Best Yard Bird 99th Event: 21 Toot Salute in Los Angeles


August 29th is a very famous birthday for various people..One for Michael Jackson so-called King of Pop, but this one is about the King of Be Bop Saxophonists Charlie Parker or, aka, Yard Bird! The Jazz community in Leimert Park was honoring the “Bird” on his 99 birthday.

Parker a 34 year old man died in March 1955, months before his 35th Birthday. Before that happened, Yard Bird or “Charlie’ was known as the absolute truth on jazz saxophone. Most youngsters or vet musicians wanted to play and sound like him..some even went to the pits of hell with major drugs and its abuse to follow the Bird. After saying all that, Robert J. Carmack wrote a play about the man, about the two inner-men other that “Bird,” Most people knew nothing about.. the others were the man as Father, Husband and musical genius!. Carmack’s play was not being performed, but a fictional dramatic scene from the tragic story of Parker through the eyes of a person who only wanted to be loved and to love those as he loved the music.

The amazing evening’s entertainment package consisted of a hand picked group of L.A. experienced musicians and a newcomer that’s trending very positive as a budding master of Jazz. Drummer/percussionist-Don Littleton’s Super Trio :James Leary Bass, Robert “Bobby” Pierce piano, Jazz soloists were Randall Willis Alto, Charles Owens Tenor and jazz sensation Chris Astoquillca on alto. Host/MC: Robert J. Carmack- producer, writer and actor.

The enthusiastic audience were up clapping and yelling from their seats because the musicians were off into another gear, especially young saxophonist Chris Astoquillca. who was let loose in second set and He did not disappoint. The buzz around Leimert Park Village the NEXT day told the true story. Chris made an IMPRESSION on the veteran players and the audience. Carmack is thinking ahead and looking forward to the followup event in November, Thanksgiving weekend…

POCKET JAZZ PRESENTS: CTI RECORDs Tribute ~ California Concert Redux 2! November 2019 music of Freddie Hubbard, Stanley Turrentine , Esther Phillips, Hank Crawford,Grover Washington,George Benson and other surprises..follow us on face book ~ Pocket Jazz Presents..#CaliforniaConcertRedux2

Robert J. Carmack has already begun discussions around presenting the entire play in August of 2020. Carmack has planned for a multi-night special event in 2020, on Charlie Parker Birthday next year in both Los Angeles, and San Francisco.. a Play – Night of Poets and Jazz Nu Beat Poets Society and Visual Artists(Painters,Sculptors and Assemblage art.

Producer/ Pocket Jazz Presents with Blues & Jazz singer/entrepreneur, Barbara Morrison outside the Barbara Morrison Theater LA Calif.

COMING SOON New Jazz Legends Series Pocket Jazz Presents! 2019/2020

About the producer: Robert J. Carmack He was first exposed to jazz in the late 1950s, as a kid watching the Steve Allen show. He would play with famous musicians, Robert liked the sound, He did not know the name of it. One day while watching the Dobie Gillis show with Maynard, who was a beatnik, said he would do anything to sit-in with Thelonious Monk playing Bongos.. years later, as young Robert was just starting out in music as a saxophone player, he heard a record by a friend’s big brother, who said “this is Monk’s, well you needn’t.” He made the earlier connection from his childhood, now a teenage player in a band, Carmack was hip and cool with his Tam and sunglasses .. Now all the young girls loved it because, He was different than the other guys.

Carmack went on to play professionally under a undisclosed stage name, for 25+ years, then due to medical issues became a writer of jazz history and avid fan of great players. As a writer / producer or blogger, He has worked, interviewed or promoted such luminaries as, McCoy Tyner, Doug Carn, Azar Lawrence, Bobby Womack, Commodores, Freddie Hubbard, Sonny Fortune, Andy Bey, Mandrill/Lowrider band, Acknowledgement, Juini Booth/ LA Fog Band and the Sun Ra Tribute with R J Carmack & Juini Booth. contact: blues2jazz2003@yahoo.com~ @blues2jazzguy , or just follow on this site http://www.hipstersanctuary.com

posted by Kamaad Tauhid @blues2jazzguy

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SHANA TUCKER DEBUT AT DETROIT’S CLIFF BELLS ~ ONE NIGHT ONLY


posted by Robert J. Carmack  #@blues2jazzguy

Shana Tucker Chamber Soul artist
Shana Tucker Chamber Soul artist

shanatucker_credit

The lovely and talented singer-multi-instrumentalist, Shana Tucker makes her first trip into the motor city,binging her special brand of Chamber Soul to

CLIFF BELL’S
Thursday, October 22, 2015       @ 8 & 9:30 PM
2030 Park Avenue, Detroit MI 48226

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CLIFF BELL’S, the historic downtown jazz club (a few blocks from the Windsor Tunnel). Supported by a stellar rhythm section, Detroit’s Finest: Jon Dixon (piano/keys), Kamau (bass), and Alex White (drums), it’s all going down this THURSDAY, OCTOBER 22, with two sets at 8:00 and 9:30 PM..

