It’s doubtful that any true jazz fan would be surprised by a show featuring the combined performances of established icons Alphonse Mouzon and Larry Coryell. These two master musicians have not only given the jazz world unparalleled drum and guitar concerts and compositions, but they have collaborated many times both on stage, on separate occasions having shared one with Miles Davis, and over the past thirty-five years both on stage and in the studio on historic projects such as Coryell’s Eleventh House fusion band. Individually, these two masters of crafted sound have forged singular paths of stardom that long ago launched them into the ranks of jazz pioneers. Alphonse Mouzon, a past featured guest on SOJP Radio, adds to his musical repertoire a notable history as a member of Weather Report, along with Joe Zaiwinul and Wayne Shorter, and as founder of Tenacious Records. Larry Coryell is a world renowned guitarist who has mixed strings with the likes of Jimmy Hendrix, Charles Mingus, and Billy Cobham, just to name a few.
So what was the unexpected factor that provided such delight at their recent Saturday evening performance at Yoshi’s San Francisco? Try the old school genius of jazz organist Joey DeFrancesco. A Philadelphia native, DeFrancesco brings the degree of phenomenosity that long ago earned him a place in similar ranks with Mouzon and Coryell. And, as an industry earmark, DeFrancesco also adds the experience of having shared a stage at the amazing age of seventeen with the incomparable Miles Davis. While playing, the organ keys became his extended fingers and we watched in awe as his passion for the instrument compelled the organ to literally ‘sing”.
Although dubbed as an eleventh hour replacement for Jimmy Scott, who was unable to perform due to illness, the energy, zeal and passion of these three musicians blended seamlessly, while emphasizing and elevating the consummate mastery of each to electrify the audience to full attentive bliss. Alphonse Mouzon not only provided the rhythmic adhesive that captured and maintained the splendid integration of this extraordinary trio, but his intoxicating and hypnotic beats were extraordinary as part of the ensemble and throughout each of his solo highlights.
I had the pleasure of enjoying both the early and late shows and found that a group performance that I initially believed could not be surpassed, was phenomenally taken to another level that will remain eternally etched in mine, and I’m sure many of the other audience members’ memory. Notable highlights of this fabulous show include a stunning “Bolero” by Larry Coryell, the trio's collaborative magic on Alphonse Mouzon’s “Funky Waltz”, and a closing performance gem of Mouzon’s “The Cover Girl” that spawned a late show encore. Overall, this was a quintessentially blended euphoric jazz treat for the ears and soul.
As we said in the first installment, It's so hard to chronicle all of the contributions of African American Musicians, Poets and Orators in a two part series, But Bigtrigger and SOJP are going to do their best! This weeks program will bring you more of the best in Jazz and Spoken Word.This week's show will be part Two of our celebration of moments in black history. You get a chance to hear THE BEST of the pioneers of jazz music performing some of the greatest "Standard Compositions". Artists such as Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, Cannonball Adderley, Horace Silver, Thelonious Monk, and Dinah Washington will be on hand to entertain you.
They'll be accompanied by some of the literary world's GREATEST African-American poets, such as Amiri Baraka, Etheridge Knight, Claude McKay, Sterling Brown, Nikki Giovanni, and Langston Hughes. Sprinkle in excerpts of some of the greatest speeches delivered during the struggle for civil rights by such luminaries as Reverand Jesse Jackson, Congresswoman Barbara Jordan, Malcolm X, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and our celebration will be in full swing!
Remember, Spotlight on Jazz and Poetry is available "On Demand". 24 hours a day and 7 days a week -- anywhere you have an internet connection. New shows are aired on Sunday and run all week.
On This edition of "SPOTLIGHT ON JAZZ AND POETRY" Bigtrigger brings some of The Lovely Ladies of Jazz to the stage first to seductively serenade the men. The voices of Karyn Allison, Nnenna Freelon, Diane Schurr, Lena Horne, Gloria Lynne, Nancy Wilson and many more will help cultivate that loving feeling.
