THE SONGS I LOVE:TRACEY WHITNEY BABY DOLL ENTERTAINMENT NEW RELEASE


Los Angeles’s very own Tracey Whitney is off and running with her new CD (Baby Doll Entertainment Label release), “I Am Singing.. Songs I Love”. a joyful homage to songwriters and performing artists who have inspired her own singing and writing. Tracey dives into classic works by Stevie Wonder, Laura Nyro,Antonio Carlos Jobim and Michael Franks. Choosing to deal with the lesser covered songs of these masters, Tracey uncovers new soil, and breathes new life into Laura Nyro’s Eli Coming, a big hit by Three Dog Night in the early 70s. It was the root-idea for this musical project, “I just couldn’t get the song ,Eli’s Coming, out of my head, so I went into the studio with co-producer and multi-instrumentalist, Herman “Hollywood” Dawkins, recalls Tracey. It was getting good after laying-down the first group of songs by her favorite artists. Whitney and Hawkins just kept going which spawned several original songs,which is anchored by the lovely and memorable,              I’d Be Lying (I Miss You). This was penned by the writing duo of Tracey & Dawkins. www.babydollentertainment.com

Baby Doll Entertainment Label , which is Whitney’s very own label that produced the much-acclaimed, LOVE..A Fable in 9 Acts in 2007. This time she wanted to put out a diverse group of songs that is radio friendly and takes the listener on a musical journey through Latin, smooth jazz, silky medium tempos and soulful POP ballads. Whitney even weaved a brilliant rendition of Garth Brooks song with a “Beatles” feel, Wrapped Up In You. The I’m Singing..Songs I Love CD kicks off with a very airy-smooth Brazilian ocean breeze version of Stevie Wonder’s “Ngiculela -I’m Am Singing” followed by Roberta Flack ‘s hit Where Is The Love. “I couldn’t complete this project without a Michael Jackson tune. I was devastated , like millions of people by the loss of Michael in 2009. “I hope you enjoy my rendition of Stevie Wonder/Susaye Greene’s hypnotic groove, I Can’t Help It, from the OFF THE WALL album. Enjoy our arrangements of some truly wonderful classics, but you’ll love our original songs as well.” for more information about tours and the artist’s music go to http://www.babydollentertainment.com/fr_home.cfm .

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HONORING NDUGU CHANCLER:Drummer Composer Jazz R&B Icon


left -right Patrice Rushen, Ernie Watts, Ndugu,and Alphonso Johnson

Recently held on the campus of the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, Chancler received  a hero’s welcome at Bovard  Auditorium in L.A.  from family, friends, and fans for his selfless contributions to education, the community at large and a lifetime of  musical achievements that spans 5 decades in music. In the studio, He’s well-known as the “Drummer” on Multi-Grammy winning Thriller album by Michael Jackson.  Also, as a hit songwriter on such Soul & Pop hits as Let It Whip/Dazz Band , “Dance Sister Dance” by Santana and “Reach For It”  by George Duke. In addition to Co-producing on albums  with a virtual Who’s Who in music,the likes of Santana, George Duke, The Crusaders, Joe Sample,Wilton Felder and Tina Turner. As a Educator, Chancler works with the Jazz Mentorship Program and the Thelonious Monk Institute, and is faculty advisor to USC’s Jazz Reach,Young Musicians Program at University of  California  Berkley, and the Stanford University Jazz Workshop.

On hand to perform and pay tribute was longtime friend and collaborator, pianist Patrice Rushen, saxophonist Ernie Watts, and bassist, Alphonso Johnson(fellow alumnus from Weather Report) This stellar cast of musicians made up a group called The Meeting who performed to standing ovations all evening.  The whole evening was weaved together nicely by Actor/Musician, Mykelti Williamson as Host.  Several highlights of the evening were two college youth bands performing music by or, co-written by Chancler. The Thornton Jazz Orchestra , conducted by Ndugu Chancler performed “Silk” & “Out of Here”, both penned by Ndugu. Also, an  ensemble of  youngsters performing Latin Jazz music, called , ALAJE provided backup for soul singer Mr. Greg Walker performing Dance Sister Dance  from the hit Santana album,” Amigos”.  As sidebar, moving remarks by Ndugu’s son, Rashon Chancler spoke of  his love and admiration for his father while growing up as a child. while teaching him about goals and discipline to achieve his dreams.

Chancler teaches clinics around the world for Yamaha, Paiste, Remo, TOCA,Vic Firth and Shure Bros. He is an adjunct professor of Jazz and Popular Music Studies at the USC School of Music for almost 20 years.

