A brilliant Ms. M. Productions presented an intimate evening (Feb.17) with Oakland based vocalist and school principal Ms. Tyfahra Singleton. (shown in picture above are l-r, Tyrone Singleton, Tyfahra, pianist Bradley Young and bandleader/drummer Jerrell Ballard.)
Tyfahra came into the “quite full” Barbara Morrison Performing Arts Center,with her “breath of fresh air” approach to the Nancy Wilson song book. Highlighted Nancy favorites during the evening were, Never Will I Marry, In The Dark, Darling Please Save Your Love for Me and the must sing “Guess Who I Saw Today. ”
I was particularly impressed with her range of tunes and tempos, along with a surprise duo rendition of Unforgettable with her dad, Tyrone Singleton , a veteran entertainer and vocalist out of Las Vegas.
The musicianship was simply outstanding all evening including some “spotlight” band numbers led by Jerrell Ballard on drums, Don Bell on saxophone, Bradley Young piano and Mike Alvidrez on bass.
The entire evening was planned,shaped and produced by Ms. M. Productions,headed up by Marion Singleton, a local theater producer and actress. Not only were we in the theater audience satisfied, but left with parting gifts of little sweet potato pies .
I will certainly be looking forward to my copy of the new Tyfahra debut CD coming soon. posted by Robert J. Carmack @blues2jazzguy
COMING TO LOS ANGELES ONLY
JAZZ APPRECIATION MONTH APRIL 2018
a Robert J. Carmack Production
Details February during Black History month, follow-up on www.hipstersanctuary.com as we celebrate our 20th year in March 2018. April Live Jazz concert and special awards presentation to surprise guests, also follow-up @blues2jazzguy.
posted by Robert J. Carmack @blues2jazzguy
Multi-instrumentalist and singer, Kirk Andres Wilson showed up and showed out last Thursday evening (December 28) at Hollywood’s Catalina Bar and Grill on Sunset.
The almost two-hour set was plumb full of music for every taste and style. Starting the evening off with a series of solo ballads and New Orleans funky-traditional piano styles. that was quickly bolstered by his added band mates.
Lofty musicianship was on display that evening as Kirk was joined on-stage by Professor Harvey Estrada,electric bass and acoustic string bass, Munyungo Jackson percussions, Louis Van Taylor sax/flute, Edell Shepard keyboards/piano, and Donnell Spenser on drums. Wilson was magnificent as the band navigated through everything from Professor Longhair, to Antoine “Fats” Domino(RIP) to Funk & Groove beats of today, Kirk sung hard and long, but also did not disappoint on his mastery of the guitar as well .
This was easily the Show of Shows for 2017!
I highly recommend seeing live, this talented entertainer, producer, writer and master musician. Pick up a copy of his latest CD MY LOVE. follow him on https://www.kirkandre.com/
Mel and wife waiting in green room to go onstage at Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society -Half-Moon Bay – Todd Barkan’s Keystone Korner 45th anniversary July 8 2017-photo by R.J. Carmack.
jazz saxophonist Mel Martin and Herbie Hancock
COMING SOON: Profiles in Jazz;MEL MARTIN- Reeds & Flute
posted by Robert J. Carmack @blues2jazzguy
Los Angeles, CA. Nov 14__ The City of angels needed a rest from crazy news cycles and bad traffic reports,the perfect Rx was written last Sunday evening at Zebulon Café. Concord Records Group newest label, The Jazz Dispensary served up AZAR LAWRENCE EXPERIENCE in Bridge into the New Age .
Lawrence brought in his all-star lineup of jazz greats to recreate the spirit of his 1970s Original album. that album featured the best of the best of that era in musicianship, featuring the likes of trumpeter Woody Shaw and the electrifying Jean Carne on vocals. Azar Lawrence (ZARMAN) wasted no time in introducing the SRO crowd in the 300 seat club to gems from the album as the 7 piece band flexed its jazz muscles on the title track, Bridge into The New Age, a heavy mixture of hard-bop, modal and world fusion. One could not help but notice the audience, as it was multi-generational. The millennial and gen-X hipsters were digging on fiery-cosmic rhythms being fanned by veteran drummers Roy McCurdy and Munyugo Jackson on percussions & toys. Holding down the bottom was the “Skipper” Henry Franklin on bass. Anchoring the rhythm unit was the former keyboards for the late Alphonse Mouzon Quintet and current pianist Theo Saunders.The frontline, the very powerful trumpeter(Michael Hunter) and Azar Lawrence on saxes.
Sounding like an Angel on earth was the very beautiful, Ms.Windy Barnes-Farrell reaching new heights on vocals.
One of the highlights of the evening was a velvety ballad by Azar and the band with vocals on the translucent and stellar composition, Fatisha,written by Azar.. He followed that cut up with a universal spiritual tune that begins with all drums and percussions with a minimal arcing by bassist Henry Franklin, before Lawrence then spins on chanted-spoken words, before being joined by the swirling rhythms of the band on The Beautiful and Omnipresent Love . Pick up your copy today at your favorite online store for music. https://www.concordmusicgroup.com/albums/jazz-dispensary/
mgt./media info Go to~ https://azarlawrence.com/
“ZAR” is celebrating his release on Concord Records, ”Bridge into the New Age” Sunday November 12 8pm-10pm Only! Zebulon Café Concert in Los Angeles ~ 2478 Fletcher Drive L.A. 90039. Buy tickets:$25 https://www.ticketfly.com/event/1582784-azar-lawrence-experience-los-angeles/
Saxophones ~ Leader – Azar Lawrence
Special Guest vocalist – Windy Barnes-Farrell
Roy McCurdy – Drums
Michael Hunter Trumpet/Flugelhorn
ZAR” is celebrating his release on Concord Records,”Bridge into the New Age” Sunday November 12 8pm-10pm Only! Zebulon Café Concert in Los Angeles ~ 2478 Fletcher Drive L.A. 90039. Buy tickets:$25 https://www.ticketfly.com/event/1582784-azar-lawrence-experience-los-angeles/
Background on recording : https://www.jazzdispensary.com/
Saxophonist Azar Lawrence makes his way back to the Zebulon Café Sunday night Nov.12 at 8pm.with him are some of Jazz’s most holistic and stellar musicians and vocalist.
