POCKET JAZZ MANAGEMENT ~ Robert J. Carmack-Band Leader,Producer, Writer, Actor, Director, Publicity, Percussion,
Photo Artists: Chuck Koton, Robert J. Carmack, Valerie Huffman-Herring, Craig Johnson
Artists (Painters, Assemblage,Graphics) SAM PACE, MICHAEL BRADLEY, SANDRA MARCHAND
Musicians: Robert J. Carmack -percussion/sax/spoken word,Bobby West-Piano, Keyboards,music directo ~Andrew Acosta, all Percussion & Toys, Don Littleton Traps/ Percussion, Pablo Cologero -flutes,saxes and bass clarinet, Mike Alvidrez basses electric & acoustic.. Aladeen- sax/vocals
Booking Roster: Jazz groups-MAIA all-female jazz ensemble, Acknowledgement, Plight and Elephants Nda Park
Actors: Robert J. Carmack, Phil Bell, Pat Sligh, Windy Barnes-Farrell, Michelle LaChaux,TBA
SPIRITS OF THE UNSUNG: A Homage to Baba Horace Tapscott
By Robert J. Carmack #@blues2jazzguy
One has to keep “YOUR EAR TO THE GROUND” or, listen for the TALKING DRUMS. That will help you to stay on top of who the movers and shakers are in real jazz events of LA.
I’m certainly no stranger to the underground or “Grassroots” happenings of Leimert Park and other venue pockets scattered throughout the city. Japan Town, Highland Park, San Fernando Valley and Long Beach are just the latest cities emerging with new energy.
One of the hottest jazz venues in the city of Los Angeles is The World Stage, an intimate performance gallery for presenting top-shelf jazz, performance poetry and other performing arts and exhibits of some of the finest artisans in the state or world even.
At a recent birthday celebration and Homage to Horace Tapscott held at the World Stage on his birthday (April 6th), I got a chance to briefly speak with a few longtime members of the Pan Afrikan Peoples ARKESTRA.
Bandleader and eldest member in longevity (since 1966) Jesse Sharps-saxes, flutes and miscellaneous woodwinds: Jesse is a L A born musician from Watts who sat-in and listened to the early beginnings of The Pan Afrikan Peoples Arkestra until he earned his stripes and paid his dues as every young musician must do. “Post-1965 Uprising” a great spot was spawned in the heart of Watts called, the Watts Happenin’ Coffeehouse on 103rd street. Raw talent developed, in the jazz jam sessions, poetry and theater arts workshops, creative writer programs. A real bright moment for us young artists who were part of a revolutionary Black Arts Movement beginning in the mid-late 1960s Los Angeles. That venue was followed by “The Gathering” on Western & Vernon Ave. and formation of UGMAA and other branches to ARK.
Many old school players were a big part of the musical clan that gathered at all the community festivals and churches that opened their doors to Tapscott and his Eclectic group of players. Most “Ark” members are bandleaders themselves or, play on an elite basis with the great ones.
Michael and Mekala Session: Father & son musical team; Michael: “We are especially proud of what happens after experiencing the Blackness, Unity and Creative Magic that made up the sound of the “Arkestra” during the early 1974 to present. “The legacy is the community itself and its love and embrace of these musical Griots. “Man..All that sound hitting you , makes you feel like you could do anything creative after that experience”
Mekala Session; drums,percussion, In the beginning for me when I was just a pup growing up, I did not take it seriously, but as I grew and spent my time embracing the magic and spiritualism of the people surrounding me including my dad..I said to myself, What was it Horace might have been thinking when he was in his early 20s and creating all kinds of great music.”
“Today in the Ark , Cats closer to my age, I’m surrounded by “crazy musicians” who are trying to represent the ” Hood” in terms of the high bar that was set long before even my Dad joined the band, or Black Arthur Blythe, Jesse Sharps, Sabir Mateen, Troy Robinson, Adele Sabastian, Nate Morgan, etc.
