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The Jazz Culture

OCTOBER 10th is MONK'S BIRTHDAY Artwork by Berit Konigswarter The Jazz Culture, V. II:6



Thelonious Monk was born North Carolina, in March 1917, and he died in February, 1982. His family moved to NY when he was 5, and his family lived at 243 West 63rd Street. People from the neighborhood remember Monk as very accessible. He attended Stuyvesant H.S. and took courses at Juilliard. He dropped out of school to tour with an evangelist, playing the organ. He developed his own style, a mixture of old and new, influenced by the stride pianists like James P. Johnson, and Duke Ellington. He did not try to imitate the sound or develop technical ease of European classical music or musicians, and developed a percussive style where he left space and expressed tension and release with an urban feel. Monk was a close friend of pianists Bud Powell, another bebop innovator and Mary Lou Williams. Monk and Bud both lived in different neighborhoods in New York, at one time in the Bronx, where according to Bertha Hope, they were “starving.” Bud Powell later made a cd of Monk’s tunes. Thelonious Monk became the house pianist at Minton’s Playhouse, where famous jam sessions took place in the 1940’s where the club was a lab for the creation of bebop, and musicians like Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Kenny Clarke, Charlie Christian. He recorded with Coleman Hawkins in 1944 and later with John Coltrane in 1957. In 1947 he recorded for Blue Note Records. In 1949 he married Nellie Smith and they had two kids, T.S. Monk, a drummer, and “Boo-Boo” in 1953. Nellie Smith became a holistic practitioner. T.S. Monk organized his own combo. 2

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In 1951, Monk was in a car with Bud Powell, and police came and found narcotics. Monk refused to testify, and his cabaret card was confiscated. He started taking gigs out of town and in theatres and abroad and also composed a lot in this period. In Paris he met Baroness Nica de Koenigswarter in 1954. Monk was signed to Riverside Records, and made two records of standards, one of Duke Ellington’s songs with Oscar Pettiford and Kenny Clarke, and in 1956 he recorded Brilliant Corners with Sonny Rollins. Orrin Keepnews said Brilliant Corners was his first “hit.” Initially his records did not sell many copies. In 1957 Monk got his cabaret card back and started playing at the Five Spot. There pianists like Richard Wyands remember going to hear him. Monk had John Coltrane, Wilbur Ware and Shadow Wilson in his group. Then at the end of the year Monk went with Miles Davis, and did not go back to the Five Spot until 1958, when he used Johnny Griffin (later Charlie Rouse), Ahmed Abdul and Roy Haynes. It was in 1957 that Monk wrote “Crespescule with Nellie” a tribute of love to his wife Nellie. Columbia was the next record to sign Monk, and in 1962, and he recorded “5 by Monk by 5,” “Criss Cross,” “Underground” and “Monk’s Dream.” At this time, bassist Larry Gales, Ben Riley, and Charlie Rouse were his normal stablemates; this lasted four years. A number of other musicians played with Thelonious Monk in various situations. Some people say he had a mental affliction and others say he was misdiagnosed and treated with drugs that caused damage to his brain. After a tour in 1971 and a Carnegie Hall concert later, Monk was not active on the scene anymore. When he was in ill health he was nursed in New Jersey by his wife Nellie and Baroness Nica de Koenigswarter and was a friend of Barry Harris, who lived in the same house with Monk and practiced piano duos with him at various times until his death from a stroke in 1982. The Jazz Culture, V. II:6


Thelonious Monk’s songs have been recorded innumerable times. The Monk Institute tries to offer public school music programs to develop self esteem and creativity in the youth. A documentary titled, “Straight No Chaser,” is about Monk’s life and music. JC asked several contemporary musicians: Thelonious Monk is the second most recorded jazz composer after Duke Ellington, though he wrote only 70 songs. Do you think this is because his spirit embodies the modern age, or because his harmony is so challenging and fresh. Why do you think this is? "How does one define GENIUS and COSMIC DIVINE ORDER? Many prophets emerge throughout Infinity!" Dr. Larry Ridley

IMHO “Monk's music didn't have the public appeal that Duke's did as they were mostly jazz classics in nature. Musicians appreciated him more than the public did whereas Duke wrote what could be classified as popular songs or what is considered standards.” Michael Longo

