Jaijai Jackson

The Jazz Network Worldwide is dedicated with love to my father,
jazz legend bassist "Chubby" Jackson for his contribution to jazz and entertainment.

~ Jaijai Jackson

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Featured on The Jazz Network Worldwide: The wheels of justice act as a road marker for Oscar Peterson’s legendary drummer Alvin Queen.

The wheels of justice are said to move slow but after a year the 01B form sits at The American Embassy. A sort of mute road marker serving as example of how not to treat an artist who has given much to America’s music with lots still left to offer. 

How to Bind a Master: Oscar Peterson’s Drummer Alvin Queen

Maxwell Chandler

Jazz was the great American art form, but it had to go overseas to France, which served as a cultural hothouse, for it to gain its dignity before returning home with the added luster which comes from being appreciated with enthusiasm and seriousness by more than a pocketful of aficionados.

Jazz was initially introduced in Europe via the progenitors of what we now call The Lost Generation: artists and their immediate social circle. Also helping to spread this art-form were the American G.I’s. The Harlem Hell fighters’ (369th infantry regiment) band was also a large factor in the introduction of jazz to France.  

From the very first wave that initially gazed down the Champ Elysees and heard the enthusiastic applause of an audience only concerned with the music, carrying on to more recent times, there is a long list of jazz musicians who became willing ex-pats. If France did not remain their new home, then it was often the jumping off point for the rest of Europe.

Now a Swiss citizen, Bronx born percussionist Alvin Queen started gigging at the age of eleven. A growing reputation and experience allowed him to deepen his ties to the then thriving jazz community. 

Just as bluesman must “pay their dues” by living, then turning the sorrows of life into musical poetry; a comparable but vanishing aspect of the jazz life is the practical application mentorship of being in someone more established (and often a little older) bands. This method of learning the ropes initially came about from necessity. In jazz’s nascence, there were no conservatories nor was it treated stateside as a serious art form. Hard as this life could be it did allow for each player to develop a personal sound and approach to the craft.

Alvin served in a series of prestigious bands before being afforded the opportunity to go over to Europe as a member of trumpeter Charles Tolliver’s ensemble in 1971. 

After several tours in Europe with Charles’ group, Alvin would get the call to join a new iteration of Pianist Horace Silver’s group, having already notably appeared in a previous incarnation.

Flashing forward to 1977, the jazz landscape was in what seemed then a fatal tailspin, with emotion and authenticity counting very little to dwindling audiences. 

Alvin made the decision to join the many expatriate musicians whose work was out of vogue or to whom their art was too serious to compromise for public attention. 

Europe would embrace Alvin. He eventually settled in Switzerland obtaining dual citizenship, which he held for thirty years. As of 2016 Alvin had given up his dual citizenship but before that had continued to always pay his taxes. He chose to switch to a single passport to simplify his tax situation giving up his American citizenship.  

Despite now being based out of Switzerland, Alvin enthusiastically did work for the U.S State Department serving as a cultural ambassador, touring Brazil, Africa and Japan. A similar role previously held by Duke Ellington, Dave Brubeck and Dizzy Gillespie. 

“Jazz Meets France” was a program sponsored by the French-American Cultural Foundation. It had an impressive pedigree, with Wynton Marsalis serving as honorary chairman and The Smithsonian Institute’s Dr. David Skorton as master of ceremonies.  

The program was intended to commemorate the centennial of the United States entry into the first world war. The other important thing being commemorated in this cultural event were the Harlem Hell fighter’s appearance in France.

“Jazz Meets France” was to be another opportunity for Alvin to combine the two worlds, the country where he came from and Europe where he flourishes. United through his art and acknowledging the historic precedents of which he is another link in the generational chain. 

In the current political climate, Alvin has now found himself of one of several types facing ill treatment under the official visage of “procedure” which overlooks common sense.

When applying for the necessary permissions a youthful offense from half a century ago popped up. Homeland security with their travel ban edicts became involved. 

This was the first in a series of strange events. At the time of the minor offenses, Alvin had been a youthful offender and as to not taint any kind of potential future the records were supposed to be sealed. 

To make the situation more bewildering is the fact that up until 2016 Alvin had been issued six new passports over the past half a century with no issues arising. He had even traveled to the states several time too. The filing of an 01B work visa form would get Alvin dispensation to enter the U.S. 

Once these were filed with the pertinent information and accompanying fingerprints, new problems arose. The fingerprints dredged up FBI files as old as the other records.

A truth Dostoevsky uttered which transcends era and nation is: “The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons.”

A negative tradition involved with jazz is harassment by the police. Out of all the outsider-artists, musicians, especially jazzmen have always made the easiest target for authorities. Unlike their painter or writer counter parts they are easier to get a hold of as they practice their craft in the most public manner. 

The frequency of musician crack downs is cyclical, and it was during one of the heavier seasons that a not yet adult Alvin found himself swept up in a raid. 

