time with tissues in hand! The pace was very steady and my attention never wavered. As a matter of fact, I couldn’t reach the end of each book fast enough to move on to the next!

It was a mesmerizing story from beginning to end! The story of Darlina (Jan Sikes) and Luke (Rick Sikes) is a love story for the ages and fraught with challenges seemingly every step of the way. This series is made more poignant for me by the fact that it is the true account of two people, fictionalized for the benefit of the author! I give Almost Home by Jan Sikes five cups of steaming hot Room With Books coffee and I highly recommend you read it!

Now time for something to drink…..Whilst it is customary to see cranberries in a sauce on the Christmas Dinner Table, you can also enjoy in a cocktail during the holiday period. Cranberries have a great many health benefits…. which might be slightly diluted when adding alcohol.. but here is a video that will give you a recipe to try.

Thank you for dropping in today and tomorrow my guests are Jessica Norrie and Marjorie Mallon… I hope you will join us.. thanks Sally

 

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Music Column with William Price King – #Jazz #Musicians – Fats Waller


Delighted to welcome back William Price King who has had a very busy few months. William will be moving to every two weeks and so pleased that we can get back to enjoying his expertise and interesting posts.

This week William shares the life and music of the legendary Fats Waller with some of his music that showcases his extraordinary talent.

Image courtesy of Biography.com

Thomas Fats Waller, the youngest of 11 children, was born to Adeline Locket Waller, a musician, and the Reverend Edward Martin Waller May 21, 1904 in Harlem, New York. Waller came from a very musical family—his grandfather was an accomplished violinist and his mother was the organist of his family’s church. His first exposure to music was in the form of church hymns and organ music, an instrument he was taught to play by his mother and the church musical director. When he was six years old his mother hired a piano tutor and he learned how to read and write music. She paid for these lessons by working in a grocery store. Four years later he was playing the organ at this father’s church. His father hoped that he would follow a religious calling rather than a career in jazz, but his love of jazz proved too great. Waller attended high school for one semester, but left school at 15 to work as an organist at the Lincoln Theater in Harlem, where he earned $32 a week. Within 12 months he had composed his first rag.*

* rag or ragtime is a musical style that enjoyed its peak popularity between 1895 and 1918. Its cardinal trait is its syncopated or “ragged” rhythm.

In 1920 his mother passed away and Waller moved in with the family of his piano tutor, Russell Brooks. While living with Brooks, Waller met James P. Johnson and Willie Smith, two of the greatest stride pianists of the era. Both men saw Waller’s potential as a born showman. Johnson decided to take Waller under his wing and taught him the stride* style of piano playing, greatly advancing his level of musical education.

* stride is a jazz piano style that was developed in the large cities of the East Coast of the United States, mainly New York City, during the 1920s and 1930s.

Waller’s first recordings, “Muscle Shoals Blues” and “Birmingham Blues“, were made in October 1922 for Okey Records. That year, he also made his first player piano roll.*

*A piano roll is a music storage medium – a continuous roll of paper with perforations (holes) punched into it. The perforations represent note control data. The roll moves over a reading system known as a ‘tracker bar’ and the playing cycle for each musical note is triggered when a perforation crosses the bar and is read.

Waller’s other accomplishments include vaudeville appearances with the famous blues singer Bessie Smith, soon after which he wrote the music to the show Keep Shufflin’ . Waller’s first published composition, “Squeeze Me,” was published in 1924.

Squeeze me” is a 1925 jazz standard based on an old blues song called “The Boy in the Boat “.  The lyrics were credited to publisher Clarence Williams, although Andy Razaf has claimed to have actually written the lyrics. The song has been recorded by numerous artists, including Louis Armstrong, Count Basie, Bessie Smith, and Dinah Washington.

Between 1926 and the end of 1927, Waller recorded a series of pipe organ solo records. These represent the first time syncopated jazz compositions were performed on a full-sized church organ

In 1927, Waller met the poet and lyricist Andy Razaf and the two collaborated on several musicals, the most of popular of which,  Connie’s Hot Chocolates  would bring them great critical and commercial success.

