JAZZ MASTER BASSIST BOB CRANSHAW DEAD AT 83


posted by  #@blues2jazzguy   Robert J. Carmack

The Great Bassist from Indiana, who more times than not was the steady bass player for Sonny Rollins. Cranshaw had been battling a series of challenging ailments. but it’s believed that he succumbed to his battle with Cancer. Cranshaw, IMHO, was one of the top five bassists in modern jazz history. My first experience hearing Bob Cranshaw was on the Blue Note Records classic by Lee Morgan, The Sidewinder, One of of the most commercially successful record ever recorded in Jazz. (1964)

The title track Sidewinder  was the very last song added to complete the album, according to Cranshaw. Lee came up with the melody while on break from the session,  Lee then asked Bob to come up with a pick-up line .The now famous bass-line pickup to begin the groove is talked about in detail via an interview from a documentary on Blue Note Records.

One other note at some point as he got older, Cranshaw chose not to play the upright Bass, which seemed awkward at first since he was performing with the great Sonny Rollins for decades. I have seen many concerts with Sonny Rollins over my lifetime, with most of those “gigs” with Cranshaw on Electric Bass, by closing your eyes one could hardly tell the difference.

We in the jazz community will sorely miss Bob Cranshaw out there, bringing smiles to our faces as he practiced his craft for over 7 decades .  Rest in Loving Peace Bob & Join the Jam session in the sky where all the greats go.

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Bob Cranshaw

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

JAZZ ICON BENNIE MAUPIN & CELLOIST-VOCALIST SHANA TUCKER INVADES WORLD STAGE


Posted by Robert J. Carmack Photos by Chuck Koton

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Bennie Maupin & Shana Tucker @ World Stage

 

 

With me not being able to attend this electrifying show, Lucky for me  one of my contributing photographers was there , Mr. Chuck Koton. Chuck Koton is a well-respected shutter-bug of our genre, that always seem to be on the scene. when the downbeat is signaled, Chuck’s lens is working to capture the essence of the sessions.

hipster-drummerand-pianist-w-benny-maupin-koton-pixsThanks again for these great pictures. The world Stage , Founded by Drummer Billy Higgins and Poet Laureate Kamaau Daood over 25 years ago. The new World Stage is off to a great start in its new facilities . Over the last 4 months they have procured a plethora of  legendary jazz artists.    This past weekend was no different as multi-instrumentalist and composer, Bennie Maupin  brought in his aggregation of players.

In addition to his group of fine musicians, He also showcased Shana Tucker, a new face and voice thats been making a lots of noise on the east coast with superior skills on cello, guitar and vocals. Spurred on by her success of her debut CD “Shine” just a couple of years ago. The young entertainer did not disappoint with her sublime performances on all her instruments.

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Jazz vocalist/musician Shana Tucker , with family friend and fan Clyde Head backstage at World Stage Performance Gallery

This writer promises a more personal interview very soon with the young musician, Ms. Shana Tucker, on her latest projects and coming tour venues. Stay tuned to this blog or #@blues2jazzguy – twitter

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RIFFIN’ IN HOLLYWOOD WITH MARCUS MILLER at CATALINA’S


Posted by Robert J. Carmack-All Photos by Chuck Koton

Marcus Miller on Bass Clarinet

Marcus Miller on Bass Clarinet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jazz Shutter Bug, Chuck Koton was just able to eek out the last set at Catalina’s Jazz Bar & Grill in Hollywood recently. Miller was in town for a short stint to promote his latest effort entitled Afro Deezia. the Band seemed to  push out a mix of Originals and covers. Miller was just in town last month for two big concerts at the Hollywood Bowl.  The talented multi-instrumentalist was showcasing all his skills as jazz musician and bandleader. Often Marcus found himself trading licks with alto saxophonist, Alex Hahn and Atlanta-based Trumpeter Russell Gunn. One of his tunes that stood out during the last set was a thunderous bass-thumping version of Papa Was a Rolling Stone. also, a special tribute to “Goree” was highlighted by his mastery of the bass clarinet. Thanks Chuck for the pictures.

 

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JAZZ DIVA SANDRA BOOKER RETURNS TO L.A. COUNTY MUSEUM OF ART


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Sandra Booker @ LACMA_Singer/songwriter Sandra Booker returns to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art for her eighth appearance at part of the Jazz at LACMA series. Back by popular demand, she is a museum favorite and guaranteed to swing the night away with a collection of jazz and R&B standards as well as her original compositions.

The Group 

Andy Langham, piano/keyboards
Edwin Livingston, acoustic/electric bass
Thomas White, drums

Friday, October 7
6:00 to 8:00pm

ADMISSION: FREE

Los Angeles County Music of Art
LACMA
5905 Wilshire Boulevard Los Angeles, CA 90036
323 857-6000

Sandra Booker seated with bassist Mike Gurrola

Sandra Booker seated with bassist Mike Gurrola

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JAZZ PIANIST LENORE RAPHAEL: ISN’T SHE GRAND !


posted by Robert J. Carmack   @blues2jazzguy

There are many piano players in the world, boiling down that premise to just Jazz piano players is not a solution either. One could just look inside a union directory, or go on a jazz site and start counting under the letter P.

