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"Kings ofthe Crescent City" at Jazz at Lincoln Center's Rose Hall

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"The Kings of Crescent City" Octet by L. Hamanaka

Caught the beginning of “The Kings of Crescent City” at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Rose Auditorium on Friday, April 19, 2013 at 8:00 p.m. Conductor and Musical Director was Victor Goines, on clarinet and saxophone. Marcus Printup, trumpet, Kenny Rampton, trumpet, Chris Crenshaw, trombone, tuba, Don Vappie, banjo, guitar, Reginald Veal, bass, Adonis Rose, drums and Dan Nimmer, piano. The “Kings” were: King Oliver, Jelly Roll Morton, Sidney Bechet, and of course, Louis Armstrong. Hitting “1” and “3” precisely on his drums, Mr. Adonis Rose took the stage and the band played “Dippermouth Blues” at a bright 160= quarter note. The octet then launched into “Cattanooga Stomp” at about 140=quarter note, a merry tune frequently punctuated by trombone growls , the banjo strumming along, with chordal figures rising; it seemed they were playing a written arrangement. This was a segment of songs written by King Oliver. “Snake Rag” followed, the pianist pinking figures delicately. A trumpet solo, either written or transcribed was played neatly and prettily, circumscribed by the style of the period of early jazz. Then, 4/4 was introduced, a marching sound, more of a wailing song, (about 100=quarter note) on “Snag It.” This song played with an even 4/4, started to emphasize “2” and “4” lightly, with a muted trombone, banjo, Mr. Vappie sang with wavering tones of a nice baritone, slightly flamboyant, in keeping with New Orleans style, with an open and pretty tone. The “Black Bottom Stomp” followed, in a segment featuring songs by Jelly Roll Morton, at about 175=quarter note, highlighting the New Orleans counterpoint that Mr. Morton was famous for; briskly played, a piece with trumpet playing accented lines against the rest of the ensemble, with deft clarinet work of Mr. Goines, and stride piano by Mr. Nimmer. “Sidewalk Blues” by Mr. Morton was next, at about 140=quarter note, in Stop Time, 2

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with the trumpet and clarinet in counterpoint in a charming and graceful arrangement, the rhythm played in 4/4 time. A clarinet solo followed by the trombone, seeming to paint a pre World War I scene in a cosmopolitan city like New Orleans, giving a historical depiction (like “St Louis Blues" does). The arrangement even had a bass solo with twangs, or gutbucket sound. In this song, the rhythm ensemble played early swing. In a toggle ending, the song went out in stop time also. There was then a piano solo by Mr. Nimmer on “King Porter Stomp.” The “Shoeshiner’s Rag”: followed, an earthy tune with lots of shakes, about 100=quarter note, with a banjo solo with good phrasing, and a few measures of bass solo on a chordal melody, with nice articulation. Mr. Printup has a good middle register sound on trumpet, the arrangement ended on a long tone with a cutoff by Mr. Goines. “Hyena” featured Mr. Vappie's vocals, long guffaws and hysterical giggles so infectious that the audience joined in, at about 148=quarter note. A clarinet solo infused with triplets, and a catchy rhythmic counterpoint by the band. The second half of the concert featured works by Louis Armstrong and Sidney Bechet, in a charming style true to the origins of that period of playing, and enjoyed by the A Theatrical Evening with


JUDE NARITA won the Los Angeles Drama Critics Award ‐ Saturday April 20 at 8 p.m., ZEB’s 223 West 28th Street, 2nd Flr., Reservations & Info: 516‐922‐2010, Tickets: General $15 stud/sen.: $10

