Paul Simon and Wynton Marsalis
courtesy Jazz at Lincoln Center
Friday, April 20
Better than: Fighting the jazz wars.
"My father was the family bassman," sang Paul Simon on a song from Simon and Garfunkel's last album, a line as true as confessional poetry. Like Paul McCartney and Elvis Costello, Simon grew up as the son of a bandleader (who led a big band for years under the name "Lee Simms"), and he would watch backstage at the Roseland Ballroom while his father prepared charts by Ellington and sequoias of swing, explaining to his son how he would rotate the keys of each song so that the listenerwhether musically literate or notwould feel refreshed. (Paul Simon explained this method to Dick Cavett when he was trying to come up with a bridge to "Still Crazy After All These Years.")More »