beating that one boss you’ve been stuck on for days/weeks/years
Roundabout - Yes
Booker T. Laury (piano) 1914 - 1955 :: Booker T Laury was an American boogie-woogie, blues, gospel and jazz pianist and singer. Over his lengthy career, Laury worked with various musicians including Memphis Slim and Mose Vinson. He appeared in two films, but did not record his debut album until he was almost eighty years of age.
Lawrence Laury was born in Memphis, Tennessee, and grew up with his lifelong friend, Memphis Slim. At the age of six, after helping his mother play the family’s pump organ, Laury learned to play the keyboards. His barrelhouse playing style, which he developed alongside Slim, was based on the influence gained from regular Memphis performers Roosevelt Sykes, Sunnyland Slim, and Speckled Red. In the early 1930s, and in the company of the younger Mose Vinson, Slim and Laury began playing in local clubs.
In 1935, Sykes suggested to Laury and Slim that they relocated to Chicago, with a view of obtaining a recording contract. Slim took up the advice, but Laury decided to remain in Memphis, where he played in gambling houses and clubs for decades. Laury had a large hand-width, which enabled him to span ten keys. His playing dexterity was such that, after losing one finger on his left hand following an accident with a circular saw in the 1950s, he was still able to play well. Based around Memphis’ Beale Street, as that area started to degenerate, Laury traveled around Tennessee, Arkansas and Missouri. Despite differing fortunes, the friendship with Slim did not diminish over the years, up to Slim’s death in 1988.
In the 1989 Dennis Quaid film, Great Balls of Fire!, the plot had a young Jerry Lee Lewis and Jimmy Swaggart, look into a juke joint to see Laury playing “Big Legged Woman”. This attention led to Laury having the opportunity to record later in his life.
Laury appeared in the 1991 documentary film, Deep Blues: A Musical Pilgrimage to the Crossroads. In the film, Laury played “Memphis Blues” in his own living room.
Laury finally recorded his debut album in his late seventies. In 1993, Bullseye Blues Records issued Nothin’ But the Blues, which simply incorporated Laury’s voice and piano playing his own compositions. The following year, Wolf Records released a live album, containing concert recordings made in 1987.
Clifford Jordan(saxophone) 1931 - 1993 :: Clifford Jordan was a jazz tenor saxophone player. While in Chicago, he performed with Max Roach, Sonny Stitt, and some rhythm and blues groups. He moved to New York City in 1957, after which he recorded three albums for Blue Note. He also recorded with Horace Silver, J.J. Johnson, and Kenny Dorham, among others. He was part of the Charles Mingus Sextet, with Eric Dolphy, during its 1964 European tour. Jordan toured Africa with Randy Weston, and performed in Paris while living in Belgium. In later years, he led his own groups, performed with Cedar Walton’s quartet Eastern Rebellion, and led a big band.
Horace Silver(piano) 1928 -2014:: Horace was an American jazz pianist and composer.
Silver is best known for his distinctive humorous and funky playing style and for his pioneering compositional contributions to hard bop. He was influenced by a wide range of musical styles, notably gospel music, African music, and Latin American music and sometimes ventured into the soul jazz genre.
Silver began his career as a tenor saxophonist but later switched to piano. His tenor saxophone playing was highly influenced by Lester Young, and his piano style by Bud Powell. Silver was discovered in the Sundown Club in Hartford, Connecticut in 1950 by saxophonist Stan Getz. Getz was playing as a guest star at the club with Silver’s trio backing him up. Getz liked Silver’s band and brought them on the road, eventually recording three of Silver’s compositions. It was with Getz that Silver made his recording debut.
He moved to New York City in 1951, where he worked at the jazz club Birdland on Monday nights, when different musicians would come together and informally jam. During that year he met the executives of the label Blue Note while working as a sideman. He eventually signed with them, remaining with the label until 1980. It was in New York that he formed The Jazz Messengers, a cooperatively-run group with Art Blakey.
In 1952 and 1953 Silver recorded three sessions with his own trio, featuring Blakey on drums and Gene Ramey, Curly Russell and Percy Heath on bass. The drummer-pianist team lasted for four years; during this time, Silver and Blakey recorded at Birdland (A Night at Birdland Vol. 1) with Russell, Clifford Brown and Lou Donaldson, at the Bohemia with Kenny Dorham and Hank Mobley, and also in the studios. Silver was also a member of the Miles Davis All Stars, recording the influential Walkin’ in 1954.
