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The JAZZ CULTURE

James Malloy sings the blues "How long has that train been gone?"

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REVIEW

James Malloy, Singer

Caught James Malloy, singing with the Felix “Swing and Society Orchestra” at Swing 46 on Thursday, August 2. Felix Endico, piano, Stuart Grant, bass, Jay Lepey, drums, Charles Franco, trumpet, Tom Glusac, tenor sax and clarinet, Com Collins, alto sax, and Andy Hunter, trombone. Since the entire horn section subbed out, the band could not be appraised, but we are able to report on the vocalist. James Malloy, a singer with a distinctive baritone and very good pitch, time and feeling, is a talent deserving wider recognition. He sang: “Memories of You” by Eubie Blake as a walking ballad. The vocals, with lovely warmth projected by Mr. Malloy, who floats easily to falsetto in his upper register, was accompanied by nostalgic chording by Mr. Endico. Mr. Malloy’s baritone wafted easily over the band. Next was a blues, “How Long” meaningfully sung by Jim Malloy at about 102-quarter note. Mr. Endico played a chorus as an intro. Then Mr. Malloy, while keeping the beat, delivered the slow blues with soul, in a masculine style, with a nice vibrato on long tones, not too wide, with good intonation, and carrying the message. A lot of singers shout and punch the blues, like fighters swing at a punching bag, but as he sung “How long, how long, has that evening train been gone,” Mr. Malloy singing low with gravelly tones, halfway between a shouting style and singing long tones with a steady vibrato, at times reaching up into his falsetto. After brief instrumental solos, Mr. Malloy closed the blues with assurance with a crescendo from the drums. Cole Porter’s “Just One of those Things,” was played at about 174=quarter note, on a 2-beat. Mr. Malloy's advanced phrasing, with half note triplets and quarter note triplets, accented the upbeats to kick the beat forward, as well as interesting choices to alter the melody. See James Malloy on CD Baby and Sonicbids.com/JimMalloy. Felix & The Cats played these instrumentals: “Christopher Columbus,” “Sing, Sing, Sing” “Jumpin’ at the Woodside,” and “Avalon.” 2

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Review 1‐2 Swing 46 Dance Class 3 Dado on World Jazz 4‐5 Japan Event by K. Mikami 6‐7 Jazz Heritage The Heath Brothers 8‐16 Let's Link 16‐17 Barry Harris' Early Days 18‐21 How to Analyze a Lyric 21‐23 Louis Armstrong Vocal Tribute 23‐28 info@thejazzculture.com

DANCING AT SWING 46

Singer James Malloy

AJ Converse struts steps to new Swing dancers at Swing 46

Swing 46 offers Swing dance classes to club patrons. Check w/club

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JAZZ IS A WORLD MUSIC

By Dado Moroni There are a lot of jazz musicians all over the world; the most different countries—like the former Soviet Union, are producing great musicians. Like before the Berlin Wall came down [it may not have happened]. Dmitri Baesky, alto player, there are other pianists, from Chile, Argentina, and in the end they all come here [NY]. New York first and then of course other cities. If you want Dado Moroni in #Y recently to be a 365 degree jazz musician …it’s in the language, it’s in the way New Yorkers move. When Barry [Harris] plays, it’s the way that he talks. I don’t hear notes, it’s like a language. In the same way, Dexter Gordon played the way he talked. It’s a matter of language. If you only study in books, I [one] might learn well enough to get by, but to breath in the language [of jazz] everyone comes to the source, which is New York, it still is. Another current [or stream of music] in Europe, has created its own type of jazz. They don’t believe in depending on Charlie Parker. But jazz is just like a recipe-you have to listen to the right kind of jazz. A lot of guys start in modern jazz-Herbie, Chick, then they go back. I was brought up in a certain type of environment. My parents were listening to Fats Waller, Jimmy Lunceford, Louis Armstrong, 4

