HIPSTER SANCTUARY JAZZ APPRECIATION MONTH IN APRIL COVERAGE: GIVE THE DRUMS SUM’


posted by Robert J. Carmack #@blues2jazzguy jazzapprmonthlogo_vertical

african drummer w tiger outfit

Photo by Robert J. Carmack Drumming Circle- Leimert Park Village , LA Calif.

Hipster Sanctuary.Com is promising some excellent coverage of Jazz in April and International Jazz Day

Coming April 1st !

POETS, MUSICIANS, DANCERS and DRUMMERS , and The DRUMMERS, and Did we say the DRUMS!

All month we will be celebrating Jazz and The people that keep it going, especially The Drummers!  Stay Tuned! Follow us Today

SPECIAL EVENT by Hipster Sanctuary.Com

Celebrating 17 years  of covering and extending the Legacy.

DFQ is Celebrating 20 years as a Jazz Group

SATURDAY APRIL 18  7-9 pm   $15 admission at door

JAZZ SPOKEN HERE

DALE FIELDER QUARTET & ROBERT J. CARMACK

Jazz and spoken word performances

@ KINGSTON CAFE 333 FAIR OAKS Ave.
Off DEL MAR Ave. PASADENA, CALIF
SATURDAY APRIL 18 2015 7pm to 9pm
$15 admission (at door only) Limited Seating
DALE FIELDER QUARTET & ROBERT J. CARMACK

bobby w shades and black undershirt

Robert J. Carmack journalist,producer,writer, actor, poet, music archivist

ja-ijd-jamLG

Dale fielder  sax orange shirt

Dale Fielder, Band leader, musician, ethnomusicologist,producer and educator

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LES McCANN’s INVITATION TO OPENNESS: JAZZ & SOUL PHOTOGRAPHY 1960- 1980


posted by #@blues2jazzguy

NOW SELLING AT YOUR FAVORITE  BOOK STORE

This collects the photographs of legendary musician Les McCann; he documented the jazz scene and its players—Nina Simone, John Coltrane, Count Basie, and many others—from the inside, across several decades.

LES MCCANN  PHOTOGRAPHY OF A LONG AND ECLECTIC CAREER IN MUSIC

LES MCCANN PHOTOGRAPHY OF A LONG AND ECLECTIC CAREER IN MUSIC

back page  Les McCann  Invitation to Openess

Les McCann Documented Jazz History- “HE WAS THERE”

“His perfect marriage of church and swing captured the spirit of the times in the same way that Ray Charles’ mixture of gospel and blues heralded the arrival of soul.”  Joel Dorn

