Dear Jamie Cullum, when you play Hollywood Bowl on August 5, 2015, please swing by Palo Alto and do a free show at Lytton Plaza to raise awareness of “the Great Unwashed”. Thanks, Mark Weiss
This is the quinetessentional plastic alto in that it stays on topic, is mainly about music, has a combination of memoir anecdotes, news and hypotethical news i.e. drams or wishes.
I just emailed Terry my Terry, the artist Terry Acebo Davis and our close friends, Steve and Eric Cohen — brothers, from Ally McBeal, the Dancing Twins — and suggested we all rendezvous in La-LA on August 5, at Hollywood Bowl where Jamie Cullum is apparently headlining or at least guesting with the LA Phil. We saw Joshua Bell there last year.
I met Jamie Cullum post-show at the Fillmore in 2005. I was rolling with Jack Walrath, a jazz veteran who was the youngest and whitest member of Charles Minugus’ last quintet, 1972-1975, which I guess is a long time ago. Jack told me that he has been playing that music longer than Mingus himself got to do.
Jack was my client for one term and stayed with me that week, on Pepper Street in Palo Alto. I suggested we check out Jamie Cullum at the Fillmore. I was hipped to Jamie by Jason Olaine (my fellow former Titan hoops star), then at Verve. At the time, Jamie was thought to be the answer for Verve to Blue Note’s Norah Jones. Please note that now Jason is at Lincoln Center at Jamie is at Blue Note, working with Don Was. I met Jamie briefly at IAJE the jazz conference, as well as his British spearhead.
Jack and I, quite frankly, were a bit bored and nonplused and retreated to the poster room to get high and reminisce; Jack had lived in Oakland in 1970 and was having flashbacks (and I do wonder what reading Fear and Loathing so young has done to my story-telling: does every little anecdote have to have lizards attacking our ankles?).
But then Jack came running up to me: Hey, that’s Haitian Fight Song! To his expert ear, the hook on Jamie’s single was copped from a Mingus tune. That inspired me and I sent a note backstage saying that an O.G. Mingusman was in the house and wanted a word with young James.
Sure enough, someone on his team came out and got us passed thru and we all went up for a nightcap. Jamie’s bass player said that Jack was a judge the year he was working on the Monk Awards, et cetera. Jamie true enough used actual jazzbeuax in his band those days.
I also caught Jamie on Kimmel the other night and captured him kicking his piano, ala Ben Folds. Jamie is MOT by the way and Burmese. And a Papa, which is more that I can say. Mazel mazel twice to the Cullums. If Dana Collins is still in his team, I am going to try to get backstage at the Bowl. Also, and this is counter-inductive to getting on a list, I am wondering why Charles Mingus is not given a writing credit on “twenty-something”. Not that Sue Mingus needs the money but it would seem the menschy thing to do, nu?
And maybe they will see this Bat-beacon reference to swinging it Lytton Plaza style. In fact, we should counter Los Gatos jazz on the plaz” note by note.
compare the two, “Haitian Fight Song” by Mingus w. “twenty something” by Cullum, the bridge or hook:
which also reminds me of an excellent recent article on copyright in The New Yorker by Louis Menard, I clipped and will re-read
The cd came out in January. The suss reveals it was Oct. 4, 2004 that Jack and I were kickin’ it with Jamie. Meanwhile, he was back at the Fillmore last summer, with my friend Megan Slankard opening. And Aiden Vizairi who I tend to dislike already reviewed “Interlude” for BrandChron.