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CTI RECORDS FOUNDER SUCCUMBS


CREED TAYLOR: CTI RECORDS the Next Wave

By Robert J. Carmack

Recently we lost a monumental figure of an era in music, Jazz in particular, Creed Taylor. Taylor pronounced dead in his home in Nuremburg, Germany. It appeared that he was unable to recover from a severe stroke just prior to his death. Beginning in 1950s Taylor excelled in productions and talent scouting. This led to the early creation of the “house that TRANE” built, Impulse Records, circa 1960. Also during the early years at Impulse, he again struck gold by signing saxophonist, Stan Getz. That alliance spawned several hit albums and a “Bossa Nova ,USA movement. In addition to Getz, he also introduced the world to Joao Gilberto. He penned several Bossa Nova hits, none bigger than the Girl from Ipanema, sung in both English and Portuguese by his beautiful and sultry wife, Astrud, a  multi-Grammy-winner for the Getz/Gilberto Album.

One of Creed’s inspiring heroes in music was the creator of Jazz at the Philharmonic, Norman Granz. He made monumental concerts and tours in Europe with some of the biggest and brightest Jazz stars out of USA.Taylor easily slipped into that Granz role of A&R/ Producer for Verve Records in Jazz division.

One of his top collaborations in music was with the great conductor and arranger, Don Sabesky. Who’s fingerprints were all over the best of Verve artists on the roster. The other great collaboration and “Gold Strike” discovery was the quite different guitarist, Wes Montgomery. He had a smooth delivery with more of a “thumbing” approach as oppose to strumming with pick. Also, he added a technique which some called a double-stop chording effect. This allowed Montgomery to play clean and still swing hard as required by jazz idioms. This writer was first faced with that sound in early/mid-60s album cuts from album Moving Wes, Bumpin, Tequila, Going Out of my Head, & who could forget the very soulful “Bumpin” on Sunset a multi-award winner cut and composition. It was the “Darling” of the Pop & jazz Radio audiences. Again, Taylor brings in Don Sebesky and his orchestra on the Montgomery sound and popularity. Claus Ogerman was prominent on the Tequila album. Taylor being the talent scout he was, found out “He” was being recruited by a new label in pop and mainstream music. Herb Alpert of Tijuana Brass fame was earning Big buckets of money in his new label via the Tijuana Brass, Baja Marimba band and other POP and novelty records selling like hot cakes to a starved audience. As Creed Taylor was coming over to the Herb Alpert/Jerry Moss label, To develop their new jazz division under the small creative label CTI(Creed Taylor Inc.) the first fruits were an album entitled, A Day in the Life (made popular by the Beatles)other great songs on that album were  Watch what happens, When a Man loves a woman, California Nights and Angel, all anchored by the title track, A Day in the Life.(1967)

It appeared to me, even at the young age of 17, I could draw that, this was a brilliant move by Alpert/Moss label. Ripping-off a keystone artist on his previous label at Verve, and introducing this fabulous guitarist to a new hip and open-minded audiences. An artist who could play jazz at its highest level , while still being approachable by young and older audiences. Heavy pop tunes were selected by Taylor, like the Association, Beatles, other popular young group tunes. They were brought back to life with jazz guitar on not only radio, but by 1968, Wes Montgomery was on Prime-time TV shows produced by Alpert/Moss. Needless to say, this garners TV show awards for the young Record label. Unfortunately for A&M Records, Wes Montgomery was dead by summer of 1968. Reeling from their loss of the Cash cow in Montgomery hits that played on AM and FM stations and network television.

One of the biggest decision made by Creed taylor was to now reorganize his role and position with A&M.. He then crafted a deal where A&M would now be the prime Distributor of CTI Records products.

Taylor went to work immediate putting a plan of action in place by signing big name jazz artists who had recently left other mainstream labels and was being reinvented by Taylor in his new label image of , Young sounds of electronic instruments, and popular compositions recently heard on the Radio in all genres; Soul, POP, Latin and Middle of the Road audiences. `Officially beginning in 1969/70.. you saw Taylor create some new jazz classics with older jazz artists,Quincy Jones,Nat Adderley, Stanley Turrentine, Freddie Hubbard, Hubert Laws, Milt “Bags” Jackson, George Benson, Deodato, Joe Farrell were scattered around the charts in early 70s radio and concerts. Just like Blue Note records grew its roster of players by recording early and often with stars and their friends that they brought with them regardless of stature or standing.

