A New Jazz Star

…and I am telling you early, way before she becomes famous. Remember, you heard it from the old jazzmonger first. This girl cannot miss.

Roosevelt Jazz Band

Roosevelt High Jazz Band

Through my good friend Doctor Dick, and his wife Bobbie, I was treated to three tracks recorded by one of the Jazz vocalists at Roosevelt High School in Seattle, WA. That’s right high school! Her name is Katherine Stuber and she was only fifteen years old when she laid down these amazing tracks. As soon as I heard her, I asked Doctor Dick how old she was. He grinned his terrific grin and said, “I’ll tell you later.”

“Aha!” I thought, “she’s probably just nineteen or twenty.”

When I found out later that I was listening to a recording made by a fifteen-year-old, I was flabbergasted. This girl is easily the next Jane Monheit (of whom I am a big fan). She has the pace and phrasing of the young Peggy Lee and, dare I say it, a stronger voice.

Lest you think I am completely nuts, I suggest you listen to Katherine’s version of I Took A Trip On a Train.

Those of you in, or anywhere near, the Seattle area need to check out Roosevelt High’s excellent Jazz Band program. This is a multiple award-winning group, under the direction of Scott Brown. Brown was named Downbeat Magazine’s Educator of the Year in 2004  and he, and his excellent band, have been collecting more awards in the years since. The Roosevelt Jazz Band finished in the Top 3 at the 2009 Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Finals.

Roosevelt Jazz Band Director, Scott Brown

Roosevelt Jazz Band Director, Scott Brown

Go to Roosevelt High Jazz Band to read more and get a schedule of upcoming performances.

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Another good movie soundtrack

You've Got Mail album cover
Image via Wikipedia

As soon as I put up the post about the soundtrack for Sleepless In Seattle, another Tom Hanks/Meg Ryan movie came to mind. That is the romantic comedy You’ve Got Mail. The movie is clever and fun. Tom Hanks is always easy to watch and Meg Ryan is pretty cute in this part. there are some great people in the supporting cast. Look for Dave Chapelle in what, I am pretty sure, was his first movie role as Tom’s assistant at Fox Books.

The musical selections are terrific and, again, they really feed the story. Once more, like Sleepless In Seattle, the movie climaxes with the incomparable Jimmy Durante setting the mood with You Made Me Love You. It can’t get any better than that.

Listen to this lineup of performers: Harry Nilsson, Bobby Darin, Louis Armstrong, Roy Orbison, Stevie Wonder, Carole King, Billy Williams and Jimmy Durante. Also included, but maybe not as familiar, The Cranberries and Bobby Day (with Rockin’ Robin). Harry Nilsson is featured on three tracks and, if you have not given him a listen in recent years, by all means do so. He does The Puppy Song (cute), Remember (very pretty song) and one of the three best versions of Over the Rainbow you will ever hear. (The other two are, obviously, Judy Garland’s original from the movie, and Jane Monheit.

Jane Monheit, btw, is one of the best of today’s jazz, cabaret, ballad, swing & showtune performers. She tours with her own excellent band led by her husband, Rick Montalbano, and featuring his excellent custom arrangements. If you get a chance to see them live, especially in one of the small, intimate venues they prefer. her website has some good samplings from her impressive album catalog . Here is the link: http://janemonheitonline.com/ A Jane Monheit CD is always a safe investment.

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