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Jelly Roll Morton. My uncle was traveling a lot. He brought me a record of Errol Garner, and there already, there’s something modern. Then I started listening to Oscar Peterson, Nat Cole, Charlie Parker, Bud, chronologically. My father befriended American soldiers. They were the heroes; it was after WWII, and [after they got back to the US] they sent him jazz records. I grew up in this type of environment. Then, I studied, I went to record stores, learned the Philadelphia musicians, Kenny Barron, McCoy Tyner, and others Chick, Coltrane, Bill Evans. Together with the Philly cats, Barron, Coltrane, and others, I was really blown away by the Detroit guys, Barry, Tommy, Hank, without mentioning cats like Paul Chambers, Elvin and Thad, and that branch of the jazz family tree. I also had the good luck to spend ten years of my life working with Duke Ellington’s former bassist, Jimmy Woode, which opened yet another door. Music can be a strong attraction. What will bring people together? Art, in general, is an aggregating form—it doesn’t matter where you’re from, if you feel closer to God’s gift. It would be really nice if the fraternity we feel when playing could happen in real life. Dado Moroni is a leading jazz musician on the world scene. He has worked with top US jazz artists for decades and tours frequently, and thus hears many new musicians in many countries. See Dado Moroni on google.com Sign up for a Free Subscription to The Jazz Culture The Jazz Culture, VI:16

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JAPAN EVENT

Jazz in Japan-“Beneath First Impressions” by Kuni Mikami

American Musicians performing in Japan spend their free time walking around, going shopping in Japan. When they walk around towns in Japan they hear jazz as background music instead of rock or pop. Even in the dentist’s office or on an elevator you hear jazz. After they come back from Japan, they say, “Wow, in Japan I hear jazz in all different places.” They think jazz is very popular, because Kuni Mikami in even cable radio has a jazz station. Jazz Concert is used as background music on the street, so they think it’s much more popular in Japan. They [Japanese people] listen but never visit Jazz clubs. A lot of restaurants and cafes have jazz from speakers, but most people have never been to a live performance. They don’t go there. Expense is one factor. It’s very expensive, you pay $25 music charge, and for food and drink about $50, so you have to spend about $75. They [the club owners] have to charge that much to keep the business open, the rent is so high. Now the economy has not recovered yet [from Fukushima], so most clubs ask musicians to work for the door. Depending on how many people you get, you get paid. Top people still get paid. Major cities like Tokyo, Osaka, have a lot of jazz venues, people still get $100 a night; [only] sometimes [working] for the door. Major American musicians go to major cities and major clubs. Before Fukushima there was a recession, 6

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the bubble burst about 20 years ago, now people don’t spend their money drinking. [There] Used to be a lot of people coming to jazz clubs. A lot of clubs closed [now]. About 40 years ago, young jazz fans opened clubs and they’re now retirement age. Their kids don’t want to succeed them because clubs don’t make profit. So a lot of clubs are closing in small towns. This is the generation from the 50’s or 60’s. They have been keeping the place for jazz musicians and fans to play, for a very long time, [but] they’re getting too old [now]. Their kids don’t want to succeed them because clubs don’t make profit. So a lot of clubs are closing in small towns. Education: There used to be just classical jazz conservatories, now they have jazz departments. Numbers of kids getting born [is decreasing], schools need students, so they added Jazz & Rock departments. As a result, there are many young jazz musicians with college degrees in the cities with not enough venues. Big names are still making money—Sadao Watanabe, Masahino … JC: What percentage of people there like jazz? Ten percent? Yes. [You hear jazz in] Starbucks, hotels, barbecues, salons, but most Japanese people are not listening to it. I would say most of the older people like it, who grew up with Miles and Coltrane, but only a few younger people are into jazz. Fusion music got a bigger audience in the 70’s or 80’s, a lot of young people listened to it. Now fusion music is gone. [The idea that ]Jazz in Japan is very popular is not true. Lionelle Hamanaka, Publisher. See lionelleh.com, Amazon & CD Baby contact: info@thejazzculture.com The Jazz Culture, VI:16

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JAZZ HERITAGE The Heath Brothers

Interview with Jimmy Heath:

JC: Your sound has so much Love in it. Jimmy Heath: I’m a Scorpio. That’s my sign. I like Love. JC: Do you come from a musical family? Jimmy Heath: You can find all that in my book, “I Walked with Giants.” It took me 25 years to write a book. My father played clarinet and my mother sang. JC: Did you learn in the public schools? Jimmy Heath: Yes, and I had private lessons with a man named Mr. Terry on the alto saxophone. Every child in my family was given the instrument of their choice. My sister Elizabeth played piano briefly. Percy played the violin and then the bass. Tootie played trombone (and now drums). 8

