Tag: funk

NYC PIANIST RUDI WONGOZI LAUNCHES LATEST RELEASE: JAZZ FOR R&B LOVERS


The word “Balance” has many definitions, especially as a verb or noun..the ones I chose to use here in speaking about Rudi Wongozi are; an even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady.

OR, a condition in which different elements are equal or in the correct proportions , as in “Trying to keep a balance between work and relaxation.   There are remarkable and key points to realize when you talk about the artistry of Rudi Wongozi.

I was honored and elated to write about Rudi Wongozi’s latest CD; JAZZ FOR R&B LOVERS. “the album for After the After-Party”. You see I met Rudi over 12 years ago when I was living in the San Francisco Bay area as a journalist and jazz show producer. initially introduced by a longtime friend of Wongozi, Mr. Duane Deterville, artist, cultural archivist, author and an authority on the African Diaspora. Me being new to the S.F. Bay area then and needing to meet as many new performance artists as possible, I was immediately attracted to Rudi’s whole approach to the piano. even more important, was his attitude about NOT being cast inside the proverbial music box. “Is he Jazz or is he R&B or Pop”?? Neither, what I saw and heard was pure music knowledge , unabridged or, even tainted by labels or categories.

Inside the organization I helped to found, San Francisco Bay Area African-American Musicians Association, we collaborated on a show in Tribute to the great saxophonist Jackie McLean. Rudi tackled the very complex music of Mclean easily as I wanted it to be respectful of the artist, but also I wanted to have lots of creative license. To build upon the original foundation while re-creating new images and patterns through my poetry. And, through the band I assembled to bring the soul and heat.

Rudi Wongozi  has a long standing reputation in the East Bay(Oakland/Berkeley) area of California as a first call pianist and bandleader or recording session player in the genres of Jazz and Pop, Soul and R&B.

The Album for After the After Party

In a brief phone chat recently with the very busy pianist, as he is now living in New York city. We spoke about him being able to carve out himself a nice piece of the grass-roots and underground audiences that are hungry for new voices and sounds.

Wongonzi has valid and “legit” Jazz chops. He also has that eclectic voice that in a subtle kind of way reminds me a little of Gil Scott Heron. his original song lyrics are spot on and most relevant today. Hence, an album for after the After-party..that part of the early morning when no one is sleepy, and don’t want the groove to stop. Rudi Wongozi brings it all home in his new production, Jazz for R&B Lovers. 

Rudi has done a stellar job in marrying the different genres of music and placing it in a funnel and letting it blend to a honeycomb of soul and panache’. Still retaining his remarkable flair for the dramatic entrances.

On the song menu are classics by such notables as Denise Williams,Luther Vandross, Eric Clapton and the great Eddie Jefferson to name a few, plus unforgettable original gems written by Rudi , Precious: when the morning comes.

“Like some of my musical heroes, Nina Simone and Curtis Mayfield..they too were hard to put inside a musical label box because their talent was so expansive and universally appealed to multiple audiences” stated Wongozi.

12 tracks of sheer delight and memories, even a straight ahead version of “BAD HABITS” penned by Maxwell, the neo-soul artist.

You have to approach this album with an open mind and heart. then you will quickly get it. and then have a ball at the Party after the After-Party.

“I wanted to write a love song album, but I also wanted to blend in the social in-justice that’s currently happening in our country now. seasoning it with scat, rap and hip hop grooves beats on certain cuts. a recipe for success by artistically integrating multi-genre with the experience of a master musician/songwriter. This record drops NOVEMBER 11 2018… online purchases or at your favorite CD retail outlets

written by Robert J. Carmack, editor in chief, Hipster Sanctuary.com,actor,jazz poet and musician-@blues2jazzguy

press relations or more info regarding concerts or CD listening parties email us at; wongozi@yahoo.com

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STREET LIFE: MAGIC & MUSIC THE JAZZ CRUSADERS~TICKETS ON SALE NOW !


Hipster Sanctuary.Com

“Celebrating 20 years of Jazz Advocacy Through Whatever Medium Necessary”

Presents

STREET LIFE: MAGIC & MUSIC OF JAZZ CRUSADERS

 

Musical and Poetic Tribute

JUNE 22 9PM World Stage Performance Gallery

4321 Degnan Blvd. Los Angeles, California 90008

Exclusive Online tickets only at www.eventbrite.com $25

Featuring

CRUSADER LEGACY 5 Plus Band

Teodross Avery tenor sax, Alvin Starks trombone, Mike Alvidrez~bass

Theo Saunders~ piano, Don Littleton ~ drums

Plus poet/spoken word ~ Robert J. Carmack

Produced by Robert J. Carmack & select Crusaders transcriptions by http://www.JamesArmstrongMusic.com

Come Out and Help us pay homage to the dynamic and game-changing group

Media: @blues2jazzguy ~ blues2jazz2003@yahoo.com ~951-840-7120  

Producer Robert J. Carmack has created a show paying homage to music’s most celebrated jazz group over the last 5 decades. Carmack hand-picked Los Angeles “best of the best” local jazz musicians , all of whom are stellar musicians in their own right. Plus, Carmack will be adding his poems dedicated to the group, along with a special poem dedicated to the Saxman , Wilton FelderCrusader Legacy 5 Plus are Teodross Avery tenor saxophone, Alvin Starks trombone, Don Littleton drums, Theo Saunders piano/keyboards, Mike Alvidrez bass/elect. bass and Robert J. Carmack spoken word/poet and a special surprise guest. The evening will be filled with the essential Jazz Crusaders compositions that made them into the iconic and award-winning group they were. one survivor left of band, Nesbert “Stix” Hooper.

