Blew notes
Bluesiversaries September 16th

B.B. King (guitar, electric) 1925 :: Fabulous Birthday wishes out to Riley B. King known by the stage name B.B. King, is an American blues musician, singer, songwriter, and guitarist.

Over the years, King has developed one of the world’s most identifiable guitar styles. He borrowed from Blind Lemon Jefferson, T-Bone Walker and others, integrating his precise and complex vocal-like string bends and his left hand vibrato, both of which have become indispensable components of rock guitarists’ vocabulary. His economy and phrasing has been a model for thousands of players, from Eric Clapton and George Harrison to Jimmy Page and Jeff Beck. King has mixed blues, jazz, swing, mainstream pop and jump into a unique sound. In King’s words, “When I sing, I play in my mind; the minute I stop singing orally, I start to sing by playing Lucille.”

King grew up singing in the gospel choir at Elkhorn Baptist Church in Kilmichael. At the age of 12, he purchased his first guitar for $15.00, although another source indicates he was given his first guitar by Bukka White, his mother’s first cousin (King’s grandmother and White’s mother were sisters). In 1943, King left Kilmichael to work as a tractor driver and play guitar with the Famous St. John’s Quartet of Inverness, Mississippi, performing at area churches and on WGRM in Greenwood, Mississippi.

In 1946, King followed Bukka White to Memphis, Tennessee. White took him in for the next ten months. However, King shortly returned to Mississippi, where he decided to prepare himself better for the next visit, and returned to West Memphis, Arkansas, two years later in 1948. He performed on Sonny Boy Williamson’s radio program on KWEM in West Memphis, where he began to develop a local audience for his sound. King’s appearances led to steady engagements at the Sixteenth Avenue Grill in West Memphis and later to a ten-minute spot on the legendary Memphis radio station WDIA. King’s Spot became so popular, it was expanded and became the Sepia Swing Club.

Initially he worked at WDIA as a singer and disc jockey, gaining the nickname Beale Street Blues Boy, which was later shortened to Blues Boy and finally to B.B. It was there that he first met T-Bone Walker. “Once I’d heard him for the first time, I knew I’d have to have [an electric guitar] myself. ‘Had’ to have one, short of stealing!”, he said.

In 1949, King began recording songs under contract with Los Angeles-based RPM Records. Many of King’s early recordings were produced by Sam Phillips, who later founded Sun Records. Before his RPM contract, King had debuted on Bullet Records by issuing the single “Miss Martha King” (1949), which did not chart well

King assembled his own band; the B.B. King Review, under the leadership of Millard Lee. The band initially consisted of Calvin Owens and Kenneth Sands (trumpet), Lawrence Burdin (alto saxophone), George Coleman (tenor saxophone), Floyd Newman (baritone saxophone), Millard Lee (piano), George Joyner (bass) and Earl Forest and Ted Curry (drums). Onzie Horne was a trained musician elicited as an arranger to assist King with his compositions.

In the winter of 1949, King played at a dance hall in Twist, Arkansas. In order to heat the hall, a barrel half-filled with kerosene was lit, a fairly common practice at the time. During a performance, two men began to fight, knocking over the burning barrel and sending burning fuel across the floor. The hall burst into flames, which triggered an evacuation. Once outside, King realized that he had left his guitar inside the burning building. He entered the blaze to retrieve his beloved guitar, a Gibson hollow electric. Two people died in the fire. The next day, King learned that the two men were fighting over a woman named Lucille. King named that first guitar Lucille, as well as every one he owned since that near-fatal experience, as a reminder never again to do something as stupid as run into a burning building or fight over women.

In the 1950s, B.B. King became one of the most important names in R&B music, amassing an impressive list of hits including “3 O’Clock Blues”, “You Know I Love You,” “Woke Up This Morning,” “Please Love Me,” “When My Heart Beats like a Hammer,” “Whole Lotta Love,” “You Upset Me Baby,” “Every Day I Have the Blues”, “Sneakin’ Around,” “Ten Long Years,” “Bad Luck,” “Sweet Little Angel”, “On My Word of Honor,” and “Please Accept My Love.” King was extremely busy during this period and made 342 appearances and 3 recording sessions in 1956 alone. In 1962, King signed to ABC-Paramount Records, which was later absorbed into MCA Records, and this hence into his current label, Geffen Records. In November 1964, King recorded the Live at the Regal album at the Regal Theater in Chicago, Illinois.

King won a Grammy Award for a tune called “The Thrill Is Gone”; his version became a hit on both the pop and R&B charts, which was rare during that time for an R&B artist. It also gained the number 183 spot in Rolling Stone magazine’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. He gained further visibility among rock audiences as an opening act on The Rolling Stones’ 1969 American Tour. King’s mainstream success continued throughout the 1970s with songs like “To Know You is to Love You” and “I Like to Live the Love”.

King was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 1980, and inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987. In 2004 he was awarded the international Polar Music Prize, given to artists “in recognition of exceptional achievements in the creation and advancement of music.”

From the 1980s onward he has continued to maintain a highly visible and active career, appearing on numerous television shows and performing 300 nights a year. In 1988, King reached a new generation of fans with the single “When Love Comes to Town”, a collaborative effort between King and the Irish band U2 on their Rattle and Hum album. Also that year King played for the 1988 Republican National Convention at the behest of the notorious Republican operative Lee Atwater. King has remained friendly with the Bush Family ever since and in 1990 was awarded the Presidential Medal of the Arts by George H.W. Bush and the Medal of Freedom by George W. Bush in 2008. In 2000, King teamed up with guitarist Eric Clapton to record Riding With the King. In 1998, King appeared in The Blues Brothers 2000, playing the part of the lead singer of the Louisiana Gator Boys, along with Clapton, Dr. John, Koko Taylor and Bo Diddley.

King is widely regarded as one of the most influential blues guitarists of all time, inspiring countless other electric blues and blues-rock guitarists such as Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, Robert Cray, Peter Green, Derek Trucks, John Mayer, Duane Allman, Elmore James, Bob Marley and Stevie Ray Vaughan.


Billy Boy Arnold(harmonica) 1935 :: Many happy returns to Billy Boy Arnold. Billy Boy is an American blues harmonica player, singer and songwriter. He began playing harmonica as a child, and in 1948 received informal lessons from his near neighbour John Lee “Sonny Boy” Williamson, shortly before the latter’s death. Arnold made his recording debut in 1952 with “Hello Stranger” on the small Cool label, the record company giving him the nickname “Billy Boy”.

In the early 1950s, he joined forces with street musician Bo Diddley and played harmonica on the March 2, 1955 recording of the Bo Diddley song “I’m a Man” released by Checker Records. The same day as the Bo Diddley sessions, Billy Boy recorded the self-penned “You Got to Love Me” which was not released until the box set, Chess Blues 1947-1967, in 1992.

Arnold signed a solo recording contract with Vee-Jay Records, recording the originals of “I Wish You Would” and “I Ain’t Got You”. Both were later covered by The Yardbirds. “I Wish You Would” was also recorded by David Bowie on his 1973 album, Pin Ups and by Sweet on their 1982 album, Identity Crisis.

In the late 1950s Arnold continued to play in Chicago clubs, and in 1963 he recorded a LP, More Blues From The South Side, for the Prestige label, but as playing opportunities dried up he pursued a parallel career as a bus driver and, later, parole officer.

By the 1970s Arnold had begun playing festivals, touring Europe, and recording again. He recorded a session for BBC Radio 1 disc jockey John Peel on 5 October 1977.

In 1993 he released the album Back Where I Belong on Alligator Records, followed by Eldorado Cadillac (1995) and Boogie ’n’ Shuffle (2001). In 2012 he released Blue and Lonesome featuring Tony McPhee and The Groundhogs.

Little Willie Littlefield(piano) 1931-2013 :: Willie Littlefield, billed as Little Willie Littlefield  was an American R&B and boogie-woogie pianist and singer whose early recordings “formed a vital link between boogie-woogie and rock and roll”. Littlefield was regarded a teenage wonder and overnight sensation when in 1949 at the age of 18 he popularised the triplet piano style on his Modern Records debut single “It’s Midnight”. He also recorded the first version of the song “Kansas City” — originally issued as “K. C. Lovin’” — in 1952.

Littlefield was strongly influenced by boogie-woogie pianist Albert Ammons. A particular favourite of his was Ammons’ Swanee River Boogie, which he later recorded for Eddie’s Records. Other major influences on Littlefield’s style were Texas musicians Charles Brown and Amos Milburn Littlefield learned most of their “chops” and soon developed his own distinctive “triplet style”, which, by the early 1950s, was widely copied in the R&B field, particularly by Fats Domino who incorporated it into his successful New Orleans rhythms.

His first recording, “Little Willie’s Boogie” was a hit in Texas in 1949, and brought him to the attention of Jules Bihari, one of the Bihari brothers of Modern Records in Los Angeles, California, who were searching for a performer to rival the success of Amos Milburn. Bihari flew to Houston in July 1949 to investigate the city’s black entertainment venues and heard of a “teenage wonder boy pianist” who was causing a stir at the Eldorado Ballroom. Bihari went to hear Littlefield and soon arranged for an audition at a local studio. The session was captured on acetate disc, with Bihari, clearly audible in the background, calling for Littlefield to play the popular R&B tunes of the day.

Back at Modern Records, he recorded “It’s Midnight”, which became a national hit reaching #3 on the Billboard R&B chart. Its follow-up, “Farewell”, reached #5 on the R&B chart. He became a major nightclub attraction and recorded with West Coast musicians such as Maxwell Davis. Don Wilkerson, Littlefield’s old school buddy and the leading saxman in his band, also travelled to Los Angeles, but Milburn promptly stole him to lead his own new band ‘The Aladdin Chickenshackers’.

Modern Records booked Littlefield for three recording sessions during October 1949, followed by more sessions in the following two months at Radio Recorders in Hollywood. During these three months alone, over 22 sides were cut - an unusual output when compared to most other artists who averaged only two sessions a year. Other musicians for these sessions included saxophonists Maxwell Davis and Buddy Floyd, guitarists Chuck Norris and Johnny Moore, and drummers Al Wichard and Jessie Price. One of his 1950 recordings, “Happy Pay Day”, a song written by Jack Holmes, was later rewritten by Holmes with entirely different lyrics as “The Blacksmith Blues”, which became a hit for Ella Mae Morse.

In 1951, his duet with Little Lora Wiggins, “I’ve Been Lost”, reached #10 on the R&B chart. In 1952 he moved to the Federal subsidiary of King Records, his first session producing “K. C. Loving”, written by Leiber and Stoller and later re-recorded by Wilbert Harrison as “Kansas City”.

By 1957 Littlefield had moved to Northern California and continued to record for Don Barksdale’s Rhythm label in San Francisco where he produced the single “Ruby, Ruby”. Littlefield’s recording and his subsequent releases were not successful, although he remained a popular club act in the San Francisco area.

In the late 1970s he toured Europe successfully, settling in the Netherlands and releasing a number of albums from 1982 into the late 1990s for the Oldie Blues label from Martin van Olderen. Littlefield built a considerable European reputation with his vigorous boogie-woogie piano playing and smoky singing.

Being on the road for more than 50 years, Littlefield stopped touring in 2000. After five years of retirement in his adopted home country The Netherlands, Little Willie Littlefield decided to play again starting in 2006. “I went fishing for five years - now I know every herring in Holland by name - it got boring. I feel great and I want to be back with my audience”, Little Willie declared.

In his later years Littlefield continued to perform occasionally, mainly at festivals, particularly in the UK. In 2008 he played at the 20th Burnley Blues Festival and in July 2009 at the 5th annual UK Boogie Woogie Festival at Sturminster Newton in Dorset. Having appeared at Shakedown Blues Club, at Castor Hall, near Castor, Peterborough in 2006, Littlefield made a return appearance in October 2010.

Jazziversaries September 15th

Arvell Shaw (bass, acoustic) 1923-2002  :: Arvell Shaw was an American jazz double-bassist, best known for his work with Louis Armstrong.

Shaw learned to play tuba in high school, but switched to bass soon after. In 1942 he worked with Fate Marable on riverboats traveling on the Mississippi River, then served in the Navy from 1942 to 1945. After his discharge he played with Armstrong in his last big band, from 1945 to 1947. Shaw and Sid Catlett then joined the Louis Armstrong All-Stars until 1950, when Shaw broke off to study music. He returned to play with Armstrong from 1952 to 1956, and performed in the 1956 musical High Society.

Following this he worked at CBS with Russ Case, did time in Teddy Wilson’s trio, and played with Benny Goodman at the 1958 Brussels World’s Fair. After a few years in Europe, he played again with Goodman on a tour of Central America in 1962. From 1962-64 Shaw played again with Armstrong, and occasionally accompanied him through the end of the 1960s. After the 1960s Shaw mostly freelanced in New York and kept playing until his death. He recorded only once as a leader, a live concert from 1991 of his Satchmo Legacy Band.

Julian “Cannonball” Adderley(saxophone) 1928 -1975 :: Cannonball Adderley was a jazz alto saxophonist of the hard bop era of the 1950s and 1960s.

Adderley is remembered for his 1966 single “Mercy Mercy Mercy”, a crossover hit on the pop charts, and for his work with trumpeter Miles Davis, including on the epochal album Kind of Blue (1959). He was the brother of jazz cornetist Nat Adderley, a longtime member of his band.

Both Cannonball and brother Nat played with Ray Charles when Charles lived in Tallahassee during the early 1940s. Cannonball was a local legend in Florida until he moved to New York City in 1955, where he lived in Corona, Queens.

