posted by Robert J. Carmack   #blues2jazzguy  photos by R J Carmack

jacques Lesure   LACMA May 16 2014  Full monty shot

With the temperatures topping 90-100 degrees most Angelenos were seeking some relief from the heat, and that came in the form of  Jazz guitarist, Jacques Lesure and his Quartet. The former Detroit native, now L.A. based musician, Cooled off the audience with a great playlist of originals and standards including a very soothing ,but swinging title track , “When She Smiles” from his current CD.

jacques Lesure   LACMA May 16 2014 Aaron Provisor playing Deep
Aaron Provisor “digging in”

The first set was kicked off with a ” Road Warrior” of a composition, the great Wes Montgomery’s Road Song. The sun glasses and wine crowd was treated to some great playing  by Lesure and his men. Especially on a golden composition by musician/composer, Eric Wyatt, “If Only I had Known” I was particularly impressed with Aaron Provisor’s sublime piano solo on this composition along with Revis ‘s bass playing. Jacques had everyone up and on their feet with Kenny Burrell’s  “Dusty gem of a Boogaloo back-beat jam called “Chitlins Con Carne” for a first-set closer. That’s when Jacques really displayed his Motown-roots and had his guitar “talkin” that talk!”

jacques Lesure   LACMA May 16 2014- Road work

jacques Lesure   LACMA May 16 2014 001

The quartet consisted of  pianist, Aaron Provisor, with drums by Iahaji  Hampden, bassist Eric Revis.

There were smatterings of old and young people dancing near-by to the melodious music being performed.   Jacques have in a very quiet way established himself, not only as one of the great ones to watch here in Los Angeles , but on the East Coast as well. This has been attributed to his bi-coastal travel and sideman activities with established Right-Coast groups.

Iahadji  laying a foundation of rhythm
Iahadji laying a foundation of rhythm

Since i have followed Jacques career pretty closely since the late 90s when he co-led a group in Atlanta called The Swing Association or TSA for short. a group of well educated musicians and steeped in “Meat & Potatoes Jazz”  in other words, definitely swinging and bluesy with Swag!

One can only hope that, there are more groups like the Jacque Lesure  quartet on the way to rescue LA from itself. which is.. well, sometimes they fall victim to fads and fru-fru when it comes to real jazz under the “guise, that Its what sells”. Thank God for Art patrons who fund these art programs, so the county of Los Angeles can put them out. A few musicians get to eat and pay a bill or two.  The next time you’re in Los Angeles or, will be traveling in, check out the website of Jacques Lesure .


Or, better yet check it out anyway, He just may be coming to your town or city..  You might even “dance for joy” when they finish!

jacques Lesure   LACMA May 16 2014 dncing peeps






 Will you attend?    Yes/No?
“Message from the Hosts”
Sister & Brother duo act sing The Carpenters Music from their CD
The Raynors Sing the Music of the Carpenters
Eldon & Wanda Ray  invite You and a guest to come and dine with us
Very Special Guest, H.B.Barnum, (CD Producer & Arranger)
RSVP-310-822-0611 ext.215 or 201-286-5904


posted by Robert J. Carmack      twitter:@blues2jazzguy

Brand new single from the legendary CHRIS JASPER. Released May – on Gold City Music label , with a sizzling  album to follow by early Summer. This is drenched in Isley’s history…and is a fantastic marker of what’s to come ..”Its The One! Order yours today!!

artworks-000077686115-mynva3-t500x500  Large Chris Jasper


“Chris Jasper is an R&B legend & HALL of FAME member, for his years as a member of the Isley Brothers, where he became one of R&B’s most notable keyboardists and songwriters. He also blasted off on his solo career, hitting #1 with “Superbad” and following with a series of popular R&B and Gospel albums over the next two decades.  Chris’s last CD ” Inspired”was nominated for Grammy, and was just beat out by former bandmate Ronald Isley.         12062783-inspired-cover-art

