This week on Night Lights we pay tribute to the pianist and singer who passed away in 2007 at the age of 94. A product of the thriving mid-20th century Central Avenue Los Angeles scene, in the late 1940s Lutcher scored a series of hits such as “Hurry On Down” and “Fine Brown Frame” that blended jazz, pop, blues and R & B in a way that made her one of the era’s first crossover stars.
Carla Bley is renowned today for her big-band writing, but it was small-group recordings of her work in the 1960s that introduced her to the jazz world.
Performers who mixed boogie, swing, ballads and blues with sly, suggestive lyrics brought out deeper nuance than their risque hits sometimes seemed to suggest.
Last week JazzWax blogger Marc Myers mentioned getting an e-mail from Hannah Rothschild, producer of the BBC documentary about jazz patron Pannonica de Koenigswarter, aka Nica, that I recently posted about. Turns out that she’s making a television documentary about Pannonica as well–and there’s now a website devoted to the Baroness which includes the BBC radio program in non-expiration form…
A couple of weeks ago Bernard Gordillo, who writes the WFIU early-music show Harmonia, mentioned a recent interest in Pannonica de Koenigswarter, also known as Nica, the Jazz Baroness, or simply the Baroness. The Baroness was a sort of jazz patron, a woman well-liked by the jazz musicians she befriended on the mid-20th-century New York bebop scene; she counted Charlie Parker and Thelonious Monk among her closest companions from that community. As a wealthy white woman spending time…
The story of a husband-and-wife jazz duo who ran and performed in a Texas nightclub in the late 1950s. The two LPs they recorded have won them a cult following.
Several days ago I got a very nice e-mail from the person who runs All Things Emily, a fantastically-detailed site devoted to the late guitarist Emily Remler. She had happened upon the March 2007 Night Lights show “Emily Remler: a Musical Remembrance”, which included an interview with Remler friend and sometime musical associate Robert Jospe. Some clips…
"Betty Roche was an unforgettable singer," Duke Ellington wrote of his former vocalist in 1973. "She never sounded like anybody but Betty Roche."
Emily Remler was a brilliant guitarist, at ease in musical idioms from Brazilian to bop. She passed away just as she was entering the prime of her career.
In late 1966 singer and pianist Nina Simone signed with RCA Records and continued her genre-bending explorations of jazz, blues, pop, folk, and soul.