BUSTER WILLIAMS BUSTED LOOSE AT 75th BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION CONCERT


Buster Williams & Jazz Journalist Robert J. Carmack photo by Robert Hill

posted by Robert J. Carmack

You know anytime you have a name like Buster , the bar is already set high! No need to worry as the 75 year old bassist did not disappoint the crowd attending the concert at Nate Holden Performing Arts Center in Los Angeles last weekend(June 24). Buster Williams led an all-star team of jazz veterans into los Angeles anchored by the iconic drummer, Lenny White.

Lenny White drums

One of the surprises of the evening was the youngest member of the band in pianist,George Colligan. George is a jazz pianist, organist, drummer, trumpet player, educator, composer and bandleader based in Portland, Oregon. Colligan was born in New Jersey, and raised in Columbia, Maryland. He attended the Peabody Institute, majoring in classical trumpet and music education. In high school he learned to play the drums and later switched to piano. His playing is influenced by Chick Corea, Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, Thelonious Monk, Wayne Shorter, and McCoy Tyner. The influences showed in many ways as he blistered solo after solo , which at times he seemed to levitate up from the piano stool, especially on a time honored classic as “I Didn’t Know What Time It Was”

George Colligan

 

 

 

 

 

 

Steve Wilson has attained ubiquitous status in the studio and on the stage with the greatest names in jazz, as well as critical acclaim as a bandleader in his own right. A musician’s musician, Wilson has brought his distinctive sound to more than 150 recordings led by such celebrated and wide-ranging artists as Chick Corea, George Duke, Michael Brecker, Dave Holland, Dianne Reeves, Bill Bruford, Gerald Wilson, Maria Schneider, Joe Henderson, Charlie Byrd, Billy Childs, Karrin Allyson, Don Byron, and Mulgrew Miller among many others. He has eight recordings as a leader.

Steve Wilson.

 

 

 

 

 

Charles Anthony “Buster” Williams is THE “consummate”  jazz bassist. Williams is known for his membership in pianist Herbie Hancock’s early 1970s group, working with guitarist Larry Coryell in the 1980s.  Mid-1960s Buster recorded a plethora of sessions with Jazz Crusaders. He also worked in the Thelonious Monk Repertory Band, Mary Lou Williams Collective, Harold Land Quintet, Sphere and as the accompanist of choice for many singers, notably Ms. Nancy Wilson.

Buster soloing is as sublime as a “brand new Rolls Royce’s interior…his lines are impeccable, as he directs the band through his dynamics in the compositions. He gets the absolute maximum out of a quartet. with a drummer like White who paints as well as keeping time, but more importantly , the unit engages the audience into the story by the composer. Colligan’s experience with Buster, goes all the way back to the mid 90s, which gives him an edge to lead the band with his melodic solos into uncharted waters. Steve Wilson on Sax tends to provide at times, hummingbird-like precision playing of the melody. Followed by his own sub-themed compositions inside the original piece.. which acts like a butterfly leaving a cocoon. All in tow of placing the listener on the edge of their seats. He certainly made it a glorious occasion on last Saturday night performances. Salud!! Salud!! Master Buster. Thank You JAZZ BAKERY and RUTH PRICE!

“You Don’t Just Hear the Music,You Experience the Music”

Herbie Hancock

KEYSTONE KLIPPINS’:JAZZ ICONS SPEAK ABOUT TODD BARKAN AND SAN FRANCISCO’S KEYSTONE KORNER


posted by Robert J. Carmack     #@blues2jazzguy

Jazz impresario Todd Barkan is returning to the scene of the Jazz Crime, San Francisco with two dates to remember. July 7 & 8.

The great pianist/composer Mary Lou Williams referred to Keystone Korner as “the Birdland of the Seventies.” Art Blakey, Miles Davis, and Stan Getz all agreed that Keystone Korner was “the best jazz club in the world.”

Band personnel: Azar Lawrence, Eddie Henderson, Mel Martin, Benito Gonzalez, Denny Zeitlin, Juini Booth,Roy McCurdy(just added) Akira Tana, Ray Drummond,Kenneth Nash, Charles McPherson, Gary Bartz & lots more!!

Friday, July 7, 7:00 pm

Kuumbwa Jazz Center
320 Cedar Street, Santa Cruz
831-427-2227
Tickets: $30/35

Saturday, July 8, 2:00 pm

Bach Dancing & Dynamite Society
311 Mirada Drive, Half Moon Bay
650-726-4143
Advance: Adults $45/35, Students $25 (25 & under with ID)
Door: Adults $50, Students $30

Saturday, July 8, 7:00-11:00 pm

Pier 23 Cafe
On the Embarcadero at the foot of Greenwich, San Francisco
415-362-5125
No advance tickets / $10 cover charge

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Barkan has assembled a “heavyweight contending” lineup for our listening pleasure. Also, its sure to offer tons of surprises from musicians & friends from over the years. Be There!!

