Loida Liuzzi



Sarah Manning's, "Dandelion Clock"

Sarah Manning, a new and very exciting artist on the jazz scene. She's bold and inventive, and she will give you a "Master Class" with this new album, "Dandelion Clock"

I started this blog to promote young artists of the 21st Century who are "keeping the music alive".
I just hit the jackpot again!! Sarah Manning is a young lady who has the poise and skill of a seasoned jazz vet.
She is as dedicated and as involved in the genre as anyone. She respects it and delivers with an intelligent take
and a great album loaded with her original charts.

Dandelion Clock is the work; and it is a good one.

"The Peacocks" a cut that Sarah controls from start to finish. She makes the Sax talk, if the instrument truly were vocalizing, it would be a Carmen Mcrae like mellow but sassy, top to bottom phrasing, with clarity
and precession. A terrific piano riff comes through in the middle of the tune. A very nice chart.

"Phoenix Song" with breathless riffs and an intelligent melodic line, I really had to pay attention on this wonderful tune, there is lots going on.  For me this tune was reminiscent of the progressive sounds of decades ago, with a brand new spin. Sarah seems to be exploring and creating something new, with a refreshing confidence here. Pay attention on this one, if you are an old fogy of jazz, like me, you will love it.

"Windmills of Your Mind" the classic melody by Michel Legrand gets a workout by Sarah on this album too. She takes the classic tune for a ride into the Stratosphere, circles the Earth and returns it just as Legrand wrote it  Both are picked up by the Mother Ship and all is well again.

"Dandelion Clock" the number of puffs it takes to blow away all the filamentos of a Dandelion will tell you the hour, you remember that from your childhood? The title tune will paint a picture of that for you, it's light at times and there are passages when you can just imagine the flower flowing and then wilting. This is another terrific piece. What a great new addition this album is to my Ipod!
.....can't wait to see her live soon, stay tuned!

Sarah Manning will be at;  Tanglewood Jazz Festival, Sept. 3d,  2011

purchase Dandelion Clock   http://www.amazon.com/Dandelion-Clock-Sarah-Manning/dp/B003ED8R7S/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1275321759&sr=1-3

Sarah's site; http://www.sarahmanningmusic.com/live/ 

by Pete Carma, follow Pete  www.twitter.com/petecarma


Artists in New York, Part VI, Bekka Lindstrom

..."an actor, who makes her living as a graphic artists, even though she is a writer who sings"
Bekka Lindstrom

 That's how Bekka describes her life in New York City, on her Facebook. But let me tell you, it's not that easy to describe her talents. I have seen her act, sing, create videos, and her art, and all are excellent.

Her are some of Bekka's thoughts on all of that, and of course living in NYC, because that what this series is all about.

Q; Your FB says you are "an actor who makes her living as a graphic artists, even though she is a writer who sings" I love that because I know what you mean, ...can you explain it to my readers who may find it a bit confusing...and how living in NY allows all of that to happen?
Bekka... This is the sentence I came up with when faced with this blank on Facebook. And I wanted to keep it to one sentence.
I'm very focused on being an actor. Yet most of my life I've made my living as a graphic artist. However, I hate to discount the writing I've done. And then I remember, I'm so happy when I'm singing. And while you often don't make a dime at singing or writing or acting or the graphic arts – you have to practice them quite a bit to be good at any of them. You have to do them. Practice.
When I was a little kid I didn't care for practice. I didn't see the fun in it. Now that I'm older and time moves faster, I'm able to see the difference that practicing makes sooner. So, I stick with it.
I write every morning. I have clients that pay me to think about positive and negative space and move bits around (graphic design) -- nearly every day. I try to sing a little bit every afternoon. And the thing about singing is, it's better to get in singing shape and stay there than it is to fall in and out of it. To sing you have to be physically alive. Head clear. Throat open. Heart strong. Lungs fierce.
Willa Cather said somewhere, in order to write you have to be "fit enough to sing." And I agree with her. And since one state enables two activities; might as well practice both.
I also follow another guide, Joni Mitchell, who when asked about being both a painter and a composer pointed out the importance of crop rotation. I grew up in farmland. I know what she means. Being able to cross disciplines means you always come up with something. Sometimes corn. Sometimes beans.

