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Jerry Lawson, Lead Singer of the Persuasions, Is Dead at 75 – The New York Times

Jerry Lawson, Lead Singer of the Persuasions, Is Dead at 75 – The New York Times

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https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/12/arts/music/jerry-lawson-dead.html?te=1
 
Jerry Lawson, Lead Singer of the Persuasions, Is Dead at 75
By Peter Keepnews
July 12, 2019
Jerry Lawson, the original lead singer of the Persuasions, in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn in 1992. The Persuasions began 30 years earlier as a casual and nameless ensemble on the basketball courts and front stoops of Brooklyn.William E. Sauro/The New York Times
Jerry Lawson, the original lead singer of the Persuasions, in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn in 1992. The Persuasions began 30 years earlier as a casual and nameless ensemble on the basketball courts and front stoops of Brooklyn.
Jerry Lawson, the original lead singer of the Persuasions, in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn in 1992. The Persuasions began 30 years earlier as a casual and nameless ensemble on the basketball courts and front stoops of Brooklyn.William E. Sauro/The New York Times
Jerry Lawson, who for four decades was the lead singer of the Persuasions, a group that revived the art of a cappella singing and attracted a loyal worldwide following, died on Wednesday in Phoenix. He was 75.
His death was confirmed by his wife, Julie. She said that Guillain-Barre syndrome, a rare neurological disorder, had compromised Mr. Lawson’s immune system.
Led by Mr. Lawson’s smooth, warm baritone, the Persuasions sang R&B, rock, blues, gospel and pop with no instrumental accompaniment, long after the doo-wop era that their sound evoked and long before the recent “Pitch Perfect” movies brought new attention to a cappella singing.
“Thirty-eight years and we still ain’t got no band, man!” Mr. Lawson said in an interview with The Associated Press in 2000. “That’s the story right there.”
Their many fans included Frank Zappa, who released their first album, “Acappella,” on his Straight label in 1970, and Joni Mitchell, who took them on the road as her opening act in 1979 and sang with them on two tracks of her album “Shadows and Light,” released the next year. They were acknowledged as an influence by Boyz II Men, Take 6, Rockapella and other vocal groups.
The Persuasions recorded some two dozen albums, including tributes to Zappa, the Beatles and the Grateful Dead.
Jerome Eugene Lawson was born on Jan. 23, 1944, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to Estella Braxton Lawson and George Johnson. He grew up in Apopka, Fla., northwest of Orlando, where he began singing at the New Hope Missionary Baptist Church as a child.
The Persuasions began as a casual and nameless ensemble on the basketball courts and front stoops of Brooklyn in 1962. “It was just five guys who used to stand on the corner or go down to the subway station every night and just do this,” Jimmy Hayes, another original member, told The A.P. in 2000.
The other original members were Joseph Russell, Herbert Rhoad and Jayotis Washington. Mr. Washington is the only one still alive.
The eclecticism that was the key to the Persuasions’ appeal is probably also what kept them from reaching pop stardom; the music business found them hard to categorize.
“They’ve never gotten their due,” Rip Rense, who produced some of their records, told The A.P. “In another country like Japan they’d be declared a living treasure.”
The Persuasions in concert in the 1980s. From left: Jayotis Washington, Herbert (Toubo) Rhoad, Joe Russell, Jerry Lawson and Jimmy Hayes.David Gans
The Persuasions in concert in the 1980s. From left: Jayotis Washington, Herbert (Toubo) Rhoad, Joe Russell, Jerry Lawson and Jimmy Hayes.
The Persuasions in concert in the 1980s. From left: Jayotis Washington, Herbert (Toubo) Rhoad, Joe Russell, Jerry Lawson and Jimmy Hayes.David Gans
Mr. Lawson left the group in 2002. A few years later he joined a much younger group of San Francisco a cappella singers who had based themselves on the Persuasions. As Jerry Lawson and the Talk of the Town, the group released an album in 2007 and appeared on the NBC music competition show “The Sing-Off” in 2011.
He released his first and only solo album, “Just a Mortal Man,” in 2015.
In addition to his wife of 44 years, Julie (Hurwitz) Lawson, Mr. Lawson is survived by his father; two daughters, Yvette and Wanda Lawson; and a grandson.
A documentary about Mr. Lawson, “The Jerry Lawson Story — Just a Mortal Man,” is scheduled to be released this year.
The Associated Press contributed reporting.
A version of this article appears in print on July 14, 2019, Section A, Page 25 of the New York edition with the headline: Jerry Lawson, 75, Baritone Lead Singer Of A Capella Group the Persuasions, Dies. Order Reprints | Today’s Paper | Subscribe
 
 

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Nat King Cole’s Early Years Are Getting the Archival Treatment – The New York Times

Nat King Cole’s Early Years Are Getting the Archival Treatment – The New York Times

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https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/19/arts/music/nat-king-cole-resonance.html
 
Nat King Cole’s Early Years Are Getting the Archival Treatment
By Giovanni Russonello
July 19, 2019
Nat King Cole made some of the most ubiquitous recordings in American history as a star for Capitol Records in the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s. But the vast trove of music he recorded in the years before joining Capitol has always remained something of a mystery.
Now Resonance Records is putting a spotlight on those first years of his career with “Hittin’ the Ramp: The Early Years (1936-43),” a boxed set collecting all of the nearly 200 tracks Cole recorded as a budding artist, including some never-before-released material. It will be available on Nov. 1, as a 10-LP set and as a seven-CD set. (The label does not have immediate plans to make the collection available on streaming services.)
This anthology is the first to bring together every record Cole made between his recording debut at age 17 and his signing with Capitol. These recordings are often left off official discographies, which tend to focus almost exclusively on his Capitol years. Many have fallen out of print.
“Hittin’ the Ramp” is the most ambitious undertaking in Resonance’s 10-year history as a small but increasingly mighty jazz label focused on archival releases. “We’ve done important projects before, but this is almost on another level in terms of the amount of material, the research involved, and everything that goes into it,” Zev Feldman, a co-president of Resonance, said in an interview.
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The idea grew out of a conversation Mr. Feldman had with the music historian Will Friedwald, who suggested that Resonance undertake the project to help restore Cole’s early musical history. Mr. Friedwald served as a co-producer for the project and wrote the main essay in the liner notes that will accompany the discs.
Cole’s honeydew baritone was the central focus on his Capitol albums, and it made him into a path-blazing star: In addition to being a perpetual chart-topping musician, he became the first African-American to host a nationally syndicated variety show
But he had originally intended to simply make his way as a piano player. His career began in Chicago as a stride pianist whose chops instilled awe in local critics and audiences. Some of the tracks on “Hittin’ the Ramp” are instrumentals; over all, the collection puts a rare focus on Cole’s dexterous piano playing. 
Some early recordings with his trio also find Cole developing a synergy with the guitarist Oscar Moore, who would record on many of Cole’s most famous Capitol sides.
An earlier version of this article described incorrectly Will Friedwald’s role in the Resonance Records project. He is a co-producer of it, not just a consultant.
 
 

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Jazz’s Sisterhood: Regina Carter, Renee Rosnes, and More Women Transforming the Genre | Vanity Fair

Jazz’s Sisterhood: Regina Carter, Renee Rosnes, and More Women Transforming the Genre | Vanity Fair

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https://www.vanityfair.com/style/2019/07/women-in-jazz-sisterhood
 
Jazz’s Sisterhood: Regina Carter, Renee Rosnes, and More Women Transforming the Genre
July 9, 2019
For a century, jazz was a men’s club. Now a vanguard of women virtuosi—including these 16 standouts—are reshaping this most American of art forms.
Artemis the allwoman jazz supergroup
IN THE KEY OF W Artemis, the all-woman supergroup, features a septet of jazz giants: Allison Miller, Noriko Ueda (with bass), Melissa Aldana, Anat Cohen, Ingrid Jensen, music director Renee Rosnes, and Cécile McLorin Salvant.
Half a century ago, the acclaimed music critic George T. Simon said everything you need to know about sexism in jazz: “Only God can make a tree, and only men can play good jazz.” This gender bias has deep roots. Jazz has always been a boys’ club, a macho art form reserved for brash, fast-fingered men living on the road, in cramped quarters, hustling from gig to gig. And despite playing a pioneering role in integration and the civil rights movement, jazz has had an abysmal record on gender.
The pantheon of jazz giants is overwhelmingly male, comprising musicians who even neophytes know on a first-name basis: Louis and Duke, Dizzy and Miles. Women, meanwhile, have long been celebrated as exceptions. Nothing reinforces this fact better than the Village Vanguard, the legendary club in Manhattan’s West Village, where the photos and posters on the dark-green walls constitute a de facto Jazz Hall of Fame. Amid the dozens of male faces there are exactly seven women: Dorothy Donegan, Dinah Washington, Nina Simone, and Shirley Horn, all pianists and singers; pianist and composer Geri Allen; bebop guitarist Mary Osborne, whose poster hangs in an unenviable spot opposite the ice machine; as well as a poster of experimental guitarist and composer Mary Halvorson, the only woman on this list who is still alive. “I’m so embarrassed to say it, but with female performers at the Vanguard, I barely need two hands to count them,” admits Deborah Gordon, who since 1989 has been comanaging the club (founded by her father, Max, in 1935, and later run by her mother, Lorraine). “It’s so hard being a jazz musician anyway. Why wouldn’t it be harder being a female jazz musician? It’s one more strike.”
Bassistcomposer Linda May Han Oh.
IN THE GROOVE
Bassist-composer Linda May Han Oh, photographed at the Manderley Bar at New York City’s McKittrick Hotel, Home of Sleep No More.
Roxy Coss and Tia Fuller
THE FAIRER SAX
Roxy Coss, foreground, founded the Women in Jazz Organization to promote professional female and gender nonbinary jazz musicians. Tia Fuller is the second female solo artist with a Grammy nomination for best jazz instrumental album.
But hold off, just yet, with that sobbing trombone. Every decade or so, a new crop of artists emerge, seemingly on cue, to make their mark on jazz. And today, it is women at the vanguard, shattering what’s left of jazz’s so-called brass ceiling.
The musicians pictured here offer proof of the innovation and leadership coming from an unprecedented number of women in the field, a snapshot of the freshest faces of 21st-century jazz: women instrumentalists who have sizzle right now.
Jane Ira Bloom.
Back in the day, women typically found their sweet spot as vocalists: Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Anita O’Day, Lena Horne, Betty Carter, and many, many others. (Their descendants, including Diana Krall, Dianne Reeves, and Cassandra Wilson, are among the most revered voices in jazz. And women, in fact, have dominated the recent cabaret revival.) Standing at the mic was long considered the “natural” place for women—they could perform while still being seen as adornments, as objects of romantic or sexual fantasy. “There’s a lot of history that could have happened,” says drummer Terri Lyne Carrington, who, in 2014, became the first woman to win the Grammy for best jazz instrumental album. “We don’t know who had the potential to really be great. If Ella could scat any man under the table with her voice, who’s to say she couldn’t have done it on an instrument?”
Pianist-composer Kris Davis photographed at the Manderley Bar at New York City’s McKittrick Hotel, Home of Sleep No More.
Female players have always had it harder than singers, fighting for the spotlight in a nocturnal genre that couldn’t quite reconcile their perceived femininity with the image of them blowing into horns or pounding on drums. “I’m in a book called Trumpet Kings,” says Canadian horn virtuoso Ingrid Jensen. “I’m honored! But why the hell is it called Trumpet Kings? ‘Cause that’s what jazz is: It’s kings. If you look at all these jazz books, you’d never see a cool picture of a woman sweating with a scrunched-up face like mine when I’m playing.”
The tune is changing, in large part, because there are more points of entry for women. Jazz’s primary system of tutelage—the clubs and jam sessions where young people learn the trade by trial and error, under the watchful eye of their elders—is far more inclusive. So, too, are the formal jazz-study hubs for aspiring musicians, such as the Juilliard School, Berklee College of Music, the University of North Texas College of Music, the Herb Alpert School of Music at CalArts, and the University of Michigan, which have opened the music to women and other students from all backgrounds. “Discontent at the way women have been treated in jazz has been bubbling up for so long that it’s reached a boiling point and the lid’s popped off,” says music critic David Hajdu. “Some fearless women plowed through with machetes so that another generation can say, ‘This is possible. Maybe there’s a place for me.’ Women as performers, composers, and innovators is the story in jazz today.”
THE LUMINARY
Five-time Grammy-winning composer and orchestra leader Maria Schneider received this year’s NEA Jazz Masters Fellowship, the highest honor in American jazz.
POWER CHORD
Guitarist-composer Mary Halvorson is known for avant-garde performances that push the edges of 21st-century jazz.
CLARION CALL Grammy-winning saxophonist-composer Jane Ira Bloom. One of her most recent inspirations: Emily Dickinson’s poetry.
WORLD ON A STRING
Regina Carter, a MacArthur genius fellow, is her generation’s premier jazz violinist.
Those assembled here are among the most in-demand jazz musicians in the business. They perform as bandleaders and sidewomen, produce concerts, and teach at leading music schools. Each of them says she would prefer to discuss her music, not her gender. Few have had the benefit of female mentors. And most didn’t realize there was anything exceptional about being a woman in jazz until they got to college or started playing in the real world. “I think I had blinders on,” recalls saxophonist Jane Ira Bloom, “because I was so busy trying to prepare myself to be the best professional musician I could be.” All have, at some point, been told a variation of the backhanded compliment “You play good for a girl” or “You play like a man.” They’ve arrived at shows only to have microphones waiting for them (the assumption being that they’re singers) or people asking them where the bass or brass player is (their reply: “You’re looking at her”).
Tia Fuller.
These days women are headlining at concerts and clubs, at New York’s Jazz at Lincoln Center, and at festivals from Newport to New Orleans to Chicago, from San Diego to Monterey to Portland. In December, sax standout Tia Fuller became only the second woman in 60 years to land a Grammy nomination for best jazz instrumental album. Last year, women nabbed a record 12 Jazz Journalist Association Jazz Awards (Maria Schneider took home three—for best composer, arranger, and large ensemble), and for the first time ever, the Lifetime Achievement in Jazz Journalism award went to a woman, Patricia Willard. Vocalist Jazzmeia Horn has amassed a shelfful of honors, as has vocalist-bassist-composer Esperanza Spalding (the first jazz performer to land a Grammy for best new artist), who is very consciously shedding her jazz identity, tipping further into art pop and funk.
At the same time, important contemporary jazz artists—by embracing the avant-garde movement and borrowing from hip-hop and other genres—have given their peers a safe space, less tethered to the macho roots that have characterized traditional jazz. “It’s not uncommon for me to play in bands where women outnumber men, or where men and women are equal,” says guitarist Mary Halvorson. “The more women out there doing it, the more it encourages young women to start.”
Drummer-producer-educator Terri Lyne Carrington, photographed at the Manderley Bar at New York City’s McKittrick Hotel, Home of Sleep No More.
Roxy Coss.
A true watershed came last year, when seven of the best jazz musicians in the world—hailing from the U.S., Canada, France, Chile, Israel, and Japan—performed together at the 92nd Street Y in Manhattan, receiving two standing ovations. Devoted jazz followers in the audience said they couldn’t remember ever witnessing such a scene. That’s because the ensemble, Artemis, was composed entirely of women. As the audience roared, the band members turned toward their music director, pianist Renee Rosnes, and applauded her. Those ovations were as much for Rosnes as for the group she helped mobilize—and the pivotal jazz moment she helped spark. (Artemis, which went on to perform at the fabled Newport Jazz Festival, will play one of the great stages in American music later this year: Carnegie Hall’s Isaac Stern Auditorium.)
Maria Schneider.
“I’m hoping for a future when people don’t look at it like a novelty act,” says Rosnes, “and people will laugh at articles like this and wonder, ‘Can you imagine? They had to write like that about women in jazz?’ ” Imagine that.
Regina Carter.
Styled by Nicole Chapoteau. HAIR BY CHELSEA GEHR, LINH NGUYEN, YUKIKO TAJIMA, AND COREY TUTTLE; MAKEUP BY CHELSEA GEHR, MARYGENE, DEANNA MELLUSO, AND RISAKO MATSUSHITA; MANICURES BY ERI HANDA, LIANG, AND ISADORA RIOS; SET DESIGN BY LAUREN BAHR AND J. J. CHAN; FOR DETAILS, GO TO VF.COM/CREDITS.
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Nina Simone’s Childhood Home Is Under Threat. This Campaign Aims to Save It | Smart News | Smithsonian

Nina Simone’s Childhood Home Is Under Threat. This Campaign Aims to Save It | Smart News | Smithsonian

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https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/new-campaign-hopes-save-nina-simones-childhood-home-180972644/?utm_source=smithsoniandaily
 
Nina Simone’s Childhood Home Is Under Threat. This Campaign Aims to Save It
The National Trust is hoping to preserve the North Carolina house where Simone first learned to play piano
Brigit Katz
nina simone(Nancy Pierce, courtesy of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.)
smithsonian.com 
July 15, 2019 1:59PM
Nina Simone was born in a small, clapboard house in Tryon, North Carolina, in 1933. It was there that Simone began teaching herself to play piano when she was just three years old, the start of a stunning trajectory that saw her become one of the most iconic, indomitable figures of American music history. But the home at 30 East Livingston Street is now badly in need of preservation.
Previous attempts to restore the home were not successful. Last year, Andrew R. Chow of the New York Times reported that Kevin McIntyre, a former economic development director, had purchased the property in 2005 and poured $100,000 of his own funds into a preservation project, only to lose the home to “money troubles.” When the home came onto the market in 2017, it seemed likely that it would be demolished—so four African American artists stepped in to rescue it.
Adam PendletonRashid JohnsonEllen Gallagher and Julie Mehretu collectively purchased the property for $95,000. “My feeling when I learned that this house existed was just an incredible urgency to make sure it didn’t go away,” Johnson told Randy Kennedy of the Times in 2017. The following year, the National Trust for Historic Preservation declared the home a “National Treasure,” making it one of less than 100 sites to receive the designation.
Now, the National Trust is asking the public to contribute to efforts to save the modest house, Liz Stinson reports for Curbed. Donations will help the Trust’s African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund, which seeks to preserve sites with important connections to African American history, develop a plan for the home’s preservation, perform urgent stabilization work on the exterior of the house and “identify future uses and protection” for the site.
The house, though dilapidated, is a living relic of Simone’s formative years in Tryon. Born Eunice Kathleen Waymon, she showed her prodigious musical talent playing piano accompaniments for her church’s choir. Simone caught the attention of Muriel Mazzanovich, an Englishwoman who had moved to the North Carolina town and who happened to be a classical piano teacher. Mazzanovich gave Simone lessons at her Tryon home and established a fund to support the young pianist’s training.
In 1943, Simone was due to perform at a local library, as a thank you to the patrons who had contributed to the fund. It was the height of the Jim Crow years, and Simone’s parents were told that they would need to give up their seats, at their own daughter’s recital, to white audience members. Simone, 11 years old, refused to play until her mother and father were allowed to return to the front row—a sign of the fervent advocacy that would permeate her later work. Many of Simone’s most enduring songs explore the African American experience and the fight for civil rights. “Mississippi Goddam” grappled with the murder of Medgar Evers by a Klu Klux Klan member and the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing in Alabama. “Four Women” explored archetypes of black womanhood. “I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free” became an anthem of the Civil Rights Movement.
The site where Simone lived with her family, fell in love with music and experienced the racial injustices that would spark her zeal for civil rights activism “provides an important lens” to understanding and celebrating her life, explains Brent Leggs, executive director of the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund, speaking on the need to preserve the home. “This modest home in Tryon, North Carolina embodies the story of a young black girl who transcended the constraints placed on her in the Jim Crow south, to become the voice of the Civil Rights Movement,” he says.
Editor’s note, 7/15/19: This story has been updated to correct the proper spelling of Tryon, North Carolina.
 
 

Jim Eigo Jazz Promo Services T: 845-986-1677 E-Mail: jim@jazzpromoservices.com
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Al Pryor: 5 Things I’ve Learned About Producing Jazz Records – KeyboardMag

Al Pryor: 5 Things I’ve Learned About Producing Jazz Records – KeyboardMag

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https://www.keyboardmag.com/education/5-things-ive-learned-about-producing-jazz-records
 
5 Things I’ve Learned About Producing Jazz Records
Al PryorJun 18, 2019
5 Things I’ve Learned About Producing Jazz Records
Musical advice from a multiple Grammy Award winner
I’ve been a staff producer and executive at record labels like Sony, Mack Avenue and Gramavision before recently striking out on my own. (Some jazz fans might even remember me as the founding music and program director for the storied jazz station WBGO 88.3 FM). My involvement in the recording arts got its start in commercial broadcasting. After grad school, I landed at a regional public radio station where I was simultaneously exposed to both Dr. Billy Taylor’s “Jazz as America’s classical music” philosophy, and Rudolf Serkin’s chamber music series in Marlboro, VT. And through another happy accident, I spent an afternoon in the Maestro’s presence with him alternately playing and offering his musings on music and life. Those kinds of experiences shaped my approach to producing jazz records. Here’s some of what I’ve learned along the way.
1. Use what works
My approach as a producer is to exploit techniques that have evolved over the years to record and mix both acoustic and electronic instruments. This applies to the aesthetics as well. So whether it’s the concert hall sound of Wilma Cozart and Bob Fine of Mercury Living Presence records, or the extraordinary studio sound achieved by Rudy Van Gelder or Al Schmidt and Tommy LiPuma, it’s about whatever will capture and convey the artist’s vision.
2. P is for preparation and pre-production
Jazz may be an improvisatory art form, but that doesn’t mean everything should be improvised! A little preparation can go a long way. Gather information about repertoire (including scores and/or lead sheets), instrumentation, featured soloists, potential overdubs, and any mics and outboard processing gear that your engineer might require. I also like to get a floor plan of the studio for the engineer to map out the positioning of the artists and mic placement/isolation. And if your budget can withstand it, ask for some set-up time in the studio the night before recording session.
3. Rehearsing new music is essential, playing it on the road is even better
Generations ago, it’s reported that musicians said that the difference between Blue Note Records and every other jazz label was “three days of paid rehearsal.” Most artists don’t have the luxury of going into the studio for an extended period of time to write, rehearse, track and mix their albums. So it’s essential to rehearse the music you plan to record, be it in a rehearsal room, living room or even your garage. That way you can use your limited recording studio time to the full advantage. Even better, intersperse new music in your live shows to gain insight into the construction of your next recording project. When I’m producing an artist, I try to attend as many rehearsals and shows as possible to gain insight and successfully capture the artist’s vision when we enter the studio.
4. Creating a positive atmosphere yields the best results
I still consider the opportunity to be in the recording studio with artists and engineers as an experience to be approached with both joy and reverence. One thing every successful record I’ve ever worked on has in common is an enjoyable studio experience. A positive mood can go a long way towards getting lasting performances that touch the listener’s heart and soul. That kind of positive energy cannot be accomplished by technical execution alone. 
5. Don’t wait to “fix it in the mix”
Believe me when I tell you that it is the bane of every engineer’s existence to hear an artist or producer ask for something in the mixing or mastering session that should have been addressed previously. We’ve all gotten used to the power of digital audio workstations and software, but the laws of physics will not be denied. Choosing to ignore them inevitably leads to unhappy results. So fix it before the mix!
Al Pryor is three-time Grammy Award winner who has worked with artists like Cécile Mclorin Salvant, Danilo Perez and Harry Belafonte. He runs Al Pryor Productions LLC and can be reached at acpjazz@gmail.com
 

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JACKIE McLEAN INTERVIEW by Gil Noble. For ABC NY. – YouTube

JACKIE McLEAN INTERVIEW by Gil Noble. For ABC NY. – YouTube

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JACKIE McLEAN INTERVIEW by Gil Noble. For ABC NY. – YouTube

JACKIE McLEAN INTERVIEW by Gil Noble. For ABC NY. – YouTube

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Anchorman: Adam McKay on Ron Burgundy’s fire jazz flute | EW.com

Anchorman: Adam McKay on Ron Burgundy’s fire jazz flute | EW.com

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https://ew.com/movies/2019/07/11/the-shot-anchorman-jazz-flute-fire/
 
How Anchorman created that fire performance: ‘Ron Burgundy has to play jazz flute, right?’
Derek Lawrence
July 11, 2019 at 10:28 AM EDT
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07/09/04
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Genre
Ron Burgundy has two passions: Becoming a network anchor and playing the jazz flute. While he would achieve the former in Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, one of the highlights of Adam McKay and Will Ferrell’s original 2004 hit was Burgundy’s not-so-impromptu musical performance that ended with him filling his instrument with the contents of a martini glass and blowing it over a lighter — for a shot that is, in all senses of the word, fire.
“The idea of Burgundy playing jazz flute came from Ferrell,” says McKay, the film’s director. “One day while we were writing, Will blurted out, ‘Ron Burgundy has to play jazz flute, right?’ I immediately responded, ‘Of course he does.’”
From there, it was up to cinematographer Thomas Ackerman (BeetlejuiceNational Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation) to make it happen. “It’s one of those shots, as a viewer, that causes you to ask, ‘How the hell did they do that?’ It actually wasn’t terribly complicated,” he says, adding that they needed just two takes for the shot, which required the flute to be loaded with a flammable liquid that was sprayed over an open flame. “A lot of college students have done things totally as irresponsible as that. [Laughs] When I was a kid, I had a friend who loaded his mouth with lighter fluid and spewed it over an open flame — and I was filming it. Well, you know, I still am, still shooting fire gags.”
A real-life “scuzzy” bar in L.A.’s Chinatown proved to be the perfect setting for the iconic scene. “The walls were dark and it was on a stage that was somewhat dramatically lit,” he says. “If you had done that same thing outside during the day, it would have been ho-hum; the fire wouldn’t show up that well and the whole gag would be sabotaged. But because it was in a darkened, theatrical environment, the extent of the flame coming out of the flute, the volume of the flames, and the darkness of the ambient light really helped it work.”
Fifteen years later, the scene is still hot: This past January, Ferrell (as Burgundy) battled Lizzo in a musical duel on social media that ended with her faithful re-creation of the memorable sequence. In the words of Burgundy, “Don’t act like you’re not impressed!”
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A jazz legend said he was in desperate need of money. His friends had questions. – The Washington Post

A jazz legend said he was in desperate need of money. His friends had questions. – The Washington Post

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https://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/music/a-jazz-legend-said-he-was-in-desperate-need-of-money-his-friends-had-questions/2019/07/10/440e76ec-99b6-11e9-830a-21b9b36b64ad_story.html?noredirect=on
 