“Honeysuckle Rose” is a 1929 song composed by Fats Waller with lyrics by Andy Razaf. It was introduced in the 1929 Off-Broadway revue  Load of Coal  at Connie’s Inn as a soft-shoe dance number. Waller’s 1934 recording was inducted in the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999.

“(What Did I Do to Be So) Black and Blue” is a 1929 jazz standard composed by Fats Waller with lyrics by Harry Brooks and Andy Razaf, from the Broadway musical Broadway musical comedy play Connie’s Hot Chocolates.). Blues singer Ethel Waters’ 1930 version of the song became a hit, and the song has been recorded by many artists since then. The song is also featured in the prologue of Ralph Ellison’s novel  Invisible Man (1952) as its protagonist, while hiding underground, listens to the song being played very loudly and descends into a dream regarding “the blackness of Blackness,” all after smoking a marijuana cigarette.

Ain’t Misbehavin’” is a 1929 stride jazz/early swing song. Andy Razaf wrote the lyrics to a score by Thomas “Fats” Waller and Harry Brooks for Connie’s Hot Chocolates. It has a thirty-two measure form (AABA) at a slow-to-moderate tempo. Waller said the song was written while “lodging” in prison (for an alimony violation), and that is why he was not misbehaving. It also became a huge hit for Louis Armstrong.

Waller became one of the most popular performers of his era, finding critical and commercial success in the United States and Europe.  Fellow pianist and composer Oscar Levant dubbed Waller “the black Horowitz” Waller is believed to have composed many novelty tunes in the 1920s and 1930s and sold them for small sums, attributed to another composer and lyricist.

On one occasion his playing seemed to have put him at risk of injury. Waller was kidnapped in Chicago leaving a performance in 1926. Four men bundled him into a car and took him to the Hawthorne Inn, owned by Al Capone. Waller was ordered inside the building, and found a party in full swing. Gun to his back, he was pushed towards a piano, and told to play. A terrified Waller realized he was the “surprise guest” at Capone’s birthday party, and took comfort that the gangsters did not intend to kill him!

In 1926, Waller began his recording association with the Victor Talking Machine Company/RCA Victor, his principal record company for the rest of his life, with the organ solos  “St. Louis Blues”  and his own composition, “Lenox Avenue Blues”. Although he recorded with various groups, including Morris’s Hot Babes (1927), Fats Waller’s Buddies (1929) (one of the earliest multiracial groups to record), and McKinney’s Cotton Pickers (1929), his most important contribution to the Harlem stride piano tradition was a series of solo recordings of his own compositions: “Handful of Keys”, “Smashing Thirds”,  “Numb Fumblin’, and “Valentine Stomp” (1929).

After sessions with Ted Lewis (1931), Jack Teagarden (1931) and Billy Banks (1932), he began in May 1934 the voluminous series of recordings with a small band known as Fats Waller and his Rhythm. This six-piece group usually included Herman Autrey (sometimes replaced by Bill Coleman or John Bugs’  Hamilton), Gene Sedric or Rudy Powell, and Al Casey.

When Waller composed “Jitterbug Waltz” he was 38 years old and at the high point of his career as a veteran recording artist for RCA Victor. It is notable for being one of the first jazz records recorded with a Hammond organ, an instrument that gained popularity in the genre soon after.

He enjoyed success touring the United Kingdom and Ireland in the 1930s, appearing on one of the first BBC television broadcasts on September 30, 1938. While in Britain, Waller also recorded a number of songs for EMI on their Compton Theatre organ located in their Abbey Road Studios in St. John’s Wood.

By the early 1940s Waller was earning a comfortable living as an entertainer. He wrote the first non-black musical for Broadway by an African American, ‘Early to Bed‘ and took a role in the film ‘Stormy Weather’ starring Lena Horne in 1943, which was released just months before his death. He also appeared regularly on radio.

Waller performed Bach organ pieces for small groups on occasion. He also influenced many pre-bebop jazz pianists; Count Basie and Erroll Garner have both reanimated his hit songs. His technique and attention to decorative detail influenced countless jazz pianists including Art Tatum, Count Basie, and Thelonious Monk. In addition to his playing, Waller was known for his many quips during his performances.

