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Thursday, September 29, 2005

Saxophonist Steve Marcus dead at 66 :: : The Number One Jazz News Resource On The Net :: Jazz News Daily

Saxophonist Steve Marcus dead at 66 :: : The Number One Jazz News Resource On The Net :: Jazz News Daily Saxophonist Steve Marcus dead at 66
Posted by: editoron Thursday, September 29, 2005 - 08:17 AM
Jazz News NEW HOPE, Pa. (AP) - Steve Marcus, a jazz saxophonist who recorded and toured with Stan Kenton, Herbie Mann and Buddy Rich, died Sunday. He was 66.
Marcus died in his sleep at his home in New Hope, family members said.

He was a pioneer of the jazz fusion movement of the late 1960s, a musical movement that combined elements of rock 'n' roll and jazz.

Marcus had been touring lately with the quintet “Steve Smith and Buddy's Buddies,” a tribute band to the music of Buddy Rich, said fellow saxophonist Andy Fusco, a member of the group.

Several of Marcus' recordings have been recently reissued, including “The Count's Rock Band,” and “Tomorrow Never Knows,” which garnered five stars from Down Beat when it was released, Fusco said.

-- Associated Press

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Keith Jarrett: Alone Again (Naturally) - New York Times

Keith Jarrett: Alone Again (Naturally) - New York TimesSeptember 28, 2005
Keith Jarrett: Alone Again (Naturally)

No living jazz pianist has wrung more drama from the solo recital than Keith Jarrett. His vaulting, improvised concerts - melodic marathons, gleaming with significance - brought him international acclaim in the 1970's, along with a sizeable audience. His album "The Köln Concert" (ECM), issued 30 years ago, ranks among the best-selling solo piano recordings of all time.

But Mr. Jarrett, who has described the solo regimen as an ordeal, has devoted most of his attention to trio playing in recent years. "Radiance" (ECM), released this year, is his first live solo recording in a decade, and his appearance at Carnegie Hall on Monday night was the first North American solo recital in nearly as long. This added up to a major event.

As on "Radiance," Mr. Jarrett divided the concert into discrete episodes, each pointing toward the next. He began with a rumbling overture that summoned the stern angularity of modern classical music. Then, in quick succession: an indirectly bluesy vamp tune, a mournfully chiming morsel of flamenco, and a bouquet of harplike glissandi. He was dancing gracefully around a theme, but these first few extemporizations were mere miniatures, suggestive yet incomplete.

The more compelling pieces were haunted by familiar song structures. Mr. Jarrett closed the first half of the concert with a troubled but consonant melody that would have sounded at home in a movie score.

During the second half, he followed a New Orleans strut with a yearning gospel hymn. The evening's most jazzlike number was a complex concoction offhandedly evocative of Thelonious Monk; Mr. Jarrett embellished it with boogie-woogie flourishes, stomping rhythms and a hard-charging bebop line in octaves.

Touch is a big part of his technique; there's a buttery quality to his piano articulation that softens any dissonance. So his avant-garde gestures, which always stop short of atonality, can seem both courageous and reasonable; and on ballads, his tone fulfills a voluptuous melancholy. The final piece bridged the gap, with a round of pastel tremolos over a syncopated Middle Eastern drone.

Mr. Jarrett has likened his solo concerts to athletic contests, and at times his exertions underscored the point. He grunted, moaned and sighed along with his melodies; he rose from his bench to stoop over the keys. His entire body swayed and convulsed, as if his hands were affixed not to a piano but to a source of electrical current. (In fact, he has used that metaphor, too.)

The audience read these ecstasies as deeply heroic. Mr. Jarrett was called back for five separate encores: a ballad and a blues, both improvised, and the evening's first three bona fide compositions, including the vintage original "My Song" and the standard "Time on My Hands." He basked in each ovation with an appreciative good humor; he seemed to be having a good time.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

ABC says their final Goodbye to Peter Jennings Feature Story

ABC says their final Goodbye to Peter Jennings Feature StoryABC says their final Goodbye to Peter Jennings
Written by: Erica Y. Lopez

The face of ABC News is remembered in Carnegie Hall.

Colleagues and friends remembered Peter Jennings yesterday during a celebration of his life and work at Carnegie Hall. The memorial was a mix of music and personal recollections. Cellist Yo-Yo Ma and Jazz Musician Wynton Marsalis were among those who performed during the service, attended by over 2000 people. “Nightline” anchor and long time friend of Jennings said “From the time I met Peter 41 years ago until our last meeting a few weeks ago, I felt a thrill whenever I saw him. Not many people have that charisma…”

There were even a few homeless people in attendance. Jennings was known to befriend some of Central Park’s homeless on his way home from ABC studios after taping his “World News Tonight” broadcast.

Many agree that Peter’s greatest accomplishments were his two children, Chris and Elizabeth. They were the last to speak at the memorial. His son said “There is no way to express how much I miss my father. Each day is, above all else, a day without him.”

I had the privilege of meeting Peter over this past year. He was an undoubtedly fierce presence in the newsroom and absolutely irreplaceable. President of ABC News David Westin, summed it up best, “An anchor is what keeps a ship from drifting into dangerous waters. It keeps us steady and secure during the night. That is what Peter was to ABC News.”

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Fletcher Henderson biographer Jeffrey Magee is interviewed/Jazz/Jerry Jazz Musician

Fletcher Henderson biographer Jeffrey Magee is interviewed/Jazz/Jerry Jazz MusicianText version of a January 17, 2005 interview with Jeffrey Magee, author of Fletcher Henderson and Big Band Jazz: The Uncrowned King of Swing


If Benny Goodman was the "King of Swing," then Fletcher Henderson was the power behind the throne. Not only did Henderson arrange the music that powered Goodman's meteoric rise, he also helped launch the careers of Louis Armstrong and Coleman Hawkins, among others. In Fletcher Henderson and Big Band Jazz: The Uncrowned King of Swing, Jeffrey Magee offers a fascinating account of this pivotal bandleader, throwing new light on the emergence of modern jazz and the world that created it.

Drawing on an unprecedented combination of sources, including sound recordings, obscure stock arrangements, and hundreds of scores that have been available only since Goodman's death, Magee illuminates Henderson's musical output, from his early work as a New York bandleader, to his pivotal role in building the Kingdom of Swing. He shows how Henderson, standing at the forefront of the New York jazz scene during the 1920s and '30s, assembled the era's best musicians, simultaneously preserving jazz's distinctiveness and performing popular dance music that reached a wide audience.

Magee reveals how, in Henderson's largely segregated musical world, black and white musicians worked together to establish jazz, how Henderson's style rose out of collaborations with many key players, how these players deftly combined improvised and written music, and how their work negotiated artistic and commercial impulses. And Magee reveals how, in the depths of the Depression, record producer John Hammond brought together Henderson and Goodman, a fortuitous collaboration that changed the face of American music.#

In our January 17, 2005 interview, Magee discusses the career of this monumental musician who helped shape an entire musical era.


JJM Concerning the goal of your book, you wrote, "It aims to redefine Henderson's role in American music through an analysis of the primary source materials embedded in the historical circumstances of their creation, including the Great Migration of African Americans from the rural South to the urban North, the Harlem Renaissance, the dissemination of jazz and dance music through radio, records and touring, the consolidation of the music industry in the hands of white agents and bookers, and American popular music and culture of the 1920s and 1930s." Why was Fletcher Henderson a particularly good figure for this sort of study?

JM I can't claim that this was the reason I began this work - I wanted to write about the music, period. But as the work developed, I came to see him as this wonderful representative of the era. So many great musicians passed through his band - Louis Armstrong, Coleman Hawkins, Don Redman, Benny Carter - and because he also worked as Benny Goodman's arranger, the key figures of the era crossed paths with him in a very significant way. On top of that, his career very neatly intersects with all the other cultural phenomena of the era. Radio, for example, was just taking off when he arrived in New York City, and by the end of the twenties, his band reached its height of prestige just as everyone gets a radio in their home, which helped disseminate his music on an unprecedented scale. At the same time, more sound recordings were being made and race records were beginning to find success. So, his career overlaps nicely with the rise of these media as disseminators of music in general, and black music in particular. He is a kind of lightning rod for these currents.

The other dimension he intersected, of course, is racial. Although the Harlem Renaissance is more often viewed as a literary and artistic phenomenon, and less so as a music phenomenon, he intersected with its ideals. It was an era when whites wanted black music to sound black, and their vocabulary of growl effects, bent pitches, the twelve-bar chord progression, and vocal effects through the horn is what white listeners craved. But it also had a narrowing effect on what black musicians could do in the public arena.

JJM You suggest that his versatility and professionalism served to foil the stereotypes of black musicians of that era.

JM Yes. Henderson's band had a way of keeping open the musical possibilities. They were known for playing waltzes at Roseland Ballroom and for playing arrangements of the classics, and in doing that, they were constantly foiling efforts to put them in some kind of stylistic and racial box, which was very confining to musicians of that time.

JJM Henderson was born and raised in Georgia. How did he wind up in New York?

JM He graduated from college in 1920, and from everything I have seen his intent was to attend graduate school at Columbia University.

JJM To study science?

JM Possibly. He may have wanted to become a chemist working for a pharmaceutical company. I am not sure what he had in mind, but I have always wondered how seriously he really intended to go to graduate school to become a scientist. His parents probably saw the move as acceptable for two reasons; the first being the promise of higher education, which was extremely important to them, and the second was that they knew people in New York. A former teacher at his father's school lived in New York, and he lived with her for a short time, and he had contacts with people like Harry Pace, who was a famous Atlanta University graduate and who, with W.C. Handy, became his first employer in New York. So, he had the promise of higher education at a great institution, and high quality contacts.

JJM Once he was connected with Pace, Henderson sort of rode the choices that Pace made in his own career. How did those choices affect Henderson's career?

