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

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!

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!

OLD SCHOOL R&B LOVEFEST: EVENT IN SEARCH OF AN AUDIENCE


https://www.switchentertainmentworld.com/gallery

 Red Marine Entertainment Presents the OLD SCHOOL R&B LOVE FEST
SWITCH , SURFACE , GAP REVIEW  BALL HOOKER. (opening act..)
Real Old School Show: In Search of an audience.. I have been around or involved with the entertainment field for well over 50 years,music in particular. I know a good show when I hear or see one by individuals who really know what to to do with a chord or note. I was pleasantly surprised a few evenings ago as I sort of bumped into a great show. Just helping out my sister as a vendor at the California Education & Performing Arts Center in Ontario California,  11255 Central Avenue. Ontario,Calif.
RED Marine Entertainment recently presented an Old School R&B Lovefest… an evening of solid entertainment by classic Old School groups, Switch , Surface, The Gap Review(Tribute Band) along with opening act Kimball Hooker, male vocalist with some chops.. tagging and paying homage to artists like Keith Sweat.
DYNAMICALLY hosted by LA’s very own, ANGEL BABY – DJ Radio Host.
when you’re a vendor at these productions, you have to arrive early to load-in and get setup . get out of the way of artists moving in equipment, doing sound checks for next two hours. While I had lots of time on my hand, it also gave me an opportunity to move around , be curious as a journalist, as to who and what and why.
I chatted it up with some members of the various bands, production crews and VIP guests , who also arrived early for publicity pictures, video interviews and miscellaneous activities one does before show begins.
At first when my sister told me an old school show, my head automatically thought some mediocre wanna-bees. NOT!!
Listening to sound check of the various groups and singers/musicians, I quickly got a sense of “Oh Wow”, I just wish I had known about this show in advance.  I have my own opinions about that, but, leaving that to the side . Looking inside the cavernous hall with so many empty seats once the show began, I was shocked. Its like you and your lady or gent are all dressed up but no where to go. You just focused on how you looked and not how you were going to get there.
During the early to mid-’70s, Bobby DeBarge, Eddie Fluellen, Phillip Ingram (brother of James Ingram), Jody Sims, and Gregory Williams were in the Ohio-based White Heat, which subsequently morphed into Hot-Ice, an outfit that featured DeBarge, Sims, and Williams, as well as DeBarge’s brother Tommy. That band released an album on Polydor in 1977. Shortly thereafter, Jermaine Jackson helped them secure a contract with Motown offshoot Gordy. All of of this after a very awkward meeting in the Motown building in Hollywood.

As Switch, the band proved to be popular in clubs, as well as within the quiet storm radio format. Their singles There’ll Never Be” (1978), “I Call Your Name” (1979), and “Love Over and Over Again” (1981) reached the Top 10 of Billboard’s R&B chart. Throughout the 2000s, the band’s recordings were sampled by the likes of De La Soul (“A Brighter Tomorrow”), Ne-Yo (“It Just Ain’t Right”), Rich Boy (“Throw Some D’s”), and Erykah Badu (“That Hump”). Ingram, Williams, and Fluellen reunited, added new members, and have been bringing down the house ever since!

The Gap Band Review pays homage to The Gap Band, which is one of the most popular funk groups of the late ’70s, ‘80s to present time.  15 Top Ten R&B singles ranging from ferocious funk anthems to gorgeous slow jams. Many of their hits, such as “Burn Rubber (Why You Wanna Hurt Me)” and “You Dropped a Bomb on Me,” featured instantly memorable, rippling synthesizer bass-lines.

The Gap Band’s  run of hits spanned nearly 20 years, from 1977 through 1995. Their hits continued with “Shake”, “Open Up Your Mind”, “Don’t Stop the Music”, “Yearning for Your Love”, “Early in the Morning”, “Outstanding”, the title song to Keenan Ivory Wayans’ “I’m Gonna Git You Sucka” and more!

