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From the monthly archives: "April 2012"

I knew that sooner or later I would be introducing this playlist and to be honest, it took me quite a bit of time just naming it. The late 60’s and early 70’s was a delicate and challenging time for traditional Jazz. A new inventive generation was was emerging and the powerful electrical sound effects their instruments produced was the main reason for their success. Jazz musicians held on tight to their traditional sound but sacrificed a little by blending a Funk sound and allowed the organ to dominate. They also added bluesy/funky electric guitar riffs for sound effects but in a very light manner. Artists like Miles Davis, Lou Donaldson, Herbie Hancock, Joe Henderson, Freddie Hubbard and many more began to integrate these instruments into Jazz.

It was challenging for them, in a loyal sense because they were traditional Jazz musicians by trade and with the responsibility of not abandoning all the greats who came before them. It was a somehow delicate situation and they managed to walk that fine line with much dignity. This Playlist which I named “Early Jazz Funk” will not be as large as others on Jazz Con Class but will be significant enough. This Jazz Funk era did not last too much and was totally taken over by Jazz Fusion.

Jazz Con Class does not cover any type of Jazz music from Jazz Fusion and on, it is not intended to. I want to make it perfectly clear, I have absolutely nothing against Jazz Fusion, Smooth Jazz and any of the other genres that have the word “Jazz” associated with it.

I created Jazz Con Class to acknowledge and support traditional Jazz so not to abandon the older generation of listeners and most importantly, to give the new generations the opportunity to listen and understand why traditional Jazz artist are the most talented musicians that ever walked this earth. Of course, it’s just my opinion but I’m sure there are many who agree with me 100%.

Check the Schedule link for when this, the “Early Jazz Funk” Playlist and all the others are broadcasting, enjoy!

I have decided to feature current bands from around the world that have a total dedication to traditional Jazz or that have a an influential Jazz element associated within their music. Electric Piquete will be the first to be featured and I have added a playlist for their album entitled “Electric Piquete Playlist” on Jazz Con Class. It will be on the rotation for an indefinite amount of time, enjoy! You can find out when it is playing and listen to it by visiting the Schedule link.

Heads up: FIRST airing of the “Electric Piquete Playlist” will be on April 24th at about 1:45 PM Eastern US Time

About the Band:

Electric Piquete was formed in the Miami suburb of Hialeah, FL in 2008 and has been composing and performing at bars, clubs, private parties and music festivals throughout South Florida since then. Their sound can best be described as a fusion of Latin, jazz, funk and rock. The Miami New Times honored them as “Best Latin Band” in their 2009 “Best of Miami” edition and Miami.com named them a “Band of the Hour” that same year. They have been featured in the Miami Herald, El Nuevo Herald, on NBC6 Miami, antisteez.com, Babalublog.com, and Lexus thought enough of their sound to license their original track “Fonquetazo” for use in a promotional video.

The Miami Herald also featured one of their songs (“En La Playa Giron”) in a special Bay of Pigs 50th Anniversary report. The band independently released an EP in March of 2011 digitally and on CD, including “Fonquetazo”, a funked up remake of the Cuban standard “Chan Chan” and another original composition titled “Mother Smother”, which features the production work of DJ Le Spam (Andrew Yeomanson) and vocals by Mercedes Abal and Tomas Diaz from the Spam All Stars. The two sing the Yoruban chant “Yemaya Assessu” over the band’s instrumental track.

Here are more links to learn further and connect with Electric Piquete:






The newest featured album is just another perfect example of the many styles Avant-Garde Jazz had to offer to its listeners. It also points towards the direction in which Jazz took in the 70’s. The synthesizer began to have more of a presence and was more trendier. The old guard of Jazz musicians had to make an adjustment to the demands of a new generation. The newer Jazz musicians had to incorporate the challenging new electrical sound to the traditional Jazz sound. This album was one of the earliest (1969), “The Turning Point” playlist will be featured indefinitely, check the schedule link for when it will be airing.

More on the Album:

Blues-based and funky, soul-jazz isn’t known for encouraging wildly eclectic playing in its musicians. And while Lonnie Smith’s TURNING POINT is by no stretch an experimental outing–it sticks to the basic structures of the soul-jazz genre–there is plenty of adventurous playing within those confines. In large part, this is attributable to the superb personnel here, which includes trumpeter Lee Morgan…..Read More

Biography of Lonnie Smith (NOT to be confused with Lonnie Liston Smith):

He was born in Lackawanna, New York, into a family with a vocal group and radio program. Smith says that his mother was a major influence on him musically, as she introduced him to gospel, classical, and jazz music. He was part of several vocal ensembles in the 1950s, including the Teen Kings. Art Kubera, the owner of a local music store, gave Smith his first organ, a Hammond B3.[2]

Smith’s affinity for R&B melded with his own personal style as he became active in the local music scene. He moved to New York City, where he met George Benson, the guitarist for Jack McDuff’s band. Benson and Smith connected on a personal level, and the two formed the George Benson Quartet, featuring Lonnie Smith, in 1966.

