COMING!! What was this Man’s Legacy? We Will Soon Explore the Great Bo Diddley


Coming Soon a Retro-Profile on The Great Bo Diddley – Blues Legend
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Hipster Retro: Coming Soon Interview with Woodwinds/Percussionist Derf Reklaw


Derf Reklaw
Derf Reklaw
‘The Pharaohs were one of the forgotten treasures of ’70s R&B, a freewheeling jazz-funk congregation heavily influenced by Chicago’s jazz avant-garde as well as on-the-one funk and African motifs.’
 Unfortunately, they recorded only one album before Earth, Wind & Fire frontman Maurice White (who played in an early version of the Pharaohs) hired several of its members to form the Phenix Horns, the justly celebrated horn section for Earth,Wind &Fire during the 70s.
The group was formed from several jazz bands active around Chicago’s Afro Arts Theater, a community educational collective.
One of the bands, the Jazzmen, was formed in the early ’60s around trumpeter Charles Handy, trombone player Louis Satterfield, and alto Don Myrick (along with three who didn’t survive later conglomeration: pianist Fred Humphrey, bassist Ernest McCarthy, and drummer Maurice White). The other main component of the Pharaohs was the Artistic Heritage Ensemble, who had already recorded one late-’60s LP with cornetist, Philip Cohran, a veteran of Sun Ra’s Arkestra and AACM.
By the time of the Pharaohs’ 1971 recording debut, Awakening, the group included Handy, Myrick, and Satterfield plus Big Willie Woods on trombone, Oye Bisi and Shango Njoko Adefumi on African drums, Yehudah Ben Israel on guitar and vocals, Alious Watkins on trap drums, Derf Reklaw-Raheem on percussion and flute, and Aaron Dodd on tuba.

Back in the ’60s, before the Pharaohs were formed, Handy, Satterfield, and Maurice White had often contributed to sessions at Chicago’s Chess studios, so when White recorded a demo for a new band he wanted to form, both Handy and Satterfield appeared on it. After he signed to Warner Bros., they also began recording Earth,Wind &Fire material and eventually were officially hired by White as the Phenix Horns, with the addition of Pharaohs Yehudah Ben Israel and Rahm Lee, plus Michael Harris. The Pharaohs soldiered on until 1973, but called it quits without recording another studio album.

Derf Reklaw became a respected world-jazz leader, while Woods and Dodd both appeared on many soul sessions around Chicago during the ’70s. In 1996, the acid jazz label Luv ‘N’ Haight reissued Awakening and also released the 1972 live outing, In the Basement.
John Bush, All Music Guide(reprinted from all music guide-2008

Jazz Saxophonist Dale Fielder: Tribute to Jazz Legend Pepper Adams


Re-Posted by Robert Carmack  via Dale Fielder

Dear Jazz Enthusiasts

I’d like to take a moment to thank all our supporters (you know who you are!) for all the positive vibes, support and coming out to attend our performances throughout the year!  Pretty much, this is what it’s all about for us jazz musicians.  Simply to play for YOU!  For your enjoyment of this great music!  Without you, we can do nothing!

As I speak, our new CD concentrating on the music of the Donald Byrd/Pepper Adams Quintet of 1958-1961 entitled: “Each Time I Think of You” by the Dale Fielder Tribute Quintet is at the pressing plant and will be available on our ‘street date’ of October 16th.  This project has overcome numerous obstacles to finally see the light of day.  I am very proud of our “Never Give Up” attitude shown by all involved with making this CD a reality.  Because of the support of those around me, I am resolved and inspired to continue to push on even through the darkest of days.  The new CD will also feature our QR code where you can scan your smartphone over it and it will direct you to our new and soon to be upgraded Dale Fielder Activities website!

We have our BIG WEEK coming up this October 17th thru the 20th.  Founded by Pepper Adam’s biographer Gary Carner, we are anchoring the Los Angeles leg of the the 1st International Pepper Adams Jazz Festival.  Here’s the details as of today:

  • Catalina Bar & Grill – Oct 17th  An all-star quintet featuring Jazz’s #1 baritone saxophonist Gary Smulyan from NYC and Grammy-Nominated pianist Eric Reed joins myself, Trevor Ware on bass and Don Littleton on drums for a performance featuring the music of jazz legend, Pepper Adams.  Also on hand will be Adams’ biographer Gary Carner who will serve as MC for the evening as well as featuring the release of his new book on Adams entitled:  “Pepper Adams Joy Road”.  $15 cover.
  • Crowne Plaza LAX – Oct 18th  The official Los Angeles release of the Dale Fielder Tribute Quintet’s new CD “Each Time I Think of You” with a performance by the Tribute Quintet featuring Dale Fielder-baritone sax, Nolan Shaheed-trumpet, Jane Getz-piano, Trevor Ware-bass & Don Littleton-drums. There will be 3 sets of some hot, swinging jazz!  Y’all know how it is and how much fun we have when we play there!  No Cover!
  • Soka University Performing Art Center – Oct 19th  The San Diego area official release of the Dale Fielder Tribute Quintet’s new CD “Each Time I Think of You” with a performance by the Tribute Quintet featuring Dale Fielder-baritone sax, Nolan Shaheed-trumpet, Jane Getz-piano, Trevor Ware-bass & Don Littleton-drums as well as a live audio and video recording of the evening by impresario Jim Merod.   Also on hand will be Adams’ biographer Gary Carner who will serve as MC for the evening as well as featuring the release of his new book on Adams entitled:  “Pepper Adams Joy Road”.  $28, $21 for students.
  • Vibrato Grill Jazz – Oct 20th  An all-star quintet again featuring the great Gary Smulyan. Unfortunately pianist Eric Reed as advertised, will not be able to join us as we had to let him go to perform 4 nights with Delfeayo Marsalis.  However this night, we get to stretch out here in 2 great sets with the superb pianist Theo Saunders, Pat Senatore-bass & Ramon Banda on drums.  Herb Alpert’s joint is one of the classiest and best places to play in town!  No Cover!

