Will Friedwald


Another Velvet Fog Summer

By Will Friedwald

Another Velvet Fog Summer
Mel Tormé (1925–1999) was the Art Tatum of singers: a daredevil improviser with equally flawless chops and remarkable harmonic smarts, he would take a tune and break it down into 1,000 glistening arpeggios, then put it back together in a way that often improved on the original. Like Tatum, he could do all this without losing the thread of the melody, and with the added dimension of using his musicality to bring out the meaning of the words. Frequently compared to Ella Fitzgerald — which he considered a tremendous compliment — if Tormé wasn’t the greatest male pure jazz singer of all time (after Louis Armstrong), it’s hard to imagine who was.Read More


Anything You Can Do

By Will Friedwald

Anything You Can Do
In jazz terminology, it’s known as “call and response”: The trumpet section plays a few notes, which are answered immediately by the saxophones. Or, a soloist will give out with a four-bar phrase and then hear it echoed back at him by the full ensemble. Call and response is as essential to big band swing as the idea of “theme and variations” is to classical music.Read More


On the Fourth Night, Tunes, Jokes and Shoe-Throwing

By Will Friedwald

How better to celebrate the fourth night of Hanukkah than by throwing a shoe at Bernard Madoff? On December 24, nightlife impresario Michael Dorf, who gave the world the Knitting Factory, opened his new space, City Winery, with a variety show that served as the fourth evening of New York’s fourth annual Sephardic Music Festival.Read More






    Find us on Facebook!
    • The Jewish bachelorette has spoken.
    • "When it comes to Brenda Turtle, I ask you: What do you expect of a woman repressed all her life who suddenly finds herself free to explore? We can sit and pass judgment, especially when many of us just simply “got over” own sexual repression. But we are obliged to at least acknowledge that this problem is very, very real, and that complete gender segregation breeds sexual repression and unhealthy attitudes toward female sexuality."
    • "Everybody is proud of the resistance. No matter how many people, including myself, disapprove of or even hate Hamas and its ideology, every single person in Gaza is proud of the resistance." Part 2 of Walid Abuzaid's on-the-ground account of life in #Gaza:
    • After years in storage, Toronto’s iconic red-and-white "Sam the Record Man" sign, complete with spinning discs, will return to public view near its original downtown perch. The sign came to symbolize one of Canada’s most storied and successful Jewish family businesses.
    • Is $4,000 too much to ask for a non-member to be buried in a synagogue cemetery?
    • "Let’s not fall into the simplistic us/them dichotomy of 'we were just minding our business when they started firing rockets at us.' We were not just minding our business. We were building settlements, manning checkpoints, and filling jails." What do you think?
    • PHOTOS: 10,000 Israel supporters gathered for a solidarity rally near the United Nations in New York yesterday.
    • Step into the Iron Dome with Tuvia Tenenbom.
    • What do you think of Wonder Woman's new look?
    • "She said that Ruven Barkan, a Conservative rabbi, came into her classroom, closed the door and turned out the lights. He asked the class of fourth graders to lie on the floor and relax their bodies. Then, he asked them to pray for abused children." Read Paul Berger's compelling story about a #Savannah community in turmoil:
    • “Everything around me turns orange, then a second of silence, then a bomb goes off!" First installment of Walid Abuzaid’s account of the war in #Gaza:
    • Is boredom un-Jewish?
    • Let's face it: there's really only one Katz's Delicatessen.
    • "Dear Diaspora Jews, I’m sorry to break it to you, but you can’t have it both ways. You can’t insist that every Jew is intrinsically part of the Israeli state and that Jews are also intrinsically separate from, and therefore not responsible for, the actions of the Israeli state." Do you agree?
    • from-cache

    Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















    We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

    Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.