From the monthly archives: "April 2013"

BlueSuperTuesdayPresentation

This Super Tuesday Jazz Presentation will totally concentrate on only song titles that start with the word “Blue.” As one can imagine how many Jazz songs that have the word Blue in the title but there are many more with the word Blues in the title, those are not included on this particular presentation. That goes for the Jazz song titles that have the word Blue in it but do not start with it, they are not included in this presentation either. I left many great songs out because they were not as consistent with the others but these will do. Check the schedule link for play times, enjoy!

Thelonious Monk “Blue Monk”:

JazzAdvanceCover

One cannot measure the advancement and mindset of the great Cecil Taylor in 1956 when he recorded this album “Jazz Advance (Deluxe Edition).” There are very few others who could be compared to pianist Cecil Taylor in Jazz history. He simply took it a step further and with no thought of hesitation or fear. This man plays the piano like nobody ever has and like anybody who as talented, will ever attempt to play it. And because of his overabundance of superiority, he has been jealously ignored. Jazz is very advance and sometimes when watching an old footage of video, one can be thrown off by appearance. You see men or woman playing instruments but not in a very animated way. So you lose track of the music and how exceptional it truly is. Listening only and with no visual distractions, would be the best way to digest it. Listening closely to Cecil Taylor play the piano in this album will help you understand Jazz further. He might go out into tangents here and there, so let him go, be patient, he’ll come back to the song and when he does, it will feel like he never departed the song at all! But why? You ask yourself. Because its Jazz you’re listening to and now you finally understand it. There’s no such thing as an explanation of what Jazz sounds like. You either accept to understand its sophistication or you refuse it. You must give it a real chance though and you will find out how beneficial it is to your mind. Check the schedule link for play times and remember, this is the Deluxe Edition, it has three extra songs and they are live, ENJOY!

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About the album (Note: This is the Deluxe Edition):

The Transition label and the then new music of Cecil Taylor were perfectly matched, the rebellion in modern jazz was on in 1956, and the pianist was at the forefront. Though many did not understand his approach at the time, the passing years temper scathing criticism, and you can easily appreciate what he is accomplishing. For the reissue Jazz Advance, you hear studio sessions in Boston circa 1956, and the legendary, ear-turning set of 1957 at the Newport Jazz Festival. A young Steve Lacy is included on several tracks, and while revealing Taylor‘s roughly hewn façade, the few pieces as a soloist and with his trio of bassist Buell Neidlinger and drummer Dennis Charles are even more telling. At his most astonishing, Taylor slightly teases, barely referring to the melody of “You’d Be So Nice to Come Home To,” wrapping his playful, wild fingers and chordal head around a completely reworked, fractured, and indistinguishable yet introspective version of this well-worn song form. Taylor is also able to circle the wagons, jabbing and dotting certain vital notes on the melody of “Sweet & Lovely.” When inclined to turn off putting dissonant chords into playful melody changes, he does so, turning around Thelonious Monk‘s “Bemsha Swing” delightfully, and then scattering notes everywhere in his solo. Lacy‘s soprano sax is more than up to….Read More

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Here’s a great Avant-Garde album from Cedar Walton and his first as a leader. It was recorded in 1967 and launched a new career for him as he entered the Jazz Funk scene. He is considered one of the top pianists that Jazz has offered and is well known but had to earn it. As you can see in his discography he was an integral part of many major Jazz breakthrough albums. The name of this album is “Cedar!” and don’t get confused with MP3 version shown there on Amazon, this album is only available on CD there. Its very relaxing Jazz with heavy impressive/innovative piano from Cedar and great drum work by my favorite Billy Higgins who layers it with c o o l n e s s. Kenny Dorham is sweet and subtle on the Trumpet, Junior Cook adds texture on Tenor and Leroy Vinnegar is domineering with a powerful Bass. The contributions of sidemen Dorham and Cook are not in all the songs (Read Below). Check the schedule link for play times. Great stuff, enjoy!

