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The Heath Brothers above, Albert "Tootie" Heath, and Jimmy Heath and the Barry Harris Trio, L: Leroy Williams, Barry Harris, Ray Drummond

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Living Legends: Gifts that Keep on Giving? The Heath Brothers

Caught The Heath Brothers at the Village Vanguard on July 10. Jimmy Heath, tenor and soprano saxophones, Albert “Tootie” Heath, drums, Jeb Patton, piano, David Wong, bass. A few of the songs they played were: “Project ‘S,’” an original by Jimmy Heath, started as a medium tempo Latin; the group then doubled the tempo into swing. Jimmy Heath has a gloriously beautiful sound, alternately spiritual, stirring melodically while using substitutes changes in his solo, phrasing short motifs rhapsodically. Jeb Patton’s spirited take off was as fluent as a Mozart sonata. They used a Latin segue between choruses and a short solo by Tootie, who has a rich, swinging style and uses his instrument fully. Composed in 1926, Mal Waldron’s “Soul Eyes” was next. At about 132=quarter note, with Jimmy Heath’s perfectly pretty sound on tenor, bringing the melody to life. On his solo, Mr. Heath performed large interval jumps easily, with a soul saturated sound, e.g., starting a phrase with a triplet, 2+3+, leading to a 6 chorus solo winding up in the upper register, with bass and drums working as one voice, and the piano comping on off beats. Mr. Patton, the pianist, used the full range above middle C in a triplet infused solo, with an effervescent, positive personality. Mr. Patton played a five note motif which he then extended into some rolls and arpeggios, used a triplet figure and then a few 7 note figures playing ebulliently before going into a chordal chorus. David Wong played a melodic figure commenting on melody, using about 4 octaves, sometimes using four 8th notes ascending, then descending with five notes, before going into a sparer chorus accenting on triplet figures, hitting the upbeats. Tootie Heath 2

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played exquisitely, a drummer with a circular concept of the beat, feeling the melody in 6/8 then going to a Latin vamp figure, etching out melodic figures on the drums.

Table of Contents The Heath Brothers, Barry Harris Trio Gifts that Keep on Giving? 2-9 Beyond Category Jim Harrison 10 World Jazz-Dado Moroni 11-12 Jazz Heritage The Heath Brothers 13-21 Barry Harris' Eary Days 21-4 Japan Event 25-6 Lyrics-How to Analyze 26-8 Let's Link 28

Then Jimmy Heath announced Lucky Thompson’s ‘While You Were Gone,” a ballad with a lot of brushes on cymbals. Mr. Heath really knows how to play a song as if he were singing the words, remaining centered on the story without one extra note, and confiding many thoughts that flitted through his mind “while she was gone.” David Wong backed him up with poetic tones on bass. Tootie then double timed the next chorus with pianist. Mr. Albert Heath was able to project all pitch registers of each drum distinctly which is very unusual. Pianist took a simple motif and expanded it. Jimmy Heath ended in a cascade of notes starting on a high note, explaining what the song meant to him.

“Bouncing with Bud” was played by Jeb Patton with a swinging solo on the delightful classic, Albert "Tootie" Heath playing precisely and crisply without ever getting loud, maintaining the light, upbeat feel. On “You or Me” an original by Jimmy Heath based on “There’ll Never Be Another You,” David Wong played the melody, a sort of hip comment, because there never will be another You or Me. Jimmy Heath ended by scatting the melody. “Daydream” by Billy Strayhorne was next, played on soprano saxophone by Jimmy Heath as a waltz. Jimmy Heath played a poetic solo (with a beautiful tone) with a lilting, ethereal floating quality without ever being haunted at all. Mr. Patton played a The Jazz Culture, VI:14