In our series on Keystone Klippins’ – a snapshot into the thoughts and ideas of some of the “Cats” that played the “Korner” over the years and back to help celebrate the 45th anniversary with Todd and Friends. Coming Next!! Wednesday June 21, Saxophonist Mel Martin and Bassist, Juini Booth.

Charles Mcpherson – alto sax /composer/husband/dad

One of my most challenging conversations because of the time restraints. I wanted so many questions answered and so little time. I was able to find out some “nuggets for the real jazz fans. such as, I did not know he went to high school with Roy Brooks and they played in his first jazz band together. Also, Brooks was a star athlete, especially basketball. Living and growing up in Detroit, you are bound to bump into or come up against some of the “most superb” musicians in the world. Sure enough, he played with a guy known as the Charlie Parker of the bass in Detroit. Non-other than James Jamerson of Motown fame.. Yes! he was a jazz bassist too. I was a student of the saxophone at the time I learned about Charlie Parker in early 1960s, My guys on alto at the time was Bird, Jackie Mclean, Cannonball and Charles Mcpherson(I called him that guy with Mingus band not Dolphy). He always looked so cool playing with Mingus and the rest of the band.. He was built for Mingus…kind of like Charlie Rouse was built for Monk. He was his own man not a Bird clone.

Another jazz hero of mine was Barry Harris, (pianist with Lee Morgan on the Sidewinder) Lee Morgan’s record introduced me to the bop sound of Harris, which led me to the records by Harris including Charles McPherson on Saxophones.

I asked Charles about, what it was like playing the Keystone Korner in the day? Mcpherson:” Man it was a delight playing there. Todd was a REAL JAZZ FAN, not just an owner. We had fun there always over the years and I wound up the very last booked act at the Keystone in 1983″.  “my most memorable times was the Two- Biller Allstar bands with split sets. Man! Nobody was doing with jazz what Todd was doing to pack in the true jazz fans,added McPherson. Tony Williams – Barry Harris double bills!”

“I’m really looking forward to hooking up with cats I haven’t seen in a few and having that spirit of the old Keystone Korner days.”

A teenage friend of this writer who was studying saxophone also turned me on to this album in 1965.. a stellar lineup of great musicians . I still enjoy putting this one on.

Charles McPherson was born in Joplin, Missouri and moved to Detroit at age nine. After growing up in Detroit, he studied with the renowned pianist Barry Harris and started playing jazz professionally at age 19.  He moved from Detroit to New York in 1959 and performed with Charles Mingus from 1960 to 1972. While performing with Mingus, he collaborated frequently with Harris, Lonnie Hillyer (trumpet), and George Coleman (tenor sax).

Charles McPherson was recently featured at Lincoln Center showcasing his original compositions and arrangements with a seven-piece ensemble. He has toured the U.S., Europe, Japan, Africa and South America with his own groups, as well as with jazz greats Barry Harris, Billy Eckstine, Lionel Hampton, Nat Adderley, Jay McShann, Phil Woods, Wynton Marsalis, Tom Harrell, Randy Brecker, James Moody, Dizzy Gillespie, and many others.

Over the years Charles has travelled as special guest artist with Charlie Mingus, Barry Harris, Art Farmer, Kenny Drew, Toshiko Akiyoshi, the Carnegie Hall Jazz Orchestra, and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis. He has recorded as leader on Prestige, Fantasy, Mainstream, Discovery, Xanadu, and most recently Arabesque. His most recent recording is the highly acclaimed “Manhattan Nocturne.”

Charles was also the featured alto saxophonist in the Clint Eastwood film “Bird,” a biography about Charlie Parker.

McPherson remains a strong, viable force on the jazz scene today. He is at the height of his powers. His playing combines passionate feeling with intricate patterns of improvisation.

For more information and news of his collaboration with the San Diego Ballet featuring his daughter (see link below)

http://www.charlesmcpherson.com

Charles & Camille McPherson (daughter)

 

KEYSTONE KLIPPINS’~ WHEN JAZZ HISTORY, GOOD FRIENDS AND GREAT MUSICIANS COME TOGETHER


Joao Gilberto, Billy Hart, and Todd Barkan May 1976 pix: Tom Copi

posted  #@blues2jazzguy Robert J.Carmack

If its one thing I can say about Todd Barkan, he’s one of the hardest working jazz presenters ,producer and all around good guy. Over the last few months I’ve spoken with various musicians  that have either worked with, or for Todd. They all say to the man “He’s one of a kind, like family, and has his head on straight in knowing exactly where he wants to take the music” .

