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From the monthly archives: "March 2012"

The latest Featured Album has been scheduled here and it’s a real beauty! It will be airing for a week or so and then placed in the 4G Playlist (Playlist Link). The official name of the album is “The Trumpet Kings At Montreux 1975” and has a horn section that cannot be beat, here’s more:

Recorded live at the Montreux Jazz Festival, Montreux, Switzerland on July 16, 1975. Originally released on Pablo (2310-754). Includes liner notes by Benny Green.

Digitally remastered by Phil De Lancie (1990, Fantasy Studios, Berkeley, California).

When it came to Roy Eldridge, Dizzy Gillespie had no greater love. “Little Jazz” was his early idol and role model, the next great brass stylist in jazz history after Louis Armstrong. At the inception of modern jazz, during the early days at Minton’s and Monroe’s in Harlem, Eldridge and Gillespie used to regularly engage in torrid cutting contests at competitive after hours jam sessions. Gillespie soon moved beyond Eldridge, and thanks to Charlie Parker, found his own voice on the trumpet. But the warm friendship and competitive edge between master and student continued on a number of Norman Granz inspired sessions. This throwdown at The Montreux Jazz Festival in 1975, featuring the innovative trumpet stylist Clark Terry and a swinging Oscar Peterson-Niels Pedersen-Louis Bellson rhythm section, has all the fire and elegance you could ask for…..Learn More

I am truly satisfied and amazed with the results that I am receiving every single day when I view the “Listeners” stats for Jazz Con Class. It’s incredible how much Jazz is appreciated around the world and how loyal the listeners are to this internet radio station. I’m going to share my “Country” stats with you so you can understand further. Here’s the Top 100 Countries list that listened to Jazz Con Class in the past 30 days:

And there are more, a total of 98 Countries altogether and again, in the last 30 days. This should make All Jazz fans very happy and only encourages me to continue broadcasting so this music never vanishes and for generations to come. This is the main goal of Jazz Con Class but would never be possible if it weren’t for the loyalty of the listeners here. They keep this broadcast alive and I thank you all!!!!

Here are the remaining 48 Countries:

This is another great album that could also be categorized as a “Sleeper” and as my immediate previous post. The name of this album I will featuring also is Cannonball Adderley Quintet Plus and came out in 1961. It is borderline Hard Bop and Avant-Garde, the best of both worlds. I think the Jazz Con Class listeners here will enjoy quite a bit. Again, checkout the Schedule link to see when it will be playing and tune in. I will leave the playlist out there for a week or so and then place it in the rotation, probably in the G4 Playlist.

More on the Album:

For this CD reissue of a Riverside date, altoist Cannonball Adderley’s 1961 Quintet (which includes cornetist Nat Adderley, pianist Victor Feldman, bassist Sam Jones and drummer Louis Hayes) is joined by guest pianist Wynton Kelly on five of the eight selections, during which Feldman switches quite effectively to vibes. The music falls between funky soul-jazz and hard bop, and each of the performances (particularly “Star Eyes” and “Well You Needn’t”) is enjoyable. The CD adds a new alternate take of “Lisa” and the previously unissued “O.P.” to the original program…..Learn More

This is my latest featured album and it is a real “Sleeper.” The name of the album is Art Farmer/Benny Golson Meet the Jazztet” and it holds up on its own with the best of them, this is why I’m featuring it. There are many albums that somehow slip through the passionate Jazz ears and are simply ignored. Perhaps it’s just bad timing or maybe bad promoting but then again, in 1960 there was so much going on with better known Jazz musicians. There was so much groundbreaking Jazz music being produced, Hard Bop was still running strong, Free Jazz was fresh and  Post Bop/ Avant-Garde was evolving. This could only be the excuse, as this stealth classic album was not seen as it traveled under the radar. I will be featuring it for a week or so and later place it in the Hard Bop playlist. Check the schedule link to see when it will be playing, enjoy!

More on Album:

Although this CD has the same program as the original LP, it gets the highest rating because it is a hard bop classic. Not only does it include superior solos from trumpeter Art Farmer, trombonist Curtis Fuller, tenor saxophonist Benny Golson, and pianist McCoy Tyner (who was making his recording debut) along with fine backup from bassist Addison Farmer and drummer Lex Humphries, but it features the writing of Golson. Highlights include the original version of “Killer Joe” along with early renditions of “I Remember Clifford” and “Blues March.”….Learn More

Here’s a more recent video of Benny Golson playing “Killer Joe” :

In case you haven’t noticed the Generation 4 (G4)Playlist has been rotating for the last  few days and now I have added the newest playlist, its official name is “Strictly Miles.” Learn more about these two playlist here and find out when they will be playing here. Jazz Con Class is always trying to enhance your listening experience and there’s much more to come very soon. Thank you for your attention and ENJOY!

Here’s a video to enjoy about “Kind of Blue”:

Hello listeners and readers alike! I’m very busy working on all sorts of projects with the sole purpose of further enhancing your listening experience. I will be updating every now and then to keep you up with “the latest” developments here on Jazz Con Class.

1. I have finished adding music files to the “Free Jazz” playlist and by taking a good look at the Schedule link, you can see when I will be playing it. Of course, the rest of the programming is located there also.

2. I’ve added newer tracks to the Bossa Nova, Avant-Garde, Big Band and Hard Bop playlists and they are becoming longer.

3. The 4G (4th Generation) General Playlist will be released very soon! This playlist contains a combination of songs from all eras but most importantly, from special one-time albums produced by all-time greats together. This playlist is much more superior than any so-called “General” playlist that you would hear on any other online internet radio show. I’ve added numerous tunes that you probably never heard before and will love!

