EPISTROPHY – LAST DATE – June 2,1964 Holland
Featuring: Eric Dolphy(Flute, Bass Clarinet, Alto Sax)
Blase featuring Dave Burrell: Piano, Philly Joe Jones: Drums, Jeanne Lee: Voice, Archie Shepp: Tenor Saxophone, Julio Finn: Harp,
Chicago Beau: Harp, Lester Bowie: Trumpet
Happy Birthday, Dizzy Reece …Just revisiting a great Unsung trumpeter; You want a passionate player to interpret your favorite standards or just conjure up the tenacity of those fiery jam sessions of the 40s, Check Dizzy Reece! After spending the 1950s playing in Paris, Jamaican bebop trumpeter Dizzy Reece landed in New York City in 1960. He has played with many since including Dexter Gordon, John Gilmore, Victor Feldman, and Tubby Hayes yet the recognition he truly deserves has proven elusive.
Reece was born on the 5th of January 1931 in Kingston, Jamaica, the son of a silent film pianist. He attended the Alpha Boys School (famed in Jamaica for its musical alumni), switching from baritone to trumpet when he was 14 years old. A full-time musician from the age of 16, he moved to London in 1948 and spent the 1950s working in Europe, much of that time in Paris. He played with Don Byas, Kenny Clarke, Frank Foster and Thad Jones, among others.
Winning praise from the likes of Miles Davis and Sonny Rollins, he emigrated to New York City in 1959, but found New York in the 1960s a struggle. Reece recorded a series of critically acclaimed records on the Blue Note label, which were reissued on Mosaic in 2004 that gave fans hope of a comeback. Still active as a musician and writer, Reece has recorded over the years with Victor Feldman, Tubby Hayes, Paris Reunion Band, Clifford Jordan’s Big Band, tenor saxophonist Dexter Gordon, fellow trumpeter Ted Curson, pianist Duke Jordan, long-time Sun Ra alumni saxophonist John Gilmore and drummer Philly Joe Jones.Reece wrote the music for the 1958 Ealing Studios film Nowhere to Go. follow #RobertJCarmack @blues2jazzguy on twitter
re-post by Robert J. Carmack of a blog originally posted by Eric Wattree
I recently watched the debate between columnist Stanley Crouch and percussionist James Mtume on the evolution of modern jazz with great interest. Crouch, the steadfast jazz purist, essentially took the position that much of what’s passing for jazz today is actually a corruption of the art form, while Mtume took the position that Crouch was simply out of touch with the new face of jazz. . In my opinion, Stanley Crouch was right, and James Mtume was simply remaining consistent with what his musical philosophy seems to advocate – playing to the audience and giving applause priority over substance. But Crouch made the mistake of not framing the issue in a way that would allow him to sieze the bottom line. It’s not about the new versus the old; what the discussion is actually about is quality versus lesser quality, and that can be measured. . First, just because something is new doesn’t mean that it’s better. The problem with a lot of electronic music is electronics is being used to camouflage a lack of technical competence. There’s so much noise and electronic distortion going on that it gives the musicians the “freedom” to play bad notes, be less than melodic, and play musical nonsense. Where, on the other hand, acoustic music is intimate. It’s purely about the musician and his technical ability. Period. If Bud Powell played a bad note, or played the wrong chord progression, it would stick out like a soar thumb. But if he was playing electronic music there’s so much chaos and distortion going on that nobody would notice. Mtume was also talking about “technical exhaustion.” He said that after a given time, in a given context, everything has been played that can be played in a given form of music. That’s also nonsense – in fact, the ability to do something new with the rhythm and chord progressions of “Stella by Starlight” is exactly what we mean by art. .
|Wattree’s Chord Chart|
There are only ten basic numbers known to mankind – 0 to 9. Yet we can take those ten numbers and combine them in an inexhaustible number of ways. On the other hand, there are TWELVE notes in music, and just like with numbers, you can build an infinite number of scales, chords, and rhythmic constructions with those twelve notes. So Mtume’s claim that you can “exhaust” the possibilities of what can be played on a saxophone is total and demonstrable nonsense. . The fact is, Miles started having problems with his chops so he went into retirement. But he loved music so much that he wanted to get back into the game, so being the genius that he was, he simply INVENTED a form of music that he could play. Then we had a generation of musicians who came along behind him, who didn’t have a vision of their own, that built an entire musical movement based on what Miles created to accommodate his old age and disability. . And finally, Mtume justified this “new music” by saying that it inspired young people who weren’t previously into jazz.
But the fact is, art is NEVER suppose to lower itself to accommodate the tastes of the lowest common denominator of the people. Art is suppose to raise the consciousness of the people up to it. That’s why it’s called art. . But the fact is, there’s a very simple way of resolving this debate over the relative merit of this so-called “new thing” over traditional jazz. Just like with good parenting, you can measure quality by what quality produces. So we can easily measure the relative quality of the two eras by measuring the quality of what the two respective eras have produced. Where is today’s equivalent of Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk, Bud Powell, Miles Davis, Dexter Gordon, or Jackie McLean? And where are today’s jazz standards, like ‘So What,’ ‘Round Midnite,’ ‘Moody’s Mood for love,’ ‘Impressions’ or ‘A Night in Tunisias?’ I’ll tell you where – they don’t exist. . The great jazz standards of the past are no longer being produced because the towering jazz giants who produced them have become all but a thing of the past.