From 1956 onwards, Silver recorded exclusively for the Blue Note label, eventually becoming close to label boss Alfred Lion, who allowed him greater input on aspects of album production than was usual at the time. During his years with Blue Note, Silver helped to create the rhythmically forceful branch of jazz known as “hard bop”, which combined elements of rhythm-and-blues and gospel music with jazz. Gospel elements are particularly prominent on one of his biggest hits, “The Preacher”, which Lion thought corny, but Silver persuaded him to record it.
While Silver’s compositions at this time featured surprising tempo shifts and a range of melodic ideas, they caught the attention of a wide audience. His own piano playing easily shifted from aggressively percussive to lushly romantic within just a few bars. At the same time, his sharp use of repetition was funky even before that word could be used in polite company. Along with Silver’s own work, his bands often featured such rising jazz stars as saxophonists Junior Cook and Hank Mobley, trumpeter Blue Mitchell, and drummer Louis Hayes. Silver’s key albums from this period include Horace Silver Trio (1953), Horace Silver and the Jazz Messengers (1955), 6 Pieces of Silver (1956) and Blowin’ the Blues Away (1959), which includes his famous “Sister Sadie”. He also combined jazz with a sassy take on pop through the 1961 hit “Filthy McNasty”.
In 1963 Silver created a new group featuring Joe Henderson on tenor saxophone and Carmell Jones on trumpet; this quintet recorded most of Silver’s best-known album Song for My Father. When Jones left to settle in Europe, the trumpet chair was filled by a young Woody Shaw and Tyrone Washington replaced Henderson.
Silver’s compositions, catchy and very strong harmonically, gained popularity while his band gradually switched to funk and soul. This change of style was not readily accepted by many long-time fans. The quality of several albums of this era, such as The United States of Mind (on which Silver himself provided vocals on several tracks), is to this day contested by fans of the genre. Silver’s spirituality displayed on these albums also has a mixed reputation. However, many of these later albums featured many interesting musicians (such as Randy Brecker). Silver was the last musician to be signed to Blue Note in the 1970s before it went into temporary hiatus. In 1981 he formed his own short-lived labels, Silveto and Emerald.
Silver’s music has been a major force in modern jazz. He was one of the first pioneers of the style known as hard bop, influencing such pianists as Bobby Timmons, Les McCann, and Ramsey Lewis. Second, the instrumentation of his quintet (trumpet, tenor sax, piano, double bass, and drums) served as a model for small jazz groups from the mid-1950s until the late 1960s .
Further, Silver’s ensembles provided an important training ground for young players, many of whom (such as Donald Byrd, Art Farmer, Blue Mitchell, Woody Shaw, Junior Cook, and Joe Henderson) later led similar groups of their own.
Silver’s talent did not go unnoticed among rock musicians who bore jazz influences, either; Steely Dan sent Silver into the Top 40 in the early 1970s when they crafted their biggest hit single, “Rikki, Don’t Lose That Number,” off the bass riff that opens “Song for My Father.”
John Zorn(sax, alto) 1953 :: Many happy returns to John Zorn. John is an American avant-garde composer, arranger, record producer, saxophonist and multi-instrumentalist. Zorn is a prolific artist; he has hundreds of album credits as performer, composer, or producer. He has had experience with a variety of genres including jazz, rock, hardcore punk, classical, extreme metal, klezmer, film, cartoon, popular, and improvised music. Zorn brings these styles to his work, which he refers to with the label avant-garde/experimental.
Zorn has stated: “All the various styles are organically connected to one another. I’m an additive person - the entire storehouse of my knowledge informs everything I do. People are so obsessed with the surface that they can’t see the connections, but they are there.”
Zorn has led the punk jazz band Naked City and the klezmer-influenced quartet Masada, composed Masada Songbooks (written concert music for classical ensembles), and has produced music for film and documentary.
Zorn established himself within the New York City downtown music movement in the mid-1970s and has since composed and performed with a wide range of musicians working in diverse musical areas. From about 1986 to 1996 Zorn worked extensively in Japan, returning to New York as a permanent base in the mid-1990s. Zorn has undertaken many tours of Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, often performing at festivals with varying ensembles to display his diverse output.
