January 6, 2014 marked the 75th Anniversary of Blue Note Records, the most-respected and longest-running Jazz label in the world. It was founded when a German immigrant and passionate Jazz fan named Alfred Lion produced his first recording session on January 6, 1939 in New York City. Blue Note has gone on to represent high quality American jazz, tracing the nation’s jazz history.
The label’s stars from the early years include Thelonious Monk, Bud Powell, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Cannonball Adderley, Horace Silver, Art Blakey, Jimmy Smith, Grant Green, Lee Morgan, Freddie Hubbard, Joe Henderson, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, McCoy Tyner, Donald Byrd, Andrew Hill, Ornette Coleman.
It took many natural forces to create America’s best Jazz label: Jazz-loving German immigrants (Alfred Lion & Francis Wolff), a New Jersey optometrist moonlighting as a recording engineer (Rudy Van Gelder), a classical music-loving commercial designer (Reid Miles), and a parade of talented musicians, great and small. National performers with Blue Note have been our well known Monk, Powell, Davis, Coltrane, Adderly, and Shorter.
If you have been listening for the past day and half we have been playing the Duke Ellington Jazz Profiles show. Nancy Wilson has been review the history, highlights and significant events in the life of Duke Ellington. As part of Winter Pledge we are featuring several Duke Ellington themed gifts. To lead things off we designed a special t-shirt to celebrate the occasion. It features the iconic image of Duke in his top hat. His most important works are used to form the outline of his top hat.
To provide more detailed background on Duke we feature the book Duke: A Life of Duke Ellington by Terry Teachout which just came out in 2013. This book covers the life and career of Duke from his early years in Washinton, DC, his success in NY, his European tours and his later significant works. It is a great way to learn about Duke and his works.
Topping it off is a 2 CD set The Essential Duke Ellington from Sony Music. Sony remastered the original recordings to create this set. It covers his earliest hits like East Saint Louis Toodle-oo, Creole Love Call, In a Sentimental Mood, Caravan, Creshendo in Blue, Take the A Train and many more. This set is one of the few complete retrospectives on Duke Ellington’s recordings.
Review the list of Duke’s compostions you get a perspective of how Duke Ellington is considered one of America’s premier composers. Take a look at this 1943 recording of “It don’t mean a thing”. Can you recognize the soloists? Can you see how this performance influences future artists?
So all these items are available as pledge gifts and you can get all three! Support KCSM today at KCSM Winter 2014 Pledge. Thanks!
Nat King Cole, born in Alabama & raised in Chicago got a family launching to his musical carer ! He learned organ & piano from his mother Perlina, who was the organist to his father’s Baptist church. He performed at 4, started lessons at 12 in jazz, gospel and Western classical, and was in a famous musical school program at DuSable High School. He was already performing in his own group in his teens.
Nat’s did start out commercially as a jazz pianist but his real career with the nation was of him as the singer. He had a soft voice that welcomed all, and carried his fame for decades after his life. Not even 20, and playing in his own jazz trio, someone said “Nat, you should be a singer”. The hit records started rolling. Cole performed on multiple NBC radio shows in the late ’30′s and early 40′s. He recorded for Excelsior Records, and then moved on to the young Capitol Records. His hot record sales helped float the company in it’s early life.
Nat’s singing successes carried on from there through the rest of his life, (which ended in 1965).
San Francisco’s clarinetist (composer, band leader…) Beth Cluster gives out a smooth, mature mix of jazz, blues, Afro-Caribbean, and contemporary classical. There seems to be something for each of your many moods.
When Beth moved out here from her native New York in the 80′s she started attracting attention right away in her band performances, and since has accumulated a myriad of recordings, compositions, and awards. She has led multiple groups, and has the Beth Custer Ensemble and the Clarinet Thing going right now. She appeared this last November at our downtown Oakland Duende and was just at SF’s Red Poppy Art House with the Ensemble on Jan 10. You can catch her on 2/15 with the Thing in Berkeley’s Hillside Club.
Click here for a sample of her live work. Listen in Sunday Jan 26 to Beth’s words on her world today, on the KCSM “I’m Talkin Jazz” program with Greg Bridges.
Northern California’s Jamie Dubberly is an Afro-Cuban jazz trombonists and composer. In his years here Jamie has performed and toured with a large circle of bay area jazz groups. Originally from coastal Georgia, Jamie made it out to California in 2003 after 5 years at NYC. He now works between his SF performances and his CSU Stanislaus lecturing.
See his 2011 release, “Road Warrior” for a broad view of Jamie’s work. This was recorded by his own group, “Orquesta Dharma.” Listen to his version of Caravan (>> select “play hi-fi”). Otherwise click “Read the rest…” for another sample.
Cuban born saxist and teacher Yosvany Terry is currently based out of NY. He has been an instructor at the Stanford Jazz Workshops. You can find him performing regularly around the New York/New Jersey area. His most recent focus has been on his Afro-Cuban roots. Take a look at his current project. You can hear both his jazz and Afro-Cuban music at his web site http://www.yosvanyterry.com/.
Volcalist Jacqui Naylor released here CD Dead Divas Society earlier this year and has been on tour. Most recently she was in SF in Nov. Her CD is a tribute to many of the great jazz divas. Jacqui was born and raised in Saratoga, CA. Jacqui was a student of local jazz teacher Faith Winthrop and NY jazz teacher Shirley Callaway. In the late 90s she started recording and has produced nine CDs on her Ruby Star record label. You can sample Dead Divas Society and her other CDs on her web site at http://www.jacquinaylor.com/music.html.
David Sanborn, veteran saxophone (and piano) player has been rated by several groups as in the countries’ top 100 players in history. David’s southern & midwestern upbringing, followed by national & global work has led to his current New York residence.
If you’re here for blended pop, R & B, and jazz saxophone, get on this man and get listening ! There is no shortage of listening material as David’s 30+ years’ work has brought out an immense catalog of recordings & show work. David is not some out-of-control horn player that boggles the every-man brain. Even better, catch the man himself at the SF Jazz Center this coming February 20-22. David appeared in the Bay Area November last year at our Yoshi’s – Oakland.
Click here for a great sample, one of David’s classics, “Let The Good Times Roll”, and tune in to KCSM Sunday December 29, “I’m Talkin’ Jazz” to hear David on memorable moments of his jouirney.