Les McCann - William Claxton 001

Les McCann during his Les McCann LTD. days at Pacific Jazz Records

HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHARLES STEPNEY-YOUR MUSIC MADE THE DIFFERENCE RIP 1931 – 1976


posted by  Robert J. Carmack  #@blues2jazzguy

Charles Stephney

The Great Musical Genius Charles Stepney

Arranger/producer Charles Stepney is heard on gold and platinum hits by the Dells and Earth, Wind & Fire, as well as Chicago soul acts ranging from Rotary Connection to Terry Callier. While a staff arranger and producer at Chicago-based Chess Records, label artist Ramsey Lewis recorded one of his tunes, “Close Your Eyes and Remember,” on a ’60s Chess LP. Stepney worked with Lewis on his Chess sides and his 1975 gold Columbia album Sun Goddess, which peaked at #12 on Billboard’s Top POP 200 Albums chart in early 1975. Lewis, Elton John, and many of his peers list Charles Stepney as a strong musical influence.  Dells group member, Chuck Barksdale met Vibes player Stepney, who headed his own jazz trio. The meeting proved to be pivotal for Charles, who began doing orchestral arrangements on the Dells’ Chess recordings, also other acts on the label’s roster.  He also played Vibes on various Chess sessions. His stint at Chess included working with a pre-stardom Minnie Ripperton. First, she was a member of a girl group “The Gems” and later when she was a vocalist with the eclectic rock/R&B Rotary Connection.   minnie-riperton-04 He and label co-owner Marshall Chess co-wrote the song “Rotary Connection.” Stepney also produced Ripperton’s 1969 Chess LP Come to My Garden, reissued as a 1992 CD from U.K. label Blue Moon and as a 1995 Magnum America CD. Some of these sides are on the 1997 MCA CD Minnie Ripperton: Her Chess Years (50th Anniversary Collection). Ripperton is best remembered for the million-selling single “Lovin’ You,” which hit number one pop (early 1975), and “Inside My Love,” number 26 R&B (summer 1975). His biggest successes with Chess were the sides he cut with the Harvey, IL, R&B soul vocal group the Dells. Soon after the group hit with the classic “Stay in My Corner” (number 23 R&B, summer 1965, on Vee-Jay Records), the label folded. The Dells, who had recorded for Chess before going to Vee-Jay, returned to the label in summer 1966, where they began working with producer Billy Davis and arranger Phil Wright. In summer 1967, Chess assigned the Dells to their Cadet imprint. Staff producer Bobby Miller and arranger Charles Stepney picked the group to work with after a meeting with Leonard Chess. Their collaboration with Miller and Stepney yielded a hit single, “O-O, I Love You,” number 22 R&B, late 1967. The next year, their career-making fast-selling album “There Is” was issued. The title track b/w the Motown-ish “Show Me” peaked at number 11 R&B, number 20 pop (early 1968), and “Wear It on Your Face” went to number 27 R&B in spring 1968. The There Is LP hit number 29 pop in summer 1968. The hits continued: A six-minute remake of “Stay in My Corner” (number one R&B for three weeks, summer 1968), “Always Together” (number three R&B, fall 1968), “Does Anybody Know I’m Here” (number 15 R&B, early 1969), the medley “I Can Sing a Rainbow”/”Love Is Blue” (number five R&B, late spring 1969), “Oh What a Night” (a respelled remake of their Vee-Jay hit, number one R&B, summer 1969), an up-tempo cover of Otis Redding’s “Sitting on the Dock of the Bay” (number 13 R&B, late 1969), and “Open up Your Heart” b/w a remake of the Coronets’ “Nadine” (number 5 R&B, spring 1970). In the fall of 1969, Leonard Chess, one of the group’s biggest supporters, suffered a fatal heart attack. The following year, Bobby Miller left Chess for Motown and Charles Stepney took over the production duties for the Dells. Stephney 2 standing                      The 1971 album Freedom Means (the title track was written by Stepney/Terry Callier/Larry Wade)spawned the hit single “The Love We Had (Stays on My Mind)” (number eight R&B, summer 1971). The group recorded two more LPs with Stepney, The Dells Sing Dionne Warwicke’s Greatest Hits (May 1972) and Sweet as Funk Can Be (single: “Just as Long as We’re in Love,” November 1972) before switching to Detroit producer Don Davis. Davis produced the group’s only certified gold single, “Give Your Baby a Standing Ovation” (number three R&B, spring 1973) from the album of the same name. Other Davis-produced hits were “My Pretending Days Are Over” (number ten R&B, fall 1973) and “I Miss You” (number eight R&B, late 1973). In the ’70s, Stepney was reunited with former Chess session drummer Maurice White, who founded ’70s super-group Earth Wind & Fire (EWF). First recording for Warner Bros. Records, then Columbia Records, the group slowly began to build a reputation for exciting live shows (complete with feats of magic) and innovative recordings. Six-time Grammy winners, Earth Wind & Fire had 46 charting R&B singles, 33 charting pop singles including eight gold singles. Earth Wind And Fire FB The group also won four American Music Awards and earned more than 50 gold and platinum albums. Charles wrote/co-wrote many popular EWF tunes. Along with White and Philip Bailey, he co-wrote the classic ballad “Reasons,” an extremely popular radio-aired LP track from EWF’s 1975 double-platinum LP That’s the Way of the World that was curiously never a single. In addition to the soul-stirring title track, Maurice White, Charles Stepney, and Verdine White, wrote the track “Yearnin’, Learnin'” (number five R&B, summer 1975) for That’s the Way of the World, which held the number one pop spot for three weeks in spring 1975, was the soundtrack of a Sig Shore-produced movie that featured EWF, and included the gold single “Shining Star” (number one R&B for two weeks, number one pop, early 1975). The trio also wrote the radio-aired LP track “Imagination” from the double platinum LP Spirit (number two pop for two weeks, fall 1976) which also boasted the gold “Getaway” (number one R&B for two weeks, summer 1976). On their first platinum Earth, Wind & Fire LP Open Our Eyes, Stepney co-wrote “Tee Nine Chee Bit” with Russell Giles. He also worked with Maurice White’s Kalimba Productions and co-produced tracks on two 1976 Columbia LPs, Deniece Williams’ “This Is Niecy” (number 33 pop, spring 1977) and the Emotions’ Flowers. Charles Stepney’s work is threaded throughout the Chess Records catalog, appearing on numerous compilations from and licensed by MCA/UNI. His Earth, Wind & Fire sides appear on CD reissues of the LPs and various compilations licensed through Columbia/Sony Legacy Music. Just prior to the release of EWF’s Spirit album, and while he was in negotiations to work with Michael Jackson and Barbra Streisand, Charles Stepney died May 17, 1976, in Chicago, IL, at the age of 43.