“I played with Monk for a month in 1973. He was one of the most unique pianists, composers and individuals in jazz history. His tunes are classics. He stood out from everyone else. There's nobody like him.” Ron McClure

"A great original. He had a sense of humor too. I was playing at the West Boondocks, and he came over to the piano while I was playing, and started playing 'with' the piano." Nat Jones

“His melody is unique and beautiful, changes are based on logical 4

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progressions such as 1-6-2-5 with many sub chords so it's not crazily difficult to play but [you] have to stay with [the] melody when you play his tunes.� Kuni Mikami

"His tunes are fun to play on, he integrated modern harmony with what was happening on 52nd st. and he wrote more tunes than 70, some never recorded, and still popping up once in a while. it is amazing that he only has 70 recorded, and those are the second most recorded.." Joe Magnarelli

“He composed some of the greatest tunes of all times. Challenging and unique both melodically and harmonically. As well as his style, which is personal and individual. All of his compositions are classics.� Bill Saxton

All Nite Soul Oct. 13: Sheila Jordan & Barry Harris

Dr. Barry Harris

Pianist, composer, arranger, educator, Barry Harris was born in Detroit, Michigan and started piano lessons from his mother at the age of 4. In Detroit, one of the great American jazz cities, Dr. Harris was surrounded by brilliant musicians like Tommy Flanagan, Terry Pollard, Kenny Burrell, Frank Foster, and started teaching in his youth. People also came to his house to challenge him at a game of chess. His students included: Lonnie Hillyer, Charles The Jazz Culture, V. II:6


McPherson, Harry Whitaker, Yusef Lateef, Vishnu Wood, Frank Gant, John Coltrane, Larry Ham, John Mosca, Michael Weiss, Chris Albert, Mark McGowan, Mark Elf, Roni Ben Hur, Kenny Gates, Bill Saxton, Eugene Ghee, Paul Chambers, Hugh lawson, Joe Henderon, Benny Moffett, Roland Hanna, Claude Black, Sonny Red, Donald Byrd, Patience Higgins, Lafayette Harris, Kuni Mikami, Luciano Fabris, Barry Harris at the Roma Jazz Workshop Howard Rees, the Pasquale brothers from Italy, Nobu Watanabe and several other Japanese pianists, a lot of pianists in Den Haag, coached the vocal group Joyspring, the Beasley family, and many others. Barry Harris played at the famed Bluebird club in Detroit, sat in with Bird, and after moving to New York in 1960, worked closely with Cannonball Adderley and Coleman Hawkins, as well as starring in his own Trio. He worked for many years in the trio context at the now demised Bradley’s and can be seen in New York periodically at the Village Vanguard. Known as a bebop pianist who assimilated Bud Powell and Bird, he has extended and developed his own set of theoretical dogma, including scales and movements for improvisors that he teaches at his workshops. Since 1963 or '64 Dr. Harris has lived in Weehawken, NJ, was a roommate ofThelonious Monk’s and practiced with him, and recorded around 100 records and cds, with various artists, including himself as leader. He has recorded as a leader on Riverside, Xanadu, Evidence, Reservoir, Concord, Plus Loin and Prestige, and been featured on records by Cannonball Adderley, Charlie Byrd, Lee Morgan, Al Cohn, Dexter Gordon, Benny Golson, Johnny Griffin, Yusef Lateef, Illinois Jacquet, Harold 6

