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Preview: THE FOLK WHO FEEL JAZZ

THE FOLK WHO FEEL JAZZ



So it's like this: I'm a music-writer by aspiration. Well, more of a jazz music historian, really, and I like to think I have an informed and intelligent perspective on these things. So that's what I'm writing about here, hoping that you'll help me develo



Updated: 2017-09-01T03:42:15.189-07:00

 



VICTOR BAILEY

2010-04-07T21:36:08.449-07:00

VICTOR BAILEYelectric bass A true champion of the electric bass guitar, Victor Bailey has distinguished himself as one of the greats on that instrument in the service of Weather Report, Weather Update, Steps Ahead, The Zawinul Syndicate and Madonna. As a leader he brings his impressive facility and undeniable groovepower to bear in the service of his own songs. An accomplished composer with an inherent musicality that goes well beyond the bass, Bailey strikes a nice balance between virtuosic chops and solid tunesmithing on Lowblow, his second recording as a leader and his debut on ESC Records. Although it has been ten years between albums (his Bottom's Up on Atlantic came out 1990), the timing of Bailey's Lowblow is right on the money. "In the last 20 years, by the time that my generation of guys was mature enough to become artists, everything became so different," he says. "Straight ahead became the sound of 30 or 40 years ago. And electric music became smooth jazz. I think a lot of us reached a point where we got fed up. I hadn't made a record in ten years because every label wanted the radio thing. It took me that long time to run into a label guy (ESC Record's Joachim Becker) who would let me just play my bass and record the music I wanted to record." In tandem with a pair of unparalleled drummers in Omar Hakim and Dennis Chambers, Bailey grooves with authority on tunes like "Sweet Tooth", "Knee-Jerk Reaction" and the exceedingly funky Larry Graham tribute "Graham Cracker". Special guests Bill Evans and Kenny Garrett contribute their own virtuosity on soprano sax while stellar support is also given by Wayne Krantz on guitar, Jim Beard, Michael Bearden and Henry Hey on keyboards. The burning samba flavored "Brain Teaser" is a stunning showcase of Victor's single note prowess while the lovely, melancholy ballad "She Left Me" features some of his most lyrical playing on the record. He affects a warm, rounded upright bass tone on the piano trio ballad "Babytalk", which features Jim Beard on the Wurlitzer piano and Dennis Chambers flaunting some supple brushwork. The title track highlights Victor's vocal scatting in union with his tight, staccato basslines and "Feels Like a Hug" is a melodic vehicle underscored by cleanly picked arpeggios and synth bass while also featuring some two handed tapping excursions on Victor's solo.Easily the most inspired track on Lowblow is Bailey's vocal treatment of the Jaco Pastorious signature piece "Continuum". Having memorized the song and the solo note for note when he was still a teenager, Victor would later put heartfelt words to the tune in memory of the late, great bassist who was such a towering influence on so many players. "I wrote those lyrics about a week after Jaco died," says Victor. "I can't even say that I wrote it... it just came through me. I wrote the lyrics exactly as they are in about ten minutes. I didn't change a word from that first writing. They just kind of flowed out and it just happened. Of course, I knew the whole thing intimately because I spent half of my childhood practicing it. Every day after school I had my routine of things that I would do. And one was to play 'Continuum'. I mean, I layed that song every day. To this day I can put that record on every day and listen to it. So I really knew the solo well and it seemed like the words already there. It was one truly inspired moment. It just happened and I'm very proud of it." A native Philadelphian and current resident of Los Angeles, Bailey is a link in that long lineage of Philly bass that has produced such extraordinary players as Jymie Merritt, Tyrone Browne, Alphonso Johnson, Stanley Clarke, Jaco Pastorious, Jamaaladeen Tacuma, Charles Fambrough, Gerald Veasley and Christian McBride. And yet, he maintains that his mission on Lowblow went beyond that deep bass tradition. "The main thing that I'm trying to show as a recording artist is that I'm not a bass player," he maintains. "I don't play the bass, I play music. It just so happens that the instrument that I specialize in is the bass. In this po[...]



STEVE SWALLOW

2009-03-12T21:10:47.400-07:00

Birth name Steve SwallowBorn October 4, 1940 (age 68)Origin Fair Lawn, New Jersey, U.S.Genre(s) JazzOccupation(s) Double bassist, Electric bassistInstrument(s) Double bass, Electric BassAssociated acts Jimmy Giuffre, Art Farmer, Carla Bley, John Scofield,Steve Swallow (born October 4, 1940) is a jazz bass guitarist and composer born in Fair Lawn, New Jersey.As a child, Swallow studied piano and trumpet before turning to the double bass at age 14. While attending a prep school, he began trying his hand in jazz improvisation. In 1960 he left Yale, where he was studying composition, and settled in New York City, playing at the time in Jimmy Giuffre's trio along with Paul Bley. Since joining Art Farmer's quartet in 1964, Swallow began to write. It is in the 1960s that his long-term association with Gary Burton's various bands began.In the early 1970s, Swallow switched exclusively to bass guitar, of which he prefers the 5-string variety. Along with Bob Cranshaw, Swallow was among the first jazz bassists to do so (with much encouragement from Roy Haynes, Swallow's favorite drummer). He plays with a pick (made of copper by Hotlicks), and his style involves intricate solos in the upper register; he was one of the early adopters of the high C string on a bass guitar.In 1974-76 Swallow taught at the Berklee College of Music. It is often speculated that he had an influence on the contents of The Real Book, which includes a fair number of his early compositions. He later recorded an album of the same name, with the picture of a well-worn, coffee-stained Real Book on the cover.In 1978 Swallow became an essential and constant member of Carla Bley's band. He toured extensively with John Scofield in the early 1980s, and had returned to this collaboration several times over the years.Swallow had consistently won the electric bass category in Down Beat yearly polls, both Critics' and Readers', since the mid-80s. His compositions have been covered by, among others, Jim Hall (who recorded his very first tune, "Eiderdown"), Bill Evans, Chick Corea, Stan Getz and Gary Burton.Quotations"I believe it's written somewhere: 'Steve Swallow has to sit uneasily at the piano for ten hours before receiving his next idea,' so I sit there as patiently as possible. Eventually, an idea always comes...""Occasionally, when I run into a great bass backstage at a festival I'll play a few notes on the low E string, just to feel the instrument vibrate against my belly."---------------Steve Swallow was born in New York City in 1940, and spent his childhood in Fair Lawn, New Jersey. Berfore turning to the acoustic bass at age 14, he studied piano (with Howard Kasschau, who also taught Nelson Riddle) and trumpet. His otherwise miserable adolescence was brightened by his discovery of jazz. He took many of his first stabs at improvisation with Ian Underwood (who subsequently became a Mother Of Invention and an L.A. studio ace), with whom he attended a swank New England private school. During his years at Yale University he studied composition with Donald Martino and played dixieland with many of the greats, including Pee Wee Russell, Buck Clayton and Vic Dickenson. In 1960 he met Paul and Carla Bley, left Yale in a hurry, moved to New York City, and began to play with Paul Bley, The Jimmy Giuffre Trio and George Russell’s sextet, which featured Eric Dolphy and Thad Jones. He also performed in the early '60s with Joao Gilberto, Sheila Jordan, and bands led by Benny Goodman, Marian McPartland, Chico Hamilton, Al Cohn and Zoot Sims, Clark Terry and Bob Brookmeyer and Chick Corea.In 1964 he joined The Art Farmer Quartet featuring Jim Hall, and began writing music. Many of his songs have been recorded by prominent jazz artists, including Bill Evans, Chick Corea, Stan Getz, Gary Burton, Art Farmer, Phil Woods, Jack DeJohnette, Steve Kuhn and Lyle Mays. And he was recently sampled by a Tribe Called Quest. He toured from late 1965 through 1967 with The Stan Getz Quartet, which also included Gary Burton (replaced in 1967 by Chick Corea) and Roy[...]



CANNONBALL ADDERLEY

2009-03-15T00:28:54.228-07:00

Download music!: Cannonball Adderley-Walk Tall;  Cannonball Adderley-Stars Fell on Alabam; Cannonball Adderley-Wabash "He had a certain spirit. You couldn't put your finger on it, but it was there in his playing every night." --Miles Davis---------------Julian Edwin "Cannonball" Adderley (September 15, 1928 – August 8, 1975), was a jazz alto saxophonist of the small combo era of the 1950s and 1960s. Originally from Tampa, Florida, he moved to New York in the mid 1950s.He was the brother of jazz cornetist Nat Adderley.Educator and saxophonistHis educational career was long established prior to teaching applied instrumental music classes at Dillard High School in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Cannonball was a local legend in Florida until he moved to New York City in 1955.He joined the Miles Davis sextet in 1957, around the time that John Coltrane left the group to join Thelonious Monk's band. (Coltrane would return to Davis's group in 1958). Adderley played on the seminal Davis records Milestones and Kind of Blue. This period also overlapped with pianist Bill Evans's time with the sextet, an association that led to recording Portrait of Cannonball and Know What I Mean?.His interest as an educator carried over to his recordings. In 1961, Cannonball narrated The Child's Introduction to Jazz, released on Riverside Records.Band leaderThe Cannonball Adderley Quintet featured Cannonball on alto sax and his brother Nat Adderley on cornet. Adderley's first quintet was not very successful. However, after leaving Davis' group, he reformed another, again with his brother, which enjoyed more success.The new quintet (which later became the Cannonball Adderley Sextet), and Cannonball's other combos and groups, included such noted musicians as:pianists Bobby Timmons, Victor Feldman, Joe Zawinul (later of Weather Report), Hal Galper, Michael Wolff and George Dukebassists Sam Jones, Walter Booker and Victor Gaskindrummers Louis Hayes and Roy McCurdysaxophonists Charles Lloyd and Yusef Lateef.The sextet was noteworthy towards the end of the 1960s for achieving crossover success with pop audiences, but doing it without making artistic concessions. Later lifeBy the end of 1960s, Adderley's playing began to reflect the influence of the electric jazz avant-garde, and Miles Davis' experiments on the album Bitches Brew. On his albums from this period, such as The Price You Got to Pay to Be Free (1970), he began doubling on soprano saxophone, showing the influence of John Coltrane and Wayne Shorter. In that same year, his quintet appeared at the Monterey Jazz Festival in California, and a brief scene of that performance was featured in the 1971 psychological thriller Play Misty for Me, starring Clint Eastwood. In 1975 he also appeared (in an acting role alongside Jose Feliciano and David Carradine) in the episode "Battle Hymn" in the third season of the TV series Kung Fu.Adderley died of a stroke in 1975. He was buried in the Southside Cemetery, Tallahassee, Florida. Later that year he was inducted into the Down Beat Jazz Hall of Fame.  Joe Zawinul's composition "Cannon Ball" (recorded on Weather Report's album Black Market) is a tribute to his former leader.Songs made famous by Adderley and his bands include "This Here" (written by Bobby Timmons), "The Jive Samba," "Work Song" (written by Nat Adderley), "Mercy, Mercy, Mercy" (written by Joe Zawinul) and "Walk Tall" (written by Zawinul, Marrow and Rein). A cover version of Pops Staples' "Why (Am I Treated So Bad)?" also entered the charts.Adderley was a member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity of America Incorporated (Xi Omega, Frostburg State University, '70), the largest and oldest secret society in music and Alpha Phi Alpha, the oldest existing intercollegiate Greek-letter fraternity established for African Americans (made Beta Nu chapter, Florida A&M University).---------------Biography by Scott YanowOne of the great alto saxophonists, Cannonball Adderley had an exuberant and happy sound that communicated immediately to listeners. [...]



