The Many Faces Of Teri Thornton

Great Singer and spirit.. I got turned on to her in late 90s

Geezer Music Club

Teri Thornton, a talented but under-appreciated jazz vocalist who died more than a decade ago, had a  career that was varied and unconventional to say the least. Although she’s probably most remembered for her successful recording of “Somewhere in the Night,” (the theme for the TV show Naked City) she went through a lot of ups and downs in her career. Among them were time spent as an anonymous singer in TV commercials, early solo success followed by decades of obscurity, and finally a solid comeback in her later

Born in Detroit as Shirley Enid Avery, she began appearing in local clubs during the 1950s, moving to New York in the following decade. By then she was using the name Teri Thornton and she found work singing TV ads before eventually managing to make some good records of her own.  She soon gained the respect of solid jazz…

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james janisse banner-u1924

The Wonderful World of Jazz is on CLICK ON THE LINK  DAILY at NOON (PST)

posted by Robert J.Carmack

We Play Great Music!!   Oscar Brown Jr. Kicks off the show today followed by: 1) Michael Session – “Quagmire Manor At 5AM” (Michael Session ‘N Session) 2) Eugenie Jones – “I Want One” (Black Lace , Blue Tears) 3) Jose Rizo’s Mongorama – “Skins” (Baila Que Baila) BREAK 4) The Quintet – “Perdido” (Jazz At Massey Hall) 5) Dennis Rowland – “I Could Write A Book” (Live At Kazmierz) 6) Miles Davis – “I Could Write A Book” (Relaxin’ W/The Miles Davis Quintet) BREAK 7) Kenny Garrett – “Alpha Man” (Pushing The World Away) And that’s just the 1st hour! Stay tuned for: 1) Thelonious Monk – “Well, You Needn’t” (Monk’s Music) 2) Barbara Morrison – “On The Sunny Side Of The Street” (A Sunday Kind Of Love) 3) Warren Wolf – “Things Were Done Yesterday” (Wolfgang) BREAK 4) Jimmy McConnell – “Blues Backstage” (Swinging-N-Grooving) 5) Oscar Brown Jr. – “Brother Where Are You? / 40 Acres And A Mule” (Oscar Brown Jr. Goes To Washington) 6) Eddie Harris – “1974 Blues” (The Best Of Eddie Harris) BREAK 7) Sonny Clark – “Blues Blue” (My Conception) 8) Judy Wexler – “Just For Now” (What I See) 9) Cannonball Adderley – “Why Am I Treated So Bad” (The Cannonball Adderley Quintet Live At The Jazz Workshop)  ENJOY!”


Nothing is better than a Wynton Kelly Solo

Empty Chair

Wynton Kelly: Kelly Great (1959) 1993

Kelly Great

Track list:

01. Wrinkles
02. Mama ‘G’
03. June Night
04. What Know
05. Sydney


Lee Morgan – trumpet
Wayne Shorter – tenor sax
Wynton Kelly – piano
Paul Chambers – bass
‘Philly’ Joe Jones – drums

Recorded: Fine Sound Studios, New York City; August 12, 1959
Released: 1959
Label: Vee-Jay
LP/SR 1016
Title on original cover is misspelled “Kelley Great” and artist’s name is misspelled “Wynton Kelley.”
Name is correct on reverse and labels, and corrected on later pressings.

LP/SR 3004 [1960, re-issue]

NVJ2-907 [1993, CD, re-issue, re-mastered]
Track 5 incorrectly listed as ‘Sidney’ on the release.