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Land, Charles McPherson, Earl May, Billy Mitchell, Thad Jones, Hank Mobley, James Moody, Sonny Red, Sonny Stitt, Dave Pike, Don Wilkerson, Carmell Jones, Terry Gibbs, Art Farmer, and Donald Byrd. He played a duet with Tommy Flanagan on Clint Eastwood’s film about Bird, and in another year, received a Grammy for Lifetime Achievement. From 1982-87 Dr. Harris opened the Jazz Cultural Theatre on 28th and 8th Avenue, where a host of well known and up and coming musicians played and studied. Among musicians who taught there were: Frank Foster, Vernell Fournier, and Barry Harris. There were many jam sessions, and combos featured included: Lonnie Hillyer, Charles McPherson, Art Blakey, Wynton Marsalis, Walter Davis, Roni Ben Hur, Clifford Jordan, Lou Donaldson, Leroy Williams, Hal Dotson, Tommy Turrentine, Junior Cook, Bill Hardman, Chris Anderson, Mickey Tucker, Peter Leitch, Mark Elf, Jamil Nasser, Jimmy Slyde and many others. Dr. Harris produced many citywide concerts involving a hundred member choir, (which still meets and performs), and hundreds of New York schoolchildren. His ensemble received an Award for Best Concert. Barry Harris has composed a number of notable songs, some arrangements of which have been played by the Vanguard Orchestra, that have been underexposed and are being published in an upcoming book compiled by Michael Weiss. A teacher with over 60 years of experience, he received an honorary Doctorate from Northwestern University, and as students from around the world have always populated Dr. Harris’s classes, tours in many countries have resulted, including but not limited to Japan, Italy, England, Canada, Holland, Spain, France. He is generally considered as one of the premiere Jazz Keepers of the

In These Pages

Bios of Thelonious Monk1‐12


Sheila Jordan Barry Harris Current NY Stars

Pix Roma Jazz 12-1 4

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SHEILA JORDAN: Vocalist Sheila Jordan went to High School in Detroit with Barry Harris, was a friend of Frank Foster, was complimented by Bird himself, who said she had “million dollar ears.” Married at a young age to pianist Duke Jordan, she has a daughter by that marriage. Ms. Jordan has part Native American heritage. The following quotes from Sheila are from an interview conducted in February where she describes her life in her own words: SJ: “I’ve been singing since I was three. Not jazz, but you know the songs of the day, which were great songs…Like Cole Porter, George Gershwin, they were on the “Hit Parade” and I would hear these songs when I was a little kid. We didn’t always have electricity, because if the bill wasn’t paid the lights were cut off. I didn’t know what I wanted to do till I heard Charlie Parker. [Before then] I was a big Fred Astaire freak. I loved his singing and dancing, when he was in the movies; he made movies with Ginger Rogers. I used to walk two miles to the movies to see Fred Astaire, and he sang a lot of the wonderful songs. Between the radio, “Hit Parade”, and going to Freddie movies -- that was my learning. “There were certain songs, like country songs, “You Are My Sunshine.” I sang that as a kid. I was raised in the coal mining [country] in Pennsylvania…till I was 14, that’s what that song is 8

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about, Scoopytown, [the name the coal miners gave it, because they were scooping out coal]; the real name was Erenfeld, Pennsylvania and [the record done with George Russell was dedicated to the out of work coal miners]...They would sing that song when they were in the beer gardens on Saturday night. They had a hard life, so that’s how they released their unhappiness. And the same way with me, I sang those songs because I released my unhappiness. It wasn’t easy growing up in the poorest family in town, when you’re in a family of alcoholics, [like] my grandfather. A lot of the money went to alcohol so there wasn’t a lot of money to live well. “I was raised by my grandmother; my father left us [my mother and I] when I was born; I wasn’t illegitimate, my mother was so young, she had just turned 17-so she couldn’t raise me. So my grandparents raised me. But my mother had the disease of alcoholism also, so it wasn’t easy living with my mother in Detroit. But she had many husbands who were not nice men. They were very brutal to her and I saw all this as a kid; so again, music saved my life. “I lived a hard life poverty stricken in coal mining area in Pennsylvania. When I moved to Detroit that’s where I heard jazz for the first time…I wouldn’t call it a clique, some young musicians Afro- American, it was very difficult to go around and hear this music. There was a lot of discrimination at the time, regardless of what went down, the cops at that time were against interracial mixing. I took chances. I didn’t care, the music was more important to me than anything, “Rebop” playing Nows’ the Time downstairs at the hamburger joint, and I dedicated to the music and I never gave up. I‘ve been working on my own since I The Jazz Culture, V. II:6