KEITH JARRETT

2009-03-12T21:24:42.450-07:00

Download Music!: Keith Jareet-Body And Soul; Keith Jarrett-My Song; Keith Jarrett-For YawuhKeith Jarrett (born May 8, 1945 in Allentown, Pennsylvania) is an American pianist, composer and jazz icon.His career started with Art Blakey, Charles Lloyd and Miles Davis. Since the early 1970s he has enjoyed a great deal of success in both classical music and jazz, as a group leader and a solo performer. His improvisation technique combines not only jazz, but also other forms of music, especially classical, gospel, blues and ethnic folk music.In 2003 he received the Polar Music Prize, being the first (and to this day only) recipient not sharing the prize with anyone else.Early yearsJarrett grew up in suburban Allentown, Pennsylvania with a significant exposure to music. He displayed prodigious talents as a young child and possessed absolute pitch or perfect pitch. He played his first formal public concert to paying customers at the age of six and it ended with two of his own compositions. He took intensive classical lessons, and particularly enjoyed playing compositions by Bartok. In his teens, as a student at Emmaus High School, he learned jazz and quickly became proficient in it. At one point, he had an offer to study composition with the legendary Nadia Boulanger in Paris; this was amiably turned down by Jarrett and his mother. In his early teens, he developed a stronger interest in the contemporary jazz scene: he recalls a Dave Brubeck show as an early inspiration.Following his graduation from Emmaus High School in 1963, Jarrett moved from Allentown to Boston, Massachusetts, where he attended the Berklee College of Music and played cocktail piano. Jarrett then moved to New York City, where he played at the renowned Village Vanguard club.In New York, Art Blakey hired him to play with his Jazz Messengers band, and he subsequently became a member of the Charles Lloyd Quartet (a group which included Jack DeJohnette, a frequent musical partner throughout Jarrett's career). The Lloyd quartet's 1966 album Forest Flower was one of the most successful jazz recordings of the late 1960s. Jarrett also started to record as a leader at this time, in a trio with Charlie Haden and Paul Motian. Jarrett's first album as a leader, Life Between The Exit Signs (1967), appeared around this time on the Vortex label, to be followed by Restoration Ruin (1968), which is easily the most bizarre entry in the Jarrett catalog. Not only does Jarrett barely touch the piano, he plays all the other instruments on what is essentially a folk-rock album, and even does all the singing. Another trio album with Haden and Motian followed later in 1968, this one recorded live for the Atlantic label and called Somewhere Before.Miles DavisWhen the Charles Lloyd quartet came to an end, Jarrett was asked to join the Miles Davis group after Miles heard Jarrett in a New York City club. During his tenure with Davis, he played both Fender Contempo electronic organ and Fender Rhodes electric piano, alternating with Chick Corea; after Corea left, he often played the two simultaneously. Despite Jarrett's dislike of amplified music and electric instruments, he stayed on out of his respect for Davis and his wish to work again with DeJohnette. Jarrett can be heard on five of Davis's albums, Miles Davis at Fillmore: Live at the Fillmore East, The Cellar Door Sessions (recorded December 16–December 19, 1970 at a club in Washington, DC) and Live-Evil, which was largely composed of heavily-edited Cellar Door recordings. The extended sessions from these recordings can be heard on The Complete Cellar Door Sessions. He also plays electric organ on Get Up with It; the song he features on, "Honky Tonk", is an edit of a track available in full on The Complete Jack Johnson Sessions. In addition, part of a track called "Konda" (rec. on May 21st, 1970) was released during Davis' late-70's retirement on an album called Directions (1976). The track features an extended Fender-Rhodes piano introduction by Jarrett[...]



OMAR FARUK TEKBILEK

2009-03-13T19:40:32.894-07:00

Download Music!: Omar Faruk Tekbilek w/ Steve Shehan-Ya Bouy; Omar Faruk Tekbilek-Ilahiler; Omar Faruk Tekbilek w/ Richard Hagopian-Kadife  BiographyHonored as a peacemaker and virtuoso, Omar Faruk Tekbilek is now one of the most sought-after musicians, whose work transcends political boundaries while maintaining traditional sensibilities in a way few artists can manage.Download Music!: Omar Faruk Tekbilek Ft Steve Shehan-Ya Bouy; Omar Faruk Tekbilek Ft Richard Hagopian-Kadife; Omar Faruk Tekbilek-IlahilerOmar Faruk was a musical prodigy. He was born in Adana, Turkey to a musical family who nurtured his precocious talents. At the age of eight, he began his musical career by developing proficiency on the kaval, a small diatonic flute.At the same time he studied religion with thoughts of becoming a cleric, or Imam. His musical interests were being nurtured by his older brother and by a sympathetic uncle who owned a music store and who provided lessons. “He had a music store, and he also had another job during the day. So he told me to come after school, open the store, and - in exchange - he gave me lessons.” While working in the store, Omar Faruk learned the intricate rhythms of Turkish music, how to read scales, and other rudiments. He was trained on and eventually mastered several instruments; ney (bamboo flute), zurna (double-reed oboe like instrument with buzzing tone), the baglama (long-necked lute), the oud (the classic lute), as well as percussion. By the age of twelve he began performing professionally at local hot spots. In 1967, upon turning sixteen, he moved to Istanbul where he and his brother spent the following decade as in-demand session musicians. Omar Faruk stayed true to his folkloric roots, but during this period of frenetic session work in the metropolitan music scene, he explored Arabesque, Turkish, and Western styles and the compositional potential of the recording studio. In Istanbul he also met the Mevlevi Dervishes, the ancient Sufi order of Turkey. He did not join the order, but the head Neyzen (ney player), Aka Gunduz Kutbay, became another source of inspiration. Omar Faruk was profoundly influenced by their mystical approach and fusion of sound and spirit. During that time he was introduced to Hatha Yoga and eventually to Tai Chi and Chi Qong, which he continues to practice daily.Omar Faruk’s skills in the studio blossomed in Istanbul playing with some of the leading Turkish musicians of the day including Orhan Gencebay, flute and saxophone player Ismet Siral, percussionist Burhan Tonguc and singers Ahmet Sezgin, Nuri Sesiguzel, Mine Kosan and Huri Sapan to name a few. After establishing himself as one of the top session musicians in Turkey, he began touring Europe and Australia. By 1971 at the age of 20, he made his first tour of the United States as a member of a Turkish classical/folk ensemble. It was while touring in the US that he met his future wife, Suzan, and in 1976 he relocated to upstate New York to marry her. Omar Faruk found very few options for a Turkish musician in the US, so he formed a band called the Sultans with an Egyptian keyboardist, a Greek bouzouki player, and his brother-in-law on percussion. It started as a pop band but very quickly turned into a sort of Pan-Near Eastern ensemble. They began to attract some attention within the circle of Middle Eastern dance fans. They managed to record five albums during this time, but Omar Faruk was still unknown outside his local musical community. This was all about to change with the fateful meeting with Brian Keane in 1988. In the following years, he and Keane would produce another six recordings together, launching Omar Faruk boldly into the world music scene.Omar Faruk Tekbilek has since established himself as one of the world's foremost exponents of Middle Eastern music. A multi-instrumentalist par excellence, he has collaborated with a number of leading musicians of international repute such as jazz trumpet[...]



ERIC DOLPHY

2009-03-13T19:43:11.343-07:00

Eric Allan Dolphy (June 20, 1928 – June 29, 1964) was an American jazz alto saxophonist, flautist, and bass clarinetist.Download Music!:  Eric Dolphy-Les; Eric Dolphy-Out To Lunch; Eric Dolphy-Stormy WeatherDolphy was one of several groundbreaking jazz alto players to rise to prominence in the 1960s. He was also the first important bass clarinet soloist in jazz, and among the earliest significant flute soloists.His improvisational style was characterized by the use of wide intervals based largely on the twelve tone scale, in addition to using an array of extended techniques to reproduce human- and animal-like effects which almost literally made his instruments speak. Although Dolphy's work is sometimes classified as free jazz, his compositions and solos had a logic uncharacteristic of many other free jazz musicians of the day; even as such, he was considered an avant-garde improviser. In the years after his death, his music was described as being "too out to be in and too in to be out."Dolphy posthumously became an inductee of the Down Beat Jazz Hall of Fame in 1964.BiographyEarly lifeDolphy was born in Los Angeles and was educated at Los Angeles City College. He performed locally for several years, most notably as a member of bebop big bands led by Gerald Wilson and Roy Porter. On early recordings, he occasionally played soprano clarinet and baritone saxophone, as well as his main instrument, the alto saxophone. Dolphy finally had his big break as a member of Chico Hamilton's quintet. With the group he became known to a wider audience and was able to tour extensively through 1959, when he parted ways with Hamilton and moved to New York City.Early partnershipsColtrane had gained an audience and critical notice with Miles Davis's quintet. Although Coltrane's quintets with Dolphy (including the Village Vanguard and Africa/Brass sessions) are now legendary, they provoked Down Beat magazine to brand Coltrane and Dolphy's music as 'anti-jazz'. Coltrane later said of this criticism: "they made it appear that we didn't even know the first thing about music (...) it hurt me to see [Dolphy] get hurt in this thing."The initial release of Coltrane's stay at the Vanguard selected three tracks, only one of which featured Dolphy. After being issued haphazardly over the next 30 years, a comprehensive box set featuring all of the recorded music from the Vanguard was released by Impulse! in 1997. The Complete 1961 Village Vanguard Recordings carried over 15 tracks featuring Dolphy on alto saxophone and bass clarinet, adding a new dimension to these already classic recordings. A later Pablo box set from Coltrane's European tours of the early 1960s collected more recordings with Dolphy for the buying public.During this period, Dolphy also played in a number of challenging settings, notably in key recordings by Ornette Coleman (Free Jazz: A Collective Improvisation), arranger Oliver Nelson (The Blues and the Abstract Truth and Straight Ahead) and George Russell (Ezz-thetics), but also with Gunther Schuller, Max Roach and Abbey Lincoln, multi-instrumentalist Ken McIntyre, and bassist Ron Carter among others.As a leader Dolphy's recording career as a leader began with the Prestige label. His association with the label spanned across 13 albums recorded from April 1960 to September 1961, though he was not the leader for all of the sessions. Prestige eventually released a 9-CD box set containing all of Dolphy's recorded output for the label.Dolphy's first two albums as leader were Outward Bound and Out There. The first, more accessible and rooted in the style of bop than some later releases, was recorded at Rudy Van Gelder's studio in New Jersey with hard-bop trumpeter Freddie Hubbard. However the album still offered up challenging performances, which at least partly accounts for the record label's choice to include "out" in the title. Out There is closer to the third stream music which would also form part[...]