Q; How long have you lived in NYC and do you think you could live anywhere else at this point in your life?
Bekka... I've lived 27 blessed years in Gotham and treasured each moment here. And the answer is no. No where but NYC. I was made for New York. And New York was made for me. We heart each other.
One of the infinite things I love about this town is the vibe on the street. You feel it the minute you land here. Like an electrical charge, and you have to adjust to the increase in input or you just can't sleep or walk or complete a thought. Once the adjustment to the incredible humm that is New York City is made, for some of us, it is a life force. That enables us to do incredible things.
Every place has a specific feeling. (Even if it's numbness.) Paris also has a feeling that I love. In my dreams, I could live in Paris. With no bounds, I would be living in Paris on cigarettes, wine and espresso. But it ain't so.
So I live in NYC on local organic vegetarian fare. Which is pretty heavenly. And I don't partake of tobacco, alcohol or caffeine. And English remains my second language. Images being my first.

The one, the only>Bekka

Q; I've seen you sing-beautifully, and act wonderfully, you also have degrees in Cinema at NYU, Designing, Religion, Art, Philosophy, and you enjoy gardening and carpentry... if you were kidnapped by aliens and taken to another planet where you could only do one of the above which would you choose? Or would you have to be a rebel and do more?
Bekka... I'd sing "If I Had A Hammer" as a prayer to not lose my mind while I designed an escape route using what I learned from "Grand Illusion," "Stalag 17," "Shawshank Redemption," and "Battlestar Galactica."

Q; You are married to another talented woman Donna Jean Fogel, so I must ask you your thoughts on the recent legislation passed by NY State, on same sex marriage.
Bekka... Mainly -- thank you for the question. That's the blessing in this. That gay rights are being put into the public eye and all is terrific. Every time it happens more people figure out it's okay if we're not all alike.
Weird part-- the personal part is, using the word "wife." For some of us women, that word is charged with some not so hot undertones. Some of us, never set out to be some body's "wife." It's been a word that often cut a person short of their full being. So it's been interesting taking that word back. Because it IS the most accurate and swift of all our choices. "Partner" is too confusing. "Spouse" is so check-the-box. "Wife" is understood immediately. Guys get "husband." The ladies get "wife." So we're going to take it and fill it out. Change it up. Rehab it. Like we do neighborhoods. When the breeders come back in, it'll be better than before.
One thing I have noticed lately, straight couple have a real disadvantage. For same-sex couples, there's a wonderful clarity that comes from not being able to blame stuff on gender difference. It seems to me a lot of stuff gets blamed on being different genders that really has to do with being different people. This assumption that men always... or women never... is very misleading.

Q; Are you part of any band or group that performs together regularly? And if you r I want to review them!
  Bekka...Working on that.

Q; Any future plans for the wonderful production of MoM A Rock Concert Musical...and is it as much fun doing it as it is to watch.
Bekka...Things are looking up for MoM. There's going to be a tour coming up. MoM's gonna hit the road! ... that's all I can say for now. Much more to follow.
And YES it is crazy FUN to do the MoM show. Being in a play is a blast. And being able to play music together with a bunch of people is really a special experience. To combine the two is just -- out of this world.
I feel incredibly fortunate.


...We could wrap this up right there, but you urged me to tell you about anything on my mind, so I wanted to tell you about this remarkable thing that's happened. It means telling a story. I hope you don't mind. Here goes.
I went to college in Iowa, because I grew up there. I'd pretty much finished my art major, and practicality not being one of my interests --I was backing that up with a major in philosophy & religion. One of the last classes I took was "Film Appreciation." It was the first time I ever saw a film made by a woman. It was an old black and white. "Meshes of the Afternoon" made in 1943 by Maya Deren. I was mesmerized. Only 14 minutes long.
You know that feeling like you've been dropped back into your seat when the lights go on after the film is over? Dazed, I looked around the room and noticed people in the class were staring at me. The professor said, "Yes, it's true, class. Bekka does look a lot like Maya Deren, doesn't she?"
(This was back before my hair went suddenly blond. ;^ ] )
I'd found my path! I wanted to know more about film. Films like Maya Deren made. So, after a brief 4 year stint of being employed in retail (!),-- I managed to get into New York University's Cinema Studies program and I moved to New York City. I got my master's in film studies.
My first film was a letter to Maya Deren. It began with me writing on a piece of paper, "Dear Maya, I thought this might be the best way to get in touch with you." Turns out it wasn't.
Then,- then the rent was due. Again. You know what I mean? I finished my degree and became a magazine art director. And then I did design work freelance. Fast forward many years and finally I decided I really want to pursue acting... (I know, I know. One practical idea after another. Can you imagine what it's like to be my parents? Bless them.)
Anyway -- I am a member of this tribe of Catskill lesbians. And most every year we (Linda, Pattie & Carol)celebrate the new year by starting this barn fire down by the Esopus River. It's customary for us to write our gratitude's and wishes on sticks and then throw them in the fire. We've manifested jobs, homes, mates for all sorts of people. And for ourselves. (We could scare the hell out of Michele Bachmann. I went to grade school in Waterloo, Iowa. We turned out very differently.)
New Year's Day, two years ago, I wrote on a stick my great gratitude for the luck I've had on stage. I've gotten to play pretty wonderful roles in the theater. Thank you very much. And I wrote that I would like to be in a film of real merit. And meaning. Threw it into the fire and went into the house to get warm.
My hosts, sweet friends from way way back, introduced me to a new comer --- Barbara Hammer. ! The first out lesbian filmmaker. I studied her work at NYU! I tell her, "I KNOW who you ARE!" We hit it off and chatter away -- I wind up telling her about the first time I saw "Meshes of the Afternoon" --- she says, "Yes, you do look like Maya Deren. Say -- I'm making a film about finding Maya Deren's sink. And we have permission to go film in the house where "Meshes" was made. Do you want to play Maya?"
I'm pretty sure the fire was still embers down by the river.

