Tag Archives: Ron Carter

MONK ROWE’S TREASURE CHEST

Marian McPartland and Monk Rowe, photo by Val DeVisser

A the end of the preceding century, while many of us were standing at Tower Records, considering which CD to buy, Monk Rowe — musician and scholar — was busy doing good work in the land of jazz.

Monk is a modest fellow, so he will probably protest all this praise aimed at him and say, “It’s not me . . . it’s the Filius Jazz Archive at Hamilton College,” but he will have to put up with the adulation for the time being.  Monk’s ongoing gift to is a series of video interviews done with jazz artists and luminaries from 1995 on.  More than 300 interviews have been conducted, and they are appearing — almost daily — on the Archive’s YouTube channel.  Most of the interviews run an hour, which is a wonderful visit with people you and I haven’t had the opportunity for such sustained conversations with.

I confess that I have been slow in alerting JAZZ LIVES’ readers to this magic toybox, because I feared for the collective health.  The interviews are wonderfully informative in a low-key, friendly way — Rowe does not obsess over musicological details but is interested in letting the artist speak — and they are devilishly addictive.  I’ve lost hours in front of the computer because of them, so don’t say I didn’t warn you.

And the interview subjects often are people who have not been fussed over in public — at all or in such gratifying ways.  Here are a dozen names: Manny Albam, Eddie Bert, Bill Charlap, Benny Waters, Keith Ingham, Jackie Cain and Roy Kral, Sherrie Maricle, Stanley Kay, Grover Mitchell, Rossano Sportiello, Ron Carter — and those interviews have been posted on YouTube in the past month.  Let that sink in.

Here’s Monk himself — in under two minutes — introducing the channel.  You can see how low-key and amiably focused he is.  He mentions the book that he co-authored, drawn from the interviews: I’ve written about it here.

Here are several interviews that will fascinate JAZZ LIVES’ readers.  prepare to be entranced, amused, moved, informed.

Monk talks to Tom Baker — someone we miss seriously — in 1997: it amuses me that this interview was recorded in a corner of the Hotel Athenaeum at Chautauqua, New York — the fabled home of Jazz at Chautauqua:

and the illustrious Marty Grosz in 1995:

Kenny Davern, Part One, in conversation with Dr. Michael Woods:

and Part Two:

and “just one more,” Nicki Parrott in 2010:

Set aside a few weeks: this is much more rewarding than several semesters deep in the Jazz Studies curriculum, I assure you.  And I haven’t even included Helen and Stanley Dance, Vi Redd, Ruth Brown, Jean Bach, Jerry Jerome, Chubby and Duffy Jackson, Ralph Sutton, Bob Wilber, Joe Wilder, Sweets Edison . . . . that you can do for yourself.

May your happiness increase!

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“EVERYTHING IS JAZZ” in BRAZIL: 2009, 2010

This just in!  (The Beloved and I will be at Jazz at Chautauqua, but you certainly should go, if you can . . . )

“EIGHTH EDITION OF BRAZILIAN INTERNATIONAL JAZZ FESTIVAL PAYS HOMAGE TO ONE OF THE GREATEST JAZZ SINGERS OF THE 20TH CENTURY: BILLIE HOLIDAY

The tribute gathers Madeleine Peyroux, Mart´Nália and the Lady Day All Star Band on the same stage under Oded Lev-Ari’s arrangement.  All the musical diversity found in the streets and cultural spaces in the beginning of the 20th century in New Orleans, the jazz capital, is executed until today by the contemporary jazzists during their brilliant performances and improvisations. Such proof of that is the Tudo É Jazz Festival of Ouro Preto (a historical and popular city in Minas Gerais, Brazil), that’s been happening since 2002. This year, the audience present during the days 18, 19 and 20 of September will appreciate the refined music of jazz’s big names for free and outdoors. According to Maria Alice Martins, the event’s coordinator and idealizer, she always intended for the Festival to have a democratic character. “This won´t suddenly turn jazz into something popular, but it will allow the audience to have more access to great music”, affirms Maria Alice.

