Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Gerald Albright

                                              Gerald Albright 

One of the biggest stars of R&B, contemporary and straight-ahead jazz, Gerald Albright has earned his reputation as a “musician’s musician.”

Gerald Albright born August 30, 1957 is an American jazz saxophonist and multi-instrumentalist. His self-produced music features him on bass guitar, keyboards, flutes, drum programming, and background vocals. Born in Los Angeles, Albright grew up in its South Central neighborhood. He began piano lessons at an early age, even though he professed no great interest in the instrument. His love of music picked up considerably when he was given a saxophone that belonged to his piano teacher. It was further reinforced when he attended Locke High School , a breeding ground for many young West Coast musicians.[citation needed] After high school, he attended the University of Redlands where he received a B.S. degree in business management, minoring in music. Already a polished saxophonist by the time he enrolled in college, Albright suddenly switched to bass guitar after he saw Louis Johnson in concert.

A few months after graduating from college, he joined jazz pianist/R&B singer Patrice Rushen, who was in the process of forming her own band. Later, when the bass player left in the middle of a tour, Albright replaced him and finished the tour on bass guitar.

During the ’80s, Albright became a highly requested session musician, playing on albums by a wide variety of artists – including Anita Baker, Ray Parker, Lola Folana, Atlantic Starr, Olivia Newton-John, the Temptations and Maurice White. He also toured extensively with Les McCann, Teena Marie, the Winans, Marlena Shaw,   and ,He has also toured with Jeff Lorber, Quincy Jones, Whitney Houston, Phil Collins, Johnny Hallyday, Anita Baker and many others. In addition to numerous appearances at clubs and jazz festivals, Albright had also been a part of the popular Jazz Explosion tours, which saw him teaming up with contemporary jazz stars like Will Downing, Jonathan Butler, Hugh Masekela, Chaka Khan and Rachelle Ferrell, among many others. Albright also went on to record numerous successful solo albums for Atlantic Records.
 Two albums hit the number one slot on Billboard’s Top Contemporary Jazz Chart, and were nominated for GRAMMY® Awards in 1989 and 1990. Phil Collins asked him to front a Big Band in 1998, and they toured together. The two of them also recorded one of Albright’s tunes, “Chips N’ Salsa” on Collins’ Big Band Project, entitled A Hot Night In Paris. Later that year, Albright released Pleasures of the Night with Will Downing on Verve Forecast, which hit No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Contemporary Jazz Albums chart as well. Albright was one of the ten featured saxophonists who performed at Bill Clinton’s inauguration. He was also featured at the Presidential Summit, as well as several private functions for the President.

Albright is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity. Albright now lives with his family near Denver, Colorado.
                  Gerald Albright Life, Love, Smooth Playlist

Albright moved to GRP in 2002 for the Groovology album, and continued to maintain his busy schedule as a session man. His second GRP album, Kickin’ It Up, followed in 2004. Two years later, he signed with Peak Records, which released the 2008 GRAMMY® nominated New Beginnings, and the 2009 GRAMMY® nominated, Sax for Stax; both in the category of Best Pop Instrumental Album.

Over the years, Albright has appeared on numerous TV shows such as A Different World, Melrose Place and BET Jazz segments, as well as piloting a show in Las Vegas with Designing Women star Meshach Taylor. Albright was selected to be one of 10 saxophonists to play at President Clinton’s inauguration ceremony. Along the way, he has sold over a million albums in the U.S. alone and has appeared on nearly 200 albums by other artists.

Albright released Pushing The Envelope in June 2010 on Heads Up International, a division of Concord Music Group. Pushing The Envelope is a showcase for Albright’s remarkably fine balance of songcraft and musicianship, and features special guest appearances by Fred Wesley on trombone, Earl Klugh on acoustic guitar and George Duke on acoustic piano. In December 2010, Pushing The Envelope received a GRAMMY® nomination for Best Pop Instrumental Album.

On June 19, 2012, Albright teamed up with GRAMMY®-winning guitarist Norman Brown for 24/7, their first album together. Featuring ten killer soul-jazz tracks, 24/7 includes updated versions of “Tomorrow,” a Brothers Johnson classic from 1976, and “Champagne Life,” from singer Ne-Yo’s album Libra Scale. 24/7 was nominated for a GRAMMY® Award in the category of Best Pop Instrumental Album.

On August 5, 2014, Albright releases Slam Dunk and continues his reign supreme as the genre’s most compelling and consistent artist. Fans will hear his searing and soulful sax lines on this twelve-track recording. And, they’ll be in for a surprise, as Albright shows off his chops as a bassist, along with his ebullient tenor, baritone and soprano saxophone arrangements on his own compositions, and his super covers of classics by Phil Collins (“True Colors”) and James Brown (“It’s a Man’s, Man’s Man’s World”), with special guest vocalist Peabo Bryson. In December 2014, Slam Dunk received a GRAMMY® nomination in the Best Contemporary Instrumental Album category.

Souces: http://geraldalbright.com/biograph/, Wikipedia, www.facebook.com/geraldalbrightmusic/,  

          Gerald Albright - Slam Dunk

      Will Downing & Gerald Albright - Full Concert - 08/15/99 - Newport Jazz Festival (OFFICIAL)

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Ma Rainey

Singer Ma Rainey was the first popular stage entertainer to incorporate authentic blues into her song repertoire and became known as the "Mother of the Blues."