ROBERT J. CARMACK RECITE POEMS OF JAZZ ICON SUN RA WITH GROUP ECLECTIC NATIVITY


Posted by Kamaad Tauhid  #@blues2jazzguy

It was announced early today by actor,journalist and playwright, Robert J. Carmack, he’s been tapped to recite highly-tauted select poems of iconic jazz legend, SUN RA. ” I’m going to love this gig, as I’m appearing on stage with some of the best musicians in “Free Music” on both coasts. East & West. Carmack is poised and ready to take on the task of blending great works by one of his jazz heroes with the colors and sounds of improvisations. All in the spirit of the inter-planetary one, SUN RA.

Fresh from writing his new hit play about Nina Simone, “Interview With the High Priestess: Nina!” It will be debuting in Los Angeles at the World Stage, founded by Jazz legend , Billy Higgins. Scheduled for March 3rd,the One Night Only performance is Sold Out. Carmack appears in the play starring  Jana Wilson as Nina.

Master bassist Juini Booth and Violinist Kathleen Kim are gracing the stage at Zebulon Cafe in Los Angeles with a plethora of unique and eclectic musicians.

Juini Booth and friends with  supporting performances by Guillermo E. Brown and L.A. Fog. and DJ  Xandão  bringing the Brazilian funk.

L.A. Fog

On this special celebration of Juini Booth’s 70th birthday, friends of both coasts converge for an improvisational performance of cosmic proportions. Reflecting the influence of Juini Booth’s dynamic musicianship, participating artists draw from shared inspirations from Improvisations, soul, R&B, Funk,World Music and Spoken Word.

FEBRUARY 21, 9PM -1AM @ ZEBULON CAFE Great Music Great Drinks and great Food too… come early & stay late!

Eclectic Nativity includes Guillermo E. Brown, Wynne Bennett, Corey Fogel, LA Fog, Jon Leland, Mira Billotte, Helga Fassonaki and more. Opening performance by Guillermo E. Brown (solo)and L.A. Fog. plus surprise guests appearing.

Zebulon Café Concert

(323) 662-0966

KIRK ANDRES WILSON XMAS SHOW OF SHOWS!


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/

 

RIFFIN’ IN HOLLYWOOD WITH MARCUS MILLER at CATALINA’S


Posted by Robert J. Carmack-All Photos by Chuck Koton

Marcus Miller on Bass Clarinet
Marcus Miller on Bass Clarinet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jazz Shutter Bug, Chuck Koton was just able to eek out the last set at Catalina’s Jazz Bar & Grill in Hollywood recently. Miller was in town for a short stint to promote his latest effort entitled Afro Deezia. the Band seemed to  push out a mix of Originals and covers. Miller was just in town last month for two big concerts at the Hollywood Bowl.  The talented multi-instrumentalist was showcasing all his skills as jazz musician and bandleader. Often Marcus found himself trading licks with alto saxophonist, Alex Hahn and Atlanta-based Trumpeter Russell Gunn. One of his tunes that stood out during the last set was a thunderous bass-thumping version of Papa Was a Rolling Stone. also, a special tribute to “Goree” was highlighted by his mastery of the bass clarinet. Thanks Chuck for the pictures.

 

marcus-miller-alto-sax

 

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CELEBRATING BLACK MUSIC MONTH WITH LEGEND BIG BLACK ~ PERCUSSIONIST


posted by Robert J. Carmack  #blues2jazzguy

shown: music journalist/producer Robert J. Carmack with drummer Big Black
shown: music journalist/producer Robert J. Carmack with drummer Big Black – photos by Emmett Williams

 

 

 

Danny “Big Black” Rey got its nickname “Big Black” from an older brother because of his interest in drums.  During his high school years on the radio, the Conga in the Cuban music had heard he was interested in the instrument and traveled to Florida and the Bahamas , where he spent five years. There he played with Lord Fleas Calypso band met at Fish Ray and Johnny “Slick” Engraham and looked at Calypso Eddy Trio with Sam and Role . In Miami, he worked at Jack Contanzo, Moe Koffman and the Contemporary Jazz Orchestra, before he formed a band with trumpeter Billy Cook and found private access to the fusion of Caribbean and Jazz rhythms.

In the early 1960s, he moved to New York City, where he worked in the bands of Freddie Hubbard (Night of the Cookers) and Randy Weston and also played with the likes of musicians Ray Bryant, Johnny Barracuda, Junior Cook and Eric Dolphy was heard. In 1965 he was in the Caribbean Pavilion of World Expo. Also, in that same year, he performed with Dizzy Gillespie at the Newport Jazz Festival. He got a record deal and produced four of his own albums prior to 1972, where he partially pushed the envelope in the area of African rhythms in music. He had a short stint as a member of the Paul Butterfield Blues Band . Big Black even spent sometime as an actor of supporting roles in TV shows and films.   A tremendous musician and sideman,eclectic icon in Jazz, performed many times outside the mainstream as Sun Ra, B.B. King, Charles Tolliver , and even played music during the World Cup campaign with Muhammad Ali.  Big Black worked as musical director on several projects by Randy Weston african themed recordings. But my favorite of all Big Black collaborations was his work with Hugh Masakela starting in the mid 1960s(1966) Masakela, Big Black ,Henry the Skipper” Franklin, Larry Willis and all appeared in a historic Concert in WATTS(LA california) as part of the very First WATTS Festival in August of 1966, coming just one year later after one of the worst Race riots in LA history.

This writer was there to witness that concert as a young 15-year-old budding jazz musician. Masakela was making his West Coast debut in Los Angeles with tremendous success to follow after that first concert at a local high school. It was good to talk over old days with one of the all-time greats on percussions. He still enjoys the passion & skills to elevate the room with precision-like rhythms and cadences.

more info on Big Black: http://www.bigblackmusic.com/

 

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