Sidetracks
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THE DAVE FRISHBERG SONGBOOK
When someone says "they don't write good songs anymore", they must not referring to Dave Frishberg. Since the early Sixties, Frishberg has created witty, off-beat songs which have the repertoire of many singers. Thomas Cunniffe offers his own salute to this superb musician with a selection of Frishberg's best songs, some performed by the composer himself.

THE QUIET REVOLUTION
There’s a lot of screaming happening in our world right now, but sometimes, a whisper can be as effective as a scream. The two albums of protest jazz reviewed here generally make their points without raising dynamics. Thomas Cunniffe examines new recordings by Dominque Eade/Ran Blake and Ryan Keberle's Catharsis. 

Previous columns:
ATTRACTING THE LOST GENERATIONS
Despite a wealth of historical material on the internet, there are many otherwise well-educated people who are unaware of great musicians like Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington. In this Sidetracks commentary, Thomas Cunniffe urges jazz fans to introduce newcomers to the music before our legacy vanishes.

DAVE BRUBECK'S "KOTO SONG"
Of all Dave Brubeck's compositions, none have been as completely transformed as "Koto Song". Thomas Cunniffe examines Brubeck's 17 recordings of the piece and notes the gradual evolution of this delicate masterwork. All of the pieces can be heard through two embedded videos and a Spotify list.

THE GIRL ON THE INTERNET
Since the summer of 2015, when she uploaded her remarkable scat version of John Coltrane's "Giant Steps", French jazz vocalist Camille Bertault has been an internet sensation. In this edition of Sidetracks, Bertault tells Thomas Cunniffe about the inspiration for that video, and her unique and varied background. The article includes four embedded videos (and links to several more) plus a review of Bertault's new CD, "En Vie".

INTERVIEWING MILES
In the first edition of our new Sidetracks feature, Amy Duncan tells of getting the interview of a lifetime with the legendary (and notoriously difficult) Miles Davis. The narrative is part of Duncan's soon-to be published autobiography "Getting Down To Brass Tacks: My adventures in the world of jazz, Rio and beyond".

THE UNEDITED PAUL DESMOND
Paul Desmond's blazing improvisation on "The Way You Look Tonight" (from the Dave Brubeck Quartet's album "Jazz at Oberlin") has long been considered one of the saxophonist's greatest solos. An alert JHO reader discovered that the solo was edited when transferred from 10" LP to EP and 12" LP. In this Sidetracks feature, Thomas Cunniffe notes that the edit completely changes the feel of the solo. Both versions are embedded in this article.

ELLA FITZGERALD AT 100
2017 marks the 100th anniversary of Ella Fitzgerald's birth, and the occasion is being marked with a plethora of reissues, compilations and tributes. In this special Sidetracks article, Thomas Cunniffe pays homage to the First Lady of Song with an appreciation of her art, and an overview of this spring's salutes. 

CHARLIE HADEN/LIBERATION MUSIC ORCHESTRA: "TIME/LIFE"
The Liberation Music Orchestra has now outlived its founder, Charlie Haden. Under the leadership of its longtime pianist/arranger Carla Bley, they have recorded a new CD, "Time/Life", as a tribute to Haden (who appears on two tracks) and a statement about the world's environmental crisis. Released too late to be included in last month's review of political big band recordings, Thomas Cunniffe has written an extended review for this month's Sidetracks. 

THE ESSENCE OF BILLIE
For many jazz fans and historians, there are two categories of jazz singers: Billie Holiday and everyone else. Thomas Cunniffe has a similar rating system for Billie Holiday tribute albums: there's Carmen McRae's and everyone else's. However, two new Holiday tributes by José James and Cassandra Wilson stand up well to comparisons with McRae's classic LP. The similarities and differences are discussed in this month's Sidetracks.

THE JAM SESSION: A VOCALIST'S CONFESSION
In this edition of our "Sidetracks" column, we introduce you to our newest writer, Nicky Schrire. A progressive jazz vocalist from South Africa, she now lives and works in New York. Here, she describes her experiences at a "singers only" jam session in the Big Apple. The article also includes an embedded video of Nicky jamming with vocalist Anita Wardell at a recent concert in London.

JAZZ AND STANDUP COMEDY
Standup comedians like Mort Sahl, Lenny Bruce, Woody Allen and Bill Cosby have readily acknowledged the influence of jazz in their work but few of these comedians talked about the music in their acts. There were a few exceptions, and Thomas Cunniffe shares three classic examples of jazz/comedy routines in this month's Sidetracks.