JM Pace was in the publishing business for a time with W.C. Handy. Being a very savvy businessman, Pace immediately saw the commercial potential for recorded music, and felt that black music in particular was going to be very popular, but he wanted to record "cultivated" music, as Ethel Waters called it. So, Pace split off from Handy and formed the Pace Phonograph Corporation, which started by issuing Black Swan Records. Henderson came along at around this time and was employed in a variety of jobs; for example, he played piano for the singers and helped choose the repertoire to record. He served, in a way, as the label's musical director. Since he was well educated and musically trained, I imagine that Pace saw him as a like-minded figure who could help lead this company to success.

JJM Concerning the kind of work that was available to black musicians of the era, you talk about the four tiers of where they came from. Would you talk a little about these tiers, and which of them did Henderson's musicians come from?

JM The trumpeter Rex Stewart's writings were a great source for me, because not only did he play in the Henderson band, but he was also a very careful observer of this music scene of the twenties and thirties. He writes about this four tier hierarchy for black musicians your question refers to. The Clef Club - the organization that James Reese Europe organized less than a decade before Henderson came to New York - was the top tier. If you were part of the Clef Club you could get the elite jobs, which at that time were playing for well-to-do white audiences in downtown hotels and ballrooms.

The second tier were the burlesque musicians. It may be surprising to find these musicians this high, but Stewart was not looking at musical quality so much as professional breadth, and since burlesque musicians got to tour all over the place, they made a bigger impact through touring far beyond New York City. To Stewart, traveling with a singer or a small band was a plum job because you got to tour around and your music got to be heard by more people than if you only played in New York.

The next tier is the large bands, of which Henderson's was one, and also the bands of people like Sam Wooding, and some Chicago people like Dave Peyton and Doc Cook. This tier of musicians was a new phenomenon that was partly spawned by James Reese Europe's success as a bandleader. The appeal for the musicians here was that, in order to be a member of these bands, you had to be able to read music as well as improvise. At this point, reading carried a lot of social importance, because it foiled the racial stereotypes - it demonstrated education, literacy, and a degree of discipline. The stereotype of the period held that blacks were natural musicians who just improvised everything, so, when they sat down in front of a music stand reading sheet music, it made a statement. It is hard to recapture that feeling now, of what that sheer visual impact would have meant. Many black musicians write about the importance of this in their memoirs.

JJM As you say, it is great visual evidence of their educational ability, and in the context of how racist America was at that time, it helped break down some of the ignorance toward black musicians.

JM Exactly. And the fourth tier belonged to the musicians playing in small clubs and cabarets, venues he called "penny a dance" halls, where men paid a penny to a woman known as a "taxi dancer" to dance with for a short period of time. This kind of job called for constantly changing repertoire, because the shorter the arrangement, the more they earned. It was great experience for the musicians, who were assigned all kinds of material to play on the spur of the moment. This wasn't exactly a high-class job, however, because in some places the taxi dancers were basically glorified prostitutes. As a result, these jobs tended to be looked down upon as lower-class work.

JJM A who's who of pre-modern jazz played with Henderson. How did he find the quality of talent for his band?

JM That's a good question, and it's tough to answer. His strongest instincts were as a bandleader, and for putting together a group of musicians who could bring things to his music. His arranging talent was probably a by-product of band leading, even though he became most famous as an arranger for Goodman. Some of the musicians he hired for his band may have been happened upon as if by accident. When he was touring with Ethel Waters and the Black Swan group in the early twenties, he heard people like Joe Smith and Louis Armstrong, and because they were well known locally, he approached them about playing. When you are leading a band in New York, you tend to know everybody, and everybody tends to know you, and as the twenties went on, everybody was raiding each other's bands. But I think Henderson did have his ear out constantly for new talent, and his musical training made him particularly good at recognizing talent, and then approaching people about joining his band.

JJM You wrote that the first four years of Henderson's band must be construed as the "Redman period." What significance does Don Redman hold in the development of jazz?

JM When you read up on early jazz, he is frequently talked about as the first great jazz arranger. I have come to believe, however, that the qualities that made him unique have been overlooked in favor of the tried and true features like call and response, the separation of reeds and brass, and so on. Yes, he did all that, but what really leaps out to my ear when listening to those Redman period recordings with the Henderson band is this quick shifting among instruments and the sheer kaleidoscopic colors that he brought to popular song arrangements. When I look at stock arrangements of the period, I see how he would take a published sheet and just completely turn it upside down, rearranging its parts, juxtaposing sections in novel ways. It's as if he was making a puzzle, or using stock arrangements as a playground for new ideas.

JJM Yes, you wrote, "For Redman, a piece of sheet music was not a road map but a playground or a puzzle whose parts could be altered, extended, truncated, and otherwise rearranged at will."

JM Yes, and again, that gets back to the dimension of written music, and you can't recognize what he did just by listening to recordings. His contribution really leaps out at you only when you listen to the recording while also looking at the stock arrangement, which you know he was using. It becomes a fascinating exercise to retrace the steps he took from the stock arrangement to the recording. For example, you may discover that he is using a middle section melody of the stock as an accompaniment of a soloist, or that he is writing a new interlude, or that he is modulating where the stock doesn't modulate. So, he is doing all of these things that you can certainly pick up from listening to the recording alone - and it is fascinating to listen to - but it is even more fascinating when you look at the stock arrangement and the recording together, because you get a glimpse of the creative process involved.

JJM How did their work at the Roseland Ballroom shape their repertoire and the style they performed it in?

JM That gets back to the point about versatility. When you are playing for dancers, you have to have a command of a broad repertoire and a broad array of styles.

JJM And the dancers were generally an all white crowd, right?

JM Yes. In the downtown clubs during the twenties and thirties - which were pretty much hotel ballrooms -an black person had to be a celebrity to attend the clubs.

JJM So, Redman was writing arrangements to not only suit a white audience, but an upper-crust white audience?

JM The Roseland Ballroom was probably more of a middle class venue that a wide social range went to. It was more populist than a place like the Club Alabam, where they started in the earlier twenties, or Connie's Inn, where they played in the early thirties. The Roseland was a genteel place, not at all like the Savoy, where dynamic dancing took place. There was a place for hot music to be played there, but long head arrangements with extended improvisation did not work as well at the Roseland as they did at the Savoy.

JJM Whether they were playing for an upper or middle-class audience, it was a white audience, primarily, who were dancing to a black orchestra. As you wrote, Henderson's orchestra "had to strike a balance between the exotic and the familiar," and this setting must have certainly impacted how Redman wrote his charts and how the musicians performed.

JM Yes, and it started with the choice of repertoire they performed, which were the latest popular tunes from Tin Pan Alley publishers, who were right there in the heart of Manhattan. Broadway musicals, theater, and popular song publishing were all coalescing in the Times Square area, and the orchestra performed the latest tunes everyone knew from going to the shows or from seeing it in Tin Pan Alley sheet music. People recognized those popular tunes in a way that we don't now, and the "exotic" thing was to cut and paste, as Redman did, so that they heard just snippets of the tune - a bit by the trombone here, the saxes come in over there, the trumpets pick it up for a minute, followed by a big, splashy cymbal shot by Kaiser Marshall. People recognized the tunes, but they certainly never heard them played quite this way before. I like to think of that sheet music as a kind of black and white sketch that Redman throws all this color on, and it comes to life in a way that people had never heard before in other renderings of these songs. Added to that are the vocabulary of blues and jazz effects that had strong associations with black musicians - growls, bent pitches, and the novelty instruments Redman liked to play, such as the kazoo and train whistles. It makes this vast sound world, as if Redman makes a two-dimensional piece into a three-dimensional piece.

JJM You used a quote by Henry Louis Gates to describe this, "resemblance by dissemblance…"

JM Right. That seemed like an apt quote. Gates is of course describing literature and oral traditions, but I think it is apt for written music, in this case.

JJM Henderson is known by most of us for a handful of things, one of the most prominent being that Louis Armstrong played with him. You wrote, "…upon his arrival in New York, Armstrong neither looked the part - nor quite played the part - of a downtown dance musician. The disparity between Armstrong and the rest of the band, at first an apparent liability, became a rich source of creative tension, ultimately pitting Redman's arranging concept against the solo improvisational approach that Armstrong presented." How did Redman cope with the impact of Armstrong joining Henderson's orchestra?

JM In my hearing of it, since Redman is already aiming for maximum variety within an arrangement, Armstrong fit perfectly into this aesthetic of juxtaposition and contrast. Armstrong, therefore, becomes yet another weapon in the arsenal of variety. Most jazz historians make the claim that Armstrong's is the only palatable voice in the band, and that he makes the rest of the band sound old-fashioned. Imagining this from the Henderson/Redman perspective, I believe that in Armstrong's playing, they heard a unique sound they could add into their work, but it first had to be separated out. They deliberately set Armstrong off from the rest of the band, and you can hear that because the accompaniment changes underneath it. He starts to get what Rex Stewart called Western-style accompaniment, which was a simple backbeat. What is heard as that Armstrong era progresses - he was only with the band for thirteen months - is Redman integrating him inside the strains, so that instead of setting Armstrong off for an entire chorus, or strain, of the music, there is give and take between the band and Armstrong. So, right before he leaves, they do pieces like "TNT," and "Carolina Stomp," where you hear Redman juxtaposing Armstrong against the rest of the band, more in dialogue than they had been in the recordings made right after Armstrong joined.

The whole band responds to Armstrong in different ways. You start to get a move from a kind of a vertical conception of an arrangement - blocks of sound for variety - to a more horizontal, linear conception, where you feel the whole arrangement surging forward. This is why so many writers and commentators talk about how Armstrong changed Henderson's band forever from a dance band to a jazz band, but this happens very slowly, and in a way, I believe it takes off even more after Armstrong leaves.

JJM You say that Armstrong may have changed the way Coleman Hawkins played. Is there a song that best demonstrates this?

JM I think you can point to his famous solo on the 1926 recording of "Stampede." Hawkins's style changed so radically in the space of just three years, and he, above all, is the member of the Henderson band who is trying to absorb the model of Armstrong and make it his own. In 1923, he was playing solos that sound very old-fashioned now, where he is kind of running the chord changes up and down. It is a powerful sound, but it is more of a herky-jerky style. Three years later, in a piece like "Stampede," he has a much more fluid, linear sense of how to construct a solo. You can hear little motifs stated and restated and developed over the course of a solo, and actual figures that Armstrong uses are being woven into Hawkins's vocabulary, so it becomes very much an Armstrong inflected saxophone style.

