posted by Robert J. Carmack

Coming in August, This writer will sit down with L.A. based Jazz guitarist,  Jacque Lesure.  The veteran  musician will discuss his blazing hot new CD on WJJacque Lesure II now3 Records, When She Smiles….follow Robert J. Carmack   #@blues2jazzguy







Steve Berrios

Jazz Musician,Drummer/Percussionist  Steve Berrios has died . Details are sketchy at this time  surrounding the cause of death. It was announced by a few unnamed close friends Thursday night  July 25, including longtime friend, Drummer Alvin Queen posting it on his personal Facebook page. We will be following this story up with more details as they become available. follow also on twitter#SteveBerrios  #@blues2jazzguy.

“STEVE BERRIOS  (born February 24, 1945) was a jazz drummer and percussionist born in New York, New York. He started playing trumpet, but is not known for the instrument. He often performed in the Afro-Cuban jazz medium, having done stints with Pucho & His Latin Soul BrothersJoe Panama and Mongo Santamaría. He also worked with artists from other streams of the jazz medium, like Kenny Kirkland and Art Blakey, among many others”

Steve was born in uptown Manhattan  to parents who had just arrived from Puerto Rico. His father, Steve Sr., was a drummer with major Latin bands of the era, including Noro Morales, Miguelito Valdez and Pupi Campo.

Steve was given a bugle at age eleven and soon began trumpet classes in public school. But his real musical education came from his father’s records (which included modern jazz artist like, Duke Ellington and Charlie “YardBird” Parker) and his father’s musician friends. On the percussion side, his two greatest early influences were Willie Bobo and Julio Collazo, the legendary master of the batá sacred drum.

Steve became a percussion apprentice under Julio; at the same time, Julio became his spiritual mentor in Santeria, the Yoruba-based rites that are the wellspring of all serious Afro-Cuban music.

At 16, Steve started winning competitions with his trumpet, including five Apollo Theater first places. In high school, he was friends with  Harlem neighbor, budding pianist Larry Willis; this was the beginning of a lifelong friendship and jazz collaboration.

At age 19, he got his first steady gig as house drummer with a hotel band in Manhattan thanks to his father’s recommendation. He joined Mongo Santamaria’s band a few years later, playing both traps and timbales.

In 1981, he became a founding member of the milestone Latin jazz group, the Fort Apache Band. He’s been a crucial ingredient in Fort Apache ever since. Great drummers like Max Roach and Billy Higgins regarded Steve as the master of bridging the Latin and the mainstream  jazz tradition. a unique drummer who’s completely authentic in both worlds.

Because of this mastery, Steve was a veteran of more than 300 recordings. He’s also played and recorded with an enormous range of greats including, Tito Puente, Paquito D’Rivera, Michael Brecker, Grover Washington, Hilton Ruiz, and Miriam Makeba.

He’s leader on a remarkable CD of Santeria-based music on Fantasy, Son Becaché. In addition to his continuing work with Fort Apache,and a spectrum of first-rate New York musicians, he’s a longtime member of the Larry Willis Trio. 


boycott-florida-artist-cancelSources close to the Stevie Wonder camp confirm a list of artist joining him in support of a change of in the Stand Your Ground Law in Florida.  Some of the artists have even cancelled concerts in Florida after recent events. Stevie Wonder last week, at a concert in Canada said he would not play in Florida until they changed The Stand your Ground Law.  A list of celebrities has joined his call:

  • Mary Mary
  • Eddie Levert
  • Rod Stewart
  • Madonna
  • Usher
  • Pattie Labelle
  • Kanye West
  • Mary J
  • Trey Songz
  • Jay Z
  • Rolling Stones
  • Justin Timberlake
  • R. Kelly
  • Rihanna
  • Alicia Keys
  • Joe
  • Will I AM
  • Keyshia Cole
  • Young Jeezy
  • Erykah Badu
  • Wale
  • Frankie Beverly
  • Parliament

Re-posted from April Ryan Website  ** Update: I obtained from multiple sources early Monday a list of artists and entertainers who my sources told me had committed to a boycott of Florida following the George Zimmerman acquittal.  Since publishing that list I have heard from several representatives of the artists named who say, on behalf of their clients, they are uncomfortable being identified on that list and are seeking additional information.#FLORIDA BOYCOTT      #blues2jazzguy




Bunky Green  Now color Bunky album Cover




‘I Walked with Giants’
Autobiography of  Jimmy Heath

Jimmy Heath and Joseph McLaren, foreword by Bill Cosby, introduction by Wynton Marsalis

Temple University Press

book_300   HeathJimmy Heath has long been recognized as a brilliant instrumentalist and a magnificent composer and arranger.  Jimmy is the middle brother of the legendary Heath Brothers (Percy Heath/bass and Tootie Heath/drums), and is the father of Mtume.   He has performed with nearly all the jazz greats of the last 50 years, from Howard McGhee, Dizzy Gillespie, and Miles Davis to Wynton Marsalis.  In 1948 at the age of 21, he performed in the First International Jazz Festival in Paris with McGhee, sharing the stage with Coleman Hawkins, Slam Stewart, and Erroll Garner.  One of Heath’s earliest big bands (1947-1948) in Philadelphia included John Coltrane, Benny Golson, Specs Wright, Cal Massey, Johnny Coles, Ray Bryant, and Nelson Boyd.  Charlie Parker and Max Roach sat in on one occasion.

