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Thread: Calabria Foti

  1. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by erniegy View Post
    Mark, you know that music like this makes me cry and you did it again. If you couldn't watch Bob McChesney you would swear that he is playing a valve trombone. I have been raving about Miss Foti to my daughter and that video is about the best representation on youtube apart from the promo types. We still can't get In The Still Of the Night over here which is making me grind my teeth.
    I also found this, but perhaps you have mentioned it before.
    https://youtu.be/zg7SwdhM2xo

    It's such a shame that the sound quality is not ace but what a band and that bloody trombonist again!
    Bill -- thank you so very much for that. No, I'd not heard this 'live' performance -- which, beginning at around :51 features Calabria scat-singing as effortlessly as Ella! As you say Bill, it's a "shame" it's not studio sound quality (ambient reverb from the walls gets in the way of our enjoying this completely). But, to quote you back, "What a band!" And her hubby Bob McChesney accomplishes the impossible on slide trombone: his articulation and speed (combined with a great sense of taste -- what to leave out, just as important as what you leave in) enable Bob to play classical pieces intended for trumpet or piccolo cornet -- play them as fast on his instrument. So happy you shared about this, Bill. Particularly that music this good "makes you cry" tears of joy (the best kind, right?)
    Last edited by Nancy; 02-25-2019 at 06:28 PM. Reason: Added quote

  2. #22

    DO IT AGAIN -- Calabria Foti sings it best!

    Siriusly Sinatra satellite radio earlier this hour played my favorite version of an obscure old song “DO IT AGAIN – by my favorite living singer, Calabria Foti. A VERY old song (1922) that is one of the very few George Gershwin composed to a lyric written by someone OTHER than his brother.

    There is an expanded Wikipedia entry now on the song's genesis. It's a little hard to find to find. (There are four other songs of the same name by The Beach Boys, Steely Dan and others). Even harder to find is a video of Calabria Foti at Youtube. My second favorite take on this was by Toni Tennille. Her version isn't posted to YouTube either!

    So we'll have to settle for some singer named Marilyn Monroe. Oh my! Is it hot in here, or is it just me?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YpGTI4xibrA

    [updated Wiki entry]

    "Do It Again" is an American popular song by composer George Gershwin and lyricist Buddy DeSylva. The song premiered in the 1922 Broadway show The French Doll, as performed by actress Irčne Bordoni.

    Gershwin recounted the origin of the song [a few years before his death]
    I was in the office of Max Dreyfus, my publisher, one day when Buddy DeSylva walked in. DeSylva said jokingly to me, "George, let's write a hit!" I matched him by saying, "O.K.!" I sat down at the piano, and began playing a theme which I was composing on the spot... Buddy listened for a few minutes and then began chanting this title—"Oh, Do It Again!," which he had just fitted to my theme.[1]

    Gershwin began playing the song, described as "innocently sensual",[citation needed] at parties. Upon hearing the song, Irčne Bordoni insisted that she perform the song in her show.[2] "Do It Again" first appeared in the Broadway play The French Doll, which premiered on February 20, 1922 at the Lyceum and ran for a total of 120 performances.[1]

  3. #23

    Calabria Foti -- ANYTHING GOES

    Just for me, Siriusly Sinatra satellite radio is playing my favorite living singer, Calabria Foti -- her recent version of ANYTHING GOES, from an all Cole Porter album (I reviewed at Amazon). Alas, none of her songs have been uploaded to YouTube. Reminded me though of another favorite singer Dionne Warwick's similar "all-Cole-Porter" album, for which Frank Sinatra contributed liner notes. Is her version of this song up there? Yes!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rtb1LKOI1w8

