JAZZ BASSIST AND POET DELIGHTS L.A. AUDIENCES IN DEBUT


posted by Kamaad Tauhid @blues2jazzguy  concert photos by jazz archivist Chuck Koton

“The Stage, (pun intended)” was set 9:pm on Feb 9th 2019 in Los Angeles, where the bass master, Juini Booth landed for his WORLD STAGE DEBUT. Booth a jazz icon starting when he sprung on his own for New York in mid-60s as a teenage bassist for Sun Ra and a host of other greats. later iconic performances and recordings with McCoy Tyner, Woody Shaw and Gary Bartz’s Ntu-Troop just to name a few.

Booth powered into the world stage as part of the World Stage Black History month loaded schedule of Jazz greats. featured on spoken word and dramatic performance in the select works and poetry of SUN RA , Mr. Robert J. Carmack-MFABLACK as 1000 Nights: The Artistry and Poems of SUN RA.” Carmack reflecting on his work with Booth over the last couple of years as poet, MC and journalist said, ” It has blown by so fast, I hardly noticed its been almost 3 years since I appeared with Booth and another McCoy Tyner alumnus, AZAR LAWRENCE in a fast and powerful group of musicians performing compositions of McCoy Tyner. (Roy McCurdy, Theo Sanders,Azar, Juini and Robert)

Last year we did another Sun RA project focusing on mostly all of his “Space is the Place” material and music. carmack added, This time as part 2. I went deep on his Berkeley sessions at the University’s Artist-in-Residence, 1971,period of writings. Black nationalist views on African-Americans, politics and culture.” Carmack, a jazz journalist, actor and writer that focuses on the legacy of this genre called, jazz or American Black Classic Music.  Along with Carmack and Booth, were L.A. based sidemen, Mahesh Balasooriya on Piano, and Guillermo E. Brown drums. Brown performed last year with Booth and Carmack at the Club Zebulon, along with improvisational group, L.A. FOG and Kathleen Kim.

The audience not only heard rare Sun Ra Poems to improvisational interlude phrases by the group, but heard the band play pieces that they all favored in performing, like Jackie McLean’s “Melody for Melanie” and “Angels and Demons” by Sun Ra. A very powerful, moving solo bass, plus Loop were performed by Juini Booth to a standing ovation.

journalist/actor and producer/writer,musician R.J. Carmack

Carmack was able to navigate and sail around the writings with the ease of a skilled actor performing Shakespeare’s greatest montages of prose and poetry.  There were certainly fireworks with Juini Booth eclectic playing and melodic approach to double bass. Balasooriya treated the surprised audience to a searing piano solo on an unnamed piece he interpreted.

Carmack is based in Southern California and Juini Booth in New York. Carmack is setting up plans now as everyone gets ready for Spring and Summer events in both thriving cities. We want to redo this show in New York and San Francisco bay area as well. There are current calls for more study at the academic level for the writings of Baba Sun RA, along with his music and lecture series too.” said a jubilant Carmack, as he spoke to more collaboration projects that involve Booth and other Jazz icon’s music and writings.

Robert J. Carmack is launching this summer, a new series of Art based cultural programming involving improvisational music, drama, poetry/spoken word and fine arts(painting,sculpting and assemblage) POCKET JAZZ 2019 presented by http://www.hipstersanctuary.com 

Many thanks to the World Stage and Executive /Artistic director Dwight Trible and staff for making the group feel at home.

painting by Sam Pace
Pianist Mahesh Balasooriya

 

Guillermo E. Brown
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PROFOUND SIMPLICITY: A GLIMPSE OF DWIGHT TRIBLE


posted by  #@blues2 jazz guy

“Profound Simplicity”- A Glimpse of Dwight Trible” by Kristina McBride

I’ve been spinning quite a bit of music lately, listening to the inner urge of Joe Henderson’s tenor sax, Lee Morgan’s blistering trumpet solo telling it like it is, Black Arthur breaking down Lenox Ave on my new Rega RP3 with a fantastic vintage Scott 382-B amplifier and speaker combination. The music and sound combination that comes at me is sensational, bringing me closer to the music more than ever. I’ve begun to listen to and feel music more deeply over time. Through music I travel freely through time and space, exploring my inner-most emotions and dreams. In the spellbinding voice of Dwight Trible, I embark on a musical voyage, exploring new depths of musical consciousness.

