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Release of New Thelonious Monk Album!

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Been a century since Jazz Great Thelonious Monk was born. Jazz fans are about to be in for a treat, the release of some Monk material previously thought lost.

Jazz Wizard Thelonious Monk’s Lost Masterpiece

To mark his centennial, the jazz legend’s lost album, ‘Les liaisons dangereuses 160,’ has finally been made available. And boy, is it special.

Ask any group of even token jazz fans who the best composer is in the history of the medium, and a series of hearty cries will go up for Duke Ellington. But are we being wayward if we suggest that Thelonious Monk might be in the runner-up spot?

There is good reason to kick around that notion: this is Monk’s centennial year, with a zesty little Monk treat for Record Store Day on April 22 coming courtesy of the release of the 2LP set, Les liaisons dangereuses 1960—a discovery in one part, a wonder in another….

 
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Posted by on April 23, 2017 in Music, From Way Back When to Now

 

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Just for the Joy of It – Thelonious Monk Live in ’66

Enjoy!

 
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Posted by on April 9, 2017 in Music, From Way Back When to Now

 

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Music – Booker T. (Formerly of the MGs, and his Hammond 17

I remember as a kid when Hammond Organs were the staple of a number of local bands. There was nothing at the time that generated to deep base notes. Two of the most famous Hammond playing musicians were Booker T. Jones and Jimmy Smith. When the band got hot, and the Hammond started heating up, was about as good as it got back in the day. The Hammond pre-dated transistor technology, and used Vacuum Tubes, mechanical coils, and an oil trough which made a sound far more complex than today’s digital synthesizers.

Takes me back…

 

And not to leave him out, Jimmy Smith in 1964 –

 
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Posted by on February 26, 2017 in Music, From Way Back When to Now

 

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Al Jarreau…

One of the truly greats passed yesterday… Had seen him in concert at least half a dozen times through the years. His voice had a range and versatility beyond anyone else in the Jazz and Fusion arena.

My personal favorite song by Al Jarreau –

 
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Posted by on February 13, 2017 in Music, From Way Back When to Now

 

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The Best Jazz Pianist You Have Never Heard Of – Cyrus Chestnut

Cyrus Chestnut was born in Baltimore, and lives in the Washington-Baltimore area. I have seen him play 4 or 5 times, with my appreciation of what he is doing rising each and every time. I would call his style “austere”, with clean beautifully struck notes.First time I listened to Cyrus was in the late 80’s at the Treaty of Paris Restaurant in Annapolis Maryland. My group of 6 was in another room – We asked for and got a table in the room with the trio. That was a delight!

He is one of the most requested pianists among recording musicians, including  Freddy Cole,Bette Midler, Jon Hendricks, Freddie Hubbard, Jimmy Scott, Chick Corea, Isaac Hayes, Kevin Mahogany, Dizzy Gillespie, and opera diva Kathleen Battle. If you have heard Anita Baker, chances are you heard Cyrus.

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on September 3, 2016 in Music, From Way Back When to Now

 

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Rhiannon Giddens on Nina Simone biopic, Music, and Racism

Rhiannon Giddens is an emerging crossover star (former Opera star), as welcome at the Grand Old Opry as the Kennedy Center Stage.  Here she discusses the impact of discrimination as well as the new Nina Simone biopic.

Rhiannon Giddens: “Songs don’t change anything; they inspire people to change things”

This is her newest release –

And something a bit more “folksy”

And if you don’t believe “The Grand Old Oprey”…Here she is there…

 
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Posted by on November 9, 2015 in Music, From Way Back When to Now

 

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Hittin’ The Last Lick…Butch Warren – Bassist

If you are, or ever have been a fan of the great artists recording on Blue Note back in the 50’s and 60’s Jazz nadir… You have heard Butch Warren.

Starting as a bassist for Thelonious Monk in the late 50’s, Warren – a DC native, became the “house bassist” for Blue Note’s recording studio, and toured with many of the label’s greats.

Edward ‘Butch’ Warren, Washington-born bassist, dies at 74

Edward “Butch” Warren, a Washington-born bassist who performed on celebrated albums of the modern jazz era before vanishing almost completely from the music scene because of drug addiction and deteriorating mental health, died Oct. 5 at Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring. He was 74.

The cause was lung cancer, said a daughter, Sharon Warren.

Mr. Warren, who reappeared in Washington clubs in recent years, was best known for the recordings he made from the late 1950s to the mid-1960s. He was discovered by trumpeter Kenny Dorham on a trip through the District and, within a matter of years, the 19-year-old Warren was working at the center of New York’s elite orbit of hard-bop jazz musicians.

As the house bass player for the Blue Note record label in New York, he helped set the pace and tone on first-rate albums by saxophonist Dexter Gordon, trumpeter Donald Byrd and pianists Herbie Hancock and Sonny Clark. He also toured the world with Thelonious Monk in 1963 and 1964 and was considered a promising disciple of the wildly innovative pianist and composer.

“Warren’s rich, loping bass is well suited to Monk’s rhythms if not his harmonic ideals,” Time magazine noted in a 1964 story about the band. “He is like a pony in pasture who traces his mother’s footsteps without stealing her grace.”

He left his mark on albums such as Hancock’s “Takin’ Off” (1962), Gordon’s “Go!” (1962), Jackie McLean’s “Vertigo” (1963), Dorham’s “Una Mas” (1963) and “Miles & Monk at Newport” (1964) with Miles Davis and Monk. Mr. Warren also wrote pieces included on several of the Blue Note albums, including “Eric Walks,” a tribute to his son, then a toddler taking his first steps.

Lean and lanky with an impassive face and an enduring attachment to the narrow lapels and thin ties popular among bop artists of the mid-century, Mr. Warren was for decades a mysterious, silent presence along the fringes of the Washington jazz scene.

After his return from New York in the mid-’60s, he was for a few years a regular in the house band on Channel 4’s morning talk show, “Today With Inga.” Then he largely disappeared, popping up from time to time at a club gig or at the Friday night jazz shows at Westminster Presbyterian Churchin Southwest Washington.

The Washington Post found Mr. Warren in 2006 in the locked-down psychiatric ward at Springfield Hospital Center , an institution 50 miles north of the District in Sykesville, Md. He had lost most of his teeth, and he seemed dazed and distracted. He had lost his apartment in a seniors’ facility in Silver Spring, lost his balance, lost his bass. “This is about the best place I’ve ever lived,” he told The Post.

The staff at the mental hospital knew him only as “Ed” until a worker on the ward got curious, Googled him, and discovered that the patient who kept asking for permission to play the piano in the recreation room was one of the lost bassists of the venerated Blue Note era.

Edward Rudolph Warren Jr., who was born on Aug. 9, 1939, grew up surrounded by music. His father was an electronics technician and a pianist who played at local clubs and opened his home to touring black musicians. His mother, Natalie, was for many years a typist at the CIA. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on October 7, 2013 in Music, From Way Back When to Now

 

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