JAZZ, STRUGGLES TO SURVIVE

2009-03-06T08:59:35.828-08:00

More often than not, the American legacy in this country is perceived negatively; it is invariably associated with capitalism. However, there is one legacy that has remained and needs to be nurtured: Jazz. According to www.wartajazz.com, in its interview with Sudibyo Pr., an architect and jazz aficionado, the history of jazz in Indonesia dates back to 1922, when Dutch colonialists brought jazz records here. There was also a Dutch saxophone player who came to this country after staying for a long time in the United States, and formed a jazz band here with his fellow Dutchmen. In that early period of jazz here, the music was played mostly by Dutch Indonesians, with very few locals tuned into it. Although reports stated that the first Indonesian jazz musician was an Acehnese. Aside from the Dutch, sources said that the jazz waves were also brought in by Filipino musicians who came to Jakarta from 1925 to 1927. Some of their descendants even still live in Bandung, according to Sudibyo, namely Benny Pablo, Benny Corda and Sambayong, among others. Jazz in the early years here was centered in Jakarta; Bandung and Bogor in West Java; Surabaya in East Java and Makassar in South Sulawesi. The music at that time was more of an entertainment, rather than an art form as it is perceived today. Jazz musicians comprised of military officers, as musical instruments were still rare, who played for the Dutch and upper-class Indonesians. A little note on the lack of instruments, only jazz bands at that time used drums because they were expensive. Therefore, drums were equated with jazz and people called a band a "jazz band" when it had a set of drums. The first Indonesian jazz bands probably comprised of army cadets living in Yogyakarta circa 1948. Some of them then moved to Jakarta, and played Hawaiian pop and then later on light jazz like Manhattan Transfer. The musicians who rose in popularity at that time were Boetje Pesolima, Doddy Hughes, Dick Van Der Capellen and Tjok Sin Soe. There was also Sigar Lucky Brothers, who moved to California for better prospects, pianist Nick Mamahit, Iskandar (father of singer Diah Iskandar) and Etto Lattumeten who established a band called Dixieland. At the end of the 1940s, there was an excellent pianist Marihut Hutabarat referred to as the Indonesian George Shearing, who died young in an accident. Afterward there was the generation of Paul Hutabarat, Eddie Gatot, Bill Saragih and also Bing Slamet. Bing Slamet, who took his first name from his idol Bing Crosby, was better known as a comedian. But he actually was an excellent jazz vocalist and guitarist. And then, of course, there were the late Jack Lesmana and (still going strong) Bubi Chen. After his first performance at the Berlin Jazz Festival in 1967, Bubi was highly praised and even called by Downbeat magazine as "The best in Asia" and even "One of the best in the world." Jazz continued to develop in Indonesia, albeit slowly. The 1980s was probably the last decade when jazz reigned supreme in this country, with jazz bands like Karimata, and Krakatau (albeit more fusion), with jazz vocalists like Ermy Kulit and Rien Djamain excelling in the Top 40 charts. It has not been a pretty picture since then, with jazz remaining a very segmented genre. Jack's son Indra Lesmana, who was hailed as a jazz whiz-kid, even had (and still has) to stray into pop to survive, and so do other musicians. Pianist Chandra Darusman of Karimata became an activist for intellectual property rights, while Krakatau has veered heavily into ethnic music nowadays. Jazz events like Jak Jazz went kaput, while Jazz Goes To Campus, the biggest and the longest running jazz festival, became stagnant. Sudibyo said that the lack of appreciation for jazz is natural as even in the United States, jazz was abandoned in its early days. Besides, jazz is not that easy to digest, which is a bit ironic because back [...]



BUBI CHEN

2009-03-10T06:59:37.595-07:00

(image) Bubi Chen is one of Indonesia’ best-known jazz musicians and has an outstanding international reputation. Bubi Chen’s career as a jazz pianist has spanned over four decades through which he has recorded an album in Los Angeles with world’s class musicians John Heard and Albert “Tootie” Heath and several solo albums recorded in Indonesia and Singapore. At Berlin Jazz Festival in 1967 he played with Tony Scott and Phylly Joe Jones. In addition he also played and recorded numerous album with Singapore’ greatest jazz pianist Jeremy Montero.

The virtuoso performer was born in 1938 in Surabaya the second largest city in Indonesia where he spends most of his time. He grew up in a musician household, where his older brothers Teddy and Jopie were both known as respected jazz musicians during 60s and 70s. In fact, Bubi and Jopie were part of the highly acclaimed Indonesian All Stars who made history in performing at Berlin Jazz Festival in 1967. It was the first Indonesian jazz band performed at an (image) International jazz festival. Indonesian All Stars comprise of Kiboud Maulana (guitar), Jack Lesmana (guitar), Benny Mustafa (drums), Maryono (sax), Jopie Chen (bass) and Bubi Chen (piano). Their own composition, “Janger Bali” that blended ethnic music of Bali and straight ahead jazz, has received outstanding review from many jazz observers.

In 1968, Bubi was voted in the DownBeat magazine reader polls as one of 5 best jazz pianists in the World and the best in Asia. He is the first Asian jazz musician ever voted in reader polls of the prestigious jazz magazine. Together with the late Maryono (sax), Perry Pattiselano (bass), Benny Mustafa (drums) he revived Indonesian All Stars and performed at the North Sea Jazz Festival in 1992. His solo album “Virtuoso” was released in 1995 with the support of Belinda Moody (bass) and Louis Soliano (drum).




MATTHEW GARRISON

2009-03-06T07:05:40.459-08:00

Matt's BioMatthew Garrison was born June 2, 1970 in New York. Here he spent the first eight years of his life immersed in a community of musicians, dancers, visual artists and poets. After the death of his father Jimmy Garrison (John Coltrane's bassist), his family relocated to Rome, Italy where he began to study piano and bass guitar. In 1988 Matthew returned to the United States and lived with his godfather Jack Dejohnette for two years. Here he studied intensively with both Dejohnette and bassist Dave Holland. In 1989 Matthew received a full scholarship to attend Berklee College of Music in Boston. Here he began his professional career with the likes of Gary Burton, Bob Moses, Betty Carter, Mike Gibbs and Lyle Mays to mention a few. Matthew moved to Brooklyn, New York in 1994 and has performed and recorded with artists such as Herbie Hancock, Joe Zawinul, Joni Mitchell, Steve Coleman, Pat Metheny, John Mclaughlin, The Gil Evans Orchestra, John Scofield, Chaka Khan and many others.---------------Matthew Garrison is an American jazz bassist.Garrison has worked with artists such as Herbie Hancock, John McLaughlin, Chaka Khan, Joe Zawinul, the Saturday Night Live Band, John Scofield, Paul Simon and Joni Mitchell. He is the son of Jimmy Garrison, John Coltrane's bass player, and he is noted for playing his signature series Fodera bass.Garrison also recognized for having created and developed a pizzicato technique which uses four fingers. He founded his own recording label and production company in 2000 called GarrisonJazz Productions, through which he has released two CDs and a live performance DVD.---------------Matthew Garrison was born June 2, 1970 in New York. Here he spent the first eight years of his life immersed in a community of musicians, dancers, visual artists and poets. After the death of his father Jimmy Garrison (John Coltrane’s bassist), his family relocated to Rome, Italy where he began to study piano and bass guitar. In 1988 Matthew returned to the United States and lived with his godfather Jack Dejohnette for two years. Here he studied intensively with both Dejohnette and bassist Dave Holland.In 1989 Matthew received a full scholarship to attend Berklee College of Music in Boston. Here he began his professional career with the likes of Gary Burton, Bob Moses, Betty Carter, Mike Gibbs and Lyle Mays to mention a few. Matthew moved to Brooklyn, New York in 1994 and has performed and recorded with artists such as Herbie Hancock, Joe Zawinul, Meshell Ndege Ocello, Joni Mitchell, Jack Dejohnette, Steve Coleman, Cassandra Wilson, Wallace Roney, Pat Metheny, Geri Allen, Gary Thomas, John Mclaughlin, The Gil Evans Orchestra, Tito Puente, John Scofield, Chaka Khan, Michael Brecker, Randy Brecker, Mike Stern, The Saturday Night Live Band and many others.In 1998 Matthew founded GarrisonJazz Productions through which he currently Produces, Promotes and Markets his music. The latest projects are “SHAPESHIFTER” and “MATT GARRISON LIVE”. Three new projects are slated for a 2008 release.---------------Matt Garrison Shapeshifter GarrisonJazz Productions 2004 In Y2K, Bass Player Magazine pronounced Matthew Garrison's debut as having "raised the bar" for electric bass players (in an article by Chris Jisi, who recently wrote the book on modern electric bass). What next, then? Fitting in this Olympic year, Garrison steps back from the bar, raises it a foot, challenges himself to make it over and succeeds on every level, turning in the greatest solo record by an electric bassist in the post-Jaco era.Not merely a great electric bass player, he actually plays the instrument at the margins of human capability. Having captured the imaginations of the world's electric bass players and enthusiasts, he's set his sights on the ears and minds of the global audience for adventurous music. Importantly, he doe[...]



