THE SOUL OF LOS ANGELES:LOCAL JAZZ ARTISTS MAKING MOVES AGAIN


Kamaad Tauhid  @blues2jazz2003  #PocketJazz

Rita Edmonds vocalist and saxophonist Dale Fielder

 

Bobby Bradford on Coronet

Bobby West

 

Robert Johnson Blues master on his way to the Crossroads ART BY Sam Pace

Mz. Santamaria strings of Fire!

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JAZZ BASSIST AND POET DELIGHTS L.A. AUDIENCES IN DEBUT


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-MFABLACK 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.

journalist/actor and producer/writer,musician R.J. Carmack

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.

painting by Sam Pace

Pianist Mahesh Balasooriya

 

Guillermo E. Brown

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

COMING MARCH 3rd 2018 INTERVIEW WITH THE HIGH PRIESTESS: NINA! an Original Play


JANA WILSON Portrays Nina Simone the High Priestess of Soul! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TICKETS ON SALE NOW LIMITED SEATS! Click Link!! https://www.eventbrite.com/e/interview-with-the-high-priestess-nina-an-original-musical-play-tickets-40769094459?aff=ehomesaved

Robert J. Carmack~ Writer-Director_Producer and Actor

 

 

WALKING AMONG GIANTS IN JAZZ: MEET KRISTINA McBRIDE – NEW JAZZ MUSIC EDITOR


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meet Newly added Jazz Editor at Large.Coming July 30th   Kristina McBride debuts at the Hipster Sanctuary with an in-depth interview with the soulful and quite sublime, vocalist, Dwight Trible.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

CLASSIC JAZZ ARTISTS MUSIC TO BE PERFORMED IN HOMAGE AT WORLD STAGE


*posted by Kamaad Tauhid   #blues2jazzguy

Jackie McLean circa 1960s

Jackie McLean circa 80s

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

L.A.-based music journalist and jazz archivist, Robert J. Carmack is creating performances in an evening of classic compositions by legendary jazz artist Bobby Hutcherson and Jackie McLean. while collaborating with the legendary Billy Higgins WORLD STAGE Performance Gallery, The event is scheduled for Saturday July 30th. Co-founded by the beloved drummer in the early 1990s with Poet Laureate, Kamau Daaood. Carmack has hand-picked outstanding and uniquely written compositions by ex-bandmates of Billy Higgins , Bobby Hutcherson, Jackie McLean,Charles Tolliver,and Granchen Moncur III.

Bobby Hutcherson Blue Note years

Bobby Hutcherson Blue Note years

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Plight Pixs Robert Rasta hatRobert J. Carmack grew-up in Los Angeles (Watts/Compton) studied music, theater arts and journalism.  He’s a writer, producer, musician and poet. His love and passion for jazz led him to befriending drummer Billy Higgins and poet Kamau Daaood. Carmack was part of the a group of artists (musicians,poets,painters and photographers) who gathered at the jam sessions,writer’s workshops over 20 years ago in Leimert Park Arts Community to participate in extending the legacy and offer alternative venues for creative people who thought and presented ideas “outside the box”. Today that legacy is strengthened by the Original World Stage in Leimert Park has moved across the street and into a much larger facility. Now able to expand their community activities including performances by students and professional artists.  One of the coming performance presentations being produced by Carmack  in collaboration with the World Stage is The Return of the Grassroots Hip-Nosis: an exploration of the music of Bobby Hutcherson and Jackie McLean. Last summer Carmack produced several projects that were well received by the community. unique shows around the music of Jazz icon  and composer Duke Pearson and a lively event on Charlie Parker’s Birthday “21 Saxophone Salute”. This years’ event promises to be even bigger and better.  Carmack is the MC for this program and also a part of the Band:PLIGHT, a spoken word/Jazz group along with the award-winning poet and playwright, Tu’Nook.

Plight consist of Carmack as Leader & Poet,Bobby West pianist, Dale Fielder special guest saxophone, Derf Reklaw woodwinds/percussion, Reggie Carson Bass, Cornell Fouler drums

You can follow the progress of this event and all the program details at http://www.hipstersanctuary.com or ticket information contact Robert J. Carmack at 951-840-7120  or blues2jazz2003@yahoo.com.