About the album:

Digitally remastered by Phil De Lancie (1990, Fantasy Studios, Berkeley). His first recording as a leader finds Cedar Walton an optimistic and self-assured pianist/composer in the post-bop style. This 1967, cleanly-produced recording contains seven swinging numbers featuring Cedar in trio, quartet and quintet configurations. The album opens with “Turquoise Twice,” a hard-driving, modally-inclined tune. Cedar’s solo is crisp, logical and rigorous, his left hand dipping into some McCoy Tyner-like fifths. His no-nonsense approach, and rootsy pianistic touch carries the album. This is intelligent but not intellectual jazz. One of the strongest tracks is the charming but edgy “Twilight Waltz.” Billy Higgins’ drums out some swinging counter-rhythms underneath Cedar’s bluesy ornamentation. And trumpeter Kenny Dorham performs a clearly melodic solo, straight and singing. “My Ship” (Gershwin-Weill) is intimate as a trio. Cedar’s balance between horn-like single notes……Read More

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Biography of Cedar Walton:

One of the most valued of all hard bop accompanists, Cedar Walton is a versatile pianist whose funky touch and cogent melodic sense have graced the recordings of many of jazz’s greatest players. He is also one of the music’s more underrated composers; although he has always been a first-rate interpreter of standards, Walton wrote a number of excellent tunes (“Mosaic,” “Ugetsu,” and “Bolivia,” to name a few) that found their way into Art Blakey’s book during the pianist’s early-’60s stint with the Jazz Messengers. In addition to his many quantifiable accomplishments, Walton is less well known as the first pianist to record, in April 1959 with John Coltrane, the tenorist’s daunting “Giant Steps” — unlike the unfortunate Tommy Flanagan a month later, Walton wasn’t required to solo, though he does comp magnificently. Walton was first taught piano by his mother. After attending the University of Denver, he moved to New York in 1955, ostensibly to play music. Instead, he was drafted into the Army……Read More

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On Jazz Con Class there’s plenty of Coleman Hawkins to be heard but there hasn’t been an album of his featured. “The Hawk Flies High” will be featured for a few weeks or so. I will actually place it on the Hard Bop playlist because that’s the style of Jazz used. Coleman Hawkins is considered to be the best tenor Saxophonist ever because he simply reinvented it and incorporated into Jazz, nobody before him had done this. Even Lestor Young, who many feel was the first to do this, mentioned in an a Jazz Review interview “As far as I’m concerned, I think Coleman Hawkins was the President first, right? As far as myself, I think I’m the second one.” They both had there own styles but Coleman Hawkins was the first. Every tenor saxophonist has a little Hawkins in them. This album is very interesting and very different, it doesn’t only features Coleman Hawkins as the driving force. Check the schedule link for play times.

About the album:

Although Coleman Hawkins was 51 when THE HAWK FLIES HIGH was recorded in 1957, he hadn’t lost any of the vigor or imaginative dexterity that had typified his original work in the `30s and `40s. In fact, one of Hawkins’s greatest assets was his ability to adapt to and incorporate changing styles, and that’s precisely what he does here by bringing his swing-inflected chops into a straight bop context. Surrounded by then-young firebrands J.J. Johnson and Idrees Sulieman (on trombone and trumpet, respectively), Hawkins turns in memorable performances on album highlights such as “Juicy Fruit,” “Laura,” and “Sanctity.” The disc was remastered and reissued in 2008…..Read More

BlueSpringCover

What a sweet album this is, the Jazz Con Class listeners are going to enjoy this uplifting collection of spring songs. All six songs have the word “Spring” in it. Kenny Dorham with his low pitch signature sound and Cannonball Adderley with his soulful glorious sound make a great combination. There’s an addition of instruments (Baritone Sax, French Horn) in this album which was a combination of two separate 1959 recordings. All the musicians were in both recordings except for the drummers, Jimmy Cobb (Tracks 1-4) and Philly Joe Jones (Tracks 5 and 6). “Blue Spring” will be featured for a week or so, check the schedule link for play times.

About the album:

Digitally remastered by David Luke (1990, Fantasy Studios, Berkeley, California). In lieu of picking up one of the trumpeter’s fine Blue Note releases (Una Mas, Whistle Stop), listeners new to the work of Kenny Dorham should definitely consider this somewhat overlooked Riverside date from 1959. The set features plenty of Dorham’s varied and sophisticated horn work and four of his top-drawer originals. The theme is spring, and Dorham responds with his soon to be jazz standard “Spring Is Here” and three other fine seasonal tributes: the title track, “Poetic Spring,” and “Spring Cannon.” This last cut is also a tribute to Julian “Cannonball” Adderley, who guests in fine style here with a bevy of fleet and highly melodic solos. Rounding out the group, baritone saxophonist Cecil Payne, French horn player David Amram, and pianist Cedar Walton add very nicely to the album’s breezy yet provocative air……Read More