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I guess I had been listening to Johnny Hodges and Benny Carter because I was playing alto. I switched to tenor later. JC: You have a beautiful sound. Jimmy Heath: :So did Gene Ammons, he had a very big sound; Coltrane, an ethereal sound. All the people before me I learned from. You have to have “One foot in the past and one foot in the future.” Do you know who said that? JC: No. Jimmy Heath: Diz—my mentor. You have to check out what happened before now and what’s happening next. JC: Why do you still do big bands? Jimmy Heath: I love it! I was raised in a big band generation. Me and Trane were in Diz’s big band. JC: That must have been incredible. JC: What do you think of music today? Jimmy Heath: If you’re just going to play rhythmically ornamental music…. But jazz has a syncopated beat. Now in the new jazz, the beat is free, without a pulse. If you feel your own wrist you can feel a pulse. Music should have a pulse. Pop music has a beat-they’re selling a lot of it. JC: Do you think jazz has a future? Jimmy Heath: Sure. They been saying ‘jazz is dead’ since I was a little kid and I’m 85 now. It’s always going to be here. Pause: Jimmy Heath: Who’s that? (listening to the cd in the background) Owner of Gate: That’s “Sure Thing” with Blue Mitchell. I put it on because you arranged it. (Mr. Heath arranged for a nonet) Jimmy Heath: I thought that was it. JC: There’s not much PR now for jazz. Jimmy Heath: No, there’s not a lot of jazz radio like there used The Jazz Culture, VI:16

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to be. JC: And they took music out of the public schools, so now they have to sample. Jimmy Heath: I was sampled and I’m in one of the Top 100 Hip Hop Songs. JC: Whom do you like among the young players? Jimmy Heath: There’s a lot of great players. I met Jeb (points to Jeb Patton, sitting further down on the settee) at Queens College. Jeb was my student (his piano teacher at Queens was Sir Roland Hanna). I was there [at Queens College] for ten years. Jimmy Greene, he’s a student of Jackie McLean. Antonio Hart is great – he’s an alto player. Todd Bashore—they’re students of mine, Master’s students. JC: You have a great interpretive ability. Where do you think it comes from? Jimmy Heath: I work every day on executing musical ideas and techniques on saxophone, piano and the computer. You can ask my wife of many years. JC: She’s a lovely woman. How did you meet her? Jimmy Heath: One of my brothers introduced us. I’m lucky--to be together for that long --52 years, and happy. She’s a jazz enthusiast and she’s artistic, studied architecture at the University of Pennsylvania. She fell in love with jazz. We had two children. My earlier son, Mtume is a very, very famous composer. He wrote a lot of hit songs. JC: I always thought of you, Barry, Slide, Frank Foster, as a circle of angels that looked over us. Jimmy Heath: (laughs) You did? I know Slide. JC: Slide said JJ was going to retire because he wanted a rest from those 12 hour practice days. 10

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Albert ("Tootie") Heath, Jimmy & Mona Heath at the Village Vanguard on July 10, 2012

Jimmy Heath: I knew JJ Johnson before Slide. I was with JJ Johnson in 1953-with Clifford Brown. JJ arranged one of my songs. I’ve written 150 songs, a symphony, two string quartets, 50 big band arrangements. We recorded a “Live at the Blue Note” last year. I’m lucky to be here, when all my colleagues are gone, Diz, Miles, Trane, Cannonball, Philly Jo Jones. JC: Sonny Rollins is still alive. Do you talk to him? Jimmy Heath: I talked to him yesterday. He was going to Europe today. I talk to him all the time. At the Kennedy Center when he was honored, we all played for him-Ravi Coltrane, Joe Lovano and Benny Golson. We all played for him (Sonny Rollins). JC: Speaking of religion— Jimmy Heath: I don’t have a name for it. I just treat everybody like I would like to be treated myself. Being a good person—you don’t need a title for it (religion). Titles start everybody to fighting with each other. You don’t need titles. I’m always smiling, ready to learn. Music is life, and life is music. The Jazz Culture, VI:16

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Interview with Albert “Tootie” Heath:

