First, the bad news. No RagFest in OC this year. However, for those who need a fix before the next ragtime festival in April 2012, Fullerton’s Muckenthaler Cultural Center is coming to the rescue with Ragtime Speakeasy Night on Oct. 27. Wear your finest 1920s attire and dance the night away to the live music of Brad Kay and Those Syncopating Songbirds. Have a brew or two. Admission is free; just knock at the east side door of the Muck, and say the secret password—that would be “Orange Juice,” not “Swordfish”—and you’re in. Call 714-738-6595 for info.
This week’s release of “Ray Charles: Live in France 1961” (available on DVD from Eagle Rock Entertainment) offers a rare treat—newly rediscovered and restored concert footage of The Man in his prime at the Antibes Jazz Festival, his European debut. You name it—jazz, blues, rock, gospel, R &B, standards and ballads—he does it, with the original Raeletts and his best known band (including David “Fathead” Newman) in tow.
“Louis Armstrong: Live in Australia 1964” (available on DVD from ABC Entertainment) gives us the greatest jazzman of all time—all hyperbole aside—on tour Down Under. Accompanied by his All Stars, Satchmo performs such classics as “Mack the Knife,” “Blueberry Hill” and “When It’s Sleepy Time Down South,” as well as some lesser known songs.
“Zoot Sims: In a Sentimental Mood” (available on DVD from MVD Visual) preserves on film the legendary saxophonist, just months before he died in 1985. Zoot plays such jazz classics as “Gone with the Wind,” “In a Sentimental Mood,” “Autumn Leaves,” and “Castle Blues.” Accompanied by Red Mitchell on bass and Rune Gustafsson on guitar, Sims is also seen in a bonus interview with Mitchell.
Hot tip: Chuck Schaden’s 1976 interview with radio great Norman Corwin, who died last week at 101, may be heard anytime at www.speakingofradio.com; simply click on “Interviews.” One of Corwin’s minor masterpieces, “The Odyssey Of Runyon Jones,” can be heard on “Same Time, Same Station,” streaming on demand beginning Oct. 30 at www.vintageradioplace.com.
More from Jordan:
Laurel & Hardy at UCLA, on DVD; Fellini’s Blu ‘Clowns,’ ‘Boccaccio’
Alec Guinness, Ken Russell films on DVD, Noël Coward in NoHo
Halloween shows at Hunger Artists & Gallery leave you in… suspense
Barclay screens National’s ‘Guvnors,’ Stages throws ‘Party’
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