~ The Bill Heid Piano Trio ~

“Her voice alone would support a career. What makes Tucker special is her adherence to the cello, boldly taking the instrument into new territory.” -INDYWEEK.COM

Shana Tucker is a singer-songwriter and cellist who credits her genre-bending ChamberSoul™ journey to the influences of her jazz and classical roots, interwoven with 80’s & 90’s pop music, movie soundtracks, and world music.

Shana Tucker Detroit

Shana’s journey as a solo artist began in 2009, when she arrived in Durham, NC and quickly became a staple in the vibrant Triangle music scene. INDYWEEK.COM  writes, “Indeed, crossovers and connections are a central theme of Tucker’s career, from the cello’s liminal range to her interests in various genres.

Her debut album SHiNE corrodes the music industry boundaries between classical, jazz, folk, R&B and soul. Triangle Arts & Entertainment notes Shana as “a complex musician who offers not only a world-class voice that rivals that of Cleo Laine or Diana Krall, but also is an accomplished cellist…able to compete with musicians who make their living simply by playing one instrument…”she carves out a space that is intrinsically hers”.

http://www.shanatucker.com/

PATRICE RUSHEN & CARMEN LUNDY HIGHLIGHT 39TH ANNUAL WATTS TOWERS JAZZ FESTIVAL


posted by Robert J. Carmack  #@blues2jazzguy

Patrice Rushen and Carmen lundy
file photo by Robert Carmack Patrice Rushen & Carmen Lundy shown at Ford Theater Hollywood

Once in a lunar eclipse weekend you might get some pretty good entertainment in selected spots around Los Angeles, but to get great jazz, that requires planning ahead and research. for the last 39 years , in an unlikely area of south central Los Angeles wedged between a Junior high school , railroad tracks, some proud residents, and a Los Angeles landmark , built by an immigrant, Simon Rhodia of concrete, steel and broken glass.

The Watts Towers Jazz Festival took its familiar bow September 26 & 27th . The festival features a “Day of the Drum“, with supporting activities of all cultures and ethnicities celebration of drums, throw in Jazz from around the world by local, regional and international musicians performing on a live stage that looked like a revival tent. This writer had planned in advance to get there in time to catch Carmen Lundy & Patrice Rushen performing as single acts , but also together as well.

carmen Lundy
carmen Lundy

Carmen took the stage with her own group featuring her iconic bassist and brother, Curtis Lundy. After a couple of hot jazz numbers , Carmen called up Patrice to sit in with her group on  selections from  her 14th new CD as a leader. Rushen was simply stellar in her improvisations on cuts like “Life is a Song in Me” and title track, “Soul to Soul”. In my humble opinion , this is Grammy material. grab a copy at your usual source for purchasing   music online.

Patrice Rushen  and Ndugu are both products of the Watts community ,while being alumni of Locke High school under the mentorship of musician /Educator Reggie Andrews.  Patrice and Ndugu fronted an all-star band of Nedra Wheeler on Bass and Justo Almario on saxophone, Munyungo Jackson on percussion. In their set they chose to celebrate the genius of several iconic jazz masters, John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk and Horace Silver, and a couple of others to the audience’s delight. 

Chuk Koton- Patrice Rushen
photo by Chuck Koton

Weekend’s events were beautifully MC’d by Jazz program host James Janisse, and Poet Laureate and Griot ,Kamau Daood.

Jazz drummer Fritz Wise, Poet/Jazz griot Kamau Daood with Music journalist Robert J. Carmack
Jazz drummer Fritz Wise, Poet/Jazz griot Kamau Daood with Music journalist Robert J. Carmack @ Watts Towers Jazz Festival photo by Joyce Wilson

hand made Quilt made by artist, Ramesses
hand made Quilt made by artist, Ramesses

Patrice Rush NOW WATTS

HAPPY 85 TO JAZZ LEGENDARY SAXOPHONIST SONNY ROLLINS !


posted by robert j. carmack  #@blues2jazzguy

SONNY ROLLINS  SEPTEMBER 7 1930

Sonny Rollins MOHAWK
Sonny Rollins in 1959 w Mohawk

Sonny Mohawk 3 Rollins
Prestige Records Golden Sonny Rollins

Sonny Rollins turned 85 years old today . its hard to believe ,not because of his age, but, in spite of his age. He still holds court somewhere in the world on major stages blowing long, multi-note phrases, swinging  violently on the most miniscule of sub-themes set up by his own improvisations. Very few things are more exciting than watching and listening to Sonny Rollins in Beast mode. My first experience seeing and hearing him was as a curious child watching 1950s television, that just happened to have a jazz band playing that night. I saw this really cool looking black man with a shiny horn , sun glasses and a Mohawk. I think it was Steve Allen or Jack Parr’s version of the The Tonight Show.    Sonny Rollins was more than a jazz musician, he was a mentor to other jazz musicians, cultural and fashion icon whose influences went beyond the bandstand as well. He was the first black man I ever saw with a Mohawk (1959)..Quite the dresser on stage when he wanted to, He was the first I ever saw with clean-shaved head(1960s) and diamond-studded Ascot.

