Archive for jazz trumpet

JAZZ LIVES!!! 10/20/16 – Trumpet Tribute (featuring Kenny Dorham)

Posted in Charlotte Community Rado, Jazz in Charlotte, Obscure Trumpet Masters, Who's New in Jazz with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 19, 2016 by curtjazz

JAZZ LIVES!!! with CurtJazz – Thursday, October 20: Trumpet Tribute – featuring Kenny Dorham

kennydorham_unamasOn this week’s edition of JAZZ LIVES!!! with CurtJazz, it will be all about the trumpets.

With the birthdays of Roy Hargrove, Wynton Marsalis and Dizzy Gillespie all taking place this week, plus the Grammy winning jazz trumpeter Ashlin Parker, paying tribute to the underappreciated trumpet master Kenny Dorham, in The Jazz Arts Initiative’s JAZZ ROOM this Friday and Saturday, it is a perfect time for a Trumpet Tribute, from 6 pm – 9 pm, Thursday on CharlotteCommunityRadio (CLTCRadio).

He was a trumpet player of exceptional gifts; a composer of jazz classics, such as “Blue Bossa” and a better than average vocalist. Nevertheless, McKinley Howard “Kenny” Dorham (1924-1972), often gets lost among the glut of trumpet stars of the 1950’s and 60’s. He was a member of Art Blakey’s original Jazz Messengers and he replaced Clifford Brown in Max Roach’s group after Brownie’s tragic death. Dorham’s recordings as a leader are some of the most enduring of the era, including Afro Cuban, Quiet Kenny, ‘Round About Midnight at the Café Bohemia and Una Mas. He also made memorable music as a sideman, especially with his frequent musical partner, tenor saxophonist Joe Henderson. Together, they made three classic Blue Note albums over a two year period, under Henderson’s name: Page One; Our Thing and In ‘n Out.

ashlin-parker

Ashlin Parker

Charlotte native Ashlin Parker plays with large and small ensembles nationally and internationally. His solos have been described at various times as being lyrical or fiery, with throaty growls or “brilliant vibrato,” and with lightning staccato runs or “superb legato” phrasing.  When part of a front-line, Ashlin can bring energy, bite, and zest to a performance through engaging in “fine counterpoint duets” or spirited trading with other horn players.  His newest ensemble, the Trumpet Mafia, is considered “an immensely talented band.”

Ashlin shared in the 2009 Grammy Award for Best Large Jazz Ensemble for the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra’s album, Book One.  Following Book One, Ashlin has recorded with numerous artists, including Ellis Marsalis, Harold Battiste, Dmitry Mospan, James Partridge, Terence Blanchard and Jason Marsalis. Ashlin has been teaching various aspects of jazz, including improvisation, theory, repertoire, arranging, and performance preparation in private lessons, courses, summer institutes, jazz camps, and master classes for more than ten years.  He has been leading the jazz trumpet studio in the Music Department at the University of New Orleans since January 2011.

Be sure to join me on JAZZ LIVES!!! with CurtJazz, as we honor the musical legacy of Kenny Dorham and play the music of Wynton Marsalis, Dizzy Gillespie, Roy Hargrove and  Ashlin Parker; Thursday, October 20; from 6 pm – 9 pm (EDT); on CLTCRadio.

Don’t miss Ashlin Parker as he pays tribute to Kenny Dorham, in the Jazz Arts Initiative’s THE JAZZ ROOM. Friday, October 21, at 6 pm & 8:15 pm and Saturday, October 22, at 7 pm and 9:15 pm. For ticket information, visit www.thejazzarts.org

JAZZ LIVES!!! with CurtJazz, airs LIVE every Thursday from 6:00pm to 9:00pm via CharlotteCommunityRadio.orgCLTCRadio.org OR use the Mixlr app where you can listen and chat with our hosts and guests alike.

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Jazz Under the Radar – Four Trumpets That You Should Hear

Posted in Video Vault, Who's New in Jazz with tags , , , , , , , on June 5, 2013 by curtjazz

Keyon HarroldIf you’re familiar with my Twitter Feed, you know that on Mondays (#MusicMonday as it’s known in the Twitterverse), I usually at some point during the day will ask followers to check out the music of a living, working musician that they are unfamiliar with.