I wanted to catch the SURFACE show but was too busy by the time they were onstage. the little I did hear, was simply off the charts.. They performed without a band just DAT and  Flute with strong vocals.. my cut Get Closer ..The ’80s soft soul vocal trio known for such lush ballads as “Closer Than Friends” and the million-selling singles “Shower Me With Your Love” and the number one pop hit “The First Time” had one of its first charting records as artists signed to dance music pioneer Salsoul Records. “Falling in Love,” co-written by Surface member David Conley, doesn’t have much in common with the aforementioned titles other than the group name and a (presumably) Conley flute solo. The single made it to number 84 R&B in summer 1983 and the U.K. pop charts. Singer Bernard Jackson who grew up in Stamford, CT, got into the music business through his cousin who lived in New York.
Seizing the opportunity, he relocated to New York and began performing around the city. While doing a show in Stamford, his godfather suggested that he contact his nephew David Townsend who was also in the music business. Townsend, a former touring guitarist for the Isley Brothers, was the son of singer/songwriter/producer Ed Townsend who had a hit with “For Your Love” in summer 1958 and wrote the Impressions‘ “Finally Got Myself Together (I’m a Changed Man)” and co-wrote Marvin Gaye‘s “Let’s Get It On.” Around 1973, Townsend joined a band called the Port Authority where he met David “Pic” Conley. Townsend, whose father shared hit songwriting tips with him, began writing songs with Conley. After Townsend and Conley met Jackson it was decided that they’d write songs together. The trio became staff writers for EMI Music. Their songs were covered by New Edition (“Let’s Be Friends” from their 1985 MCA LP All for Love) and Sister Sledge (“You’re So Fine”). The trio became performers using the name Surface and moved to Los Angeles. An EMI Music executive brought one of their songs, “Let’s Try Again,” to the attention of Larkin Arnold of Columbia Records. Arnold‘s previous successes include Natalie Cole and Peabo Bryson. He signed the group to Columbia and their first single “Let’s Try Again” charted number 80 R&B in late 1986.
The debut album Surface included the smooth and sweet “Happy,” which hit number two R&B for two weeks in early 1987, “Lately” (number eight R&B), and the reissued “Let’s Try Again.” The next LP, 2nd Wave yielded “I Missed” (number three R&B), “Closer Than Friends” (number one R&B for two weeks in early 1989), the wedding standard “Shower Me With Your Love” (gold, number one R&B/number five pop), “You Are My Everything” (number one R&B for two weeks), and “Can We Spend Some Time” (number five R&B). Jackson brought the sheet music to a song he had written in 1986 to his friend, songwriter Brian Simpson, who had a recording studio in his garage. After listening to the finished demo tape, Jackson thought that he had a hit. Hiring a mobile 24-track recording studio truck to capture his vocal in the best professional conditions, Jackson sang “The First Time” in Simpson‘s house. “The First Time” was the first single from Surface’s 3 Deep album and went gold hitting number one R&B and holding the number one pop for two weeks in early 1991. While “The First Time” was topping the charts, Surface was one of the presenters at the American Music Awards and were enthusiastically congratulated. The hits continued with “All I Want Is You” (number eight R&B, early 1991) and “Never Gonna Let You Down.” “You’re the One” billed as Surface featuring Bernard Jackson made it to number 24 R&B, summer 1991. The group’s last charting single was “A Nice Time for Lovin'” included on their 1991 greatest hits LP The Best Surface: A Nice Time for Loving. Conley and Townsend also produced sides on Rebbie Jackson (“Reaction”) that are on The Rebbie Jackson Collection from U.K. label Expansion distributed by Sony/3MV. 

NYC PIANIST RUDI WONGOZI LAUNCHES LATEST RELEASE: JAZZ FOR R&B LOVERS


The word “Balance” has many definitions, especially as a verb or noun..the ones I chose to use here in speaking about Rudi Wongozi are; an even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady.

OR, a condition in which different elements are equal or in the correct proportions , as in “Trying to keep a balance between work and relaxation.   There are remarkable and key points to realize when you talk about the artistry of Rudi Wongozi.

I was honored and elated to write about Rudi Wongozi’s latest CD; JAZZ FOR R&B LOVERS. “the album for After the After-Party”. You see I met Rudi over 12 years ago when I was living in the San Francisco Bay area as a journalist and jazz show producer. initially introduced by a longtime friend of Wongozi, Mr. Duane Deterville, artist, cultural archivist, author and an authority on the African Diaspora. Me being new to the S.F. Bay area then and needing to meet as many new performance artists as possible, I was immediately attracted to Rudi’s whole approach to the piano. even more important, was his attitude about NOT being cast inside the proverbial music box. “Is he Jazz or is he R&B or Pop”?? Neither, what I saw and heard was pure music knowledge , unabridged or, even tainted by labels or categories.