*World Stage performance Gallery (323) 293-2451 · 4344 Degnan Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90008 · Performing Arts, Venues & Event Spaces, Jazz & Blues ,

 

 

 

 

 

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LOVE IT WHEN A GREAT JAZZ CONCEPT COMES TOGETHER : THANKS UNCLE DUKE


posted by @blues2jazzguy concert photos only by Jerone Myles

One of the best feeling in the world is when you plan,execute and get back a return on your effort in double spades..No, I’m not playing cards, even though I am using a card game metaphor. On August 22,last saturday night, a group of master musicians, two vocalists! and a poet came together in a show entitled,The Genius and Music of DUKE PEARSON: Thank You Uncle Duke

DUKE NOW CIGARETTE

Blue Note Arranger Producer,Composer 1960s photo by Francis Wolff

Working with Jon Williams to secure the World Stage with our idea to honor a man, most deserving equally,as the man who founded the world Stage, Billy Higgins. Higgins was one of the most recorded drummer in jazz history. Pearson had his hands on many of the classic albums ever produced by Blue Note Records, many of which was backed by Billy Higgins on drums,

Robert Carmack Poet

Robert Carmack Poet

The evening’s program kicked off with producer/host, Robert J. Carmack introducing the band,The Uncle Duke Legacy Band,which featured the piano stylings of Jazz veteran pianist, Bobby West. Before the music began,Carmack presented a letter from the Duke Pearson family. Which in short thanked the The World Stage,and their staff, Jon Williams and Sister Renee for their efforts. Also, Robert J. Carmack and all the Band members and vocalists participating. They also invited the the audience and fans alike to visit and join the Duke Pearson Tribute page on Facebook. The letter was signed by Mr. Gerald R. Ford( no relations) the nephew, Greetings and thanks from his mother and Duke’s sister,Myrtle(81)last survivor of Pearson’s direct family members.

Several choice Pearson compositions were played by the Band, including two non-Pearson tunes but were either recorded by or worked with the production and arrangements.  First set jumped off without a hitch with Jeannine ,using a version arranged by Cannonball Adderley’s band . This classic allowed the band to show out and up with Bobby West taking the lead line on piano with Derf Reklaw Flute in harmonic tag-along, driven by the bass and drum duo of Ishmael hunter and Reggie Carson.  West was able to really stretch out and flex his well honed skills to task on a blistering solo, followed by  Derf Reklaw “take no prisoners” balancing between Flute lines and accents on Congos & bongo. In an effort to give balance and unique presentation , we added voices on certain songs , such a rich vocal arrangement of UGETSU/Fantasy in D, sung by the mother, daughter team of  Pat Sligh and Jana Wilson. its a well known composition by Cedar Walton, a sessions player on many Blue Note recordings including Joe Henderson and early on in 60s with Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers . Sometimes , you have to go and dig out some strange-named titles to really appreciate Duke Pearson’s mind. Especially his sense of humor with this composition the band tackled with all their might, Big Bertha. a bright uptempo ,kind of funky, driving tune. Makes you wonder what your experience would have been like meeting the infamous “Big Bertha.”  Later in the evening The band decided not to perform a fast tune to open the next set , they went with a sublime composition written by Duke and dedicated to his mother, On Mother’s Day This Year (wear the brightest rose) “we wanted the audience to feel the lyrics that was also in the composition” stated Robert J. Carmack ,producer. “but we had no male vocalist to sing it, so we used Derf Reklaw  flute’s  mid range and low tones to bring out the richness of the very harmonic laden tune. we followed that up with another smooth swinger in Gaslight, taken from his mid-60s period.

San Jose based music educator/transcriptionist,arranger James Armstrong

San Jose based music educator/transcriptionist,arranger James Armstrong

“Many of these Pearson compositions were quite complex in their original form, and sometime they was not available to get the charts I needed , I had to rely on my associate and friend James Armstrong , who helped me immensely on many of the complex melodies, James was instrumental in breaking down a lot of the music theory I did not know, to even select the compositions we used in the show was quite difficult,” stated Carmack. James was invaluable on this project.