JJM "Stampede" is the piece that the trumpeter Roy Eldridge copied…

JM That's right. Eldridge played the Hawkins solo on trumpet, so it is an interesting give and take between brass and reeds. You have an Armstrong model being absorbed by a saxophonist and then copied by another trumpet player.

JJM Of Fletcher Henderson, Armstrong once said, "Fletcher didn't dig me like Joe Oliver. He had a million dollar talent in his band and he never thought to let me sing." Why didn't he let Armstrong sing?

JM I don't know the answer to that. He did sing a little bit, but it is pretty negligible. It may be that perhaps they were worried about Armstrong becoming the single star of the band. It also could be that jazz singing had yet to emerge as we now know it. While Armstrong was a key figure in developing jazz singing, it is possible that at the time his style may have tipped the balance toward novelty a bit too much. There was a kind of dignity about instrumental music that more singing might have compromised. While Henderson did make dozens of records with singers, it could be that he preferred to be known as an instrumental band that played hot dance music. Bringing more singing into that instrumental music conception would bring the sound too close to the race record sound that he was doing with singers like Bessie Smith and Alberta Hunter. As I say, I don't have the answer, I am just thinking of this as you bring up this question.

JJM It is also possible that by the time Armstrong said this, it was easy to look back and say that Henderson missed out on his talent.

JM That's right, because Armstrong's reminiscing about this comes much later, and he tends to be very generous in his reminiscences.

JJM Armstrong's wife Lil Hardin wanted him to step away from Henderson because she felt he wasn't being used properly.

JM Right. She had an idea that he could be a real solo star, and the leader of the band. She had a much more hardheaded business sense than Louis did.

JJM I love the story about Armstrong's farewell party, when he left the band to return to Chicago. He got really drunk, apparently, and as he was saying goodbye to Henderson, he puked all over him.

JM I guess you could see that as an accident, or I guess you could imagine that it was a deliberate comment. [Laughs]. Armstrong, I am sure, would never admit it, but maybe that was part of the critique later, verbalized in that comment about singing.

JJM Henderson's band, according to certain critics, took some severe setbacks in the early thirties. How did the critics differ in their evaluation of the post-Armstrong Henderson orchestra?

JM The way I read it is that the late twenties/early thirties Henderson band suffers from the same "retrospective perspective" that the early band did, and the reason is that they are playing a versatile repertoire for a largely white audience in an elite venue - Connie's Inn, in particular - that does not translate as well into sound recordings for latter day listeners who have a notion in their minds about how jazz may have developed. So, the music is heard as being compromised, when in fact it is yet another manifestation of an asserted versatility that, in its time, was a mark of status and prestige.

JJM At this time, they were not only recording, but they were also on the radio a lot. Did his playing on the radio force him to paint a broad commercial stroke on everything he did?

JM I guess I don't see it that way. Sure, his music was commercial, but everything was commercial. The hottest music they played was conceived and performed in a commercial environment. I don't see that as his selling out or compromising as some writers have, as much as his knowing his audience. Once it is understood as an audience-centered value, he used his versatility and applied it to the situation he was given. I believe that is what Henderson was about. Later on, someone like Hawkins would feel confined by these audience-centered values because he wanted to develop the persona of a concert artist, but at the time, knowing and reaching your audience was a prized value. I don't believe that at the time it was seen so much as a sell-out or commercial compromise as we might later.

As I got further into this, I was really struck by the breadth of the audiences that Henderson's band was able to reach. He was one of the first black bands to play the prom circuit - from Yale to Princeton to the University of Kansas - while also firing up largely black audiences and dancers at the Savoy. Virtually every night, he played a different venue for a different audience. Too little is made of what incredible talent it takes to connect to your audience when it is changing that much.

JJM Regarding the disparity of the quality of live performances and recordings, Coleman Hawkins said, "We'd play this piece like mad. Come to work next night. We'd play it: wonderful. Maybe about two or three days later we'd go down to the studio to record it: horrible. Never would it come out right…" What do you make of that?

JM It speaks to this last issue we were just talking about, that playing for live audiences was a vital part of their music making. They responded to the crowd reactions to their music, and to the vibrations their dancing feet made on the floor. Dickie Wells talks about this. He said that when they could feel the dancers collectively pounding their feet on the floor, it served as a great inspiration to the musicians, resulting in a kind of symbiotic relationship. It was a feedback loop of sorts; the listeners and dancers got their energy from the music, and they reflected it back to the band. That feedback loop is missing in the recording studio, and I believe that what Hawkins is saying is that missing essential element affected the recordings.

JJM There are those who say that the sound quality of Henderson's recordings aren't as good as those of Ellington's of the same period.

JM That is true to some extent. Henderson recorded for a lot of different record labels, and you can really hear the differences sometimes. In the late twenties, they recorded a series for a label called Harmony, and you can hear a kind of constricted, depthless sound coming out of them. But he also recorded for some of the best labels of the era - Victor and Columbia among them - so that didn't strike me as big of an issue as the lack of having an audience while recording.

JJM There were quite a few changes that took place in the early-to-mid thirties period. Redman departed and was replaced by a series of arrangers-Benny Carter, and Henderson himself among them. Did Henderson begin to exert more control over the band at this point?

JM He got more involved in arranging, but I would have to say he exerted even less control over the band.

JJM Well, he didn't seem to have any control over the band, and in fact, depending on who you asked, was a pretty awful bandleader.

JM In a conventional sense, yes, he was not a good band leader. He was not a disciplinarian. For example, band members would show up at different times, and he would nod approvingly at a guy who showed up late but who would play a good solo. This irked people in the band - his brother Horace in particular had a problem with that, because he was more serious about the business of bandleading. On the other hand, the guitarist Lawrence Lucie said he liked Henderson's leadership style, and how Henderson loved hearing the band play. He must have had some kind of aura that his musical training, experience, prestige, and talent gave off, because when he approved of a musician, it lit the musician up. Lucie said that they fed off of each other's excitement for playing in the band.

Coleman Hawkins is "Exhibit A" of a guy who would show up late for work, yet Henderson let it happen night after night because he played great. Even John Hammond, who was always frustrated by Henderson's lack of discipline and authority over his band, had to admit that somehow the band would play with more fire when Henderson just let them do what they wanted. It is hard to say that he should have done anything differently. If he did, it would have been a different band, and we might not have had the fiery performances and the great solos his attitude may have fostered.

JJM How did he end up being Benny Goodman's arranger?

JM This is one of the most fascinating moments in this whole story of Henderson, and is right up there in the top ten of great moments in jazz and popular music history. In 1934, Henderson's band is struggling a bit. They were on the road, in Detroit, and by contemporary accounts were doing quite well with the crowds at the Grand Ballroom. But, for some reason, Henderson is either not getting paid, or if he is, he is not paying his musicians. They are left without money, and the band has to scrounge up enough money for bus fare back to New York. The band dissolves, and Henderson is now a bandleader without a band. He also returns to New York and attempts to keep a band together. During this time, he and his wife work together on arrangements, and a competition heats up between he and his brother Horace, who is leading a different band practically across the street from Fletcher.

At this same time, in late November/early December of 1934, Benny Goodman is hired to play on a radio program called "Let's Dance." He is in need of musical arrangements, and Hammond, among others, points him to Henderson as a good potential source for them. He hires Henderson - as well as several other arrangers - and pays him $37.50 per arrangement. It was not clear at this point that Henderson would emerge as a leading figure in this group of arrangers, or as the "maker" of the Goodman sound, but by early January, Goodman had a number of Henderson arrangements in his book. He started playing them on the radio and really liked what he heard. He then noticed that when they got out of the studio and played public performances during the week, the dancers were responding very well to Henderson's arrangements, so he wanted more of them. "Let's Dance" continued until May of 1935, and by then, Goodman was using quite a few Henderson arrangements, and saw that they were doing quite well. He hadn't recorded a lot of them yet - the recording came later - but they had already passed the test of making the dancers move.

JJM You talk about the importance of the three "R's," and how Henderson wrote arrangements to pass this test.

JM Yes, what I call the three "R's" are: "Road", "Radio," and "Recording." This came from testimony pieced together from a variety of people - Rex Stewart, John Hammond, and the singer Helen Ward among them. Ward talked about how Goodman developed a systematic approach to testing an arrangement's value. He would first take it on the road and play it in public for dancers. Seeing how they responded was a key element to the arrangement's worth. If it succeeded on the road in front of a live audience, he would then take it on the "Let's Dance" show and play it on the radio. Then, as Ward recalls, if the people in the studio audience responded to it, and if it worked well on radio, Goodman would record it. In addition to these three "R's," I talk about a fourth "R" that preceded all of these, and that was rehearsal. Goodman was a very hard a taskmaster, and he wanted every ensemble phrase to be perfected and uniform to a level that Henderson's band - under Henderson's leadership - never attained.

JJM Of the indirect influence Henderson's group of the twenties had on Goodman's sound, you wrote, "Along with the 'In the Mood' riff that passed through Henderson's band in Horace's tune 'Hot and Anxious,' these passages collectively reinforce the notion that Goodman and Henderson built the Kingdom of Swing partly from recycled shards of earlier black jazz and dance music."

JM That's right. First of all there are the tunes that transferred over from Henderson's band to Goodman, among them "Wrapping it Up," "Down South Camp Meeting," "King Porter Stomp," "Sugar Foot Stomp," and "Honeysuckle Rose." Then you hear passages from earlier Henderson recordings that are recycled and transformed in Henderson's arrangements for Goodman. For example, there are phrases and riffs in the Henderson band's late twenties recording of "St. Louis Blues" that end up in the version he arranged for Goodman. Even though it is not the same arrangement, you hear him using the passages in it. Another example is the tag ending of "Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea," which comes from an earlier Henderson recording, "Can You Take It." There is a major characteristic of Henderson's arranging - a chain of syncopation - that was heard throughout his early thirties recordings that became a real trademark of Henderson's written arrangements for Goodman. There are also some things from Benny Carter's arrangements for Henderson's band that Henderson took up and revised for Goodman's band.