  4. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Blackburn View Post
    Just for me, Siriusly Sinatra satellite radio is playing my favorite living singer, Calabria Foti -- her recent version of ANYTHING GOES, from an all Cole Porter album (I reviewed at Amazon). Alas, none of her songs have been uploaded to YouTube. Reminded me though of another favorite singer Dionne Warwick's similar "all-Cole-Porter" album, for which Frank Sinatra contributed liner notes. Is her version of this song up there? Yes!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rtb1LKOI1w8
    From Dionne Warwick Sings Cole Porter (Arista ARCD-8573), here are the booklet notes by FS:

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Sinatra
    Year after year and now decade after decade, trend after trend, fad after fad, the late Cole Porter, who was my friend, has remained a great communicator to the hearts of people...come to think of it that description also applies exactly to Dionne Warwick, who is also my friend I'm proud to say. In this album Dionne, like Cole Porter, proves she has the most difficult talent of all in music, staying power. I love her madly!
    Clive Davis, Arif Mardin, Lena Horne and Quincy Jones also contributed notes.
    Last edited by AndrewT; 03-13-2019 at 02:37 PM.
    Andrew

  5. #25

    I consider the hours I spend with a cue in my hand are GOLDEN . . .

    How do you say "a thousand thanks" in Italian, Andrew? (It sounds better is all I can recall, not the phrase itself.) So grateful to you for that transcription of such beautiful writing by our favorite singer. Imagine how Dionne felt reading those words!

    "In this album Dionne, like Cole Porter, proves she has the most difficult talent of all in music, staying power. I love her madly!"

    Somewhere in a box in my basement is that CD with liner notes. But it was too much like work to go and find it -- especially on my birthday with grand kids here! "Let's practice pool," said Luke, who is getting quite good for his age (seven). His sister Charlotte age four helped him set up the balls. I glanced at one of the boxes and thought, Maybe I should look for that Dionne Warwick 'all Cole Porter CD' in that box. But . . . no time. Lo and behold -- your kind posting, Andrew!
    Last edited by Mark Blackburn; 03-13-2019 at 03:34 PM.

  6. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Blackburn View Post
    Somewhere in a box in my basement is that CD with liner notes. But it was too much like work to go and find it -- especially on my birthday with grand kids here! "Let's practice pool," said Luke, who is getting quite good for his age (seven). His sister Charlotte age four helped him set up the balls. I glanced at one of the boxes and thought, Maybe I should look for that Dionne Warwick 'all Cole Porter CD' in that box. But . . . no time. Lo and behold -- your kind posting, Andrew!
    I've had that CD for a long time (along with all of Dionne's other albums), but had forgotten about the booklet notes. Thanks for mentioning it, Mark.

    And happy birthday!
    Andrew

  7. #27

    Calabria & Tom -- imagining them dueting (I can dream, can't I?)

    In my mind's ear I can hear "my two favorite living singers most people never heard of." At this moment Siriusly Sinatra is playing a favorite song by one of Calabria's favorite lyricists, Carolyn (Young at Heart) Leigh -- sung by Tom Wopat.

    "Oh yes, you brag a lot – but you're unsure a lot. You're a lot like . . . ME
    We'll break the rules a lot, we'll be damn fools a lot but then . . .
    why should we not? How could we not . . . combine?"

    I'm a sucker for a jazz samba – and this song by Tom Wopat is a favorite example of the species: “I've Got Your Number.” Recorded with a small but terrific jazz band. Love the brief trumpet solo by . . . someone good.

    If Calabria Foti is my favorite living singer (and she is) Tom Wopat is her male equivalent in my books: She's womanly. He's manly. Vivre la difference. Can't imagine a more wonderful rendition of this seldom-heard song music by the great Cy Coleman, words by the great Ms Leigh. Calabria has recorded more than one of Carolyn's best songs. Alas, none are at YouTube (a crime!).

    From the same Broadway show, LITTLE ME, that produced the marvelous “Real Live Girl.” Can't imagine a better rendition than this.


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ltVaOzRfrTs

    Comment below the video speaks for thousands of us who have 'discovered' Tom Wopat:

    Kamakiri Sassorichan (2 years ago)

    "Wow, who knew? I had no idea this guy existed. I'm a long time Frank fan (back to the 50's) so I love coming across singers like this. How come I never heard of him? Obviously I've seen the guy around on TV, but this? He's really good!"