A jazz legend said he was in desperate need of money. His friends had questions.
Geoff EdgersLOS ANGELES —
IQWS7QFCTAI6TJ3H26VYJLXT5E.jpgKenny Burrell, a hero to generations of guitarists and one of the few jazz giants still alive, was in serious trouble, according to a May GoFundMe campaign. Or was he? (Damian Tsutsumida/UCLA)
It had been more than two years since Jacques Lesure had seen Kenny Burrell, 87 , but the legendary jazz guitarist seemed okay on the phone in April. No mention of overwhelming medical bills or impending eviction. No suggestion that he feared that merely allowing a visitor into his home could lead to a fatal illness. 
“I’ve never heard him sound like he’s on death’s door,” said Lesure, a fellow guitarist who has known Burrell for 25 years and had been delivering groceries to his door until recently. “And I’ve never had a financial conversation with Kenny.”
But on May 9, Katherine Goodrich, 50, Burrell’s wife, launched a GoFundMe campaign because, she wrote, the couple desperately needed help. Their medical expenses, a case of identity theft and a dispute with the homeowner’s association in their building made her fear they faced homelessness. “I can’t maintain Kenny’s health and safety in that kind of environment,” she wrote.
The great Kenny Burrell, a hero to generations of guitarists and one of the few jazz giants still alive, was in serious trouble. Or was he? When the UCLA police showed up on May 10 for a wellness check, they said Burrell assured them he was fine.
Lesure was mystified by Goodrich’s plea. He says Burrell’s friends and family — he has four adult children from previous marriages — would never let him end up homeless. Burrell also remains a professor at UCLA, where he has been on paid leave since 2017, according to the university. Sue Townsley, another friend who maintained phone contact, said she felt the same way.
“I didn’t know what to make of it,” said Townsley, a now retired UCLA administrator, of the campaign. “It didn’t ring true to me. As a bottom line, I haven’t given a dime and I care very, very much about Kenny.”
But more than 4,500 people have responded to Goodrich’s call, which also received an endorsement from the New York-based Jazz Foundation of America and JazzTimes magazine. Those donors include fellow guitarist Pat Metheny, Blue Note Records president Don Was, and the two remaining members of the Doors, drummer John Densmore and guitarist Robbie Krieger. The campaign cracked $244,000 this month and continues to grow. And while the Jazz Foundation called the GoFundMe results “inspiring,” the campaign has sparked a different response from some longtime friends and colleagues.
They are skeptical of the basis of the campaign, saying it is out of character for the obsessively private Burrell, and they worry it will tarnish his reputation. They also fear for his well-being. Tenants at the building on Greenfield Avenue say they haven’t seen Burrell leave his unit since at least 2018. His friends say the only way they can talk with him is on the telephone. In court documents and emails, Goodrich states that because of the couple’s “severely compromised immune issues” that “exposure to foreign chemicals, airborne or otherwise” could kill Burrell.
“Here he is, he hasn’t been out of the house in two years, his wife is telling him that he’s in danger if he sees somebody,” says Claudia Mitchell-Kernan, the now-retired UCLA vice chancellor who last spoke with Burrell in April and said she has wrestled with whether to say anything publicly out of respect for the guitarist. “It’s utterly bizarre, and when you see something this bizarre, you don’t expect a happy ending.”
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Friends and colleagues are skeptical of the basis of the campaign, saying it is out of character for the obsessively private Burrell, and they worry it will tarnish his reputation. They also fear for his well-being. (Damian Tsutsumida/UCLA)
Burrell and Goodrich have not responded to multiple interview requests from The Post. Last week, JazzTimes published what it said was a statement from Burrell addressing what he called rumors about his well-being, the GoFundMe campaign and Goodrich. He took issue with claims that his children and an unnamed former UCLA colleague disapproved of the campaign and said that “the gossip caused my wife and I distress, because of false accusations and speculation and doubt without knowledge of or regard for the facts.”
In the statement, Burrell said that the couple’s financial crisis made the campaign “necessary for our survival.”
He also refuted what he said were rumors that Goodrich has isolated him from friends and family.
“My wife is not controlling me or my affairs,” the statement read. “She is managing OUR affairs as a married couple. She has worked hard to protect me, and manage a series of crises and very unfortunate circumstances, all while taking care of me 24/7.”
After the statement, three of Burrell’s four children — Maya, Eddie and Jocelyn — told The Post that they did not want to discuss their father’s situation in detail, though they said their relationship has been strained because of Goodrich. They did say they were “hurt and disturbed” by the JazzTimes statement.
“We love our Dad,” the children said in their own statement. “Always have and always will be here for him.”
(Kenny Burrell Jr., his fourth child, could not be reached.)
Burrell arrived at UCLA in 1978 to teach a course on Duke Ellington at the school’s Center for Afro-American Studies. By then, he was already a star, the silky-smooth guitarist with perfect tone who got co-billing with John Coltrane, played on Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World,” and recorded with everyone from Aretha Franklin to James Brown. His 1963 album, “Midnight Blue,” is considered a Blue Note Records classic.
UCLA eventually promoted Burrell to professor in 1996 and had him create the school’s Jazz Studies program. He directed it until 2016. That’s also the last time he was spotted on campus.
On Dec. 3 of that year, UCLA held an 85th birthday celebration concert for Burrell. About 1,000 people came to Royce Hall to hear the guitarist, who wore a crisp blue suit and played his beloved Gibson Super 400 archtop.
Sometime soon after the event, according to Burrell’s JazzTimes statement, he had a fall that led to several surgeries due to bleeding in the brain. It is not clear what happened next. He was on medical leave from January 2017 through December 2018. Instead of returning to campus this year, Burrell went on paid sabbatical, according to UCLA.
“He’s always been close to the vest,” says Clayton Cameron, who played drums with Burrell for years and did not contribute to the GoFundMe because of his doubts. “It was just, ‘Hey, I’m getting better. I’m fine.’ ”
Goodrich, who met Burrell in the 1990s when she was a graduate student at UCLA, has been more open in sharing her description of her husband’s condition. But some of Burrell’s friends and UCLA colleagues have voiced doubts about the veracity of her reports.
The most detailed accounts emerged this year when the homeowner’s association at the three-story, beige and brown building near UCLA’s campus, sued Burrell and Goodrich when they would not allow workers into their 1,900-square-foot penthouse unit after a plumbing leak.
In a response to the lawsuit filed in May, Goodrich said that she kept outsiders from entering Unit 302 upon the recommendation of Todd Forman , a physician who she said in the court documents has treated the couple for “at least the past 20 years.”
“My husband and I have severely compromised immune systems as a result of chronic health conditions,” Goodrich wrote. “Mr. Burrell has a chronic brain hematoma that could progress if he develops an upper respiratory infection with a cough.”
“Dr. Forman,” she continued, “has informed us that the hematoma, or residual blood in the brain, can be exacerbated by anger, emotional distress, or stress.”
Goodrich also stated in the court documents that Burrell has kidney cancer.
Forman, reached by The Post, said he could not say whether he has treated the couple in person because of doctor-patient confidentiality. Forman said that he is a saxophone player, as well as a doctor, and considered himself a friend of the couple. He met Burrell in the 1990s when he attended UCLA’s medical school and played in the jazz band. He defended Goodrich.
“She loves Kenny and Kenny loves her and she’s nothing but 100 percent supportive,” Forman said. “And where she’s coming from is only from a good place, of a place of trying to protect him, of trying to keep him alive as long as she can.
Forman said he did not tell Goodrich that they could indefinitely not have visitors.
“They obviously have a healthy paranoia for disease,” he said. “But ultimately, it’s their decision. You might not agree with her take on health and wellness and getting out there, but it’s Kenny’s decision on how he might want to live his life.”
Nicholas Caplin, the couple’s attorney, said that he had not been authorized to discuss Burrell and Goodrich’s health.
GoFundMe takes pride in having raised more than $650 million for people with medical issues. While most of those cases appear legitimate, there have been some recipients accused of fraud.
A spokeswoman for GoFundMe said the company has paid attention to the Burrell campaign because of its size. She added that GoFundMe is not aware of any concerns, but “we do have a guarantee that in the event anything goes wrong, donors are always protected.”
The day Goodrich launched the effort under the site’s “medical” category, Guy Eckstine, son of late singer Billy Eckstine, called the campaign “very fishy” on the JazzTimes Facebook page.
“Kenny is a tenured professor at UCLA for almost 50 years and there’s no way he does not have the best health insurance on the planet,” Eckstine wrote.
Tara Browner, a UCLA professor of ethnomusicology who has worked with Burrell, raised the same questions online. She says she remembers seeing the couple at a Whole Foods market about 15 years ago, when Burrell was in his early 70s and Goodrich was in her mid-30s.
“Kenny was pushing her around while she was in a wheelchair,” said Browner. “This is a longtime, ongoing thing.”
In May, UCLA released a statement noting that Burrell remained a full-time faculty member with health benefits. (In 2017, Burrell’s regular pay was $192,408, according to public records.)
After Eckstine and others began to question the GoFundMe, Goodrich spoke with the Jazz Foundation of America, a nonprofit organization based in New York. The foundation then issued a statement that read, in part, that the organization had “reviewed documents attesting to the financial need described in the GoFundMe post.” The foundation also praised the couple for opening “up a world of such goodness and generosity, which they so richly deserve.”
JazzTimes magazine, quoting the Jazz Foundation, then posted that the GoFundMe page was “legitimate.”
“I actually felt kind of bad to even question it, knowing him and knowing what a class act he was in the course of his career,” says Eckstine.
But Robin Tomchin was alarmed by the Jazz Foundation’s statement. Tomchin, Burrell’s former daughter-in-law, managed the guitarist in the 1980s and 1990s along with her then-husband, David Burrell, the guitarist’s son. That relationship ended when she and David divorced, but she says they remained in touch before David’s death in 2006.
Tomchin called Jazz Foundation founder Wendy Oxenhorn.
“Their intentions are good,” says Tomchin. “But they didn’t do their research before they allowed this press release to come out. They didn’t call UCLA, they didn’t call any of his children, they didn’t call staff. They took Katherine’s word, and they just went with it.”
Oxenhorn declined to comment and Joseph Petrucelli, the foundation’s executive director, responded to multiple calls with an emailed statement. He said that the Jazz Foundation spoke only with Goodrich and that “we had reviewed documents provided to us by Katherine attesting to the Burrells’ financial need.”
6CRF3IFCTII6TJ3H26VYJLXT5E.jpgKenny Burrell performs at the Newport Jazz Festival on July 3, 1969, in Newport, R.I. The jazz guitarist has performed with John Coltrane, played on Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World,” and recorded with stars including Aretha Franklin and James Brown. (Tom Copi)
This month, JazzTimes editor Mac Randall said that Burrell called and told him that he wanted to send the statement. Burrell did not go into specifics on the phone, Randall said, and did not mention UCLA or issues with his family. But Goodrich, through a private Facebook message, wrote Randall that the guitarist’s children were unhappy about the GoFundMe, he said.
Randall said that the Burrell statement came from Goodrich’s email address.
“I was in touch with Katherine, and she says that it came from him,” he said. “I don’t really know if there’s any other way that I can verify that it came from him.”
He also said that he went “back and forth” about whether to publish the statement.
“I did it in a way to kind of wait and see who responds,” says Randall. “Clearly, there is a need. The question is what’s the money really going to?”
Burrell, who does not have any children with Goodrich, bought Unit 302 in 1999 for $379,000, according to real estate records. After he and Goodrich were married, Burrell changed the deed on the property, granting her co-ownership. In 2010, the couple refinanced by taking out a $468,000 loan.
On a recent weekday, nobody answered knocks at Unit 302. There was a printed warning taped to the door stating that: “This is a private residence that contains audiovisual recording devices, and entry is acknowledgment that one waives any confidentiality and privacy rights.”
In May, after the campaign launched, Burrell did return The Post’s call but declined an interview request. “I’m doing okay right now,” he said.
In early June, Goodrich said she did not want to discuss the details of the GoFundMe or the lawsuit.
“Enough has been printed about it,” she said. “We’re being helped by some very kind people, and that’s the end of it.”
This month, Burrell and Goodrich vacillated over several interview requests made through Caplin, their attorney. When asked if his clients would consider meeting in person, Caplin, who says he has not met his clients in person, asked if the reporter would wear protective gear. At one point, Caplin said the couple had agreed to take written questions. But they did not respond when a list of subjects was provided.
“We have two very private people, prideful, private people, who have been thrust into a situation that makes them very uncomfortable,” Caplin said. “It’s emotional, it’s heavy, they’re not enjoying themselves regarding any of this. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that intervention of the public and the press has resulted in further emotional degradation and, frankly, fear.”
Even before the couple’s current dispute with the homeowner’s association, some neighbors have complained to management about Goodrich, according to residents. Such complaints ranged from refusing to participate in a building-wide treatment for termites to, they say, muffling of a fire alarm with a rag because it made noise during a test.
“I don’t think there’s a rule she ever followed,” says Azra Hot, a second-floor tenant who has been a vocal critic.
Other neighbors have taken to photographing the stacks of delivery boxes piled outside the couple’s door that tend to disappear at night, they say, replaced by stacks of cardboard.
“What if they catch fire?” says Shiling Sun, a retired interior designer who lives across the hall. “I couldn’t even get out. The exit door is right there.”
Mitchell-Kernan, the former UCLA vice-chancellor, said that when she was last allowed inside to visit Burrell more than a year ago, the boxes were piled from “floor to ceiling.”
“I didn’t think of this at the time, but then when I realized this stuff has been around here for a while, then I began to speculate more about what was going on about her not letting people in,” she said. “I think she didn’t want anybody to see what was in there.”
In the GoFundMe, Goodrich states that if she and Burrell lose the lawsuit, the building has “the right to foreclose on our property.”
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The front door of the Greenfield Avenue home of Kenny Burrell and Katherine Goodrich, Burrell’s wife. (Shiling Sun) 
VJAA6TFDH4I6TJ3H26VYJLXT5E.jpg
A more recent view of the front door. (Azra Hot) 
There is no indication in the legal documents that the homeowner’s association is trying to force them out of the unit they own.
In the filings, the building’s tenants and representatives ask that Goodrich and Burrell let professionals in to inspect and repair any leaks.
In the JazzTimes statement, Burrell says that the couple chose not to discuss the lawsuit but that they have been forced to spend more than $40,000 on legal fees and that they “never anticipated that it would be such a long and expensive process.”
Also in the statement, he said that their unit requires “a lot of work, including remediation and repairs.”
“This will be very expensive,” says the statement. “Relocation is necessary during these repairs, and that is also expensive. I have to stay near the medical center because of my health issues. So, our relocation will be a necessary expense.”
The dispute at the center of the current lawsuit began Nov. 10 in the middle of the night, when Stanley Chua, who lived with his family in Unit 202, discovered water coming through their bathroom ceiling. Jenny Chan, his wife, says she knocked on Burrell and Goodrich’s door and Goodrich, while acknowledging she was there, refused to open it.
Over several months, building management made attempts to enter 302, but Goodrich refused. In court documents, Goodrich stated that she resisted inspectors to protect her husband’s health. In late December, when she finally agreed to let the building’s contractors in, she said they only found a leak by spraying water through cracked grout above a bathtub that she said the couple had not used in 20 years. As evidence, Goodrich offered a photograph of the tub filled with boxes and other materials that she said were medical supplies. In the court documents, Goodrich also complained that when the contractors were in their unit, they removed their face masks while speaking on their cellphones, which “exposed myself and Burrell to germs that our body cannot handle.”
The day after Christmas, Chua and Chan say they were told by inspectors that their home was unsafe because of mold and were ordered to move to a hotel with their two children, 2 and 5. In March, still unable to get access, the Parkview North Homeowners Association filed suit. In May, after the GoFundMe was launched, Chua and Chan filed their own lawsuit, accusing Burrell and Goodrich of negligence that they claim cost them $250,000.
Also in May, after a court order, an inspector entered 302 on the condition that he wear a Tyvek suit, mask, gloves and goggles. He found water leaking from areas around Burrell and Goodrich’s bathtub into Chan and Chua’s unit and recommended repairs, according to the inspection report.
The couple say it is too late. Their difficulties with Goodrich persuaded them to move out permanently.
One incident, from December, haunts Chan. She and a maintenance person hired by the homeowner’s association approached 302. Goodrich opened the door, snapped a photo with her phone, and slammed the door. She later sent an email stating that she and Burrell had contracted viruses from the exchange and that “if anything happens to my husband, all parties will all be liable for injury and/or death.”
“When I received that email, I was driving. I almost vomited,” says Chan, standing in the living room of her now empty former home. “It’s very scary. You never know what’s going to happen.”
The GoFundMe also upset the couple. They are carrying two mortgages until they can sell their Greenfield Avenue home. They fear that the money from the crowdsourcing campaign will go to prolong the case.
“They’re the ones who caused the issue; we are the ones who suffered,” says Chan. “But at the end of the day, we feel like she used this as a source to get money from people who don’t really know the story.”
Alice Crites contributed to this report
 
 

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Jack Renner, Recording Master and a Founder of Telarc, Dies at 84 – The New York Times

Jack Renner, Recording Master and a Founder of Telarc, Dies at 84 – The New York Times

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https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/08/arts/music/jack-renner-recording-master-and-a-founder-of-telarc-dies-at-84.html
 
Jack Renner, Recording Master and a Founder of Telarc, Dies at 84
By Neil Genzlinger
July 8, 2019
Jack Renner in a Manhattan recording studio in 2006. The carefully engineered recordings released by his label, Telarc, were prized by audiophiles.Barbara Renner
Jack Renner in a Manhattan recording studio in 2006. The carefully engineered recordings released by his label, Telarc, were prized by audiophiles.
Jack Renner in a Manhattan recording studio in 2006. The carefully engineered recordings released by his label, Telarc, were prized by audiophiles.Barbara Renner
Jack Renner, who with Robert Woods founded Telarc, a record label whose carefully engineered recordings were prized by audiophiles and won dozens of Grammy Awards — 11 of them for him personally — died on June 19 at his home in Portsmouth, R.I. He was 84.
His daughter, Elizabeth Click, said the cause was cancer.
In the early 1960s Mr. Renner was a high school music teacher in Cleveland looking for a way out of teaching when he began to turn a hobby, recording things, into a business.
“There were a number of pressing plants around the country advertising in music magazines: ‘Send us your tape and we’ll make it a record,’ ” he told Stereophile magazine in 1998. “I found one that was doing franchising — they set you up with professional gear and taught you the basics. My business was dealing mostly with high schools, churches, colleges, community choruses, bands, for — I hate the term — ‘souvenir records.’ ”
He soon met and teamed up with Mr. Woods, a vocal soloist who sang at Cleveland churches. Mr. Woods’s contacts with musicians in the Cleveland Orchestra expanded the business, with various players in the orchestra making vanity records.
“It gave us an opportunity to record some very fine musicians,” Mr. Renner recalled in that interview.
The two formed Telarc in Cleveland in 1977, starting off with a certain audacity: Recording Lorin Maazel and the Cleveland Orchestra, they employed the rarely used direct-to-disc method, which captured the sound directly onto a disc rather than tape and was thought to offer superior audio quality.
The album was called “Direct From Cleveland.”
“It met with mixed success,” Mr. Renner said in a 2011 interview with the Audio Engineering Society. “There were too many fingers in the pie.” But, he added, “it put us on the map.”
Telarc soon began working in the emerging field of digital recording. In 1978 the company made what Mr. Renner said was the first commercially released digital recording of symphonic music in the United States, featuring Frederick Fennell and the Cleveland Symphonic Winds.
“It created a lot of stir among audiophiles,” he said. “It had a bass drum that blew up speakers. Everybody accused us of hyping the bass drum. We didn’t.”
Mr. Renner was Telarc’s chief engineer, tackling the difficult task of how to record ensembles in a way that would capture the truest sound. Others were soon trying to copy his microphone placement practices.
“When I first started making orchestral recordings with three and four microphones, I had a lot of imitators,” Mr. Renner told Stereophile. “But people just didn’t quite get it right. Because it’s not just putting up three or four mikes. It’s which mikes you choose, it’s the cable, it’s the electronics — it’s the whole signal path.”
He won the first of his Grammys in 1985, for best engineered classical recording, for an Atlanta Symphony Orchestra recording of Berlioz. But, with his projects scrutinized by audiophiles with exacting standards and varying tastes, he was always conscious that perfection was in the ear of the listener.
“Direct From Cleveland” (1977), Telarc’s first release, employed the rarely used direct-to-disc method, which captured the sound directly onto a disc rather than tape and was thought to offer superior audio quality.
“Direct From Cleveland” (1977), Telarc’s first release, employed the rarely used direct-to-disc method, which captured the sound directly onto a disc rather than tape and was thought to offer superior audio quality.
“Direct From Cleveland” (1977), Telarc’s first release, employed the rarely used direct-to-disc method, which captured the sound directly onto a disc rather than tape and was thought to offer superior audio quality.
“I used to say that my recordings are made from the perspective of the best seat in the house,” he told Stereophile. “And immediately, of course, somebody says, ‘Well, who are you to say what’s the best seat in the house?’ ”
Jack Lee Renner was born on April 13, 1935, in Barnesville, in eastern Ohio. His father, Wade, was a dispatcher for the Ohio Highway Patrol and had played trumpet in the Marine Band. His mother, Elizabeth Decker Renner, was a homemaker.
Jack grew up in Freeport, Ohio, and began playing the trumpet himself at 10. An uncle introduced him to the wire recorder, starting him on a hobby that would become a profession.
Mr. Renner attended Ohio State University, receiving a bachelor of science degree in music education in 1960. He began teaching high school and strung together various jobs in his off hours.
“I was doing everything possible to make ends meet,” he said. “I directed a church choir and a semiprofessional men’s chorus. I played in jazz groups and taught private lessons.”
After he and Mr. Woods started Telarc, they regularly recorded the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the Cincinnati Pops, the Cleveland Orchestra and other classical ensembles. In addition to being an early adopter of digital recording technology, Mr. Renner and Telarc were quick to get into the compact disc game; Telarc issued its first CDs in 1983.
If that turn to CDs produced any trepidation among Telarc fans, many of whom still viewed LPs as the purest form of recorded music, it did not last. Richard Dyer, reviewing a new Cleveland Quartet album in The Boston Globe in 1987, called it “an absolutely wonderful compact disc.”
“The sound of the string quartet is not the easiest thing to capture in the digital/compact disc format — most string-quartet CDs this listener has heard make him reach for the Anacin — but Telarc has managed to make it sound musical,” Mr. Dyer wrote.
Mr. Woods and Mr. Renner eventually branched out from their classical roots, most notably into jazz: They recorded Dizzy Gillespie, Oscar Peterson, John Pizzarelli, Dave Brubeck and others. In 2005, Telarc was acquired by the Concord Music Group, and Mr. Renner retired.
Mr. Renner married Barbara Bates in 1961; she died in 1970. His second marriage, to Carol G. Reed in 1971, ended in divorce in 1994. In addition to Ms. Click, his second wife’s daughter from a previous marriage, whom he adopted, he is survived by his wife, Barbara Pease Renner; two sons, Scott and John; and six grandchildren.
“I like to think of myself as being a re-creator,” Mr. Renner told Stereophile, “trying to re-create an event that occurred in time and space.”
Although many have made glum predictions about the future market for classical recordings, Mr. Renner remained optimistic.
“I believe that as long as consumers are attending concerts and hearing live music they want to hear again,” he told the audio site SoundStage! Ultra, “there will be an ongoing classical recording industry.”
A version of this article appears in print on July 9, 2019, on Page A24 of the New York edition with the headline: Jack Renner, Audio Master Behind Prized Records, 84. Order Reprints | Today’s Paper | Subscribe
 
 

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Sid Ramin, ‘West Side Story’ Orchestrator and a Composer, Dies at 100 – The New York Times

Sid Ramin, ‘West Side Story’ Orchestrator and a Composer, Dies at 100 – The New York Times

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https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/05/arts/music/sid-ramin-dead.html
 
Sid Ramin, ‘West Side Story’ Orchestrator and a Composer, Dies at 100
By Anita Gates
July 5, 2019
Sid Ramin, shown here in 2003, composed music, orchestrated it for the theater and film, churned out jingles and won Emmy, Grammy and Oscar awards.Frances Roberts
Sid Ramin, shown here in 2003, composed music, orchestrated it for the theater and film, churned out jingles and won Emmy, Grammy and Oscar awards.
Sid Ramin, shown here in 2003, composed music, orchestrated it for the theater and film, churned out jingles and won Emmy, Grammy and Oscar awards.Frances Roberts
Sid Ramin, an orchestrator, arranger and composer who won both an Oscar and a Grammy for his work on the film “West Side Story” and whose career outlets ranged from revered Broadway musicals to perfume commercials, died on Monday at his home in Manhattan. He was 100.
The death was confirmed by his son, Ron.
Mr. Ramin (pronounced RAY-min) was one of two orchestrators — three, if you count the contributions of the composer, Leonard Bernstein, a lifelong friend — on the original Broadway production of “West Side Story,” which opened in 1957. According to “The Sound of Broadway Music” (2009), by Steven Suskin, Mr. Ramin worked on the haunting ballad “Somewhere,” the evocative “Something’s Coming,” the sweetly comic “I Feel Pretty,” the bravado-of-youth anthem “Here Come the Jets” and the irreverent “Gee, Officer Krupke.”
Sid Ramin could easily have put the letters EGOT after his name, as one of the small group of artists who have won Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony awards. But the Tonys did not formally honor orchestration until 1997, four years after his last Broadway show (“The Red Shoes”). His 1983 Emmy was not usually the first award he talked about; it was for his work on the daytime drama “All My Children.”
Mr. Ramin in an undated photo.The British actor John Gielgud once said that his overture to “Gypsy” was the only recording he would need with him if he were stranded on a desert island.via Ramin family
Mr. Ramin in an undated photo.The British actor John Gielgud once said that his overture to “Gypsy” was the only recording he would need with him if he were stranded on a desert island.
Mr. Ramin in an undated photo.The British actor John Gielgud once said that his overture to “Gypsy” was the only recording he would need with him if he were stranded on a desert island.via Ramin family
If EGOC had existed instead, Mr. Ramin would have easily qualified: He won 12 Clio Awards, the advertising industry’s highest honor.
Music to Watch Girls By,” a peppy, Latin-accented instrumental he wrote for a Diet Pepsi commercial in the mid-1960s, became something of a phenomenon. It was recorded by a diverse group of musicians, including Al Hirt, Chet Atkins, the Bob Crewe Generation and (with lyrics added) Andy Williams. Both the Crewe and Williams versions were Top 40 hits.
The consumer products for which he wrote or arranged lively jingle music included a Revlon fragrance (“Kind of free/Kind of wow/Charlie!”), a laundry liquid (“You’ll look better/In the clothes you trust/To Woolite”) and a toothpaste (“How’s your love life?/How’s your love life?/Use Ultra Brite” — sung to the tune of “The Hallelujah Chorus”).
But Broadway was his major platform. Shows whose orchestrations he worked on, in addition to “West Side Story,” included “Gypsy” (1959), “I Can Get It for You Wholesale” (1962), “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum” (1962), Bette Midler’s “Clams on the Half Shell Revue” (1975), “Jerome Robbins’ Broadway” (1989) and “Crazy for You” (1992).
From left, Mr. Ramin, Jule Styne, Stephen Sondheim and Ethel Merman at a rehearsal for the original Broadway production of “Gypsy” (1959) for which Mr. Styne wrote the music, Mr. Sondheim wrote the lyrics and Mr. Ramin did the orchestration, and in which Ms. Merman starred. The pianist is unidentified.via Ramin family
From left, Mr. Ramin, Jule Styne, Stephen Sondheim and Ethel Merman at a rehearsal for the original Broadway production of “Gypsy” (1959) for which Mr. Styne wrote the music, Mr. Sondheim wrote the lyrics and Mr. Ramin did the orchestration, and in which Ms. Merman starred. The pianist is unidentified.via Ramin family
His overture for “Gypsy” was particularly lauded. The British actor John Gielgud once said it was the only recording he would need with him if he were stranded on a desert island. Mr. Ramin made the decision not to include song excerpts in chronological order, as most Broadway overtures do, but to begin with the opening notes (“I had a dream”) from “Everything’s Coming Up Roses,” originally sung by Ethel Merman in the role of Gypsy Rose Lee’s mother.
Mr. Ramin’s work seemed omnipresent in 1960s popular culture. He wrote the music for the “Patty Duke Show” theme (“They’re cousins/Identical cousins …” and he was also the show’s conductor and music supervisor) and for another popular series, “Candid Camera.”
Although he was the arranger and conductor for “Stiletto,” a 1969 crime drama, and for a 1973 television movie remake of “Miracle on 34th Street,” the movie business was never a major part of Mr. Ramin’s career.
In a 2011 interview sponsored by the New York Philharmonic, he recalled going to the West Coast to work on the film of “West Side Story” (1961) and deciding that he and his collaborator, Irwin Kostal, should do as the Romans do.
Mr. Ramin, fourth from left, with, from left, Tony Martin, John Green, Cyd Charisse and Irwin Kostal at the 1962 Academy Awards. Mr. Ramin, Mr. Green and Mr. Kostal shared an award for their work on the score of “West Side Story.” Mr. Martin and Ms. Charisse were presenters.via Ramin family
Mr. Ramin, fourth from left, with, from left, Tony Martin, John Green, Cyd Charisse and Irwin Kostal at the 1962 Academy Awards. Mr. Ramin, Mr. Green and Mr. Kostal shared an award for their work on the score of “West Side Story.” Mr. Martin and Ms. Charisse were presenters.via Ramin family
“Let’s set up a bridge table at the pool and work poolside,” Mr. Ramin said he suggested. When the two men, who had also worked together on the Broadway production, decided to take a break and a swim, all their pages flew into the pool beside them — and they had been working in ink. The moral: “We decided we should not go Hollywood.”
Sidney Nathan Ramin was born in Boston on Jan. 22, 1919, the older of two sons of Ezra Ramin, a Russian-born visual merchandiser (the job was called window dresser at the time) for the department store Jordan Marsh, and Beatrice (Salamoff) Ramin. He grew up in the Roxbury neighborhood and at age 12 made a best friend for life: a neighbor named Leonard Bernstein, who was 13.
“We created little songs together,” Mr. Ramin recalled decades later in a Film Music Foundation video interview, and they exchanged constructive criticism. Bernstein assumed the role of teacher early on.
When Bernstein enrolled at Harvard, Mr. Ramin arranged for them to continue studying together. “I’ll pay you a dollar a lesson and a candy bar,” he told Bernstein. Reports differ as to whether the bars in question were Three Musketeers or Milky Way.