Among the best moves he ever made was establishing a club called The Keystone Korner..Jumping off right at a time when Jazz was waffling in the Bay area, particularly in San Francisco. With a head full of bright ideas and a few dollars, he was able to recruit some of the best musicians in the bay area at the time.   He then grew that into a virtual “Who’s Who”. Its foolish to try to  post a laundry list of legends who played the “Korner”.

In fact, It’s easier to say who didn’t. To name a few;                   Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers, Dexter Gordon, Bobby Hutcherson,Joe Henderson, Jimmy Smith, Freddie Hubbard, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Michael White, McCoy Tyner and on and on. Some of these stints were recorded “LIVE” and later released as collector’s sessions at the Keystone Korner. (see Bright Moments and Atlantis) 

 

So it’s no surprise when Todd organized this 45th anniversary  celebration scheduled to take place in the San Francisco bay area  .. You can join him and all his friends in the Bay area July 7 & 8 2017. (see venues and times below)

Three Exciting Dates of Electrifying Music for You  

July 7th 2017 – KUUMBWA JAZZ CENTER  7:pm 

Santa Cruz,CA.

July 8th 2017 – BACH DANCING & DYNAMITE SOCIETY

2:pm HALF MOON BAY,CA. call ahead for reservations are suggested

July 8th 2017 – PIER 23 on the EMBARCADERO -7:pm            San Francisco, CA.  reservations are suggested

The action gets started with legendary artists performing

Charles McPherson..Gary Bartz.. Azar Lawrence.. Eddie Henderson.. Mel Martin.. Ray Drummond.. Kenneth Nash.. Benito Gonzalez.. Juini Booth, Denny Zeitlin & quite a few other surprises.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

45TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION OF KEYSTONE KORNER on JULY 7-8, 2017, with Charles McPherson, Gary Bartz, Eddie Henderson, Denny Zeitlin, Benito Gonzalez, Mel Martin, Ray Drummond, Juini Booth,  Calvin Keys, Kenneth Nash, et al. Todd Barkan, MC.
 
KUUMBWA JAZZ CENTER, SANTA CRUZ, CA.
FRIDAY, JULY 7, 7 pm.  www.kuumbwajazz.org
 
BACH DANCING & DYNAMITE SOCIETY
HALF MOON BAY, CALIFORNIA
SATURDAY, JULY 8, 2-4 pm www.bachddsoc.org
 
PIER 23 CAFE, EMBARCADERO, SAN FRANCISCO, SATURDAY, JULY 8, 7-12 pm

KEYSTONE KLIPPINS’ ~ CELEBRATING 45 YEARS AT THE KORNER


On-Going Series: Keystone Klippins’ – 45 Years!!! 

Robert J. Carmack      jazz journalist   #@blues2jazzguy

KEYSTONE KLIPPINS’  quick-snapshot  look at the jazz journey taken by the man who presents it and the Men and Women who make it. Todd Barkan, The Man who started this journey years ago , is bringing it all back full circle. Starting the weekend of July 7th and 8th in the San Francisco Bay area at several Key(stone) venues July 7 & 8, 2017.

Three Exciting Dates of Electrifying Music for You

July 7th 2017 – KUUMBWA JAZZ CENTER  7:pm 

Santa Cruz,CA.

July 8th 2017 – BACH DANCING & DYNAMITE SOCIETY

2:pm HALF MOON BAY,CA.

July 8th 2017 – PIER 23 on the EMBARCADERO -7:pm            San Francisco, CA.

The action gets started with legendary artists performing

Charles McPherson..Gary Bartz.. Azar Lawrence.. Eddie Henderson.. Mel Martin.. Ray Drummond.. Kenneth Nash.. Benito Gonzalez.. Juini Booth, Denny  Zeitlin & quite a few Surprises.

Plenty of BRIGHT MOMENTS!!