After releasing albums on several independent US and European labels, Zorn signed with Elektra Nonesuch and attracted wide acclaim in 1985 when he released The Big Gundown, a cover of music composed by Ennio Morricone. He attracted further attention worldwide by following this with the release of Spillane in 1987, and Naked City by Naked City in 1989. Zorn then recorded on the Japanese DIW label and curated the Avant subsidiary label before forming Tzadik in 1995, where he was prolific in issuing several new recordings each year as well as releasing the work of many other musicians.
Laurindo Almeida(guitar) 1917-1995 :: Laurindo Almeida was a Brazilian virtuoso guitarist and composer who made many recordings of enduring impact in classical, jazz and Latin genres. He is widely credited, with fellow artist Bud Shank, for creating the fusion of Latin and jazz which came to be known as the “Jazz Samba.” Almeida was the first artist to receive Grammy Awards for both classical and jazz performances. His discography encompasses more than a hundred recordings over five decades.
Almeida was first introduced to the jazz public as a featured guitarist with the Stan Kenton band in the late 1940s during the height of its success. According to author Michael Sparke, Almeida and his fellow Kenton bandmember drummer Jack Costanzo “endowed the music of Progressive Jazz with a persuasive Latin flavor, and the music is enriched by their presence.” Famed Kenton arranger Pete Rugolo composed “Lament” specifically for Almeida’s cool, quiet sound, and Almeida’s own composition “Amazonia” was also featured by the Kenton orchestra. Almeida stayed with Kenton until 1952.
Almeida’s recording career enjoyed auspicious early success with the 1953 recordings now called Brazilliance No. 1 and No. 2 with fellow Kenton alumnus Bud Shank, bassist Harry Babasin, and drummer Roy Harte on the World Pacific label (originally entitled “The Laurindo Almeida Quartet featuring Bud Shank”). Widely regarded as “landmark” recordings, Almeida and Shank’s combination of Brazilian and jazz rhythms (which Almeida labeled “samba-jazz”-) presaged the fusion of Latin and jazz, which is quite different in bossa nova, although jazz critic Leonard Feather credited Almeida and Shank as the creators of bossa nova sound.
Other observers note that the beat, harmonic stamp, and economy of expression were different than the bossa nova, giving Almeida and Shank’s recording “…a different mood and sound…certainly valuable in its own right.”
Almeida’s classical solo recording career on Capitol Records began in 1954 with The Guitar Music of Spain. Almeida made a series of highly successful classical recordings produced by Robert E. Myers. Among Almeida’s notable classical recordings is an album widely considered to be the first classical crossover album, the 1958 Grammy winner Duets with Spanish Guitar with mezzo soprano Salli Terri and flutist Martin Ruderman. In this recording, Almeida arranges standard classical and folk repertoire through the prism of several Latin musical forms, including the modenha, charo, maracatu and boi bumba. The result, according to Hi-Fi and Music Review was “…a prize winner in my collection. Laurindo Almeida’s guitar playing captures the keen poignancy and rhythmic élan of Brazilian music with superb assurance and taste…”. The recording was nominated for two Grammy Awards and won for Best Classical Engineering for Sherwood Hall III at the first Grammy Awards ceremony.
Of Almeida’s five career Grammys, four were awarded in classical categories (listed below). His classical recording discography also includes the debut recordings of two major guitar works, Heitor Villa-Lobos’ Guitar Concerto and Radamés Gnattali’s Concerto de Copacabana.
In 1964, Almeida again expanded his recording repertoire by joining forces with the Modern Jazz Quartet on Collaboration (Atlantic Records), which combined classical with jazz, called “chamber jazz.” Almeida also toured with the MJQ, both in the 1960s and again in the 1990s.
In the 1970s, Almeida reunited with Bud Shank, forming the LA Four with Ray Brown and Chuck Flores (later Shelly Manne and then Jeff Hamilton). From 1974-1982, the LA Four toured internationally and recorded a series of albums for Concord Jazz, including The Four Scores!, an acclaimed live recording from the 1974 Concord Jazz Festival. In 1980, Almeida joined forces with Charlie Byrd on a series of highly regarded recordings, including Latin Odyssey, Brazilian Soul and Tango. He also recorded with Baden Powell, Stan Getz and Herbie Mann, among others. His guitar trio, Guitarjam, with Larry Coryell and Sharon Isbin played Carnegie Hall in 1988. In the 1990s, Almeida toured again with the Modern Jazz Quartet. In 1992, Concord Records issued Outra Vez, an October, 1991 live recording with bassist Bob Magnusson and drummer Jim Plank; JazzTimes wrote that Outra Vez was “…a testament to his enduring genius as a concert guitarist, composer and arranger”.