While he was still in his twenties, Horace Tapscott gave up a successful career in Lionel Hampton’s band and returned to his home in Los Angeles to found the Pan Afrikan Peoples Arkestra, a community arts group that focused on providing affordable, community-oriented jazz and jazz training. Over the course of almost forty years, the Arkestra, together with the related Union of God’s Musicians and Artists Ascension (UGMAA) Foundation, were at the forefront of the vital community-based arts movements in black Los Angeles. Some three hundred artists—musicians, vocalists, poets, playwrights, painters, sculptors, and graphic artists—passed through these organizations, many ultimately remaining within the community and others moving on to achieve international fame. Based primarily on one hundred in-depth interviews with current and former participants, The Dark Tree is the first history of the important and largely overlooked community arts movement of African American Los Angeles. Brought to life by the passionate voices of the men and women who worked to make the arts integral to everyday community life, this engrossing book completes the account began in the highly acclaimedCentral Avenue Sounds, which documented the secular music history of the first half of the twentieth century and which the San Francisco Examiner called “one of the best jazz books ever compiled.”
I can only wonder what it would be like if.. Horace, Billy Higgins were still alive to see whats become of their fruits of their labor in the beginnings.. How many practice sessions by Horace at 4:AM in morning at old World Stage building in the dark, running passages and ideas flowing like a fountain geyser. Billy Higgins doing his task every saturday, whenever he was in town bringing top flight jazz musicians to expose the youth to, Guys that were his peers, like Benny Maupin, Jabali Hart, Eddie Harris, Jackie McLean, Barry Harris, Cedar Walton, Charles Lloyd just to name a few , those workshops were classic and memorable. Part of the reason we still celebrate the greatness of the man, but more importantly we celebrate the legacy of the Community because that’s where Horace was coming from on a spiritual note.
posted by Robert J. Carmack #@blues2jazzguy #Precious:For Lovers & Dancers
I can hardly remember but, over the last 5 -10 years we’re missing a lot of male jazz vocalists input. Rudi Mwongozi is constantly moving up the chain of new faces and voices on the scene.. Rudi, now based in New York from Oakland, California. I’m coming at this for a second bite. After living with this latest CD of pianist/vocalist Rudi Mwongozi, I can fully appreciate what he’s doing musically.
In my opinion, of the twelve cuts on this project, I like them all. Part of this recording has some very popular songs by elite artists Like, Eric Clapton, the gold record Free by Denise Williams/S. Greene. He really gives this song a jolt of Mwongozi(ness). the arrangement opens with a similar intro, followed by a very classy bridge and vamp. Then he breaks out in a Afro-latin rhythmic vamp which sets up an extended solo in piano wizardry and percussive rhythms. Another favorite is his strong harmonic approach to a syncopated piece called, Whole Steps to the House of Light, filled with musical trap doors and breaks,that swings and jumps like the pioneers use to do. I got a big kick out of the eclectic cut, the James Moody Story . a Be-Bop swinger. harkens me back to the James Moody and Eddie Jefferson style of vocalese and scat singing by Rudi and Friends. Rudi takes on a brave arrangement of a Luther Vandross composition and handles it with delicacy and panache. He’s rolling 7s on this tune. He chose not to do what many so-called smooth jazz artist do in regurgitation of the original song,by performing it note for note instrumentally. I was amazed at his treatment of vocalizing with his very fine jazz piano chops added, he really soars on this song like no other male Jazz artist out there.
Knowing Rudi from my days living in Oakland, California and producing jazz shows with unique themes of legendary artists works. we performed on a show paying homage to the great saxophonist, Jackie McLean compositions. A wide plethora of unique compositions in various meters and styles which paid respect to Jackie’s legacy. Be sure to cash in on a Rudi’s originalPrecious:When the Morning Comes and Bad Habits.
I had to push you closer to this prized project, The Music for After the After Party. what a concept, so early in the morning and then again, very late too. so the perfect menu of music for that romantic part of the morning where you listen to some swing, followed by some slow romantic tunes to Hug your “sweetie” to. Follow Rudi MWONGOZI on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rudi.mwongozior, right here at, http://www.hipstersanctuary.com
posted by Kamaad Tauhid @blues2jazzguy concert photos by jazz archivist Chuck Koton
“The Stage, (pun intended)” was set 9:pm on Feb 9th 2019 in Los Angeles, where the bass master, Juini Booth landed for his WORLD STAGE DEBUT. Booth a jazz icon starting when he sprung on his own for New York in mid-60s as a teenage bassist for Sun Ra and a host of other greats. later iconic performances and recordings with McCoy Tyner, Woody Shaw and Gary Bartz’s Ntu-Troop just to name a few.