"Ma" Rainey (born Gertrude Malissa Nix Pridgett, September 1882 or April 26, 1886 – December 22, 1939) was one of the earliest African American professional blues singers and one of the first generation of blues singers to record. She was billed as the Mother of the Blues.She performed during the first three decades of the 20th century and enjoyed mass popularity during the blues craze of the 1920s. Rainey's music has served as inspiration for such poets as Langston Hughes and Sterling Brown.

Ma Rainey performed at the Springer Opera House in 1900, performing as a singer and dancer in the local talent show, "A Bunch of Blackberries." On February 2, 1904, Pridgett married comedy songster William "Pa" Rainey. Billed as "Ma" and "Pa" Rainey the couple toured Southern tent shows and cabarets. Though she did not hear blues in Columbus, Rainey's extensive travels had, by 1905, brought her into contact with authentic country blues, which she worked into her song repertoire. "Her ability to capture the mood and essence of black rural southern life of the 1920s," noted Daphane Harrison in Black Pearls: Blues Queens "quickly endeared her to throngs of followers throughout the South."

Ma Rainey known as the "Mother of the Blues," enjoyed mass popularity during the blues craze of the 1920s. Described by African-American poet Sterling Brown in Black Culture and Black Consciousness as "a person of the folk," Rainey recorded in various musical settings and exhibited the influence of genuine rural blues. She is widely recognized as the first great female blues vocalist.

She began performing as a young teenager and became known as Ma Rainey after her marriage to Will Rainey, in 1904. They toured with the Rabbit Foot Minstrels and later formed their own group, Rainey and Rainey, Assassinators of the Blues. Her first recording was made in 1923. In the next five years, she made over 100 recordings, including "Bo-Weevil Blues" (1923), "Moonshine Blues" (1923), "See See Rider Blues" (1924), "Black Bottom" (1927), and "Soon This Morning" (1927).

Rainey was known for her powerful vocal abilities, energetic disposition, majestic phrasing, and a "moaning" style of singing. Her powerful voice was never adequately captured on her records, because she recorded exclusively for Paramount, which was known for its below-average recording techniques and poor shellac quality. However, her other qualities are present and most evident in her early recordings "Bo-Weevil Blues" and "Moonshine Blues".

Ma Rainey was an eye-catching performer. Although not a conventionally attractive woman, she sported wild horsehair wigs on stage and wore gold coins around her neck (an early instance of what we might now call bling). She carried an ostrich plume and had capped gold teeth that would flash when she sang. For all of her visual appeal, however, what most captured audiences’ attention was her voice, which by all accounts was huge and commanding. When she sang a “moaning” song, which would soon be referred to as blues, she could captivate a room in no time at all.

While performing with the Moses Stokes troupe in 1912, the Raineys were introduced to the show's newly recruited dancer, Bessie Smith. Eight years Smith's senior, Rainey quickly befriended the young performer. Despite earlier historical accounts crediting Rainey as Smith's vocal coach, it has been generally agreed by modern scholars that Rainey played less of a role in the shaping of Smith's singing style. "Ma Rainey probably did pass some of her singing experience on to Bessie," explained Chris Albertson in the liner notes to Giants of Jazz, "but the instruction must have been rudimentary. Though they shared an extraordinary command of the idiom, the two women delivered their messages in styles and voices that were dissimilar and manifestly personal."

Separated from her husband in 1916, Rainey subsequently toured with her own band, Madam Gertrude Ma Rainey and Her Georgia Smart Sets, featuring a chorus line and a Cotton Blossoms Show, and Donald McGregor's Carnival Show.

By 1917 Ma was packing them in. The fact that her shows were integrated – half the tent reserved for whites, half for blacks – testifies to her drawing powers in the South. When whites outnumbered blacks – not an uncommon occurrence, according to witnesses – the overflow sat peacefully in the black section. The two-hour show typically opened with three jazzy numbers by the band. Then, with a crescendo and flash of lights, the curtains opened on a line of flashy chorus girls showing knees and laced-up high heels. Ma employed chorus boys too, who were almost invariably “light brownskins” or “yellows.” “I don’t care how good a real dark-skinned person could do something,” old-time musician Clyde Bernhardt explained to author Sandra Lieb, “they just couldn’t get the credit for it from the colored person like a brown-skinned or light-brown-skinned or yellow person would. Colored people have always been more prejudiced than white people.” Next up was a hilarious skit – one of them, for instance, involving trained chickens, a coop, a thief, and a shotgun-toting “brownskin” made up to look like a bearded cracker. After that, a soubrette sang a fast dance number such as “Ballin’ the Jack,” joined by the chorus boys and girls.

Already a popular singer in the Southern theater circuit, Rainey entered the recording industry as an experienced and stylistically mature talent. Her first session, cut with Austin and Her Blue Serenaders, featured the traditional number "Bo-Weevil Blues." Fellow blues singer, Victoria Spivey, later said of the recording, as quoted in The Devil's Music, "Ain't nobody in the world been able to holler 'Hey Boweevil' like her. Not like Ma. Nobody."