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by. L. Hamanaka

Event 1‐2

Jimmy Owens "Bronx Suite" Premiere 4‐6,

We Always Swing 6‐10

How To Make A Jazz Vocal Act 11‐16 Gig Listings‐Letter 1 9-20

Billie Holiday Birthday 21‐24 © 2012

Caught the Jimmy Owens Septet at Fordham University performing his original, “Bronx Suite” for the10th Anniversary Concert of the Bronx African American History Project. Mr. Owens is a Bronx native brought up in the Morrisania neighborhood, and the historians present recounted a jazz history of our northern borough. After introductory remarks by Dr. Mark Naison and Robert Gumbs, who recounted when he was a member of The Jazz Arts Society and approached the owner of the “845” Club to produce a Sunday series of concerts featuring such greats as Gigi Gryce, Donald Byrd, Betty Carter, Cannonball Adderley, Art Tatum, in 1956. In 1958 Mr. Gumbs helped produce “Barbecue & Jazz” a series that started July 15, 1958, with Curtis Fuller and Hank Mobley among the guest artists. “We might have been poor, but creativity – we had it,” said Mr. Gumbs. He also remembered jazz musicians who lived in the Bronx at the time, including Slide Hampton, Thelonious Monk, Elmo Hope. Maxine Gordon, widow of Dexter Gordon, gave a brief historical overview. Anybody who really knows New York City knows that the 8 million all live in a fascinating and diverse series of neighborhoods. The Septet was: Wycliffe Gordon, trombone, Michael Howell, guitar, Patience Higgins, tenor saxophone, Jimmy Owens, trumpet & flugelhorn, Danny Mixon, piano, Winard Harper, drums , Kenny Davis, bass. The Bronx Suite had six sections: 1. Prelude The Bronx, 2. Statement The Bronx-Bronx Ballad, 3. Blue Bronx Blues, 4. Lypso Bronx, 5. Hold On! We B Fix-N’ It! and 6. The Long Hard Road Back. 4

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1. Prelude The Bronx. The opening was a pretty melody on flugelhorn and guitar, followed by a counter melody on trombone and piano. 2. Statement The Bronx-Bronx Ballad. Drum intro, cruising forward on long tones, in a joyous mood, with sparks from the drummer and solid support of the bassist, carrying the strong spirit of the borough forging ahead, with a percussive solo by Wycliffe Gordon, followed by a chordal solo quoting Cherokee by Mr. Mixon and a restatement of them by the horns, with accents on the upbeats of a string of eighth notes pushing the beat ahead. A proclamation in a dramatic fashion of the vast vista of the Bronx stated by horns with a trumpet solo by Mr. Owens like a piercing cry with a burnished tone and wide vibrato on long tones, later rejoined by the rest of the band, and pianist providing a high trill. Then a bass line, pretty punctuated long tones with counterpoint, a semi martial sound on horns. There was a nice counter melody and a lush sound, with great support. The trumpet solo was descriptive and rich in memories of the streets and childhood haunts he grew up in, with nice triplet figures that then exploded and opened into new melodies. Mr. Higgins solo on tenor saxophone had a lusty sound, arpeggiating up with spicy motifs Cont. P. 24

Danny Mixon, Patience Higgins, Michael Howell, Kenny Davis, Mark aison, Jimmy Owens, Windard Harper, Unknown, Wycliffe Gordon

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Kenny Barron, Jimmy Greene, ts Kiyoshi Kitagawa,bass, Jonathan Blake, drums "A Chunk ofMonk" Missouri Theatre

“We Always Swing”

® Jazz Series in Columbia, Missouri by Jon Poses to Jazz Culture

Pub note: "We Always Swing" is one of the most successful regional sponsors of jazz programming in the country and it is humbly hoped that jazz enthusiasts, musicians and producers, will learn from their experiences.

JC: How long have you been doing the series? And where is it located? Jon Poses: The “We Always Swing”® Jazz Series is in its 18th season. I founded it on July 1, 1995 as an extension of my touring/artist representative business, National Pastimes Productions. The business’ name reflects an aesthetic that “Jazz” as well as “Baseball” – referred to as our national pastime – is also 6