It was in New York during this time that Adderley’s prolific career began. Adderley visited the Cafe Bohemia, where Oscar Pettiford’s group was playing that night. Adderley had brought his saxophone into the club with him, primarily because he feared that it would be stolen, and he was asked to sit in as the saxophone player was late. That performance established his reputation.

Prior to joining the Miles Davis band, Adderley formed his own group with his brother Nat after signing onto the Savoy jazz label in 1957. He was noticed by Miles Davis, and it was because of his blues-rooted alto saxophone that Davis asked him to play with his group.

Adderley joined the Miles Davis sextet in October 1957, three months prior to John Coltrane’s return to the group. Adderley played on the seminal Davis records Milestones and Kind of Blue. This period also overlapped with pianist Bill Evans’s time with the sextet, an association that led to recording Portrait of Cannonball and Know What I Mean?.

His interest as an educator carried over to his recordings. In 1961, Cannonball narrated The Child’s Introduction to Jazz, released on Riverside Records.

By the end of 1960s, Adderley’s playing began to reflect the influence of the electric jazz, avant-garde, and Miles Davis’ experiments on the album Bitches Brew. On his albums from this period, such as Accent on Africa (1968) and The Price You Got to Pay to Be Free (1970), he began doubling on soprano saxophone, showing the influence of John Coltrane and Wayne Shorter. In that same year, his quintet appeared at the Monterey Jazz Festival in California, and a brief scene of that performance was featured in the 1971 psychological thriller Play Misty for Me, starring Clint Eastwood. In 1975 he also appeared (in an acting role alongside Jose Feliciano and David Carradine) in the episode “Battle Hymn” in the third season of the TV series Kung Fu.

Joe Zawinul’s composition “Cannon Ball” (recorded on Weather Report’s album Black Market) is a tribute to his former leader. Pepper Adams and George Mraz dedicated the composition “Julian” on the 1975 Pepper Adams album (also called “Julian”) days after Cannonball’s death.

Songs made famous by Adderley and his bands include “This Here” (written by Bobby Timmons), “The Jive Samba,” “Work Song” (written by Nat Adderley), “Mercy, Mercy, Mercy” (written by Joe Zawinul) and “Walk Tall” (written by Zawinul, Marrow and Rein). A cover version of Pops Staples’ “Why (Am I Treated So Bad)?” also entered the charts.

Snooky Pryor(harmonica) 1921-2006 :: Snooky Pryor was a Chicago blues harmonica player. He claimed to have pioneered the now-common method of playing amplified harmonica by cupping a small microphone in his hands along with the harmonica, although on his earliest records in the late 1940s and early ’50s he did not utilize this method.

James Edward Pryor was born in Lambert and developed a Delta blues style influenced by both Sonny Boy Williamson I and Sonny Boy Williamson II. He moved to Chicago around 1940.

While serving in the U.S. Army he would blow bugle calls through the powerful PA system which led him to experiment with playing the harmonica that way. Upon discharge from the Army in 1945, he obtained his own amplifier and began playing harmonica at the outdoor Maxwell Street market, becoming a regular on the Chicago blues scene.

Pryor recorded some of the first postwar Chicago blues records in 1948, including “Telephone Blues” and “Snooky & Moody’s Boogie” with guitarist Moody Jones, and “Stockyard Blues” and “Keep What You Got” with singer/guitarist Floyd Jones. “Snooky & Moody’s Boogie” is of considerable historical significance: Pryor claimed that harmonica ace Little Walter directly copied the signature riff of Pryor’s song into the opening eight bars of his own blues harmonica instrumental, “Juke,” an R&B hit in 1952. In 1967, Pryor moved south to Ullin, Illinois. He quit music for carpentry in the late 1960s but was persuaded to make a comeback. After he dropped out of sight, Pryor was later re-discovered and resumed periodic recording until his death in nearby Cape Girardeau, Missouri at the age of 85.

In January 1973 he appeared with the American Blues Legends tour which played throughout Europe alongside Homesick James. Whilst on this tour they recorded an album in London, Homesick James & Snooky Pryor, on Jim Simpson’s label Big Bear Records.

Some of his better known songs include “Judgement Day” (1956), and “Crazy ‘Bout My Baby” from Snooky (1989), “How’d You Learn to Shake It Like That” from Tenth Anniversary Anthology (1989) and “Shake My Hand” (1999).

Al Casey(guitar) 1915 - 2005 :: Albert Aloysius Casey known professionally as Al Casey, was an African-American swing guitarist who played with Fats Waller on some of his famous recordings. Casey composed the well-known tune “Buck Jumpin”, which was recorded by Waller.

Casey was born in Louisville, Kentucky to Joseph and Maggie B. Johnson Casey. He grew up in New York City and attended DeWitt Clinton High School. He joined Thomas Fats Waller’s band in the early 1930s and can be heard on hundreds of recordings, working with him until Waller died in 1943. In 1944, Casey briefly recorded with Louis Armstrong. He also worked with Clarence Profit’s band that same year. In 1959 he contributed to an album called Paul Curry Presents The Friends Of Fats on the Golden Crest label.

Between stints with Waller, Casey worked with Teddy Wilson from 1939 to 1940. He recorded with Billie Holiday, Frankie Newton, and Chuck Berry, and even led his own a trio for a short time. Remembering his time, years later, working with Holiday, Casey commented that he was in love with her.

Casey freelanced over decades working with King Curtis from 1957 to 1961, where he played rhythm and blues. He continued playing into his late eighties with The Harlem Blues & Jazz Band, which he joined in 1981.

Jazziversaries September 14th

Israel “Cachao” Lopez (bass. acoustic) 1918 -2008 :: Israel “Cachao” López  often known as Cachao, was a Cuban musician and composer who helped popularize mambo in the United States in the early 1950s.

He has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, won several Grammy Awards, and has been described as “the inventor of the mambo”. He is considered a master of descarga (Latin jam sessions).

Cachao was born in 1918 in Havana, into a family of musicians, many of them bassists—around forty or more in his extended family.

As an 8-year-old bongo player, he joined a children’s septet that included a future famous singer and bandleader, Roberto Faz. A year later, already on double bass, he provided music for silent movies in his neighborhood theater, in the company of a pianist who would become a true superstar, the great cabaret performer Ignacio Villa, known as Bola de Nieve.

He played the acoustic bass with his late, older brother, the multi-instrumentalist/composer Orestes López, who was known as “Macho”. The brothers composed literally thousands of songs together and were a major influence on Cuban music from the 1930s to the 1950s. They introduced the nuevo ritmo (“new rhythm”) in the late 1930s, which transformed the danzón by introducing African rhythms into Cuban music, which led to mambo. They co-wrote the danzón “Mambo” which was called the “Mother of all Mambos” by Cuban writer G. Cabrera Infante.

A possibly more important move took place in 1957, when Cachao gathered a group of musicians in the early hours of the morning, energized from playing gigs at Havana’s popular nightclubs, to jam in front of the mikes of a recording studio. The resulting descargas, known to music aficionados worldwide as Cuban jam sessions, revolutionized Afro-Cuban popular music. Under Cachao’s direction, these masters improvised freely in the manner of jazz, but their vocabulary was Cuba’s popular music. This was the model that would make live performances of Afro-Cuban based genres, from salsa to Latin jazz, so incredibly hot.

These descargas were released in 1957 by the Panart label under the title “Descargas: Cuban Jam Sessions In Miniature.” They have been named by many critics as one the most essential contributions to the Latin-jazz genre, including being cited by the book “1,000 Recordings To Hear Before You Die.”

In the early 1960s Cachao was one of two of the most in-demand bassists in New York City (the other being Alfonso “El Panameño” Joseph, who was the bassist of legendary Cuban tres player Arsenio Rodríguez for eight years until Arsenio’s death in December 1970). Joseph and López substituted for each other over a span of five years, performing at New York City clubs and venues such as the Palladium Ballroom, The Roseland, The Birdland, Havana San Juan, and Havana Madrid.

For a while, he had two distinct musical personae. In the New York salsa scene he was revered as a music god, with homage concerts dedicated to him, and records of his music produced by Cuban-music collector René López. In Miami, he was an ordinary working musician who would play quinceañeras and weddings, or back dance bands in the notorious Latin nightclubs of the Miami Vice era.

In the ’90s, actor Andy García produced the recordings known as Master Sessions and big concerts honoring his legacy. Since then, Cachao became again a household word among Cubans and his reputation continued to grow.

Joseph Jarman(saxophone) 1937 :: Bornday greetings to Joseph Jarman. Joseph is a jazz musician, composer and Shinshu Buddhist priest. He is perhaps best known as one of the first members of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians and the Art Ensemble of Chicago.

After he was discharged from the army in 1958, Jarman attended Wilson Junior College, where he met bassist Malachi Favors Maghostut and saxophonists Roscoe Mitchell, Henry Threadgill, and Anthony Braxton. These men would often perform long jam sessions at the suggestion of their professor Richard Wang (now with Illinois University). Mitchell introduced Jarman to pianist Muhal Richard Abrams, and Jarman, Mitchell, and Maghostut joined Abrams’ Experimental Band, a private, non-performing ensemble, when that group was founded in 1961. The same group of musicians continued to play together in a variety of configurations, and went on to found the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) in 1965, along with Fred Anderson and Phil Cohran.

Jarman’s solo recording career began at this time with two releases on the Delmark Label which included non-conforming recording methods, such as spoken word and “little instruments”, the latter a technique that Jarman and Mitchell would use to effectiveness in the Art Ensemble.

The band he fronted and used during these recordings between 1966 and 1968 included Fred Anderson, tenor, Billy Brimfield trumpet, Charles Clark (bass), Christopher Gaddy (piano) and Thurman Barker (drums). However, in 1969 Clark and Gaddy both died and Jarman disbanded his group.

Shortly after his bandmates Clark and Gaddy died in 1969, Jarman joined Mitchell, Maghostut and Lester Bowie (trumpet) in the Roscoe Mitchell Art Ensemble in 1967; the group would be later rounded out with the addition of Don Moye on drums. This band eventually became known as the Art Ensemble of Chicago (AECO). The group was known for being costumed on stage for different reasons; Jarman wore facepaint and has mentioned that it “was sort of the shamanistic image coming from various cultures.”The group moved to Paris in 1969 and lived there for many years in a commune that included Steve McCall, the great drummer who went on the form the jazz trio Air with Threadgill and bassist Fred Hopkins. Moving back to Chicago in the 1970s, Jarman lived in a musicians’ building in Hyde Park, in Chicago, with Malachi Favors as his roommate. In 1983, he moved to Brooklyn, New York from Chicago and has lived there since that time.

Jarman is most widely known for his musical accomplishments, but he has also been involved in the practice of Zen Buddhism and aikido. He began his study of aikido in the early 1970s in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago. He began studying Zen Buddhism in 1990 and visited various monasteries in Eastern Asia, including Higashi Honganji Honzon in Kyoto, Japan. A few years later, he opened his own aikido dojo/zendo, Jikishinkan (“direct mind training hall”), in Brooklyn, New York. He is currently a Jodo Shinshu priest, and holds a rank of godan (fifth degree black belt) in aikido.

Oliver Lake (saxophone) 1942 :: Many happy returns to Oliver Lake. Oliver  is an American jazz saxophonist, flutist, composer and poet. He is known mainly on alto saxophone but also performs on soprano saxophone and flute.

Oliver Lake is an explosively unpredictable soloist, somewhat akin to Eric Dolphy in the ultra-nimble manner in which he traverses the full range of his main horn, the alto. Lake’s astringent saxophone sound is his trademark — piercing, bluesy, and biting in the manner of a Maceo Parker, it was a perfect lead voice for the World Saxophone Quartet, the band with which Lake has arguably made his most enduring music.

Lake began playing drums as a child in St. Louis. He first picked up the saxophone at the age of 18. Lake received his bachelor’s degree in 1968 from Lincoln University. From the late ’60s to the early ’70s he taught school, played in various contexts around St. Louis, and led — along with Julius Hemphill and Charles “Bobo” Shaw, among others — a musicians’ collective, the Black Artists’ Group (BAG). Lake lived in Paris from 1972-1974, where he worked in a quintet comprised of fellow BAG members. By 1975, he had (along with most of his BAG colleagues) moved to New York, where he became active on what was called by some the “loft jazz” scene. In 1976, with Hemphill, Hamiet Bluiett, and David Murray, he founded the World Saxophone Quartet. Over the next two decades, that band reached a level of popularity perhaps unprecedented by a free jazz ensemble. Its late-’80s albums of Ellington works and R&B tunes attracted an audience that otherwise might never have found its way to such an esoteric style.

Lake continued working as a leader apart from the WSQ, making excellent small-group albums in the ’70s and ’80s for Arista/Freedom and Black Saint. In the ’80s, Lake led a reggae-oriented band, Jump Up, that had a significant degree of pop success, though its artistic appeal faded in comparison with his jazz work. In the ’90s, Lake continued to stretch creatively; a duo album with classically trained pianist Donal Fox set him free to explore the more fanciful side of his musical personality. Late-’90s concerts with the WSQ, his own groups, and such duo mates as the hyper-dextrous pianist Borah Bergman showed that Lake was still on top of his game.

Denys Baptiste(saxophone) 1969 :: Birthday greetings to saxophonist Denys Baptiste.

Denys is an English jazz musician from London, England. A graduate of Tomorrow’s Warriors, Baptiste plays tenor and soprano saxophone in addition to composing.

