Throughout much of the United States, tobacco is demonized. Many municipalities have outlawed smoking in public places and even restaurants. And some states have sued the tobacco industry, using the proceeds to cover medical costs associated with smoking, or to pay for anti-tobacco public relations campaigns.
However, tobacco has inadvertently contributed to a fine jazz album by tenor sax legend Ernie Krivda. A tax on tobacco in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, supports the arts. That led to a $20,000 grant that sparked Krivda’s CD and DVD project, which pays tribute to the late American Splendor author, Harvey Pekar. Blues for Pekar (Capri Records, 2011) is a set of seven Krivda arrangements of be-bop tunes, all done in full-length concert format, but without a live audience.
Krivda is accompanied on all tracks by The Detroit Connection: Claude Black on piano, Marion Hayden on bass and Renell Gonsalves on drums. Guest musicians are Sean Jones, trumpet, and Dominick Farinacci, trumpet and flugelhorn.