was 17. I left my mother early. I couldn’t stand the men she was involved with at the time. When I was 18 I moved out, I lived in a women’s home. I worked in an office. I’ve been on my own since my late teens, but it wasn’t easy because of the racial discrimination in Detroit. They were very much against whites mixing with Afro Americans. They were always chasing me. They stopped me, upsetting as it was, they were cops with uniforms on and guns, you know, but in the same token they’re not going to tell me who I was going to hang around with. ..So I’m here today doing the music. I won out. “It’s the Afro American music. I’m just doing a little offshoot of this music…[Jazz] It hasn’t been accepted. You don’t see it on TV. “The blues start with poor afro American people that came from Africa, they were slaves because of their skin color. How did they get through this agony of life? By picking cotton and singing the blues. They sang it out of need to express themselves because life was a bitch man. That’s the only way they could deal with it. The punishment. Why America cannot hear it is beyond me. They are not hiring jazz musicians on these programs. They don’t give it a chance, even on the Grammies. They never have any part of that program dedicated to jazz music. They don’t say it, they show it on the credits. One time they had Miles Davis. [on a tune she wrote:]“Sheila’s Blues” I talk about how I feel, then I tell my story and about hearing Bird and you know the whole thing. Sometimes in the beginning I just improvise. So probably at that time I sang about my house burning down…the first couple of choruses I improvise. Instead of talking about it. I’m very fortunate to have been given this music and keep it alive. I’m not a diva, I’m not a star, …I don’t want to be a diva, I’m just out here… it’s my dedication. And now I’m 84, that’s 70 years of dedication and I’ll do it till I die. Because jazz is not-- you know, a lot of people can’t get into jazz. They think it’s intellectual, they think it’s too hard to understand, it’s a really deep emotional 10

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feeling. [On] “Confirmation” These lyrics were written years ago. There’s a set of lyrics about Bird, I’m not putting them down. Skeeter Spight and Leroy Mitchell, the two of them wrote these lyrics, they wrote these lyrics...It’s all feeling. I don’t plan solos. I’m not saying I don’t repeat phrases, but if I do I’m not aware of it. It’s because of what I am hearing and feeling. My thing is, what the original melody was, what the lyrics are, what the changes are. Regardless of what critics have said…One of the joys of improvising is you’re feeling what’s going on around you, the other musicians. I listen intently to the rhythm section is playing because they can inspire me. When I’m doing a solo, I’m really listening to what’s behind me, near me. That’s very important, and always having he melody in your head. Because you won’t get lost, that’s why you should learn the original melody, they just take it from another singer. And if you’re tyring to do another jazz singer, …learn the tune originally from the sheet music, learn it, and don’t force improvisation. Let it happen. That’s my opinion. Does that mean I don’t listen to other singer and only dig other musicians? No. I insist they don’t copy singers recording doing songs they want to do. You can listen for inspiration, but don’t sing the song the way they do that. Do your own thing. “Jazz will never die. You’ll always have people out there like myself who are trying to keep it alive. Doing teaching to younger, will it ever be as popular as rap. I’m not putting rap down. The first person I heard doing rap, was Jon Hendricks, NY, NY, George Russell. Jon Hendricks raps through the whole thing. And in between George Russell wrote arrangements of NY tunes, and Jon between each tune raps about it. It’s great. [On teaching:] “I teach what I know and how I approach. I don’t break their spirit. A lot of teachers are on power trips and they break people’s spirits. I do it with love. I never do that Every time they sing I give them feedback on how they can improve. I The Jazz Culture, V. II:6


don’t scream at them. I will let them know where they can improve.� Ms. Jordan has records as a leader on ECM, Blue Note, Steeplechase, Muse, CBS/Sony, Blackhawk, JustInTime, High Note, Splasch, MA Recordings, ELLA, Eastwind, Grapevine, Palo Alto, Home, 32, and YVP labels. Sheila Jordan maintains an international touring schedule and is well loved around the world by musicians, singers and jazz lovers of several generations. She received awards from the National Endowment for the Arts as a Jazz Master, the Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz for Lifetime Service, The International Association of Jazz Education Humanitarian Award, the New York Nightlife Award and the Manhattan Association of Cabaret Award for Lifetime Achievement. She taught for over 25 years at City College in New York City. Notes on All Night Soul: St. Peter's Church: St. Peter's tradition of All Night Soul started in 1965. Duke Ellington wrote a composition for Reverend Gensel titled "Shepherd of the Night Flock," for his devotion to the jazz community. When Reverend Gensel died, the All Night Soul tradition continued with pastors include Amandus Derr, Jared Stahler, Bill Eschen, and Jazz Pastor Emeritus Dale Lind.


