Tag Archives: detroit jazz fest

The Jazz Spotlight With Harvey McKnight

harv McKnight

Join Harvey McKnight -the Jazz Warrior  each and every Sunday  11:AM to 3:PM EST.   WGVU 88.5 and 93.5 streaming Online at http://www.wgvu.org      WGVU FM 301 W.Fulton   Grand Rapids, Michigan 49504

Jazz has been called America’s classical music, and for good reason. Along with the blues, its forefather, it is one of the first truly indigenous musics to develop in America, yet its unpredictable, risky ventures into improvisation gave it critical cache with scholars that the blues lacked. At the outset, jazz was dance music, performed by swinging big bands. Soon, the dance elements faded into the background and improvisation became the key element of the music. As the genre evolved, the music split into a number of different styles, from the speedy, hard-hitting rhythms of be-bop and the laid-back, mellow harmonies of cool jazz to the jittery, atonal forays of free jazz and the earthy grooves of soul jazz. What tied it all together was a foundation in the blues, a reliance on group interplay and unpredictable improvisation. Throughout the years, and in all the different styles, those are the qualities that defined jazz.

WGVU offers jazz programming nightly from 7PM until 5:PM

Paying Tribute To Big Bruh Sweet Lou: WE Are One


January 7 date is quickly approaching and marking the  first year since the passing of  Elder Wilson brother, Sweet Lou. WILSON was a founding member of funk group MANDRILL. After four decades in the music business, the Mandrill band is still thrilling audiences world wide. 2014 is no different  with the Wilson Brothers developing new & interesting projects for the new year. Sweet Lou was born in Panama but, moved with his family to Brooklyn in 1968. There, along with brothers RIC and CARLOS they put together the band MANDRILL for which they formed the brass section and they were also featured vocalists. LOU WILSON passed away from  cardiac arrest. He was 71 at the time of his death.    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xXHE0sEUF7U

Bobby & Lou

One of the special projects that’s drawing lots of attention is the Lou Wilson Memorial Fund.

To honor the musical vision established by Lou and the Wilson Brothers, a charitable fund is being created in Lou’s name to give children an opportunity to thrive in the arts. This fund-under Mandrill‘s umbrella organization Mosaic Fusion-will formalize and extend that legacy.

Throughout the years, the Wilson Brothers have supported and encouraged children around the world who are pursuing their highest good in the arts, especially music. The surviving brothers want to continue that support because ,they know the arts can help youngsters develop skills and self-esteem necessary to make positive decisions for themselves .. most importantly, lasting contributions to their communities.

Please make your donation to The Lou Wilson Memorial Fund. The tax-exempt status for Mosaic Fusion is pending. You will receive a receipt and letter of appreciation from the Wilson Brothers. Visit the website of Mandrill  and learn more about whats happening with Mandrill  or make a donation to The Lou Wilson Memorial Fund.   http://mandrillmusic.com   

sweet Lou wilson  david

Remembering LOU : Hum a song, play a drum or say a prayer in remembrance of him”.

Remembering The Gentle Giant: RIP YUSEF LATEEF

posted by Robert J. Carmack    Grammy Award-winning, Tennessee-born jazz musician/composer Yusef Lateef  died recently at his home in Shutesbury, Mass.The saxophonist was raised in Detroit and was 93 when he died of age-related complications Monday, December 23. According to his family, he passed peacefully at home.

I first experienced Yusef  Lateef’s music as a young teenager  in the early 60s while listening to older friends’s albums.Finally getting to see him live in 1968 at the famous jazz club in Los Angeles,The Lighthouse. Seeing Yusef live also introduced me to a young pianist from Philly, Kenny Barron..In addition, I learned that Ernie Farrow bassist, was Alice Coltrane’s brother. I loved his approach to the blues on all his instruments & recordings… he always played the blues weaved through his music.  There was only one YUSEF! we may never see another musician like him ever.  “He considered Detroit his home — an incubator for wonderful musicians,” Lateef’s wife, Ayesha, told the Detroit News. “He expanded into the area that few ventured into in that time. He called his music Autophysiopsychic  Music for the soul, body and spirit.” During his long career, he performed with Dizzy GillespieMiles Davis, Milt Jackson, Tommy Flanagan, Barry Harris, Paul Chambers, Donald Byrd, Hank, Thad and Elvin Jones, Kenny Burrell and others. Lateef was also a Five College Consortium professor of music.  IMHO, There Two MUST have Recordings for your collection , “Eastern Sounds”  &  Live at Peps,because of the lithany of styles , instruments and passion demonstrated on these recordings.