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a national pastime – meaning the United States has TWO national pastimes (plural) – jazz and baseball. I founded National Pastimes Productions as a touring and artist representative concern in 1985. As luck would have it, on July 1, 1985, two close friends of mine bought a country and western “flavored” bar/restaurant and opened it as “Murry’s,” deciding to have a jazz (and baseball) motif/atmosphere. As National Pastimes Productions grew, and because of my friends’ interest in having live jazz at Murry’s, I “engineered” performances in Columbia, Missouri, as part of the tours I organized. Columbia, now with a population that exceeds 100,000 people, is a university town located in the center of the Missouri, sitting equidistant from St. Louis and Kansas City, 120 miles from each. From 1985-1995 I concentrated on organizing/managing 10then 20- and finally 30-city tours. On most occasions I was able to have one of the tour performances take place in Columbia – mostly at Murry’s. However, in the case of bigger, more popular acts I rented larger venues – from 400 seats to 1,700 seats. Murry’s initially held 100 people; now it holds about 130 people. Among my clients/tours (1985-present) are: • Guitarist Peter Leitch with Bobby Watson, James Williams, Ray Drummond, Marvin “Smitty” Smith • Pianist James Williams (several occasions including the Contemporary Piano Ensemble with Williams, Harold Mabern, Mulgrew Miller, Donald Brown, Geoffrey Keezer, Christian McBride, Tony Reedus) • Saxophonist Bobby Watson/Bobby Watson & Horizon with Victor Lewis, Terell Stafford, Edward Simon, Essiet Essiet • Bassist Ray Drummond/Ray Drummond’s All-Star Excursion Band with Drummond, Craig Handy, Danilo Perez, David Sanchez, Billy Hart, Mor Thiam • Pianist Joanne Brackeen/Joanne Brackeen Quartet with Greg Osby, Cecil McBee, Tony Reedus The Jazz Culture, VI:54


Anat Cohen, Bruce Barth, Piano, Vincente Archer, bass, Royston, drums, The Blue ote (a different Blue ote)

• Saxophonist David Murray/David Murray OctetPianist Kenny Barron/Kenny Barron Trio with Ray Drummond, Ben Riley • The Leaders – with Lester Bowie, Arthur Blythe, Chico Freeman, Kirk Lightsey, Cecil McBee, Famadou Don Moye • Matt Wilson/Matt Wilson’s Arts & Crafts with Wilson, Larry Goldings, Terell Stafford and Dennis Irwin/Martin Wind • Conrad Herwig/Conrad Herwig’s Latin Side All-Star Band with Craig Handy, Mike Rodriguez, Bill O’Connell, Ruben Rodriguez, Robby Ameen, Pedro Martinez After a decade of touring I decided to emphasize presenting. I launched the “We Always Swing”® Jazz Series on July 1, 1995. I continued to work with a coterie of players as their manager/representative however since then my main emphasis has been on presenting a concert subscription and education series. The “We Always Swing”® Jazz Series was founded as a community-based, all-jazz organization. The Jazz Series, administered by "We Always Swing," ® Inc., became a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation in March 1999; in 2009, while remaining wholly independent, the Jazz Series became an affiliated with the University of Missouri's College of Arts & Science. Support for 8

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the Jazz Series arrives via ticket revenue, via federal, state and local grant and contract programs and from a variety of national, regional and local sources such as area corporations and businesses. Additional funds are generated through the generous tax-deductible contributions from individuals. JC: Who is playing in it this year, and who has in the past? Jon Poses: Since launching the Jazz Series we have presented more than 200 concerts and events. The series was created as a “modern” jazz series – essentially one that stressed post-World War Two repertoire. While some artists pre-date World War Two (Dave Brubeck, Von Freeman, Candido among others who have performed as part of the Jazz Series) chronologically they all play in a modern, post-modern mode right up until, in the case of Brubeck and Freeman, died. The first year of the series, 1995-1996, offered six concerts – “Big Band Bird” with Slide Hampton celebrating Parker’s 75th birthday (what would have been), Ray Brown Trio, Brackeen Quartet, Contemporary Piano Ensemble, Poncho Sanchez and Kevin Mahogany with Eric Reed Trio. The second season, our budget/fiscal year is July 1-June 30, we upped the schedule to 7 concerts and started an educational component. The season has now been extended to more than 20 events annually, including between 10-12 concerts, a summer series and a plethora of educational and in-school activities. As to who has played here… well, a great many have. We have presented something like 35 National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters including Sonny Rollins, Jimmy Heath, Frank Wess, Sheila Jordan, Phil Woods, McCoy Tyner, Von Freeman, Toshiko Akiyoshi, Ellis, Branford, Wynton, Jason Marsalis – on different occasions, etc. We have presented World Saxophone Quartet and Sun Ra; The Jazz Culture, VI:54