DALE FIELDER QUARTET CELEBRATES 20 YEARS DURING JAZZ APPRECIATION MONTH


posted by #@blues2jazzguy

Dale Fielder Quartet and Robert J. Carmack set for Jazz Appreciation Month Celebration

“The stories DFQ tell through their instruments are like classic volumes in your personal library.” Robert J. Carmack Publisher/Editor Hipster Sanctuary

THE DALE FIELDER QUARTET & SPECIAL GUEST POET ROBERT J. CARMACK @ KINGSTON CAFE

333 FAIR OAKS Ave. Off DEL MAR Ave. PASADENA, CALIF SATURDAY APRIL 18 2015   7pm to 9pm                                       $15 admission    (at door only) Limited Seating Dale Fielder Quartet 

                                                                                                      

2015 is proving to be a very special year for both talents as The Dale Fielder Quartet is celebrating 20 years as a group together, virtually unheard of in today’s music business. Robert J. Carmack and Glenn Davis co-founded a jazz newsletter 17 years ago (The Hipster) as part of the Atlanta International        Jazz Society,that’s now grown into a full blown music E-Zine dedicated to classic Jazz, Blues and Soul music. www.hipstersanctuary.com.

Both are Leos, Dale Fielder & Robert Carmack are longtime friends and artists in constant creative mode. Fielder is set to produce his 16th CD later in 2015. A release date has not been set yet. Carmack has written and is currently producing a unique musical revue set in the 1950s/60s Los Angeles, weaving a story around the music scene in Los Angeles, while paying homage to the music of Nellie Lutcher, T-Bone Walker,Ray Charles, Etta James, Bobby Blue Bland and Sarah Vaughn , including some Doo-Wop.

writer ,actor, musician and journalist Robert J. Carmack

writer ,actor, musician and journalist Robert J. Carmack

“CHITLIN’ CIRCUIT” is debuting a Sneak Preview Summer 2015, as part of a Black Music Series produced by RJC Mediatainment & Hipster Sanctuary.Com. “I met Dale while hanging out at a very popular coffeehouse of the time, 5th Street Dick’s in Leimert Park. It was in early 1993 as the area was trying to get back on track after the riot in 1992 and an entire community of artist all came together inside a small area called Leimert Park (Village) a group of small business people, often marketing Afro-centric wares, and crafts. One was a former homeless person living on the streets of downtown Los Angeles, who parlayed his 12 step-recovery and saved enough money to open a Jazz coffee house, which he gave a willing Dale Fielder a spot hosting the jam sessions at midnight every weekend, while jazz flowed downstairs and out into the 43rd & Degnan’s sidewalks, the people came and came and, came including, the media cameras, movie celebrities and all the best young cats in jazz.” This all coincided with what was happening nationally with the Wynton Marsalis crowd and an upsurge in Jazz spots in L.A. once again because of three spots, Marla’s Memory lane, 5th Street Dick’s and Billy Higgins, master jazz drummer & Poet Kamau Daaood developing a performance gallery, the World Stage. Dale Fielder was at the forefront of all that. He went on to win the Jazz Discovery artist at TV network BET in 1995/96. By then, he had already produced two very solid CDs, including “Dear Sir” a moving tribute to Wayne Shorter’s music and was getting wide rotation and coverage on radio across the country. Fielder even had the blessings of Wayne Shorter himself as Dale performed songs from the newly released CD with the maestro himself in the house staying late and digging on the young saxophonist peppering the solos. Dale Fielder has been all around the world practically with either the Quartet, or Quintet. After 20 years, the passion has only gotten stronger with Dale, and his historic band of Pianist Jane Getz, Drummer Thomas White and Bassist, Bill “The Count” Markus. This band just knows how to squeeze every drop of soul power, passion and sometimes romance out of the notes. The stories they tell through their instruments are like classic volumes in your personal library.

