Jazz Jottings April 2016

Pianist Russ Kassoff, a frequent musical partner of Bucky Pizzarelli, sent along an upbeat report on Bucky’s recovery from a recent stroke. “I had the honor and privilege of visiting legendary guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli with vocalist Catherine Dupuis. He looks great and has vastly improved. We played music, and Catherine sang for about 45 minutes. He got better and better and more comfortable with his brilliant rhythm groove, chord solos and singe line solos, He’s definitely going to be back playing and gigging soon. I believe all the prayers are being answered.” ♫ ♫ ♫ ♫ Leah Bezin's reaction to making the front page of the February issue: "Finally a cover girl. I'll take it." ♫ ♫ ♫ ♫ Fans continue to ask trombonist Bob Haven about his 23 years with the Lawrence Welk Show. It should also be remembered that early in his career, Bob spent time in New Orleans when he was part of a front line that included trumpeter Al Hirt and clarinetist Pete Fountain at Pier 600. Bob joined Welk in 1960 when the show was still being telecast live. “I enjoyed my time with Lawrence. I had steady work, got lots of exposure and had plenty of time to pursue my own musical interests. Jazz people may criticize Welk, but he was a genius when it came to business. He was smart enough to identify his target audience and to deliver the kind of music they wanted to hear.” ♫ ♫
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Lew Shaw started writing about music as the publicist for the famous Berkshire Music Barn in the 1960s. He joined the West Coast Rag in 1989 and has been a guiding light to this paper through the two name changes since then as we grew to become The Syncopated Times.  47 of his profiles of today's top musicians are collected in Jazz Beat: Notes on Classic Jazz. Volume two, Jazz Beat Encore: More Notes on Classic Jazz contains 43 more! Lew taps his extensive network of connections and friends throughout the traditional jazz world to bring us his Jazz Jottings column every month.

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