I just flew back from Rome, and boy are my ears tired. Dumbo? No, just a participant in Barry Harris's twice-yearly jazz conference marathon. The top Connie MacNamee with Elisa musicians in Europe, the Middle Tronti East, and Asia gather at the foot of the Maestro for a week of learning with days that start at 11 a.m. and end at 2 a.m. Well, 10 p.m. to 2 12

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Barry Harris with Luciano Fabris and Anna Pantuso, producers ofthe Rome Jazz Workshop

a.m. is the jam session, so that part can be skipped if a person would rather stay in their room and practice the day's teachings, or perhaps sleep... The first class is for piano. Barry started by playing "The Last Time I Saw Paris," running it into "You Do Something To Me." Everything he illustrated was immediately translated into Italian-it's Rome, after all--by an excellent pianist and teacher, Andrea Papini. Papini has been studying with Harris for so long that he can pretty much feel what the rest of the sentence is going to be, once it's begun. Speaking of being able to feel something: that is the linchpin of Barry Harris's teachings, the thing that sets him apart from the many talented and sincere jazz teachers out there. He makes his students feel the beat and feel the notes they play. Sometimes he will make the instrumentalists sing back the phrases he sings to them, to make sure they understand the meaning. There are specific chords to every song, and there are scales that fit those chords, so that a robot could be programmed to play any number of choruses and never make a mistake, but that's not the point of The Jazz Culture, V. II:6


music. The vocal class comes after a lunch break. Over the week, we sang "Stranger In Paradise," "Guess I'll Hang My Tears Out To Dry," "Taking A Chance On Love," "Too Late Now," "If I Should Lose You," "You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To," "Don't Explain," "Ill Wind," and "Easy Living." Nice selection. Along with personal attention to pitch and timing, the vocalists get the sense of what the song is about, in a way that is beyond language. We all listen intently to each other's performance without petty jealousy and hear Barry's remarks and criticism as if they were made to ourselves, so by the end of the class, we know those songs from the inside out! For the improvisation class, Barry told the students that he had been teaching ever since he was 14 or 15 years old, taking care of anyone who came from Detroit or who was passing through, because everyone knew to go to his house, where he was always at the piano. He explained, "I like Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker and Bud Powell. I put Monk on the side--he's very individual. He made up a song on triads, he made up a song on arpeggios--can't get more simple than that. Now watch what Bud did--he made up a total song on the F-major scale. That's genius stuff there." Friday night brings the week to a close with a beautiful concert. This year, there were so many students that when Barry asked us all to stand, he said, "Where's the audience?"--but of course, he had the best possible audience. Everyone understood the value of what they were hearing, For twenty years, Saturday has been reserved for an 14

The Vocal Workshop in Rome, Andrea Papini, pianist, next to Barry Harris

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enormous house party at the mountain home of JeJe, a wonderful cook, husband, father, and pianist! Barry gets to relax in the country air and sunshine, as he samples the finest Southern Italian cuisine and feels himself honored once again. JeJe's mother-in-law has a beautiful clear singing voice and she will perform Italian folk songs and classic ballads with the local piano players that will start everyone singing along. When she is unable to make it, she sings over the phone. About the only one we Americans can come in on is "Anema e Core." The dates for the next Rome workshop have already been set-March 17 to 21. LEADING PLAYERS IN NEW YORK JAZZ

Rick Stone, guitar, Bertha Hope,p, Kit McClure, ts, and Kim Clarke, b, John Farnsworth ts, Richard Clemens and Murray Wall, Taro Okamoto, The Jazz Culture, V. II:6


Happy Birthday JON HENDRICKS!!! Some of the songs Jon Hendricks wrote lyrics to include: Pannonica, Moanin’, Lil Darlin, Four, Airegin, In Walked Bud, I Remember Clifford, Cotton Tail, Ask Me Now, Freddie the Freeloader!Sing a Song of Basie Cloudburst!, Social Call, Feed Me, Out of the Past, Evolution of the Blues, A Good Git Together, Music in the Air, Everything Started in the House of the Lord, Fast Livin’ Blues, Yeh, Yeh, Everybody’s Boppin’, I Want You to Be My Baby,

