Tag Archives: travel

Are Baby-Boomer Performers Disrespected in Music Television and Films ??

posted by Robert J. Carmack

Do You Feel Older Performers are Getting Treated Fairly? 

Many times this question gets tossed around by a group of actors & musicians..  and truly I get the same answers, but that’s just from the people who feel its being done to them..Over the coming months, we will further explore and question a few individuals willing to discuss this.   So we are posing this question..Please respond Good , Bad, Indifferent.

One doesn’t have to look too far , when looking at the bevy of  20 something shows dominating the airwaves , including pseudo-reality talent programs. although I have been seeing a higher increase of known movie actors , now being featured in some of the smaller network cable shows. In terms of minority representation on television or movies , It’s even worse. I think we all can agree, the talent pool is quite deeper than we’re being led to believe.

What Your take on the question for all three categories or, just one??  brief comments always welcomed 

Music & Recording Industry   Yes/No

Network Television                     Yes/No

Films                                                 Yes/No


Thomas Simmons Hosts New Show Jazz That Soothes Your Soul

Thomas Simmons

Thomas Simmons Hosts ” JAZZ That Soothes Your Soul”

10PM – Midnite EST Friday Nights

BE Sure to Tune in Tonight at  WRFG FM 89.3   10PM EST /  7PM PST 

Thomas Simmons,formerly of WCLK FM in Atlanta , a local iconic Jazz host with a great following of serious  jazz collectors and fans nation-wide via live stream  click on link to stream http://www.wrfg.org/

Remembering Award-Winning Producer Composer George Duke

George Duke  and Stanley Clarke Goerge Chaka & Jeffrey O group pix with McCoy & Q with George

Goerge with Patrice Rushen

George Duke  Dream Weaver




















posted by Robert J. Carmack-Los Angeles,CA.

Nothing matches up with the pain when you learn of a family member or close friend ‘s death. That proverbial lump that comes in your throat, after trying to come to grips as to the Why.  No one was more shocked than I early this morning, when a web-based news organization was announcing the death of jazz & Pop Icon, George Duke, who had only died a couple of hours prior to the announcement. Longtime family friend, Sherrie Payne had made a short announcement to a tiny circle of friends. Later on expanding that to include social media outlets. Duke , 67, died from a form of chronic Leukemia. details surrounding his exact death status are closely guarded.  My own personal experience with George Duke , like most people I know , is through his music. My first question in 1970 was , Who is this guy taking over for Joe Zawinul in the Cannonball Adderley Quintet?  Later on, as  a fan, I began to really study George’s music  while attending some great concerts, I quickly realized Duke was something very special…and also as a publicist.  my interviews of  musicians, singers and entertainment “insiders” from, promo-clerks to the upper-crust of the music business, They all would agree  unequivocally that George Duke was under-recognized and unsung  during his very successful  career. His producer’s credit list is literally a “Who’s Who” along with his writing of hits on the POP, SOUL and Jazz charts.  George definitely possessed that “It  Factor” that most entertainers want in their concerts or recording projects.  In a moving tribute to his wife Corine, George presents Dreamweaver’s  Missing You   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7LA-xFdbCsk


posted by Robert J. Carmack

Coming in August, This writer will sit down with L.A. based Jazz guitarist,  Jacque Lesure.  The veteran  musician will discuss his blazing hot new CD on WJJacque Lesure II now3 Records, When She Smiles….follow Robert J. Carmack   #@blues2jazzguy





Hipster Retro: Coming Soon Interview with Woodwinds/Percussionist Derf Reklaw

Derf Reklaw
Derf Reklaw
‘The Pharaohs were one of the forgotten treasures of ’70s R&B, a freewheeling jazz-funk congregation heavily influenced by Chicago’s jazz avant-garde as well as on-the-one funk and African motifs.’
 Unfortunately, they recorded only one album before Earth, Wind & Fire frontman Maurice White (who played in an early version of the Pharaohs) hired several of its members to form the Phenix Horns, the justly celebrated horn section for Earth,Wind &Fire during the 70s.
The group was formed from several jazz bands active around Chicago’s Afro Arts Theater, a community educational collective.
One of the bands, the Jazzmen, was formed in the early ’60s around trumpeter Charles Handy, trombone player Louis Satterfield, and alto Don Myrick (along with three who didn’t survive later conglomeration: pianist Fred Humphrey, bassist Ernest McCarthy, and drummer Maurice White). The other main component of the Pharaohs was the Artistic Heritage Ensemble, who had already recorded one late-’60s LP with cornetist, Philip Cohran, a veteran of Sun Ra’s Arkestra and AACM.
By the time of the Pharaohs’ 1971 recording debut, Awakening, the group included Handy, Myrick, and Satterfield plus Big Willie Woods on trombone, Oye Bisi and Shango Njoko Adefumi on African drums, Yehudah Ben Israel on guitar and vocals, Alious Watkins on trap drums, Derf Reklaw-Raheem on percussion and flute, and Aaron Dodd on tuba.

Back in the ’60s, before the Pharaohs were formed, Handy, Satterfield, and Maurice White had often contributed to sessions at Chicago’s Chess studios, so when White recorded a demo for a new band he wanted to form, both Handy and Satterfield appeared on it. After he signed to Warner Bros., they also began recording Earth,Wind &Fire material and eventually were officially hired by White as the Phenix Horns, with the addition of Pharaohs Yehudah Ben Israel and Rahm Lee, plus Michael Harris. The Pharaohs soldiered on until 1973, but called it quits without recording another studio album.

