Jazz at Massey Hall Brings Together Jazz Greats For Our Listening Pleasure

The Quintet - Jazz at Massey HallJazz at Massey Hall from The Quintet often appears reissued under the name “The Greatest Concert Ever.” It features an all star lineup of Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Bud Powell, Charles Mingus, and Max Roach. Some 15 years before this concert date (1953), these guys were mutually involved in the creation of bebop and had years of experience and expertise by the time of the historic concert.

Interestingly enough, this was the only time the five would record together and it would appear that they knew it, as everyone performed to their fullest potential. A lot of earlier bebop recordings suffered from sound quality but Jazz at Massey Hall sounds very good for a live concert.

The Quintet recorded the album on the 15th of May, 1953 at Massey Hall in Toronto, and marked the last recorded meeting of Parker and Gillespie.

Parker was paired with a Grafton saxophone on this particular night. Since he could not be listed on the original album cover for contractual reasons, Charlie Parker was billed as “Charlie Chan” (an allusion to the fictional detective and to Parker’s wife Chan). Mingus’s label Debut originally released the record from a recording made by the Toronto New Jazz Society. The recording was then taken to New York by Mingus where he and Max Roach dubbed in the bass lines because they were under-recorded on most of the tunes. They also exchanged Mingus soloing on “All the Things You Are.”

While the original plan called for the Jazz Society and the musicians to share profits from the recording, a boxing prize fight between Rocky Marciano and Jersey Joe Walcott took place simultaneously, stifling the audience so dramatically that the Society was unable to pay the musicians’ fees. Instead, the musicians were all given NSF checks, and only Parker was able to actually cash his in. This led to years of Gillespie complaining that he did not receive his fee.

The full concert was re-issued in 2004 without the over-dubbing. The new version was titled Complete Jazz at Massey Hall.

In 1995, the Grammy Hall of Fame opened its doors to Jazz at Massey. National Public Radio included it in its Basic Jazz Library.

According to Murray Horwitz of the American Film Institute, the only jazz composition ever known to be sung by a United States president while in office was “Salt Peanuts” off of this record. The peanut farmer Jimmy Carter sang it at the White House Jazz Festival.

For more information or for questions on buying or selling used Jazz, Latin Jazz and any other genre of music CDs, visit www.used-jazz.com. If you have any questions please email at customerservice@secondspin.com.

 

About Brad Parmerter:

Brad Parmerter has almost 20 years experience in the music and entertainment industry as a writer, programmer, and merchandiser. He has professionally interviewed and photographed such artists as: Rush, Metallica, Celine Dion, Live, Phil Collins, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Live, Van Halen, Queensryche, Anna Nalick, Styx, Def Leppard, and many more.

Please visit SecondSpin.com for all of your entertainment needs.

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Diana Krall Has Left Her Mark On The Jazz World…And She Has Only Just Begun

The voluptuous, elegant, and extraordinarily gifted Canadian born Diana Krall has left her mark as one of the finest jazz vocalists of her time. The jazz pianist and singer, known for her contralto vocals, has sold more than six million albums in the US and an abundance of over 15 million worldwide.  In a time period stretching between the 1990s and 2000s, no female jazz artist has sold more albums than Diana. Her magnificent legacy as one of the most prolific artists of her time was further established in December of 2009, when Billboard magazine named her the number two jazz artist of the 2000-2009 decade. No other jazz singer equal or amass Diana’s eight albums debuting at the top of the Billboard Jazz Albums. Her trophy case includes three Grammy Awards, eight Juno Awards, nine gold, three platinum and seven multi-platinum albums.

Diana Krall - Steppin' OutKrall was born in Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada. She was from a musical family, as her father played piano around the house while her mother sang in a community choir. By the age of four, Diana was already playing piano and by 15, she was entertaining locals at the neighborhood restaurant playing jazz. She attended the Berkley College of Music in Boston on a scholarship before heading out to Los Angeles to play jazz. She returned to Canada to release her first album, Steppin’ Out in 1993.

Krall’s mother Adella passed away from multiple myeloma in 2002, within months of also losing her mentors Ray Brown and Rosemary Clooney. Diana’s only sibling, Michelle, is a former member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

Krall and British musician Elvis Costello were married on December 6, 2003 at Elton John’s estate outside of London. They have twin sons, Dexter Henry Lorcan and Frank Harlan James, born in December of 2006 in New York City.

