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Spalding has a diverse ethnic background. Her father is African American and her mother is of Welsh, Native American, and Hispanic descent. She also has an interest in the music of other cultures, including that of Brazil, commenting: "With Portuguese songs, the phrasing of the melody is intrinsically linked with the language, and it's beautiful."
Spalding's mother shares her interest in music, having nearly become a touring singer herself. But while Spalding cites her mother as a powerful influence, who encouraged her musical expansion, she attributes her inspiration for pursuing a life in music to watching classical cellist Yo-Yo Ma perform on an episode of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood when she was four.
By the time Spalding was five, she had taught herself to play the violin and was playing with the Chamber Music Society of Oregon. Spalding stayed with the group until she was fifteen and left as concertmaster. Due to a lengthy illness when she was a child, Spalding spent much of her elementary school years being homeschooled, but also attended King Elementary School in northeast Portland. During this time, she also found the opportunity to pick up instruction in music by listening to her mother's college teacher instruct her mother in guitar. According to Spalding, when she was about eight, her mother briefly studied jazz guitar in college; Spalding says: "Going with her to her class, I would sit under the piano. Then I would come home and I would be playing her stuff that her teacher had been playing". Spalding also played oboe and clarinet before discovering the bass in high school. She is able to sing in English, Spanish and Portuguese.
Spalding had begun performing live in clubs in Portland, Oregon as a teenager, securing her first gig at 15 in a blues club, when she could play only one line on bass. One of the seasoned musicians with which she played that first night invited her to join the band's rehearsals "so she could actually learn something", and her rehearsals soon grew into regular performances spanning almost a year. According to Spalding, it was a chance for her to stretch as a musician, reaching and growing beyond her experience. Her early contact with these "phenomenal resources", as she calls the musicians who played with her, fostered her sense of rhythm and helped nurture her interest in her instrument.
She does not consider herself a musical prodigy; "I am surrounded by prodigies everywhere I go, but because they are a little older than me, or not a female, or not on a major label, they are not acknowledged as such", says Spalding.
Spalding had intended to play cello, but discovered the bass during a one-year stint at age 14 at the prestigious performing arts high school, The Northwest Academy, to which she had won a scholarship. The school was not a good fit, but the bass was. Spalding found high school "easy – and boring" and dropped out. When she was 15 or 16 years old, Spalding started writing lyrics for music for the local indie rock/pop group Noise for Pretend, touching on any topic that came to mind. Although she had taken a few private voice lessons, which taught her how to project her voice, her primary singing experience had come from "singing in the shower", she said, before she started performing vocals for Noise for Pretend. Her desire to perform live evolved naturally out of the compositional process, when she would sing and play simultaneously to see how melody and voice fit together, but she acknowledges that performing both roles can be challenging. In a 2008 interview, she said, "[W]hat can be difficult is being a singer, in the sense that you are engaged with the audience, and really responsible for emoting, and getting into the lyrics, melody, etc., and being an effective bassist/band leader".
Spalding left high school at 16 and, after completing her GED, enrolled on a music scholarship in the music program at Portland State University, where she remembers being "the youngest bass player in the program". Although she lacked the training of her fellow students, she feels that her teachers nevertheless recognized her talent. She decided to instead apply to Berklee College of Music on the encouragement of her bass teacher, and did well enough in her audition to receive a full scholarship. In spite of the scholarship, Spalding found it a challenge meeting living expenses, so her friends arranged a benefit concert that paid her airfare and a little extra.
Spalding's savings did not last long. Broke and exhausted, she considered leaving music and entering political science, a move jazz guitarist and composer Pat Metheny discouraged, telling Spalding she had "the 'X Factor'" and could make it if she applied herself. During her time at Berklee, her primary bass instructor was John Lockwood.
Gary Burton, Executive Vice President at Berklee, said in 2004 that Spalding had "a great time feel, she can confidently read the most complicated compositions, and she communicates her upbeat personality in everything she plays".
Ben Ratliff wrote in The New York Times on July 9, 2006, that Spalding's voice is "light and high, up in Blossom Dearie's pitch range, and [that] she can sing quietly, almost in a daydream" and that Spalding "invents her own feminine space, a different sound from top to bottom." Spalding was the 2005 recipient of the Boston Jazz Society scholarship for outstanding musicianship. Almost immediately after graduation from college later the same year, Spalding was hired by Berklee College of Music, becoming one of the youngest instructors in the institution's history, at age 20. As a teacher, Spalding tries to help her students focus their practice through a practice journal, which can help them recognize their strengths and what they need to pursue.
Her debut album, Junjo, was released on April 18, 2006, on the Ayva Music label. It was created to display the dynamic that she felt among her trio. Though Junjo was released solely under her name, Spalding considers it "a collaborative effort".
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He is the leader of the Pat Metheny Group and is also involved in duets, solo works and other side projects. His style incorporates elements of progressive and contemporary jazz, post-bop, Latin jazz and jazz fusion. Metheny has three gold albums and 20Grammy Awards. He is the brother of jazz flugelhornist and journalist Mike Metheny.
Metheny was born and raised in Lee's Summit, Missouri, a suburb southeast of Kansas City. At age 15, he won a Down Beat scholarship to a one-week jazz camp and was taken under the wing of guitarist Attila Zoller. Zoller also invited the young Metheny to New York City to see the likes of Jim Hall and Ron Carter. Following his graduation from Lee's Summit High School, Metheny briefly attended the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida in 1972, where he was quickly offered a teaching position. He then moved to Boston to take a teaching assistantship at the Berklee College of Music with jazz vibraphonist Gary Burton. He first made his name as a teenage prodigy under the wing of Burton. In 1974 he made his recording debut on two sessions for pianist Paul Bleyand Carol Goss' Improvising Artists label, along with fretless electric bassist Jaco Pastorius.