So, all that to say -- "Maya Deren's Sink" by Barbara Hammer got made and played at the IFC here in NYC for the last week.
No kidding. I had to share that. It's been a remarkable experience.
Yes, I would say I feel very fortunate.
 .....Thanks soooo much Bekka, for a great read!!!

by Pete Carma..  follow Pete  www.twitter.com/petecarma


Judy, Judy, Judy....at the Palace!

...three days before my ex wife's birthday, August 2d, 1967, I surprised her with tickets to see Judy Garland at the Palace Theater, in New York City.

It was the first time either of us had seen her in person.
We sat front row, the tickets were $5.50 each!

About ten minutes before show time, the Palace was full, and the crowd rose to their feet and started a standing ovation. I was wondering what I had missed? This continued for several minutes. Curtain closed, no music, I thought, did the Vietnam War end? What?

The curtain moved a bit and the roar from the crowd grew to a tornado like rumble.

Then I knew what it was all about. Judy Garland stepped partially out from behind the curtain in a robe and her hair was in a net, waving and telling everyone she will be "right back" to sing.

The show seemed more like a coronation, ovation after ovation, classic tune after classic tune, she never stopped for an hour. Then she brought out Liza, Lorna and Joey her kids and they joined in the singing and dancing. When the family segment was over Judy got back to electrifying the audience with the show stoppers, "Over the Rainbow", "The Man that Got Away", "The Trolley Song", "What Now My Love" and "Rock A Bye My Baby" to name some of the evergreens.

All throughout the performance men rushed the stage with gifts, flowers, cards and letters to a point where I though they would pull her off the stage, however she obliged them all and thanked them all....

Judy, exhausted and almost out of tunes, came a piece of the show I will never forget. She stood in the middle of the Palace Stage as the crowd roared again, she blew kisses and said, "what do you want now".

A male voice from the rear of the orchestra section shouted..."you don't have to do anything, just stand there"...and again a roar!

After several encores the show came to an end. Being in the front row we were the last to get out. As we approached the lobby and the street, Broadway, there was a bottle neck and the lobby was a dead end.
I thought it was traffic or maybe worse someone got hit by a car. But no, as we reached the street we saw
something I have never seen again, Judy Garland was standing on the median (there use to be one on B'way)
a thin strip of grass between north and south flowing traffic. The north bound traffic was being held back by NYPD. She was in an evening dress, shaking the hand of every patron, and saying good night.
That's the "Rainbow" my friends.

These are actual photos taken at that show, I dug them up on the WWW!

 by Pete Carma, follow Pete  www,twitter.com/petecarma


"Melancholy Lullaby" Classic Jazz, from Solitaire Miles

"Melancholy Lullaby", by Solitaire Miles
...From Chicago, where else for classic jazz, comes a new release,  from vocalist and Jazz Historian
Solitaire Miles... "Melancholy Lullaby"

 The official release will be September 21st in Chicago at the Jazz Showcase. 

 "I’ve spent most of my life listening to old swing and early jazz so this album is a compilation of popular American standards and some are abandoned melodies that I felt needed to be resurrected and restored. People ask me why I like to record older or more uncommon tunes and I’m not sure. Maybe it’s the antiquated lyrics or that they’re not performed very often,
but I hope that I’ve been able to breathe some life back into these overlooked moments of the past. I think of myself as a music historian as well as a performer and so I’m very pleased to present a new recording from the late swing violinist Johnny Frigo and his accompanist and long time friend Joe Vito."...Solitaire Miles.

You can pre purchase it here now! solitairemiles.com

I will have a live review as well as the CD review...stay tuned.
by Pete Carma, follow Pete..  www.twitter.com/petecarma


Total Eclipse! Coming September 9th...Greta Panettieri

Coming  September 9th
Greta Panettieri's new release........................
VIEW FROM THE MOON, will be available
in a few weeks.