He is a vocalist-songwriter, poet and musical healer. That he is so shamefully under-acknowledged in the music world is especially contemptible considering how badly the world needs his music. He successfully fuses jazz, blues, and gospel while also being known to reference opera and Gregorian chants during his presentation. He’s collaborated with contemporaries such as J-Dilla, Kamasi Washington, and John Beasley.  I stumbled upon his music on a balmy Florida afternoon while I listened to WPFW in Washington, D.C. I heard Trible’s sonorous voice laced on top of the lush, romantic piano, string and percussion ensemble of Quasimode as he sang “Midnight Flower”.  I was captivated straight away, my body becoming warm and I became aware of the sensual arousal I felt as I listened. His voice beckoned me, touching my soul with the immediate force evoked by the supernatural allure of his voice.

Trible is a full-bodied baritone that can ascend to a soul-stirring falsetto that is unwavering at any tempo or volume. His profound connection to music is present in each song he approaches. Trible’s masterful interpretation of Andy Bey’s “Celestial Blues” is the epitome of spiritual jazz singing, where he showcases his masterful, soul-stirring vibrato and vocal range. Trible’s singing is evocative of vibrant colors and textures, of romance, peace, and happiness. It has healing power, a unifier, a beacon of hope and light.       

 

 

 

 

Trible grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio with three siblings and both his parents. He began singing as a young child, inspired by his mother. “I remember sitting on the couch when she cleaned up, and I couldn’t have been more than two or three years-old. But I would just sit there and listen to my mother sing, mesmerized, almost in a trance. So, I guess she was probably my first inspiration for singing. Judging from my personality and my makeup perhaps I really didn’t have a choice in the matter, because when I look back on what else I could have done had I not been involved in that…for the most part I cannot think of anything else that it would be,” he remembered.

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“From my perspective, I try to get to the core of what it is…I look at it as profound simplicity. For something to be profound it doesn’t have to be complicated. It doesn’t have to be something that nobody understands what it is. Be who you are. And you be the most Dwight Trible you can be. And that’s all it is.”

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when I asked him how he began singing, and what he aspired to be when he grew up.  His mother would send them to the local theater after church every Sunday, and to keep from growing bored while watching the film, he began improvising to the music.

“I wonder what your siblings thought of you doing that,” I asked him, laughing as I imagined him with his then short legs dangling from the chair as he crooned to the music.

“Oh, they would be so angry with me. I remember once, my brother coming home and telling my mother, ‘Dwight was in-there singing again! He was in-there singing again!’” he recalled with a boisterous laugh. “’Cause God knows how loud I was singing. I guess I did it so much and it probably used to get on their nerves, but it was my nature to do it.” Surely these early singing experiments brought him a long way to becoming a master of his craft.

Trible was saturated with music throughout his childhood, drawing inspiration from Mahalia Jackson, Aretha Franklin, Donny Hathaway, and Linda Jones, who had the 1967 hit “Hypnotized, tune that had a major influence on his singing style.  “I was a Linda Jones freak! She was somebody that really resonated with me, and I would say that I was influenced by her more than anyone else, “ he remembered. He later sang with local R & B and gospel groups before outgrowing the Cincinnati music scene. He deeply felt he had to go abroad in order to grow as an artist, and was encouraged by his peers and fellow musicians.

He set his sights on Los Angeles, California, arriving at an extremely fertile time, and was quickly ushered into the L.A. music community by the late legends pianist Horace Tapscott (whom he later dedicated a whole album to) and drummer Billy Higgins. When I asked him what it was like being mentored by Tapscott, he was full of enthusiasm in his response and gave a funny anecdote: “Everything that I thought I knew about music, when I heard this guy play for the first time, it just blew my mind in such a way that, everything I knew, had to go, because I’d seen the light! And, it was strange because when I first saw him, he would come to the club where I was performing, and I’d be on stage and he’d be at the door watching. I would close my eyes and sing a few bars, and by the time I’d open my eyes, he’d be gone! He always did this. It was something else, man… and then one day, he told me to come to his house. I showed up and he had all these plans laid out for me to join The Ark (the nickname for the Pan Afrikan People’s Arkestra). And I was stunned because I didn’t think I was ready for all of that. I guess he felt I was.”

Tapscott appointed Trible to vocal director of the Pan-Afrikan People’s Arkestra shortly after, a move that would boost his confidence as a musician and would expand his profile throughout the music scene.