Yusef Lateef a



posted by Robert J. Carmack

Coming in August, This writer will sit down with L.A. based Jazz guitarist,  Jacque Lesure.  The veteran  musician will discuss his blazing hot new CD on WJJacque Lesure II now3 Records, When She Smiles….follow Robert J. Carmack   #@blues2jazzguy






Steve Berrios

Jazz Musician,Drummer/Percussionist  Steve Berrios has died . Details are sketchy at this time  surrounding the cause of death. It was announced by a few unnamed close friends Thursday night  July 25, including longtime friend, Drummer Alvin Queen posting it on his personal Facebook page. We will be following this story up with more details as they become available. follow also on twitter#SteveBerrios  #@blues2jazzguy.

“STEVE BERRIOS  (born February 24, 1945) was a jazz drummer and percussionist born in New York, New York. He started playing trumpet, but is not known for the instrument. He often performed in the Afro-Cuban jazz medium, having done stints with Pucho & His Latin Soul BrothersJoe Panama and Mongo Santamaría. He also worked with artists from other streams of the jazz medium, like Kenny Kirkland and Art Blakey, among many others”

Steve was born in uptown Manhattan  to parents who had just arrived from Puerto Rico. His father, Steve Sr., was a drummer with major Latin bands of the era, including Noro Morales, Miguelito Valdez and Pupi Campo.

Steve was given a bugle at age eleven and soon began trumpet classes in public school. But his real musical education came from his father’s records (which included modern jazz artist like, Duke Ellington and Charlie “YardBird” Parker) and his father’s musician friends. On the percussion side, his two greatest early influences were Willie Bobo and Julio Collazo, the legendary master of the batá sacred drum.

Steve became a percussion apprentice under Julio; at the same time, Julio became his spiritual mentor in Santeria, the Yoruba-based rites that are the wellspring of all serious Afro-Cuban music.

At 16, Steve started winning competitions with his trumpet, including five Apollo Theater first places. In high school, he was friends with  Harlem neighbor, budding pianist Larry Willis; this was the beginning of a lifelong friendship and jazz collaboration.

At age 19, he got his first steady gig as house drummer with a hotel band in Manhattan thanks to his father’s recommendation. He joined Mongo Santamaria’s band a few years later, playing both traps and timbales.

In 1981, he became a founding member of the milestone Latin jazz group, the Fort Apache Band. He’s been a crucial ingredient in Fort Apache ever since. Great drummers like Max Roach and Billy Higgins regarded Steve as the master of bridging the Latin and the mainstream  jazz tradition. a unique drummer who’s completely authentic in both worlds.

Because of this mastery, Steve was a veteran of more than 300 recordings. He’s also played and recorded with an enormous range of greats including, Tito Puente, Paquito D’Rivera, Michael Brecker, Grover Washington, Hilton Ruiz, and Miriam Makeba.

He’s leader on a remarkable CD of Santeria-based music on Fantasy, Son Becaché. In addition to his continuing work with Fort Apache,and a spectrum of first-rate New York musicians, he’s a longtime member of the Larry Willis Trio. 



Bunky Green  Now color Bunky album Cover




‘I Walked with Giants’
Autobiography of  Jimmy Heath

Jimmy Heath and Joseph McLaren, foreword by Bill Cosby, introduction by Wynton Marsalis

Temple University Press

book_300   HeathJimmy Heath has long been recognized as a brilliant instrumentalist and a magnificent composer and arranger.  Jimmy is the middle brother of the legendary Heath Brothers (Percy Heath/bass and Tootie Heath/drums), and is the father of Mtume.   He has performed with nearly all the jazz greats of the last 50 years, from Howard McGhee, Dizzy Gillespie, and Miles Davis to Wynton Marsalis.  In 1948 at the age of 21, he performed in the First International Jazz Festival in Paris with McGhee, sharing the stage with Coleman Hawkins, Slam Stewart, and Erroll Garner.  One of Heath’s earliest big bands (1947-1948) in Philadelphia included John Coltrane, Benny Golson, Specs Wright, Cal Massey, Johnny Coles, Ray Bryant, and Nelson Boyd.  Charlie Parker and Max Roach sat in on one occasion.