He is absorbing all of this stuff that his own band had done, and it makes sense, because he was having to produce work at such a fast pace. Goodman was really turning the screws on him, calling him up at four o'clock in the morning and saying he needed an arrangement in a few hours. Under this kind of pressure, Henderson was bound to use stuff that he had already played. What is remarkable is the transformation that occurred, taking an arrangement he had played with his own band, and revising it for Goodman, emphasizing the written parts over the solo parts that were emphasized before.

JJM Any idea what their personal relationship was like?

JM I would say it was one of mutual respect. Goodman certainly recognized the value of Henderson's work. He was very demanding, but I wouldn't say he took him for granted. Henderson became a kind of alter ego for Goodman, who needed him to complete his musical identity. This was why in 1939 he fired Jess Stacy, who was a great pianist who just the year before played this sparkling solo on "Sing Sing Sing" during the Carnegie Hall concert. He replaced Stacy with Henderson - who was not highly respected as a pianist and not a particularly imaginative soloist - as an accompanist. It is likely he made this change so that Henderson wouldn't leave. From this decision one can make the assumption that he needed Henderson probably more than Henderson needed him, and certainly more than Henderson wanted to need Goodman. For Henderson, ultimately his identity was rooted in bandleading, and in an ideal world, his own band would be playing his arrangements better than anybody, but that wasn't the case.

I don't know how friendly they were off the bandstand. My sense is that it was what might be called a professional friendship rooted in their work rather than in any kind of social interaction. I also think that Goodman may have seen Henderson as a kind of father figure. It is hard to understand that because Goodman is so much better known than Henderson is now, but Henderson was twelve years older, and throughout the twenties he led the most prestigious band when Goodman was basically a teenager, trying to come up through the business. The other thing to support this is that Henderson was much better educated than Goodman, musically and otherwise. So, Henderson had a lot of qualities that Goodman recognized and needed to complete his professional and musical identity.

JJM You write that Henderson's musical legacy continues to inflect the soundtrack of American life. How so?

JM You hear it regularly popping up in surprising places. I have heard it, for example, in café's, in movie soundtracks, and in music that NPR uses to transition from one program to another.

His way of treating a band captured the ear of an entire generation, and these very tight, block-voiced chords interacting with each other and improvising soloists is such a basic sound that we think of it as the normal sound of big bands. That sound comes from Henderson, who channeled his work through his own band, and through Goodman's, so whenever you hear a big band play, which unfortunately is less and less often, I think you hear that legacy.

JJM One of his albums - produced by John Hammond - is called "A Study in Frustration." The word "frustration" is used a lot when the conversation turns to Fletcher Henderson. Why?

JM Hammond is the main person responsible for associating the idea of frustration with Henderson's career. He felt that Henderson's music succeeded with Goodman in a way that it could not with his own band, so he did not achieve the fame or fortune that Goodman did playing that music. Henderson did experience some frustration in the sense that he wanted to succeed as a bandleader, and ideally would have been playing his own arrangements better than anyone else. But I think he accepted the situation in which Goodman's band picked up his arrangements and perfected them, especially the written parts. That was a source of great pride and satisfaction for him. The frustration part is only part of the story, and I think it is Hammond projecting his own feelings onto Henderson.

JJM He was known to do that at times.

JM Yes. Hammond determined in the early thirties that Henderson's band was the best, and he was going to make it known as the best band. When that didn't happen, the next best thing was for Goodman to make Henderson's music better known. I do believe much of this frustration theory is a lot of Hammond projecting his own feelings on to Henderson. On the other hand, think what would have happened if Goodman hadn't played Henderson's arrangements. He certainly wouldn't have been any better known or financially rewarded.

JJM And we probably wouldn't be sitting here, talking about him.

JM Maybe not. So, I end the book realizing that I needed to hold two opposing views in my head at the same time, and I termed them "frustration" and "fulfillment." It probably says more about the reader than about Henderson whether they put the weight on one or the other. To really understand and live this tension that infused Henderson's life and work, you have to be able to hold both of these in your soul at the same time. Yes, there was an element of frustration in the way things turned out, but on the other hand, his work was fulfilling in a way few of us will ever have the satisfaction of experiencing.


About Jeffrey Magee

Jeffrey Magee is an Associate Professor of Musicology at Indiana University. His writings on jazz, ragtime, and American popular song have appeared in American Music, Lenox Avenue, International Dictionary of Black Composers, Musical Quarterly, the Cambridge History of American Music, and the Journal of the American Musicological Society.


JJM Who was your childhood hero?

JM I grew up near Pittsburgh in the seventies, which was a great decade for Pittsburgh sports. The Pirates won two World Series and the Steelers won four Super Bowls during this time. I was in the heart of my childhood, and in my prime of being a sports fan as well, so it was a magical time for me. Every time I hear the names of the great players of those teams - Willie Stargell, Roberto Clemente, Terry Bradshaw, Lynn Swann, "Mean" Joe Greene, Jack Ham, Jack Lambert, not to mention guys who aren't remembered as well any more like, say, Richie Hebner and Rocky Bleier - it conjures up a whole range of feelings and memories. I'd have to add at least two other people to my list, although I didn't think of them as "heroes" at the time. One is my uncle Alan Magee, an artist. I look back and realize that I studied his illustrations and paintings-and his independent way of life-for clues about how I could live. The other is my father, Richard Magee, who read my early attempts at writing and, by making marginal comments, showed me that choosing the right word is a serious business, that writing is a painstaking process, a challenging craft. Also, my father-my whole family, really, including my mother Joyce and brother Rich-is liberal in a sense that seems to have been lost: open-minded, tolerant, generous, compassionate. I would say that my late-blooming interest in jazz-after growing up listening to seventies pop and learning classical piano-owes something to that background.

icWales - Miles Davis artworks get UK show

icWales - Miles Davis artworks get UK showMiles Davis artworks get UK show

Sep 20 2005


A new exhibition of artworks by jazz supremo Miles Davis is being unveiled to a UK audience for the first time today.

The exhibition will enjoy its British premiere and its only UK showing in Edinburgh, before heading to the Pushkin Museum in Moscow.

The Art of Miles Davis promises to reveal a different side to Davis’s genius - a man better known for his skill on the trumpet than his flare with a paintbrush.

Notably, the last painting completed by Davis before his death, entitled Gold Face, will be unveiled to the public for the first time today. It has, until now, languished in the home of one of the musician’s relatives.

A pioneer of the cool jazz era, Davis became a world-famous innovator and his work in albums such as Bitches Brew and Sketches of Spain influenced generations of musicians.

In 1980, after suffering a stroke, the musician began to focus his talent in a new direction and started seeking expression through visual art as well as music.

He began with primitive figures and then experimented in colour and composition.

Mostly self-taught, he became inspired by the Milan-based design movement known as Memphis, whose theme was based on hot colours and clashing shapes.

Art trustee Jonathan Poole, who also looks after the work of John Lennon and Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood, said he was struck by the “vibrancy” and “total honesty” of Davis’s work.

He said: “Miles took his painting very seriously, since it was a manner in which he chose to bring the musical notes to life.

“There could not have been a more honest fusion and fruition of his innate talent.

“To him, painting was another way of playing music. For this reason alone, the exhibition is important for his jazz fans and for the general public to realise that an individual can express himself in more ways than one.

“The public can see his genius as a trumpet player transformed on to canvas.”

Some 48 artworks will go on show at The Dome restaurant and bar in Edinburgh’s George Street.

A private viewing will be held today and the free exhibition will open to the public from tomorrow until Saturday.

Original drawings have been priced from £2,000 to £5,000, while limited edition prints could fetch £450 to £1,000.

A selection of original paintings will also be on sale.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Bill T. Jones Is About to Make People Angry. Again. - New York Times

Bill T. Jones Is About to Make People Angry. Again. - New York TimesSeptember 18, 2005
Bill T. Jones Is About to Make People Angry. Again.

EARLY one evening, at the end of a long rehearsal for his latest piece, "Blind Date," the choreographer and dancer Bill T. Jones made his way to one of the soaring windows in the studio he has been occupying over Times Square and changed his clothes, concealing no part of his fabled musculature from public appreciation.

Among the 20-year-old dancers scurrying about him, were those trying to banish the aches from their rotator cuffs or maneuver bandages on their lower joints. Mr. Jones is 53, and although he endured a knee operation last year, his body bears no signs of occupational hazard, no evidence of illness (he has been H.I.V.-positive for two decades), no suggestion that he is squarely situated in middle life. Physical modesty would seem an unreasonable demand to make of him.

Mr. Jones has carried himself through the rarefied world of dance with an air of enlivened majesty: speaking out, speaking often and, when speaking of himself, occasionally speaking in the third person. His comportment may partly explain why, during his more than 25-year career, his creative efforts have repeatedly been considered transgressive. But that term mischaracterizes him as an artist and perhaps even as a man, a point rendered clearly in this newest work, which will have its premiere at the Alexander Kasser Theater in Montclair, N.J., this week, before traveling around the country and arriving in New York on Feb. 21.

"Blind Date" is his most urgently topical piece in years, and perhaps his most unambiguously political. Its origin was a speech he heard last year in Germany, in which the speaker warned that terms like honor and valor had been cheapened, emptied and recast as purely anachronistic. The speech resonated with Mr. Jones, he said, at a time when he had been trying to understand what patriotism meant in early 21st-century America.

The last presidential election brought his relatively vague ideas about civil malaise into sharp focus. "I'd really thought that the values of the counterculture were moving more into the mainstream of American life," Mr. Jones said one recent afternoon. "But the election really proved to me that I was wrong. I'd begun to have a very strong response to this 'us' and 'them' mentality, and I had become exercised by the kind of discourse we were having in this country."

He responded not with a screed calling for the dismantling of the Bush White House or the secession of the Northeast. Instead, invoking Bach, he set about to create a work of choreography endorsing the values of the Enlightenment, a piece that would cast a critical eye on what he described as a national atmosphere of "toxic certainty." And he has done so with a series of segments that question the expediency of war, reflect on limited opportunities for the urban poor and remark on the centrality of sexual moralism to the Republican agenda.