In 1923, Rainey also released "Moonshine Blues" with Lovie Austin, and "Yonder Comes the Blues" with Louis Armstrong. That same year, Rainey recorded "See See Rider," a number that, as Arnold Shaw observed in Black Popular Music in America, emerged as "one of the most famous and recorded of all blues songs. (Rainey's) was the first recording of that song, giving her a hold on the copyright, and one of the best of the more than 100 versions."

During an interview with musicologist John Work and poet Sterling Brown at Nashville’s Douglass Hotel during the early 1930s, Ma claimed that she heard blues for the first time around 1902, when she played a small Missouri town. “She tells of a girl from the town,” Work wrote in American Negro Songs, 1940, “who came to the tent one morning and began to sing about the ‘man’ who had left her. The song was so strange and poignant that it attracted much attention. Ma Rainey became so interested in it that she learned the song from the visitor and used it soon afterward in her act as an encore. The song elicited such response from the audience that it won a special place in her act.” Ma explained to Work that a 1905 fire had destroyed clippings describing her singing these strange songs and that although they were not yet called blues, she reported that she had often heard similar songs as she travelled the South.

Ink Williams introduced Ma Rainey to Thomas Dorsey, a skilled piano player and blues composer who’d later write “Precious Lord” and become the beloved “The Father of Gospel Music.” Dorsey found her “grand, gracious, and easy to talk with,” and agreed to direct her touring group, the Wildcats Jazz Band. At band’s first performance, at Chicago’s Grand Theater in April ’24, the curtain opened to reveal a large prop Victrola phonograph in the center of the stage. A girl put a big record on it, the band kicked off “Moonshine Blues,” and Ma’s voice resounded from within the box. After singing a few bars, Ma opened a door and stepped into the spotlight, her necklace of gold coins and diamond-studded fingers glistening in the stage lights. The crowd went wild, calling Ma back for seven curtain calls. “She clearly proved that she was far superior to any of her predecessors,” proclaimed the next issue of Chicago Defender, the nation’s leading black newspaper.

“Ma had the audience in the palm of her hand,” Dorsey remembered in Living Blues. “I travelled with her almost four years. She was a natural drawing card.” When Dorsey got married, Ma helped keep the couple together by hiring his bride as a wardrobe girl. According to Dorsey, Ma’s touring show featured acts such as one-man-band Stovepipe Johnson, tap dancer Jack Wiggins, and Dick & Dick, who specialized in singing, dancing and joking. But Ma did most of the blues singing: “She’d have these prima donnas,” Dorsey recalled, “but they didn’t sing blues on her shows. See, they’d sing something else, like hot pop or somethin’ like that. She was the only blues performer. Naturally, you wouldn’t put another blues singer on your show – may out-sing you.

Unlike many other blues musicians, Rainey earned a reputation as a professional on stage and in business. According to Mayo Williams, as quoted in the liner notes to August Wilson's 1988 play Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, "Ma Rainey was a shrewd business woman. We never tried to put any swindles on her. During Rainey's five-year recording career at Paramount she cut nearly ninety sides, most of which dealt with the subjects of love and sexuality—bawdy themes that often earned her the billing of "Madam Rainey." As William Barlow explained, in Looking Up at Down, her songs were also "diverse, yet deeply rooted in day-to-day experiences of black people from the South. Ma Rainey's blues were simple, straightforward stories about heart break, promiscuity, drinking binges, the odyssey of travel, the workplace and the prison road gang, magic and superstition—in short, the southern landscape of African-Americans in the Post-Reconstruction era."

During the good years Ma traveled in her own railroad car and was addressed as Madame Rainey. “Ma was the greatest,” Dorsey insisted. “She was very generous and kind. She paid you your money; she didn’t try to cheat you or pass you by. She was unselfish and always trying to help other performers. She didn’t worry about whether they’d become competition. Ma called everybody ‘sugar,’ ‘honey,’ and ‘baby’ – even white folks. People of both races loved her. She used to hold what she called ‘white folks night,’ and white people would overflow wherever she played. She was the biggest star of her time. There’ll never be another black woman like Ma Rainey.” By 1927, Ma was successful enough to buy a Mack bus with her name emblazoned on the side.

Though the TOBA and vaudeville circuits had gone into decline by the early 1930s, Rainey still performed, often resorting to playing tent shows. Following the death of her mother and sister, Rainey retired from the music business in 1935 and settled in Columbus. For the next four years, she devoted her time to the ownership of two entertainment venues—the Lyric Theater and the Airdome—as well as activities in the Friendship Baptist Church.  Ma  Rainey died in Rome, Georgia—some sources say Columbus—on December 22, 1939.

Soures: http://www.biography.com/, Wikipedia, Jas Obrecht Music Archive, 

           Ma Rainey Biography

       Gertrude 'Ma' Rainey - Ma Rainey's Black Bottom

   Gertrude Malissa Pridgett ('Ma'' Rainey) Full Double Album Vinyl

       Ma Rainey - Prove It On Me Blues (1928)

      Louis Armstrong & Ma Rainey (See See Rider Blues, 1924) Jazz Legend

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Jazzy afternoon

                    Jazzy afternoon playlist

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

The Marsalis family

   The Marsalis Family: (l-r) Ellis, Jr., Wynton, Delfeayo, Jason, and Branford

Delfeayo on why he plays the trombone:

"The trombone kind of suits my personality and when the band teacher came around with all the instruments, there was something about it that attracted me to it. I realized later that? the trombone is the peacekeeper in the band. In the New Orleans band the trumpet plays the lead. The saxophone's job, or the clarinet, is to make the trumpet sound good. The trombone's job is to make both the saxophone and the trumpet sound good, and it?s also the bridge between the rhythm section---the drums and the tuba---and the horns. So, the trombone player has to be very flexible, whereas, you know, the trumpet can afford to be more just singular thinking because their job is really just to play the melody. So that kind of suited the way that I function in our family."

