STEPHANIE SPRUILL AT CLIVE DAVIS THEATER: 4 YOUR GRAMMY CONSIDERATION


*by Robert J. Carmack  #blues2jazzguy  #itsajazzday

Stephanie Spruill is a great performer and she reminds me of Eartha Kitt and Sarah Vaughan.”Barry Gordy-Founder Motown

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“Stephanie Spruill is phenomenal.I met her in the mid – 70s when she was starting out in L.A .at some sessions she was singing on for my cousins Larry and Fonce Mizell. She was gorgeous and did not need a microphone to raise the roof in the room..Wow!” 

Don Mizell-Executive Producer/Lawyer-Entertainment Intellectual Property

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While counting down to Saturday, October 3 at The GRAMMY MUSEUM, Angelenos are making this show for legendary entertainer, Stephanie Spruill, the hottest ticket in town. Without a doubt, the multi-award winning songbird will make her way to the stage at 7pm and declare the concert an officialStephanie Spruill JAZZ DAY” event.

Steph seated at the Piano
Steph seated at the Piano

With all the Grammy consideration buzz swirling around her latest CD entitled, It’s a JAZZ DAY, Saturday’s performances are slated to be must-see entertainment.

Clive Davis Theater 800 W. Olympic Blvd Los Angeles CA  Grammy Museum

Most of the evening’s tunes will feature a diverse set of compositions including the title-track penned by singer/songwriter, Brenda Russell. The new CD promises to offer something for everybody’s musical palate with various genres, rhythms and grooves. Two of  Pop,Jazz and Soul’s biggest names are working also on this CD with Stephanie, Patrice Rushen and Brenda Russell. Team Stephanie promises a jamming good time inside the Clive Davis Theater.

Named after the longtime music mogul, Clive Davis. It was Davis himself personally signing Stephanie as part of a duet(Saint & Stephanie) at Arista Records.Prior to signing with the world famous record executive Clive Davis,The Pair were known as “Stuff & Ramjett”.

Steph Sitting amongst her Record Award Wall of Fame
Stephanie sitting amongst her Record Award Wall of Fame

It’s easy to say.. I played a gig with so and so, or I sung on that session, when you speak to some of the talent here in Los Angeles but, I have been around a long time, I found it very hard to find anybody, who has not worked with, or collaborated with Stephanie Spruill.  From the very urban and soulful Young Saints Ensemble, to Glenn Campbell, to Quincy Jones, Donald Byrd,to name a few of the Hit makers/movers and shakers.

This amazing lady has swung on both coasts, traveled the globe hundreds of times performing for kings, queens and princesses, all types of royalty. She’s probably one of only a handful that has performed for three(3) different presidential administrations at the white house.

In order to understand a little bit about the magnitude of Stephanie Spruill’s passion for music , you need to go all the way back to her early childhood days as a Cello student at El Segundo Elementary school, a fellow High school and elementary classmate had this to say about young Stephanie..

Fran Shepard-Elementary & High school classmate

Stephanie was 1st chair cello in the orchestra at El Segundo Elementary School. She was an excellent cellist! She had taken private lessons which allowed her to play at an elevated level, with higher, more complex fingering skills and bowing technique.

She also played in the Compton Civic Youth Orchestra. A mix of kids from all the schools in Compton! I just remember how driven she was towards excellence in music. She continued to grow with the cello, and became quite accomplished!

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David Crawford-Centennial High School classmate & Professional Musician/Arranger  “Yes it was with Stephanie that I had my first experience in accompanying a vocalist and that was back in High School. Her confidence in her vocal skills and committed focus in music was inspiring and admired by me, and many others. It has been a blessing to know we can still play a role in each other’s professional careers and life. Wishing Stephanie, my long time friend and colleague continued success.”

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R.J. Carmack-Centennial High School Jazz Band-3 years               Rhythm Warriors/Saxophonist – I remember Stephanie as a standout in the two high school talent shows, choral group performances,& countless records soundtracks & voice-overs made over the years. After decades of helping everyone else to awards and Gold/Platinum recordings..Just like the kid’s game we all played growing up, Tag, You it!!  Its Your turn Stephanie,  It’s a Jazz Day!

