Page 1

The Jazz Culture Feature


The Jazz Culture, V.III:22


JALC Members: Piano, Dan Nimmer, Bass, Carlos Enriquze, Drums, Ali Jackson, Saxophones: Joe Temperly, Walter Blanding, Ted Nash,Victor Goines, Sherman Irby Trombones:Vincent Gardner, Chris Crenshaw, Elliot Mason, Trumpets: Marcus Printup, Ryan Kisor, Kenny Rampton, James Zollar, Wynton Marsalis, Music Director


In these pages Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra 1‐4; 7‐9 June listings, 5‐6 John Watson Ad Kuni Mikami Ad Editorial on Jazz Singing 10 Goodbye Kumiko Yamakado 11‐ 12

The Jazz Culture, V.III:22


Caught the JALC orchestra on Thursday, June 5, at a Concert called “Modern Ellington” at the Rose Theatre, playing selections from Duke Ellington’s longer orchestral works. Personnel was: Trumpets: Wynton Marsalis, Marcus Printup, Kenny Rampton, Ryan Kisor, James Zollar, Trombones: Vincent Gardner, Chris Crenshaw, Elliot Mason, Saxophones: Joe Temperley, bari, Walter Blanding, Tenor, Victor Goines, tenor/clarinet, Sherman Irby, Alto, Ted Nash, alto sax/flute, Piano: Dan Nimmer, Bass, Carlos Enriquez, Drums: Ali Jackson. The Orchestra was very careful to have an authentic score; transcriptions were made mostly by David Berger, with Brian Priestly helping out on a few. Regarded as one of Duke Ellington’s most successful creations the “Far East Suite” – the selection in question, “Tourist Point of View,” was first, an intriguing piece featuring modernist tenor saxophonist Walter Blanding, playing in a more progressive style of jazz than in the original recording. However, in common with the original, the performance successfully blended Asian and Western music genres, modes and sounds providing a fresh vehicle through its imaginative arranging. The Jazz at Lincoln Orchestra is more aggressive in style than the Ellington Orchestra, but continues to uphold swinging jazz as an American classical music with its own internationally important oeuvre, heritage, virtuosos, geniuses, and groups with a unique creative identity. Actually most of the Far East Suite was a composing collaboration between Duke and Billy Strayhorn, except for, Ad Lib on Nippon. “Lightning Bugs and Frogs,” from the Queen’s Suite with the quarter note about 96. High pitched squeaks from a clarinet, then the muted wail of trombones, with a series of intervals (mainly 4th The Jazz Culture, V.III:22


and 5ths) mezzo forte as one might encounter in a jazzy meadow, the swell of horns playing long tones in a cascade down enchanting lines resonant with the joy and purity of nature, while the bass played arco. It is said that the musician hears music in everything, and is able to describe anything he or she sees or experiences through music. No greater example exists than the genius of Duke Ellington. From the album “Afro Bossa” in 1963, the band next played “Bonga” or “Empty Town Blues,” at about 132=quarter note. This piece is about “spirits long departed,” according to Wynton Marsalis The plaintive swells of horn section, the melody insistent with long tones over the rhythm section that doubles the time. The orchestra breaks into a low down swinging groove, with trumpets, then the saxophones, then the trumpets, trombones trading 4’s, with a sort of free exchanges of 2’s, depicting squelched souls in a town that did not prosper. There was effective mute work by Marcus, Sheldon Irby, Ted Nash, Elliot Mason and Victor Goines. “Paris Stairs” from Paris Blues followed, a waltz, effervescent and lyrical, with the horns plahing background licks with romantic, swaying lines that evoke excitement. 16th note lines cresting to a high note, punctuated by offbeat accents. Marcus Printup’s brassy tone playing interesting motifs and 16th note triplets to embrace the theme with his melodic gift. Then the ensemble plays, showing good dynamic variety and control. “Hero to Zero” from Anatomy of a Murder, depicted Ellington’s “mastery of color,” as Wynton Marsalis put it. Mr. Marsalis then announced that this piece would be played in two meters, ¾ and 6/8. The bass intro was well played, leading to Mr. Temperly’s luscious baritone sound—first with horn backup, which then falls away, fluttering with a tremolo and some trumpet filigree, with the clarinet commenting, Mr. Temperly played the theme with the trumpets and clarinet playing long tones. 4