JC: You were the baby in the family. Were you spoiled or tortured? Albert Heath:A little bit of both. I had an older sister who died, Percy was older, then Jimmy and me. I’ve always felt I was an accident, you know, nine years difference? I think Jimmy was her (my mother’s) favorite—when he was born with a breech—with a cord around his neck, so he was her favorite. My childhood was relatively easy, because once I was 11 or 12—I saw my elder brothers, Percy and Jimmy—Percy did other things also, he was in the Tuskegee Airmen— JC: Yes, wasn’t that wonderful? Albert Heath:He could play violin. His teacher would hit him on the fingers if he made a mistake and he used to cry. So when they asked him what he wanted to play, he said, “Not the violin.” My brother put that in his book, didn’t he? JC: Yes. What about your dad? Albert Heath: My father was a clarinet player. He loved Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, and John Philip Sousa, because he played clarinet. He was in a marching band and practiced every weekend. So he would get his clarinet out of the pawnshop every Friday, when he got paid, and practice on Saturday and rehearse on Sundays. He was an auto mechanic. JC: It’s hard to find a good one. Albert Heath: That’s how he supported us. He wanted to be a musician, but…my brothers were full time [musicians]. I thought what they were doing was just great. I got exposed, because of Jimmy’s affiliation with musicians – they were not known at the time, but [for example] Duke Ellington and Charlie Parker, who used to borrow Jimmy’s horn, and Trane 12

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was his best friend…Jimmy’s big band, his first, used to rehearse in my mom’s living room. Trane was in it, and they [all his friends] were just normal people. JC: That was amazing that your mother let them do that. Albert Heath: The house was open to anyone [who had anything to do with music], all kinds of people. My mother used to have them over for dinner. They [my parents] were loving people. They taught us that. JC: How did they teach you? Albert Heath: Through example I learned. Jimmy and Percy were the same, my brothers—my sister (all loving people). And I find Jimmy’s writing suits me, to be in his group—they could have had the Heath Brothers without me. JC: But you’re a great drummer. Albert Heath:I moved out of New York in the 60’s. I moved to Europe. [There was] a lot of turmoil here, President Kennedy was killed, Martin Luther King. It was an awful time. I had a chance to go to Sweden and said ‘I’ll go with you.’ So when I got to Sweden I played at a club in Stockholm. And the guy said, (it was run by the government, and the musicians got benefits, health insurance…) “If you want to work here,” I accepted, as an independent contractor. It would have been more comfortable for the guys coming over there [from the US], Swedish jazz has always been a little different. It takes a musician to hear it. JC: I notice most drummers don’t have that much distinction in pitch and the sound of each drum, but you have a very clear distinction of each drum, and you combine those pitches like counterpoint, it’s very unusual. How do you tune your drums? Albert Heath:This particular drum set –[another drummer] let me use his drums. Usually I have a drum kit (Sonar), but these drums come from Bad Plus. He said he would be honored if I used them. I get compliments all the time—[but] to most people, all The Jazz Culture, VI:16

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the drums sound the same. I don’t think, once the function is the same, it’s the driving beat, the rhythm-once you accept that, people don’t pay attention, the distinctions are for the bass, piano (etc.). JC: But the drums, when they The Heath Brothers were at the Village Vanguard in July are there, are the most powerful. And without rhythm, all notes would be in one vertical column and be meaningless, go nowhere. Rhythm is the most important element in music. Albert Heath: There’s rhythm in everything. The seasons are in rhythm, the weather. There’s rhythm in conversation, if you get off, people will talk over each other. Cars—if one person gets out of rhythm, they’ll have an accident. JC: You were in Europe how long? Albert Heath: Ten years in Scandinavia, Sweden-6 years, four years in Denmark. Then I came back to NY for a year or two. JC: Because of the music? Albert Heath: Yeah. I thought I had to be here, meeting all the new guys, knowing all the club owners, being on all the recordings. I went to California and remarried. I live in Altadina (that means high in Spanish). I don’t play anywhere out there. It would cost me too much to carry my own equipment. JC: Yes, I guess of all musicians drummers have the hardest time with transportation. Albert Heath: The restaurants don’t pay enough. [Here] in Birdland they have drums. They don’t have them at the Village Vanguard. Now it’s becoming something you have to find. It costs too much. Taxis are ridiculous—for bass players too. 14