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This 1958 “live” album is classified as one of the best Jazz albums ever. The Jazz Con Class listeners will be able to hear it in its entirety and will realize why it is so highly regarded. Many of the listeners here know this already but there are many also, who have not heard it before and they will get the opportunity. This was a tiny club in New York City (More Below) and was very famous from the mid 50’s to the mid 60’s. There were 7 live recording there and this one was the first. I will definitely feature more live recordings from this historic Jazz club in the future. The album cover even has additional pictures from inside the club and where the musicians stood. I will be featuring “10 To 4 At The 5 Spot” for a week or so and then place it into the “G4” playlist. Check the schedule link for play times, enjoy!

About the album:

In 1958, Pepper Adams and Donald Byrd were pivotal members of a sextet led by Chicago tenor saxophonist Johnny Griffin. They also formed their own quintet with fellow Detroiters Doug Watkins and Elvin Jones, and the then-rising star Bobby Timmons as the fifth wheel. This album, one of the first club dates recorded for the Riverside label, may have presented logistic problems with the acoustics, mic placements, and reel to reel tape technology, but there were no such issues with the extraordinary music contained on this effort. A tight, in tune and exciting ensemble, Adams and Byrd laid it all out for this single 39-minute set of modern jazz at the Five Spot Café in New York City. The symmetry between the witty and raw baritone sax of Adams and Byrd’s stirring and sometimes strained trumpet is the stuff of legends, and the hallmark of the bop to hard bop era. Contained on this album are two definitive all-time great selections — “The Long Two/Four” and especially “Hastings Street Bounce” — the former with a march intro from Jones setting up a sharp staccato hard line melody with trumpet fills and the precise comping of Timmons, the latter a definitive groovy soul strut shuffle with one of the more hummable and memorable melodies ever, both pieces featuring rousing solos, and both tracks over ten minutes of jam power……Read More

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More on The Five Spot Cafe’ Jazz club (Wikipedia):

The Five Spot Café was a jazz club located at 5 Cooper Square in the Bowery neighborhood of New York City.

In 1937, Salvatore Termini (b. 1884) purchased what was then known as the Bowery Café, a working-class bar located under the Third Avenue El. In 1946, two of Termini’s sons, Joe and Ignatze (Iggy) returned from the war and helped run the bar. In 1951, the sons purchased the business from their father and renamed it the No. 5 Bar.

In late in 1955 the Third Avenue El was demolished and the city embarked on a revitalization of the Bowery. During this time many artists were drawn to the area due to the cheaper rent prices compared to Greenwich Village. Pianist Don Shoemaker was among the influx of artists who moved re-located to the Bowery. Occupying a studio at 1 Cooper Square above the No. 5 Bar, Shoemaker hosted jam sessions during which he would purchase beer from the Terminis. Shoemaker eventually told Joe that if the bar would purchase a piano, he and his band would play. Joe bought a used upright piano, received a cabaret licence on 30 August 1956, and opened a week later under the name the Five Spot Café……Learn More

About the Five Spot Cafe’ from son of owners (Joe and Iggy Termini) (Picture above is located here):

If you are an aficionado of Jazz, especially the Jazz that reigned in the 50’s and 60’s in New York City you have undoubtedly heard of, or visited The Five Spot Café on 3rd Avenue and St. Marks Place in Manhattan’s East Village. My father, Joe Termini and his brother, Iggy, owned and operated The Five Spot during those heydays and created a haven for such musical giants as Theonious Monk, Sonny Rollins, Charlie Parker, Ornette Coleman, and Charles Mingus.