He later had the fortune of meeting the great Billy Higgins, who thrusted him out of his shyness and exposed his immense, unique talents to several giants of the jazz world: Pharaoh Sanders, Bobby Hutcherson, Charles Lloyd, and Mulgrew Miller. Although he and Pharaoh were familiar with each other, their musical collaboration didn’t come until after Higgins passed away. “Higgins was a guy who made everybody that he played with sound better. He had this way of sizing you up really, really quickly. He had this sort of telepathy  where he knew, when you first started playing with you, he could get inside you, find out who you were, and what you needed.  Then he would give you that “thing” to take you over the top. He just had that magic.

That’s why everybody, from Herbie Hancock on down, loved playing with Billy Higgins,” he reflected with nostalgia and deep affection in his voice. He later met the late vocalist Betty Carter, and was impressed by her artistry and professionalism, and would go on to incorporate a great deal of her style in his own singing. “And I would say that’s really it for me. And all the rest is me and the spirit working together, “he says optimistically. This writer could feel the peace he had within himself in his words, brimming with optimism. 

The Leimert Park arts scene in L.A. is a significant part of Trible’s identity and purpose as an artist and community advocate. He has served as the musical director of the World Stage for the past five years and has worked with the numerous grassroots organizations to fight against the threat of gentrification that targets the historic black cultural epicenter of the West Coast. He can often be found performing at the Blue Whale or The World Stage with a stellar lineup of musicians.

When he’s not singing in L.A. he can be found on a trans-Atlantic flight to London, as he recently did to cut a record with Matthew Halsall titled “Inspirations” (Gondwana label), released in June. He travelled across the pond to London to record with Halsall, as well as touring several cities throughout Europe.“Everywhere we went, you know…the people really, really loved it. Every house was completely packed, and there wasn’t a dry eye in the house every time we finished,” he told me when I asked him about the tour.  I can see how that could totally be the case. His voice stirs something inside you when he sings. No matter what language you speak, where you’re from, your age, it reaches you.  Sadly, he’s not well-known here in the U.S. where he has been singing for nearly 50 years.

It is beyond comprehension that he could have sung and collaborated with heavy-hitters such as Kenny Burrell, Harry Belafonte, Harold Land, Patrice Rushen, and Kenny Garrett, yet still be low-profile.  When I asked him his thoughts about this low-profile in the music world, he replied, “Yeah, it’s kinda interesting how I can go over there and probably work as much as I want to, whereas here, in this country, it is probably more difficult for me to get work here than it is over there.”

“It’s kinda sad,” I replied to him solemnly. “A hard time to be an artist. Too many musicians are struggling to find work here and there’s nowhere for them to play anymore. All the venues are drying up because of rising rents for venues and the cost of living for the artists, and widespread gentrification in the places where the music is popular. And the musicians hardly get paid anything on a gig most of the time. It’s a travesty and a great disservice to the music.”

His optimism and beautiful spirit radiated in his reply:

“Well, you know, I don’t look at it as sad really. I just think that it’s just the way things went, and the beautiful thing is, again, every day I get the opportunity to wake up and do what I love to do. And that’s the main thing. So as long as that can happen, I don’t think of any of it as sad. It’s all good, as far as I’m concerned.”

The album title came from the feeling that the world needs inspiration to carry on in these dark times, in the era of Donald Trump and uncertainty, hopelessness, and anxiety felt amongst many people right now. He delivers a spellbinding version of “What the World Needs Now”, a swinging waltz much like the feeling and style of Coltrane’s signature tune “My Favorite Things”. This writer wondered, if he got inspiration from Coltrane to record this song in this manner, with him as a being a major influence on Trible. The addition of a harpist (Rachel Gladwin channeling a bit of Alice Coltrane in this tune) gives the song an ethereal, jubilant feeling that propels your spirit forth into an ocean of good vibes. Trumpeter Matthew Halsall executes a soulful, yet melancholy solo calling for hope and love for humanity through his horn. Trible finishes out the song and takes us to church, getting down and gritty with his gospel-styled ad-libs. He puts his trademark on several standards throughout the album such as “Feeling Good” and “Ooh, Child”, but you will not get bored hearing them again. Dwight put his signature style on each and everyone of them.