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JC: What do you think of your style? Albert Heath: I have strong influences. [When I was a kid in Philly] Specs Wright—a wonderful guy—they called him Specs because he could read music, read specks on the music. He liked me and helped me. I met Kenny Clarke. I’m probably a combination of people. I love Billy Higgins, Philly Joe, Art Blakey [his dynamics], Kenny Clarke, Max Roach – his melodicism. I loved to see Elvin Jones, but what he did was so unique—that was Him. They have an African saying, “The one who stands on the shoulders of our ancestors stands tall.” I love reggae, and African music and I can always use it in Jimmy’s band. I’ve been listening to Korean music and they have very different instruments. I like it. I was lucky. It’s a difficult road. There is no guarantee. [Maybe it‘s] Better to be a computer analyst. JC: I was listening to one of your early recordings, and you sound as wonderful now as then, although most jazz musicians don’t like how they sound on recordings. Albert Heath:(when you’re playing on a recording) You’re usually playing things you have to do. They are expecting [this] and that’s the take the leader likes, and you’re not there when they edit. So when you hear the actual recording, it’s a new thing. It’s never what you heard in the control room. JC: Do you want to say anything about Percy? Albert Heath: I loved Percy. He had the greatest beat and feeling of anybody. I played in the Modern Jazz Quartet for their last year, I was on a world tour. He was a great jazz bass player and a team player. It was John Lewis’ idea, you know, that every person should have their thing within the group…to play. I think that was Percy at his best. JC: What do you think of the future of the music, and of swing? Albert Heath: The future of this music has changed drastically. The Jazz Culture, VI:16

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They have left the heart out and gone to the head (he pointed to his head). Players play many notes and don’t have the emotional piece, the way musicians did when Lester Young was playing, or Ben Webster. I asked Ben Webster once to play a song, and he said he couldn’t because he didn’t know the lyrics. The reason he said that was that if you don’t know the wording, you don’t know the story you’re telling. They [players] are playing faster and faster, musicians are becoming more adequate – in four years they learn in college what it took us all our lives to learn— JC: But they leave out the most important thing. Albert Heath: A lot of technical stuff. Now they have these wonderful musicians teaching them. JC: You were teaching at? Albert Heath: I taught at Stanford Jazz for thirty years plus, and at California Institute for the Arts for three years. [My schedule began to conflict] and I thought working on the road was more of a career than teaching – that was in 1998. JC: They don’t swing. Albert Heath: There are a few, mostly from my generation. Jimmy Cobb, not that many left…Ben Riley, Mickey Roker, there are a few around that do it. JC: The beat is not vertical, it’s round. Albert Heath: [Nods]. Albert “Tootie” Heath can be reached at wholedrumtruth.com Let's Link/Musician Correspondents See RickStone.com

Clarence Banks, Count Basie Trombonist, call 917428-6746

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QUOTATION:

"Practice a Million Hours." -Junior Cook, Saxophonist "You can't take offwithout a launching pad." -Lonnie Hillyer, Trumpeter

We remember Dr. Frank Foster: Listen to his Nippon Lament Photo: Brian McMillen

John Watson, Pianist Photo: Max Garr

Cecil Bridgewater

BARRY HARRIS JAZZ WORKSHOP I# ROMA

L, Luciano Fabris, Rome Below: Joe Magnarelli

Sept. 17-21, 2012 Info:A##APA#TUSO

@HOTMAIL.COM Tel.: +39 3393383139

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JAZZ HERITAGE

Barry Harris' Early Days

JC: When did you first hear jazz? On the radio? Barry Harris: There was jazz in the schools. I had a music teacher in elementary school. I took up clarinet in intermediate school, about 13. We had the big band in the intermediate school that played like, the “9:20 Special.” I played in that band. I liked to dance. Nobody taught me to dance. All of us danced. Barry Harris at the Village Just about everybody had a piano Vanguard at home. Wasn’t no television. I learned a piece of church music, was the first piece I played. My mother, Mrs. Harris, played for the church. I lived in back of the church and I went to church every Sunday. [Where we lived] was part of the building where the church was, a Baptist. I lived in [the city of] Detroit. I knew Tommy, we took classical piano from the same teacher, a Mrs. Dilliard. He went to Northern HS and I went to Northeastern HS. We were in a recital together. A preacher taught us all piano, Neptune Holloway. Earl McKinney, [somewhere there’s a picture of] little kids at a recital place and we all took from him. I played the “Revolutionary Etude.” At the age of four I played the piano and I knew what I wanted to do. JC: How did you learn to solo? Barry Harris: I knew when I went to the Westside, some of the players [like] Willie Metcalf, Clarence Beasley, pianists, could solo better than me, so when I came back, I got the blind girl Bess Makras, [who] had a machine that slowed up things and I 18