Booth powered into the world stage as part of the World Stage Black History month loaded schedule of Jazz greats. featured on spoken word and dramatic performance in the select works and poetry of SUN RA , Mr. Robert J. Carmack-MFA ” BLACK as 1000 Nights: The Artistry and Poems of SUN RA.” Carmack reflecting on his work with Booth over the last couple of years as poet, MC and journalist said, ” It has blown by so fast, I hardly noticed its been almost 3 years since I appeared with Booth and another McCoy Tyner alumnus, AZAR LAWRENCE in a fast and powerful group of musicians performing compositions of McCoy Tyner. (Roy McCurdy, Theo Sanders,Azar, Juini and Robert)
Last year we did another Sun RA project focusing on mostly all of his “Space is the Place” material and music. carmack added, This time as part 2. I went deep on his Berkeley sessions at the University’s Artist-in-Residence, 1971,period of writings. Black nationalist views on African-Americans, politics and culture.” Carmack, a jazz journalist, actor and writer that focuses on the legacy of this genre called, jazz or American Black Classic Music. Along with Carmack and Booth, were L.A. based sidemen, Mahesh Balasooriya on Piano, and Guillermo E. Brown drums. Brown performed last year with Booth and Carmack at the Club Zebulon, along with improvisational group, L.A. FOG and Kathleen Kim.
The audience not only heard rare Sun Ra Poems to improvisational interlude phrases by the group, but heard the band play pieces that they all favored in performing, like Jackie McLean’s “Melody for Melanie” and “Angels and Demons” by Sun Ra. A very powerful, moving solo bass, plus Loop were performed by Juini Booth to a standing ovation.
Carmack was able to navigate and sail around the writings with the ease of a skilled actor performing Shakespeare’s greatest montages of prose and poetry. There were certainly fireworks with Juini Booth eclectic playing and melodic approach to double bass. Balasooriya treated the surprised audience to a searing piano solo on an unnamed piece he interpreted.
Carmack is based in Southern California and Juini Booth in New York. Carmack is setting up plans now as everyone gets ready for Spring and Summer events in both thriving cities. We want to redo this show in New York and San Francisco bay area as well. There are current calls for more study at the academic level for the writings of Baba Sun RA, along with his music and lecture series too.” said a jubilant Carmack, as he spoke to more collaboration projects that involve Booth and other Jazz icon’s music and writings.
Robert J. Carmack is launching this summer, a new series of Art based cultural programming involving improvisational music, drama, poetry/spoken word and fine arts(painting,sculpting and assemblage) POCKET JAZZ 2019 presented by http://www.hipstersanctuary.com
Many thanks to the World Stage and Executive /Artistic director Dwight Trible and staff for making the group feel at home.
ONE NIGHT ONLY! Saturday February 9th 9:pm $25 at Door for a rare west coast appearance by Bassist/Composer. Arthur”JUINI” BOOTH former bassist for the man himself Sun Ra and his Afro-Futurists Arkestra. featuring the Spoken Word voice of SUN RA by actor/writer/producer/musician, Robert J. Carmack-MFA.
Robert J. Carmack fresh off his production of original play 2018 :Interview with the High Prietess:NINA! a Sold out performance at the WORLD STAGE. 2015’s two events at World Stage A Tribute to Composer & Blue Note producer DUKE PEARSON – Charlie Yardbird Parker “21 Toot Salute” on Birds 95th birthday.
The content from the selected poems of Sun Ra are curated from the highly touted works from his days and weeks spent as artist-in-residence at University of California Berkeley circa 1970s.