Stefon Harris & Blackout, at Murry's

David Murray’s Octet. We have presented octogenarians and 20 somethings – Grace Kelly and Champian Fulton are two examples this season (2012/2013) . We’ve presented large ensembles: Maria Schneider Orchestra, Mingus Big Band, Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, etc. We present artists in a solo, duo and trio settings along with quartet and quintet configurations. As for this season – please visit our website – Each artist/group that performs has their own “page” on the site; at the top of the Home Page people can click to on any of the thumbnails and they will be taken to that artist’s/group’s page. This season we started with Billy Childs Quartet and we’ll end with Gerald Clayton’s Trio; in between we presented Kenny Barron as part of “A Chunk of Monk,” a NEA Jazz Masters Live! project that we conceived of centered on Thelonious Monk along with Terell Stafford Quintet, Jane Bunnett with Hilario Duran and Candido, Marcus Roberts Trio, The Bad Plus, Joe Locke-Geoffrey Keezer Group and Monterey Jazz Festival On Tour: 55th Anniversary Celebration. 10

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JC: I notice it’s non-profit. Why did you choose that route? Jon Poses: There is, sadly, at least I haven’t figured it out, yet, no way to run a major jazz project in this day and age without either a serious endowment in place that one can draw from or as a nonprofit organization, which allows presenters to seek outside funding from agencies, corporations in the form of sponsorships and individual tax-deductible contributions. Our current budget fluctuates between $260,000 and $295,000 – depending on which artists we present in a given season and how many tickets they can generate. However, even if we sold every possible ticket – and our tickets run from $15 (for students in some instances) to $37 for the public (best seats available in other instances) – we would only generate approximately 40% of the budget on the 12 concerts we present in any given Fiscal Year. JC: Who is on your board? Jon Poses: Right now we have 11 board members serving threeyear terms that can be renewed for up to three periods. They are mostly long-time supporters, season ticket holders, educators and University representatives along with physicians, social workers, etc. They are community members. JC: Do you have a newsletter? Jon Poses: We don’t have a print newsletter per se, but we do have a Facebook page and a Twitter account. More than that, we produce substantial concert programs that are handed out at the shows and for the last three years have been posted on our website in their entirety with links for all the advertisers, etc. The programs resemble the classic “Playbill” formats – 5.5” x 8.5”; glossy, color, etc. Each issue – about five per season – covers two to three concerts – so we move ads around, change content, etc. They are more like magazines than your basis arts group concert program. Also, about five years ago we launched our “E-Note,” a weekly electronic newsletter that tells people what’s upcoming; we also mix in a “Video Clip of the Week” selected randomly – sometime with a tie-in to a specific upcoming concert, other times they The Jazz Culture, VI:54


Bobby Watson with Peter Washington on bass, and Terrell Stafford, trumpet

showcase great on-the-bandstand scenes. We have approximately 2,200 subscribers. JC: How many members do you have? Jon Poses: We’re not really a membership organization. We have a snail mail list of 4,200 households; we have an email list of 2,300 people. We just started – only a few months ago – a student and public membership opportunity. It stemmed as an outgrowth of our newly created “Lending Library,” which consists of 7,000 CDs/LPs. – mostly my personal collection. With basic memberships (students = $25/yr.; public $50 per yr.) people can check out two CDs a week; they receive certain discounts; students get a free T-shirt and there are some other perks. The membership levels serve two purposes: try and get younger people involved; try to help ease/create cash-flow. JC: What do you think of the future of jazz? Jon Poses: The short answer is it’s in fine shape. Overall we, as the jazz culture, need to sharpen our marketing and promotional 12

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tools. We need to figure out how to get and then stay younger – but not at the expense of “watering down” the music. That’s different from simply commercializing the music as a way to draw more people in and make more money by “simplifying stuff” I don’t buy that argument. It’s never worked – and what’s worse is that it leaves with shoddy, simplistic and mundane music that requires us to periodically dig ourselves out of some kind of watered-down muck. The key to the future of jazz remains the same: genuine exposure to the art form through traditional means: easy to access sights and sounds – whether it be the radio or via Pandora; be it on television or youtube. It’s about exposure – in and out of the classroom so people hear it. The Grammys® are a perfect example; how much jazz is heard/showcased on the Grammys®, a premier showcase for American music. Virtually none. Why are we surprised that few people have heard of some of our greatest artists? It really makes perfect sense that’s the case. It’s the proverbial tree falling in the forest and no one’s around to hear it drop. Until that changes, until jazz gets into people’s ears in more than a background setting, then it’s going to remain an enigma and intimidating to most people rather than offering folks the true joyful noise that it is. JC: Are you a musician? Jon Poses: As a child I studied classical piano – and I never practiced. As an adolescent I was a rock-‘n’-roll guitarist wannabe – and I didn’t practice. I studied music history/theory in college so I understand a lot of the concepts but the only thing I play is the telephone. JC: How did you come to be devoted to the art form? Jon Poses: This is a very long story. Briefly, I’ve always loved music – as long as I can remember. My folks always liked listening to music – mostly the Big Band dudes: Artie Shaw, Benny Goodman and I’ll throw in Duke Ellington; they also had a very good “folk” record collection and we listened to and actually saw people such as Josh White, Pete Seeger and Burl Ives, etc. I The Jazz Culture, VI:54