Baptiste played with Gary Crosby and Nu Troop before releasing his debut album in 1999, Be Where You Are, which was nominated for a Mercury Music Prize and won the MOBO award for Best Jazz Act 1999. Baptiste has released two albums since then. His third album Let Freedom Ring! was nominated for the MOBO award for Best Jazz Act 2004, the BBC Jazz Awards for Best New Work and Best Album 2004, and the Parliamentary Jazz Award for Best Album 2004.

Jazziversaries September 13th

Charles Brown (vocalist) 1922 -1999 :: Tony Russell “Charles” Brown , born in Texas City, Texas was an American blues singer and pianist whose soft-toned, slow-paced blues-club style influenced the development of blues performance during the 1940s and 1950s. He had several hit recordings, including “Driftin’ Blues” and “Merry Christmas Baby”

As a child, Brown demonstrated his love of music and took classical piano lessons. Early on, Brown moved out to Los Angeles, where the great influx of blacks created an integrated nightclub scene in which black performers tended to minimize the rougher blues elements of their style. The blues club style of a light rhythm bass and right-hand tinkling of the piano and smooth vocals became popular, epitomized by the jazz piano of Nat King Cole. When Cole left Los Angeles, California to perform nationally, his place was taken by Johnny Moore’s Three Blazers, featuring Charles Brown’s gentle piano and vocals.

Brown signed with Aladdin Records and his 1945 recording of, “Driftin’ Blues”, with a small combo on that record label went on the U.S. Billboard R&B chart for six months, putting Brown at the forefront of a musical evolution that changed American musical performance. His style dominated the influential Southern California club scene on Central Avenue during that period and he influenced such performers as Floyd Dixon, Cecil Gant, Ivory Joe Hunter, Percy Mayfield, Johnny Ace and Ray Charles.

"Driftin’ Blues" was the first of several hits. Brown subsequently released "Get Yourself Another Fool", "Black Night", "Hard Times" and "Trouble Blues", all major hits in the early 1950s on such labels as Modern Records as well as Aladdin. Though he was unable to compete with the burgeoning rock and roll sound that was increasing in popularity, he managed to maintain a small, devoted audience. Additionally, his songs were covered by the likes of John Lee Hooker and Lowell Fulson.

Brown’s approach was too mellow to survive the transition to rock’s harsher rhythms, and he faded from the national limelight. His “Please Come Home for Christmas”, a hit in 1960 on the King Records remained seasonally popular. “Please Come Home for Christmas” sold over one million copies by 1968, and was awarded a gold disc in that year.[6] During the 1960s Brown recorded a couple of albums for Mainstream Records.

In the 1980s he made a series of appearances at New York City nightclub Tramps. As a result of these appearances he signed a new recording contract with Blue Side Records and recorded One More for the Road in three days. Blue Side Records closed soon after but distribution was picked up by Alligator Records. Soon after the success of One More for the Road, Bonnie Raitt helped usher in a Charles Brown comeback tour.

He began a recording and performing career again, under the musical direction of guitarist Danny Caron, to greater success than he had achieved since the 1950s. Other members of Charles’ touring ensemble included Clifford Solomon on tenor saxophone, Ruth Davies on bass and Gaylord Birch on drums. Several records received Grammy Award nominations.

He is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and received both the National Endowment for the Arts’ National Heritage Fellowship and the W. C. Handy Award.

Chu Berry (sax, tenor) 1910 - 1941 :: Leon Brown “Chu” Berry was an American swing tenor saxophonist. His sister Ann played piano and Chu became interested in music at an early age, playing alto saxophone at first with local bands. He was inspired to take up the tenor sax after hearing Coleman Hawkins on tour. Although Berry based his style on Hawkins’ playing, the older man regarded Berry as his equal, saying “‘Chu’ was about the best.”

Throughout his brief career, Chu Berry was in demand as a sideman for recording sessions under the names of various other jazz artists, including Spike Hughes (1933), Bessie Smith (1933), The Chocolate Dandies (1933), Mildred Bailey (1935–1938), Teddy Wilson (1935–1938), Billie Holiday (1938–1939), Wingy Manone (1938–1939) and Lionel Hampton (1939).

During the period 1934-1939, while saxophone pioneer Coleman Hawkins was playing in Europe, Chu Berry was one of several younger tenor saxophonists, such as Budd Johnson, Ben Webster and Lester Young who vied for supremacy on their instrument. Berry’s mastery of advanced harmony and his smoothly-flowing solos on uptempo tunes influenced such young innovators as Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker. The latter named his first son Leon in Chu’s honor. Chu Berry was one of the jazz musicians who took part in jam sessions at Minton’s Playhouse in New York City which led to the development of bebop.

"Christopher Columbus", which Berry composed with lyrics by Andy Razaf, was the last important hit recording of the Fletcher Henderson orchestra, recorded in 1936. It is one of the most popular riff tunes from the swing era. It was incorporated into Jimmy Mundy’s arrangement of Sing, Sing, Sing for Benny Goodman’s band. This was used as the final showstopper in Goodman’s first Carnegie Hall jazz concert of January 16, 1938.

Elaine Delmar(vocalist) 1939 :: Happy birthday to Elain Delamar. Elaine Delmar is an English singer.

She was born as Elaine Hutchinson in Harpenden, Hertfordshire. Her father was the jazz trumpeter Leslie “Jiver” Hutchinson.

She was educated at Rhodes Avenue and Trinity Grammar schools in Wood Green. She studied piano between the ages of six and eleven, reaching Grade VII of the Associated Board examinations.

She made her first broadcast playing the piano on Children’s Hour, aged 13, and she later sang with her father’s band at American bases. In 1952/1953, she appeared in Finian’s Rainbow in Liverpool. She sang with a group, “The Dominoes” briefly, before going solo. She performed in clubs and on overseas tours. She appeared in the Ken Russell film Mahler (1974).

During 2010 she featured in concert with Wynton Marsalis’s Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra.

During 2012 Delmar appeared on P & O Cruise liners where her performances featured songs by Cole Porter and others.

Mel Torme(vocalist) 1925 -1999 :: Melvin Howard Tormé  nicknamed The Velvet Fog, was an American musician, best known as a singer of jazz standards. He was also a jazz composer and arranger, drummer, pianist, and actor in radio, film, and television, and the author of five books. He composed the music for the classic holiday song “The Christmas Song” (“Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire”) and co-wrote the lyrics with Bob Wells.

Melvin Howard Tormé was born in Chicago, Illinois, to immigrant Russian Jewish parents, whose surname had been Torma. However, the name was changed at Ellis Island to “Torme.” A child prodigy, he first sang professionally at age 4 with the Coon-Sanders Orchestra, singing “You’re Driving Me Crazy” at Chicago’s Blackhawk restaurant.

Between 1933 and 1941, he acted in the network radio serials The Romance of Helen Trent and Jack Armstrong, the All-American Boy. He wrote his first song at 13, and three years later, his first published song, “Lament to Love,” became a hit recording for Harry James. He played drums in Chicago’s Shakespeare Elementary School drum and bugle corps in his early teens. While a teenager, he sang, arranged, and played drums in a band led by Chico Marx of the Marx Brothers. His formal education ended in 1944 with his graduation from Chicago’s Hyde Park High School.

In 1944 he formed the vocal quintet “Mel Tormé and His Mel-Tones,” modeled on Frank Sinatra and The Pied Pipers. The Mel-Tones, which included Les Baxter and Ginny O’Connor, had several hits fronting Artie Shaw’s band and on their own, including Cole Porter’s “What Is This Thing Called Love?” The Mel-Tones were among the first jazz-influenced vocal groups, blazing a path later followed by The Hi-Lo’s, The Four Freshmen, and The Manhattan Transfer.

Later in 1947, Tormé went solo. His singing at New York’s Copacabana led a local disc jockey, Fred Robbins, to give him the nickname “The Velvet Fog,” thinking to honor his high tenor and smooth vocal style, but Tormé detested the nickname. (He self-deprecatingly referred to it as “this Velvet Frog voice”. As a solo singer, he recorded several romantic hits for Decca (1945), and with the Artie Shaw Orchestra on the Musicraft label (1946–48). In 1949, he moved to Capitol Records, where his first record, “Careless Hands,” became his only number one hit. His versions of “Again” and “Blue Moon” became signature tunes. His composition “California Suite,” prompted by Gordon Jenkins’ “Manhattan Tower,” became Capitol’s first 12-inch LP album. 

From 1955 to 1957, Tormé recorded seven jazz vocal albums for Red Clyde’s Bethlehem Records, all with groups led by Marty Paich, most notably Mel Tormé with the Marty Paich Dektette. When rock and roll music (which Tormé called “three-chord manure”) came on the scene in the 1950s, commercial success became elusive. During the next two decades, Tormé often recorded mediocre arrangements of the pop tunes of the day, never staying long with any particular label. He was sometimes forced to make his living by singing in obscure clubs. He had two minor hits, his 1956 recording of “Mountain Greenery,” which did better in the United Kingdom where it reached No. 4 in May that year; and his 1962 R&B song “Comin’ Home, Baby” arranged by Claus Ogerman, which made No.13 in the UK early in 1963. The latter recording led the jazz and gospel singer Ethel Waters to say that “Tormé is the only white man who sings with the soul of a black man.” “Comin’ Home, Baby” was later covered instrumentally by Quincy Jones and Kai Winding.

The resurgence of vocal jazz in the 1970s resulted in another artistically fertile period for Tormé, whose live performances during the 1960s and 1970s fueled a growing reputation as a jazz singer. He found himself performing as often as 200 times a year around the globe. In 1976, he won an Edison Award (the Dutch equivalent of the Grammy) for best male singer, and a Down Beat award for best male jazz singer. For several years around this time, his September appearances at Michael’s Pub on the Upper East Side would unofficially open New York’s fall cabaret season. Tormé viewed his 1977 Carnegie Hall concert with George Shearing and Gerry Mulligan as a turning point.

In the 80s and 90s, Mel’s trio often included pianist John Colianni, bassist Jennifer Leitham, drummer Donny Osborne, as well as famed New Zealand pianist Carl Doy.

In 1993, Verve Records released the classic “Blue Moon” album featuring the Velvet voice and the Rodgers and Hart Songbook. His version of Blue Moon performed live at the “Sands” in November that year earned him a new nickname from older audiences: “The Blue Fox.” The nickname was used to describe Tormé’s performance after spending an extra hour with pianist Bill Butler cracking jokes and answering queries from a throng of more “mature” women who turned out to see the show. Under the shimmering blue lights at the Sands, he gained a new nickname that would endure for every future performance in Las Vegas and his last performance at Carnegie Hall. Tormé would develop other nicknames later in life, but none seemed as popular as the Velvet Fog (primarily on the East Coast) and the Blue Fox.

Jazziversaries September 12th

Andrew Colman (trumpet)1974 :: Happy Birthday Andrew. Andrew Colman is a jazz flugelhorn/trumpet player and educator based in Bristol, UK. He studied with Richard Iles at Leeds College of Music and graduated in 1999 with a 1st Class (Hons) Degree in Jazz Studies. In 1999 he won the RSA Young Jazz Musician of the Year.

Andrew is busy working with his brother Mat (trombone with Herbaliser, Easy Access Orchestra etc) on an exciting project called Colman Brothers. They are writing music for film and tv and also working on original material using strings, horns and beats. Other projects include the Jamil Sheriff Octet, the Saffron Beagley Orchestra and Silhouette Ensemble, Sara Colman Band, Andy Hague Big Band, Mankala…

Andrew can be heard on the following recordings - ‘Andrew Colman Young Jazz Musician of the Year’ (GLP) Jamil Sheriff Octet ‘Daydreams’ (GLP) and ‘Backchat’ (33 Jazz Records) Colman Brothers ‘El Nino’ and ‘She Who Dares’ (Wah Wah 45’s) Perry Hemus ‘Rhodesmodes’ (Woodland Records) Helen Sheppard ‘Oyster Love’ (Firstfeet/Leo Records) Jamie Finlay ‘Little Trumpet’ (Wah Wah 45’s).

Brian Lynch (trumpet) 1956 :: Birthday greetings to Brian Lynch.

Brian is a Grammy Award-winning New York-based jazz trumpeter, currentlytouring and recording as a member of the Phil Woods Quintet and Eddie Palmieri’s Afro-Caribbean Jazz group, as well as leading his own groups and appearing with various other bands including the “Latin Side Of Miles” project he co-leads with trombonist Conrad Herwig.

In recent years Lynch has worked with Buena Vista Social Club alumnus Barbarito Torres, recorded with dance remixers Joe Claussell, Little Louie Vega and the influential Latin alternative group Yerba Buena. He arranged for Japanese pop star Mika Nakashima and producer Shinichi Osawa, has written string charts for Phil Woods, and has played with such pop luminaries as Maxwell, Prince, and Sheila E.

Lynch moved to New York in late 1981 and was soon hired by Bill Kirchner, performing and recording with Kirchner’s nonet. He was a member of the Horace Silver Quintet (1982-1985) and the Toshiko Akiyoshi Jazz Orchestra (1982-1988). Simultaneously, he played and recorded on the Latin scene with salsa bandleader Angel Canales (1982-83) and legendary cantante Hector LaVoe (1983-87). He began his association with Eddie Palmieri in 1987, and at the end of 1988 joined what turned out to be the final edition of Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers. He began his association with Phil Woods in 1992, and also worked frequently with Benny Golson around this time.