During his career, Jimmy Heath has performed on more than 100 record albums including seven with The Heath Brothers and twelve as a leader.  Jimmy has also written more than 125 compositions, many of which have become jazz standards and have been recorded by other artists including Art Farmer, Cannonball Adderley, Clark Terry, Chet Baker, Miles Davis, James Moody, Milt Jackson, Ahmad Jamal, Ray Charles, Dizzy Gillespie J.J Johnson and Dexter Gordon.  Jimmy has also composed extended works – seven suites and two string quartets – and he premiered his first symphonic work, “Three Ears,” in 1988 at Queens College (CUNY) with Maurice Peress conducting.

After having just concluded eleven years as Professor of Music at the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College, Heath maintains an extensive performance schedule and continues to conduct workshops and clinics throughout the United States, Europe, and Canada.  He has also taught jazz studies at Jazz-mobile, Housatonic College, City College of New York, and The New School for Social Research.  In October 1997, two of his former students, trumpeters Darren Barrett and Diego Urcola, placed first and second in the Thelonious Monk Competition.

Heath’s enduring dedication to jazz as well as his musicianship prompted the following tributes:

“All I can say is, if you know Jimmy Heath, you know Bop.”   — Dizzy Gillespie

“Trane was always high on Jimmy’s playing and so was I. Plus, he was a very hip dude to be with, funny and clean and very intelligent. Jimmy is one of the thoroughbreds.”   — Miles Davis

“My pick from the world’s talent would be Diz as leader, John Lewis or Hank Jones on piano, Ray Brown bass, Milt Jackson vibes, Jimmy Heath tenor, and Sonny Stitt alto.”    — Kenny Clarke

“I had met Jimmy Heath, who – besides being a wonderful saxophonist – understood a lot about musical construction.  I joined his group in Philadelphia in 1948.  We were very much alike in our feeling, phrasing and a whole lot of other ways.  Our musical appetites were the same.  We used to practice together, and he would write out some of the things we were interested in.  We would take things from records and digest them.  In this way, we learned about the techniques being used by writers and arrangers.”   — John Coltrane, Downbeat, 1960

If you love jazz, you have to love Jimmy Heath..he’s that perfect bridge between the “Bop Era” & today’s contemporary jazz artists.  In his compositions you hear all those years of experience being visualized through his music and yet his attitude and approach to his playing is very well received by fans of all ages. Like a fine tuned race car, Heath is playing “Much Saxophone” and very much at the top of his game. Robert J. Carmack  is a music historian,writer and blogger,you can follow him on twitter @blues2jazzguy or https://www.facebook.com/groups/hipstercollectoncorner/

jimmy Heath at Dizzy's

The Heath Bros Live in New York: Jimmy Heath & Al “Tootie” Heath



Bo Diddley 35% (1)  Remembering Bo Diddley:  posted by  Phillip Moore                                                                               
One of my favorite annual events  is the Austin Record Convention, one of the largest Record Collectors & Memorabilia exhibit in the world. 1993 would prove very special in my quest to grow my personal memorabilia pieces and buy key vinyl records and posters for the Records Store I’d managed  for over a decade. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3jrIK7YB0tE

Meeting  Rock & Roll pioneer Bo Diddley was not on my mind when I woke up that morning in 1993.  One of the most amazing thing that ever happened to me, and little did I know I would have the meeting of my life. As I was making my way around the huge event looking, and gazing at all sorts of memorabilia .I locked in on a man over to the side signing posters,books & album jackets , He had a familiar face , as I got closer, the identifying “horn-rim” glasses. It was Bo Diddley himself. Chatting with the legend, We talked about Chess Records,The Fillmore Auditorium in San Francisco and Bill Graham.He had nothing but good things to say about Graham.

Besides getting his personal autograph, I was there to buy records and other items for the record store I managed everyday. while recalling a time he played at the San Francisco landmark Concert venue, I laid down a poster from that era and he quickly remembered..like a light bulb snapping on in a dark room. Looking over the classic poster he said”I still can’t read my name on this.”

” Bo Diddley is the man!!” he will always have my respect.whether its for being an innovator in Rhythm& Blues music,the custom guitar, or, for standing up to Ed Sullivan  to not dilute his music performance by playing a song by Ernie Ford, “16 Tons” .  Diddley  recorded on Chess Records from 1955 to 1976.

Oddly enough, in the late 80s, Bo recorded a live album with Ron Wood of the “Rolling Stones” and even toured with Ronnie Wood.

With his sound influencing several generations of musical stars, Bo was also a ground-breaker with women  musicians in his regular band. they weren’t just eye-candy, these ladies could play hard. The Duchess,Lady Bo ,Cookie and Debbie Hastings,all were alumni of the Do Diddley band over the five decades plus he performed.

Bo was one of the nicest people I’ve ever met. Sadly after a long battle with bad health, Bo  Diddley passed  in 2008.

It was reported his last words were,  “I am gonna  go to heaven” . Let us never  forget this man and every thing he did for music and in life.