Sunday, November 30, 2014

Jazz has posted excerpts from my new book, “Jazz in the Key of Light,” that spotlight nine of its 80 featured musicians.

The coffee-table-style book is drawing five-star reviews. 

Here is a sampling:

  • “Just want to let you know I'm getting a late piano start today and it's YOUR FAULT! I got your book, and I decided to read it this morning instead catching up on the latest health and terrorist crises in our world. What a treat your book is! I'm not sure if I've seen something like this before, and I have a lot of books. Great photos with insightful words. Very cool!" – pianist-composer Lisa Hilton
  • “Some non-musician/non-musical friends, who were here on a visit, began looking at the book on my coffee table. The format interested them enough to ask intelligent questions about jazz. There is obviously a wealth of enjoyment for the jazz enthusiast, but I saw that the book can both intrigue and draw-in the beginner. You've got a winner here!” singer-guitarist Tony Boffa 
  • “This book is going to be a collector's item. It is beautiful and thoughtful, marrying masterful photographs with telling quotes from each profiled musician. Author Ken Franckling has harvested decades of his work to capture the vitality and spirit of the jazz world for anyone who loves this type of music (and how can you not?).” reader Michael Blumstein (posted on Amazon)

Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Bobby van Deusen show

When you’ve got a piano marvel in the house, you wind him up and let him go – and then go along for the ride. That was the case Thursday when clarinetist Bud Leeds brought his quartet to the Venice (FL) Art Center as part of the South County Jazz Club’s matinee concert series.
Bud Leeds, Bobby van Deusen
The marvel was Bobby van Deusen, a ragtime and stride specialist who lives in Pensacola but was in the area for this weekend’s Suncoast Jazz Classic. Van Deusen will perform at the weekend-long trad jazz event in Clearwater with the Barbary Coast Dixieland Show Band. 

Bassist Don Mopsick, a 19-year member of the Jim Cullum Jazz Band, and drummer Tony Martin, who had worked with van Deusen previously in New Orleans, rounded out Leeds’ band.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Whether organic or synthetic, jazz is good for the soul....

I walked into this afternoon's jazz concert at the Englewood (FL) Art Center expecting it to be a B-3 kind of afternoon with the Sarasota-based Organic Trio. But keyboard player Robbie Rose decided to bring his electronic keyboards to the South County Jazz Club matinee rather than transport the hefty Hammond B-3.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Two FLA jazz book-signing events 11/15, 16

There will be book signing/meet the author events this weekend for "Jazz in the Key of Light" in two Southwest Florida locations. Find out more about the book here.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Spotlighting obscure tunes with toe-tapping swing

Johnny Varro
Pianist Johnny Varro seems most at home in obscure jazz material - not only 50 or more years old, but in some cases, obscure even when it was first performed. Such was the case with more than half of the compositions he presented Monday night, November 11, with the Florida edition of his Swing 7 band at the Charlotte County Jazz Society concert series.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

CDs of Note - Short Takes

Taking a closer look at CD’s by Omer Avital, Nancy Kelly, and Gabriel Espinosa & Hendrick Meurkens