In 1986, Lynch recorded his first album as a leader, Peer Pressure, for Criss-Cross. There followed Back Room Blues and At The Main Event (Criss-Cross), In Process (Ken Music), Keep Your Circle Small (Sharp Nine)), and a string of sideman dates with Art Blakey and Phil Woods.

A 1997 recording called Spheres of Influence (Sharp Nine), became the first of several Lynch projects displaying a strong Afro-Cuban influence. During these years he documented cross-cultural investigations with Eddie Palmieri’s seminal Afro-Caribbean Jazz Octet on Arete, Palmas and Vortex (Nonesuch and RMM). As the ‘90s progressed, he steadily refined his concept, eventually collaborating with Palmieri as an arranger, co-composer and musical director. Palmieri collaborated with Lynch again on Simpático, his project for ArtistShare.

Lynch has continued to advance the Spheres of Influence concept through collaborations with young Afro-Cuban musicians. These include drummers Dafnis Prieto, Horacio Hernandez, Robby Ameen and Ernesto Simpson; percussionists Richie Flores, Pedro Martinez and Roberto Quintero; pianists Luis Perdomo, Edsel Gomez, Manuel Valera and David Kikoski; bassists John Benitez, Ruben Rodriguez and Hans Glawischnig; and saxophonists Miguel Zenón and Yosvany Terry.

On February 11, 2007, Brian Lynch earned the Best Latin Jazz Album of the Year Grammy for his album, “The Brian Lynch/Eddie Palmieri Recording Project - Simpatico,” at the 49th Annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles.

Cat Anderson(trumpet) 1916 - 1981 :: William Alonzo Anderson, known as Cat Anderson, was an American jazz trumpeter best known for his long period playing with Duke Ellington’s orchestra, and for his extremely wide range (more than five octaves), especially his playing in the higher registers.

Born in Greenville, South Carolina, Anderson lost both parents when he was four years old, and was sent to live at the Jenkins Orphanage in Charleston, where he learned to play trumpet. Classmates gave him the nickname “Cat” (which he used all his life) based on his fighting style. He toured and made his first recording with the Carolina Cotton Pickers, a small group based at the orphanage. After leaving the Cotton Pickers, Anderson played with guitarist Hartley Toots, Claude Hopkins’ big band, Doc Wheeler’s Sunset Orchestra (1938–1942), with whom he also recorded, Lucky Millinder, the Erskine Hawkins Orchestra, Sabby Lewis’s Orchestra, and Lionel Hampton, with whom he recorded the classic “Flying Home No. 2”.

Anderson’s career took off, however, in 1944, when he joined Duke Ellington’s orchestra at the Earle Theater in Philadelphia. He quickly became a central part of Ellington’s sound. Anderson was capable of playing in a number of jazz styles, but is best remembered as a high-note trumpeter. He had a big sound in all registers, but could play in the extreme high register (up to triple C) with great power (he was able to perform his high-note solos without a microphone, while other members of a big band were individually miked). Wynton Marsalis has called him “one of the best ever” high note trumpeters. More than just a high-note trumpeter, though, Anderson was also a master of half valve and plunger mute playing. He played with Ellington’s band from 1944 to 1947, from 1950 to 1959, and from 1961 to 1971, with each break corresponding to a failed attempt to lead his own big band.

After 1971, Anderson settled in the Los Angeles area, where he continued to play studio sessions, to gig with local bands (including Louie Bellson’s and Bill Berry’s big bands), and occasionally to tour Europe.


Ella Mae Morse(vocalist) 1924-1999 ::  Ella Mae Morse  was an American popular singer. Morse blended jazz, country, pop, and R&B.

She was hired by Jimmy Dorsey when she was 14 years old. Dorsey believed she was 19, and when he was informed by the school board that he was now responsible for her care, he fired her. In 1942, at the age of 17, she joined Freddie Slack’s band, with whom in the same year she recorded “Cow Cow Boogie”, Capitol Records’ first gold single. “Mr. Five by Five” was also recorded by Morse with Slack, and they had a hit recording with the song in 1942 (Capitol 115). She also originated the wartime hit “Milkman, Keep Those Bottles Quiet”, which was later popularized by Nancy Walker in the film, Broadway Rhythm.

In 1943, Morse began to record solo. She reached #1 in the R&B chart with “Shoo-Shoo Baby” in December for two weeks. In the same year she performed “Cow Cow Boogie” in the film Reveille with Beverly and starred in Universal’s South of Dixie and The Ghost Catchers with Olsen and Johnson and How Do You Dooo? with radio’s Mad Russian, Bert Gordon. She sang in a wide variety of styles, and she had hits on both the U.S. pop and rhythm and blues charts. However, she never received the popularity of a major star because her versatility prevented her from being placed into any one category of music.

The song “Love Me or Leave Me” as recorded by Morse was released by Capitol Records as catalog number 1922, with the flip side “Blacksmith Blues,” which became her biggest hit.

In 1946, “House of Blue Lights” by Freddie Slack and Morse, (written by Slack and Raye) saw them perform what was one of many of Raye’s songs picked up by black R&B artists. Her biggest solo success was “Blacksmith Blues” in 1952, which sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc. The same year her version of “Down the Road a Piece” appeared on Capitol with Slack again on piano accompaniment. Morse also recorded a version of “Oakie Boogie” for Capitol which reached #23 in 1952. Her version was one of the first songs arranged by Nelson Riddle.

Morse ceased recording in 1957, but continued performing until the early 1990s at such clubs as Michael’s Pub in New York, Ye Little Club in Beverly Hills, the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel’s Cinegrill and the Vine St. Bar and Grill. She appeared regularly at Disneyland for several years with the Ray McKinley Orchestra, and did a successful tour of Australia shortly before her final illness.

Her music career was profiled in Nick Tosches’ 1984 book, The Unsung Heroes of Rock ‘N’ Roll: The Birth of Rock in the Wild Years Before Elvis. She has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1724 Vine Street. Her entire recorded body of work was issued in a deluxe box set by Bear Family Records.

Maria Muldaur (vocalist) 1943 :: Happy birthday to Maria Muldaur. Maria is an American folk-blues singer who was part of the American folk music revival in the early 1960s. She recorded the 1974 hit song “Midnight at the Oasis,” and continues to record albums in the folk traditions.

Muldaur began her career in the early 1960s as Maria D’Amato, performing with John Sebastian, David Grisman, and Stefan Grossman as a member of the Even Dozen Jug Band. She then joined Jim Kweskin & His Jug Band as a featured vocalist and occasional violinist. During this time, she was part of the Greenwich Village scene that included Bob Dylan, and some of her recollections of the period, particularly with respect to Dylan, appear in Martin Scorsese’s 2005 documentary film, No Direction Home.

She married fellow Jug Band member Geoff Muldaur, and after the Kweskin outfit broke up the two of them produced two albums. She began her solo career when their marriage ended in 1972, but retained her married name.

Her first solo album Maria Muldaur, released in 1973, contained her hit single “Midnight at the Oasis”, which reached number 6 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1974. It also peaked at number 21 in the UK Singles Chart. Later that year, she released her second album Waitress In A Donut Shop. This included a re-recording of “I’m a Woman”, the Leiber and Stoller number first associated with Peggy Lee and a standout feature from her Jug Band days. The title of this album is taken from a line in another song on the album, “Sweetheart” by Ken Burgan.

Around this time, Muldaur established a relationship with the Grateful Dead. Opening for some Grateful Dead shows in the summer of 1974 with John Kahn, bassist of the Jerry Garcia Band, which would eventually earn her a seat in that group as a backing vocalist in the late 1970s. She appeared on Super Jam (1989), the live recording of the German TV series Villa Fantastica with Brian Auger on piano, Pete York on drums, Dick Morrissey on tenor saxophone, Roy Williams on trombone, Harvey Weston on bass and Zoot Money, also on vocals.

Muldaur continued to perform, tour, and record after her success in the mid-1970s, including a turn at the Teatro ZinZanni in 2001.

Her 2005 release Sweet Lovin’ Ol’ Soul was nominated for both a Blues Music Award (formerly a W.C. Handy Award) and a Grammy Award in the Traditional Blues Category.

In 2013, she was nominated for a Blues Music Award in the Koko Taylor Award (Traditional Blues Female)’ category.

Scott Hamilton(sax, tenor) 1954 :: Many happy returns to Scott Hamilton. Scott is a jazz tenor saxophonist, associated with swing (music) and mainstream jazz.

He emerged in the 1970s and at the time he was considered to be one of the few musicians of real talent who carried the tradition of the classic jazz tenor saxophone in the style of Ben Webster, Coleman Hawkins as well as Zoot Sims and Don Byas forward. He began playing in various rhythm & blues outfits in Providence (Rhode Island), but subsequently shifted to jazz and the tenor saxophone. In 1976 he moved to New York City at, in part the recommendation of Roy Eldridge. He there joined Benny Goodman for a period of time and in 1977 recorded his debut album for Concord Records, with whom he would have a long recording career in his own name and as one of their Concord Jazz All Stars. He also worked as a backing musician for singer Rosemary Clooney and others.

In the early 1980s he had formed his own quintet and toured all over the world. By then free from his drinking habit, in 1982 he had matured sufficiently to be able to break away from the spell of mainly Ben Webster and Zoot Sims, whom he had been criticized of imitating. From this point on both his playing and his tone were very much his own.

Living in New York City, he toured all around the world during the 1980s, playing Japan and all over Europe. He was in particular a recurrent visitor to the UK, Sweden and the Grande Parade du Jazz, held in Nice, France. By the early 1990s he was ready for a next step and by 1994 when he released Organic Duke, he had developed a quite singular style: a large, well-rounded but still focused tone and improvising, ostensibly still based on the swing idiom (especially Ellington), but incorporating more modern elements. During this period, he relocated to London, and formed his current quartet, featuring British musicians John Pearce (p), Dave Green (b) and Steve Brown (dr), with whom he recorded East of the Sun in 1993. (East of the Sun features Brian Lemon on piano, not John Pearce.) He is currently active touring all over Europe.

Steve Turre(trombone) 1948 :: Happy birthday wishes to Steve Turre.
Steve is an American jazz trombonist, a pioneering musical seashell virtuoso, a composer, arranger, and educator at the collegiate-conservatory level who, for forty-nine years, has been active in jazz, rock, and Latin jazz — in live venues, recording studios, television, and cinema production. As a studio musician, Turre is among the most prolific living jazz trombonist in the world. As a member of a television orchestra, this is Turre’s twenty-ninth year as trombonist with the Saturday Night Live Band.

In 1968, Turre played with Rahsaan Roland Kirk; in 1970 he recorded with Carlos Santana; and in 1972 he toured with Ray Charles. He has been the trombonist for the Saturday Night Live band since 1985 and has taught jazz trombone at the Manhattan School of Music since 1988.

Turre is also noted for playing conch and other seashells as musical instruments, which he has done since 1970. Kirk encouraged his interest in using seashells as a lip-reed instrument. Turre has a collection of shells of various sizes, which he has picked up during his travels in the Caribbean and elsewhere. The shells have their mouthpieces carefully cut and are tuned to specific pitches. When playing them as a soloist he frequently switches between shells, as each is limited in its register (the smallest shells, for example, have a practical register of only a fifth). His largest shell, from the Great Barrier Reef of Australia, has a range between the D and E below middle C, and was painted by a Cuban artist. Turre also leads “Sanctified Shells,” which is a “shell choir” made up of brass players who double on seashell (using shells from Turre’s collection, which he loans out for rehearsals and performances). The group released its first, eponymous album in 1993.

He has had a long experience with Latin jazz, and is also a skilled player of the cowbell and Venezuelan maracas.

Turre has been a member of the Juilliard faculty since 2008, and was previously on the faculty from 2001 to 2003.

The Jazz Discography database lists him as having appeared on 235 jazz recording sessions from 1969 to 2011. As leader, he has recorded over 31 sessions from 1986 to 2011.

Jazziversaries September 11th

Baby Face Willette (Hammond B3) 1933-1971 :: Roosevelt “Baby Face” Willette  was a hard bop and soul-jazz musician most known for playing Hammond organ. It is unclear whether he was born in Little Rock, Arkansas, or New Orleans, Louisiana

His mother was a missionary who played the piano in the church where his father was a minister. His musical roots are therefore in gospel and Baby Face started out playing the piano for various gospel groups, and spent his early career travelling across the United States, Canada and Cuba. In Chicago he decided to switch from Gospel and Rhythm and Blues to playing in Jazz bands. He played piano with the bands of King Kolax, Joe Houston, Johnny Otis and Big Jay McNeely before switching to organ. In 1960 he arrived in New York City where he met Lou Donaldson and Grant Green, and played on a few Blue Note sessions with them. This led to Willette being signed to Blue Note Records, which recorded his debut album Face to Face .

Willette formed his own trio in 1963 and recorded two more albums for Argo. He has a son named Kevin D. Bailey. Willette taught himself to play the piano and was inspired by Jimmy Smith’s work, however his playing style is heavily influenced by gospel and soul jazz. Willette was also a professional hairdresser. Before his time in New York City, he was based out of Milwaukee, playing with his vocalist wife Jo Gibson at clubs such as The Flame Club, The Pelican Club, The Moonglow and Max’s among others. After stints in New York City, and then California, failing health forced a return to Chicago, where his family resided.

Hiram Bullock(guitar, electric) 1955-2008 :: Hiram Law Bullock was an American jazz funk and jazz fusion guitarist.