While traveling cross-country following performances on the West Coast, Thomas Wright “Fats” Waller died of pneumonia in Kansas City, Missouri’s Union Station train depot on December 15, 1943 at the age of 39.

The musical ‘Ain’t Misbehavin’ opened on Broadway in 1978 as a tribute to the black musicians of the 1920s and 1930s who were part of the Harlem Renaissance, an era of growing creativity, cultural awareness, and ethnic pride. The title comes from the 1929 Waller song “Ain’t Misbehavin’. “  It was a time when Manhattan nightclubs like the Cotton Club and the Savoy Ballroom were the playgrounds of high society and Lenox Avenue dives were filled with piano players banging out the new beat known as swing. Five performers presented an evening of rowdy, raunchy, and humorous songs that encapsulate the various moods of the era and reflect Waller’s view of life as a journey meant for pleasure and play. The West End production opened on March 22, 1979, at Her Majesty’s Theatre.

“Your Feet’s Too Big” is a song composed in 1936 by Fred Fisher with lyrics by Ada Benson. The song became associated with Waller who ad-libbed his own lyrics such as “Your pedal extremities are colossal, to me you look just like a fossil” and his catchphrase, “One never knows, do one?” It was performed in the 1978 Broadway musical, Ain’t Misbehavin’.

Sources and more information

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fats_Waller
http://jazz.wikia.com/wiki/Fats_Waller
https://www.biography.com/people/fats-waller-9522591

Buy Fats Waller albums: https://www.amazon.com/Fats-Waller/e/B000AQ09K0

About William Price King

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

Connect with William

Websitehttp://www.williampriceking.com/
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/WilliamPriceKing
Twitterhttps://twitter.com/wpkofficial
Regular Venuehttp://cave-wilson.com/ 
ITunes https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/william-price-king/id788678484

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 and hope you will tune in again in two weeks for another post in the series Jazz instrumentalists.

There will be another Music Column post on Thursday.. it is 1988 and we settle into life in London… music and requests

 

The Music Column with William Price King – Interviewing Mark Bradley Composer #ClassicalMusic


This week with a new feature for the music column,  William Price King is interviewing American composer Mark Bradley. Please note that some videos are audio only.

About Mark Bradley

Mark Bradley, composer, was born in Lansing, MI (16/10/1957). He studied composition at the Eastman School of Music and before college years, studied music with family members and his extended family. He attended college while still in high school, studying theory, piano and composition. His father’s cousin, Harold Laudenslager, studied composition in post-war Paris with Arthur Honegger and Paul Hindemith, and at Yale with Quincy Porter. Laudenslager is the author of a treatise entitled “Introduction to the Twelve-tone Harmony” which describes the 350 combinations of two to twelve notes of a scale of twelve tones; thus adding a harmonic basis to the work previously done by Schoenberg. In decades of discussion about composition, Ruth Laudenslager (“Aunt Ruth”) taught Bradley Harold’s theory and work, which served as a basis for Bradley’s harmonic language.

There were many musicians with whom he was in contact in his youth and who had a great influence on his development. Yehudi Menuhin, Samuel Adler, Andrzej Panufnik, Vaclav Nelhybel, William Walton and Joan Sutherland all had a great influence in guiding his studies.
Bradley’s compositions have been played in concert in Canada, the United States and Europe.

Welcome to the music column Mark and perhaps you can tell us about your introduction to music and where you studied?

I studied piano and composition with my mother (age 5-14), studied violin starting at 13, and attended college early (age 15-18 Lansing Community College) studying theory, piano, composition. After high school, attended Eastman School of Music, Yehudi Menuhin Music Academy, and Michigan State University for my aggregate Undergraduate music/liberal arts degree.

Who were the musicians who inspired you?

As a small child, I was most inspired by Beethoven and Brahms. As a pre-teen and teenager, Stravinsky, Bartok and Ives. In college years, Barber and Copeland (both were still alive at that point). In post college years, Ravel, Britten, Schoenberg and Webern and many others.