There are many vocalists out here singing, yet Dwight Trible stands-out on an island of his own. He’s truly an artist with such versatility that has something for everyone, and plenty to give. He has an ingenuity that is clearly present in his singing… and that radiates from his spirit. He’s not in this for the fame or fortune (if only!!), but in my mind, be a messenger of love and peace, which are common themes of many of the songs he sings.

He broke down his philosophy for me and outlook on life: “From my perspective, I try to get to the core of what it is…I look at it as profound simplicity. For something to be profound, it doesn’t have to be complicated. It doesn’t have to be something that nobody understands what it is. Be who you are. And being the most Dwight Trible I can be. And that’s all it is.”    ###          (follow Kristina Mcbride on this blog)

Recommended Listening:

Cosmic- (2011, Katalyst Entertainment)

Living Water- (2004, Ninja Tune)

Inspirations- (2017, Gondwana Records)

Quasimode Sounds of Peace- (2008, Geneon)

http://www.dwighttriblemusic.com

please send into this blog your comments or appreciation for this fine article…Thank you – Publisher

 

WALKING AMONG GIANTS IN JAZZ: MEET KRISTINA McBRIDE – NEW JAZZ MUSIC EDITOR


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meet Newly added Jazz Editor at Large.Coming July 30th   Kristina McBride debuts at the Hipster Sanctuary with an in-depth interview with the soulful and quite sublime, vocalist, Dwight Trible.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

JAZZ LEGENDARY VIBIST BOBBY HUTCHERSON 75 HAS PASSED 1941 – 2016


posted by Robert J. Carmack

Bobby Hutcherson in suit  color pix

 

 

 

 

Bobby Hutcherson:1941-2016 The most accomplished vibraphonist and composer to emerge in the latter half of the 20th Century,has passed at age 75 Monday, August 15th. Bobby Hutcherson is survived by a wife and a bevy of family and close friends all grieving.

Hutcherson redefined the role of the Vibraphone in modern jazz.

A retrospective follow-up piece by music journalist and jazz historian, Robert J. Carmack  coming soon to Hipster Sanctuary.Com .

Bobby hutcherson 2 color in vest

 

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CLASSIC JAZZ ARTISTS MUSIC TO BE PERFORMED IN HOMAGE AT WORLD STAGE


*posted by Kamaad Tauhid   #blues2jazzguy

Jackie McLean circa 1960s
Jackie McLean circa 80s

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

L.A.-based music journalist and jazz archivist, Robert J. Carmack is creating performances in an evening of classic compositions by legendary jazz artist Bobby Hutcherson and Jackie McLean. while collaborating with the legendary Billy Higgins WORLD STAGE Performance Gallery, The event is scheduled for Saturday July 30th. Co-founded by the beloved drummer in the early 1990s with Poet Laureate, Kamau Daaood. Carmack has hand-picked outstanding and uniquely written compositions by ex-bandmates of Billy Higgins , Bobby Hutcherson, Jackie McLean,Charles Tolliver,and Granchen Moncur III.

Bobby Hutcherson Blue Note years
Bobby Hutcherson Blue Note years

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Plight Pixs Robert Rasta hatRobert J. Carmack grew-up in Los Angeles (Watts/Compton) studied music, theater arts and journalism.  He’s a writer, producer, musician and poet. His love and passion for jazz led him to befriending drummer Billy Higgins and poet Kamau Daaood. Carmack was part of the a group of artists (musicians,poets,painters and photographers) who gathered at the jam sessions,writer’s workshops over 20 years ago in Leimert Park Arts Community to participate in extending the legacy and offer alternative venues for creative people who thought and presented ideas “outside the box”. Today that legacy is strengthened by the Original World Stage in Leimert Park has moved across the street and into a much larger facility. Now able to expand their community activities including performances by students and professional artists.  One of the coming performance presentations being produced by Carmack  in collaboration with the World Stage is The Return of the Grassroots Hip-Nosis: an exploration of the music of Bobby Hutcherson and Jackie McLean. Last summer Carmack produced several projects that were well received by the community. unique shows around the music of Jazz icon  and composer Duke Pearson and a lively event on Charlie Parker’s Birthday “21 Saxophone Salute”. This years’ event promises to be even bigger and better.  Carmack is the MC for this program and also a part of the Band:PLIGHT, a spoken word/Jazz group along with the award-winning poet and playwright, Tu’Nook.

