Archive | 7:54 pm

Lee Morgan – Pure Hard Bop

16 Oct

Lee Morgan is perhaps my favorite trumpeter from the Hard Bop era of Jazz. Not much footage has survived, so take time to enjoy this performance of “Ginza.” This snippet was filmed in London in 1965 — seven years before Morgan was shot to death on stage by a jealous woman. That’s the wonderful Art Blakey on percussion.

Cafe Havana in Oneco, FL

16 Oct

Cafe Havana is on 63rd Street in little Oneco, Florida. Oneco is a tiny crossroads located about midway between Sarasota and Bradenton. The local population is heavily Hispanic, so this is a good place to drop a Cuban cafe. After getting a taste earlier in the week at Jose’s in Bradenton, I decided to do a little compare and contrast at this roadside oasis. Nice joint inside — quite a bit larger than the cozy confines at Jose’s.

Pictured above is the Lechon (pork) Cuban sandwich with grilled onions. I ordered this for lunch — along with a 12 oz. Jarritos Madarin soft drink. The menu made the sandwich sound quite a bit better than it actually was. Expecting citrus marinated strands of pork laced with carmelized grilled onions, I was disappointed to find the pork came in small squares that were luke warm and pretty flavorless. The bread was good and, after liberally applying some salt and Tampa-made Valencia brand Hot Sauce, I was ultimately able to choke it all down without too much difficulty. It was OK, I guess. But it surely paled in comparison to Jose’s delectible Cuban sandwich.

The highlight of this particular meal was the platter of sweet fried Maduros (plantains). These babies were cooked to perfection and I polished them off in short order. I would encourage you to stop by if you’re in the neighborhood. Just don’t order the pork with onions sandwich since there appear to be many other more promising options on the rather copious lunch menu at Cafe Havana.

“Manny Being Manny”

16 Oct

Ever wonder who first uttered this famous catch phrase?


The very first usage of the phrase in print was attributed to then-Indians Manager Mike Hargrove in a 1995 Newsday story. By then, Manny had already developed a reputation for his singular obsession with baseball and his aloofness regarding everything else. (His high school coach said: “If I told Manny to be there for a game at 1 p.m., he was there two hours early. If I said the team picture was at 1 p.m., he’d forget and not show up.”) While referring to one such incident, in which Ramirez had forgotten his paycheck in a pair of boots at a visitor’s clubhouse, writer Jon Heyman picked up on an interesting quote from Hargrove, “That’s just Manny being Manny,” he said. “He’s a lot better than he was two years ago.”

Translation: Manny’s spacey and little strange, but he’s still a kid. Give him a few years and this kind of behavior will be a thing of the past. Or not.

Sour Orange Mojo Recipe

16 Oct

My recent blog on Jose’s Cuban Restaurant raised questions about the mysterious Sour Orange. A picture of this bumpy looking fruit can be seen above. We have also included a recipe for Sour Orange Mojo marinade. This stuff will truly wake up chicken or pork. Give it a try.

6 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 Scotch bonnet chili, stemmed, seeded, and minced
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons whole cumin seeds, freshly toasted
1 cup pure olive oil
1/3 cup sour orange juice (substitute 1/3 cup combined orange & lime juices)
2 teaspoons Spanish sherry vinegar
Freshly toasted and ground black pepper, to taste

In a mortar mash the raw garlic, Scotch bonnet, salt, and cumin until fairly smooth. Scrape this into a bowl and set aside.

In a saucepan over medium heat, warm the oil until just hot and pour it over the garlic-chili mix, stirring the ingredients. Remove the pan from the heat and let it stand for 10 minutes.

Whisk in the sour orange juice and the vinegar. Season with pepper. Refrigerated, this will keep up to 3 months.

Note: You can use the remaining mojo as a marinade for just about anything.

Gene Krupa – The Original Rock Star

16 Oct

I recently watched Sal Mineo star in “The Gene Krupa Story.”

Fairly run of the mill Hollywood bio pic, but Mineo turned in a fine performance.

Sal was especially convincing in mimicking Kroop’s drumming techniques.

The video above provides evidence of Gene’s power and charisma.

Krupa was Keith Moon before there was a Keith Moon.

Note: That’s Benny Goodman on clarinet & Harry James on trumpet.