I love Schumann, he and Debussy are by far my favorite composers. The lieder “Ich bin ein lustiger Geselle,” from “Der Knabe mit dem Wunderhorn” (The Lad with the Wonder Horn) Op.30/1, was originally written for voice and piano. You did a wonderful arrangement of this lieder which is remarkably performed by Richard Lalli, Jim Ross, and Sara Laimon.

Were you nervous about purposefully changing some parts of the original piano score to accommodate the horn part that you created yourself? Did you consider the possibility that purists might be unhappy with this? Or, do composers today feel that they can modify the masters’ works, in the pursuit of a personal arrangement, as is done in literature and classic theater?

(William – sorry if this part sounds like a sermon..but I feel strongly about creativity and the way the classical work tends to discourage anyone from going out of the box. I wish classical was more like jazz…).

I don’t know if other composers feel they can/should be able to modify past composers’ works these days. No, I wasn’t nervous. But almost 30 years ago, modification wasn’t ‘allowed’ or thought to be a good idea. It was basically forbidden, unless one decided to change everything, then put just their own name on it.

When I was young, when someone told me I ‘shouldn’t’ do something musically – the idea became much more attractive! In past years, there was a negative reaction to my working with Schumann’s music, but only by musicians. Do we really need a Trio made up of plotting various discontinuous notes on a page stolen from a piano score? This could only result in a worse form of the original and have nothing to do with Schumann at all.

I don’t think one piece by Schumann can be turned into another piece by Schumann if it changes form. Schumann’s work is still available just the way it was available before. Schumann is a soul and a mind. Schumann music is its own being. Lieder and Trio are two different things.

Every time a piece is performed it is an arrangement. The only Urtext version of anything is on the page, and we can’t hear that. Music performers create an arrangement. In jazz and pop music, this is understood – but classical is a little strange. Folks fighting about what is ‘right’ and ‘wrong’. What’s the use in that?

The artistic message of the Schumann Trio is the encouragement of ongoing creation. For those who are brave enough to do it, look at Schumann scores (or any scores by past composers) with new eyes and allow the mind to show you things you’ve never seen before. Run with the ball and create something new.

Does spirituality play a role in your way of composing? Some composers feel that they are guided by a divine force (whatever that is). Do you?

Yes. We (soul and mind) are energy and are always conscious.

Unconsciousness is impossible. Death does not exist for the soul, and stasis does not exist for musical creation. Minds are linked together. We never do anything alone. Being a solo act is an illusion. Creation continues.

What do you appreciate in the world of “art” today and who are the artists that you admire, if any?

I appreciate many many artists and musicians! When I was able to walk, I loved going to art museums. I loved modern art as much as great artists work from the past. I love listening to the video and audio clips on operamusica.com! Have recently listened to, and greatly enjoyed Eric Artz, Barbara Hannigan, Laurianne Cornielle, Paul Gaugler. There are many contemporary musicians that I love.

What would you like to explore in the future?

I am hoping with the help of my friends to be able to finish editing more old scores. What did music teach you?

Music taught me to be open to change. What has music taught you?

Music taught me that minds are linked, that music is a joint venture. Strictly individual participation is impossible.

What do you believe were the defining moments in your career that have brought you to where you are today?

In school years – Sam Adler / Eastman School of Music. One day we were going over one of my scores. Sam walked over to the piano and played middle C. “What’s that?” he said. “Oh, that’s just middle C” I said, a little confused. “That’s not just middle C” he said, and by the way, he continued “My response was the same as yours when Copeland gave me the same lesson years ago.” That lesson has stayed with me all my life.

I don’t think I have any defining moments in my career yet – probably in the years after school.

I think you said that “Souvenirs de Bienne “ was inspired by French writing in the early 20th century. This period is considered as “La Belle Epoque.” Who were the writers and/or composers who inspired you and why?

Ravel and Debussy – because I can feel France, and the profound gentle sensitivity there that I love so much. Ravel especially because he takes me to another world that I can’t describe with words.

Ives – Individualism. The inspiration to stick to my ideas, and never to give up.

Bartok – harmonic invention.

Britten – inspiration regarding the synthesis and polishing of ideas. A great example of how to put it all together.