What you may not know is that The Five Spot Café was also the gathering place for many of the most important artists of the Abstract Expressionist Era…… Learn More

A great link about the closing of The Five Spot Cafe’ (1976)

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Here’s a great live album of Thelonious Monk and his one-performance orchestra. The videos below will fill the Jazz Con Class listeners with more detail. The official name of the album is “Thelonious Monk and his Orchestra at Town Hall.” Orrin Keepnews was the founder of Riverside Records and since then has sold the rights to the Concord Music Group. Here’s a link to all the Keepnews albums that are available for purchase. Thelonious Monk’s orchestra consists of: Thelonious Monk (piano); Phil Woods (alto saxophone); Charlie Rouse (tenor saxophone); Pepper Adams (baritone saxophone); Donald Byrd (trumpet); Robert Nothern (French horn); Eddie Bert (trombone); Jay McAllister (tuba); Sam Jones (bass); Art Taylor (drums). Personnel: Thelonious Monk (piano); Phil Woods (alto saxophone); Charlie Rouse (tenor saxophone); Pepper Adams (baritone saxophone); Donald Byrd (trumpet); Robert “Brother Ah” Northern (French horn); Eddie Bert (trombone); Jay McAllister (tuba); Sam Jones (bass guitar); Art Taylor (drums). Its so unusual and even awkward to see these Jazz greats sitting down and playing their instruments. Check the schedule link for play times, enjoy!

About the album:

Recorded live at Town Hall, New York, New York on February 28, 1959. Originally released on Riverside (1138). Includes liner notes by Orrin Keepnews. Digitally remastered by Joe Tarantino (1989, Fantasy Studios, Berkeley, California). Numerous Thelonious Monk live dates were released during his career (and posthumously), but 1959’s THE THELONIOUS MONK ORCHESTRA AT TOWN HALL is one of the finest. In large part the album stands out for the novelty of hearing Monk play with a large ensemble. The tentet featured here has the guts and punch of a big band, but the agility of a small group (a necessary quality when rendering Monk’s complex, angular tunes). The program features some of the legend’s finest compositions…….Read More

Video about the Town Hall concert (Part One):

And Part Two:

 

BlueAndSentimentalCover

This 1961 album was a beautifully mellow and completely embraces its title. “Blue and Sentimental” should appropriately be heard in a relaxed environment or maybe when one is looking for a way to rest their mind after a long, crazy day. That’s the beauty of Jazz and I always said to those who asked me why I listen to this musical art form. I always answer with, “Jazz keeps me sane.” Ike Quebec played the saxophone in a straight forward gentle manner that does not, by any means, bother the ears. This album helps equip the Jazz Con Class listeners with even more of an advantage because of the addition of Grant Green, who is considered to many as the very best Jazz guitarist ever. There are a few upbeat songs in the album but Quebec and Grant keep it under control. After you listen to the whole album, you will confirm it to yourselves, it is truly, Blue and Sentimental! This album will be featured for a week or so, check the schedule link for play times, enjoy.

More on the Album:

Although not as well known as other big tenor men like John Coltrane, Hank Mobley, or Benny Golson, Ike Quebec was a major contributor to the classic era of jazz and this 1961 Blue Note date captures him in his prime. BLUE & SENTIMENTAL is indeed one of but a few discs that Quebec recorded for Blue Note, although he was involved with the legendary label as an A&R man and performed on many sessions by other artists. His huge, velvety tone and bluesy swagger are Quebec’s signature as he lopes and swings through several classic tunes like Count Basie’s lazy title track, the bouncing “That Old Black Magic,” and Cole Porter’s hauntingly melodic “It’s Alright With Me.” Filling out the quartet are no less than Grant Green, Paul Chambers, and Philly Joe Jones, Blue Note regulars all, who shine brightly as always……Read More

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Biography of Ike Quebec:

“This incontestably superior musician has been almost totally ignored in the chronicling of the musical form to which he has contributed so much. Quebec was a tenor man of the Hawkins school with a big tone and firm, vigorous style. I hope this new perspective of the contribution Ike Quebec has made to jazz will help to bring a little lightness to his soul and much more recognition to his name.” Leonard Feather

An accomplished dancer and pianist, he switched to tenor sax as his primary instrument in his early 20s, and quickly earned a reputation as a promising player. His recording career started in 1940, with the Barons of Rhythm. He recorded or performed with Frankie Newton, Hot Lips Page, Roy Eldridge, Trummy Young, Ella Fitzgerald, Benny Carter and Coleman Hawkins. Between 1944 and 1951, he worked with Cab Calloway. He recorded for Blue Note records in this era, and also served as a talent scout for the label (helping pianists Thelonious Monk and Bud Powell come to wider attention) and, due to his exceptional sight reading skills, was an uncredited impromptu arranger for many Blue Note sessions……Read More

AllLiveTuesdayJazzPresentation

This week will feature an “All Live” recordings of great Traditional/Classic Jazz.  While preparing this playlist I have come to the realization that I have enough live Jazz recordings to feature it on the rotation by making a specialized playlist for it. I will have this playlist available on a regular basis for the Jazz Con Class listeners very soon. But for this Super Tuesday, I will have a three-hour Jazz Presentation that will air three times in a 24 hour time span, so nobody will miss it around the world. Take a look at the schedule link for play times and enjoy!