Bullock studied at the University of Miami music college, meeting guitarists Pat Metheny and Steve Morse, and bass-players Jaco Pastorius and Will Lee. He paid his way at university by playing nightclub gigs in Florida, before moving to New York. He became best known for his playing with Pastorius, on Late Night with David Letterman and work with David Sanborn and Bob James. His work can be heard on Steely Dan’s Gaucho (1980), Paul Simon’s One Trick Pony (1980), Sting’s …Nothing Like the Sun (1987) (solo on the cover of Jimi Hendrix’s “Little Wing”) and Billy Joel’s The Stranger (1977). He also did work for Harry Belafonte, Marcus Miller, Carla Bley, Miles Davis, Ruben Rada (on the album Montevideo) and Gil Evans.

He recorded as a member of the 24th Street Band, who released 3 albums: 24th Street Band (1979), Share Your Dreams (1980) and Bokutachi (1981).

In 1982, he released his debut album, called First Class Vagabond, which was exclusively distributed for the Japanese music market by the JVC-Victor Company, and later reissued on CD.

In 1986, Bullock released his first album as a leader for Atlantic Records called From All Sides, followed by the albums Give It What You Got in 1987, and Way Kool in 1990. Shortly after the Atlantic albums, he recorded a few tracks from those specific sessions for a live event at the NYC-located Indigo Blues Venue, in order to eventually release it on laserdisc and CD for the commercial market in Japan.

On May 27, 2004, he teamed up with legendary drummer Billy Cobham for a performance of the works of Jimi Hendrix at the University of Cologne in Germany. A CD of this performance was released posthumously in 2008.

Harry Connick, Jr.(piano) 1967 :: Birthday greetings to Joseph Harry Fowler Connick, Jr.  is an American singer, conductor, pianist, actor, and composer. He has sold over 25 million albums worldwide. Connick is ranked among the top 60 best-selling male artists in the United States by the Recording Industry Association of America, with 16 million in certified sales. He has seven top-20 US albums, and ten number-1 US jazz albums, earning more number-one albums than any other artist in the US jazz chart history.

Connick’s best selling album in the United States is his 1993 Christmas album When My Heart Finds Christmas, which also is one of the best selling Christmas albums in the United States. His highest charting album, is his 2004 release Only You which reached No. 5 in the U.S. and No. 6 in Britain. He has won three Grammy awards and two Emmy Awards. He played Grace’s husband, Dr. Leo Markus, on the TV sitcom Will & Grace from 2002 to 2006.

Connick began his acting career as a tail gunner in the World War II film, Memphis Belle, in 1990. He played a serial killer in Copycat in 1995, before being cast as jet fighter pilot in the 1996 blockbuster Independence Day. Connick’s first role as a leading man was in 1998’s Hope Floats with Sandra Bullock. His first thriller film since Copycat came in 2003 in the film Basic with John Travolta. Additionally, he played the violent ex-husband in Bug, before two romantic comedies, 2007’s P.S. I Love You, and the leading man in New in Town with Renée Zellweger in 2009. In 2011 appeared in the family film Dolphin Tale as Dr. Clay Haskett.

Barbecue Bob (guitar) 1902 - 1931 :: Robert Hicks, better known as Barbecue Bob was an early American Piedmont blues musician. His nickname came from the fact that he was a cook in a barbecue restaurant. One of the two extant photographs of Bob show him playing his guitar while wearing a full length white apron and cook’s hat.

He was born in Walnut Grove, Georgia. He and his brother, Charlie Hicks, together with Curley Weaver, were taught how to play the guitar by Curley’s mother, Savannah “Dip” Weaver. Bob began playing the 6-string guitar but picked up the 12-string guitar after moving to Atlanta, Georgia in 1923–1924. He became one of the prominent performers of the newly developing early Atlanta blues style.

In Atlanta, Hicks worked a variety of jobs, playing music on the side. While working at Tidwells’ Barbecue in a north Atlanta suburb, Hicks came to the attention of Columbia Records talent scout Dan Hornsby. Hornsby recorded him and decided to use Hicks’s job as a gimmick, having him pose in chef’s whites and hat for publicity photos and dubbing him “Barbecue Bob”

During his short career he recorded 68 78-rpm sides. He recorded his first side, “Barbecue Blues”, in March 1927. The record quickly sold 15,000 copies and made him a best selling artist for Columbia’s race series. Despite this initial success, it was not until his second recording session, in New York during June 1927, that he firmly established himself on the race market. At this session he recorded “Mississippi Heavy Water Blues”, a song inspired by the major floods taking place in Mississippi at that time. This song, as well as his other blues releases, gained considerable popularity, and his records sold much better than those of other local blues musicians.

The two part duet with crosstalk, “It Won’t Be Long Now” was recorded with his brother Charlie (a/k/a Charlie Lincoln, or Laughing Charlie) in Atlanta on November 5, 1927. In April 1928 Bob recorded two sides with the female vocalist Nellie Florence, whom he had known since childhood, and also produced “Mississippi Low Levee Blues”, a sequel to “Mississippi Heavy Water Blues”. In April 1930, he recorded “We Sure Got Hard Times Now”, which contains bleak references to the early effects of The Depression. Although Barbecue Bob remained predominantly a blues musician, he also recorded a few traditional and spiritual songs including “When the Saints Go Marching In”, “Poor Boy, Long Ways from Home” and “Jesus’ Blood Can Make Me Whole”.

Barbecue Bob also recorded as a member of The Georgia Cotton Pickers in December 1930, a group that included guitarist Curley Weaver and harmonica player Buddy Moss. As a group they recorded a handful of sides including their own adaptation of Blind Blake’s “Diddie Wa Diddie” (recorded as “Diddle-Da-Diddle”) and the Mississippi Sheiks’ “Sitting on Top of the World” (recorded as “I’m On My Way Down Home”). These were the last recordings that Bob recorded.

Jazz Gillum(harmonica) 1904-1966 :: William McKinley Gillum known as Jazz Gillum, was an American blues harmonica player.

He was born in Indianola, Mississippi. After running away from home at the age of seven, Gillum spent the next few years in Charleston, Mississippi, working and playing for tips on local street corners. He moved to Chicago, Illinois in 1923, meeting up with the guitarist, Big Bill Broonzy. The duo started working club dates around the city and, by 1934, Gillum started recording for both ARC and Bluebird Records.

With his characteristic high, reedy harmonica sound, he appeared on many of the highly popular “Bluebird beat” recordings produced by Lester Melrose in the 1930s and 1940s, under his own name and as a sideman. Gillum was the first to record the blues classic “Key to the Highway” (featuring Broonzy on guitar) utilizing the now-standard melody and 8-bar blues arrangement. (The song had first been recorded a few months earlier by Charlie Segar, with a different melody and a 12-bar blues arrangement.) Gillum’s version of the song was then covered by Broonzy a few months later, and has become the standard arrangement of this now-classic blues song. Gillum’s records also resulted in some of the very earliest recordings of electric guitar in blues, when 16-year-old fledgling jazz guitarist George Barnes was featured on several songs on the 1938 Gillum session that produced “Reefer Headed Woman” and others.

Gillum joined the United States Army in 1942 and served until 1945. Gillum recorded an early version of “Look on Yonder Wall” (1946) with Big Maceo on piano, which was later popularized by Elmore James.

However, after the Bluebird record label folded in the late 1940s he made few further recordings. His last, slightly sad recordings were on a couple of 1961 albums with Memphis Slim and the singer-guitarist Arbee Stidham on Folkways Records.

On 29 March 1966, during a street argument, he was shot in the head and was pronounced dead on arrival at Garfield Park Hospital in Chicago. He is buried at Restvale Cemetery in Alsip, Illinois.

John Martyn(guitar) 1948 -2009 :: John Martyn, OBE  (born Iain David McGeachy) was a British singer-songwriter and guitarist. Over a 40 year career, he released 21 studio albums, working with artists such as Eric Clapton and David Gilmour. He has been described by The Times as “an electrifying guitarist and singer whose music blurred the boundaries between folk, jazz, rock and blues”.

Mentored by Hamish Imlach, Martyn began his professional musical career when he was 17, playing a blend of blues and folk resulting in a distinctive style which made him a key figure in the British folk scene during the mid-1960s. He signed to Chris Blackwell’s Island Records in 1967 and released his first album, London Conversation, the following year.

This first album was soon followed by The Tumbler, which was moving towards jazz. By 1970 Martyn had developed a wholly original and idiosyncratic sound: acoustic guitar run through a fuzzbox, phase shifter and Echoplex. This sound was first apparent on Stormbringer! in 1970, which was written and performed by both John and Beverley Martyn, his then wife, who had previously recorded solo as Beverley Kutner and had worked with artists such as Nick Drake and Jimmy Page. Her second album with Martyn was The Road to Ruin, also released in 1970. Island Records felt that it would be more successful to market Martyn as a solo act and this was how subsequent albums were produced, although Beverley Martyn continued to make appearances as a background singer as well as continuing as a solo artist herself.

In 1973, Martyn released one of the defining British albums of the 1970s, Solid Air, the title song a tribute to the singer-songwriter Nick Drake, a close friend and label-mate, who died in 1974 from an overdose of antidepressants.

Following the commercial success of Solid Air, Martyn quickly recorded and released the experimental Inside Out, an album with emphasis placed on feel and improvisation rather than song structure. In 1974, he followed this with Sunday’s Child. In September 1975 he released a live album, Live at Leeds—Martyn had been unable to convince Island to release the record, and resorted to selling individually signed copies by mail from home. Live at Leeds features Danny Thompson and drummer John Stevens.

In 1977, he released One World, which led some commentators to describe Martyn as the “Father of Trip-Hop”. It included tracks such as “Small Hours” and “Big Muff”, a collaboration with Lee “Scratch” Perry. One World was recorded outside; the microphones picked up ambient sounds, such as geese from a nearby lake.

Martyn released The Apprentice in 1990 and Cooltide in 1991 for Permanent Records, and then rerecorded many of his “classic” songs for No Little Boy (1993). The similar 1992 release Couldn’t Love You More was unauthorised by and disowned by Martyn. Material from these recordings and his two Permanent albums has been recycled on many releases. Permanent Records also released a live 2-CD set called “Live” in 1994.

And (1996) came out on Go!Discs and saw Martyn draw heavily on trip-hop textures, a direction which saw more complete expression on 2000s Glasgow Walker ; The Church with One Bell (1998) is a covers album which draws on songs by Portishead and Ben Harper.

In 2001 Martyn appeared on the track Deliver Me by Faithless keyboard player and DJ Sister Bliss.

In July 2006 the documentary Johnny Too Bad was screened by the BBC. The programme documented the period surrounding the operation to amputate Martyn’s right leg below the knee (the result of a burst cyst) and the writing and recording of On the Cobbles (2004), an album described by Peter Marsh on the BBC Music website as “the strongest, most consistent set he’s come up with in years.” Much of Cobbles was a revisiting of his acoustic-based sound. Martyn’s last concerts were in November 2008 reprising Grace and Danger.

Jazziversaries September 10th

Prince Lasha (sax, alto) 1929 :: William B. Lawsha, better known as Prince Lasha (pronounced “La-shay”), was an American jazz alto saxophonist, flautist, and clarinetist.

He was born in Fort Worth, Texas, where he came of age studying and performing alongside fellow I.M. Terrell High School students John Carter, Ornette Coleman, King Curtis, Charles Moffett, and Dewey Redman.

Lasha moved to California during the 1950s. In the 1960s, Prince Lasha was active in the burgeoning free jazz movement, of which his Fort Worth cohort Ornette Coleman was a pioneer. Lasha worked closely with saxophonist Sonny Simmons, with whom he recorded two albums, The Cry and Firebirds, for Contemporary Records. The latter album received five stars and an AMG Albumpick at Allmusic. Lasha also appeared on recordings by Eric Dolphy (Iron Man and Conversations) and the Elvin Jones/Jimmy Garrison Sextet featuring McCoy Tyner (Illumination!).

In the 1970s, Lasha and Simmons made additional recordings under the name Firebirds. In 2005, Lasha recorded the album The Mystery of Prince Lasha with the Odean Pope Trio.

Roy Ayers(vibraphone)1940 :: Big bornday greetings to Roy Ayers! Roy is an American funk, soul, and jazz composer and vibraphone player. Ayers began his career as a post-bop jazz artist, releasing several albums with Atlantic Records, before his tenure at Polydor Records beginning in the 1970s, during which he helped pioneer jazz-funk.

Ayers was responsible for the highly regarded soundtrack to Jack Hill’s 1973 blaxploitation film Coffy, which starred Pam Grier. He later moved from a jazz-funk sound to R&B, as seen on Mystic Voyage, which featured the songs “Evolution” and the underground disco hit “Brother Green (The Disco King)”, as well as the title track from his 1976 album Everybody Loves the Sunshine.

In 1977, Ayers produced an album by the group RAMP, Come Into Knowledge, commonly and mistakenly thought to stand for “Roy Ayers Music Project”. That Fall, he had his biggest hit with “Running Away”.

In late 1979, Ayers scored his only top ten single on Billboard’s Hot Disco/Dance chart with “Don’t Stop The Feeling,” which was also the leadoff single from his 1980 album “No Stranger to Love”, whose title track was sampled in Jill Scott’s 2001 song “Watching Me” from her debut album Who Is Jill Scott?

In 1980, Ayers released Music Of Many Colors with the Nigerian Afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti.