grew up in New York City; by the time I hit in high school I was in the right place at the right time – and so I lived at places such as the Fillmore East. I caught the tail end of the Greenwich Village folk scene. In 1973 I dropped out of college and went to the Bay Area. I was already a Dead Head and CD cover for "Home: Live in Columbia, living in that Missouri" with Bruce Barth and Steve Wilson epicenter made House Concert fundraiser such groups as Jefferson Airplane/Starship, Van Morrison, Country Joe, Commander Cody, Boz Scaggs, et. al. readily available when they weren’t on tour. They all lived there having moved from San Francisco up north to Marin County. I spent a year in the Bay Area and then returned to school in Boston – also a great market for music. In 1976, after graduating college, I went to Europe for the first time. During my seven months there I made conscious effort to get to the Montreux Jazz Festival. That year I saw Stan Getz, Herbie Hancock, Miles Davis, Sun Ra, Cecil Taylor, etc. Jazz was the logical extension for me; I had heard literally every note that Jerry Garcia could play and it was time to move on and quench a new thirst. So I did. Fortunately, I’ve never run out of jazz streams and tributaries to drink from; on occasion I’m lucky enough to discover a new jazz river – at least for me and even a jazz ocean 14

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that’s filled with music. I love democracy and conversation – and there is no form of expression that exemplifies such qualities along with sharing, listening, learning, taking risk, enjoying the satisfaction of doing so than jazz – so, in my case, it was easy to devote myself to the art form. ***


A singer who wants to do an Act has to ask him/herself certain questions first. 1. Is it a special occasion? Christmas, a birthday, a Tribute to Singer Jo Marchese a Famous Artist or Composer? 2. Does it fall into the general category, ie., a singer wants to do his or her Act. 3. How long is the time slot? Half an hour, forty-five minutes, an hour, two shows, three sets? 4. Will it be a family intergenerational gathering with minors present? Where do you want to perform your Act? The reason one asks these questions is obviously, it will help you choose appropriate songs. Next ask yourself, what kind of singer are you and what is your repertoire? If you have a year or two to plan, you can learn new material. You may find yourself doing research to find rare songs or special material that is funny, etc. During the process, you may find certain songs highlight your special talents. There are many kinds of songs: blues, ballads, The Jazz Culture, VI:54


medium swing, bebop, cool jazz, progressive, are just a few examples. Whatever your forte is, you might try to choose a theme to center your choices around. Most songs are love songs, so to say you want to have “love” as your theme is too general. You might pick Jim Malloy “Hollywood” or Film songs, “Cole Porter Songs,” “Jazz Composers from the Second Half of the Twentieth Century,” or some other theme that focuses your choices. After choosing a theme, we have to consider tempos. There has to be a variety: Latin, ballad, patter songs, blues, all provide different rhythmic patterns and tempos to stimulate and interest the listener. Few audiences will sit through an evening of all ballads. You might look at a dvd of an evening with Tony Bennett or another leading singer to see how he paces his program. The very fact that you want to do an Act means you are committed to being a professional, and you are thinking about the audience and the effect you are making on them. Then there is what you will say to the audience to introduce each song, segue between songs, and end your show. This material should be written down until it becomes memorized. Along with that, there is the whole question of interpreting each song in terms of how your life relates to it, or the subtext, phrasing, tone quality, dynamics. At some point, after you have chosen a group of songs and tried them out, gotten feedback from fellow artists and the songs seem to fit together, you can set up a practicing schedule for run throughs every day. If you can play piano or guitar, you can 16

