• Lin Manuel Miranda

    Hip Hopping Hamilton

    By: Charles Giuliano - Apr 05th, 2016

    While on vacation Lin Manuel Miranda, an avid reader, took along Ron Chernow's biography of the colorful, brilliant, complex and tragic founding father, Alexander Hamilton.. Blended with rap and hip hop Miranda concocted it into a game changing Broadway musical.

  • Modern Lovers

    Ever Petulant Jonathan Richman

    By: Charles Giuliano - Apr 10th, 2016

    Influenced by the Velvets the Modern Lovers were the greatest 1970s band that never made it. Their records dribbled our after they broke up. Ever adolescent and erratic Jonathan Richman wanted to abandon the Velvets sound. He even refused to perform the paradigmatic Roadrunner. Drummer Dave Robinson joined The Cars. Keyboard player Jerry Harrison left for Talking Heads. Bass player Ernie Brooks backed a variety of artists. Over the years, ever morphing, Jonathan has a loyal cult following. He recorded the music of the film There's Something About Mary.

  • Herbie Hancock

    Lyrical Post Modernist

    By: Charles Giuliano - Apr 11th, 2016

    From 1963 to 1968 Herbie Hancock played piano for the Miles Davis Second Great Quintet. It included a teenager Boston drummer, Tony Williams, Ron Carter on bass and, after some changes, Wayne Shorter on horns. Hancock was fired for flimsy reasons and replaced by Chick Corea who was replaced by Keith Jarrett. Hancock continued to record with Miles after he was sacked. Later the Quintet reformed as V.S.O.P. with Freddy Hubbard replacing Davis.

  • Great American Songbook

    Liza, Feinstein and Cook

    By: Charles Giuliano - Apr 12th, 2016

    During an ATCA meeting in Indianapolis we visited the Performing Arts Center in nearby Carmel, Indiana. The artistic director of the stunning theatre is Michael Feinstein. The complex houses the growing archive for his advocacy of the Great American Songbook. Through his performances and collecting activity the mandate is to keep vibrant the legacy of more than a century of great Broadway musicals. He was joined that night by Barbara Cook. That summer at Tanglewood Liza Minelli took a train from New York to join him as a guest on stage.

  • Degenerate Art

    Les Fleurs du mal

    By: Charles Giuliano - Apr 13th, 2016

    Too often great artists drawing on their family and wrecked lives as inspiration for theatre and literature pay a terrible price for that Faustian contract. So it was with the American masters, O'Neill, Williams, Fitzgerald and Hemingway. There is the vicarious pleasure of experiencing their work.

  • Sonny Rollins

    Tenor Titan

    By: Charles Giuliano - Apr 14th, 2016

    Tenor titan, Sonny Rollins, is the last of the greatest generation of post bop jazz. While a troubled teen he launched a career with many phases and changes that has lasted for decades.

  • Al the Arab

    Hipster Wizard

    By: Charles Giuliano - Apr 15th, 2016

    We knew the consummate hipster Albert Hamway by the colorful sobriquet Al the Arab. But may, in fact, have been Armenian or Lebanese. Mentor and friend he was a running mate while on the lam in the Lower East Side.

  • Artist Rafael Mahdavi

    School of Paris

    By: Charles Giuliano - Apr 17th, 2016

    With family in Wellesley the artist Rafael Mahdavi commuted to a studio in the Marais arrondissement of Paris. He is fluent in several languages including Farsi and has had numerous exhibitions in Europe and America. In 2000 we met in his Paris studio to plan a tandem of exhibitions for New England School of Art & Design/ Suffolk University as well as Boston's French Library. With a shoestring budget we shipped large paintings to and from Paris rolled in a tube sent by Fed Ex as table cloths. This was a means of avoiding prohibitive French taxes. Sight Unseen proved to be an ambitious and insightful international exhibition.

  • Amalfi Coast

    To Catch a Thief

    By: Charles Giuliano - Apr 18th, 2016

    The cliff line drive, high above the Mediterranean, from Sorrento to Amalfi is spectacular but terrifying. It was the setting for the enduring Hitchcock film To Catch a Thief (1955) which paired Cary Grant and Grace Kelly. She later quit Hollywood to marry Prince Rainier and share the rule of the tiny Monaco. The Princess was 52 when she died on September 14, 1982, a day after suffering a stroke while driving, causing her to crash. Her daughter Stephanie survived the accident.

  • Watson and the Shark

    Conflating Havana and Boston Harbor

    By: Charles Giuliano - Apr 20th, 2016

    During a celebration of Tall Ships ancient square riggers anchored in Boston Harbor. It inspired conflating the setting the dramatic Copley masterpiece Watson and the Shark. The event occurred in Havana but it has been reenacted in Boston. Copley created three versions of the amputation which has now been upgraded.

  • PIll Popping

    No More Wake and Bake

    By: Charles Giuliano - Apr 09th, 2016

    Taking more drugs than ever but they don't give me a buzz. Not like wake and bake back in the day when Spaceman Bill Lee put pot on his corn flakes.

  • Duh Ramones

    Hey Ho Lets Go

    By: Charles Giuliano - Apr 09th, 2016

    By 1974 four guys from Forest Hills, Queens, unrelated, hit the downtown club scene as The Ramones. There last gig was in 1996. Over that time tons of albums. Adored by critics and fans they were too punk for mainstream success. Decades of endless one-nighters. Today they are regarded as one of the greatest and most influential all time rock bands.