Taylor, like Blue Note records used only the best in Recording and Engineering by bringing in Rudy Van Gelder on most of their choice records. The third leg of this trifecta is vivid grahics & museum quality photography. Some CTI favorites of mine are, Follow Your Heart Joe Farrell, African Cookbook Randy Weston, Straight Life Freddie Hubbard, Also , Creed spun-off even edgyier artists which a had a R&B/SOUL slant to it . KUDU RECORDS, being its answer to contemporary jazz being played with the technology of that day in Keyboards, recording, sounds, adding different rhythms and grooves . Wild Horses Rock STeady Johnny Hammond Smith, Grover Washington, Little Esther Phillips, Eric Gale, and Hank Crawford all Funky and greasy but smooth in the Pocket groove makers playing on Pop record and soul stations all over the country, many Grammy nominations and high record sales from artist who never imagine the type record sales they were now getting after signing with CTI Records.

In a sidenote many years later, Mr Creed Taylor scored again with a veteran artist ,some thought would never compromise on style and approach. He even convinced Nina Simone to record a very successful album Baltimore”. The title track was a Reggae Beat with Strings, written by Randy Newman and arranged by Dave Matthews in my opinion, one of the very best ever by CTI.

Follow this writer on http://www.hipstersanctuary.com / blues2jazz2003@yahoo.com

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BLACK HISTORY VIRTUAL -THEATER BY POCKET JAZZ PRESENTS: STORIES FROM THE WINDOW


It was announced last week by Pocket Jazz Presents Chief Content Developer and Founder, Robert J. Carmack. Pocket Jazz Presents is a content developer and a co-op of artists, musicians,photographers, singers and poets. We operate as a creative collective and at times, represent the little boutique Cafe ,Gig workers, independent artists and small business venue owners . a wide assortment of goods and services offered for nominal fees or Barter.

The Pandemic across the country has made life worse for those entertainers and all the jobs that support the Entertainment industry. Carmack is finding opportunities to work on building alliances and support groups who can be converted into audiences after the “all-clear”sign is posted for audiences to return. ” I have gone into survival mode now that two of my Theater shows were cancelled in 2020 in Los Angeles and one in San Francisco (Nina Simone play, Interview with the High Priestess:NINA! also, a Charlie Parker return to Bay area in ,Wounded Feathers a Jazz Tragedy.

Pocket Jazz with Robert, recruited some of Robert’s old friends, Mr. Vel Omarr, soul singer, songwriter,actor/director of stage plays and music productions,the Chicago native by way of Mississippi is currently portraying several roles for Pocket Jazz stories,including Sam Cooke. Omarr’s credits also include songs written for Movies and some now Streaming on-line as we speak. can not list at time but will list in next article. Vel Omarr is the founder of the Soultown Artists Channel.

Hailing from Detroit, and finding her way to join family members in California, while settling initially in Carson. she met Robert Carmack , a college student and Drama teacher at a local arts academy. Naomi excelled in the workshops and early productions. A major change came when the adult workshop split off from the academy and became the Paul Robeson players, a full theater ensemble,1972..joining Robert Carmack and Robert Browning as the Original founding members,among a few others who are no longer with us. We introduce Ms. Naomi Pryor-Stenson.

Introducing Ms. Mechelle LaChaux, Singer/songwriter,actress and stage management. just to name a few of this dynamic lady’s skills. Her energy in the “Moment” acting. She’s also dedicated to a high Bar of excellence in music. Worked with Robert in the formation of creating. the San Francisco Bay – Area African American Musicians Association. This organization was established to bolster more Black musicians involvement in the active cultural scene in the S.F. Bay area 2004-2009.

This group of Black professionals are grinding out some very interesting dramatic content ,using historic events and figures. for example , Feb, 26, 27 and 28 . Pocket Jazz is posting its Debut Program entitled, Stories From the Window. In a Zoom formatted set, Carmack and company will bring emotional , gripping subject matter as the “1963- 16th Street Baptist Church Bombing” in Birmingham Alabama, and the mysterious Life & Death of Sam Cooke 1960s. later on, other key figures will be featured. The short vignettes are just a slice of life involving the people in a pivotal moment in time. In the 1963 Bombing . The Four actors are representing four nameless victims of the bombing who was just going to Church. No previously written script is used , Improvisational skills are at play, told from the audience’s point of View . Hence, Stories from the window.. The Zoom “Box/Window” format is where I draw the title. LIVE/taped!