#01,03: string section (dir. Bill Marx) overdub issued as part of:
Vee-Jay VJLP 1086, VJLPS 1086 – The Best Of Wynton Kelly; and
Trip TLX 5010 – Wynton Kelly – Smokin’

Original Session Producer: Sid McCoy
Recording Engineer:

Original Liner Notes: Julian ‘Cannonball’ Adderley


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Don 1 (1)

In the early 90s, There was a section in Los Angeles, that evolved out of the ashes of the riots in South Central L.A., an arts community came together to heal. Part of that Arts Renaissance was the Leimert Park  Village, which housed clusters of performing arts venues,artist lofts, craft makers, poets and dance troupes. Two of the more popular venues were 5th Street Dick’s  Coffee House & Billy Higgins’s World Stage.. This was a spawning grounds for some of today’s most eclectic & innovative jazz musicians. Donald Vega was part of that movement, along with, trumpeter Gilbert Castellanos,  saxophonist Dale Fielder, Drummer Willie Jones III, Composer / bassist   Marcus Shelby, Dwight Trible, and the Pan Afrikan Arkestra, founded by Horace Tapscott . Many nights as I sat in the coffee-house or the listening galleries checking out Donald and a bunch of under-25 years old jazz musicians,playing with such superb and intense virtuosity, with a NO FEAR attitude on the bandstand. It was always easy pick him out of the slew of piano players who helped to keep the jam sessions going long.. He always stood out, his solos were fluid, and none complicated, they just flowed,  He doesn’t lean that heavy on his technical prowess,but his improvisational composing offers up  florets of melodies that linger long after the song has finished. Donald Vega’s performing, composing, and arranging pays tribute to the giants on whose shoulders he stands, while stretching his own expression into uncharted realms.  His ballads touch the heart without employing sentimentality; while his velocity of swing reminds us that dance is at the heart of jazz.  Donald’s spiritual clarity provides a healing balm of grace while teaching us that life is more than what the eye can see.  The music of Donald Vega exemplifies the importance of affirmative culture in providing each of us with the resources of the mind and soul. Ron Carter isn’t known to  waste adjectives on musicians. The legendary bass master has incredibly high standards and a reputation for telling it like it is, so, an endorsement from Carter really means something. The fact that he hails Donald Vega as, “the next piano voice” in jazz, and selected him to be Mulgrew Miller’s successor in his own trio.

Donald Vega came to the United States from Nicaragua at the age of fifteen without speaking a word of English and suffering health problems that threatened his hearing and his musical future.  Poverty-stricken, Vega practiced on a makeshift cardboard piano and within a year won the prestigious Los Angeles Spotlight Awards competition capturing the attention of Henry Mancini and the renowned jazz critic, Leonard Feather.  David Abel of Fine Pianos, at the request of Walter Grumman and Barbara Haig, donated a piano to replace the now legendary piece of cardboard.

Mastering English as quickly as the keyboard, Vega began studying at The Colburn School of Performing Arts (where he now teaches part-time),  graduated from high school, and went on to earn a B.A. degree in Jazz Studies from the University of Southern California in 1999.   Along the way, he won the LA Jazz Society’s New Talent Award and was runner-up in the Great American Jazz Piano Competition, a national competition. In addition, Donald went through a number of critical surgeries to restore his health and save his hearing.   


Vega has performed with a long-list of jazz legends including: Al McKibbon, Poncho Sanchez, Milt Jackson, John Clayton, Jeff Hamilton, Bennie Wallace, Billy Higgins, Reggie Workman, Luis Conte, Alex Acua, Anthony Wilson, Francisco Aguabella and countless others. 

Vega has recorded with Aguabella (“Ochimini”, 2004; “Agua de Cuba”, 1999; and “Cubacan”, 2002).  Donald has also recorded with Al McKibbon, (“Black Orchid”, 2003), Poncho Sanchez, (“Ochimini”, 2004), Anthony Wilson (“Adult Themes”, 1999) and Jazz on the Latin Side All-Stars (“The Last Bullfighter” 2004).  

Vega while living in Los Angeles,he played all the top jazz night clubs in the Los Angeles area including the Catalina Bar and Grill, LaVe Lee, Sapazios, Steamers Cafe,Vibrato Grill & Jazz, Hollywood Park Casino and Ciudad.  He also appeared at larger venues like the Hollywood Bowl, Kodak Theater, Universal Amphitheater, Music Center, Grand Performances at the California Plaza, Getty Museum, Shrine Auditorium, Wiltern Theatre and the Greek Theatre.

