Tag: #Wayne Shorter

HIPSTER SANCTUARY.COM CELEBRATING 20 YEARS:SOUL JAZZ MEETUP ~ UPSTAIRS@VITELLO’S SUPPER CLUB


posted by Kamaad Tauhid #@blues2jazzguy

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!! 

maad Tauhid @blues2jazzguy

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/ron-jackson-with-special-guest-teodross-avery-tickets-52736162281?fbclid=IwAR1px02-SPsQBmTT8Nj9BXQ59z-U8DPf0xPq69MakobJerTnobEkuA0IQzM

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HIPSTER SANCTUARY NEW JAZZ EDITOR EDDIE CARTER & JAZZTRACKS SERIES


eddie Carter Jazz archivist 2018

Our Newest Contributing Jazz Editor Mr. Eddie Carter of Atlanta..FOLLOW the JAZZTRACKS

Words from Publisher/Founder Robert J. Carmack

“welcome aboard Eddie its good to have your wise advice and keen knowledge when it comes to jazz.” R.J. Carmack

 

Jazztracks Logo by eddie Carter

Eddie Carter – Southern Region – Jazz Editor ~ Eddie’s love for jazz began at the age of eight years old and learned all he could about the bands, groups, musicians and vocalists who created the music.  He began writing reviews of CD’s and LP’s in 1991 for The Atlanta Audio Society and covered concerts including The Tri-C Jazz Fest, The Cincinnati Music Festival and The Atlanta Jazz Festival for WCLK’s On the Air Magazine and Strictly Jazz Magazine.  He currently writes jazz reviews for The Atlanta Audio Club web page and three Facebook pages.

The Jazz Crusaders – Lighthouse ‘68

By Eddie Carter  

My choice from the library to talk about this time is by four friends from Houston, Texas who began performing locally in 1956.  They were originally known as The Swingsters and The Nite Hawks, but moved to Los Angeles in 1961, changed their name and became one of the best West Coast ensembles of the sixties, The Jazz Crusaders.  I first discovered their music in 1962, the year I became a jazz fan thanks to one of my heroes on the airwaves, Chuck Lansing of WCUY 92.3 FM.  He began his nightly show with The Young Rabbits, the last track on their second LP, Lookin’ Ahead (PJ-43/ST-43), also released that year.  The song became a huge hit for the group and I loved the sound of the trombone-tenor sax front line.  The quartet consists of Wayne Henderson on trombone; Wilton Felder on tenor sax; Joe Sample on piano; Stix Hooper on drums with Jimmy Bond, Victor Gaskin, and Herbie Lewis filling the bass chair on their records during the decade.  Lighthouse ’68 (ST-10131) documents the group performing live at one of the premiere West Coast clubs, The Lighthouse Café, in business since 1949 and now a multi-genre venue which features jazz twice weekly.  The bassist joining the quartet on this date is Buster Williams and my copy used in this report is the original 1968 US Stereo release.

The set opens with Oogo-Boo-Ga-Loo, an infectiously danceable audience grabber by Stix Hooper which begins with a lovely introduction by the trio, then blossoms into a sanctified styled theme treatment.  Wilton goes to work first with a soulfully flavored, funky performance that calls to mind the sound of tenor man Willis Jackson and will have you tapping your toes and wanting to get up and dance.  Joe takes over for a brief performance of irresistibly appealing phrases on the closer, leading to the theme’s reprise and audience’s appreciative applause.  Eleanor Rigby by John Lennon and Paul McCartney is one of The Beatles most famous and recorded compositions.  The quintet’s rendition does the song proud with a mid-tempo version which begins with them exploring the melody collectively.  Sample is the song’s only soloist and he gives an extended performance of dazzling melodic lines which are consistently creative and exquisitely presented.