Wynton on the importance of jazz:

"We want everybody to have jazz in their life...What is it about jazz that makes it important in peoples? lives? It tells people it's okay to be themselves. And then it tells you it?s okay for another person to be themselves too, even though it?s not like you."

Jason on innovation:
"There?s one thing that honestly troubles me a bit and it has to do with the need for innovation. There really should be an emphasis on quality more so than innovation. I think it is very important to realize that great music is timeless and that the original intent of music was not about innovation or doing the new thing, it was people that wanted to express themselves on the highest level possible that they could. And I think now there's this big concern about doing something new or doing the newest thing tomorrow, rather than developing your craft over many years and years and always see it as a evolving product....I think that if there was more of an emphasis on just quality and skill more so than new, I think that, overall, music and art would be in a much better place."

Branford on what he learned from playing with Sting:
"Sting?s people called and said, 'Yeah, we want you to join this band.' And what was really?great about it was all of a sudden I had to play 30-second solos, as opposed to these five-minute, really long-winded winding solos I was playing with Wynton's band. And I was using as few notes as possible, trying to employ space, and all of a sudden you've got to get in everything you have to say in 30 seconds. And you do that for about a year and a half and then you come back to play jazz and then all of a sudden there?s a sense of urgency that just wasn?t there before, where it was mostly cerebral. It had that kind of emotional energy that I wasn?t able to find in the music, because I had been spending so much time with the intellectual aspects of it."

Ellis Marsalis for the Marsalis Family

"I hope my sons and I continue to exemplify the quality of excellence in the work that is expected from the recipient of The NEA Jazz Masters Fellowship Award . I wish to thank all of those panel members who consider our family worthy of this award and assure them we will not disappoint them in the future."

     NEA Jazz Masters: Tribute to the Marsalis Family

The story starts in New Orleans, with the birth of Ellis Marsalis, Jr. in 1934. Although the city was noted for Dixieland and rhythm-and-blues, Ellis was more interested in the bebop sounds coming from Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie. His first recording was modern jazz music performed with fellow New Orleans musicians Ed Blackwell (who eventually ended up drumming for Ornette Coleman), clarinetist Alvin Batiste, bassist Richard Payne, and saxophonist Harold Battiste as the American Jazz Quintet.

After earning a BA in music education from Dillard University in 1955, Ellis continued to play modern jazz with his local colleagues until enlisting in the Marine Corps the following year. He soon became a member of the Corps Four, a Marines jazz quartet that performed on television and radio to boost recruiting efforts.

After the Marines and a brief teaching stint in Breaux Bridge, Lousiania, he returned to New Orleans with his wife Dolores and four children to work in his father's motel business while freelancing at gigs around town, such as recording with the Adderley Brothers. From 1967-70, Ellis performed with trumpeter Al Hirt.

In the 1970s, he studied music education at Loyola University, eventually earning a master's degree. In 1974, he became the director of jazz studies at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts high school, mentoring such contemporary artists as Reginald Veal, Terence Blanchard, and Harry Connick, Jr. (Branford, Wynton, Delfeayo, and Jason attended the center as well.) After three years teaching at the Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, he joined the University of New Orleans, where he spent 12 years heading the jazz studies department. To celebrate his retirement in 2001, the entire Marsalis family performed, captured on the release The Marsalis Family: A Jazz Celebration. In 2008, Ellis was inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame.

The eldest son, Branford, followed in his father's jazz footsteps, gaining initial acclaim through his work with Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers in 1980 while still a student at Berklee College of Music. He then joined his brother Wynton's quintet in the early 1980s before forming his own ensemble. Branford released his first recording as a leader in 1984, Scenes in the City, an impressive start to his career.

Known for his broad musical scope, the three-time Grammy winner is equally at home on the stages of the world's greatest clubs and concert halls. In recent years, Branford has been a featured classical soloist with such acclaimed orchestras as the New York Philharmonic and the Australian Symphony. He also spent two years touring and recording with Sting, and has collaborated with the Grateful Dead and Bruce Hornsby. For two years during the 1990s, he was the musical director of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

Branford is also dedicated to changing the future of jazz in the classroom. He has shared his knowledge at such universities as Michigan State, San Francisco State, Stanford and North Carolina Central.  In 2002, Branford founded his own record label, Marsalis Music, allowing him to produce both his own projects and those of the jazz world's most promising new and established artists.

After Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans in 2005, Branford teamed with Harry Connick, Jr. and Habitat for Humanity to create Musicians' Village in the city's Upper Ninth Ward, a new neighborhood built around a music center—named the Ellis Marsalis Center for Music—where musicians can teach and perform to keep New Orleans culture alive.

