KEVIN GOINS ~MUSIC MAN OF THE AGES: RUDY VAN GELDER MEMORIAM


by Kevin Goins – Music/Media Consultant/Contributor

Rudy Gelder Kevin NOW2

 

 

 

 

RUDY VAN GELDER – IN MEMORIAM…..
Damn, Grim Reaper…bad enough we’ve seen many folks go to the Great Beyond before we hit mid-year, no thanks to you. And this week, you just had to go for the flippin’ trifecta. Toots, Steven Hill, and now this great master of recording engineering.
If you own any jazz albums released on labels such as Blue Note, Prestige, Verve, Impulse, MGM, CTI or KUDU, the name of RUDY VAN GELDER would be found in the credits.
A New Jersey native of which optometry was his original profession, Van Gelder began recording jazz musicians within the living room of his parents’ home in Hackensack (they later built an extension to their house to serve as a full-functioning studio). Word spread quickly to jazz labels, which resulted in many great, classic recordings being made with Rudy overseeing the engineering, mixing and mastering.
In 1959, five years after he launched his career, Rudy Van Gelder opened the now famous recording studio in Englewood Cliffs, NJ. And the records kept on coming.

Okay, the short list….
John Coltrane – A Love Supreme, Blue Train
Miles Davis – The Musings of Miles, Blue Moods, Walkin’, Miles Davis/Milt Jackson Quintet/Sextet
Charles Earland – Black Talk!
Jimmy Smith – The Cat, Bashin’, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, Monster, The Sermon
Wes Montgomery – Tequila, Bumpin’, Goin’ Out Of My Head, A Day In The Life
Lee Morgan – The Sidewinder,
Thelonius Monk – Hackensack
Modern Jazz Quartet – Concorde, Django
Hank Mobley Sextet – Hank
Sonny Rollins – Moving Out, Saxophone Colossus
Quincy Jones – This Is How I Feel About Jazz, Gulu Matari, Walking In Space
Herbie Hancock – Maiden Voyage, Speak Like A Child
Ray Charles – Genius +Soul=Jazz
Stanley Turrentine – Sugar
Willie Bobo – Spanish Grease
Cal Tjader – Several Shades of Jade
George Benson – Good King Bad, Body Talk, The Shape of Things to Come, The Other Side of Abbey Road
Deodato – Prelude, Deodato 2
Grover Washington, Jr. – Mister Magic
Esther Phillips – From A Whisper To A Scream

Rudy Gelder Kevin Goins

 

Like I said, folks…the short list. The man engineered over 2000 albums Y’all can Google the rest.

What made Van Gelder’s work stand out above the rest of the engineers? It was the way he was able to capture a warm, full sound via his mixing and engineering. Yes, the man had a penchant for reverb (listen to the Verve and A&M/CTI recordings) but at the same time, it did help create a dynamic effect.
Fast forward to the end of the 20th century and the beginning of the millennium – Van Gelder was commissioned by EMI to remaster his prior Blue Note works under the RVG Remastered Series – which also included recordings released on Capitol Records (Cannonball Adderly’s Mercy, Mercy, Mercy and Miles Davis’ Birth of the Cool albums).
Sadly, Rudy Van Gelder passed away Thursday, August 25th, at the age of 91.
What else can be said? Coming from yours truly, my appreciation for not only jazz but the way music and artists were recorded came from listening to the albums Rudy Van Gelder engineered and mastered. As a college student earning my degree in audio production, studying the man’s works was an absolute must.

As far as the time spent as a radio DJ at Ithaca College, one of many who hosted WICB-FM’s Jazz Impressions (1985-1988), there wasn’t a record I spun that didn’t have Van Gelder’s touch
.
To Mr. Van Gelder, thank you for making music and records sound so damn good .

Hard to choose one recording, so here are a few links….
MILES DAVIS/THELONIOUS MONK – “BEMSHA SWING”
http://bit.ly/2bKRrpD
HERBIE HANCOCK – “CANTALOUPE ISLAND”
http://bit.ly/1vwteUM
JIMMY SMITH – “THE CAT” – http://bit.ly/1S2vAux
ESTHER PHILLIPS – “HOME IS WHERE THE HATRED IS”
http://bit.ly/1XJCPa8

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PATRICE RUSHEN & CARMEN LUNDY HIGHLIGHT 39TH ANNUAL WATTS TOWERS JAZZ FESTIVAL


posted by Robert J. Carmack  #@blues2jazzguy

Patrice Rushen and Carmen lundy
file photo by Robert Carmack Patrice Rushen & Carmen Lundy shown at Ford Theater Hollywood

Once in a lunar eclipse weekend you might get some pretty good entertainment in selected spots around Los Angeles, but to get great jazz, that requires planning ahead and research. for the last 39 years , in an unlikely area of south central Los Angeles wedged between a Junior high school , railroad tracks, some proud residents, and a Los Angeles landmark , built by an immigrant, Simon Rhodia of concrete, steel and broken glass.