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accompany yourself. Otherwise you may have to pay an accompanist to lay down the songs in order for you on a tape, with intros and endings. Then tape your rehearsals of these songs on a different machine. Listen to the playback and see what has improved and how you can make the songs better. Also, time yourself. Every professional situation has a time frame. Perhaps Club A offers a vocalist a one hour time slot from beginning to end. So you would aim for that. Perhaps you would wind up throwing out a weak song or a song that is not essential to the story line of your theme. You should try to go through at least half the songs you will perform each day. Listen to your tape, then sings them again with modifications and listen again. Check your tempos with a metronome before you start and after you finish so you can see if you have slowed down or sped up the tempo. Over time polish and augment your interpretation of the lyric. Remember, before you expect your audience to be moved by a song, you must be moved yourself. Do a run through before a friend, or sing some of the songs at an open mike. Try to give yourself at least two or three months to work on a group of songs. A year would be more realistic. Also, write legible charts in your key that indicate the form you want a musician to follow. If you are singing with more than one person, have a copy of the chart for each musician in the same order. Learn the song as the composer wrote it before you try to make any changes, and try to make any changes at least equal to or as interesting as the composer’s choices. Many singers do not make any change in notes; they may change the phrasing, but it is important to learn the chords or harmony of a song so that you will not sing a melody note that does not fit in with the harmony. This process is a joyous experience. Each vocalist has their own personality and can bring new things to the same material. Take the time to invite as many people as possible to your performance. Every artist needs to build their own following. Keep The Jazz Culture, VI:54


track of everyone who you know that likes music or likes you well enough to come out and hear you. When you finish your Act and have presented it to the public, it should help you build your following and you should be a better musician. BILLIE HOLIDAY BIRTHDAY TRIBUTE at THE RUM HOUSE

Dealva & Franke Robinson

cont. p. 21

Clockwise, Lisi Paluski, Carol Randazzo & Sybil Evans

Subscribe Free to the Jazz Culture Newsletter: © 2012, The Jazz Culture, Ltd. West Park Finance Sta, POB 20023, 700 Columbus Avenue, NYC 10025, 646‐ 312‐7773 Advertise in The Jazz Culture: Reasonable rates: email


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Gig Listings of The Jazz Culture Subscribers: Please support these artists and bring your friends. April 1-2: Ray Blue,Hamilton College, Utica, NY April 2: Michael Weiss Trio, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL April 3: Valery Ponomarev, "Our Father Who Art Blakey" Zinc's 9-1 April 4: Michael Weiss Trio, Logan Center, Chicago, IL Tribute to Johnny Griffin April 6: Ray Blue, Jazz Ed Workshop, Embark Studio, Peekskill, NY; also, duo at the Division Grill, Peekskill, NY April 6: Michael Weiss Trio, Western Illinois University, Macomb, IL April 6, Jimmy Owens debut of an Original Composition by Mr. Owens, "The Bronx Suite", performed by all star septet The Fordham Univ Campus 441 E. Fordham road 8 p.m., 718 -817-4339 admission FREE Also performing are subscribers Patience Higgins and Danny Mixon; Bronx African American History Project 10th Anniversary April 7: Annual Billie Holiday Tribute at The Rum House, 228 West 47 Street, bet 8-Broadway 2-6 p.m. No Cover or Minimum Singers: Katie Collins, Sarah Rose Grillo, Jim Malloy,Anthony Maxwell, Franke Robinson, Lionelle Hamanaka, Maggie Malone, Karen Maynard, Maki Mototsu, Mary Rocco, Ron Saltus, Richard Williams, Megumi Watada, Kumiko Yamakado, Joe and Phyllis The Jazz Culture, VI:54


Gimpel, Phil Levy, Jo Marchese, Sonya Perkins, Connie McNamee, Michael Morgan. Trio features Kuni Mikami, Chuck McPherson and Jon Roche April 11: Lionelle Hamanaka, Richard Wyands, Bertha Hope, Ron McClure, Chuck McPherson, Gene Ghee Goddard Riverside Community Center 7-8 p.m. Free 593 Columbus Avenue, all Lakisha Williams for tickets at 212-799-9400 ext.206 April 12: Ray Blue, Davenport, Iowa High School AntiBullying Tour; also, evening at the Lighthouse Restaurant, 7:00 April 16: Ray Blue, Garage, NY 7-11 April 19: Ray Blue St. Peters Jazz Vespers w/Harlem Jazz& Blues Band April 21: Ray Blue, Jazz Vespers Peekskill Presbyterian April 26: Lionelle Hamanaka at Tomi Jazz, 9-1 a.m. 239 E. 53 Street in basement 646-497-1 254 ENGLAND Every Friday & Saturday: John Watson at the Palm Court, Langham 1c Portland Place, London, no cover or minimum 44-