In 1981, Ayers produced an album with the singer Sylvia Striplin, Give Me Your Love (Uno Melodic Records 1981).

Ayers performed a solo on the John “Jellybean” Benitez production of Whitney Houston “Love Will Save The Day” from her second multi-platinum studio album Whitney. The single was released in July 1988 by Arista Records.

Roy Ayers hosts the fictitious radio station “Fusion FM” in Grand Theft Auto IV (2008).

Currently, there is a documentary in progress called the Roy Ayers Project featuring Ayers and many hip hop producers who have sampled his music and other people who have been influenced by him and his music. The documentary is planned for release in early 2014.

Roy Brown (vocalist) 1925-1981 :: Roy James Brown was an American R&B singer, songwriter and musician, who had a pivotal influence on the early development of rock and roll by changing the direction R&B was headed in. His original song and hit recording “Good Rocking Tonight” was covered by Wynonie Harris, Elvis Presley, Bruce Springsteen, Ricky Nelson, Jerry Lee Lewis, Pat Boone, and the rock group Montrose. Brown was the first singer in recording history to sing R&B songs with a gospel-steeped delivery, which was then considered taboo by many churches. In addition, his melismatical pleading, vocal style influenced B.B. King, Bobby Bland, Elvis Presley, Jackie Wilson, James Brown and Little Richard.

Brown was a big fan of blues singer Wynonie Harris. When Harris appeared in town, Brown tried but failed to interest Harris in listening to “Good Rocking Tonight.” Dejected, Brown approached another blues singer, Cecil Gant who was appearing at another club in town. Brown introduced his song, and Gant had Brown to sing it over the telephone to the president of De Luxe Records, Jules Braun, reportedly at 4:00 in the morning. Brown was signed to a recording contract immediately. Brown recorded the song in a jump blues style with a swing beat. It was released in 1948 and reached #13 on the US Billboard R&B chart. Ironically, Wynonie Harris covered it and hit the top of Billboard’s R&B chart later in 1948. Presley also covered the song for Sun Records in 1954; later re-released on RCA Victor when his recording contract was sold to that record label in 1956.

Brown continued to make his mark on the R&B charts, scoring 14 hits from mid-1948 to late 1951 with De Luxe, including “Hard Luck Blues” (his biggest seller in 1950), “Love Don’t Love Nobody”, “Rockin’ at Midnight,” “Boogie at Midnight,” “Miss Fanny Brown,” and “Cadillac Baby”, making him the undisputed king of R&B for those three years.

After his popularity peaked, Brown began to experience a lull in his career. Doo-wop and R&B groups were quickly gaining popularity as the standard sound of R&B in the early to mid-1950s. The decline of his fortunes coincided with his successfully winning a lawsuit against King Records for unpaid royalties in 1952, one of the few African American musicians to do so in the 1950s. This has led some, such as author Nick Tosches (in his book Unsung Heroes of Rock ‘n’ Roll, which contained a chapter on Brown) to believe that Brown may have been blacklisted. Brown’s other misfortunes included trouble with the IRS. When confronted by the government for unpaid taxes he owed, he approached Elvis Presley to ask for help. Presley wrote him a brown paper check, but it wasn’t enough to keep him out of jail. Brown did a little prison time for tax evasion. When his popularity ebbed in the rock and roll era, he tried teen-slanted songs like “School Bell Rock”, but had little success and subsequently went into semi-retirement.

Brown had a brief comeback through Imperial Records in 1957. Working with Dave Bartholomew, Brown returned to the charts with the original version of “Let the Four Winds Blow” (co-written by Fats Domino), which would become a hit later for Domino.

He returned to King Records where his popularity ground down to a low by 1959, but he sporadically managed to find work and do some recording through the 1960s, making appearances where ever he was wanted. To supplement his income, Brown sold the rights to “Good Rocking Tonight.” “I was selling door to door,” he once reminisced. He also worked as an encyclopedia salesman.

In 1970, Brown closed The Johnny Otis Show at the Monterey Jazz Festival. As a result of the crowd’s positive reaction, he recorded “Love for Sale”, which became a hit for Mercury Records.

Campbell Burnap (trombone) 1939-2008  :: Campbell Burnap was a British jazz trombonist, vocalist and broadcaster.

Burnap played washboard in a skiffle band with classmates as a teenager in England. He moved to New Zealand at age 19, where he began playing trombone and played in the Omega Jazz Band in 1960-62. From 1962 to 1965 he played in Australia with the Hot Sands Jazz Band (1962-64) and Geoff Bull’s Olympia Jazz Band (1964-65). In 1965 he played for a time at Preservation Hall in New Orleans, then returned briefly to the UK, playing with Terry Lightfoot and Monty Sunshine. He spent three further years (1966-69) in Australia before moving permanently back to the UK, settling in London. He played with Ian Armit (1969-70), Alan Elsdon (1970-75), Alex Welsh (1978-79), and Acker Bilk (1980-87). After 1988 Burnap hosted jazz radio programs for the BBC and Jazz FM.

And this is what Campbell sued to get up to here in the UK on a thursday lunchtime apparently:


Craig Harris(trombone) 1954 :: Craig Harris is a Jazz trombonist and composer who has been a major figure in the jazz avant-garde movement since his stint with Sun Ra in 1976. Subsequently, Harris has worked with such notable jazz artists as Abdullah Ibrahim, David Murray, Lester Bowie, Cecil Taylor, Sam Rivers, Muhal Richard Abrams and Charlie Haden. Harris has also recorded since 1983 as leader for labels like India Navigation, Soul Note and JMT. For the latter he recorded with two different groups: the Tailgaters Tails was a quintet with clarinetist Don Byron, trumpeter Edward E. J. Allen, Anthony Cox on bass and Pheeroan akLaff on drums. His large ensemble project Cold Sweat was a tribute to the music of James Brown.

Harris was born in Hempstead, New York. He is a graduate of the music program of State University of New York College at Old Westbury, and was profoundly influenced by its founder and director Makanda Ken McIntyre. Harris’s move to New York City in 1978 quickly established him in the forefront of young trombonists, including Ray Anderson, George Lewis and Joseph Bowie.

He first played alongside another of his teachers at SUNY, baritone saxophonist Pat Patrick, in Sun Ra’s Arkestra for two years. Harris than embarked on a world tour with South African pianist/composer Abdullah Ibrahim (Dollar Brand) in 1981. While on tour in Australia Harris discovered the Indigenous Australian wind instrument, the didgeridoo, which he added to the collection of instruments he plays.

 Sometimes you just find something, beautiful. That you just need to share. This video, sent chills down my spine and it’s here because Craig Harris is involved in the music, (it’s also got one of my favorite writers sitting in it, but thats by the by…….)

Jazziversaries September 9th

David Sanchez (saxophone) 1968 :: David Sánchez  is a Grammy-winning jazz tenor saxophonist from Puerto Rico. Sanchez took up the conga when he was eight and started playing tenor saxophone at age 12. His earliest influences were Afro-Caribbean and danza but also European and Latin classical. At 12 Sanchez attended La Escuela Libre de Musica, which emphasized formal musical studies and classical European styles and was much taken with a Miles Davis album, Basic Miles, featuring John Coltrane, as well as Lady in Satin, a 1958 album by Billie Holiday with strings, arranged and conducted by Ray Ellis. Sanchez considered a college career in psychology but auditioned at Berklee and Rutgers University. Sanchez chose Rutgers because he got a better scholarship and was near New York which was Sanchez’ goal. While at Rutgers, Sanchez studied with Kenny Barron, Ted Dunbar, and John Purcell.

Sanchez joined Dizzy Gillespie’s United Nation Orchestra in 1990 and Dizzy became Sanchez’ mentor. Dizzy’s group toured 27 countries, and 100 U.S. cities in 31 states, and also saw other notable musicians (Flora Purim for example, another Grammy Award nominee). After the United Nation Orchestra, Sanchez continued to play with Dizzy until Dizzy died in 1993, mainly in Dizzy’s Trio with Mike Longo. Since then he has toured with the Philip Morris SuperBand, recorded with Slide Hampton and his Jazz Masters, Charlie Sepulveda, Roy Hargrove, Kenny Drew, Jr., Ryan Kisor, Danilo Perez, Rachel Z, and Hilton Ruiz, and headed his own sessions for Columbia Records.

In 2005 Sanchez won the Grammy award for Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album for Coral, which was two years in the making. Recorded in The Czech Republic with The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra, Coral features a sextet: alto saxophonist Miguel Zenón, pianist Edsel Gomez, bassists John Benitez and Ben Street, drummer Adam Cruz, and percussionist Pernell Saturnino.

Elvin Jones (drums) 1927-2004 :: Elvin Jones was a jazz drummer of the post-bop era. He showed interest in drums at a young age, watching the circus bands march by his family’s home in Pontiac, Michigan.

He served in the United States Army from 1946 to 1949 and subsequently played in a Detroit houseband led by Billy Mitchell. He moved to New York in 1955 and worked as a sideman for Charles Mingus, Teddy Charles, Bud Powell and Miles Davis.

In 1960, he joined with the classic John Coltrane Quartet, which also included bassist Jimmy Garrison and pianist McCoy Tyner. Jones and Coltrane often played extended duet passages. This band is widely considered to have redefined “swing” (the rhythmic feel of jazz) in much the same way that Louis Armstrong, Charlie Parker, and others did during earlier stages of jazz’s development. He stayed with Coltrane until 1966. By that time, Jones was not entirely comfortable with Coltrane’s new direction and his polyrhythmic style clashed with the “multidirectional” approach of the group’s second drummer, Rashied Ali.

Jones remained active after leaving the John Coltrane group, and led several bands in the late sixties and seventies that are considered highly influential groups. Notable among them was a trio formed with saxophonist and multi-instrumentalist Joe Farrell and (ex-Coltrane) bassist Jimmy Garrison, with whom he recorded the Blue Note album Puttin’ It Together. Jones recorded extensively for Blue Note under his own name in the late sixties and early seventies, with groups that featured prominent as well as up and coming greats. The two volume Live at The Lighthouse showcases a 21- and 26-year-old Steve Grossman and Dave Liebman, respectively. Other musicians of note who made significant contributions to Elvin’s music during this period were baritone saxophonist Pepper Adams, tenor saxophonists George Coleman and Frank Foster, trumpeter Lee Morgan, bassist Gene Perla, keyboardist Jan Hammer and Jazz - World Music group Oregon.

Jones performed and recorded with his own group, the Elvin Jones Jazz Machine, whose line up changed through the years. Sonny Fortune and Ravi Coltrane, John Coltrane’s son, both played saxophone with the Jazz Machine in the early 1990s, appearing together with Jones on In Europe on Enja Records in 1991. Jones, who taught regularly, often took part in clinics, played in schools, and gave free concerts in prisons. His lessons emphasized music history as well as drumming technique.

George Mraz(bass) 1944 :: Birthday greetings to George Mraz. George was born in Písek, Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, now Czech Republic) is a jazz bassist and alto saxophonist. He was a member of Oscar Peterson’s group, and has worked with Pepper Adams, Stan Getz, Michel Petrucciani, Stephane Grappelli, Tommy Flanagan, Jimmy Raney, Chet Baker and many other important jazz musicians. He also appears with Joe Lovano, Hank Jones, and Paul Motian on Lovano’s records, I’m All For You and Joyous Encounters. During the 1970s he was a member of the New York Jazz Quartet and The Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra, and in the 1980s a member of Quest.


Otis Redding(vocalist) 1941-1967 :: Otis Redding was an American singer and songwriter, record producer, arranger and talent scout. He is considered one of the greatest singers in popular music and a major artist in soul music and rhythm and blues. His singing style has been influential among the soul artists of 1960s and helped exemplify the Stax Sound. After appearing at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival, he wrote and recorded “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay” with Steve Cropper. The song became the first posthumous number-one record on both the Billboard Hot 100 and R&B charts after his death in a plane crash. The Dock of the Bay became the first posthumous album to reach number one on the UK Albums Chart.

Born and raised in Georgia, United States, Redding left school at age 15 to support his family by working with Little Richard’s backing band, the Upsetters and by performing at talent shows for prize money. In 1958, he joined Johnny Jenkins’ band, the Pinetoppers, and toured the Southern United States as driver and musician. An unscheduled appearance on a Stax recording session led to a contract and his first single, “These Arms of Mine”, in 1962. Stax released Redding’s debut album, Pain in My Heart, two years later.

Initially popular mainly with African Americans, Redding later reached the broader American popular music audience. He and his group first played small gigs in the South, then played for the first time in the western United States, at the Whisky a Go Go. Redding later performed in Paris, London and other European cities. His premature death devastated Stax, already on the verge of bankruptcy. The label soon discovered that Atlantic Records owned the rights to Redding’s entire catalog. Redding received many posthumous accolades, including the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame. He received the honorific “King of Soul”. In addition to “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay,” “Respect” and “Try a Little Tenderness” are among his most well-known songs.

++== And now to play DESTINY!!!  - depending on the postman, work, and the internet, I mean, what could possibly go wrong? ! ++ ==

Jazziversaries September 8th

Butch Warren (bass) 1939-2013  :: Butch Warren was an American jazz double bassist who plays in the hard bop genre. He was especially active in the late-50s and the 1960s.

Warren began playing professionally at age 14 in a local Washington, D. C. band led by his father, Edward Warren. He later worked with other local groups, including Stuff Smith’s as well as with altoist and bandleader Rick Henderson at the historic Howard Theater on 7th and T Streets.