We will project what these four characters were doing only ONE HOUR before they arrived ,only to be injured severely, others died.. Other themes may be about eclectic Blues lady Ma Rainey and Bessie Smith, Charlie Parker and Sam’s Brother L.C. Cooke. we are happy to release the precursors to our stage efforts. Ready on day-one to tour these shows.. on stage, in backyards once audiences are safe to return.

For more information follow us at PocketJazzPresents/@FreedomJazzDance on facebook or email us your contact ,so we can place you on our action events list. pocketjazz@musician.org ~ our office number is 951-456-5874. our next article, Meet the Cast Members at http://www.hipstersanctuary.com Feb. 18th 2021.. until all shows have posted .

supporting websites and support groups on Facebook Soul Gumbo Unlimited, Prancin N’ Romancin’ Cove, S.F.B.A.A.A.M. and SoulTown Artists Channel on facebook.,

BARITONE SUNSETS:DALE FIELDER QUARTET


By Robert J. Carmack  – Hipster Sanctuary.Com 

There are sunsets, and there are “Southern California Sunsets”. But one thing for sure, there is nothing better than sitting at the LA County Art Museum at “SUNSET” listening to Jazz on Fridays.. even better listening to the Dale Fielder Quartet in Full, Regal Blowing session-mode. That was the case just recently at the weekly event, as the group celebrated its 27th. year as a band.. spawning over 20 CDs and special recordings.On this beautiful evening’s concert, we were served up great classic jazz tunes. Especially Dale’s favorite reedman, Mr. Wayne Shorter- “Dance Cadaverous”. Which is one of those titles Wayne used during the 1960s on Blue Note. Dale balanced the evening with jazz standards and obscure  tunes, for which he is known for.  He primarily plays originals by DFQ members and himself. 

This evening was like “old home week” as I bumped into many local and regional musicians out to check Dale. I’ve known Dale since 1992, when he was just starting a midnight Jam session at Fifth Street Dicks,  a popular Jazz hang & Coffee house in Leimert Park. I’ve written about Dale’s longtime association with some of the music world’s greatest musicians,including attending school and performing with the late great pianist, Geri Allen.  Filling out the band was long time pianist Ms. Jane Getz, The “Count” Bill Markus Bass , and the Glue and Pacemaker, “Mr. Taste” on Drums,Thomas White. In 2015, I had the opportunity to perform as a spoken word artist with the DFQ , on his 20th year celebration.. With over 20 CDs to his credit as bandleader and composer..What’s next for Dale Fielder??  

The cool and relaxed performer, in an even tone, gave me that look of “The Universe is wide open.” Electing not to get into details, because the project is still in its infancy stage of production and a pre marketing plan is being launched as we speak. Then Dale said, It will evolve around Live Jazz and International access via the internet..Lol. You will have to follow on http://www.hipstersanctuary.com for more details in coming days. 

More info on Dale Fielder.

Dale Fielder is an American jazz saxophonist, composer and band leader, multi-instrumentalist who, plays all four saxophones: soprano, alto, tenor and baritone with equal authority.Known for his original compositions and choice of performing rare, obscure jazz classics as well as his varied group concepts and variety of presentations. Fielder has recorded over 13 CDs as a leader for various labels since he first appeared on the national jazz scene in 1993 with his first CD Free Flow.

He grew up in Midland, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Pittsburgh where he studied oboe, bassoon and tuba in the school system and clarinet, saxophone, composition and arranging privately with noted Pittsburgh area tenor saxophonist Phillip Celli. Fielder is also a product of the University of Pittsburgh Jazz Studies Program, where he studied as an ethnomusicology major under Dr. Nathan Davis. Fielder’s debut jazz performance was as a member of the Joe Harris Quartet, former drummer of the Charlie Parker Quintet and Dizzy Gillespie Orchestra. After relocating to NYC, he was recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts grant in 1984, studying with trumpeter/composer Frank Gordon and completed his first large work, The Aquarian for alto saxophone and chamber orchestra. While in NYC, he also performed with a host of current jazz stars such as pianist/composer Geri Allen and trombonist Robin Eubanks among many others.

After eight years in NYC, Fielder moved to Los Angeles and studied with alto legend Charles McPherson and began the difficult and challenging path of a band leader. 