Metheny entered the wider jazz scene in 1975 when he joined Burton's band, where he played alongside resident jazz guitarist Mick Goodrick. Goodrick was a 1967 alumnus of Berklee, who had held a teaching post there in the early 1970s. The two guitarists were interviewed jointly by Guitar Player Magazine in 1975, bringing them to the attention of fellow guitar aficionados around the world. Metheny's musical momentum carried him rapidly to the point that he had soon written enough material to record his debut album, Bright Size Life, with Pastorius and drummer Bob Moses.
Metheny's next recording, 1977's Watercolors, was the first to feature pianist Lyle Mays, Metheny's most frequent collaborator. The other musicians on this session were Eberhard Weber on upright bass and Danny Gottlieb on drums. Metheny's next album formalized his partnership with Mays and began the Pat Metheny Group, featuring several songs they co-wrote; the album was released as the eponymous Pat Metheny Group on West German musician/producer Manfred Eicher's ECMrecord label. Metheny also has released solo, trio, quartet and duet recordings with musicians such as Hall, Dave Holland, Roy Haynes, Toninho Horta, Burton, Chick Corea, Pedro Aznar, Pastorius, Charlie Haden, John Scofield, Jack DeJohnette, Herbie Hancock, Bill Stewart, Ornette Coleman, Brad Mehldau, Joni Mitchell, Milton Nascimento, Santana, Dominic Miller, Michael Brecker, Trilok Gurtu and many others.
Metheny has also joined projects such as Song X with Coleman; Parallel Realities, with Jack DeJohnette; Jazz Baltica with Ulf Wakenius and other Nordic jazz players like E.S.T. and Nils Landgren; and he has played with singers from all over the world, such as Silje Nergaard on Tell Me Where You're Going (1990), Bruce Hornsby on Harbor Lights (1993) and Hot House (1995), Noa on Noa (1994), Abbey Lincoln on A Turtle's Dream (1994) and Anna Maria Jopek on Upojenie (2002).
Metheny has been touring for more than 30 years, playing between 120 and 240 concerts a year. He has three children with his wife, Latifa.
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Milton "Bags" Jackson (January 1, 1923 – October 9, 1999) was an American jazz vibraphonist, usually thought of as a bebopplayer, although he performed in several jazz idioms. He is especially remembered for his cool swinging solos as a member of theModern Jazz Quartet and his penchant for collaborating with several hard bop and post-bop players.
A very expressive player, Jackson differentiated himself from other vibraphonists in his attention to variations on harmonics and rhythm. He was particularly fond of the twelve-bar blues at slow tempos. He preferred to set the vibraphone's oscillator to a low 3.3 revolutions per second (as opposed to Lionel Hampton's speed of 10 revolutions per second) for a more subtle vibrato. On occasion, Jackson sang and played piano professionally.
Jackson was born on January 1, 1923 in Detroit, Michigan, the son of Manley Jackson and Lillie Beaty Jackson. Like many, he was surrounded by music from an early age, particularly that of religious meetings: "Everyone wants to know where I got that funky style. Well, it came from church. The music I heard was open, relaxed, impromptu soul music" (quoted in Nat Hentoff's liner notes to Plenty, Plenty Soul). He started on guitar when he was seven, then on piano at 11. While attending Miller High School, he played drums in addition to timpani and violin and also sang in the choir. At 16, he sang professionally in a local touring gospel quartet called the Evangelist Singers. Jackson also took up the vibraphone at 16 after hearing Lionel Hampton play the instrument in Benny Goodman's band. Jackson was discovered by Dizzy Gillespie, who hired him for his sextet in 1945, then his larger ensembles. Jackson quickly acquired experience working with the most important figures in jazz of the era, including Woody Herman, Howard McGhee, Thelonious Monk, and Charlie Parker.
In the Gillespie big band, Jackson fell into a pattern that led to the founding of the Modern Jazz Quartet: Gillespie maintained a former swing tradition of a small group within a big band, and his included Jackson, pianist John Lewis, bassist Ray Brown, and drummer Kenny Clarke (considered a pioneer of the ride cymbal timekeeping that became the signature for bop and most jazz to follow) while the brass and reeds took breaks. When they decided to become a working group in their own right, around 1950, the foursome was known at first as the Milt Jackson Quartet, becoming the Modern Jazz Quartet (MJQ) in 1952. By that time Percy Heath had replaced Ray Brown.
Known at first for featuring Jackson's blues-heavy improvisations almost exclusively, in time the group came to split the difference between these and Lewis's more ambitious musical ideas (Lewis had become the group's musical director by 1955, the year Clarke departed in favour of Connie Kay), boiling the quartet down to a chamber jazz style that highlighted the lyrical tension between Lewis's mannered, but roomy, compositions and Jackson's unapologetic swing.
The MJQ had a long independent career of some twenty years until disbanding in 1974, when Jackson split with Lewis, partly in an attempt to make more money on his own and, more likely, because he sought the improvisational freedom he once enjoyed. The group reformed in 1981, however, and continued until 1993, after which Jackson toured alone, performing in various small combos, although agreeing to periodic MJQ reunions.
From the mid-1970s to the mid-1980s, Jackson recorded for Norman Granz's Pablo Records, including Jackson, Johnson, Brown & Company (1983), featuring Jackson with J. J. Johnson on trombone, Ray Brown on bass, backed by Tom Ranier on piano, guitarist John Collins, and drummer Roy McCurdy.
Jackson's composition "Bags' Groove" is a jazz standard ("Bags" was a nickname given to him by a bass player in Detroit. "Bags" referred to the bags under his eyes from his habit of staying up all night. He was featured on the NPR radio program Jazz Profiles. Some of his other signature compositions include "The Late, Late Blues" (for his album with Coltrane, Bags & Trane), "Bluesology" (an MJQ staple), and "Bags & Trane".
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Keiko Matsui (松居慶子?), born in Tokyo, Japan as Keiko Doi, is a Japanese keyboardist and composer, specializing in smooth jazz, jazz fusion and new-age music. Her career spans four decades, during which time she has released twenty CDs (in addition to various compilations). She resides in Los Angeles, California.