During his career, Jimmy Heath has performed on more than 100 record albums including seven with The Heath Brothers and twelve as a leader.  Jimmy has also written more than 125 compositions, many of which have become jazz standards and have been recorded by other artists including Art Farmer, Cannonball Adderley, Clark Terry, Chet Baker, Miles Davis, James Moody, Milt Jackson, Ahmad Jamal, Ray Charles, Dizzy Gillespie J.J Johnson and Dexter Gordon.  Jimmy has also composed extended works – seven suites and two string quartets – and he premiered his first symphonic work, “Three Ears,” in 1988 at Queens College (CUNY) with Maurice Peress conducting.

After having just concluded eleven years as Professor of Music at the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College, Heath maintains an extensive performance schedule and continues to conduct workshops and clinics throughout the United States, Europe, and Canada.  He has also taught jazz studies at Jazz-mobile, Housatonic College, City College of New York, and The New School for Social Research.  In October 1997, two of his former students, trumpeters Darren Barrett and Diego Urcola, placed first and second in the Thelonious Monk Competition.

Heath’s enduring dedication to jazz as well as his musicianship prompted the following tributes:

“All I can say is, if you know Jimmy Heath, you know Bop.”   — Dizzy Gillespie

“Trane was always high on Jimmy’s playing and so was I. Plus, he was a very hip dude to be with, funny and clean and very intelligent. Jimmy is one of the thoroughbreds.”   — Miles Davis

“My pick from the world’s talent would be Diz as leader, John Lewis or Hank Jones on piano, Ray Brown bass, Milt Jackson vibes, Jimmy Heath tenor, and Sonny Stitt alto.”    — Kenny Clarke

“I had met Jimmy Heath, who – besides being a wonderful saxophonist – understood a lot about musical construction.  I joined his group in Philadelphia in 1948.  We were very much alike in our feeling, phrasing and a whole lot of other ways.  Our musical appetites were the same.  We used to practice together, and he would write out some of the things we were interested in.  We would take things from records and digest them.  In this way, we learned about the techniques being used by writers and arrangers.”   — John Coltrane, Downbeat, 1960

If you love jazz, you have to love Jimmy Heath..he’s that perfect bridge between the “Bop Era” & today’s contemporary jazz artists.  In his compositions you hear all those years of experience being visualized through his music and yet his attitude and approach to his playing is very well received by fans of all ages. Like a fine tuned race car, Heath is playing “Much Saxophone” and very much at the top of his game. Robert J. Carmack  is a music historian,writer and blogger,you can follow him on twitter @blues2jazzguy or https://www.facebook.com/groups/hipstercollectoncorner/

jimmy Heath at Dizzy's

Remembering Mulgrew; Terrell Stafford Featuring Mulgrew Miller

With Mulgrew Miller, Terell Stafford, Tim Warfield and Matt Wilson (Jazzbaltica 2006)

He Knows How Much We Can Bear
Terell Stafford – trumpet, flugelhorn
Tim Warfield – tenor sax, soprano sax
Martin Wind – bass
Matt Wilson – drums
Mulgrew Miller – piano (RIP)
Mulgrew Miller     2006, Große Konzertscheue, Jazzbaltica, Salzau, Germany

Barons of Hard Bop Piano: One Night Only Lincoln Center Jazz

Jazz Piano Summit: Cedar Walton & Barry Harris

The Allen Room at Jazz at Lincoln Center     New York City, N.Y.

jazz-piano-sumit-920Two jazz piano greats, Cedar Walton and Barry Harris, share the stage for what promises to be one great night of music. Best known for his hard bop style, Walton made a name for himself early on performing in Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, alongside Wayne Shorter and Freddie Hubbard. He’s also the composer of several jazz standards, such as “Firm Roots, “Bolivia,” “Cedar’s Blues” and “Fantasy in D” (aka “Ugetsu”). Barry Harris’ bebop stylings have been heard jamming with such luminaries as Cannonball Adderley, Coleman Hawkins and Dexter Gordon. Extremely prolific, Harris has recorded 19 albums as a lead artist and has been honored with a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. These two piano legends will be joined by Buster Williams on bass and Willie Jones III on drums.

Follow this story with #Bop Barons on twitter @blues2jazzguy

TWO SHOWS ONLY    SATURDAY,  JUNE 22   7:30pm   &  9:30pm