Here is a sneak preview,

Greta takes us back to the Golden Age of the 20's and 30's, with her unique style..... 

"It will class up your music library"

 It will be available on all online record shops and Greta's site...
 ... http://www.gretapanettieri.com/


Artists in New York, Part V...Jazz Stylist, Kat Calvosa

Kat Calvosa CD, "Chrysalis"
Kat Calvosa, jazz vocalist, composer, musician. Her latest CD, "Chrysalis" will poke all of your jazz emotions.

Kat is number five in our effort to bring you the people behind the wonderful music in the venues of New York City! To get to know them and how they feel about the Greatest City in the World.

Here is a review of Kat I did in April...

Here is a bit of a chat with Kat Calvosa, and some thoughts of New York...

Q; Since it's "Artists From New York", coming from Wisconsin, tell us of the dramatic changes you had to adjust to, if any?

Kat...I grew up in rural Wisconsin, where my nearest neighbor was a half mile away.  Lots of trees, lots of fresh air and lots of open space.  To be honest, I hated NYC when I first moved here.  It was loud, people were rude, men were lewd, and it was smelly.  Additionally, at the time, Manhattan School of Music, (which is what brought me to the city) and located at 123rd and Broadway,  housed all first year students on 101st and Broadway and the living conditions were less than wonderful.  My first introduction to cockroaches sent me running to the local bodega for a big can of raid.  They still give me the creeps.  Anyhow, I spent any extra money I had on music or food, so  transportation was walking, which I often did two or three times a day, adding up to between  4 - 6 miles of walking, plus not having a lot of money, plus being a health nut and gym goer....to put it mildly, I lost a lot of weight.  Additionally, I had come into MSM as a transfer student, so although I was a first year student, I was about two years older than most of the students I was housed with and my work ethics were those of a junior, not a freshman.  It was a trying year, but NYC started to grow on me as I explored its many wonders and opportunities, made friends, and just grew accustomed to the beauty of this marvelous city.  Although I still remember those days, I think they definitely helped shaped me as a person and I developed a tougher skin as well as compassion for others, which are definitely helpful in the life a musician.

Q; Were it not for your career, would you still live in new York City?

Kat...I don't know.  I'm not sure what I would do if I weren't a musician.  I love the city, but I can't say there haven't been times in the distant and current past that I don't long for something simpler.  However, there is just so much NYC has to offer that, having been here for fifteen years, it's really difficult to imagine living somewhere without so much diversity.  I also have so many dear friends and musicians here....but, well, I don't know.  I just don't know. 

Q: I find your lyrics both poignant and universal, did that always come easy to you, or is it hard work?
Kat...I love this question!!!!  First, thank you; what a wonderful sentiment about my lyrics.  At this point, lyric writing is a little easier, and sometimes they just "come out," but more often than that, I spend many hours, days, and sometimes months, crafting a lyric that it can stand on it's own. "Brooklyn Dodger"  took me a year to write, and I didn't even have any music when I was finished with the lyric.  I firmly believe that as a singer, a lyric is the most direct way to communicate with my audience on a level that anyone, whether they are a student of jazz or not, can understand.  I feel that if they are taking the time to listen, I should craft something worth listening to.  I have spent a lot of time reading about writing lyrics, taking lessons in crafting lyrics, and most importantly, listening to the wonderful breadth of songwriters that are available to us from the past and present.  I find that it's really fun to find all the pieces of the puzzle that is a lyric and figure out how they all fit together to form a cohesive idea and while sometimes it can be very frustrating, in the end, the results of all the time and patience are worth the wait.

Q: I see you have Joni Mitchell as one of your favorites.  Why her?

Kat...I really got into her when I started writing original music.  As a master songwriter, she tells wonderful stories from an honest place and her lyrics and music make you feel something.  She gets into your soul because she sings from hers. 

Q:  I see you have taken a master class with Annie Ross, one of my all time favorites.  What was she like to work with?   What did you learn from her?

Kat...Oh dear, that was so long ago.  She's such a wonderful artist.  To be honest, I don't remember many details.  I was about 19, very green both to NYC and jazz, and nervous beyond nervous, but I do remember she was kind and encouraging and told me never to stop doing what I believe in.  I probably sang something stupid....but I remember mostly her just being very nice and helpful.

Kat...LIC Bar at 8 p.m. 

.......you will be hearing lots more about Kat Calvosa here on this blog, her latest CD is  "Chrysalis"

by Pete Carma, follow Pete  ...www.twitter.com/petecarma