“His widely eclectic and avant-garde music echoed the entire history of jazz, from ragtime and early New Orleans hot jazz, to swing music, bebop, free jazz and fusion. His compositions ranged from keyboard solos to works for big bands of over 30 musicians, along with electronic excursions, songs, chants, percussion pieces, and anthems. From the mid-1950s until his death, Ra led the musical collective The Arkestra (which featured artists such as Marshall Allen, John Gilmore and June Tyson throughout its various iterations). Its performances often included dancers and musicians dressed in elaborate, futuristic costumes inspired by ancient Egyptian attire and the Space Age.”
“SUN RA is Music & Poetry is Theater at Its Best” The Hipster Sanctuary
Sun Ra (born Herman Poole Blount, legal nameLe Sony’r Ra.. May 22, 1914 – May 30, 1993) was a jazz composer, bandleader, piano / synthesizer and Poet. Renown for his experimental music, “cosmic” philosophy, prolific output, and theatrical performances. For much of his career, Ra led “The Arkestra”, an ensemble with an ever-changing name and flexible line-up. Later on new audiences found SUN RA Music & POETRY was not only hip but spoke to their lens of how they view today’s world and actions.
Born and raised in Alabama, Blount became involved in the Chicago jazz scene during the late 1940s. He soon abandoned his birth name, taking the name Le Sony’r Ra, shortened to Sun Ra (after Ra, the Egyptian God of the Sun). He developed a complex persona and an idiosyncratic, myth-based credo that would make him a pioneer of Afrofuturism. He claimed to be an alien from Saturn on a mission to preach peace, and throughout his life. He publicly denied ties to his prior identity.
The Players for the evening’s performances
Juini Booth-basses/keyboards – music director (formerly played & recorded with SUN RA, Tony Williams Lifetime,Gary Bartz, Woody Shaw, and McCoy Tyner, to name only a few;
Robert J. Carmack – spoken word/actor/musician~ performed with Azar Lawrence, Juini Booth, Dale Fielder,producer/writer 2018’s successful work in progress Interview with the High Prietess: Nina! original play by R.J. Carmack.. Encore coming 2019 for extended run. Creator of Pocket Jazz 2019! melding of jazz, poetry,and theater with painters and sculptors.
Guillermo E. Brown -Guillermo E. Brown pays his bills by playing drums with Reggie Watts’s band on The Late Late Show with James Corden, but he has a long history in the avant-garde. Brown has collaborated with jazz giants such as Matthew Shipp, David S. Ware, and Vijay Iyer; eclectic electronic musicians such as DJ Spooky, Jamie Lidell, and Spring Heel Jack; and boundary-pushing hiphop artists such as El-P and Antipop Consortium
Mahesh Balasooriya – former pianist/keyboards for Natalie Cole, Waberi Jordan, David S. Ware , also the great Aurturo Sandoval and the late saxophonist Zane Musa..
The HIPSTER CELEBRATES TWENTY YEARS JAN 22nd 7:PM @Upstairs at Vitellos Supper Club –Studio City Calif. – Must purchase ticket online to attend event
All are welcome to come out and Toast in the New Year and support Live Jazz. GET YOUR TICKETS TODAY.. Win a FREE Advance Signed Copy of Standards & Other Songs” by Ron Jackson releasing in March,2019
It was announced recently at post-concert event, Hipster Sanctuary .com is celebrating its 20th year as a brand and media organization. “We started as a newsletter for The Atlanta International Jazz Society, a group dedicated to promoting the legacy of the American original art form, JAZZ. With our mission intact, we are still promoting traditional and classic jazz, not as a Jazz society now, but as an E-Zine and blog” said Robert J. Carmack, co-founding member.” As a labor of love project, we have purged ahead to 2019, as our first newsletter was published in January 1999. As a way to commemorate that honor with our friends and great fan followers of the publication, Hipster Sanctuary.Com, We’ve partnered up with one of our jazz groups we strongly support, Ron Jackson/Teodross Avery Soul Jazz project for a JAZZ MEET-UP at the eclectic Upstairs at VITELLO’s Supper Club in Studio City, California. Tuesday, Jan 22nd 2019 7:pm
Members of the Hipster Collector’s Corner jazz group will gather at the club early for a toast to the new year and our 20 years advocating for the legacy. jazz legends cited and honored by this group over the 20 years are Joe Henderson, Shirley Horn, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Oscar Peterson, Billy Higgins, Jackie McLean, Taj Mahal, Herbie Hancock, Freddie Hubbard, Sonny Fortune, Vanessa Rubin, Freddie Cole, Hilton Ruiz and others. they all received a Congressional Lifetime Achievement Award sanctioned by Congress and signed by Congresswoman Barbara Lee.