I do that because as much as I love the jazz classics, I realize that if this music is to have any hope of a future it will come not at the hands of Miles, Monk and Diz but with the musicians who are out there today, working and creating music that is influenced not only by the past masters but by what is happening out there now. So if by dropping that little reminder each Monday, I can get someone to dig and then support ($) someone new, maybe I will have done a little something.

As I’ve done this, I’ve had people reply with the request that I give them a few suggestions of artists to familiarize themselves with. Those who are playing  and recording great music but have managed to miss the general attention of much of the jazz public.

So even though this is a Wednesday, I’m going to start what I hope to make a Monday tradition – “Jazz Under the Radar”; in which I’ll suggest a few artists who might have missed your attention but are definitely worth checking out.

We’ll start with a few trumpet players and we’ll switch the categories up each week. There will be a video clip and a link to the artist’s website, if any, and to an album or two that you can currently purchase. Here are four, in alphabetical order:

Rebecca Coupe Franks

A protegé of the late tenor giant Joe Henderson, Ms. Franks (or “Coupe” as she is often called) has been on the scene for over 20 years, logging credits with Henderson, Kenny Barron and Herb Ellis among others. She first caught my ear on My Appreciation, a 1991 studio jam session that was released under Bill Cosby’s name. She has released a number of albums over the years, including Suit of Armor, her solid 1992 debut as a leader, which featured Henderson and her most recent, Two Oceans a two disc set on which she is backed by Luis Perdomo, Mimi Green and Rodney Green.

Check out the clip below and “Coupe” might just catch your ear, too.

Keyon Harrold

When have been sought by artists from Jay-Z to Fred Hammond to Maxwell to Charles Tolliver, to perform on their projects, you know that you’ve got it going on.  And Mr. Harrold certainly does. He counts Eddie Henderson and Jimmy Owens as teachers and Wynton Marsalis and Tolliver as mentors, so his knowledge of jazz traditions is excellent but since he’s in his early 30’s hip-hop has also had a strong pull. His technique is very strong, with the power of Morgan and the  swagger of Hubbard. Harrold has one album to his credit as of today, 2009’s Introducing Keyon Harrold on Criss Cross. Rest assured, you will hear more from him.

Melvin Jones

The 2011 Atlanta Jazz Festival had just begun. Vocalist Audrey Shakir was about 15 minutes into her set, when her trumpet player stepped forward to deliver a killer solo on the song that they were playing and then another on the next tune. I had never seen this young man before and his name wasn’t immediately announced so I put out an APB into the Twitterworld: “who is the young cat playing trumpet with Audrey Shakir? He is the real deal!” A few minutes later the answer came – Melvin Jones. At about the same time, Ms. Shakir disappeared from the stage for the rest of the set. We later found out that she had wilted under the blazing Memorial Day weekend sun. Mr. Jones and the band picked up the ball and ran with it. Most of the audience barely noticed the singer’s absence.

Melvin Jones returned with his own set for the 2012 AJF. As you will hear in this clip that I recorded then, the previous year was not a fluke. The Atlanta-based Memphis native has one album out. The title is Pivot. It is worth checking out.

By the way, the saxophonist in the clip is Mace Hibbard, another very good musician who’s under the radar.

Jason Parker

This Seattle-based cat is like Ms. Franks,  a 20+ year veteran of the jazz wars. He’s a fine soloist with a buttery middle tone and an easygoing swing. He writes memorable compositions that tend to stick with you after hearing them just once. He’s also a compelling writer, having written extensively about his musical life in his blog “One Working Musician”.  His recorded work reflects the indie spirit of Mr. Parker’s hometown and it’s refreshingly unconventional. I suggest that you start with the most recent two: No More, No Less, which was a Curt’s Cafe Best of 2009 selection and Five Leaves Left a distinctive Nick Drake tribute from 2011.

But don’t take my word for it, just listen to “Bashert”.  Then try to get that subtly beautiful melody out of your head afterwards.

Well, those are four but there are many more. If you’re familiar with all of them, then count yourself fortunate and look for others. If one of these names is new to you, check them out. Support the music of living, working musicians.