After two albums under Benson’s leadership, It’s Uptown and Cookbook, Smith recorded his first solo album (Finger Lickin’ Good) in 1967, with George Benson and Melvin Sparks on guitar, Ronnie Cuber on baritone sax, and Marion Booker on drums. This combination remained stable for the next five years……..Learn More

I have decided to add a solo instrument playlist and of course it is the piano. The “Piano Alone” Playlist will consist of as many Jazz pianist solos available and that I can personally find. It will not have all the best Jazz pianists because not all of them have piano solo songs but I have plenty of piano songs from many greats here. And enough to create a playlist that I could play comfortably twice a day. If any readers/listeners here know of any Jazz recordings featuring piano solos, please let me know in the feedback link. Another reason why I decided to give tribute to these piano solos was because they are, by no means, boring. These masterpieces are crafted in a very creative manner and stand alone in their own unique Jazzy style. There are times when one just wants to totally relax and/or wants to hear some type of inspirational background music to either help them wined down from long day or to simply help them achieve a certain goal. The “Piano Alone” Playlist will fulfill their needs and them some, ENJOY! All the Playlists are located here and the when it will be broadcasting is located in the Schedule link.

I will be featuring the album “Really Big” for about a week or so and then place it permanently in the G4 Playlist. It is a unique album and has an all-star lineup:

Jimmy Heath’s first chance to lead a fairly large group, an all-star ten-piece, found him well featured both on tenor and as an arranger/composer. With such colorful players as cornetist Nat Adderley, flugelhornist Clark Terry, altoist Cannonball Adderley, and either Cedar Walton or Tommy Flanagan on piano, Heath introduces a few originals (including “Big ‘P'” and “A Picture of Heath”) and uplifts “Green Dolphin Street,” “Dat Dere,” and “My Ideal,” among others. A well-conceived set. [Originally released in 1960, Really Big! was reissued on CD in 2007.] ~ Scott Yanow

Recorded at Plaza Sound Studios, New York, New York on June 24 & 28, 1960. Originally released on Riverside (1188). Includes liner notes by Orrin Keepnews…...Learn More

Learn more about Jimmy Heath:

Jimmy Heath has long been recognized as a brilliant instrumentalist and a magnificent composer and arranger.  Jimmy is the middle brother of the legendary Heath Brothers (Percy Heath/bass and Tootie Heath/drums), and is the father of Mtume.   He has performed with nearly all the jazz greats of the last 50 years, from Howard McGhee, Dizzy Gillespie, and Miles Davis to Wynton Marsalis.  In 1948 at the age of 21, he performed in the First International Jazz Festival in Paris with McGhee, sharing the stage with Coleman Hawkins, Slam Stewart, and Erroll Garner.  One of Heath’s earliest big bands (1947-1948) in Philadelphia included John Coltrane, Benny Golson, Specs Wright, Cal Massey, Johnny Coles, Ray Bryant, and Nelson Boyd.  Charlie Parker and Max Roach sat in on one occasion.

During his career, Jimmy Heath has performed on more than 100 record albums including seven with The Heath Brothers and twelve as a leader.  Jimmy has also written more than 125 compositions, many of which have become jazz standards and have been recorded by other artists including Art Farmer, Cannonball Adderley, Clark Terry, Chet Baker, Miles Davis, James Moody, Milt Jackson, Ahmad Jamal, Ray Charles, Dizzy Gillespie J.J Johnson and Dexter Gordon.  Jimmy has also composed extended works – seven suites and two string quartets – and he premiered his first symphonic work, “Three Ears,” in 1988 at Queens College (CUNY) with Maurice Peress conducting……Learn More

Check the Schedule link for broadcast times, ENJOY!

The latest album that will be featured here on Jazz Con Class is “Unity.” Larry Young was another great organist that was overshadowed by the more popular ones. Here in this album he teams up with a an all-star lineup, great music! This album will be airing for a least one week and will be placed in the Avant-Garde playlist afterwards. Check the schedule link for exact times:

On Unity, jazz organist Larry Young began to display some of the angular drive that made him a natural for the jazz-rock explosion to come barely four years later. While about as far from the groove jazz of Jimmy Smith as you could get, Young hadn’t made the complete leap into freeform jazz-rock either. Here he finds himself in very distinguished company: drummer Elvin Jones, trumpeter Woody Shaw, and saxman Joe Henderson. Young was clearly taken by the explorations of saxophonists Coleman and Coltrane, as well as the tonal expressionism put in place by Sonny Rollins and the hard-edged modal music of Miles Davis and his young quintet. But the sound here is all Young: the rhythmic thrusting pulses shoved up against Henderson and Shaw as the framework for a melody that never actually emerges (“Zoltan” — one of three Shaw tunes here), the skipping chords he uses to supplant the harmony in “Monk’s Dream,” and also the reiterating of front-line phrases a half step behind the beat to create an echo effect and leave a tonal trace on the soloists as they emerge into the tunes (Henderson’s “If” and Shaw’s “The Moontrane”)….Learn More