cont. p. 7

The Jazz Culture, V.III:22

The Jazz Culture Newsletter Jazz Tours in NYC are available; also music teachers in various countries for students & jazz lovers. email: Ads are available in The Jazz Culture Newsletter. The Jazz Culture Newsletter has been read in 76 countries. Brian McMillen is a contributing Photographer. Connie MacNamee and Arnold J. Smith are contributing writers." Countries: US, UK, Albania, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Bangladesh, Belize, Brazil, Burma, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Chile, Colombia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Egypt, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Latvia, Lebanon, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mexico, Moldova, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Romania, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Seychelles, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Vietnam

June Listings Robert Anderson‐ Saturdays, Univ of the Streets 10:30 Clarence Banks‐ Swing 46 w/ Felix and the Cats, 346 W. 46 St. Ray Blue: Richard Clements‐ Pianist, 11th Street Bar most Mondays, 8 Kenney Gates, pianist. Philadelphia, Tues., Sun. some Sats.‐ High Note Cafe on Tasker & 13th, 5‐9 p.m.

Concert: May 31 , Sat. 8 p.m.

Bertha Hope ‐ Minton's on 206 W. 118 Street, every weekend George Gee Orchestra at Swing 46, every Tues, most Fridays 9:30 Loston Harris: Bemelmans Bar at The Carlyle; Tues ‐ Thur 9:30pm ‐ 12:30am, Fri‐Sat 9:30pm‐1:00am Bemelmans Bar Residency 12th year at The Carlyle, 35 East 76th St., New York, NY 10021 (76th St. & Madison Ave.) 212‐744‐1600 Kim Clarke: Mike Longo: Tuesdays Gillespie Auditorium in the NYC Baha'i Center at 53 East 11th Street 8:00 and 9:30 Joe Magnarelli Quintet, Jazz Vespers Series, Pete Malinverni,

The Jazz Culture, V.III:22


artistic director,The Pound Ridge Community Church, 3 Pound Ridge Road, Pound Ridge, NY, Sunday, June 8 at 4pm, Admission by free‐will offering

John Mosca & Michael Weiss, Vanguard Orchestra every Monday at the Village Vanguard 8 p.m. David Pearl‐ Mondays at the Thalia, 95 St. bet. B'way & West End 8 p.m.; David Pearl Trio, Sophie's 318 West 53rd Street, Valery Pomoronov‐ Zinc Bar on June 3, 9:30 p.m. Bill Saxton: Every Friday and Saturday Bill’s Place 133 Street Murray Wall, bassist, 11th Street Bar most Mondays, 8 p.m. Leroy Williams, drums: Minton's Sun & Tues 2‐6 W. 118 St. ENGLAND: John Watson Trio at the Palm Court, Langham Hotel, London, 1c Portland, Regent St. 207‐636‐1000 Fri‐Sat HAPPY BIRTHDAY JUNE BABIES: Monty Alexander, Clifford Barbaro,Ryan Keberle, Brianna Thomas, Clarence Banks, Patience Higgins, Fred Thomas, John Hart

THE JOHN WATSON TRIO Haven Jazz Dinner Night ­ 26th June 2014, Whetstone. 7.30pm ­ £55 per person (including 3 course dinner & wine). call: 020 845 7419 and for more information visit www.haven­; LEEE JOHN & IMAGINATION LIVE IN JUNE, John Watson, plays piano, vocals, trumpet with Leee John & Imagination in France with shows in Paris, Le Havre and Lyon and returning to the UK for the Let's Rock Bristol Festival. For more information visit John's Gig Guide In partnership with Laurent­Perrier, the Palm Court presents The Summer Social Tea inspired by the Chelsea Flower Show, Ascot and Wimbledon with a chance to win some wonderful prizes. To make a booking call: 020 7965 0195 or for more information visit: Website:;


