Jaijai, what a wonderful mission you've undertaken to create such a place for artistic minds to meet and share their hearts. A place to renew faded determinations, and revive lessened momentums. A place to display our wares and reconfirm to one another that we actually are on the right track.
I commend you, Jaijai, for caring so much that you created this castle of the heart for all of us. I want to share my praise for all of the new friends as well as old friends that I've met and will meet here in our castle. Here we can garnish the where-with-all, the strength, the conviction, and the selflessness through our symbiosis, to share our gift to the world with an unbiased agenda.
My mentor, Daisaku Ikeda says of art: "A beautiful flower delights and refreshes the hearts of all people equally, no matter what soil it grows in. That is the power of beauty. The same is true of great art. It is this spirit that the German poet Heinrich Heine sang of when he wrote that once the peapod bursts open, the sugar peas inside are for everyone to enjoy."
Let's be audacious, my friends!
Artwork courtesy of Jeff Laibson www.jefflaibson.com
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‘Straight on Red’ Band
Journeying from Funk to Soul to Jazz and back again - Straight on Red are either diverse or just indecisive. This hot new eight-piece band, whose members hail from Birmingham and London in the UK, have just emerged on the scene with their own unique fusion-style compositions.
Influenced by an eclectic mix of Funk, Prog Rock, Jazz and a smattering of Latino combined with sardonic lyrics, (inspired by the plight of the modern male’s quest for love or its avoidance) - it is an album not to be missed. Think Steely Dan, Stevie Wonder, Led Zeppelin, The Brand New Heavies and Santana all in the same band.
They have recorded 2 albums to date, ‘Straight On Red’ (2012) and ‘Round 2’ (2014), and a number of songs from both albums have had considerable success in various Songwriting competitions in the last 2 years. Across 5 separate competitions (including Indie International, the Hollywood, American and UK Songwriting Contests) they have received a total of 22 placements across 13 original songs. This comprises 4 Category Winners, 5 Finalists, 7 Semi-finalists and 6 Nominations.
The eight members of the band are all talented and professional musicians in their own rights, each with their own, often wildly differing, musical genre preferences, but with a collective love of playing live and creating original material.
“The band has bizarre a mix of musical experience. Between us we’ve done West End musical theatre, taught school music, led choirs, gigged as Jazz musicians, toured in rock bands and recorded as session musicians” says Phil Danter, the band’s founder and main songwriter. “Like a good Whisky, it’s all in the blend - all the influences from our different backgrounds combine to form our unique ‘Straight on Red’ sound.”
Phil Danter adds: “As far as the process allowed, we record live as a group in the studio to keep as much of our live sound as we could. We’re keen to get on the festival / support act circuit so we can play the new material live. Our on-stage interaction with each other and with the audience is as much part of our act as the music!”
The album is available now from the band’s website and via iTunes and Amazon. The albums were recorded at Univibe Studios in Birmingham, produced by Bert Smorenburg/Straight On Red and engineered by Joel Spencer. Tracks were mixed at Smoor Studios in Rotterdam and mastered at Wisselord Mastering.
Chubby Jackson helped popularize the the 5-string C bass, was responsible for bringing be-bop jazz to schools all over the country, and also had the first American jazz band to tour Europe after WWII. He appeared in numerous movies and TV shows featuring the grand masters of Jazz.
Chubby performed and recorded with Woody Herman, Duke Ellington, Lionel Hampton, Charlie Barnet, Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis, Stan Getz, Coleman Hawkins, Dizzy Gilllespie, Ella Fitzgerald, Red Norvo, Buddy Rich, Charlie Parker,Terry Gibbs, Ben Webster, Raymond Scott, Bill Harris, JJ Johnson, Zoot Sims, Gerry Mulligan, just to name a few.
Looking for proof that jazz is alive and well? You’ll find the most recent publications and other work reported by the extremely active members of the Jazz Journalists Association after the jump. We never sleep! If you are a JJA member and would like your recent activities included in the next installment of Member Updates, send a brief paragraph beginning … [read more]
Neil Tesser, the Chicago-based jazz journalist, broadcaster, author, educator, former chair of the board of trustees of the National Academy of Arts and Sciences (NARAS) and current board member of the Jazz Journalists Association was … [read more]