However, when you call out “women jazz piano players” ,ahhhhh, now that cleaves it down to  almost a virtual-handful in the scheme of things. One of these ladies that stand out, but still “under the radar” is New York born,Lenore Raphael              (born Lenore Hyams). lenore-raphael-smallnow3

Lenore is a jazz pianist and educator heavily influenced by Oscar Peterson, George Shearing and the great Bill Evans, just a few of the many legendary artists who have touched the life of this  “Lady of Jazz.” without getting all “cliché” Lenore is a Pianist’s Pianist. What helped form that opinion by music masters many years ago was her PERFORMING at Carnegie Hall in a classical musical setting as a mere teenager. Taking that old adage to heart of “How Do I get to Carnegie Hall? Practice Baby,Practice!

Growing up in New York was half the battle before she even got started, one of the greatest cities to live and study the arts and particularly, Music. Studying classical music all through high school prepared her for her debut at the famous hall. However, She always believe there was more to it than just becoming another pianist playing classical music. she continued her studies at New York University where she received a bachelor of Arts in Music.

lenore-raphael-now2-900magAfter some post- grad work, she began her career as a Music educator in the New York schools, all the while keeping her ears to the ground for opportunities to expand her knowledge and skills, she happened upon a concert that featured the great jazz pianist, Oscar Peterson. That one concert changed her whole life and how she viewed the world in music. She became consumed with how she could learn more about this genre, and its master players. Most importantly, How could she become a part of this beautiful music.

After a series of study sessions with jazz teachers like Mike Longo,(Dizzy Gillespie’s arranger) she also became a student of the “Bud Powell school of Jazz” Pianist, Barry Harris.

Harris has extensive and credible work as bandleader and sideman to some of the world’s greatest  artists in the history of Jazz.  It wasn’t long before Lenore was making a name for herself as a formidable jazz pianist. The Concrete Jungle was not without ears, especially when those “ears”   were attached to the likes of Lionel Hampton, Illinois Jacquet and Clark Terry ,who hired her to work with them on the road and at home concerts.

“I couch Lenore between the likes of Mary Lou Williams and Marian McPartland, according to Women’s Jazz advocate and singer/songwriter, Joan Cartwright, who knows Lenore well.

“Ms. Raphael has worked with me and my organization on Women in Jazz South Florida,Inc. (http://www.wijsf.com) a few times.  She even appeared on one of our Jazz CD compilations.

A composer as well as performer, Lenore Raphael penned a tribute composition to Oscar Peterson following his death ,Blues for O.P.  It premiered at a memorial concert for Peterson at the International Association for Jazz Convention in Toronto,Canada. One of her compositions ,is now considered a Jazz standard, Johnny Jazz.

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Lenore Raphael, even after all these years on the road and recording in Live concerts and TV, Radio shows, still finds time to do what she started many years ago and that’s teaching music.

Working with a bevy of jazz musicians and music professionals, She and vocalist Janet Lawson have developed a program for elementary students to learn about the history of jazz. This is a format of “combined-efforts” on the part of well established Jazz artist and legends like the Drummond brothers,Ray and Billy,Clark Terry,and Arnie Lawrence. this series has become the model for teaching students the fundamentals of jazz in the curriculum of many schools across the country.

Lenore is committed to spreading the jazz message to children, Raphael has co-created with Marcia Hillman a book-and-tape series called Scat Cat’s Adventures in Jazzland. She has also published a jazz theory book for senior students.

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Lenore Raphael usually records with her first-call band mates, bassist Hilliard Greene and drummer Rudy Lawless

An authorized and accredited Steinway artist, Raphael still has her own radio show that features guest artists chatting and performing with her on an hour-long program.

steinway-sons-piano Her guests have included jazz artistes Jon Hendricks, Warren Vache, Harry Allen, Gene Bertoncini, Joel Frahm and Marlene Ver Plank.

Her most popular CDs include The Whole Truth, Reflections, Wingin’ It, A Beautiful Friendship and Class Act.

People that influence the world of jazz has said;

Jon Hendricks ~legendary Jazz singer/composer, Lenore is one of the baddest pianist out there today” 

Henry Holloway Capetown,South Africa~”Lenore is the best jazz/swing pianist in the World in my opinion,” Her music master’s classes are awesome too.

Brian Hough Jass Man Magazine~ “This blond ambassador of Steinway will musically knock your socks off”

Jazz writer John Gilbert has called Lenore “Simply one of the best pianist in our form..She always swings. Most critics always used words like”swinging,emotional, and artistically subtle when describing Lenore’s playing.” 

Swinging has always been of major importance to Lenore since she listened to her idols Bud Powell and Oscar Peterson. So is “telling the story”. She strives to be in touch with the intent of the tune when she plays.

Today, Ms. Raphael enjoys the respect of not only the jazz masters and peers, but many of the “new jazz cats & kittens.”  There’s been some rumors of late that, Lenore is in the beginning stages of a new “hush-hush” project involving her knowledge,skills as a composer and deep knowledge of jazz history for a potential TV show. no details at the moment, but it promises to be a block-buster. Stay tuned to this blog for further details as they arrive. For further information and programming notes for Lenore’s radio show click on the hot link below.

http://www.lenoreraphael.com

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