Diana Krall earned her highest ever chart debut with her album Quiet Nights, landing at number three on the Billboard 200 in April 2009. With 104,000 scans, this is the musician’s second largest sales week of her career thus far and her fourth consecutive studio album to place in the top 10. Released in March of ’09, under the label of Verve Records, Quiet Nights is the Canadian jazz singer-songwriter’s ninth studio album.

The release of the album marked Kralls reunion with arranger Claus Ogerman. Ogerman is inarguably one of the most fruitful 20th century arrangers, having worked in the Top 40, Rock, Pop, Jazz, R&B, Soul, Easy listening, Broadway and Classical music fields.  It is yet to be determined the exact number of recording artists for whom Ogerman has either arranged or conducted during his stoic career. Krall and Ogerman last teamed up in 2002 for Live in Paris, and before that, in 2001 for The Look of Love. Billboard ranked that album at number five on the magazine’s Top Jazz Albums of the Decade.

In 2000, Krall was awarded the Order of British Columbia, followed by an honorary Ph.D. in Fine Arts in 2003 from the University of Victoria. In 2004, Diana was inducted into Canada’s Walk of Fame.

For more information or for questions on buying or selling used Jazz, Latin Jazz and any other genre of music CDs, visit www.used-jazz.com. If you have any questions please email at customerservice@secondspin.com.

 

About Brad Parmerter:

Brad Parmerter has almost 20 years experience in the music and entertainment industry as a writer, programmer, and merchandiser. He has professionally interviewed and photographed such artists as: Rush, Metallica, Celine Dion, Live, Phil Collins, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Live, Van Halen, Queensryche, Anna Nalick, Styx, Def Leppard, and many more.

Please visit SecondSpin.com for all of your entertainment needs.

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Chick Corea’s Lustrous Career as a Jazz Favorite

Chick Corea is one of the most popular and influential American jazz pianist, keyboardist, and composer. Some jazz experts support the idea that Chick surely participated in the birth of the electric jazz fusion movement, but he also is the movement.  His work is popular worldwide, creating many jazz standards and working with some of the top jazz artists in his career.

Chick’s official birth name is Anthony Armando Corea and he was born in Chelsea, Massachussetts on June 12, 1941. He first sat down in front of a piano at the age of four with his father’s influence.  Chick’s father Armando was a bandleader in the in the ’30s and ’40s.  Easily, Chick spent a great deal of his growing years listening to the music of Bach, Beethoven, Chopin and Mozart.  He even sat longingly listening to the musical recordings of Lester Young, Charlie Parker, Horace Silver and Bud Powell. These musicians had an intrinsic bearing on the aspiring pianist.

In his early years, Chick worked for Herbie Mann, Willie Bobo, Mongo Santamaria and Cal Tjader. All of these great musicians influenced his love for Latin American music. Uniformly, you could listen to his music and hear his percussive beat and double time impression that pervades Latin music.

Interestingly, Corea worked with other greats such as Sarah Vaughan, Stan Getz, Blue Mitchell and Gary Burton before joining up with the great talent of the Miles Davis’ band in 1968. With Mile’s Band, he played electric piano on the highly acclaimed In a Silent Way album and the distinguished Bitches Brew.

Chick Corea - Now He Sings, Now He SobsChick has created, performed and even recorded with many different musicians. Collaborating as a trio with Roy Haynes and Miroslav Vitous, Now He Sings, Now He Sobs was created, a staple in the record collections of the late 1960s.

Corea’s forward-thinking group Circle, from 1969 to 1971, was a pivotal force in free form improvisation, reflecting the influence of jazz musicians, such as Ornette Coleman and Paul Bley, while also drawing from 20th Century composers such as Karlheine Stockhausen and John Cage.

When Circle parted ways in 1972, Corea put together a new band, Return to Forever, with Stanley Clarke, Airto Moreira, singer Flora Purim and reedman Joe Farrell. Following two albums of light, invigorating Latin-tinged music, the band slanted their work toward the electronic side of jazz by bringing in electric guitarist Bill Connors and energetic drummer Lenny White.

