Archive for February, 2010

Max Roach Quotes

February 26, 2010 Leave a comment

“Jazz is a very democratic musical form. It comes out of a communal experience. We take our respective instruments and collectively create a thing of beauty.” -Max Roach

“I always resented the role of a drummer as nothing more than a subservient figure.” -Max Roach

“Art is a powerful weapon that society, or the powers that be, use to control or direct the way people think. Culture is used to perpetuate the status quo of a society. Even though I’m involved in music for the sake of entertainment, I always hope to offer some kind of enlightenment.” -Max Roach

“One thing I gloried in, working with people like Charlie Parker, was the built-in rhythm section. You didn’t need a drummer or a bass player to know where the time was.” -Max Roach

“I used to take musical instruments home from elementary school. There were some music teachers there – we all learned instruments. A lot of us got started in public schools. Charlie Parker and Bud Powell, for example. But now there are no more music teachers in public elementary schools. It’s like (Senator) Moynihan said, ‘benign neglect.’ Just let it rot and fester.” -Max Roach


Max Roach…My Favorite Drummer

February 26, 2010 Leave a comment

In my opinion Max Roach was the finest Post-Bop drummers in the 50’s. A Pioneer of Bebop, a member of the 52nd. Avenue set.  He had formed a “Super Group” with the infamous Clifford Brown, and if that band had been able to stay together, the jazz world would be much different from what it is now. Interestingly few of his groups after his Brown/Roach quintet days had a pianist, making for an open ensemble sound in which the drums played a prominent role. My question is have you discovered his music?  

A significant innovation that Max Roach made in the 1940s, was when he and jazz drummer Kenny Clarke invented a new concept of musical time. By playing the beat-by-beat pulse of standard 4/4 time on the “ride” cymbal instead of on the thudding bass drum, Roach and Clarke developed a flexible, flowing rhythmic pattern that allowed soloists to play freely. This new approach was a perfect set-up for the free blowing sessions that Bebop was to herald forth. This new method also left space for the drummer to insert dramatic accents on the snare drum, “crash” cymbal and other components of the trap set. If you are a lover of “Classic Jazz” some of his music must be in your collection.


Max Roach Amazon Store

Categories: Bebop Tags: , , ,

Hall Overton

February 23, 2010 Leave a comment

Hall Overton

Happy Birthday to the piano player famous for his residence at 821 sixth ave.
Hall’s Moment:

Categories: Jazz News Tags: ,

John Pizzarelli…Rockin’ In Rhythm

February 23, 2010 Leave a comment

I came in this evening from a long day at the job and checked the mail and surprize! A new album had arrived from the Telarc label. John Pizzarelli’s Rockin’ In Rhythm, A Tribute to Duke Ellington. Well I was excited to discover this artist and his new album, especially his take on one of the jazz’s greats “The Duke”. As I loaded the CD in the tray and pressed “Play” I was exported back to a time lost to us with this music, but with a lively freshness to the tunes. The album name really says it all, Mr. Pizzarelli’s voice rockin and croonin’ along with a very nice band. And the band, WOW,  the Swing Seven open the set with (In A Mellow Mood), (East St. Louis Toodle-Oo) and (Don’t Get Around Much Anymore), all Ellington classics and I have to say this band has such a nice swing to it, a very tight group. There is a beautiful solo (Just Squeeze me) that highlight Pizzarelli’s great guitar style. Four tracks that feature his quartet, Larry Fuller piano, Martin Pizzarelli (brother) bass, and Tony Tedesco drums. I absolutely loved (Satin Doll) with a guitar solo by John’s father Bucky, this one I think is my favorite. Another HOT track (C-Jam Blues) really rocks with Aaron Weinstein on violin and saxophonist Harry Allen, and while John solo’s on guitar, he can be heard “Scattin” in the background, a nice touch. Mr. Pizzarelli’s (In My Solitude) performance on this album is superb and comes at just the right time, slowing things down a bit.  A Lambert, Hendricks and Ross moment takes place on the (Lost/Perdido) track with Pizzarelli, Kurt Elling and Jessica Molaskey, this one brings back memories. I noticed I was smiling and then it struck me, this album is full of smiles and happiness, all orchestrated by John Pizzarelli. It’s nice when music can have this effect on you when you least expect it, it changes your mood. and before you know it I had forgot about that long day I’d had. John Pizzarelli’s Rockin In Rhythm is one of the best Duke Ellington tributes I have heard. Thank you  Mr. Pizzarelli, your music just made my day. Discover and Enjoy.