Here’s an excellent movie of a 1963 concert from Sanremo, Italy:

Impact(Enja)Cover

This a great “Live” album and the listeners of Jazz Con Class will enjoy it very much. I ran into it while searching for more albums of Charles Tolliver. The name of this album is “Impact” but please do not confuse it with an earlier recorded album with the same exact name. This is the Enja version and was recorded live in Germany in 1972. I searched for reviews online and could not find anything close to a more accurate description/review of this album, than the one below. Excellent album, check the schedule link for play times.

About the album (Most Accurate review from Stuart Jefferson, on Amazon.com):

One disc 73 minutes approximately. Digitally remastered. The sound is very clean and has a warmth,which is sometimes lacking in live recordings and/or through the remastering process. This disc features Charles Tolliver -flugelhorn,Stanley Cowell-piano,Ron Mathewson-bass,and Alvin Queen-drums.

Anyone with more than a passing interest in jazz will know all the above players. All of them have played with both many known and unknown musicians/groups for many years. This particular recording is taken from a live concert in Germany, in 1972. Don’t let the date fool you into thinking that this is “old”jazz-not worth hearing. This recording could sit alongside some of the more forward thinking releases on Blue Note Records,or any other labels you might happen to think of. Right now I have to say that I feel it’s a shame that music of this caliber is only truly appreciated,by and large,in Europe. For this is some excellent post be-bop played at it’s finest.

Both the bassist and drummer hold things together and give these tunes a real grounding,while at the same time they never lose that feeling of swing so important to this type of music. Tolliver’s playing is always right on the mark. Never cluttering up his sound with to many notes,he leaves just enough space between the notes so that the music breathes and seems to come alive. Likewise Cowell-his playing,no matter if he’s filling in spaces or is soloing,is always of the highest caliber.

After a short introduction of the players,the first track gets off to a rousing start and doesn’t really let up. The same could be said for the second track. On the third track the entire group slows way down for some beautiful ensemble playing,which gives way to some fine solo work by Cowell and Tolliver. On this track,like others,Mathewson’s bass playing is very sensitive and fits in the pocket very well indeed. The drummer knows when to hold back and just keep things moving along without calling attention to himself. The fourth track has some intense playing alongside some quieter passages. This track really feels like this group has been playing together(whether true or not) for a long while. The weaving of instruments,the ebb and flow of sound,all give this track a real identity. This edition of this album contains two previously unreleased tracks,for an extra twenty-five minutes of music. Track five starts out with a bit of a “soul-jazz” feel to it. It’s different than the previous tracks,but gives a broader view of these fine musicians,and is still in the post be-bop mode. Tolliver is in fine form here,as is Cowell. Both play over and around each other,and is a nice change of pace. The last track starts out with all four players,and then gives way to Tolliver’s horn. There is a drum solo shortly into this track,and not being a fan of such,I will let the individual listener make up his own mind……Read More

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This is an exceptional Hard Bop album, released in 1960 from another less known Jazz pianist Freddie Redd. This quintet he put together was extraordinary, especially on the saxophones. A dynamic duel of two greats, Jackie McLean (Alto) and Tina Brooks (Tenor). And of course, the rest of the cast is amazing, Paul Chambers (Bass) and Louis Hayes (Drums). “Shades of Redd” will be featured for a week or so and then placed in the Hard Bop playlist. Check the schedule link for play times, enjoy!