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borrowed that machine and I learned to solo from that machine. They [Willie and Clarence] were a little bit older than me. I just found out I was older than Tommy Flanagan. He always thought he was older. [I’d go to] Tommy Flanagan’s dances--him and Will Davis, another pianist--and I would look over their shoulders and steal as much as I could. JC: Did you have to pay to get into the dances? Did your mom give you the entrance fee? Barry Harris: I worked around a car repair shop. I was the inner tube repairman. When the inner tube blew out, I changed tires. And I worked as a soda jerk in a drugstore. I lived right across the street from it. JC: Were there juke boxes in the drugstores? Barry Harris:[Yes but] I had no money to waste on no juke box. JC: How did you learn songs? Barry Harris: I never was a good (sight) reader. I can learn a piece good, but it takes me time. I never heard of that in my life. Write out your own personal voicings. That don’t mean a thing. Look at the sheet music. I learned with my ear, sheet music, a lot of things, watching people. You all think of voice leading. You got to grow into something before you use your own voicings. They don’t know how to play “I Got Rhythm.” You voice it a Leroy Williams, drums, million ways because there’s a million Ray Drummond, bass ways to play “I Got Rhythm.” You play whatever your hand falls on. Every time I ever played I played stuff I never played before and it works because I know the basic right stuff. This is not a prefabricated thing where you do the same things all the time. Music is free and beautiful. I don’t have The Jazz Culture, VI:16

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to sit at the piano to write music, I could write it on the bus or sitting in the park because I know about music. JC: Did you ever get together with a bass player, say, to memorize tunes? Barry Harris: I had a trio. I must have been pretty young. Grey McKinney was my bass and John Evans was my guitar player, and my wife and her sister and some other ladies they had a trio. We had a lot of things going on. I wrote trio things for the singers. We just learned how to play together, learned about music. I was in the Northeast HS orchestra I played bass fiddle. We played classical music. We had little dances in the school, a bunch of us that were jazz musicians. Betty Carter used to come to the dances outside the school. Most people loved dances. She sang Sarah Vaughan songs. Sheila was in a group with two men. They scatted and sang Skeeter [Spight] lyrics. JC: Who did you think was an idol when you were a kid? Barry Harris: We had an alto player named Cokey,(name was Kenneth something) he was the greatest as far we were concerned. We were surrounded by good musicians so we learned to play good, right. We were kids and we just played jazz, that’s all. JC: Did you play the Graystone Ballroom? Barry Harris: I played the Graystone Ballroom because it was a ballroom. I sat in with Bird at the Graystone Ballroom. I think it was a “C blues.” JC: When did you first hear Bird? Barry Harris: A long time when I was very young. I fell in love with that music, that was my love, don’t ask me why, don’t ask me how I knew. Singing those melodies, ahh! (sings Billie’s Bounce) cause that’s the way we were. Bird’s music was legible. The first record I slowed up, Bud Powell was on it. Web City. I remember that, it was Sonny Stitt, Fats Navarro, that was the first solo I learned, Bud Powell. I met him in New York. Joe Henderson took 20

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lessons, Paul Chambers to learn to play the bass, James Jamison the bass player from Motown, Charles McPherson, Lonnie, Yusef, we used to rehearse every week, that’s when I made up the rules. Frank Foster taught us a lot, me and Pepper and bunch of us. Johnny Griffith, from Motown, Kirk Lightsey, Hugh Lawson. I was always practicing I did not hang out like other people, I wasn’t a football, basketball, or baseball player. A lot of people came to Detroit and stayed so they could study with me. I cannot say the rules I thought up came from Bird and Diz. I made them up so Yusef, Kiani and myself--so we could practice good. After I made up those rules, I could hear things better. I could hear Bird better. I never had perfect pitch, it’s almost as if I made up the rules thinking of Bird. JC: You made up certain scales? Barry Harris: I made up four scales. The Major 6 to diminished scale, minor 6 diminished, dominant 7 diminished, and dominant 7 flat 5 diminished scale. How To Analyze a Lyric

by L. Hamanaka

Lyrics are as varied as people are, and are a determining factor in a singer choosing that song. The lyric can be poetic or witty, direct or indirect, happy, sad, passionate or angry. You should not choose a lyric that you cannot relate to, that you have not experienced, unless you are short on rent and it is for a studio job or hired gig, like some musician has an original that he wants recorded, or you get cast in a musical. Lyrics are basically actions. Reduce a lyric to a verb: for example, come, go, stay, make love, etc. What is the song is saying? Find a verb that expresses the action of the song. For The Jazz Culture, VI:16