Plight consist of Carmack as Leader & Poet,Bobby West pianist, Dale Fielder special guest saxophone, Derf Reklaw woodwinds/percussion, Reggie Carson Bass, Cornell Fouler drums

You can follow the progress of this event and all the program details at http://www.hipstersanctuary.com or ticket information contact Robert J. Carmack at 951-840-7120  or blues2jazz2003@yahoo.com.

*World Stage performance Gallery (323) 293-2451 · 4344 Degnan Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90008 · Performing Arts, Venues & Event Spaces, Jazz & Blues ,

 

 

 

 

 

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GRASSROOTS JAZZ ENSEMBLE~ PLIGHT ~ DEBUTS JULY 30


posted by  Kamaad Tauhid  #blues2jazzguy

L.A. Calif_ It was announced by leader/spokesman Robert J. Carmack, that a collaboration of musicians,vocalists,arrangers and poets have formed PLIGHT. Plight is a grassroots performance ensemble featuring iconic jazz compositions integrated with spoken word and “vocalese” arrangements. Seriously dedicated to preserving the legacy of improvised American classical music,better known as Jazz.

R J Carmack- Producer-Poet-musician-journalist
R J Carmack- Producer-Poet-musician-journalist

Robert J. Carmack ,musician,poet,producer and journalist first came up with the concept through a long time association with some of  the core group members, when in August of 2015, he got together with master pianist, Bobby West, on a project paying homage to Blue Note Records jazz icon, Duke Pearson.

West was instrumental in taking the hand-selected compositions of Pearson, which gave plenty of challenges with spiritual,hard bop and swinging tunes integrating poetry by Carmack and other writers. Adding Northern California pianist/arranger , James Armstrong was a no brainer,according to Carmack.

“James and I often engaged in long conversations about music, the preservation of certain jazz compositions and key artists that we thought should be recognized, it was easy to connect the dots. We saw eye to eye on Duke Pearson and his “Unsung” career in music, That became the initial project that started the ball rolling” said Carmack.

San Jose based music educator/transcriptionist,arranger James Armstrong
San Jose based musician, educator,arranger James Armstrong

Taking a page from the classic Blue Note recordings vault under the creativity of Carmack,West and Armstrong in order to bring magic to the bandstand.  “We are bringing back some of the key  and core musicians we used last summer to form this new band which will be debuting in July 2016.”said Carmack, as he showed me some of the recently completed arrangements by James Armstrong.  Robert selected what can be called stellar tunes written or recorded by iconic jazz artists, Jackie McLean and Bobby Hutcherson.

First of all, those two artists were a huge part of the 1960s/70s jazz scene with gigantic success throughout that era with remarkable recorded products to bolster their iconic stature, Carmack went on to say.  “Part of this stellar core group is percussionist/woodwind specialist , Derf Reklaw. Derf brings a special set of experiences and skills that gives us an edge with all of these cuts.” Derf Reklaw on Flute

Bobby West, a formidable Jazz master pianist, born in Los Angeles, grew up in a city that had a plethora of jazz icons living there, and lots of venues at the time to ply your craft. After-all, with jazz legends like Gerald Wilson, Plas Johnson, Freddie Hubbard,Billy Higgins, Horace Tapscott,just to name a few.

Robert J. Carmack first met Bobby West while hanging out in the early 90s at Billy Higgins World Stage jam sessions. Bobby would often be among a group of top-shelf piano players active inside the Leimert Park Village Arts community, among them , Horace Tapscott, Nate Morgan,Harold Land jr. and Bobby Pierce. Carmack went on to say “Bobby West, in my opinion possessed all the ingredients and the passion of a contemporary version of Red Garland and Bobby Timmons.  Plight is putting together an evening of  a grassroots, acoustical Art presentation that’s rich in passion musicianship and spirituality engrained inside the music and poetry.(Follow hipstersanctuary.com for Plight’s debut info)

Bobby West @ North Sea Jazz Festival
Bobby West @ North Sea Jazz Festival

 

 

 

Carmack will announce the rest of the band at a later date, due to some special circumstances regarding contracts. The instrumentation is piano,bass, drums, percussion/woodwinds, poet, vocalist and vibist. We’re very excited about the concept and looking forward to debuting at the famous WORLD STAGE in Leimert Park Saturday July 30,Los Angeles,California. 

 

 

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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