The tempo moves up for Native Dancer, the first of two contributions by Buster Williams which gets off to a roaring start with a nimble melody presentation.  The aggressive opening statement by Joe moves swiftly through each verse like a musical twister, then comes Wayne who makes his first solo appearance next with a jubilant spirit during his performance which is remarkable.  Wilton steps into the spotlight next for a swinging reading of limitless energy.  Buster takes over for the finale with a delightful interpretation that is a model of spontaneous construction, showing off his agility as an improviser and extraordinary inspiration as a composer effectively.  Sample’s Never Had It So Good starts the second side with an easy spirited beat that leads us back to church with a bit of boogaloo in the imaginative display of harmony during the group’s opening melody.  The solo order is Felder, Henderson and Sample, and each man preaches their part of this sermon weaving a series of rhythmic ideas which swing comfortably to the delight of their extended congregation, the Lighthouse audience.

The Emperor, also by Williams takes us back to straightforward bop with the solos in the same order as the previous tune.  Wilton starts the soloing with a passionately personal opening statement with each phrase beautifully articulated as he weaves gracefully in unison with the stunning foundation provided by Joe, Buster and Stix.  Wayne sustains the relaxing beat with an attractive reading possessing a great amount of warmth and excitement.  Joe makes a succinct statement with a full-bodied interpretation of finesse which is skillfully performed.  Buster eases into the final interpretation with a performance as mild as a smooth sherry and a sound that goes straight to the heart.  The album ends with John Coltrane’s Impressions, taken at breakneck speed with an invigorating introduction by the trio and theme statement led by the horns.  Henderson takes off first with a jet-propelled interpretation followed by Felder who infuses the second solo with searing fire for an energetic workout.  Sample comes next with an exhilarating performance of fierce intensity and Stix exchanges a few clever comments with both horns prior to the effervescent ending.

Three years after this album was recorded the quintet would shorten its name to The Crusaders, moving towards Jazz-Fusion, Jazz-Funk and Smooth Jazz.  Their biggest hit would come four years after Henderson left the group to become a record producer in 1979 with Street Life (MCA Records MCA 3094) featuring Soul vocalist Randy Crawford.  The remaining members would stay together until 1983 when Hooper left to pursue a solo career.  In 1991, the surviving members Sample and Felder released what would be their final album as The Crusaders, Healing The Wounds (MCA Records 09638 – GRP 9638).  In 1995, Wayne Henderson revived The Jazz Crusaders name for a CD-album, Happy Again (Sin-Drome Records SD 8909).  Henderson who suffered from diabetes, passed away from heart failure on April 5, 2014 at age seventy-four.  Joe Sample passed away five months later on September 12, 2014 from Mesothelioma and Wilton Felder passed away one year later on September 27, 2015 from Multiple myeloma, both were seventy-five years old.  Stix Hooper and flutist Hubert Laws who (I didn’t know was a founding member) left the group in 1960 to attend The Juilliard School of Music are the only surviving members of the original group.

Dino Lappas, the engineer on Lighthouse ’68 has also worked on their second live album, Live at The Lighthouse ’66 (PJ-10098/ST-20098); their fourth and final live album, Lighthouse ’69 (World Pacific Jazz – Pacific Jazz ST-20165); The Three Sounds Live at The Lighthouse (BLP 4265/BST 84265) a year earlier in 1967 and also in 1972 on Elvin Jones Live at The Lighthouse (BN-LA015-G) and Grant Green Live at The Lighthouse (BN-LA037-G2) on Blue Note.  The sound quality is splendid throughout with plenty of clarity across the frequency band of treble, midrange and bass.  This is particularly noticeable with a good set of headphones; the benefit is the richness and detail of each instrument and specifically Buster Williams’ bass which is outstanding.  If you only know of this talented group of musicians from their records as The Crusaders, I invite you to audition Lighthouse ’68 during your next vinyl hunt for a spot in your jazz library.  The album will transport you back in time to that intimate Hermosa Beach venue, The Lighthouse Café to hear The Jazz Crusaders at the top of their game playing some of the best Hard-Bop and Post-Bop you’ll hear!  The last vinyl pressing of Lighthouse ’68 (APBL-2312) was issued by Applause Records in 1982 and is out of print.  The CD-album released in 2004 by Pacific Jazz Records adds four additional tracks to the LP track listing, Cathy The Cooker by Wayne Henderson; Shadows by Buster Williams, Tough Talk by Stix Hooper, Joe Sample and Wayne Henderson, and Third Principle by Wilton Felder, and is to my knowledge out of print as well!