Don’t miss out on celebrating 20 years of fun-filled excitement and adventure with the leader of the DFQ. Save the date April 18th 7pm to 9pm @ The Kingston Café Pasadena, California  More Info: 951-840-7120   

HIPSTER RETRO – JAZZ SERIES:AZAR LAWRENCE CONQUER DIZZY’S NEW YORK


review posted by Chuck Koton  via #@blues2jazzguy

azar lawrence in DIZZY's Coca Cola

“ The music this band plays recalls the ‘fire music’ Lawrence inhaled during his many years in McCoy Tyner’s band.”  Chuck Koton

There ain’t no denyin’ that jazz is best heard “live.” Ideally, the band is playing in a club equipped with quality sound and lighting systems, staffed by experienced people who are respectful of the music (especially bartenders who try to avoid running the drink mixers during bass and piano solos) and managed by someone who not only sees to it that the players are properly introduced but also always reminds the audience to keep the chatter subdued, so as not to disrespect the performers. In such an ideal environment, a hip and enthusiastic audience can interact with inspired jazz musicians to create a truly sublime musical experience. All of these conditions were met at Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola when tenor and soprano saxophonist, Azar Lawrence, played four sold out nights at Dizzy’s, occasioned by a CD release party for The Seeker (Sunnyside, 2014), recorded live at the Jazz Standard.

The gig offered visceral and indisputable evidence of the emotional and spiritual power of live jazz. Lawrence, who has been traveling on a personal journey in search of truth and beauty through music since he was a young man, opened his performance (he was joined by the same group who played on the recording, save for veteran trumpet master, Eddie Henderson, who replaced Nicholas Payton for this gig), with an original composition, “Gandhi,” inspired by the legendary Indian seeker of peace and freedom. This modal burner instantly signaled the band’s serious intentions to the audience; this was going to be a “hold on to your hats” wild ride. Lawrence blew a forceful snake charmer riff on tenor before stepping aside to give the rhythm section some space. Azar at Dizzy's The heavy, percussive quality of pianist Benito Gonzalez’ playing immediately recalled the sledgehammer left hand of McCoy Tyner, a fundamental influence not only on Gonzalez, but also Lawrence, whose big break in jazz came when he joined Tyner’s band in 1973, and with whom he toured and recorded for six years. Then, Henderson strode to the microphone and blew a minimalist and gentle solo that provided appropriate contrast to the band’s surging power. Then Lawrence returned, blew chorus after breathless chorus, and left everyone in need of a drink. On “One More Time,” a Benito Gonzalez composition, the highlight was, unquestionably, the rhythm section’s 10 minute improvisatory excursion. With a diamond cutter’s finesse, exuberant spirit and a dominatrix’s talent for restraint and unbridled power, these three cats rocked the room. Taking the first solo, Gonzalez, head, torso and hands a blur of motion, nearly ascended off the piano bench as his supple fingers pounded rumbling chords out of the eighty eight keys. Next, long time fixture on the NY scene, bassist Essiet Essiet, not content to merely pluck the strings, put on his own jaw-dropping display of rhythmic prowess by punctuating his beats with dramatic bass slaps. Finally, drummer Jeff “Tain” Watts took over. His “Tainness” built up the tempo and intensity slowly, but soon he was “droppin’ bombs” and beatin’ the drums and cymbals as if they were covered with the face of a grade school teacher who’d punished him for tapping on his desk.

All the while, a beatific smile beamed from his sweat-drenched face. Yeah, while these cats were “workin,’ steamin,’ and cookin,’ the audience was finger snappin’ and head boppin’ in spirited unity. The band slowed down the pace with “Rain Ballad,” a stirring plea to the heavens that opened with Watts’ dramatic bass drum mimicking distant thunder, followed by shimmering cymbals that simulated life-giving, falling rain. Then Lawrence, like a rain god, answered the prayer with his lush tenor tone and Dr. Henderson reached into his “medical” bag for a mute, then blew with barely enough air to coax the sweetest sounds from his horn. The cats left no doubt they could jam in a “sweet and lovely” style, too. Next came the title tune, “The Seeker,” a medium tempo compositon by Lawrence that conjured up images of child-like innocence and joy, like the feeling of awe experienced on a first walk through a garden abuzz with the spectacle of life in spring time. Lawrence, on soprano, sounded like the pied piper leading the children on a journey of discovery. Eddie Henderson called on his six decades of experience to blow a solo that employed the trumpet’s entire range of tones from sweet and “midnight blue,” to hot and bright. Behind the horn soloists, Gonzalez, Essiet and the irrepressible Watts drove the rhythm relentlessly.