  8. #28

    Calabria agrees (this day) that "THESE are the good old days.'

    Funny, isn't it? We live in an age when our best friends may be the people that we never get to meet.

    I just got an email from "my favorite living singer," Calabria Foti -- saying that my note to her (yesterday) reduced her to "tears" (of joy). I'd shared, as I have here, about singing to my youngest grand daughter Adeline (16 months) every time I see her, "I Thought About You" and how she indulges me with a great big smile, when I tell her, "That's Johnny Mercer!"

    Calabria who says today she is working on "the best thing I've ever done" (to be "released June 1") agrees with us that "This IS the best time in human history to be alive."

    Best ever version of my favorite Mercer/Van Heusen tune. Wish there were a Hi-Fi version of this, the most watched 'first up' version with a third of a million "views."

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OgoqYHtBEOY

  9. #29

    On a personal note . . .

    Calabria Foti has one of those rare singing voices I will never tire of hearing. I can't stop playing her new album, PRELUDE TO A KISS. I must concede a prejudice: My favorite living singer has known me for several years as her “biggest fan in the world's coldest major city.” She graciously inscribed my copy of her new CD (in silver ink)

    “To Mark,

    Blessings to you my Friend!

    Love,

    Calabria"


    Siriusly Sinatra satellite radio played “The Man With The Horn” Calabria's lovely take on an obscure old should-have-been-a-standard by “Eddie DeLange (words) and Jack Jenney and Bonnie Lake (music)” which Calabria Foti (my favorite living singer) included on her latest album (released this month) with “Prelude to a Kiss” the Duke Ellington song, as its opening, title track.

    ----

    Earlier this hour, Sirius played Calabria's achingly beautiful rendition of WALTZ FOR DEBBY. Until today there was only one vocal version in my mind's ear – for more than 40 years now, since its inclusion on the iconic “Tony Bennett & Bill Evans” album of 1975.

    My compatriot -- the late author and lyricist Gene Lees, (who left us nine years ago) wrote the poignant words for Bill Evans' most famous tune. Since Tony's definitive version I've always thought of this as a 'guy song' -- from the perspective of a Dad; Calabria Foti and her jazz-trombone virtuoso husband, Bob McChesney have two daughters. Which may be why her wonderful delivery of Waltz For Debby effectively transforms this into 'a girl song' – more emotionally convincing as a Mom singing about a daughter.

    None of Calabria's songs (from four previous albums) are available at YouTube; so taking a cue from Bob in Boston I tried “Spotifify” and sure enough, a single track from her new album, “The Man With The Horn.” Hope this link (below) works for you. (Would love to see the "Prelude to a Kiss" album cover, if Bob could make that happen!)

    ----

    Calabria's 30-piece orchestra was variously arranged by several giants of jazz orchestration: chief among them, Johnny Mandel, who orchestrated a lovely song composed by Calabria's musical father, Richard – I HAD TO FALL IN LOVE WITH YOU (featuring a solo by Calabria's gifted guitarist Larry Koonse).

    Jeremy Lubbock – a particular hero of mine for decades -- one of the greatest, living arrangers, orchestrated Calabria's (to my ears 'unsurpassed') rendition of Kern & Hammerstein's THE FOLKS WHO LIVE ON THE HILL. Yes, suddenly Calabria's version is my all-time favorite (excluding of course, our mutual hero Peggy Lee's definitive recording: the one with the Nelson Riddle orchestra “conducted by Frank Sinatra”).