Pulitzer Prize Winning, Jazz Icon, Bop Master & Spiritualist: John Coltrane



John William Coltrane (AKA, “Trane”; September 23, 1926 – July 17, 1967) was an American jazz saxophonist and composer. Working in the bebop and hard bop idioms early in his career, Coltrane helped pioneer the use of modes in jazz and later was at the forefront of free jazz. He organized at least fifty recording sessions as a leader during his recording career, and appeared as a sideman on many other albums, notably with trumpeter Miles Davis and pianist Thelonious Monk. As his career progressed, Coltrane and his music took on an increasingly spiritual dimension. His second wife was pianist Alice Coltrane, and their son Ravi Coltrane is also a saxophonist. Coltrane influenced innumerable musicians, and remains one of the most significant tenor saxophonists in jazz history. He received many posthumous awards and recognitions, including canonization by the African Orthodox Church as Saint John William Coltrane. In 2007, Coltrane was awarded the Pulitzer Prize Special Citation for his “masterful improvisation, supreme musicianship and iconic centrality to the history of jazz.”Early life and career (1926–1954)John Coltrane was born in Hamlet, North Carolina on September 23, 1926, and grew up in High Point, NC, attending William Penn High School (now Penn-Griffin School for the Arts). Beginning in December 1938 Coltrane’s aunt, grandparents, and father all died within a few months of each other, leaving John to be raised by his mother and a close cousin. In June 1943 he moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He enlisted in the Navy in 1945, and played in the Navy jazz band once he was stationed in Hawaii. Coltrane returned to civilian life in 1946 and began jazz theory studies with Philadelphia guitarist and composer Dennis Sandole. Coltrane continued under Sandole’s tutelage until the early 1950s. Originally an altoist, during this time Coltrane also began playing tenor saxophone with the Eddie Vinson Band. Coltrane later referred to this point in his life as a time when “a wider area of listening opened up for me. There were many things that people like Hawk, and Ben, and Tab Smith were doing in the ’40s that I didn’t understand, but that I felt emotionally.” An important moment in the progression of Coltrane’s musical development occurred on June 5, 1945, when he saw Charlie Parker perform for the first time. In a DownBeat article in 1960 he recalled: “the first time I heard Bird play, it hit me right between the eyes.” Parker became an early idol, and they played together on occasion in the late 1940s.  Contemporary correspondence shows that Coltrane was already known as “Trane” by this point, and that the music from some 1946 recording sessions had been played for Miles Davis—possibly impressing the latter.
There are recordings of Coltrane from as early as 1945. He was a member of groups led by Dizzy Gillespie, Earl Bostic and Johnny Hodges in the early- to mid-1950s.
Miles and Monk period (1955–1957)The rivalry, tension, and mutual respect between Coltrane and bandleader Miles Davis was formative for both of their careers. Coltrane was freelancing in Philadelphia in the summer of 1955 while studying with guitarist Dennis Sandole when he received a call from trumpeter Miles Davis. Davis, whose success during the late forties had been followed by several years of decline in activity and reputation, due in part to his struggles with heroin, was again active, and was about to form a quintet. Coltrane was with this edition of the Davis band (known as the “First Great Quintet” – along with Paul Chambers on bass, Philly Joe Jones on drums, and Red Garland on piano – to distinguish it from Davis’s later group with Wayne Shorter) from October 1955 through April 1957 (with a few absences), a period during which Davis released several influential recordings which revealed the first signs of Coltrane’s growing ability. This First Quintet, represented by two marathon recording sessions for Prestige in 1956 that resulted in the albums Cookin’, Relaxin’, Workin’, and Steamin’, disbanded in mid April due partly to Coltrane’s heroin addiction.
During the later part of 1957 Coltrane worked with Thelonious Monk at New York’s Five Spot, a legendary jazz club, and played in Monk’s quartet (July–December 1957), but owing to contractual conflicts took part in only one official studio recording session with this group. A private recording made by Juanita Naima Coltrane of a 1958 reunion of the group was issued by Blue Note Records in 1993 as Live at the Five Spot-Discovery!. More significantly, a high-quality tape of a concert given by this quartet in November 1957 surfaced, and in 2005 Blue Note made it available on CD. Recorded by Voice of America, the performances confirm the group’s reputation, and the resulting album, Thelonious Monk Quartet with John Coltrane at Carnegie Hall, is widely acclaimed.
Blue Train, Coltrane’s sole date as leader for Blue Note, featuring trumpeter Lee Morgan, bassist Paul Chambers, and trombonist Curtis Fuller, is often considered his best album from this period. Four of its five tracks are original Coltrane compositions, and the title track, “Moment’s Notice,” and “Lazy Bird”, have become standards. Both tunes employed the first examples of his chord substitution cycles known as Coltrane changes.
Davis and Coltrane again Coltrane rejoined Davis in January 1958. In October of that year, jazz critic Ira Gitler coined the term “sheets of sound” to describe the style Coltrane developed during his stint with Monk and was perfecting in Davis’ group, now a sextet. His playing was compressed, with rapid runs cascading in hundreds of notes per minute. He stayed with Davis until April 1960, working with alto saxophonist Cannonball Adderley; pianists Red Garland, Bill Evans, and Wynton Kelly; bassist Paul Chambers; and drummers Philly Joe Jones and Jimmy Cobb. During this time he participated in the Davis sessions Milestones and Kind of Blue, and the live recordings Miles & Monk at Newport and Jazz at the Plaza. At the end of this period Coltrane recorded his first album for Atlantic Records, Giant Steps, made up exclusively of his own compositions. The album’s title track is generally considered to have the most complex and difficult chord progression of any widely-played jazz composition. Giant Steps utilizes Coltrane changes. His development of these altered chord progression cycles led to further experimentation with improvised melody and harmony that he would continue throughout his career.“Giant Steps”
One of Coltrane’s most acclaimed recordings, “Giant Steps” features harmonic structures more complex than were used by most musicians of the time.
First albums as leader
Coltrane formed his first group, a quartet, in 1960 for an appearance at the Jazz Gallery in New York City. After moving through different personnel including Steve Kuhn, Pete La Roca, and Billy Higgins, the lineup stabilized in the fall with pianist McCoy Tyner, bassist Steve Davis, and drummer Elvin Jones. Tyner, from Philadelphia, had been a friend of Coltrane’s for some years and the two men long had an understanding that the pianist would join Coltrane when Tyner felt ready for the exposure of regularly working with him. Also recorded in the same sessions were the later released albums Coltrane’s Sound and Coltrane Plays the Blues.