About the album:

Digitally remastered using 20-bit technology by Ron McMaster. This is part of Blue Note’s Limited Edition Connoisseur series. SHADES OF REDD is part of the seemingly endless stream of bop and post-bop albums released on Blue Note in the 1960s, and as such is easy to overlook. That, however, would be a mistake, as SHADES OF REDD is a gleaming gem of a find. With saxophonists Jackie McLean and Tina Brooks in the front line, pianist Freddie Redd leads a rhythm section through nine blues-inflected bop numbers of his own composition. Cool, elegant, and with plenty of swing factor, SHADES OF REDD might sound, theoretically, like any other disc from the period, but this is one of the sets where the elements came together perfectly. Jazz fans of nearly any stripe would do well to pick this up…….Read More

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Biography of Freddie Redd:

A classic bop pianist and a composer of haunting melodies, Freddie Redd has had an episodic career, with high points followed by periods in which he maintained a low profile. After a period in the Army (1946-1949), Redd worked with drummer Johnny Mills and then in New York played with Tiny Grimes (with whom he recorded), Cootie Williams, Oscar Pettiford, and the Jive Bombers. Redd, who appeared with both jazz and early R&B groups, recorded his debut as a leader for Prestige in 1955 (reissued in the OJC series), appeared on dates led by Gene Ammons and Art Farmer, and toured Sweden in 1956 with Ernestine Anderson and Rolf Ericson, cutting an obscure trio set in Sweden for the Metronome label. When he returned to the U.S., Redd settled for a time in San Francisco, where he worked as the house pianist at Bop City and recorded for Riverside. He found his greatest fame when he wrote the music for the play The Connection. He acted and played in the landmark show in New York, London, and Paris, was in the film, and recorded the music for Blue Note……Learn More

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This 1960 album is considered to be one of the first Hard Bop album and it will not let the listeners of Jazz Con Class down. The Adderley clan consisting of Nat, Cannonball and Yusef Lateef (Both Tenor and Flute) are joined by two more sax giants, Charlie Rouse and Jimmy Heath. Tate Houston also was on board with his saxophone. That’s Right! The album labels it the “Big Sax Section.” One can actually distinguish between them as they take turns with short leads. Great album to sit back and enjoy, very entertaining and with a soft grace to it. Nat Adderley establishes himself as a real leader here with that swift pronounced cornet sound. Check the Schedule link for play times.

About Album:

That’s Right!: Nat Adderley & The Big Sax Section album by Nat Adderley was released Jan 30, 2007 on the Original Jazz Classics label. Nat Adderley has seldom played with more fire, verve, and distinction as he does on That’s Right! It places him in the company of an expanded sax section that includes his brother Cannonball on alto, Yusef Lateef on tenor, flute, and oboe, Jimmy Heath and Charlie Rouse on tenor, and baritone saxophonist Tate Houston. That’s Right!: Nat Adderley & The Big Sax Section songs Solos crackle, the backing is tasty and stimulating, and the eight songs range from brisk standards…Read More

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Biography of Yusef Lateef:

Yusef Lateef is a Grammy Award-winning composer, performer, recording artist, author, visual artist, educator and philosopher who has been a major force on the international musical scene for more than six decades. In recognition of his many contributions to the world of music, he has been named an American Jazz Master for the year 2010 by the National Endowment for the Arts.
Still very much active as a touring and recording artist, Yusef Lateef is universally acknowledged as one of the great living masters and innovators in the African American tradition of autophysiopsychic music — that which comes from one’s spiritual, physical and emotional self.
As a virtuoso on a broad spectrum of reed instruments — tenor saxophone, flute, oboe, bamboo flute, shanai, shofar, argol, sarewa, and taiwan koto — Yusef Lateef has introduced delightful new sounds and blends of tone colors to audiences all over the world, and he has incorporated the sounds of many countries into his own music. As a result, he is considered a pioneer in what is known today as “world music.”
As a composer, Yusef Lateef has compiled a catalogue of works not only for the quartets and quintets he has led, but for symphony and chamber orchestras, stage bands, small ensembles, vocalists, choruses and solo pianists. His extended works have been performed by the WDR (Cologne), NDR (Hamburg), Atlanta, Augusta and Detroit Symphony Orchestras, the Symphony of the New World, Eternal Wind, the GO Organic Orchestra, and the New Century Players from California Insitute of the Arts. In 1987 he won a Grammy Award for his recording of “Yusef Lateef’s Little Symphony,” on which he performed all the parts. His latest extended works include a woodwind quintet, his Symphony No.2, and a concerto for piano and orchestra.
As an educator, Yusef has devoted much of his life to exploring the methodology of autophysiopsychic music in various cultures and passing what he has learned on to new generations of students. He is an emeritus Five Colleges professor at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, MA, from which he was awarded a Ph.D. in Education in 1975. His doctoral dissertation was entitled “An Overview of Western and Islamic Education.” In 2007 he was named University of Massachusetts’ “Artist of the Year.”
As an author, Yusef Lateef has published two novellas, “A Night in the Garden of Love” and “Another Avenue;” two collections of short stories, “Spheres” and “Rain Shapes;” and his autobiography, “The Gentle Giant,” written in collaboration with Herb Boyd. In recent years he has also exhibited his paintings at various art galleries.
Yusef A. Lateef was born William Emanuel Huddleston on October 9, 1920 in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and moved with his family to Detroit in 1925. In Detroit’s fertile musical environment, Yusef soon established long-standing friendships with such masters of American music as Milt Jackson, Tommy Flanagan, Barry Harris, Paul Chambers, Donald Byrd, the Jones brothers (Hank, Thad and Elvin), Curtis Fuller, Kenny Burrell, Lucky Thompson and Matthew Rucker. He was already proficient on tenor saxophone while in high school, and at the age of 18…..Learn More