Second son Wynton would eventually become the best-known Marsalis, and a staunch advocate for the music. He received his first trumpet from Al Hirt at age six, and by 14 was winning competitions playing with the New Orleans Philharmonic.  Splitting his time between jazz and classical, he eventually was admitted to Tanglewood's Berkshire Music Center at age 17, the youngest musician ever. In 1979, he moved to New York to study at the Juilliard School.

In 1981, Wynton joined Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers and in the summer of that year released his first album as a leader. Three years later, he released his first classical album to major acclaim—he would continue to release classical recordings occasionally, in addition to his jazz works. His ability to excel in both fields—the only performer to win Grammy Awards for both jazz and classical releases in the same year (nine Grammy Awards altogether)—made him a major name in music.

In 1996, Wynton co-founded Jazz at Lincoln Center (JALC), the world's first institution solely dedicated to jazz education and performance, becoming its artistic director and music director of the JALC Orchestra. JALC, under Wynton's leadership, has a strong focus on education, developing and administering 20 jazz education programs. Wynton also was a major presence in Ken Burns' documentary series, Jazz, in 2001. Like Branford, he too emerged as a New Orleans champion after the hurricane, organizing a benefit at JALC called Higher Ground, and participating in Spike Lee's documentary about the hurricane, When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts.

In 1997, he became the first jazz artist to be awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Music for his work Blood on the Fields. In addition to numerous awards and honorary doctorates he received, Wynton was also awarded the National Medal of Arts in 2005.

The next son to take up the mantle of jazz was Delfeayo, who from an early age showed an interest in the recording technology required for preserving the acoustic jazz sound. He began playing trombone at age 13 and produced his first recording at age 17 for father Ellis.   Delfeayo attended Berklee College of Music, majoring in both performance and audio production.  His insistence upon recording without usage of the "dreaded bass direct" for Branford in the 1980s was the key element to the change in jazz recording techniques over the past 20 years.  His production work has garnered a Grammy Award and a 3M Visionary Award.

As a trombonist, Delfeayo has toured internationally with Ray Charles, Abdullah Ibrahim, Slide Hampton, Max Roach and Elvin Jones.  He has released four albums as a leader—all of which feature at least one family member.  He earned a master's degree in jazz performance from the University of Louisville and was conferred an honorary doctorate from New England College in 2009.

Committed to educating youth, Delfeayo founded the Uptown Music Theatre in 2000 as a means of preserving New Orleans' great cultural traditions.  To date, UMT programming has staged 12 of Delfeayo's musicals and impacted more than 2,500 New Orleans youth.  His Swinging with the Cool School, an introduction to jazz for parents and their children, premiered at Children's Hospital as an experimental music therapy program in 2006.

Jason, the youngest of the Marsalis sons, took up drumming at age six, taking lessons with legendary New Orleans drummer James Black. He began sitting in with his father's band at age seven and made his recording debut at age 13 on Delfeayo's Pontius Pilate's Decision. During his final year at the New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts high school, Jason joined Marcus Roberts' group and took to the road. At the same time, he continued his studies at Loyola University in New Orleans.

While he made appearances with jazz greats like Joe Henderson and Lionel Hampton, he stuck close to New Orleans, becoming a major force on the music scene there. He joined the band Los Hombres Calientes with Irvin Mayfield and Bill Summers in 1998, playing on their first two albums. At the same time, he began releasing albums under his own name, starting with Year of the Drummer (1998). Jason's interest in Latin music—in particular Brazilian—has permeated his recordings, and he has worked with local Brazilian dance group Casa Samba as well. In the 2000s, he began focusing on playing the vibes at the local jazz performances he hosted, and then used vibes on his third recording, Music Update.

The Marsalis family, together and individually, have made significant contributions to the preservation of jazz, the furthering of the art form, and the education of students of the music, leaving an important and distinctive mark on the world of jazz and this nation's culture.

      The Marsalis Family A Jazz Celebration

      The Marsalis Family - Jazz playlist 

Monday, August 22, 2016

Terry Callier

     Terry Callier, Keep Your Heart Right, live on Later With Jools Holland

               Terry Callier  Love  & Life Playlist

          Terry Callier - TimePeace

           Terry Callier - Lazarus Man

Artist Biography by Jason Ankeny

For far too long, folk-jazz mystic Terry Callier was the exclusive province of a fierce but small cult
following; a singer/songwriter whose cathartic, deeply spiritual music defied simple genre

categorization, he went all but unknown for decades, finally beginning to earn the recognition long due him after his rediscovery during the early '90s. Born in Chicago's North Side -- also home to Curtis Mayfield, Jerry Butler, and Ramsey Lewis -- and raised in the area of the notorious Cabrini Green housing projects, Callier began studying the piano at the age of three, writing his first songs at the age of 11 and regularly singing in doo wop groups throughout his formative years. While attending college, he learned to play guitar, eventually setting up residency at a Chicago coffeehouse dubbed the Fickle Pickle and in time coming to the attention of Chess Records arranger Charles Stepney, who produced Callier's debut single, "Look at Me Now," in 1962.