Still with Atlantic Records, for whom he had recorded Giant Steps, his first record with his new group was also his debut playing the soprano saxophone, the hugely successful My Favorite Things. Around the end of his tenure with Davis, Coltrane had begun playing soprano, an unconventional move considering the instrument’s near obsolescence in jazz at the time. His interest in the straight saxophone most likely arose from his admiration for Sidney Bechet and the work of his contemporary, Steve Lacy, even though Miles Davis claimed to have given Coltrane his first soprano saxophone. The new soprano sound was coupled with further exploration. For example, on the Gershwin tune “But Not for Me”, Coltrane employs the kinds of restless harmonic movement (Coltrane changes) used on Giant Steps (movement in major thirds rather than conventional perfect fourths) over the A sections instead of a conventional turnaround progression. Several other tracks recorded in the session utilized this harmonic device, including “26–2,” “Satellite,” “Body and Soul”, and “The Night Has a Thousand Eyes”.
First years with Impulse Records (1960–1962)
In May 1961, Coltrane’s contract with Atlantic was bought out by the newly formed Impulse! Records label.[6] An advantage to Coltrane recording with Impulse! was that it would enable him to work again with engineer Rudy Van Gelder, who had taped both his and Davis’s Prestige sessions, as well as Blue Train. It was at Van Gelder’s new studio in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey that Coltrane would record most of his records for the label.
By early 1961, bassist Davis had been replaced by Reggie Workman while Eric Dolphy joined the group as a second horn around the same time. The quintet had a celebrated (and extensively recorded) residency in November 1961 at the Village Vanguard, which demonstrated Coltrane’s new direction. It featured the most experimental music he’d played up to this point, influenced by Indian ragas, the recent developments in modal jazz, and the burgeoning free jazz movement. John Gilmore, a longtime saxophonist with musician Sun Ra, was particularly influential; after hearing a Gilmore performance, Coltrane is reported to have said “He’s got it! Gilmore’s got the concept!” The most celebrated of the Vanguard tunes, the 15-minute blues, “Chasin’ the ‘Trane”, was strongly inspired by Gilmore’s music.
During this period, critics were fiercely divided in their estimation of Coltrane, who had radically altered his style. Audiences, too, were perplexed; in France he was famously booed during his final tour with Davis. In 1961, Down Beat magazine indicted Coltrane, along with Eric Dolphy, as players of “Anti-Jazz” in an article that bewildered and upset the musicians. Coltrane admitted some of his early solos were based mostly on technical ideas. Furthermore, Dolphy’s angular, voice-like playing earned him a reputation as a figurehead of the “New Thing” (also known as “Free Jazz” and “Avant-Garde”) movement led by Ornette Coleman, which was also denigrated by some jazz musicians (including Miles Davis) and critics. But as Coltrane’s style further developed, he was determined to make each performance “a whole expression of one’s being”.
Classic Quartet period (1962–1965)
In 1962, Dolphy departed and Jimmy Garrison replaced Workman as bassist. From then on, the “Classic Quartet”, as it came to be known, with Tyner, Garrison, and Jones, produced searching, spiritually driven work. Coltrane was moving toward a more harmonically static style that allowed him to expand his improvisations rhythmically, melodically, and motivically. Harmonically complex music was still present, but on stage Coltrane heavily favored continually reworking his “standards”: “Impressions”, “My Favorite Things”, and “I Want to Talk about You.” The criticism of the quintet with Dolphy may have had an impact on Coltrane. In contrast to the radicalism of Trane’s 1961 recordings at the Village Vanguard, his studio albums in 1962 and 1963 (with the exception of Coltrane, which featured a blistering version of Harold Arlen’s “Out of This World”) were much more conservative and accessible. He recorded an album of ballads and participated in collaborations with Duke Ellington on the album Duke Ellington and John Coltrane and with deep-voiced ballad singer Johnny Hartman on an eponymous co-credited album. The Impulse compilation Coltrane for Lovers is largely drawn from these three albums. The album Ballads is emblematic of Coltrane’s versatility, as the quartet shed new light on old-fashioned standards such as “It’s Easy to Remember”. Despite a more polished approach in the studio, in concert the quartet continued to balance “standard” and its own more exploratory and challenging music, as can be seen on the Impressions album (two extended jams including the title track along with “Dear Old Stockholm”, “After the Rain” and a blues), Coltrane at Newport (where he plays “My Favorite Things”) and Live at Birdland both from 1963. Coltrane later said he enjoyed having a “balanced catalogue.”
The Classic Quartet produced their most famous record, A Love Supreme, in December 1964. It is reported that Coltrane, who struggled with repeated drug addiction, derived inspiration for A Love Supreme through a near overdose in 1957 which galvanized him to spirituality. A culmination of much of Coltrane’s work up to this point, this four-part suite is an ode to his faith in and love for God. These spiritual concerns would characterize much of Coltrane’s composing and playing from this point onwards, as can be seen from album titles such as Ascension, Om and Meditations. The fourth movement of  A Love Supreme, “Psalm”, is, in fact, a musical setting for an original poem to God written by Coltrane, and printed in the album’s liner notes. Coltrane plays almost exactly one note for each syllable of the poem, and bases his phrasing on the words. Despite its challenging musical content, the album was a commercial success by jazz standards, encapsulating both the internal and external energy of the quartet of Coltrane, Tyner, Jones and Garrison. The album was composed at Coltrane’s home in Dix Hills on Long Island. The quartet only played A Love Supreme live once—in July 1965 at a concert in Antibes, France. By then, Coltrane’s music had grown even more adventurous, and the performance provides an interesting contrast to the original.
Avant-Garde Jazz and the Second Quartet (1965–1967)In his late period, Coltrane showed an increasing interest in avant-garde jazz, purveyed by Ornette Coleman, Albert Ayler, Sun Ra and others. In developing his late style, Coltrane was especially influenced by the dissonance of Ayler’s trio with bassist Gary Peacock and drummer Sunny Murray, a rhythm section honed with Cecil Taylor as leader. Coltrane championed many younger free jazz musicians, (notably Archie Shepp), and under his influence Impulse! became a leading free jazz record label.
After A Love Supreme was recorded, Ayler’s apocalyptic style became more prominent in Coltrane’s music. A series of recordings with the Classic Quartet in the first half of 1965 show Coltrane’s playing becoming increasingly abstract, with greater incorporation of devices like multiphonics, utilization of overtones, and playing in the altissimo register, as well as a mutated return to Coltrane’s sheets of sound. In the studio, he all but abandoned his soprano to concentrate on the tenor saxophone. In addition, the quartet responded to the leader by playing with increasing freedom. The group’s evolution can be traced through the recordings The John Coltrane Quartet Plays, Living Space, Transition (both June 1965), New Thing at Newport (July 1965), Sun Ship (August 1965), and First Meditations (September 1965).
In June 1965, he went into Van Gelder’s studio with ten other musicians (including Shepp, Pharoah Sanders, Freddie Hubbard, Marion Brown, and John Tchicai) to record Ascension, a 40-minute long piece that included adventurous solos by the young avant-garde musicians (as well as Coltrane), and was controversial primarily for the collective improvisation sections that separated the solos. After recording with the quartet over the next few months, Coltrane invited Pharoah Sanders to join the band in September 1965.