About Writer  – Chuck_by_Julia_Dean_2

Chuck Koton has been a jazz lover for 40 years and is currently covering the Los Angeles jazz scene for All About Jazz (AAJ). “I grew up in New York and since high school, I have spent much quality time hangin’ at the Village Vanguard and many other jazz clubs. I’m an educator and jazz photographer, now living in Los Angeles.”

JAZZ APPRECIATION MONTH in APRIL: JAZZ SPOKEN HERE ROBERT J. CARMACK & DALE FIELDER


Bobby Dreads in brown tints

actor,journalist and playwright – Robert J. Carmack

#blues2jazzguy   #jazzoetry  #spokenwordguy

Jazz Appreciation month is only weeks away , when a cavalcade  of events are unleashed across the globe and especially in the USA . Venues spring up everywhere with festivals, concerts, symposiums, exhibits and just good old-fashioned  Jam sessions. However, fortunately for many of us, the fans of classic jazz and spoken word together. we have a special performance one night only event  in Pasadena California. The Kingston Cafe debut of The Dale Fielder Quartet, celebrating 20 years of music together . In addition, Poet /Actor and Playwright, Robert J. Carmack performing original and some poems written by local grassroots poets from Los Angeles.

The evening’s festivities are being presented by Moon Glow Productions , a jazz presenter in Pasadena, in association with the Music Blog, Hipster Sanctuary.Com, celebrating this month, 17 years of writing about jazz and musical icons legacies .

Dale Fielder Quartet

The DFQ Now celebrating 20 years as a group shown l-r Drums-Thomas White, Saxes- Dale Fielder, bass Bill “the Count” Markus, and piano Jane Getz

JAZZ SPOKEN HERE: The Dale Fielder Quartet with special Spoken Word performance by Robert J. Carmack

April 18  7PM – 9PM   One Night Only

KINGSTON CAFE   Just South of Del Mar at Fair Oaks.

333 S Fair Oaks Ave, Pasadena, CA 91105
(626) 818-3160  more info – Moon Glow Productions

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Every April, Jazz Appreciation Month (JAM) highlights the glories of jazz as both a historical and a living treasure. Here is one special month to draw greater public attention to the extraordinary heritage and history of jazz and its importance to American culture. Musicians, concert halls, schools, colleges, museums, libraries and public broadcasters are encouraged to offer special programs during this month.

The Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History (which operates the world’s most comprehensive set of jazz programs) leads this initiative in concert with a distinguished roster of federal agencies, nongovernmental organizations and broadcasting networks.

The story of America is embedded in the spirit and rhythms of jazz; captured in beats that have traveled through the African Diaspora and a spirit of freedom that has impassioned slave and free-born, immigrant and migrant since America’s founding.

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See more at: http://americanjazzmuseum.org/event/jazz-appreciation-month-jam-2014/#sthash.Mg8pucCx.dpuf

REASONS TO SUPPORT DEXTER GORDON PARK IN LEIMERT VILLAGE – LOS ANGELES


EDITORIAL by Eric WATTREE  #wattreechronicles  #blues2jazzguy

dexter gordon Black white

SAVE OUR LEGACY
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As most people in Los Angeles know, the powers that be are in the process of gentrifying Leimert Park much like they’re doing in Harlem, New York. But what many in the community fail to realize is when they pave over communities, they pave over Black history as well. That’s why we have to have a “Black History Month” to recall the contributions that Black people have made to this nation. That shouldn’t be necessary. Black history should be alive all around us seven days a week and throughout the year. Our children should be drenched in it on a daily basis just like White kids.

Washington, D.C. is called Washington, and nearly every street, town, city, and state in this country are named as they are so we’ll be completely immersed in White history. And the fact that those names don’t reflect who we are as Black people is one of the reasons that Black history is so obscure and many of our Black children lack self-esteem. We’ve got to change that. For that reason, I suggest that we mount a campaign to change the name of “Leimert Park” to “Dexter Gordon Park.”

