LOCAL JAZZ MUSICIANS & SINGERS SUPPORT BILLY HIGGINS WORLD STAGE


posted by Robert J. Carmack   #@blues2jazzguy

Local Jazz artists are throwing their hat in the ring, or in this case their voices and instruments. I have assembled a plethora of very talented musicians and singers to produce the “POCKET JAZZ SERIES”, a group of concerts. I’ve coined that phrase to emphasize the “small in stature, big in content” being presented at the World Stage Performance gallery, a limited seating space for the performing arts. However, “My thinking was to have two very different shows back to back weekends, so those that cannot make one, they maybe able to make the other.”

Starting with Saturday August 22 at 7:30 ,@ World Stage 4344 Degnan Blvd. Los Angeles,CA 90008, tickets/Info 951-840-7120  we’re kicking off the Series with a moving tribute. The GENIUS of DUKE PEARSON:Thanks Uncle Duke. the evening will be filled with sparkling Duke Pearson compositions, along with other composers who was either produced by Duke or, worked with him, such Donald Byrd, Cedar Walton, Bobby Hutcherson ,etc.  The music is being performed by The UNCLE DUKE LEGACY BAND featuring veteran jazz pianist/music director, Bobby West. voices featured are Aldene “Pat” Sligh, Jana Wilson and Mechelle La’Chaux .  Come out and celebrate a fresh new approach to exposing an audience to unsung greatness and such historic significance. writer of such popular jazz classics as Jeannine, Fancy Free, Sudel, Wahoo, Sweet Honeybee, Big Bertha’, Gaslight,ESP,and most famous , Christo Redentor, just to name a few.. make an evening of it. Tickets are $15-$20 limited Seating- first come first served, those with tickets will have seat priority.

Int'l Jazz Pianist Bobby West
Int’l Jazz Pianist Bobby West
Ishmael Hunter
Drummer Ishmael Hunter
Reggie Carson Bass
Reggie Carson Bassist
Derf Reklaw on Flute
Derf Reklaw Flute /Saxes/percussions
jana Wilson pat sligh daughter
Jana Wilson Jazz/Blues Singer
Mechelle La’ Chaux Actress/ Singer blues/Jazz/ R&B
Pat Sligh Jazz vocalist/ Actress
Pat Sligh Jazz vocalist/ Actress
Robert J. Carmack producer/actor/journalist - poet
Robert J. Carmack producer/actor/journalist – poet
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HAPPY BIRTHDAY RAMSEY: STILL THE IN CROWD @ 80


posted by Robert J. Carmack  #@blues2jazzguy

Ramsey Lewis in Color older version
Ramsey Lewis posing in recent times

Composer, Pianist, TV host and Jazz legend RAMSEY LEWIS has been referred to as “the great performer,”  a title reflecting his performance and style. It seems strange saying Ramsey Lewis in the same sentence as 80 years old.  Still youthful looking and playing at the peek of his power ,one would never know it.

I grew up on Ramsey sort of..I mean, One day me and a buddy was fooling around with his cousin’s jazz albums listening and just checking out people we never heard of before. we were able to do this unsupervised because his cousin was in Viet Nam, a long ways away from seeing us . Especially since we were only 13, well, almost 14.

We were just trying to be cool and mature by knowing all the latest Cats in Jazz and those before as well. Anyway, I ran across this one album that had a beautiful black woman with a dress sitting by a pond barefooted looking all sexy.

As all young boys do, we started bragging on our latest girls looking as good or better than . Finally I said,  “lets play that record?” my friend said, ” Man,I don’t know??? looking at them  is one thing, but playing it might mean trouble. But I egged him on by telling him he was chicken,”I’m Not CHICKEN! ,He said loudly. “OK you not chicken then play it and prove it, I replied.

Huffing and puffing, He finally reached over and took the album out of the sleeve and put it on the stereo Hi-Fi (that’s right Hi-Fi).. from the very first cut we were popping our fingers and lighting imaginary “Joints” , then we went into full “Hipster-mode” the rest of that whole album. This album “swung like a gate” on a well-oiled post.

Barefoot Sunday Blues .(ARGO Jazz label, a div. of Chicago based CHESS Records.)

I was a fan from that day on, then the big day came. Ramsey hit #1 on the radio, a cover song to an already Hit Soul tune by Dobie Gray, “The IN-CROWD”. That sealed the deal for me, that one cut changed the whole music industry for jazz. Here we are 50 years later, and Ramsey is still part of the In-Crowd, just ask anybody in music like Nancy Wilson or Quincy Jones.  

His performances and records touch all genres of music for the last 6 decades. A native Chicagoan born May 27, 1935, Ramsey represents the great diverse music for which Chicago is noted. Ramsey Lewis first captivated fans with his first album Ramsey Lewis And The Gentlemen of Swing by the Ramsey Lewis Trio in 1956.

He has three Grammy Awards and Seven Gold Records to his credit. Often called legendary, Mr. Lewis concedes “It’s a high honor when someone says so, but I don’t see myself that way. What keeps me enthusiastic and energizes me, is the realization that the more I learn, the more I find there is to know.”

Ramsey Lewis Trio in Europe  1960s
Ramsey Lewis Trio in Europe 1960s photo by William Claxton