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Archive for April, 2012


CLARK TERRY BENEFIT

“this is NOT a memorial service,” Rev. Amandus Derr happily intoned in his lengthy opening remarks. Rev. Derr is Sr. Pastor of St. Peter’s, the Jazz Church in N.Y.C. where the pews were packed to raise high our praises for one of the greatest musicians and personalities in jazz, if not all music. CLARK TERRY. the nonagenarian lost both legs to diabetes and has not been in generally good health for some time. we WERE there to more than just defray his medical costs.

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THE GREAT CUBAN ENCOUNTER OF 1977 : CHAPTER 1

PRESIDENT JIMMY CARTER’S VALIANT ATTEMPT TO RE-OPEN CUBA WITH JAZZ MUSICIANS

PRE-RAMBLE

It’s early May 1977. my first wife and I are going through a divorce. My kids, Jeanne, 10, and Russell, 7, and I have just returned from a weekend mountain-top Bluegrass Festival in Amcram, NY. We attempted sleep up there as well. That is to say we brought sleeping bags with us. We left the Amcram Mountain early Sunday spurred by my daughter’s remark that the Sunday Sunrise Service was not to her liking, “Daddy,” she opined, “I like yesterday’s music better.” (Bill Monroe, et al. ) Seems the whiney c&w service was an experiment for the Festival; definitely not bluegrass. I must admit I was real proud of her at that moment. Her daddy’s lobes?

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JAMES REESE EUROPE

PIONEERING BANDLEADER FETED AT TRIBECA

in a  two-parter the pioneering bandleader JAMES REESE EUROPE was celebrated at the Tribeca Arts Center at Borough of Manhattan Community College in Feb. part one presented by historian/author Krin Gabbard was a panel. some survivors of Europe’s family were in the audience and from the look of them there will be more. there was a brief film excerpt from Ken Burns’ Jazz. other than that Europe remains a shadowy figure murdered too early for him to have made a further impact, other than being the first black troop leader in WWI, and a bandleader there as well. not an inconsiderable feat in 1918.

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STAN KENTON CENTENARY

HIS MUSIC ENDURES DESPITE HIMSELF

that’s an interesting premise. he was controversial while he lived and remains an enigma. Stan Kenton, towering physically, hired some of jazz’s greatest arrangers and let them have reign. names like Shorty Rogers, Pete Rugolo, Bill Russo, Manny Albam, Robert Graettinger, Johnny Mandel, Gerry Mulligan, Neal Hefti, Bill Holman and Johnny Richards

his female singers began the vibrato-less, cool trend:  June Christie, Chris Connor and Anita O’day.

he featured Latin percussion, nay, gave them prime seating, often down front rather than the traditional rear. sidemen went on to greatness (see below).

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