Author: Robert J. Carmack

Media Consultant, Digital Marketing and Promotions/Branding Strategies MFA- Theater Arts-Directing/Production Columbia University New York BS degree -Theater Arts/Communications Cal State Univ. Dom. Hills Post-grad education: USC- Film & New Media Live in So. California, grew up in Los Angeles

HIPSTER SANCTUARY NEW JAZZ EDITOR EDDIE CARTER & JAZZTRACKS SERIES


eddie Carter Jazz archivist 2018

Our Newest Contributing Jazz Editor Mr. Eddie Carter of Atlanta..FOLLOW the JAZZTRACKS

Words from Publisher/Founder Robert J. Carmack

“welcome aboard Eddie its good to have your wise advice and keen knowledge when it comes to jazz.” R.J. Carmack

 

Jazztracks Logo by eddie Carter

Eddie Carter – Southern Region – Jazz Editor ~ Eddie’s love for jazz began at the age of eight years old and learned all he could about the bands, groups, musicians and vocalists who created the music.  He began writing reviews of CD’s and LP’s in 1991 for The Atlanta Audio Society and covered concerts including The Tri-C Jazz Fest, The Cincinnati Music Festival and The Atlanta Jazz Festival for WCLK’s On the Air Magazine and Strictly Jazz Magazine.  He currently writes jazz reviews for The Atlanta Audio Club web page and three Facebook pages.

The Jazz Crusaders – Lighthouse ‘68

By Eddie Carter  

My choice from the library to talk about this time is by four friends from Houston, Texas who began performing locally in 1956.  They were originally known as The Swingsters and The Nite Hawks, but moved to Los Angeles in 1961, changed their name and became one of the best West Coast ensembles of the sixties, The Jazz Crusaders.  I first discovered their music in 1962, the year I became a jazz fan thanks to one of my heroes on the airwaves, Chuck Lansing of WCUY 92.3 FM.  He began his nightly show with The Young Rabbits, the last track on their second LP, Lookin’ Ahead (PJ-43/ST-43), also released that year.  The song became a huge hit for the group and I loved the sound of the trombone-tenor sax front line.  The quartet consists of Wayne Henderson on trombone; Wilton Felder on tenor sax; Joe Sample on piano; Stix Hooper on drums with Jimmy Bond, Victor Gaskin, and Herbie Lewis filling the bass chair on their records during the decade.  Lighthouse ’68 (ST-10131) documents the group performing live at one of the premiere West Coast clubs, The Lighthouse Café, in business since 1949 and now a multi-genre venue which features jazz twice weekly.  The bassist joining the quartet on this date is Buster Williams and my copy used in this report is the original 1968 US Stereo release.

The set opens with Oogo-Boo-Ga-Loo, an infectiously danceable audience grabber by Stix Hooper which begins with a lovely introduction by the trio, then blossoms into a sanctified styled theme treatment.  Wilton goes to work first with a soulfully flavored, funky performance that calls to mind the sound of tenor man Willis Jackson and will have you tapping your toes and wanting to get up and dance.  Joe takes over for a brief performance of irresistibly appealing phrases on the closer, leading to the theme’s reprise and audience’s appreciative applause.  Eleanor Rigby by John Lennon and Paul McCartney is one of The Beatles most famous and recorded compositions.  The quintet’s rendition does the song proud with a mid-tempo version which begins with them exploring the melody collectively.  Sample is the song’s only soloist and he gives an extended performance of dazzling melodic lines which are consistently creative and exquisitely presented.

The tempo moves up for Native Dancer, the first of two contributions by Buster Williams which gets off to a roaring start with a nimble melody presentation.  The aggressive opening statement by Joe moves swiftly through each verse like a musical twister, then comes Wayne who makes his first solo appearance next with a jubilant spirit during his performance which is remarkable.  Wilton steps into the spotlight next for a swinging reading of limitless energy.  Buster takes over for the finale with a delightful interpretation that is a model of spontaneous construction, showing off his agility as an improviser and extraordinary inspiration as a composer effectively.  Sample’s Never Had It So Good starts the second side with an easy spirited beat that leads us back to church with a bit of boogaloo in the imaginative display of harmony during the group’s opening melody.  The solo order is Felder, Henderson and Sample, and each man preaches their part of this sermon weaving a series of rhythmic ideas which swing comfortably to the delight of their extended congregation, the Lighthouse audience.