Cathy The Cooker, Happy Again, Healing The Wounds, Elvin Jones at The Lighthouse, Grant Green at The Lighthouse, Dino Lappas, Live at The Lighthouse ’66, Lighthouse ’69, Shadows, Street Life, Third Principle, Tough Talk – Source: Discogs.com

Jimmy Bond, Randy Crawford, Wilton Felder, Victor Gaskin, Wayne Henderson, Stix Hooper, Hubert Laws, Herbie Lewis, The Julliard School of Music, Joe Sample

© 2018 by Edward Thomas Carter

 

ROBERT J. CARMACK PERFORMS WITH ELEPHANTS: IN LEIMERT PARK SAT. MAY 26 9PM


WORLD STAGE PERFORMANCE GALLERY  Presents

ELEPHANTS Nda PARK BAND

Don Littleton Drums, Michael Alvidrez Bass, Pablo Calogero Saxes, Flutes and Bass Clarinet

Special Guest Poet

Robert J. Carmack – Spoken Word

SATURDAY  MAY 26 9:PM   $20 Door / http://www.eventbrite.com

WORLD STAGE PERFORMANCE GALLERY  4321 DEGNAN BLVD. LA CALIF. 90008

Contact: #@blues2jazzguy or elephantsndapark@mail.com

JAZZ AND PACHYDERMS ?? ELEPHANTS Nda PARK CUTTING EDGE MUSIC _n_ POETRY IN LOS ANGELES


 

 

 

 

 

 

WORLD STAGE PERFORMANCE GALLERY 

4321 Degnan Blvd. L.A. California 90008

SATURDAY MAY 26 2018 9:PM $20 at Door / Tickets also on, http://www.eventbrite.com

WHO are these Musicians and poet that’s stirring up the pot inside the L.A. jazz underground?

Brilliant artists in their own right as band leaders,side-men, producers and actor/writer.. these are the ingredients that make up the performance group,

Elephants Nda’ Park ..L.A. based artists that explore all the areas of the musical spectrum that pushes beyond jazz, or even beyond standards and “roses are red” branded poetry.

They seek to discover and peel back the skin of the genre and expose the meaty-fruits inspired by “improvisational excavation”. It is through this meticulous search for new soil, as once presented by such icons as Jackie McLean, Sun Ra, early Pharoah Sanders,  John Coltrane,Yusef Lateef, Rahsaan Roland Kirk and others. the X-factor thats injected into the mix is writer/producer,poet, Robert J. Carmack, whose background presents a smorgasbord of the arts including Jazz saxophone, poetry, drama and promotions/publicity. Carmack’s poetry calls up the spirits of the ancesters and the “pioneers who came before”. inspired and influenced by legendary poets such as Amiri Baraka,  Haki R. Madhubuti (Don L. Lee) , Last Poets, Watts Prophets,Jayne Cortez, Sonia Sanchez and, Sun RA.

photo by Robert J. Carmack

Don Littleton  Drummer – has spent nearly 50 years studying and performing music all over the country and in Los Angeles, playing with iconic figures such as, George Coleman, Hank Crawford, Charles Owens, Curtis Taylor, Saxophonist Justo Almario and bassist/poet John B. Williams.  An accomplished, much sought after percussionist, Don Littleton has mastered an enticing array of percussion instruments. Don regularly performs all over metro-Los Angeles.

