Fred Witt | November 17th, 2014 | Leave a Comment »
Pete Douglas ran 50 years + of house concerts at his Douglas Beach House in the small coastal town of Half Moon Bay on the outboard side of the San Francisco peninsula. Pete early on founded a social get together called the Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society, famously popular around the area. Douglas was hard bitten with his own music vision, and was his own local jazz music movement. The story is told of Pete, working as a parole officer, seeing a young man on a minor charge. The young man brought his tenor sax into the house with him because the car wouldn’t lock. After inquiring, Pete said, “You’re not a criminal. Come and play at my house concert,” and the man went on to a music career !
A long list of performers will testify that Pete was a strong-minded, straightforward man, dedicated to the quality of music. He was a unique personality that drove the scene and the events. Many people are now paying tribute to Pete’s contribution to life during his time.
Come join Chris Cortez hosting the Pete Douglas memorial review Sunday 23 November at 8 am on the I’m Talkin’ Jazz program.
Ron Lee | November 10th, 2014 | Leave a Comment »
New York based drummer and Grammy nominee Matt Wilson is one of todays most celebrated jazz artists. He is universally recognized for his musical and melodic drumming style as well as being a gifted composer, bandleader, producer, and teaching artist.
Wilson leads the Matt Wilson Quartet, Arts and Crafts, Christmas Tree-O and the Carl Sandburg Project. Matt is integral part of bands led by Joe Lovano, John Scofield, Charlie Haden, Lee Konitz, Bob Stewart, Denny Zeitlin, Ron Miles, Marty Ehrlich, Ted Nash, Jane Ira Bloom and Dena DeRose among others. Wilson has appeared on 250 CDs as a sideman and has released 9 as a leader for Palmetto Records as well as co-leading 5 additional releases. Listen to him chat with Melanie Berzon.
Fred Witt | November 9th, 2014 | Leave a Comment »
Jeremy Cohen, one of our Bay Area native music veterans has been in the music business since the latter part of our last century ! Jeremy’s current group, Quartet San Francisco (QSF) in business for over 10 years is our source for jazz chamber music, or string jazz music from classical depending on your preference. In fact, you will have to decide which part of his work is actually jazz bluegrass. (To the right here Jeremy is the quartet’s senior guy with the grin.)
QSF’s work can be viewed as part serious, in major and minor keys, and part party & dance songs. While a large body of their serious work is in the more somber minor keys, if you have any classical leanings their serious major key pieces can be truly delightful. His party & dance work will take you all over the map, musically & internationally. QSF is on an October-November tour of South Korea after playing Berkeley’s Crowther Music Center.
Alisa Clancy hosts the Jeremy Cohen story Sunday 9 November at 8 am on the I’m Talkin’ Jazz program.
Ron Lee | October 20th, 2014 | Leave a Comment »
I was sad to hear Kathleen Lawton announce the passing of Sista Monica Parker, a great Bay Area blues singer. I remember just hearing her at San Jose Jazz Summer Fest this last Sept. Her opening number was the Staples Singers tune “I’ll Take You There”. The audience at teh Blues Stage sang along with her. It was fantastic.
Kathleen remembered many of the interviews she had done with Sista Monica on her show Crazy About the Blues. She was right that after watching Sista Monica perform you were really hyped up.
Details on her passing and memorial service was published by SF Gate at
‘Sista’ Monica Parker, singer of blues, soul and gospel, dies
By Lee Hildebrand
Updated 3:42 pm, Thursday, October 16, 2014
“A memorial service is slated for 5 p.m. Nov. 2 at Inner Light Ministries, 5630 Soquel Drive in Soquel (Santa Cruz County).”
From the Santa Cruz Sentinel
‘Sista Monica’ Parker dies at 58
Fred Witt | October 18th, 2014 | Leave a Comment »
Bob Dorough, native of Arkansas and veteran singer & pianist from *way* back has been entertaining the nation for years. Formally he is written up as a bebop & cool jazz performer. Listening live, his work comes through in a folk song & ballad-on-piano tone, with a light touch of Southern twang. His numbers can be as much instrument as singing. When you are shopping through his works you get some variety over the years, and early work can be distinctly different from current times. Try some of his music for your favorites.
Alisa Clancy will host the Bob Dorough story Sunday morning 19 October at 8 am on the I’m Talkin’ Jazz program.
Ron Lee | September 14th, 2014 | Leave a Comment »
When it comes to Influential Important Soulful Singer Songwriters, nobody can hold a candle to Donny Hathaway and Curtis Mayfield. During the 1960’s, 70’s and in Curtis’s case through the 80’s and 90’s, they spoke to us, serenaded us and soothed us with their brilliant lyrics, music and vocals. They both had interesting life stories and left us way too soon.