JIMMY GARRISON

2009-03-06T04:34:22.320-08:00

Remembering Jimmy GarrisonJimmy Garrison (March 3, 1933 – April 7, 1976) was an American jazz double bassist best known for his long association with John Coltrane from 1961 – 1967.BiographyHe formally joined Coltrane's quartet in 1962 as a replacement for Reggie Workman and appears on many Coltrane recordings, including A Love Supreme. During live performances of music by John Coltrane's group, the leader would often provide Garrison with time and space for an unaccompanied improvised solo (sometimes as the prelude to a song before the other musicians joined in).Garrison also had a long association with Ornette Coleman, first recording with him on Art of the Improvisers. He and drummer Elvin Jones have been credited with eliciting more forceful playing than usual from Coleman on the albums New York is Now and Love Call.Outside of the Coltrane and Coleman ensembles, Jimmy Garrison performed with jazz artists such as Kenny Dorham, Philly Joe Jones, Curtis Fuller, Benny Golson, Lennie Tristano, Lee Konitz, Jackie McLean, Pharoah Sanders, and Tony Scott, among others. After Coltrane's death, Garrison worked with Hampton Hawes, Archie Shepp, and groups led by Elvin Jones.[1]FamilyJimmy Garrison's son Matthew Garrison is also a bass player, playing mainly bass guitar. Matthew has recorded with Joe Zawinul, Chaka Khan, The Saturday Night Live Band, John McLaughlin, Joni Mitchell, Herbie Hancock, Steve Coleman and others. [2] Garrison's daughter MaiaClaire Garrison is a dancer and choreographer who worked as a child acrobat with Big Apple Circus in New York.Source: http://nightlight.typepad.com/nightlight/2005/10/remembering_jim.html---------------Biography by Chris KelseyGarrison is best known as bassist for one of the most important jazz groups, John Coltrane's classic quartet with drummer Elvin Jones and pianist McCoy Tyner. But Garrison had a full career backing other prominent saxophonists, including Pharoah Sanders, Archie Shepp, and Ornette Coleman. Garrison's work with Coleman is especially noteworthy; his earthy, hard-swinging approach contrasted greatly with the work of the saxophonist's other, more finesse-oriented bassists like David Izenson or Scott LaFaro. The Garrison/Elvin Jones rhythm section transformed Coleman on two very underrated albums made for Blue Note, New York Is Now and Love Call. Nowhere else on record does Coleman sound so consistently forceful and passionate. The lithe tunefulness that marks the saxophonist's earlier playing is augmented by a more pronounced physicality that pushes the blues aspect to the fore; this due in no small part to Garrison and Jones' focused intensity, which drives Coleman harder than he's ever been driven. Of course, it's with Coltrane that Garrison did his most enduring work. Although Garrison could be a compelling soloist when the occasion presented itself (witness his work on A Love Supreme), he didn't need the spotlight to be effective. His propulsive sense of time never failed, and his empathy with those playing around him was complete. Garrison grew up in Philadelphia, where he learned to play bass. Garrison came of age in the midst of a thriving Philadelphia jazz scene that included Tyner, fellow bassists Reggie Workman and Henry Grimes, and trumpeter Lee Morgan. Between 1957 and 1960, Garrison played and recorded with trumpeter Kenny Dorham; clarinetist Tony Scott; drummer Philly Joe Jones; and saxophonists Bill Barron, Lee Konitz, and Jackie McLean, among others. His first record with Coleman was Art of the Improvisers (Atlantic, 1959). In 1960, he made My Favorite Things (Atlantic) with Coltrane. He continued to play with Coleman and others -- Cal Massey, Walter Bishop, Jr., and Dorham, to name a few -- but by 1962 his job with Coltrane had essentially become full-time. Garrison remained with Coltrane until the sax[...]



MIKE MERRITT

2009-03-06T05:11:47.055-08:00

Michael Monroe "Mike" Merritt (born July 28, 1955) is an American bassist best known for playing with The Max Weinberg 7 on the late night television show Late Night with Conan O'Brien.Merritt was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His father is jazz bassist Jymie Merritt, who has performed and recorded with many jazz and blues musicians, most notably Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers. Mike began lessons on upright with Eligio Rossi then studies with percussionist/composer Warren McLendon. Although his father was primarily an upright bass player, he also owned a 1964 Fender Jazz Bass which Mike felt was the instrument he was meant to play. During this time Mike absorbed a number of influences ranging from jazz to rhythm and blues to blues to rock.After playing in a jazz group called Forerunner/Nuclei, Mike moved to New York in 1980 at the suggestion of the members of the Jazz Messengers. It was here that he began playing with blues legend Johnny Copeland and continued through 1989. While on the road with Copeland, he backed up Chuck Berry pianist Johnnie Johnson which led to Mike working with him off and on for the next several years.It was also around this time that Mike started gigging around the New York scene where he regularly played with future members of The Max Weinberg 7. In 1993, guitarist Jimmy Vivino called Mike about a group being put together by Max Weinberg to audition for the house band on what would become Late Night with Conan O'Brien. The band has been there for the entire run of the show.Mike plays with a strong, swinging groove whether he's playing the Late Night theme song (in which his walking bassline is prominently featured in the intro), a blues shuffle or even the barrelling 8th notes of a Ramones song.Mike plays a variety of basses including Rickenbacker, Lakland, Fender, Hofner, the Zeta Crossover bass and a 1935 Kurt Moenning 3/4’ Acoustic Bass.Mike lives in suburban New Jersey.---------------My father, Jymie Merritt, is the first bass player I’d ever known, and the reason why I do what I am doing today. He had established himself in the 50’s and 60’s on recordings and gigs with Tadd Dameron, Earl Bostic, Bullmoose Jackson, B.B. King, Art Blakey, Sonny Rollins, Chet Baker, Benny Golson, Dizzy Gillespie and many others. My mother, Dorothy, always had the house filled with great jazz sounds from artists like Ray Charles, Horace Silver, Dakota Staton, Gloria Lynne, Jimmy Smith, Charles Mingus, Wes Montgomery and some of whom, like John Coltrane and Bobby Timmons, because my father worked with them, would stop by our house every now and then. I discovered bass playing in my mid-teens when I would come up to New York and tag along with Jymie to his gigs. I always knew my dad as an upright player but when I saw that he had an electric bass, something clicked. That bass, a 1964 Fender Jazz Bass, was given to me and is the centerpiece of my bass collection and I still use it on gigs and sessions. Jymie was also one of the first jazz players to use the electric upright bass. The one he used is the Ampeg Baby Bass, which he plays on the Lee Morgan album "Live At The Lighthouse" and nowdays I'm playing one of those, too. Mine is called the Zeta Crossover Bass. Anyway, around this time I got to see my father in action on gigs and I met Lee Morgan, Max Roach, Freddie Hubbard, Clifford Jordan, Odean Pope and many other cats on the jazz scene with whom he worked.I was practically out of high school when I got serious about playing music so I studied privately for a while, taking string bass lessons with Eligio Rossi and theory at Settlement Music School. The music I was listening to and buying records of at the time were Chicago, Allman Brothers, Led Zeppelin, Cream, Creedence, Sly, the Stones, Black Sabbath, Jimi Hendrix, Joh[...]



JYMIE MERRITT

2009-03-03T22:17:29.713-08:00

Jymie Merritt (born 3 May 1926) is an American hard bop double-bassist, and a father of a bassist, Mike Merritt, from Late Night with Conan O'Brien.BiographyRaised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, he received early training as a classical bassist (double bass), but he credits the following experiences, which took place in the 1940s, as proving more significant musically: (1) his early gigs in Philadelphia, PA with pianist Hassan Ibn Ali (duo) and (2) jam sessions, often conducted at his own house, with his mother as hostess, that included such local notables at the time as Jimmy Heath, Philly Joe Jones, John Coltrane, Red Garland, Jimmy Smith, John Dennis and Benny Golson. Other early experiences included gigs with the Jimmy Campbell Quintet and the Ernie Hopkins Quartet. Jymie's first touring experience in the 1950s was with the Bull Moose Jackson Orchestra under the musical direction of Tadd Dameron. He toured also with Chris Powell and the Blue Flames (1952-55), one of the first rock groups; with blues great B.B. King; and later with Red Prysock. Jymie's early jazz instrument was the acoustic double bass. His performing instrument as a rock bassist and blues bassist was a Fender electric bass.Jymie is perhaps best known for his years touring and recording as an acoustic bassist with Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers (1958-62).A number of sources have credited Jymie Merritt with inventing the Ampeg bass, but this information is incorrect. Jymie explains his association with the Ampeg bass as follows: While he was touring with Bull Moose Jackson in the 50s, he met Everett Hull, bassist and developer of the Ampeg system for acoustic bass, and the two developed a friendship. Some years later, Hull sent Jymie a prototype of his latest product, the Ampeg five-string upright bass, which Jymie performed on from 1960 to 1985. Recordings that Jymie made with the Max Roach Quintet (1965-68) and Lee Morgan Quintet (1970-72), including Morgan's Live at the Lighthouse, employ the Ampeg bass. He also used the Ampeg with the Dizzy Gillespie Big Band and Quintet and with a number of other groups, including groups led by Lee Shaw, Al Haig, and Archie Shepp.In periods between touring, Merritt started the Forerunner movement in Philadelphia and served as its artistic guide. The Forerunners--later called Forerunner--brought together performing artists linked by ideas of community and creative exploration.From 1998 through 2005, Merritt performed weekly on the acoustic bass in a jazz duo at The Prime Rib restaurant in Philadelphia, PA.To quote reviewer Devin Leonard, "Merritt is also an interesting modern composer with a penchant for odd meters and rhythmic patterns." Merritt's newest compositions explore these patterns in a computer-driven context in which he performs on a six-string upright bass.---------------Jymie Merritt BiographyA classically trained player with a surging style characterized by the frequent use of triplet figures and putting notes ahead of the beat, Jymie Merritt made a successful switch from jazz to R&B and blues and back to jazz again in the '50s. Merritt played with John Coltrane, Benny Golson and Philly Joe Jones in 1949, but worked with Bull Moose Jackson and B.B. King playing electric bass in the early and mid-'50s. He returned to jazz when he joined Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers in the late '50s, and also went back to the acoustic. He later invented his own instrument, the Ampeg, sort of a modification hybrid of both. Merritt stayed with Blakey until 1962, then recorded with Chet Baker in 1964. Merritt played with Max Roach, Dizzy Gillespie and Lee Morgan from the mid-'60s to the early '70s. He'd helped form an organization comprised of musicians and performers from other disciplines known as The Forerunners in 1[...]