"Blind Date" does not try to obfuscate its point of view. It makes no pretenses to pure abstraction. This will, no doubt, agitate some observers, just as Mr. Jones's work has done before. But what is truly striking about the piece is that the politics Mr. Jones has in the past fought so fiercely to express sit squarely in the mainstream of American liberalism. "Blind Date" is in many ways the sort of composition that might have sprung from the forces of the Democratic National Committee were they inclined to think in pas de deux and counterpoint. Had Mr. Jones wanted a more literal title, he might have considered "Dancing for Howard Dean."

BY the late-1970's Mr. Jones and Arnie Zane, his partner in life and art, were becoming prominent in the world of postmodern dance. The message of their work was consistently one of racial and sexual tolerance. Almost a decade after Stonewall and some 20 years after the beginning of the civil-rights movement, that may not have been an entirely radical position to occupy, but the pair, an incongruous duo, prompted a great deal of conversation and interest in the world of downtown theater.

"There was a cool, intellectual approach to form along with - if we're going to use McLuhanesque terms - hot content, and that was really different," said Deborah Jowitt, a dance critic at The Village Voice who was an early champion of Mr. Jones's work with Zane. "But they also had another value they expressed early on, and that was a real gusto about making it."

Mr. Jones refuses to classify some of his pieces as more political than others. In his poststructuralist worldview, all art is political. "Swan Lake," he enjoys pointing out, was conceived to delight the aristocracy. "Peasants with heavy breasts is not what 'Swan Lake' was about. Women are ideas in classical ballet, and to my mind, yes, that is political."

Similarly, he does not classify his own political positions, particularly not as a left-of-centrist, maintaining that there is plenty in "Blind Date" with which an archetypal West 74th Street liberal might take issue.

In part of the performance, for instance, a voice is heard reading from Leviticus ("Do not have sexual relations with your father's sister," "Do not have sexual relations with the daughter of your father's wife"), a selection intended, Mr. Jones said, to prompt his secular audiences to ask themselves why it is that they abide by certain biblically derived proscriptions on sexual conduct while maintaining that others have no validity. Here he is involved in an act of self-interrogation as well. "Why do I think it's O.K. to lay with another man," Mr. Jones pondered over the phone one day, "but not to sleep with my sister?"

"I am an African-American man raised on the Bible, but I know that I can't fall back on that sentimental tradition," he said. "I must ask myself, 'What part of this is part of me and what isn't?' "

Material references to religion, to philosophy, to culture high and low, are common for Mr. Jones, who has no interest in confining himself to the traditional parameters of choreography. "That world of Martha Graham, of bodies without words, I just don't think that's what the language of the culture is," he said. At one point "Blind Date" will feature a video of a commercial for a fictitious fast-food enterprise called Quack-a-Dack.

That video accompanies a sequence titled "This Is Richard," in which a reader informs the audience that the young man standing onstage next to him, in a feathered camouflage duck suit, is a 16-year-old boy from Harlem who has been forced by his father to take a job luring customers to a burger restaurant. Eventually an Army recruiter arrives to lure Richard to a different career with more glamorous costuming, at which point all the company's dancers begin moving athletically - jogging, throwing their bodies on the floor - in simulation of military drills. The sequence ends in a pop-influenced duet between Mr. Jones and another dancer; the war charges along, and the party carries on.

Another sequence is "Security." It centers on the movement of a falling body, a gesture that comes out of contact improvisation in dance and more specifically, for Mr. Jones, the "Me Game," a trust-building exercise often used in alternative therapies. As members of the company disperse, running around the stage, they take turns screaming, "Me!," and coalesce to catch and save the falling dancer. Here he evokes the balance of fear, panic and faith maintained as the natural order of things in the post-9/11 world.

He has used versions of the movement before. In 1988, Zane, with whom he had spent 17 years, died from complications of AIDS. All around Mr. Jones, other friends and colleagues were falling. He constructed a series of intensely emotional pieces to explore the themes of loss, mourning and personal resurrection. The best-known of these pieces, "Still/Here," made its debut in 1994, using videotaped conversations he had conducted with people battling terminal illness. The piece sought to promote connection between the well and the unwell - a connection suggesting the Buddhist principle that death is present with all of us always.

Interest in "Still/Here" might have remained largely confined to the dance world had it not been for an essay that Arlene Croce wrote in The New Yorker, "Discussing the Undiscussable." In it she argued that she would not see the piece because it was an attempt to force people to feel sorry for the suffering people featured in it. Such manipulative intent, she determined, put the piece outside the bounds of criticism.

Of the essay's publication and the debate it engendered, Mr. Jones said during a walk in Midtown one recent evening, "It was the worst time of my adult life." That the criticism came from Ms. Croce made it that much more painful. "I thought of her as the Henry James of dance critics," he said. "She wrote in those beautiful, eloquent paragraphs, and I respected her highly. She revealed herself in a way that disappointed me."

During this difficult period he drew on the support of Bjorn Amelan, who had also lost a companion, the fashion designer Patrick Kelly. The two survivors had become lovers not long before, and Mr. Amelan was and remains a set designer for Mr. Jones.

They share a home in Valley Cottage, N.Y., the same home Mr. Jones made with Zane. In his lyrical memoir, "Last Night on Earth," Mr. Jones writes frankly of the sexual abandon he and Zane experienced during the late 70's, in the gay bathhouses of the East Village. But Mr. Jones and Zane chose not to build their domestic life in Lower Manhattan. "As two gay men at that time, living in the East Village would have ripped us apart." Of his decision to embark on a suburban life he added: "I have no patience for people who call it bourgeois. I'm the child of potato pickers. I'm happy to join the middle class." IF "Blind Date" represents a revival of political immediacy in his work, it signals as well a return to a less rigid visual style. "When I started this piece, I'd been thinking about what this company is for," Mr. Jones said. "Five years ago you would have heard me say that it was about beauty. I'd been trying to free the inner formalist in me. I wanted to show that I had range."

Echoing Mr. Jones's words, Janet Wong, who has been his rehearsal director and friend for 10 years, said: "Bill is the son of migrant farmers, and those issues of race and class are always with him, that idea of who is looking at what. He can spend years of making abstract work with pretty dancing, but these issues always come back."

Some observers and critics speculated that his previous shift in style was partly a reaction to Ms. Croce's article. "I wouldn't say that Bill T. Jones is scared of anything," said Lawrence Goldhuber, the 6-foot-tall, 350-pound dancer who worked with Mr. Jones in the late 80's and 90's, but he added, it was hard not to notice that after "Still/Here" Mr. Jones's style was more inclined toward the physical than the emotional.

For the dancers in his company now, many of whom are relatively new, the experience of working on "Blind Date," has been intensely collaborative. Mr. Jones was recovering from knee surgery, and sorting through some existential confusion. "When we started," said Leah Cox, who has been with the company for four years, "his attitude was very much, 'I don't know why I'm dancing. In this political climate, what is the point?' "

"He tends to be someone who can get angry quickly and angry onstage," she added. "I feel as though he's making a very different kind of piece. There's something very thoughtful and considered. He's not finding something out in the end; he's presenting a series of questions."

Mr. Jones acknowledges that he has occasionally felt alienated from his young dancers, and perhaps never as much as when he began talking with them about the piece's underlying ideas. "They're here to dance," he said. "They're not looking for the relationship between Christian fundamentalism and what they're doing in the studio. I'd be bullying, and I'd try to make them take positions and accuse them of being apolitical. I'd ask them: 'Why do you think you have the luxury to be a modern dancer? What are you doing in this company?'

"But you know, they're just people. They have no idea what to do. I think they'd like to be true to something."

In a conversation with the dancers after a rehearsal one evening, Mr. Jones aimed to provoke, telling them that he used to say he couldn't trust a white person who had never slept with a black person. They looked at him in vague disbelief and started to laugh. Mr. Jones chuckled himself. "No, no really," he said. "I used to say that. I did."

The Observer | Review | Unlikely cold war warriors

The Observer | Review | Unlikely cold war warriors Jazz CD of the week
Unlikely cold war warriors

Dave Gelly
Sunday September 18, 2005
The Observer

Thelonious Monk Quartet with John Coltrane at the Carnegie Hall
(Blue Note 0946 3 36023 2 8V)

Buried treasure doesn't come much rarer than this. In November 1957, Thelonious Monk's quartet, with John Coltrane on tenor saxophone, played in a gala concert at Carnegie Hall in aid of a Harlem charity. The event was recorded by Voice of America, the radio propaganda arm of the US government, aimed at eastern bloc countries during the Cold War.

The tapes were filed in VOA's archive, but someone forgot to label the boxes. They languished for nearly 48 years, until the process of transferring the archive to digital format unearthed them this year.

Things like this happen from time to time and usually the only people to get excited are jazz completists, but this is different. The Monk-Coltrane quartet was a sensational but short-lived affair. It lasted less than six months and recorded a mere three numbers in the studio. Apart from a rather scruffy live recording made by the first Mrs Coltrane on a primitive portable machine, that was the band's total legacy - until now.

When this set of eight numbers was recorded, the quartet had been playing regularly, six nights a week, for the previous four months. It had reached that stage of mutual trust and understanding that only comes with time; the unhesitating confidence with which Monk and Coltrane play together is quite breathtaking.

It hadn't been like that at the start. Coltrane once said that playing with the unpredictable Monk was 'like being dropped down an elevator shaft'.

The three studio numbers were done before their association had settled down and there are some uncomfortable moments in them. These newly rediscovered and beautifully recorded pieces are infinitely better and give a much truer picture of the quartet's achievement. Monk's cryptic, angular themes, such as 'Evidence' and 'Epistrophy', are notoriously difficult to master, but Coltrane bounces through them with almost jocular ease.

For his part, Monk takes obvious delight in having the Carnegie concert grand under his fingers, instead of the usual nightclub piano, and his playing expands accordingly. He must have played 'Ruby My Dear' thousands of times during his career, but rarely with such resonant delicacy. Ahmed Abdul-Malik and Shadow Wilson, on bass and drums respectively, remain pretty discreet throughout, but their support never wavers.