DexterGordonvery large pix
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Leimert Park is renown all over the world for being Los Angeles’ principle center of Black art, so before this gentrification takes place, it should be renamed to reflect that reality, and no artist is more deserving, or more perfectly suited for the honor of having Leimert renamed after him than Saxophonist, Dexter Gordon. Dexter, along with drummer Billy Higgins (who played with Dexter), are two of the greatest artists that Los Angeles has ever produced – in fact, two of the greatest artists who’s ever lived. They disseminated Jazz (America’s greatest Art form) all over the world, and they’ve brought our city great notority and recognition as a mecca for genius, beauty, and excellence all around the globe. But due to the tradition of racism inherent to American society, these two great men are recognized virtually everywhere in the world EXCEPT right here in the United States. Elvis has been memorialized, so why not Dexter, and why not Billy? Thus, we shouldn’t just sit quietly back and allow the contributions to humanity of these two artistic giants to be paved over by American history – especially here in Los Angeles.
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If we have to fight, so be it. We’ve failed to do that in the past. That’s why the average Black person doesn’t know that the only reason the world can read this message over their computer is because of the brilliance of Dr. Mark Dean, a Black man, who was one of the principle inventors of the personal computer, or Henry T. Sampson, who invented the gamma-electric cell, making cell phones possible. These two Black men have had a pronounced impact on the lives of every person in the civilized world. Our children should know that, because that is a part of their legacy, and they should know about Dexter Gordon and Billy Higgins as well.

billy-higgins color pix -thumb
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I was in Leimert Park the other night, and it made my eyes moist just witnessing the beauty of our people at their best, and at their most artistic. It’s a wonderful thing to see Black people coming together in celebration of who we are, and we should protect that, so we should make Billy Higgins’ “World Stage” a historic landmark, and place statues of both Dexter and Billy in the park itself in recognition of who they WERE, and who we ARE. And we shouldn’t stop there. We should continue on to rename the streets in and around Leimert Park after major contributors to our culture. For example, Vernon Ave., between Alameda and Crenshaw, should be renamed “Dubois Ave,” and Degnan, between the park and 43rd Street, renamed “Eric Dolphy Dr.” Because we are what we think, and that will help our young people, and posterity, to understand our legacy, and our significance as a people.
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We always complain about White supremacy, but we never do those things that are necessary to dismantle it, and in order to begin to dismantle it, we MUST do things like this in recognition of the excellence within our community and to bring a sense of pride to our young people. We must leave no stone unturned to make it impossible for us to be depicted as a frivolous people without a past. We’ve got to wake up and get on top of these sort of things – if not for ourselves, for the love of our children, because they too will become what they think.
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Legacy
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Neither scholar nor the head of state,
The most common of men seems to be my fate;
A life blistered with struggle and constant need,
As my legacy to man I bequeath my seed.
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More fertile, more sturdy these ones than I,
This withered old vine left fallow and dry;
The nectar of their roots lie dormant still,
But through their fruit, I’ll be revealed.
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So let us take a moment to think beyond the moment, and think of the dignity and self-esteem of Black children who are yet unborn, just as Dex, and many others, thought about you.
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follow Eric Wattree on this Blog for Editorials, & “Beneath the Spin ” Jazz series

Eric Wattree

A Brush With Immortality: Thelonious Monk, John Coltrane, Dexter Gordon, and Jackie McLean


BENEATH THE SPIN  Posted by Eric L. Wattree                                via #blues2jazzguy