On Sunday, September 14th, from 9AM-2PM, celebrate these two musical geniuses and their long lasting and ever present legacies, with Keith Hines and Melanie Berzon, on SOULFUL STRUTTIN’, THE LIFE, TIMES AND MUSIC OF DONNY HATHAWAY and Curtis Mayfield.
Ron Lee | September 3rd, 2014 | Leave a Comment »
Count Basie was one of the most important and influential bandleaders of the swing era. His amalgam of piano, bass, guitar and drums were known as the “Cadillac of Rhythm Sections”. William “Count” Basie was one of the top swing band leaders of the 1920s. His best known performance are One O’clock Jump and April in Paris.
Join us as we pay tribute to The Kid from Redbank on the 110th Anniversary of his birth with COUNT BASIE, THE MAN & HIS MUSIC, Friday, September 5th from 2-6:30PM, Saturday, September 6th from 10AM-6PM, and Sunday, September 7th from 9AM-2PM. Get ready to snap your fingers and tap your feet on our BASIE BLOWOUT WEEKEND, on KCSM, The Bay Area’s Jazz Station.
Fred Witt | August 30th, 2014 | Leave a Comment »
“Tunes in the Key of Horace & Bill” will be airing in the pledge drive the first two weeks of September.
These two men of great influence were also a pair of great contrast. Horace was the high energy black guy of “hard bop” and Bill was the laid-back “modal” jazz white guy. They are both nationally recognized in their separate styles.
Horace Silver’s piano & band work brought out the quick- rhythms of “hard bop” to the nation. At the same time Horace could be very fluid in quickly shifting to more romantic phrases. His music came up in the 50’s through Stan Getz, and then on with Horace’s own bands. Try clicking here for a sample of his enduring “Song for My Father.” Horace released many albums with Blue Note on into their sidelining in the 80’s. Horace passed away this summer at age 85.
Bill, heralded as one of our piano greats played with other greats like Miles Davis. Bill and his cohorts changed the world of jazz in the late 50’s by bringing out “modal” music to the wide audiences. Here
is a sample of their “Kind of Blue” album, a lead example of their new music (and a best-selling album of our times). Bill, with his great artistry also had great personal travail, with only a 25-year career.
The Horace & Bill story will come out Thursday 4 September, and then Sonny Buxton, Kathleen Lawton, Dick Conte and Melanie Berzon will air it again for you on Sunday 13 September.
Fred Witt | August 25th, 2014 | Leave a Comment »
Our veteran career saxophone player & educator Dave Liebman, from Brooklyn, continues on from NYC. Dave’s early years came up playing with the country’s jazz greats of the age. He continued, developing new musical styles. His music ranges from “pretty good stuff” to “way out there.” Even now, when he is on one of his “progressive” tracks, he can still be pretty sane listening. Click on a few tracks here to see for yourself. Dave is on the nation’s list of top 100 jazz sax players.
Dave has been a very strong performer during his career, playing several long stretches with groups. Some of these were groups he organized. In Dave’s later years he put more and more effort into educating the coming generation. He is now Artistic Director of the International Association of Schools of Jazz (IASJ), while playing on almost continuous international touring. Last month saw him in NY, Phily, Germany, and South Africa. (This month will be NYC, PA, Finland, Italy, France, Canada, and Chicago…)
Chris Cortez will be bringing the David Liebman story Sunday morning 31 Aug on KCSM’s “I’m Talkin’ Jazz” for you to hear first hand from one of this nation’s top career jazz saxophonist.
Fred Witt | August 24th, 2014 | Leave a Comment »
Bernstein, from Massachusetts, was America’s first internationally-famed symphony composer & conductor. With this he broke the mold which had held that first rank symphony conductors were trained in Europe. While his fame came from the symphony, our general reading of his work shows him into a lot of American music, including jazz. Large parts of his work lived out at the edge of symphony, such as his play & movie score “West Side Story.” At some point it seemed as though he had “played or conducted in almost everything,” classical and American.
In Bernstein’s 30’s he held and recorded a seminar on the musical practices and elements of American jazz. In the course of the presentations he would play a conventional American work. He would then explain some jazz musical elements and explain, with this style, here’s how the same piece sounds, by way of illustration. His recorded seminar on CD is still available.
Bernstein’s work will be described and illustrated for KCSM by musician and actor Hershey Felder. Felder has made a career of presentations showing the style, manner, and work of some leading classical musicians.
Join Chuy Varela & Melanie Berzon Friday afternoon 29 Aug on KCSM’s memorial to hear the presentation and tracks from Leonard’s life work.