Next week, we’ll feature saxophonists.

Until then, the jazz continues…

Obscure Trumpet Masters #9 – Idrees Sulieman

Posted in Obscure Trumpet Masters with tags , , , on March 21, 2011 by curtjazz

Idrees Sulieman (1923 – 2002)

The thing to realize about Idrees is that he went back to the very beginnings of bebop, took part in some of the most interesting hard bop of the ’50s with Coltrane and others, played lead for Tadd Dameron alongside Clifford Brown; he…was still stretching and sounding as modern as anyone in the ’70s, ’80s, and even in the ’90s. – Brian Lynch

“Bell-clear tone, swings hard, creative soloist – Find more of his stuff!!”

Those are the words I scribbled on a scrap of paper about Idrees Sulieman when I first heard him 25 years ago, on an album called The CatsI found that paper about a year ago, inside that LP’s sleeve.  It caused me to go back and start revisiting Mr. Sulieman’s work… I’m still impressed.

Born Leonard Graham in St. Petersburg, FL, in 1923; he changed his name to Idrees Sulieman when he converted to Islam. Sulieman originally wanted to be a sax player, but switched to the trumpet because his father could not afford a saxophone.  (During the ‘60’s, Sulieman again picked up the alto sax and became fairly proficient) Sulieman studied at the Boston Conservatory and gained early experience with the Carolina Cotton Pickers.  He left to join the Earl Hines Big Band in 1943. Bird and Diz were both in the Hines Band then and it had a profound effect on Sulieman. Diz’s play inspired Sulieman to perfect his own style.

During the mid ‘40’s, in addition to Hines, Sulieman logged time with Mary Lou Williams, Cab Calloway and Thelonious Monk. In fact, Sulieman’s played on Monk’s first sides, in 1947. By the mid’50’s, he had found his niche as a top flight bebop sideman. He appeared on Max Roach’s first studio album in 1953 and alongside Gigi Gryce on Mal-1, Mal Waldron’s first disc.

This is “Humph” from Monk’s Genius of Modern Music – Volume 1, which includes some of those ’47 sessions:

Other notable turns as a sideman or co-leader include The Hawk Flies High a Coleman Hawkins session, with Hank Jones, J.J. Johnson, Oscar Pettiford and Papa Jo Jones (Check out “Juicy Fruit” – Sulieman holds a single note for 57 seconds, thanks to circular breathing techniques.);  Interplay for 2 Trumpets and 2 Tenors, along with John Coltrane, Donald Byrd and Bobby Jaspar; Coolin’ with vibraphonist Teddy Charles and Waldron; Three Trumpets with Byrd and Art Farmer and the aforementioned The Cats with Coltrane, Tommy Flanagan, Kenny Burrell, Louis Hayes and Doug Watkins.  Their version of Flanagan’s “Minor Mishap”(below)  is on my list of all-time favorite jazz performances.

The early ‘60’s saw Sulieman moving to Stockholm, where he played with Eric Dolphy, Bud Powell and Don Byas. He cut his first disc as a leader, The Camel, for Swedish Columbia, in 1964. He also returned to big band work, with a decade’s worth of fine recordings with the Clarke-Boland Big Band and the Danish Radio Orchestra, after moving to Copenhagen.

Although Sulieman was on the scene for parts of six decades, his discography as a leader is surprisingly thin.  His three albums for Steeplechase are all available. The best of these is Now Is The Time, from 1976, with Cedar Walton, Sam Jones and Higgins. Though it was almost 20 years after The Cats, Sulieman was as strong and swinging as ever.

Though he performed sparingly during his later years, Sulieman remained a prolific composer.  His estate includes a horde of compositions that were never recorded.  Trumpeter Don Sickler’s publishing company, Second Floor Music, published the tunes but much of it is still unperformed. Brian Lynch has begun to rectify that, by recording four Sulieman works on his recent Unsung Heroes project.

Sulieman died of bladder cancer in his native St. Petersburg on July 23, 2002. He left an impressive and eclectic body of work that should be heard; though it takes a bit of cross referencing to find.

Trust me, he’s worth it.

Recommended Recordings: