Tunes on Tuesday: Mi Yimalel

Why this tune? Last year around this time I released a collection of eight short interpretations of Hanukkah songs, one for each of the eight days of the Festival of Lights. The oldest arrangement in the collection is one I’ve played with for several years, a jazz version of the Hanukkah classic Mi Yimalel (מיContinue reading “Tunes on Tuesday: Mi Yimalel”

Tunes on Tuesday: Thanksgiving With Uncle Rob (2021)

Why this tune? I wrote this week’s tune ten years ago around this time, as part of an effort to write songs for holidays that need (in my opinion) more musical attention. I was inspired by the holidays we spent over the years with my late uncle Rob and his sister Nora (my late father’sContinue reading “Tunes on Tuesday: Thanksgiving With Uncle Rob (2021)”

Tunes on Tuesday: A Little Late

Why this tune? I was late in planning for this week’s Tune, so it’s no surprise that I chose a song about just that condition. The inspiration for the song was a phrase “A little late, a little lame” which I heard somewhere sometime and wrote down in my file of words and phrases forContinue reading “Tunes on Tuesday: A Little Late”

Tunes on Tuesday: That Old Feeling

Why this tune? This week’s tune is “That Old Feeling,” another tune from “The Great American Songbook” that can still sound new almost 80 years after its first appearance in “Walter Wanger’s Vogues of 1938.” Thanks to YouTube and streaming services, it’s easy to explore the evolution of the song from the early recordings byContinue reading “Tunes on Tuesday: That Old Feeling”

Tunes on Tuesday: Lullaby Of The Leaves

Why this tune? For this week’s tune I was looking for a song for the season, and recalled “Lullaby Of The Leaves,” which suggests the falling leaves of autumn. This was a song from a minor 1932 Broadway revue, “Chamberlain Brown’s Scrap Book,” that was later adopted as a jazz standard. Mary Lou Williams recordedContinue reading “Tunes on Tuesday: Lullaby Of The Leaves”

Remembering Billie and Mel

We grew up with stories from my late father Mel Levine about the many evenings he spent in the jazz clubs of Boston in the 1940s and 50s, hearing the greats and hanging out with the local jazz players. Pa went to Storyville on April 24, 1959 to hear Billie Holiday, taking his camera withContinue reading “Remembering Billie and Mel”

Billie Holiday, April 1959

We’re in the process of clearing out my late parents’ house in Boston, and in the process discovered these photos from one of Billie Holiday’s last performances, at Boston’s Storyville club on April 24, 1959. Holiday died less than three months later, on July 17, 1959. These are scans from B&W prints. The negatives mayContinue reading “Billie Holiday, April 1959”