Tag: POP

NYC PIANIST RUDI WONGOZI LAUNCHES LATEST RELEASE: JAZZ FOR R&B LOVERS


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.

The Album for After the After Party

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

press relations or more info regarding concerts or CD listening parties email us at; wongozi@yahoo.com

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9 YEAR OLD ATLANTA DRUMMING SENSATION ADDED TO LONDON BASED TV SHOW


 

 

 

 

 

 

posted by Robert J. Carmack    #@blues2jazzguy                    At a recent interview with a Chief Executive at London 5 Studios in England, It was announced that 9 year old Joshua Grant has been selected to the cast of ” Little Melanie” a new TV show still in pre-production development. The show is based on a book conceived and developed by Ms.Melanie Greene, that’s centered around a little girl who is a piano prodigy. “Little Melanie” has a strong commitment to excellence and a dream to one day be as great as her idol, jazz pianist Hazel Scott. the young girl’s character is debuting with a launching of the first book, followed by another 149 + books within the massive children series.

In the TV series, Joshua Grant will portray a character, Aden that plays drums in the TV show Little Melanie Live!  This new show promises to dominate children’s television and spawn several movies and merchandise items. Grant has made many appearances on his drums and is very popular among his school mates in Atlanta . Among the most recent shows are the Harry Connick Jr Show where he and other youngsters are jamming with Harry’s TV Band on-air.

Rumors has it, He’s being wooed for another TV appearance by a famous daytime television show host  in Hollywood very soon.

 

JAZZ DIVA SANDRA BOOKER RETURNS TO L.A. COUNTY MUSEUM OF ART


sandra-booker-lacma-oct-2016

 

 

 

 

Sandra Booker @ LACMA_Singer/songwriter Sandra Booker returns to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art for her eighth appearance at part of the Jazz at LACMA series. Back by popular demand, she is a museum favorite and guaranteed to swing the night away with a collection of jazz and R&B standards as well as her original compositions.

The Group 

Andy Langham, piano/keyboards
Edwin Livingston, acoustic/electric bass
Thomas White, drums

Friday, October 7
6:00 to 8:00pm

ADMISSION: FREE

Los Angeles County Music of Art
LACMA
5905 Wilshire Boulevard Los Angeles, CA 90036
323 857-6000

Sandra Booker seated with bassist Mike Gurrola
Sandra Booker seated with bassist Mike Gurrola

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GOOD-BYE FOR NOW TOOTS THIELEMANS: FINAL NOTE 1922-2016


posted by Robert J. Carmack

Toots Thielemans

Jean-Baptiste Frédéric Isidor, Baron Thielemans, better known as Toots Thielemans,was a master jazz musician. He was well-known for his harmonica playing, but was a sublime guitarist and whistle soloist, often a first-call sessions player.

Many times over the decades of his career, he could be heard on Jazz/POP recordings, or in movie themes and scores. I first experienced Mr. Thielemans masterful skills on several Quincy Jones recordings starting in 1970, Gula Matari.

Born April 29, 1922, in Brussels, Belgium  Died: August 22, 2016

toots2NOW

 

 

 

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JAZZ PIANIST ERIC REED TO APPEAR AT LOS ANGELES COUNTY MUSEUM OF ART


Eric Reed Today
Eric Reed Today

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

posted by Robert J. Carmack   #blues2jazzguy

Go and witness the incredible playing of Eric Reed  “Live At LACMA”  Los Angeles County Museum of Art Jazz Series

Friday May 6th@6pm  Wilshire Blvd & Ogden Ave(Near Fairfax)

http://www.lacma.org    eric_reed_Now Casual

Award-winning pianist and composer Eric Scott Reed began playing the piano at age two and was performing in his father’s Baptist church in Philadelphia by age five. After study at Philadelphia’s Settlement Music School and Los Angeles’ Colburn School of Arts, Reed embarked upon a professional career that has taken him all over the world. His credits include Wynton Marsalis, Jessye Norman, Quincy Jones, Patti Labelle and others. Reed has taught at The Juilliard School of Music and gives master classes and lecture demonstrations on the history of music. His other musical ventures include over 20 recordings as a leader, including his latest recording, The Dancing Monk; scoring for Eddie Murphy’s comedy, Life; and musical direction for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Currently Reed is in residence with the Ebony Repertory Theatre of Los Angeles, as musical director of Regina Taylor’s Crowns.