This is Tadd Dameron!!

February 21, 2010 1 comment

On this day in 1917 Bebop’s most influential arranger, composer and pianist was born. He arranged for Count Basie, Artie Shaw, Jimmie Lunceford, Dizzy Gillespie, Billy Eckstine, and Sarah Vaughan. Tadd along with lyricists Carl Sigman wrote “If You Could See Me Now” for Sarah Vaughan one of her first hit songs. Dameron composed several bop standards, including “Hot House”, “Our Delight”, “Good Bait”, and “Lady Bird”. His bands featured some of the finest in Bebop jazz  Fats Navarro, Miles Davis, Dexter Gordon, Sonny Rollins, and Wardell Gray. 

Dameron was addicted to narcotics at the end of his career, and suffered from cancer and had several heart attacks before he died at the age of 48 of cancer in 1965.

Mating Call is an incredible album of tunes really highlighting Dameron’s compositional skill and Coltrane’s talent. “A Must Have” in you collection and one of my favorites. I return to this one quite often. Discover, Enjoy!!

Dave Holland Quintet

February 19, 2010 Leave a comment

Mr. Dave Holland, British jazz bassist. Dave was a regular at Ronnie Scotts Jazz Club in 1967. Miles Davis and Philly Jo Jones were there in 1968 and after hearing  Holland play Jones asked Holland to join their band. His first recording with Miles Davis was “Filles de Kilimanjaro” and can be heard on two other of Miles’s most  incredible albums, “In A Silent Way” and “Bitches Brew. Holland stayed with the Miles Davis group for two years. He then joined the avant-garde jazz group “Circle” with Chick Corea, Barry Altschul and Anthony Braxton recording on the ECM label. Hollands first recording as a leader came in 1972 his landmark  “Conference Of  The Birds” Through the 70’s Holland played with Stan Getz, and the “Gateway Trio” with John Abercrombie, and Jack Dejohnette. The 80’s saw him playing in many quartet and quintet formats and with Herbie Hancock on occasion.

The Dave Holland Quintet is his resent group formed in 1997 including  Robin Eubanks on trombone and cowbell; Steve Nelson on marimba and vibraphone; Chris Potter; and Billy Kilson and more recently, Nate Smith drums. The quintet has also recorded as the Dave Holland Big Band. Dave Holland won his first Grammy award as a leader for “What Goes Around” (2002) in the Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album category. The second Big Band recording,” Overtime” (2004) was released on Holland’s own Dare2 Records  label and in 2005 won the Grammy again in the Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album category. Recently Dave Holland released his web exclusive “Archive Series Vol. 1  The Dave Holland Quintet 97”. Enjoy, Discover!!

Harold Land…The Great Tenor Man!!

February 18, 2010 Leave a comment

Harold Land (Feb 18, 1928– July 27, 2001) today is the birthday of the most underrated Tenor saxophonist in Jazz history. From very early in his career he ‘s played with the best, he played in The Max Roach and Clifford Brown Quintet and what a wonderful Post-Bop vehicle for his talent it was.

Harold grew up in San Diego and started playing the saxophone  at 16 when he heard ‘Body And Soul”. In 1949 he recorded his first album as leader for the Savoy label, Harold Land Allstars. During a jam session at the home of Eric Dolphy, Clifford Brown heard Land play and hired him on the spot for his quintet with Max Roach replacing Teddy Edwards on the tenor. He stayed for 2 years playing some of the best in Bebop becoming quite famous in jazz circles. In 1955 Harold returned home upon hearing his grandmother was dying in L.A., What might have he became if he stayed in the New York Jazz scene we will never know. As it was he remained on the West Coast and joined The Curtis Counce Group recording with them and making his own albums as leader for the Contemporary label. In the 1970’s, he recorded a number of albums for the Concord label and in the 80’s he joined the Timeless All-Stars sextet. He returned to performing on his own more frequently and widely in the late 1990’s and even became a teacher of Jazz at the University of California in L.A.