Hipster Sanctuary.com sister page on Facebook, HIPSTER COLLECTOR’S CORNER. We can’t wait to blow the audience away with “throwback electricity” with New York based Jazz guitarist, Ron Jackson (www.ronjacksonmusic.com) making his L.A. debut with his good friend and L.A. based Jazz saxophonist, Teodross Avery. Also, long time jazz veteran drummer, Cecil Brooks III out of Jersey City. Brian Ho Hammond Organ. Some special surprises in store for the evening.
The group’s sound is a B3 Organ- Guitar-Sax sound that made Blue Note Records popular during the 1960s, conjuring up the memory of Jimmy Smith, Stanley Turrentine, Kenny Burrell or a Grant Green feel.
Hipster Sanctuary.com wants to save you $10 on admission by purchasing your tickets through the restaurant’s Eventbrite.com web link. easy and safe online tickets@$20. “Select your own table”
When you buy your advanced ticket it qualifies you for drawing for a signed free Advanced Jazz CD giveaway at Concert that evening. Get your ticket today! $30 per ticket for day of event. (minimum purchase per person, drink or food items) Ron JACKSON New CD Releases March 2019.
“Standards & Other Songs”- Ron Jackson with Nathan Brown and Darrell Green
It was announced recently at post-concert event, Hipster Sanctuary .com is celebrating its 20th year as a brand and media organization. “We started as a newsletter for The Atlanta International Jazz Society, a group dedicated to promoting the legacy of the American original art form, JAZZ. With our mission intact, we are still promoting traditional and classic jazz, not as a Jazz society now, but as an E-Zine and blog” said Robert J. Carmack, co-founding member.” As a labor of love project we have purged ahead to 2019, as our first newsletter was published in January 1999. As a way to commemorate that honor with our friends and great fan followers of the publication, Hipster Sanctuary.Com has partnered up with one of our jazz groups we strongly support, Ron Jackson/Teodross Avery Soul Jazz project for a JAZZ MEET-UP at the eclectic Upstairs at VITELLO’s Supper Club in Studio City,California. Tuesday,Jan 22nd 2019 7:pm http://www.vitellosrestaurant.com/supperclub
members of the Hipster Collector’s corner jazz group will gather at the club early for a toast to the new year and our 20 years advocating for the legacy. jazz legends cited and honored by this group over the 20 years are Joe Henderson, Shirley Horn, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Oscar Peterson, Billy Higgins, Jackie McLean, Taj Mahal, Herbie Hancock, Freddie Hubbard, Sonny Fortune, Vanessa Rubin, Freddie Cole, Hilton Ruiz and others. they all received a Congressional Lifetime Achievement Award sanctioned by Congress and signed by Congresswoman Barbara Lee.
Hipster Sanctuary.com has a sister page on Facebook, HIPSTER COLLECTOR’S CORNER with an event announcement and details regarding special promotions. We can’t wait to blow the audiences away with “throwback electricity” with New York based Jazz guitarist, Ron Jackson (www.ronjacksonmusic.com) making his L.A. debut with his good friend and L.A. based Jazz saxophonist, Teodross Avery . Also, long time jazz veteran drummer, Cecil Brooks III out of Jersey City. Brian Ho Hammond Organ. special surprise invited artists as well.
The group’s sound is a B3 Organ- Guitar-Sax sound that made Blue Note Records popular during the 1960s, conjuring up the memory of Jimmy Smith, Stanley Turrentine,Kenny Burrell or a Grant Green feel.
Hipster Sanctuary.com wants to save you $10 on admission by purchasing your tickets through the restaurant’s Eventbrite web link. easy and safe online tickets@$20..click link HERE!!
Red Marine Entertainment Presents the OLD SCHOOL R&B LOVE FEST
SWITCH , SURFACE , GAP REVIEW BALL HOOKER. (opening act..)