207-965-01 95 John Watson on BBC Saturday morning, 11 :30 a.m. UK time. GERMANY

April 24-30: Ray Blue Germany tour including: Bandenscher Hof in Berlin,(24-27); Evalgelische Paulus-Kirschengemeinde (28); back to Badenscher Hof (30). JAPAN

April 11: Nobuo Watanabe, The Swing +1 at Una Mas, 8-11 pm Tokyo Y2500 April 13: Nobuo Watanabe with Kai Ichikawa Quintet, 7:30-1:00 Y2000, Tokyo April 13: Nobuo Watanabe, Kin No Subo, Core Place Yoga, Tokyo 20

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by L. Hamanaka

The great genius Billie Holiday was celebrated at a Birthday Fete presented at The Rum House at 228 West 47th Street on April 7, 2013, the day of her Birthday. Ms. Holiday was called "an improvising genius" by John Hammond, who discovered her when she was singing at 17 in Harlem. A great beauty and inspiration and innovator, Ms. Holiday sang from the depths of her life, heart and soul. Singers and musicians from Long Island, Connecticut, the five boros and New Jersey gathered to sing her repertoire at the gourmet tavern The Rum House, in the heart of the Broadway Theatre district.

Michael Morgan, Max Anthony, Jo Marchese & Sonya Perkins

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Clockwise, Karen Maynard, Carol Sue Gershman, Jim Malloy, Maki Matotsu, pianist Kuni Mikami, Phyllis Gimpel


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Clockwise, Chuck McPherson, Megumi Watada, Connie Macamee, Maggie Malone, Joe Gimpel and Katie Collins

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Bassist Jon Roche, Singer Kumiko Yamakado

Cont. from p. 5

forging ahead, with a percussive solo by Wycliffe Gordon, followed by a chordal solo quoting Cherokee by Mr. Mixon and a restatement of them by the horns, with accents on the upbeats of a string of eighth notes pushing the beat ahead. A proclamation in a dramatic fashion of the vast vista of the Bronx stated by horns with a trumpet solo by Mr. Owens like a piercing cry with a burnished tone and wide vibrato on long tones, later rejoined by the rest of the band, and pianist providing a high trill. Then a bass line, pretty punctuated long tones with counterpoint, a semi martial sound on horns. There was a nice counter melody and a lush sound, with great support. The trumpet solo was descriptive and rich in memories of the streets and childhood haunts he grew up in, with nice triplet figures that then exploded and opened into new melodies. Mr. Higgins’ solo on tenor saxophone had a lusty sound, arpeggiating up a spicy into new melodies. His solo was well supported by the rhythm section. Mr. Howell gave a liquid guitar solo, pleasing guitar enthusiasts with licks starting from a high note and descending and then reversing direction from the bottom up. Two lindy hoppers jumped up and danced in front of the audience below the stage. The septet carried the theme out on a vamp leading to a diminuendo that Job Opening: Advertising Director for The Jazz Culture ewsletter.Commission basis, 50%. Please email resume to:


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Wycliffe soloed over, a mellow tone with a strong center, and then raunchy and assertive, leading to a group long tone that fluttered poetically and then seemed to spiral heavenward. Mr. Owens made the following comments: “I was born in Morrisania Hospital and grew up on 168th Street near the Prospect and Intervale Avenue (subway stops). I played skellies and stickball growing up in the public schools. I went to PS.99 and Junior High School 40 where they had a music class, then the High School of Music & Art. I’m a real product of the public school system in New York City. I went to Freddie’s and Mickey & Sylvia’s on Boston Road near 168 Street…I’d stand outside and listen to lots of great musicians perform…many of the people I grew up with wound up in jail…Many are dead. … But music kept many of us very, very busy.” Mr. Owens later continued, that he was “the only Bronx native to receive the National Endowment of the Arts jazz master award… So the music foundation from Junior High School 40 took me all over the world.” In 1969 Mr. Owens founded the Collective Black Artists, where he taught a course entitled “The Business Aspect of the Music Industry.” At the same time he started working with Lionel Hampton and Slide Hampton. After that, he worked with Hank Crawford in a nonet travelling through the south. The nonet had a station wagon and U Haul. “Hank Crawford musicians were not Freedom Riders but could have been mistaken by racist police in those areas.” In 1964, Mr. Owens started working with Charles Mingus, and after 1965 he got married and had to learn how to be a freelance musician-as he didn’t have a steady job but just freelanced, but stayed busy. At that time, he began to write more music for recordings. “Life was always about the blues,” he said. With these words as an introduction, the septet went on to play the “Blue-Bronx Blues” section of the “Bronx Suite.” 3. Blue Bronx Blues, a slow blues in 12/8. Melody was full of The Jazz Culture, VI:54


