Raindrops on roses and Miles on the trumpet

What a gift to have grown up with music.

One of my favorite memories is walking into the kitchen where my mom had the radio tuned to WIND, WBBM or WGN from breakfast till bedtime – from Howard Miller till Franklyn MacCormack’s “All Night Showcase”. That was the ‘50s, so when DJ’s played “oldies” they dipped into a bucket of tunes from the ‘30s and ‘40s. All classics now and I still enjoy tuning to Sirius stations 04 and 05.

Which is leaves me wondering how I got to be such a jazz fan.

My love for jazz has grown over time. And while I’m not ready to write a dissertation on the difference between bee-bop and scat – I know what I like when I hear it.

Miles Davis, John Coltrain, Stan Getz, Dave Brubeck. Come to think of it, it probably started with Brubeck and Getz, and I have my two older brothers to thank.

“Take Five” and “Blue Rondo a la Turk” – well, they’re classics. Or what about Dizzy Gillespie’s “Night in Tunisia”?

For several weeks here in Las Cruces my friend Bob Burns, host of KRWG-FM’s “Burnsland” had a “Night in Tunisia” contest, playing at least a dozen artists’ renditions and asking listeners for their favorite. As I recall, Gillespie’s is still tops among Las Crucens.

My Pandora line up includes a Stan Getz station, along with Smooth Jazz, John Coltrain, and my new favorite Kurt Elling.

Sirius Radio has me hooked on the Real Jazz station. Friday afternoon I was on my way to pick up Aw’gy from a sedation “pedicure” (poor guy – HATES having his nails trimmed) when I happened upon Bruce Lundvall’s “The Blue Note Hour.” Some jazz man with a chocolatey-rich voice was singing Joe Jackson’s “Steppin’ Out.” I was hooked.

Who is this guy? I left Aw’gy sitting in his semi-sedated state while I listened through the song, through many minutes of Lundvall’s comments in clipped New York, jazz jargon. Finally, he told me who he was interviewing.

Kurt Elling is said to be one of the few baby-boomer jazz singers. Visit his website Kurt Elling to learn more about him or hear one or two clips from his latest album “The Gate” – as in “swings like a …” he told Lundvall. The Green Mill in Chicago was one of his early haunts, and I see from his website that he’ll be back there in October. Sandwiched between a Portugal jazz festival and a gig at New York’s famed Birdland as in “ … it happened down in Birdland.”

With Internet radio, you can listen to your favorite jazz musicians anytime of day. My mom would be thrilled to know she could hear clips from Howard Miller, Frankyn MacCormack and Wally Phillips. As for me, right now, I’m listening to Coltrain.

Oh, perfect. Now it’s Stan Getz playing “Desafanado.” Hmmm. G’nite.




One response to “Raindrops on roses and Miles on the trumpet

  1. My mother went to sleep listening to what I think was called Mystery Theatre on WBBM News Radio 78. My younger brother and I would sit next to the bed and listen too sometmes – scary….but fun!! And of course then there was Wally Phillips!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.