Monday, January 24, 2011
Saturday, January 22, 2011
|Queens College kids Carole King, Paul Simon and Gerry Goffin in the early 60's.|
The wonderful picture above captures a very important moment in American popular music. King and Goffin, part of the last gasp of the period when music publishers would sign up writers and tout their work to the A & R men who told their artists what to record, are shown sharing their newly found world with a young fellow Queens College student, Paul Simon, who will go on to become an important part of the near destruction of that system - a gifted singer/songwriter who would've hung himself before recording anybody else's songs. Carole King later crossed that border as well.
I met Don Kirshner a few times during my music biz days, most memorably when I wrote an article about a new "putting together the band" sitcom that he was touting. It was at Kirshner's office that I interviewed the young Canadian musician Don had discovered and who would star in the (short-lived) show. His name was Paul Shaffer.
Workers stumbled upon this incredibly well preserved animal lover's floor from the first century while enlarging a road in northern Israel. It's now on a world tour - and the Metropolitan is the first stop. Please note the handsome elephant posing so nobly among all his fellow creatures.
Thursday, January 13, 2011
Our wonderful composer friend Peter Melnick invited us to an evening of "radical" Jewish-oriented jazz at this beautiful Orthodox synagogue on East Sixth Street, a block best known for its spicy cluster of twenty or so Indian restaurants. The music was varied, to say the least, and I punned that it fell into three categories : Heavy Mendel, Jew Orleans, and Jewdelydoodly. It was more than a little odd to hear power chords, super-funky trumpet solos and wild be-bop improvisations bouncing off the walls of the synagogue, but what was even odder was the wonderful Rabbi, Greg Wald, known, of course, as the Jazz Rabbi. That's him below on the left blowing his heart out -Sonny Rollins-style. This world-class musician, who has played in Carnegie Hall and made numerous CDs, told me his congregation is growing fast - especially among NYU students living in nearby dorms. Only in New York.
|Klezmatic trumpeter Frank London solos. Note the wooden railing that separates men and women at the Orthodox services which, as is traditional, feature no music at all. Other than that produced by the Cantor, I suppose.|
Monday, January 10, 2011
|Chairs on the outdoor terrace of Aroma Espresso on West 72 Street|
|Central Park was almost unbearably gorgeous in the hours after the storm.|
|Imagine, an entire republic composed of 20-30 year olds who can't afford to live in Manhattan.|
|Truly a sign of our times.|
|A fragrant cheese shop right out of Monty Python and (almost) exclusively featuring delicious Brooklyn products.|