Keiko Doi's mother, Emiko, took her to her first piano lesson in the June following her fifth birthday. Japanese tradition holds that a child who is introduced to lessons at this time will continue in those studies for a long time. The tradition held true for Doi, who studied piano throughout her school years. Though her early training focused on classical music, in junior high school she developed an interest in jazz and began composing her own music. Some of her musical influences at the time included Stevie Wonder, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Maurice Jarre and Chick Corea.
Doi studied children's culture at Japan Women's University (日本女子大学 nihon joshidaigaku?), but also continued to study music at the Yamaha Music Foundation. Doi was a top student in the Yamaha Music Education System and was selected at the age of seventeen to be a recording artist for them. Thus she joined the Japanese jazz fusion group Cosmos, which recorded seven albums.
At age 19, Yamaha sent Doi to America to record an album, and there she met Kazu Matsui, who had been selected as a producer for the project. In 1987, Matsui recorded her solo debut LP, A Drop of Water. The album's title, the name of a song by Carl Anderson, was in memory of those who died in the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster the year before. Its success led to a record deal with MCA Records.
Matsui's music is powerful and introspective, blending both Western and Eastern musical influences. She has a very spiritual view of composing music, feeling out each composition as though it were, in her words, "coming to me from another space, another dimension," and "catching notes from the silence and then simply placing them together". Matsui sees music as "the great gifts from the human souls from the past, for the children of the future". She believes that music has a power to bring people together and change their lives. "We are connected by music," Matsui wrote, "as the Ocean connects the continents".
A lover of nature, Matsui often makes reference to plants, animals, the elements, and other natural features and phenomena in her song titles. She shows a special fascination with the moon as a number of her compositions refer to the moon in their titles.
Matsui's music shows signs of evolving over the years. Her American debut album A Drop of Water showed a promise of east meets west with a jazz fusion flavor. However, her recordings for MCA Records in the early 1990s lacked this appeal and, for many, sounded indistinguishable from the rest of what is now known as smooth jazz. Starting withCherry Blossom, though, her music increased in popularity as she differentiated herself from the rest of contemporary jazz. By the time Sapphire was released in 1995, her music flirted with everything from funk music to Latin and world music.
Whisper from the Mirror from 2000 showed Matsui leaving the smooth jazz style and moving towards new age with a soundscape sound. A number of her fans had a problem adapting to her new style of music (though she continued to play smooth jazz at her concerts). But many welcomed the change. Over time her post-2000 albums show a moreworldbeat flavor to them. Her 2005 release Walls of Akendora, however, is a return to her pre-2000, smooth jazz days.
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Stanley Clarke (born June 30, 1951) is an American jazz musician and composer known for his innovative and influential work on double bass and electric bass as well as for his numerous film and television scores. He is best known for his work with the fusion band Return to Forever, and his role as a bandleader in several trios and ensembles.
Clarke was born in Philadelphia. He was introduced to the bass as a schoolboy when he arrived late on the day instruments were distributed to students and acoustic bass was one of the few remaining selections. A graduate of Roxborough High School in Philadelphia, he attended the Philadelphia Musical Academy, (which was absorbed into the University of the Arts in 1985) from which he graduated in 1971. He then moved to New York City and began working with famous bandleaders and musicians including Horace Silver, Art Blakey, Dave Brubeck, Dexter Gordon, Gato Barbieri, Joe Henderson, Chick Corea, Pharoah Sanders, Gil Evans and Stan Getz.
During the 1970s Clarke joined the jazz fusion group Return to Forever led by pianist and synth player Chick Corea. The group became one of the most important fusion groups and released several albums that achieved both mainstream popularity and critical acclaim. Clarke also started his solo career in the early 1970s and released a number of albums under his own name. His best known solo album is School Days(1976), which, along with Jaco Pastorius's self-titled debut, is one of the most influential solo bass recordings in fusion history. His albumsStanley Clarke (1974) and Journey to Love (1975) are also notable.
Clarke's latest records include The Toys of Men in 2007. This was his first release in five years, on October 17, 2007. The first week of release it went to No.2 on Billboard charts' Contemporary Jazz Chart. The 13-track CD examines the issue of war, and it includes performances by vocalist/bassist Esperanza Spalding, keyboardist Ruslan Sirota, percussionist Paulinho da Costa and violinist Mads Tolling. The Toys of Men includes acoustic bass interludes that provide a counterpoint to Clarke's better known electric bass attack. 2009 saw his release of Jazz in the Garden, featuring the Stanley Clarke Trio: with Clarke, pianist Hiromi Uehara, and Lenny White on drums. In 2010, Clarke released theStanley Clarke Band, with Ruslan Sirota on keyboards and piano and Ronald Bruner, Jr. on drums; the album also features Hiromi on piano (as a guest artist), along with many others. On February 13, the Stanley Clarke Band won the Grammy for Best Contemporary Jazz Album.
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Charles "Charlie" Parker, Jr. (August 29, 1920 – March 12, 1955), also known as "Yardbird" and "Bird", was an American jazzsaxophonist and composer.
Parker was a highly influential jazz soloist and a leading figure in the development of bebop, a form of jazz characterized by fast tempos, virtuosic technique and improvisation. Parker introduced revolutionary harmonic ideas including rapid passing chords, new variants of altered chords, and chord substitutions. His tone ranged from clean and penetrating to sweet and somber. Parker acquired the nickname "Yardbird" early in his career. This and its shortened form, "Bird" continued to be used for the rest of his life, inspiring the titles of a number of Parker compositions, such as "Yardbird Suite", "Ornithology", "Bird Gets the Worm", and "Bird of Paradise." Parker was an icon for the hipster subculture and later the Beat Generation, personifying the jazz musician as an uncompromising artist and intellectual rather than just an entertainer.
harles Parker, Jr. was born in Kansas City, Kansas, and raised in Kansas City, Missouri, the only child of Adelaide "Addie" (Bailey) and Charles Parker. He attended Lincoln High School in September 1934, but withdrew in December 1935, just before joining the local musicians' union.