    Johnny Mandel's most distinguished protege, Jorge Calandrelli (who has collaborated on many Tony Bennett recordings) arranged this one track at Spotify, “The Man With The Horn.”


    https://open.spotify.com/track/4HkQsaCvqkeCDDzim7x1jd

    Almost forgot to add . . . Calabria's principal accompanist throughout, the brilliant pianist / arranger Roger Kellaway contributes several gorgeous piano solos. [We first heard of him in 1971 when Kellaway was listed on the closing credits, as the the pianist playing the song he wrote as closing theme for “All in the Family” – REMEMBERING YOU.]

    Oh yes -- my “other favorite track” from this album (played recently on Sirius radio) – is quite simply one of the best duets I've ever heard: jazz giant John Pizzarelli soloing on guitar and harmonizing with Calabria on, “It's the Mood I'm In” – arranged by Calabria and her hubby Bob McChesney.

    ---
    Last edited by Mark Blackburn; 06-24-2019 at 06:06 PM.

  10. #30
    Pursuant to my review (above) for her latest masterpiece, PRELUDE TO A KISS (hope Amazon posts my review for this CD) just had to share this video of "my favorite living singer." See if you can detect from these few minutes of video, just why I love Calabria Foti so much! (Hope this link to her Facebook works.)

    https://www.facebook.com/calabriafot...5910818084879/

  11. #31

    Calabria's Dad lived long enough to hear a Johnny Mandel arrangement of his best song

    Calabria's father Richard Fote died yesterday. On her Facebook page today Calabria shared thanks for our condolences, and wrote:

    “He was such a huge influence on me musically. I learned everything I know from him and my Mom... He is at peace in the loving arms of the Lord. Thank you [all] for your kindness.”

    [I left a condolence of my own for “my favorite living singer.”]

    Listening to track 2 [on her latest album] “I Had To Fall In Love With You” which, Calabria wrote in her liner notes that this was "One my Dad wrote for my Mom." Experiencing tears of joy – knowing her father got to hear the great Johnny Mandel's arrangement of her Dad's best ballad: "I Had To Fall In Love With You – [words & music by] Richard Fote." How proud he must have been of his brilliant and beautiful little girl. If you have the album, play that one right now -- and say a prayer for the soul of Calabria's musically-gifted father.

    Amazon has my review for her new CD “Prelude to a Kiss” – plus a supplemental “comment” about one particular track [“I'm Home” by Calabria's friend singer Michael Dees]

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-r...wasThisHelpful

  12. #32
    We still can’t get In The Still of the Night album over here let alone her latest. Not available on Amazon UK or iTunes
    Bill
    I'ts VERY easy being green...coz I am

  13. #33

    Calabria's Dad

    Calabria shared with friends and fans this day:

    Dear Friends,

    It has taken me a few days to come to grips with the reality that my Dad, Richard Fote, a wonderful musician, and a huge figure in my life, has passed. Thank you all for your love and condolences. I am overwhelmed with the outpouring of remembrances from so many, many people whose lives he touched, as a teacher, mentor, friend, conductor, composer, arranger, a colleague on the bandstand, and a beautiful trombonist.

    He was a consummate musician, a terrific story teller with a great sense of humor, loving husband and father, and a loyal friend. A graduate of Eastman, and top student of the legendary teacher Emory Remington, his career was an amazing adventure. Starting out as a school band director, he expanded to teaching at SUNY Potsdam and SUNY Fredonia, played First Trombone in the Erie Philharmonic, played great jazz, knew every tune, and led dance band gigs on the weekends. He also became an award-winning stock broker and a partner in Kendor Music, writing over 100 publications for concert bands and jazz ensembles (many that are still played today), editing the Koprasch Studies for Trombone with F-Attachment, transcribing/arranging the Thad Jones Library for school ensembles, conducting concert and jazz bands and guest soloing at numerous music festivals and conferences.

    He also arranged music for any ensemble, put together all kinds of musicians for all kinds of gigs. In the 1980’s, as a “retired” musician, he moved the family to Florida, became the staff arranger for the band at Circus World theme park, played trombone at the Grand Floridian Hotel with a great little combo, and was the musical director for the South Florida tours playing piano and “feeding lines” to legendary performers Foster Brooks, Kay Starr, Carmen Cavallero, Morey Amsterdam, Joey Bishop, Eddie Fisher and Rose Marie. He became their “straight man”, their off stage stylist, and their confidant.