Real Old School Show: In Search of an audience.. I have been around or involved with the entertainment field for well over 50 years,music in particular. I know a good show when I hear or see one by individuals who really know what to to do with a chord or note. I was pleasantly surprised a few evenings ago as I sort of bumped into a great show. Just helping out my sister as a vendor at the California Education & Performing Arts Center in Ontario California, 11255 Central Avenue. Ontario,Calif.
RED Marine Entertainment recently presented an Old School R&B Lovefest… an evening of solid entertainment by classic Old School groups, Switch , Surface, The Gap Review(Tribute Band) along with opening act Kimball Hooker, male vocalist with some chops.. tagging and paying homage to artists like Keith Sweat.
DYNAMICALLY hosted by LA’s very own, ANGEL BABY – DJ Radio Host.
when you’re a vendor at these productions, you have to arrive early to load-in and get setup . get out of the way of artists moving in equipment, doing sound checks for next two hours. While I had lots of time on my hand, it also gave me an opportunity to move around , be curious as a journalist, as to who and what and why.
I chatted it up with some members of the various bands, production crews and VIP guests , who also arrived early for publicity pictures, video interviews and miscellaneous activities one does before show begins.
At first when my sister told me an old school show, my head automatically thought some mediocre wanna-bees. NOT!!
Listening to sound check of the various groups and singers/musicians, I quickly got a sense of “Oh Wow”, I just wish I had known about this show in advance. I have my own opinions about that, but, leaving that to the side . Looking inside the cavernous hall with so many empty seats once the show began, I was shocked. Its like you and your lady or gent are all dressed up but no where to go. You just focused on how you looked and not how you were going to get there.
During the early to mid-’70s, Bobby DeBarge, Eddie Fluellen, Phillip Ingram (brother of James Ingram), Jody Sims, and Gregory Williams were in the Ohio-based White Heat, which subsequently morphed into Hot-Ice, an outfit that featured DeBarge, Sims, and Williams, as well as DeBarge’s brother Tommy. That band released an album on Polydor in 1977. Shortly thereafter, Jermaine Jackson helped them secure a contract with Motown offshoot Gordy. All of of this after a very awkward meeting in the Motown building in Hollywood.
As Switch, the band proved to be popular in clubs, as well as within the quiet storm radio format. Their singles “There’ll Never Be” (1978), “I Call Your Name” (1979), and “Love Over and Over Again” (1981) reached the Top 10 of Billboard’s R&B chart. Throughout the 2000s, the band’s recordings were sampled by the likes of De La Soul (“A Brighter Tomorrow”), Ne-Yo (“It Just Ain’t Right”), Rich Boy (“Throw Some D’s”), and Erykah Badu (“That Hump”). Ingram, Williams, and Fluellen reunited, added new members, and have been bringing down the house ever since!
The Gap Band Review pays homage to The Gap Band, which is one of the most popular funk groups of the late ’70s, ‘80s to present time. 15 Top Ten R&B singles ranging from ferocious funk anthems to gorgeous slow jams. Many of their hits, such as “Burn Rubber (Why You Wanna Hurt Me)” and “You Dropped a Bomb on Me,” featured instantly memorable, rippling synthesizer bass-lines.
The Gap Band’s run of hits spanned nearly 20 years, from 1977 through 1995. Their hits continued with “Shake”, “Open Up Your Mind”, “Don’t Stop the Music”, “Yearning for Your Love”, “Early in the Morning”, “Outstanding”, the title song to Keenan Ivory Wayans’ “I’m Gonna Git You Sucka” and more!
I wanted to catch the SURFACE show but was too busy by the time they were onstage. the little I did hear, was simply off the charts.. They performed without a band just DAT and Flute with strong vocals.. my cut Get Closer ..The ’80s soft soul vocal trio known for such lush ballads as “Closer Than Friends” and the million-selling singles “Shower Me With Your Love” and the number one pop hit “The First Time” had one of its first charting records as artists signed to dance music pioneer Salsoul Records. “Falling in Love,” co-written by Surface member David Conley, doesn’t have much in common with the aforementioned titles other than the group name and a (presumably) Conley flute solo. The single made it to number 84 R&B in summer 1983 and the U.K. pop charts. Singer Bernard Jackson who grew up in Stamford, CT, got into the music business through his cousin who lived in New York.