eric_reed_06 Now

 

THE HIPSTER PAY TRIBUTE TO BILLY PAUL ~RIP CHARMING BILLY 1934~2016


 

posted by Robert J. Carmack       #@blues2jazzguy

Charming Billy Paul
Charming Billy Paul

 

Billy Paul NOW 3 RED Shirt
Billy’s Back Home! RIP

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Going East to be a Love Buddy
Going East to be a Love Buddy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Besides being a big fan since “Live at The Cadillac Club” album which was a great JAZZ album played in heavy rotation in Los Angeles during  the late 60s on their prime jazz station,KBCA FM 105.1. I believe and was shocked to find that Billy was older than I thought,Also, that both, he and Barry Gordy had a connection in his early Jazz days.
But, the REAL Story for Billy was the hot new deal with “Philly-Soul Cervantes,” Gamble & Huff . Going East album  (1971) was a big favorite of mine , The whole album often found itself being played over and over and over again at my house. On my tape player, turn-table and at the clubs on the juke Box, even on the bandstand by cover bands.

The “Ladies” was buzzing about this brother in the leather hat & aviator glasses singing those erotic love songs and with the pleasantly smooth voice. Talking about “LOVE BUDDIES” Followup that big hit with ME & Mrs Jones, Bam! right between the eyes! Another big album Plus!
I saw him at several clubs in L.A. in the 1970s.

2003, I was producing a Jazz Series in San Francisco, Celebrate a Legend: Jazz in July, when I found out he was due at a concert in the SF Bay area the next day. During a special night we were presenting Freddie Hubbard a Congressional Lifetime Achievement ,We brought Billy in for a surprise appearance and presented him with a lifetime award also. a congressional signature by Congresswoman Barbara Lee. That night with a packed house at the Plush Room in Knob Hill, Billy “nailed” The Old Folks” a jazz standard he performed in a cameo spot while getting his award. that was the last time I saw him live …July 2003.

He never stopped touring & singing until Now.. RIP Billy! You always knew THE RIGHT SONG for the RIGHT MOMENT!

CBS STEVIE WONDER’S SONGS IN THE KEY OF LIFE CELEBRATION “GOT IT RIGHT”


posted by robert j. carmack #blues2jazzguy #chefrobb #GrammyAwards #GrammySalute  #CBSNetwork

“Songs in the Key of Life: An All-Star Grammy Salute” aired Monday on CBS, which featured the best of the new generation performers, all paying respect to the legendary Stevie Wonder.

http://www.complex.com/music/2015/02/beyonce-ed-sheeran-gary-clark-jr-cover-stevie-wonder-higher-ground

Performers including Beyonce, Ed Sheeran, Lady Gaga, Ariana Grande, Pharrell, Tony Bennett and The Band Perry paid homage to the singer/songwriter and his muscular music catalog during the show, which was taped last week in Los Angeles. I don’t watch the Grammy Awards show and have not in over twenty years because of low quality shows and antics by publicity-starved pseudo mega stars.  I saw one of the best show openers in any Grammy-related or, not TV show by Beyoncé, with less “Rump-Shaking and more soulful singing along with two very talented young singers I was not aware of.

Singer/guitarist Gary Clark Jr. joined Beyonce and Sheeran for medley of Wonder hits that included “Higher Ground.”

A “Dialed back”  Lady Gaga played the piano and performed a spirited version of “I Wish” after sharing that Wonder’s SONGS album was the first she ever played on her own as a child. we watched on-screen as Stevie mouthed the words “Oh Wow” when she told of his influence on her as a 6 year old child.

Singer/songwriter Babyface joined Ariana Grande for “Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I’m Yours.” Overall, a remarkable tribute to a man who began the journey as an eleven year old boy in 1961 at Motown Records, “Little Stevie Wonder”.

Quote of the Year by Jamie Foxx: ” Let’s be Honest, STEVIE WONDER has more talent in One Braid than most of the people we hear today “

WAS THIS SHOW BETTER THAN THE GRAMMYS ? Stripped of all the Punk & Circumstances it’s a resounding YESSSSSSS!!!!! IMHO.