Schoenberg – harmonic structure, sense of humor in music, broad view of music. The next step after Wagner. How romanticism extended to chromatism and 12-tone writing.

Copeland – his “American sound”.

Do you plan your compositions? If so, how?

No😊 Most compositions came about because of a request or commission from someone. In general; that person would say what he/she wanted, which would include musical style. As for form – that would come about as a response to the words (if a song), or as a result of the libretto, or as a response to the compositional material. The music writes itself – I just go for the ride, but I have to show up and work hard.

Has the way you compose changed over time?

Yes. When I was younger, while working and going to school, I didn’t generally have enough time to get a composition completely finished. There was always a deadline of a performance. I would sketch something out, complete as much as possible, then just throw notes at about half the score just to get it submitted. Although pieces weren’t finished, they managed to get performed anyway – I was always surprised about this. Not at all surprised if I didn’t hear anything back.

What advice, if any, would you give to young musicians interested in composing today?

Write for yourself. Make yourself happy. Write a lot. When you think you have something good, put it away for a while and look again in a few weeks. Use your intuition. Try not to judge yourself, or what you’re writing. If you find yourself getting negative about something you’re working on; stop and do dishes or walk around the block. Analyze what you’ve written to see how it works or doesn’t.

To finish another of Mark Bradley’s compositions.

“Performed/recorded by pianist Casey Robards Souvenirs de Bienne – In the summer of 1991, Jim Ross took me to meet Violette Bangerter at her home in Bienne, Switzerland. During the week or so we were there, Violette celebrated her 70th birthday party with dozens of well-known musicians who came to play a massive concert which was held in a beautiful church overlooking the lake in Bienne. I don’t remember whether Jim suggested I write a birthday present for Violette, of whether I got the idea myself. There are four movements to the little piece: Looking at Bienne from Magglingen, Violette, Jacqueline and Loukoum. The piece is short – about five and a half minutes.”

Connect to Mark Bradley

Opera Musica: https://www.operamusica.com/artist/mark-bradley/#biography
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/markthomasbradley
YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQMxBvKVw_HOVj0GLI63uDg

About William Price King

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

Connect with William

Websitehttp://www.williampriceking.com/
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/WilliamPriceKing
Twitterhttps://twitter.com/wpkofficial
Regular Venuehttp://cave-wilson.com/ 
ITunes https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/william-price-king/id788678484

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 and hope you will tune in again next week for another post in the series Jazz instrumentalists.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Music Column -William Price King – Summer Jazz – Diana Krall Part Two


Welcome to the next artist in the Summer Jazz series and it is the turn of a current jazz superstar to be profiled and showcased. Diana Krall is a music powerhouse who has developed a wonderfully unique performance style that has contributed to the sale of over 15 million records worldwide. I will let William pick up the story.

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For those of you who joined us last week here is how we finished.

In 1990 Diana moved to New York but played mostly in Boston with a trio consisting of herself, bassist Whit Brown and drummer Klaus Suonsaari. This was followed in 1993 with her debut album recorded with Jeff Hamilton, bassist John Clayton with input from Ray Brown. Stepping Out caught the attention of producer Tommy LiPuma who had already worked with some of the best musicians and singers in the business including Barbra Streisand, Miles Davis, Natalie Cole and Anita Baker.

Diana Krall’s first album, Stepping Out, was a wonderful showcase for her stripped back and natural singing voice. The tracks were back to the roots examples of her ability to combine jazz with a lighter element and a touch of humour. Many of the tracks have become classic Krall such as I’m Just a Lucky So & So and This Can’t Be Love. She also brings her own magic to On the Sunny Side of the Street and Body and Soul.

On the Sunny Side of the Street was originally written in the 1930s, allegedly by one of Diana Krall’s early influences Fats Waller, although it is thought he sold the rights to Jimmy McHugh with lyrics added by Dorothy Fields. The jazz standard has been covered by many of the top jazz artists over the decades including Louis Armstrong, Benny Goodman, Dizzy Gillespie, Count Basie and Tommy Dorsey. It was also widely recorded by artists such as Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Judy Garland and Nat King Cole. I am sure they would all approve of Diana Krall’s version uploaded by RTL – Toujours avec vous

Her second album in 1995, Only Trust Your Heart, produced by Tommy LiPuma was for the American GRP record label. Diana brought her rich alto vocals to the trio ensemble which included Ray Brown or Christian McBride on Acoustic Bass, Lewis Nash on drums and Stanley Turrentine on tenor saxophone.

