I would like to thank Marc Myers over at JazzWax for the mention yesterday. I am a regular reader of his daily weblog which concerns itself all things great and small classic jazz-wise. I sent him a note in response to this entry in which he talked about one of Thelonious Monk's recordings done in San Francisco. I should point out that Marc did edit out a little bit of my correspondence though. 'Lest everyone think I am crazier than I am, Fugazi Hall is a huge tourist draw here in San Francisco due to the presence of Beach Blanket Babylon for decades.
I just read of the death of Brit Jazzman Derek Wadsworth. Admittedly, I only know of Wadsworth through a handful of recordings he made with Georgie Fame's EXCELLENT 1967 backing group which also featured (at times) Johnny Marshall, Eddie Thornton, Jon Hiseman, John McLaughlin, Lynn Dobson, plus many more of the best "jazz refugees" of that time from the UK R&B/Soul circuit. As great as the Blue Flames were, Fame really out-did himself putting this band together. Wadsworth was definitely up there with the rest of them. Here's a clip of the group performing "live" in Germany some time in early 1966. Yes, Fame is uncharacteristically playing a guitar:
Want to hear more? Some kind person has posted one of the group's best instrumental tracks here for all of us to enjoy.
Vaguely interesting historical note: this would have been more or less the same line-up of the group that was playing at the Bag O' Nails Club in London that Paul McCartney famously met Linda Eastman. Macca always remembers it as a "Georgie Fame & the Blue Flames" gig, but we know otherwise. And to my High School Senior Year Economics teacher out there: yes, I am a Beatles Buff.
Now where were we?
Derek Wadsworth. Not only does it turn out that Derek and I share a birthday (February 5th), but he was also responsible for the music for the second season of Space: 1999. I was a huge fan of this show when I was a tike. Now this was long before I knew anything about Gerry Anderson or the genius of Marty Landau. I haven't seen an episode in years but I know I still have very strong memories of the moody, thoughtful alternative to Star Trek. Where am I headed with this? Well, the music of Derek Wadsworth is there in my memory early on - as early as anything else really.
I have to admit I brushed this 'boy off the first time I heard him. You know how it goes...seen it all before and all that rattle & hum. But this clip is really good:
I like his voice - first point of QC for this kind of music. Nice delivery, not too OTT. Extra points for playing a single pickup guitar - especially if you take a look where that pickup is. Not very common and a bit of a trick. Of course you can't knock his style. Well, you can - but I wouldn't necessarily agree with you. I am definitely inspired to dig a little deeper and check him out a bit further. You should too. Tell me what you think.
Am I the only one obsessed by the Life magazine digital photo archives now accessible through the The Google? This is really amazing. Large, well produced images with full credits to the photographers such as Alfred Eisenstaedt who took this photo in March of 1939 just before the opening of that year's World's Fair held in New York. My hat's off to everyone involved in this project, as it must have taken no small amount of effort to pull this together.
Thanks to the online presence of my favorite periodical, GQ, I found out about this weblog which so far (be sure to scroll back through the archives) is living up fairly well to it's name. For example, point your peepers towards this early-1960s shot of Marcello Mastroianni:
We all should have such good hair. Pretty easy concept. Something cool, every day. Well, nearly every day less or more.