REGGIE WORKMAN

2009-03-03T20:21:33.933-08:00

Reginald "Reggie" Workman (born June 26, 1937 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) is an American avant-garde jazz and hard bop double bassist, recognized for his important work with both John Coltrane and Art Blakey.BiographyHe was a member of jazz groups led by Gigi Gryce, Roy Haynes and Red Garland. In 1961, Workman joined the John Coltrane Quartet, replacing Steve Davis. He was present for the saxophonist's legendary Live at the Village Vanguard sessions, and also appeared with a second bassist (Art Davis) on the 1961 album, Ole Coltrane. After a European tour, Workman left Coltrane's group at the end of the year. Workman also played with James Moody, Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, Yusef Lateef, Herbie Mann and Thelonious Monk. He has recorded with Archie Shepp, Lee Morgan and David Murray.He is currently a professor at The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in New York City.---------------A Fireside Chat with Reggie WorkmanWhy would someone leave the John Coltrane Quartet? That question still stigmatizes Workman forty years after his departure, overshadowing his impressive collaborations as a member of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers (with Wayne Shorter and Lee Morgan), and with Yusef Lateef, Sam Rivers, Andrew Hill, Archie Shepp, and Freddie Hubbard. So I asked. The following is my conversation with Reggie Workman, a groundbreaking bassist unfairly labeled 'avant-garde' and the before mentioned Trane water he has carried for far too long, unedited and in his own words.FRED JUNG: Let's start from the beginning.REGGIE WORKMAN: Because of environment. The environment probably prompted me to want to be a part what it was because music is a part of the environment that most of us grew up in. It was quite unlike it is today. There was a lot of live music, a lot of live venues for new music, a lot of great musicians who lived in the communities around Philadelphia, a lot of theaters, a lot of activity that would encourage a younger person to be a pert of the scene. I started as a very young person, eight or nine years old, studying piano and I think my parents recognized that. So that is the way I started as a young person. My parents probably recognized how music was a part of our community and put me in touch with some lessons and from there it grew. Now, that I look back on the situation, I realize how much the culture has to do with the evolution of a people. A lot of our institutions as a young person in the school systems and so forth didn't encourage too much cultural evolution, but that was a natural thing in our community. I think my parents recognized that and in developed from there. I stopped dealing with piano when I was about twelve years old, thirteen. The sports in the streets called me and so I got involved with that and left piano to grow into another area of life. I had a cousin, who recently passed, encouraged me. He used to stand me up by his bass and showed me how to play it and I liked that sound. Eventually, I went looking for it and so I started to play the bass in my final year of junior high school. They didn't have a bass, so I ended up playing wind instruments until a bass came, just before I graduated. Then from there, I moved over to high school, where I got an instrument and eventually got my own instrument and have been studying it ever since.FJ: Give me your impression of Lee Morgan.RW: Lee Morgan and I grew up together. We both grew up around Philadelphia and so we played a lot together around the scene. We knew one another. We knew the same people. He had a giant record collection, so we used to hang out a lot. He went to a music school in New York. We often crossed paths. He was a delightful person and tremendous talent.FJ: Wayne Shorter.RW: That happened during the[...]



ABDULLAH IBRAHIM

2009-03-13T15:45:00.865-07:00

Download Music!: Abdullah Ibrahim-Guilty; Abdullah Ibrahim-Kata; Abdullah Ibrahim-Angelica Abdullah Ibrahim (born 9 October 1934 in Cape Town, South Africa), formerly known as Adolph Johannes Brand, and as Dollar Brand, is a South African pianist and composer. His music reflects many of the musical influences of his childhood in the multicultural port areas of Cape Town, ranging from traditional African songs to the gospel of the AME Church and ragas, to more modern jazz and other Western styles. Within jazz, his music particularly reflects the influence of Thelonious Monk and Duke Ellington. With his wife, the jazz singer Sathima Bea Benjamin, he is father to the New York underground rapper Jean Grae, as well as to a son, Tsakwe.BiographyHe first received piano lessons at the age of seven, was an avid consumer of jazz records brought by American sailors, and was playing jazz professionally by 1949. In 1959 and 1960, he played alongside Kippie Moeketsi with The Jazz Epistles in Sophiatown; the group recorded the first jazz LP by Black South African musicians in 1960. Ibrahim then joined the European tour of the musical King Kong.He moved to Europe in 1962, and in February 1963, while Ibrahim was performing as “The Dollar Brand Trio” in Zürich's “Africana Club”, his wife-to-be Sathima Bea Benjamin convinced Duke Ellington to hear the trio while Ellington was in Zürich on a European tour. As a result, a recording session was set up with Reprise Records: Duke Ellington presents The Dollar Brand Trio. A second recording of the trio (also with Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn on piano) performing with Sathima as vocalist was recorded, but remained unreleased until 1996 (A Morning in Paris under Benjamin's name). The Dollar Brand Trio (with Johnny Gertze on bass and Makaya Ntshoko on drums) subsequently played at many European festivals, as well as on radio and television.Since then Ibrahim has toured mainly in Europe, the United States, and in his home country, South Africa. Performances are mainly in concerts and clubs, mostly as a band, but sometimes playing solo piano. He mainly plays piano but also plays flute, saxophone, and cello; he mainly performs his own compositions, although he sometimes performs pieces composed by others.He briefly returned to South Africa in the mid-1970s after his conversion to Islam (and the resultant change of name from Dollar Brand to Abdullah Ibrahim); however, he soon returned to New York in 1976, as he found the political conditions too oppressive. While in South Africa, however, he made a series of recordings with noted Cape Jazz players (including Basil Coetzee and Robbie Jansen). This included Coetzee's masterpiece, "Mannenberg", acknowledged by most as one of South Africa's greatest musical compositions; the recording soon became an unofficial soundtrack to the anti-apartheid resistance. Saxophonist and flutist Carlos Ward was his sideman in acclaimed duets during the early eighties.Abdullah Ibrahim has written the soundtracks for a number of films, including the award winning Chocolat and, more recently, No Fear, No Die. Since the end of apartheid, he has lived in Cape Town, and now divides his time between his global concert circuit, New York, and South Africa.He also took part in the 2002 documentary Amandla!: A Revolution in Four-Part Harmony where he and others recalled the days of apartheid.Abdullah Ibrahim is a towering figure in South African music, an artist who brings together all its traditions with a deeply felt understanding of American jazz, from the orchestral richness of Duke Ellington's compositions for big band to the groundbreaking innovations of Ornette Coleman and the 1960s avant-garde.Ibrahim has worked[...]



ANOUAR BRAHEM

2009-03-13T16:28:00.769-07:00

Download Music!: Anouar Brahem-Nuba; Anouar Brahem-Le Voyage de Sahar; Anouar Brahem-Parfum de Gitane Anouar Brahem was born on October 1957, in Halfaouine, in the center of Tunis' Medina. Positively supported by his father, he starts introduction to music and especially to lute at the age of 10. He studies then in the Tunis National Music Conservatory. In the meantime, he is tought during 10 years by the great Master Ali Sitri, and gets through him a deep knowledge of traditional arabian music. Step by step, his curiosity pushes him to listen to other musical expressions: mediteranean musics, Iran, India, and Jazz. His musical surroudings are basically and widely dominated by popular songs in which lute has only a side instrument place. Thus, Anouar Brahem's name is tightly attached to instrumental music more than popular songs: from the beginning, he considers that lute is a quite important instrument within arabian music, and he wants to give lute his nobel place within the musical context. For this reason and because he feels passionated by his instrument, he started performing solo concerts very soon. In 1981, he decides to go to Paris, cosmopolitan city above all. He meets there plenty of musicians coming from very different horizons, and different countries and cultures. He remained there for several years, playing lute solo concerts in festivals, and collaborating with many artits such as choreographer Maurice Béjart. Back to Carthage, he creates Liqua 85. For this, he brings together some tunisian, turkish and french jazz essentiel musicians: Abdelwaheb Berbeche, Erköse brothers, François Jeanneau, Jean-Paul Céléa... Liqua 85, received the Great National Award of Music in France. In 1987, he goes back to Tunis, and accepts the leadership of the Musical Ensemble of the City of Tunis, for which he will compose several pieces among them Ennaouara el Achiqua, born from a meeting between him and the poet Ali Louati. Those compositions bring him to the step of uncontested great national composer in Tunisia. Then follow rich and positive collaborations, very important to his carreer: - Manfred Eicher, german producer ECM Records, for whom he records 4 albums: Barzach, Conte de l'Incroyable Amour, Madar, Khomsa. Those albums receive an incredible welcome by the audience, and the international press. - musicians Jan Garbarek, Richard Galliano, Manu Katché... He is now mentionned among the greatest musicians on the international scene, and plays concerts all over the world, on the most prestigious places: Washington Square Chruch in New-York, New-Orleans Jazz Festival (USA), Frankfurt International Jazz Festival (Germany), Lumine Hall in Tokyo (Japan), Royal Academy of Music in London (GB), Zürich International Jazz Festival (Switzerland), Uméa Jazz Festival (Sweden), Theater of Beyrouth (Liban)... On January 1995, he is invited for an inaugural conert of the quite new Cité de la Musique in Paris. Anouar Brahem composed lots of original musics for movies and theater pieces: Nouri Bouzid's Sabots en Or and Bezness, Ferid Boughedir's "Halfaouine", and Moufida Tlati's Les Silences du Palais. The hudge success of Ritek Ma Naaref Ouin, interpreted by the tunisian singer Lotfi Bouchnak, makes us discover an unexpected talent of Anouar Brahem as a popular songs composer. " He is the best lute player in Tunisia" his Master Ali Sriti says about him, " his fingering and playing the strings are unique and his own secret."Source: Mcub fecit---------------Anouar Brahem Biography by Craig Harris, All-Music GuideThe role of the Arabic, lute-like, stringed instrument, the oud, has been revolutionalized through the playing of Anouar[...]