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Notable Deaths 2019: Music
A memorial to those who lost their lives in 2019
 
Mr. Ramin always contended that aside from his early colloquy with Bernstein, he had no training in orchestration — and that he never learned to play a musical instrument. Before joining the Army, though, he did attend the New England Conservatory of Music, as well as Boston University.
He spent five years in the Army, much of it in France, where he created original productions for the Army band. In 1946 he moved to New York City, where he attended Columbia University with the help of the G.I. Bill.
By the 1950s he was the musical arranger for “The Milton Berle Show” (originally “Texaco Star Theater”), NBC’s hit hourlong variety-comedy series. He was also making albums for RCA Victor as the leader of Sid Ramin and His Orchestra. Then Bernstein called about the “West Side Story” job.
Mr. Ramin married Gloria Breit in 1949. She and his son survive him, as do two grandsons. His brother died in 2012.
Leonard Bernstein died in 1990, but Mr. Ramin continued to be interviewedabout their work together. “He loved to talk, and I loved to listen to him. I guess it’s about as close to idolizing someone as you can get,” Mr. Ramin told The New York Times in 2003. “My analyst used to say it was a little much.”
Correction: July 8, 2019
Because of an editing error, an earlier version of a picture caption with this obituary identified two of the people in the photograph of a rehearsal for the Broadway show “Gypsy” in reverse order. Mr. Ramin is at the far left and the composer Jule Styne is second from the left, not vice versa.
A version of this article appears in print on July 6, 2019, on Page B14 of the New York edition with the headline: Sid Ramin, 100, Who Put Music to Broadway Hits, Woolite and Ultra Brite, Too. Order Reprints | Today’s Paper | Subscribe
 
 

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[jazz-research] Julian Euell, R.I.P.

[jazz-research] Julian Euell, R.I.P.

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On 7/7/19, 3:22 PM, “jazz-research@groups.io on behalf of sondra.hassan via Groups.Io” <jazz-research@groups.io on behalf of rustysandy=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:
 
    Julian Euell passed away on June 3rd. He was 90. As a bassist in the 1950s he performed and recorded with John Coltrane, Mal Waldron, Max Roach, Abbey Lincoln, Sarah Vaughan, Billie Holiday, Jackie McLean, Randy Weston, Gigi Gryce, and many others. In the 1960s he directed the arts program for HARYOU-ACT where he hired such artists as Romare Bearden and touched the lives of such young men as Larry Willis and Kareem Abdul Jabar. In the 1970s he was Assistant Secretary for Public Service at the Smithsonian where he oversaw all the jazz programs including the Smithsonian Collection of Classic Jazz that Martin Williams produced. In the late 1980s he directed the Oakland Museum in California and then returned east in the early 1990s to direct the Louis Armstrong House. In his later years he would return to the bass to sit in at Washington, DC area clubs. Along the way he studied at Juilliard, earned a bachelor’s from NYU and a PhD from George Washington and help raise five children. 
    
    I’m surprised there has been no published obituary in the Washington Post or in the jazz press. It was a remarkable life.
    
    Rusty Hassan
 

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João Gilberto, a Leading Light of Bossa Nova, Is Dead at 88 – The New York Times

João Gilberto, a Leading Light of Bossa Nova, Is Dead at 88 – The New York Times

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https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/06/obituaries/joao-gilberto-dead-bossa-nova.html?action=click
 
João Gilberto, a Leading Light of Bossa Nova, Is Dead at 88
By Ben Ratliff
July 6, 2019
João Gilberto in Rio de Janeiro in 2008.Ari Versiani/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
João Gilberto in Rio de Janeiro in 2008.
João Gilberto in Rio de Janeiro in 2008.Ari Versiani/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
João Gilberto, one of the primary creators of bossa nova, the intimate Brazilian music that became a major cultural export, has died. He was 88.
His son, João Marcelo Gilberto, confirmed the death on Facebook, although he did not say where or when Mr. Gilberto died.
Starting with his 1958 single “Chega de Saudade,” Mr. Gilberto in his late 20s became the quintessential transmitter of the harmonically and rhythmically complex, lyrically nuanced songs of bossa nova (slang for “new thing” or “new style”), written by Antônio Carlos Jobim, João Donato, Vinicius de Moraes and others.
In the music he recorded from 1958 to 1961 — contained on the albums “Chega de Saudade,” “O Amor, O Sorriso e a Flor” and “Joao Gilberto” — Mr. Gilberto took strains of Brazilian samba and American pop and jazz and reconfigured them for a new class of young Brazilian city-dwellers, helping to turn bossa nova into a global symbol of a young and confident Brazil.
His new synthesis replaced samba percussion with guitar-picking figures in offbeat patterns (called by some “violão gago,” or “stammering guitar”) and conveyed interiority through a singing style that was confiding, subtly percussive and without vibrato.
“When I sing, I think of a clear, open space, and I’m going to play sound in it,” Mr. Gilberto said in an interview with the New York Times jazz critic John S. Wilson in 1968. “It is as if I’m writing on a blank piece of paper. It has to be very quiet for me to produce the sounds I’m thinking of.”
Mr. Gilberto was not much of a songwriter: He was both “less and more than a composer,” as the Brazilian singer and songwriter Caetano Veloso, one of his admirers, once put it. He was reclusive, rarely forthcoming with the news media and his audiences, and sometimes truculent onstage if his demands about sound were not met. But his work became a sign of the relative prosperity, optimism and romance of Brazil during the period of Juscelino Kubitschek’s presidency in the late 1950s, and an ideal of musical restraint and mystery thereafter.
João Gilberto do Prado Pereira de Oliveira was born on June 10, 1931, in Juazeiro, in the northeastern Brazilian state Bahia, the son of a local businessman and amateur musician, Juveniano de Oliveira, and the youngest of seven children born to Dona Patu, Mr. Oliveira’s second wife.
He was sent to boarding school in Aracaju, east of Juazeiro on the Atlantic coast, when he was 11, but left at 15 to play music, serenading locals under a tamarind tree in Juazeiro’s town square.
In his early years Mr. Gilberto had a strong, romantic voice, in the popular samba-canção crooning style. He left his hometown for Salvador, Bahia’s capital, in 1949, and a year later he was called to Rio de Janeiro by Alvinho Senna, guitarist for Os Garotos da Lua (the Boys of the Moon), a young vocal quintet with a regular performing slot on Rio’s Radio Tupi.
Mr. Gilberto during a studio session in an undated photo.Dario Zalis/Contexto, via Getty Images
Mr. Gilberto during a studio session in an undated photo.
Mr. Gilberto during a studio session in an undated photo.Dario Zalis/Contexto, via Getty Images
He was with Os Garotos briefly before leaving in 1951. The next year, recording under his own name with a string section, no harmony vocalist and no guitar, he made one 78 r.p.m. single of rather mannered and old-fashioned samba-cançãos: “Quando Ela Sai” on one side, “Meia Luz” on the other. It would be six years before he recorded again.
In the intervening period, he worked sporadically around Rio — accompanying the singer Mariza, recording commercial jingles, taking jobs in a few long-running nightclub revues. According to Ruy Castro’s “Chega de Saudade” (1990), a colorful history of the bossa nova movement, he also became a strange and marginal figure around town.
When he started refusing to work at clubs where he felt the customers talked too much, he entered a period of poverty, growing his hair long and wearing wrinkled clothes. A friend, the singer Luís Telles, brought him to the coast town of Porto Alegre for a while and put him up at a respectable hotel; through his performances at a local nightclub, the Clube da Chave, he gained a following.
After about seven months Mr. Gilberto moved to Diamantina, a city in the mountainous state of Minas Gerais, where his older sister Dadainha lived. This was where he found his sweet spot of artistic isolation, cloistering himself in his sister’s house — specifically, in her bathroom.
It was there, Mr. Castro wrote, that Mr. Gilberto’s sound took shape. The acoustics were reverberant enough for him to practice a whispery, nasal style of singing, audible over the guitar. As much as he liked self-assured performers, his own sound seemed to shrink from the light; it was an inversion of the popular bolero-like style that had dominated Brazilian popular music since the 1930s.
In a 1971 interview with the journalist Tárik de Souza, Mr. Gilberto cited Dorival Caymmi’s 1955 song “Rosa Morena” as one inspiration during this formative period: “I felt that the way other singers prolonged the sounds ended up hurting the natural balance of the music. By shortening the sounds of the phrases, the lyrics fit perfectly within the beats and ended up floating.”
After a short and unhappy detour to Bahia — he spent a week being examined at a mental asylum in the capital city, Salvador — Mr. Gilberto returned to Rio in 1957, and his fortunes changed. He was introduced to Antônio Carlos Jobim, who was working as a staff arranger for Odeon Records; Jobim heard Mr. Gilberto’s guitar rhythm and had ideas for how it could be applied to his unfinished song “Chega de Saudade.”
That song — which displayed a casual disdain for the favorite Brazilian emotion of “saudade,” or longing — was first recorded in May 1958 by Elizete Cardoso, with Mr. Gilberto on guitar. This was the first great example of bossa nova guitar style: syncopated, swinging, rendered in changeable patterns.
“He imitated a whole samba ensemble,” the guitarist Oscar Castro-Neves would later tell Chris McGowan and Ricardo Pessanha, the authors of the 1998 book “The Brazilian Sound,” “with his thumb doing the bass drum, and his fingers doing the tamborims and ganzás and agogôs” — the tambourine, metal shaker and bell of a percussion group. The song was recorded again that same year by the vocal group Os Cariocas, again with Mr. Gilberto on guitar.
Finally, in July 1958, Mr. Gilberto recorded his own version, in a long, contentious session with arrangements by Jobim at which he insisted on separate microphones for his guitar and his vocals, unusual at the time. The single, with an entirely different affect from his romantic style of six years earlier, has often been cited as a turning point in Brazilian culture.
The singer Gal Costa, 12 years old when that record came out, later said that “it changed my life, and not only my life but the lives of everyone in my generation.” In his book “Tropical Truth” (2003), Mr. Veloso called it “the manifesto and the masterpiece of a movement: the mother ship.”
Mr. Gilberto, right, with a fan backstage at Carnegie Hall in New York in 1978.Associated Press
Mr. Gilberto, right, with a fan backstage at Carnegie Hall in New York in 1978.Associated Press
Bossa nova was featured in the soundtrack of the 1959 French-Brazilian film “Orfeu Negro” (“Black Orpheus”), which won the Academy Award for best foreign-language film, and soon American musicians were investigating and emulating its sound. The album “Jazz Samba,” by the saxophonist Stan Getz and the guitarist Charlie Byrd, was strongly influenced by Mr. Gilberto’s recordings; released in the spring of 1962, it eventually reached No. 1 on the Billboard album chart, and Mr. Gilberto traveled to New York for the first time in November 1962 for an appearance at Carnegie Hall as part of a bossa nova package concert.
At the same time, in pop songs like Eydie Gormé’s “Blame It on the Bossa Nova,” bossa nova meant something different: exotic and slightly upmarket, with a newly American-made social dance to go along with it. By the end of 1963, the ethnomusicologist Kariann Goldschmitt has written, the phrase had been used to advertise “cashmere sweaters, throw rugs, ice cream and new haircuts.”
With Astrud (Weinert) Gilberto, whom he had married in 1959, Mr. Gilberto took up residence in the United States in 1963. That year he collaborated with Getz on the album “Getz/Gilberto,” which included the Jobim-de Moraes song “Garota da Ipanema,” sung by both Astrud (in English) and João (in Portuguese); released as “The Girl From Ipanema,” the song became an enormous hit and won the 1964 Grammy Award for record of the year. (“Getz/Gilberto” was named album of the year.)
After divorcing Astrud and marrying another singer, Heloísa Buarque de Holanda, known in her own career as Miúcha, in 1965, Mr. Gilberto moved to Weehawken, N.J., and then to Brooklyn. In 1970 the couple relocated to Mexico, where during a two-year stay he recorded the album “João Gilberto en Mexico.” He then returned to the United States, where he stayed until returning to Brazil in 1980. (Mr. Gilberto and Miúcha separated in the mid-1970s.)
In the years away from Brazil, Mr. Gilberto widened his repertoire both forward and backward to accommodate a few of the great Brazilian songwriters who succeeded him as well as sambas and even boleros from before the bossa nova period. His best work included the minimal, transfixing “João Gilberto” (often referred to as the “white album”) in 1973 and the strings-drenched “Amoroso” in 1977; by the 1980s many of his recordings were of solo live performances. For a major figure, he produced relatively little: fewer than 10 studio albums under his own name in about 60 years of professional work.
He was championed by the generation of Brazilian songwriters that followed him, including Mr. Veloso, Moraes Moreira and Gilberto Gil. His final studio album was “João Voz e Violão” (2000), produced by Mr. Veloso. A few seconds more than half an hour long, it was a mixture of his own old repertoire and songs by Mr. Veloso and Mr. Gil, ending with another version of “Chega de Saudade.”
Mr. Gilberto lived an extremely private life in Rio de Janeiro, which fascinated the Brazilian news media. In 2004 he had a daughter, Luisa Carolina, with his manager, Cláudia Faissol.
According to The Associated Press, his survivors include Luisa; his son, from his marriage to Astrud Gilberto; and another daughter, Bebel Gilberto, a popular singer, from his marriage to Miúcha.
In 1997 Mr. Gilberto sued EMI, the licenser of his first three albums, because he felt his early music had been poorly remastered on a 1992 CD reissue; he maintained that the unauthorized remastering of the original tapes violated his rights. The albums in question were taken off the market, and in a 2015 ruling, Brazil’s Superior Court of Justice ruled in favor of Mr. Gilberto.
Through his music, Mr. Gilberto radiated a simplicity that could seem like inscrutability; he liked sentimental songs but did not give audiences emotional cues. He told Mr. Wilson of The Times that he believed singers’ personal feelings should not work their way into their songs.
“Maybe I would like to go back to when I was a boy,” he said. “After that I learned too many things, and they came out in my music. So now I refine and refine until I can get back to the simple truth.”
 
 

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Lot 219 – every number one hit in its original format

Lot 219 – every number one hit in its original format

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https://www.sworder.co.uk/auction/lot/219-A-unique-collection-representative-of-the-golden-age-of-the-single-record/?lot=341734#
 
A unique collection representative of the golden age of the single record
Lot 219-A unique collection representative of the golden age of the single record
Lot 219 (, 9th July 2019)
A unique collection representative of the golden age of the single record, from November 1952 to December 1992,
every number one hit in its original format, some rare 45s and 78s, some very collectable 12-inch singles and picture discs, 684 number one hits in total, make this the ultimate jukebox collection

Until November 1952, the popular music charts, as it was, had reflected the sale of both sheet music and shellac 78 rpm records. In November 1952, the music paper ‘The New Musical Express’ published the very first singles’ chart made up of purely record sales. That chart was the first breath of what was to become Pop Culture. A revolution led by liberated teenagers, stepping out from the austerity of post-war Britain.

For the vendor, this collection has been a lifetime’s work:

‘My collection was fuelled by my grandmother taking me, in 1963 as a three-year-old, into Woolworths in Maldon High Street to buy my very first single – ‘She Loves You’ by The Beatles.

As a young child I played my parents’ discs on our little record player, some 78s and some 45s. If not listening to those over and over again, I would be listening to Radio Caroline or Radio Luxembourg on our transistor radio.

The first ever number one was from my parents’ collection – ‘Here in My Heart’ by Al Martino. This was standard crooning fare and much of the early charts was similar, not yet teenage driven, but reflective of the older generation. Artists such as Perry Como, Guy Mitchell and Frankie Laine were among those first hits, these on shellac 78s, as were most of the first 50 number ones. The first number one to be available on 45 was released on the Decca label in July 1954 – ‘Cara Mia’ by David Whitfield.

Naturally, those early days were full of firsts:

the first female artist (No. 2) Jo Stafford – ‘You Belong To Me’;
the first British act and first group, The Stargazers – ‘Broken Wings’ (No. 7);
the first instrumental with ‘Moulin Rouge’ by Mantovani (No. 11), and
the first black artist, Winifred Atwell – ‘Let’s have another party’ (No. 26).

Things changed almost overnight and the crooners’ days were finally numbered when, on 25 November 1955, Bill Haley and his Comets made number 1 with ‘Rock around the Clock’ (No. 39).

July 1957 saw a young man called Elvis hit the top spot with his number one, ‘All Shook Up’ (No. 62), being his first of seventeen chart-toppers.

‘That Will Be The Day’ by The Crickets is in the collection (No. 64), which also contains the 1959 hit, ‘The Day the Rains Came’, with an extremely rare sleeve signed by the artist, Jane Morgan (No. 79).

Included is Cliff Richard’s ‘Living Doll’ (No. 88) and ‘From Me to You’ (No. 151), the first of eleven consecutive releases from The Beatles to reach the top spot. The only band able to throw down a challenge to the all-conquering mop tops, the Rolling Stones, have ‘It’s All Over Now’ (No. 173), with Tamla Motown arriving in 1966 with ‘Reach Out’ from The Four Tops hitting the pinnacle (No. 225).

The first hit of the 1970s was Edison Lighthouse with ‘Love Grows’ (No. 281). The first ever picture sleeve was Voodoo Child by Jimi Hendrix (No. 293), followed shortly after by the arrival of glam rock in the guise of T. Rex with ‘Hot Love’ (No. 298).

Abba’s first chart-topper came with ‘Waterloo’ (No. 348), one of many Eurovision Winners to get the number one spot. The first disco hit was George McCrae’s ‘Rock your Baby’ (No. 353), while Michael Jackson’s first appearance was alongside The Jacksons singing ‘Show You the Way to Go’ (No. 407). 

The first 12-inch single was Boney M’s ‘Rivers of Babylon’ (No. 423). The first ever picture disc number one was for ‘Are Friends Electric?’ by Tubeway Army (No. 439) with the first coloured vinyl being ‘Message in a Bottle’ by The Police (No. 443).

Madonna, the most successful ever female artist, had her first number one with ‘Into the Groove’ (No. 554). The Bee Gees had their fifth number one ‘So You Win Again’ (No. 599) exactly twenty years after their first, ‘Massachusetts’ (No. 238). The same feat was replicated when the England Football Team hit the top spot with ‘World in Motion’ (No. 646), the previous having been ‘Back Home’ (No. 286) in 1970.

The last song in this collection is ‘I Will Always Love You’ by Whitney Houston (No. 684). It sat at the top for ten weeks and fittingly brings this rare compilation to a close.’

A chart of sorts still continues to this day, but after 1992 the charts included cassette tapes, then CDs, and now of course downloads. This collection, therefore, represents the ‘golden years’, a time when a large part of the population regularly listened to the weekly countdown, eagerly anticipating a new number one. What magical memories are reflected in this special lot.
Estimate
£20,000 – £30,000

Buyer’s premium: 27.60% (inclusive of VAT, where applicable) 
Place Bid
Viewing
5 July 2019 9am – 5pm
7 July 2019 10am – 1pm
8 July 2019 9am – 5pm
9 July 2019 from 9am
Removal of Lots
Please note that all lots should be removed by 5pm on Friday 12 July 2019.  Furniture lots remaining after this date will be removed to Perry Removals, Chapel End, Broxted, Essex CM6 2BW.  Removal will be at a cost of £20 per lot and storage will be charged at £2 per lot, per day.
Condition report
The dimensions for the collection are as follows:

Box 1: 63 x 21 x 46cm

Box 2: 34 x 19 x 33cm

Box 3 and 4: 35 x 29 x 34cm

All heavy and full.
Request a condition report
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Jim Eigo Jazz Promo Services T: 845-986-1677 E-Mail: jim@jazzpromoservices.com
https://www.jazzpromoservices.com

HAVE A JAZZ EVENT, NEW CD OR IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT FOR THE JAZZ COMMUNITY YOU WANT TO PROMOTE? CONTACT JAZZ PROMO SERVICES FOR PRICE QUOTE.

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Decca Records: A History Of “The Supreme Record Company”

Decca Records: A History Of “The Supreme Record Company”

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https://www.udiscovermusic.com/in-depth-features/decca-records-label-history/?utm_source=Weeklyemail
 