The Emperor, also by Williams takes us back to straightforward bop with the solos in the same order as the previous tune.  Wilton starts the soloing with a passionately personal opening statement with each phrase beautifully articulated as he weaves gracefully in unison with the stunning foundation provided by Joe, Buster and Stix.  Wayne sustains the relaxing beat with an attractive reading possessing a great amount of warmth and excitement.  Joe makes a succinct statement with a full-bodied interpretation of finesse which is skillfully performed.  Buster eases into the final interpretation with a performance as mild as a smooth sherry and a sound that goes straight to the heart.  The album ends with John Coltrane’s Impressions, taken at breakneck speed with an invigorating introduction by the trio and theme statement led by the horns.  Henderson takes off first with a jet-propelled interpretation followed by Felder who infuses the second solo with searing fire for an energetic workout.  Sample comes next with an exhilarating performance of fierce intensity and Stix exchanges a few clever comments with both horns prior to the effervescent ending.

Three years after this album was recorded the quintet would shorten its name to The Crusaders, moving towards Jazz-Fusion, Jazz-Funk and Smooth Jazz.  Their biggest hit would come four years after Henderson left the group to become a record producer in 1979 with Street Life (MCA Records MCA 3094) featuring Soul vocalist Randy Crawford.  The remaining members would stay together until 1983 when Hooper left to pursue a solo career.  In 1991, the surviving members Sample and Felder released what would be their final album as The Crusaders, Healing The Wounds (MCA Records 09638 – GRP 9638).  In 1995, Wayne Henderson revived The Jazz Crusaders name for a CD-album, Happy Again (Sin-Drome Records SD 8909).  Henderson who suffered from diabetes, passed away from heart failure on April 5, 2014 at age seventy-four.  Joe Sample passed away five months later on September 12, 2014 from Mesothelioma and Wilton Felder passed away one year later on September 27, 2015 from Multiple myeloma, both were seventy-five years old.  Stix Hooper and flutist Hubert Laws who (I didn’t know was a founding member) left the group in 1960 to attend The Juilliard School of Music are the only surviving members of the original group.

Dino Lappas, the engineer on Lighthouse ’68 has also worked on their second live album, Live at The Lighthouse ’66 (PJ-10098/ST-20098); their fourth and final live album, Lighthouse ’69 (World Pacific Jazz – Pacific Jazz ST-20165); The Three Sounds Live at The Lighthouse (BLP 4265/BST 84265) a year earlier in 1967 and also in 1972 on Elvin Jones Live at The Lighthouse (BN-LA015-G) and Grant Green Live at The Lighthouse (BN-LA037-G2) on Blue Note.  The sound quality is splendid throughout with plenty of clarity across the frequency band of treble, midrange and bass.  This is particularly noticeable with a good set of headphones; the benefit is the richness and detail of each instrument and specifically Buster Williams’ bass which is outstanding.  If you only know of this talented group of musicians from their records as The Crusaders, I invite you to audition Lighthouse ’68 during your next vinyl hunt for a spot in your jazz library.  The album will transport you back in time to that intimate Hermosa Beach venue, The Lighthouse Café to hear The Jazz Crusaders at the top of their game playing some of the best Hard-Bop and Post-Bop you’ll hear!  The last vinyl pressing of Lighthouse ’68 (APBL-2312) was issued by Applause Records in 1982 and is out of print.  The CD-album released in 2004 by Pacific Jazz Records adds four additional tracks to the LP track listing, Cathy The Cooker by Wayne Henderson; Shadows by Buster Williams, Tough Talk by Stix Hooper, Joe Sample and Wayne Henderson, and Third Principle by Wilton Felder, and is to my knowledge out of print as well!