While Coltrane used over-blowing frequently as an emotional exclamation-point, Sanders would opt to overblow his entire solo, resulting in a constant screaming and screeching in the altissimo range of the instrument. The more Coltrane played with Sanders, the more he gravitated to Sanders’ unique sound.Adding to the quartet.By late 1965, Coltrane was regularly augmenting his group with Sanders and other free jazz musicians. Rashied Ali joined the group as a second drummer. This was the end of the quartet; claiming he was unable to hear himself over the two drummers, Tyner left the band shortly after the recording of Meditations. Jones left in early 1966, dissatisfied by sharing drumming duties with Ali. Both Tyner and Jones subsequently expressed displeasure in interviews, after Coltrane’s death, with the music’s new direction, while incorporating some of the free-jazz form’s intensity into their own solo projects.
There are speculations that in 1965 Coltrane may have begun using LSD-informing the sublime, “cosmic” transcendence of his late period.
After Jones’s and Tyner’s departures, Coltrane led a quintet with Pharoah Sanders on tenor saxophone, his second wife Alice Coltrane on piano, Jimmy Garrison on bass, and Rashied Ali on drums. Coltrane and Sanders were described by Nat Hentoff as “speaking in tongues”. When touring, the group was known for playing very lengthy versions of their repertoire, many stretching beyond 30 minutes and sometimes even being an hour long. Concert solos for band members regularly extended beyond fifteen minutes in duration.The group can be heard on several live recordings from 1966, including Live at the Village Vanguard Again! and Live in Japan. In 1967, Coltrane entered the studio several times; though pieces with Sanders have surfaced (the unusual “To Be”, which features both men on flutes), most of the recordings were either with the quartet minus Sanders (Expression and Stellar Regions) or as a duo with Ali. The latter duo produced six performances which appear on the album Interstellar Space.
Death and Funeral
Coltrane died from liver cancer at Huntington Hospital on Long Island on July 17, 1967, at the age of 40. His funeral was held on Friday, July 21 at St. Peters Lutheran Church in New York City. The Albert Ayler Quartet and The Ornette Coleman Quartet respectively opened and closed the service. He is buried at Pinelawn Cemetery in Farmingdale, N.Y.
Biographer Lewis Porter has suggested, somewhat controversially, that the cause of Coltrane’s illness was hepatitis, although he also attributed the disease to Coltrane’s heroin use.  In a 1968 interview, Albert Ayler claimed that Coltrane was consulting a Hindu meditative healer for his illness instead of Western medicine, though Alice Coltrane later denied this.
His death surprised many in the musical community who were not aware of his condition. Miles Davis commented: “Coltrane’s death shocked everyone, took everyone by surprise. I knew he hadn’t looked too good… But I didn’t know he was that sick—or even sick at all.”
The Coltrane family reportedly remain in possession of much more as-yet-unreleased music, mostly mono reference tapes made for the saxophonist and, as with the 1995 release Stellar Regions, master tapes that were checked out of the studio and never returned. The parent company of Impulse!, from 1965 to 1979 known as ABC Records, purged much of its unreleased material in the 1970s. Lewis Porter has stated that Alice Coltrane, who died in 2007, intended to release this music, but over a long period of time; her son Ravi Coltrane, responsible for reviewing the material, is also pursuing his own career.
InstrumentsColtrane played the clarinet and the alto horn in a community band before taking up the alto saxophone during high school. In 1947, when he joined King Kolax’s band, Coltrane switched to tenor saxophone, the instrument he became known for playing primarily. Coltrane’s preference for playing melody higher on the range of the tenor saxophone (as compared to Coleman Hawkins or Lester Young) is attributed to his start and training on the alto horn and clarinet; his “sound concept” (manipulated in ones vocal tracts- tongue, throat) of the tenor sax was set higher than the normal range of the instrument.
In the early 1960s, during his engagement with Atlantic Records, he increasingly played soprano saxophone as well, famously on the album My Favorite Things. Toward the end of his career, he experimented with flute in his live performances and studio recordings (Live at the Village Vanguard Again!, Expression). Eric Dolphy’s mother supposedly gave Coltrane his flute and bass clarinet after Dolphy’s death in 1964.
Religious beliefsColtrane was born and raised in a Christian home, and was influenced by religion and spirituality from childhood. His maternal grandfather, the Reverend William Blair, was a preacher at an African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church in High Point, North Carolina, and John’s paternal grandfather, Reverend William H. Coltrane, was an A.M.E. Zion minister in Hamlet, North Carolina. John’s parents met through church affiliation, and married in 1925. John was born in 1926. As a youth, John practiced music in the southern African-American church. In A Night in Tunisia: Imaginings of Africa in Jazz, Norman Weinstein notes the parallel between Coltrane’s music and his experience in the southern church.
In 1955, Coltrane married Juanita Naima Grubbs, a Muslim convert, for whom he later wrote the piece “Naima”, and came into contact with Islam.] Coltrane explored Hinduism, the Kabbalah, Jiddu Krishnamurti, African history, and the philosophical teachings of Plato and Aristotle. Coltrane also became interested in Zen Buddhism and, later in his career, visited Buddhist temples during his 1966 tour of Japan.
Since 1948, Coltrane had struggled with heroin addiction as well as alcoholism. In 1957, Coltrane had a religious experience which may have been what finally led him to overcome his addictions to alcohol and heroin. In the liner notes of A Love Supreme (released in 1965) Coltrane states “[d]uring the year 1957, I experienced, by the grace of God, a spiritual awakening which was to lead me to a richer, fuller, more productive life. At that time, in gratitude, I humbly asked to be given the means and privilege to make others happy through music.” In his 1965 album Meditations, Coltrane wrote about uplifting people, “…To inspire them to realize more and more of their capacities for living meaningful lives. Because there certainly is meaning to life.”
John and Naima Coltrane had no children together and were separated by the summer of 1963, and not long after that John met pianist Alice McLeod (who soon became Alice Coltrane). John and Alice moved in together and had two sons before he was “officially divorced from Naima in 1966, at which time John and Alice were immediately married.” John Jr. was born in 1964, Ravi was born in 1965, and Oranyan (Oran) was born in 1967. According to Lavezzoli, “Alice brought happiness and stability to John’s life, not only because they had children, but also because they shared many of the same spiritual beliefs, particularly a mutual interest in Indian philosophy. Alice also understood what it was like to be a professional musician”.
