EPISTROPHY – LAST DATE – June 2,1964 Holland
Featuring: Eric Dolphy(Flute, Bass Clarinet, Alto Sax)
Blase featuring Dave Burrell: Piano, Philly Joe Jones: Drums, Jeanne Lee: Voice, Archie Shepp: Tenor Saxophone, Julio Finn: Harp,
Chicago Beau: Harp, Lester Bowie: Trumpet
Imamu Amiri Baraka
His death at Beth Israel Medical Center,Thursday, January 9 was confirmed by his son Ras Baraka, a member of the Newark Municipal Council. He did not specify a cause, but said that Mr. Baraka had been hospitalized since Dec. 21.
Mr. Baraka was famous as one of the major forces in the Black Arts movement of the 1960s and ’70s, which sought to duplicate in fiction, poetry, drama and other mediums the aims of the black power movement in the political arena. I know as a student of the performing arts myself during the mid-1960s , we saw, then Leroi Jones as a National Black Leader. In some circles, more so than vibrant & popular Dr. Martin Luther King.. WE considered him the “Tip of the Spear” in the Black Arts Movement.Personally, I liked the way he was able to speak to my frustrations in America as a black youth.
He wrote very powerful essays around the socio-economic conditions and the music that addressed the dogma that existed among the people. As a “Griot”, he helped navigate us through many of the so-called Angry Black Jazz artists, coming out of the 1950s into the early 1960s. John Coltrane, Don Cherry, Ornette Coleman , Archie Shepp, Sun Ra, and the new Avant Garde crews waiting in the wings , Chicago Art Ensemble, Black Arthur Blythe, Albert Ayler and Horace Tapscott to name a few.
Over six decades, Mr. Baraka’s writings — his work also included essays and music criticism were periodically accused of being anti-Semitic, misogynist, homophobic, racist, isolationist and dangerously militant. Some of the accusations were believed true, not all . Many of his statements were hurled at the group or individuals who were exploiting black people. Mainstream media were not his friend due to his political positions.
I chose to focus on his Plays and books on Jazz or Black music in general. Among his best-known works are the poetry collections “The Dead Lecturer” and “Transbluesency: The Selected Poetry of Amiri Baraka/LeRoi Jones, 1961-1995”; the play “Dutchman”; and “Blues People: Negro Music in White America,” a highly regarded historical survey.
During my stay in the San Francisco bay-area, I attended book fairs that featured Amiri Baraka , wife Amina, Sonia Sanchez and a litany of local and regional writers and poets, along with Arts organization sponsored appearances during the early to mid-2000s.
My last time seeing Amiri Baraka live in-concert with jazz saxophonist Billy Harper.. the sponsor was the East Bay Arts Alliance, at their center in Oakland.. a packed house of 150 plus people were there to hear the marriage of Baraka’s poetry and the original jazz of Billy Harper, circa 2007.
“Love is an evil word,” Mr. Baraka, writing as LeRoi Jones, the name by which he was first known professionally, said in an early poem, “In Memory of Radio.” It continues:
Turn it backwards/see, see what I mean?
An evol word. & besides
who understands it?
I certainly wouldn’t like to go out on that kind of limb.
Saturday mornings we listened to Red Lantern & his undersea folk.
At 11, Let’s Pretend/& we did/& I, the poet, still do. Thank God!
Statement from the North Jersey.com website and written by an Associated Press writer
“Perhaps no writer of the 1960s and ’70s was more radical or polarizing than the former LeRoi Jones, and no one did more to extend the political debates of the civil rights era to the world of the arts. He inspired at least one generation of poets, playwrights and musicians, and his immersion in spoken word traditions and raw street language anticipated rap, hip-hop and slam poetry. The FBI feared him to the point of flattery, identifying Baraka as “the person who will probably emerge as the leader of the Pan-African movement in the United States.”
Baraka transformed from the rare black to join the Beat caravan of Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac to leader of the Black Arts Movement, an ally of the Black Power movement that rejected the liberal optimism of the early ’60s and intensified a divide over how and whether the black artist should take on social issues. Scorning art for art’s sake and the pursuit of black-white unity, Baraka was part of a philosophy that called for the teaching of black art and history and producing works that bluntly called for revolution.
“We want ‘poems that kill,'” Baraka wrote in his landmark “Black Art,” a manifesto published in 1965, the year he helped found the Black Arts Movement. “Assassin poems. Poems that shoot guns/Poems that wrestle cops into alleys/and take their weapons leaving them dead/with tongues pulled out and sent to Ireland.”
He was as eclectic as he was prolific: His influences ranged from Ray Bradbury and Mao Zedong to Ginsberg and John Coltrane. Baraka wrote poems, short stories, novels, essays, plays, musical and cultural criticism and jazz operas. His 1963 book, “Blues People,” has been called the first major history of black music to be written by an African-American. A line from his poem “Black People!” — “Up against the wall mother f—–” — became a counter-culture slogan for everyone from student protesters to rock bands.