Parker began playing the saxophone at age 11, and at age 14 he joined his school's band using a rented school instrument. His father, Charles, was often absent but provided some musical influence; he was a pianist, dancer and singer on the T.O.B.A. circuit. He later became a Pullman waiter or chef on the railways. Parker's mother Addie worked nights at the local Western Union office. His biggest influence at that time was a youngtrombone player who taught him the basics of improvisation.
In the late 1930s Parker began to practice diligently. During this period he mastered improvisation and developed some of the ideas that led to bebop. In an interview with Paul Desmond, he said that he spent three to four years practicing up to 15 hours a day.
Bands led by Count Basie and Bennie Moten certainly influenced Parker. He played with local bands in jazz clubs around Kansas City, Missouri, where he perfected his technique, with the assistance of Buster Smith, whose dynamic transitions to double and triple time influenced Parker's developing style.
In 1938, Parker joined pianist Jay McShann's territory band. The band toured nightclubs and other venues of the southwest, as well as Chicago and New York City. Parker made his professional recording debut with McShann's band.
As a teenager, Parker developed a morphine addiction while hospitalized after an automobile accident, and subsequently became addicted to heroin. He continued using heroin throughout his life, and it ultimately contributed to his death.
Parker's style of composition involved interpolation of original melodies over existing jazz forms and standards, a practice known as contrafact and still common in jazz today. Examples include "Ornithology", "How High the Moon", and "Yardbird Suite", the vocal version of which is called "What Price Love", with lyrics by Parker. The practice was not uncommon prior to bebop, but it became a signature of the movement as artists began to move away from arranging popular standards and toward composing their own material.
While tunes such as "Now's The Time", "Billie's Bounce", "Au Privave", "Barbados", "Relaxin' at Camarillo", "Bloomdido", and "Cool Blues" were based on conventional 12-bar blueschanges, Parker also created a unique version of the 12-bar blues for tunes such as "Blues for Alice", "Laird Baird", and "Si Si." These unique chords are known popularly as "Bird Changes". Like his solos, some of his compositions are characterized by long, complex melodic lines and a minimum of repetition although he did employ the use of repetition in some tunes, most notably "Now's The Time".
Parker contributed greatly to the modern jazz solo, one in which triplets and pick-up notes were used in unorthodox ways to lead into chord tones, affording the soloist with more freedom to use passing tones, which soloists previously avoided. Parker was admired for his unique style of phrasing and innovative use of rhythm. Via his recordings and the popularity of the posthumously published Charlie Parker Omnibook, Parker's identifiable style dominated jazz for many years to come.
Other well-known Parker compositions include "Ah-Leu-Cha", "Anthropology", co-written with Gillespie, "Bird Gets the Worm", "Cheryl", "Confirmation", "Constellation", "Donna Lee", "Moose the Mooche", and "Scrapple from the Apple".
Miles Davis once said, "You can tell the history of jazz in four words: Louis Armstrong. Charlie Parker."
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AllMusic's Scott Yanow wrote, "Dizzy Gillespie's contributions to jazz were huge. One of the greatest jazz trumpeters of all time (some would say the best), Gillespie was such a complex player that his contemporaries ended up copying Miles Davis and Fats Navarroinstead, and it was not until Jon Faddis's emergence in the 1970s that Dizzy's style was successfully recreated [...] Arguably Gillespie is remembered, by both critics and fans alike, as one of the greatest jazz trumpeters of all time."
Gillespie was a trumpet virtuoso and improviser, building on the virtuoso style of Roy Eldridge but adding layers of harmoniccomplexity previously unheard in jazz. His beret and horn-rimmed spectacles, his scat singing, his bent horn, pouched cheeks and his light-hearted personality were essential in popularizing bebop.
In the 1940s Gillespie, with Charlie Parker, became a major figure in the development of bebop and modern jazz. He taught and influenced many other musicians, including trumpeters Miles Davis, Jon Faddis, Fats Navarro, Clifford Brown, Arturo Sandoval, Lee Morgan, Chuck Mangione, and balladeer Johnny Hartman
Gillespie was born in Cheraw, South Carolina, the youngest of nine children of James and Lottie Gillespie. James was a local bandleader, so instruments were made available to the children. Gillespie started to play the piano at the age of four. Gillespie's father died when he was only ten years old. Gillespie taught himself how to play the trombone as well as the trumpet by the age of twelve. From the night he heard his idol, Roy Eldridge, play on the radio, he dreamed of becoming a jazz musician. He received a music scholarship to theLaurinburg Institute in North Carolina which he attended for two years before accompanying his family when they moved to Philadelphia.
Gillespie's first professional job was with the Frank Fairfax Orchestra in 1935, after which he joined the respective orchestras of Edgar Hayes and Teddy Hill, essentially replacing Roy Eldridge as first trumpet in 1937. Teddy Hill's band was where Gillespie made his first recording, "King Porter Stomp". In August 1937 while gigging with Hayes in Washington D.C., Gillespie met a young dancer named Lorraine Willis who worked a Baltimore–Philadelphia–New York City circuit which included the Apollo Theatre. Willis was not immediately friendly but Gillespie was attracted anyway. The two finally married on May 9, 1940. They remained married until his death in 1993.
Gillespie stayed with Teddy Hill's band for a year, then left and free-lanced with numerous other bands. In 1939, Gillespie joined Cab Calloway's orchestra, with which he recorded one of his earliest compositions, the instrumental "Pickin' the Cabbage", in 1940. (Originally released on Paradiddle, a 78rpm backed with a co-composition with Cozy Cole, Calloway's drummer at the time, on the Vocalion label, No. 5467).