Cathy The Cooker, Happy Again, Healing The Wounds, Elvin Jones at The Lighthouse, Grant Green at The Lighthouse, Dino Lappas, Live at The Lighthouse ’66, Lighthouse ’69, Shadows, Street Life, Third Principle, Tough Talk – Source: Discogs.com

Jimmy Bond, Randy Crawford, Wilton Felder, Victor Gaskin, Wayne Henderson, Stix Hooper, Hubert Laws, Herbie Lewis, The Julliard School of Music, Joe Sample

© 2018 by Edward Thomas Carter

 

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Obit: Cecil Taylor — Hawkins Bay Dispatch


Jazz pianist with a radical improvisation style described as one of the most ‘incorrigibly sublime’ figures in the recent history of music 08 April 2018 |John Fordham | The Guardian “The maverick African-American jazz pianist and poet Cecil Taylor, who has died aged 89, gave an impression of constant motion and restless speed. He fused a virtuosic […]

via Obit: Cecil Taylor — Hawkins Bay Dispatch

MUSIC IS YOUR DESTINY: INTERVIEW WITH DESTINY MUHAMMAD~ “HARPIST FROM DA’ HOOD”


posted by Robert J. Carmack ~ @blues2jazzguy -You know its very hard to find a word that describes a person perfectly, but I just may have. what I mean is, I googled the word Destiny and it read, ” the events that will necessarily happen to a particular person or thing in the future. Also, “the hidden power believed to control what will happen in the future; fate. HOWEVER. Sometimes if you’re lucky and say your prayers, you just might meet a talented, sublime musician who happens to play a very unique instrument in a small community of players within a special genre..the original art form of America, JAZZ.

Destiny Muhammad is a Recording/ Performing Artist | Band Leader | Composer & Producer. Her genre is Celtic to Coltrane is cool and eclectic with a feel of Jazz & storytelling to round out the sonic experience.  The original harp is one of the world’s oldest instrument and toughest to master, even more challenging than the piano its self. when I was growing up in Los Angeles and studying music as a teenager I wanted to learn jazz and sought out all kinds of musicians besides saxophone players to listen and learn from. One of those unique musicians was a lady name, Dorothy Ashby, who played the harp, but not just in a classical music setting,but onstage with jazz hungry fans , in clubs, cultural arts centers and later, concert halls late 1960s through the 1980s.
(Dorothy Ashby August 6, 1930 – April 13, 1986)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dorothy Ashby was Destiny’s big influence early on long before Alice Coltrane’s huge shadow loomed large in her life. But what was really a “head-scratcher” for me was when she mentioned in an interview I held with her recently. While as a child watching TV, a man with wild hair and zany behavior. He abruptly stopped and stared at a Harp momentarily, then sat down and begun to play a beautiful solo. She was watching a famous scene from a “Marx Brothers” film. That was just the spark needed in her little head. She went wow! I would like to play that. As a little girl growing up in the Compton community and going to Tibby elementary school. Destiny could only dream, as her mom had very little money and instruments were not in the cards. Even later as she grew up and tried to learn the violin, it did not “cut it for her.” Things were changing at home and her mom moved to San Pedro area projects for low-income, about the time for her to go to high school, she joined a vocal choir and wanted to take piano lessons but again was told they could not afford lesson. Frustrated but not deterred from her dream, Destiny became a barber, a good one too, which gave her independence and decision making power to pursue whatever she wanted.  But before she knew it, she was approaching 30 years old and needed to sink or swim.making up her mind to go for it musically she began her journey as a harp player by beginning with the rudimentary method of mastering an instrument late in life. A very challenging endeavor, but none the less not impossible. She moved to Oakland East Bay area and sought out help, advice, direction. After a tad bit of finding her niche’, she found people like trumpeter Khalid Shaheed, pianist Tammy Hall and the legendary trumpeter Eddie Gale among many others. Now over 25 years later, she is being blessed beyond words. Not worrying about how long it took, but what she is doing now that she has arrived.

