Jazz and Conversation for Your Listening Pleasure

Glover Gardens followers have by now realized that we have a millennial studying jazz composition in college.  Here’s another one of his originals, AustiNite, performed by the University of Texas at Austin’s extremely talented Spring 2017 Jazz Orchestra. It’s preceded by a cool interview about the tune and the creation process, all of which was used as part of a jazz appreciation course this semester.

Other Music from Our Prolific Millennial

Below is his newest digital album, And Then I Have Thoughts.

 

There’s more jazz and conversation in the posts below.  Stick around, there will be a lot more coming over the next few years.

A Little More Music for a Sunday Evening: Freedom of Expression by Thomas Wenglinski

This is becoming a thing, posting my son’s music.  I’ll probably need a better title  for the series than “A Little More Music…” since the kid will be composing and performing jazz to share with the world for years to come.

Here’s his latest, Freedom of Expression.  It is written in “a variety of key centers to illustrate the same theme in different, fluid ways”, he says.  (I think that’s musician-speak for “I got creative”.)

Performed by the University of Texas Spring 2017 Jazz Ensemble on March 2, with the (shaky) video captured by yours truly, here is Freedom of Expression, for your Sunday evening listening pleasure.

Other Music from Our Prolific Millennial

 

Copyright 2017, Glover Gardens Cookbook (except the music, of course, which belongs entirely to Thomas Wenglinski)

New Orleans Jazz Fest Anticipation: This City is a Quirky Feast for the Eyes

The third post in a series about the New Orleans Jazz Festival covering food (restaurants and recipes), fun, music and travel tips.

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Hello Friends! As I mentioned in NOLA Jazz Fest 17 Post #1, we’re all jazzed up about going back to the New Orleans Jazz Fest after a hiatus of a couple of years.

We’re revving up the anticipation by looking back at previous trips and the wonderfulness that is New Orleans.  Going to Jazz Fest isn’t just about what’s going on at the official festival held at the fairgrounds, it’s the overall New Orleans experience.  We have friends going with us on our 4-day trip who might only attend the festival on one day, but will leave fully saturated with New Orleans culture, cuisine and character.

The Big Easy is a Quirky Feast for the Eyes

Today’s reflection is just a quick reminder of how the Big Easy is a quirky feast for the eyes.  There’s dancing in the streets (literally), art of all kinds everywhere, an endearing, welcoming, celebratory mood, and a gentle good humor that is balanced by a kind of edginess, the feeling that anything might happen at any time.

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The famous Blue Dog by George Rodrigue can be found all over the city (find a link to read more about him in Resources below)
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“Bead Dog” sculptures were all over the city in 2012 to raise awareness about animal cruelty (more info in Resources below)
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Street parties and dancing are everywhere
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And music is everywhere
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The gentle humor of this “We’re Closed” sign can be found all over the city

Be a New Orleanian

I can’t wait to bask in that atmosphere again in early May.  Ray Laskowitz, an amazing photographer in New Orleans, took this photo of a tuba with a sticker that puts it well:  Be a New Orleanian, wherever you are.  

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Photo by Ray Laskowitz from his post, As They Say

Resources

Ohhh, the anticipation!  More posts are coming in the near future to celebrate food and music and fun.

Copyright 2017, Glover Gardens Cookbook

My Funny Valentine

Happy Valentine’s Day! My “gift” to you is a reminder and a few versions of the wonderful classic from the American jazz songbook, My Funny Valentine. I just love this song by Rodgers and Hart, and it has been recorded beautifully by so many marvelous singers.

One of my favorites is the Frank Sinatra version from his first album with Nelson Riddle.

Another of my favorites is Chet Baker’s haunting rendition.  This one is in the Library of Congress National Registry of Recordings for its cultural heritage and historical significance.

And let’s wrap it up with another classic version by Ella Fitzgerald, with an intro not included in the others.

In talking with my son who is majoring in Jazz Composition and plays a mean piano, he suggested that any post such as this should definitely include the performance by Bill Evans and Ray Hall.  It’s a lovely instrumental that really does the tune justice.

Lyrics

My funny Valentine, sweet comic Valentine
You make me smile with my heart
Your looks are laughable, un-photographable
Yet, you’re my favourite work of art

Is your figure less than Greek?
Is your mouth a little weak?
When you open it to speak
Are you smart?

But don’t change your hair for me
Not if you care for me
Stay little Valentine, stay
Each day is Valentines day

Is your figure less than Greek?
Is your mouth a little weak?
When you open it to speak
Are you smart?

But don’t change your hair for me
Not if you care for me
Stay little Valentine, stay
Each day is Valentines day

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Happy Valentine’s Day, to my own special valentine, and everyone out there.  Love of all kinds is a beautiful thing to celebrate.

Still More Music for a Sunday Evening: “Like Poppies”

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It’s that time again!  I’ve got some new music to share with you.

My son is a jazz composition major on scholarship at the University of Texas at Austin’s Butler School of Music and is writing new songs almost daily.  Really.  What a great program they have!  If your kid is planning to major in music, put the University of Texas on your list of schools to check out.  The experience my son is having is challenging, diverse, culturally rich, creative, and of course, educational.

“Like Poppies”

And so, f at Bates Recital Hall on December 1st, 2016, under the direction of Ross Margitza.

There’s More

Watch this space!  I’ll be sharing lots more original jazz.  (I’m not proud or anything…)

Copyright 2017, Glover Gardens Cookbook

New Orleans Jazz Fest Anticipation: The Lineup was Announced Today!!!