The Jazz Culture, V.III:22

Facebook: ; YouTube: ; Twitter: ; Flickr: Linkedin:

KUNI MIKAMI, Pianist is also an acclaimed, talented Videographer Special Introductory Sale: Five Minute Edited (with music) Video Resume for Performers $300 Contact Kuni @:

Artist must provide: • Good quality HD video on computer file • Good recorded audio sound • A photo of yourself • Text you want to see on the video

cont. from p. 4

“Ad Lib on Nippon, a minor blues from the Far East Suite. Transcribed by David Berger and Brian Priestly. This composition starts with a piano motif that is repeated by the bass with 132=quarter note . The bass then plays arco while the piano plays dissonant chords with the drum backup, going to delicate accents on the drums, with nice bass counterpoint. Mr. Nimoff then played dramatic color with a wide intervallic section. The Second Section goes up to a medium fast tempo, about 168-quarter note, with the horns playing exciting and brilliant pulses that fall off. The The Jazz Culture, V.III:22


trumpet solo, the band rejoins in a fierce dynamic playing. Mr. Nimoff stayed close to the melody in his lines; the piano solo playing a seven note motif several times with the support of the arco bass. The Orchestra then restated the theme, and the piano trio segued out of the ensemble, ending on a trill. In the next section, there was a clarinet solo, fluttering blue toned mauve aura, like a butterfly climbing, leaping into a tempo about 180=quarter note, with the clarinet playing wide intervallic figures, flying up and playing shimmering lines down, brilliantly accented, played by Mr. Goines, using slides, and accenting the offbeats, with the flavor of the 30’s and 40’s, arpeggiating his vaults up, with Mr. Jackson swinging the drums. Mr. Goines bringing the glory of the swing style, skipping and hopping through all registers. Changing tempo, he played a cadenza with wide intervals, ascending fours and fifths, ending on a high trill. Portrait of Louis Armstrong: from the “New Orleans Suite” that Cootie Williams played in the 1970 recording, Wynton played the feature part, with a big dark tone, devotion and love for his idol, “Pops,” a founding father of jazz. This piece is written in the New Orleans style, and the ensemble swings with the evanescent drummer, Ali Jackson. Mr. Marsalis played the theme, sometimes falling and bending notes, from sprays, within character of the era, with an epic tone, feeling good in the groove set by Ali Jackson, sometimes reaching up for a high note, in Ellington’s Ode to Crescent City, which is the birthplace of Mr. Marsalis and his family of musicians. Next was “Dance No. 5” from the “Liberian Suite,” with a bass intro and the accent of a lower bass motif, calm and mellow notes from the trumpet section, with some trombone peals with muted ascending horn motifs. A seven note melody. Joe Temperley played with beautiful deep tones invoking Liberia, Mr. Zollar played his muted solo with attitude. The whole trumpet section muted effectively, the trombones playing with a crying sound that was very bluesy. Chris Crenshaw soloed sounding very 8

The Jazz Culture, V.III:22

African and like a crying nation, answered by the trumpet motif. “Clothed Woman” followed, with piano introduction, dramatic and self assured, using the whole piano orchestrally, with precise chording and good at using space. There was a sharp horn attack with a trumpet interlude. The tempo went up to about 175=quarter note. This was led by the pianist who played on top of the beat, with sizzling drums and excellent phrasing of the band. There was a piano cascade, then murmurs, jumps and rolled chords. Mr. Nimmer played some stride and another cascade through all piano registers. The “New Orleans Suite—Bourbon Street Jingling Jollies” was next; (originally featuring Norris Turney in Duke Ellington’s orchestra in its last incarnation), that night it was a feature for flutist/saxophonist Ted Nash. Mr. Marsalis’s introductory comments included the words “excruciating ecstasies amid the ‘jollies of Bourbon Street.’” Mr. Nash has a pretty tone especially in the middle register, expressing the elegiac melody with virtuosity, adding 16th note triplets and mellifluous phrasing, with 16th note runs up to a key note, swirling and circling, playing with ease, with vibrant long tones, ending in a beautiful cadenza and resting on a long tone. From the “Queen Suite” – ‘Apes & Peacocks” had a drum intro, handling with creative finesse different textures from the lower register of the drums, bass, toms and snares, at about 120=quarter note. Horn lines were smooth, the trumpets rising in three note motifs, calling and responding to each other in phrases. Rich textures evoked a jungle scene, along with the danger and mystery, the trombones carrying one melody answered by the trumpet section, different horns carrying counter melodies and ending in a decrescendo. Another selection from the “Far East Suite” was Agra (transcribed by David Berger and Brian Priestly), with Temperley The Jazz Culture, V.III:22