Finally, the image of the painting you see on top of this post is from Debra Hurd and her Jazz painting collection. For a matter of fact, all the images you see throughout Jazz Con Class are exclusively from her. Visit Debra’s Website and learn more, great stuff!

When discussion concerning greatest drummers of Jazz take place there is little mentioned about Billy Higgins. That’s to the casual Jazz listener but not to those who know more. By knowing more, I mean those who have heard more Jazz than others and especially the ones who are fans of the Avant-Garde/Free Jazz era, as I am. There was no other drummer in that era with more impact than Billy Higgins. By no means, am I trying to prove or suggest anything concerning the subject of ranking or am I comparing his ability with any other drummer of that era with quality in mind. It’s more about the influence he had with the ones around him and specifically, in the improvising department. As we all know, improvising is abundant in Jazz and makes it stand out more than any other music. Billy Higgins was inspirational and opened more avenues for ALL the musicians around him by expanding their horizons and in a more energetic manner. You want to talk about “COOL” Billy Higgins was all “THAT”, just listen to all the music he was involved in. And in the same breathe, one can clearly hear his drum set quiet down, compromising and influencing his fellow musicians to play their best. Here are a couple examples:

With Lee Morgan (“You go to my head”):

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With Ornette Coleman ( “Focus on Sanity”):

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And here with Sonny Clark (“Midnight Mambo”) you see a perfect example on how he sets up and amplifies all the other musicians. Leading the band but as usual, in an unselfish manner. He even adds a powerful mini-solo at the end of the song, great stuff! The more you hear Billy Higgins, the more you understand how amazing he was and how much impact he had on the development of Jazz. Enjoy!

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His Biography:

Born on October 11, 1936, in Los Angeles, CA; died on May 3, 2001, in Inglewood, CA; children: sons Ronald, William Jr., David, and Benjamin Higgins, daughter Ricky Wade, and stepson Joseph Walker.

 Drummer Billy Higgins, who died on May 3, 2001, of complications related to liver and kidney failure, will surely endure as one of the most respected, influential, and beloved musicians in jazz history. Rising to fame in the late 1950s as a member of the groundbreaking Ornette Coleman Quartet, Higgins helped take jazz in a new direction. In the 1960s he served as the unofficial house drummer of Blue Note Records, playing with artists ranging from Sonny Rollins to Dexter Gordon to Herbie Hancock. Although he recorded few sessions as a leader, Higgins played on more than 700 recordings during his career in a host of musical contexts. “Higgins had cat-like reflexes, and he knew the art of dialogue,” recalled Down Beat contributor Ted Panken. “To witness him–smiling broadly, eyes aglimmer, dancing with the drum set, navigating the flow with perfect touch, finding the apropos tone for every beat–was a majestic, seductive experience.”

Not only is Higgins remembered for his contributions to the free jazz and hard bop styles, but also for his unfailing humanity and dedication to teaching jazz to younger generations. Working continuously since initiating his musical career in the 1950s, Higgins spent most of the 1980s and 1990s in Los Angeles, where, in addition to performing and recording, he became involved in a variety of programs and activities dedicated to the preservation and promotion of jazz.

In the late 1980s, with poet Kamau Daáood, Higgins founded the World Stage–which regularly hosts workshops in the arts–in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Leimert Park. Here, Higgins could be found every Monday night teaching his weekly drum class to students from all segments of the community. Higgins focused a great deal of his attention toward the children. “They should bus children in here so they can see all this, so they could be a part of it,” Higgins stated in a 1999 LA Weekly interview with Greg Burk. “Because the stuff that they feed kids now, they’ll have a bunch of idiots in the next millennium as far as art and culture is concerned,” he added. “I play at schools all the time, and I ask, ‘Do you know who Art Tatum was?’ ‘Well, I guess not.’ Some of them don’t know who John Coltrane was, or Charlie Parker. It’s our fault. Those who know never told them. They know who Elvis Presley was, and Tupac, or Scooby-Dooby Scoop Dogg–whatever. Anybody can emulate them, because it’s easy, it has nothing to do with individualism. There’s so much beautiful music in the world, and kids are getting robbed.”

Like the children he taught, Higgins, born in 1936 in the Watts district, grew up in Los Angeles and started playing drums at the age of five. Early on, Higgins realized without a doubt that he wanted to pursue music, and he took instruction from master drummer Johnny Kirkwood, who worked with Louis Jordan and Dinah Washington, among others, and lived near Higgins in Los Angeles. In those days, jazz was the standard music in the neighborhood, and Kirkwood would take Higgins with him to hear all the local bands. The elder drummer also served as an encouraging father figure to Higgins, who, though he received unfailing support from his mother, spent his childhood without a father.

When not in school, Higgins spent countless hours practicing his drums and listening to music alone. Significant influences included records by Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, and Dizzy Gillespie. Higgins used to listen with fascination to these sessions and try to emulate what the musicians were playing. As a result, Higgins later noted, he began to think musically, applying the melodic situations to the drums. Oftentimes, Higgins would play in duo with a saxophonist, all the while imagining a piano and bass player in his head. “You have to play a certain something to give the saxophone player the illusion that something else is going on,” he told Karen Bennett in the Wire. Rather than merely accompanying the imaginary instruments, “I would play as if I were those instruments.”…….Learn More