Decca Records: A History Of “The Supreme Record Company”
From doorknobs to ‘Nessun Dorma’, Decca Records’ story is one of innovation, revolutionising the way sound has been recorded, sold and enjoyed.
By
 Paul McGuinness  
July 4, 2019
By 1928, the directors of Barnett Samuel And Sons had decided that their run as a family business, stretching back to 1832, was over. Since having been established by Henry and Josiah Solomon in Sheffield, in 1832, the company had expanded from its original business of manufacturing tortoiseshell doorknobs, knife handles and combs to making and selling musical instruments. In 1861, Henry’s Polish-born brother-in-law, Barnett Samuel, bought the musical-instrument side of the business, which he quickly expanded, with the help of his son, Nelson, and nephew, Max. Barnett Samuel And Sons Ltd was incorporated in 1900, by which time the firm was well established as one of Britain’s leading musical instrument wholesalers. From here, the seeds of Decca Records were sown.
Listen to the Decca 90: The Supreme Record Label: 1929-2019 playlist on Spotify.
“Manufacturing gramophones but not records was like making razors but not blades”
Around the time that World War I broke out, Barnett Samuel issued its latest innovation – the Decca Dulcephone, a revolutionary portable gramophone player. Before long, Barnett Samuel was the biggest record wholesaler and dealer in London.
Thinking that sales of gramophone records had peaked, the surviving Samuel cousins who now ran the company decided the time was ripe to cash in. They floated the company on the London Stock Exchange and quit the board. The stockbroker who oversaw the flotation was an ambitious 28-year-old named Edward Lewis. The newly public company was incorporated as the Decca Gramophone Company, and made an early splash; Decca’s initial share issue was oversubscribed 20 times over. As yet, though, Lewis remained unmoved – after all, he’d always sworn never to become mixed up in commerce.
“I took little notice at the time,” Lewis famously noted later. “And remember remarking that a company manufacturing gramophones but not records was rather like one making razors but not the consumable blades.”
In August that year, however, Lewis got wind that the Duophone Company, who manufactured the “unbreakable record”, was in dire straits. He suggested that Decca buy out Duophone, who had recently taken over British Brunswick Ltd (Brunswick issued their US counterpart’s records – including those by Al Jolson). But when Decca decided against the plan, Lewis decided to take matters into his own hands, forming Malden Holding Company Ltd to take over the Duophone factory in Kingston, near London. Lewis decided to also take over the Decca Gramophone Company, and, to this end, Malden, with JA Balfour as managing director, incorporated a new company – the Decca Record Company Ltd.
Decca The Wireless And Gramophone Trader detail 740
Decca cut into the market, as reported in ‘The Wireless And Gramophone Trader’, 20 August 1932. Photo courtesy of Decca Records
The acquisition, they worked out, would cost something in the region of £660,000. With working capital needed to the tune of around a further quarter of a million pounds, Lewis and Balfour knew they needed to raise a cool £900,000. But, as Lewis recalled, “For safety’s sake and also because it seemed easier to raise a million than nine hundred thousand, we decided to make the [share] issue the larger figure.”
The new company soon acquired an illustrious board, chaired by Sir George Fowler, chief magistrate for Kingston Upon Thames. Sir Sigismund Mendl and Sir Stanley Machin joined as directors (in Mendl’s case, the decision was between Decca and Smith’s Crisps, but he was put off the latter by his wife, who thought there was no market for ready-fried potato chips: “Don’t be so silly, your servants do that sort of thing”).
Launching Decca Records
The Decca Record Company began trading on 28 February 1929. In those early days, the business of making high-fidelity recordings was in its infancy. At Decca’s studios at the Chenil Galleries on London’s King’s Road, performances were captured by a single microphone, concealed from the musicians by a screen showing rural scenes. But just as the fledgling record company was beginning to get off the ground, the Wall Street stock market crash of 1929 hit hard. “Every attempt was made to conserve resources,” said Lewis, “but as the turnover was totally inadequate the end seemed inevitable unless drastic changes took place.”
Lewis joined the board and put forward the proposal to reduce the price of Decca’s records in order to gain market share from competitors HMV and Columbia. When these two merged to form EMI in 1931, Decca took advantage by undercutting their prices.
With a policy of acquiring talent with a mass appeal, Lewis led Decca through stormy waters in the 30s, boasting on adverts that the label had “Leading artists – lower prices”. Though a deal with German company Polyphonwerk gave Decca access to a sizeable classical catalogue, its focus remained on the popular market – the coveted bandleader Jack Hylton was a big signing.
American Decca
Lewis leapt upon instability within the record business to secure the UK rights to the American Brunswick label – a deal that brought to Decca such big-name US acts as Al Jolson, Cab Calloway, The Mills Brothers, The Boswell Sisters and Bing Crosby. To its US catalogue, Decca added an impressively diverse homegrown roster including George Formby, The Band Of The Grenadier Guards and Charles Hall – “the musical saw minstrel”.
Ever conscious of the need to expand, Lewis set about establishing a business footing in the US. When partnership deals proved difficult to secure, he simply elected to set up an American Decca company by himself. The new company quickly established itself on similar principles to the UK version. But at the same time as the economic instability brought on by the Wall Street crash began to fade, a new danger appeared on the horizon, in the shape of Nazi Germany.
The war effort
With war pending, Lewis opted to sell his shares in American Decca, focusing purely on the UK label. In 1939, the newly independent American Decca accounted for over one third of all records sold in the US and was soon pressing some 135,000 discs per day. With artists including The Andrews Sisters, Bing Crosby and Billie Holliday, the American label would exit the war years as a hugely successful and established company. It would go on to become part of one of the biggest entertainment companies in the world, after it acquired Universal-International in 1952, before becoming part of MCA in 1962, and, eventually, part of the Universal Music Group.
Back in Britain, the decade-old label was now running profitably, with not-insignificant assets dotted across London – studios in West Hampstead, a New Malden pressing plant, and offices on Brixton Road, close to The Oval cricket ground. The war years would bring fresh challenges – Lewis lost his house to a parachute bomb, while the offices and factory also took direct hits from the Luftwaffe. Ever the innovator, Decca got around restrictions on shellac supplies (records were made from shellac at this point) by offering customers a discount on new purchases if they returned unwanted old records, which could then be recycled.
A series of Music While You Work 10” releases was deployed in factories and offices to raise morale for the war effort, while links with Britain’s allies opened up new sources of classical music from the USSR, and a fantastic roster of artists under the Brunswick imprint, which included Fred Astaire, Bing Crosby, Judy Garland, Duke Ellington and The Ink Spots.
The company also made an unexpected contribution to the war effort. Harvey Schwartz headed up Decca’s radio and television engineering efforts in London. He and Lewis pioneered the development of a system known as The Navigator, which used radio signals for navigation purposes. The Admiralty eventually deployed the Navigator as a means for locating and clearing mines ahead of the D-Day landings. Decca’s excellent research and development teams contributed a number of other technological weapons, which led to the West Hampstead studios maintaining an armed guard.
Pioneering recording technology
In return, the war-effort’s need to record and cut unusually high frequencies onto records, in order to help train crews to identify enemy U-boats, pushed the boundaries of what could be reproduced on record. This led to advances in high-fidelity record production that would have otherwise taken years to develop. Recording engineer Arthur Haddy recognised how this new technology could benefit the recording and disc-cutting process. Full Frequency Range Recording (FFRR) was put into commercial use for the first time in 1944.
The post-war years would be a boom time for Decca. After the war, Lewis created the Decca Navigator Company Ltd, boasting the world’s most accurate and reliable navigation system; by the 70s, some 30,000 ships and 8,000 aircraft were using the system. The launch, in 1947, of the Decola radiogram continued the initial company’s tradition of innovating with home listening equipment, with its lightweight pick-up and elliptical stylus offering superb sound in people’s homes – albeit only after shelling out a whopping £200-plus. Nonetheless, Decca Records was fast becoming synonymous with high-fidelity sound recording and reproduction.
The late 40s and early 50s saw remarkable developments in the record business, not least the introduction in 1948 of long-playing 33 1/3rpm vinyl discs, which replaced the standard 78rpm shellac records. Coupling such long-playing technology with its innovative FFRR technology, the Decca Sound was established as a byword for quality records.
Advances, too, were being made by Haddy in the field of multi-channel recording, as well as experimenting with more and more microphones, used in unusual formations. A young engineer named Roy Wallace created a system for using a variety of microphones bolted onto a t-shape, resulting in what Haddy described as looking “like a bloody Christmas tree”. This “tree” configuration was then put through a two-channel input mixer, creating what Haddy dubbed “Binaural” sound. By the late 50s, Decca had rolled out Full Frequency Stereophonic Sound (FFSS), and, with John Culshaw now heading up the technical advances, Haddy and his engineers led the way in improvements to the recording process at Decca. Quieter, multi-track tape machines were supported by Dolby Noise Reduction systems. These great-sounding techniques were largely reserved for the classical audience, and Decca Records has remained a market leader in the classical world ever since.
At the forefront of popular music
By the mid-50s, a different kind of revolution was happening in the popular-music market, and, again, Decca was at the forefront. It boasted a catalogue of labels that specialised in pop music, including London, RCA, Brunswick and Coral.
Its Brunswick label scored a smash hit in 1954 with ‘Rock Around The Clock’ by Bill Haley & His Comets. The advent of rock’n’roll changed the record industry forever, seeing sales of records to a teenaged audience rocket over the coming decades. Decca Records quickly snapped up Tommy Steele, Britain’s top rock’n’roller, who went to No.1 with his version of ‘Singing The Blues’, and then Lonnie Donegan, whose ‘Rock Island Line’ was a Top 10 hit in 1956.
Donegan was a jazz musician who spearheaded the skiffle craze that was sweeping Britain. Skiffle combined elements of jazz and blues but could be played on homemade instruments, such as tea-chest bass and washboard. The skiffle craze saw hundreds of new bands spring up around Britain, the long-term effect of which would come to the fore with the explosion of British beat groups in 1963-64, almost all of whom got their first experience of playing in a group thanks to skiffle.
But while many of these youngsters loved to play skiffle, their real passion was rock’n’roll. And though homegrown acts like Tommy Steele and Billy Fury offered a chance to see the stars in the flesh, it was always to America that teenagers looked. Decca’s London American label had the cream of the crop, licenced from America’s finest independent labels like Chess, Sun, Specialty and Tamla. It was Decca Records and its subsidiaries that introduced Britain’s future stars to Chuck BerryJohnny CashEddie CochranBuddy Holly, Jerry Lee Lewis and Bo Diddley.
The label that rejected The Beatles…
On New Year’s Day 1962, a former skiffle group from Liverpool famously auditioned for Decca. That Decca turned down The Beatles after that audition has gone down in pop folklore, but they weren’t alone. Pretty much every record company in the UK – including EMI, where they would ultimately find fame – did likewise. At the time, Decca had a choice between The Beatles and Brian Poole And The Tremeloes, choosing the latter at least in part due to them coming from London, and therefore making life easier all round. Besides, the industrial north was still considered essentially a cultural wasteland in England at that time, so A&R man Dick Rowe’s decision not to sign the pre-Ringo Beatles was hardly against the tide.
As the 60s dawned, the pop market was in a state of flux. As a result of a number of problems (many of them behavioural), rock’n’roll was on the wane, and the music market was becoming increasingly hard to predict. And then in late 1962, Decca struck gold. Produced by the maverick Joe Meek in his studio above a luggage shop on London’s Holloway Road, ‘Telstar’ was a blast from the future, an instrumental inspired by the space race, replete with otherworldly sounds created by Meek in his experimental homemade studio. The Tornados took it to the top of the UK charts. But things didn’t end there. So successful was the single that it not only topped the UK chart but also hit No.1 in the US, something previously only ever achieved twice by a UK act (and only then as one-hit wonders). Soon, the British beat boom that was the maturing of Britain’s skiffle craze would smash the US – and global – market wide open.
… eventually signed The Rolling Stones
Alongside EMI, Decca was the biggest record company in the UK. But with the signing of The Beatles, and, in their wake, other Merseybeat acts such as Cilla Black and Gerry And The Pacemakers, EMI looked like it would dominate the pop market. If a Mersey act wasn’t topping the charts, then EMI’s other top seller, Cliff Richard And The Shadows, was scoring the hits. Ironically, it would be thanks to The Beatles that Decca fought back, after George Harrisonrecommended that Decca’s Mike Smith sign a local band called The Rolling Stones. And as if that wasn’t enough, Lennon and McCartney donated a song to the London rhythm’n’blues band, with ‘I Wanna Be Your Man’ going to No.12 in the UK charts and kickstarting the Stones’ career.
While the Brit groups were amassing their invasion force, Decca’s London American imprint continued to keep the UK supplied with Stateside smashes, including those from the stable of “the American Joe Meek”, Phil Spector, including ‘Be My Baby’, by The Ronettes and ‘Da Do Ron Ron’ by The Crystals.
Meanwhile, Decca Records continued to vie with EMI for the cream of the homegrown crop, harvesting Rod Stewart, Steve Marriott, Lulu, Tom JonesJoe CockerThe Moody Blues and Van Morrison’s Them. This was truly a golden age for both Decca and the pop world at large, with discs flying off the shelves in an endless whirl. As soon as one record’s lifespan started to decrease, an even more brilliant offering took the airwaves – and record stores – by storm.
Enriching music
Of course, the record-buying public wasn’t yet completely dominated by youngsters, and Decca could still notch up considerable success with the likes of The Bachelors, Jim Reeves or Val Doonican, while The Sound Of Musicsoundtrack album topped the UK album charts for an unprecedented 70 weeks in total between 1965 and ’68. It would become the second-best-selling album of the entire decade. And as The Beatles hit new heights with their ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’/‘Penny Lane’ single, Decca’s Englebert Humperdink kept them off the top spot with ‘Release Me’.
But for the large part, the story of Decca – and, indeed, the record industry as a whole – in the 60s was of a transatlantic competitiveness that enriched the music (and coffers) of all involved. Brunswick launched The Who and Decca brought out Small Faces. In return, their licensing business scored great success with The Righteous Brothers and The Byrds, before latching onto the American R&B market with acts like Otis Redding and James Brown.
Keeping up with the times
To keep up with the changing times, Decca Records launched its progressive Deram label in 1966 to showcase pop recordings made using “Deramic Sound” (Decca Panoramic Sound), which afforded engineers to create a more dynamic stereo field, placing individual instruments in their own space within the stereo picture. Acts broken by the label include David Bowie (Decca released his debut album), Cat Stevens, The Move and Procol Harum. The Moody Blues, Amen Corner and The Flowerpot Men enjoyed success on the label, but by the mid-70s, Deram was used less and less.
As the sun set on the 60s, the landscape had altered immeasurably from that which had dawned with such innocence. Artists and labels were at loggerheads – Decca and The Rolling Stones had a famous stand-off over the cover of the latter’s 1968 Beggars Banquet album (the Stones had chosen artwork of a graffiti’d public lavatory). The Stones and Decca parted ways with the dawn of the new decade.
Having let both David Bowie and Genesis slip through their fingers, Decca nevertheless still scored huge successes with The Moody Blues, Caravan, Ten Years After and Brotherhood Of Man. Its long-trusted classical and easy-listening sectors, however, were fabulously buoyant, while the label’s budget World Of… series kept Decca Records’ stock on the high street, introducing a new generation to the wonders of its enviable back catalogue.
The 60s and 70s brought with them the rise of a new kind of record label, with new independents such as Richard Branson’s Virgin and Chris Blackwell’s Island able to offer the sort of kinship with experimental young artists that larger organisations couldn’t match. In 1979, a full half-century after creating the company, Edward Lewis sold Decca lock, stock and barrel to Dutch conglomerate PolyGram. Almost immediately after he’d completed the final transfer of the company, Lewis died, on 29 January 1980, at the age of 79.
The Siemens-backed new owner began to offload assets piecemeal – beginning with Navigator, that World War II system that had been deployed ahead of D-Day. Next went the pressing plant in New Malden and the studios in West Hampstead.
Dominating classical music
But while Decca largely ceased to exist as a pop label by the end of the 80s (after enjoying hits with Bananarama, Bronski Beat, The Communards and Fine Young Cannibals), as a classical label it continued to flourish – and break new ground. It was in the unlikely form of the BBC’s theme tune to its coverage of the 1990 FIFA World Cup in Italy that opened up the huge classical crossover audience.
Having chosen for its opening credits Decca’s recording of Luciano Pavarottisinging an aria from Puccini’s Turandot, the tenor’s remarkable performance was matched by England’s football team on the field. ‘Nessun Dorma’ became synonymous with the rebirth of English football after two troubled decades, and, as such, brought opera to the masses. When Decca’s recording of that tournament’s opening concert performance by The Three Tenors (Pavarotti, Plácido Domingo and José Carreras) was released, it went on to become the biggest-selling classical album of all time, paving the way for classical crossover artists from Russell Watson to Andrea Bocelli.
Decca dominated this market – and continues to do so. To their already illustrious roster – including Katherine Jenkins, Nicola Benedetti and Alfie Boe – in 2018 they added the fastest-rising classical star in recent memory, Sheku Kanneh-Mason, securing him a worldwide stage with performances at the high-profile wedding between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, and ensuring crossover appeal with covers of Bob Marley’s ‘No Woman, No Cry’ and Leonard Cohen’s ‘Hallelujah’.
It’s now 90 years since Edward Lewis put records and gramophones together to create the Decca Company. The Samuel cousins couldn’t have been more wrong that record sales had peaked. Sometimes it takes a visionary prepared to take a punt on gut instinct to create something remarkable. Edward Lewis did just that.
Discover more about Decca Records’ 90th anniversary atwww.decca90.com.
Decca – The Supreme Record Company: The Story Of Decca Records 1929 – 2019 can be bought here.
 

Jim Eigo Jazz Promo Services T: 845-986-1677 E-Mail: jim@jazzpromoservices.com
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Vintage Sahara

Vintage Sahara

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When Vegas was Vegas and “What Happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas” involved digging a hole in the desert.
Vintage Sahara
(Las Vegas Sun)
 
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Jim Eigo Jazz Promo Services T: 845-986-1677 E-Mail: jim@jazzpromoservices.com
https://www.jazzpromoservices.com

HAVE A JAZZ EVENT, NEW CD OR IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT FOR THE JAZZ COMMUNITY YOU WANT TO PROMOTE? CONTACT JAZZ PROMO SERVICES FOR PRICE QUOTE.

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Jazz Jams for Justice and Profit – By John Edward Hasse WSJ

Jazz Jams for Justice and Profit – By John Edward Hasse WSJ

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https://www.wsj.com/articles/jazz-jams-for-justice-and-profit-11562014443
 
Jazz Jams for Justice and Profit
Jazz at the Philharmonic, a groundbreaking concert held 75 years ago integrated audiences, popularized live recordings, and brought jazz appreciation into the mainstream.
John Edward Hasse
July 1, 2019 4:54 pm ET
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On July 2, 1944, a Los Angeles concert marked a milestone in the history of jazz, the record business and civil rights. 
As white, brown and black Americans fought overseas for freedom, in much of the country racial discrimination was the law of the land or the community custom. Just as American blacks were treated as second-class, so was jazz music. Marginalized, shunned by concert halls, the music was heard mostly in ballrooms, movie theaters and smoky nightclubs. At many of these venues, African-Americans had to sit—or dance—separately, or were completely barred from entering.
In Los Angeles, an irascible 25-year-old jazz fan and budding social activist named Norman Granz, who was white and Jewish, took a stand. To help raise money for a group of Mexican-Americans who had been unfairly convicted of murder, he organized a benefit performance. For the first time in Los Angeles, a jazz jam would be heard at a bastion of high culture, Philharmonic Auditorium. His experiment—recorded on disc—took place before a fully integrated audience of some 2,000 paying customers.
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Ella Fitzgerald is signing autographs on in Vienna Photo: Imagno/Getty Images
Going in, Granz must have faced a number of questions. Could he raise public respect for jazz while leveraging the music for social justice and for money? Could he transplant the thrill and spontaneity of an intimate, after-hours jam session to a big hall? Could he manage to put together an interracial band that would transcend egos and play unrehearsed yet cohesive music? Would making live recordings of his shows prove practical and marketable? 
The event was so rewarding that succeeding Jazz at the Philharmonic productions became for-profit and Granz established his own record labels. In 1946, citing unruly crowds, the Philharmonic barred such programs, but Granz blamed the ban on prejudice against mixed audiences. By then, he was taking his artists on the road. He treated them with dignity, paid them well, and bought them first-class travel. Bassist Ray Brown affirmed that “Black musicians couldn’t stay in decent hotels until Norman came along.” Tough as a tank, Granz broke precedent by insisting that every audience be racially integrated or else he’d cancel. Sometimes he even stood up to the police, as when Houston cops busted Ella Fitzgerald backstage for playing dice. 
‘’I give people in Des Moines and El Paso the kind of jazz they could otherwise never see or hear,” Granz proclaimed. All across America, and eventually in Europe and Japan, audiences got to experience such peerless performers as Dizzy Gillespie, Charles Mingus, Stan Getz and Clark Terry.
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Norman Granz and Dizzy Gillespie in 1955 Photo: Metronome/Getty Images
Initially mixing swing and bebop players, the JATP shows offered “all-star” jam sessions as well as such established groups as the Gene Krupa Trio. The jams, however, sometimes led to sheer exhibitionism, driving some critics and aficionados to distraction. Drawn by showy drum battles, trumpet jousts and saxophone fencing, the JATP tours drew younger audiences who were wont to scream, whistle and stamp their feet to egg on the musicians. 
A visionary, Granz realized the audience and market potential in recording live jazz shows and capturing tunes as long as 18 minutes instead of the standard three minutes of 78 rpm records, which he accomplished by dividing long solos into multiple discs. He thus paved the way for such celebrated albums as “Ellington at Newport,” the Grateful Dead’s “Live/Dead” and the Allman Brothers’ “At Fillmore East.” 
Instead of reaching a couple of thousand people once and then vanishing, the JATP concerts would endure. Instead of studio recordings, clean but sometimes sterile, Granz would offer imperfect performances before live audiences, with spoken introductions, applause, and shouts from fans. Instead of scrunching solos into three minutes of playing time, the musicians could play extended improvisations. Instead of performing preplanned arrangements, his artists could freewheel through each tune and go mano a mano.
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Poster advertises the 12th tour of Jazz at the Philharmonic Photo: Getty Images
The you-are-there immersion of live recordings put the listener in the front row, creating immediacy and impact. You can sense the boisterous devotees’ edge-of-their-seats eagerness to hear what comes next, which players and solos would win the night. 
Over its rewarding run of nearly 40 years, JATP yielded hundreds of recordings (some still unissued). Granz’s very first such show produced a scintillating duel between guitarist Les Paul and pianist Nat “King” Cole on “The Blues.” The tracks from that seminal event were inducted in 2010 into the Library of Congress’s prestigious National Recording Registry. 
An April 1946 recording of “I Got Rhythm” brought together a rare meeting of three saxophone giants: Coleman Hawkins, Lester Young and Charlie Parker. A September 1949 Carnegie Hall performance—headlined by Hawkins, Young, Parker and Ella Fitzgerald—produced such essential tracks as “Embraceable You,” “Lester Leaps In” and “Perdido.” A standout September 1952 Carnegie program spotlighted two sensational drummers—Gene Krupa and Buddy Rich—and the Oscar Peterson Trio rocketing through “Seven Come Eleven” at a take-your-breath-away 324 beats per minute. 
Thanks to Granz, jazz attained new mainstream respectability, and the excitement, surprises and pleasures of Jazz at the Philharmonic live on through multiple music platforms.
—Mr. Hasse is curator emeritus of American music at the Smithsonian Institution. His books include “Beyond Category: The Life and Genius of Duke Ellington” (Da Capo) and “Discover Jazz” (Pearson).
 
 

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1915 Film Clip May Show A Teenage Louis Armstrong : NPR

1915 Film Clip May Show A Teenage Louis Armstrong : NPR

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https://www.npr.org/2019/06/22/732675892/satchmo-in-his-adolescence-1915-film-clip-may-show-young-louis-armstrong
 
Satchmo In His Adolescence: 1915 Film Clip May Show Young Louis Armstrong
Peter Breslow

March 1950: Louis Armstrong plays trumpet in his dressing room before a show in New York.
AFP/Getty Images
Louis Armstrong has served as the focus of many works of literature. Now, a few seconds of old film that appear to feature Armstrong as a teenage boy have captivated jazz journalist James Karst. If Karst’s theory is correct, the clip from 1915 shows Armstrong at a turning point in his early life — years before he became famous and eventually legendary around the world.
Karst tells NPR’s Scott Simon that he stumbled upon the alleged clip of Armstrong on the Getty Images website. For the first beat of the eight-second clip, apparently taken from a newsreel, pedestrians cross a busy New Orleans street in 1915. Then, the boy who Karst suspects to be a 13 or 14-year-old Armstrong enters the shot.
“A couple of seconds into this film clip, a newsboy walks into the scene,” Karst describes. “His back is facing the camera at first. And then he turns around, and you can see that he’s holding a newspaper — what I believe to be the New Orleans Item, an afternoon paper. And he briefly engages the camera, smiles and then he turns around and keeps going.”
YouTube
When Karst saw the clip, its possible significance occurred to him instantly. “I saw it and immediately recognized that Louis Armstrong, when he was a young man in this very year, was a newsboy in New Orleans, and was one of, apparently, relatively few black newsboys in New Orleans in this location,” he says. Karst immediately set out to determine whether or not this newsboy was in fact Armstrong.
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From there, Karst got to work piecing together bits of evidence to support his hunch. He reached out to Dr. Kurt Luther, a professor at Virginia Tech known for his work identifying people in Civil War-era photographs, for advice, and compared the facial features of the boy in the video to those seen in the earliest known images of Armstrong. Karst also accessed census records to verify the small number of black newsboys on the New Orleans records at the time the film was taken. 
At the time, Karst says, Armstrong would have recently been released from a boys’ reformatory where he had been sent for shooting a pistol into the air — this reformatory is also where Armstrong played in the marching band and received his first formal music instruction. As Karst says, after coming out of the reformatory in June of 1914, Armstrong found work as a newsboy to help support his family, who lived in poverty.
Karst says he’s been surprised to find that others largely accept his suggestion, which was published in a magazine of the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities. “I fully expected people to try to pick it apart.” 
According to Karst, there is one evident clue on the boy’s face in the clip: “The beautiful Louis Armstrong smile that later became famous.”
Listen to the entire interview at the audio link.
 
 

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NEA Jazz Master Randy Weston Inducted Into Brooklyn Jazz Hall of Fame: His Grandson Accepted The Award – East New York News

NEA Jazz Master Randy Weston Inducted Into Brooklyn Jazz Hall of Fame: His Grandson Accepted The Award – East New York News

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https://eastnewyork.com/nea-jazz-master-randy-weston-inducted-into-brooklyn-jazz-hall-of-fame-his-grandson-accepted-the-award/
 
NEA Jazz Master Randy Weston Inducted Into Brooklyn Jazz Hall Of Fame: His Grandson Accepted The Award
eastnewyorknews– Jun 28, 2019
photo by David Powell (L-R, NYC CM Robert E. Cornegy, Jr., grandson Nilles Weston; CBJC founder Viola Plummer)
Nearly 200 guests joined the festivities recognizing African American Freedom Day, celebrating Black Music Month and the posthumous induction of NEA jazz master Randy Weston into the Brooklyn Jazz Hall of Fame (BJHoFAME). Co-sponsored by Central Brooklyn Jazz Consortium (CBJC) and RestorationART, the affair was held on the Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation’s campus on June 19.
The BJHoFAME program included presentations by the Jazzteenth Freedom Ensemble, Emmanuel Baptist Church Worship Team, and Shanto’s Drum Procession. Rising star, flutist Gabrielle Garo received the Deacon Leroy Applin Young Lioness Award in recognition for her musical achievements. At the post-reception, catered by Sugar Hill Supper Club, guests danced to the sounds of Doug Guthrie & the Caribbean Jazzy Combo.
“Central Brooklyn is blessed to have had jazz giants such as Max Roach, Roland Alexander, Betty Carter and Randy Weston share their voices for and with the community,” stated Chairman Clarence Mosley, Jr. during the ceremony.
Randy Weston joins jazz greats, Lena Horne, Herbie Mann, Cecil Payne and others in the BJHoFAME. Membership is based on several factors, including the social impact of the musician. Weston was an advocate of the African origins of music, and the rhythms he used became a component of jazz. Weston’s induction compliments the program’s Juneteenth and Black Music themes.
The event was supported by New York City Council Member Robert E. Cornegy, Jr. Media sponsors included Our Time Press and Jazz Promo Services. Music sponsors were Jazzmobile and Guerilla Journalism.
To stay updated on jazz in Brooklyn, visit CentralBrooklynJazz.org
 
 

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Louisiana Mayor Apologizes for Racist Treatment of Sam Cooke | Billboard

Louisiana Mayor Apologizes for Racist Treatment of Sam Cooke | Billboard

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https://www.billboard.com/articles/news/8517176/louisiana-mayor-apologizes-racist-treatment-sam-cooke
 
Louisiana Mayor Apologizes for Racist Treatment of Sam Cooke
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Sam Cooke
Shreveport’s mayor has apologized for the racist way the late singer Sam Cooke was treated during a visit to the city.
Cooke was in town in 1963 to perform at the Municipal Auditorium.   
He had a reservation at a Holiday Inn but he, his wife and others were turned away.
Sam Cooke
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Sam Cooke Biopic in the Works
 
KSLA reports Cooke and three others in his group were eventually arrested.

The station says author Peter Guralnick, who authored a biography of Cooke, wrote that the incident helped inspire Cooke’s civil rights anthem, “A Change is Gonna Come.”
Mayor Andrian Perkins apologized Saturday night during a music festival to Cooke, who died in 1964, and his family. Cooke’s daughter Carla performed at the festival.
Sam Cooke
Read More
‘The Two Killings of Sam Cooke’: Creators of Netflix’s Riveting ‘ReMastered’ Series Unpack the Latest Episode
 
Local media report Perkins also gave her a key to the city in honor of her father.


 
 

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Yiddish Record – YouTube

Yiddish Record – YouTube

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From a collection I purchased yesterday from of all people Father Bob Sweeney of Holy Rosary Church in Greenwood Lake NY


And he threw in the vintage phonograph
 
Love this line at the end about Hot Dogs and Matzos
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K8-57COcarA

 

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Here Are Hundreds More Artists Whose Tapes Were Destroyed in the UMG Fire – The New York Times

Here Are Hundreds More Artists Whose Tapes Were Destroyed in the UMG Fire – The New York Times

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https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/25/magazine/universal-music-fire-bands-list-umg.html?action=click
 
