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Bebop Spoken There

Dave Puddy: "Eventually we paid our entrance money [to Eel Pie Island] and fought our way to one of the many bars where we could buy our Newcastle Brown and retire to the back of the heaving dancefloor. There must have been lights somewhere, but my memory remains of being in some dark cavernous wonderland." - (Just Jazz July 2020)

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11,618 (and counting) posts since we started blogging just over 12 years ago. 753 of them this year alone and, so far, 17 this month (July 5).

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As we all know there are no live gigs taking place in the immediate future. However, any links to jazz streaming that are deemed suitable - i.e. with a professional approach - will be considered for posting.

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Johnny Mandel (1925 - 2020)

One of the great jazz composers and arrangers has left us. Johnny Mandel died yesterday (June 29) aged 94.

I first became aware that he was something special when I heard a number called Low Life on an album called Trumpets All Out featuring five trumpet players - Art Farmer, Ernie Royal, Charlie Shavers, Emmett Berry and Harold Baker. This was the only Mandel number on the album, all the rest being by Ernie Wilkins, but it was the one that stood out for me.


Then there was Straight Life from the legendary Count Basie Dance Sessions. I think he also played trombone on this date. After leaving Basie he concentrated almost entirely on composition and arrangements and, the rest, as they say is history. The Shadow of Your Smile just one of many fine songs to flow from his pen. Many, like Shadow being movie or TV related (M*A*S*H.)

If you like vocal jazz then the chances are you'll have a shelf full of Mandel arrangements on albums by such as Hoagy, Sinatra, Tormé, Bennett, Anita, Peggy, Shirley and many more.

Check out Wikipedia for a full list of his achievements.

A legend who will be sadly missed.
Lance

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