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


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.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/QHZe2BFtmrgti6sF8

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

GLOBAL SOUL DEBUT! Voices From THe Window:Ric Powell


MUSIC PRODUCER Ric Powell..Everything Everything! 1970 debut of Donny Hathaway Atlantic Records/50th year anniversary 2020!

LOCAL ARTISTS COLLABORATE ON POST PANDEMIC PROJECTS


Los Angeles,Calif. It was announced today by Pocket Jazz Presents creator and chief content developer,Robert J. Carmack, MFA. Story by Kamaad Tauhid

Robert J. Carmack, writer, producer and musician, is currently arranging a new collective made up of elite unsung artists and craftspeople the pandemic forgot about.. actors,musicians, poets,painters,sculptors, music arrangers,set designers,sound and lighting. 

Pocket Jazz Presents was formed as themed, small jazz concerts produced by Carmack ,in and around the Los Angeles / Southern California area. hence, pocket-size jazz concert, big in quality and creativity, infusing jazz,poetry and Improv theater together.

One of the most innovative ways of telling stories about Black Historical characters or events that were traumatic or Game-changing. Voices From the Window series; a collection of short vignettes and infotainment programs to educate and entertain. Beginning, April  25 2021,  the new series will debut on several Facebook pages: VOICES FROM the WINDOW- a Zoom formatted show about social change subject matter,black historic characters, and past events that impacted the lives of a people..‘

Debuting Voices from the Window – a 30 min interview with artists on artists about artists- April 25th – Donny Hathaway: Everything Everything – 50 Years! Special Guest, Ric Powell – producer/co writer, musician and co-publisher. album released 1970.

April 27-  The Awakening: Sam and L.C. Cooke- a dramatic fantasy about Sam Cooke awakening to find his Brother,L.C. staring at him, asking him questions. Since Cooke died in 1964, ??

April 30- Dynamite Hill:Bombingham 63 – a dramatic and searing look into the lives of four select characters from the Alabama 16th street church bombing in 1963, 4 girls dead and many severely injured.Pocket Jazz Presents are creating the concepts and arranging the historical data into a dramatic presentation. All performed improv, no scripts!

Its riveting and speaks volumes of early black theater memories of NEC, or Karamu House, Mafundi Institute and Paul Robeson players, in which Robert was a co-founding member going back to 1972. 

Mr. Carmack went out and recruited his old friends from his early years with The Paul Robeson Players, former players include Vel Omarr and Naomi Pryor-Stenson. characters and cast members ~

The Awakening: cast~ Sam Cooke/Vel Omarr   and L.C. Cooke- Robert J. Carmack,MFA ~ Dynamite Hill: cast~ Naomi Pryor-Stenson as Sister Collins..Vel Omarr as Deacon Trass, Mechelle LaChaux as Mrs./Mother Johnson and Robert  J. Carmack as Dr. Robert Johnson, DDM & surgery

Voices From the Window_ a innovative approach of relaxed informal chat with artists on artists about art with artists.all in a Zoom format, opening up to Q&A after show and engaging through email or texts. Hosted by Robert J. Carmack and Vel Omarr, both men, are producers for Pocket Jazz Presents. 

Coming attractions: Ric Powell musician producer and songwriter Donny Hathaway story/ everything everything. Jazz musician and saxophonist Ghasem Batamuntu, Sandra Booker.  June 2021- Black Music Month!

For more details follow us on facebook  Pocketjazzpresents/ @Freedomjazzdance or http://www.hipstersanctuary.com 951-840-7120

Vel Omarr as Sam Cooke and Robert J. Carmack as brother, L.C. Cooke

WHO ARE THE POCKET JAZZ CONTRIBUTORS: LEADERSHIP/FACILITATORS


POCKET JAZZ MANAGEMENT ~ Robert J. Carmack-Band Leader,Producer, Writer, Actor, Director, Publicity, Percussion,

Photo Artists: Chuck Koton, Robert J. Carmack, Valerie Huffman-Herring, Craig Johnson

Artists (Painters, Assemblage,Graphics) SAM PACE, MICHAEL BRADLEY, SANDRA MARCHAND

Musicians: Robert J. Carmack -percussion/sax/spoken word,Bobby West-Piano, Keyboards,music directo ~Andrew Acosta, all Percussion & Toys, Don Littleton Traps/ Percussion, Pablo Cologero -flutes,saxes and bass clarinet, Mike Alvidrez basses electric & acoustic.. Aladeen- sax/vocals

Booking Roster: Jazz groups-MAIA all-female jazz ensemble, Acknowledgement, Plight and Elephants Nda Park

Actors: Robert J. Carmack, Phil Bell, Pat Sligh, Windy Barnes-Farrell, Michelle LaChaux,TBA

Poets: Robert J. Carmack, TBA                                                                           

             

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THE SOUL OF LOS ANGELES:LOCAL JAZZ ARTISTS MAKING MOVES AGAIN


Kamaad Tauhid  @blues2jazz2003  #PocketJazz

Rita Edmonds vocalist and saxophonist Dale Fielder

 

Bobby Bradford on Coronet

Bobby West

 

Robert Johnson Blues master on his way to the Crossroads ART BY Sam Pace

Mz. Santamaria strings of Fire!

SISTAS’ DOIN’ IT : FIREY STRING SISTAS!


Coming April 20th 2019  a creative, diverse Jazz chamber-like Improvisational music in an all-female band . I will be chatting with the founder and leader of this band of stellar musicians, Ms. Nioka Workman and the Firey String Sistas, they also include the offspring of legendary jazz musicians.. follow us on http://www.hipstersanctuary.com

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