But as bands go through their changes, guitarist Al DiMeola replaced Connors in 1974, with Return to Forever leading the fusion movement until the band separated in 1976. For the next two years, Chick continued to tour with a small orchestra, consisting of a 13-piece ensemble that included horns and strings. Since that formable tour with the small orchestra, Chick has continued a lustrous career with Grammy awards, sold out venues and top-selling albums, engaging jazz lovers with straight-ahead jazz quartets to fusion quintets and trios to classical duets.

For more information or for questions on buying or selling used Jazz, Latin Jazz and any other genre of music CDs, visit www.used-jazz.com. If you have any questions please email at customerservice@secondspin.com.

 

About Brad Parmerter:

Brad Parmerter has almost 20 years experience in the music and entertainment industry as a writer, programmer, and merchandiser. He has professionally interviewed and photographed such artists as: Rush, Metallica, Celine Dion, Live, Phil Collins, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Live, Van Halen, Queensryche, Anna Nalick, Styx, Def Leppard, and many more.

Please visit SecondSpin.com for all of your entertainment needs.

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Sugary Mayhem: Tim Burton’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Tim Burton's Charlie and the Chocolate FactoryAt one point (or several) in any child’s life, they dream of living in a world where chocolate and sugary sweets are plentiful and there are no adults around to tell them to eat their vegetables instead. In 2005, the second remake of Roald Dahl’s classic 1964 novel came to theaters, this time with big name actors such as Johnny Depp, Freddie Highmore, and Helena Bonham Carter. And of course, the artistically brilliant director Tim Burton once again created a colorful piece of eye candy (no pun intended) with Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Set in Scotland, this family film is the familiar story of a poor boy named Charlie Bucket, who finds one of the five most sought-after items in the world: a golden ticket. He, along with Grandpa Joe and four other contestants and their guardians, are some of the first people allowed into the famed Willy Wonka factory after years of being shut off from the public.

The whimsical Willy Wonka (played by Depp) is wonderfully inquisitive and quite socially awkward, having been hidden away from most of humanity (with the exception of his Oompa Loompas) for many years. He takes the crew of ten into his factory, allowing them to indulge themselves in his candylicious creations. One by one, each child manages to get themselves in trouble and, in a “Survivor”-like sense, “kicked off the island.” Finally, it all comes down to Charlie Bucket, the boy who wanted nothing but to see the majestic factory in which his old grandpa talked about for years.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is a visually stunning and oftentimes hilarious family film that is sure to leave you salivating for that rich river of chocolate or plants composed entirely of crème and sugar. Just as Wonka says, anything is possible when you use your imagination.

The film teaches the powerful lesson of restraint. The four other children besides Charlie could not control themselves from wanting things, whether those desires were more chocolate, a golden squirrel nut (a different take on the original version’s golden goose eggs), a delectable though dangerous piece of gum, or a “new video game.” Only the least spoiled brat of the five – Charlie – manages to make it all the way to the end of the wacky tour through Wonka’s wonderful candy land.

Ultimately, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is a unique twist on a familiar tale that most children and their families would enjoy, making it the perfect feature for a movie night party.

For more information or questions regarding buying or selling used family DVDs from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to Despicable Me, visit www.used-familyentertainment.com. If you have any questions, please email us at customerservice@secondspin.com.

 

About Brad Parmerter:

Brad Parmerter has almost 20 years experience in the music and entertainment industry as a writer, programmer, and merchandiser. He has professionally interviewed and photographed such artists as: Rush, Metallica, Celine Dion, Live, Phil Collins, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Live, Van Halen, Queensryche, Anna Nalick, Styx, Def Leppard, and many more.

Please visit SecondSpin.com for all of your entertainment needs.

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Spend This Summer With Family, Baseball and The Sandlot

The SandlotNo movie better reminds me of my youth than The Sandlot. Baseball is America’s game; a game that countless number of children fill their summer days and nights with, under the lights between the chalk, diving in the dirt and staining their clothes with grass. The 1993 family sports film about a group of kids in the summer of 1962 will go down in history as one of the greatest baseball movies ever created.