The New Folk Sound of Terry Callier
In 1964, Callier met Prestige label producer Samuel Charters, and a year later they entered the studio to record his full-length bow, The New Folk Sound of Terry Callier; upon completion of the session, however, Charters traveled to Mexico with the master tapes in tow, and the album went unreleased
before finally appearing to little fanfare in 1968. Undaunted, Callier remained a fixture of the Windy City club scene, and in 1970 he and partner Larry Wade signed on with his boyhood friend Jerry Butler's Chicago Songwriters Workshop. There they composed material for local labels including Chess and Cadet, most notably authoring the Dells' 1972 smash "The Love We Had Stays on My Mind." The song's success again teamed Callier with Stepney, now a producer at Cadet, and yielded 1973's Occasional Rain, a beautiful fusion of folk and jazz textures that laid the groundwork for the sound further explored on the following year's What Color Is Love?

I Just Can't Help MyselfDespite earning strong critical notices and building up a devoted fan base throughout much of urban America, Callier failed to break through commercially, and after 1975's I Just Can't Help Myself he was dropped by Cadet; in 1976, he also suffered another setback when Butler closed the Songwriters Workshop. Upon signing to Elektra at the behest of label head Don Mizell, Callier resurfaced in 1978 with the lushly orchestrated Fire on Ice; with the follow-up, 1979's Turn You to Love, he finally cracked the pop charts with the single "Sign of the Times," best known as the longtime theme for legendary WBLS-FM disc jockey Frankie Crocker. He even appeared at the Montreux Jazz Festival. However, when Mizell exited Elektra, Callier was quickly dropped from his contract; after a few more years of diligent touring, he largely disappeared from music around during the early '80s; a single parent, he instead accepted a job as a computer programmer, returning to college during the evenings to pursue a degree in sociology.

TC in DC
Although he had essentially retired from performing, Callier continued composing songs, and in 1991 he received a surprise telephone call from fan Eddie Pillar, the head of the U.K. label Acid Jazz. Pillar sought permission to re-release Callier's little-known, self-funded single from 1983, "I Don't Want to See Myself (Without You)." Seemingly overnight, the record became a massive success on the British club circuit, and the singer was soon flown to Britain for a pair of enormously well-received club dates. In the coming months, more gigs followed on both sides of the Atlantic, and in 1996, Callier even recorded a live LP, TC in DC. In 1997, he teamed with British singer Beth Orton, another of his most vocal supporters, to record a pair of tracks for her superb EP Best Bit;

the following year, Callier also released his Verve Forecast debut Timepeace, his first major-label effort in close to two decades. Lifetime followed in 1999, and two years later came Alive, recorded live at London's Jazz Cafe. Callier returned in 2002 with Speak Your Peace and 2005 with Lookin' Out. In May of 2009, Hidden Conversations, co-written and produced by Massive Attack, was released on Mr. Bongo in the U.K.; a release in the United States followed in the fall of 2010. Two years later, however, he died from cancer in Chicago on October 27, 2012. Terry Callier was 67 years old.

          Terry Callier - Just as long as we're in love

          Terry Callier - I'd rather be with you

         Terry Callier - What Color Is Love

            Terry Callier - Wings

         Terry Callier - Martin St. Martin (Tribute to Martin Luther King)


Thursday, July 21, 2016

Herbie Hancock- full album - A Tribute To Miles

The Music Songs Herbie Hancock full album  A Tribute To Miles Ambient Jazz Fusion Best Jazz Instrumental. A Tribute to Miles is a tribute album by Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Tony Williams, Ron Carter and Wallace Roney to pay homage to  their  departed mentor, Miles Davis, who died in September 1991.

Playing the part of Davis was young trumpet player Wallace Roney. Two of the songs were recorded live, during their national tour honoring their fallen mentor. This album won all five men a Grammy award for Best Jazz Instrumental Performance, Individual Or Group. This marked Hancock's third overall Grammy award.

1. So What (Live) (Miles Davis) (00:00)
2. RJ (Carter) (10:16)
3. Little One (Hancock) (14:14)
4. Pinocchio (Shorter) (21:38)
5. Elegy (Williams) (27:19)
6. Eighty One (Davis, Carter) (35:56)
7. All Blues (Live) (Davis) (43:25)

Herbert Jeffrey "Herbie" Hancock (born April 12, 1940) is an American pianist, keyboardist, bandleader and composer. As part of Miles Davis's Second Great Quintet, Hancock helped to redefine the role of a jazz rhythm section and was one of the primary architects of the "post-bop" sound. He was one of the first jazz musicians to embrace music synthesizers and funk music (characterized by syncopated drum beats). Hancock's music is often melodic and accessible; he has had many songs "cross over" and achieved success among pop audiences. His music embraces elements of funk and soul while adopting freer stylistic elements from jazz. In his jazz improvisation, he possesses a unique creative blend of jazz, blues, and modern classical music, with harmonic stylings much like the styles of Claude Debussy and Maurice Ravel.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Shirley Horn Life Love Blues