Establishing the Dale Fielder Quartet, the DFQ, with pianist Harold Land, Jr. in 1988. In 1996, he recorded a national top-ten CD, Dear Sir: Tribute To Wayne Shorter to widespread critical acclaim. In 1997, Fielder received his first commission and wrote the extended eleven-movement jazz suite, Ocean Of Love And Mercy, which was recorded in performance by an all-star Nonet and released by Cadence Jazz Records. Fielder has since performed throughout Europe and Asia with his Quartet. Selected as BET’s 1999 Jazz Discovery winner, Fielder has taped several subsequent video appearances and shows for BET. In 2003, Fielder released his most important and ambitious work, his hour-long third extended jazz suite, Suite: Clarity to international critical acclaim. 

His 2005 CD, Baritone Sunride also received international attention bringing Fielder recognition as one of the top new baritone saxophonists in jazz. His July 2007 release DFQ~Plays The Music Of Pepper Adams, continues to document his classic jazz quartet, now with legendary jazz pianist Jane Getz. for more go to Dale Fielder’s web page at http://www.dalefieldermusic.com


BOBBY WEST: A PRODIGAL SON RETURNS


By Robert J. Carmack

It comes as no surprise that, whenever a well respected musician comes to LA and, they are a part of the World Stage Eco-System and family at that. The ”hipsters, cool gents and lovely ladies show up and out at the Leimert Park performance space known as the WORLD STAGE. Recently , just such an event occurred when master pianist and jazz musician Bobby West appeared as part of their ongoing Jazz Stream Series sponsored by Guess Foundation.  A lot was going on at the same time with reunions of all sorts , musicians, students of music and jazz aficionados welcomed Bobby Home at the Stage. Bobby of course had a power trio, made up of his long-time friends in Bassist Christy Smith, who just happened to be in town and drummer Fritz Wise. 

One could run down a yeoman’s list of accolades but , according to writer R J Smith, author of James Brown’s bio said this recently in liner notes from “Leimert Park After Dark..” West sounds hold California light, it is aspirational, nimble. He sails on top of the beat, gets your attention with a playful statement of melody that ties wit, candor, and precision together. His playing feels conversational, yet every moment matters. He is reaching for grace.

In my humble opinion, West makes the necessary moves on the bandstand ,but he never “text” in his efforts from first set to last set of night. I love the way he infuses both the elegance of a symphonic pianist while capturing all the drama, and Noir of a Thelonius Monk or a Nimble Bud Powell in his right hand. But he is a master of locked-hand style of soloing, still bursting out with panache and gusto. I hear the influences of the masters, but I also hear Bobby being Bobby.  Some how, He’s able to bring two schools of approach to his style of playing music… whether he’s doing a Duke Ellington or Duke Pearson or Stevie Wonder composition. He brings the pain in his artistry, but he also brings the intellect and sinewy ideas and concepts around capturing you as a fan for life.

I have worked with Bobby West on various projects and jams. His approach to any situation is always professional, direct and very soulful.. Bobby can play some Funk, Hip hop or Charles Mingus jazz suites. Physically he reminds me of a cross between Bobby Timmons and bassist Cecil McBee. Again, if you came to hear some corny keyboards mushy soloing through the changes of jazz classic Forget about it.. No Sir!!  Its Carnegie Hall every time Bobby touches the keyboard. Articulate and profound musician from Los Angeles, California.

CELEBRATING JUNETEENTH: 2022


Bopping Around the Inland Empire with Robert J. Carmack

This writer just wanted to explore new venues for music and the arts in general. this past Juneteenth 2022,I visited several locations to observe and report on what I saw and heard. On Saturday, June 18, I began my day in Pomona California. Starting with the “Museum of Beginnings “I was greeted by Curators/Founders, Vicki and Khalif Rashann. a Retired Educators married couple, who are products of the Claremont Colleges system. I came over to meet the two people, that know my other siblings. The Museum is a self-funded organization of humble beginnings . starting as a small space of critical and Black  historic content gathered and curated by the Pomona couple acquired during their many years of teaching and travels.(Location: 1460 Holt Blvd. Ste 188, Pomona California) I was quite impressed with the compact historical repository. One exhibit really caught my attention, The NOGALES BUFFALO SOLDIERS LEGACY . a historical unit of the US military.  a very fierce Battle-tested and true warriors unit, with less desertions and court-martials than their white counter parts. They were assigned (forced) the worst assignments , escorting Railroad work crews, Cattle herd drives and, even settlers.. some who hated them purely based on their skin color. 