Destiny has opened for The Oakland East Bay Symphony and Smooth Jazz Artist Gerald Albright, shared the stage with Jazz Masters Marcus Shelby, Omar Sosa, Blue Note Artist Ambrose Akisemuire, and Azar Lawrence to name a few. She has headlined for ‘Women in Jazz’ Concert series, the Afro Solo/ Yerba Buena Gardens Concert Festival, Sunday’s in the Redwoods Concert, Fest Sundiata, and SFJAZZ Tribute to Alice Coltrane’s epic album Impulse Release ‘Journey in  Satchidananda .

Destiny is the Principal Harpist for the Eddie Gale Inner Peace Orchestra, the Oakland Community Orchestra and performs with The AWESOME Orchestra.

The Destiny Muhammad JAZZ Trio~Following in the footsteps of jazz harp master Dorothy Ashby (who recorded with everyone from Freddie Hubbard and Frank Wess to Bill Withers and Stevie Wonder), the Destiny Muhammad Jazz Trio is a sleek and soulful ensemble designed to showcase Muhammad’s soaring vocals and transporting string work. 

That second and most highly touted Jazz musician, pianist, composer and master harpist, the late Alice Coltrane. A profound influence on Destiny as a musician, composer but, also as a woman in a male-dominated genre. She has been given high praises by her peers and fellow bay area jazz musicians, as well as prestigious arts organization and music societies.

Whether interpreting jazz standards or her original tunes, Muhammad turns every piece into a soulful adventure.      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hora0U6vvDw

 

A plethora of achievements and awards received in a little over 25 years after not even starting until she was 30 years old on her instrument. Governor Emeritus and Educational Chair Emeritus of the Recording Academy, Jazz Heritage Center of San Francisco Jazz Ambassador,  ASCAP Songwriter Awardee, and Judge for The West Coast Songwriters Contest and Northern California Entertainers Music Awards Female Jazz Artist of the Year.

I asked Destiny what was her greatest joy in music? she said with glee, “That I’m still playing after starting late at 30 and taking that leap of faith. You can follow Destiny’s career and keep up with her gigs by going to her website:http://destinymuhammad.com

If you missed her moving tribute to the great Alice Coltrane the first time,  see information below for tickets and or general information regarding the Concert, Alice Coltrane~Sonic Legacy August 26, 2018 – two shows only!

JAZZ SHOW CANCELED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE: STREET LIFE: MAGIC & MUSIC OF JAZZ CRUSADERS


IT was announced recently by producer Robert J. Carmack that the show, Street Life: Magic & music of The Jazz Crusaders is cancelled until further notice. Carmack sited health issues as reason for postponement . no other announcements will be forthcoming. all parties regarding tickets sales online have been contacted and remedied.  those that were purchased from direct sources have been contacted also. again, we apologize for the abrupt cancellation, but it could not be avoided. We will contact those groups and individuals when we are able to direct them to a new date or venue. Thank you for your understanding and support. #@blues2jazzguy

Producer/ Host- Robert J. Carmack

LIGHTHOUSE 68″ ~ JAZZ CRUSADERS LIVE ! CELEBRATING 50 YEARS…STILL FUNKY FRESH


posted by Robert J. Carmack

The Lighthouse Café is a nightclub located at 30 Pier Avenue in Hermosa Beach, California. It has been active as a jazz showcase since 1949 and, under the name “The Lighthouse”, was one of the central West Coast jazz clubs from the 1950s through the late 1970s. Purely talking Jazz years, It has been a long time, since I personally use to frequent these digs as a very young budding saxophonist growing up in the early 1960s Los Angeles. Listening to two jazz stalwarts on the radio at the time in KBCA FM 105.1 & the KNOB “JAZZ KNOB” out of Long Beach. hipster Jocks ruled the radio waves back then LA. Tommy Bee, Jammin’ Jai Rich, Rick Holmes, Chuck Niles, Les Carter, Tollie Strode with “Slow traffic to the right” , “while travelin’ in my Electro-Magnetic Bag.”