Walter Davis Jr.(piano) 1932-1990 :: Walter Davis was an American hard bop pianist. Davis performed as a teenager with Babs Gonzales. In the 1950s, Davis recorded with Melba Liston, Max Roach and played with Roach, Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie. In 1958 he played a highly successful, extended engagement in Paris with trumpeter Donald Byrd at Le Chat Qui Peche and shortly after realized his dream of becoming pianist and composer-arranger for Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers.
After retiring from music in the 1960s to work as a tailor, painter and designer, he returned in the 1970s to perform with Sonny Rollins and again with the Jazz Messengers. He recorded with many other prominent jazz musicians, including Kenny Clarke, Sonny Criss, Jackie McLean, Pierre Michelot and Archie Shepp.
Davis was known as a prime interpreter of the music of Bud Powell, but also recorded an album capturing the compositional genius and piano style of Thelonious Monk. Although few of Davis’ recordings as a pianist remain in print, he is likely to be periodically rediscovered and long remembered for his strikingly original, adventurous and challenging compositions, several of which served as titles for noteworthy albums by Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers. Combining traditional harmonies with modal patterns and featuring numerous rhythmic shifts along with internal melodic motifs within operatic, aria-like sweeping melodies, Davis’s fresh and forward-looking compositions included “Scorpio Rising”, “Backgammon”, “Uranus”, “Gypsy Folk Tales”, “Jodi” and “Ronnie Is a Dynamite Lady”.
Davis had an occasional role as the piano player on the CBS television comedy Frank’s Place. He also contributed to the soundtrack of the Clint Eastwood film Bird.
++== Destiny minus 7! To the moon and back, Warlocks ==++
Art Pepper (sax, alto) 1925-1982 :: Art Pepper began his career in the 1940s, playing with Benny Carter and Stan Kenton (1946–52). By the 1950s Pepper was recognized as one of the leading alto saxophonists in jazz, epitomized by his finishing second only to Charlie Parker as Best Alto Saxophonist in the Down Beat magazine Readers Poll of 1952. Along with Chet Baker, Gerry Mulligan and Shelly Manne, and perhaps due more to geography than playing style, Pepper is often associated with the musical movement known as West Coast jazz, as contrasted with the East Coast (or “hot”) jazz associated with the likes of Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie and Miles Davis. Some of Pepper’s most famous albums from the 1950s are Art Pepper Meets the Rhythm Section, Art Pepper + Eleven - Modern Jazz Classics, Gettin’ Together, and Smack Up. Representative music from this time appears on The Aladdin Recordings (three volumes), The Early Show, The Late Show, The Complete Surf Ride, and The Way It Was!, which features a session recorded with Warne Marsh.
His career was repeatedly interrupted by several prison stints stemming from his addiction to heroin, but Pepper managed to have several memorable and productive “comebacks.” Remarkably, his substance abuse and legal travails did not affect the quality of his recordings, which maintained a high level of musicianship throughout his career until his death from a brain hemorrhage in 1982.
His last comeback saw Pepper, who had started his career in Stan Kenton’s big band, becoming a member of Buddy Rich’s Big Band from 1968 to 1969. In 1977 and 1978 he made two well received tours of Japan. During this period, he recorded two albums - Goin’ Home with George Cables, and Winter Moon with a string orchestra - which were among his favorites and which he considered his definitive achievements.
Boney James (saxophone) 1961 :: Boney James is a saxophonist, songwriter and producer.
In 2009 Billboard magazine named James the No. 3 Billboard Contemporary Jazz Artist of the Decade. Boney James is a four-time Grammy Award nominee (Best Pop Instrumental Album, 2001, 2004, 2014 and Best Traditional R&B Performance, 2009 ) and a Soul Train Award winner (Best Jazz Album 1998). He has also been honored with two NAACP Image Award nominations for Best Jazz Album. He has accumulated four RIAA Certified Gold Records.
Boney spent his early teen years in New Rochelle, New York where he was first exposed to the Motown genre and saxophonist Grover Washington, Jr.. When James was 14 his family moved to Los Angeles, where he joined a fusion band that opened for acts like Flora Purim and the Yellowjackets. Another member of this early band was John Shanks, now a successful pop producer. James eventually received a degree in history from UCLA, but began playing music full-time after graduation. James learned to play keyboards and in 1985 he joined Morris Day’s band. His R&B influence was further strengthened by seven years of touring and sessions as a sideman with Day, the Isley Brothers, Bobby Caldwell, Randy Crawford, Teena Marie and others. It was on the road with Crawford in 1986 that he earned his now-famous moniker; when his physique led a band mate to joke “We’ll have to start calling you Boney James!”.