This marked the start of a new life for both men. Coltrane had cured himself of the heroin habit that caused Miles Davis to sack him in 1956 and had experienced what he described as a 'spiritual awakening'. From this point until his death 10 years later, his creativity would be unbounded. Monk's period in obscurity was over. His image had changed from that of harmless lunatic to fashionable eccentric and he was on the way to becoming a revered jazz elder.

So, with hindsight, these eight wonderful numbers take on all kinds of special significance. And to think we owe it all to the Cold War.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Jazz inspired Lizz Wright

Jazz inspired Lizz Wright Posted on Fri, Sep. 16, 2005

Jazz inspired Lizz Wright
Singer, acoustic guitarist brings a unique sound to Spirit Square
Pop Culture Writer

Lizz Wright fell in love with jazz as a student at Georgia State University, but she fell in love with herself as a touring musician.

Her newfound love reveals itself on her sophomore album "Dreaming Wide Awake," an acoustic guitar-driven disc more in the tradition of Americana singer/songwriters than jazz.

And that's fine with Wright, who never considered herself to be a jazz singer in the first place. Don't get it twisted -- Wright likes jazz, but she just doesn't sing in the traditional sense of standards.

"Jazz really opened my mind," said Wright, who performs at the McGlohon Theatre in Spirit Square on Saturday. "When I was studying at Georgia State, I thought, `I don't really sing like that, but I love it.' "

The 25-year-old is one of those below-the-radar artists critics love. Wright's debut disc, "Salt," is the kind that gets passed around on burned CDs because people hear about her from a friend who loves the disc. It's a blend of folksy, acoustic jazz rearrangements of songs, including "Soon as I Get Home" from "The Wiz," Neil Young's rock classic "Old Man," and a handful of Wright's work.

She often sings about perseverance, hope, loving your fellow human. And yet, Wright is too spunky for folk and not incense enough for neo-soul, so with her short-cropped natural hair and lack of "loving my man" songs, Wright's music could only fall into one category: jazz

And that bothers her. Wright loves jazz, but sees herself on a musical journey that doesn't easily fit into one box.

On her first album, Wright was tiptoeing into the music industry. She worked with three different producers. She'd studied jazz in college, so the album was an outgrowth of her fascination with the genre, but she still put her own spin on the tunes.

"Dreaming Wide Awake" is more introspective and reflects her broad interests, which include country.

"I wanted to make the record that I really listened to," Wright said. "I got pigeonholed as a jazz artist. It makes me wonder whether people see themselves in these categories."

The singer is still discovering how she sees herself. Endless hours of self-examination while touring inspired "Dreaming."

"I'm finally starting to mature a little bit," she said. "I finally feel more defined as a person. I feel like a stone that's been shaped by the river."

Wright initially worried her new disc would alienate her jazz fans. Now, she trusts her feelings.

University of Pittsburgh Announces Lineup for 35th Annual Pitt Jazz Seminar and Concert :: : The Number One Jazz News Resource On The Ne

University of Pittsburgh Announces Lineup for 35th Annual Pitt Jazz Seminar and Concert :: : The Number One Jazz News Resource On The Net :: Jazz News Daily University of Pittsburgh Announces Lineup for 35th Annual Pitt Jazz Seminar and Concert
Posted by: editoron Saturday, September 17, 2005 - 09:18 AM
University of Pittsburgh Announces Lineup for 35th-Annual Pitt Jazz Seminar and Concert

Profits from concert ticket sales earmarked for hurricane victims

PITTSBURGH — Legendary jazz musicians from around the world will perform and participate in lectures and demonstrations at the University of Pittsburgh Nov. 1 - 5 as part of the 35th-Annual Pitt Jazz Seminar and Concert, the longest-running event of its kind in the country.

This year's musicians include: Nicholas Payton, trumpet; Charles Tolliver, trumpet; James Spaulding, alto saxophone; James Moody, saxophone; Larry Coryell, guitar; Renee Rosnes, piano; Abraham Laboriel, bass; and Idris Muhammad, drums. They will perform under the direction of Nathan Davis, saxophonist, head of Pitt's Jazz Studies Program, and founder of the annual event.

Davis will be working with the appropriate agencies to designate the profits from the annual event toward Hurricane Katrina relief efforts. Both Payton and Muhammad call New Orleans their home.

“I've spoken with both of them [Payton and Muhammad] about my intent to donate the profits from the concert ticket sales to the hurricane victims of that city,” said Davis, noting the strong connection between the Pitt event and the jazz mecca that was largely destroyed by Hurricane Katrina and subsequent levee breaches Aug. 29 - 30. “We've had a lot of musicians from New Orleans participate in our event over the years,” he added.

During Jazz Week Nov. 1 - 5, the guest artists will conduct free on-campus seminars. As part of the Pitt Jazz outreach initiative, they also will host miniclinics for students at area schools and give free lecture / demonstrations in community venues. Two evening lectures about the music industry also will be part of the campus activities. The week will culminate with a concert at 8 p.m. Nov. 5 in Carnegie Music Hall. Reserved seat concert tickets are $18; students with a valid ID pay $8. Tickets are scheduled to go on sale today at any TicketMaster location, by phone at 412-323-1919, online at, and at the box office of Pitt's William Pitt Union, 3959 Fifth Ave., Oakland.

The Pitt Jazz Seminar and Concert was the first academic jazz seminar in the country to feature international artists connecting with aspiring student musicians in a lecture format, then performing together as an ensemble. Additional details, including seminar schedules and background information on the performers, will be available in the coming weeks. For more information, call the Pitt Jazz Studies Program at 412-624-4187 or visit

WBZ-AM: Entertainment

WBZ-AM: EntertainmentDizzie Gillespie gets one more big gig, at the auction house
Thursday September 15, 2005

MORRIS PLAINS, N.J. (AP) Dizzie Gillespie can still draw a paying crowd.

An auction of items from the late jazz legend's Englewood home drew musicians, former colleagues and Web site viewers from as far away as Switzerland.

Among items that were auctioned Wednesday was a gold-plated piccolo trumpet that fetched $1,200 and a dog license for the musician's pet poodle, Maestro, which sold for $90. Nearly 1,000 lots were up for bid.

The auction was held to settle the Gillespie estate among the jazz player's 48 heirs. Gillespie died in 1993; his wife, Lorraine, died in 2004.

The event received live coverage on eBay. Among those in the audience were musicians who played with Gillespie, who is credited with founding jazz's bebop movement with Thelonious Monk and Charlie Parker in the 1940s.

The musician who made a trademark out of his bent trumpet, puffed-out cheeks and his ability to go into the highest registers of the trumpet range also has received some credit for bringing Afro-Cuban elements into modern jazz.

Other items sold included a signed photo with a love message to Gillespie's wife, which sold for $12,000; letters from every U.S. president from John F. Kennedy to Bill Clinton; and a few campaign buttons from Gillespie's half-serious run for president in 1964, during which he drew attention to the civil rights movement.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Highlights of the 9th annual JJA Jazz Awards BETJazz :: : The Number One Jazz News Resource On The Net :: Jazz News Daily

Highlights of the 9th annual JJA Jazz Awards BETJazz :: : The Number One Jazz News Resource On The Net :: Jazz News Daily Highlights of the 9th annual JJA Jazz Awards BETJazz
Posted by: Adminon Wednesday, September 14, 2005 - 06:28 PM
Jazz News Yesterday BETJazz broadcast for the first time the 60-minute highlights of the 9th annual JJA Jazz Awards (sm) gala at B.B. King's Blues Club and Grill on June 14 2005 -- featuring program host Joe Piscipo, Jazz Awards host Robert Wisdom, music by Nnenna Frelon, ASCAP Young Jazz Composers Competition winners Bob Reynolds, Sy Johnson's 75th birthday octet and Jack DeJohnette, plus jazz and JJA celebs including Dr. Billy Taylor, Clark Terry, Cecil Taylor, Frank Wess, Derek Gordon (Jazz at Lincoln Center), Terry Gross, Luciana Souza, Maria Schneider, Judi Silvano, Willard Jenkins, Paxton Baker (BETJazz), the Chicago Jazz Partnership, Rupert Holmes, Wendy Oxenhorn, Gene Martin, Michelle Mercer, Hamiet Bluiett, Claire Daly, Stefon Harris, me myself, and many more --

We thank tv producer Waymer Johnson, and urge everyone who can to tune in to BETJazz (channel 89 on Manhattan cable) when the show is rebroadcast:

September 18 at 1 pm, 6 pm and 10 pm,
October 11 at 12 pm, 8 pm & 12 am,
October 16 at 1 pm, 6 pm and 10 pm.

Jazz legend's life up for auction :: : The Number One Jazz News Resource On The Net :: Jazz News Daily

Jazz legend's life up for auction :: : The Number One Jazz News Resource On The Net :: Jazz News Daily Jazz legend's life up for auction
Posted by: editoron Wednesday, September 14, 2005 - 10:12 PM
Jazz News One of Dizzy Gillespie's trademark bent trumpets is up for sale
Almost 1,000 items from the home of late jazz legend Dizzy Gillespie are going under the hammer.
Possessions up for grabs include one of his signature bent trumpets, a Grammy Award, a piano, his record collection and handwritten sheet music.

Gillespie, regarded as one of the best jazz trumpeters, died in 1993 aged 75.

The items come from the house he shared in New Jersey with Lorraine, his wife of 53 years. Two of his other trumpets fetched $72,000 (£39,400) in February.

'Pushed the boundaries'

Other items up for grabs on Wednesday include a range of drums, hats, photographs, letters and awards.

Gillespie was said to have taken up playing the bent trumpet after accidentally damaging one and discovering he liked the sound.

He is credited with expanding the technical limits of the instrument and pushing back the boundaries of jazz.

The sale will take place at Dawson and Nye auction house in Morris Plains, New Jersey.