Explore more  Chris Jasper  music: http://www.chrisjasper.com/





posted by Robert J. Carmack  @blues2jazzguy


Growing up during the early 1960s  people of my generation was soaking up a lot of “STUFF” politically, socially,economically and musically… some of the big guns that were speaking to the progressive Black youth   were the artists of the so-called Avant Garde movement like John Coltrane, Ornette Coleman, Cecil Taylor and by the Late 60s, Black Arthur..  Arthur Blythe was spitting phrases on his alto like an Amiri Baraka poem.. hitting you in the gut with truth and spiritual bliss. His signature bluesy, buttery-vibrato laden tone. Unique band instrumentation was his calling card incorporating a tuba as a lead and comping instrument was not unusual for Blythe.   The last time I saw him live was early 2004 at Yoshi’s Jazz house in Oakland California. He has been ill for a while now , including a serious daily battle with Parkinson’s Disease.  He can no longer play or fend for himself on some days.. a  “Help Arthur Fund” was set up over a year ago, and YOU CAN HELP with any amount of Donation. Just today, I spoke with one of his main caretakers, Mr. Gust Tsilis, longtime friend and fellow band member.  yesterday, May 7 was Arthur’s 74th birthday.  For more info on how to help  with donations, please call (323) 251-0688








Please donate to the Arthur Blythe Parkinson’s fund


On June the 3rd, 2013, Arthur went into the USC Keck Center to have a large benign tumor removed from his right Kidney. The operation was serious, as Arthur spent one week after the procedure in an induced coma in their ICU unit. His health has been a challenge for him for several years now. The Parkinson’s (Arthur has been living with Parkinson’s for 8 years) has developed more rapidly and at this time he is in a rehabilitation center in Lancaster, CA. His goal is to be back home (?) within the next 30 days. The recent operation he underwent diminished his ability to walk and swallow foods. He is fighting hard each day to gain his strength back.

Please understand for Arthur to ask for help from his friends and fans, of his person and his music, was a difficult question he pondered over for some time. Arthur is a man of great pride and humility. His respect for people and their daily struggles has kept him from announcing his own dilemma for several years. Now he is facing an immediate need to procure a new neurologist to evaluate him after his recent surgery.

Arthur needs to remain in a secure place economically in order to fight Parkinson’s disease. Your donations will be a main source of his recovery. All the monies raised will be used to help him in his quest to regain his health and to stay current with his basic bills. Thank you in advance, with all sincerity and profound humility… from Arthur himself. Updates on his condition and the progress of this fund drive will be posted regularly. All of your good wishes and words will be read to Arthur.

220px In the Tradition %28Arthur Blythe album%29 Saxophonist Arthur Blythe is seriously ill, needs help

Blythe, a 73-year-old San Diego native, made his big splash on the jazz scene after he moved to New York in his mid-30s and subsequently played with the Gil Evans Orchestra, Jack DeJohnette and McCoy Tyner. Recorded for his ripe, passionate, vibrato-rich sound, Blythe recorded on Columbia Records through much of the 1980s and his most recent recorded appeared on the Savant label between 2000 and 2003.

Composer and vibraphonist/marimba player Gust Tsilis, who appeared on several discs with Blythe in the 1990s, hosts the fund’s webpage on his website. The funding is collecting donations via credit cards and PayPal. Help  with donations, please call (323) 251-0688



The Los Angeles  county suburb, Inglewood will be “rocking and jumping at the hinges” come this Sunday at 4:pm at the small theater known as The Performers Corner. The gregarious cast of  the Club Alabam will end its short limited run on Mother’s Day, May 11 .

alabam may 4 015  full Blast BOW Cover

Some seats may be still available, You can call the RSVP line at 323-552-8283 for ticket info.  $20 RSVP  & $25 at door.. photo session & Meet & Greet immediately following show. 

l-r Ella Fitzgerald, Dorothy Dandridge, Josephine Baker, Sarah Vaughn & Billie Holliday
l-r Ella Fitzgerald, Dorothy Dandridge, Josephine Baker, Sarah Vaughn & Billie Holliday


posted by Robert J. Carmack     twitter: @blues2jazzguy

R&B Soul legendary singer Charles Wright keeps re-inventing himself,from Doo-Wop to Hip Hop. Charles is Looking for an Ugly Woman, at least that’s the name of his new cut that’s catching  on around the country. Partly due to a famous commercial using Wright’s very popular music from the  1970s “Express Yourself” , Charles was able to catapult himself into the hearts of a new generation of admirers.  Charles was the original founder of  Watts 103rd Street Band,producer,writer,singer and multi-instrumentalist.

CW_1 closeUP Now

Charles Wright & the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band is a pioneering American soul and funk band. Formed in the early 1960s, they had the most visibility from 1967 to 1973 when the band had 9 singles reach Billboard’s pop and/or rhythm and blues Hot 100 lists, such as “Do Your Thing” (#11 Pop, #12 R&B), “Till You Get Enough” (#12 R&B, #67 Pop), and “Love Land” (R&B #23, Pop #16). They are best known for their biggest hit on Warner Bros. Records, 1970’s “Express Yourself” (#3 R&B, #12 Pop), a song that has been sampled by rap group N.W.A. and others.    