My first live Sonny Rollins concert, I was now 21 and living in Los Angeles 1971, he was performing at the museum of modern Art outside.. I watched with such wide-eyed delight as he swung so hard on unbelievable tempos, countered that with such tender,velvety arpeggios like he did on such classics as, I Can’t Get Started or Don’t Blame Me. Fast-forward to late 1990s and I’m now living in Atlanta Georgia watching a much older man with full head of snow-white hair and full beard, with a very nice suit with red “Chuck Taylor” Converse basketball shoes.  This time his band personnel was young guys except for his long-time bassist Bob Cranshaw. The results were still the same…long-winded solos on jazz standards and some west indian folk songs    paying homage to Rollins’ West Indian roots.

Sonny at Newport 2001
Sonny at Newport 2001

This man has appeared in countless numbers of countries on even more super numbers of stages,over (7) seven decades of playing professionally and like a great Rolls Royce classic, even though high milage, He still purrs and runs like new.

Well done sir! Happy Birthday Sonny, keep coming back!

ICONIC JAZZ SAXOPHONIST PHIL WOODS PERFORMS LAST CONCERT


posted by Robert J.Carmack

It was announced recently at the Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild in Pittsburg,Pennsylvania that alto saxophonist and NEA Jazz Master Phil Woods  is retiring from performing because of challenging health issues. Woods was on hand to lead a local trio and the Pittsburg Symphony Orchestra in a swinging reprisal of the Charlie Parker With Strings album. 

Phil Woods photos by Nate Guidry
Phil Woods photos by Nate Guidry

Well, it was a historic concert but, before his last number, Mr. Woods, best known to Jazz aficionados as, one of the last surviving Charlie Parker disciples. announcing the present concert would be his last..Ever!

The 83-year-old Mr. Woods, who uses oxygen, jokingly refers to his tank as “my amplifier” later told the packed facility he has emphysema. That being the case, he wanted to go out with a bang.  According to eye witnesses who were on hand to catch his final performance were quoted as saying, “If he was having any trouble breathing it surely didn’t show.”

Phil Woods, a top shelf performer, had a stellar backing unit with him from the Pittsburg area, bassist, Paul Thompson, pianist Alton Merrell, and drummer Tom Wendt.

For full concert review by Pittsburg Post-Gazette click on link below

http://www.post-gazette.com/ae/music-reviews/2015/09/06/Concert-review-Saxophonist-Phil-Woods-ends-playing-career-on-a-high-note/stories/201509070044

HAPPY BIRTHDAY GERALD WILSON ~ WE MISS YOU SIR! SEPT. 4 1918 – SEPT. 8 2014


posted by robert j carmack  #@blues2jazzguy

Gerald Wilson at piano
Gerald Wilson at Piano moving Dots around

Gerald Wilson's Final Central Ave appearance july 2014
Gerald Wilson’s Final Central Ave appearance july 2014 photo by R. J. Carmack

Gerald Wilson Reaching Out Directing
Gerald Wilson soloing with Buddy Collette Vintage 50s

GerALD Wilson and LA big Band Gerald Wilson reaching out pix

Gerald and Josephina with Michael Dolphin 2012 Carl Randall memorial
Gerald and Josephina with Michael Dolphin 2012 Carl Randall memorial photo by R J Carmack

BILLY HIGGINS WORLD STAGE PRESENTS: POCKET JAZZ SERIES AUGUST 22 & 29


posted by #@blues2jazzguy

Coming August 22/29 The World Stage Performance Gallery

Tender Feelins Duke P.

Pocket Jazz Series  Saturday August 22, 7:30pm

The Genius of DUKE PEARSON:Thanks Uncle Duke

Uncle Duke Legacy BandBobby WEST pianist/music director, Reggie Carson bassist,Ishmael Hunter drums,Derf Reklaw Flute/sax/percussion, Pat Sligh , Mechelle LaChaux and Jana Wilson Vocals;  M.C./Poet:Robert J. Carmack

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Saturday August 29  7:30pm

NOW’S THE TIME: Spirits of Our Ancestors

art jazz a;;stars
Our great Legendary jazz icons

Featured Artists performing

An evening of music & poetry from our great icons and legends

Ms. Mechelle LaChaux-songs by Nellie Lutcher 1940s Jazz,Jive & Boogie , accompanied by Ms. Anqui Renise piano

Ms. Anqui Renise-Tin Pan Alley Jazz standards

Mr. James Love performing songs by Joe Williams,Lou Rawls    & others- backed by the Hipster Jazz Ensemble

very special invited guest Jazz bassist/guitarist and vocalist

AMIN EL (solo guitar/vocals) tribute to Gil Scott Heron

WORLD STAGE PERFORMANCE GALLERY  

4344 S. Degnan Blvd.  L.A. California 90008

Donations: $15-$20  (sliding scale)

Some tickets are still available for both shows

Ticket/RSVP info 951- 840-7120