The Chetek Alert

The Chetek AlertClarence Brown, 81; 'Unorthodox' Musician ; Singer, Guitarist Played Blues and Mishmash of Styles
Record, The; Bergen County, N.J. September 14, 2005
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BATON ROUGE, La. - Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown, the singer and guitarist who built a 50-year career playing blues, country, jazz and Cajun music, died Saturday in his hometown of Orange, Texas, where he had gone to escape Hurricane Katrina. He was 81.

Mr. Brown, who had been battling lung cancer and heart disease, was in ill health for the past year, said Rick Cady, his booking agent.

Cady said the musician was with his family at his brother's house when he died. Mr. Brown's home in Slidell, La., a bedroom community of New Orleans, was destroyed by Katrina, Cady said.

"He was completely devastated," Cady said. "I'm sure he was heartbroken, both literally and figuratively. He evacuated successfully before the hurricane hit, but I'm sure it weighed heavily on his soul."

Although his career first took off in the 1940s with blues hits "Okie Dokie Stomp" and "Ain't That Dandy," Mr. Brown bristled when he was labeled a bluesman.

In the second half of his career, he became known as a musical jack-of-all-trades who played a half-dozen instruments and culled from jazz, country, Texas blues, and the zydeco and Cajun music of his native Louisiana.

By the end of his career, Mr. Brown had more than 30 recordings and won a Grammy award in 1982.

"I'm so unorthodox, a lot of people can't handle it," Mr. Brown said in a 2001 interview.

Mr. Brown's versatility came partly from a childhood spent in the musical mishmash of southwestern Louisiana and southeastern Texas. He was born in Vinton, La., and grew up in Orange.

Mr. Brown often said he learned to love music from his father, a railroad worker who sang and played fiddle in a Cajun band.

He started playing fiddle by age 5. At 10, he taught himself an odd guitar-picking style he used all his life, dragging his long, bony fingers over the strings.

In his teens, Mr. Brown toured as a drummer with swing bands and was nicknamed "Gatemouth" for his deep voice. After a brief stint in the Army, he returned in 1945 to Texas, where he was inspired by blues guitarist T-Bone Walker.

Mr. Brown's career took off in 1947 when Walker became ill and had to leave the stage at a Houston nightclub. The club owner invited Mr. Brown to sing, but Mr. Brown grabbed Walker's guitar and thrilled the crowd by tearing through "Gatemouth Boogie" - a song he claimed to have made up on the spot.

He made dozens of recordings in the 1940s and '50s, including many regional hits - "Okie Dokie Stomp," "Boogie Rambler," and "Dirty Work at the Crossroads."

But he became frustrated by the limitations of the blues and began carving a new career by recording albums that featured jazz and country songs mixed in with the blues numbers.

"He is one of the most underrated guitarists, musicians and arrangers I've ever met, an absolute prodigy," said Colin Walters, who is working on Mr. Brown's biography. "He is truly one of the most gifted musicians out there.

"He never wanted to be called a bluesman, but I used to tell him that though he may not like the blues, he does the blues better than anyone," added Walters.

Survivors include three daughters and a son.

Michael Brecker Update :: : The Number One Jazz News Resource On The Net :: Jazz News Daily

Michael Brecker Update :: : The Number One Jazz News Resource On The Net :: Jazz News Daily Michael Brecker Update
Posted by: editoron Thursday, September 15, 2005 - 03:37 PM
Jazz News My beloved brother, 11-time Grammy Award winning jazz saxophonist MICHAEL BRECKER, has recently been diagnosed with Myelo-Dysplastic Syndrome (MDS), a pre-leukemic bone marrow disorder. A stem cell transplant could save his life.
The initial search for a donor that included me, our older brother Randy, and Michael¹s two children did not result in a match. Michael¹s doctors have told us that the best way of finding a match for him is to increase the donor
registry numbers with people of similar genetic backgrounds ­ in this case, people of Eastern European Jewish descent.By being tested, you will be eligible to help Michael and others in his situation.

To increase Michael's chances, we are having a DONOR DRIVE ON:

The testing here requires a swabbing from the inside of your cheeks with 4 sterile q-tips. Your tissues typing information will be posted on the national registry where it will also be available to others in need of a stem cell transplant. You are never legally obligated to be a donor and you can remove your name from the registry at any time. However, a decision not to donate can be life threatening to a patient and among the most disheartening news a family can ever receive. Therefore, please carefully consider your decision to be a donor and take appropriate action. There have been tremendousadvances in stem cell/bone marrow transplants. The process may be no more invasive than
giving blood. Stem cells can now be harvested directly from the donor's blood. In many cases, the blood is removed from one arm and filtered through a cell-separating machine that collects the stem cells. The donor¹s blood is then
returned through the other arm. In other cases, stem cells may have to be harvested directly from your bone marrow. All the necessary precautions are taken to ensure the safety and well being of the donor. The inconvenience and risk
involved is minimal compared to the amazing reward of saving someone¹s life!

We hope that you'll join our effort on SUNDAY, OCTOBER 30TH, FROM 10 A.M. TO

If you are unable to attend the donor drive, you can contact the Gift of Life Foundation and order a swab kit for $18.00 by going online at This organization is providing us with swab kits for free at our donor drive. You may alsowish to consider helping with a tax-deductible donation made payable to: Gift of Life Bone Marrow Foundation7700 Congress Ave., Suite 2201, Boca Raton, FL 33487 They (and WE) will appreciate your support! We will also be collecting contributions on the day of the drive. If you need further information about the bone marrow/stem cell donation process, check these two websites: or

One final request: could you please send a copy of this email to the people in your address book? If everyone who receives this email can motivate friends to join the effort by forwarding this letter, then we will have rapidly
expanded the pool of potential donors. Thank you so very much for your help. We are extremely grateful.

With Love, Emily Brecker Greenberg and Howard Greenberg

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Jazz HQ: Dizzy Gillespie's New Jersey Estate May Fetch $1 Mln in Auction

Jazz HQ: Dizzy Gillespie's New Jersey Estate May Fetch $1 Mln in Auction Dizzy Gillespie's New Jersey Estate May Fetch $1 Mln in Auction

Late jazz legend Dizzy Gillespie's trumpet, Grammy award, record collection and handwritten sheet music may raise more than $1 million when his estate in northern New Jersey is sold at auction this week.

Gillespie, famous for his blowfish-like cheeks and bent trumpet, lived in Englewood from 1965 until 1993, when he died of pancreatic cancer. Gillespie's wife, Lorraine, died last year, and she wanted family, friends and charities to inherit the proceeds from an auction of their estate, said Harris Stratyner, co-executor of her will.

More than 3,000 items will go on the block in the Sept. 14 sale, said Kathy Nye, whose Dawson & Nye auction house is running the event. Nye estimates that Gillespie's 1975 Grammy statue for best jazz performance will fetch $2,000 to $5,000. She puts the total value of the mementos at a ``conservative $1 million.''

``It's the Dizzy factor,'' Nye said. ``He's most certainly an American legend and his belongings are a piece of American music history.''

The musician, born John Birks Gillespie in South Carolina in 1917, earned the nickname ``Dizzy'' because of his zany onstage antics and deadpan humor. ``Dizzy would often say to the audience, `Now ladies and gentlemen, I'd like to introduce the musicians,' and then introduce them to each other,'' Stratyner recalled.

Bent Trumpet

In the 1950s someone fell on Dizzy's trumpet at a party and bent it, according to biographies. Gillespie played it, liked the sound, and from then on had trumpets made for him in that shape.

Gillespie ran for president in 1964 against Lyndon B. Johnson and Barry Goldwater, announcing that his first official act would be to rename the White House ``The Blues House.'' Gillespie later withdrew before the election. Memorabilia from his presidential run are for sale, including a ``Dizzy Gillespie for President'' red whoopee cushion.

He and Lorraine Gillespie, a former chorus line dancer and dance teacher, were married for 53 years. One item for sale is a black-and-white photograph of Dizzy holding a trumpet, inscribed ``To my wife Lorraine -- the only breath of fresh air that has ever entered my life. Your Dizzy.''

Other pieces include hand-written letters to Dizzy from musician Louis Armstrong, singer Ella Fitzgerald and every U.S. president from Richard Nixon to Bill Clinton; a pool table from the basement of the Gillespie home, and one of Gillespie's trademark bent trumpets.

The Gillespie estate also features rare albums, a script from the Muppet Show episode featuring Dizzy, a Hollywood Walk of Fame plaque presented in 1995, and a six-foot-high banner covered with autographs of people who gathered for a celebration of Dizzy's 75th birthday, which he was unable to attend because of his illness.

Town Hero

Englewood, a town of 26,000 in Bergen County, named Gillespie one of its most distinguished residents and designated a downtown area in his honor. Actors John Travolta, Sarah Jessica Parker and Eddie Murphy have also called Englewood home.

The Englewood Hospital and Medical Center, where Gillespie was a patient, renamed its cancer center the Dizzy Gillespie Cancer Institute. In response to a request from Gillespie, the hospital established a memorial fund in his name that covers the cost of medical care for jazz musicians ``who were not as fortunate as him,'' said Margaret Bridge, executive vice president of the Englewood Hospital Foundation.

``We recognized Dizzy's value to the community,'' Bridge said. ``He considered this hospital his hospital, which from a public relations point of view was a wonderful thing for him to do.''


Lorraine and Dizzy had no children, and before they died they helped establish several charitable foundations. They also contributed to the Baha'i Faith, a religion that originated in what is now Iran in the 19th century and emphasizes unity and acceptance, which Dizzy practiced; and the Christian faith, which Lorraine practiced, said co-executor Stratyner.

``A lot of jazz players were poor, but not Dizzy,'' said Stratyner, 50, whose father was Gillespie's accountant for more than 40 years. ``Dizzy was a very successful man, I like to say, because he had a good accountant.''

The Gillespie auction will take place at Dawson & Nye's 13,000-square-foot gallery in Morris Plains, New Jersey, 20 miles west of New York City. Bids will be accepted in advance of the sale. During the sale, people can bid in person, by phone and through EBay Inc. live.

Dawson & Nye, run by Kathy Nye and her husband John, has handled the estate of singer Perry Como and soap-opera actress Ruth Warrick. The Gillespie auction is their most famous, said Kathy Nye, who expects a couple of hundred bidders.

