New Music Site with Jazz Cookie

Hey, JazzBabies!

You know I couldn’t leave the music alone, and I’m introducing you now to my new music site, “From Broadway to Brazil.”  Here’s the first post.



Letting It Go

Dear Listeners, Readers and Jazz Aficionados…Thanks for tuning in for the past several years.  Because I’m focusing my attention elsewhere now, this will be the last JazzCookie post.  Keep your ears with the music and your heart with the band.

Like Someone in Love – He Knows Who and He Knows Why


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It’s late on a summer night. The heat of the day has cooled and the air is sweet with the scent of jasmine.  Something’s happening and it could be love.  Bill Evans is just the guy to set it to music.  Drift off to dreamland with this one.

You know who and you know why.



JazzCookie and Jimmy Buffett on the Summer Music Journey


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Living as I do so close to the border with Mexico just a trolley ride away, I know Jimmy Buffett’s “Margaritaville” well.  In fact I live across the street from one of the biggest tequila emporiums in San Diego and I’ve tasted the great Margaritas in Tijuana.

But a different song came to mind today as I continue my exploration and expansion of music for the summer.  “Come Monday” has a gentler, more haunting lyric that speaks of people in love separated, at least temporarily, by time and circumstance.  It happens.

And the lyric speaks, too, of the sweet reunion when life is back on balance.   I send it out today to any JazzBabies separated from a sweetheart even briefly, even for good reasons.  May you soon be back in the crook of each other’s arms with a song in your hearts that only the two of you can hear.








San Diego, St. Thomas, Any Place with a Jazzy Beach


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JazzBabies, we’re havin’ a heat wave, a tropical heat wave, in San Diego this week.  And when it gets this hot and humid, all we want to do is head for a beach, not that we’re diving in, but a walk along the surf can cool a person, too.

My jazz brain often heads to Sonny Rollins at a time like this and today was no exception.  I haven’t figured out why yet, but this tune always cools me right off (that and a high-powered fan beside me)… I’ll give Sonny credit for it because he and the boys are more than cool on “St. Thomas.”

I’ve posted this one before because you can never get too much of a good thing, so if you’ve seen it here in the past, you’ll also know that Rollins didn’t write the tune but adapted it from a nursery song his mother sang him, “The Lincolnshire Poacher.”  We rarely know where artistic genius of any kind gets its fuel, but in this case a simple song became a jazz classic.

There’s a lesson in there someplace, but I’m too hot to think about it.  I just want to listen to the music and sip my icy drink.  Go, thou, and do likewise.

Stay cool, Jazzbabies…stay classicly cool.


The Summer Project Continues with a Good Ole Summer Song


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July first, JazzBabies, and the summer project continues.  This time I make no attempt to connect this tune with the world of jazz.  I just like it.  And it’s a good ole summer song!

Alan Jackson and “Chattahoochee” play a major role in one of my novels, and who doesn’t love a song about young love in the summer?  Come on now, what’s the song you remember best from your youthful summers?

Grab your partner, hit the dance floor and have a little fun with Alan and the boys as you remember your first summer romance, hitting the water and the cold beer at about the same time while you learned a lot about livin’ and a little ’bout love.

If you need one more reason to celebrate the season, it’s Fourth of July week and summer is not a’comin’ in.  It’s here!


A Spoonful of Summer!


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JazzBabies, it’s time for my annual tribute to the season with my all-time favorite summertime tune.  I’ve given you John Sebastian and the Lovin’ Spoonful live at a reunion concert the last few years with John lookin’ mighty fine.  This year, I’ve got John and the boys live back in 1966 when John looked, well, like a wannabe hippie with his mutton chops and long hair.

I like this version because there’s some wonderful interaction among these young musicians, especially toward the end when some kind of private joke cuts loose.  These are the things that make watching live performance so particularly great.

Note to the purists among us:  I know this isn’t jazz.  But we were all younger then and it’s good to remember and to stay young.  And it’s summer. In the city.

Summer Jazz with Carlos Santana


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Today’s post is about two different musical notables – Joaquin Rodrigo and Carlos Santana – and one notable composition – “Concierto de Aranjuez.” 

This classic guitar (and orchestra) composition by Rodrigo has been recorded in whole or in part by many guitarists and other musicians and was interpreted by Santana as “En Aranjuez Con Tu Amor” for the 1994 Santana Brothers album.

Rodrigo’s “Concierto de Aranjuez” is considered one of the pinnacles of the guitar concerto repertoire. It was composed in 1939 and many stories circulated about the inspiration for it, including the tragedy of Guernica – also memorialized by Pablo Picasso.  Rodrigo and his wife eventually revealed that the Concierto had been written as a response to her miscarriage of their first baby.

It’s not hard to hear this in the movement from joy to melancholy in the music.

Although he was born in Mexico, Santana is recognized as one of America’s finest guitarists who made his name pioneering a rock/Latin American jazz sound.  Like several other rock musicians who came up in the 60s and 70s, Santana was influenced by earlier blues artists like B.B. King, T-Bone Walker and John Lee Hooker.

He earned his early chops playing with local bands on the “Tijuana Strip” (where there’s always some fine music) and eventually made his way to San Francisco in the 1960s after his family moved there.

On his 1960 Sketches of Spain album which featured the second movement of the Concierto, Miles Davis says, “That melody is so strong that the softer you play it the stronger it gets, and the stronger you play it, the weaker it gets.”

Jazz guitarist Jim Hall was influenced by Davis’s rendition and performed his own version of the Concierto on his 1975 album titled Concierto. The Modern Jazz Quartet also paid tribute to Rodrigo on several recordings.

As I continue my summer project to expand my personal definition of jazz – and maybe yours – here’s the talented Carlos Santana with “En Aranjuez Con Tu Amor” against a background of the beautiful deep blue sea.  Haunting, relaxing, romantic…

Enjoy, JazzBabies


A Little Change Is Good for the Soul – and the Jazz


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I heard a song recently, JazzBabies, that gave me pause.  It had all the markings of a rock song, and yet – and yet – there was a distinctly jazzy quality to it.  Musical genres are musical genres, no question about that.  But the lines or walls that separate one  from another are blurry.

The song is a Steve Winwood number from a much earlier recording, so I checked in on Winwood to see if I could find anything about jazz in his musical roots, and lo, I did.  Winwood was the son of an English tradesman who was also a semi-professional horn player.

Young Steve played a number of instruments and was interested in swing and Dixieland jazz.  At the age of eight, he began performing with his dad and brother in a local band.  Whew…He was underage, of course, so the piano was turned so it would hide him from the audience.  There are stories everywhere, JazzBabies, everywhere.

While still a young student, Winwood became part of the Birmingham (England) rhythm and blues scene on a Hammond C-3 organ and guitar.  He backed blues singers like Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, T-Bone Walker, B.B. King and Sonny Boy Williamson II, among others and once said he modeled his own singing on Ray Charles.

All this to say that his interest in jazz and blues lingered and eventually made its way into the music of Winwood’s Brit (mostly) rock band, Traffic.

I was intrigued by this one, so have it here for you tonight.  Steve Winwood and Traffic on “The Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys.”  That’s Winwood on piano and vocals.  For a little change of pace.

A little change now and then is good for the soul…we may like it, we may not, but we can’t ignore it.  Listen for the jazz…