 

Pablo Calagero – multi-instrumentalist. specializing on flutes,saxophones and bass clarinet

photo by Robert J. Carmack

Multi-instrumentalist, composer,New Yorker has played and recorded with a virtual list of who’s Who. including Mario Bauza,Tito Puente, Bebo Valdez,Carla Bley, Jaki Byard, Chico Ofarrill, James Newton, Dizzy Gillespie, Adam Roudolph, Bennie Maupin,Phil Ranelin,Dave Binny, Adam Rogers,Dennis Mackrel, Yusef Lateef,Jerry Gonzales, Andy Gonzales, Papo Vasquez, Patato Valdez, Jazz at Lincoln Center Afro Latin Orchestra, Oscar Hernandez,David Murray, Count Basie Orchestra, Anthony Braxton,John Linberg, Rashid Ali, Bobby Matos,Kenny Burrell,absorbing a broad range of musical styles and methods.

 

Michael Alvidrez-Bass

Michael Alvidrez, a “young veteran” of the “bass wars” bounces between acoustic and electric with the same impact. Michael is a very astute musician, looking to make his mark and create his own path in this genre. Along with bringing his A-game each and every time he steps onto the stage, “He’s a student of improvisation.” He’s a constant face on today’s L.A. Jazz scene. Not afraid to sail in unchartered waters inside the harbor of a “Free Music Sanctuary”.

 

Robert J. Carmack – poet, journalist, producer, musician and actor

 Robert J. Carmack , Began his musical journey in music long before he picked up an instrument. According to his late mother he could not go to sleep unless the music was playing on the radio, “Though she did not play she loved music and encouraged us all to study” stated Robert . He played saxophone professionally throughout his high school and college career, later switched majors to study theater as undergrad picking up BA in Theater Arts/Communications. Masters Fine Arts in Theater-directing and productions. He has worked in journalism, music for the theater and films , bob hope USO tours during Viet Nam era and produced several plays , 2018 wrote and starred in original play Interview with the High Priestess: Nina! a jazz musical about icon Nina Simone.  Also in Feb. 2018  He performed the eclectic poems of Sun Ra with jazz bass master, Juini Booth, Eclectic Nativity, Free Music band in Los Angeles. Summer 2017, performed with Azar Lawrence and Juini Booth’s McCoy Tyner Legacy band as spoken word guest poet,. Robert has produced stellar Jazz shows with the likes of Freddie Hubbard, Andy Bey, Sonny Fortune, Calvin Keys, Hilton Ruiz, Vanessa Rubin, Freddie Cole, Doug Carn and  worked as MC or journalist on international shows. Mr. Carmack is residing in Southern California these days, enjoying the direction of the Elephants Nda Park is going.

After all, Ivory is Not Art…Save the Elephants!”   posted by Kamaad Tauhid  #@blues2jazzguy

JAZZ MASTER BASSIST BOB CRANSHAW DEAD AT 83


posted by  #@blues2jazzguy   Robert J. Carmack

The Great Bassist from Indiana, who more times than not was the steady bass player for Sonny Rollins. Cranshaw had been battling a series of challenging ailments. but it’s believed that he succumbed to his battle with Cancer. Cranshaw, IMHO, was one of the top five bassists in modern jazz history. My first experience hearing Bob Cranshaw was on the Blue Note Records classic by Lee Morgan, The Sidewinder, One of of the most commercially successful record ever recorded in Jazz. (1964)

The title track Sidewinder  was the very last song added to complete the album, according to Cranshaw. Lee came up with the melody while on break from the session,  Lee then asked Bob to come up with a pick-up line .The now famous bass-line pickup to begin the groove is talked about in detail via an interview from a documentary on Blue Note Records.

One other note at some point as he got older, Cranshaw chose not to play the upright Bass, which seemed awkward at first since he was performing with the great Sonny Rollins for decades. I have seen many concerts with Sonny Rollins over my lifetime, with most of those “gigs” with Cranshaw on Electric Bass, by closing your eyes one could hardly tell the difference.