Derf Reklaw became a respected world-jazz leader, while Woods and Dodd both appeared on many soul sessions around Chicago during the ’70s. In 1996, the acid jazz label Luv ‘N’ Haight reissued Awakening and also released the 1972 live outing, In the Basement.
John Bush, All Music Guide(reprinted from all music guide-2008


Snappy Too is the Follow-Up to the Gold Certified Album Snappy Doo

Los Angeles, CA – Aleph Records will release James Morrison’s new recording Snappy Too on September 11, 2012.  The album is the sequel to the 1990 release Snappy Doo, which featured Morrison along with three legendary artists (Ray Brown, Herb Ellis, and Jeff Hamilton) creating a seventeen-piece big band sound through the use of overdubbing.

“It was tremendous fun and the album went gold,” said Morrison of Snappy Doo.  “I knew I’d want to do a ‘sequel’ at some stage but it has taken over two decades to finally get around to it. Sadly, in the meantime we have lost Ray and Herb, so when the time came to choose musicians for this recording I had a decision to make – do I replace them (who could?) or do we stick with the original band…meaning Jeff and I alone?”

Morrison made the decision that, since no players could replace Brown and Ellis and in the spirit of Snappy Doo, to record Snappy Too with Jeff alone. Which meant that he had to pull out his acoustic bass and brush up on guitar, in addition to playing trumpet, trombone, sax, and piano as he did for the first album.

Morrison joked, “after many laughs, a few tears and a lot of writing, blowing, strumming and plucking, we now have the long awaited Snappy Too a seventeen piece big band album where you only have to get two autographs on the cover to have the whole band!”

The recording of Snappy Too started in Morrison’s studio in Sydney, Australia. “Last time (Snappy Doo) we started with the rhythm section and then layered the brass and saxes on top,” Morrison described. “This time I started with a single trumpet and gradually built up all the horns until we had thirteen. Next I added the bass, then guitar and finally piano.”

The recording then shifted to Los Angeles where Hamilton added the drum tracks and Morrison played a few improvised solos.  “It was really something to see a man who is arguably the world’s best big band drummer sitting there playing away on his own – while listening to sixteen ‘other’ guys who weren’t in the room!” Morrison said.  “I can’t tell you how hard that is, playing drums to a band that is already there and can’t respond to anything you do – but I can tell you that nobody else could do it better than Jeff Hamilton.”

One person whose contributions were essential to the recording of Snappy Too was recording engineer Tod Deeley.  Morrison explained, “The recording engineer is always important when capturing music but in this case, where the band was created by over-dubbing so many tracks, the engineer becomes almost one of the players. For many of the hours that it took to create this work, there were only two people in the studio – Tod and myself. This meant that I was relying not only on his expertise as an engineer but also on his musicality, to advise when we needed another take, when tuning was an issue, when the groove was shifting. This is something that not any engineer could do – but that’s ok because Tod isn’t just any engineer, he’s a musician that I trust to know when the music is right.”

Morrison continued, “It’s been an odyssey creating this album and I feel lucky to be able to do it. I hope you delight in listening to what for me has been a labor of love and joy.”

James Morrison Snappy Too will be released by Aleph Records on September 11, 2012.

James Morrison is, by anybody’s standard, a virtuoso in the true sense of the word. Besides the trumpet, this multi-instrumentalist also plays trombone, euphonium, flugelhorn, tuba, saxophone, double bass and piano.

At the age of seven, Morrison was given his first instrument, at nine he formed his first band and at thirteen he was playing professionally in nightclubs. His international career developed just as quickly. At only age 16 he debuted in the USA with a breathtaking concert at the Monterey Jazz Festival.

Following this were performances at the big festivals in Europe including Montreaux, Pori, North Sea, Nice and Bern – playing with many of the legends of jazz. Dizzy Gillespie, Cab Calloway, Woody Shaw, Red Rodney, George Benson, Ray Charles, B.B. King, Ray Brown and Wynton Marsalis to name a few. There were also gigs in the worlds most famous jazz clubs – The Blue Note and Village Vanguard in New York, the New Morning in Paris and Ronnie Scotts in London.

James Morrison’s career thus far has been diverse and perhaps not typical of most jazz musicians. He recorded Jazz Meets the Symphony with The London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Lalo Schifrin, performed concerts at the Royal Albert hall with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden for Princess Anne. Royal command performances on two occasions for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and for US Presidents Bush & Clinton at Parliament House in Australia. He was also the artistic advisor to the Sydney Symphony’s “Kaleidoscope” series, which has included performances by Chick Corea, Dianne Reeves, Gary Burton and Kristjan Jarvi.  In 1997, Morrison was recognized for his service to the arts in Australia and awarded a medal of The Order of Australia.

Morrison spends much time in education, doing master classes and workshops in many countries and presenting the James Morrison Jazz Scholarship at Generations in Jazz. An avid user of the latest technologies James is very involved in furthering the presence of jazz and music education on the Internet and also uses computers extensively in his writing, recording and performances.
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