Some believed they were named “Buffalo Soldiers because of the thick, wooly hair and beards, supposedly called by “Native-americans, aka then as ,”Indians.” 

But, the truth, as told to survivors and their descendants, they were called “Buffalo” because of their fighting skills, their brave and courageous attitude of never back down to anybody.. including angry white settlers, or Border agents trying to do harm on our US borders. Buffalo Soldiers were last mentioned at end of Korean War as Calvary units were named after this storied group. a direct descendant to one of the Buffalo Soldiers that is registered in history books was in attendance to enlighten us. (See Ms. Donna L. Jackson-Houston, president/founder, Nogales Buffalo Soldier Legacy Association) She brought family memorabilia as well. 

I was looking at the display, when I noticed a familiar face included in the quite impressive display .. There it was ,CHARLES MINGUS, One of the greatest Bass and composers of all-time.. Mingus dad was from Nogales, when World War One was over, he moved the family from Nogales, Arizona to Los Angeles California, the beginning of 1920s when Charlie was a little Boy.. They settled in a part of L.A. called WATTS,  where he attended 111th street elementary school. the same school I attended in 1960-62. Charles had three great friends. two became famous, KNOBE, a japanese kid whose dad taught Charles martial arts, because he was a big chunky, bow-legged Kid that played cello. so he was bullied and teased., The othe two friends are, Jazz man and woodwind specialist, Buddy Collette. the most famous was Thomas Bradley or Tom Bradley, LA iconic  lawman, politician, Mayor, Councilman and candidate for Governor. 

I had lots of take-aways after viewing this really informative presentation.  Though this event was stellar in its delivery of “Facts and Finds” on the new Federal holiday, it was also equally sublime in the music output scheduled at Ganesha Park in Pomona as well. a full list of African-american music bands, of Gospel, Soul and Latin Jazz..the meshing of Afican-Cuban Clave  sounds,  made famous by Chano Pozo and Dizzy Gillespie in the 1940s , followed by such iconic Afro-Latin Drummers as Candido, Big Black, Mongo Santamaria and others.

Ganesha Park and Juneteenth 2022, This program was produced by MC/Jazz presenter  Roscoe Lee Owens & the Jazz Zone.Net. What an array of genre-bending groups and always exciting Latin Jazz Band, SOUL SAUCE.. based around the music of iconic figure, Cal Tjader…One of the most famous of non-latin Jazz  bandleaders and most successful as a touring band of 50s,60s,70s and beyond ,into his last days. exploring all forms of music including Cuba, Mexico, the Carribean and all of Latin America. while fusing all of that into a winning sound that brought about a Grammy in 1980

( La Onda Va Bien).  Soul Sauce Band is led by two men , Rafael Feliciano Congas/Timbals and Peter Burke Vibes… The name was a very popular album of Cal Tjader’s, SOUL SAUCE from the early 1960s.. Jazz radio played a tune from that album, called (“Wachi Wada” ) 

 I find this band more than a throwback band copying a band from the past. I have caught this band in many different venues around L.A. county and beyond. what is amazing to me is, They have not been snapped up by a progressive record company yet. Though, they are a tribute band to Cal Tjader, they can still navigate around traditional Jazz changes as well as Cuban Afro-clave most bands attempt to portray when performing Descargas or Lively Dance music , sometime known as “Salsa”. The musicianship in this band is superior and it “makes its own gravy” meaning, there is a whole lot of Sabor! Flavor! in their playing.  At the Ganesha Park concert, though band co-leader Peter Burke was not there, He was replaced admirably by Vibist, Craig Fundyga , Bass was John Pintoff, Don Littleton on Trap drums, Matt Amber on Keyboards, Roland Mendoza on Bongo/Cowbell/Fish, Rafael Feliciano Co-leader/Congas/Timbals.. Their whirlwind performances on Tjader classics was sublime, with electrifying  solos by Pianist, Matt Amber and fill-in Vibist, Craig Fundyga.. They were incredible! It was obvious to me and the other hundreds of people in attendance at the park’s celebration, IMHO, They were the stronger act for the day.  

Soul Sauce in concert at Ganesha Park, I spoke to Rafael  Feliciano in a break in the action backstage. He told me of the frustration that the Pandemic has placed his and, most bands and frankly, other entertainers on the “outside looking in” for last two years plus.  “Man, We’re so grateful to be able to, come together and play this music that’s truly an honor to perform.” said the veteran musician, who resides in the Inland Empire, that includes Pomona, California too.