We in the jazz community will sorely miss Bob Cranshaw out there, bringing smiles to our faces as he practiced his craft for over 7 decades .  Rest in Loving Peace Bob & Join the Jam session in the sky where all the greats go.

Bob Cranshaw
Bob Cranshaw

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

COLTRANE @ NINE-ZERO: CELEBRATING JOHN COLTRANE 1926 -1967


posted by Robert J. Carmack   #blues2jazzguy

artwork by King
artwork by King

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Subtitle; A Hipster’s perspective on Trane at 90.  Its been a long 49 years ago that John William Coltrane was announced transitioned. This writer remembers that summer day as if it was only yesterday.

photos chuck Stewart
photos chuck Stewart

I was just starting to settle into the summer as any teenager would, with mine being a little bit different. That difference being, I was a young working musician playing saxophone in a Jazz band.  Actually getting more gigs for Dance music or “Soul Music”, so we did both. So on top of playing “Motown” for a set, we always ended a set or opened a set with popular jazz of the era. Bumpin’ on Sunset with Wes Montgomery or Song for my Father by Horace Silver.

One of the most popular of Trane’s music at the time was Equinox and My Favorite Things.  In order for me to become a big fan goes all the way back to when I first arrived in Los Angeles with my parents in July 1960. Quite excited to have moved away from the Deep south and the whole new environment to play, learn and live a better Life away from Jim Crow South. As a 10 year old boy, I had an affinity for advanced music beyond my years . One day I heard a song on the radio station my Dad listened to at the time called the Jazz KNOB , a Long Beach California station for all Jazz format. The song was Cousin Mary by Lambert, Hendricks and Bavan, a jazz vocalese group. The lyrics begin by the members of the group rhythmically chanting  “John Coltrane..John Coltrane..John Coltrane. In my very young mind hearing this ,I thought I heard them saying, Jungle Train..Jungle Train..(Lol) .

I had no idea who this group was until about 3-4 years later, when I had many albums that my father had bought to refer to for further study. I was now a budding saxophone student who had a thirst for Jazz music and its history and all that relates to it. I immersed myself into the backs of albums where I got to learn not just about the leader, but all his sidemen. Coltrane had a distinct sound that differed from most of the other saxophonists I listened to in the mid 1960s.

trane-90-chuck-stewart-john-coltranearchie-shepp-love-supreme-3
photos Chuck stewart Trane,Archie Shepp, McCoy Tyner, Bob Thiele(producer Impulse)

 

 

 

 

 

 

As I progressed in my study of Jazz and its history. This led me back to the legacy of who and what were influences on John Coltrane’s life and music . I found that he was born in North Carolina to a mother and father who loved him very much and fully supported his dreams and goals. They purchased an alto saxophone for young John in 1938, where he became very proficient on sax and clarinet. the church was a big part of the Coltrane clan in High Point North Carolina. You could hear in many of Coltrane’s music in the mid 60’s  leading up to a harvest of great recordings such as Spiritual,Alabama, Dear Lord and many others. The other thread that ran through Trane’s music in my opinion was the Blues, an essential ingredient for great jazz. The “Bird Factor”  was a big factor in almost all of Trane’s Bop tunes, straight “12-bar blues” songs,  , another stylized approach by Trane was to max-out on the chords, by inverting them ,creating new scales based on the tones in the present scales.  One of the reasons John fit in really well with Miles Davis experiments with Modal chords, fewer restrictions from the “Traditional BeBop” block-chord structure. His classic recordings with Miles Davis are well known, Classic groups that featured some of the best in Jazz of the time, like Red Garland, Philly Joe Jones,Paul Chambers or Bill Evans with Cannonball Adderley.

For me, my favorite saxophonists during this period of time were Trane, Dexter Gordon,Cannonball Adderley,Sonny Rollins, Coleman Hawkins,Joe Henderson and Wayne Shorter. To further illustrate the feelings regarding Coltrane’s status in the Jazz community. Whereas the  young Turks were starting to expand the music into what was called at the time so-called “Avant Garde” or “Free Jazz” .