Then it's time for those Magnificent Men of Jazz such as Andy Bey, Lou Rawls, Johnny Hartman, Little Jimmy Scott, Michael Feinstein, Arthur Prysock and more. They'll croon their way into your hearts. Yes, this program truly is;
"FOR LOVER'S ONLY"
Nina Bundy is a local treasure who made her entry onto the musical scene at the tender age of seventeen. Her initial engagement was with Tina Bradshaw's Big band at Town Hall in Philadelphia. Although raw and untested, it was evident that she would soon master all the intricacies involved in becoming an outstanding jazz vocalist. Nina's primary source of inspiration was her mother, Earselle Bundy, a blues singer(note:as tribute to Mrs.Bostic). Nina included two of her mother's favorite songs on this cd, Every Time We Say Goodbye and How Deep Is The Ocean. As Nina matured as a vocalist, her recognition and popularity escalated to the point where she was appearing in various jazz venues throughout the country and Japan as well. As a matter of fact,her captivation of Japanese audiences was so great that she had to return to Japan for a second series of concerts and night club performances.
Nina has returned to performing after some time and has been mesmerizing local audiences with her robust vocal dynamics. At the recent "Jazz On Cecil B." event a man stated, "In some ways, she reminds me of Billie Holiday". Maybe the ghosts of some of the legends of Philly jazz really were walking the Avenue that night! :)
Kemba Cofield captures the essence of every song she sings by painting a colorful portrait with each lyric, sharing her story that encompasses her joys and pains. She eagerly leads us through a path that celebrates the past and present with sensuality and richness. Her crisp articulation shines through to her soul; and it isn’t until then, that we really meet Kemba Cofield: the internationally known jazz vocalist, recording artist, writer, composer, talent extraordinaire. "I don't just consider myself a vocalist but a storyteller," she says. "If I'm talking about love, I convey that emotion to the audience."
This passionate display of musicianship has entertained diverse audiences nationwide including performances at some of the finest venues such as the Philadelphia Museum, Atlanta’s prestigious High Museum and the New York’s Historic Lenox Lounge. Kemba’s vocal skills have offered her the opportunity to share the stage with the Zapp Band, Midnight Star, Bernard Linnette, Don Braden, The Aaron Goldberg Trio, Takana Miyamoto, Freddie Cole, Rene Marie, and other famed musicians and jazz greats. The independent premier release of Shades of Kemba in 2005 sustained Kemba Cofield’s place in the music industry. Shades of Kemba matched her powerful resonance with her influential personality, depicting her growth into an established jazz artist. Her first project was completed with collaborations with Wycliffe Gordon, Victor Goines, Marcus Printup, Reginald Veal, Doron Johnson and Alvin Atkinson.
Since the release of her sophomore album, Kemba Cofield Live in Atlanta, Kemba has had an amazing career headlining the 2008 Atlanta Jazz Festival, the National Black Arts Festival and performing at Lincoln Center, the world’s leading jazz performing arts center. Originally from Frankfort, KY, Kemba relies on her spiritual guidance to remain rooted on her musical path. She credits her stage flair, personality and precision to the legendary Queens of Jazz, Sarah Vaughan and Ella Fitzgerald. Kemba masterfully combined her spirituality and performance technique while starring in the internationally known 2006 Telly Award winning production “Eternity.”
As the 2008-2009 winner of the “Future of Jazz Straight Ahead Vocalist” competition, Kemba is moving to her polyrhythmic beat and the world is responding. Her desire and determination is the force that keeps her soaring in today’s music industry.
To visit Kemba's website click here ~~> KEMBA
This month in celebration of Black History Month on "SPOTLIGHT ON JAZZ AND POETRY, Bigtrigger showcases the music of the Great African Americans who were the true pioneers of Jazz and Poetry. You'll also hear excerpts from some of the great African-American orators. This special program will be featured in two parts the weeks of;
FEBRUARY 8, 2007 and FEBRUARY 22, 2007
In the meantime here's some Black History facts to get things rolling.
Around 1914 the great exodus north began. WWI was a major catalyst in producing the modern black man. It was through this internationality that African-Americans were able to see the world as more of a whole and their place as Americans within it. They participated in the war (albeit in their own segregated troops) and while they were meant to simply be more bodies to use in the war-machine, they gained an enormous sense of being part of something....that something being America. And so they began to try and step up into the role of American, not just ex-slave.