triplet infused solo, brightening to a dancelike quality as the rhythm section doubled up, as Mr. Heath played long tones, and had the audience swaying and sighing. The bass and drums played in perfect consort. Mr. Jimmy Heath ended in a Ari Roland, bassist, Ira Jackso, tenor 16th note triplet figure ending saxophonist and artist Beret Von in a slight crescendo that drew Konigswarten listening at the Village exclamations of support from Vanguard the crowd. “Funji Mama” a calypso, created a carnival atmosphere, an ode to Island Soul, a cavalcade of percussion effects that was really a feature for Albert Heath, and a dance tune for the audience. There were deep bellowing tones from the tenor saxophone, sliding from the middle register to the lower and upper registers with Mr. Jimmy Heath’s own substitutions, with a variety of effects and tone quality. Mr. Patton’s syncopated accents, going from smaller intervals to octaves then dipping into the blues scale, while the rhythm section maintained a rock steady calypso beat. Albert Heath’s drum solo featured an effective use of silence, or breaks, and capped it off by hitting triplets on the bass drum which segued to the ending. “On the Trail” followed by Ferdinand Grofe at about 300=quarter note. Jimmy Heath’s sound is an affirmation of love and spiritual realization, his vibrant sweet tone feeling the subdivisions of the beat. Albert Heath plays with the same fervent spirit and uses sticks on the outside of tom toms breaking into a bevy of lush, cymbal infused sounds. Mr. Patton played a more progressive solo, high energy which gave an epic quality to the cowboy song. Mr. Wong played a witty comment on the well known “Trail” song. 4

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On “Round Midnight” on soprano, Jimmy Heath gave a great performance of that song, using few notes eloquently, bringing a new quality to the standard, a beauty and sadness like the heart of a captured bird who could not fly without breaking its wings; starting with a five note motif that wove in and out, while the rhythm section then doubled up on the next chorus. Jeb Patton built solos beginning with playing five note motifs in minor, then three note motifs until the break…switching to tenor for the out chorus, but using mainly middle to upper register range, with no violence in his playing, Jimmy Heath then played a Cadenza, proving that a master can redefine a standard. The Heath Brothers are an inspiring group overflowing with the spirit of swing and the knowledge of generations of jazz artists, led by two masters, Jimmy and Albert Heath, who have distilled their gifts and present their music with great style and verve. *** Caught The Barry Harris Trio at the Village Vanguard. Barry Harris, piano, Leroy Williams, drums, Ray Drummond, bass. July 17, 2012. Some of their repertoire included:

Dr. Harris started his set featuring Andrew Andron, presumably because Andrew, who Dr. Harris and Andrew Andron is 14, had to go to school the next day and lives two hours away. Master Andron played “Nasciamento,” a catchy Harris tune. Mr. Andron got off a bright chorus that pleased the crowd. The only thing Dr. Harris complained about was that Andrew was growing too fast. Dr. Harris started “Sweet and Lovely,” rubato, then went back and forth from rubato into stride on the song. He said it reminded him of Monk, (they both lived in Baroness Nica’s house for many The Jazz Culture, VI:11


years), and Barry Harris is considered a leading modern exponent of Monk. For tone alone, (he did study for over 30 years, from the age of about 50, with various teachers from the Abbey Whiteside classical school) Dr. Harris has a gorgeous sound, performing runs with insouciance, with many levels of dynamics, not just mezzo forte and double forte. Leroy Williams responded tapping the sides of his drums with sticks, the sort of minimalism that matched Barry Harris’ dynamic level. He ended by climbing up into the ultra upper register. Dr. Harris stated “You don’t hear Monk on the radio today. You don’t hear Diz.” He then confided to the audience, “We didn’t practice. I just cut my two inch fingernails.” He left out that he has been practicing for 77 years. Barry Harris then did “Lotus Blossom” solo, saying, “I have just a teeny bit of difference than Billy Strayhorne. I have just learned this song,” and did the first chorus rubato. He maintained the mystery at the heart of the song and painted a foundation of sound that evoked water ripping on a pond, with spare bass notes and clusters of beautifully voiced chords, related to the beauty of Lotus Blossoms or the hearts of flowers. ”I Want to be Happy” followed at about 220=quarter note, shimmering with a perfectly balanced foundation laid by Leroy Williams, with the persistent heartbeat of Ray Drummond on bass. They executed fast, effortless lines, sometimes starting on a high note and turning in melodic brilliance descending, sometimes using the whole tone scale, with Mr. Williams playing rhythm patterns. The rhythm section worked exponentially, and had the quality of suspension at the same time, an evanescence above the rhythm and yet of it. “My Heart Stood Still” that delightful standard by Rodgers & Hart, he started unaccompanied and broke into a medium swing which he 6