Moustafa Bayoumi, an associate professor of English at Brooklyn College, City University of New York, argues that Coltrane’s A Love Supreme (recorded in December 1964 and released in 1965) features Coltrane chanting, “Allah Supreme.” However, in Lewis Porter’s book John Coltrane: His Life and Music (2000), on page 242, he describes the lyrics this way: “Coltrane and another voice—probably himself overdubbed—chant the words ‘a love supreme’ in unison with the bass ostinato”. In Peter Lavezzoli’s book The Dawn of Indian Music in the West: Bhairavi (2006), on page 283, he says, “Certainly in his opening solo in “Acknowledgment,” with his constant modulations of the same phrase in different keys, Coltrane assumes the role of the preacher. After stating the theme in every possible key, Coltrane concludes his solo and quietly begins to chant, “A love supreme … a love supreme,” singing the same four notes played by Garrison on the bass. After chanting “A love supreme” sixteen times, Coltrane and the band shift from F minor down to E flat minor, and the chant slowly tapers off.” Whatever the case may be, the liner notes to A Love Supreme appear to mention God in a Universalist sense, and do not advocate one religion over another. Further evidence of this universal view regarding spirituality can be found in the liner notes of Meditations (1965), in which Coltrane declares, “I believe in all religions.”
Lavezzoli points out that “After A Love Supreme, most of Coltrane’s song and album titles had spiritual implications: Ascension, Om, Selflessness, Meditations, “Amen,” “Ascent,” “Attaining,” “Dear Lord,” “Prayer and Meditation Suite,” and the opening movement of Meditations, “The Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost,” the most obvious Christian reference in any of Coltrane’s work.”[29] Coltrane’s collection of books included The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, the Bhagavad Gita, Paramahansa Yogananda’s Autobiography of a Yogi, which, Lavezzoli points out, “recounts Yogananda’s search for universal truth, a journey that Coltrane had also undertaken. Yogananda believed that both Eastern and Western spiritual paths were efficacious, and wrote of the similarities between Krishna and Christ. This openness to different traditions resonated with Coltrane, who studied the Qur’an, the Bible, Kabbalah, and astrology with equal sincerity.”
In October 1965, Coltrane recorded Om, referring to the sacred syllable in Hinduism, which symbolizes the infinite or the entire Universe. Coltrane described Om as the “first syllable, the primal word, the word of power”. The 29-minute recording contains chants from the Bhagavad Gita, a Hindu holy book, as well as Coltrane and Pharoah Sanders chanting from a Buddhist text, The Tibetan Book of the Dead, and reciting a passage describing the primal verbalization “om” as a cosmic/spiritual common denominator in all things.
Coltrane’s spiritual journey was interwoven with his investigation into world music. He believed not only in a universal musical structure which transcended ethnic distinctions, but in being able to harness the mystical language of music itself. Coltrane’s study of Indian music led him to believe that certain sounds and scales could “produce specific emotional meanings.” According to Coltrane, the goal of a musician was to understand these forces, control them, and elicit a response from the audience. Coltrane said: “I would like to bring to people something like happiness. I would like to discover a method so that if I want it to rain, it will start right away to rain. If one of my friends is ill, I’d like to play a certain song and he will be cured; when he’d be broke, I’d bring out a different song and immediately he’d receive all the money he needed.”
Legacy
The influence Coltrane has had on music spans many different genres and musicians. Coltrane’s massive influence on jazz, both mainstream and avant-garde, began during his lifetime and continued to grow after his death. He is one of the most dominant influences on post-1960 jazz saxophonists and has inspired an entire generation of jazz musicians. In 1965, he was inducted into the Down Beat Jazz Hall of Fame. In 1972, A Love Supreme was certified gold by the RIAA for selling over half a million copies in Japan. This album, as well as My Favorite Things, was certified gold in the United States in 2001. In 1982 Coltrane was awarded a posthumous Grammy for “Best Jazz Solo Performance” on the album Bye Bye Blackbird, and in 1997, was awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. Coltrane was inducted into the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame in 2009.
His widow, Alice Coltrane, after several decades of seclusion, briefly regained a public profile before her death in 2007. Coltrane’s son, Ravi Coltrane, named after the great Indian sitarist Ravi Shankar, who was greatly admired by Coltrane, has followed in his father’s footsteps and is a prominent contemporary saxophonist.A former home, the John Coltrane House in Philadelphia, was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1999. His last home, the John Coltrane Home in the Dix Hills neighborhood of Huntington, New York, where he resided from 1964 until his death in 1967, was added to the National Register of Historic Places on June 29, 2007.
His revolutionary use of multi-tonic systems in jazz has become a widespread composition and reharmonization technique known as “Coltrane changes”.
In 2002, scholar Molefi Kete Asante listed John Coltrane on his list of 100 Greatest African Americans.
Coltrane’s tenor (Selmer Mark VI, serial number 125571, dated 1965) and soprano (Selmer Mark VI, serial number 99626, dated 1962) saxophones were auctioned on February 20, 2005 to raise money for the John Coltrane Foundation. The soprano raised $70,800 but the tenor remained unsold.
Religious Figure
After Coltrane’s death, congregants at the Yardbird Temple, in San Francisco, began worshipping Coltrane as God incarnate. The Temple was named for Charlie Parker, whom they equated to John the Baptist. The St. John Will-I-Am Coltrane African Orthodox Church, San Francisco, which is fondly known as the “Coltrane church”, is the only African Orthodox Church which incorporates Coltrane’s music and his lyrics as prayers in its liturgy. In order to become affiliated with the AOC, Coltrane was “demoted” from being God to a saint. In 1996, documentary filmmaker Alan Klingenstein made a short (26 minute) film called The Church of Saint Coltrane. Another documentary on Coltrane, featuring the church and presented by Alan Yentob, was produced for the BBC in 2004. Samuel G. Freedman writes in his New York Times article “Sunday Religion Inspired By Saturday Nights”, December 1, 2007,
… the Coltrane church is not a gimmick or a forced alloy of nightclub music and ethereal faith. Its message of deliverance through divine sound is actually quite consistent with Coltrane’s own experience and message.
In the same article, he comments on John Coltrane’s place in the canon of American music. In both implicit and explicit ways, Coltrane also functioned as a religious figure. In 1966, an interviewer in Japan asked Coltrane what he hoped to be in five years, and Coltrane replied, “A saint.”
John Coltrane is depicted as one of the ninety saints in the monumental Dancing Saints icon of St. Gregory of Nyssa Episcopal Church in San Francisco. The Dancing Saints icon is a 3,000-square-foot (280 m2) painting rendered in the Byzantine iconographic style that wraps around the entire church rotunda. The icon was executed by iconographer Mark Dukes, an ordained deacon at the Saint John Coltrane African Orthodox Church, who has painted other icons of Coltrane for the Coltrane Church. Saint Barnabas Episcopal Church in Newark, New Jersey included Coltrane on their list of historical black saints and made a “case for sainthood” for him in an article on their former website .
Reposted from Hipsters Collector Corner at Facebook groups researched by Charles Thierry – Jazz Fan

