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John H. Armwood Jazz History Lecture Nashville's Cheekwood Arts Center 1989

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Daily Kos: Obama dials up criticisms of the administration

Daily Kos: Obama dials up criticisms of the administrationObama dials up criticisms of the administration
by kos
Sun May 14, 2006 at 07:53:11 AM PDT


This idea that somehow if you say the words 'plan for victory' and 'stay the course' over and over and over and over again and you put these subliminal messages behind you that say 'victory' and 'victory' and 'victory,' that somehow people are not going to notice the 2,400 flag-draped coffins that have arrived at the Dover Air Force Base.

I don't know about you, but when George Bush said he did not believe in nation building, I did not know he was talking about this nation.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

John Hicks, 64, Jazz Pianist Active on New York Scene, Is Dead - New York Times

John Hicks, 64, Jazz Pianist Active on New York Scene, Is Dead - New York TimesMay 13, 2006
John Hicks, 64, Jazz Pianist Active on New York Scene, Is Dead

John Hicks, a pianist who helped define the mainstream jazz aesthetic of his instrument, died on Wednesday in Manhattan. He was 64.

The cause was internal bleeding, said his daughter Naima Hicks.

Mr. Hicks, a prolific mainstay of jazz in New York since the late 1960's, gave his final performance last Sunday at a fund-raising concert at St. Mark's United Methodist Church in Harlem. The church, which Mr. Hicks attended, was also where his father, the Rev. Dr. John Hicks Sr., had been a minister.

Mr. Hicks was born in Atlanta. His family moved to Los Angeles when he was an infant and moved again to St. Louis when he was 15, when his father was appointed as a minister there.

After high school, Mr. Hicks attended Lincoln University in Missouri, the Berklee School of Music in Boston and the Juilliard School. He was also soon spending time on the road with various blues and jazz bandleaders, including Albert King and Johnny Griffin. In 1963, having taken a job with the singer Della Reese, he moved to New York City, and for the most part he stayed there.

With a dense, heavy, physical style, influenced by McCoy Tyner, he played in all kinds of situations, from free jazz to programs of music written by Billy Strayhorn, Mary Lou Williams and Sonny Clark.

Among his dozens of jobs with working bands, Mr. Hicks had stretches with three of the most important incubators of young jazz musicians: from 1964 to 1966 he was in Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, from 1966 to 1968 with the singer Betty Carter, and from 1968 to 1970 with Woody Herman's big band. It was after a second period with Ms. Carter in the late 1970's that Mr. Hicks's career as a leader picked up; he went on to record many albums under his own name.

For a highly visible time in the 1980's and 1990's, he recorded as a solo pianist, in duos and quartets and in cooperative trios (the Power Trio and the Keystone Trio); was the regular pianist in the Mingus Dynasty Band; maintained his own big band; and played in small groups, including those of David Murray and Arthur Blythe.

Beginning in 1983, he often performed and recorded with the flutist Elise Wood, whom he married in 2001. In addition to Ms. Wood, he is survived by his brother, Raiford Hicks of Manhattan; his sisters Emma Hicks Kirk and Paula Hicks Neely, both of Stockbridge, Ga.; a daughter and son from a previous marriage, Naima Hicks of Atlanta and Jamil Hicks of Manhattan; two stepchildren, Khadesha Wood of Teaneck, N.J., and Malik Wood of Manhattan; and one granddaughter.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Pianist John Hicks Funeral Arrangements

Funeral arrangements for recently deceased jazz pianist John Hicks have been finalized.
Viewing of the Body will be held Thursday, May 18, 2006 at Saint Mark's United Methodist Church located at 55 Edgecombe Avenue, New York City. Homegoing service for Mr. Hicks will be held on Friday May 19, 2006 at 2:00 p.m. at Saint Mark's United Methodist Church.

Funeral arrangements are being handled by John H. Joyce Funeral Directors located at 2332 Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. Blvd. New York, new York 10030 Phone number is 212-690-3500.

Following the funeral services for Mr. Hicks, the family will have his body shipped to Atlanta, Georgia to be buried at South View Cemetery in the family plot along with his parents, grandparents, and brother, Eldon.

Flowers can be sent to the funeral home.

Thank you.
Respectfully submitted,

Emma H. Kirk, MA, MS.Ed.

DO THE MATH: Brief (Village Vanguard Style) Obituary for John Hicks

DO THE MATH: Brief (Village Vanguard Style) Obituary for John Hicks

the V.V. tonight, Ethan heard an excellent set of Fly (Mark Turner, Larry Grenadier, and Jeff Ballard). His companion at the bar was Stanley Crouch, who informed Iverson that John Hicks had passed away.

We salute a modern jazz piano master. The last time Iverson saw Hicks it was with the Charles Tolliver big band, about three or four months ago at the Jazz Standard. Hicks was the star of the show.

We have always been a little disappointed in John Hicks on record.

Crouch said tonight: I heard him live with both Arthur Blythe and Pharoh Sanders when he played---amazing, He knew everything--the whole history of jazz piano. A trio record? Try the one with Elvin Jones and Cecil Mcbee--I think you'll like that one.

Mickey, the elder bartender at the Vanguard, chimed in with: John Hicks was the favorite piano player of both Bradley [the owner of the famous defunct piano bar] and Max Gordon [the first owner of the Vanguard]. He also knew every tune.

Crouch: Yeah, you could ask him for any standard, or even any jazz tune, and he wouid know it.

EI: I just checked out an album of his where he plays Sonny Clark music--not that common a repertoire!

Crouch: Well, you dig?