I truly hope you all can come out to one or more of these events.  I promise you will hear some of the hardest-hitting jazz in the tradition the great Pepper Adams pioneered.  Also you can pick out our new CD and Gary Carner’s great new book and CDs.  Heck we’ll even have some T-shirts on hand!

See you out there!

~Dale

About The Soul & Heart of Great Music


About. Unsung musicians of Jazz, Blues and Soul Genres. We’ll profile,explore, interview and publicize information to commemorate, or uplift the legacy of these artists who gave it their all during their time in the public’s eye. From time to time, we may have special events recognizing these artists as groups, or individually honoring them. We will also include those individuals who contributed to the innovations and quality of the music through Press,Radio and Film. Artists emerging or still performing on a high level will be acknowledged as well. follow robert j.carmack :@blues2jazzguy on twitter

ALEPH RECORDS TO RELEASE JAMES MORRISON SNAPPY TOO


Snappy Too is the Follow-Up to the Gold Certified Album Snappy Doo

Los Angeles, CA – Aleph Records will release James Morrison’s new recording Snappy Too on September 11, 2012.  The album is the sequel to the 1990 release Snappy Doo, which featured Morrison along with three legendary artists (Ray Brown, Herb Ellis, and Jeff Hamilton) creating a seventeen-piece big band sound through the use of overdubbing.

“It was tremendous fun and the album went gold,” said Morrison of Snappy Doo.  “I knew I’d want to do a ‘sequel’ at some stage but it has taken over two decades to finally get around to it. Sadly, in the meantime we have lost Ray and Herb, so when the time came to choose musicians for this recording I had a decision to make – do I replace them (who could?) or do we stick with the original band…meaning Jeff and I alone?”

Morrison made the decision that, since no players could replace Brown and Ellis and in the spirit of Snappy Doo, to record Snappy Too with Jeff alone. Which meant that he had to pull out his acoustic bass and brush up on guitar, in addition to playing trumpet, trombone, sax, and piano as he did for the first album.

Morrison joked, “after many laughs, a few tears and a lot of writing, blowing, strumming and plucking, we now have the long awaited Snappy Too a seventeen piece big band album where you only have to get two autographs on the cover to have the whole band!”

The recording of Snappy Too started in Morrison’s studio in Sydney, Australia. “Last time (Snappy Doo) we started with the rhythm section and then layered the brass and saxes on top,” Morrison described. “This time I started with a single trumpet and gradually built up all the horns until we had thirteen. Next I added the bass, then guitar and finally piano.”

The recording then shifted to Los Angeles where Hamilton added the drum tracks and Morrison played a few improvised solos.  “It was really something to see a man who is arguably the world’s best big band drummer sitting there playing away on his own – while listening to sixteen ‘other’ guys who weren’t in the room!” Morrison said.  “I can’t tell you how hard that is, playing drums to a band that is already there and can’t respond to anything you do – but I can tell you that nobody else could do it better than Jeff Hamilton.”

One person whose contributions were essential to the recording of Snappy Too was recording engineer Tod Deeley.  Morrison explained, “The recording engineer is always important when capturing music but in this case, where the band was created by over-dubbing so many tracks, the engineer becomes almost one of the players. For many of the hours that it took to create this work, there were only two people in the studio – Tod and myself. This meant that I was relying not only on his expertise as an engineer but also on his musicality, to advise when we needed another take, when tuning was an issue, when the groove was shifting. This is something that not any engineer could do – but that’s ok because Tod isn’t just any engineer, he’s a musician that I trust to know when the music is right.”

Morrison continued, “It’s been an odyssey creating this album and I feel lucky to be able to do it. I hope you delight in listening to what for me has been a labor of love and joy.”

James Morrison Snappy Too will be released by Aleph Records on September 11, 2012.

ABOUT JAMES MORRISON
James Morrison is, by anybody’s standard, a virtuoso in the true sense of the word. Besides the trumpet, this multi-instrumentalist also plays trombone, euphonium, flugelhorn, tuba, saxophone, double bass and piano.

At the age of seven, Morrison was given his first instrument, at nine he formed his first band and at thirteen he was playing professionally in nightclubs. His international career developed just as quickly. At only age 16 he debuted in the USA with a breathtaking concert at the Monterey Jazz Festival.