I went to Shelly’s Manhole with some older brothers to see Thelonious Monk one night, and I noticed that Monk kept looking over at me as he was playing. It made me nervous because I was under age and I thought he was gonna give me up and tell ’em to kick me out. They already knew me at the clubs around town. I knew damn near every waitress in this city. Sometimes they’d let me stay, and other times they’d kick me out – I never did figure out what made the difference. And they’d never serve me drinks, so I’d have to order something non-alcoholic and bring my own. But I wanted to be accepted as a sophisticated adult more than anything in life, so sometime I’d put the bass in my voice and try to casually order Scotch on the rocks. But the waitress would just look at me sideways like, “You’re lucky I’m letting you stay here, so don’t push it, buddy.” T Monk  at Piano plaid jacket .             One or two of the waitresses who’d been around for a while knew my mother when she was working as a greeter at Dynamite Jackson’s, and I think they put the word out on me. So they’d tolerate me, but they just wouldn’t let me be the man who I wanted to be so desperately, because I wasn’t. It’s sort of funny when I look back on it. Had I been sophisticated enough to know what adulthood actually entailed, I would have been more desperate to hold on to those precious years than was I to become an adult. . So I just kept coming back and braving the humiliation, because from the time I was 12 years old I loved everything, and everybody, associated with jazz. I got that gene from my father. As I’ve said many times before, my father thought the only reason the Sun came up was to keep Bird’s reeds warm. I had to fight the preacher at his funeral to have Jackie McLean playing “Love and Hate” in the background. I told the preacher if they don’t have jazz in Heaven, the Pearly Gates would constitute the entrance to Hell for my father. The irony was, when I was done reading the eulogy that I’d written for my father (Blues For Mr. C), with Jackie Playing softly in the background, that very same preacher came up to me and asked me for a copy.    Monk meditating in Cosick Hat . On that particular night, however, after his first set, Monk walked up to me and TOLD me, “Come with me.” He took me back to the musician’s lounge where Nelly was, and asked, “Who does he remind you of?” And she said, “TOOTIE!” – Monk’s son. . He saw me as a young wide-eyed joke, and I was. I was 16 and on a roll (I had just seen John Coltrane a couple of weeks earlier). Monk asked me, “What you know about jazz, boy?” And I started telling him about all the urban legends that I’d heard about him. As he was listening intently to one of my stories he asked me, “Damn! What did I do then!!!?” You have to know how Monk was to know why I look back on that as being so funny, because he was dead serious. He got into the story like I was telling him a story about someone else. I never did find out whether the story was true or not. But When I was done, he told his wife, Nelly, “Shit, he knows more about me than I do,” and they started laughing’ their asses off. . I spent that entire night with them, because I was so young that Nelly was worried that I was gonna be picked up by one of those,”Hollywood perverts.” Monk told Nelly, “Shit,who you should be worried about is (Blank)? ” – his drummer (I’m not gonna give his name because he’s famous and he’s never been outed as gay). But for the rest of the night I sat in the front row next to Nelly, and after the gig I went to their hotel room with them and we grubbed and talked. I told him how I planned on becoming a great saxophone player someday, and I asked him everything I could think of about Bird. I remember him telling me, “Naw, you don’t want to be Bird, unless you like bein’ broke. How much money you got?” I had about five dollars in my pocket. And he said, “Shit, you already richer than Bird was half the time,” and then started laughing’. Nelly said, “Don’t say that, T!” They dropped me off at my mother’s door just as the Sun was coming up. It was a night I will never forget. monk's dream album cover . After that episode, the OGs made me a celebrity in the hood. I’ve never had that much attention before, or since. I had attracted the interest of THELONIOUS MONK. EVERYBODY wanted to know EVERY detail of what went down, and every detail about Monk that they could get – everybody, including Jimmy, the brilliant dope fiend that my father had hired to teach me to play the saxophone. There are a lot of details that I’ve left out of this story, and I remember every detail like it happened last night, but I do intend to write about it, and every nuance of that great man in the most minute detail in the near future, because it’s of historic significance. People STILL don’t realize how great that man was. You can listen to “Ruby My Dear,” or “Round Midnight,” and they constitute a MASTER’S CLASS on what contemporary music is all about. I could appreciate that even back then. So I thank God that I had the sense to know that I was in the presence of immortality. . I also intend to write about an entire New Years weekend that I spent with Dexter Gordon during the 70s. He grew up two blocks from my mother and they both went to Jefferson High School here in Los Angeles. She graduated; he went on the road with Lionel Hampton at 17 years old. During that weekend Dex made a passing comment regarding how I idolized him that ended up becoming the guiding philosophy of my life – “Learn to become your own hero, because you’re the only one who won’t let you down.” He also told me, “Whenever you hear me play a lick, your very first thought should be about how you could go about playing it better.” He was right, and that was the key to his greatness. Lester Young was his main man, and you could hear Lester in him, but he wasn’t Lester – he was Dexter, and nobody did it better. But he was wrong about one thing. He never did let me down. He blew the lights out until his very last breath. But I’ve taken him at his word, nevertheless, and he became my last hero. That’s turned me into a severe cynic over the years, and that very cynicism has been of tremendous value to me as a writer. I don’t trust the word of nobody, so I start off every piece I write by probing for lies.

Eric Wattree

Award-winning writer, Eric L. Wattree

WELCOME AWARD WINNING WRITER ERIC WATTREE TO HIPSTER SANCTUARY


posted by blues2jazzguy    #hipster

Eric Wattree

Eric L. Wattree is a writer, poet, and musician, born in Los Angeles. He’s a columnist for The Los Angeles Sentinel, Black Star News, The Atlanta Post, and a member of the Sigma Delta Chi Society of Professional Journalists (http://www.spj.org/). He’s also the author of “A Message From the Hood.”