“The beast” is likely the most memorable character in the film directed by David Mickey Evans, although there are a handful of unforgettable portrayals. The kids are faced with the impossible task of reacquiring Smalls’ (played by Tom Guiry) stepfather’s (Denis Leary) baseball autographed by “The Great Bambino” Babe Ruth himself. The beast is the fierce junkyard dog, watching over the yard that sits behind the sandlot while stories of his treachery have sprawled the land.  Watching the boys conceive a number of clever and not so clever plots to outwit the beast provides great laughs and serves as a portal to childhood memories filled with such divisive schemes. The most epic scene outside of “Benny the Jet” lacing up his PF Flyers and outrunning the beast involves the beast chasing the boys around town, through the movie theatre, alleys and streets in utter and complete chaos fashion.

There is something for everybody in The Sandlot: for the new kids in town who are having trouble making friends (Smalls); the star athlete that, despite his enormous talents, will always be an even better friend (Benny the Jet); the mischievous thrill seeker that “goes for it” (Squints); and the heavy set jokester that drops jaws and hits homeruns (Ham).

This cult family classic is ingrained as Americana and includes such memorable and often cited quotes as: “For-ev-ver! For-ev-ver! ;” “Hey, Smalls, you want s’more??” “How can I have some more if I haven’t had any yet?“; “You’re killing me Smalls!” “Remember kid, there’s heroes and there’s legends. Heroes get remembered but legends never die. Follow your heart kid, and you’ll never go wrong”; “I don’t know. Some lady gave it to him. She even signed her name on it… Ruth. Baby Ruth.” Oh, and how could we forget perhaps the most memorable of them all, “You play ball like a girl!”

The film grossed $4 million in its opening weekend and an additional $32 million through ticket sales. Figures for worldwide, VHS and DVD sales are estimated to be close to $76 million. The film has become a cult favorite since its release on both VHS and DVD.

The Sandlot captured the innocence and delight of being young and playing baseball over summer break in a small town neighborhood. The film isn’t perfect but will always be remembered that way. It is a feel-good family classic that, despite its juvenile nature, will always near the top of people’s “top baseball movie” list.

For more information or questions regarding buying or selling used family DVDs from The Sandlot to Field of Dreams, visit www.used-familyentertainment.com. If you have any questions, please email us at customerservice@secondspin.com.

 

About Brad Parmerter:

Brad Parmerter has almost 20 years experience in the music and entertainment industry as a writer, programmer, and merchandiser. He has professionally interviewed and photographed such artists as: Rush, Metallica, Celine Dion, Live, Phil Collins, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Live, Van Halen, Queensryche, Anna Nalick, Styx, Def Leppard, and many more.

Please visit SecondSpin.com for all of your entertainment needs.

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Only the Good Die Young: Remembering John Candy in Uncle Buck

The jolly fat man that just couldn’t stick around long enough; the 1989 John Hughes comedy is classic John Candy and a great flick for a family movie night. Candy, like Chris Farley, is at his best while portraying the laughable imbecile that, despite his shortcoming, you just can’t help but love. John Candy reminds us what it is to be an American: jolly, carefree, loving, and unfortunately for a large population, overweight.

John Candy in Uncle BuckOne of the most distinctive characteristics of Uncle Buck is the beaten up Mercury Grand Marquis that more closely resembles a rocket lifting off than a car every time it starts. The most picturesque scene with Uncle Buck’s beater of transportation takes place when he is picking up his niece, played by Jean Louisa Kelly. She is talking to her boyfriend, whom Buck is not a fan of, and insists on riding home with him but Buck had a different idea. He makes her get into his Marquis and guns the engine, engulfing the boyfriend with a cloud of black filthy auto waste.

It’s a goofy family comedy, but also extraordinarily sly, unafraid to permit generous screen time to bizarre jokes and situations of slack guardian supervision. John Hughes has a certain love for big, boisterous, Chicago families and, before there was Home Alone, there was Uncle Buck. Saddled with three foul mouthed and morally non-absorbent kids, Buck has to fend off the advances of a neighbor, keep his niece’s virginity and not let down the people that truly love him the most.

It’s an amazing comedy that’s impossible to hate. John Candy embodies the most lovable characters with all sorts of crazy elements. He makes what might have been a mediocre film and takes it to the next level. The plot is actually one of the better conceived John Hughes ideas. And let’s not forget that.

“Hey, Bobby we should really get together sometime. I haven’t been over at the new house since you moved. By the way, I want to apologize for last year at your old house… about those bushes. I had no idea they all would catch on fire like that. You were right. I should never have put the barbeque grill that close.” This memorable quote depicts a hilarious scene where Buck is talking with his brother Bobby on the phone and is just the type of comedic genius you’ll get with this family flick.