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example, in “My Romance” you say, “I need You.” In “My Funny Valentine” you are saying “Stay.” Even in a “list” song such as “I Can Do Anything Better than You,” or “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off,” the song always expresses a basic feeling and verb, e.g., “you drive me crazy.” Even in a modern song, let’s say “Bluebells,” we want to feel an action behind the song, e.g. “Jump for joy.” Then find a movement that expresses it. For example, in “Embraceable You,” it could be an embrace. In “Get Out of Town,” it could be a shove. Come back to this basic action after you learn the melody, lyrics and harmony. Find a modified version of the action, and use it when you are singing. You do not have to have a full movement, just an indication of it that will help you focus. Character of words: But who is doing the kissing or shoving in the song? When you say, “Our love is a dream but in my reverie,” you have to be the kind of person who knows what reverie means, i.e., you probably have graduated high school. When you sing, “Been down so long it looks like up to me,” you are a working class person, probably. If the song is from a musical comedy, find out what scene the song came from, and how it was originally used to move the action of the musical forward, and what character was singing it. Let the words lead you to a character. Every song is a scene, a situation with a resolution. A beginning, middle and end. It’s not always about “Me, myself, and I” or some version of “you.” Perhaps you come from a rich family and have to sing a blues. Or you come from a poor family and you have to sing Mozart’s “Queen of the Night” aria. Well, maybe you were abandoned as a child or recently, and have the basis to sing a blues, but don’t know enough about the genre. If portraying an aristocrat, maybe you had a strong grandmother in your family. We can all stretch but it takes effort. Use your imagination. This process makes a story line for ourselves based on the lyric. 22

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Music is story-telling, and we singers are lucky to have words to tell it. 1) Ask yourself: What happened in this song? Did it ever happen to me in any way? 2) Then ask yourself, What are the stakes here? Am I going to die if I don’t get this, or am I throwing it away? 3) Then: Who is singing this song? 4) Does he or she get it or lose it? Yes no or maybe? Know the story, relate it to your experience, make the stakes high, and know who you are singing to or about. The lyric tells you if you are alone or talking directing to someone else. Usually there are two people in the song. Then imagine the environment the song takes place in. What do you think? Please respond to website.

LOUIS ARMSTRONG VOCAL TRIBUTE Sunday August 5, 2012 at Sofia's

On Sunday August 5, from 2-6 p.m. New York singers held a vocal tribute to "Pops" at Sofia's on 46 street. Over 20 vocalists took part, and the amount of talent rocked the place. Sofia's let us use their space and many visitors delighted in the music. The Trio was Kuni Mikami, piano, Chris Haney, bass, and Yaya on drums.

Phylis and Joe Gimpel brought their wedded bliss and Jim Malloy, MC, made everyone welcome The Jazz Culture, VI:16

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Connie Mc#amee

Ejaye Tracey has her moves

D'Alva & Franke Robinson

Then Joe, Franke & D'Alva go solo Jo Marchese

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Ron Saltus arrives

Connie & MC Jim

Maggie Malone

Yaya & Chris Haney

Lionelle Hamanaka

Luis Camacho

Photos are by Richard Williams Unless otherwise indicated

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Luis Camacho thinks about Louis Armstrong

Phil Levy

Olivia Detante

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Kuni Mikami, pianist

Jim Malloy integrates Louis Armstrong's techniques in vocals

Ron Saltus is Like Someone in Love The Jazz Culture, VI:16


Louis Armstrong was the genius, magnificent, virtuoso trumpet player/singer, a main creator/pillar ofjazz. His sheet music fell offthe stand in a recording studio and he scat sang instead ofreading the lyric. His clipped phrasing, swinging, improvisation, bending notes, was a virtuosic high note player, long tones and contrapuntal lines, at times speech singing, using gravelly or other nonclassical inflection, glissandos up and down, that became characters ofthe music and he influenced all singers that came after him. Jazz singers, supposed to 'sound like a horn' with horn phrasing and have always listened to"Pops." He played jazz for the whole world as an Ambassador--Louis Amstrong, a founder ofjazz.

Kumiko Yamakado above, Maki Matotsu conducts band below

Luis Camacho Photo: Maki Maki also photographed Lisi Pakulsi

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Mike Sergio is a cool cat Richard Williams, our Photographer who got Ejaye's hat

Carol Randazzo sings the blues

Lisi Pakulski

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Rick Stone on tour in Italy, in duo with guitarist Giorgia Hannoush The Jazz Culture, VI:16


http://newyorkjazzproject.com