Some of the greatest minds I’ve ever known held court while sitting on empty milk crates in the parking lots of ghetto liquor stores, while some of the weakest minds I’ve ever known roamed the halls of academia in pursuit of credentials over knowledge.

Eric L. Wattree
http://www.whohub.com/wattree

ECHOES OF AN ERA: THE FABULOUS QUINCY JONES


posted by  Eric L. Wattree via R.J. Carmack #blues2jazzguy

Quincy at PianoQuincy Jones is one of the last truly GREAT composers and arrangers to come out of jazz, or any other form of music, in quite some time. NOBODY is greater, and no one ever has been. He stands among Ellington, Basie, Mancini, and Gershwin in complete comfort, so we shouldn’t take him for granted, because Quincy is easily among the greatest men who have ever lived, and that’s not meant as hyperbole.

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Yes, we already recognize him as a celebrity, but he’s much more than just that. Due to our contemporary philosophy of “de-education” – or the dumbing-down of society – we fail to recognize Quincy’s true statue as an artist, or what he represents to the history of music as a whole. Quincy Jones is not just famous, he’s an icon of the arts of a historic stature, and we should all recognize and honor such greatness within our midst, because there is nothing of more value to humanity than those who have achieved Quincy’s level of excellence, greatness, and accomplishment.
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People such as Quincy enhance all of humanity. They serve as living testaments to what man is capable of at his best. Their contributions represent the ultimate political, spiritual, and moral statement of mankind as a whole. They also stand as a constant reminder of what man can, and should be, and of the kind of excellence that we should all strive for.

quincy in session

Q in session with the great William “Count ” Basie 1959

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Thus, this is my tribute to a GREAT man, and a great artist, who has managed to achieve the ultimate in our human endeavor – immortality.  (The lyrics were written to be sang by a woman).

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QUINTESSENCE     lyrics by  ERIC WATTREE        

I____ love the sound____ of maestro\Quincy Jones____.
His music____ is so____ divine______.
When I sing____his songs____ I know I can’t____go wrong,
because I’m filled____with the soul____of Quincy Jones______.
*
Q’s____serenades_____ are always so refined________
The mel-o-dies linger____ on_____.
They sing of love for you____from a guy_______ known
as “Q”_____,
A name____that will always_______ sing for
you______

And then when Phil____ begins to play,
Quin-tes-sence\in his\own____and special way____
he seems to know\ . . . . exactly what the Q had to say.
They sung about jazz and love\ and of \ling___er___ing
Sunsets__________,
and______ blessed the dawn________with this song__

They sung of love\ and when your heart is full,
trem-bl-ing lips\ beneath a mistletoe____
they made my heart____ stand still_______.
So as I sing____ this song____ I know I\Just\ can’t____ go wrong______,
because it flowed____ from the pen ____ of

Maestro, Quincy Jones______.

I____ love the sound____ of maestro\Quincy Jones____.
His music____ is so____ divine______.
When I sing____his songs____ I know I can’t____go wrong,
because I’m filled____with the soul____of Quincy Jones______.

And then when Phil began to play\ Q just let him have____ his own way_____,
and Phil said, \”Maestro\ . . . I just love the sound of this
mel-o-dy.”
Then picked up his horn\ and started to
soar________like an angel__________,

and joined____ the immortals____ in fame_____.

Genius like this\ you never see no more____, \kissed
by the Gods\ as they walk through the door;
\A genius where time____stands still___________.
So as I sing___ his song______I know I____

can’t________ go wrong_________,

because I am wrapped\ in the soul_____ of Maestro____ Quincy Jones______.

*
Beauty is Q’s genre, and
he uses our heartstrings as his ax.

The fabulous Quincy Jones and the great Clark Terry!

clark Terry  Quincy

INVITATION by Q and Orchestra with sax solo by Phil Woods

About the writer

Eric L. Wattree is a writer, poet, and musician, born in Los Angeles. He’s a columnist for The Los Angeles Sentinel, Black Star News, The Atlanta Post, and a member of the Sigma Delta Chi Society of Professional Journalists (http://www.spj.org/). He’s also the author of “A Message From the Hood.”

“Some of the greatest minds I’ve ever known held court while sitting on empty milk crates in the parking lots of ghetto liquor stores, while some of the weakest minds I’ve ever known roamed the halls of academia in pursuit of credentials over knowledge.”

Eric L. Wattree Eric Wattree
http://www.whohub.com/wattree