                  Shirley Valerie Horn

    In the summer of 1963, before my senior year in high school, I went to church camp at Johnson C Smith university in Charlotte NC. There I meet Gloria and my insides changed. My heart began to feel like never before in my life !! This was special  !! She sang in the talent show and looked at me the whole time ,her words of love and desire were just for me, WOW ..That night at the dance when we danced she would put her head on my shoulder and sing in my ear. Her voice stayed in my head for many years. Young love is so intense it's full of joy, passion and the unknown, you dream, wish and speed through the day to get to the dreams at night. I realised I had a capacity for great love but life moves on. I know I want this feeling to stay in my life.
      In 1982 I went to visit my friend LaVonne on a Sunday afternoon, her father wanted to go visit a friend of his, he was getting up in age and she did not want him to drive. She asked if I would go with her. We got in the car and went to northeast Washington DC. We meet an elderly couple. I sat on the couch and just waited trying not to look bored. The lady of the house served some tea and cookies, then she said her daughter was in town she went in the hall and called Shirley. I looked up and it was Shirley Horn, I had heard her music and seen some album covers but never live.You never know when a day is going to turn wonderful. She sat down at the BabyGrand and began to play and sing what a Sunday afternoon. I loved her style, her voice her way of presenting. I brought some of her albums and stared listing in the overnight, her voice could touch inside me.Life can be good. 

        Shirley Horn Life Love Blues Playlist

      Shirley Valerie Horn was an American jazz singer and pianist. She collaborated with many jazz greats including Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Toots Thielemans, Ron Carter, Carmen McRae, Wynton Marsalis and others. She was most noted for her ability to accompany herself with nearly incomparable independence and ability on the piano while singing, something described by arranger Johnny Mandel as "like having two heads", and for her rich, lush voice, a smoky contralto, which was described by noted producer and arranger Quincy Jones as "like clothing, as she seduces you with her voice". Although she could swing as strongly as any straight-ahead jazz artist, Horn's reputation rode on her exquisite ballad work.

When Horn was 17, she was playing a solo jazz piano gig in a Washington, D.C., restaurant when an elderly man, a regular customer, came into the restaurant with a stuffed bear as tall as Horn.

"It was getting close to Christmas, and somehow I knew that teddy bear was for me," said Horn during a conversation just before Berklee's commencement weekend. "He sent a note up asking me to sing 'Melancholy Baby.'"

Horn had never sung in public, but she complied, and after the performance, the man gave Horn her first payment as a vocalist, the bear. The restaurant owner gave her a raise to keep her singing and before long, Horn was leading a band and playing frequent gigs as a vocalist and pianist.

Surviving and succeeding as a vocalist is not something that came easily for Horn, who says she was shy and quiet before stepping into the spotlight as a young musician. But it was the behavior of unruly audiences, ironically, that taught Horn how to avoid stress over performing.

"The public hardens you," she said. "When I started working in clubs, I found out people could be rude. There would be talk and laughter during your songs."

Rather than cower from such treatment, Horn gained strength from it and became more confident as a bandleader. She also learned how to overcome sexism at a time when few women led bands. "They soon found out I meant business," she said about men who gave her a hard time early in her career. "It was the way I carried myself. I didn't like stuff. I didn't take any, and I didn't give any."

Shirley Horn was born and raised in Washington, D.C..  Encouraged by her grandmother, an amateur organist, Horn began piano lessons at the age of four.  Aged 12, she studied piano and composition at Howard University, later graduating from there in classical music.  Horn was offered a place at the Juilliard School, but her family could not afford to send her there.   Horn's early piano influences were Erroll Garner, Oscar Peterson and Ahmad Jamal, and moving away from her classical background, Horn later said that "Oscar Peterson became my Rachmaninov, and Ahmad Jamal became my Debussy."  She then became enamored with the famous U Street jazz area of Washington (largely destroyed in the 1968 riots), sneaking into jazz clubs before she was of legal age.

Horn first achieved fame in 1960, through her association with Miles Davis. Davis' praise had particular resonance in two respects: because he was so highly respected as a musician, and because he rarely offered public praise for fellow musicians at that time. Horn had, though, recorded several songs with violinist Stuff Smith in 1959 both as a pianist and a singer. After her discovery by Davis, she recorded albums on different small labels in the early 1960s, eventually landing contracts with larger labels Mercury Records and Impulse Records. She was popular with jazz critics, but did not achieve significant popular success.

Quincy Jones attempted to make Horn into a pure vocalist in several recording sessions, something he later hinted may have been a mistake. Horn was also disturbed by the changes in popular music in the 1960s following the arrival of The Beatles. Largely rejecting efforts to remake her into a popular singer, she stated: "I will not stoop to conquer". From the late-1960s, she concentrated on raising her daughter Rainy with her husband, Shepherd Deering (whom she had married in 1955), and largely limited her performances to her native Washington, D.C.
In the 1980s, she returned to the limelight on Steeple Chase Records and put out a series of well-received albums.  In 1986, she began recording for Verve and released "I Remember Miles     ," a tribute album to Davis that won a Grammy for best jazz vocal album, in 1998. Six of Horn's albums were nominated for Grammy's.

Miles Davis made a rare appearance as a sideman on Horn's 1991 album You Won't Forget Me. Although she preferred to perform in small settings, such as her trio, she also recorded with orchestras, as on the 1992 album Here's to Life, the title song (lyrics by Phyllis Molinary, music by Artie Butler) of which became her signature song. A video documentary of Horn's life and music was released at the same time as "Here's To Life" and shared its title. At the time, arranger Johnny Mandel commented that Horn's piano skill was comparable to that of the noted jazz great Bill Evans. A follow-up was made in 2001, named You're My Thrill.

