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Lightens My Sadness, She Livens My Days

Pizzarelli & Molaskey
PIzzarelli & Molaskey

Concert Review by Stephen Holden (for The New York Times)

Time warps, time lines and time signatures: as John Pizzarelli crooned Irving Berlin’s “Count Your Blessings” with the tenderness of a father lulling a sleepless child, the voice of his wife and musical partner, Jessica Molaskey, slipped in behind him to sing Jonathan Larson’s “Seasons of Love,” from the musical “Rent.”

Jazz Saxophonist Marion Brown Dies

Marion Brown
Marion Brown

Known for his association with Archie Shepp, Amiri Baraka, Ornette Coleman and other bright lights of the 60s avant garde jazz community, Marion Brown died on Monday, October 18, in Hollywood, Florida. He was 79. Brown had been ill for many years and had not performed publicly in a long time. Brown recorded over a dozen albums as a leader for Impulse!, ESP, Black Lion and ECM, but is perhaps best known for his appearance as a sideman on two seminal records of the ‘60s: John Coltrane’s Ascension and Archie Shepp’s Fire Music.

Tom Waits Releases 78 RPM Record and Player

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Tom Waits' recent collaboration with New Orleans institution the Preservation Hall Jazz Band on the benefit LP Preservation was originally inspired by an old 78 rpm recording of Danny Barker's 1947 Mardi Gras Indian street chant "Tootie Ma Is a Big Fine Thing". Now, the song is coming full circle, as Waits and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band's take on the tune is set to be released as a 78 record on November 19 by Preservation Hall Recordings, according to his site. (The B-side contains Waits' and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band's cover of Barker's "Corrine Died on the Battlefield".)

A New Initiative to Support Toronto's Vibrant Jazz Scene

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Toronto – This fall, Toronto Downtown Jazz (TDJ) is expanding its commitment to year-round jazz and offering support to local area musicians for their special projects. Through a juried process, successful applicants will obtain marketing and public relations support from TDJ, accessing a wealth of resources and contacts typically reserved for Festival related concerts only. From the Festival’s monthly electronic newsletter, to our website to a dedicated media release and more, TDJ Special Projects will help get the word out.

Still a Lot to Mine From Ella's Life

Tina Fabrique
Tina Fabrique as Ella Fitzgerald in "Ella."

If “Ella,” the Long Wharf Theater’s first production of the season, has a message about Ella Fitzgerald, it is that she was terribly unattractive and a horrible mother. Whether true or not, these attributes are treated as givens in this show. So maybe the producers should have a makeup artist drab down their star, Tina Fabrique, or recast the role.

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