AllMusic rated the album with 4 stars noting: “Feel is what dictates the material and its execution on this set, without unnecessary attention paid to crowd or recording apparatus. This is one the most intimate jazz shows captured on tape during the 1960s. It gives record buyers the sound of a band in full possession of their considerable capabilities, celebrating them in a relaxed environment, playing their own brand of grooved-out ’60s jazz”.  I actually had the opportunity to catch this very lively and “Funky as it wanted to be band” ,to borrow a catch-phrase from the era describing the feel and sound of the times. Borrowing heavily from the fresh pop culture and songs the crusaders were able to marry the hard bop edginess and the approachable groove-based chart-topping style. Jazz Crusaders were starting to dominate the west coast appeal and the young fans like myself. I was all of 17 in the fall of 1967, when this was recorded, but released in early 1968.

The best part about growing up in the early 60s and loving live jazz , You could actually go see who was playing the music you heard on radio. Because of the policy for “under -21” fans who obeyed the rules and “maintained their cool” under the fire of the electrifying bands that appeared at the beach venue.. IMHO, You might as well considered the Crusaders the House band, they appeared hundreds of times over the years, but recorded almost all of their most classic of all records with that great Lighthouse crowd over the microphones too. All of which gave it that “Flavor” like a great Gumbo meal. I would be here all day trying review all the great music from the pen or horns of Jazz crusaders, starting in 1962 , one could catch the very best in music, bar none, and be on the “hippest scene” while doing it at the Lighthouse.

I invite you to pick up a copy of this great album or whatever choice of media format is today vinyl, CD or downloads. GET IT!!

Join me ,along with some very special musicians in Los Angeles June 22 Friday night at 9pm as we turn back the clock 50 years and perform the best of the jazz crusaders: the early years up to late 70s. I have culled simply the best compositions and recordings for the featured band Crusader Legacy 5 Plus.. hand-picked stellar musicians for this event at the World Stage Performance Gallery  4321 Degnan Blvd. L.A. California 90008 – $25

Go online at http://www.eventbrite.com under title of Street Life: The Magic and Music of the Jazz Crusaders  ….

Track listing

  1. “Ooga-Boo-Ga-Loo” (Stix Hooper) – 6:39
  2. Eleanor Rigby” (John Lennon, Paul McCartney) – 7:32
  3. “Native Dancer” (Buster Williams) – 8:52
  4. “Never Had It So Good” (Joe Sample) – 7:15
  5. “The Emperor” (Williams) – 8:50
  6. Impressions” (John Coltrane) – 6:12
  7. “Cathy the Cooker” (Wayne Henderson) – 6:22 Bonus track on CD reissue
  8. “Shadows” (Williams) – 4:03 Bonus track on CD reissue
  9. “Tough Talk” (Henderson, Hooper, Sample) – 8:01 Bonus track on CD reissue
  10. “Third Principle” (Wilton Felder) – 8:45 Bonus track on CD reissue

Personnel

STREET LIFE: MAGIC & MUSIC JAZZ CRUSADERS ~ LIMITED DISCOUNTED TICKETS ON SALE NOW !!


CALL 951-840-7120 or email blues2jazz2003@yahoo.com  Regular price is $25 online at http://www.Eventbrite.com

Special discounted price Save  up to $7.25 off Online price including fees

Contact Robert regarding Direct sales Must pay Cash or money Order for 5 or more tickets @ $20 per ticket

Starting Limited period May 29th ENDS June 10th ONLY $20 per ticket when you buy (5)FIVE or more from one of our reps.

951-840-7120 for general info  or closest rep to you.

Hipster Sanctuary.Com

presents

Street Life: Magic & the Music of Jazz Crusaders

a Musical and Poetic Tribute

featuring  The Crusader Legacy 5 Plus Band

Robert J. Carmack Poet, Teodross Avery Saxophones, Alvin Starks Trombone, Don Littleton Drums,Theo Saunders-Piano,Mike Alvidrez Bass

JUNE 22nd Friday Night – 9PM  World Stage Performance Gallery 4321 Degnan Blvd. LA , Calif. 90008  $25 at http://www.eventbrite.com

Robert J. Carmack – Producer/Poet/Host
Teodross Avery

 

 

Alvin Starks
Don Littleton

 

Theo Saunders
Mike Alvidrez