A Hollier, Jollier Christmas!

Get Hammered with jazz great Charles Mingus’s Egg Nog recipe!

Jazz pioneer Charles Mingus (1922-1979) had a secret recipe for eggnog that by all accounts was delicious, and incredibly potent. He shared the recipe with biographer Janet Coleman who published it in her book Mingus/Mingus: Two Memoirs.  Maybe you’ll want to test drive this brew for the Holidays.  Starting right now, drink a few cups everyday until Christmas.  In case Santa decides to leave only coal in your stocking, you’re covered.  You won’t care, anyway!

On Green Dolphin Street – John Coltrane

This video was taken on March 28, 1960 in Düsseldorf, West Germany during Coltrane’s first time in Europe. The band is one of Miles Davis’s first great quintets, but without Miles who chose to sit out this particular night.  It’s John Coltrane on tenor with sidemen Wynton Kelly on Piano, Paul Chambers bass and Jimmy Cobb drums … all stars in their own right.  The clip is sourced from the John Coltrane “Jazz Icons” DVD.

The Summer – Salut Salon

Competitive Foursome

While this is technically chamber music, they do blow some jazz … and anyone who has even a glimmer of musical savvy will appreciate their performance.  The Salut Salon Quartet, from Hamburg Germany, is comprised of Angelika Bachmann (violin), Iris Siegfried (violin), Anne-Monika von Twardowski (piano) and Sonja Lena Schmid (cello). They have been called “the Harlem Globetrotters of string quartets.”  Here, “The Summer” composed by Antonio Vivaldi, becomes the stage for a musical competition with a special sense of humor and musical dexterity!  

Skylark – Dianne Reeves

Dianne Reeves was born into a musical family. Her father sang, her mother played trumpet, her uncle was a bassist and her cousin is George Duke.  Although she was born in Detroit, she was raised in Denver … and in 1971, Dianne started singing and playing piano. She signed with Blue Note Records in 1987, staying with the label until 2009 when she moved over to Concord.  Performance here is at the JazzBaltica Jazz Festival in 2004.

Evidence – Joey Alexander

I told you that piano prodigy Joey Alexander would be back.  Here he performs Thelonious Monk’s “Evidence” live at the Appel Room at Jazz at Lincoln Center … from his album ‘Joey.Monk.Live!’.  What Joey may lack in experience at 15, he more than makes up for with instinct.  Got genes?

Fool On The Hill / Watch What Happens – Brasil ’66

Originally trained as a classical pianist, Sergio Mendes was drawn to jazz and ultimately to Brazilian music with its Bossa Nova beat and soft pop stylings.  His music is timeless and his name and Brasil ’66 have become household words worldwide and across generations.

Watch What Happens

by Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66 | Equinox

I’ll Never Smile Again – Frank Sinatra

Frank Sinatra, Jo Stafford and The Pied Pipers with The Tommy Dorsey Orchestra in a scene from the 1941 film, “Las Vegas Nights”. This was Sinatra’s first screen appearance in the movies. Unfortunately, His one song was interrupted by a stream of trivial dialogue, which I took the liberty of editing out.  Frank went on to establish one of the greatest film careers of all time, featured in both singing and non-singing roles.

Epistrophy – Thelonious Monk

This is Thelonious Monk in Japan in 1963,  playing with the kind of group that suited him best … a quartet. Charlie Rouse is the saxophonist who understood Monk’s music best and provided the perfect complement.