    He had a grand time wherever he was, always had a funny line at the perfect time, always available to help out a friend with a musical task, or with a problem. He wrote the most beautiful songs for my Mom, the love of his life, and he wrote some humorous songs, too. Each of us kids was given a “Dad Original”, a touching, sweet song for our weddings and for the births of our children. He loved to laugh, to do anything pertaining to music, and he loved to cook in the kitchen with my Mom. I loved being able to him about music or business or life stuff. He always had the best ideas and gave me excellent advice. That’s why it is so ironic that he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease, which ravaged his brain and his body little by little, in the most degrading, horrifying way.

    My Dad was a very special man. He loved his family, he loved music, and he loved the Lord. We are comforted by the wonderful memories, the recordings of his playing and the music he composed.

    Rest in peace, Daddy. Thank you for the love, the laughter, and all the music you taught me. I miss you so much.

  14. #34

    I HAD TO FALL IN LOVE WITH YOU -- Calabria's Dad's best ballad (for her Mom)

    At this moment, Siriusly Sinatra satellite radio is playing (just for me) my favorite living singer's recent recording of I HAD TO FALL IN LOVE WITH YOU -- a love song composed, words and music, by her Dad, for her Mom. Knowing that her father Richard Fote got to hear this gorgeous orchestration (before his death a week ago) -- a 30 piece 'orchestra' chart by the greatest living arranger, Johnny Mandel -- well! Tears of joy. Is it at YouTube. Nope. None of her songs can be found there. I repeat my threat to purchase your copy of her latest PRELUDE TO A KISS if you don't love it. Calabria Foti's only track at Spotify:

    https://open.spotify.com/artist/00hReOScxDspiG83yDOYsF

  15. #35
    The reviews are starting to come in, I see (with delight) for Calabria's latest (and best?) album, "Prelude to a Kiss."

    ----

    "This album is your best ever, in every way. Great song choice, superior charts, killer solos, and perfect production on your precious voice!"

    - Jerry Sharell, KKJZ Los Angeles

    ----

    ​“Foti possesses the looks and glamour of Ava Gardner to go along with the sound and style of Frank Sinatra.”

    - Broadway World

    ----

    "This lady can really sing! What makes Foti so special is not only her exquisite vocal instrument, but her fresh arrangements of well known songs. Her voice is lush, sultry, consistently passionate.”

    - Grigware Talks Theatre

  16. Facebook note to Calabria

    Siriusly Sinatra just played a favorite track from my favorite Calabria Foti album (three CDs ago). And I shared this note with her on Facebook.

    Calabria: I know you will forgive me for loving your earlier 'orchestral' album the most -- the one beloved by Johnny Mathis, Johnny Mandel and other musical giants: Just left a note with Chuck Granata, producer of Nancy's weekly show on "Siriusly Sinatra," after Chuck had posted a promise to include some of "these great songs" (we've been celebrating) "on a future 'Nancy For Frank' show."

    "Note to Mr. Granata: Siriusly Sinatra satellite radio is giving twice-a-day airplay now to "my favorite living singer" Calabria Foti. A moment ago they played the title track from my favorite of her albums, recorded several years ago, 'Lovely Way to Spend an Evening." Still my favorite of her albums.

    Against the day that you and Nancy finally include Calabria Foti on one of your shows, please obtain that CD, "A Lovely Way to Spend an Evening." My favorite track on the CD of that name (since you ask) is a Nat Cole song you have never heard of: LOVE ME, AS THOUGH THERE WERE NO TOMORROW. If you share only one track of Calabria on a future NFF, please make it that one. Nat Cole, who would have turned 100 this year, will smile down on you and say: "Better (even) than my original. That gal can sing!"

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