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I would grade the city of Pomona, an A+. consistent, relentless efforts to provide a balanced and improved set of events this year to ring in the new Federal holiday. people of color are very much a part of the new Pomona “All-inclusive” attitude from the mayor’s office to the School board and on to the Cultural affairs commission. Finally I’d like to acknowledge the  diligent people who worked on the city’s presentation for Juneteenth 2022 .. All the leadership and planning groups at the African American Advisory Alliance and cultural center on 2nd Street (Ribbon Cutting ceremony on New Arts space, The Museum of the Beginnings , Vicki and Khalif Rashann, Ms. Donna L. Jackson-Houston of the Nogales Buffalo Soldiers Legacy Association, and Ms. Sheilah Kimbel, MPA.

The African American Advisory Alliance building Pomona California Ribbon cutting ceremony June20th 2022

YOUR MAJESTY: WALK SPIRIT TALK SPIRIT!


YOUR MAJESTY GEORGE ~ WALK SPIRIT TALK SPIRIT

By Robert J. Carmack- Hipster Sanctuary.com

I don’t know what it is about Jazz that makes me Astral-travel. My definition of a curated Jazz recording is, 1. Best material 2. Solid musicians 3.Willingness to “Go out on a Limb”(courage). When tackling a tour de force with powerful music and the ilk of McCoy Tyner, Nat Adderley, Wes Montgomery, Charlie Parker, Hank Mobley, and Lou Donaldson. What makes this project so hip and exciting is GEORGE V. JOHNSON Jr.’s vision and experience as working musician and songwriter.  Right out the gate, is a big splash intro to a moving piece of history by McCoy Tyner. Walk Spirit Talk Spirit (Knarrative Will Set You Free) we lost the great one in 2020.

What George has done is take two of Tyner’s stellar compositions including “Fly with the Wind” and crafted them into masterpieces in sound and “Griot” lyrics, that tell the best stories abound.

I lived with this CD for almost a month before I even attempted to review this project in art and soul. In my humble opinion, given a generous amount of “plays” this can become a #1 jazz hit. For example, Johnson Jr’s remarkable lyrics treatment of Wes Montgomery’s ROAD SONG, a strong cut involving the stories from all around the world while traveling and experiencing life on life’s terms. I can only concur with others, who have experienced the personality and artistry of GVJ. Jr. Be sure to put on your seatbelt when you listen to NO ROOM for SQUARES” (Hank Mobley, blue note) Nat Adderley’s JIVE SAMBA, Lou Donaldson, GRAVYTRAIN (1960s soul jazz classic)

George’s sinewy jazz sound shines on all the cuts in this beautiful session with just electrifying musicianship. Band personnel are; Devonte McCoy Trumpet, Elijah Easton saxophone, Herman Burney on Bass (I met years ago in Atlanta, when he was doing a gig with CEDAR WALTON trio) Allyn John Johnson Piano, Dana J. Hawkins drums, (**Steve Arnold bass). This ensemble brings a perfect balance of Dynamics while breathing new life into these classic, iconic tunes.

George has perfect command of his jazz vocabulary, which is not surprising since, he was mentored by the best, the Grand Pop of vocalese, Eddie Jefferson, and James Moody. Eddie even claimed George was the next in-line for sheer skill and dominance in jazz vocals. Its like having a “Magic Jukebox” that plays all the best tunes and in the right order too.

Recalling the electric pace of NO ROOM for SQUARES. It immediately takes me back to when my dad brought that album home, when I was just learning saxophone. Elijah Easton lit a fire under the Band, as if they needed more fuel, in his searing white hot solo, eating up bop changes like pancakes. ”This followed by a lucid, laser-focused solo by trumpeter Devonte McCoy. Allyn Johnson “brings the pain” on all the tunes he plays on.

It’s Johnson Jr. and him alone, who places you in a cozy Jazz Inn in Western USA or, on stage in a smoky, boozy spot tucked away along the Rhine River in Europe during the 1950s..Magic! Lol!! Whether you were diggin’ Miles, Monk, Trane or Mobley, even when they walked the earth, Or, You are a modern Hipster downloading all you can making playlists.. YOU MUST FIND ROOM for YOUR Majesty! You will Hear and see what the Barons of Bop saw in George going all the way back to 1974. He’s relentless in his attack of these songs, injecting his own personal touch that hangs over you like a Dexter Gordon 32 note phrase in Bopology and swing.