After a notorious altercation between the two men, Calloway fired Gillespie in late 1941. The incident is recounted by Gillespie, along with fellow Calloway band members Milt Hinton and Jonah Jones, in Jean Bach's 1997 film, The Spitball Story. Calloway did not approve of Gillespie's mischievous humor, nor of his adventuresome approach to soloing; according to Jones, Calloway referred to it as "Chinese music". During one performance, Calloway saw a spitball land on the stage, and accused Gillespie of having thrown it. Gillespie denied it, and the ensuing argument led to Calloway striking Gillespie, who then pulled out a switchblade knife and charged Calloway. The two were separated by other band members, during which scuffle Calloway was cut on the hand.
During his time in Calloway's band, Gillespie started writing big band music for bandleaders like Woody Herman and Jimmy Dorsey. He then freelanced with a few bands – most notably Ella Fitzgerald's orchestra, composed of members of the late Chick Webb's band, in 1942.
Gilespie avoided serving in World War II. In his Selective Service interview, he told the local board, "in this stage of my life here in the United States whose foot has been in my ass?". He was thereafter classed as 4-F. In 1943, Gillespie joined the Earl Hines band. Composer Gunther Schuller said:
... In 1943 I heard the great Earl Hines band which had Bird in it and all those other great musicians. They were playing all the flatted fifth chords and all the modern harmonies and substitutions and Gillespie runs in the trumpet section work. Two years later I read that that was 'bop' and the beginning of modern jazz ... but the band never made recordings.
Gillespie said of the Hines band, "People talk about the Hines band being 'the incubator of bop' and the leading exponents of that music ended up in the Hines band. But people also have the erroneous impression that the music was new. It was not. The music evolved from what went before. It was the same basic music. The difference was in how you got from here to here to here ... naturally each age has got its own shit".
Then, Gillespie joined Billy Eckstine's (Hines' long-time collaborator) big band and it was as a member of Eckstine's band that he was reunited with Charlie Parker, a fellow member of Hines' band. In 1945, Gillespie left Eckstine's band because he wanted to play with a small combo. A "small combo" typically comprised no more than five musicians, playing the trumpet, saxophone, piano, bass and drums.
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Help Us Keep Jazz Music Alive!
Gee Caver In Support of Baker's Keyboard Lounge
The tag line for my company, Key of Gee, is “Have A Very Musical Day”. My life is filled with rhythms and sounds. I am listening, writing reviews, singing and humming all day. A friend asked if I could go 24 hours without turning on music. I told him I could and then began to wonder “what was I thinking?”
I took the dare and learned a great lesson. I kept to my regular routine – up early tied up my walking shoes – headed out for some exercise with no IPod – no music!
Walking my regular route, I noticed a large pothole in the street. Every vehicle that hit that hole had a different sound da-dum da-dum. The business on the corner flies three flags. As the wind blew the flags there was a whip, pop, whip sound and the rope on the flags was banging the pole, clang um clang. I started smiling, is nature making me cheat?
Car horns blowing, loud mufflers, dogs barking, birds chirping -- the leaves on the tree – the sound of my shoes hitting the pavement -- everything has a sound – its own cadence.
For 24 hours, I didn’t turn on any music. I took the time to be present in the moment and enjoy my surrounding and heard some wonderful sounds. And I still had a Very Musical Day.
This year, Baker’s Keyboard Lounge celebrated 76 years of Jazz – maintaining its standing as the world’s oldest Jazz Club.
In an effort to keep the music playing, Roger Tucker and Three Quarter Step will host a Wednesday Night open mic Jazz Jam at Baker’s Keyboard Lounge. Come out and hear Jazz-America’s music performed by Detroit’s premier artists. In the weeks to come there will be fabulous door prizes and special celebrity guest performances. You won’t want to miss a week.
The open mic Jazz Jam starts Wednesday, October 20, 2010, 9:30pm. All Musicians and vocalists are invited to perform.
Baker’s is known for hosting the best in Detroit’s Jazz including: James Carter, Rayse Biggs, Calvin Brooks, Al McKenzie, Penny Wells, Allan Barnes, Vonne', Jazzeray, Gwen Dommond, David Myles and Mylestones, Guymon Ensley, Ange Smith, Ola Hemphill, Rene King-Jackson, Earl Klugh, Straight Ahead, Port of Call, to name a few. Come and experience standing on the stage that also hosted: Dave Brubeck, Donald Byrd, Oscar Peterson, Sunny Stitt, Kenny Burrell, Jon Lucien and Sea Wind. Mix with the spirits of Nat King Cole, Ella Fitzgerald, Liberace, Dr. Teddy Harris, Ken Cox, Donald Walden and the list goes on and on.
Calling All Past Performers -- It’s up to us to keep the music playing!
Baker’s Keyboard Lounge
Detroit, MI 48221
HAVE A VERY MUSICAL DAY!
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Born c. 1969, in St. Petersburg, FL; daughter of Lance (a saxophone player and keyboardist) and Linda Abair. Education: Attended University of Northern Florida; graduated from Berklee College of Music, magna cum laude, 1991.
At a time of sagging sales for contemporary and smooth jazz, pop-inspired saxophonist Mindi Abair has brought the cool factor back onto the jazz scene, boosting not only her own popularity, but that of an entire genre as well. With her heavy emphasis on the sounds of R&B and dance music as well as pop and rock, her jazz tunes defy categorization, and have attracted many new, young listeners to the genre. Although most clearly defined as a jazz musician, she cut her teeth playing the saxophone for pop superstars the Backstreet Boys. That connection showed clearly in her 2003 major label debut, It Just Happens that Way. "Lucy's," a single from the album, debuted at the number one position on the Radio & Records chart for most airplay. Following on the single's heels, the album itself landed in the top ten on the Billboard contemporary jazz chart.