Charles Wright was born in 1940 in Clarksdale, Mississippi, before moving to Los Angeles in the early 1950s, playing guitar and singing in several doo-wop groups including the Turks, the Twilighters, the Shields and the Gallahads.

He also briefly worked as an A&R for Del-Fi Records and was responsible for the hit record “Those Oldies But Goodies” (Remind me of you) by Little Caesar and the Romans in 1961.  In 1962, he formed his own band Charles Wright & the Wright Sounds which included future Watts Band member, John Raynford, along with Daryl Dragon, aka “Captain” of  Captain & Tennille.  Over the course of the next six years, Wright would add more players to his group and these were the players who would eventually become known as the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band, at least by 1968. Several of those members, namely drummer James Gadson, bassist Melvin Dunlap, trombonist/arranger Ray Jackson, and both guitarists Al McKay and Benorce Blackmon, would play on several Dyke & the Blazers charting singles, including “We Got More Soul” (1969) and “Let a Woman Be a Woman, Let a Man Be a Man” (1969).

Color Charles   w Guitar

The Wright Sounds played in several venues across Los Angeles but their best known stint was three years (ending in 1968) at Hollywood’s Haunted House nightclub. Originally located at Hollywood and Vine, the Haunted House was a popular club in the 1960s and appeared in several popular culture artifacts, most notably the 1969 Go-Go dancing

B-movie, Girl in Gold Boots. Wright’s nephew was the rapper Eazy-E,   a successful solo artist and member of infamous hip-hop  group N.W.A.  Eazy-E, whose real name was Eric Lynn Wright, died of AIDS  March 26, 1995 at the age of 31.  The name, Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band was originally coined by Los Angeles producer and Keymen Records owner Fred Smith in 1967. However, between 1967 and 1968, the Watts 103rd name applied to three, arguably four different personnel configurations before settling into the final band who played on every Watts 103rd album from 1968 forward.

Smith produced a theme song for KGFJ radio personality, The Magnificent Montague. The song became so popular that Smith released it as a single in 1967 and created the name, Watts 103rd St. Rhythm Band for the studio group who had recorded it. Purportedly, the players on the single included Wright, James Carmichael,Leon Haywood, and Bobby Womack. (R&B Soul Iegends)

In 1966, Carmichael and Wright were both working as session players for the Nashville West recording studio. Their group of studio players was discovered by Fred Smith and comedian Bill Cosby who needed a backing band for his upcoming album, Silver Throat. Smith hired the Nashville West players and gave them the Watts 103rd name. This group included (but was not necessarily limited to): Arthur Wright (bass), Pete Fox (guitar), Streamline Ewing (trombone), Herman Riley (tenor sax), Jackie Kelso (tenor sax), Melvin Jernigan (tenor sax), Mel Brown (guitar), Abraham Mills (drums).

Due to their association with Cosby, the new Watts 103rd Band landed a deal with Warner Bros. Records, becoming the first R&B band to sign with them. They released a debut album in 1967. Technically self-titled, the album has also come to be called Hot Heat & Sweet Groove after a sub-title found on the back cover. “Spreadin’ Honey” was included on this album, per Warner Bros. insistence, even though none of the players on the album, except for Wright, had actually played on the “Spreadin’ Honey” single.

For more info and current bookings http://www.expressyourself.net/


posted by Robert J. Carmack    @jazz2bluesguy

Wanda Ray willis

For tickets  RSVP  info Call 323-552-8283 –  limited seating


Venue: The Performers Corner 214 Hardy St. Inglewood,Calif 90301

Cast  of The Club Alabam  Revue 

Dorothy Dandridge – Wanda Ray Willis

Sarah Vaughn – Pat Sligh

Little Walter  –  Larry Robinson

Billie Holiday – Kerrimah 

Little Richard – Phillip Bell

Ella Fitzgerald –  Deborah Sharpe-Taylor

Joe Williams / Killer Joe – Wilford Courtney

Josephine Baker – Latoya Dawson

Larney Johnson – Cab Calloway  

Tu’Nook – The Poetess 

Robert J. Carmack – Robby Royale

Music by the Central Ave Players

Directed by  Tu’Nook

Technical Director – Carla Clark

Media/Publicity – RJC Mediatainment    https://www.facebook.com/RJCMediatainment