African-Americans were drawn for many reasons to the industrial centers of the north(mainly St. Louis and Chicago). One of the biggest was simply the need to leave behind the south and the slavery it was associated with. There was also the call of work, work that was not simply agricultural. The American dream was drawing these particular Americans forth as much as it did with the early pioneers of the West. Up the river went the Blues and a new kind of music went with it.
During the reign of Napoleon, the military band was all the rage among the French. This translated to the importation of brass band instruments to all the french settlements, New Orleans included. Creoles ("mixed breeds"- usually part black,part french, sometimes part indian) who were usually well educated freemen, and later their newly freed bretheren, became infatuated with these instruments and the sounds they could make. Incorporating the sounds of blues and the same non-western, non-syncopated rythyms that had been brought from Africa, a new breed of music began to grow. At first it was simply a take on traditional marching band music, but it began to metamorphize as blues became more and more prevalent. First Ragtime, and then Jass, or Jazz. Again, the instrument was employed to mimic the human voice in tonality and spirit, and again, something wonderful emerged.
From New Orleans, Jazz moved upriver with the exodus and in the house-parties of the 20' and 30's, it gained momentum. Where the Blues was the "devil's music" to many of the Black middle class, Jazz was acceptable. "Black music" was the rage in the clubs and parties of the 20's. Jazz made it possible for Afro-American music to be imitated for the first time by white musicians...the beginnings of what was to come. The broad emotional meaning of the genre allowed such cross-cultural developments without being 'watered down'. From Jazz grew many different elements within it. Bebop, Swing, Boogie Woogie, Free Jazz and Hard Bop were all examples of the experimentation the musicians of the time were making to elevate the sound. It became more and more mainstream and more and more musicians began to try new things...to take things another step along.
Movement was a loose network of Black Nationalist African American artists and intellectuals during the mid-1960s to the mid-1970s. In many respects, the Black Arts Movement was the cultural wing of the Black Power Movement.
It is difficult to date the beginning of the Black Arts Movement exactly. One possibility is 1965, when Amiri Baraka and other black cultural activists founded the Black Arts Repertory Theatre/School (BARTS) in Harlem, New York. However, a number of important forerunners to BARTS helped make the larger movement possible. For example, Umbra, a seminationalist group of African American writers and poets in the Lower Eastside of New York City in the early 1960s, provided a training ground for a number of influential Black Arts activists, including Ishmael Reed, Lorenzo Thomas, David Henderson, Calvin Hernton, and Askia Muhammad Touré.
Baraka is considered the leading figure of the era. Baraka's Black Arts poetry, drama, musical criticism, and social commentary were apocalyptic, antiwhite, and often misogynistic, anti-Semitic, and homophobic, projecting a powerful vision of a utopian unity of African Americans that proved tremendously important in defining the discussion of a black aesthetic. Other significant writers of the Black Arts Movement include poet and essayist Larry Neal, poet Sonia Sanchez, poet Don L. Lee (Haki Madhubuti), poet Nikki Giovanni, playwright Ed Bullins, and novelist Toni Morrison. Such critics, scholars, and editors as Addison Gayle, Jr., (editor of the anthology of criticism The Black Aesthetic ), Harold Cruse (author of the study The Crisis of the Negro Intellectual ), and Hoyt Fuller (editor of the journal Black World) played prominent roles in promoting and shaping the conversations and debates that took place among Black Arts artists and intellectuals.
Jazz musicians, such as Archie Shepp, Sun Ra, and Richard Muhal Abrams, were among the most powerful and most visible artists of the movement. Many African American popular musicians were heavily influenced by Black Power and Black Arts, producing best-selling songs such as Curtis Mayfield and the Impressions's "Keep On Pushing" and "Say It Loud (I'm Black and I'm Proud)" by James Brown, which became anthems of the period.
Spotlight on Jazz and Poetry is now available "On Demand". That's right – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, in your office, in your home, anywhere you have an internet connection! New shows will be aired each Sunday and will run all week.
My name is Clayton E. Corley, Sr. aka Big Trigger host and producer of an award winning internet program!