DHAFER YOUSSEF

2009-03-13T17:14:23.524-07:00

Download Music!: Dhafer Youssef-Eklil; Dhafer Youssef-Tarannoum; Dhafer Youssef-Dawn Prayer Dhafer Youssef (born 1967 in Teboulba, Tunisia) is a composer, vocalist, and oud player. He has been living and working in various European countries since 1990. During this time he had the opportunity to perform his music on stages in Austria, France, Germany, Switzerland, the UK and other countries as well as his native Tunisia (where he started singing in the Islamic tradition at age 5).Dhafer Youssef's music is rooted in the Sufi tradition and other mystical music but has always been wide open to ideas from any other musical culture as well as the jazz scene. With his poetic approach on the oud (the Arabic lute), his complex Arab-colored compositions and especially his deeply affecting singing when humming along with his melodies, Dhafer Youssef is one of the most impressive voices to emerge in this musical field in many years. Testifying a wide range of sound colors, stylistic facets and musical ingredients, his 1999 ENJA release "Malak" (ENJ-9367 2) is a thrilling statement incorporating Arabic lyricism, rhythmic power, visionary strength, multi-cultural influences and jazz-oriented improvisation. Dhafer Youssef opens the way to a new definition of East-Western crossover.Dhafer Youssef also works in avant-garde and world music where he's been nominated for awards. He has released four albums of his own and also did notable work with Paolo Fresu. He indicates an affinity for the Music of India and Nordic music. He was a guest artist on the Norwegian jazz artist Bugge Wesseltoft's album FiLM iNG.---------------Dhafer Youssef BiographyLate junction (BBC) presenter Fiona Talkington explains how an exceptional young Tunisian musician found his creative home in Europe. A small seaside town in Tunisia in the 1970s. A boy walks along a deserted shoreline picking up the odds and ends he finds lying around: A broken fishing net; a few discarded sardine cans; spokes from an old bicycle. His heart and mind are full of music and he wants to play. It's as much as his father can do to put food on the table for Dhafer and his seven brothers and sisters. There certainly isn't spare money for music lessons, let alone for an instrument. So Dhafer makes his own oud, the traditional middle-Eastern lute, using whatever he can find. You've only got to listen to the achingly beautiful first minute or so of Dhafer Youssef's last album Digital Prophecy to hear how the passion for music, born in that small Tunisian town, still lives on. The young Dhafer did what was expected of him and sang, having learnt at the traditional Koran school, but at the same time, he was hearing music on the radio - the only source of entertainment in this small town. "It was just music. That's all I knew" says Dhafer "I didn't know what was classical what was jazz and so on. Just music..." And so, on his homemade oud, Dhafer taught himself to play by ear. One day a friend came back from his travels with an electric guitar and a small toy one for his young nephew. Dhafer borrowed the toy for a week, at the same time secretly yearning to get his hands on the proper instrument. Eventually his friend began to lend it to him for a few days at a time: "days when I didn't sleep, the time was too precious. I just played."As he began to earn money by singing at weddings, he saved enough to buy his first 'real' oud for the equivalent of 100 Euros. This was frowned on by friends and family. "God's given you a voice, you've got to sing."But Dhafer had fallen in love with the sound of the instrument. It was the sound of his roots, the country where he was born. "If I'd been bo[...]



RED GARLAND

2009-03-02T21:54:19.663-08:00

William "Red" Garland (May 13, 1923–April 23, 1984) was an American hard bop jazz pianist whose block chord style, in part originated by Milt Buckner, influenced many forthcoming pianists in the jazz idiom.BiographyBeginningsRed was born in Dallas, Texas, in 1923. Though he came from a non-musical family, Garland showed an early interest in music. He began his musical studies on the clarinet and alto saxophone but in 1940 switched to the piano. Garland spent copious amounts of time practicing and rapidly developed into a proficient player. A short early career as a welterweight boxer did not seem to hurt his playing hands. He fought a young Sugar Ray Robinson before making the switch to a full-time musician.Garland's soundGarland's trademark block chord technique, a commonly borrowed maneuver in jazz piano today, was unique and differed from the methods of earlier block chord pioneers such as George Shearing and Milt Buckner. Garland's block chords were constructed of three notes in the right hand and four notes in the left hand, with the right hand one octave above the left. The right hand played the melody in octaves with a perfect 5th placed in the middle of the octave (a 5th above the lowest note of the octave) even when it seemed to not suit the harmony. The 5th played in the middle of the octave becomes virtually inaudible when the chord in the left hand is played simultaneously, but the added 5th gives the voicings a particularly rich, distinctive and slightly out-of-tune character. Garland's left hand played four note chords that simultaneously beat out the same exact rhythm as the right hand melody played. But, unlike George Shearing's block chord method, Garland's left hand chords did not change positions or inversions until the next chord change occurred. It's also worth noting that Garland's four note left hand chord voicings occasionally left out the roots of the chords, which later became a chord style associated with pianist Bill Evans. Garland's block chord method had a brighter quality, slightly more dissonance, and a fullness in the upper register compared to the mellower Shearing block chord sound. Garland's solo lines also had a glassy, shimmering tone that matched the quality of his chords.Early workAfter the Second World War, Garland performed with Roy Eldridge, Coleman Hawkins, Charlie Parker, and Lester Young. He found steady work in the cities of Boston, New York and Philadelphia. In the late 1940s he toured with Eddie Vinson at the same time that John Coltrane was in Vinson's band. His creativity and playing ability continued to improve, though he was still somewhat obscure. By the time he became a pianist for Miles Davis he was influenced by Ahmad Jamal and Charlie Parker's pianist Walter Bishop.Miles Davis QuintetGarland became famous in 1955 when he joined the Miles Davis Quintet featuring John Coltrane, Philly Joe Jones and Paul Chambers. Davis was a big fan of boxing and was impressed that Garland had boxed earlier in his life. Together the group recorded their famous Prestige albums, Workin, Steamin', Cookin', and Relaxin'. Garland's style is prominent in these seminal recordings—evident in his distinctive chord voicings, his sophisticated accompaniment and his musical references to Ahmad Jamal's style. One critic incorrectly labeled Garland as a cocktail pianist, a negative connotation that implies a style isn't original. (Ahmad Jamal likewise was mislabeled a cocktail pianist at one point in his career, but misguided critics were later corrected by the jazz musicians who worked with him.) The quintet's recordings would arguably influence the Free jazz mov[...]



SCOTT LaFARO

2009-03-02T20:37:12.284-08:00

Rocco Scott LaFaro (April 3, 1936 – July 6, 1961) was an influential jazz bassist, perhaps best known for his work with the Bill Evans Trio.BiographyBorn in Newark, New Jersey, LaFaro grew up in a musical family (his father played in many big bands). He started on piano while in elementary school, began on the bass clarinet in junior high school, changing to tenor saxophone when he entered high school in Geneva, NY. He only took up the double bass at 17 in the summer before he entered college, when he learned a string instrument was required for music education majors. About three months into his studies at Ithaca College in Ithaca, NY, LaFaro decided to concentrate on bass. He often played in groups at the College Spa and Joe's Restaurant on State Street in downtown Ithaca.He entered college to study music but left during the early weeks of his Sophomore year, when he joined Buddy Morrow and his big band.[4] He left that organization in Los Angeles after a cross country tour and decided to try his luck in the Los Angeles music scene. There, he quickly found work and became known as one of the best of the young bassists. In 1959, after many gigs with such luminaries as Chet Baker, Percy Heath, Victor Feldman, Stan Kenton, Cal Tjader [5], and Benny Goodman, LaFaro joined Bill Evans, who had recently left the Miles Davis Sextet. It was with Evans and drummer Paul Motian that LaFaro developed and expanded the counter-melodic style that would come to characterize his playing. Ornette Coleman also collaborated with him around this time.DeathLaFaro died in an automobile accident in the summer of 1961 in Flint, New York on US 20 between Geneva and Canandaigua, two days after accompanying Stan Getz at the Newport Jazz Festival. His death came just ten days after recording two live albums with the Bill Evans Trio, Sunday at the Village Vanguard and Waltz for Debby, albums considered among the finest live jazz recordings.Although he performed for only six years (1955-1961), LaFaro's innovative approach to the bass redefined jazz playing bringing an "emancipation" introducing "so many diverse possibilities as would have been thought impossible for the bass only a short time before" , and inspired a generation of bassists who followed him.LaFaro played a double bass made in 1825 in Concord, New Hampshire by Abraham Prescott. The top of the instrument is a three-piece plate of slab-cut fir; the back is a two-piece plate of moderately flamed maple with an ebony inlay at the center joint; the sides are made of matching maple. It has rolled corners on the bottom and very sloped shoulders on the top, making it easier to get in and out of thumb position---------------Rocco Scott LaFaro (1936-1961) was a musician of the first order, who found his 'voice' in jazz in the mid-1950s. His played the double bass violin, better known today as the acoustic bass to differentiate this instrument from the electric (or electronic) bass. His life was cut short in an automobile accident in the summer of 1961 near Geneva, New York, his home town. Although he performed for only six years (1955-1961), his innovative approach to the bass astounded his contemporaries, and to this day his recorded performances continue to surprise and delight.  Those who have found the Bill Evans Jazz Resource on the Internet know of the profound interplay among Paul Motian, Scott LaFaro and Bill Evans in a jazz trio that for many musicians to this day remains a model of sonority, complexity, and swing. Scott LaFaro's bass playing 'alchemy' (to borrow from an Ornette Coleman recording on which LaFaro performed) prop[...]



SABIR MATEEN

2009-03-03T01:46:39.145-08:00

Sabir Mateen is a musician and composer from Philadelphia who plays primarily in the avant-garde jazz idiom. He plays tenor and alto saxophone, B♭ and alto clarinet, and flute.As a young man, Mateen was originally a percussionist, and he started playing flute as a teenager. From there he moved to alto and then tenor saxophone. He started out playing rhythm and blues in the early 1970s which led him to the tenor saxophone chair of the Horace Tapscott Pan Afrikan Peoples Arkestra. He has performed or recorded with Cecil Taylor, Sunny Murray, William Parker, Alan Silva, Butch and Wilber Morris, Raphe Malik, Steve Swell, Roy Campbell, Jr., Matthew Shipp, Marc Edwards, Jemeel Moondoc, William Hooker, Henry Grimes, Rashid Bakr, among others. He also is a member of the band TEST, with Daniel Carter.---------------Tenor, alto saxophonist, Bb clarinetist, alto clarinetist, flutist, composer, Sabir Mateen, born in Philadelphia, has been a musician most of his life. Starting in the Philadelphia area as a percussionist, he started playing flute as a teenager.Gradually evovling from alto to tenor saxophone, he has been through a number of musical transformations. He started out playing rhythm and blues in the early '70s which led him to the tenor saxophone chair of the Horace Tapscott Pan Afrikan Peoples Arkestra. From there he has or is performing with Cecil Taylor, Sunny Murray, William Parker, Alan Silva, Butch &Wilber Morris, Raphe Malik, Steve Swell, Mark Whitecage, Roy Campbell, Matthew Shipp, Marc Edwards, Jemeel Moondoc, William Hooker, Henry Grimes, Rashid Bakr, Kali Fasteau and numerous others. He also is a member of the cooperative band TEST. Sabir also performs with, Little Huey Creative Music Orchestra, William Parker's Inside The Music Of Curtis Mayfield, Earth People, the Downtown Horns and The East 3rd Street Ensemble. He is the leader of "The Sabir Mateen Quintet", Shapes Textures & Sound Ensemble, The Omni-Sound, and other bandsSource: http://www.sabirmateen.com/---------------Biography by Steve Huey, All Music GuideFamed for his performances in the New York City subway system with the free jazz quartet Test, Sabir Mateen plays a passionate yet nuanced tenor as his main ax, but is equally comfortable on alto sax, clarinet, and flute. Mateen is capable of raw, all-out explosion, but frequently displays a wide dynamic range and a subtler side, and sometimes leans toward melodic free-bop. A native of Philadelphia, Mateen made his first recordings on the West Coast with pianist Horace Tapscott's Pan African People's Arkestra in 1980, and also played with Sun Ra, though he never officially joined Ra's band. In 1989, Mateen relocated to New York with prompting from the legendary drummer Sunny Murray, and spent the next few years paying his dues on the avant-garde scene. In 1995, he recorded the duo album Getting Away With Murder with drummer Tom Bruno; a live performance in New York's Grand Central Station, it was released on Eremite. Mateen's recording activity steadily increased over the next few years. He joined Bruno's quartet Test, which also featured bassist Matt Heyner and saxophonist Daniel Carter, and was noted for its impromptu guerrilla concerts in New York subway stations. Mateen's other notable side engagements included work with the Raphe Malik Quartet and the One World Ensemble, and he also formed the trio Tenor Rising, Drums Expanding with Daniel Carter and drummer David Nuss, which began recording for Sound @ One in 1997. Also that year, Mateen led his own trio (with bassist John Voigt and drummer Lawrence Cook)[...]