In 1958, he moved to New York City to play with Kenny Dorham, appearing on his first recording, with Dorham, in January 1960 with saxophonist Charles Davis, pianist Tommy Flanagan and drummer Buddy Enlow. He stayed in New York for the rest of his musical career, mainly as house bassist for Blue Note records.

A popular sideman, he also recorded with Miles Davis, Hank Mobley, Donald Byrd, Sonny Clark, Dexter Gordon, Herbie Hancock, Joe Henderson, Jackie McLean, and Stanley Turrentine. He played with Thelonious Monk in 1963 and 1964 and then moved back to Washington, D.C., where he briefly worked in television before becoming seriously ill.

Since his illness he has played professionally only occasionally. Until recently, he played a regular gig at the jazz club Columbia Station in Washington D.C.’s Adams Morgan neighborhood.

He rarely soloed, preferring to accompany other musicians, and never recorded as a leader but performed as a sideman on many albums, including Dexter Gordon’s Go, Jackie McLean’s Vertigo (1959) and Hipnosis (1967), and many recordings with Thelonious Monk.

Guitar Shorty(guitar) 1939 :: Many happy returns to Guitar Shorty (born David William Kearney) . Guitar is an American blues guitarist. He is well known for his explosive guitar style and wild stage antics. Billboard magazine said, “his galvanizing guitar work defines modern, top-of-the-line blues-rock. His vocals remain as forceful as ever. Righteous shuffles…blistering, sinuous guitar solos

During his time in Tampa Bay, Florida, at age 16 he received his nickname, Guitar Shorty, when it mysteriously showed up on the marquee of the club he was playing as ‘The Walter Johnson Band featuring Guitar Shorty.’ He steadily began to garner accloades from his peers and, soon after, he joined the Ray Charles Band for a year. He recorded his first single in 1957, “You Don’t Treat Me Right”, for the Cobra label under the direction of Willie Dixon after Dixon saw him playing with the Walter Johnson Orchestra. Eventually, he joined Guitar Slim’s band and move to New Orleans, Louisiana. Slim inspired Shorty to incorporate more showmanship into his live performance style. Before long, Shorty was doing somersaults and flips on stage.

Shorty gigged steadily through the late 1950s and 1960s. During the 1970s he worked as a mechanic, playing music at nights and on weekends. He again became a full-time musician in 1975, struggling at times to make ends meet. In 1976 he made an appearance on Chuck Barris’ Gong Show, winning first prize for performing the song “They Call Me Guitar Shorty” while balanced on his head.

In 1985, he released his first album On the Rampage on Olive Branch Records. He went on his first tour to the UK in 1991, and there he recorded “My Way or the Highway” with Otis Grand which came out on JSP Records that year. This won him a W.C. Handy Award and garnering him interest from labels in the United States. Shorty soon got a record deal with New Orleans based Black Top Records.

Topsy Turvy, his first on Black Top, came out in 1993. The album featured some fresh new songs as well as remakes of three classic numbers from his Pull days back in 1959. He released two more albums on Black Top in the 1990s. When Black Top folded in 1999, Shorty moved to Evidence Music, and released I Go Wild! in 2001.

In 2002, he was featured on the Bo Diddley tribute album Hey Bo Diddley - A Tribute!, performing the song “Don’t Let It Go (Hold On To What You Got)”. He joined Alligator Records in 2004. His album that year, Watch Your Back and his 2006 album We the People both charted on the Billboard Top Blues Albums at numbers eleven and twelve, respectively. Billboard said of We The People, “it’s difficult to imagine that he ever tracks a better album than this one.”

A new Alligator Records CD ’ Bare Knuckles was released in March 2010.

James Clay  (sax, tenor) 1935 - 1994 :: was an American hard bop jazz tenor saxophonist and flutist. While in school Clay played alto saxophone, became a professional musician, and played with local bands in Dallas, including with Booker Ervin.

A fine tenor saxophonist who was part of the long tradition of Texas tenors, Clay was born in Dallas. Although early on he mostly played r&b and blues-oriented music, he was an early associate of Ornette Coleman and was open to playing in freer settings. He spent ten years in the Ray Charles band. He moved up North in the mid-1950s and recorded with drummer Larance Marable in 1956.

In 1960, Clay made his greatest impact, leading two excellent albums for Riverside. “The Sound of the Wide Open Spaces,” teams him with David “Fathead” Newman (another Texas tenor), pianist Wynton Kelly, bassist Sam Jones, and drummer Arthur Taylor. The two tenors battle it out on a variety of tunes and the results are a tie for the saxophonists and a victory for the listeners. “A Double Dose of Soul,” has Clay utilizing Cannonball Adderley’s sidemen (cornetist Nat Adderley, vibraphonist Victor Feldman, Sam Jones, and drummer Louis Hayes) plus pianist Gene Harris in a bop-based program that features Clay doubling on flute.

Rather than building on this promising start, James Clay decided to move back to Texas and become an educator. Very little was heard from him on the national scene until cornetist Don Cherry persuaded Clay to record on his 1988 album “Art Deco.”

He recorded “Cookin’ at the Continental,” for Antilles in 1992 with an all star lineup of David Newman, Roy Hargrove, Kirk Lightsey, Christian McBride, and Winard Harper. On this date he is in fine form and his lighter sound blends well with Newman.

Marion Brown (sax, alto) 1931-2010  :: Marion Brown was a jazz alto saxophonist and ethnomusicologist. He is most well known as a member of the 1960s avant-garde jazz scene in New York City, playing alongside musicians such as John Coltrane, Archie Shepp, and John Tchicai. He performed on Coltrane’s landmark 1965 album Ascension.

In 1960 Brown left Atlanta and studied pre-law at Howard University for two years. He moved in 1962 to New York, where he befriended poet Amiri Baraka and many musicians including Ornette Coleman, Archie Shepp, Sun Ra, Pharaoh Sanders, Paul Bley and Rashied Ali. He appeared on several important albums from this period, such as Shepp’s Fire Music and New Wave in Jazz, but most notably John Coltrane’s Ascension.

In 1967, Brown travelled to Paris, France where he developed an interest in architecture, Impressionistic art, African music and the music of Eric Satie. In the late 1960s, he was an American Fellow in Music Composition and Performance at the Cité Internationale Des Artists in Paris. Around 1970, he provided the soundtrack for Marcel Camus’ film Le Temps fou, a soundtrack featuring Steve McCall, Barre Phillips, Ambrose Jackson and Gunter Hampel.

Brown returned to the US in 1970, where he felt a newfound sense of creative drive. He moved to New Haven, Connecticut, to serve as a resource teacher in a child study center in the city’s public school system until 1971. He composed and performed incidental music for a Georg Büchner play, Woyzeck. In 1971, Brown was an assistant professor of music at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, a position he held until he attained his Bachelor’s degree in 1974. In addition to this role, he held faculty positions at Brandeis University (1971–74), Colby College (1973–74), and Amherst College (1974–75), as well as a graduate assistant position at Wesleyan University (1974–76). Brown earned a Master’s degree in ethnomusicology from Wesleyan in 1976. His master’s thesis was entitled “Faces and Places: The Music and Travels of a Contemporary Jazz Musician”.

In 1976 he played alto saxophone on Harold Budd’s The Pavilion of Dreams. Throughout his many educational positions, Brown continued to compose and perform. In 1972 and 1976, Brown received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, which he used to compose and publish several pieces for solo piano, one of which was based on the poetry of Jean Toomer in his book Cane. He also transcribed some piano and organ music by Eric Satie including his Messe Des Pauvres and Pages Mysterieuses, and arranged the composer’s Les Fils Des Etoiles for two guitars and violin.

In 1981, Brown began focusing on drawing and painting. His charcoal portrait of blues guitarist Blind Lemon Jefferson was included in a New York City Kenkeleba Gallery art show called Jus’ Jass, which also included works by artists such as Romare Bearden, Charles Searles and Joe Overstreet

Wilbur Ware (bass, acoustic) 1923 -1979  :: Wilbur Ware was an American jazz double-bassist known for his hard bop creative use of time and space, his angular, unorthodox solo technique and a distinctive percussive sound. He was a staff bassist at Riverside Records in the 1950s, playing on many of the label’s sessions, including LPs with such widely diverse stylists as J.R. Monterose, Toots Thielemans, Tina Brooks, Zoot Sims, and Grant Green.

Born in Chicago, Ware taught himself to play banjo and bass and he approached the double bass not only as a melodic and rhythmic instrument but also as a percussive instrument. In the 1940s, he worked with Stuff Smith, Sonny Stitt and Roy Eldridge. He recorded with Sun Ra in the early 1950s. Later in the 1950s, settling in New York, Ware played with Eddie Vinson, Art Blakey, and Buddy DeFranco. His only album recorded under his own name during his lifetime was The Chicago Sound, from 1957, while Ware was signed to Riverside. In 1958 Ware was one of 57 jazz musicians to appear in the photograph A Great Day in Harlem. In 2012, Ware’s widow produced and released a superb collection of previously unreleased studio tracks made with trumpeter Donald Cherry under the title,”Wilbur Ware: Super Bass.” The CD also contains a 5-minute track with Ware describing his early years in music and his life in jazz.

Ware is best known for his work with the Thelonious Monk quartet in 1957-58 and for his live recordings with the Sonny Rollins Trio at the Village Vanguard. Ware’s exceptional timing, economic placement of notes combined with an adroit use of space and time in ensemble playing with Monk was perfectly suited to the pianist’s music. Perhaps the best illustration of this is Ware’s inter-play with Monk on “Off Minor” as Monk and Ware create a piano-bass dialog that increasingly builds a tension that is at last resolved with Ware’s highly creative and angular extended bass solo that remains one of the finest ever recorded in modern jazz. Ware’s unique ability to interpret Monk compositions, combined with his impeccable, and swinging sense of time and his percussive attack, perhaps made Ware the most perfectly suited bassist ever to work with Monk. Ware and fellow bassist Israel Crosby were leading examples of the more laid-back “Chicago Sound” approach to the bass during the 1950s. He returned to Chicago in 1963, becoming largely inactive musically for a time. In 1969, Ware played with Clifford Jordan, Elvin Jones and Sonny Rollins.

==++ Destiny Lands (or should that be takes off??) Tomorrow! ++==

Jazziversaries September 7th

Bruce Barth  (piano) 1958 :: Birthday greetings to pianist Bruce Barth. Bruce Barth is widely considered to be one of finest jazz pianists and composers of his generation. New York City’s Village Voice calls him “one of the best pianists in town, period.” His is a modern and original voice, with great expressive depth and compelling rhythm. His music is deeply rooted in the jazz tradition, and encompasses the wide scope of his life and musical experiences, from recollections of the old West to forays into the blues and Latin music.

Originally from Pasadena, California, Barth started piano lessons at the age of five, with a natural tendency to play by ear. He studied piano, theory, and musicianship for more than ten years with Anthony and Sue LaMagra. He fell in love with jazz as a teenager, and learned by listening to records, later studying privately with Norman Simmons and at the New England Conservatory with Jaki Byard, George Russell, and Fred Hersch. While in Boston he recorded “The African Game” and “So What,” with George Russell’s Living Time Orchestra, for release on Blue Note Records.

Within a year of moving to Brooklyn in 1988, Barth toured Japan with Nat Adderley. After a brief stint with Stanley Turrentine, he joined Terence Blanchard’s quintet in 1990. During the next four years, he toured extensively with Blanchard, recorded six CD’s and several movie soundtracks, and even played onscreen in Spike Lee’s film, Malcolm X.

While in Blanchard’s band, he recorded his first two CD’s as a leader, In Focus and Morning Call on the Enja label, both which were chosen for the New York Times’ top ten lists in their respective years. These recordings displayed not only Barth’s piano work, but the scope of his original compositions and fresh arrangements of jazz standards.

In addition to his own bands, Barth is currently working with the Steve Wilson Quartet, Terell Stafford Quintet, and groups led by Karrin Allyson and Luciana Souza. He has collaborated with many other creative lights of his generation, including Tim Armacost, Adam Kolker, Brad Leali, Sam Newsome, Scott Wendholt, Luis Bonilla, Dave Stryker, Ed Howard, Ugonna Okegwo, Adam Cruz, and Leon Parker.

Buddy Holly (conductor/Composer) 1936-1959::  Charles Hardin Holley  known professionally as Buddy Holly, was an American singer-songwriter and a pioneer of rock and roll. Although his success lasted only a year and a half before his death in an airplane crash, Holly is described by critic Bruce Eder as “the single most influential creative force in early rock and roll.” His works and innovations inspired and influenced contemporary and later musicians, notably The Beatles, Elvis Costello, The Rolling Stones, Don McLean, Bob Dylan, Steve Winwood, and Eric Clapton, and exerted a profound influence on popular music. Holly was one of the inaugural inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986. In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked Holly No. 13 among “The 100 Greatest Artists of All Time”

Holly set the template for the standard rock and roll band: two guitars, bass, and drums. He was one of the first in the genre to write, produce, and perform his own songs.

Holly managed to bridge the racial divide that marked music in America. Along with Elvis and others, Holly made rock and roll, with its roots in rockabilly country music and blues-inspired rhythm and blues music, more popular among a broad white audience. From listening to their recordings, one had difficulty determining if the Crickets, the name of Buddy’s band, were white or black singers. Holly indeed sometimes played with black musicians Little Richard and Chuck Berry, and incorporated the Bo Diddley beat in several songs. The Crickets were only the second white rock group to tour Great Britain. Holly’s essential eyeglasses encouraged other musicians, such as John Lennon, also to wear their glasses during performances.