 

HardBopSunday

Starting this Sunday April 7th, I will begin featuring a straight six hours of Hard Bop Jazz and will appropriately call it “Hard Bop Sunday.” I will change the beginning time every Sunday so it could be listened to on prime-time from any part of the planet. There are an average of 90 countries that tune in to Jazz Con Class on a monthly basis and all because it is on 24 hours/7 days a week. Check the schedule link for play times. Enjoy!

Here are several great interpretations/explanations of Hard Bop (Wikipedia):

Hard bop is a style of jazz that is an extension of bebop (or “bop”) music. Journalists and record companies began using the term in the mid-1950s to describe a new current within jazz which incorporated influences from rhythm and blues, gospel music, and blues, especially in saxophone and piano playing.

David H. Rosenthal contends in his book Hard Bop that the genre is, to a large degree, the natural creation of a generation of African-American musicians who grew up at a time when bop and rhythm and blues were the dominant forms of black American music. Prominent hard bop musicians included Horace Silver, Art Blakey, Cannonball Adderley, Miles Davis and Tadd Dameron.

Hard bop is sometimes referred to as “funky hard bop.” The “funky” label refers to the rollicking, rhythmic feeling associated with the style.[3] The descriptor is also used to describe soul jazz, which is commonly associated with hard bop.[1][3] According to Mark C. Gridley, soul jazz more specifically refers to music with “an earthy, bluesy melodic concept and… repetitive, dance-like rhythms…. Note that some listeners make no distinction between ‘soul-jazz’ and ‘funky hard bop,’ and many musicians don’t consider ‘soul-jazz’ to be continuous with ‘hard bop.’ The term “soul” suggests the church, and traditional gospel music elements such as “amen chords” (the plagal cadence) and triadic harmonies seemed to suddenly appear in jazz during the era.

History

According to Nat Hentoff in his 1957 liner notes for the Art Blakey Columbia LP entitled Hard Bop, the phrase “hard bop” was originated by author-critic-pianist John Mehegan, jazz reviewer of the New York Herald Tribune at that time. Hard bop first developed in the mid-1950s, and is generally seen as originating with The Jazz Messengers, a quartet led by pianist Horace Silver and drummer Art Blakey. Some saw hard bop as a response to cool jazz and west coast jazz. As Paul Tanner, Maurice Gerow, and David Megill explain, “the hard bop school… saw the new instrumentation and compositional devices used by cool musicians as gimmicks rather than valid developments of the jazz tradition.” However, Shelly Manne suggested that cool jazz and hard bop simply reflected their respective geographic environments: the relaxed cool jazz style reflected a more relaxed….Read More

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Gene Ammons sure had a nice group of “All Stars” with him when he recorded this 1958 album. The album is appropriately named “Groove Blues” because it is exactly how you will feel like when listening to it. As for the all stars, you will get John Coltrane, Art Pepper, Jerome Richardson (Flute) and Mal Waldron playing together. Rounding off this Mini-Big Band, you also have Art Taylor (drums), George Joyner (bass) and Paul Quinichette (Tenor Sax). Great album, not overabundant with improvisation but very entertaining and not one bit boring. It will be featured for a week or so, check the schedule link for play times. ENJOY!