Donald Vega has toured throughout Europe, Latin America and the United States; including major jazz festivals such as the Playboy Jazz Festival, Berlin Jazz Festival, Watts Towers Jazz Festival and the Central Avenue Jazz Festival.

In short – his music matters.   

New York Trailblazing Cellist Invades North Carolina with Chamber Soul

posted by Robert J. Carmack

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In this writer’s humble opinion, People are buzzing about the wrong things these days. particularly about the music scene. Who cares  about a mixed up kid onstage making raunchy, with a guy in a football referee suit??  Shana Tucker is making more than just Buzz with her new sound of “Chamber Soul” with her Cello & fresh voice.  Transcending genres, Shana’s “Chamber Soul”, cellist & singer/songwriter from New York, who’s blazing new trails for herself . Her music is a sultry blend of Acoustic Pop and soulful, Jazz-influenced Contemporary Folk. “It’s different, yet comfortably familiar. I can’t deny the classical training, but I like the thump of walking blues and old-timey bass lines. It’s like a delicious coffee blend… something you can’t quite place, but it’s still good!” says Shana.  She’s bringing her special blend of Soul into the  Kirby Theater in Roxboro, North Carolina September 28 7:30PM -10:00PM.   “walk,run or fly, just don’t sleep on Shana Tucker!” 

Shana’s debut  project, “Shine” in 2011 portrays a musical journey that snapshots the major influences of everyday life: laughter, love loss, relationship, rediscovery, and the never-ending journey towards heightened levels of peace, understanding, self-acceptance and satisfaction. Ms. Tucker will plumb through some of the goodies from that CD , but also introduce new material that’s slated for production in the very near future . Of course she’ll display electrifying virtuosity on her Cello,but more important, her velvety-voice will enchant and invite you inside her sphere of  New Soul.

Raised in Amityville NY, Shana learned to play piano at an early age from her great-grandmother, who was herself a beginner taking community center lessons. In junior high, she traded in her violin for cello in order to stay in orchestra. In high school at the strong suggestion of her orchestra director, Shana began private studies with Sue Lehr, and broadened her musical horizons by studying choral singing, performing with regional orchestras, theater productions, and vocal groups ,while winning several regional and national awards .  Shana studied cello at Howard University in Washington, DC , additional education at CUNY – Brooklyn College Conservatory of Music.  As an arranger/composer she appears on several CD recordings, theatre productions, and TV commercials. Her commissioned works include ‘Nexxus’ and ‘Savannah’, both of which were composed for The Washington Ballet (with Maritri Garrett, co-writer) and premiered at The Kennedy Center (Washington, DC).

‘Savannah‘ was also chosen to debut at the Joyce Theatre-NYC and also at the Witts Theater in Johannesburg, South Africa. With Hue, Shana opened for several critically-acclaimed recording artists, including jazz saxophonist Hamiett Bluett, drummer/vocalist Vinx, Sweet Honey in the Rock, the Blind Boys of Alabama and Indigo Girls.

shana  & Cello

Date:9/28/2013 7:30 PM – 10:00 PM

Kirby Theater

213 North Main Street  Roxboro , North Carolina

Grammy Nominee Jazz Guitarist Anthony Wilson at SOKA International Jazz Festival

posted by Robert J. Carmack

Anthony Wilson  is a creative jazz artist  who continues to expand and impress. the Grammy-nominee will be appearing at the SOKA International Jazz Festival on the SOKA University campus Saturday,September 28 at 8:PM.

Soka International Jazz Festival
1 University Dr
Aliso Viejo, CA

Delfeayo  Marsalis and his Octet return to kick-off the evening with more music from their “Sweet Thunder” CD.
The evening will be capped off by teaming up Hungarian horn player, Kornel Fekete-Kovacs with Anthony Wilson’s Trio to make an amazing international quartet.