The Watts Towers Jazz Festival took its familiar bow September 26 & 27th . The festival features a “Day of the Drum“, with supporting activities of all cultures and ethnicities celebration of drums, throw in Jazz from around the world by local, regional and international musicians performing on a live stage that looked like a revival tent. This writer had planned in advance to get there in time to catch Carmen Lundy & Patrice Rushen performing as single acts , but also together as well.

carmen Lundy
carmen Lundy

Carmen took the stage with her own group featuring her iconic bassist and brother, Curtis Lundy. After a couple of hot jazz numbers , Carmen called up Patrice to sit in with her group on  selections from  her 14th new CD as a leader. Rushen was simply stellar in her improvisations on cuts like “Life is a Song in Me” and title track, “Soul to Soul”. In my humble opinion , this is Grammy material. grab a copy at your usual source for purchasing   music online.

Patrice Rushen  and Ndugu are both products of the Watts community ,while being alumni of Locke High school under the mentorship of musician /Educator Reggie Andrews.  Patrice and Ndugu fronted an all-star band of Nedra Wheeler on Bass and Justo Almario on saxophone, Munyungo Jackson on percussion. In their set they chose to celebrate the genius of several iconic jazz masters, John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk and Horace Silver, and a couple of others to the audience’s delight. 

Chuk Koton- Patrice Rushen
photo by Chuck Koton

Weekend’s events were beautifully MC’d by Jazz program host James Janisse, and Poet Laureate and Griot ,Kamau Daood.

Jazz drummer Fritz Wise, Poet/Jazz griot Kamau Daood with Music journalist Robert J. Carmack
Jazz drummer Fritz Wise, Poet/Jazz griot Kamau Daood with Music journalist Robert J. Carmack @ Watts Towers Jazz Festival photo by Joyce Wilson
hand made Quilt made by artist, Ramesses
hand made Quilt made by artist, Ramesses

Patrice Rush NOW WATTS

THE SPIRIT OF CHARLIE PARKER FLOWED AT WORLD STAGE -LOS ANGELES


posted by #@blues2jazzguy

sepia Robert on sax
Robert J. Carmack Producer,poet, journalist, music historian

Saturday, August 29  at the World Stage kicked off a double-header of  fiery jazz events beginning at 3pm where a smattering of jazz musicians assembled and paid homage to the great Charlie Parker on his 95th birthday.       Billed as A 21 SAXOPHONE SALUTE to BIRD.      A modest, but able bodied group of savvy saxophonist gathered at the 25-year-old performance gallery in Leimert Park .The World Stage, co-founded by jazz icon Billy Higgins, and Poet  Kamaau Daaood. Event coordinator and producer Robert J. Carmack was looking for  full 21 saxophone pieces, however due to conflicts and time restraints, some musicians could not make the first year’s event, but, vowed to make it next year. just like at a military event where there are three shots fired as symbol of 21 guns firing, Robert Sax21  sax salute

We had 7 saxophones riffin’ on NOW’s THE TIME melody, followed by a battery of trills, growls, squawks and other improvisational sounds, all in honor of Charles Parker II, bka Yardbird Parker.

There were other cities,groups, even other countries involved as well said Carmack. “my goal was to enlist as many people as I could, all doing the same thing at the same time on East coast at 12 noon, west coast at 3pm. Also shoot it with video or still photography, then submit the finished product to me.  I’m posting that information and images online with a special Facebook page, so all the participants can admire what others did as well.

On hand for the salute was legendary saxophonist Azar Lawrence,along with local legends Dale Fielder and Randall Willis. Invited but had a conflict in schedule, was birthday boy, Bennie Maupin, August 29 1940..(see Bennie Maupin Bashin’ at Blue Whale in Los Angeles (Hipster Sanctuary.Com – Sept.2)

There was also fans of jazz and other instruments that showed up to participate as well,even though they were not saxophones. Drummers, percussionists and even trumpet players showed up to share the moment, which is beautiful. Carmack promises next year a bigger and better program and performances will highlight the Charlie Parker 21 Sax Salute 2016 .

Robert J inside Stage squating  21 sax

BILLY HIGGINS WORLD STAGE LAUNCHES 21 SAXOPHONE SALUTE TO CHARLIE PARKER


posted by #@blues2jazzguy

It was announced recently by Robert J. Carmack of RJC Mediatainment, a Social Media consulting group has partnered with the World Stage,to launch a historic 21 Saxophone Salute to Charlie Parker August 29 3pm PST. The Los Angeles based performance gallery co-founded by jazz drummer, Billy Higgins will act as staging grounds for an assembly of LA’s best JAZZ Saxophonists.The World Stage 4344 Degnan Blvd. LA 90008

http://www.theworldstage.org

Created by Robert J. Carmack,this event is a coordinated effort of multiple cities on the east and west coast coming together to perform “Now’s the Time” by Parker and to photograph the musicians. which will be posted on its own face book page entitled, Now’s The Time- Bird Lives!  “We hope to demonstrate that musicians all over still respect and love Bird’s music.” said Carmack, “We’ve invited the best of the Jazz saxophonist in Los Angeles. I have also made contacts with a few saxophonist in New York and other east coast cities. But we’re still recruiting Saxophonist regardless of what city they live in.  ALL JAZZ SAXOPHONISTS are WELCOMED, All we ask is use a camera/phone and send us a snippet of the performance, Now’s the Time being played by their group at Noon, August 29th and on the east coast 3PM on west coast.

Musicians interested may email us:blues2jazz2003@yahoo.com