Hipster Retro: Coming Soon Interview with Woodwinds/Percussionist Derf Reklaw


Derf Reklaw

Derf Reklaw

‘The Pharaohs were one of the forgotten treasures of ’70s R&B, a freewheeling jazz-funk congregation heavily influenced by Chicago’s jazz avant-garde as well as on-the-one funk and African motifs.’
 Unfortunately, they recorded only one album before Earth, Wind & Fire frontman Maurice White (who played in an early version of the Pharaohs) hired several of its members to form the Phenix Horns, the justly celebrated horn section for Earth,Wind &Fire during the 70s.
The group was formed from several jazz bands active around Chicago’s Afro Arts Theater, a community educational collective.
One of the bands, the Jazzmen, was formed in the early ’60s around trumpeter Charles Handy, trombone player Louis Satterfield, and alto Don Myrick (along with three who didn’t survive later conglomeration: pianist Fred Humphrey, bassist Ernest McCarthy, and drummer Maurice White). The other main component of the Pharaohs was the Artistic Heritage Ensemble, who had already recorded one late-’60s LP with cornetist, Philip Cohran, a veteran of Sun Ra’s Arkestra and AACM.
By the time of the Pharaohs’ 1971 recording debut, Awakening, the group included Handy, Myrick, and Satterfield plus Big Willie Woods on trombone, Oye Bisi and Shango Njoko Adefumi on African drums, Yehudah Ben Israel on guitar and vocals, Alious Watkins on trap drums, Derf Reklaw-Raheem on percussion and flute, and Aaron Dodd on tuba.

Back in the ’60s, before the Pharaohs were formed, Handy, Satterfield, and Maurice White had often contributed to sessions at Chicago’s Chess studios, so when White recorded a demo for a new band he wanted to form, both Handy and Satterfield appeared on it. After he signed to Warner Bros., they also began recording Earth,Wind &Fire material and eventually were officially hired by White as the Phenix Horns, with the addition of Pharaohs Yehudah Ben Israel and Rahm Lee, plus Michael Harris. The Pharaohs soldiered on until 1973, but called it quits without recording another studio album.

Derf Reklaw became a respected world-jazz leader, while Woods and Dodd both appeared on many soul sessions around Chicago during the ’70s. In 1996, the acid jazz label Luv ‘N’ Haight reissued Awakening and also released the 1972 live outing, In the Basement.
John Bush, All Music Guide(reprinted from all music guide-2008

Jazz Saxophonist Dale Fielder: Tribute to Jazz Legend Pepper Adams


Re-Posted by Robert Carmack  via Dale Fielder

Dear Jazz Enthusiasts

I’d like to take a moment to thank all our supporters (you know who you are!) for all the positive vibes, support and coming out to attend our performances throughout the year!  Pretty much, this is what it’s all about for us jazz musicians.  Simply to play for YOU!  For your enjoyment of this great music!  Without you, we can do nothing!

As I speak, our new CD concentrating on the music of the Donald Byrd/Pepper Adams Quintet of 1958-1961 entitled: “Each Time I Think of You” by the Dale Fielder Tribute Quintet is at the pressing plant and will be available on our ‘street date’ of October 16th.  This project has overcome numerous obstacles to finally see the light of day.  I am very proud of our “Never Give Up” attitude shown by all involved with making this CD a reality.  Because of the support of those around me, I am resolved and inspired to continue to push on even through the darkest of days.  The new CD will also feature our QR code where you can scan your smartphone over it and it will direct you to our new and soon to be upgraded Dale Fielder Activities website!