While socializing with friends, between jam sessions and pick up gigs Alvin happened to be in a car that the authorities took interest in. His friend had rented the vehicle and in the trunk unknown to him was an unloaded gun. 

Not bothering to sort out degree of culpability, they were all brought in. Because of his age, Alvin was too young to be kept at The Tombs and so was remaindered to Rikers Island. 

It was the eve of Thanksgiving and while households all across the nation were preparing to host guests and feast Alvin found himself being given a jelly sandwich. Two starched white pieces of bread smothering some grape jelly which was more sugar than fruit yet still could not get rid of the sour taste in his mouth.

Alvin languished in Rikers for three and a half weeks. His loss of freedom underscored by seeing the bottom half of planes coming and going from La Guardia Airport. When Alvin’s case was finally brought before the judge, no charges were filed. Regardless of what genre or era, jazz has always been about freedom. A constant of freedom is unlimited possibilities and potential. The information for these incidents were supposed to be sealed and even then, they were predigital records which someone had to make an effort to excavate. 

This is a perfect symmetry of oppression. Half a century later and with pedigree and many accolades under his belt, Alvin finds himself not only once again caught up in a hassle but from the very same dropped and supposed to be sealed charges. 

The wheels of justice are said to move slow but after a year the 01B form sits at The American Embassy. A sort of mute road marker serving as example of how not to treat an artist who has given much and with lots still left to offer. 

Alvin has a new CD and LP out dedicated to Oscar Peterson entitled ‘OP’ which is distributed through https://diskunion.net/jazz/ct/detail/1007833049.

Check out Alvin Queen’s feature on The Jazz Network Worldwide at thejazznetworkworldwide.com and to learn more go to alvinqueen.com.



This year we celebrate the 10th year anniversary of The Jazz Network Worldwide! I do hope that it is a work that has been looked at as my art and contribution to jazz and its forward movement. In dedication to my father "Chubby" Jackson, you won't find me stopping anytime soon for  I'll continue to create with no negatives as my father would say.

I just integrated a new network under The Jazz Network Worldwide umbrella.

The Not Just Jazz Network, where we find the best of the best in all genres that integrates their artistry with jazz.  There is much to do and create, so its presented with class, dignity and an innovative flare in keeping this art form moving forward.

I’m looking to open our horizons, be a place where festivals come to see what is new and exciting in the world of jazz and its booking capabilities.  Its up to us to show the marketplace what a real jazz festival can be with talent that makes sense to be on a jazz stage.   I’m all for variety music festivals, showcasing the various genres, but what I don’t stand for is other genres booked on these festivals that have nothing to do with jazz, singing their R&B hits from the 90’s. Wrong.

Only through my heritage do I get my fuel, I need for those of you from other genres that would like to be a part of this quest to join us in the 'great place to hang' and share who you are…let’s hear your musical integration of jazz your way!

That is my quest for 2017 and beyond so jazz festivals will consider just that, where it honors the artistry of all who improvise their hearts and were inspired by Jazz. 

CLICK HERE TO PUT YOUR MUSIC IN THE MIX OF 'NOT JUST JAZZ'

The Jazz Network Worldwide would like to thank

Jamie Glaser

for creating the music for the NOT JUST JAZZ promo. 

Visit the official website of Jamie Glaser


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TJNW DEDICATED TO JAZZ BASSIST 'CHUBBY' JACKSON


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.

 
 
 

SPOTLIGHTED ARTISTS AND BUSINESSES:

OP ~ A TRIBUTE TO OSCAR PETERSON

ALVIN QUEEN

DAN PAPIRANY TRIO

2018

"SUPERMAN LOVER"

KEVIN MICHAELS
ENGIMA PROJECT

"RED"

VINYL HAMPDIN

"ORLANDO FANDANGO"

THE RIGHT STUFF BAND

"ALL ABOUT THAT BASIE"

THE COUNT BASIE ORCHESTRA

DIRECTED BY

SCOTTY BARNHART

Members

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!

Buster Williams

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A new album by the octogenarian saxophonist is always a big deal, but his latest — and the winner of the 2018 Jazz Critics Poll — is also just plain big: 3 discs and an 84-page graphic novel.

The 2018 NPR Music Jazz Critics Poll

Over 130 critics voted on the best jazz albums of 2018 — celebrated elders dominated the top of the results, but a class of younger musicians is rising.

'Jazz Night In America' Remembers Artists We Lost In 2018

Friends of the show offer memories and music of pianist Cecil Taylor, Village Vanguard owner Lorraine Gordon, South African trumpeter Hugh Masekela and trumpeter Roy Hargrove.

Nate Chinen's Favorite Albums Of 2018

For NPR Music's jazz critic and the editorial director of WBGO, 2018 was a year that saw music — not just jazz — in the throes of a creative boom, rocketing in many directions.

Click the image to give us your ideas for great festivals, events, fundraisers, sponsors, investors, etc. Let's combine our databases to bring us all to the next level of networking!

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