The second post in a series about the New Orleans Jazz Festival covering food (restaurants and recipes), fun, music and travel tips.
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Official logo from the Jazz Fest

Hello Friends! As I mentioned in NOLA Jazz Fest 17 Post #1, we’re all jazzed up about going back to Jazz Fest after a hiatus of a couple of years, and have already made hotel reservations for the second weekend (May 4-7).

We said before:

Who’s on the playbill that weekend? We don’t know! Does it matter? Not really! The biggest problem with the New Orleans Jazz Fest is that there are too many good performances happening at the same time – and we can only hear one band at a time.

But now, we have the lineup.  Woohoo!

The lineup is GREAT!  Big bands, little bands, amazingly meaningful local bands…check it out here.  I’m as excited about seeing Stevie Wonder (for the first time) and Earth, Wind and Fire (for the second) as I am about seeing Voice of the Wetlands All-Stars (for the 5th time, because they are truly all-stars at Jazz Fest every year) and the variety of bands that play on the Jazz and Heritage Stage who inspire the second line dancers with their parasols.  And there will be a huge celebration of Cuban music and culture this year.  I can’t wait to learn more about our neighbors 90 miles off the coast of Florida.

Here’s the official video to announce the lineup.

We are getting a gang together to attend Jazz Fest this year.  Are you in?  You should make your hotel reservations NOW before they’re all sold out.

Click here to see Post #1 of this series, an affectionate memory of an amazing Jambalaya Pizza.

Ohhh, the anticipation!  More posts are coming in the near future to celebrate food and music and fun.

Copyright 2017, Glover Gardens Cookbook

New Orleans Jazz Fest Anticipation: Jambalaya Pizza

The first post in a series about the New Orleans Jazz Festival covering food (restaurants and recipes), fun, music and travel tips.
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The Grill-Meister and me, all jazzed up and ready for a performance during the 2014 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival

The Grill-Meister and I have looked at the 2017 Glover Gardens calendar and realized that we need a little New Orleans this year. We’re all jazzed up about going back to Jazz Fest after a hiatus of a couple of years, and have already made hotel reservations for the second weekend (May 4-7).

Who’s on the playbill that weekend? We don’t know! Does it matter? Not really! The biggest problem with the New Orleans Jazz Fest is that there are too many good performances happening at the same time – and we can only hear one band at a time.

If you’re considering the NO Jazz Fest as one of your 2017 adventures, I recommend that you reserve a room now.  It is MUCH easier to get a reservation before the lineup is announced mid-January.  (Take my word for this if you’re considering the trek this year – getting a hotel room in the Big Easy during Jazz Fest after the lineup has been announced is harder than scoring a Super Bowl ticket in Houston right now.)

We started compiling a list this morning of the places we simply must go, and of course we will never have time to do it all.  But I’ll be doing a series from now until after the Jazz Fest to share  and discuss these ideas and memories with all of you.  Oh, the anticipation!!!

This morning’s trip down food memory lane will probably spawn a recipe fairly soon:  the Jambalaya Pizza at the Louisiana Pizza Kitchen (LPK).  The restaurant is in the French Quarter in the Market section (not too far from Cafe du Monde) and its walls are covered with wonderful art by local artists.  We visited it during our 2012 Jazz Fest adventure and fell in love with the pizzas.  In love.

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In the background, the Roasted Garlic pizza, with feta, spinach and a riot of sun-dried tomatoes; in the foreground, the oh-so-good Jambalaya pizza.  You can see the Grill-Meister’s hand just itching to reach out for a slice on the top left corner.

The Jambalaya pizza had a thin, crispy, wood-fired crust and was topped with shrimp, chicken and spicy Andouille sausage in a creole sauce that was reminiscent of a light étouffée.  The promotion about it was dead-on:

So crammed with yummy, there’s no room in this jambalaya for boring white rice!

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Promotional photo of the Jambalaya pizza from the Louisiana Pizza Kitchen’s web site
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Available on Amazon at a huge discount right now – click here (not a paid promotion, just me telling you about a great deal)

Luckily for me, the Grill-Meister’s talents include making homemade pizza dough. He has made great use of the Cuisinart outdoor pizza oven I gave him for Christmas in 2014 (the gift that definitely keeps on giving).  He has mastered the crust using a great recipe from Martha Stewart, and sometimes on Friday nights he’ll make a batch of dough and then let me play with topping ingredients before doing the baking in the outdoor kitchen.  Fun!  Anyway, he wants us to recreate the Jambalaya Pizza, with a few important Glover Gardens variations:  a little less sauce, a few more shrimp and perhaps a bit more kick (that’s the way we do it).  If we can get it perfected, you’ll be the first to know.

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That’s us before the pizza-fest at Louisiana Pizza Kitchen – check out the local art on the walls

Here are a couple of links related to today’s post.

There are so many more New Orleans memories to share in anticipation of our trip this year and I can hardly wait to tell you about them!  And perhaps I’ll snag a guest blogger or two to add their own twist about having a good time in the Big Easy.


UPDATE:  I found this absolutely gorgeous photo of the Louisiana Pizza Kitchen after I made this post, and just had to share.  It is from a blog titled Storyteller in a post called Pizza.  It’s worth a look!  He tells a tale of weather from last year’s Jazz Fest in the post.

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Photo by Ray Laskowitz, from the blog Storyteller.  Isn’t the sky magnificent?

Copyright 2017, Glover Gardens Cookbook (with the exception of the marvelous photo by Ray)