Spruill project NOW
Stephanie Spruill

For additional information on Ms. Stephanie Spruill click on link below

http://www.stephaniespruill.net  or leave a comment here at hipster sanctuary.com

Stephanie Spruill  Live!  7pm Sat Oct 3 2015

Clive Davis Theater  800 W. Olympic Blvd. LA

Grammy Museum

Click Link Below for General Admission at $27.00 or                      VIP at $57.00
https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr… $27.00
https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr… $57.00

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ECHOES OF AN ERA: THE FABULOUS QUINCY JONES


posted by  Eric L. Wattree via R.J. Carmack #blues2jazzguy

Quincy at PianoQuincy Jones is one of the last truly GREAT composers and arrangers to come out of jazz, or any other form of music, in quite some time. NOBODY is greater, and no one ever has been. He stands among Ellington, Basie, Mancini, and Gershwin in complete comfort, so we shouldn’t take him for granted, because Quincy is easily among the greatest men who have ever lived, and that’s not meant as hyperbole.

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Yes, we already recognize him as a celebrity, but he’s much more than just that. Due to our contemporary philosophy of “de-education” – or the dumbing-down of society – we fail to recognize Quincy’s true statue as an artist, or what he represents to the history of music as a whole. Quincy Jones is not just famous, he’s an icon of the arts of a historic stature, and we should all recognize and honor such greatness within our midst, because there is nothing of more value to humanity than those who have achieved Quincy’s level of excellence, greatness, and accomplishment.
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People such as Quincy enhance all of humanity. They serve as living testaments to what man is capable of at his best. Their contributions represent the ultimate political, spiritual, and moral statement of mankind as a whole. They also stand as a constant reminder of what man can, and should be, and of the kind of excellence that we should all strive for.

quincy in session
Q in session with the great William “Count ” Basie 1959

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Thus, this is my tribute to a GREAT man, and a great artist, who has managed to achieve the ultimate in our human endeavor – immortality.  (The lyrics were written to be sang by a woman).

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QUINTESSENCE     lyrics by  ERIC WATTREE        

I____ love the sound____ of maestro\Quincy Jones____.
His music____ is so____ divine______.
When I sing____his songs____ I know I can’t____go wrong,
because I’m filled____with the soul____of Quincy Jones______.
*
Q’s____serenades_____ are always so refined________
The mel-o-dies linger____ on_____.
They sing of love for you____from a guy_______ known
as “Q”_____,
A name____that will always_______ sing for
you______

And then when Phil____ begins to play,
Quin-tes-sence\in his\own____and special way____
he seems to know\ . . . . exactly what the Q had to say.
They sung about jazz and love\ and of \ling___er___ing
Sunsets__________,
and______ blessed the dawn________with this song__

They sung of love\ and when your heart is full,
trem-bl-ing lips\ beneath a mistletoe____
they made my heart____ stand still_______.
So as I sing____ this song____ I know I\Just\ can’t____ go wrong______,
because it flowed____ from the pen ____ of

Maestro, Quincy Jones______.

I____ love the sound____ of maestro\Quincy Jones____.
His music____ is so____ divine______.
When I sing____his songs____ I know I can’t____go wrong,
because I’m filled____with the soul____of Quincy Jones______.

And then when Phil began to play\ Q just let him have____ his own way_____,
and Phil said, \”Maestro\ . . . I just love the sound of this
mel-o-dy.”
Then picked up his horn\ and started to
soar________like an angel__________,

and joined____ the immortals____ in fame_____.

Genius like this\ you never see no more____, \kissed
by the Gods\ as they walk through the door;
\A genius where time____stands still___________.
So as I sing___ his song______I know I____

can’t________ go wrong_________,

because I am wrapped\ in the soul_____ of Maestro____ Quincy Jones______.

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Beauty is Q’s genre, and
he uses our heartstrings as his ax.