Barry Harris' jazz workshop in Rome

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then doubled, achieving a legal feel that hugged the upbeat, phrasing with scalar runs using seconds often, (Bud Powell used seconds often also), but maintaining Dr. Harris’ own personal style. Dr. Harris used jazz witticisms, expanding to wider intervals to create a more adventurous spirit, dipping into the blues scale. Ray Drummond continued the playful mood with succinct lines, and Leroy Williams was feathery light on the drums. Indeed the trio was like a three way love match. Barry Harris made up endings of repeated chords over a rhythmic lick in response to that of the song. Barry Harris then talked, comparing a phrase of Chopin to that of Dizzy Gillespie. He said he thought Diz had heard the Chopin and assimilated it unconsciously, and used a similar motif (but not the same) on a song. The trio then played what Barry Harris called “Recluse to a Miss” a play upon words to Duke’s “Prelude to a Kiss,” which he then could not stop, because the crowd laughed, stating that all his life, his songs had been stolen, that sometimes a slight wind appeared in his living room when he was composing and carried his songs off into the night, and he then accused Chopin of “stealing in the future” by dipping into his (Harris’) repertoire and making off like a thief in the night. The crowd enjoyed this train of thought-that of musical theft. Dr. Harris has been studying classical piano with Sofia Rosoff, an advocate of the Abbey Whiteside School, since he was about 50. Barry Harris then played his own piece, “Duke’s Waltz.” His choir just happened to be there, and hummed some harmony that added great effect. It is a lyrical song that has the charm of both Duke and Dr. Harris. He then gave a reading of “Prelude to a Kiss.” Dr. Harris is admired by premiere classical pianist John Kamitsuka, (chief classical protege of Sofia Rosoff) for his ‘sighing’ sense of phrasing and ability to bend time in his ballad playing. Ray Drummond (who calls Dr. Harris “the Chief”) provided lovely counterpoint on bass, and Leroy Williams played whispering colors on the drums. The Jazz Culture, VI:11


The Barry Harris Trio then started on “Woody ‘N You” reaching into his deep resonance of a song probably known since it came out. Ray Drummond soloed adventurously, extending the melody and using several Barry Harris, tenor saxophonist 16th note triplets figures, trading Ira Jackson and artist Beret Von 4s with Lerwy Williams, who Konigswarten used darker more powerful colors to punctuate this song. After he restated the theme, Barry Harris did a reprise which seemed a embodiment of the bebop spirit. “You Go To My Head” was played rubato, then as a walking ballad. The pianist found upper suspensions, he knows how to suspend the listener and when to use reiteration, which the whole song is a suspended wish, when you think about it. He created a long cadenza of chords and wound up on “Tea for Two,” which he segued into about a brisk 300=quarter note tempo, managing to take an old chestnut and make it sound new. He seemed to be striking up rhythmic challenges to the drummer, he was humming to himself the whole time. Leroy Williams, one of the most distinctive drummers on the scene, soloed bolding using exact color contrasts and ending on brisk acented chords on the downbeats executed with flare. “Out of Nowhere” depicts magic and it was Barry Harris’ romantic, magical musings played as a ballad, recreating the awakening of passion, with inspiring melodic invention, using many triplet figures. “Dance of the Infidels” a Bud Powell modernist blues, was played with a heightened level of improvisation, which seemed to merge a bebop blues and popular song. Its distinctive melody seemed a wonderful vehicle for the deep, perfectly balanced intervallic and scalar invention of “jazz 8

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speech” of the Barry Harris Trio. Ray Drummond has a singular tone quality and his improvisational skills seem to be at an all time high, as he took great joy in the music. Stevie Wonder’s “Isn’t She Lovely,”was next, in a new version where Barry Harris filled the ‘break’ in the song with an intricate, jazzy waving of harmonic flight that broke up the audience. He found a way of making a standard song jazzy tapestry. Ray Drummond found a catchy, hip harmonic pattern to make the song sound kind of ‘in.’ “Just One of those Things,” about 300=quarter note, showed that Dr. Harris really knows how to use a break, and also use rhythmic space as well as reiteration. Clifford Jordan used to say, “We’ve been playing this fast since high school,” and Dr. Harris certainly does sound relaxed and alert at extremely fast tempos like a drummer does. He utilized very wide intervals, combining them with small and was the “change you want to see,” seeming to have evolved to an even higher level of mastery of improvisation with all its facets. “Ruby My Dear,” that magnificent ode of womanhood, was played lightly with modern voicings, inventing new melodies that were natural developments of the original ideas. Sometimes using gentle sprays and clusters to heighten the traveling from note to note. The Barry Harris Trio and The Heath Brothers showed that they are master musicians whose "Gifts Keep on Giving."

