Month: April, 2010

Top 10 Rhythm and Blues Drum Performances

I love the drums, and especially on groove-based music it all comes back to that. I also love great songs, so you’ll find that my drummer choices tend to revolve more around groove and service to the song as a whole as opposed to impressive chops-displays for their own sake.

Fruity 3-Layer Surprise Tart

Kate expressed an interest in something with chocolate ganache, so after determining that the rhubarb in the garden was looking good, I came up with this. The “surprise” is that with the thick layer of chocolate, you can’t actually see the fruit layer until you cut into it.

Ode to a Great Teacher: George Raccio

Sometimes life gives you a second chance and so it seems to go with the presence of George Raccio in my life. As Playdate gets ready to do our CD release party this weekend at Firehouse 12 in New Haven, I figured it’d be a good time to reflect a bit about George, who was the teacher presiding over the jazz program at the Educational Center for the Arts, where Wayne Escoffery, Amanda Monaco and I met and began playing together.

Top 10 Jazz Vocal Performances WITH Instrument

This is for singers (of either gender) who also play an instrument on the cut in question (or vice versa). I just realized as I went to submit that due to a rather glaring oversight there are no Chet Baker recordings here; I don’t really want to “bump” any of these individual tracks, so let’s [...]

Top 10 Male Jazz Vocal Performances (vocal only)

“Vocal only” means that those who are also play an instrument on the recording belong in another category. Apologies, as always, to the great singers (including Mark Murphy, Eddie Jefferson, Frank Sinatra, Mel Torme and Jon Hendricks just to name a few) who didn’t make the list.

Top 10 Female Jazz Vocal Performances (vocal only)

There is no shortage of great female jazz vocal performances on record so it was a hard one to narrow down! “Vocal only” distinguishes from those who also play an instrument on the recording; they get their own category.

Stuffed-ish Tofu

This recipe began as most of mine do, inspired by a need to use and/or “enhance” an ingredient. In this case, Kate was jonesing for tofu and we had a couple tomatoes that were pretty mediocre but had tempted me (foolish!) on one of my rare visits to the supermarket’s produce aisle. I’ll skip to the happy ending – tas-tee! It was a focal point and primary protein source of this meal but I think it’d work well as a “finger food” if entertaining (it wouldn’t have been much harder to double the recipe). They’re stuffed-“ish” because really they’re actually topped and not stuffed, but if people can pile stuff on a portabella mushroom and call it “stuffed” then I can use the term here. Total cooking time was about an hour from beginning to end.

Top 10 Jazz Musicians Deserving of NEA Jazz Master Consideration

With the recent induction of the 2010 class of NEA Jazz Masters, some of the most glaring omissions in my eyes have been rectified, namely Yusef Lateef, Bobby Hutcherson and Cedar Walton. This led me to reflect on who now tops the list of most deserving musicians not yet honored.

Top 10 Jazz Saxophone Solos

This was a tough one to narrow down, especially without having a list devoted to each type of saxophone. Just remember that this is a “favorites” list and not “best” or “most important” necessarily.

Semi-Corny Pancakes

I generally like cooked cornmeal as a primary pancake ingredient and here is a recently-tweaked version of my recipe.