Here Are Hundreds More Artists Whose Tapes Were Destroyed in the UMG Fire
By Jody Rosen
June 25, 2019
Smoke rose from the backlot of Universal Studios on June 1, 2008, in Universal City, Calif.David McNew/Getty Images
Smoke rose from the backlot of Universal Studios on June 1, 2008, in Universal City, Calif.
Smoke rose from the backlot of Universal Studios on June 1, 2008, in Universal City, Calif.David McNew/Getty Images
In 2013, Bryan Adams, the Canadian singer-songwriter, found himself facing a mystery. Twenty-nine years earlier, in 1984, Adams reached pop-rock superstardom with the release of his fourth LP, “Reckless,” which topped the Billboard 200 album chart and sold an estimated 12 million copies worldwide. Now, with the album’s 30th anniversary approaching, Adams was attempting to put together a commemorative reissue. He reached out to Universal Music Group (UMG), the world’s largest record company, which controls the catalog of dozens of subsidiaries, including A&M, the label that put out “Reckless” and eight other Adams studio albums.
“I contacted the archive dept of Universal Music,” Adams told me in an email last week. Adams was seeking “the master mixes/artwork/photos/video/film . . . anything,” he wrote. Almost nothing could be turned up by the record company. Adams’s hunt for this material ranged far and wide. “I called everyone, former A&M employees, directors, producers, photographers, production houses, editors, even assistants of producers at the time,” Adams said.
Eventually, Adams located a safety copy of the album’s “unmastered final assembly mix tape” in his own vault in Vancouver. But he remained baffled about the disappearance of so much material: “I can tell you with 100 percent certainty that I couldn’t find anything at Universal that had been published to do with my association with A&M records in the 1980s. If you were doing an archaeological dig there, you would have concluded that it was almost as if none of it had ever happened.”
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Bryan Adams, 1991Frans Schellekens/Redferns/Getty Images
Bryan Adams, 1991
Bryan Adams, 1991Frans Schellekens/Redferns/Getty Images
Two weeks ago, another explanation emerged, when Adams read “The Day the Music Burned,” a New York Times Magazine article detailing the destruction of recordings in a fire at a vault facility on the backlot of Universal Studios Hollywood, where UMG stored original masters and other recordings dating from the 1940s up to the 2000s. In legal documents and UMG reports that I obtained while researching the article, the record company asserted that more than 100,000 masters and “an estimated 500K song titles” had burned in the fire, including works by such towering figures as Billie Holiday, Chuck Berry and John Coltrane. The toll encompassed recordings made for several famous record labels: Decca, Chess, Impulse, ABC, MCA, Geffen, Interscope and Adams’ old label, A&M. A confidential document prepared by UMG officials for a 2009 “Vault Loss Meeting” offered a bleak assessment of the damage: “Lost in the fire was, undoubtedly, a huge musical heritage.”
Today, The Times is offering a broader look at that heritage, publishing an expanded list of artists who were thought by UMG officials to have lost master recordings in the fire. The list adds 700-plus names to the more than 100 artists cited in “The Day the Music Burned.”
The names were gleaned from UMG’s own lists, assembled during the company’s “Project Phoenix” recovery effort, a global search for replacement copies and duplicates of destroyed masters. One of the artists on those lists is Bryan Adams, who said that he first learned about the fire when he read the Times Magazine piece. During his interactions with UMG staff in 2013, Adams said, “There was no mention that there had been a fire in the archive.”
The list that appears at the end of this article provides a fuller sense of the historical scope of the 2008 disaster. The recording artists whose names The Times is publishing for the first time today represent an extraordinary cross-section of genres and periods: classic pop balladeers (Rosemary Clooney, Peggy Lee, Pat Boone), jazz greats (Sidney Bechet, Betty Carter, Roland Kirk), show business legends (Groucho Marx, Mae West, Bob Hope), gospel groups (the Dixie Hummingbirds, Five Blind Boys of Alabama, the Soul Stirrers), country icons (the Carter Family, Dolly Parton, Glen Campbell), illustrious songwriters (Hoagy Carmichael, Doc Pomus, Lamont Dozier), doo-wop and rhythm & blues favorites (Johnny Ace, the Moonglows, the Del-Vikings), ’50s and ’60s chart toppers (Ricky Nelson, Petula Clark, Brenda Lee), bluesmen (Slim Harpo, Elmore James, Otis Rush), world-music stars (Miriam MakebaHugh Masekela, Milton Nascimento), classic rockers (The Who, Joe Cocker, Three Dog Night), folkies and folk-rockers (Sandy Denny, Crosby & Nash, Buffy Sainte-Marie), singer-songwriters (Phil Ochs, Terry Callier, Joan Armatrading), ’70s best-sellers (Peter Frampton, Olivia Newton-John, Barry Gibb), soul and disco-era stalwarts (the Dramatics, the Pointer Sisters, George Benson), AM rock-radio staples (Styx, Boston, 38 Special), divas and divos (Cher, Tom Jones), British punks and new wavers (The Damned, Joe Jackson, Squeeze), MTV fixtures (Wang Chung, Patti Smyth, Extreme), hip-hop/R&B hitmakers (Bell Biv Devoe, Jodeci, Blackstreet), ’90s rock acts (Primus, Temple of the Dog, the Wallflowers), rappers (Heavy D. & the Boyz, Busta Rhymes, Common), comedians (Rodney Dangerfield, Bill Cosby, Chris Rock), even the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., whose album “Remaining Awake Through a Great Revolution,” a recording of a keynote address given at an A.M.E. church convention, was released in 1968 on Excello, a blues label whose masters were stored in the backlot vault.
The UMG documents from which these names are drawn were organized according to a hierarchy, an effort to establish “priority assets”: those recordings that were to be a primary focus of the search for replacement copies. On one list, artists were assigned letter-grade rankings, with higher marks given to those deemed most important. Artists graded “A” include historic figures (Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Muddy Waters, Joni Mitchell) and best-selling acts of the 1980s, ’90s, and ’00s (Belinda Carlisle, Meat Loaf, Weezer, Limp Bizkit, Gwen Stefani, Blink 182).
The letter-grade rankings provide a snapshot of UMG’s marketplace wisdom circa 2010 — judgments that, at times, favor top-sellers with thin discographies over historically significant figures and critically-lionized innovators. Captain and Tennille, Chuck Mangione, Whitesnake, Sublime, White Zombie, Nelly Furtado and the Pussycat Dolls received A ratings. Les Paul, Merle Haggard, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Alice Coltrane, Captain Beefheart, the Neville Brothers and the Roots were given Bs.
Debris from the fire on the Universal lot, June 1, 2008.Andrew Gombert/Getty Images
Debris from the fire on the Universal lot, June 1, 2008.
Debris from the fire on the Universal lot, June 1, 2008.Andrew Gombert/Getty Images
For the past two weeks, as news of the lost masters has reverberated through the music industry, UMG has been roundly criticized by artists and their representatives. On Friday, a lawsuit was filed in United States District Court in Los Angeles by five prominent musicians and estates: the rock bands Soundgarden and Hole, singer-songwriter Steve Earle, the estate of rapper Tupac Shakur, and Tom Petty’s former wife, who owns rights in some of Petty’s music. The suit, which seeks class-action status, accuses UMG of breaching its contracts with artists by failing to protect their recordings and by failing to share any income received in insurance payments and legal settlements from the fire. The plaintiffs are seeking “compensatory damages in an amount in excess of $100 million.”
Universal declined to comment on the lawsuit on Friday. Earlier in the week, Arnaud de Puyfontaine, the chief executive and chairman of UMG’s corporate parent, the French media conglomerate Vivendi, waved aside concerns that revelations of the fire would impact Vivendi’s plans to sell up to 50 percent of the record company, whose value was recently estimated at $33 billion. De Puyfontaine told Variety that the controversy over the fire is “just noise.”
But that noise is growing louder. Last week, one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, Hole’s lead singer, Courtney Love, spoke bitterly of UMG’s response to the fire. “No one knows for sure yet, specifically what is gone from their estate, their catalog,” she told me in an email. “But for once in a horrible way people believe me about the state of the music business which I would not wish on my worst enemy. Our culture has been devastated, meanwhile UMG is online with cookie recipes and pop, as if nothing happened. It’s so horrible.”
Many artists have commented on social media, expressing indignation in particular over UMG’s failure to inform them about the potential losses to their catalogs. On June 12, the day after the Times article was published online, the singer-songwriter Sheryl Crow tweeted: “shame on those involved in the coverup. Massive fire at UMG 11 years ago, and we’re just hearing about this now??” Geoffrey Downes, the keyboardist for the English prog-rock group Asia, also reacted on Twitter. “This might explain why nobody can find the original Asia album masters,” he wrote. “Very sad, and UMG have kept it quiet for more than 10 years.” Crow released eight studio albums for A&M; Asia recorded four for Geffen. Both received A ratings in UMG’s Project Phoenix documents.
Sheryl CrowPictorial Press Ltd/Alamy
Sheryl CrowPictorial Press Ltd/Alamy
Other artists listed in the documents are offering accounts of interactions with UMG similar to those reported by Bryan Adams, in which the record company appears to have fallen short of complete candor. These incidents are reported by artists to have taken place after many of the executives who presided over UMG at the time of the fire had departed, and well into the tenure of the current CEO and chariman, Lucian Grainge.
Early last year, the alternative rock group Semisonic was preparing a 20th-anniversary edition of its 1998 album “Feeling Strangely Fine.” According to drummer Jacob Slichter, the band was informed by UMG that masters of the album “couldn’t be located.” In an email to The Times, Semisonic’s manager, Jim Grant — whose office requested the masters from UMG — said that the record company “did not reference lost or damaged masters. . . . They did not mention anything about the fire.” Semisonic was included on one of the UMG documents listing artists whose masters were thought to have been destroyed in the fire.
Another leading ’90s band that appears in the documents is Counting Crows, which recorded several albums for Geffen. In a 2016 interview in Diffuser, a music website, the lead singer, Adam Duritz, said that Geffen had “lost the master tapes” for “Recovering the Satellites,” the band’s platinum-selling 1996 release. “Geffen, because they’re a record company, it’s their sovereign right to lose everything,” he said. Duritz could not be reached for comment. It is unclear how he learned about the lost masters or if he was told that the tapes might have been lost in a fire.
One of the only musicians who has said publicly that he was informed about the destruction of his masters is Richard Carpenter of the Carpenters, the star ’70s pop duo. But Carpenter says the admission — by a staff member at UMG’s catalog division, Universal Music Enterprises (UMe) — came only after multiple inquiries and because UMG was forced into it: Carpenter had booked time at a mastering studio to work on a reissue for the label, and the tapes he requested for the session hadn’t shown up. “They didn’t let me know,” he told me last week. “They really didn’t want to get me on the phone to give me this news.” In a deposition given in a negligence suit brought by UMG against NBCUniversal, its landlord at the backlot vault, a former executive for the record company testified that Carpenter’s persistence and “concern” about his masters in the aftermath of the fire had been a subject of consternation among UMG officials.
Asked last week if there had been any systematic effort to inform artists of losses in the 2008 calamity, a UMG spokesperson said that the company “doesn’t publicly discuss our private conversations with artists and estates.” Its apparent success in keeping news of the fire from recording artists may in part be ascribed to the long history of anarchic archival practices in the music business: Musicians have come to expect that labels may not be able to find their masters, which in most cases are owned outright by the labels.
But novel arguments regarding masters and the intellectual property they contain may soon be advanced in cases against UMG. The suit filed Friday is not the only one that UMG is facing. In February, a separate class action was filed against UMG concerning Section 203 of the 1976 Copyright Act, which gives artists a chance to reclaim some rights to their sound recordings after a period of 35 years by serving Notices of Termination to record companies. The plaintiffs in Waite vs. UMG Recordings Inc. include, among others, singer John Waite, members of the California punk-rock band the Dickies and country-rock veteran Joe Ely. (Ely, who released eight albums on MCA between the 1970s and 1990s, appears in UMG’s documentation of losses in the fire.)
The plaintiffs’ lawyers, Evan Cohen and Maryann Marzano, now say that they view any losses suffered by artists in the fire “as a natural component of our claims.” “The destruction of the master recordings caused by the 2008 fire, and UMG’s subsequent failure to notify recording artists that their works were tragically lost, further underscores how little regard UMG has for the rights and property of musicians,” they said in a statement provided to The Times.
Since publication of “The Day the Music Burned,” UMG has been working to reassure artists and the public that losses in the fire were not as substantial as reported. In an interview published last Monday on Billboard’s website, Patrick Kraus, UMG’s senior vice president of recording studios and archive management, asserted that “many of the masters highlighted as destroyed, we actually have in our archives,” citing material by John Coltrane, Muddy Waters and the jazz pianist Ahmad Jamal. The article includes photographs, provided by UMG, which appear to show boxes for a Coltrane master tape, the mono master of a Howlin’ Wolf album, a multitrack master by saxophonist Pharaoh Sanders and another master, possibly a multitrack, by the Five Blind Boys of Alabama.
But the broad assurances and scant specifics offered in recent days by Kraus and UMG spokespeople carry echoes of the company’s statements in the days after the 2008 fire, when officials characterized the label’s loss as negligible. It is true that some items thought to have been destroyed in the fire may in fact be safe, for any number of reasons. The item in the vault may not have been the original primary source master. The tape may have been elsewhere when the fire hit, perhaps in a studio for a reissue project. In many cases, UMG’s post-fire recovery effort may have located a backup copy of high-enough quality to muddy the question of whether the company has “a master” of the recording.
But individuals familiar with the contents of the doomed vault, including Randy Aronson, UMG’s senior director of vault operations at the time of the fire, state unequivocally that vast numbers of the masters in the archive were irreplaceable primary-source originals. The voluminous archives of Decca and Chess — the oldest and most historically significant labels in the vault, holding between them a staggering canon of American pop, jazz, blues and rock ‘n’ roll classics — comprised many tens of thousands of tapes, nearly all original masters.
According to Aronson and others, one reason UMG maintained the archive on the backlot in the first place was to keep original masters in Los Angeles, where they could be easily and affordably accessed by the company for reissues and compilations. “It just made sense to keep those tapes in L.A.,” says Mike Ragogna, a former senior director of catalog A&R at Universal Music Enterprises. “We would pull tapes three, four, multiple times for different projects.” Ragogna, who worked on hundreds of reissues for UMe before leaving the company in 2006, says that in 2008, when he saw the news about the fire, he thought immediately of certain precious masters that he suspected had been destroyed: “I was worried about the Neil Diamond tapes, the Joni Mitchell.”
The same characterization of the vault and its contents is found in the record company’s own internal files and in testimony given in legal proceedings after the fire. UMG’s recent statements downplaying the fire’s toll contradict its own copiously documented, multimillion-dollar effort to recover items it believed were lost. These same losses were part of the basis of UMG’s insurance claims in the aftermath of the fire, and of its negligence suit against NBCUniversal. They are the losses about which UMG officials, including some still employed by the company today, testified in sworn depositions.
Last Tuesday, various news outlets published a memo sent by Lucian Grainge, UMG’s chief executive, to the company’s staff. “We owe our artists transparency,” Grainge wrote. “We owe them answers.” Artists are seeking those answers. The lawyer Howard King — managing partner of King, Holmes, Paterno & Soriano, one of the firms that filed the lawsuit on Friday — has requested that UMG “promptly furnish us with a complete inventory of all master recordings” on behalf of a number of artists, including Hole, Soundgarden, No Doubt, Joe Walsh and Buddy Guy and the estates of Bo Diddley, John Lee Hooker and Tupac Shakur.
But answers and inventories may be difficult to obtain. Aronson says that it was clear in the immediate aftermath of the fire that the company would never have a complete accounting of what was lost. Decades of slapdash inventory practices — the company’s failure to invest in complete records of its holdings — had resulted in an insoluble discographical puzzle. UMG knew what labels’ masters had been stored in the vault; they know, broadly, which artists’ recordings had been on the shelves. But the knowledge got fuzzier when it came down to individual albums or songs, especially given the presence in the vault of an indeterminate number of masters containing outtakes, demos and other recordings that were never commercially released.
UMG’s own lists present riddles. Documents show that the company believed it had lost recordings by one of music’s most zealous audiophiles, Neil Young — whose website offers high-resolution versions of his complete discography, presumably sourced from the original masters. It is unclear if the Young recordings thought by UMG to have been destroyed were safety copies of the four albums he recorded for Geffen in the 1980s or outtakes from the sessions for those albums, or if UMG officials were simply mistaken about Young having had material in the backlot vault.
The Project Phoenix recovery program lasted two years and, by Aronson’s estimate, gathered duplicates of perhaps a fifth of the recordings lost in the fire. The choice to end these efforts may have been a cost-benefit decision; or UMG may have determined that, for the majority of the destroyed masters, duplicates could never be found. Now, in any case, the company is mobilizing another campaign to comb its global vaults. Billboard reported that Kraus, the head UMG archivist, “sent members of his team into the 10 vaults the company keeps around the world to verify the location and condition of its more than 3.5 million assets.” It seems that a second Project Phoenixlike effort is underway — this time, under pressure from both artists and the public.
The list below represents many — but not all — of the acts believed by UMG officials to have lost master recordings in the fire. It is a partial selection, culled from three separate UMG lists prepared for Project Phoenix in late 2009 and early 2010, more than a year and a half after the fire struck. These UMG lists were part of the company’s effort to compile what was referred to internally as “the God List,” a total tally of the material lost in the fire. The lists appear in company emails and other documents, a paper trail that emerged in later litigation. In one court filing in the NBCUniversal suit, UMG’s lawyers characterized the lists as the result of “a resource-intensive project to identify with reasonable certainty the Destroyed Tapes.”
Nevertheless, the names listed below come with several caveats. For the artists named below, it is not possible to assert definitively which masters were burned in the fire, nor can it be said categorically that all of these artists did in fact lose masters. It also cannot be determined exactly how many of the destroyed masters were primary-source originals.
What can be said with certainty is that these are artists whose material UMG believed had been lost in the fire and whose recordings the company spent tens of millions of dollars trying to replace.
Artists Named in UMG Documents
38 Special
50 Cent
Colonel Abrams
Johnny Ace
Bryan Adams
Nat Adderley
Aerosmith
Rhett Akins
Manny Albam
Lorez Alexandria
Gary Allan
Red Allen
Steve Allen
The Ames Brothers
Gene Ammons
Bill Anderson
Jimmy Anderson
John Anderson
The Andrews Sisters
Lee Andrews & the Hearts
Paul Anka
Adam Ant
Toni Arden
Joan Armatrading
Louis Armstrong
Asia
Asleep at the Wheel
Audioslave
Patti Austin
Average White Band
Hoyt Axton
Albert Ayler
Burt Bacharach
Joan Baez
Razzy Bailey
Chet Baker
Florence Ballard
Hank Ballard
Gato Barbieri
Baja Marimba Band
Len Barry
Count Basie
Fontella Bass
The Beat Farmers
Sidney Bechet and His Orchestra
Beck
Captain Beefheart
Archie Bell & the Drells
Vincent Bell
Bell Biv Devoe
Louie Bellson
Don Bennett
Joe Bennett and the Sparkletones
David Benoit
George Benson
Berlin
Elmer Bernstein and His Orchestra
Chuck Berry
Nuno Bettencourt
Stephen Bishop
Blackstreet
Art Blakey
Hal Blaine
Bobby (Blue) Bland
Mary J. Blige
Blink 182
Blues Traveler
Eddie Bo
Pat Boone
Boston
Connee Boswell
Eddie Boyd
Jan Bradley
Owen Bradley Quintet
Oscar Brand
Bob Braun
Walter Brennan
Jackie Brenston and His Delta Cats
Teresa Brewer
Edie Brickell & New Bohemians
John Brim
Lonnie Brooks
Big Bill Broonzy and Washboard Sam
Brothers Johnson
Bobby Brown
Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown
Lawrence Brown
Les Brown
Marion Brown
Marshall Brown
Mel Brown
Michael Brown
Dave Brubeck
Jimmy Buffett
Carol Burnett
T-Bone Burnett
Dorsey Burnette
Johnny Burnette
Busta Rhymes
Terry Callier
Cab Calloway
The Call
Glen Campbell
Captain and Tennille
Captain Sensible
Irene Cara
Belinda Carlisle
Carl Carlton
Eric Carmen
Hoagy Carmichael
Kim Carnes
Karen Carpenter
Richard Carpenter
The Carpenters
Barbara Carr
Betty Carter
Benny Carter
The Carter Family
Peter Case
Alvin Cash
Mama Cass
Bobby Charles
Ray Charles
Chubby Checker
The Checkmates Ltd.
Cheech & Chong
Cher
Don Cherry
Mark Chesnutt
The Chi-Lites
Eric Clapton
Petula Clark
Roy Clark
Gene Clark
The Clark Sisters
Merry Clayton
Jimmy Cliff
Patsy Cline
Rosemary Clooney
Wayne Cochran
Joe Cocker
Ornette Coleman
Gloria Coleman
Mitty Collier
Jazzbo Collins
Judy Collins
Colosseum
Alice Coltrane
John Coltrane
Colours
Common
Cookie and the Cupcakes
Barbara Cook
Rita Coolidge
Stewart Copeland
The Corsairs
Dave “Baby” Cortez
Bill Cosby
Don Costa
Clifford Coulter
David Crosby
Crosby & Nash
Johnny Cougar (aka John Cougar Mellencamp)
Counting Crows
Coverdale•Page
Warren Covington
Deborah Cox
James “Sugar Boy” Crawford
Crazy Otto
Marshall Crenshaw
The Crew-Cuts
Sonny Criss
David Crosby
Bob Crosby
Bing Crosby
Sheryl Crow
Rodney Crowell
Pablo Cruise
The Crusaders
Xavier Cugat
The Cuff Links
Tim Curry
The Damned
Danny & the Juniors
Rodney Dangerfield
Bobby Darin
Helen Darling
David + David
Mac Davis
Richard Davis
Sammy Davis Jr.
Chris de Burgh
Lenny Dee
Jack DeJohnette
The Dells
The Dell-Vikings
Sandy Denny
Sugar Pie DeSanto
The Desert Rose Band
Dennis DeYoung
Neil Diamond
Bo Diddley
Difford & Tilbrook
Dillard & Clark
The Dixie Hummingbirds
Willie Dixon
DJ Shadow
Fats Domino
Jimmy Donley
Kenny Dorham
Jimmy Dorsey and His Orchestra
Lee Dorsey
The Tommy Dorsey Orchestra
Lamont Dozier
The Dramatics
The Dream Syndicate
Roy Drusky
Jimmy Durante
Deanna Durbin
The Eagles
Steve Earle
El Chicano
Danny Elfman
Yvonne Elliman
Duke Ellington
Cass Elliott
Joe Ely
John Entwistle
Eminem
Eric B. and Rakim
Gil Evans
Paul Evans
Betty Everett
Don Everly
Extreme
The Falcons
Harold Faltermeyer
Donna Fargo
Art Farmer
Freddie Fender
Ferrante & Teicher
Fever Tree
The Fifth Dimension
Ella Fitzgerald
Five Blind Boys Of Alabama
The Fixx
The Flamingos
King Floyd
The Flying Burrito Brothers
John Fogerty
Red Foley
Eddie Fontaine
The Four Aces
The Four Tops
Peter Frampton
Franke & the Knockouts
Aretha Franklin
The Rev. C.L. Franklin
The Free Movement
Glenn Frey
Lefty Frizzell
Curtis Fuller
Jerry Fuller
Lowell Fulson
Harvey Fuqua
Nelly Furtado
Hank Garland
Judy Garland
Erroll Garner
Jimmy Garrison
Larry Gatlin & the Gatlin Brothers
Gene Loves Jezebel
Barry Gibb
Georgia Gibbs
Terri Gibbs
Dizzy Gillespie
Gin Blossoms
Tompall Glaser
Tom Glazer
Whoopi Goldberg
Golden Earring
Paul Gonsalves
Benny Goodman
Dexter Gordon
Rosco Gordon
Lesley Gore
The Gospelaires
Teddy Grace
Grand Funk Railroad
Amy Grant
Earl Grant
The Grass Roots
Dobie Gray
Buddy Greco
Keith Green
Al Green
Jack Greene
Robert Greenidge
Lee Greenwood
Patty Griffin
Nanci Griffith
Dave Grusin
Guns N’ Roses
Buddy Guy
Buddy Hackett
Charlie Haden
Merle Haggard
Bill Haley and His Comets
Aaron Hall
Lani Hall
Chico Hamilton
George Hamilton IV
Hamilton, Joe Frank & Reynolds
Marvin Hamlisch
Jan Hammer
Lionel Hampton
John Handy
Glass Harp
Slim Harpo
Richard Harris
Freddie Harts
Dan Hartman
Johnny Hartman
Coleman Hawkins
Dale Hawkins
Richie Havens
Roy Haynes
Head East
Heavy D. & the Boyz
Bobby Helms
Don Henley
Clarence “Frogman” Henry
Woody Herman and His Orchestra
Milt Herth and His Trio
John Hiatt
Al Hibbler
Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks
Monk Higgins
Jessie Hill
Earl Hines
Roger Hodgson
Hole
Billie Holiday
Jennifer Holliday
Buddy Holly
The Hollywood Flames
Eddie Holman
John Lee Hooker
Stix Hooper
Bob Hope
Paul Horn
Shirley Horn
Big Walter Horton
Thelma Houston
Rebecca Lynn Howard
Jan Howard
Freddie Hubbard
Humble Pie
Engelbert Humperdinck
Brian Hyland
The Impressions
The Ink Spots
Iron Butterfly
Burl Ives
Janet Jackson
Joe Jackson
Milt Jackson
Ahmad Jamal
Etta James
Elmore James
James Gang
Keith Jarrett
Jason & the Scorchers
Jawbreaker
Garland Jeffreys
Beverly Jenkins
Gordon Jenkins
The Jets
Jimmy Eat World
Jodeci
Johnnie Joe
The Joe Perry Project
Elton John
J.J. Johnson
K-Ci & JoJo
Al Jolson
Booker T. Jones
Elvin Jones
George Jones
Hank Jones
Jack Jones
Marti Jones
Quincy Jones
Rickie Lee Jones
Tamiko Jones
Tom Jones
Louis Jordan and His Tympany Five
The Jordanaires
Jurassic 5
Bert Kaempfert
Kitty Kallen & Georgie Shaw
The Kalin Twins
Bob Kames
Kansas
Boris Karloff
Sammy Kaye
Toby Keith
Gene Kelly
Chaka Khan
B.B. King
The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
Wayne King
The Kingsmen
The Kingston Trio
Roland Kirk
Eartha Kitt
John Klemmer
Klymaxx
Baker Knight
Chris Knight
Gladys Knight and the Pips
Krokus
Steve Kuhn
Rolf Kuhn
Joachim Kuhn
Patti LaBelle
L.A. Dream Team
Lambert, Hendricks & Ross
Frankie Lane
Denise LaSalle
Yusef Lateef
Steve Lawrence
Steve Lawrence & Eydie Gormé
Lafayette Leake
Brenda Lee
Laura Lee
Leapy Lee
Peggy Lee
Danni Leigh
The Lennon Sisters
J.B. Lenoir
Ramsey Lewis
Jerry Lee Lewis
Jerry Lewis
Meade Lux Lewis
Liberace
Lifehouse
Enoch Light
The Lightning Seeds
Limp Bizkit
Lisa Loeb
Little Axe and the Golden Echoes
Little Milton
Little River Band
Little Walter
Lobo
Nils Lofgren
Lone Justice
Guy Lombardo
Lord Tracy
The Louvin Brothers
Love
Patti Loveless
The Lovelites
Lyle Lovett
Love Unlimited
Loretta Lynn
L.T.D.
Lynyrd Skynyrd
Gloria Lynne
Moms Mabley
Willie Mabon
Warner Mack
Dave MacKay & Vicky Hamilton
Miriam Makeba
The Mamas and the Papas
Melissa Manchester
Barbara Mandrell
Chuck Mangione
Shelly Manne
Wade Marcus
Mark-Almond
Pigmeat Markham
Steve Marriott
Wink Martindale
Groucho Marx
Hugh Masekela
Dave Mason
Jerry Mason
Matthews Southern Comfort
The Mavericks
Robert Maxwell
John Mayall
Percy Mayfield
Lyle Mays
Les McCann
Delbert McClinton
Robert Lee McCollum
Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis Jr.
Van McCoy
Jimmy McCracklin
Jack McDuff
Reba McEntire
Gary McFarland
Barry McGuire
The McGuire Sisters
Duff McKagan
Maria McKee
McKendree Spring
Marian McPartland
Clyde McPhatter
Carmen McRae
Jack McVea
Meat Loaf
Memphis Slim
Sergio Mendes
Ethel Merman
Pat Metheny
Mighty Clouds of Joy
Roger Miller
Stephanie Mills
The Mills Brothers
Liza Minnelli
Charles Mingus
Joni Mitchell
Bill Monroe
Vaughn Monroe
Wes Montgomery
Buddy Montgomery
The Moody Blues
The Moonglows
Jane Morgan
Russ Morgan
Ennio Morricone
Mos Def
Martin Mull
Gerry Mulligan
Milton Nascimento
Johnny Nash
Nazareth
Nelson
Rick Nelson & the Stone Canyon Band
Ricky Nelson
Jimmy Nelson
Oliver Nelson
Aaron Neville
Art Neville
The Neville Brothers
New Edition
New Riders of the Purple Sage
Olivia Newton-John
Night Ranger
Leonard Nimoy
Nine Inch Nails
Nirvana
The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
No Doubt
Ken Nordine
Red Norvo Sextet
Terri Nunn
The Oak Ridge Boys
Ric Ocasek
Phil Ochs
Hazel O’Connor
Chico O’Farrill
Oingo Boingo
The O’Jays
Spooner Oldham
One Flew South
Yoko Ono
Orleans
Jeffrey Osborne
The Outfield
Jackie Paris
Leo Parker
Junior Parker
Ray Parker Jr.
Dolly Parton
Les Paul
Freda Payne
Peaches & Herb
Ce Ce Peniston
The Peppermint Rainbow
Pepples
The Persuasions
Bernadette Peters
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
John Phillips
Webb Pierce
The Pinetoppers
Bill Plummer
Poco
The Pointer Sisters
The Police
Doc Pomus
Jimmy Ponder
Iggy Pop
Billy Preston
Lloyd Price
Louis Prima
Primus
Puddle Of Mudd
Red Prysock
Leroy Pullins
The Pussycat Dolls
Quarterflash
Queen Latifah
Sun Ra
The Radiants
Gerry Rafferty
Kenny Rankin
The Ray Charles Singers
The Ray-O-Vacs
The Rays
Dewey Redman
Della Reese
Martha Reeves
R.E.M.
Debbie Reynolds
Emitt Rhodes
Buddy Rich
Emil Richards
Dannie Richmond
Riders in the Sky
Stan Ridgway
Frazier River
Sam Rivers
Max Roach
Marty Roberts
Howard Roberts
The Roches
Chris Rock
Tommy Roe
Jimmy Rogers
Sonny Rollins
The Roots
Rose Royce
Jackie Ross
Doctor Ross
Rotary Connection
The Rover Boys
Roswell Rudd
Rufus and Chaka Khan
Otis Rush
Brenda Russell
Leon Russell
Pee Wee Russell
Russian Jazz Quartet
Mitch Ryder
Buffy Sainte-Marie
Joe Sample
Pharoah Sanders
The Sandpipers
Gary Saracho
Shirley Scott
Tom Scott
Dawn Sears
Neil Sedaka
Jeannie Seely
Semisonic
Charlie Sexton
Marlena Shaw
Tupac Shakur
Archie Shepp
Dinah Shore
Ben Sidran
Silver Apples
Shel Silverstein
The Simon Sisters
Ashlee Simpson
The Simpsons
Zoot Sims
P.F. Sloan
Smash Mouth
Kate Smith
Keely Smith
Tab Smith
Patti Smyth
Snoop Dogg
Valaida Snow
Jill Sobule
Soft Machine
Sonic Youth
Sonny and Cher
The Soul Stirrers
Soundgarden
Eddie South
Southern Culture on the Skids
Spinal Tap
Banana Splits
The Spokesmen
Squeeze
Jo Stafford
Chris Stamey
Joe Stampley
Michael Stanley
Kay Starr
Stealers Wheel
Steely Dan
Gwen Stefani
Steppenwolf
Cat Stevens
Billy Stewart
Sting
Sonny Stitt
Shane Stockton
George Strait
The Strawberry Alarm Clock
Strawbs
Styx
Sublime
Yma Sumac
Andy Summers
The Sundowners
Supertramp
The Surfaris
Sylvia Syms
Gábor Szabó
The Tams
Grady Tate
t.A.T.u.
Koko Taylor
Billy Taylor
Charlie Teagarden
Temple of the Dog
Clark Terry
Tesla
Sister Rosetta Tharpe
Robin Thicke
Toots Thielemans
B.J. Thomas
Irma Thomas
Rufus Thomas
Hank Thompson
Lucky Thompson
Big Mama Thornton
Three Dog Night
The Three Stooges
Tiffany
Mel Tillis
Tommy & the Tom Toms
Mel Tormé
The Tragically Hip
The Trapp Family Singers
Ralph Tresvant
Ernest Tubb
The Tubes
Tanya Tucker
Tommy Tucker
The Tune Weavers
Ike Turner
Stanley Turrentine
Conway Twitty
McCoy Tyner
Phil Upchurch
Michael Utley
Leroy Van Dyke
Gino Vannelli
Van Zant
Billy Vaughan
Suzanne Vega
Vega Brothers
Veruca Salt
The Vibrations
Bobby Vinton
Voïvod
Porter Wagoner
The Waikikis
Rufus Wainwright
Rick Wakeman
Jerry Jeff Walker
The Wallflowers
Joe Walsh
Wang Chung
Clara Ward
Warrior Soul
Washboard Sam
Was (Not Was)
War
Justine Washington
The Watchmen
Muddy Waters
Jody Watley
Johnny “Guitar” Watson
The Weavers
The Dream Weavers
Ben Webster
Weezer
We Five
George Wein
Lenny Welch
Lawrence Welk
Kitty Wells
Mae West
Barry White
Michael White
Slappy White
Whitesnake
White Zombie
The Who
Whycliffe
Kim Wilde
Don Williams
Jody Williams
John Williams
Larry Williams
Lenny Williams
Leona Williams
Paul Williams
Roger Williams
Sonny Boy Williamson
Walter Winchell
Kai Winding
Johnny Winter
Wishbone Ash
Jimmy Witherspoon
Howlin’ Wolf
Bobby Womack
Lee Ann Womack
Phil Woods
Wrecks-N-Effect
O.V. Wright
Bill Wyman
Rusty York
Faron Young
Neil Young
Young Black Teenagers
Y & T 
Rob Zombie
Jody Rosen is a contributing writer for the magazine. His book about the history of the bicycle will be published in 2020.
 
