To all of our veterans as well as those who are sacrificing so much for us right now, thank you for your service.
Our Take: Memorial Day Tribute
When I think of Jazz and Memorial Day, one tune pops into my head: “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy.” This World War II classic was introduced in the Abbott and Costello film “Buck Privates” and famously recorded by The Andrews Sisters. There are numerous other covers of the tune, including a famous one by Bette Midler around 30 years after the first recording, but the song in my head is clearly The Andrews Sisters’ version. By the way, their recording was almost one year before Pearl Harbor.
Until writing this note, I paid little attention to the lyrics, but they are remarkably poignant. The story in the song is about a trumpet player drafted in the Army and relegated to just playing Reveille and Taps. Fearing the loss of his talent and needing to swing, he jazzed up Reveille, much to the delight of his fellow recruits and soldiers. Apparently, messing with Taps would have been frowned upon, or worse. There is a hidden gem in the lyrics as well. Near the end of the tune is the phrase: “He can’t blow a note if the bass and guitar isn’t with him.”
You know where I am going, right? The current environment has all of us frustrated because we cannot go about our normal life. We are forced to put our energies, talents and vision into the very basic duties of the day. In the case of the Bugle Boy, that would be going to bed (Taps) and getting up (Reveille). Yet, the Bugle Boy found a way to infuse his creativity into his work, thus serving his duties while encouraging and entertaining others.
That he needed his “bass and guitar” reinforces the notion that none of us can do everything alone. As great as you are, you need others. For those who have been watching “The Last Dance” documentary about the Chicago Bulls, Michael Jordan never won a title without Scottie Pippen and vice versa. Batman had Robin. The Lone Ranger had Tonto. Butch had Sundance, only that one did not turn out so great.
What does that mean for jazz fans? We need our music and our musicians need us to be there for them. In the next few weeks, we will be outlining our Bring Out the Music Bonanza (“BOMB”) for the rest of 2020 and beyond. Just like our “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” did every morning at Reveille, it is time to wake up, greet the day and move forward, so that we can echo the lyric in the tune that goes, “And now the company jumps when he plays Reveille.”
So, grab that second cup of coffee, turn on some jazz, go online and order some CDs or download a tune or two. It is time to work it out for jazz. To all of our veterans as well as those who are sacrificing so much for us right now, thank you for your service. We owe you.
Our Take is written by Michael Lazaroff, Executive Director of The Jazz Cruise, The Smooth Jazz Cruise and Blue Note at Sea. Feel free to express your views or pose questions to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
New Podcast: Marcus Miller & Alonzo Bodden
For our guests on The Smooth Jazz Cruise and Blue Note at Sea, the friendship between Marcus Miller and Alonzo Bodden lays the foundation for the amazing energy that permeates every concert and special event on the ship. Besides the good-natured bonhomie and occasional teasing that’s apparent as they each go about their hosting duties, both are the very best at what they do – Marcus making you groove and Alonzo making you laugh, both making you think and enjoy life.
Their unique skills as interviewers also make them the perfect hosts of our various conversations on the cruises. The two have adeptly handled the interviewer role with a wide variety of artists, including Ramsey Lewis, Wynton Marsalis, David Sanborn, Robert Glasper, Lalah Hathaway, Lee Ritenour, Jonathan Butler and, interestingly, each other. Alonzo has interviewed Marcus about his music and career multiple times over the years, while Marcus has interviewed Alonzo a few times about how he learned the ropes as a comedian.
In the newest episode of the Jazz Cruise Conversations podcast, live right now on iTunes and Spotify, Alonzo turns the tables back on his old friend and helps us to understand Marcus’ remarkable career and facility in the world of jazz and pop music — from almost replacing Jaco Pastorius in Weather Report to his encounters with Stevie Wonder. Click here to listen to the freewheeling conversation between two of the brightest and sharpest stars in our jazz family.
This Week’s Guide to Great Music … Online!
Candy Dulfer on Club Dauphine TV
Saxophonist Candy Dulfer, the amazing headliner and special event host on every sailing of The Smooth Jazz Cruise, has an irrepressible presence on stage and off. Sheltering in place in the Netherlands has not stopped her from making music with her friends, including Dave Stewart of Eurythmics to the singer-songwriter Leona Philippo.
Whether at a festival or a cruise or in her home, Candy loves to collaborate with other artists and she continues to do so online with a program she calls Club Dauphine TV, on which she plays a song with as many as a half dozen musicians and singers located all over the world. She streams the performances on her Facebook page, where you can also see the past episodes.Tune in and be surprised at what Candy comes up with.
Don’t Miss the Chez Nicki Jams
Bassist and vocalist Nicki Parrott has been both an All-Star and featured performer on The Jazz Cruise for several years and has become an absolute favorite of our guests.
Like many of our artists, Nicki had to cancel several shows this spring and summer, but she’s cooked up a weekly online show from her kitchen that she calls Chez Nicki Jams. New episodes go live every Monday at 8 p.m. EDT on her YouTube page.
In the first episode she took on the controversial topic of pineapple on pizza and also played a song from her latest album From New York to Paris. We’ll be co-hosting the next episode of Chez Nicki Jams, streaming on Monday, May 25, when Nicki will share the recipe for Rachel’s Tuna-Pasta Thingy, whatever that is, and play a tune for you.
Cheers to Thirsty Thursdays With Nathaniel Kearney Jr.
Nicki Parrott isn’t the only one putting down her instrument to take a spin in the kitchen. The Smooth Jazz Cruise’sNathaniel Kearney Jr. has been hosting a weekly show he’s calling Thirsty Thursdays, during which he demonstrates how to make a new cocktail or two. Then he chats and catches up with fans while he enjoys the fruits of his labor. Catch him next Thursday at 7:30 p.m. EDT on his facebook page.