I can’t think of one person of the stature of Dexter Gordon, John Coltrane, or Jackie McLean that’s been produced in over thirty years, and there’s a good reason for that – the quality of the music that’s been produced over the past thirty years is not conducive to producing people of that stature and creative ability. That in itself should close the case on this debate.
The musicians of the Bebop and Hard Bop eras understood from the outset that they weren’t going to get rich playing the music that they loved, so they sought to validate themselves through excellence, while many of today’s musicians are in a hurry to learn their chromatic scale so they can run out and achieve wealth and fame – they figure they can learn to play in Gb Maj while they’re on the road. Then they get out and play distorted chord progressions, add a thunderous beat and loud electronic distortion to camouflage their limitations, and label it as “The New Thang.” Thereafter, they slap one another on the back as brilliant, and dismiss those of us who recognize it as noise as being “out of touch.” .
So the bottom line is, many of the so-called musical “revolutionaries” never took the time to learn what jazz is really about. Jazz is more than just another form of music, and it’s not just fun-n-games. Jazz is also a way of life. There’s a political component to it – a way of thinking that reflects a unique way of viewing reality. So jazz purists are not simply upset over a modified beat and the introduction of electronics, they’re also upset over the caving in to mediocrity and the abandonment of the political principles and qualities that jazz represents. . After all, one of the greatest contributions that jazz has made to the black community is informing the world that we’re not the frivolous and thoughtless people in which we’d previously been portrayed. The harmonic complexity of bebop served to bring the dazzling intellectual capacity of black people to the world stage.
So naturally, jazz purist are both reluctant and hostile to going back to the people-pleasin’ days of what is essentially a musical form of Steppin’-Fetchism. . Jazz has traditionally been the cultural anthem of social revolutionaries – both black and white – who are willing to fight the good fight. Thus, jazz purists resent the mongrelization and surrender of those principles in lieu of “Can we all just get along?” To them, that represents the selling of our principles. That’s why the word “commercialism” is looked upon with such disdain. So you can’t just put a funky beat behind noise and call it jazz, because once you go frivolous, the spirit of jazz has been abandoned. While jazz does kick up it’s heels on occasion, it’s a very serious form of music that’s designed to appeal to the mind, not just the Ass. For that reason, a logical and organized structure is essential to its character. Without that, and it’s arrogantly distinctive swagger, it’s not jazz – Period.
Remembering Bo Diddley: posted by Phillip Moore
One of my favorite annual events is the Austin Record Convention, one of the largest Record Collectors & Memorabilia exhibit in the world. 1993 would prove very special in my quest to grow my personal memorabilia pieces and buy key vinyl records and posters for the Records Store I’d managed for over a decade. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3jrIK7YB0tE
Meeting Rock & Roll pioneer Bo Diddley was not on my mind when I woke up that morning in 1993. One of the most amazing thing that ever happened to me, and little did I know I would have the meeting of my life. As I was making my way around the huge event looking, and gazing at all sorts of memorabilia .I locked in on a man over to the side signing posters,books & album jackets , He had a familiar face , as I got closer, the identifying “horn-rim” glasses. It was Bo Diddley himself. Chatting with the legend, We talked about Chess Records,The Fillmore Auditorium in San Francisco and Bill Graham.He had nothing but good things to say about Graham.
Besides getting his personal autograph, I was there to buy records and other items for the record store I managed everyday. while recalling a time he played at the San Francisco landmark Concert venue, I laid down a poster from that era and he quickly remembered..like a light bulb snapping on in a dark room. Looking over the classic poster he said”I still can’t read my name on this.”
” Bo Diddley is the man!!” he will always have my respect.whether its for being an innovator in Rhythm& Blues music,the custom guitar, or, for standing up to Ed Sullivan to not dilute his music performance by playing a song by Ernie Ford, “16 Tons” . Diddley recorded on Chess Records from 1955 to 1976.
Oddly enough, in the late 80s, Bo recorded a live album with Ron Wood of the “Rolling Stones” and even toured with Ronnie Wood.
With his sound influencing several generations of musical stars, Bo was also a ground-breaker with women musicians in his regular band. they weren’t just eye-candy, these ladies could play hard. The Duchess,Lady Bo ,Cookie and Debbie Hastings,all were alumni of the Do Diddley band over the five decades plus he performed.
Bo was one of the nicest people I’ve ever met. Sadly after a long battle with bad health, Bo Diddley passed in 2008.
It was reported his last words were, “I am gonna go to heaven” . Let us never forget this man and every thing he did for music and in life.