I grew up listening to all his great music, for me it was one of my first introductions to jazz, and at the time I fell in love and you know 40 years later it’s still incredible!!
Krzysztof was a Polish composer and jazz pianist. Born in Poland 1931 and passed in Warsaw in 1969. Today the 27th is his birthday. His music is beautiful and at times haunting. If you have not heard of him or his music, you must discover. He worked and wrote music for Roman Polanski’s early films. Early on he changed his last name from Trzciński to the stage name of Komeda because of the unpopular view the Communism government held toward jazz. In the late 50’s The Komeda Sextet was the first Polish jazz group playing modern jazz, inspired by The Modern Jazz Quartet and Gerry Mulligan’s Quartet. I have been totally taken by this artist when I discovered his music last year. He died tragically from a hematoma, In Roman Polański’s memoirs he wrote that as a result a of friendly rough-and-tumble at a drinking party with friend Marek Hłasko, Komeda fell down and suffered head injuries. Discover and enjoy!!
Three days after his high school graduation he joined Lionel Hampton’s big band playing the Alto sax and it was “Hamp” who encouraged Griff to change to the Tenor, and what a Tenor…His first album as leader came in 1956 on the Blue Note label called simply “Introducing Johnny Griffin” featuring Wynton Kelly on piano, Curly Russell on bass and Max Roach on drums, this recording brought Griffin critical acclaim. In 1957 he recorded another hit Blue Note album”A Blowing Session” that features him with fellow tenor players John Coltrane and Hank Mobley. This album is a Hardbop treat, not so much of a Tenor battle here as these three artist have very distinctive sounds and plenty of solo’s abide here. Bassist Paul Chambers and drummer Art Blakey combine for some killer rhythm, trumpet man Lee Morgan and Wynton Kelly on the Keys make up for some classic Hard Bop. Happy Birthday to one of my favorites!!
Lionel Hampton…drummer turned to the Vibraphone when he discovered the NBC Vibraphone behind a curtain at NBC Radio Studios used for their famous “Chimes” trademark station identification. Born in Louisville, Kentucky he was the first master of the instrument and made it a household name.
“Hamps” famous Flying Home!!
“Chicago was jazzy, man, jazzy – they had all the great jazz men”. Lionel Hampton
“Jazz went from the classics to ragtime to Dixieland to swing to bebop to cool jazz, . . . But it’s always jazz. You can put a new dress on her, a new hat, but no matter what kind of clothes you put on her, she’s the same old broad.” Lionel Hampton.
“I worked hard learning harmony and theory when I was growing up in Chicago in the 1920s.” Lionel Hampton.
Here’s a video tribute to a great jazz pianist, Happy Birthday to Herbie Hancock!
And what a great “LIVE” performance!!
Today is a very sad day with the passing of a great bop jazz guitarist. His most famous gig was playing with Oscar Peterson’s Trio from 1953 to 1958. This master will be missed and I have included links, videos and albums as a tribute. Here’s to Herb Ellis!
“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