HAMID DRAKE

2009-03-13T21:17:55.120-07:00

Download Music!: Hamid Drake, Pharoah Sanders, Adam Rudolph-Roundhouse; Hamid Drake, Pharoah Sanders, Adam Rudolph-Morning In Soweto; Hamid Drake & William Parker-Sky Hamid Drake (b. Monroe, Louisiana, August 3, 1955) is an American jazz drummer and percussionist. He lives in Chicago, IL but spends much of his time traveling around the world for concerts and studio dates.He first became known for his work with Chicago tenor saxophonist Fred Anderson. Drake was one of the founders, along with Foday Musa Suso and Adam Rudolph, of The Mandingo Griot Society. His other frequent collaborators include New York bassist William Parker, saxophonist David Murray, composer and percussionist Adam Rudolph, German free jazz saxophonist Peter Brötzmann, fellow drummer Michael Zerang and Chicago free jazz saxophonist Ken Vandermark.In addition to the drum set, he also performs on the frame drum, the tabla, and other hand drums.---------------Hamid Drake...By the close of the 1990s, Hamid Drake was widely regarded as one of the best percussionists in improvised music. Incorporating Afro-Cuban, Indian, and African percussion instruments and influence, in addition to using the standard trap set, Drake has collaborated extensively with top free jazz improvisers Peter Brotzmann, Fred Anderson, and Ken Vandermark, among others.Drake was born in Monroe, LA, in 1955, and later moved to Chicago with his family. He ended up taking drum lessons with Fred Anderson's son, eventually taking over the son's role as percussionist in Anderson's group. As a result, Fred Anderson also introduced Drake to George Lewis and other AACM members. Drake also has performed world music; by the late '70s, he was a member of Foday Muso Suso's Mandingo Griot Society, and has played reggae. Drake has been a member of the Latin jazz band Night on Earth, the Georg Graewe Quartet, the DKV Trio, Peter Brotzmann's Chicago Octet/Tentet, and Liof Munimula, the oldest free improvising ensemble in Chicago. Drake has also worked with trumpeter Don Cherry, Pharoah Sanders, Fred Anderson, Mahmoud Gania, bassist William Parker (in a large number of lineups), and has performed a solstice celebration with fellow Chicago percussionist Michael Zerang semiannually since 1991. Hamid Drake recorded material is best represented on Chicago's Okkadisk label.Source: http://www.drummerworld.com/drummers/Hamid_Drake.html---------------A Fireside Chat With Hamid DrakeBy Fred JungI make no bones about the fact that Hamid Drake is a personal favorite of mine. But my argument is a substantial one. No other drummer has worked with as many heavy hitters as Hamid (a list that includes Peter Brotzmann, Fred Anderson, George Lewis, Don Cherry, Misha Mengelberg, Pharoah Sanders, Jemeel Moondoc, William Parker, Roy Campbell, Mats Gustafsson, Ken Vandermark). And no drummer works as much as Hamid. Han Bennink, Paal Nilssen-Love, and Tony Oxley are killing, but my money is on Hamid. Check out both volumes of Die Like a Dog's Little Birds Have Fast Hearts or Fred Anderson's Missing Link Classic, or the out of print, but too good to not search the ends of the Earth, For Don Cherry with Mats Gustafsson, or the DKV live sessions Live in Wels & Chicago, 1998. Hamid is the poo. So it is truly an honor to present to you, Hamid Drake, unedited and in his own words.All About Jazz: Let's start from the beginning.Hamid Drake: I would say that it was being around the family, being at home because there was a lot of music in the home and also, my father and Fred Anderson were really good friends. I th[...]



HENRY GRIMES

2009-03-13T22:26:15.705-07:00

Download music!: Henry Grimes Trio-Walk On; Henry Grimes Trio-Son Of Alfalfa   Henry Grimes (born November 3, 1935 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) is a jazz double bassist.After more than a decade of activity and performance, notably as a leading bassist in free jazz, Grimes completely disappeared from the music scene by 1970. Grimes was often presumed dead, but he was rediscovered in 2002 and returned to jazz.BiographyEarly life & performing careerAs a child, Grimes took up the violin, then began playing tuba, English horn, percussion, and finally the double bass at age 13 or 14, while he was in high school. Grimes furthered his musical studies at The Juilliard School, and established a reputation as a versatile bassist in the mid 1950s. He recorded or performed with saxophonists Gerry Mulligan and Sonny Rollins, pianist Thelonious Monk, singer Anita O'Day, clarinetist Benny Goodman and many others. When famed bassist Charles Mingus experimented with a second bass in his band, Grimes was the person he selected for the job.Gradually growing interested in free jazz, Grimes performed with most of the music's important names, including pianist Cecil Taylor, trumpeter Don Cherry, saxophonists Steve Lacy, Pharoah Sanders, Archie Shepp, and Albert Ayler. He released one album, The Call as a trio leader for the ESP-Disk record label in 1965. The album features Perry Robinson on clarinet, Tom Price on drums and is considered to be of a great quality representative of his career.Disappearance & resurrectionIn the late 1960s, Grimes seemed to disappear completely after moving to California. Many assumed Grimes was dead; he was listed as such in several jazz reference works. Then Marshall Marrotte, a social worker and jazz fan, set out to discover Grimes's fate once and for all. In 2003, he found Grimes alive, but nearly destitute, renting a tiny apartment in Los Angeles, California, writing poetry and doing odd jobs to support himself. Having suffered from bipolar disorder and long ago sold his bass, Grimes had fallen out of touch with the jazz world, but was eager to perform again.Word spread of Grimes's "resurrection" and many musicians offered their help. Bassist William Parker donated a bass (nicknamed "Olive Oil", for its distinctive greenish color) and had it shipped at considerable expense from New York to Los Angeles, and others assisted with travel expenses and arranging performances. Grimes's return was featured in The New York Times and on National Public Radio. A documentary film is planned, as is a biography.Grimes has made up for lost time: In 2003 he performed at over two dozen music festivals or other appearances. Grimes received a returning hero's welcome at the free jazz-oriented Vision Festival, and is teaching lessons and workshops for bassists. His November 2003 appearance on trumpeter Dennis González' Nile River Suite was the bassist's first recording in more than 35 years.[3] In 2004 he recorded as leader with David Murray and Hamid Drake; in 2005 with guitarist Marc Ribot, who also wrote an introduction to Grimes' first book, Signs Along the Road, published in March 2007 by Buddy's kKife Jazzedition in Cologne, Germany, a collection of Grimes' poetry, in which he presents his selection of entries from thousands of pages of his writings. Also in 2007, Henry Grimes recorded with drummer Rashied Ali. In many venues around New York and on tour in the U.S., Canada, and 19 countries in Europe, working mostly as a leader since 2003, Henry Grimes has been making music [...]



RUFUS REID

2009-03-02T05:04:16.437-08:00

Rufus Reid (b. February 10, 1944 in Atlanta, Georgia) is an American jazz bassist, educator, and composer. He lives in Teaneck, New Jersey.Personal historyRufus Reid was raised in Sacramento, California where he played the trumpet through junior high and high school. Upon graduation from Sacramento High School, he entered the United States Air Force as a trumpet player. During that period he began to be seriously interested in the bass.After fulfilling his duties in the military, Rufus had decided he wanted to pursue a career as a professional bassist. He moved to Seattle, Washington, where he began serious study with James Harnett of the Seattle Symphony. He continued his education at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, where he studied with Warren Benfield and principal bassist, Joseph Guastefeste, both of the Chicago Symphony. He graduated in 1971 with a Bachelor of Music Degree as a Performance Major on the Double Bass.Rufus Reid's major professional career began in Chicago and continues since 1976 in New York City. Playing with hundreds of the world's greatest musicians, he is famously the bassist that saxophonist Dexter Gordon chose when he returned to the states from his decade-long exile in France. His colleagues include Thad Jones, Nancy Wilson, Eddie Harris and Bob Berg.---------------Biography by Ron WynnA prolific bassist who's seemingly always in the recording studio, Rufus Reid's name appears on countless hard bop, bebop, swing, and even some pop sessions. His restrained yet emphatic and pungent tone, time, harmonic sensibility, and discernible, if understated, swing are welcome on any session. Trumpet was Reid's first love, but he switched to bass while in the Air Force. He played with Buddy Montgomery in Sacramento, CA, then studied music in Seattle and Chicago in the late '60s and early '70s. Reid worked in Chicago with Sonny Stitt, James Moody, Milt Jackson, Curtis Fuller, and Dizzy Gillespie, and recorded with Kenny Dorham, Dexter Gordon, Lee Konitz, and Howard McGhee in 1970. He toured internationally several times with the Bobby Hutcherson-Harold Land quintet, Freddie Hubbard, Nancy Wilson, Eddie Harris, and Gordon through the '70s. Reid moved to New York in 1976, playing and recording with a quartet co-led by Thad Jones and Mel Lewis, and taught at William Patterson College in Wayne, NJ, starting in 1979. He recorded with Konitz, Ricky Ford, Jack DeJohnette's Special Edition with Kenny Burrell, with a quintet co-led by Frank Wess and Art Farmer, and in duos with Kenny Burrell and Harold Danko in the '80s. Reid also did sessions with Art Farmer and Jimmy Heath. He has co-led a group with drummer Akira Tana since the late '80s that is called TanaReid. As a leader, Rufus Reid has cut sets for Theresa, Sunnyside, and Concord.Source: http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=11:hifpxqy5ld0e~T1---------------Rufus ReidRufus Reid is, without a doubt, one of the most influential bassists working in jazz today, and he has had a significant impact on double bass performance and pedagogy throughout his career. His book The Evolving Bassist was one of the earliest of the contemporary generation of double bass method books, and it continues to be a foundational text for double bass students. I recommend it to all of my students who are interested in jazz, and I use many of his exercises for arco study and sight reading practice even with students who only study classical music.Born on February 10, 1944 in Atlanta, GA., Rufus Reid w[...]



