Crewe, one of the most successful songwriters and producers in pop-music history, died on Thursday at 82 after a long illness. It's a personal loss for me, because I got to know Crewe a bit when I helped produce and write liner notes for a box set of Four Seasons' hits in 2007.
His latest project is a labor of love for him -- it's a documentary called Keep On Keepin' On that pays tribute to his mentor, trumpet legend Clark Terry as the 93-year-old struggles with failing health while still teaching another generation of musicians.
Natalie Merchant: "We're watching what's happened in other states with the contamination of aquifers and the devastation of previously rural areas that are now highly industrialized. There's also quite a bit of contamination of the air that occurs with hydraulic fracturing."
Ron Weisner: "When you're involved in the music world that I've been involved with, I was in the record end of it first and then the management next, then the television live concert world, and each relates to each other in a different way."
José James: "Hearing a musician make music that has no commercial intent is pretty amazing. It feels different. I kind of wanted to tap into some of that energy and bring it on the album. Hopefully in a small way it's there."
I recently sat down with jazz pop sensation Nikki Yanofsky, and what I discovered was a cool, bright, articulate, grounded young woman who knows what she wants, is doing what she loves and is chasing her passion with fierce determination.
"Back in my teens, New York WAS the music business. ... I'd go up to Harlem to buy my records. It was a straight line on the D train from King's Highway to 125th street, and they had great record stores up there. ... I mean, I just couldn't think of a better place to be."
"Our participants come to the Workshop at a critical point in their careers. We identify them just before they launch and provide a training ground for them to hone the skills they will need to succeed. Think of it as a finishing school." - ASCAP's Jennifer Harmon
Four years ago, the untimely passing of Michael Jackson sent a shockwave through the entire globe. Many tears were shed by his adoring fans. Impromptu celebrations transpired across the world to honor his grand memory.
That is the question posed by one of the musicians in Judy Chaikin's illuminating and joyful new documentary The Girls in the Band, and one of the best lines in the film pointing up the challenges faced by female jazz musicians in the 30's, as well as today.