About the album:

On January 3, 1958, Gene Ammons had a good day-a very good day. Recording sessions from that date resulted in two albums with his All Stars, GROOVE BLUES and the equally impressive THE BIG SOUND. On GROOVE BLUES, the All Stars stretch out on four tunes: Ammons’ own “Jug Handle,” two numbers by pianist Mal Waldron, and one song by Rogers & Hammerstein. The All Stars boast four saxophonists and represent the cream of the post-bop crop. John Coltrane’s alto, Pepper Adams’ baritone, and Paul Quinichette’s tenor trade off with Ammons’ tenor with fire and grace. Their massed sound, along with Jerome Richardson’s flute, is a dazzling force as it flies over the piano and rhythm section gently pushing “Groove Blues.” The closing ballad, “It Might as Well be Spring,” is built around the lush tones of Ammons’ solitary horn and the piano-anchored trio, its 11 minutes of passionate romanticism drifting by like a hypnotic reverie. Recorded at the Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack, New Jersey on January 3, 1958……Read More

AstronautTuesdayJazzSpecial

Last week I featured straight forward Hard Bop and the Jazz Con Class listeners loved it but this week I will feature long, deep improvised songs that take it to an extraterrestrial level. It will start in with in a formidable improvised Avant-Garde fashion and then will leap into the atmosphere and take you on an inter-stellar journey.  Three and a half hours of mind-bending strength that will open your thoughts to knowledge. It is incredible how instrumentally superior Jazz musicians actually are and this Super Tuesday Jazz Presentation will help you understand further. At the very end of this long set you will be brought back to earth and/or your senses, depending on where you are. Either way, it will smoothly land you back to your everyday life but you will feel better about yourself! Jazz helps you cope with everyday obstacles and most importantly, keeps you sane! It’s good to expose yourself with Jazz and unfortunately makes you feel sorry for those who just don’t have time to listen to it. Check the schedule link (Tuesday April 2nd) for play times, ENJOY!!!!

Great “Live” Video:

 

KennyDorhamRoundAboutMidnightCafeBohemia

Here another promised installation of a live recording from the Cafe Bohemia. As of right now I have posted 4 historical sessions, they were:

1.Album Feature: Mingus at the Bohemia

2.Kenny Clarke’s album “Bohemia after Dark” and more anecdotes on Cafe Bohemia

3.Featured Album: Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers “Live” at the Cafe Bohemia Vol. One

4. “More Cafe Bohemia this time George Wallington Quintet Live at Cafe Bohemia is featured.”

There are a few more (I will post them also) but this particular one is my definite favorite. It is actually a two CD set and goes by the name “Complete ‘Round About Midnight at the Cafe Bohemia.” Great lineup but no sign of the real notables of that time, as you have the underrated J.R. Montrose on tenor and Arthur Edgehill on the drums. The other four making up this powerful classy sextet are of course, Kenny Dorham, Bobby Timmons, Sam Jones and Kenny Burrell. It was recorded on May 31, 1956. This album was one that was recorded but there were many other live sessions that were not. All these Jazz greats played and/or hung out in the Cafe Bohemia, which in a span of 2 years time was closed. I have placed 8 songs (Not in Order) from the album and will give the Jazz Con Class listeners here enough insight of the quality of the music and the “Live” feel of being there! I will feature 8 songs from the album and they will not be in order. Check the schedule link for play times, ENJOY!

About the album:

Recorded live at the Cafe Bohemia, New York, New York on May 31, 1956. Includes liner notes by Bob Blumenthal. This is part of Blue Note Records “Rudy Van Gelder Editions” series. During the spring and summer of 1956, trumpeter Kenny Dorham recorded two studio albums with his Jazz Prophets, a small hard bop band involving tenor saxophonist J.R. Monterose and a rhythm section of pianist Dick Katz, bassist Sam Jones and drummer Arthur Edgehill. On May 31 of that year, Dorham’s group performed live at the Café Bohemia with Bobby Timmons at the piano and guitarist Kenny Burrell sitting in on all but the first of four sets. Originally engineered by Rudy Van Gelder and remastered by him in 2001, Blue Note’s 2002 double-disc “Complete” Dorham Café Bohemia edition combines every usable track taped during this exceptionally fine evening of live jazz. The word “understated” has sometimes been used to describe the music played by Dorham’s band on this night in 1956; this is only appropriate if Dorham is compared with intense individuals like Fats Navarro or Dizzy Gillespie. Dorham’s jazz was perhaps more intimate and accessible precisely because his horn had an earthier tone, almost like that of a cornet…..Read More

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