posted by Robert J. Carmack #blues2jazzguy
posted by Robert J. Carmack @blues2jazzguy
As I sped down the 60 Freeway headed into Los Angeles’s wilshire/fairfax district on my way to see the Latin concert with Airto Moriera and the LA group, Eyedentity , Oh Crap! I realized I left my camera. Driving into LA made me realize why I chose to move to away from the traffic and into the inland empire. By the time I got there, I still had enough time left before it started, to grab some seats up front. since I was not working , just relaxing and chillin’ with the vibe.
since i I was not working , I had no work tools, computer, camera etc. I jotted down all my notes on players and people I wanted to talk about Saturday at LACMA on my paper bag I brought food in, I even asked a guy to take this pix for me on my phone. Well the pix came out great , but I think while I was taking the pixs the crew mistook my notes on the paper bag as trash… quite trying!! Anyway, I know that Airto’s and Flora Purim’s daughter( Diana Booker) was singing and singing she did. she blew blistering Portuguese -laced songs with grooves that was out of this stratosphere. followed by a medium tempo samba , sprinkled with hip hop effects. Then, as if that was not enough for us, the Band laid – out(did not play) while she and the conguero (Krisna Booker , son of jazz bassist Walter Booker) tore the house down with their Hip-Hop infused song. Krisna did a Beat-Box style rhythm with his throat, as she sang over that remarkable tune. Before that, she went back in time of African slaves “field holler” type Blues version of “Feelin Good” with no music, just her voice. I found her “jazz & blues chops” to be just sublime.
If You are doing nothing on Saturday evenings, try coming to the Saturday concerts all summer at LACMA in the park. Sorry to say, I can only remember a couple of players (the dog ate my notes)Lol!! It was good see a great musician I have admired for years as a master percussionist Mr Airto Moriera!! BTW,interesting was the pianist , who just a week ago was burning down the stage with his playing as part of the Cal Tjader legacy band, Soul Sauce, Mr Brian Volasco. The bass player is a monster as he was “tearing up Sh—” with his 6-stringed bass, Mr. Gary Brown, longtime Band mate of Airto and member in good standing with Drummer E.W. Wainwright & saxophonist Richard Howell groups in the San Francisco bay area. http://www.lacma.org/programs/music/jazz-at-lacma
Next week,Saxophonist Ernie Watts review on Friday Jazz @ LACMA!
Happy Birthday, Dizzy Reece …Just revisiting a great Unsung trumpeter; You want a passionate player to interpret your favorite standards or just conjure up the tenacity of those fiery jam sessions of the 40s, Check Dizzy Reece! After spending the 1950s playing in Paris, Jamaican bebop trumpeter Dizzy Reece landed in New York City in 1960. He has played with many since including Dexter Gordon, John Gilmore, Victor Feldman, and Tubby Hayes yet the recognition he truly deserves has proven elusive.
Reece was born on the 5th of January 1931 in Kingston, Jamaica, the son of a silent film pianist. He attended the Alpha Boys School (famed in Jamaica for its musical alumni), switching from baritone to trumpet when he was 14 years old. A full-time musician from the age of 16, he moved to London in 1948 and spent the 1950s working in Europe, much of that time in Paris. He played with Don Byas, Kenny Clarke, Frank Foster and Thad Jones, among others.
Winning praise from the likes of Miles Davis and Sonny Rollins, he emigrated to New York City in 1959, but found New York in the 1960s a struggle. Reece recorded a series of critically acclaimed records on the Blue Note label, which were reissued on Mosaic in 2004 that gave fans hope of a comeback. Still active as a musician and writer, Reece has recorded over the years with Victor Feldman, Tubby Hayes, Paris Reunion Band, Clifford Jordan’s Big Band, tenor saxophonist Dexter Gordon, fellow trumpeter Ted Curson, pianist Duke Jordan, long-time Sun Ra alumni saxophonist John Gilmore and drummer Philly Joe Jones.Reece wrote the music for the 1958 Ealing Studios film Nowhere to Go. follow #RobertJCarmack @blues2jazzguy on twitter
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.
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