We have our BIG WEEK coming up this October 17th thru the 20th.  Founded by Pepper Adam’s biographer Gary Carner, we are anchoring the Los Angeles leg of the the 1st International Pepper Adams Jazz Festival.  Here’s the details as of today:

  • Catalina Bar & Grill – Oct 17th  An all-star quintet featuring Jazz’s #1 baritone saxophonist Gary Smulyan from NYC and Grammy-Nominated pianist Eric Reed joins myself, Trevor Ware on bass and Don Littleton on drums for a performance featuring the music of jazz legend, Pepper Adams.  Also on hand will be Adams’ biographer Gary Carner who will serve as MC for the evening as well as featuring the release of his new book on Adams entitled:  “Pepper Adams Joy Road”.  $15 cover.
  • Crowne Plaza LAX – Oct 18th  The official Los Angeles release of the Dale Fielder Tribute Quintet’s new CD “Each Time I Think of You” with a performance by the Tribute Quintet featuring Dale Fielder-baritone sax, Nolan Shaheed-trumpet, Jane Getz-piano, Trevor Ware-bass & Don Littleton-drums. There will be 3 sets of some hot, swinging jazz!  Y’all know how it is and how much fun we have when we play there!  No Cover!
  • Soka University Performing Art Center – Oct 19th  The San Diego area official release of the Dale Fielder Tribute Quintet’s new CD “Each Time I Think of You” with a performance by the Tribute Quintet featuring Dale Fielder-baritone sax, Nolan Shaheed-trumpet, Jane Getz-piano, Trevor Ware-bass & Don Littleton-drums as well as a live audio and video recording of the evening by impresario Jim Merod.   Also on hand will be Adams’ biographer Gary Carner who will serve as MC for the evening as well as featuring the release of his new book on Adams entitled:  “Pepper Adams Joy Road”.  $28, $21 for students.
  • Vibrato Grill Jazz – Oct 20th  An all-star quintet again featuring the great Gary Smulyan. Unfortunately pianist Eric Reed as advertised, will not be able to join us as we had to let him go to perform 4 nights with Delfeayo Marsalis.  However this night, we get to stretch out here in 2 great sets with the superb pianist Theo Saunders, Pat Senatore-bass & Ramon Banda on drums.  Herb Alpert’s joint is one of the classiest and best places to play in town!  No Cover!

I truly hope you all can come out to one or more of these events.  I promise you will hear some of the hardest-hitting jazz in the tradition the great Pepper Adams pioneered.  Also you can pick out our new CD and Gary Carner’s great new book and CDs.  Heck we’ll even have some T-shirts on hand!

See you out there!

~Dale

About The Soul & Heart of Great Music


About. Unsung musicians of Jazz, Blues and Soul Genres. We’ll profile,explore, interview and publicize information to commemorate, or uplift the legacy of these artists who gave it their all during their time in the public’s eye. From time to time, we may have special events recognizing these artists as groups, or individually honoring them. We will also include those individuals who contributed to the innovations and quality of the music through Press,Radio and Film. Artists emerging or still performing on a high level will be acknowledged as well. follow robert j.carmack :@blues2jazzguy on twitter

ALEPH RECORDS TO RELEASE JAMES MORRISON SNAPPY TOO


Snappy Too is the Follow-Up to the Gold Certified Album Snappy Doo

Los Angeles, CA – Aleph Records will release James Morrison’s new recording Snappy Too on September 11, 2012.  The album is the sequel to the 1990 release Snappy Doo, which featured Morrison along with three legendary artists (Ray Brown, Herb Ellis, and Jeff Hamilton) creating a seventeen-piece big band sound through the use of overdubbing.

“It was tremendous fun and the album went gold,” said Morrison of Snappy Doo.  “I knew I’d want to do a ‘sequel’ at some stage but it has taken over two decades to finally get around to it. Sadly, in the meantime we have lost Ray and Herb, so when the time came to choose musicians for this recording I had a decision to make – do I replace them (who could?) or do we stick with the original band…meaning Jeff and I alone?”

Morrison made the decision that, since no players could replace Brown and Ellis and in the spirit of Snappy Doo, to record Snappy Too with Jeff alone. Which meant that he had to pull out his acoustic bass and brush up on guitar, in addition to playing trumpet, trombone, sax, and piano as he did for the first album.

Morrison joked, “after many laughs, a few tears and a lot of writing, blowing, strumming and plucking, we now have the long awaited Snappy Too a seventeen piece big band album where you only have to get two autographs on the cover to have the whole band!”

The recording of Snappy Too started in Morrison’s studio in Sydney, Australia. “Last time (Snappy Doo) we started with the rhythm section and then layered the brass and saxes on top,” Morrison described. “This time I started with a single trumpet and gradually built up all the horns until we had thirteen. Next I added the bass, then guitar and finally piano.”

The recording then shifted to Los Angeles where Hamilton added the drum tracks and Morrison played a few improvised solos.  “It was really something to see a man who is arguably the world’s best big band drummer sitting there playing away on his own – while listening to sixteen ‘other’ guys who weren’t in the room!” Morrison said.  “I can’t tell you how hard that is, playing drums to a band that is already there and can’t respond to anything you do – but I can tell you that nobody else could do it better than Jeff Hamilton.”

One person whose contributions were essential to the recording of Snappy Too was recording engineer Tod Deeley.  Morrison explained, “The recording engineer is always important when capturing music but in this case, where the band was created by over-dubbing so many tracks, the engineer becomes almost one of the players. For many of the hours that it took to create this work, there were only two people in the studio – Tod and myself. This meant that I was relying not only on his expertise as an engineer but also on his musicality, to advise when we needed another take, when tuning was an issue, when the groove was shifting. This is something that not any engineer could do – but that’s ok because Tod isn’t just any engineer, he’s a musician that I trust to know when the music is right.”