playing the theme, according to Mr. Marsalis, a lament of a man imprisoned and looking at the Taj Mahal, carrying the mournful melody, bellowing up from the lower register with tasteful punctuation by the horns and a sympathetic saxophone section. Mr. Temperley shows the ability to fulfill the personal and epic demands of Ellington’s work, to play both soulful and descriptive music in tandem. “Afro-Eurasian Eclipse—Chinoiserie” at about 150=quarter note. Walter Blanding was the soloist. The piano hammering right hand chords in an arc, the rhythm section sounding strong, with orchestral use of piano, strong bass and dramatic drums. The saxophone wails a seven note motif. On the next section the trumpets punctuate long tones and then the full band plays. There is a long tenor line, combining a post progressive wailing sound with secure self confident awareness, a triumphant sound as Mr. Blanding went into 16th note runs, then opening his sound, to the stop time figures of the orchestra playing rhythmic figures, Mr. Blanding’s passionate rendition going higher, with the horn backgrounds ending on a sharp accented note.

Drummer Ali Jackson, left, the band, right, Alan Harris, singer with an actor friend


The Jazz Culture, V.III:22

JAZZ IS A WORLD MUSIC Thousands of musicians and singers come to New York to soak up jazz, study it, play it and become part of the jazz scene in New York for a while. They leave their home countries, their families, their beloved friends behind, and take a chance in a foreign country in one of the biggest cities in the world. Some stay permanently and some stay for a few months or years and try to make 'authentic' jazz part of their musical selves so that they can bring it back to their careers in their home countries. Kumiko Yamakado is a singer from Japan who stayed here for a few years, succeeded in getting some gigs here, and succeeded in making friends in the jazz musical community. These are some photos of her singing and attending a couple of farewell parties.

Photos Courtesy ofRichard Williams and Richard Benatar

The Jazz Culture, V.III:22


Editorial What Is A Good Jazz Singer? by L. Hamanaka

A jazz singer should be able to swing and phrase like a horn. That means they ought to listen to the history of great horn players as well as singers, and know some of those solos by heart. A jazz singer should know something about rhythm and be able to subdivide the beat, and choose what part of the beat they want to enter, exit or accent. A jazz singer should be able to sing the blues and make up blues verses. A jazz singer should consider themselves a musician, a rhythm instrument, learn a chordal instrument or at least a tuning instrument and study exactly the contributions of great jazz singers, including tone effects borrowed from instruments and what constituted their ‘style’ and what kind of style they themselves want. A jazz singer should know the chords and the scales that go with the chords and be able to apply them, and should be able to scat well. To scat means to have a good ear, but also to know the major, 3 minor, augmented or whole tone, blues scale, two diminished scales, intervals, arpeggios, chords, the changes to standards, blues and inversions of the former in your ear. It is only once you know these things that you can think of performing substitutions. These things have nothing to do with interpretation. Things like interpretation, intonation and tone quality apply to every genre. A jazz singer is different from someone who can sing standards well, as many Broadway singers or lounge singers or saloon singers do. A jazz singer is different from a gospel singer, who can do mordants, turns, slides up and down, and apply the blues and major scale. A jazz singer is different from a choral singer, a lieder singer, a singer of spirituals, a rock and roll singer, an opera singer, or a folk singer. And a jazz singer should know what those differences are. This has nothing to do with being a snob and wanting to look down on people. It has to do with fact and history and heritage. A singer can be as smart as anybody else, and why not apply intelligence, memory, awareness of and respect for tradition to a great art form? Please send comments to:


The Jazz Culture, V.III:22