To see THE BILL CLINTON COLLECTION CD featured on Good Morning America, click below:
August 13, 2005
by Lawrence Van Gelder
So this distinguished man came into the store, walked about six feet, heard the music, stopped in his tracks and, as Connie Fails recalls, asked, "What is that?" The store happened to be the Clinton Museum Store, two blocks from the William J. Clinton Presidential Center in Little Rock, Ark., The Associated Press reported. The distinguished man happened to be Bill Clinton. And the music - jazz and gospel - playing on the demo CD just happened to be a compilation of Mr. Clinton's favorites from the library's music room. "He took the demo, and by the time he got to the golf course, all the windows of the S.U.V. were down and he was blasting it," said Ms. Fails, who operates the store. Soon, it seems, everyone will be able to share the former president's music. After months of work to acquire licensing rights, Skip Rutherford, president of the Clinton Presidential Foundation, said mass production of the 11-track "Bill Clinton Collection: Selections From the Clinton Music Room" has begun. Among other tracks, it will feature "My One and Only Love" by John Coltrane, "My Funny Valentine" by Miles Davis, "There Will Never Be Another You" by Art Tatum, "Summertime" by Zoot Sims and "Take My Hand, Precious Lord" by Mahalia Jackson.
Friday, December 1, 2000
ART & MONEY
by Ken Bensinger
SOUNDTRACK AT AN EXHIBITION
TIRED OF SELLING souvenir T-shirts and posters, museums are getting into the record business.
Lately, the gift shops of seven big U.S. museums have begun selling compact disks marketed to coincide with their shows. At the Museum of Modern Art in New York, for example, visitors can... [buy] "Open Ends," a CD compilation with bands such as Velvet Underground, Bongwater and Sonic Youth that curators feel adds historical context to their contemporary art show of the same name.
The CDs are produced by Museum Music...a New York company that has been making these compilations for two years. Its biggest seller: "Jackson Pollock Jazz," at MoMA, with 20,000 copies sold.
"The CDs are directly related to enhancing visitors' understanding of the time period," a MoMA spokesperson says.
Friday, February 19, 1999
by Nat Hentoff
JACKSON POLLOCK'S JAZZ
"He would get into grooves of listening to his jazz records...day and night for three days running until you would climb the roof!" recalls Lee Krasner about her husband Jackson Pollock's immersion in jazz in their Springs, Long Island, home. "The house would shake. He thought jazz was the only other creative thing happening in this country."
Although Pollock was hardly a traditionalist in his own art, his taste in jazz was for the classic New Orleans pioneers, the quintessential swing bands, the blues bards and Billie Holiday. He had no use for such legendary modern-jazz figures as Charlie Parker, who were accused by traditionalist critics of burying the melody, splintering the rhythms and creating dissonance within dissonance.
But the jazz that accompanied Pollock's improvising on a horizontal canvas was hot, powerful, spontaneous and penetratingly emotional. His approach to this music was the same as his advice to viewers of his paintings. He didn't want people to analyze his work or look for recognizable figures or scenes. "I think it should be enjoyed," he said, "just as music is enjoyed."
In connection with a recent major retrospective of his work at the Museum of Modern Art, MoMA has issued 'Jackson Pollock Jazz" (Museum Music #MMl01), a CD containing 17 of the more than 100 78rpm recordings in his collection. They were chosen by Rob Gibson, director of jazz at Lincoln Center, and Pepe Karmel, adjunct assistant curator at MoMA, and it is indeed a connoisseur's selection, both a superior introduction to jazz fundamentals for an initiate as well as a return to past pleasures for experienced jazz listeners.
Beginning with Jelly Roll Morton & His Red Hot Peppers, the set has two performances by Louis Armstrong ("Lazy River” and "Mahogany Hall Stomp") followed by the Count Basie signature "One O'Clock Jump," which joyfully defines the verb "to swing." Later, there is a rather rare Basie session with just a rhythm section, "BoogieWoogie," in which the usually restrained Basie stretches out.
Particularly exhilarating is a Fats Waller piano solo, "Carolina Shouts," a reminder that this merry parodist of standard songs was also a master of two-handed stride piano. Louis Armstrong once said that when Fats Waller entered a room, "you could see a gladness in the faces of all the people in the joint." And when he sat down at the piano, the room was moved.
Jackson Pollock was also accompanied by Duke Ellington, heard here in a reflective piano solo, "Solitude," as well as with his orchestra on the seldom-heard "Delta Serenade." The underrated, crisp band of Artie Shaw is included ("It Had to Be You"), and Billie Holiday tells an ageless story: "Maybe he's not much, just another man doing what he can. But what does she care, when a woman loves a man."
But when a woman feels the other way, T-Bone Walker would provide the right mood for the passionate painter: "It was way past winter, baby, and the ground was covered with snow. My woman pushed me out, and I didn't have no place to go."
Thereare two appearances by the magisterial tenor saxophonist Coleman Hawkins, a hornman who never needed a microphone because his huge, bursting sound filled not only the room, but the neighborhood. In "Boff Boff' and "My Ideal," Hawkins shows why for many years he was the top jazz gunslinger, shooting down all competition in after-hours sessions across the country.
In the notes to "Jackson Pollock Jazz," Pepe Karmel sees an affinity between Pollock's paintings and the music that made his house shake: "Dripping, pouring, and throwing paint onto a canvas, Pollock infused his paintings with an unprecedented sense of rhythmic improvisation.' His friend Reuben Kadish, an artist, said that some of those works had the "power to change your character and your personality."
That may be so, but Pollock's clear need to have jazz constantly beside him would indicate that Billie, Duke, Fats, Louis, T-Bone and other dynamic improvisers affected his character and personality.
As Pee Wee Russell once put it, "A certain group of jazz guys - I don't care where they come from - have a heart feeling and a rhythm in their systems that you couldn't budge... These are men whose way of playing you couldn't alter no matter where you put them or what you tried to reach them."
Jackson Pollock was one of those guys.
The MoMA exhibition of Pollock's paintings has moved on; it will be at the Tate Gallery in London in March. But the "Jackson Pollock Jazz" CD will continue to be available from the museum's Book Store (800-793-3167) and the Museum Music website at www.museummusic.com.