Carmack surprised the audience with a riveting poem written by Eric Wattree ,a family friend of Dexter Gordon, It’s called A Swinging Affair, another Blue note gem, that also included Billy Higgins on Drums at that 1964 session under the watchful eye and ear of Mr. Duke Pearson, though not credited as producer or arranger on a lot of Blue Note records, his fingerprints were all over a plethora of big records by the label, under a special arrangement between Duke and Alfred Lions , whose name appear as Producer very suspiciously on too many “hits”. It was technically his money paying for sessions ,but we all know whose creative energies were prevalent on the albums themselves.  The evening’s last two compositions played by the Uncle Duke Legacy Band was just stellar, starting with Amanda, a bouncy,latin-tinged call and response ditty between West’s piano and Reklaw’s Flute.  Reklaw took no solace in having to bounce between Flute and accented 4s between drums and bongos, followed by more fire from the flute as he played an extended flute solo that conjured up James Spaulding. Spaulding by the way, played flute and alto on the original 1966 “Wahoo ” album. The finale was just indescribable, Cristo Redentor, featured all members of the band , the two female vocalists and poetry by Robert Carmack.  The flute’s voice was mixed with the angelic voices of the female singers , that set up a choir like sound as in the original Donald Byrd piece with piano by Bobby West’s alternating the hymn -like melody with the flute’s voice, follow in the second part by a Harmon muted trumpet by Jon Williams of the World Stage staff, this set up a mood as the band lowered its sound and vamped as Carmack recited an original poem call Let Freedom Ring Now!, aptly titled after a Jackie McLean Blue Note record from the mid 60s, this all culminated in bringing down the house  with a standing ovation by the fully engaged audience at the World Stage. Robert Carmack’s next and last show of the Pocket Jazz series for August concludes Saturday,August 29.  NOW’S The Time: Spirits of Our Ancestors     7:30pm doors open   8pm showtime.  Venue: World Stage 4344 S. Degnan Blvd. L.A. 90008  951-840-7120 RSVP /Tickets info $15 tickets until 8pm $20 ATD after 8pm

Derf Reklaw congos,bongo & flute , Ishmael Hunter drums

Derf Reklaw congos,bongo & flute, Ishmael Hunter drums

Ishmael Hunter Drums & Reggie Carson Bass

Ishmael Hunter Drums & Reggie Carson Bass

Vocalists Pat Sligh & daughter Jana Wilson

Vocalists Pat Sligh & daughter Jana Wilson

Robert J. Carmack , collaborated with Billy Higgin’s World Stage in order to try to capture in one evening, one man’s most compelling compositions of the 1960s at Blue Note Records.

Bobby West pounding keys

Bobby West pounding keys

MORE ABOUT DUKE PEARSON

“This was most challenging, said Carmack , How does one select from the multitudes of compositions he’s written, produced,or arranged while having an impact. Not just on the album sales at Blue Note, but also the genre itself as Blue Note made its transition from well-known A&R man, Ike Quebec, a mainstay at the label coming out of the swing era,bebop period , then latching on at Blue Note as an arranger, and facilitator for new music and artists. IMHO, the label’s quite volatile roster of talent began to come up a little stagnant and needed new & fresh ideas to drive the label as the 1960s was upon them. Unfortunately by 1961, the death of Ike Quebec left a gaping hole in Lion & Wolff’s ability to attract new talent and fresh musical ideas. Hence, the hiring of Duke Pearson by Alfred Lion put them squarely on the right path as history played out, from 1962 -1970 Blue Note Records had its best and most profitable times, including having some of the best in artist signings and record productions in Herbie Hancock, Freddie Hubbard, Wayne Shorter, Cecil Taylor, Andrew Hill, Kenny Drew, Stanley Turrentine, Dexter Gordon, Bobby Hutcherson,Joe Henderson, to name a few artists.  Two of the biggest albums during his tenure was, New Perspectives by Donald Byrd featuring Cristo Redentor and The Sidewinder by long time Blue Note staple,Lee Morgan. IMHO, If there were no Duke Pearson’s Vision, Those records among others never gets made.