reminiscences in blue, with dynamic accents by the horns. The sax made a bleating tone from top to bottom, with a few circular movements, the trumpet in counterpoint. The trombone used a mute a la New Orleans, down and dirty. Danny Mixon played percussive blues licks and glisses high in the right hand, then a series of triplets migrating down chromatically. 4. Lypso Bronx: Another stream of the Black diaspora, with calypso drums, drums laying down a nice smooth carpet of sound. The trombone and sax had a four bar Call and Response, and then ended in a crisp phrase on the trombone. Then piano did a rhapsodic solo, playing a solo that resembled the solos of steel drums on the piano. There was restatement of the theme, and a cheerful sunny 6 note melody followed by five note ideas. 5. Hold On! We B Fix-N’ It! This section refers to an escalator at 161 Street and River Avenue stop from the D train to the El at that stop. There were many steps that everyone including the elderly had to walk up, for too long while it stayed broken. Every time people called, the City would say, Hold On! We B Fix-N’ It! Starting with a nine note melody to a march rhythm, the trombone played a raucous solo, the trumpet joined in counterpoint, an emphatic declamatory sound portrait like the ones Ellington used to compose, depicting the hardships who are neglected by red tape. Kenny Davis on bass played a mutlinote solo, kind of blue with a pretty full sound. The crowd was clapping on 2 and 4. The counterpoint between the rhythm section and horns was very effective. The septet sang the words, Hold On! We B Fix-N’ It! 6. The Long Hard Road Back. Began with a trumpet solo, a ballad expression aspiration in 12/8 with church echoes like a hymn in chorus. The sax solo expressed determination and passion, from the top of his horn to the bottom. It was a militant determined theme, and in fierce stop time, the trombone played a bluesy solo with perfect articulation and feeling. Then the rhythm section gave a dynamic crescendo, with the horns entering one by 26

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one, trumpet, trombone and sax, expressing the uphill heartache of the borough of the Bronx. Then a drum solo double time with piano and guitar casting a happier light on the piece, ending with a short four note phrase. Dr. Naison called the concert “historical” and “memorializing the history of the Bronx” and indeed the performance and composition succeeded in expressing the history, spirit and struggles of an often overlooked borough, and the people who live there, especially the African American diaspora and cultural modes. The audience gave a standing ovation and performers seemed aware of what they had done; luckily there was a videographer to capture it for posterity.

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Bronx Suite Errata

In the article on Jimmy Owens and Septet at Fordham University, please note the following ERRATA: 1.The spelling of Wycliffe Gordon, The Jazz Arts Society‐Robert Gumbs, Dr. Mark Naison, Thelonious Monk, Adderley. 2. The “Bronx Suite” was in 6 sections: Prelude The Bronx; Statement the Bronx‐Bronx Ballad; Blue Bronx Blues; Lypso Bronx; Hold On! We B Fix‐N it!; and The Long Hard Road Back 3. Mickey’s & Sylvias’ and Freddie’s were located on168 St near Boston Road 4.Hank Crawford’s musicians were not Freedom Riders but could have been mistaken by racist police in those areas. Jimmy [Owens] never said he was a Freedom Fighter. He said the group did not want to be mistaken for Freedom Fighters. 5. In 1965 Mr. Owens “got married and had to learn how to be a freelance musician‐as I didn’t have a steady job but just freelance but stayed busy.” 6. Lypso Bronx had 4 bar, not a 2 bar Call and Response section. 7. “Hold On!” was about an escalator at 161 and River Avenue, not an elevator. 8. The bass player’s name was Kenny Davis. We apologize for the prior errata. The revised article appears in full in this issue.


The Jazz Culture, VI:54  

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