L-Dr. Harris with Lorraine Gordon; Rstudents James Austin and Philip Bingham The Jazz Culture, VI:11


Jazzmobile Summerfest Kicks Off

Antoinette Montague Review By Jim Harrison, Legendary Promoter & Producer First Jazzmobile Concert-Friday July 6, 7:00 pm Jazzmobile Summerfest 2012 kicked off its first concert at the newly renovated Marcus Garvey Park at 122nd Street and 5th Avenue in Harlem, NYC with a very special performance by the Antoinette Montague exciting jazz and blues singer Antoinette Montague. I have been following her career for over four years and she has evolved magnificently, to the point that the Antoinette experience is a joyful occasion. She is truly beyond category. She was so happy to be there and she shared that happiness as she circulated throughout the receptive audience, greeting everyone with love and affection.

Some of the tunes that she performed were: “The Song Is You,” by Jerome Kern; she also did “Four Women” by Nina Simone, “Compared to What,” by Les McCann, “Here’s to Life,” by Shirley Horne, Abbey Lincoln’s “Throw It Away” and Billy Taylor’s “I Wish I Knew How it Feels To Be Free.” Antoinette was capably accompanied by Sam Park, pianist and bassist Hassan Shakur; the drummer was Charles McPherson, Jr. and Marcus Miller was on alto saxophone. Special Guests on the last tune, a Blues, were: Lil Philips and Dee Daniels and tap dancer Jason Bernard (River Dance). Antoinette Montague can be heard on two cd’s: Pretty Blues and Behind the Smile at J&R and on Amazon. Her website is: 10

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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 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 Dado Moroni in !Y recently 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, Jelly Roll Morton. My uncle was traveling a lot. He brought me a The Jazz Culture, VI:14


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 one of the finest pianists on the world scene, who tours often and sees many jazz musicians in many countries, and he has worked with top American jazz musicians for decades. Look up Dado Moroni on Wikipedia or Amazon. 12

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JAZZ HERITAGE The Heath Brothers

Albert "Tootie" Heath, Jimmy Heath & Mona Heath at the Village Vanguard

At the Village Vanguard July 10, 2012, with Jimmy Heath, Tenor and Soprano Saxophone, Albert (“Tootie”) Heath, drums, Jeb Patton, piano, David Wong, bass. 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 The Jazz Culture, VI:14


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). 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 14

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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 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 The Jazz Culture, VI:14


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. 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. 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 16

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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 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? The Jazz Culture, VI:14


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 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 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 18

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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. 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. The Jazz Culture, VI:14


[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. 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? 20

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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

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 Barry Harris in !Y taught me to dance. All of us danced. Just about everybody had a piano 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 The Jazz Culture, VI:14


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 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 22

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Barry Harris at his workshop

know about music.

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 million ways because there’s a million 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 to sit at the piano to write music, I could write it on the bus or sitting in the park because I

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. The Jazz Culture, VI:14


JC: Did you play the Graystone? 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) Leroy Williams, drummer cause that’s the way we were. Bird’s & Ray Drummond, music was legible. The first record I bassist 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 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. 24

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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 even cable radio has a jazz Kuni Mikami station. Jazz 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, 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 The Jazz Culture, VI:14


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. 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 26

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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 saying? Find a verb that expresses the action of the song. For 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 The Jazz Culture, VI:14


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. 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 comment on the website. Let's Link

Lionelle, Maggie, & Jo

We remember Dr. Frank Foster




BARRY HARRIS JAZZ WORKSHOP I! ROMA Sept. 17-21, 2012 Info:A!!APA!TUSO @HOTMAIL.COM Tel.: +39 3393383139

Photo: Brian McMillen

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