Since 1975, Barkan has produced more than 1000 award-winning recordings for American,Japanese and European record companies by artists such as Art Blakey,Bill Evans, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Jimmy Smith, McCoy Tyner, GroverWashington, Jr., Gloria Lynne,Hank Jones, Roy Haynes, Joe Lovano, Phil Woods, Bill Charlap, FreddyCole, Chico O’Farrill, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Kenny Barron,Jeff Watts, Red Garland, Lou Donaldson, Cedar Walton, Eddie Harris, Tommy Flanagan, Jerry Gonzalez & The Fort Apache Band, Ravi Coltrane, Bud Shank, Jimmy Scott, Kenny Kirkland, Bobby Hutcherson, Dexter Gordon, Tete Montoliu, Cyrus Chestnut, Benny Golson, Eric Alexander, Mose Allison, Renee Rosnes, Joe Locke, Eddie Henderson, John Hicks, Paul Bley, Mongo Santamaria, Barry Harris, Manny Oquendoy Libre, Lewis Nash,Shelly Manne and Steve Kuhn.

“Voices of the Cats playing”

Azar Lawrence Tenor Sax

Robert: when did you first appear at Keystone?

Azar: Man! a long time ago ,I think it was either McCoy Tyner or Elvin Jones…Not sure, but I was real young back then.

Robert: what was your impression of the Club and more importantly, what was your impression of Todd Barkan?

Azar: Man, I dug the club right off the bat, the whole scene was cool and hip. Todd my man…he was so cool and professional, but a real sense of the music and where he wanted to go with it.  One of my most memorable times at the Keystone..I believe.. I was gigging with Elvin Jones  and George Cables, man, we were hittin’ that night. The club was built for high-level play, and the cats always delivered. Now that I think about it, that live recording with McCoy Tyner..  that was really top-shelf too… I’m really looking forward to this celebration of 45 years of Keystone. we will be doing a lot of playing, but a lot of remembering of the cats that ain’t here. Also, me seeing some cats I ain’t seen in a long time too.

Robert: Any new projects you can talk about?

Azar: I have two projects coming out in a few month, I will be launching an acoustical project with Benito Gonzalez ,Jeff Littleton and Marvin “Smitty” Smith. yeah, look for that in about 60 days.. Also in about 90 days,  I have collaborated as co-producer with music producer John Barnes for a project called “Azar into the Night “.. both is poppin!

Please follow this series each week,we will feature a player that’s performing in Todd Barkan’s 45 year celebration of Keystone Korner.  P.S. be sure to “like” or comment on the stories at this E-Zine  Hipstersanctuary.com.

CELEBRATING JAZZ APPRECIATION MONTH: PIERCE STREET JAZZ SERIES FREE TO PUBLIC


PIERCE STREET JAZZ SERIES    

Presented by La Sierra University

4500 Pierce St, Riverside, CA. 92505
@piercestreetjazz
Straight Ahead jazz in the Troesh Conference Center, Zapara School of Business at La Sierra University on specific dates at no cost. 
Once a Month , Second Wednesdays… Guest Talent Varies
House Band: Henry Franklin Trio
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Charles Owns Tenor sax
Kirk Lightsey
Noland Shaheed

REMEMBERING FREDERICK DEWAYNE HUBBARD: “HUBB”


written by Robert J. Carmack  #@blues2jazzguy

As this writer was trying to decide on subjects and artists to write about during Jazz appreciation month, “Hubb”, BKA Freddie Hubbard, came into my mind

It’s not easy to write about an eclectic figure like Frederick Dewayne Hubbard. So I’m just going to go against all traditional musings about Hubbard, as viewed by the “jazz-elite”press corps.

I’m more inclined with the hip-crowd of admirers and fans that marvel over the fire, passion and gymnastics. He had all that going for him, that flowed from his body like sweat on a star athlete having a two-hundred rushing yards day, or a 50 point basketball night.

I was first introduced to “Freddie” on Herbie Hancock’s fourth album on Blue Note, Empyrean Isles,1964. At the time I was studying music and saxophone in junior high. First,  I was drawn into the groove of Cantaloupe Island, but, as I listened more to the whole album, I became impressed with the trumpeter.

He didn’t sound like any of the other trumpeters of the era I had been listening to,like Miles, Donald Byrd, Nat Adderley, Dizzy or Clark Terry. It was Hubbard’s dexterity and mastery of his horn, plus the “swag” and POWER! To coin another sports phrase Freddie was like a Power back among a field of average running backs, He just hit a little harder than the others. Man.. those “runs” and glass-shattering high notes that seem to flow so easily from Hubb.

I had not even seen Freddie live yet until early 1967. He was touring with a concept co-op band called the Jazz Communicators that included Joe Henderson, Herbie Lewis, Kenny Barron, and Mr. straight-ahead himself, Louis Hayes.

One day while lunching at school a few of the cats from the school jazz band and myself agreed to catch this group over the weekend. since they were appearing at the famous Lighthouse Jazz café in Hermosa Beach, a local venue inside the metro los Angeles area. We were so anxious, or, I was at least…I could hardly get through the week doing my homework and band practice.