John Candy may not still be with us, but his comedy will always live on in our hearts as we continue to laugh time and time again at his timeless classics. It sure is a shame that all of the funniest fat men of our era have died. But this just means that more comedic gold is sure to come, not to replace but to go down in history alongside the other comedic genius’.

For more information or questions regarding buying or selling used family DVDs from Uncle Buck to Groundhog Day, visit www.used-familyentertainment.com. If you have any questions, please email us at customerservice@secondspin.com.

About Brad Parmerter:

Brad Parmerter has almost 20 years experience in the music and entertainment industry as a writer, programmer, and merchandiser. He has professionally interviewed and photographed such artists as: Rush, Metallica, Celine Dion, Live, Phil Collins, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Live, Van Halen, Queensryche, Anna Nalick, Styx, Def Leppard, and many more.

Please visit SecondSpin.com for all of your entertainment needs.

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Alvin and the Chipmunks Bring Sweet Moments and Laughter

Alvin and the ChipmunksAlvin and the Chipmunks took over the scene in the late 1950s and returned in full swing in 2007 as computer generated images, known as CGI. The three little rascals look more real than ever now. Like the movie poster says, “Things are going to get messy.”

This time the chipmunks arrive in the home of struggling songwriter David Seville, who had just had his latest song rejected by JETT Records executive Ian Hawke, his old college roommate.  To make the story even more interesting, Dave has a complicated a relationship with one-time girlfriend Claire Wilson, his next door neighbor.

When Alvin and his two buddies sing “Only You (And You Alone),” Dave realizes he has discovered three diamonds in the rough.  This is when the movie really takes off.  The Chipmunks sing the songs he writes and in return, Dave keeps them fed and sheltered.  The singing and montages in the film are brilliant as Jason Lee does a fantastic job of playing off the little CGI animals.

One of my favorite scenes is when Theodore wakes up in the middle of the night, scared from a nightmare. Dave helps him feel safe by letting him sleep in his bed. A very cute part of the movie, any parent or child will relate to this heartwarming moment, which is later referred to with Uncle Ian in a rather poignant scene.

The chipmunks, being the little rascals they are, cause some major problems for Dave.  But they are so adorable you can’t help but laugh, which really makes this a wonderful family movie. A really cute scene is when Alvin tries to create the mood for Dave’s reunion dinner with Claire.  The dinner becomes very odd and strange, with Claire eventually bailing on Dave after he confesses, “My life is being sabotaged by talking chipmunks.”

Alvin and the Chipmunks want to make up for the blunder, so they record a hit song and get a record deal with Ian Hawke, making the trio more famous than the Jonas Brothers.  The little animals work hard to keep up with the demand from the fans. Dave begins to worry about them and tries to get control over the situation.  With missed opportunities and Hawke’s underhanded scheme to steal the chipmunks, Dave lets them go.  Hawke tells the chipmunks to call him Uncle Ian, though his plan is just to make money off of them and doesn’t have their well-being in mind. Clearly, the little guys are overworked. They miss Dave and Dave misses them.

Directed by Tim Hill, Alvin and the Chipmunks is fun for everyone. It is a film that the whole family can watch together without worries of parents getting bored or jokes going over the kids’ head.  The talented cast and voice actors make the movie.  Some of the cast members are Jane Lynch from “Glee”, Justin Long as Alvin, Matthew Gray Gubler as Simon, Jesse McCartney as Theodore, David Cross as Ian Hawke, and of course, Jason Lee as Dave.

The DVD comes with a behind-the-scenes featurette detailing how the chipmunks’ singing was created. It is well worth the look, as you will discover the real singers of the movie.

For more information or questions regarding buying or selling used family DVDs from Alvin and the Chipmunks to The Nutty Professor, visit www.used-familyentertainment.com. If you have any questions, please email us at customerservice@secondspin.com.

 

About Brad Parmerter:

Brad Parmerter has almost 20 years experience in the music and entertainment industry as a writer, programmer, and merchandiser. He has professionally interviewed and photographed such artists as: Rush, Metallica, Celine Dion, Live, Phil Collins, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Live, Van Halen, Queensryche, Anna Nalick, Styx, Def Leppard, and many more.

Please visit SecondSpin.com for all of your entertainment needs.

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