 

Jim Eigo Jazz Promo Services T: 845-986-1677 E-Mail: jim@jazzpromoservices.com
https://www.jazzpromoservices.com

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Tips From 40+ International Jazz Promoters – MTT – Music Think Tank

Tips From 40+ International Jazz Promoters – MTT – Music Think Tank

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http://www.musicthinktank.com/blog/tips-from-40-international-jazz-promoters.html
 
Tips From 40+ International Jazz Promoters
43 jazz festival & venue promoters around the world took part in a survey for Jazzfuel about how they discover & book artists. Here’s the super short round up…
(If you’re reading this as a promoter and have another point of view to add, please feel free to post in the comments section at the bottom of this page)

Approximately what percentage of artists you book DON’T have a booking agent?
The #1 thing I hear from musicians who are struggling to book gigs for their project is that the solution would be to get a booking agent…
You might be surprised, but on average, the promoters in this survey said they booked more than 50% of the artists at their venue or festival directly. NONE of them said they only worked with agents. 48% of promoters said that 2/3’s (or more) of their bookings were done directly with artists.
THE TAKEAWAY
Now obviously as an agent, I’m not trying to say that it’s not good to have representation. But what this result hopefully does change is the belief that most festivals and venues are out of reach until you have an agent. So for sure keep in touch with possible agents and send them your news to get them interested. But put the majority of your efforts into actually reaching out directly to promoters.
How are jazz promoters discovering new artists?
For this question, the promoters could choose as many of the answers as they wanted, to give the fullest possible overview of how they discover emerging jazz projects.
The result? Almost 80% of promoters said they put a lot of value on personal ‘industry’ recommendations.  Talking with journalists, agents, record labels and other promoters who you know personally (and whose artistic taste you trust) is very valuable.
In a similar vein, promoters also put a lot of trust in their own taste, with 72% of them saying they liked to discover bands live – either at festivals or showcases.
60% of promoters said they regularly discover potential bookings via emails. That’s actually pretty encouraging; 3 out of every 5 emails you send are going to festivals and clubs who are completely open to being introduced to your music this way.
Similarly, 60% of promoters are regularly digesting magazines and blogs to find great jazz projects for their club or festival. If you are looking to get into a specific territory, engaging a publicist is a good way to ensure that they are seeing you in these places. Or, in your home country, you might already have enough contacts to do this yourself.
Whilst Youtube/Spotify (42%) and Social Media (40%) came in last on this list, there are still enough promoters checking these places to make it worth your while dedicating some time each week to taking care of these areas.
Where’s the FIRST places that promoters go when they hear about a new project?
Almost half of promoters said that Youtube was their go-to place when checking out bands.
It certainly is mine.
Being able to see and hear a project lets a promoter know much quicker than audio or text whether it would work for their venue or festival. The quality of it also gives some idea of the tools that are available (or not!) to promote a show, if they book it…
It was also interesting that, despite the popularity of social media and Spotify for checking out music, an artist website is still the 2nd most popular place.
THE TAKEAWAY
If you don’t have convincing, high quality video content online, you’re missing the chance to impress a huge amount of promoters. Not only that, this content needs to be showing up top on Youtube when someone searches for your name.
How important is PROFESSIONAL video content in getting gigs?
From personal experience as a booking agent, a great video has opened up so many great gigs to artists I work with.
I wanted to also see how important the promoters who took this survey felt the quality of these videos was when it came to booking bands.
THE RESULT: 60% of jazz promoters in this survey said that a high quality video was very important (4 or 5 stars) for a musician or band who were trying to get more jazz gigs.
Several of those who gave 3 stars noted that they also liked to see ‘live footage’ (regardless of quality) to get an authentic idea of how the band played live, but I think the result is emphatic enough that you should be in no doubt: in order to reach the largest possible number of promoters with your music, you need to have a professional quality video.
——-
Thanks to the promoters who took part in this! If you want to find some more detailed answers and personal tips from them, the full and original results can be found on the Jazzfuel website
 
 

Jim Eigo Jazz Promo Services T: 845-986-1677 E-Mail: jim@jazzpromoservices.com
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Hi-Res Audio: A Solution in Search of a Problem – Shelly Palmer

Hi-Res Audio: A Solution in Search of a Problem – Shelly Palmer

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https://www.shellypalmer.com/2019/06/hi-res-audio-solution-search-problem/?mc_cid=af5a7bab56
 
Hi-Res Audio: A Solution in Search of a Problem
Shelly PalmerJune 23, 2019
Hi-Res Audio
According to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), about 75 percent of the recorded music industry’s revenue comes from streaming. Bandwidth keeps getting cheaper and faster. Hardware and software continue to improve at an exponential pace. Surely there is pent-up demand for high resolution audio (hi-res audio). After all, doesn’t everyone want the “best sounding” audio?
A Little History
The world of recorded music was irrevocably changed in October 2001 when Apple introduced the iPod. While it is well remembered as a stepping stone to the greatest comeback in American corporate history, the iPod is less well remembered for dealing the final, almost fatal, blow to sonic quality.
MP3 Files
Practical mp3 players were introduced in the late ’90s. The file format caught everyone’s attention, especially Steve Jobs’s. 
At the turn of the century, music lovers were embracing to peer-to-peer music-sharing sites like Napster, Gnutella, and LimeWire (all of whom, including music lovers, were being sued by the RIAA). Apple introduced iTunes with the tag line “Rip. Mix. Burn.”
Buried in the details of this amazing musical revolution was an almost unnoticed bit of collateral damage: the de facto end of high-fidelity audio.
File Compression
When a sound file was ripped from a CD, the highest-quality commercially available audio format at the time, the file was automatically down-converted to either mp3 or the slightly higher-quality advanced audio coding (AAC) format. Small file sizes meant you could carry thousands of songs in your pocket! The downside was that to get all of those songs to fit on your iPod, the sonic quality you enjoyed listening to on a CD was reduced about 29x.
To an audiophile, CDs already sucked, so you can imagine what anyone with “an ear” thought of mp3 or AAC versions of their favorite recordings. Not to worry; most people are not audiophiles.
For geeks: any track professionally mastered in the modern digital era was probably mastered at a bitrate of 9,216 kbps or higher. Roughly seven times higher than the sonic quality of the commercially released CD which are mastered at 1,411 kpbs using “lossless” compression. By comparison, mp3 and AAC files have audio resolution ranging from 96 kbps to 320 kbps and are created using “lossy” compression.
Earbuds: Final Nail in the Coffin
The iPod came with the iconic white earbuds. The wired version was prominently featured in the equally iconic iBod campaign. As pretty and expensive ($29 if purchased separately) as earbuds were, the transducers (the little speakers in each ear) probably cost Apple 29 cents. I’m pretty sure Apple spent more on the packaging than it did on the hardware. To say that earbuds offered the least emotionally satisfying audio experience possible would be a compliment. 
When you combine “lossy” compression with 29-cent earbuds, you get the world of recorded music as mass marketed by Steve Jobs. You also get the death of sonic quality. The funny thing is, nobody noticed. 
While This Was Going On, Sonic Quality Was Trying to Matter
As the CD became ubiquitous, a handful of other audio formats (that would all go on to die in relative obscurity) were more concerned with high fidelity: DAD in 1998, SACD in 1999, and DVD-Audio in 2000. Years later, Pure Audio Blu-ray (2009) and High Fidelity Pure Audio (2013) tried similar tactics, but they also failed.
The format to achieve the most notoriety was likely Neil Young’s PonoPlayer. In September 2012, Young went on the Late Show with David Letterman to show off a prototype of the PonoPlayer. In April 2014, the device raked in more than $6.2 million in a Kickstarter campaign, as more than 18,000 backers were eager for a device designed to play HQ audio. The device never truly caught on, and Neil Young announced its demise in April 2017.
The Real Problem
Leaving people’s personal abilities to distinguish high sonic quality from low sonic quality out of this conversation, there is a virtually insurmountable issue with mass adoption of hi-res audio: acoustic environment.
You cannot solve an acoustic problem with an electronic solution. In practice, this means that sticking earbuds in your ears (no matter how good the earbuds are) will not allow you to hear the track the way the composer, producer or mastering engineer intended. When recordings are professionally mixed and mastered, the creators generally work in purpose-built control rooms with exceptional speaker systems (not on laptops wearing earbuds).
For geeks: Everyone who has ever mixed professionally has done a mix using headphones, of course. But it is far from the preferred methodology.
If you are trying to create a stereo image, the two speakers should be placed symmetrically at the endpoints on the base of an isosceles triangle and you should be sitting at or very near the apex. Most engineers agree that the optimal base angle for this triangle is approximately 60 degrees. This acoustical environment gives you a three-dimensional sonic canvas to work with. Place the speakers anywhere else, or place them in a room that is not properly constructed for this kind of critical listening, and you may record and mix something, but the results will not be Grammy-worthy stereo. 
For geeks: this gets more complicated when you add subwoofers (2.1 systems) and even more complicated when you start working in (or listening to) multichannel formats like 5.1, 5.2, 6.1, 7.1, 7.2, etc. Also, I know near-field monitors have been a thing for 40+ years (it’s my favorite way to mix), it doesn’t change the physics, the technique just lets you get better results in suboptimal control rooms.
The engineer and producer of a multichannel format such as a 5.1 track will almost always create a stereo mix for distribution. In consumer audio terms, it’s the most common listening format. But they don’t do an earbud (or even a high-quality headphone) mix, because of the physical limitations (literally the physics) imposed by putting tiny speakers in your ears.
For geeks: limitations of mixing on headphones include, but are not limited to, problems with stereo imaging, frequency response, and crossfeed (not hearing sound from the right speaker with your left ear and vice versa).
So, how much time and money have you spent on your listening room? Because that’s the only place hi-res audio is going to matter to you – if it matters at all. If you’re listening to hi-res audio through your AirPods while walking on the street or sitting on a bus or sitting in your house with the air conditioner running or in a motor vehicle or on an airplane, the ambient noise in the environment will make it all but impossible to hear the difference between a pretty good 320 kbps AAC file and a very amazing 9,216 kbps hi-res audio file.
For geeks: Spotify and Pandora free versions typically stream at a bitrate of 160 kbps. Spotify Premium offers bitrates up to 320 kbps (mp3 or AAC quality audio).
High-Quality (or “High-Resolution”) Audio
If you believe that you can hear the difference, and you have an audio system set up to take advantage of the increased fidelity, some companies are still trying to make a go of the hi-res audio space. 
Jay-Z’s TIDAL platform separates itself with its HiFi subscription tier, which offers access to high-res audio and costs $20/month: twice the price of its base tier, as well as twice the price of Apple and Spotify’s most popular plans. Called “TIDAL Masters,” these hi-res tracks are “master-quality recordings directly from the master source.” HiFi audio has good sound, but limited resolution (44.1 kHz /16 bit); TIDAL Masters offer “an authenticated and unbroken version” (typically 96 kHz / 24 bit). TIDAL offers 60+ million tracks, including 170,000+ in hi-res.
Looking for more options? Here are some hi-res audio alternatives: 

  • Qobuz – This hi-res streaming service from France launched in the U.S. in February. Its base tier, Qobuz Premium, offers 320 kbps mp3 streaming for $9.99 per month. You can bump up to 16-bit CD-quality streaming for $19.99/month ($199.99/year), or stream the more than 70,000 24-bit hi-res albums for $24.99/month ($249.99/year). Want an even more exclusive tier? Qobuz’s Sublime+ tier will set you back $299.99/year, which offers hi-res streaming, “purchasing advantages,” and hi-res downloads at reduced prices. Whew.
  • Primephonic – If you’re into classical musical, you’ll want to check out Primephonic, which offers 320 kbps mp3 streaming for $7.99, or lossless 24-bit FLAC streaming for $14.99/month. Primephonic has more than 1 million classic tracks available to stream.
  • Deezer – For $19.99/month, Deezer offers personally curated recommendations and millions of streamable songs available in CD-quality FLAC format.

If you’re on cellular, you’re going to blow through data much more quickly than you would if you’re playing lossy audio from Spotify or Apple Music. Lossless compression goes hand-in-hand with large file sizes. 
The Bottom Line
I am not telling you that there is not a huge difference between mp3/AAC files and hi-res audio files. There is, and it is demonstrable. In the right listening environment, hi-res audio is one of the great pleasures in life. But the vast majority of people probably don’t have (or frequent) such an environment, and the convenience of the lower-sonic-quality files make them good enough. This was Steve Jobs’s key insight. Good enough! Which is why I believe, as much as I love hi-res audio, it is a solution in search of a problem.
Author’s note: This is not a sponsored post. I am the author of this article and it expresses my own opinions. I am not, nor is my company, receiving compensation for it.
 
 

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Jim Eigo Jazz Promo Services T: 845-986-1677 E-Mail: jim@jazzpromoservices.com
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Soundgarden, Tupac, Hole and more sue Universal Music over recordings destroyed in 2008 fire – Los Angeles Times

Soundgarden, Tupac, Hole and more sue Universal Music over recordings destroyed in 2008 fire – Los Angeles Times

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https://www.latimes.com/entertainment/music/la-et-ms-universal-music-lawsuit-fire-soundgarden-hole-tupac-petty-20190621-story.html?mc_cid=af5a7bab56
 
Soundgarden, Tupac, Hole and more sue Universal Music over recordings destroyed in 2008 fire
By Randy Lewis
Soundgarden, Tupac, Hole and more sue Universal Music over recordings destroyed in 2008 fire
Musicians Courtney Love and the estate of Tupac Shakur are parties to a lawsuit filed Friday against Universal Music Group. (Tibrina Hobson / AFP-Getty; Jose Galvez / Los Angeles Times)
A class-action lawsuit seeking at least $100 million in damages was filed Friday against Universal Music Group on behalf of artists including rock bands Soundgarden and Hole, the estate of rapper Tupac Shakur, rocker Tom Petty’s ex-wife and country-rock singer-songwriter Steve Earle over a 2008 fire in Los Angeles in which master recordings made by those artists are alleged to have been destroyed.
It’s the first legal action taken since news surfaced last week of the extent of damage from the June 1, 2008, blaze that decimated a storage facility on the lot at Universal Studios Hollywood that housed a trove of recordings in UMG’s possession.
The suit, filed in U.S. Central District Court in Los Angeles by three law firms, states that Universal Music owes their clients, and others still to be identified, half of a confidential settlement UMG negotiated with its sister company, Universal Studios, estimated in the court papers to be worth at least $150 million.
Representatives for Universal Music Group could not be reached for comment.
The action also argues that artists are contractually entitled to 50% of an additional insurance settlement UMG is said to have received for losses sustained in the fire — losses the lawsuit argues were intentionally withheld from the music community, as well as from the public.
“Yet,” the complaint charges, “even as it kept plaintiffs in the dark and misrepresented the extent of the losses, UMG successfully pursued litigation and insurance claims it was recently reported to have valued at $150 million to recoup the value of the master records.
“UMG concealed its massive recovery from plaintiffs, apparently hoping it could keep it all to itself by burying the truth in sealed court filings and a confidential settlement agreement,” the suit states. “Most importantly, UMG did not share any of its recovery with plaintiffs, the artists whose life works were destroyed in the fire — even though, by the terms of their recording contracts, plaintiffs are entitled to 50% of those proceeds and payments.”
Precisely how many recordings were destroyed and which artists and titles were impacted has never been detailed to the public, but Friday’s lawsuit alleges that “UMG, in fact, claims to have created what it internally called a ‘God List’ that purports to identify with ‘reasonable certainty’ an inventory of all Master Recordings destroyed in the Fire.”
An investigation published June 11 by the New York Times Magazine estimated that as many as 500,000 recordings were destroyed and that a partial list of artists whose works were among those reduced to ashes includes Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday, Bing Crosby, Judy Garland, Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Nirvana, Duke Ellington, John Coltrane and Count Basie.
Historic individual recordings listed among those destroyed in that report include Bill Haley & His Comets’ “Rock Around the Clock,” the Kingsmen’s “Louie Louie,” Etta James’ “At Last,” Curtis Mayfield & the Impressions’ “People Get Ready,” Jackie Brenston and His Delta Cats’ “Rocket 88” and Bo Diddley’s “Bo Diddley/I’m a Man.”
UMG quickly took issue with the report, citing, “numerous inaccuracies, misleading statements, contradictions and fundamental misunderstandings of the scope of the incident and affected assets” in a statement issued last week.
The suit, filed jointly by King, Holmes, Paterno & Soriano, McPherson LLP and Susman Godfrey, all Los Angeles-based firms, alleges that UMG did not take “all reasonable steps to make sure [master recordings] are not damaged, abused, destroyed, wasted, lost or stolen” and “it did not ‘speak up immediately [when it saw] abuse or misuse’ of assets.”
The complaint describes the Universal Studios vault that housed the recordings as “an inadequate, substandard storage warehouse … that was a known firetrap.”
“Immediately after the fire,” according to the court filing, “UMG embarked on a systematic and fraudulent scheme of misrepresentation and misdirection designed to conceal the loss of the master recordings destroyed in the fire.”
The filing then quotes from contemporaneous reports in the Los Angeles Times, Billboard, the New York Daily News and New York Times in which representatives for Universal Music downplayed the severity of the damage.
“At this point, it appears that the fire consumed no irreplaceable master recordings, just copies,” a 2008 L.A. Times editorial stated. “The studio and the record company both are fortunate enough to have the resources to preserve multiple copies of their source materials around the country. They’ve also been duplicating their recordings in high-quality digital formats, creating additional backups in the event the originals are lost.”
“To this day,” the complaint states, “UMG has not informed Plaintiffs that any Master Recordings embodying musical works owned by them were destroyed in the fire, and has refused to disclose or account to Plaintiffs for settlement proceeds and insurance payments received by UMG for the loss of the Master Recordings.”
Earlier this week, UMG CEO Lucian Grainge instructed his worldwide staff to cooperate fully with any artists seeking information on the status of particular master recordings. In an internal memo, a copy of which was obtained by The Times, Grainge told employees to direct artists’ inquiries to the company’s senior vice president of recording studios and archive management, Pat Kraus.
Grainge’s message also stressed that “We owe our artists transparency. We owe them answers. I will ensure that the senior management of this company, starting with me, owns this.”
The fire took place under a previous UMG administration when Doug Morris was still chairman and chief executive of the world’s largest music conglomerate.
Earlier this week, the head of Universal Music’s parent company, France-based Vivendi SA, dismissed the New York Times report as “noise” at a time when Vivendi is seeking to sell off 50% of UMG to help finance other acquisitions. Various estimates in recent months have placed the value of UMG between $25 billion and $50 billion.
“It’s a credit to the leadership of Lucian Grainge,” Vivendi CEO Arnaud de Puyfontaine told Variety this week, praising Grainge’s handling of the news. “It happened 11 years ago and [recent] headlines are just noise.”
Howard King, principal in King, Holmes, Paterno & Soriano, one of the firms that filed the class action suit on Friday, shot back that “the likelihood that their life’s works may have been destroyed by the gross negligence of Universal Music is far from ‘just noise’ to any potentially affected artist.
“It wasn’t ‘just noise’ in 2009 when Universal Music sued NBC Universal, claiming that hundreds of thousands of irreplaceable masters had been lost in the devastating fire. It wasn’t ‘just noise’ when Universal Music collected tens of millions of dollars, or more, in compensation for the lost masters.
“I believe that Mr. de Puyfontaine wishes this would all disappear and not interfere with his financial planning,” King said. “This wish will not come true.”
Among the plaintiffs are former record executive Tom Whalley — a trustee of the Afeni Shakur Trust established after the 1996 shooting death of Tupac Shakur — and Tom Petty’s first wife, Jane Petty, over her interest in specific Petty recordings in which she was assigned half interest in the masters for his albums “Damn the Torpedoes, “Full Moon Fever” and “Southern Accents,” believed to have been destroyed in the fire.

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For the record
Jun 23, 2019 | 9:15 PM 
An earlier version of this post said Universal Music Group was being sued by the estate of rocker Tom Petty. Among the plaintiffs in the legal action filed Friday against UMG is Jane Petty, the singer-songwriter’s ex-wife, not his estate.
 
 

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Jim Eigo Jazz Promo Services T: 845-986-1677 E-Mail: jim@jazzpromoservices.com
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Dave Bartholomew, Mainstay of New Orleans R&B, Dies at 100 NY Times

Dave Bartholomew, Mainstay of New Orleans R&B, Dies at 100 NY Times

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https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/23/obituaries/dave-bartholomew-dies-at-100.html?action=click&module=Editors%20Picks&pgtype=Homepage

 

Dave Bartholomew, Mainstay of New Orleans R&B, Dies at 100

By Bill Friskics-Warren
June 23, 2019
 

Fats Domino, left, and Dave Bartholomew, who co-wrote and produced many of Mr. Domino’s hits. “Dave was one of rock ’n’ roll’s first great producers,” one expert said.Charles L. Franck/Franck Bertacci Photograph Collection, via Historic New Orleans Collection
 

Fats Domino, left, and Dave Bartholomew, who co-wrote and produced many of Mr. Domino’s hits. “Dave was one of rock ’n’ roll’s first great producers,” one expert said.
 
Charles L. Franck/Franck Bertacci Photograph Collection, via Historic New Orleans Collection
Dave Bartholomew, the producer, arranger, composer, trumpet player and bandleader who had a major hand in the shaping of New Orleans rhythm and blues and early rock ’n’ roll, died on Sunday in New Orleans. He was 100.
His death was confirmed by his son Ron.
An influential figure who worked mainly behind the scenes, Mr. Bartholomew was best known for the hits he produced for and wrote with Fats Domino, including “Ain’t That a Shame” (originally released under the name “Ain’t It a Shame”) and “Blue Monday.”
Under Mr. Bartholomew’s direction, Mr. Domino placed 65 singles on the Billboard pop chart from 1955 to 1964. Among rock ’n’ roll singers, only Elvis Presley had more during that period.
Mr. Bartholomew’s musical reach extended well beyond his collaborations with Mr. Domino. He also produced and arranged signature hits by Lloyd Price (“Lawdy Miss Clawdy”), Shirley and Lee (“Let the Good Times Roll”) and Smiley Lewis (“I Hear You Knocking”). “My Ding-a-Ling,” Chuck Berry’s only No. 1 pop single, was an adaptation of “Little Girl Sing Ding-a-Ling,” a recording Mr. Bartholomew made under his own name in 1952. Elton John, Paul McCartney, the Rolling Stones, Hank Williams Jr. and Cheap Trick, among many others, have recorded material associated with Mr. Bartholomew.
“His importance cannot be overstated,” Dr. Ira Padnos, a practicing anesthesiologist and the founder of the Ponderosa Stomp, a national touring revue and foundation that recognizes and promotes the work of American roots music pioneers, said in an interview for this obituary in 2010.
Mr. Bartholomew in 1972 performing during the Newport Jazz Festival. He earned the nickname Leather Lungs for his ability to hold a note.Don Hogan Charles/The New York Times
 

Mr. Bartholomew in 1972 performing during the Newport Jazz Festival. He earned the nickname Leather Lungs for his ability to hold a note.
 
