WYSO

Arts & Culture

Conrad's Corner: May 6, 2018

May 6, 2018

Cathy Essinger reads her poem, "Phases of the Moon"

Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, Ray Brown, Milt (Milton) Jackson, and Timmie Rosenkrantz, Downbeat, New York, N.Y., ca. Sept. 1947
William P. Gottlieb/Ira and Leonore S. Gershwin Fund Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress.

My favorite Ella Fitzgerald recording, a spectacular track recorded March 18, 1958 for The Irving Berlin Songbook, then--amazingly--cut from the record! This didn't see daylight till the following year's Get Happy.

Here, conductor Paul Weston drops Ella in front of a big band filled out with a number of her regular studio backers (including frequent collaborator Harry "Sweets" Edison on solo trumpet) and provides a jazzy, wide-open arrangement as a vehicle for perhaps the greatest scat solo she ever laid down in a studio setting, a dazzling flight over two and a half full choruses.

Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, Ray Brown, Milt (Milton) Jackson, and Timmie Rosenkrantz, Downbeat, New York, N.Y., ca. Sept. 1947
William P. Gottlieb/Ira and Leonore S. Gershwin Fund Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress.

A sizzling take on a major standard, with a knockout big band arrangement by Bill Doggett. That horn sound is MASSIVE. And no wonder - the band included folks like Ernie Royal, Melba Liston, Kai Winding, Les Taylor, and Phil Woods. Hank Jones on piano, Lucille Dixon on bass, Gus Johnson on drums, Mundell Lowe on guitar. Hell of a band.

Ella's having a blast here playing with multiple dynamics, getting to do torch ballad and blistering swing all in a matter of minutes, even throwing in a little scat. Recorded in January 1962 as the closing track for that year's Rhythm is My Business, it nicely capsulizes all of what she did best.

Conrad's Corner: May 4, 2018

May 4, 2018

David Garrison reads David Petreman's poem, "Living Large"

When Vince Flynn came out to Yellow Springs to record our first radio show together he was an author on the rise. During our first conversation he described how he had quit a lucrative job to focus on writing his first novel. Flynn would write during the day then tend bar in St. Paul during the evenings. Flynn self-published that first book and it did well, so well that it was picked up by a major publisher, Simon and Schuster, and reissued. At that point Vince Flynn was on his way.

Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, Ray Brown, Milt (Milton) Jackson, and Timmie Rosenkrantz, Downbeat, New York, N.Y., ca. Sept. 1947
William P. Gottlieb/Ira and Leonore S. Gershwin Fund Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress.

A fun track from 1963's Ella Sings Broadway, this fluffy little number from The Pajama Game is juiced up with a smoky, vamping, almost bebop-style Marty Paich arrangement that lets Ella play around a little. A good example of how she could take a song that had no business being taken seriously on a vocal jazz record, and make it somehow work.

Conrad's Corner: May 3, 2018

May 3, 2018

Lori Gravley reads Barbara Astor's poem, "Lady"

When Heart Beats is a new original production from the Yellow Springs Theatre Company, written and directed by Colton Pitstick that features original music, performed live onstage by Jam Salad.  Pitstick, the band, and choreographers Ali Thomas and Victoria Walters visited the WYSO studios for a preview in song and conversation live on Kaleidoscope.

When Heart Beats is onstage May 9 - 12 at First Presbyterian Church of Yellow Springs.  More details below.

(from left) Rob Olsen, Greg Snyder, Reyna Spears, Dana Farley and Bruce Warren
via Curious Animals

Reyna Spears and Curious Animals visited the WYSO studios for a live set on Kaleidoscope encompassing the players' various styles and musical lineups.  They talked with host Juliet Fromholt about balancing different musical projects, writing, recording, and Reyna's upcoming single.

Kelsey Cassidy

New Brunswick, Canada's Stephen Lewis and The Big Band of Fun stopped by the WYSO studios before their show this week at Hannah's in Dayton to talk with Niki Dakota about their loop-based performance style, and share some music live on Excursions.

Stephen Lewis and The Big Band of Fun will perform at Hannah's in Dayton on Thursday, May 3, joined by local band Beesly.

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