PERCY HEATH

2009-03-02T00:25:32.992-08:00

Percy Heath, (30 April 1923 – 28 April 2005), was a jazz musician, famous for position as double bass player for the Modern Jazz Quartet.He was the brother of tenor saxophonist Jimmy Heath and drummer Albert Heath, with whom he formed the Heath Brothers in 1975. Heath also worked with Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, and Thelonious Monk. At the age of 81, he released his first album as bandleader through the Daddy Jazz label. The album, titled A Love Song, garnered rave reviews and served as a fitting coda for Heath's illustrious career.Heath was born in Wilmington, North Carolina and spent his childhood in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His father played the clarinet and his mother sang in the church choir. He started playing violin at age 8 and also sang locally. He was drafted into the Army in 1944, becoming a member of the Tuskegee Airmen, but saw no combat.Deciding after the war to go into music, he bought a stand-up bass and enrolled in the Granoff School of Music in Philadelphia. Soon he was playing in the city's jazz clubs with leading artists. After moving to New York in the late 1940s, Percy and Jimmy Heath found work with Dizzy Gillespie's groups. Around this time, he was also a member of Joe Morris's band, together with Johnny Griffin.It transpired that other members of the Gillespie big band, John Lewis, Kenny Clarke, Milt Jackson, and Ray Brown, decided to form a group that would eventually become known as the Modern Jazz Quartet. When Ray Brown left the group to join his wife Ella Fitzgerald's band, Percy Heath joined and the group was officially begun in 1952. The MJQ played regularly until it disbanded in 1974; it reformed in 1981 and last recorded in 1993.In 1975, Percy Heath and his brothers formed the Heath Brothers with pianist Stanley Cowell. He would sometimes play the cello instead of the bass in these later performances.He died, after a second bout with bone cancer, two days short of his 82nd birthday, in Southampton, New York.---------------Obituary Distinguished and versatile double bassist with the Modern Jazz Quartet John Fordham Saturday April 30, 2005 Guardian The American jazz musician and bassist with the Modern Jazz Quartet, Percy Heath, who has died aged 81, began his musical apprenticeship in 1946, after air force service. It was just the right time. Though the double bass had always been used sporadically in jazz, performers capable of advancing both its rhythmic and harmonic role into a distinctive jazz-bass language were arriving on the scene more slowly than trumpeters, saxophonists or pianists. But by the 1940s, the place of the bass had significantly changed. Swing specialists like Pops Foster, John Kirby and Walter Page had brought animation, drive and swing - as well as harmonic breadth - to bass technique, and Duke Ellington's young star, Jimmy Blanton, had added a soloistic agility that rewrote the book on the instrument. This was the bass world that Heath entered. His playing became the quintessence of a style that suited the complex demands of a modern jazz ensemble. Like Blanton's successors, Ray Brown and Oscar Pettiford - contemporaries on the late-1940s American scene - Heath was precise in his intonation, buoyant and springy in feel and capable of spontaneous counter-melodies that enhanced the frontline's playing. He always sounded as if he was pushing the beat, rather than sitting contentedly on top of it. If Heath had an advantage in understanding how an ins[...]



RASHIED ALI

2009-03-01T20:37:19.486-08:00

Rashied Ali (born Robert Patterson on 1 July 1935 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) is an American free jazz and avant-garde jazz drummer best known for playing with John Coltrane in the last years of Coltrane's life.BiographyRashied Ali was born into a musical family; his mother had sung with Jimmie Lunceford. His brother, Muhammad Ali, is also a drummer, who played with Albert Ayler, among others.Ali moved to New York in 1963 and worked in groups with Bill Dixon and Paul Bley.  He has also recorded or performed with Pharoah Sanders, Alice Coltrane, Arthur Rhames, James Blood Ulmer and many others. In addition, Ali was scheduled to be the second drummer, alongside Elvin Jones, on John Coltrane's landmark free jazz album, Ascension, but he dropped out just before the recording was to take place. Coltrane did not replace him, and settled for one drummer. Ali began to record with Coltrane from Meditations in November 1965 onwards.Among his credits is the last recorded work of John Coltrane's life, the Olatunji Concert and Interstellar Space an album of duets with Coltrane, recorded earlier in 1967. Ali "became important in stimulating the most avant-garde kinds of jazz activities".  During the early 1970s, he ran an influential loft club in New York, called Ali's Alley. Ali also briefly formed a non-jazz project called Purple Trap with Japanese experimental guitarist Keiji Haino and jazz-fusion bassist Bill Laswell. Their double-CD album, Decided...Already the Motionless Heart of Tranquility, Tangling the Prayer Called "I", was released on John Zorn's Tzadik label in March of 1999.Rashied Ali though most known for his work in the Jazz idiom has also made his contributions to other experimental art forms including multi-media Performances with The Gift of Eagle Orchestra and Cosmiclegends. Performances such as Devachan and the Monads, Dwarf of Oblivion which have taken place at the Kitchen center for performance Art, and a special tribute to John Cage in Central Park have taken 'Performance Art' to new levels with the addition of fully improvised large scale performances pieces. Other artists of the orchestra and Cosmic Legends have included Hayes Greenfield (sax), Perry Robinson (clarinet), Wayne Lopes (guitar), Dave Douglas (trumpet), Gloria Tropp (vocals), director/pianist Sylvie Degiez along with Poets and actors, Ira Cohen, Taylor Meade, Judith Malina (Living Theater). More recently, Ali has played with Sonny Fortune.Rashied Ali has recently been playing with his own Quintet, The Rashied Ali Quintet. A double CD entitled "Judgement Day" was released on February 17, 2005 and features: Jumaane Smith on Trumpet, Lawrence Clark on Tenor Sax, Greg Murphy on Piano, Joris Teepe on Bass and Rashied Ali on Drums. This album was recorded at Ali's own Survival Studio which has been running since the 1970s.---------------Rashied Ali...Rashied Ali is a progenitor and leading exponent of multidirectional rhythms/polytonal percussion. A student of Philly Joe Jones and an admirer of Art Blakey, Ali developed the style known as "free jazz" drumming, which liberates the percussionist from the role of human metronome.A Philadelphia native, Rashied Ali began his percussion career in the U.S. Army and started gigging with rhythm and blues and rock groups when he returned from the service. Cutting his musical teeth with local Philly R&B groups, such as Dick Hart & the Heartaches, Big Maybelle and Lin Holt, Rashied gr[...]



CHET BAKER

2009-03-13T22:58:06.803-07:00

Download music!: Chet Baker-Django; Chet Baker-Body And Soul; Chet Baker-The Thrill is Gone  Chesney Henry "Chet" Baker Jr. (Yale, Oklahoma, December 23, 1929 - Amsterdam, Netherlands May 13, 1988) was an American jazz trumpeter, flugelhorn player and singer.Specializing in relaxed, even melancholy music, Baker rose to prominence as a leading name in cool jazz in the 1950s. Baker's good looks and smoldering, intimate singing voice established him as a promising name in pop music as well. But his success was badly hampered by drug addiction, particularly in the 1960s, when he was imprisoned.He died in 1988 after falling from a hotel window.---------------Chet's biographyChet Baker was born Chesney Henry Baker Jr. on December 23, 1929 in Yale, Oklahoma. His father, Chesney Sr. was a guitarist who played in local country and western bands. When Chet was 10, the family moved to Southern California. Chesney Sr., encouraging his son to pursue music, bought Chet a trombone. The 12 year old found it difficult to handle, so he eventually switched to trumpet. He played trumpet through junior high school, and on through college. In 1946 he was drafted into the Army, and played in the Army band in Berlin. After returning home, Baker continued his music education at El Camino College. In 1952 he won an audition with Charlie Parker, then went on to join Gerry Mulligan's pianoless quartet. The group performed regularly at The Haig in Hollywood. In 1953, Baker formed his own band featuring Russ Freeman on piano. The Chet Baker Quartet toured and recorded with great success. As the decade came to a close, Chet was addicted to heroin and his life was filled with arrests and scandals.Chet Baker spent most of the sixties in Europe, recording infrequently and getting in to trouble frequently. He made some very notable recordings in the early part of the decade (such as the Prestige recordings from 1965), sometimes switching to flugelhorn. But the late sixties found him recording some dreadful music, and eventually he had given up playing after losing most of his upper teeth. Years of drug use had taken their toll on Chet's teeth, and in July of 1966 he was attacked, and his teeth were damaged further.In the early 1970's, Chet Baker began to learn how to play with dentures. Beginning in 1974, Chet recorded and toured regularly, mostly in Europe. Despite the effects of age, drugs and false teeth, he actually improved in those later years. Chet's performances in the eighties were unpredictable. Sometimes he would show up and perform the best gig of his career. Sometimes he would show up and perform poorly. Sometimes he wouldn't even show up. Chet Baker's turbulent life came to a bizarre and tragic end on May 13, 1988 in Amsterdam. Chet fell from the open window of his hotel room, hitting the concrete two stories below. It can be argued that Chet was at his musical peak when he died in 1988. Indeed some of his best recordings came from 1986 and 1987.Source; http://chetbakertribute.com/about.htm---------------Chet Baker biography1929 - 1988Trumpeter. When the clean-cut young Baker came out of the army in 1952 and played his first high-profile gigs with Charlie Parker, he had the kind of matinee-idol looks that suggested he would become a star. His clear-toned vibratoless trumpet style owed a lot to Miles Davis, but the introverted phrasing was all his own, as was Baker's surprisingly delicate sin[...]