In the early 1990s, after joining Bobby Caldwell’s band, James caught the attention of the engineer and producer Paul Brown. In 1992 he released his debut album as a leader, Trust, on the independent record label Spindletop Records. Following the record’s success, James was signed by the Warner Brothers label in 1994. He released the RIAA Certified Gold Records, Seduction, Sweet Thing and Body Language on Warner Brothers.
In 2000 he collaborated with trumpeter Rick Braun on an album called Shake it Up. Their duets include the now classic updated version of Hugh Masakela’s “Grazin’ in the Grass”. Other artists who have made guest appearances on Boney’s records include Raheem DeVaughn, Faith Evans, George Benson, George Duke, Dwele, Al Jarreau, Philip Bailey, Anthony Hamilton, Jaheim, Eric Benét, Dave Hollister and Angie Stone.
James assumed the role of producer starting with his Pure album in 2003. Following a string of chart-topping albums, in 2006 James moved to Concord Records and with the release of Shine achieved his career highest Billboard Pop Chart position (No. 44 on the Top 200). His 2009 album, Send One Your Love earned him a Grammy nomination for Best Traditional R&B Performance. James’ 2013 album The Beat received a Grammy nomination for Best Pop Instrumental Album.
On May 15, 2010, James was involved in a car crash coming home from a performance when he was rear ended by a drunk driver. James suffered a fractured jaw, two shattered teeth and facial lacerations. He was sidelined for two months.
In 2014 James produced two songs on Al Jarreau’s George Duke tribute album My Old Friend, “No Rhyme No Reason” ft Kelly Price and “Bring Me Joy” ft George Duke and Boney.
Gene Harris(piano) 1933-2000 :: Gene Harris was an American jazz pianist known for his warm sound and blues and gospel infused style that is known as soul jazz.
From 1956 to 1970, he played in The Three Sounds trio with bassist Andy Simpkins and drummer Bill Dowdy. During this time, The Three Sounds recorded regularly for Blue Note and Verve.
He was mostly retired to Boise, Idaho, starting in the late 1970s, although he performed regularly at the Idanha Hotel there. Then, Ray Brown convinced him to go back on tour in the early 1980s. He played with the Ray Brown Trio and then led his own groups, recording mostly on Concord Records, until his death from kidney failure in 2000.
Harris’s rendition of “Ode to Billie Joe” is known as a jazz classic.One of his most popular numbers was his “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” a live version of which is on his Live at Otter Crest album, published by Concord.
Teri Thornton(vocal) 1934-2000 :: Teri Thornton was an American jazz singer. Thornton first performed in local Detroit clubs in the 1950s. She moved to New York City in the 1960s, where she found work singing for television advertisements, and recorded for several different labels. Late in the 1960s Thornton faded from public view, and only decades later was discovered to have been singing on various song poem records in Los Angeles on the Preview label as “Teri Summers.”
She played clubs in New York after moving back there from Los Angeles in 1983, and in the 1990s she fully revived her career. She was a resident of the Actors’ Fund Home in Englewood, New Jersey. In 1998, she won the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Vocal Competition in Washington, DC. (Singers Jane Monheit, Tierney Sutton and Roberta Gambarini were runners-up in the same competition.) Thornton signed with Verve, which released I’ll Be Easy to Find in 2000.
Dave O’Higgins(saxophone) 1964 :: Happy birthday Dave O’Higgins.
Born in Birmingham, O’Higgins first emerged on the British jazz scene in the 1980s. After playing in the National Youth Jazz Orchestra for three years O’Higgins joined the band of Jim Mullen before moving on to Martin Taylor’s band.
O’Higgins performs as a sideman, as the leader of the Dave O’Higgins Quartet and as part of Most Wanted, with trumpeter Graeme Flowers and trombonist Barnaby Dickinson. He is currently Professor of Saxophone at Leeds College of Music and Goldsmiths College.
++ == Destiny Minus 8! Those who know will know & be countin’== ++
"The world went and got itself in a big damn hurry.”
- Brooks, Shawshank Redemption