Abair grew up in St. Petersburg, Florida, in a family of musicians. Her father, Lance, was a saxophone player and keyboardist. His band, the Entertainers, frequently played on the road, and Lance took his family along with him, including Abair and her mother, Linda. Abair was the third generation of musicians in the family; her grandmother had been an opera singer. Young Mindi Abair learned to play the piano when she was five years old, while on the road with her father. She soon fell in love with the saxophone, again following her father's example. She had learned to play the sax by the time she was eight years old, and that same year she began writing her own music.
By the time she reached high school, Abair was an accomplished musician, playing in her high school marching band, in which she also played drums. There was never a point at which she decided to make music her life, she recalled later, she simply always was a musician. Her early influences were not only the music of jazz musicians such as Bill Evans, Miles Davis, and others, but top 40 hits as well, and this blend of tastes defined her work in later years.
After graduation from high school, Abair won a full scholarship to the University of Northern Florida to study music. But she soon found that the music department was not receptive to her interest in contemporary jazz. "It was a great experience," she later explained to Kevin Walker in the Tampa Tribune, "but they were very traditional." After a year she transferred to the renowned Berklee College of Music in Boston. There she found herself at home with instructors and fellow students, who appreciated her desire to fuse jazz with rock, dance, and pop sounds. Among her most influential teachers was famous saxophone instructor Joe Viola, who helped her further hone her composition skills. After class she got even more experience playing in jam sessions with classmates in the dorms.
Following her graduation from Berklee, Abair moved to Los Angeles. Unlike many of her peers, she chose not to get a day job to help support herself; she expected her music to support her immediately. To this end, she put together a band to play in clubs at night and, lacking other work, she played on the streets of Santa Monica during the day. The gamble paid off when new age recording artist John Tesh spotted her in one of her club gigs and invited her to join a concert tour he was putting together. She accepted, and her career was off and running. More job offers rolled in, and soon she was playing with such acts as the Gap Band, Adam Sandler, Mandy Moore, Teena Marie, and perhaps most significantly, from 1999 to 2001, the pop group the Backstreet Boys.
Bud Harner, a Verve record label representative, caught one of Abair's acts in concert. He later described the scene to Dave Scheiber in the Chicago Sun-Times: "The whole place was just mesmerized by her, this beautiful, young, blond woman ... just burning on the horn." Abair was already committed to a long-term tour with the Backstreet Boys tour, so she and Harner agreed to talk when she returned.
For Abair, the gig with the Backstreet Boys--two years on the road as the band's featured sax player--marked a major milestone in her career. She played in 50,000-seat venues throughout the United States and Europe, making professional contacts and gaining valuable experience that would serve her well in her later career as a soloist. After her return from the tour in 2001, she sent Harner a demo CD, and Verve gave her a contract. The result was an album called It Just Happens that Way, Abair's major label debut. The title of the album came from a 1962 live album by jazz saxophone great Cannonball Adderley, on which he can be heard saying, as quoted on the Verve Music Group website, "Hipness is not a state of mind. It's a fact of life. You don't decide you're hip. It just happens that way."
The album debuted to brisk sales and to critical acclaim. A single from the album titled "Lucy's" hit the number one spot on the Radio & Records chart for most airplay, and the album itself climbed to the top ten on the Billboard contemporary jazz chart. The record label began receiving fan letters from teens, an accomplishment normally reserved for pop stars. Abair has said of her debut that it was the culmination of a lifetime of work, that all of her playing and practicing and performing had been leading up to this achievement. She couldn't have been happier, too, with the success of the album at music stores and among critics, who praised it for its fresh approach to jazz. Abair was proud, not only of landing her own recording contract and playing her own compositions, but for having achieved success in a field largely dominated by men.
Abair has continued to live in Los Angeles. As for the future, she has said she plans to produce many more albums, and to one day start a family. "I grew up on the road," she explained on the Verve website, "so I think I can pull it off.... But I have to meet someone first."
by Michael Belfiore
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(born 4 January 1942, Doncaster, South Yorkshire, England), also known as Mahavishnu John McLaughlin, is an English guitarist, bandleader and composer. His music includes many genres of jazz, and rock, which he coupled with an interest in Indian classical music to become one of the pioneering figures in fusion.
In 2010 guitarist Jeff Beck called him "the best guitarist alive". The Indian tabla maestro Zakir Hussain has called him "one of the greatest and one of the important musicians of our times". In 2003 McLaughlin was ranked 49th in Rolling Stone magazine list of the "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time".
After contributing to several key British groups of the early sixties and making his first solo record Extrapolation (with Tony Oxley and John Surman) he moved to the USA where he played with Tony Williams's group Lifetime and then with Miles Davis on his landmark electric jazz-fusion albums In A Silent Way, Bitches Brew, A Tribute to Jack Johnson and On The Corner. His 1970s electric band, the Mahavishnu Orchestra, performed a technically virtuosic and complex style of music that fused electric jazz and rock with Indian influences.
From a family of musicians (his mother being a concert violinist), McLaughlin studied violin and piano as a child and took up the guitar at the age of 11, exploring styles from flamenco to the jazz of Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli. He moved to London from Yorkshire in the early 1960s, playing with Alexis Korner and the Marzipan Twisters before moving on to Georgie Fame and the Blue Flames, the Graham Bond Organisation (in 1963) and Brian Auger. During the 1960s he often had to support himself with session work which he often found unsatisfying but which enhanced his playing and sight-reading.
McLaughlin moved to the U.S. in 1969 to join Tony Williams' group Lifetime. A recording from the Record Plant, NYC, dated 25 March 1969, exists of McLaughlin jamming with Jimi Hendrix. McLaughlin recollects "we played one night, just a jam session. And we played from 2 until 8, in the morning. I thought it was a wonderful experience! I was playing an acoustic guitar with a pick-up. Um, flat-top guitar, and Jimi was playing an electric. Yeah, what a lovely time! Had he lived today, you'd find that he would be employing everything he could get his hands on, and I mean acoustic guitar, synthesizers, orchestras, voices, anything he could get his hands on he'd use!"
