It loomed so large in my head, this first-time trip to New York to perform this music. It was something I created for myself... in that I willed this to Be. I WANTED to go... to be INVITED to the UNDISPUTED East Coast capital of the music I love the most... JAZZ. The home of so much LEGEND, Talent, HIS and HER Story. My Big BroJMDadmonished me time and time again to get to NY, where I would experience what Jazz was all about, where I would be HEARD, and FELT and immersed in a wealth of tradition... something he knew I MUST have.
I arrived in New York with my eyes wide and my hands open.. like Abbey Lincoln's song. Having been invited by Boston Fielder of MuthaWit was a little daunting. Not because of who his is. We know each other by now. MuthaWit invaded Los Angeles in March of this year and we got our knowing on solidly. Me and Boston and Shena and Lou. We were buds by the time I arrived in NYC.
The MUSIC is what was a little daunting.
MuthaWit ROCKS. RAWKS as Mr. Festival would say.
Waberi is like a cool drink. Maybe ON the rocks. But RAWKS?
How will what I do FIT with what Mutha do...?
And Boston too, had to wonder a bit about the how's...
I am learning how elastic the language is.
It fit quite nicely.
Fit like a GLOVE.
And really, I should have known. From the jump-off, our meeting has been synchronistic:
From the first time I heard Shewo the Left Shoe.
When Boston heard my idea of Strange Fruit... he told me so.
Always had a feeling we would be able to make something really special together.
I could go on and on about other things too - things that are confirming.
Like the kindness of the WHOLE Fielder Family! (one can see the apples covering the ground around the tree...)
Like the CREATIVE GENIUS infused within the Fielder sinew... (from the youth to the elders...)
Boston thought she could sing background for me. She was singing for MuthaWit too.
I have not performed this music with any background singers before.
Her impeccable ear. Her beautiful LIGHT. The empathy that lead her to sing these songs like she knew them. Like she KNEW them. Her VOICE! Made very clear when she sang her OWN Song "Loose Ends" @ the finale as well...
And if I hadn't stayed longer than I planned, and met Shanti's friend Stephanie... an ATL ex-pat living in New York... then I would not have received the added blessing of being reunited with Ragenia.
I knew I would see her again but...
I had not seen or heard from her since she was my roommate in Hawaii = 13 years ago.
And just the night before, I was telling Shanti about my Hawaii experience and had mentioned my roommate but did not say her name.
The Jazz Network is exactly what the title suggests, a place where you get to mix and mingle with those who have not only an appreciation for Jazz but a forum to hear new up and coming artists as well. I've hooked up with so many of my old friends that I've lost contact with over the years here and it's been a great place to meet folk, appreciate good music and Musicianship. What an incredible idea!!
Pianist and singer Barbara Carroll was host Marian McPartland's second guest during the first season of Piano Jazz. Thirty years later, Carroll makes a return appearance to reminisce with her friend about their experiences at the Hickory House and the Oak Room. Carroll gives a charming performance of "Very Early" and McPartland improvises a musical portrait of her guest.
The great composer and bandleader was distraught over the 1967 death of Billy Strayhorn, his songwriting and arranging partner of 28 years. But Ellington took Strayhorn's passing as an impetus, born of necessity, to increase his own productivity. Here are five examples.
At the Village Vanguard, one flight down from the hubbub of New York City, in a tight space packed with people, we're about to embark on a musical odyssey by sea. Our captain is saxophonist Chris Potter, who's launching his Odyssey-inspired album The Sirens.
Divine: The Jazz Albums, 1954-1958 packs four CDs with Vaughan's music, recorded live or in the studio with bands big and small. Two live albums from Chicago nightclubs are standouts, partly when a performance threatens to slide off the rails.