One other thing, what’s up with the “YOUR MAJESTY” thing?? Lol. I’m told it was gifted to him by another mentor John Malachi. When the jazz elders give you a nickname, you wear it with pride, like a “Blue Badge of Courage” and respect.

 George V. is the total package also, backgrounds in music, dance, and theater. Watching him perform onstage or just interact with the masters is a treat all in itself.  www.HipsterSanctuary.com gives this effort, FOUR STARS! My highest rating.  Why not grab two copies, one extra for a Pal or student trying to learn about jazz .. very approachable music even for beginners.

Walk Spirit Talk Spirit: YOUR MAJESTY ~ George V. Johnson,Jr. strikes the right chord with me. Get it at your favorite retail spot for recordings or downloads, or direct at www.georgevjohnsonjr.com

JAZZ ELEPHANTS STAMPEDE!


Jazz Elephants Stampede in Temecula,California 

One of the reasons I love covering jazz artists and groups that last long enough to see growth as a group , not just the individuals. I’ve worked with Don Littleton as a spoken word artist, MC and Promoter.. This group is a can’t miss act.. Right out the gate, Elephants nda Park dug into a Monk classic ,Bye-Ya.. A 32 bar ditty with added afro cuban Clave. Powerful playing by full band, but Pianist Mahesh Balysooria, demonstrated why he is becoming a first call jazz musician in Los Angeles..Mahesh is a USC music major alum and a busy pianist around town.

Great foundation laid-out by Mahesh on piano.. He then busted into,IMHO, a cross between McCoy Tyner and Omar Sosa intense solo, followed by drums and congas trading fours before returning back to the melody. A most improbable tune I didn’t see coming was, Giant Steps by John Coltrane, into massive bullet-trains of ideas moving through those Coltrane “changes” on saxophone by Pablo Cologero, Don’s right hand man in arrangements and directions for the band musically. 

Another great tune the band tackled was a doozy by George Coleman, Amsterdam After Dark. 

This ditty works its way around a great bassline and simple melody, but the Clave took over and had the electric audience up and on their feet. They were warned in the beginning that a stampede or house on Fire might come over the evening’s activity.  This band has started to raise a lot of eyebrows in So. Cal region and is open to going on the road to showcase this great group of musicians. The Bandleader , Don Littleton , a jazz veteran on percussion and traps. He was mentored by Billy Higgins, played with George Coleman, Hank Crawford and a who’s who in music, jazz in particular. 

Don dropped his latest group recording last year, Don Littleton and Elephants Nda Park ( see CD baby or your favorite download database under Don Littleton & Elephants Nda Park)     https://youtu.be/e5tfvno-29k 

Jazz lovers in Temecula  California , have been enjoying great straight ahead jazz at the Merc for the last 12 + years, hosted and curated by Ms. Sherry Williams, Vocalist/jazz presenter.  Everybody  loves to see her smiling face in the house, because you know it’s going to be great.

Sherry and her winning personality and smile, as she goes about the business of curating some of the best musicians jazz has to offer locally. The Merc has Jazz every Thursday evening @7:30pm ..for the rest of 2021. KEY concerts: Sept. 16th. Benn Clatworthy quartet.. Sept 23rd. “SOLD OUT” Al Williams for more info go to The Merc’s Website http://www.temeculatheater.org 866-653-8696

Award-Winning Playwright Set to Direct Hit Musical Revue Club Alabam


Hipster Sanctuary

Tu'Nook
Award-winning Playwright and Poet, Tu’Nook has been tapped to direct the Theatre Perception Consortium’s production, The Club Alabam. It was announced recently by Robert J. Carmack, company Marketing and Media Consultant.
Tu’Nook is an educator,performance poet,playwright and actress. She has been published in Guild Press Anthology,  “Full Circle Eight”, UCLA’s Black English Student Association Journal “TAZ” and, in the anthology, “Butterflies” on the Wind from Hunan/Guild Press Publishing House in China. Tu’Nook also has performed in various poetry venues and theatrical projects in Southern California.
TuNook  Alabam! 007
She is a co-author of the stage play, “Sweetwater Blues”, “DaRoot”, “Return”, and “North On South Central”. a 1940s jazz musical that was a 2004 NAACP Theater Award winner, Howlin’ Blues and Dirty Dogs(the life of Big Mama Thornton) a 2010 NAACP Theater Award winner, and the “Fiancée of Voo Doo. (an African Folktale)
While she takes her work in theater very serious, she still have…