Morrison continued, “It’s been an odyssey creating this album and I feel lucky to be able to do it. I hope you delight in listening to what for me has been a labor of love and joy.”

James Morrison Snappy Too will be released by Aleph Records on September 11, 2012.

ABOUT JAMES MORRISON
James Morrison is, by anybody’s standard, a virtuoso in the true sense of the word. Besides the trumpet, this multi-instrumentalist also plays trombone, euphonium, flugelhorn, tuba, saxophone, double bass and piano.

At the age of seven, Morrison was given his first instrument, at nine he formed his first band and at thirteen he was playing professionally in nightclubs. His international career developed just as quickly. At only age 16 he debuted in the USA with a breathtaking concert at the Monterey Jazz Festival.

Following this were performances at the big festivals in Europe including Montreaux, Pori, North Sea, Nice and Bern – playing with many of the legends of jazz. Dizzy Gillespie, Cab Calloway, Woody Shaw, Red Rodney, George Benson, Ray Charles, B.B. King, Ray Brown and Wynton Marsalis to name a few. There were also gigs in the worlds most famous jazz clubs – The Blue Note and Village Vanguard in New York, the New Morning in Paris and Ronnie Scotts in London.

James Morrison’s career thus far has been diverse and perhaps not typical of most jazz musicians. He recorded Jazz Meets the Symphony with The London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Lalo Schifrin, performed concerts at the Royal Albert hall with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden for Princess Anne. Royal command performances on two occasions for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and for US Presidents Bush & Clinton at Parliament House in Australia. He was also the artistic advisor to the Sydney Symphony’s “Kaleidoscope” series, which has included performances by Chick Corea, Dianne Reeves, Gary Burton and Kristjan Jarvi.  In 1997, Morrison was recognized for his service to the arts in Australia and awarded a medal of The Order of Australia.

Morrison spends much time in education, doing master classes and workshops in many countries and presenting the James Morrison Jazz Scholarship at Generations in Jazz. An avid user of the latest technologies James is very involved in furthering the presence of jazz and music education on the Internet and also uses computers extensively in his writing, recording and performances.
Follow Robert Carmack and this blog on twitter @blues2jazzguy.

 

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Kindred Spirits: Ndugu Chanceler


Kindred Spirits: Ndugu Chanceler 

It’s not often you get an opportunity to actually watch the professional growth of a musician up-close through most of their career,but in the case of Leon “Ndugu” Chanceler,I did. There’s many good things about growing up in Los Angeles in the 1950s or 60s..You had opportunities a kid from Shreveport, Louisiana during that era was never going to have. My parents moved us to Los Angeles in 1960. 

By 1963,I was learning saxophone and music theory. As in the case of Ndugu Chanceler, he too was from Shreveport, Louisiana. he started playing and studying music at 13,He grew up in LA (Watts area)in the 60s,just like me! I graduated from Cal State University Dominguez Hills, so did he. I guess that makes us kindred spirits and “Home Boys”. But that’s where the the meter on his side rises and explodes off the Charts. One Night, I was attending the famous jazz club, the Lighthouse where Willie Bobo & the BoGents were the group performing. Willie Bobo, a Purveyor of great talent,a master drummer- percussionist himself. He no longer playing the “Traps”.

 Bobo was out front now on timbales and vocals.. but, seated behind this mountain of drums,cymbals,and gear, was this youngster who hardly looked all of 15 or so. It was,at that time Leon(Ndugu) on drums. And man! could he play. I cut my teeth on listening to all the jazz masters on drums and seeing all I could, when they came to the Lighthouse or Shelly’s Manne Hole in Los Angeles. Billy Higgins,Frank Butler, Louis Hayes,Max Roach and Art Blakey frequented the LA club scene often.. I now have a guy from my generation who displays all of the jazz history and legacy into his playing AND,then piles on monstrous groove patterns at tremendous tempos with the greatest of ease,smiling like he just ate the canary! That was my introduction to Ndugu Chanceler! 

In my humble opinion, the two “baddest Cats” on drums coming out of Los Angeles late 60s to early 70s were, Ndugu Chanceler and “Sunship” Theus(RIP) another great drummer from my generation. These drummers were younger than Jack DeJohnette, Billy Hart,Billy Cobham, but still played on a higher level as the 70s emerged. Jazz went all “Electric Fusion”,Fender Rhodes pianos Synthisizers(MOOG)technology was in play, and Ndugu was was right in the middle of that music era strong! Still maintaining his roots in Jazz performing with the likes of Freddie Hubbard, Miles Davis, Bobby Hutcherson, and Gerald Wilson Big Band. In a flash of an eye, doubling up on calls with George Duke, Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock’s Jazz Fusion bands. In addition, his recording sessions list was equally stellar also. Chanceler has also worked with Stanley Clarke,Jean-Luc Ponty,Donna Summer,George Duke,Patrice Rushen,Carlos Santana,Hubert Laws,The Crusaders,Frank Sinatra,Weather Report,Lionel Richie,Kenny Rogers,Thelonious Monk,Herbie Hancock and John Lee Hooker. Most famous of all, The King of Pop.” Michael Jackson! THE Drummer on Thriller’s Billy Jean”. 

Ndugu(Leon)Chanceler, from his humble beginnings in Los Angeles at Holy Chapel Missionary Baptist Church under Pastor William Cobbs,to, Grammy winning recordings,to being honored at the University of Southern California’s  www.usc.edu/visionsandvoices Visions and Voices Humanities & Arts program Sept 23. 

60 years of Life & Music!

Chanceler is also a member of Percussive Arts Society and has been named as one of the top 25 Drummers in the world! Follow Robert J. Carmack discussions and reviews on jazz at twitter: @blues2jazzguy