Among other honors, Wilson’s first, self-titled CD received a Grammy nomination for Best Large Jazz Ensemble Recording in 1998; his second CD “Goat Hill Junket” was featured prominently on many jazz critics’ Top-Ten lists for that year; and his third CD “Adult Themes” earned a rare “5 stars” in Downbeat Magazine. In May 2001, Groove Note Records released Wilson’s “Our Gang,” a trio recording, which has also received raves in Downbeat and other publications.

A sensitive and gifted accompanist as well as a formidable soloist, Anthony Wilson has been recording and touring the world with the celebrated vocalist/pianist Diana Krall since he joined her in 2001 for her Grammy-winning CD/DVD “Live In Paris” (Verve Records). Recent recordings and concert appearances with the likes of Al Jarreau, Aaron Neville, and Madeleine Peyroux have served to spotlight Wilson’s growing artistry, musical maturity, and improvisational authority. Bennie Wallace, Larry Goldings, Joe Henry, Harold Land, Chris Botti, the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra, and his father, legendary composer/arranger/bandleader Gerald Wilson, are a few of the well-respected musicians with whom Anthony Wilson has forged fruitful, lasting partnerships.anthonywilson100x100

A skilled composer and arranger with a deep understanding of tradition and an equal willingness to take risks, Anthony Wilson won the Thelonious Monk International Composers’ Competition in 1995, and went on to be nominated for two Jazz Journalist’s Association Jazz Awards (for Best Debut Artist and Composition of the Year) in 1998. Numerous commissions for original works followed, such as The Gil Evans Fellowship from the International Association of Jazz Educators in 1999, resulting in the extended piece “Adult Themes”; a commission for a concert-length piece–”Tokyo Wednesday”–from the Kuumbwa Jazz Center in conjunction with the NEA in 2002; and a commission for a large-scale orchestral work (“Solstice Sequence,” featuring Larry Goldings) in 2003. For the last five years, Anthony Wilson has consistently been chosen for top ranks among composers, Arrangers, and guitarists “Deserving Wider Recognition” in Downbeat Magazine’s annual International Critics’ Poll.   Anthony Wilson has been a member of the Jazz Studies faculty at UCLA since 1998.

Harlem Historic Jazz Club Minton’s Playhouse to Re-Open in October

posted by Robert J. Carmack / According to The Electronic Urban Report

Richard Parsons, the former chairman of Citigroup who was chairman/CEO of Time Warner until he stepped down in 2007, has turned his full attention toward growing businesses in Harlem.

He and wife Laura are opening two new uptown restaurants, Minton’s and The Cecil. Minton’s is a restoration of the famed 1930s/1940s Harlem jazz club Minton’s Playhouse. It will reside in the original location, redesigned as a contemporary jazz supper club. Next-door sister restaurant The Cecil will be an Afro-Asian-American brasserie that integrates the culinary traditions of the African Diaspora with traditional Asian and American cuisines.

Minton’s Playhouse, September 1947 – William J. Gottlieb » Thelonious Monk, Howard McGhee, Roy Eldridge, and Teddy Hill, Minton’s Playhouse, New York, N.Y.Set. 1947

(L-R) Thelonious Monk, Howard McGhee, Roy Eldridge, and Teddy Hill outside Minton’s Playhouse, Harlem,NYC ,1947

The Parsons have appointed their long-time friend and Cafe Beulah restaurateur Alexander Smalls as Executive Chef of both eateries. The Cecil opens September 23rd and Minton’s opens the following month.

The original Minton’s Playhouse opened in 1938 and became an outpost for good jazz from the likes of Thelonious Monk, Kenny Clarke, Charlie Christian, Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie took the stage and joined in regular jam sessions. Jazz will play a significant role in the new Minton’s.

“As an avid jazz lover for years, it has always been a dream of mine to open a supper club where guests can enjoy the sounds of great musicians while dining on great food in elegant surroundings,” said Parsons, who is also Chairman of the Jazz Foundation of America. “The culture and atmosphere that once defined Harlem’s night scene and made it a destination, has waned through the years but Harlem is experiencing a renaissance and our hope is that these two restaurants will help solidify and propel this rebirth.”

Hipster Sanctuary will be following this story over the coming weeks including an interview with the principals involved .