The fabulous Quincy Jones and the great Clark Terry!

clark Terry  Quincy

INVITATION by Q and Orchestra with sax solo by Phil Woods

About the writer

Eric L. Wattree is a writer, poet, and musician, born in Los Angeles. He’s a columnist for The Los Angeles Sentinel, Black Star News, The Atlanta Post, and a member of the Sigma Delta Chi Society of Professional Journalists (http://www.spj.org/). He’s also the author of “A Message From the Hood.”

“Some of the greatest minds I’ve ever known held court while sitting on empty milk crates in the parking lots of ghetto liquor stores, while some of the weakest minds I’ve ever known roamed the halls of academia in pursuit of credentials over knowledge.”

Eric L. Wattree Eric Wattree
http://www.whohub.com/wattree

Kindred Spirits: Ndugu Chanceler


Kindred Spirits: Ndugu Chanceler 

It’s not often you get an opportunity to actually watch the professional growth of a musician up-close through most of their career,but in the case of Leon “Ndugu” Chanceler,I did. There’s many good things about growing up in Los Angeles in the 1950s or 60s..You had opportunities a kid from Shreveport, Louisiana during that era was never going to have. My parents moved us to Los Angeles in 1960. 

By 1963,I was learning saxophone and music theory. As in the case of Ndugu Chanceler, he too was from Shreveport, Louisiana. he started playing and studying music at 13,He grew up in LA (Watts area)in the 60s,just like me! I graduated from Cal State University Dominguez Hills, so did he. I guess that makes us kindred spirits and “Home Boys”. But that’s where the the meter on his side rises and explodes off the Charts. One Night, I was attending the famous jazz club, the Lighthouse where Willie Bobo & the BoGents were the group performing. Willie Bobo, a Purveyor of great talent,a master drummer- percussionist himself. He no longer playing the “Traps”.

 Bobo was out front now on timbales and vocals.. but, seated behind this mountain of drums,cymbals,and gear, was this youngster who hardly looked all of 15 or so. It was,at that time Leon(Ndugu) on drums. And man! could he play. I cut my teeth on listening to all the jazz masters on drums and seeing all I could, when they came to the Lighthouse or Shelly’s Manne Hole in Los Angeles. Billy Higgins,Frank Butler, Louis Hayes,Max Roach and Art Blakey frequented the LA club scene often.. I now have a guy from my generation who displays all of the jazz history and legacy into his playing AND,then piles on monstrous groove patterns at tremendous tempos with the greatest of ease,smiling like he just ate the canary! That was my introduction to Ndugu Chanceler! 

In my humble opinion, the two “baddest Cats” on drums coming out of Los Angeles late 60s to early 70s were, Ndugu Chanceler and “Sunship” Theus(RIP) another great drummer from my generation. These drummers were younger than Jack DeJohnette, Billy Hart,Billy Cobham, but still played on a higher level as the 70s emerged. Jazz went all “Electric Fusion”,Fender Rhodes pianos Synthisizers(MOOG)technology was in play, and Ndugu was was right in the middle of that music era strong! Still maintaining his roots in Jazz performing with the likes of Freddie Hubbard, Miles Davis, Bobby Hutcherson, and Gerald Wilson Big Band. In a flash of an eye, doubling up on calls with George Duke, Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock’s Jazz Fusion bands. In addition, his recording sessions list was equally stellar also. Chanceler has also worked with Stanley Clarke,Jean-Luc Ponty,Donna Summer,George Duke,Patrice Rushen,Carlos Santana,Hubert Laws,The Crusaders,Frank Sinatra,Weather Report,Lionel Richie,Kenny Rogers,Thelonious Monk,Herbie Hancock and John Lee Hooker. Most famous of all, The King of Pop.” Michael Jackson! THE Drummer on Thriller’s Billy Jean”. 

Ndugu(Leon)Chanceler, from his humble beginnings in Los Angeles at Holy Chapel Missionary Baptist Church under Pastor William Cobbs,to, Grammy winning recordings,to being honored at the University of Southern California’s  www.usc.edu/visionsandvoices Visions and Voices Humanities & Arts program Sept 23. 

60 years of Life & Music!

Chanceler is also a member of Percussive Arts Society and has been named as one of the top 25 Drummers in the world! Follow Robert J. Carmack discussions and reviews on jazz at twitter: @blues2jazzguy