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HORACE SILVER:LET’S GET TO THE REAL NITTY GRITTY 1928-2014


Hipster Sanctuary

posted by Robert J. Carmack                           #@blues2jazzguy

On June 18, we lost one of the few remaining Jazz giants, pianist Horace Silver.  As a serious fan of this man’s music, I have to take you all the way back to my early teen days in junior high, when I first heard a tune called Filthy McNasty.  A live set (recorded at the Village Gate) finds pianist/composer Horace Silver and his most acclaimed quintet (the one with trumpeter Blue Mitchell, tenor saxophonist Junior Cook, bassist Gene Taylor and drummer Roy Brooks) stretching out on four selections, including this song “Filthy McNasty in May 1961 .

Silver Keys

Its 1963, while most kids my age were groovin’ to Motown sounds,  a handful of  my special friends  and  I were learning instruments.

We soon got to take our parents records to…

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BLACK MUSIC MONTH SIZZLES??


Black Music month Sizzles! (OP/ED)

Los Angeles,Calif._ June Glides into Summer 2021 with a Bang as Throwbacks are “IN” Again!

In a recent conference on the state of affairs in music and entertainment. Though the scene looks devastated in some areas, and just plain “Busted and Disgusted” conditions for bars/supper clubs even at 50%.

One half of maximum patronage at one time is not cutting it”. In Los Angeles county alone, where a large portion of restaurants are under water. especially the small “Mom & Pop” cafe/ bistros for a niche market, they’re hit the heaviest. Musicians and all the support within the Entertainment business are hoping to see a major change by summer. The summer may be the “Sink or Swim” time for medium, large chains, and entertainment businesses. Follow us on @FreedomJazzDance at Facebook pages or email us at pocketjazz@musician.org

Pocket Jazz Presents  team are readying themselves with an eclectic bunch of dramatic shows with music of the era , such as Sam Cooke Legacy Revue, Nina Simone Tribute:High Priestess! Or, Charlie Parker Legacy Compositions:Wounded Feathers!  featured as a point of information and historical “Edutainment” series. Included, an Interview show about Artists interviewing Artists about ART.

ON FACEBOOK: Pocketjazzpresents page/ @FreedomJazzDance

Bombingham 63/ (They Called it Dynamite Hill) ~ produced by Robert J. Carmack and Vel Omarr with Naomi Stenson. Cast members ..Naomi Pryor-Stenson -Ms. Collins / Mechelle LaChaux- I.Willie Johnson -Music Minister, wife of Dr. Johnson/ Robert J. Carmack -Dr Robert J. Johnson

Vel Omarr, who stars as Sam Cooke in the original story, The Awakening stated, “We’re not just putting on a show, but actually in some cases , shedding new light on old myths and half truths . Black artists and their historical status” are sometimes left for self-interpretation. Pocket jazz produced a one night only show in 2018 .. it was a sold out performances, but could not extend the performances beyond the one night only dates.

COMING 2021/22

Pocket Jazz Presents~High Priestess- a Nina Simone Tribute~moving, dramatic showcase of the social /protest music from early 1960s. 1965 setting in Los Angeles, Pasadena, Calif. : while rehabbing from an injured right hand, Nina is surprised when interviewed by a reporter from Ebony magazine.  but he’s also from her hometown in North Carolina. Special curated songs and music, original writings based on a play  written by R.J. Carmack. Historical material about civil rights, the leaders who were part of the struggle. running time for show is 90 plus minutes. And, a Q&A session for ½ hour post-performance by artists and directors. Target : Educational , Theaters,and dinner clubs. Running time:2 hours Fees: TBA

Sam Cooke Legacy series: L.A. early 1962-1964 -dramatic scenes infused with the very popular Sam Cooke songs performed to perfection by Soul Singer/actor, Vel Omarr -5-7 piece band plus backing vocalists, additional actor-L.C. Cooke / brother. Show running time is 1.5 hours.

One thing for sure, Summer 2021 is certainly going to be a swim or sink moment in my humble opinion. As part of a creative team of artist, we look forward to audience returns in 100% formats.

Kamaad Tauhid is a contributing editor at Hipstersanctuary.com @blues2jazzguy email: pocketjazz@musician.org

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