Tracks included some of the best loved jazz standards such as I’ve Got The World on a String and The Folks Who Live On The Hill. Here is the title track of the album written by Benny Carter and Sammy Cahn written in 1964. Uploaded by gallegomenendezg

As a traditionalist at heart, it was understandable that Diana Krall would pay homage to Nat King Cole, which she did with her next album for the GRP label, All For You in December 1996. Produced by Tommy LiPuma the line-up apart from Diana on vocals included Benny Green on Piano for If I had You, Paul Keller on Bass, Steve Kroon on percussion for Boulevard of Broken Dreams and Russell Malone with guitar. It is tough to pick a track from this album as they are all very evocative of that special time in music history when the Nat King Cole Trio were at the height of their popularity. Despite being a tribute to the trio, the album is very much Diana Krall with fresh and vibrant arrangements of the old classics.

Whilst 1996 ended on a high note with her latest album, 1997 started very well indeed as well with a Grammy nomination for Best Jazz Vocal Performance.

Diana was in the studio again with another album Love Scenes released in August 1997. The album reached number one in the Top Jazz Albums and went platinum in the US with a million sales. This time the trio for the whole album consisted of Diana on piano with Russell Malone on guitar and Christian McBride on acoustic bass. The tracks included All Or Nothing At All written by Arthur Altman with lyrics by Jack Lawrence. A hit for Frank Sinatra in the war years; since then for Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughn and more recently Jack Jones. Here is this classic given the Krall treatment uploaded by The Pleasure of Jazz

The last Diana Krall album of the 90s was When I Look In Your Eyes in June 1999 and it was nominated for a Grammy for Album of the Year. This was a record in itself as that most prestigious of awards had not been given to a Jazz album for 25 years. Whilst not taking that award home it did win two Grammys for Best Jazz vocal and Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical. It reached number 9 on Billboard’s Top Jazz albums of the decade and went platinum in both Canada and the US.

This album featured two other producers in addition to Tommy LiPuma; David Foster and Johnny Mandel. A new group of musicians featured on the various tracks including Larry Bunker on Vibraphone, Pete Christlieb on saxophone and Lewis Nash on drums.

Diana Krall ended the 90s having become the brightest and most successful jazz artist by stripping the music back to its core roots and infusing it with her own special magic.

To end this week’s post here is a track from When I Look In Your Eyes the well-loved Cole Porter number, I’ve Got You Under My Skin uploaded by Puerto Libre

Buy Diana Krall’s music: http://www.amazon.com/Diana-Krall/e/B000AQ6RNS

Find out more about Diana Krall: http://www.dianakrall.com/

Diana Krall Current Tour Dates: http://www.dianakrall.com/tour

About William Price King

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

Connect with William

Websitehttp://www.williampriceking.com/
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/WilliamPriceKing
Twitterhttps://twitter.com/wpkofficial
Regular Venuehttp://cave-wilson.com/ 
ITunes https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/william-price-king/id788678484

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

and all the previous posts on jazz, classical and contemporary artists here: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/william-price-king-a-man-and-his-music-jazz-contemporary-classical-and-legends/

Thank you for tuning in today and I hope you will join us again next Tuesday for the third part of the Diana Krall story –  Thanks Sally and William.

 

 

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Music Column -William Price King – Summer Jazz – Roberta Flack Part One.


Welcome to the start of the Summer Jazz Season where we revisit some of the amazing artists featured at the beginning of the music column back in 2015. William Price King will be taking a break from July 5th until September, but we don’t want you to miss out on the music.

The Music Column will now be posted on Tuesday mornings, just after midnight.

The first series for the summer is the fabulous Roberta Flack who has now officially retired from touring, but still delights her fans from time to time with performances.