Latimore (vocalist) 1939 :: Bornday greetings to Benjamin “Benny” Latimore  known professionally simply as Latimore,  an American R&B singer, songwriter and pianist. His first professional experience came as a pianist for various Florida-based groups including Joe Henderson and Steve Alaimo. He first recorded around 1965 for Henry Stone’s Dade record label in Miami, Florida. In the early 1970s he moved to the Glades label, and had his first major hit in 1973 with a jazzy reworking of T-Bone Walker’s “Stormy Monday”, which reached #27 on the R&B chart.

His first national hit was a cover of Gladys Knight’s “If You Were My Woman” (#70 R&B). His biggest success came in 1974, with “Let’s Straighten It Out”, a #1 R&B hit which also reached #31 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart. He followed it up with more hits including “Keep The Home Fire Burnin’” (#5 R&B, 1975) and “Somethin’ ‘Bout ‘Cha” (#7 R&B, 1976). The hits dissipated in the late 1970s.

Latimore moved to Malaco Records in 1982, releasing seven albums of modern soul music with that label. He briefly left the label in 1994 and released a song for the J-Town label, “Turning Up The Mood”, before returning to Malaco in 2000 with: “You’re Welcome To Ride”. Next Latimore recorded an album with Mel Waiters’ label, Brittney Records, called Latt is Back.

Later, Latimore collaborated with Henry Stone on a new record label called LatStone; which released his first new album in six years called: Back ‘Atcha.

He has continued to work as a session pianist. He appeared most recently on Joss Stone’s albums, The Soul Sessions (2003) and Mind, Body & Soul (2004), along with fellow Miami music veterans Betty Wright, Timmy Thomas and Willie Hale.

Little Milton(guitar, electric) 1934 -2005 :: James Milton Campbell, Jr. better known as Little Milton, was an American electric blues, rhythm and blues, and soul singer and guitarist, best known for his hit records “Grits Ain’t Groceries” and “We’re Gonna Make It.”

By age twelve he had learned the guitar and was a street musician, chiefly influenced by T-Bone Walker and his blues and rock and roll contemporaries. In 1952, while still a teenager playing in local bars, he caught the attention of Ike Turner, who was at that time a talent scout for Sam Phillips’ Sun Records. He signed a contract with the label and recorded a number of singles. None of them broke through onto radio or sold well at record stores, however, and Milton left the Sun label by 1955.

After trying several labels without notable success, including Trumpet Records, Milton set up the St. Louis based Bobbin Records label, which ultimately scored a distribution deal with Leonard Chess’ Chess Records. As a record producer, Milton helped bring artists such as Albert King and Fontella Bass to fame, while experiencing his own success for the first time. After a number of small format and regional hits, his 1962 single, “So Mean to Me,” broke onto the Billboard R&B chart, eventually peaking at #14.

Following a short break to tour, managing other acts, and spending time recording new material, he returned to music in 1965 with a more polished sound, similar to that of B.B. King. After the ill-received “Blind Man” (R&B: #86), he released back-to-back hit singles. The first, “We’re Gonna Make It,” a blues-infused soul song, topped the R&B chart and broke through onto Top 40 radio, a format then dominated largely by white artists. He followed the song with #4 R&B hit “Who’s Cheating Who?” All three songs were featured on his album, We’re Gonna Make It, released that summer.

Throughout the late 1960s Milton released a number of moderately successful singles, but did not issue a further album until 1969, with Grits Ain’t Groceries featuring his hit of the same name, as well as “Just a Little Bit” and “Baby, I Love You”. With the death of Leonard Chess the same year, Milton’s distributor, Checker Records fell into disarray, and Milton joined the Stax label two years later. Adding complex orchestration to his works, Milton scored hits with “That’s What Love Will Make You Do” and “What It Is” from his live album, What It Is: Live at Montreux. He appeared in the documentary film, Wattstax, which was released in 1973. Stax, however, had been losing money since late in the previous decade and was forced into bankruptcy in 1975.

After leaving Stax, Milton struggled to maintain a career, moving first to Evidence, then the MCA imprint Mobile Fidelity Records, before finding a home at the independent record label, Malaco Records, where he remained for much of the remainder of his career. His last hit single, “Age Ain’t Nothin’ But a Number,” was released in 1983 from the album of the same name.

In 1988, Little Milton was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame and won a W.C. Handy Award.

Jon Mayer (piano) 1938 :: Birthday greetings to Jon Mayer.John is an American jazz pianist and composer. Mayer graduated from the High School of Music and Art in Manhattan and briefly attended the Manhattan School of Music.

In the ’50s he was a frequently appearing member of the NYC music scene, playing with Kenny Dorham, Tony Scott (replacing Bill Evans), Pete LaRoca and Ray Draper. He recorded with Jackie McLean and John Coltrane.

In the ’60s and ’70s, Mayer remained active, playing in both New York and Europe with the Thad Jones / Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra, Dionne Warwick, Sarah Vaughan and the Manhattan Transfer. During those days he wrote songs recorded by Les McCann and Nancy Wilson.

Mayer then entered a 13-year period of inactivity during which he rarely performed. In his repertoire there is a song called Rip Van Winkle which refers to this period of his life.

In 1991 Mayer returned to music. He settled in Los Angeles and recorded “Round Up The Usual Suspects” in 1995, a piano trio session with Ron Carter and Billy Higgins.

Mayer currently lives in Southern California, leading his trio with occasional appearances of Ernie Watts.

Makanda Ken McIntyre(saxophone) 1931-2001 :: was an American jazz musician and composer. In addition to his primary instrument, the alto saxophone, he also played flute, bass clarinet, oboe, bassoon, and many other woodwind instruments, as well as double bass, drum set, and piano. He recorded thirteen albums, one of which was released posthumously. He composed well over 400 compositions, and wrote about 200 arrangements, reflecting the culture of his Caribbean and African American roots, including blues, jazz, and calypso. His very first album entitled Stone Blues was recorded in 1960, accompanied by local Boston musicians with whom he had been rehearsing for several years.

Over the course of his career, McIntyre performed or recorded with: Nat Adderley, Jaki Byard, Ron Carter, Eric Dolphy, Charlie Haden, Daoud A. Haroon, Richard Harper, David Murray, Cecil Taylor and Reggie Workman, among others, and was a member of the innovative group Beaver Harris and the 360 Degree Ensemble.

After serving two years in the U.S. Army, McIntyre earned a bachelor’s degree in music composition from the Boston Conservatory in 1958, with a certificate in flute performance, and a master’s degree in music composition from the Boston Conservatory in 1959. He also went on to earn a doctorate (Ed.D.) in curriculum design from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 1975.

In 1971 he founded the first African American Music program in the country at the State University of New York College at Old Westbury, teaching there for 24 years. He also taught at Wesleyan University (where he recorded with Richard Harper and collaborated with Daoud A. Haroon), Smith College, Central State University, Fordham University, and the The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music.

In the early 1990s he changed his name to Makanda Ken McIntyre. While performing in Zimbabwe, a stranger handed him a piece of paper with the word “Makanda” written on it; the word means “many skins” in the Ndebele language and “many heads” in Shona.

Sonny Rollins (saxophone) 1930 :: Birthday greetings to The Saxophone Collusus Theodore Walter “Sonny” Rollins! Mr Rollins is an American jazz tenor saxophonist. Rollins is widely recognized as one of the most important and influential jazz musicians. A number of his compositions, including “St. Thomas”, “Oleo”, “Doxy”, and “Airegin”, have become jazz standards.

Rollins started as a pianist, changed to alto saxophone, and finally switched to tenor in 1946. During his high-school years, he played in a band with other future jazz legends Jackie McLean, Kenny Drew and Art Taylor. He was first recorded in 1949 with Babs Gonzales (J. J. Johnson was the arranger of the group). In his recordings through 1954, he played with performers such as Miles Davis, Charlie Parker and Thelonious Monk.

Rollins began to make a name for himself in 1949 as he recorded with J. J. Johnson and Bud Powell what would later be called “hard bop”, with Miles Davis in 1951, with the Modern Jazz Quartet and with Thelonious Monk in 1953, but the breakthrough arrived in 1954 when he recorded his famous compositions “Oleo”, “Airegin” and “Doxy” with a quintet led by Davis. Rollins then joined the Miles Davis Quintet in the summer of 1955, but left after a short stay to deal with his drug problems. Rollins was invited later in 1955 to join the Clifford Brown–Max Roach quintet; studio recordings documenting his time in the band are the albums Clifford Brown and Max Roach at Basin Street and Sonny Rollins Plus 4. After Brown’s death in 1956 Rollins began his subsequent career as a leader, his first long-playing albums released on Prestige Records. He also recorded during the 1950s for Blue Note, Riverside, and the Los Angeles label Contemporary.

His widely acclaimed album Saxophone Colossus was recorded on June 22, 1956 at Rudy Van Gelder’s studio in New Jersey, with Tommy Flanagan on piano, former Jazz Messengers bassist Doug Watkins and his favorite drummer Max Roach. This was Rollins’ sixth recording as a leader and it included his best-known composition “St. Thomas”, a Caribbean calypso based on a tune sung to him by his mother in his childhood, as well as the fast bebop number “Strode Rode”, and “Moritat” (the Kurt Weill composition also known as “Mack the Knife”).

In 1956 he also recorded Tenor Madness, using Miles Davis’ group – pianist Red Garland, bassist Paul Chambers, and drummer Philly Joe Jones. The title track is the only recording of Rollins with John Coltrane, who was also in Davis’ group.

In 1957 he pioneered the use of bass and drums (without piano) as accompaniment for his saxophone solos. This texture came to be known as “strolling”. Two early tenor/bass/drums trio recordings are Way Out West (Contemporary, 1957) and A Night at the Village Vanguard (Blue Note, 1957). Rollins uses the trio format intermittently throughout his career, sometimes taking the unusual step of using his sax as a rhythm section instrument during bass and drum solos.

By this time, Rollins had become well known for taking relatively banal or unconventional material (such as “There’s No Business Like Show Business” on Work Time)  and turning it into a vehicle for improvisation.

By 1959, Rollins was frustrated with what he perceived as his own musical limitations and took the first – and most famous – of his musical sabbaticals. To spare a neighboring expectant mother the sound of his practice routine, Rollins ventured to the Williamsburg Bridge to practice. Upon his return to the jazz scene in 1962 he named his “comeback” album The Bridge at the start of a contract with RCA Records, recorded with a quartet featuring guitarist Jim Hall and still no piano. The rhythm section was Ben Riley on drums and bassist Bob Cranshaw. This became one of Rollins’ best-selling records.

Rollins took a sabbatical to study yoga, meditation, and Eastern philosophies. When he returned in 1972, it was clear that he had become enamored of R&B, pop, and funk rhythms. His bands throughout the 1970s and 1980s featured electric guitar, electric bass, and usually more pop- or funk-oriented drummers. For most of this period he recorded for Milestone Records (The compilation Silver City: A Celebration of 25 Years on Milestone contains a selection from these years.) The 1970s and 1980s were not all disco though and it was during this period that Rollins’ passion for unaccompanied saxophone solos came to the forefront. In 1985 he released The Solo Album.

Rollins won a 2001 Grammy Award for Best Jazz Instrumental Album for This Is What I Do (2000). On September 11, 2001, Rollins, who lived several blocks away, heard the World Trade Center collapse, and was forced to evacuate his apartment, with only his saxophone in hand. Although he was shaken, he traveled to Boston five days later to play a concert at the Berklee School of Music. The live recording of that performance was released on CD in 2005, Without a Song: The 9/11 Concert, which won the 2006 Grammy for Jazz Instrumental Solo for Sonny’s performance of “Why Was I Born?”. Rollins was presented with a Grammy Award for lifetime achievement in 2004, but sadly that year also saw the death of his wife Lucille.

After a highly successful Japanese tour Rollins returned to the recording studio for the first time in five years to record the Grammy-nominated CD Sonny, Please (2006). The CD title is derived from one of his late wife’s favorite phrases. The album was released on Rollins’ own label, Doxy Records, following his departure from Milestone Records after many years and was produced by Clifton Anderson. Rollins’ band at this time, and on this album, included Bob Cranshaw, guitarist Bobby Broom, drummer Steve Jordan and Kimati Dinizulu.

Joe Newman(trumpet) 1922-1992 :: was an American jazz trumpeter, composer, and educator, best known for his time with Count Basie.

Newman was born in New Orleans, Louisiana to David (pianist) and Louise Newman, a musical family, having his first music lessons from David Jones. He attended Alabama State College, where he joined the college band (the Bama State Collegians), became its leader, and took it on tour.

In 1941 he joined Lionel Hampton for two years, before signing with Count Basie, with whom he stayed for a total of thirteen years, interrupted by short breaks and a long period (1947–1952) spent first with saxophonist Illinois Jacquet and then drummer J. C. Heard. During his second period with Basie, which lasted for about nine years, he made a number of small-group recordings as leader. He also played on Benny Goodman’s 1962 tour of the Soviet Union.

In 1961 Newman left the Basie band, and helped to found Jazz Interactions, of which he became president in 1967. His wife, Rigmor Alfredsson Newman was the Executive Director. Jazz Interactions was a charitable organisation which provided an information service, brought jazz master classes into schools and colleges, and later maintained its own Jazz Interaction Orchestra (for which Newman wrote).

== ++ Destiny Minus 2 Hunters gathering == ++