This is an unreserved auction, Nye said, which means that every item sells to the highest bidder without any minimum price. Lots may sell for as little as $50, she said.


The Beaufort Gazette: Marsalis trusts New Orleans will rebuild

The Beaufort Gazette: Marsalis trusts New Orleans will rebuildMarsalis trusts New Orleans will rebuild
Published Tuesday September 13 2005
The Associated Press
PARIS (AP) - New Orleans native Wynton Marsalis says he feels a profound sense of loss about Hurricane Katrina's devastation of his hometown, though he trusts in the people's will to rebuild the city.

In an interview published Monday, the jazz musician told Le Monde newspaper he was counting on international aid, despite the federal government's initial lukewarm reaction to offers.

"Please, please, please," he said. "I know that, at first, (President) Bush claimed he didn't want aid. But governments don't reflect the spirit of the people, their feeling."

Marsalis, who is among the performers at Jazz at Lincoln Center's benefit concert Saturday in New York City, said he felt "a sense of loss, a great and deep loss."

But "New Orleans will be rebuilt," he said, adding that money wasn't the issue. "It's a question of will."

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Jazz 101 at Jazz at Lincoln Center :: : The Number One Jazz News Resource On The Net :: Jazz News Daily

Jazz 101 at Jazz at Lincoln Center :: : The Number One Jazz News Resource On The Net :: Jazz News Daily Jazz 101 at Jazz at Lincoln Center
Posted by: eJazzNews Readeron Monday, September 12, 2005 - 07:13 PM
Jazz News Jazz at Lincoln Center Opens 2005-2006 Education Season!
Back by Popular Demand:
Jazz 101 for Adults and WeBop! for 2-5 year olds

August 8, 2005 (New York, NY) Jazz at Lincoln Center (JALC) welcomes back the popular adult education series, Jazz 101, to the organization’s home, Frederick P. Rose Hall. Designed for jazz fans and novices alike, the series features in-depth and general overview classes. “Respecting the past, nourishing the future and providing educational opportunities for young and old are some of the essential elements of Jazz at Lincoln Center and there is never a better time than today to advance the cause of jazz,” said Derek E. Gordon, President of Jazz at Lincoln Center.

In The Jazz 101 course, The Intro, author and Rutgers Professor Dr. Lewis Porter, discusses the basics of jazz, including such questions as “Why was Edward Ellington called ‘Duke?’” and “How did Louis Armstrong revolutionize jazz?” The class runs from September 21-November 8, 2005, Wednesdays at 6:30 – 8:30pm in the Edward John Noble Foundation Studio. In Kansas City is Swing Territory, Executive Director of the Jazz Museum in Harlem and Grammy-Winning author, Loren Schoenberg leads you on a trip to Kansas City without ever leaving Frederick P. Rose Hall. This class provides insight on the first city celebrated in Jazz at Lincoln Center’s “Jazz from Coast to Coast” season, and the musicians that were responsible for the unique Kansas City sound. The class runs September 21-November 8, 2005, Wednesdays at 6:30 – 8:30pm in the Edward John Noble Foundation Studio. Registration for each term is $240 per person and is available by calling Subscription Services at (212) 258-9999.

This season, Jazz at Lincoln Center welcomes the return of WeBop!, is the early music education program in which children ages 2-5 and their parents/caregivers sing, move, and play with the soulful rhythms and great melodies of jazz. WeBop! teachers lead children to a greater understanding of jazz, of their national musical heritage, and, ultimately, of themselves. WeBop! is produced in collaboration with Teachers College, Columbia University. The three terms of classes, each 8 weeks long, take places on Tuesdays and Saturdays in The Louis Armstrong Classroom. Please see times in the listings below.

The Jazz 101 and WeBop! classes are just two of the hundreds of programs and services offered by Jazz at Lincoln Center each year. Jazz at Lincoln Center is committed to educating the public, especially young people, about the rich heritage of jazz, its great works and musicians, and the relationship between jazz and other disciplines. Educational programming at Jazz at Lincoln Center is an integral part of the organization’s philosophy, and all activities and publications reflect and enhance its central mission. Jazz at Lincoln Center education programs reach over 110,000 students, teachers, and audience members a year and include Jazz for Young PeopleSM concerts, the Jazz for Young People Curriculum, Jazz Talk, Education on Tour, Jazz in the Schools, jazz publications and print music, and the Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Competition & Festival.

Listing Information:
Producer: Jazz at Lincoln Center
Class: Jazz 101: The Intro
Taught by Dr. Lewis Porter
Date/Time: Every Wednesday, September 21-November 8th, 2005, 6:30 – 8:30pm
Place: Edward John Noble Foundation Studio, Broadway at 60th Street
Tickets: $240 for eight-week class, available by calling Subscription Services at (212) 258-9997 or via

Producer: Jazz at Lincoln Center
Class: Jazz 101: Kansas City is Swing Territory
Taught by Loren Schoenberg
Date/Time: Every Wednesday, September 21- November 8th, 2005, 6:30 – 8:30pm
Place: Edward John Noble Foundation Studio, Broadway at 60th Street
Tickets: $240 for eight-week class, available by calling Subscription Services at (212) 258-9997
or via

Producer: Jazz at Lincoln Center
Class: WeBop!
Synchopaters, 2-5 year olds
Date/Time: Every Saturday, September 17- November 8th, 2005, 11:30-12:15 am
Place: Armstrong Classroom, Broadway at 60th Street
Tickets: $240 for eight-week class, reservations can be made by calling at (212) 258-9999, or via

Producer: Jazz at Lincoln Center
Class: WeBop!
Stompers, 3-5 year olds
Date/Time: Every Saturday, September 21- November 8th, 2005, 10:30 – 11:15am
Place: Armstrong Classroom, Broadway at 60th Street
Tickets: $240 for eight-week class, reservations can be made by calling at (212) 258-9999, or via

Producer: Jazz at Lincoln Center
Class: WeBop!
Gumbo Group, 3-5 year olds
Date/Time: Every Tuesday, September 20-November 10th, 2005, 10:30-11:15 am
Place: Armstrong Classroom, Broadway at 60th Street
Tickets: $240 for eight-week class, reservations can be made by calling at (212) 258-9999, or via

Producer: Jazz at Lincoln Center
Class: WeBop!
Stompers, 2-3 year olds
Date/Time: Every Tuesday, September 20-November 10th, 2005, 9:30-10:15 am
Place: Armstrong Classroom, Broadway at 60th Street
Tickets: $240 for eight-week class, reservations can be made by calling at (212) 258-9999, or via

Jazz at Lincoln Center is a not-for-profit arts organization dedicated to jazz. With the world-renowned Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, the Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra and a comprehensive array of guest artists, Jazz at Lincoln Center advances a unique vision for the continued development of the art of jazz by producing a year-round schedule of performance, education, and broadcast events for audiences of all ages. These productions include concerts, national and international tours, residencies, weekly national radio and television programs, recordings, publications, an annual high school jazz band competition and festival, a band director academy, a jazz appreciation curriculum for children, advanced training through the Juilliard Institute for Jazz Studies, music publishing, children’s concerts, lectures, adult education courses and student and educator workshops. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Wynton Marsalis, Chairman of the Board Lisa Schiff, President & CEO Derek E. Gordon, Executive Director Katherine E. Brown and Jazz at Lincoln Center board and staff, Jazz at Lincoln Center will produce hundreds of events during its 2005-06 season. In October 2004, Jazz at Lincoln Center opened Frederick P. Rose Hall - the first-ever performance, education, and broadcast facility devoted to jazz. For more information, visit

For more information on JALC, please visit
# # #

Dee Dee Bridgewater's J’ai Deux Amours :: : The Number One Jazz News Resource On The Net :: Jazz News Daily

Dee Dee Bridgewater's J’ai Deux Amours :: : The Number One Jazz News Resource On The Net :: Jazz News Daily CD Reviews: Dee Dee Bridgewater's J’ai Deux Amours
Posted by: muzikmanon Monday, September 12, 2005 - 08:59 PM
CD Reviews Artist: Dee Dee Bridgewater
Title: J’ai Deux Amours
Genre: Jazz
Label: Sovereign Artists

How does a little jazz music French style sound? Listen to Dee Dee Bridgewater and find out for yourself on her amazing new album J’ai Deux Amours.

Dee Dee is an enormously talented vocalist that travels through a tune in French or English, or in some cases back and forth. I found this to be not only immensely entertaining, but also a stunning exhibition of versatility.

Her voice is pleasing, soft, and filled with the rhythm of jazz and blues. It warms your soul and gets your feet in motion at the same time. Several tracks got my attention on this contemporary jazz excursion.

I must pay tribute to the musicians that allow this songbird to do her thing first. Louis Winsberg (lead guitar), Ira Coleman (bass), Marc Berthoumitux (accordion), and Minino Garay (percussion, drums) are all exceptional musicians that play with flair and style. When you first hear this, you are saying to yourself, “I need an interpreter, I do not understand French”, well let me tell you something-that thought leaves your head quickly. Once you hear Dee Dee singing, you find yourself immersed in the music and even without understanding one word, find a comfort level and understanding of where she is coming from. It happens somehow, if the music is good it never matters which language the vocals are in because if the feeling is there, it comes through the music with lucidity.

“Ne me quitte pas” is a delightful number. Its airy atmosphere and lighthearted warmth secures your belief in what this album is all about, everything that happens after that is icing on the cake.

Dee Dee Bridgewater seems to be having a ball while switching from French and English in the happy go lucky “Dansez sur moi (Girl talk).” It is one of the best tracks on the album, filled with funky fun. Perhaps the most unlikely occurrence is to hear her do some scatting in French on “Les feuilles mortes.” I cannot say that this something I have ever heard before. I am sure its common in France but it is entirely new and different for this listener. This is how the album closes out, leaving you in wonder of everything you just heard. I did have to listen a few times to “get it” but it was better with every listen. Its actually quite simple you know, if you appreciate good jazz, anything out of the ordinary like this is a real treat and entirely unique. If you seek all of the above, check out this artist, its entertainment at its very best.