Don Hogan Charles/The New York Times

“Dave was one of rock ’n’ roll’s first great producers,” Dr. Padnos said. “And he created what might have been the first rock ’n’ roll record with ‘The Fat Man,’ ” a hit for Mr. Domino in 1949. “There was nothing else like it at the time. He put a heavy backbeat behind an old blues tune, and it became rock ’n’ roll.”
That “big beat,” as it came to be known, was supplied by the drummer Earl Palmer, one of several unerringly funky musicians whom Mr. Bartholomew recruited to work in his band. (Others included the saxophonists Lee Allen and Alvin (Red) Tyler.)
Besides appearing on his sessions, this tight ensemble played on Little Richard’s volcanic mid-50s hits “Tutti Frutti” and “Long Tall Sally.” It also backed Sam Cooke, with a young Allen Toussaint on piano, during his 1960 tour of the United States.
Fusing Mardi Gras parade rhythms, jump blues, big-band jazz and Tin Pan Alley pop, Mr. Bartholomew and his band created a Crescent City groove that became as enduring a part of rock ’n’ roll vernacular as Bo Diddley’s “shave-and-a-haircut” beat and Mr. Berry’s “ringin’ a bell” guitar.
No less remarkable was the fact that Mr. Bartholomew, a black man, achieved such prominence working in the Jim Crow South. “He was operating in a very segregated environment,” John Broven, the author of “Rhythm & Blues in New Orleans,” said in an interview. “You had to be somebody special to rise to the top.”
Mr. Bartholomew, left, shakes hands with Fats Domino in 1999 at the 50th anniversary observance of Mr. Domino’s first recording session in New Orleans.Jennifer Zdon/The Times-Picayune, via Associated Press
 

Jennifer Zdon/The Times-Picayune, via Associated Press

Dave Bartholomew was born on Dec. 24, 1918, in Edgard, La. (Some sources say the year was 1920, but the family said 1918 is correct.) The son of a jazz trumpet player, he grew up in a musical home and learned to play the tuba before moving on to trumpet.
He earned the nickname Leather Lungs for his ability to hold a note, and by the time he was a teenager he had spent time in a number of the region’s most popular bands, including those led by Joe Robicheaux and Papa Celestin. He later worked briefly with Jimmie Lunceford’s big band, and with a military band while serving in the Army, where he began writing and arranging music.
After serving in World War II he formed his own group, which appeared in New Orleans night spots like the Club Tijuana and the Dew Drop Inn, before meeting the record mogul Lew Chudd, who signed Mr. Bartholomew to his label, Imperial.
Mr. Bartholomew was working for the label as a talent scout when he first heard Mr. Domino perform, at the Hideaway Club in New Orleans. “The Fat Man,” the first single the two men made together, became a national hit and offered early proof of Mr. Bartholomew’s astute mix of commercial and artistic instincts.
“He was smart enough to know you couldn’t get a song named ‘Junker Blues’ played on the radio,” Dr. Padnos explained, referring to the drug-themed song on which “The Fat Man” was based, “so he came up with ‘The Fat Man’ instead. With Fats he wrote stuff that was accessible enough that the kids would buy it.”
Mr. Bartholomew in an undated photo.Proper Records
 

Proper Records

The genial, steady-rolling arrangements Mr. Bartholomew wrote for Mr. Domino all but ensured the mainstream appeal of his music. The records Mr. Bartholomew released under his own name had more of a Caribbean or Afro-Cuban feel than his collaborations with Mr. Domino and the other youth-oriented performers whose sessions he produced. With titles like “Shrimp and Gumbo” and “Carnival Day,” these recordings were evocative of local New Orleans culture.
A broad cross section of Mr. Bartholomew’s music, including his work with renowned blues musicians like T-Bone Walker and Roy Brown, was presented in “The Spirit of New Orleans: The Genius of Dave Bartholomew,” a two-CD set released by Capitol Records in 1993.
Mr. Bartholomew’s name was linked to steadily fewer hit records as the 1960s gave way to the ’70s, but he remained active into his 80s. His 1998 studio album, “New Orleans Big Beat” (Landslide), featured “Jazz Fest in New Orleans,” which became the unofficial anthem of the city’s annual Jazz and Heritage Festival.
He was given a Trustees Award, for lifetime achievement, by the Recording Academy in 2014.
Survivors include his wife, Rhea (Douse) Bartholomew; his daughters, Diane Wilson and Jacqueline Temple; his sons, Dave Jr., Don and Ron; three stepchildren, Alvin LaBeaud, Darrell LaBeaud and Deborah Hubbard; a sister, Thelma Cooper; 25 grandchildren; and many great-grandchildren.
Mr. Bartholomew’s compositions have been included on the soundtracks of music-themed movies like “The Girl Can’t Help It” (1956) and “American Graffiti” (1973). A member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame, he was elected to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1991.
That he was inducted in the “nonperformer” category was appropriate but perhaps misleading, Mr. Broven said. In addition to being “the one who organized all the musicians and whipped everyone into shape in the studio,” he noted, “he was a great musician himself, a red-hot trumpeter.”
 

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Lou Donaldson performs and talks jazz and hip-hop. : NPR

Lou Donaldson performs and talks jazz and hip-hop. : NPR

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https://www.npr.org/2019/06/19/733992956/good-gracious-words-of-wisdom-and-soulful-reflection-from-sweet-papa-lou-donalds
 

Good Gracious! Words Of Wisdom And Soulful Reflection From ‘Sweet Papa’ Lou Donaldson
 
Nate ChinenJune 20, 20192:54 PM ET
Lou Donaldson, the alto saxophonist fondly known as “Sweet Papa,” tends to characterize his colorfully sprawling life in jazz as the pursuit of a fundamental aim. “I always had my music geared to the people,” he says. “‘Cause when I played, I listened to what they were giving me the applause for.”
During a career spanning more than six decades, Donaldson met that standard with style to spare — in the earliest hard-bop bands, alongside Art Blakey and Clifford Brown; with a winning series of 1960s Blue Note albums, like Alligator Bogaloo, that would come to epitomize soul jazz; as a blues-and-bebop legacy artist, recognized as an NEA Jazz Master; and as a core sample source for hip-hop artists like Pete Rock and De La Soul.
Donaldson, 92, has lately been enjoying a retiree’s easy pace in Florida, but he’s no less garrulous and mischievous than he ever was, as we’ll hear in this episode of Jazz Night in America. Our host, Christian McBride, visited Donaldson at home, and their conversation is an unguarded and salty treat. (“The only jazz I hear,” quips Sweet Papa Lou, “is when some old people play it.”)
We’ll also hear plenty of music, pulled not only from Donaldson’s storied catalog but also a 2009 date at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, with his longtime organ quartet. We’ll hear Don Was, the president of Blue Note, explain why Donaldson has been key to the label’s legacy. And we’ll hear Pete Rock break down the magic of those tracks from a hip-hop point of view. “To me, Lou was special,” Rock reflects — a sentiment we all share at Jazz Night, in a vibrant present tense.
Musicians
Lou Donaldson, alto saxophone, vocals; Randy Johnston, guitar; Akiko Tsuruga, organ; Fukishi Tainaka, drums
Credits
Host: Christian McBride; Producers: Trevor Smith with Alex Ariff; Senior Producer: Katie Simon; Recording Engineer: Rob Macomber; Executive Producers: Amy Niles, Gabrielle Armand, Anya Grundman; Senior Director of NPR Music: Lauren Onkey; Production Assistant: Sarah Kerson; Project Manager: Suraya Mohamed; Special thanks to Hannah Harris Green, Sam Turken, Roberta Magrini, Belviana Todmann, Cem Kurosman, and Colin Moreshead
 
 

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Universal Music Group Archivist: Vault Fire Damage ‘Surprisingly Overstated,’ But Any Loss Is ‘Painful For Us’ | Billboard

Universal Music Group Archivist: Vault Fire Damage ‘Surprisingly Overstated,’ But Any Loss Is ‘Painful For Us’ | Billboard

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https://www.billboard.com/articles/business/8516256/umg-archivist-interview-universal-fire-masters-tapes-litigation?curator=MusicREDEF
 
Universal Music Group Archivist: Vault Fire Damage ‘Surprisingly Overstated,’ But Any Loss Is ‘Painful for Us’
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Courtesy of UMG
Master tapes from the Universal Music archives.
“Many of the masters that were highlighted [in the report] as destroyed, we actually have in our archives,” says UMG archivist Patrick Kraus.
For much of last week, Universal Music Group archivist Patrick Kraus sent members of his team into the ten vaults the company keeps around the world to verify the location and condition of its more than 3.5 million assets, from original session recordings to photographs. The world’s biggest music company has been in crisis mode since the New York Times Magazine ran “The Day the Music Burned,” reporting that a 2008 Hollywood, California, fire destroyed up to 500,000 master recordings, including historical originals by Chuck Berry, Muddy Waters, Aretha Franklin, Elton John, Guns N’ Roses, Snoop Dogg, the Roots and many others.
The Times story brought unprecedented attention to a little-known part of the recording business — storing and preserving masters, the “first-generation tapes,” in Kraus’ words, used as sources for vinyl, CD and digital releases. The Times described them as “the irreplaceable primary source of a piece of recorded music,” which is why they’re vital for ambitious reissue projects and indispensable for historians. They could also now be the subject of litigation: Prominent artists are considering filing lawsuits against Universal based on the destruction of their masters.
Kraus, UMG’s senior VP of recording studios and archive management, didn’t work at Universal at the time of the fire, but he spent part of last week reassuring panicked artists and responding to outraged music fans – and he explained to Billboard why the Times story “overstated” the losses. “Mind you, we’ve had two days!” he says. (Universal has allocated additional resources to Kraus’ tem and established an email address for artists to communicate with the company about this issue: archives@umusic.com.) Kraus, who started in music selling records at Licorice Pizza in LA, worked in Warner Music Group’s archives operation for 17 years before coming to Universal in 2015.
Universal won’t say how many archival assets were lost in the fire at Universal Studios backlot, which at the time of the fire, Universal Music Group rented from NBC Universal. “There are constraints preventing us from publicly addressing some of the details,” the company said in a statement. But Kraus, who spoke with frustration and wonky passion, discussed what he could about the extent of the damage and how the the label now archives the recordings it owns.
The Times story says the fire far worse than was reported at the time. Is that assessment fair?
Based on what we know, to me [the article] was surprisingly overstated. The article painted a picture of an archive being a place where every asset is a master – which isn’t always true. In fact, it’s never true. The things we collect range from reference cassettes, reference reels of tape, CD-Rs, production masters, multi-track tapes, flat-mix masters, EQ’ed production masters – it runs a gamut of items, formats and purposes.
How many of the millions of UMG archival “assets” are considered masters? And how many are early-generation copies? And how important is that difference?
It’s not always as simple as just saying, “Oh, we’re going to do a reissue, give me the master tape.” We look at everything we have. Sometimes the master source is not the best source to work from. Sometimes it’s a “protection copy,” because it’s been played less, for example. It’s a nuanced world we live in.
Can you characterize what was in fact lost in the 2008 fire?
There is no dispute that the fire caused serious loss, and we never said otherwise. Any loss of any asset, master or otherwise, is painful for us. What was lost? There are many things that were in these archives — master tapes, protection copies, boxes of paperwork, etc.
The story suggests that masters for many major catalogs, from Chuck Berry to Aretha Franklin, were destroyed. Is that true?
The extent of the losses was overstated. Many of the masters that were highlighted as destroyed, we actually have in our archives — the Impulse [Records]/[John] Coltrane stuff, Muddy Waters, [jazz pianist] Ahmad Jamal, [gospel label] Nashboro Records, Chess Records, to name a few. Those are some of the things we’ve gone through. Just in the last two days, we’ve found those examples in the archives. 
What can you tell me about Building 6197, the facility where Universal stored its archival material on the Universal Studios lot back then, and how much damage was done in the fire?
All I know about that lot is what I saw as a visitor on the tour, to tell you the truth.
When did you go as a visitor?
I’m talking about the Universal Studios tour. When I lived in Burbank, in my Warner days, my kids were little, so we would go to the Nickelodeon Splash zone on a regular basis.
Do you think Universal and other labels learned anything from the fire about how to protect archival assets? 
Well, you know, it’s 11 years ago, right? Anytime you have a fire — any time you lose an asset — it’s a terrible event. We know we have to put these assets into secure facilities that have fire protection and we have to work quickly to preserve some of this stuff digitally to make sure it’s around for the ages. Beyond that, I don’t know that I could say we learned anything specifically from this particular event. 
How much have you changed the archiving process since you started at UMG four years ago? How do you store masters and other assets today? 
We have a mix of our own facilities around the world, and partner facilities, and that partner in many cases is Iron Mountain. We’re pretty deliberate about geographic separation. We have things on the West Coast, in the center of the country, on the East Coast, in and around London, in the U.K., and various local vaults around the territories we operate in around the world. 
The story quotes a source describing Iron Mountain, where Universal stores many of its master recordings in Boyers, Pennsylvania, as a “Raiders of the Lost Ark”-style warehouse that contains rows and rows of objects that are hard to identify. Is that true?
That was grossly overstated. Iron Mountain has been a great partner for us in terms of not only storage but also helping us to understand what we have better. Things are marked and we have databases that contain as much data as we’ve been able to capture around those assets. 
How much of an issue is finding an identifying recordings?
It’s my sense that, across the board, music archiving has improved greatly over the last 20-plus years. I have not run across situations where it’s wildly out of control and “Raiders of the Lost Ark”-like. 
The Times story paints a pretty dark picture about how masters have been cared for over the years.
There are lots of tales of terrible things that have happened to archival assets across the entertainment industry over the decades, and people love to tell them. They’re probably all true. But we’re not fighting a battle against the elements here on a daily basis. There are some real threats that we deal with all the time, like decaying physical carriers and tapes. Where do you find a wax-cylinder player that does justice to the content? Same with analog tape. 
After the article, some artists have publicly said that they believe their masters have been destroyed, including Krist Novoselic of Nirvana and Irving Azoff, who spoke on behalf of Steely Dan, which he manages. Can you respond? 
Every artist who’s reached out to us with concerns, we’re working closely with them and/or their representatives to give them insight into the status of all of the assets we hold.
Could any good come from this in terms of people paying some attention to this issue more broadly?
It’s a good opportunity for us to say, “Look, we’re not a bunch of bean counters who don’t give a shit about these assets.” We actually literally spend most of our waking moments devising strategies for how to best take care of this stuff. There’s an endless list of stunning artifacts that we have that we treasure and that we work hard to preserve. And being able to talk about that is always a good thing.


1.jpg%3fmode=crop&width=744&height=419Top articles1/5READ MOREUniversal Music Group Archivist: Vault Fire Damage ‘Surprisingly Overstated,’ But Any Loss Is ‘Painful for Us’4.jpg%3fmode=stretch&connatiximg=true&scale=both&height=349&width=620
 
 

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[JPL] Memorial service for Jeff Duperon

[JPL] Memorial service for Jeff Duperon

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The men who make art from the music called jazz – Chicago Tribune

The men who make art from the music called jazz – Chicago Tribune

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https://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/ct-ae-jazz-visual-artists-kogan-sidewalks-0623-20190618-4izyv33o5vg25hdt7anhbq2uu4-story.html
 
The men who make art from the music called jazz
Rick Kogan
The men who make art from the music called jazz
“The Velvet Lounge” is jazz artwork by the movie producer Bill Horberg. (Bill Horberg photo/HANDOUT)
Bill Horberg was on the phone. He was in Canada where he is producing a new movie directed by and starring Sean Penn. That’s what he does. Horberg make movies. He has made some very good ones in his more than three decades as a producer. Perhaps you have seen one of them: “Cold Mountain,” “Milk,” “The Kite Runner,” “Searching for Bobby Fischer,” “The Talented Mr. Ripley.”
This latest film is “Flag Day” and it also stars Penn’s daughter (with Robin Wright), Dylan Penn. But that is all beside the point, the conversation, in which Horberg was saying, “I think American jazz music is one of the greatest art forms ever created and drawing the people who make that music is a way for me to remember them.” 
Horberg’s later-in-life artistic explosion has manifested itself in hundreds of drawings, two shows (at the ArtYard in Frenchtown, N.J., and Cross Contemporary Art in Saugerties, N.Y.), and, very much to the point, his “Portraits in Jazz,” a month long exhibition opening June 28 at Firecat Projects, 2124 N. Damen Ave. (more at firecatprojects.org). A jazz trio will be playing.
Stan Klein, who operates the gallery, says of the work that will be shown (and be for sale): “Selective in color and subtle simplicity, they speak a language that allows viewers to wander through the world of jazz music at a certain point in our time.”
Though Horberg has known Klein for decades, he has never met Neil Shapiro. Still, there is no doubt that they would get along — for a few hours after my conversation with Bill, Shapiro was telling me, “I can’t play or sing a note to save my life but jazz has long been my passion and I wanted to honor the music I love and the musicians who make it.”
What he has done is create a book. “The Jazz Alphabet” has, naturally, 26 portraits, each accompanied by short descriptions of the musicians and quotations from or about each ( more at jazzalphabet.com). This, for instance, is courtesy of Duke Ellington: “By & large, jazz has always been like the kind of man you wouldn’t want your daughter to associate with.” 
“I have chosen as subjects mostly the giants of jazz who were most familiar to me,” said Shapiro.
The idea for “The Jazz Alphabet” came to him more than 20 years ago. He was at Syracuse University pursuing a M.A. in illustration that he felt would allow him to add teaching to a resume that then included being an advertising art director for major clients such as McDonald’s.
“The instructor told us to follow our passion,” he says. Since his was jazz, he drew John Coltrane and added this: “C is for Coltrane.”
“Then life got in the way,” he says. Not unsatisfactorily, as he continued his advertising work, illustrated children’s books, exhibited his art and started teaching and lecturing. Eventually, the letters and musicians began to pile up. He was, however, stuck on “X” until he and his wife Maureen met jazz critic and writer Neil Tesser at a party here.
“Do you know any jazz performers whose last name starts with an ‘X’? Shapiro asked.
Immediately, Tesser had an answer. “Ed Xiques,” he said, naming a saxophonist.
Tesser has done more, writing a fine forward to the book, in which he recounts that first encounter and writes, “in illustrating the uniqueness of his subjects, [Shapiro’s portraits] exhibit his own individuality in equal measure.”
One of the striking elements of the book are its words. “I love drawing letter forms,” Shapiro says, by way of explain the wild and colorful shapes that capture such words as these, from Dexter Gordon: “Jazz to me is living music. It’s a music that since its beginning has expressed the feelings, the dreams, hopes of the people.”
Horberg would certainly understand that sentiment.
Chicago born and raised he attended the prestigious Berkelee School of Music in Boston, his instruments flute and piano. He dropped out, came home and played in a local band until getting in on the ground floor of the movie business as the manager of the bygone and shabby Sandburg Theater in the Gold Coast. He did this with his high school friend and later film-producing partner Albert Berger.
Soon enough, Hollywood beckoned and he headed west. He stayed. He married. His wife is Cuban-born Elsa Mora, an internationally known visual artist. They had kids. He learned the film business, working with such masters as Francis Ford Coppola and Mike Nichols. He ran a production company with Sydney Pollack and Anthony Minghella.
In 2015, he was in Spain working on a film called “The Promise” starring Christian Bale.
“It was a tough, hard and tiring shoot and I was lonely, bored and wanted company,” he says. “So I started to think of who I would like to be hanging out with and into my mind kept coming the faces of jazz artists.”
His started sketching some of these new “pals” in a notebook. Then he had a heart attack.
“I was lucky,” he says. “But the recuperation involved a long hospital stay. That enable me to listen to a lot of music and then take a deep dive into that music and do some research about the lives of performers I knew of and loved. While I was on the mend, my notebook sketching took on whole new dimension. I found it therapeutic and I just couldn’t stop.”
He and his family moved from Los Angeles to the Woodstock, N.Y.-area, primarily, he says, “because 30 years in L.A. is a long time and I wanted be, and wanted the kids [teenagers Natalie and Diego; older son Miro from his first marriage lives elsewhere] to be, closer to nature.” In so doing, he has gotten closer to music, joining the board of the area’s Creative Music Studio and playing regularly again.
“It’s been amazing, so rewarding to reconnect with my musical past,” he says.
Horberg will be back home next weekend, excited to see family members, which include sister Marguerite, a local arts powerhouse as a producer and activist who was the founder of the greatly lamented club the HotHouse.
He will be at Friday’s opening and at a reception that Sunday he will read from a memoir he is writing. It’s not his first literary venture. He long ago collaborated with his wife on a couple of comic books, one of which was “Greek Lightning: The True Story of The Sandburg Theater.”
“I will use any excuse to get back home,” Bill said. “It makes me super happy. Am I a little anxious about this show? Well, yes. I have no self-identity as an artist. I have had no formal training. So I am ready for the critics to have at me.”
rkogan@chicagotribune.com

Rick Kogan
 


Born and raised and still living in Chicago, Rick Kogan has worked for the Chicago Daily News, Chicago Sun-Times and the Tribune, where he currently is a columnist. Inducted into the Chicago Journalism Hall of Fame in 2003, he hosts “After Hours with Rick Kogan” on WGN radio and is the author of a dozen books, including “A Chicago Tavern.”
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Jazz Played on the Cimbalom by The MARIUS PREDA JAZZ QUARTET: Swing 48 – YouTube

Jazz Played on the Cimbalom by The MARIUS PREDA JAZZ QUARTET: Swing 48 – YouTube

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rnDiB6vuFTM
 
Marius Preda performs on a cimbalom, which is a concert hammered dulcimer: a type of chordophone composed of a large, trapezoidal box with metal strings stretched across its top. It is a musical instrument commonly found in Hungary and throughout the group of Central-Eastern European nations and cultures. It is Preda’s life ambition to expose the world to this glorious instrument and to bring into focus its history, and cement its place it the jazz canon. 
 
 

 
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Effort underway to restore iconic Detroit club that once hosted jazz legends like Miles Davis | Michigan Radio

Effort underway to restore iconic Detroit club that once hosted jazz legends like Miles Davis | Michigan Radio

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https://www.michiganradio.org/post/effort-underway-restore-iconic-detroit-club-once-hosted-jazz-legends-miles-davis
 
Effort underway to restore iconic Detroit club that once hosted jazz legends like Miles Davis
By Stateside Staff & April Van Buren  Jun 4, 2019 
Blue Bird Inn sign and building
View Slideshow 1 of 5
 
Stateside’s April Van Buren visits the Blue Bird Inn 
Some of jazz’s most iconic musicians have graced the stage at the Blue Bird Inn on Detroit’s West Side. But the once popular bar at 5021 Tireman has stood empty for more than a decade. Now, there’s an effort to restore the historic venue for a new era.
The Detroit Sound Conservancy is a nonprofit focused on music preservation in the city of Detroit. Carleton Gholz is its executive director. Gholz says the building will eventually serve as a home to the nonprofit, a depository for its archives of Detroit music history, as well as a live music venue.
But that is going to take some major work.
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“You know the building has just gone through a lot. There’s a lot of waterlogged stuff…You can see the light coming through the roof. You know, the tin ceiling has sort of falling in,” Gholz said.
A few weeks ago, more than a dozen volunteers met up at the Blue Bird on a Saturday to get that work started. They shoveled dirt and debris into heavy duty garbage bags, pulled up weeds from the sidewalk out front, and cut down the overgrown backyard.
There is not much left in the interior of the building aside from support poles, a few of which feature small mirrored tiles. Gholz said many of the artifacts from the Blue Bird – things like photos, artwork, and chairs – were stolen after the bar’s then-owner passed away in 2003. The Detroit Sound Conservancy did manage to salvage and restore the stage from the Blue Bird several years ago.
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Some of jazz’s most iconic names – Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Charlie Parker – were just a few of the musicians to step foot on the small stage over the years. There was also a local band, and musicians who played on Motown and United Sound System tracks.
“They all learned how to play music on this stage and in this audience,” said Gholz.  
The Blue Bird Inn was also a community gathering space for the West Side.
“Oh we had church members that we said came from the Blue Bird to church on Sunday. They were here Saturday, and they went from here to church,” said lifelong West Side resident LaVeta Browne.
As the Blue Bird became a go-to spot for bebop and jazz in the city during the late 1940s, the surrounding neighborhood was also going through massive change.
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“I don’t know how many people realize, but Tireman was the division line for segregation in Detroit,” explained Browne. “It was a covenant that blacks lived on the south side of Tireman and whites lived on the north side of Tireman.”
Just a couple of blocks away from the Blue Bird Inn, there’s a historical marker commemorating Orsel and Minnie McGhee. They were the black Detroit family who moved into the all-white neighborhood north of Tireman in 1944. After neighbors attempted to enforce a racist housing covenant that forbade selling the property to non-white owners, the McGhees took their case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. In 1948, the Court struck down racist housing covenants in Detroit and St. Louis, opening up the neighborhood north of Tireman to more black families.
Sheila Allen-Frazier, another lifelong West Sider, lives on the same block as the McGhee house. Allen-Frazier says that growing up, no one in the neighborhood really thought of the Blue Bird Inn as being a historic site.
“It was just a neighborhood bar, just a neighborhood bar where everybody knew your name,” she said with a laugh.
Allen-Frazier said the Blue Bird holds special memories for a lot of people in the neighborhood. She said it was a tradition amongst her friends that when they turned 18, they came to the Blue Bird and had Clarence, the bartender, serve them their first legal drink.
“It was a wonderful place to be. You know this area was a wonderful place. And I’m hoping we can get it back to where it once was,” she said. 
Support for arts and culture coverage comes in part from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs.
 
 
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Monthly Review | Jazz and Justice: Racism and the Political Economy of the Music

Monthly Review | Jazz and Justice: Racism and the Political Economy of the Music

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Jazz and Justice: Racism and the Political Economy of the Music
The music we call “jazz” arose in late nineteenth century North America—most likely in New Orleans—based on the musical traditions of Africans, newly freed from slavery. Grounded in the music known as the “blues,” which expressed the pain, sufferings, and hopes of Black folk then pulverized by Jim Crow, this new music entered the world via the instruments that had been abandoned by departing military bands after the Civil War. Gerald Horne’s Jazz and Justice: Racism and the Political Economy of the Music examines the economic, social, and political forces that shaped this music into a phenomenal U.S.—and Black American—contribution to global arts and culture.
Horne assembles a galvanic story depicting what may have been the era’s most virulent economic—and racist—exploitation, as jazz musicians battled organized crime, the Ku Klux Klan, and other variously malignant forces dominating the nightclub scene where jazz became known. Horne pays particular attention to women artists, such as pianist Mary Lou Williams and trombonist Melba Liston, who faced the triple jeopardy of racism, sexism, and class exploitation. He also limns the contributions of musicians with Native American roots who, because of the peculiarities of Jim Crow laws, were defined as African American. He traces the routes of those musicians forced into exile because of Jim Crow: Dexter Gordon in Copenhagen; Art Farmer in Vienna; Randy Weston in Morocco. Gerald Horne writes of the countless lives of artistry and genius—both known, like Armstrong, Ellington, and Coltrane, and unknown. This is the story of a beautiful lotus, growing from the filth of the crassest form of human immiseration.
Gerald Horne has made an exhaustive examination of archives, oral history interviews, autobiographies, and secondary literature to present a devastating picture of what has been termed ‘cockroach capitalism’—the jazz business that ruthlessly exploits and degrades [not just] African American musicians.
—Douglas Daniels, author, Lester Leaps In: The Life and Times of Lester “Pres” Young
What does it mean for descendants of enslaved people to create a music embraced by the world and still be treated as second-class citizens, exploited, dehumanized, and subject to premature death? By following the money, the managers, the musicians, and the bodies, Gerald Horne gives us enthralling view of jazz history from the underside. An essential contribution to our understanding of how racial capitalism shaped American music.
—Robin D. G. Kelley, author, Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an American Original
This book presents a serious look at jazz from one of the country’s premier historians and scholars. There is a 1:1 ratio between the treatment of African American musicians and the treatment of African American music. The central role of African Americans in the history of jazz is perpetually minimized. Gerald Horne does a masterful job of putting the development and history of jazz within its proper context. ¶ A prolific writer and preeminent scholar, Horne’s body of work covers the entirety of the African Diaspora, and will become more and more valuable to future generations. This book is a welcome addition.
—Prince A. Wells, III, Professor, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville; trumpeter and composer
Gerald Horne’s Jazz and Justice is an excellent political history of the popular music form of African descendants in the United States. Horne reconstructs the resistance of Black musicians to structural racism as it manifested in the entertainment industry. This insurgent interpretation of a densely researched manuscript applies an analysis of political economy in explaining the role of monopoly capitalism and organized crime in exploiting the art form of classical Black music. Jazz and Justice meets the standard that students and researchers of the Black experience expect from Professor Horne and continues his reputation as of the most prolific scholars of our time.
—Akinyele Umoja, Professor, African American Studies, Georgia State University; co-editor, Black Power Encyclopedia
This unflinching account of jazz as historically entwined with racism, white supremacy (de facto and dejure), organized crime, and corrupt capitalist labor exploitation takes us to, through, and beyond the mid-century sleight-of-hand of U.S. imperialism in which jazz, integrated bands, and African American musicians are rolled out to symbolize American democracy. Moments of justice for African American musicians and their communities are few and far-between in this book, and seldom take place on U.S. soil.
—Sherrie Tucker, Professor, American Studies, University of Kansas; author, Swing Shift: “All-Girl” Bands of the 1940s
Jazz and Justice is a concise take on How We Do That Hoo Doo We Do. In his interpretation of our Social perspective, Playing perspective, and Bidness perspective, Horne becomes a horn riffing a SIGNIFICANT SOCIAL COMMENTARY worthy of the Music.
—Craig Harris, composer, jazz trombonist
Jazz and Justice is about the men and women whose imaginative genius created and still creates the music that has come to be called Jazz. About their longings to be heard and be the beneficiaries of their product and their labor. It tells us of the struggles of musicians like Billie Holiday, Charles Mingus and Charlie Haden to make a social statement. It is the story of the record company owners and producers who in the words of Max Roach, “Have no mercy. No matter how much you’ve done and how much money you have made for them,” they want more. It is about James Reese Europe’s Cleft Club and the AACMs work to control the music they produce. Like Amira Baraka’s Blues People: Negro Music in White America, Horne takes us where we have not yet gone. And he makes us appreciate, even more, this music, its messages and its messengers.
—Maurice Jackson, History and African American Studies Professor, Georgetown University; author, DC Jazz: Stories of Jazz Music in Washington, DC
Gerald Horne is John J. and Rebecca Moores Professor of African American History at the University of Houston. He has published more than three dozen books, including Confronting Black Jacobins and The Apocalypse of Settler Colonialism, both by Monthly Review Press.
 