He played on Miles Davis' albums In A Silent Way, Bitches Brew (which has a track named after him), On The Corner, Big Fun (where he is featured soloist on "Go Ahead John") and A Tribute to Jack Johnson. In the liner notes to Jack Johnson, Davis called McLaughlin's playing "far in." McLaughlin returned to the Davis band for one night of a week-long club date, recorded and released as part of the album Live-Evil and of the Cellar Door boxed set. His reputation as a "first-call" session player grew, resulting in recordings as a sideman with Miroslav Vitous, Larry Coryell, Joe Farrell, Wayne Shorter, Carla Bley, the Rolling Stones, and others.
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New music from JIBARO MUSIC/PHATSAK RECORDS. IF YOU'RE A MUSIC LOVER YOU SHOULD LISTEN! IF YOU LOVE JAZZ, GOSPEL, HIP-HOP, FUNK, LATIN, R&B, YOU SHOULD LISTEN! IF YOU LISTEN YOU'LL LOVE IT. THE FRANK LOVEJOY PROJECT LISTEN TO IT! YOU'LL LOVE IT!!
As Nashville Continues To Grow, Nashville Nails and Salon Services by Na’Sah’s Sets Goal of 20 New Applicants in 20 Days!.
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What an awesome and historic day of civil rights, history dynamics and being in the midst of it all in Nashville, Tennessee. And not just from one venue, an effective and amazing partnership with Cheryl Top Diva Woodard afforded us to cover many of the day’s events. Her sister Michelle Todd joined us at the Convocation.
From Jefferson St. to the Tennessee State University based Howard Gentry Venue. A well rounded stop included the Nashville Branch NAACP, where we met up with…
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Kim Kardashian West and Amber Rose surprised fans by making peace with an Instagram selfie Tuesday. The reconciliation comes one week after Rose lashed out at Kim's husband Kanye West for dissing her young son during a Twitter rant against Wiz Khalifa.
A source tells PEOPLE Kardashian West initiated the reconciliation with Rose, who once dated West.
"Kim is a mom and wants to be a role model. She doesn't want to be involved in ridiculous drama," a source tells PEOPLE. "She reached out to Amber. They met and everything is fine now."
Amber Rose (left) and Kim Kardashian West
SOURCE: KIM KARDASHIAN / INSTAGRAM
Kardashian West, 35, captioned her Instagram photo of the duo with "Tea anyone?"
Kardashian West's husband has also made peace with Khalifa, Rose's ex husband with whom she shares a son.
"Me and Wiz spoke yesterday," West, 38, wrote on Twitter Tuesday of a chat he had with Khalifa, 28.
The spat between Kanye and Khalifa started last Tuesday, when Khalifa took issue with West's new album Waves, originally named Swish. West responded when he mistakenly thought one of Khalifa's tweets – "Hit this kk and become yourself" – was about his wife, but Khalifa later explained that he was referring to marijuana.
The clarification came too late, after West had already tweeted insults about Rose ("You let a stripper trap you," he told Khalifa) as well as Rose and Khalifa's 23-month-old son Sebastian ("You wouldn't have a child if it wasn't for me," and "You own waves???? I own your child!!!!").
Rose, 32, fired of a tweet of her own about West's supposed sexual preferences (which West denied) and Rose spoke out again on the Allegedly podcast, where she slammed West for speaking about her son.
"I would never talk about kids in an argument," she said. "It just shows the type of person he is. Even him saying stuff about my son, I still didn't say anything about his kids. I'm not going to. This is ridiculous. They're innocent babies. You don't ever, ever talk about a baby, ever."
West eventually agreed with Rose on that point, when on Monday, he tweeted, "God's dream... Never speak on kids again... all love ... all blessings..."
Amber Rose (left) and Kim Kardashian West
SOURCE: KIM KARDASHIAN / INSTAGRAM
BY AARON COUCH
Nathan Kress is a married man!
E! News can confirm the former iCarly star married London Elise Moore Sunday afternoon in Los Angeles.
According to Instagram posts featuring the #SayYesToTheKress, the couple exchanged vows outdoors before celebrating with family, friends and a few familiar faces at a reception.
"Heading to @nathankress's wedding," Kress' former co-star Miranda Cosgrove wrote on Instagram on Sunday afternoon. "Being old is so fun."
She would later pose in a photobooth with close friends Jennette McCurdy and Jerry Trainor. And yes, you could call this wedding a successful iCarly reunion as well.
Both the bride and groom have been expressing their excitement about getting married on their social media accounts for several weeks now. In fact, Moore shared a photo from their practice wedding on Saturday.
"This was our practice run," she teased on social media. "The REAL thing is happening tomorrow :) #Rehearsal #OneMooreDay."
The couple got engaged this past May after the 22-year-old actor popped the question at sunset near the Angeles National Forest in Los Angeles.
"I said, 'Heck yes,'" Moore shared with followers after the romantic moment. "#engagedtomybestfriend."
Ever since, the twosome has documented their journey to the altar that included "Fellowship of the Rings" wedding invitations, dress fittings and even a marriage license. From the looks of things, everything was a success.
Congratulations to the couple on their exciting news!
by Mike Vulpo [ENews]
Photo Copy Rights [Instagram]
Jennifer Lawrence first captured the hearts of her fans when she continuously reassured us all just how bloomin' normal she is.
She told us all about how much she loved pizza and chips, tripped over on more than one occasion, and when she wasn't at a glitzy A-List event she was normally being papped in casual jeans, a T-Shirt, and comfortable flats.
So what we want to say to the girl in these pictures is who the 'eck are you and what the 'eck have you done with J-Law, hmm?
Yes, believe it or not, that girl stepping out in the middle of the day with her perfectly styled hair, plunging crop top, bodycon skirt, glam accessories, and teetering stiletto heels isn't fashionista Kim Kardashian, it's actual Jennifer Lawrence as she embarked on a casual apartment hunt around New York City.