  • Cyndi Lauper

    Beyond Just Having Fun

    By: Charles Giuliano - Apr 09th, 2016

    Cyndi Lauper's "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" was a youthful and fun anthem to a generation. Her ballad "Time After Time," covered by Miles Davis, hinted at what was to come. She won a Tony for the Broadway Musical "Kinky Boots." With more to come.

  • Janis Joplin's Last Gig

    Harvard Stadium, August 12, 1970

    By: Charles Giuliano - Apr 05th, 2016

    During the turbulent summer of 1970 Schaefer Beer sponsored a series of concerts at Harvard Stadium. It was just $2 for festival seating. Capacity was topped at 10,000 although there were incident ot vandalism and gate crashing. Janis Joplin performed her last gig there on AUGUST 12. She was dead at just 27 shortly later on October 4.

  • Pianist Chick Corea

    Pushing the Limits

    Chick Corea
    By: Charles Giuliano - Apr 05th, 2016

    Miles Davis launched fusion jazz with the seminal double album Bitches Brew in March, 1970. It marked an era of experiment and change. That summer I covered Miles twice in one week at Harvard Stadium then Lennie's on the Turnpike. For both sessions he featured the dual electric pianos of Chick Corea, who had replaced Herbie Hancock, and Keith Jarrett.

  • Spirit Boat

    Hatshepsut Pharaoh/ Queen

    By: Charles Giuliano - Apr 06th, 2016

    Hatshepsut was the daughter of Thutmose I and his primary wife Ahmes. Her husband Thutmose II was the son of Thutmose I and a secondary wife named Mutnofret. Married to her half brother they had a daughter Neferure. By another wife Thutmose II fathered Thutmose III. From the age of two Hatshepsut co-ruled as Regent but overshadowed him as Pharaoh. When he came to power Thutmose III did his best to removed her name from prolific monuments.

  • Pianist McCoy Tyner

    Trane and Beyond

    By: Charles Giuliano - Apr 06th, 2016

    Growing up in Philly the legendary pianist Bod Powell was a neighbor and mentor to pianist McCoy Tyner. He also knew John Coltrane before he joined Miles Davis emerging as a superstar. Tyner was invited to join the classic quartet of Trane, drummer Joe Jones, and bass player Jimmy Garrison. There was an edge when I asked Tyner why he and Jones quit Trane a couple of years before he died.

  • Count Basie

    Goin' To Kansas City

    By: Charles Giuliano - Apr 07th, 2016

    In the mobbed up city of politician Tom "Boss" Pendergast the saloons and brothels of Kansas City were wide open during prohibition and the depression years. The best of the thriving Midwest jazz and blues scene was the Count Basie Band.

  • Woody Herman

    Big Band Bop

    By: Charles Giuliano - Apr 07th, 2016

    Woody Herman fronted one of the most admired and successful groups of the big band era. He commissioned works ranging from Stravinsky's Ebony Concert to the eventual Dizzy Gillespi standard Woody'n You. The gig in Beverly at Sandy's Jazz Revival was more like a family reunion.

  • Stan Kenton's Progressive Band

    Artistry in Rhythm

    By: Charles Giuliano - Apr 08th, 2016

    There was an edge to progressive big band leader Stan Kenton when we met in 1970. He had cut loose from 25 years with Capitol Records and bought the catalogue to reissue on his own label Creative World. On the road with Stan it was less a tour than crusade. Those who performed and heard his music were true believers in his Artistry in Rhythm

  • Buddy Rich

    Marching to a Different Drummer

    By: Charles Giuliano - Apr 08th, 2016

    It is argued that Buddy Rich was the greatest drummer of his era. His challenger, great album, Max Roach. In the dressing room at Lennie's on the Turnpike between sets Buddy was always good for a quote. Usually about Vegas or stints with Johnny Carson on the Tonight Show. Lennie discovered a local kid doing standup. Jay Leno became a regular on the Tonight Show and eventually took over from Johnny.

  • Britain's T. Rex

    Marc Bolan's American Pratfall

    By: Charles Giuliano - Apr 08th, 2016

    Big deal that we got to talk with Marc Bolan of British supergroup T. Rex launching their first American tour. Be nice we were warned by the PR folks. That night Bolan skipped on stage and fell flat on his ass. It was a bad omen and the tour bombed. Not long after both the group and Bolan were dead as dinos.

  • Brandenburger Tor

    When the Circus Came to Town

    By: Charles Giuliano - Apr 20th, 2016

    Visiting Berlin some years ago we stayed at the apartment of Horst and Bettina Hiemer the actor cousin of Astrid. From the balcony of their apartment we looked down at Cirque de Soleil a short distance from the Brandenburg Gate in the heart of the city.

  • Royal Flush

    Grouse Hunting at Balmoral

    By: Charles Giuliano - Apr 21st, 2016

    I was just eight when that other Charles was born. From then on he seemed like a younger brother. Over the years in the darkest hours we have roamed the highlands during holidays at Balmoral Castle. Now seniors we wonder when or if he will be King.

  • Alpine Hotel

    View of Central Park

    By: Charles Giuliano - Apr 21st, 2016

    Come Labor Day, back from Boston, gallery gig started. In transition stayed in hot sheet Alpine Hotel at Columbus Circle. From its eventual penthouse awoke to view of Central Park.

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