John W. Coltrane 1926-1967
John W. Coltrane
1926-1967

nothing in my mind spoke to this new style of jazz more so than the album “A Love Supreme”. I had a bunch of young friends,14-18 years old, that would come together at a selected spot to bring our albums for listening and spirited discussions, anecdotes of personal experiences at concerts,etc. This was a big part of my jazz education . Hearing about the musicians, especially “cats’ I had no music by, or had never seen before. Being so young then,       it was almost impossible to see a lot of jazz live because, they were in lounges or night clubs that sold alcohol and no food.

The saving grace for me and my buddies was a club out near the beach in L.A. called The Lighthouse Jazz Cafe. This venue had opened up in late 1949 as a restaurant/bar for mostly military audiences and local beach folks. but by mid-1950s under new management by local jazz bassist Howard Rumsey, he developed a policy of under 21 could come inside because they served food ( an ABC rule that allowed minors inside a place where alcohol is served) Me and my friends took full advantage of this policy. the other plus factor was that, even if you did not have any money to get in, you could stand outside on the sidewall and look into the club with those french windows.

The day Coltrane died, I got a lot of phone calls to inform me or If I had heard. You would have thought a president had died..well. in my circle of friends it was. I took out a few albums and began playing them. Crescent, Live at the Village Vanguard,Coltrane Sounds, My Favorite Things to name a few. As I recall whenever I had school projects in college where I produced a slide presentations/documentaries on socio-economic or sociopolitical topics. I used John Coltrane’s music as my soundtrack to narrate by. Years later as a mature adult, some 30 years later I would hear his music via over-head systems in stores, schools, cafes, jukeboxes or even at Bar B Ques on Boom Boxes by Baby-Boomers instead of Motown or R&B  dance music. Even today, as I listen with fresh ears on some of his oldest music from the Prestige days with Donald Byrd and Red Garland or Art Taylor groups. even the early days with Miles Davis still have MAGIC in those eclectic solos. those beacons of light when I’m feeling a little dark  or unsettled. I consider myself a jazz historian, but I’m more of a student of jazz and its legacy.

PHAROAH SANDERS AND JOHN COLTRANE - mid 1960s
Pharoah Sanders and Trane mid 1960s

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some background on Coltrane…

Coltrane was born in Hamlet, North Carolina on September 23, 1926. His father was John R. Coltrane and his mother was Alice Blair.He grew up in High Point, North Carolina. His mother bought him his first saxophone, an alto in 1938. Coltrane played the clarinet and the alto horn in a community band before taking up the alto saxophone during high school. He had his first professional gigs in early to mid-1945 – a “cocktail lounge trio”, with piano and guitar.
Coltrane’s musical talent was quickly recognized. though, he became one of the few Navy men to serve as a musician without having been granted musicians rating when he joined the Melody Masters, the base swing band. By the end of his service, he had assumed a leadership role in the band. Many believed his first recording session included an arrangement of the BeBop classic Hot House.

After being discharged from his duties in the Navy, as a seaman first class in August 1946, Coltrane returned to Philadelphia.  He then jumped into the excitement of the new music, BeBop and the blossoming “bop scene.” Coltrane was a member of groups led by Dizzy Gillespie, Earl Bostic and Johnny Hodges in the early to mid-1950s.