 
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Jeff Duperon R.I.P. WRTI

Jeff Duperon R.I.P. WRTI

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https://www.facebook.com/WRTImusic/?__tn__=%2Cd%2CP-R
 
All of us in the WRTI family are deeply saddened to report that our dear friend, colleague, and jazz ambassador, Jeff Duperon, lost his battle with cancer today. Jeff dedicated his life to championing jazz and all those who loved it as he did. He was a fierce advocate for new music and the necessity for all of us to keep our ears and minds open to new artists and their music. He introduced countless listeners to jazz and nurtured their lifelong appreciation for this music. His tireless advocacy for jazz and for WRTI, inspired all of us to work harder and stand taller knowing we never stood alone. He will be deeply missed and never forgotten. We love you, Jeff.

 

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What the Heck Is That? – The New York Times

What the Heck Is That? – The New York Times

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https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/10/crosswords/what-the-heck-is-that-fatha.html
 
What the Heck Is That?
A look at one of the entries from last week’s puzzles that stumped our solvers.
 
By Deb Amlen
June 10, 2019
Earl “Fatha” Hines (1903-1983) was an American jazz bandleader, composer and pianist. He is considered to be the father of modern jazz piano, setting the standard for generations of jazz pianists such as Oscar Peterson, Bud Powell and Herbie Hancock.
Mr. Hines came from a musical family and learned to play the cornet from his father as a young boy, but switched to piano after deeming the cornet to be “too loud.” Eventually, he would develop his signature style of unusual accents and rhythms on the piano, which he described as “playing on the piano what I had wanted to play on the cornet.”
In 1925, he moved to Chicago, which was then considered to be the jazz capital in the United States. It was in the Windy City that he struck up a friendship and partnership with Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong. Mr. Hines joined Mr. Armstrong’s band and they developed a style where one of them would play a riff and the other would repeat it on his instrument.
By the late 1920s, Mr. Hines formed his own band, working with musicians who were famous on their own, such as Charlie Parker, Sarah Vaughan, Billy Eckstine, Dizzy Gillespie and Miles Davis.
Mr. Hines was also a pioneer of bebop.
He continued recording until shortly before his death in 1983. 
[Watch Earl “Fatha” Hines discuss his influences and technique.]
How It Might Be Clued
“Nickname in early jazz piano,” “Hines of jazz,” “Jazz’s Earl Hines, familiarly,” “Jazz pianist who played with Satchmo,” “Nickname of jazz’s Earl Hines”
 

 

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What the Heck Is That? – The New York Times

What the Heck Is That? – The New York Times

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https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/10/crosswords/what-the-heck-is-that-fatha.html
 
What the Heck Is That?
A look at one of the entries from last week’s puzzles that stumped our solvers.
 
By Deb Amlen
June 10, 2019
Earl “Fatha” Hines (1903-1983) was an American jazz bandleader, composer and pianist. He is considered to be the father of modern jazz piano, setting the standard for generations of jazz pianists such as Oscar Peterson, Bud Powell and Herbie Hancock.
Mr. Hines came from a musical family and learned to play the cornet from his father as a young boy, but switched to piano after deeming the cornet to be “too loud.” Eventually, he would develop his signature style of unusual accents and rhythms on the piano, which he described as “playing on the piano what I had wanted to play on the cornet.”
In 1925, he moved to Chicago, which was then considered to be the jazz capital in the United States. It was in the Windy City that he struck up a friendship and partnership with Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong. Mr. Hines joined Mr. Armstrong’s band and they developed a style where one of them would play a riff and the other would repeat it on his instrument.
By the late 1920s, Mr. Hines formed his own band, working with musicians who were famous on their own, such as Charlie Parker, Sarah Vaughan, Billy Eckstine, Dizzy Gillespie and Miles Davis.
Mr. Hines was also a pioneer of bebop.
He continued recording until shortly before his death in 1983. 
[Watch Earl “Fatha” Hines discuss his influences and technique.]
How It Might Be Clued
“Nickname in early jazz piano,” “Hines of jazz,” “Jazz’s Earl Hines, familiarly,” “Jazz pianist who played with Satchmo,” “Nickname of jazz’s Earl Hines”
 

 

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Germantown’s finest: Take a trip down Philly jazz’s memory lane with renowned artist Leroy Butler | Arts | philadelphiaweekly.com

Germantown’s finest: Take a trip down Philly jazz’s memory lane with renowned artist Leroy Butler | Arts | philadelphiaweekly.com

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http://www.philadelphiaweekly.com/arts/germantown-s-finest-take-a-trip-down-philly-jazz-s/article_b909bb1e-8e08-11e9-b24d-2340de28bf73.html
 
Germantown’s finest: Take a trip down Philly jazz’s memory lane with renowned artist Leroy Butler
If space is the place, quite famously, for avant-garde musical icons Sun Ra and Marshall Allen, the terra firma of Germantown is just right for Leroy Butler, the renowned Afro-conscious painter and album cover artist for Ra, and that same neighborhood’s equally free, Sounds of Liberation.
“Pen and ink, scribbling it down in pencil, then coming back and inking in the lines I wanted to keep,” said Butler in a raspy voice from his home on East Tulpehocken Street, which is a style he termed his own. “I really loved that. That’s probably what saved me, kept me off the streets. I’d rather stay at home and draw, portrait drawing in particular. That’s what I was most comfortable with.”
On Thursday, June 13, while Allen – the leader of the Germantown-based Arkestra started by the late, great Ra – celebrates his 95th birthday on the stage of Union Transfer, Butler, 93, will appear in the concert hall’s lobby, feted by a mini-exhibition of his work and an autograph signing opportunity for Sounds of Liberation’s recently-excavated live album, “Unreleased  (Columbia University 1973).”
As he did for the free jazz-funk outfit’s 1972 debut, “New Horizons,” Butler once executed a poignant, Afro-centric line drawing for the new album’s cover.  But just as Max Ochester (the owner of Brewerytown Beats and Dogtown Records) had to sift through detritus to find the lost tapes of “Unreleased,” he had to dig deep to find Butler and that Sounds of Liberation’s dynamic sophomore album cover sketch.
Butler has forever been part of the Germantown landscape. Born at Chestnut Hill Hospital where he claimed, “they didn’t want black people in that hospital…they didn’t even give me a proper birth certificate,” and one year after his people arrived from Georgia (“they were sharecroppers”), Butler may have gravitated toward graphic arts as a means to keep him off the streets. “When I was in the military…guys started to notice my drawings and asked for me to draw on their letters back home to their families.  I would charge a little for that. I also would draw risque pictures for other guys in the military. That got me in trouble one time.”
Once home, Butler may have gravitated toward drawing to keep him out of trouble. Meanwhile, his drawings also gravitated to those in the know from Germantown’s socio-politicized African-American consciousness movement of 1967-68, namely by that neighborhood’s conscious jazz musicians.
“My work was first recognized by Byard Lancaster,” said Butler of the Philly saxophonist who was then set to join the newly-forming Sounds of Liberation with vibraphonist Khan Jamal and guitarist Monnette Sudler. “After seeing my drawings, he asked if I would draw a piece to be used for his band. He loved what I came up with. But, at the time, Byard didn’t have any money. I gave him the piece anyway. A little later, Byard started to make some money, and from that first payment on, Byard would — every-time he saw me — do what he called ‘the flatted fifth.” He would raise his hand with a $5 or $10 dollar bill pinched between his thumb and forehand. I would put my hand out, palm up, showing I received his signal, and he would walk up and slap my hand with the bills. He did that every time he saw me until he passed, 40 or 50 years later. Every time.”
Not so generous with the money, but free with his music, was Sun Ra, for whom Butler crafted a handful of the pianist-orchestra leader’s most spirited cover paintings and drawings for 1973’s “Discipline 27-II,” 1976’s “Sun Ra And His Arkestra/Featuring Pharoah Sanders / Featuring Black Harold” and 1983’s “A Fireside Chat With Lucifer.”
“Ra was a storyteller, and when he moved here his reputation preceded him, at least from what I heard,” Butler said. “He never paid for anything. Sun Ra never paid anyone, not me, not anyone. I think that’s why he moved all the time.”
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One of a handful of album covers Leroy Butler designed for legendary jazz group, the Sun Ra Arkestra. | Image courtesy: Brewerytown Beats
Butler knew Marshall Allen from hanging out with the band, but was closer with John Gilmore, the legendary saxophonist who rarely left Ra’s side. “He was so loyal to Sun,” said Ra of Gilmore. “John was asked to play with other bands and he would always turn them down. He just stuck with Ra.”
Other artists worked with Ra, including James Bryant, Aye and Claude Dangerfield, but Butler’s torrid tones and sensuous lines stood out for their vitality, his drawings as complex and vigorous as Ra’s music.
“I liked the music Sun Ra played,” Butler said. “I would be at his house and just ask him to play something for me.  He would sit at the piano and play ‘Shortnin, shortnin, shortnin bread. Momma’s little baby loves shortnin bread.’ He’d play that, then John [Gilmore] would come in with that tenor sax, and then one by one the rest of the guys would come in, and soon enough, I had a whole concert in front of me. That’s how Sun Ra and I would work. He would play and I would draw.”
Butler laughed as he talked of Ra, Allen and the gang in a live setting, playing jazz. “And then all of the sudden it would go to pieces,” he said. “It would become very chaotic. He liked to go into his chaotic music, but the audience didn’t always like it.  They would get up and go to leave and Ra would notice and go back to playing straight jazz. Once the audience settled again he would go back to being chaotic. He did that over and over again. He would play the audience – he liked the control of it.”
The other thing Ra ultimately wanted control over was Butler’s drawings. Ra wasn’t particular about what was drawn, in Butler’s estimation, as long as it was unusual. “Never disapproved anything, he would take anything I did,” Butler said. Ra did, however, draw all over Butler’s work, in what is the ultimate show of bad behavior.
 “I didn’t like that at all,” Butler added. “He would mess them up. I guess that’s what he liked. I told him, ‘You wouldn’t want me messing with your music, don’t mess with my pictures.’ I don’t think that went over too well, and that’s when things started to fall apart for us. Oh, and the fact I never got paid.”
Butler continued on in Germantown, kept on drawing and raised a family in the same neighborhood in which he was raised. Every year for the past several years, there is a celebration of life on or around his birthday where everyone from the neighborhood comes by. “A lot of the band members from Sun’s band would stop by, we would have a wonderful time,” Butler said. “Ursula Rucker’s family lived down the street, too. She was born on this block, so I’ve known her for as long as she’s been alive. She is similar in age to my daughter Carmen. I also had a son close to Ursula’s brother’s age, both taken early by unnecessary violence.”
Rucker hailed Butler as “King Leroy” and took Max from Brewerytown Beats to the artist’s house to look for Sounds of Liberation-related art.
 “Max was looking for me for a year, asking around, really searching hard,” Butler said with a laugh. “One day, I went to the door to get my mail and I saw him standing on my porch. We spent two hours that first day talking and discussing my artwork and past history with art. It was the beginning of a good relationship.”
That relationship and dedication to finishing what each man started – Max with making sure he had the proper art for his Sounds of Liberation release, Leroy with finally getting the opportunity to show off that work – seems to define each man.
“At some point over the years, all of my older pieces were put into the basement,” Butler said. “I allowed Max to go and dig through my papers and drawers. He found the ‘Unreleased’ cover in a pile, dated 1973, same year as the LP he is putting out. I haven’t given it much thought since giving it to Max, but I am happy he found a good use for it. It seems to fit perfectly with what he’s trying to do. I like that.”
TWITTER: @ADAMOROSI
 
 

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‘Blue Note Records’ Review: A Smart, Exhilarating Look at an Influential Label – The New York Times

‘Blue Note Records’ Review: A Smart, Exhilarating Look at an Influential Label – The New York Times

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https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/13/movies/blue-note-records-beyond-the-notes-review.html?em_pos=medium
 
‘Blue Note Records’ Review: A Smart, Exhilarating Look at an Influential Label
By Glenn Kenny
June 13, 2019
Featuring Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter and other luminaries, a new documentary examines Blue Note’s legacy from Thelonious Monk to hip-hop.
Herbie Hancock in “Blue Note Records: Beyond the Notes.”Mira Film
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Herbie Hancock in “Blue Note Records: Beyond the Notes.”Mira Film
Blue Note Records: Beyond the Notes
NYT Critic’s Pick
Directed by Sophie Huber
Documentary, Music
1h 25m
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This documentary directed by Sophie Huber makes a point right off that Blue Note Records, the influential jazz label, is still very much a thing of the present. The opening scene shows a convocation of young musicians, including the pianist Robert Glasper and the trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire, assembling in a studio. Don Was, the musician and producer who now oversees the label, talks up a “Blue Note All-Stars” session.
In time the younger players are joined by Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter, surviving alumni of what jazz aficionados would term the label’s third golden age, that of the 1960s. 
Francis Wolff and Alfred Lion, German jazz fans who fled Nazi Germany and landed in New York, founded the label in 1939. At first it was a fan pursuit; they merely wanted to make transcriptions of the music they cared about. But the label soon developed a roster, including Thelonious Monk, that gave it cachet and a signature sound.
The recording engineer Rudy Van Gelder, who got more than 400 Blue Note albums on tape, and who died in 2016, is here with reminiscences and anecdotes. Blue Note Records had a look as well as a sound, beginning with the in-studio photos shot by Wolff. Shorter and Hancock fondly recall that when they saw Wolff doing a little bop dance rather than shooting, they knew they had the take.
Lion and Wolff’s legacy wound up feeding hip-hop musicians, who sampled Blue Note LPs for grooves. But artists like Kendrick Lamar heard more than just samples in this stuff. “You gotta do the music or you going to die,” Terrace Martin, a musician, rapper and producer who has worked with Lamar, says admiringly of the Blue Note ethos. This tidy, thoughtful film gets at jazz’s joy and pain.
Blue Note Records: Beyond the Notes
Not rated. Running time: 1 hour 25 minutes
Blue Note Records: Beyond the Notes
NYT Critic’s Pick
Find Tickets
When you purchase a ticket for an independently reviewed film through our site, we earn an affiliate commission.
Director
Sophie Huber
Writer
Sophie Huber
Stars
Ambrose Akinmusire, Art Blakey, John Coltrane, Michael Cuscuna, Miles Davis
Running Time
1h 25m
Genres
Documentary, Music
Movie data powered by IMDb.com
 
 

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‘Time of My Life’ Review: A Lad Gone Trad – WSJ

‘Time of My Life’ Review: A Lad Gone Trad – WSJ

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https://www.wsj.com/articles/time-of-my-life-review-a-lad-gone-trad-11559943641?mod=searchresults
 
‘Time of My Life’ Review: A Lad Gone Trad
Clive Wilson, a British trumpeter and “jazz pilgrim,” crossed the Atlantic after being seduced by the music of New Orleans.
Larry Blumenfeld
June 7, 2019 5:40 p.m. ET
https://images.wsj.net/im-80017?width=620&aspect_ratio=1.5
In the common room of a boarding school just south of London, Clive Wilson, then 13 years old, heard “a tapestry of sound and rhythm” that summoned unfamiliar feelings. “I am not making any sense of what I am hearing,” Mr. Wilson, now 76, recalls in this affecting memoir. “But in that moment, which remains with me today, making sense of my attraction is not important. Something stirs.” “Tishomingo Blues,” as recorded by trumpeter Bunk Johnson and his New Orleans Jazz Band, stirred Mr. Wilson enough to pick up the trumpet he’s yet to put down, and to cross the Atlantic for good, for a life he couldn’t have anticipated.
Mr. Wilson is hardly the first “jazz pilgrim” to resettle, having been seduced by New Orleans music. Nor was he the only young white musician to learn at the feet of the city’s pioneering players in the 1960s, when traditional jazz enjoyed a revival. New Orleans native Tom Sancton, a former Time magazine bureau chief who is also an accomplished clarinetist (and Mr. Wilson’s close musical colleague), recounted a similar arc of discovery in his 2006 memoir, “Song for My Fathers.” Yet Mr. Wilson’s perspective is distinct. In a foreword here, Mr. Sancton asks: “What drove an English public school boy, son of a clergyman, holder of a degree in physics, to cross the sea and embrace the music and culture of a band of aging black jazzmen?” 
Time of My Life
By Clive Wilson 
Mississippi, 197 pages, $25
Quite simply, the music—which, according to Mr. Wilson, “flew out of them with a joyful abandonment” and was “a complete contrast to normal British behavior.” It was also a relief from boarding-school values (“the British as God’s chosen people”) and “ ‘hell-fire and brimstone’ sermons,” presenting instead a more satisfying spiritual path.
Mr. Wilson arrived in the U.S. just days after the 1964 Civil Rights Act was passed. His U.K. roots made a difference. The older African-American musicians “knew and sensed that we [Brits] hadn’t grown up in a segregated society, with all the baggage that entailed,” he writes. “They could relax in our company.” He settled into “an idyllic bohemian life” during the French Quarter’s heyday. He took private lessons from, among others, trumpeter Ernest “Punch” Miller. Soon, Olympia Brass Band leader Harold “Duke” Dejan invited him to play a second-line parade. Mr. Wilson studied music theory with “proper music professors” at Loyola University and soaked in jazz tradition at Preservation Hall and Dixieland Hall each night. 
Still, he needed to adjust: “New Orleans musicians were always talking about red beans and rice, and I couldn’t stand rice.” There were deeper existential dilemmas. “It wasn’t my music,” he explains. “So I discovered a paradox: that to play authentic jazz, I had to play myself, my own ideas, yet I needed to listen to the New Orleans musicians to find out how to do that in their style.” He became a regular on bandstands in parades. He began releasing music from local legends on his own New Orleans music label. He wrote scholarly journal essays about specific musicians, which here form the basis of sidebars that function like stylized solos within his book’s song. (One describes trumpeter Avery “Kid” Howard as “emanating a sense of rhythm even when standing still.”) 
Perhaps Mr. Wilson overstates both traditional jazz’s predicament and his place within that culture, arguing that “when we are gone . . . the time of the traditional New Orleans style of music will be over.” Yet like the music, his insider account is both breezy and erudite; it hits hard when it needs to. In one seemingly technical appendix, he writes: “When the bass drummer in a parade accents every eighth quarter note and leaves the next downbeat tacit, his syncopation strongly implies the next downbeat. It’s a beautiful thing to feel.” Even now, on the page, something stirs.
—Mr. Blumenfeld writes about jazz for the Journal.
 
 

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Overlooked No More: Ma Rainey, the ‘Mother of the Blues’ – The New York Times

Overlooked No More: Ma Rainey, the ‘Mother of the Blues’ – The New York Times

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https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/12/obituaries/ma-rainey-overlooked.html?action=click
 
Overlooked No More: Ma Rainey, the ‘Mother of the Blues’
By Giovanni Russonello
June 12, 2019
Overlooked is a series of obituaries about remarkable people whose deaths, beginning in 1851, went unreported in The Times. This month we’re adding the stories of important L.G.B.T.Q. figures.
Ma Rainey did not make the first blues recording; that distinction belongs to Mamie Smith, the vaudevillian who recorded “Crazy Blues” in 1920. And Rainey did not achieve the monumental acclaim of Bessie Smith, her mentee and, later, friendly rival.
But it’s possible that neither of these figures would have sung the way they did without the influence of Rainey.
Often called the “Mother of the Blues,” she was the first entertainer to successfully bridge the divide between vaudeville — the cabaret-style shows that developed out of minstrelsy in the mid-1800s, and catered largely to white audiences — and authentic black Southern folk expression.
Even before the recording industry took off in the 1920s and the blues became a nationwide craze, she had developed a national reputation for her energizing, straight-talking performances and full-throated vocals. As the biographer Sandra Lieb observed in “Mother of the Blues: A Study of Ma Rainey” (1983), by combining a black folk style with techniques learned on the vaudeville stage, Rainey “offered to whites a glimpse into black culture far less obscured by white expectations, and offered to blacks a more direct affirmation” of their cultural power.
In the process, Rainey helped to mainstream narratives of black female autonomy that had little to do with the Victorian norms of white society. Partly that meant speaking candidly about her attraction to women as well as men. In “Prove It on Me Blues,” accompanied by a jug band, she sings defiantly:
Went out last night with a crowd of my friends.
They must’ve been women, ‘cause I don’t like no men.
It’s true I wear a collar and a tie,
Makes the wind blow all the while.
Don’t you say I do it, ain’t nobody caught me.
You sure got to prove it on me.
A Georgia native, Rainey began her career on the tent-show circuit, traveling with performance troupes that set up their own stages in towns across the South and Midwest, honing her own gregarious brew of music, comedy and social commentary.
The characters in Rainey’s songs rarely allowed themselves to become dependent on a male partner, or any agent of the law. “Far more typical,” the scholar and activist Angela Davis wrote in the book “Blues Legacies and Black Feminism” (1998), “are songs in which women explicitly celebrate their right to conduct themselves as expansively and even as undesirably as men.”
In Rainey’s blues — many of which she wrote herself — even the most jilted narrator was unlikely to fall into despair. In “Oh Papa Blues,” after detailing her grievances against a neglectful lover, Rainey turns on a dime, steeling herself to exact revenge.
Oh, papa, think when you away from home
You just don’t want me now, wait and see
You’ll find some other man makin’ love to me, now
Papa, papa, you ain’t got no mama now.
With a mouthful of gold teeth, richly dark skin and flashy jewelry dangling about her, Rainey cast a striking figure, with a ruggedly powerful voice and lavish stage presence to match.
“When she started singing, the gold in her teeth would sparkle,” the pianist and composer Thomas A. Dorsey, who was the musical director on some of her best-known recordings, wrote in his unpublished memoirs.
“She was in the spotlight,” he added. “She possessed listeners; they swayed, they rocked, they moaned and groaned, as they felt the blues with her.”
Sterling Brown, the poet and pioneering black literary critic, put it even more directly: “Ma really knew these people; she was a person of the folk.”
She was also a celebrity. Of the nearly 100 songs she recorded in the 1920s, many were national hits, and some have become part of the American musical canon. Her 1924 recording of “See See Rider,” on which she is accompanied by a young Louis Armstrong, was added to the Library of Congress’s National Recording Registry in 2004.
We know that Ma Rainey was born Gertrude Pridgett, the second of five children to Ella (Allen) and Thomas Pridgett. But beyond that, details are sketchy. Rainey often said she was born on April 26, 1886, in Columbus, Ga., but a 1900 census entry lists her birthplace as Alabama and her birth date as September 1882.
When her father died in 1896, her mother went to work for the Central Railway of Georgia. Gertrude began singing professionally as a teenager, making her first public performance in 1900 at the Springer Opera House in Columbus, where she joined a stage show called “The Bunch of Blackberries.” She was soon traveling with vaudeville acts.
It was while on the road, in Missouri in 1902, that she first heard a country blues singer. A young woman came up to the troupe’s tent with a guitar, singing a song of heartbreak with a twisting, ghostly melody. Rainey found herself so struck by the tune’s mysterious pathos that she began singing the song as an encore at her own shows.
Traveling throughout the rural South, Rainey began to hear similar songs, and she worked more country blues into her repertoire. The blues style — based on a pentatonic scale with an African-derived blue note, and generally following a loose, repetitious form — was such a natural fit for her that at one point she said she had invented the term “blues,” although most historians consider that claim to be an exaggeration.
In 1904, Rainey married the comedian, dancer and vocalist Will Rainey, and they toured as a duo with a variety of minstrel troupes, billing themselves as Ma and Pa Rainey. In the mid-1910s, the couple joined Moses Stokes’s tent show, then hit the road for a few years with Tolliver’s Circus and Musical Extravaganza, which touted the couple as “Rainey and Rainey, Assassinators of the Blues.” For a time they performed with the Rabbit Foot Minstrels, perhaps the most esteemed troupe of the day.
At some point during her travels, Rainey became acquainted with a young Bessie Smith, who was then performing as a chorus girl, and became Smith’s mentor. Not only were they both virtuoso singers; they shared a love of bold, risqué lyrics, and each proudly proclaimed her bisexuality. During one tour, after Rainey was caught by the Chicago police in the midst of a sexual dalliance with some of her female dancers, it was Smith who came to bail her out of jail.
Rainey separated from her husband in 1916 and began touring with her own show, Madam Gertrude Ma Rainey and Her Georgia Smart Set, which included a chorus line of male and female dancers. (She later married a younger man, though details of that relationship are scarce.) Rainey often closed her set with “See See Rider,” a lament for a lover whose primary romantic partner comes back into the picture. “I’m goin’ away, baby, won’t be back till fall/Lawd, lawd, lawd,” she sings on the recorded version. “Goin’ away, baby, won’t be back till fall./If I find me a good man, I won’t be back at all.”
Like many tent shows, Rainey’s often holed up for the winter in New Orleans. In the off-season she became friends with a number of the city’s leading jazz musicians, including Armstrong, Kid Ory and King Oliver.
Rainey in about 1924 with Thomas A. Dorsey, right, with whom she assembled a touring band that could play both homespun blues and written sheet music — an early example of the archetypal jazz musician’s skill set.JP Jazz Archives/Redferns
https://static01.nyt.com/images/2019/06/04/obituaries/00overlooked-marainey-2/ac5e394d791a40809cf85c5d0b9ebc81-articleLarge.jpg?quality=75&auto=webp&disable=upscale
Rainey in about 1924 with Thomas A. Dorsey, right, with whom she assembled a touring band that could play both homespun blues and written sheet music — an early example of the archetypal jazz musician’s skill set.JP Jazz Archives/Redferns
In 1923, Rainey traveled to Chicago to record for the first time for the Paramount Record Company. Riding the breakout success of these recordings, she and Dorsey assembled a touring band that could play both homespun blues and written sheet music — an early example of the archetypal jazz musician’s skill set.
Between 1923 and 1928, with “race records” by and for the black community becoming a thriving industry, Rainey went on to record no fewer than 92 songs for the small Wisconsin-based Paramount label. But Paramount had a low budget compared with major outfits like Okeh and Columbia (for which Bessie Smith cut her most famous sides), and Rainey’s recordings were of mediocre sound quality.
When Paramount went bankrupt in the 1930s, they fell out of print. Other labels recirculated parts of her catalog, but it wasn’t until the late 1960s that most of her recordings received a proper reissue, on the Milestone and Biograph labels.
She lived for much of the 1920s and ’30s in Chicago, performing in concert and at house parties with jazz musicians like Armstrong and Jelly Roll Morton, and touring the country often. In 1935, Rainey returned to Georgia and effectively retired, though she worked for a few years as a theater proprietor.
Ma Rainey died of a heart attack on Dec. 22, 1939. Ever since, paeans to her have been a motif of black music and letters. The blues guitarist and vocalist Memphis Minnie recorded a tribute to her in 1940, telling the story of her life and cataloging the names of her famous songs. Sterling Brown’s poem “Ma Rainey” evoked the thrill of her performances, and the validation that she offered to black listeners of the era.
O Ma Rainey,
Sing yo’ song;
Now you’s back
Whah you belong,
Git way inside us,
Keep us strong.
Even in the late 1960s, at the height of the Black Arts Movement and long after her death, Rainey continued to hold a special significance in the heart of black America as an early ambassador of empowered sexuality and personal liberation. The poet Al Young wrote “A Dance for Ma Rainey” in 1969, proclaiming: “I’m going to be just like you, Ma/Rainey this monday morning.”
Later in the poem, he pledged:
I’m going to hover in the corners
of the world, Ma
& sing from the bottom of hell
up to the tops of high heaven
 
 

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