Jon Hendricks Photo Brian McMillen

7 Steps to Heaven, It Was A Dream, No More, Doodlin’, Shiny Stockings, On Summer, Watermelon Man , I Wonder what Became of Sally? Gimme that Wine! WPA Blues, Sun Gonna Shine In My Door, One Rose, Flat Foot Floogie, Jumpin at the Woodside, Please Send Me Someone To Love, Tell Me

Mark McGowan, Larry Ham, Dave Glasser-Stablemates in Old Lyme, CT


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October Listings Ray Blue‐October 1‐Jazz Ed Workshop in Peekskill October 4‐ Showman's 375 West 125 Street 9:30, 11:30, 1:30 am. October 5‐ Beanrunner Cafe, Peekskill NY, 8, 11 p.m. October 18‐Division Street Grill, 7‐10 p.m. October 19‐Cleopatra's Needle‐93 & Broadway, NYC 10 pm October20‐22‐Midwest Tour October 24‐ Jazz Ed Workshop, Peekskill, NY October 26‐CC Pro Am with Mike Longo Big Band at Paramount in Peekskill October 29‐Garage, 7th Avenue South near Christopher Sheridan Square, 6‐10 Kenney Gates, pianist. Philadelphia, every Tuesday, Sunday and some Saturdays at the High Note Cafe on Tasker & 13th, 5‐9 p.m. George Gee Orchestra at Swing 46, (346 W. 46 Street bet. 8th/9th Ave.) Tuesdays; sm. Sat. 9:30‐free dance lesson beforehand. Lionelle Hamanaka‐ October 10, Japanese Christian Church, 6:00 p.m. 25th Street & 7 Ave. Steps on the Church (Methodist) Loston Harris October 22, the Carlyle, 9:30 p.m. Mad. Ave & 76 St Bertha Hope/Kim Clarke‐October 28, Local 802 322 W. 48 St., 6‐9:15 p.m. Mike Longo‐ October 22, hosts Dizzy Gillespie's Birthday Party at the Baha'i Center, 53 East 11th Street 8 p.m.

Joe Magnarelli-October 1 4, JALC

Jim Malloy, Swing 46, 9:30 p.m. October 3, 10, 17, 24, 31. Ron McClure: Solo piano at McDonald's at 160 Broadway in Manhattan from 12‐4 PM on Tuesdays & Saturdays.(October 1,5,8, 12, 15, 19, 22, 26, 28) I play the "American Songbook," originals and rom other contemporary composers. October 10, JAUC, Steps on the Church, 255 7th Avenue, 6:00 p.m. Kuni Mikami: October 10, Japanese Christian Church, 6:00 p.m. 25th Street & 7 Ave. Steps on the Church (Methodist) John Mosca & Michael Weiss: Vanguard Orchestra Every Monday night

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at the Village Vanguard Bill Saxton: Bill's Place every Friday, 148 West 133 Street, 9 p.m. Ranked #25 among 305 attractions in NYC Rev. Kaz Takahashi: October 10‐Steps on the Church, Japanese American Christian Church, 255 7th Avenue, 6 p.m. ENGLAND: John Watson Trio at the Palm Court, the Langham Hotel, London, 1c Portland, Regent Street 207‐636‐1000 every weekend

Bill Saxton, Kenney Gates Michael Weiss Quartet Dwayne Clemens & Sasha Perry, Joe Magnarelli

The Jazz Culture Newsletter has been read in 51 countries. The generation of musicians after Monk, Charlie Parker, Barry Harris, Sheila Jordan, has many composers‐performers who have carved out their own place in jazz today, and who deserve and are not getting enough press, performance or recording opportunities. JCN wants to draw the jazz world community together and show unorthodox and creative venues that will hopefully expand. Subscribe free on the Home Page. Lionelle Hamanaka, Publisher The September issue was a retrospective of one Photographer, Brian McMillen, who lives in California, and does not have access to many great players in NYC. Next issue: cd review of Fractals, and Dizzy Gillespie profile


The Jazz Culture, V. II:6

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