Following this were performances at the big festivals in Europe including Montreaux, Pori, North Sea, Nice and Bern – playing with many of the legends of jazz. Dizzy Gillespie, Cab Calloway, Woody Shaw, Red Rodney, George Benson, Ray Charles, B.B. King, Ray Brown and Wynton Marsalis to name a few. There were also gigs in the worlds most famous jazz clubs – The Blue Note and Village Vanguard in New York, the New Morning in Paris and Ronnie Scotts in London.

James Morrison’s career thus far has been diverse and perhaps not typical of most jazz musicians. He recorded Jazz Meets the Symphony with The London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Lalo Schifrin, performed concerts at the Royal Albert hall with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden for Princess Anne. Royal command performances on two occasions for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and for US Presidents Bush & Clinton at Parliament House in Australia. He was also the artistic advisor to the Sydney Symphony’s “Kaleidoscope” series, which has included performances by Chick Corea, Dianne Reeves, Gary Burton and Kristjan Jarvi.  In 1997, Morrison was recognized for his service to the arts in Australia and awarded a medal of The Order of Australia.

Morrison spends much time in education, doing master classes and workshops in many countries and presenting the James Morrison Jazz Scholarship at Generations in Jazz. An avid user of the latest technologies James is very involved in furthering the presence of jazz and music education on the Internet and also uses computers extensively in his writing, recording and performances.
Follow Robert Carmack and this blog on twitter @blues2jazzguy.

 

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Kindred Spirits: Ndugu Chanceler


Kindred Spirits: Ndugu Chanceler 

It’s not often you get an opportunity to actually watch the professional growth of a musician up-close through most of their career,but in the case of Leon “Ndugu” Chanceler,I did. There’s many good things about growing up in Los Angeles in the 1950s or 60s..You had opportunities a kid from Shreveport, Louisiana during that era was never going to have. My parents moved us to Los Angeles in 1960. 

By 1963,I was learning saxophone and music theory. As in the case of Ndugu Chanceler, he too was from Shreveport, Louisiana. he started playing and studying music at 13,He grew up in LA (Watts area)in the 60s,just like me! I graduated from Cal State University Dominguez Hills, so did he. I guess that makes us kindred spirits and “Home Boys”. But that’s where the the meter on his side rises and explodes off the Charts. One Night, I was attending the famous jazz club, the Lighthouse where Willie Bobo & the BoGents were the group performing. Willie Bobo, a Purveyor of great talent,a master drummer- percussionist himself. He no longer playing the “Traps”.

 Bobo was out front now on timbales and vocals.. but, seated behind this mountain of drums,cymbals,and gear, was this youngster who hardly looked all of 15 or so. It was,at that time Leon(Ndugu) on drums. And man! could he play. I cut my teeth on listening to all the jazz masters on drums and seeing all I could, when they came to the Lighthouse or Shelly’s Manne Hole in Los Angeles. Billy Higgins,Frank Butler, Louis Hayes,Max Roach and Art Blakey frequented the LA club scene often.. I now have a guy from my generation who displays all of the jazz history and legacy into his playing AND,then piles on monstrous groove patterns at tremendous tempos with the greatest of ease,smiling like he just ate the canary! That was my introduction to Ndugu Chanceler! 

In my humble opinion, the two “baddest Cats” on drums coming out of Los Angeles late 60s to early 70s were, Ndugu Chanceler and “Sunship” Theus(RIP) another great drummer from my generation. These drummers were younger than Jack DeJohnette, Billy Hart,Billy Cobham, but still played on a higher level as the 70s emerged. Jazz went all “Electric Fusion”,Fender Rhodes pianos Synthisizers(MOOG)technology was in play, and Ndugu was was right in the middle of that music era strong! Still maintaining his roots in Jazz performing with the likes of Freddie Hubbard, Miles Davis, Bobby Hutcherson, and Gerald Wilson Big Band. In a flash of an eye, doubling up on calls with George Duke, Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock’s Jazz Fusion bands. In addition, his recording sessions list was equally stellar also. Chanceler has also worked with Stanley Clarke,Jean-Luc Ponty,Donna Summer,George Duke,Patrice Rushen,Carlos Santana,Hubert Laws,The Crusaders,Frank Sinatra,Weather Report,Lionel Richie,Kenny Rogers,Thelonious Monk,Herbie Hancock and John Lee Hooker. Most famous of all, The King of Pop.” Michael Jackson! THE Drummer on Thriller’s Billy Jean”. 

Ndugu(Leon)Chanceler, from his humble beginnings in Los Angeles at Holy Chapel Missionary Baptist Church under Pastor William Cobbs,to, Grammy winning recordings,to being honored at the University of Southern California’s  www.usc.edu/visionsandvoices Visions and Voices Humanities & Arts program Sept 23. 

60 years of Life & Music!

Chanceler is also a member of Percussive Arts Society and has been named as one of the top 25 Drummers in the world! Follow Robert J. Carmack discussions and reviews on jazz at twitter: @blues2jazzguy