Patrice Rushen Ndugu Chancler Special Guest Paul Jackson Jr. Free Concert



Five-Stairsteps OONOW stair step color 1970s
Elder brother of  The Five Stairsteps, Clarence Burke,Jr. death is still shrouded in mystery. Family friend & long time manager Joe Marno said,the R&B singer died  last Sunday at his home in Marietta,Georgia. Burke resided there with his wife.
With respect for the family’s request for privacy, no further information has been released surrounding the cause or circumstances of Burkes’s sudden death. unnamed sources indicated ,the talented singer/writer was busy preparing for a string of solo concerts and recording sessions. After forming the group with his Dad and three other brothers in early 1960s, Clarence wrote and produced the Maiden Voyage hit, You Waited Too Long in1966.  While later adding his older sister Alohe, Dad exited the stage area to handle the business management.  By 1970, their biggest hit of all-time “OOH CHILD” was catapulting them to stratospheric stardom. Besides his parents,Clarence Sr. and mother Betty, Burke Jr is survived by his wife Crystal;his five children; the five band mate siblings;two other brothers, Leonard and Martin and a bevy of grandchildren.Follow Robert J.Carmack @blues2jazzguy on twitter

Oh What A Career The Dells Lead Singer Marvin Junior Passed Today

marvin-junior- The DELLSMarvin Junior, the long time surviving lead singer extraordinaire of the mighty, mighty Dells  passed today (05-29-13). Unfortunately we don’t have any specific details of his death, but according to a May 23, 2013 report in the Soulful Detroit blog, Mr. Junior  was reported to be very ill “and was not expected to be around  much longer. The report also mentioned that another member of The Dells, Mr. Chuck Barksdale, was also very ill.

We’ll have more details as they become available. Follow story on twitter:blues2jazzguy  Lead singer of  The DellsMarvin Junior‘s warm, earnest baritone vocals helped define the Harvey, IL, R&B/soul music group during its ’60s/’70s heyday (along with Johnny Carter’s mesmerizing falsetto). One example of his vocal prowess is his ability at holding a note, as heard on the 1968 remake of their own “Stay in My Corner.”

It’s no secret that producers Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff wanted Marvin Junior on their Philadelphia International Records label. When the group signed to Chess, they went with the similar-sounding Teddy PendergrassGamble & Huff finally got to work with the Dells in 1992 on the I Salute You album.

Junior, along with the rest of the Dells, was a key influence on Robert Townsend in the making of his movie The Five Heartbeats. In the early ’50s, the group initially formed as the El Rays when the members were students at Thornton Township High School. The lineup was Marvin JuniorJohnny Funches, Verne Allison,Chuck BarksdaleMickey McGill, and his brother Lucius. After doing their share of street-corner harmonizing, the vocal group auditioned for Leonard Chess of Chess Records in nearby Chicago. Their first release on Chess’ Checker imprint was the a cappella song “Darling I Know” with “Christine” on the flip side. The 45 was a small regional hit. Not long afterwards, Lucius McGill quit the group. Now a quintet, the group was taken under the wing of Harvey Fuqua of the Moonglows who schooled the group on five-part vocal harmony. Watch/listen to a classic 1972 live performance of “Oh What A Night,” “Always Together” and “Stay In My Corner” by the Dells on the PBS show “Soul”:

Classic Jazz Pianist Mulgrew Miller Dead At 57

Mulgrew Miller, whose soulful touch and rhythmic aplomb made him a strong fixture in mainstream Jazz for more than 30 years Mulgrew Miller , died Wednesday, May 29 in Allentown, Pa.  He was only 57. “The cause of death was due to a massive stroke,” said his longtime manager, Mark Gurley. Mr. Miller passed quietly after being hospitalized in ICU just five days ago. He was a widely respected bandleader, working either with a trio or with the group he called  Wingspan,named after the title of his second album. The blend of alto saxophone and vibraphone on that album recorded on Landmark Records in 1987. Mr. Miller revived that Band in 2002 on “The Sequel” (Max Jazz), working with veteran vibist, Steve Nelson.  Among Mr. Miller’s releases in the last decade were an impeccable solo piano album and four live albums featuring his dynamic trio.
Mulgrew developed his voice in the 1970s, combining the bright precision of bebop, as exemplified by Bud Powell and Oscar Peterson, with the clattering intrigue of modal jazz, especially as defined by McCoy Tyner. His balanced but assertive style was a model of fluency, lucidity and bounce, and it influenced more than a generation of younger pianists. Some people would say, his sideman credentials overshadowed his solo career. He played on hundreds of albums and worked in a series of celebrated bands. His most visible recent work had been with celebrated bassist, Ron Carter, whose  Golden Striker Trio featured Mr. Miller and guitarist Russell Malone on equal footing; the group released a live album, “San Sebastian” (In+Out), this year.
Born in Greenwood, Miss., on Aug. 13, 1955, Mr. Miller grew up immersed in Delta blues and gospel music. After picking out hymns by ear at the family piano, he began taking lessons at age 8. He played the organ in church and worked in soul cover bands, but devoted himself to jazz after seeing Mr. Peterson on television, a moment he later described as pivotal. At Memphis State University, he befriended two pianists, James Williams and Donald Brown, both of whom later preceded him in Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers.
Mr. Miller spent several years with the Jazz Messengers, just as he did with trumpeter Woody Shaw, singer Betty Carter and  The Duke Ellington Orchestra, led by Ellington’s son, Mercer. Mr. Miller worked in a quintet led by Tony Williams from the mid-1980s until shortly before Williams death in 1997. Mulgrew Miller’s survivors include his wife, Tanya; his son, Darnell; daughter, Leilani; and a grandson. He resided in Easton, Pa. follow the writer #Robert J.Carmack :blues2jazzguy on twitter

Noted Jazz Master Pianist Mulgrew Miller Hospitalized After Massive Stroke


Mulgrew Miller




#wingspan_With saddening news, I was informed by jazz insiders late this week regarding Jazz Pianist #Mulgrew Miller  was rushed to an unnamed hospital after  suffering  a severe Stroke. Close friends and family are asking fans to keep Mulgrew in their prayers. No details were offered at this time. As more information becomes available,we will share that on this blog. 

Eldest Sibling of Soul Group “The Stairsteps” Clarence Burke Jr. Dead at 63

Clarence Burke Jr

clarence-burke 3 now Re-Posted from The National R&B Music Society

Musical Genius, Vocalist, Songwriter, Musician, Producer and our dear friend Clarence Burke Jr. of The First Family of Soul “The Five Stairsteps, The Stairsteps and The Invisible Man’s Band has taken his final step…

My heart is heavy, my tears are still flowing, and my eyes are swollen, from mourning the loss of our dear friend Clarence Burke Jr. All night I have been reflecting on conversations he and I shared over the last three years and although we did discuss the music, we mainly spoke about life. I have always loved, admired and respected this Giant’s body of work, however through those conversation I admired, loved and respected the man, Clarence Burke Jr.

I am trying to wrap my head around this tremendous loss to the music industry. I can’t begin to imagine what his family and close friends are going through at this time. They all are in my thoughts and prayers and have my deepest condolences.

Vannessa Jordan
The National R&B Music Society Inc.

Re-Launch Date of Hipster Sanctuary July 4 2013

It was announced by Robert J. Carmack ,the new relaunch date of Hipster Sanctuary originally scheduled for February of this year , that had to placed on hold until now ,due to an emergency life-threatning surgery procedure .Now that rehab is completed, this writer is chomping at the bit to get started. further announcements are forthcoming and all back-dated articles  will be followed up and inserted.  blue jacket Rob