MICHELLE LORDI & THE ART OF STORYTELLING
Philadelphia vocalist Michelle Lordi loves to tell stories in song. She has a deep abiding interest in the Great American Songbook, but has also found viable material from alternative country singer Ryan Adams and the 1980s pop group, The Cars. In this month's Sidetracks feature, Thomas Cunniffe introduces us to Lordi through her recordings and a recent live performance in Denver. 

REMEMBERING SUSANNAH
Few singers could discover the inner meaning of a lyric like Susannah McCorkle. A self-described hopeless romantic, she thoroughly researched the songs she performed, and sometimes added long-forgotten lyrics to her arrangements. McCorkle committed suicide in 2001, but her memory lives on through a newly-released live recording from Berlin. Thomas Cunniffe, who once interviewed McCorkle, discusses her life and artistry in this Sidetracks article.

A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S STREAM
In recent years, many jazz venues have added live video streaming as a way to add to their revenue and recognition. Theoretically, a live feed should be the next best thing to being there, but that's not always the case. In this month's Sidetracks, Thomas Cunniffe discusses the highs and lows of video streaming, and spotlights a club that's trying to set the bar higher.

THE PROCESS AND THE PRODUCT
Boulder pianist Art Lande refers to jazz as a process not a product, meaning that exploration continues on the bandstand long after recording the final accepted take on a CD. Lande plays a central role in the latest albums by vocalists Tina Phillips and Bonnie Lowdermilk. In this Sidetracks article, Thomas Cunniffe examines how each singer realizes Lande's theory.

RETRO TECHNOLOGY
Invent a new recording technology and someone will claim that the old technology was better. The CD vs. LP discussion has gone on for the past several years, but Sony Music is going one step further, claiming that Miles Davis' first 9 Columbia albums were designed to be heard in mono, and issuing a new box set with single-channel versions of classic stereo albums like "Kind of Blue" and "Sketches of Spain". Thomas Cunniffe speculates on Sony's reasoning in this month's Sidetracks.

THE ENIGMA OF JERI SOUTHERN
One of the most revered vocalists of the 1950s, Jeri Southern created a series of acclaimed LPs and then abruptly stopped performing and recording. Thomas Cunniffe explores her life, minimalist style and recorded legacy in this month's edition of Sidetracks.

"KEEP ON KEEPIN' ON"
Clark Terry is one of jazz's greatest mentors. There's hardly a jazz musician working today that hasn't been touched by this gentle, wise giant. A new documentary, "Keep On Keepin' On", captures Terry and his gifted student, pianist Justin Kauflin, as they each face numerous obstacles. Thomas Cunniffe provides a sneak preview in this special edition of Sidetracks.

THOSE MARCHING SAINTS
"When the Saints Go Marchin' In" is one of the oldest standards in the jazz repertory, and its origins are shrouded in mystery. In this month's Sidetracks column, Thomas Cunniffe tells the known history of the jazz anthem and notes a startling resemblance between the "Saints" and a crucial part of the Catholic Requiem Mass.

TIMME ROSENKRANTZ & THE TOWN HALL CONCERT
The June 9, 1945 Town Hall concert produced by Timme Rosenkrantz was ostensibly a celebration of small group swing, featuring Red Norvo, Gene Krupa, Bill Coleman, Teddy Wilson, Don Byas and Stuff Smith. However, there were elements of the newly emerging bebop style for anyone who was listening. Thomas Cunniffe discusses the music and tells of the concert's fascinating back story in this month's Sidetracks.

MARIA SCHNEIDER/DAWN UPSHAW: "WINTER MORNING WALKS"
"Winter Morning Walks" is the first album in five years from composer Maria Schneider. It is not a jazz album, but a pair of  orchestral song cycles featuring soprano Dawn Upshaw.  As it represents a change of pace for both us and the artist, it seems appropriate to present Thomas Cunniffe's review of the album as this month's edition of Sidetracks.

A SICK KIND OF HUMOR
The New Yorker's fake Sonny Rollins interview has probably gotten more attention than it ever deserved, but the suicide of Robin Williams has brought out a new and disturbing element about the Rollins article. In this special edition of Sidetracks, Thomas Cunniffe explores the darker side of the New Yorker's "satire".

INTRODUCING KATIE THIROUX
The number of bassist/vocalists in jazz history is rather small, and the number gets smaller when factoring in how many are women. In this edition of Sidetracks, Thomas Cunniffe introduces us to Katie Thiroux, whose abundant talents are displayed in her newly-released debut CD. 

WE...ARE...THE 2.3 PERCENT!
As if January wasn't depressing enough, jazz fans were told once again that their music represents only 2.3% of the US music market. To make things worse, the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival announced this year's lineup--with a preponderance of rock and pop acts. Thomas Cunniffe considers the implications of these events in this month's Sidetracks.