I discovered this album while searching for trumpeter Woody Shaw:

Woody Shaw is a trumpeter, cornetist, flugelhornist, composer, arranger, bandleader, and eclectic original. “I consider myself from the straight-ahead school of jazz,” says Woody, and if you’ve heard him in action, you know what he’s talking about. Avant-gardists like Eric Dolphy (with whom he worked) and John Coltrane have made their mark on Shaw’s distinctive style, but he has not forgotten his debt to the early modern masters like Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie. “I’m able to handle any kind of music,” he says, “but I think that when jazz stops swinging, it’s not jazz.”

The music on Woody’s latest Columbia album, Woody III – like the music on its predecessors, Rosewood and Stepping Stones – never stops swinging for an instant. And it reveals Shaw as a true triple-threat man – not only is he playing better than ever, but he wrote all but one of the LP’s six selections and did all the arrangements.

The album’s title has two meanings. Woody III refers not only to the fact that it’s his third Columbia release, but also to the name of Woody’s first child, Woody Louis Armstrong Shaw III, who was born shortly before the album was recorded. The three selections on the first side, performed by an impressive 12-piece ensemble, are designed to tell the musical story of three generations of Woody Shaws.

James Spaulding, alto saxophone and flute, is featured as guest soloist on Woody III, but at the core of most of the tracks is Shaw’s strong, tight young band of Carter Jefferson on saxophones, Onaje Allan Gumbs on piano, Buster Williams or Clint Houston on bass and Victor Lewis on drums. “I think I’ve found musicians who can play it all,” Woody said of his quintet at the time Stepping Stones, recorded live at New York’s Village Vanguard, was released, and the critics agreed. Rafi Zabor of Musician magazine, for example, praised it as “everything modern jazz should be” and called Shaw “a state-of-the-art trumpeter with a state-of-the-art band.”

Similar plaudits have been coming Woody’s way for some time. Down Beat‘s Chuck Berg, in a five-star review of Rosewood, called him “one of today’s leading contenders for the world’s heavyweight trumpet crown.” Whitney Balliett of The New Yorker has called him “a trumpeter of startling invention and intensity.” The readers of Down Beat voted Woody trumpeter of the year and Rosewood jazz album of the year in that magazine’s 1978 poll. And the members of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences nominated Rosewood for two Grammy awards. Shaw’s legion of admirers is growing, and there’s no reason to doubt that with the release of Woody III, it will continue to grow.

Woody Shaw was born on Christmas Eve in 1944 in Laurinburg, North Carolina, home of Dizzy Gillespie’s alma mater, Laurinburg Institute. Woody’s father, Woody Sr., was himself a Laurinburg alumnus and a member of the gospel group, the Diamond Jubilee Singers. When Woody was still a baby, the family moved to Newark, New Jersey, where Woody began studying trumpet at age 11 with Jerome Ziering.

Two years later he began his professional career, playing with Brady Hodge’s Newark-based R&B orchestra. He worked with local acts like Alan Jackson and the Jive Five while in high school, where he made the All-City and All-State orchestras in 1959. Woody never finished high school, but he received valuable musical schooling through his work with local jazzmen like organist Larry Young and saxophonist Tyrone Washington. At 18, he got what he calls “the ultimate of my indoctrination” with Latin-jazz pioneer Willie Bobo at a club called the Blue Coronet in Brooklyn (among the other members of the band were Chick Corea and Joe Farrell).

Eric Dolphy heard Woody at the Blue Coronet and asked him to join his band. “Eric’s music had a profound influence on me,” he says of the late saxophonist. “He taught me a freer way to play and helped me find my own voice.” Woody made his recording debut on Dolphy’s Iron Man LP, and had been preparing to join him in Europe when Dolphy died in 1964. He went over anyway, settling in Paris, where he gained valuable experience playing with expatriate bebop greats Kenny Clarke and Bud Powell. He was also reunited with Larry Young, who played with him at Le Chat Qui Peche, a Paris nightclub, and also toured Belgium and Germany with him. The following year Horace Silver – whose trumpeter Carmell Jones, was himself moving to Europe – wrote to Shaw and asked him to come back to the U.S. and join his quintet…….Learn More

You can visit Woody Shaw’s official website here.

I started a “Playlist Poll” for all the listeners to vote on and it’s located on the right sidebar. I need to get an idea of the playlists everyone enjoys most. I’m always trying improve the Jazz Con Class so that’s the reason why I’m doing this. You can only vote one time and only one of the choices. If you are new here then listen to the Radio Station and check out the Playlists link and when the playlists will be airing on the Schedule Link. You can leave a comment below also. There’s also the Feedback link. Thank you and ENJOY!