Seizing the opportunity, he relocated to New York and began performing around the city. While doing a show in Stamford, his godfather suggested that he contact his nephew David Townsend who was also in the music business. Townsend, a former touring guitarist for the Isley Brothers, was the son of singer/songwriter/producer Ed Townsend who had a hit with “For Your Love” in summer 1958 and wrote the Impressions‘ “Finally Got Myself Together (I’m a Changed Man)” and co-wrote Marvin Gaye‘s “Let’s Get It On.” Around 1973, Townsend joined a band called the Port Authority where he met David “Pic” Conley. Townsend, whose father shared hit songwriting tips with him, began writing songs with Conley. After Townsend and Conley met Jackson it was decided that they’d write songs together. The trio became staff writers for EMI Music. Their songs were covered by New Edition (“Let’s Be Friends” from their 1985 MCA LP All for Love) and Sister Sledge (“You’re So Fine”). The trio became performers using the name Surface and moved to Los Angeles. An EMI Music executive brought one of their songs, “Let’s Try Again,” to the attention of Larkin Arnold of Columbia Records. Arnold‘s previous successes include Natalie Cole and Peabo Bryson. He signed the group to Columbia and their first single “Let’s Try Again” charted number 80 R&B in late 1986.
The debut album Surface included the smooth and sweet “Happy,” which hit number two R&B for two weeks in early 1987, “Lately” (number eight R&B), and the reissued “Let’s Try Again.” The next LP, 2nd Wave yielded “I Missed” (number three R&B), “Closer Than Friends” (number one R&B for two weeks in early 1989), the wedding standard “Shower Me With Your Love” (gold, number one R&B/number five pop), “You Are My Everything” (number one R&B for two weeks), and “Can We Spend Some Time” (number five R&B). Jackson brought the sheet music to a song he had written in 1986 to his friend, songwriter Brian Simpson, who had a recording studio in his garage. After listening to the finished demo tape, Jackson thought that he had a hit. Hiring a mobile 24-track recording studio truck to capture his vocal in the best professional conditions, Jackson sang “The First Time” in Simpson‘s house. “The First Time” was the first single from Surface’s 3 Deep album and went gold hitting number one R&B and holding the number one pop for two weeks in early 1991. While “The First Time” was topping the charts, Surface was one of the presenters at the American Music Awards and were enthusiastically congratulated. The hits continued with “All I Want Is You” (number eight R&B, early 1991) and “Never Gonna Let You Down.” “You’re the One” billed as Surface featuring Bernard Jackson made it to number 24 R&B, summer 1991. The group’s last charting single was “A Nice Time for Lovin'” included on their 1991 greatest hits LP The Best Surface: A Nice Time for Loving. Conley and Townsend also produced sides on Rebbie Jackson (“Reaction”) that are on The Rebbie Jackson Collection from U.K. label Expansion distributed by Sony/3MV.
SAVE $10 at door on day of event when purchased in advance via Safe EVENTBRITE link above
The full dinner menu is available for purchase as soon as doors open. Your ticket purchase is the only reservation you need. A minimum of two items ($20.00) is required per person. $10 ticket INCREASE on day of show. Valet parking available with validation for $6. There is metered street parking as well but be sure to read the signs. Parking is NOT permitted on Woodbridge St. after 9:pm nightly.
Ron Jackson is a New York City 6 and 7-string guitar master, composer, arranger, producer, recording artist, educator, and actor. Considered one of the most versatile guitarists in the world, he is adept in styles such as Jazz, Folk, Latin, African, Rock, R&B, Brazilian, Pop, Country, Calypso, Reggae, Soul, Funk, and Classical. Ron has performed, recorded, and taught in over 30 countries with bands and artists such asTaj Mahal, Cecil Brooks III, Jimmy McGriff, Benny Golson, Randy Weston, Ron Carter, Valery Ponomarev, and Benny Green.