Inside the organization I helped to found, San Francisco Bay Area African-American Musicians Association, we collaborated on a show in Tribute to the great saxophonist Jackie McLean. Rudi tackled the very complex music of Mclean easily as I wanted it to be respectful of the artist, but also I wanted to have lots of creative license. To build upon the original foundation while re-creating new images and patterns through my poetry. And, through the band I assembled to bring the soul and heat.

Rudi Wongozi  has a long standing reputation in the East Bay(Oakland/Berkeley) area of California as a first call pianist and bandleader or recording session player in the genres of Jazz and Pop, Soul and R&B.

The Album for After the After Party

In a brief phone chat recently with the very busy pianist, as he is now living in New York city. We spoke about him being able to carve out himself a nice piece of the grass-roots and underground audiences that are hungry for new voices and sounds.

Wongonzi has valid and “legit” Jazz chops. He also has that eclectic voice that in a subtle kind of way reminds me a little of Gil Scott Heron. his original song lyrics are spot on and most relevant today. Hence, an album for after the After-party..that part of the early morning when no one is sleepy, and don’t want the groove to stop. Rudi Wongozi brings it all home in his new production, Jazz for R&B Lovers. 

Rudi has done a stellar job in marrying the different genres of music and placing it in a funnel and letting it blend to a honeycomb of soul and panache’. Still retaining his remarkable flair for the dramatic entrances.

On the song menu are classics by such notables as Denise Williams,Luther Vandross, Eric Clapton and the great Eddie Jefferson to name a few, plus unforgettable original gems written by Rudi , Precious: when the morning comes.

“Like some of my musical heroes, Nina Simone and Curtis Mayfield..they too were hard to put inside a musical label box because their talent was so expansive and universally appealed to multiple audiences” stated Wongozi.

12 tracks of sheer delight and memories, even a straight ahead version of “BAD HABITS” penned by Maxwell, the neo-soul artist.

You have to approach this album with an open mind and heart. then you will quickly get it. and then have a ball at the Party after the After-Party.

“I wanted to write a love song album, but I also wanted to blend in the social in-justice that’s currently happening in our country now. seasoning it with scat, rap and hip hop grooves beats on certain cuts. a recipe for success by artistically integrating multi-genre with the experience of a master musician/songwriter. This record drops NOVEMBER 11 2018… online purchases or at your favorite CD retail outlets

written by Robert J. Carmack, editor in chief, Hipster Sanctuary.com,actor,jazz poet and musician-@blues2jazzguy

press relations or more info regarding concerts or CD listening parties email us at; wongozi@yahoo.com

SAXOPHONIST TEODROSS AVERY QUARTET EXPLORES MONK & COLTRANE


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In a recently held concert on the campus of my Alma Mater, California State University Dominguez Hills, Dr. Teodross Avery addressed a SRO audience on the rare compositions of Jazz icons John Coltrane and Thelonious Monk.  Avery , a professor of music at the university, curated an eclectic list of compositions by the two masters. Several of the tunes , rarely played on bandstands today, offered as proof of the complexity and challenges of playing compositions by Monk or Trane. a couple of favorites of mine were presented in their full, regal splendor, Trinkle Tinkle by Monk and The Promise by Coltrane.

As a musician, Dr. Teodross Avery stands as one who defines live music—best experienced in front row, and full throttle. His commanding presence, on stage and off, reflects his musical ingenuity and skill. With an outstanding pedigree, both professionally and academically, Teodross is a saxophonist to watch, as evidenced by many of today’s biggest names in music relying on his wide musical reach.

While growing up in Oakland and Vacaville, California, Teodross’ parents exposed him to a wide range of music including traditional Eastern and Western African music, Soul, Rock, and Jazz.  Dr. Avery put together a very solid jazz unit for the Thursday night crowd at the school.

In the band with Teodross was, veteran bassist, Henry “Skipper” Franklin, former drummer for Jay Leno’s TV show, Marvin “Smitty” Smith, journeyman pianist, Theo Saunders. Saunders was on fire on several tunes by Monk.    (https://www.teodrossavery.com) the rare composition “The Promise” was opened with a Franklin pizzicato solo for a great introduction to this spiritual composition.

 

 

 

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CELEBRATING THE BIRTH OF JOHN COLTRANE~ EILE~ SPIRITUAL JAZZ ENSEMBLE


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!

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