Honestly? We are at a little bit of a loss for words.
This is the second time in less than a week that Jennifer's subtle 'I'm-not-looking-to-be-papped' look has raised eyebrows with her fans, with the 24-year-old actress stepping out in a boob-tastic dress, complete with mustache and monobrow drawn onto her face in pen following dinner with her parents.
We mean, Jen's got a pretty fab bod and is looking absolutely gorge in all of the shots - mustache one included - but it just seems a little bit, well, odd?
The notoriously private star appears to be embracing the fame side of her job ever so slightly more of late, and to be entirely honest, we just can't figure out why...
By Stephanie Soteriou | omg
IT'S THE MIDDLE OF THE DAY?! Copyright: [Splash]
She does look amaze though. Copyright: [Splash]
Jen used to opt for a much more subtle look. Copyright: [FameFlyNet]
Don't go breaking our hearts :(
In news that's made us do a loud, defeated sigh, Kylie Jenner has denied claims that she's been in the studio, working on her debut album with Tyga.
Oh, Kylizzle. Don't go breaking our hearts like this.
Yep, the 17-year-old has sadly taken to Twitter to shut down the rumours in one foul swoop, making us kinda want to beg her to seriously think again and re-consider the music thing.
That, or we'll just sit here sulking for the whole day. Either suits us.
Kylie told followers she was more focused on making her website 'amazing' (fair enough, actually) for when it launches, rather than being focused on making music.
Oh. Okay. Us? Gutted? Pfft, never. ANYWAY.
Last week, it was claimed that King Kylie was working on an album to be produced by Tyga, making us all kinds of excited.
Especially since it's no big secret that she has a crackin' set of vocal cords, with her momager Kris Jenner saying she's got an "amazing" voice, and Kylizzle herself singing in various Vines and Snapchat videos.
A source, who's supposedly close to the teen, told Us Weekly: "She's secretly working on an album that he is producing. Tyga is helping her write. [She's] leaning on him heavily."
Earlier this month, an insider also revealed that she has allegedly had their help of a family member on her music.
The insider told Radar: "Kanye has been helping her with her music. He has been mentoring her and the two have been working on her first single together.
"Kanye wants to see Kylie succeed in the industry and he knows that with her talent and his guidance, she can actually make a name for herself. She actually does her homework, takes direction and has gotten really, really good."
Kylie has also been singing lessons for over a year, apparently, and according to Kris is sounding 'really good'.
The insider for Radar added: "The fact that Kylie's Snapchat video was making headlines at the same time that Kris revealed she was taking vocal lessons on KUWTK is no coincidence.
"It is all carefully calculated by Kris, who has elected herself as the manager of Kylie's music career."
Well, she is a momager after all.
We're totally gutted that these rumours were all false, but fingers crossed for some Kylizzle tracks in the music. Maybe. PLEASE.
By Rachel Pilcher | omg
Kylie Jenner has denied her music career :(. Copyright [Instagram/kyliejenner]
Kylie Jenner recording debut album with Tyga's help? Copyright [Fern / Splash News]
Copyright [Instagram/Kylie Jenner]
Kylie FINALLY admitted to having the lip fillers in the last episode of Keeping Up With The Kardashians.
After FINALLY admitting to having temporary lip fillers, Kylie Jenner's sisters have been giving her advice on not going overboard and how to handle the attention surrounding her now infamous pout.
While Kim Kardashian praised Kylie's lips for looking "amazing," and warned her not to get carried away, Kendall was adamant that her family look gorgeous just as they are, arguing: "No one needs anything. Everybody looks beautiful."
We want Kendall to be our sister, please.
In the next episode of Keeping Up With The Kardashians, Kylie will reveal how her family reacted to her temporary lip fillers, admitting: "Kendall said they look too big yesterday."
The two discuss the 17-year-old's cosmetic surgery at Kendall's condo, with the 19-year-old telling cameras that she doesn't want Kylie to "take it too far."
She explains: "She got a little crazy. Right you guys, sure, at first, you've seen them in person. When she first got them done they were great. They were fine, they were perfect size and they looked natural.
"But she has also just run into her face. You know Kylie's lips, it's not permanent, it's not going to stay there forever if she doesn't want it to.
"And, if it makes her feel better about herself then why not? I just don't want her to take it too far, she is a beautiful girl and I don't think she needs anything."
N'awww. The sisterly love between this lot is really special.
Meanwhile, 34-year-old Kim just wants her younger sister to "stay strong and positive," and reckons she "still draws her lips way over," admitting that Kylie has "always been insecure about her lips, since she was a little girl."
Joining in Kendall and Kylie's convo, Kim says: "I don't want you to get carried away, they're not permanent but if they ask then own up to it. If something makes you insecure, and you've been feeling like that like forever. Who doesn't want to look amazing?
“You only have one life do you know what I've realised from what all of us gone through, is do what makes you happy – to an extent. I don't want you to go too far, but own up to it.
She later added: "I've told Kylie that we've all had our own insecurities and there is nothing to be ashamed of, it's just handling it the right way. If someone asks you about your lips, just be honest. Just tell them it really not that much of a big deal."
Kim echoes Khloe Kardashian's earlier comments that Kylizzle should own up to having the fillers.
During KUWTK, after Kylie had been asked about her lips on the red carpet, Khloe said: "Kylie decided to plump her lips and I don't think there is anything wrong with that.
"I think if you've done something though, it is right to cop up to it. If you avoid the question you're gonna look like a liar."
By Rachel Pilcher | omg
Kendall Jenner and Kim Kardashian speak to Kylie Jenner about her lip fillers. Copyright [MTV/MTV1415/Getty Images …
Kendall doesn't want Kylie to go too far with her lips. Copyright [Instagram/Kris Jenner]
Kim wants Kylie to stay positive. Copyright: [Instagram]
Kylie Jenner FINALLY reveals that she has had lip fillers. Copyright [E!]