Joining him is L.A., tenor saxophonist Teodross Avery. Signed to GRP/Impulse Records at the age of 19, Teodross has performed with jazz greats on both coasts, East & West. Joining the late 3-time Grammy-winning Roy Hargrove Big Band, the Cedar Walton Sextet, and Hank Jones,vocalist Dwight Trible. He has performed also with Tony award-winning singer, Melba Moore and Phil Perry. Performs regularly with hip hop and rock icons such as Mos Def, Lauryn Hill, and Matchbox Twenty.
Coming!! Next Article written by Robert J. Carmack RON JACKSON – MUSIC MY WAY December 22,2018 @www.hipstersanctuary.com
The word “Balance” has many definitions, especially as a verb or noun..the ones I chose to use here in speaking about Rudi Wongozi are; an even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady.
OR, a condition in which different elements are equal or in the correct proportions , as in “Trying to keep a balance between work and relaxation. There are remarkable and key points to realize when you talk about the artistry of Rudi Wongozi.
I was honored and elated to write about Rudi Wongozi’s latest CD; JAZZ FOR R&B LOVERS. “the album for After the After-Party”. You see I met Rudi over 12 years ago when I was living in the San Francisco Bay area as a journalist and jazz show producer. initially introduced by a longtime friend of Wongozi, Mr. Duane Deterville, artist, cultural archivist, author and an authority on the African Diaspora. Me being new to the S.F. Bay area then and needing to meet as many new performance artists as possible, I was immediately attracted to Rudi’s whole approach to the piano. even more important, was his attitude about NOT being cast inside the proverbial music box. “Is he Jazz or is he R&B or Pop”?? Neither, what I saw and heard was pure music knowledge , unabridged or, even tainted by labels or categories.
Inside the organization I helped to found, San Francisco Bay Area African-American Musicians Association, we collaborated on a show in Tribute to the great saxophonist Jackie McLean. Rudi tackled the very complex music of Mclean easily as I wanted it to be respectful of the artist, but also I wanted to have lots of creative license. To build upon the original foundation while re-creating new images and patterns through my poetry. And, through the band I assembled to bring the soul and heat.
Rudi Wongozi has a long standing reputation in the East Bay(Oakland/Berkeley) area of California as a first call pianist and bandleader or recording session player in the genres of Jazz and Pop, Soul and R&B.
In a brief phone chat recently with the very busy pianist, as he is now living in New York city. We spoke about him being able to carve out himself a nice piece of the grass-roots and underground audiences that are hungry for new voices and sounds.
Wongonzi has valid and “legit” Jazz chops. He also has that eclectic voice that in a subtle kind of way reminds me a little of Gil Scott Heron. his original song lyrics are spot on and most relevant today. Hence, an album for after the After-party..that part of the early morning when no one is sleepy, and don’t want the groove to stop. Rudi Wongozi brings it all home in his new production, Jazz for R&B Lovers.
Rudi has done a stellar job in marrying the different genres of music and placing it in a funnel and letting it blend to a honeycomb of soul and panache’. Still retaining his remarkable flair for the dramatic entrances.
On the song menu are classics by such notables as Denise Williams,Luther Vandross, Eric Clapton and the great Eddie Jefferson to name a few, plus unforgettable original gems written by Rudi , Precious: when the morning comes.
“Like some of my musical heroes, Nina Simone and Curtis Mayfield..they too were hard to put inside a musical label box because their talent was so expansive and universally appealed to multiple audiences” stated Wongozi.
12 tracks of sheer delight and memories, even a straight ahead version of “BAD HABITS” penned by Maxwell, the neo-soul artist.
You have to approach this album with an open mind and heart. then you will quickly get it. and then have a ball at the Party after the After-Party.
“I wanted to write a love song album, but I also wanted to blend in the social in-justice that’s currently happening in our country now. seasoning it with scat, rap and hip hop grooves beats on certain cuts. a recipe for success by artistically integrating multi-genre with the experience of a master musician/songwriter. This record drops NOVEMBER 11 2018… online purchases or at your favorite CD retail outlets
written by Robert J. Carmack, editor in chief, Hipster Sanctuary.com,actor,jazz poet and musician-@blues2jazzguy
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