The Azar Lawrence Experience featuring Theo Saunders piano, Henry Franklin bass, Munyungo Jackson Percussion & Roy McCurdy drums..Special guest vocalist Ms. Windy Barnes-Farrell.
“ZAR” is celebrating his release on Concord Records, Bridge into the New Age. Zebulon Café Concert in Los Angeles. 2478 Fletcher Drive L.A. 90039. Buy tickets:$25 https://www.ticketfly.com/event/1582784-azar-lawrence-experience-los-angeles/
Posted by Kristina McBride ~Int’l Jazz Editor at Large I recently ventured to NYC to go see the legendary Pharaoh Sanders in Brooklyn. I hadn’t been to New York in around 13 years, so I wanted to take my time and see the city and experience it all over again, taking in the old with the new. It felt wonderful to walk the streets again, block after block. I considered the fact that I had never been to Harlem and wanted to get off the beaten trail, so I got on the A-Train and got off at 125th and Malcom X Blvd. I was overcome with a sense of peace and excitement simultaneously.
I had arrived in the cultural mecca of Black Americans. Legends had walked these streets: Langston Hughes, Malcom X, Zora Neale Hurston, Amiri Baraka, Duke Ellington, Billy Holiday, Miles Davis…I can go on and on. I was hearing Gregory Porter’s “On My Way to Harlem” on a loop in the musical soundtrack of my mind. I gazed at the buildings surrounding me. All the goings-on was a sensory wonderland, displaying mothers pushing their babies around the corner while on their cellphones.. a young man rushing toward the subway, perhaps he won’t be late to his shift.
Wow..the Nigerian grandmothers sitting at their stalls with their wares for sale, fanning themselves from the impossible heat of a New York Summer. And, of course I walked past the Apollo Theater, snapped a few pictures of myself, Then I sauntered in the vibes and wisdom from the vendors selling their body oils, shea butter,black seed soap and Dashikis.
I finally met up with a long-time friend, both of us were hungry, we decided to stop by a café for some grub. On the way, he pointed to the left and said, “There it is…that was the Lenox Lounge.” I paused abruptly on the sidewalk, taking in the sight in front of me. It was a massive, hollowed space flanked by two buildings with awnings. I stood in front of the empty lot where the Lenox Lounge once stood, now filled with bulldozers that will go back to work demolishing what remained that following Monday. Including a massive, blue metal removal bin, I wonder what was in it. Could it be any of the chairs or light fixtures, or maybe pieces of the beautiful, honeycomb tile floor? Not even the marquee was there. One would never know that the place ever existed.
Rumors are a Sephora is being constructed in its place. Another frivolous, over-priced store in a rapidly gentrifying neighborhood. Or at least they’re trying to. Only just a few weeks before my visit there, was a vote to stop the renaming of a section of Harlem to “SoHa” (short for South Harlem). Harlemites wouldn’t stand for that nonsense.
I wish this could have been the case in D.C. where this is happening all over as the “brown folks” are being moved out to attract younger, richer, and incidentally more white people into the city. “The sight of a Whole Foods at the Corner of Malcolm X Blvd and 125th befuddled me as I came out of the subway station.” Such an odd place for a store like that for that neighborhood, but it’s a sign of things to come.
So many of our cultural landmarks and venues that was home to Black America’s music and its artists over generations are rapidly disappearing: Bohemian Caverns and HR-57 in Washington, D.C.; in Philadelphia, although they have been long-gone are Pep’s and The Showboat, and it’s even worse nowadays according to some long-time Philadelphians.
Older Philly Jazz fans into their 80’s now, feel the new spots aren’t hosting any jazz whatsoever. In Los Angeles, the home of Leimert Park’s World Stage, they too have been bullied by the threat of gentrification. Presently preparing to put up a staunch fight for culture and legacy . We now have to hear jazz in these sterile environments, where the band has to fight with the noise of people chatting-away as musicians create Living Art right in front of them.
Absolute worst..annoying people practically standing on the bandstand just to capture video and pictures to post to FB, and insta-gram, trying to prove how hip they are .
Most aren’t really into the music anyway. Even worse than all that , if you do love the music and want to go out to hear a good gig, it’s a small fortune sometimes, $15 and up covers plus $20 food/drink minimum is not uncommon. Good luck if the gig is in a city that requires pay to park! The venues aren’t paying anything decent for the band to play, so musicians aren’t working.
The artistry and music are suffering because of it all, Hopefully, there is an urgency to remedy this situation.
I contemplated this as I walked away from the empty, hollow shell where the Lenox Lounge once stood, looking back several times,searching deeply for a sense of hope. ### by Kristina McBride
Next Up Nov.1:They Called Him Morgan:My Spin on the Movie