The Tudo É Jazz Festival reaches its eighth edition in 2009 with a homage to one of the greatest jazz singers the world has ever known: Billie Holiday, a black, poor woman that abruptly conquered all ears of great musicians from America and all around the world. The event will happen on a stage located in the traditional Largo do Rosário, in Ouro Preto. 11 presentations are programmed for the three days, with the participation of about 70 musicians.

With Maria Alice’s curatorial work, the Festival gathers revealing artists, such as the singer and guitarist Kate Schutt; some jazz old hands, like Bucky Pizzarelli – and his guitar –, and Ron Carter, who performs for the second time in the event; and even the talents from the prestigious music school of Marciac, in France.

The tribute to Billie Holiday will take place on Saturday, September 19th, with musical direction by Oded Lev-Ari and the participations of Madeleine Peyroux, the Brazilian singer Mart´Nália and the Lady Day All-Star Band, constituted by six important musicians of the international jazz scenery. On Sunday, September 20th, the last day of the Festival, the year of France in Brazil will be celebrated with the performance of a quartet of former students from the school of Marciac and the Paris Jazz Big Band, the biggest in France.

Down Beat Magazine – jazz ´n´ blues specialized publication – selected and requested 120 renowned jazz critics, among USA and around the world professionals, to vote for the best artists of the year. Three musicians that fit the category Rising Stars – which represents those in ascension – will perform to the audience of the Tudo É Jazz Festival, during its eighth edition through September 18 to 20, in Ouro Preto (Minas Gerais, Brazil), the talents that resulted on their nominations. They are: Anat Cohen (awarded in the categories “Artist of the Year” and “Clarinet”), Marcus Strickland (categories “Sax Tenor” and “Sax Soprano”) and Lionel Loueke (category “Guitar”).

The news that appeared in jazz on the last few years was the extraordinary spreading that has turned the gender into a kind of language that is easily interpreted all over the globe. A project was elaborated to create contact between the public and some valuable instrumental music, sharpening the audience’s critical sense and offering social-artistic-cultural growth. At the same time, offering the best technical qualities possible, to appraise the presentations; hiring sound, light and stage structure from the best companies all over South America, besides the best technicians to offer environment comfort to the audience. Since the 2009 edition, the presentations have become completely free charge for the public.

Nowadays the Tudo É Jazz Festival includes in its program Brazilian musicians that have more recognition outside their country than in. So, the Festival brought Raul de Souza in a concert with Claire Michel Group; Oscar Castro-Neves, that’s been living out of Brazil for over 40 years; the acclaimed pianist and singer Eliane Elias; Ivan Lins (that is unfairly not recognized as a good musician in Brazil, but appreciated abroad), that played along with Michel Legrand. Also, the Festival has developed, in the several groups interested in music from Ouro Preto and near cities, a closer contact with jazz, the music of the 21st century due to its originality, constant evolution, always influenced by history and by what’s happening right now, absorbing the feelings of the happenings and making music become an exceptional cultural and pedagogical instrument.

The Festival has made possible the creation of a Culture Point, the Alto da Cruz Culture Point, in an action that integrates the multiplicity of culture e shared management between the Senhor Bom Jesus das Flores Musical Society, the Ouro Preto City Hall and the ACL – Associação da Cultura Livre (Free Culture Association). This project has the purpose of being economically viable, socially fair, ecologically correct and inspired on the respect that the location owns; also, it’s turned to the teen and children’s population in a social high risk situation, due to drugs influence, alcohol and outcast environment, so that a project involving social inclusion through music can be developed.

In 2010, the Festival’s Tribute will be to Louis Armstrong, the world’s greatest name of jazz music. Coming to the Festival, projects of great musicians from all over the world to pay a homage to the artist that lightened the public’s attention to the musical gender: after Armstorng came up, jazz grew intensely and unexpectedly, becoming one of the most remarkable phenomenon in the cultural history.

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