Gene Lees

Gene’s Contributions

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January/February 2001    Features

Dave Frishberg & Bob Dorough: Dave’s on First, Bob’s on Deck

A few years ago, I was having dinner with my old friend Dave Frishberg. He was pleased to learn that I find writing lyrics very hard: “Waltz for Debby” took me a year. I told him that Johnny Mercer took a year to complete “Skylark.” That equally pleased...

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July/August 2000    Features

Flip Phillips: Ever Green

Whether Flip Phillips invented the expression or picked it up somewhere is hard to say, but in 1994 , commenting on his age, he said, “You learn not to buy any green bananas.” That pessimistic prognosis has proved unjustified. Phillips just passed his th...

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January/February 2000    Features

Renee Rosnes: Cultural Blessings

With the cresting of the career of pianist Renee Rosnes, India would appear to have an unlikely international jazz star. Indeed, she arrived via Canada, and when she was growing up, Renee did not herself know she was Indian. Thereby hangs a poignant tale...

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December 1999    Features

Kenny Wheeler: Slowly but Surely

Montreal, Canada, 1952. Kenny Wheeler and I were in the Cafe St. Michel, in what was then a black neighborhood. It was close to the two major railway terminals, and the railway porters lived there. They intensely opposed any incursion of whites into their...

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September 1999    Features

Diana Krall: An Intimate Portrait

“Stage lights love her,” I told Johnny Mandel when I got home to California. “So does the camera,” he said. That is why they have started using her as a fashion model. She is the hottest thing that’s happened to jazz in years. It was Johnny who turned me...

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July/August 1999    Features

Bucky Pizzarelli: The Master's Touch

Bucky Pizzarelli remembers vividly the impact that George Van Eps had on guitarists in New York City. Van Eps, like Bucky a New Jersey native—he was born in Plainfield—had established himself in California. “He was one of my heroes,” Bucky said. “I used...

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May 1999    Features

Jon Hendricks & Annie Ross: Together Alone

“I’ve been going back and listening to some of the old Miles Davis stuff that I had gotten away from for years.“I pulled up Nefertiti and Sorcerer and stuff like that. I had gotten away from that because we were labeled such Miles disciples that I wanted...

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About Gene Lees

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