I will miss the “jazz” of Amiri Baraka’s voice at those book fairs, and arts organizations sponsoring Literary Art performances. We’ll still be studying the literary papers,books and videos of Imamu Amiri Baraka, then one day out of nowhere, a ghost will say to us, I told you so! posted by Robert J. Carmack #@blues2jazzguy
Cedar Anthony Walton, Jr. (January 17, 1934 – August 19, 2013) was a hard bop jazz pianist. He came to prominence as a member of drummer Art Blakey‘s band before establishing a long career as a bandleader and composer. Several of his compositions have become jazz standards, including “Mosaic”, “Bolivia”, “Mode for Joe” and “Ugetsu”, also known as “Fantasy in D”.
“Walton was first taught piano by his mother, and, after high school, moved to Colorado to commence studies at the University of Denver. There, during after-hours jazz club gigs, he met musicians, such as Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, and John Coltrane, who would sit in with Walton’s group when traveling through town. …
“In 1959, he recorded with Coltrane on his seminal album Giant Steps, but the recordings weren’t included on the initial issue of the album; the alternate tracks were later issued on the CD version. From 1960-61, Walton worked with Art Farmer and Benny Golson’s band Jazztet.
“Walton’s next significant musical association was with Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers. During his years with Blakey (1961-64), Walton stepped forward as composer, contributing originals such as “Mosaic,” “Ugetsu,” and “The Promised Land” to the group’s repertoire. … http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IoGkml2hvLg
“In 1974, Walton joined with bassist Sam Jones, drummer Billy Higgins, and saxophonist Clifford Jordan to form the group Eastern Rebellion, which would perform and record sporadically over the subsequent two decades. Other musicians rotated in and out of the band, including George Coleman, Bob Berg, Ralph Moore, David Williams, Curtis Fuller, and Alfredo “Chocolate” Armenteros. …
“In addition, he continued to perform in rhythm sections for Milt Jackson, Frank Morgan, and Dexter Gordon and accompanied vocalists including Ernestine Anderson and Freddy Cole. He also led the backup trio for the Trumpet Summit Band, which started as a project for the 1995 Jazz in Marciac festival in France.” A main stay at Festivals , Universities,prominent jazz venues worldwide up and until his sudden death. His death followed a brief illness, his manager, Jean-Pierre Leduc, said. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QO6EhWSD-gU
George Duke (January 12, 1946 – August 5, 2013) was a musician, known as a keyboard pioneer, composer, singer and producer in both jazz and popular mainstream musical genres. He worked with numerous acclaimed artists as arranger, music director, writer and co-writer, record producer and as a professor of music. He first made a name for himself with the album The Jean-Luc Ponty Experience with the George Duke Trio. He was known primarily for thirty-odd solo albums as well as for his collaborations with other musicians, particularly Frank Zappa.
A pioneer in the funk and R&B genres, he had been battling chronic lymphocytic leukemia, according to his label Concord Music Group, which confirmed his death.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8YXdIsr6jwo (Brown Sneeker)
Born in San Rafael, Calif., Duke aspired to a music career from an early age, after his mother took him to a Duke Ellington concert. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0hpmkFmzd9s
Mulgrew Miller (August 13, 1955 – May 29, 2013) was a jazz pianist, composer, and educator. As a child he played in churches and was influenced on piano by Ramsey Lewis and then Oscar Peterson. These early influences remained in his playing, but he added the greater harmonic freedom of McCoy Tyner and others in developing as a hardbop player and then in creating his own style, which influenced others from the 1980s on. Miller’s style evolved through playing with a series of major jazz figures in the music business until his death from a stroke at the age of 57. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IduqNOye7x4&list=PL43F20367214988AB
Happy Birthday, Dizzy Reece …Just revisiting a great Unsung trumpeter; You want a passionate player to interpret your favorite standards or just conjure up the tenacity of those fiery jam sessions of the 40s, Check Dizzy Reece! After spending the 1950s playing in Paris, Jamaican bebop trumpeter Dizzy Reece landed in New York City in 1960. He has played with many since including Dexter Gordon, John Gilmore, Victor Feldman, and Tubby Hayes yet the recognition he truly deserves has proven elusive.
Reece was born on the 5th of January 1931 in Kingston, Jamaica, the son of a silent film pianist. He attended the Alpha Boys School (famed in Jamaica for its musical alumni), switching from baritone to trumpet when he was 14 years old. A full-time musician from the age of 16, he moved to London in 1948 and spent the 1950s working in Europe, much of that time in Paris. He played with Don Byas, Kenny Clarke, Frank Foster and Thad Jones, among others.
Winning praise from the likes of Miles Davis and Sonny Rollins, he emigrated to New York City in 1959, but found New York in the 1960s a struggle. Reece recorded a series of critically acclaimed records on the Blue Note label, which were reissued on Mosaic in 2004 that gave fans hope of a comeback. Still active as a musician and writer, Reece has recorded over the years with Victor Feldman, Tubby Hayes, Paris Reunion Band, Clifford Jordan’s Big Band, tenor saxophonist Dexter Gordon, fellow trumpeter Ted Curson, pianist Duke Jordan, long-time Sun Ra alumni saxophonist John Gilmore and drummer Philly Joe Jones.Reece wrote the music for the 1958 Ealing Studios film Nowhere to Go. follow #RobertJCarmack @blues2jazzguy on twitter