Horn worked with the same rhythm section for 25 years: Charles Ables (bass) and Steve Williams (drums). Don Heckman wrote in the Los Angeles Times (February 2, 1995) about "the importance of bassist Charles Ables and drummer Steve Williams to Horn's sound. Working with boundless subtlety, following her every spontaneous twist and turn, they were the ideal accompanists for a performer who clearly will tolerate nothing less than perfection".
Her albums Here's to Life, Light Out of Darkness (A Tribute to Ray Charles) and I Love You, Paris all reached number one on the Billboard jazz charts.

She was officially recognized by the 109th US Congress for "her many achievements and contributions to the world of jazz and American culture", and performed at The White House for several U.S. presidents. Horn was awarded an honorary Doctor of Music degree from the Berklee College of Music in 2002. Horn was nominated for nine Grammy Awards during her career, winning the Grammy Award for Best Jazz Vocal Performance at the 41st Grammy Awards for I Remember Miles, a tribute to her friend and mentor (the album's cover featuring a Miles Davis drawing of them both). She was awarded the National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters Award in 2005 (the highest honors that the United States bestows upon jazz musicians).

In 2004, The Kennedy Center honored Horn with a tribute and she was awarded a Jazz Master Fellowship by the National Endowment for the Arts.

"I'm not a quitter, I'm a fighter," she told The Washington Post in late 2004, a few years after diabetes forced the amputation of her right foot. "I've tried to keep things as level as possible through this whole thing -- I'm cool. I know what I have to do. I'm never going to give up the piano, I'm never going to stop singing, 'til God says, 'I called your number.' I didn't panic, because I have so much love for what I do."

Horn transitioned on October 20, 2005.

From Wikipedia &  Rob Hochschild

          I Remember Miles playlist

          Shirley Horn - "Here's To Life"

     Singer Shirley Horn Interview

     Shirley Horn - Full Concert - 08/15/92 - Newport Jazz Festival (OFFICIAL)

     Shirley Horn & Trio - How insensitive - Heineken Concerts 99

     Shirley Horn: "Live" at the Village Vanuard (1961)

Friday, May 27, 2016

Shirley Scott

                      Shirley Scott

An admirer of Jimmy Smith, Shirley Scott"Queen of the Organ" has been one of the organ's most appealing representatives since the late '50s. Scott, a very melodic and accessible player, started out on piano and played trumpet in high school before taking up the Hammond B-3 and enjoying national recognition in the late '50s with her superb Prestige dates with tenor sax great Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis. Especially popular was their 1958 hit "In the Kitchen." Her reputation was cemented during the '60s on several superb, soulful organ/soul-jazz dates where she demonstrated an aggressive, highly rhythmic attack blending intricate bebop harmonies with bluesy melodies and a gospel influence, punctuating everything with great use of the bass pedals.
                  Shirley Scott get'n down playlist

Shirley Scott (March 14, 1934 – March 10, 2002)  emerged in the mid-1950's, the golden age of Hammond B3 organ jazz, with a quick, punchy sound that merged bebop, gospel and the blues. She had a lighter touch than Jimmy Smith, the leading organist in jazz, and relied on the blues less heavily than he did. Ms. Scott produced some of the most influential recordings in the smoother, more pop-oriented soul-jazz style.

Her recorded output was great, with more than 50 albums as a leader to her credit, most on the Prestige and Impulse labels. Her first recordings were with Davis, and she played with him on a number of classics, including his ''Cookbook'' albums and the 1958 hit song ''In the Kitchen.''

In 1960 she married Turrentine and made a number of albums with him over the next decade, including ''Soul Shoutin','' ''Blue Flames'' and ''Hip Soul.'' Their music together was often intense, but Ms. Scott also recorded plenty of easygoing tracks, often including show tunes and pop covers like the Beatles' ''Can't Buy Me Love.''

Scott wasn't as visible the following decade, when the popularity of organ combos decreased and labels were more interested in fusion and pop-jazz (though she did record some albums for Chess/Cadet and Strata East). But organists regained their popularity in the late '80s, which found her recording for Muse. A lifelong Philadelphian, Ms. Scott continued to play clubs in the city into the 90's, though she eventually switched to piano.

In the 90's she also began teaching jazz history and piano at Cheyney University in Cheyney, Pa., and worked as the musical director for Bill Cosby's short-lived television quiz show, ''You Bet Your Life.''

Though known primarily for her organ playing, Scott is also a superb pianist -- in the 1990s, she played piano exclusively on some trio recordings for Candid, and embraced the instrument consistently in Philly jazz venues in the early part of the decade. At the end of the '90s, Scott's heart was damaged by the diet drug combination, fen-phen, leading to her declining health. In 2000 she was awarded $8 million in a lawsuit against the manufacturers of the drug. On March 10, 2002 she died of heart failure at Presbyterian Hospital in Philadelphia.

In addition to Mr. Yancey, of Philadelphia, she is survived by her son Thomas, also of Philadelphia; three daughters, Lisa Turrentine, of West Chester, Pa., and Pamela and Nicole Turrentine, of Philadelphia; nine grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

    Shirley Scott: Queen of the Organ

    Shirley Scott Trio (w Harold Vick on tenor) - Don't Look Back - 1976 (Live video)

    Shirley Scott in San Francisco

    Shirley Scott - Drag 'em Out 1964 (FULL ALBUM)