Tag Archives: pocket jazz presents.org

BLACK HISTORY VIRTUAL -THEATER BY POCKET JAZZ PRESENTS: STORIES FROM THE WINDOW


It was announced last week by Pocket Jazz Presents Chief Content Developer and Founder, Robert J. Carmack. Pocket Jazz Presents is a content developer and a co-op of artists, musicians,photographers, singers and poets. We operate as a creative collective and at times, represent the little boutique Cafe ,Gig workers, independent artists and small business venue owners . a wide assortment of goods and services offered for nominal fees or Barter.

The Pandemic across the country has made life worse for those entertainers and all the jobs that support the Entertainment industry. Carmack is finding opportunities to work on building alliances and support groups who can be converted into audiences after the “all-clear”sign is posted for audiences to return. ” I have gone into survival mode now that two of my Theater shows were cancelled in 2020 in Los Angeles and one in San Francisco (Nina Simone play, Interview with the High Priestess:NINA! also, a Charlie Parker return to Bay area in ,Wounded Feathers a Jazz Tragedy.

Pocket Jazz with Robert, recruited some of Robert’s old friends, Mr. Vel Omarr, soul singer, songwriter,actor/director of stage plays and music productions,the Chicago native by way of Mississippi is currently portraying several roles for Pocket Jazz stories,including Sam Cooke. Omarr’s credits also include songs written for Movies and some now Streaming on-line as we speak. can not list at time but will list in next article. Vel Omarr is the founder of the Soultown Artists Channel.

Hailing from Detroit, and finding her way to join family members in California, while settling initially in Carson. she met Robert Carmack , a college student and Drama teacher at a local arts academy. Naomi excelled in the workshops and early productions. A major change came when the adult workshop split off from the academy and became the Paul Robeson players, a full theater ensemble,1972..joining Robert Carmack and Robert Browning as the Original founding members,among a few others who are no longer with us. We introduce Ms. Naomi Pryor-Stenson.

Introducing Ms. Mechelle LaChaux, Singer/songwriter,actress and stage management. just to name a few of this dynamic lady’s skills. Her energy in the “Moment” acting. She’s also dedicated to a high Bar of excellence in music. Worked with Robert in the formation of creating. the San Francisco Bay – Area African American Musicians Association. This organization was established to bolster more Black musicians involvement in the active cultural scene in the S.F. Bay area 2004-2009.

This group of Black professionals are grinding out some very interesting dramatic content ,using historic events and figures. for example , Feb, 26, 27 and 28 . Pocket Jazz is posting its Debut Program entitled, Stories From the Window. In a Zoom formatted set, Carmack and company will bring emotional , gripping subject matter as the “1963- 16th Street Baptist Church Bombing” in Birmingham Alabama, and the mysterious Life & Death of Sam Cooke 1960s. later on, other key figures will be featured. The short vignettes are just a slice of life involving the people in a pivotal moment in time. In the 1963 Bombing . The Four actors are representing four nameless victims of the bombing who was just going to Church. No previously written script is used , Improvisational skills are at play, told from the audience’s point of View . Hence, Stories from the window.. The Zoom “Box/Window” format is where I draw the title. LIVE/taped!

We will project what these four characters were doing only ONE HOUR before they arrived ,only to be injured severely, others died.. Other themes may be about eclectic Blues lady Ma Rainey and Bessie Smith, Charlie Parker and Sam’s Brother L.C. Cooke. we are happy to release the precursors to our stage efforts. Ready on day-one to tour these shows.. on stage, in backyards once audiences are safe to return.

For more information follow us at PocketJazzPresents/@FreedomJazzDance on facebook or email us your contact ,so we can place you on our action events list. pocketjazz@musician.org ~ our office number is 951-456-5874. our next article, Meet the Cast Members at http://www.hipstersanctuary.com Feb. 18th 2021.. until all shows have posted .

supporting websites and support groups on Facebook Soul Gumbo Unlimited, Prancin N’ Romancin’ Cove, S.F.B.A.A.A.M. and SoulTown Artists Channel on facebook.,

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 cafĂ© 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