The Miles & Monk Years  1955-1957

The rivalry, tension, and mutual respect between Coltrane and bandleader Miles Davis was formative for both of their careers.
In the summer of 1955, Coltrane was freelancing in Philadelphia while studying with guitarist Dennis Sandole when he received a call from Davis. The trumpeter, whose success during the late forties had been followed by several years of decline in activity and reputation, due in part to his struggles with heroin. He was again active and about to form a quintet. Coltrane was with this edition of the Davis band (known as the “First Great Quintet”—along with Red Garland on piano, Paul Chambers on bass, and Philly Joe Jones on drums) from October 1955 to April 1957. During this period Davis released several influential recordings that revealed the first signs of Coltrane’s growing ability. This quintet, represented by two marathon recording sessions for Prestige in 1956, resulted in the albums Cookin’, Relaxin’, Workin’, and Steamin’. The “First Great Quintet” disbanded due in part to Coltrane’s heroin addiction.

trane-and-miles-davis-poster
classic posters from 1963

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coltrane rejoined Davis in January 1958. In October of that year, jazz critic, Ira Gitler coined the term “sheets of sound” to describe the style Coltrane developed during his stint with Monk and was perfecting in Davis’ group, now a sextet. His playing was compressed, with rapid runs cascading in hundreds of notes per minute. He stayed with Davis until April 1960, working with alto saxophonist Cannonball Adderley; pianists Red Garland, Bill Evans, and Wynton Kelly; bassist Paul Chambers; and drummers Philly Joe Jones and Jimmy Cobb. During this time he participated in the Davis sessions Milestones and Kind of Blue, and the concert recordings Miles & Monk at Newport and Jazz at the Plaza.  At the end of this period Coltrane recorded his first album as leader for Atlantic Records, Giant Steps (1959), which contained only his compositions. The album’s title track is generally considered to have the most complex and difficult chord progression of any widely played jazz composition. Giant Steps utilizes Coltrane changes. His development of these altered chord progression cycles led to further experimentation with improvised melody and harmony that he continued throughout his career.

alicecoltrane2X Trane painting
alice and John

Prior to Trane’s death, I did not know about Alice McLeod(Coltrane)his pianist wife. Her name popped up in a conversation one night with a bunch of my Jazz group sessions , That was when I first heard the Live session at the Vanguard with Alice Coltrane now on piano instead of McCoy Tyner and Rashied Ali-drums, instead of Elvin Jones. the group was not only changing personnel, but the direction the music was beginning to take a new form inside a more philosophical, “Outside”(mainstream jazz) more eastern in style thats mixed with East Indian,North African and Asian influences and less once  harmonic and melodic theories.

b& w alice coltrane harp
Alice Coltrane with Harp

 

 

 

 

 

 

robert-sax21-sax-salute
21 sax Salute to Charlie Parker 95th Birthday celebration LA Calif. 2015 Chuck Koton photo

Today as I look back over at all the Coltrane Tributes I’ve attended, created, and performed in, I never get tired of hearing a Coltrane tune or “Trane influenced music”, to me it’s like getting inside a time machine and going for a short ride into the 1950s or 1960s jazz scene.

I support live jazz for the youth in jazz too, somebody has to keep this thing going.. since we barely have radio stations, NO instruments in public schools, the worse crime is the distorted madness being called jazz today. I guess I’m still old school  where you got to “swing” the circle of Fifths, know all your scales in every key and show up on the gig like you done this before(Dress).

I interviewed the great Joe Henderson who once told me, “You work on your craft in the Lab” (woodshed) so when you get to the gig ,You know your stuff.” 

I never got to see Coltrane in-person, because I was too young and unlucky. 1966 he came to UCLA, but I could not get a ride to the Westwood campus about 30 miles from my house, He had just released the Impulse album, Kulu Se Mama . I saw many Trane influenced musicians from the 1970s to today. Many of today’s musicians are just getting around to checking out the Trane Prestige years, still trying to understand the Impulse and Atlantic records years too.

The longer I live, the more opportunities I get to honor this great man through words, or music and verse. Today, I’m a big fan of Ravi  Coltrane(Son) tenor saxophonist with his own sound and group. a daughter Michelle , who sings like an angel locally here in LA. and his old pianist, McCoy Tyner,  Who’s still performing on the circuit whenever he feels it. LIfe is Grand! #traneat90, #MilesandTrane90 

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