Friday finally arrived , and we got such an early start ,we were the first ones to arrive at the club as only the workers were coming to punch-in for work that night . The anticipation of the frontline was just overwhelming to us. Wow ! Joe Henderson and Freddie Hubbard. We decided to walk around to kill some time , one of the guys brought a joint that was rather poorly rolled in wheat straw papers and looked pregnant. (Lol) so, we veered down to the far end of the Pier, away from prying-eyes. The five of us proceeded to enjoy the libations, though it was quite comical in our inexperience in these type matters.. the real comedy came as we began to experience the mini-explosions of burning seeds and stems as we laughed uncontrollably until we finished it. Then walking back to the front door , we were met by the ever-smiling Bassist/Manager, Howard Rumsey. He just said as we came in, “You Cats know the rules ,so enjoy yourselves.. We took our up close seats” and ordered our “soft Cokes,” with strange assortments of cherries, limes and oranges garnishing the glass . that made us feel like we were fitting-in with the very hip and rather chatty crowd. Without any further delay, Howard came over  the loudspeaker, “Ladies and Gentlemen, the Jazz Communicators!”

Bam!. Right out the gate Freddie Hubbard kicked off a Jazz Messengers favorite and, Hubbard’s standard, “Crisis”. I don’t know what its like to ride a bull in a rodeo, but I do know what its like to punch a super-charged Corvette Sting-Ray for the first time.. Zero to 60 in a matter of a few seconds. with my heart and my “stones” jumping out of my body. That’s what it was like with Freddie and Joe opening with a slightly faster version of Crisis. He played, I listened to his very powerful playing up-close and personal. He took at least six courses. OMG!! I had no idea.

The Power, the flow of ideas, trills ,choke notes Highs-lows ascending-descending, those long lung-busting phrases. Oh yeah, those little counter-melodies and rich harmonics,chock full of surprise quotes from classic tunes fused in-between, the sinewy side-bar lines Freddie is known for as a signature.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Joe Henderson’s solo was no less electrifying as only Joe could do. Quick power phrases, built on Flat fives and 9s..squawks,growls followed by machine gun like notes pouring out of his horn, riding the rhythm and comping by Louis Hayes and a young Kenny Barron. All held together by the “glue” of bassist Herbie Lewis.

I had seen lots of groups  come to the lighthouse ,but this was a special night. Unbelievable on many levels to this writer. First, The group kept elevating, We stayed from the first to the last set and there were no “Let-Ups” in intensity. Second..I never forgot that evening’s performances. Third, Here it is now 50 years later, and I’m still remembering it as if it was only yesterday.

A couple of us guys that’s still here often reflect on that evening’s fun and camaraderie.. But, the artistry of Freddie Hubbard, Joe Henderson,Kenny Barron, Herbie Lewis and Louis Hayes still DISTRIBUTE GOOD THOUGHTS IN GREAT TIMES, IN OUR HEADS.

July 2003, I was producer/MC for a Jazz series in San Francisco-Knob Hill  project called “Celebrate a Legend-Jazz In July” a month long 7 days a week series featuring Freddie Hubbard, Freddie Coles, Vanessa Rubin, Doug Carn, Sonny Fortune, Andy Bey, Calvin Keyes, to name a few.  All participating and receiving lifetime achievement awards. We brought in Freddie special for five days, even surprising Freddie with an old friend in Billy Paul making an cameo performance of the “Old folk”. During the course of the five days , I had my hands full with “Hubb just being Hubb”.. some of you will know what I mean..(smile)  But at the end of the day, I felt blessed from the thought of coming from a 15 year old kid in a school band practice room, trying to understand all of what was happening on the “Night of the Cookers” album. Then, flash forwarded to 2003, and i’m now booking and presenting Freddie Hubbard to a hip and sophisticated San Francisco audience. a real dream deferred!  P-baron

Freddie Hubbard was many things to many people including a husband, a father, and a human being with warts and all that comes with that too. Most importantly, he had the respect of his family, friends and fans alike. Certainly mine. I miss Hubb on the scene with all his swag, panache with that biting humor of his.

Its with all due respect I am remembering, Federick Dwayne Hubbard, April 7 1938 – December 29 2008

JAZZ WARRIOR FINAL NOTE: HORACE PARLAN REST IN ETERNAL PEACE ~ 1931 -2017


horace-parlan-4-yeah-man-yeah

 

 

 

 

 

 

posted by Robert J. Carmack #@blues2jazzguy       horace-parlan-1

 

 

 

 

 

 

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