Roberta Flack – The Early Years.

indexRoberta Flack is a musician and singer best known for her gentle arrangements and performances of Gospel, Soul, Jazz, Pop, R&B and folk music. Some of her most well-known hits include The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face, Killing Me Softly With His Song and Feel Like Making Love.

Here is one of the most haunting arrangements of The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face. The folk song was written by Ewan MacColl for Peggy Seeger in 1957. When they eventually married they would perform the song in folk clubs around Britain and whilst covered by various singers, it would not become a major international hit until recorded by Roberta Flack in 1972. It won Grammy awards for both Record and Song of the Year and it was ranked number one song of the year in 1972

Over her long career Roberta Flack has influenced and opened doors for many other female singers who were empowered by her spirit and talented dedication to outstanding music. She is a member of the Artist Empowerment Coalition which advocates the right of artists to control their creative properties and Roberta also founded The Roberta Flack School of Music in the Bronx in New York City. In partnership with the Hyde Leadership Chart School. The programme provides free music education to underprivileged students.

The Early Years.

Roberta was born in 1937 in Black Mountain, North Carolina to Laron and Irene Flack. Her mother was a church organist and Roberta and her family moved to Arlington, Virginia where she was brought up. She was introduced to outstanding musicians such as Sam Cooke through the family Baptist church. And she was influenced by one of the great Gospel singers of the day, Mahalia Jackson. Here is Mahalia’s powerful version of Amazing Grace.

By age nine Roberta began learning to play the piano. It was clear as she entered her teens that she was a very talented classical pianist and she was accepted into Howard University on a full music scholarship. At only 15 she was one of the youngest ever to enrol and it was here that she became interested in using her voice as another instrument. She changed her major from piano and eventually became the assistant conductor with the university choir. Whilst at Howard, Roberta met Donny Hathaway who would become her singing partner on hits such as Where Is The Love.

The song was written by Ralph MacDonald and William Salter and recorded by Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway in 1972. It reached number 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart and a week each at number one on the Easy Listening and R&B charts. It also won best Grammy Award for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with vocal.

Unfortunately, after graduating and continuing her studies in music, her father Laron died and to help support the family, Roberta took a job teaching music and English in North Carolina. She also taught private music lessons at her home but in the evenings and weekends her own music career began to take off in the Washington D.C hot spots.

At first she employed her wonderful musicality as a pianist and would accompany other singers including an opera singer at The Tivoli Club. During the breaks she would entertain in a back room playing piano, singing blues and folk songs with some of the pop standards of the day. These short performances developed into her own gigs several nights a week at the 1520 Club.

Roberta was still taking voice lessons and her teacher, Frederick Wilkerson told her he thought her future lay in pop music rather than in the classics. She took his advice and changed the content of her performances. Her reputation began to spread and in 1968 her professional career took off with a regular engagement at Mr. Henry’s Restaurant, in Georgetown.

Eventually Roberta was performing three or four shows a day to a very appreciative audience and that audience included some famous and influential artists of the time including Burt Bacharach and Johnny Mathis.

To close this first part of the Roberta Flack here is Hey, That’s No Way To Say Goodbye from the 1969 album First Take released in 1969. The song had been written by Canadian Leonard Cohen and released originally in 1967

Next week we follow the meteoric rise in Roberta Flack’s career in the 70s and 80s.

Buy Roberta Flack’s music : http://www.amazon.com/Roberta-Flack/e/B000APXOJE

Additional Sources
http://www.robertaflack.com/

Photographs
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roberta_Flack

About William Price King

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 called “Clear Cut,” 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

Connect with William

Websitehttp://www.williampriceking.com/
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/WilliamPriceKing
Twitterhttps://twitter.com/wpkofficial
Regular Venuehttp://cave-wilson.com/ 
ITunes https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/william-price-king/id788678484

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

and all the previous posts on jazz, classical and contemporary artists here: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/william-price-king-a-man-and-his-music-jazz-contemporary-classical-and-legends/

Thank you for tuning in today and I hope you will join us again next Tuesday for the second part of the Roberta Flack series. Thanks Sally and William.