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"THE TEARS OF A CLOWN" SMOKEY ROBINSON and the Miracles ~ 1967

If there was a song to reflect my present life…it would be this…written by Smokey Robinson and Stevie Wonder. Smokey talks about the inspiration behind the song.

Miles Davis- “The Sound of Miles” NYC April 2nd, 1959

(Paul Chambers on bass in the performance)

One of the premier bassists in jazz history, Paul Chambers had it all: a beautiful tone, a fluid technique, a great choice of notes, impeccable time and a magnificent sense of swing. He could even take a bowed solo and keep it interesting and in tune.

Paul Chambers was born in Pittsburgh in 1935, and grew up in Detroit, where he became part of the city’s growing jazz scene. He moved to New York, where he played in the J.J. Johnson-Kai Winding quintet. He joined Miles Davis’ first legendary quintet along with John Coltrane, Philly Joe Jones, and Red Garland, at the age of 20. He spent the bulk of his prime years (1955-1963) as a member of the Miles Davis Quintet, participating in virtually all of Davis’ classic recordings of the era.

Paul was about 15 when he started to listen to Bird and Bud, his first jazz influences. Oscar Pettiford and Ray Brown. The first bassists he admired, were followed by Percy Heath, Milt Hinton and Wendell Marshall,Charles Mingus and George Duvivier. Blanton, of course, is his all-time favorite, the perennial poll winner in his ballot.

His formal bass training got going in 1952, when he began taking lessons with a bassist in the Detroit Symphony. Studying at Cass Tech. off and on from 1952 to ‘55 he played in Cass’ own symphony, and in various other student groups, one of which had him blowing baritone sax.

Chambers made several albums as a leader, for Blue Note and Vee Jay. His Blue Note recordings were High Step, (1955) Chamber’s Music, (1956) Whims of Chambers, Paul Chambers Quintet, (1957) and Bass on Top, considered his best work, also in 1957. These are reissued in the Mosaic compilation on his output for the label. In addition, he recorded as bassist with many musicians including Coltrane, Cannonball Adderley, Sonny Rollins, Bud Powell, Freddie Hubbard, and Donald Byrd.

Chambers holds the unique distinction, along with Coltrane and Wynton Kelly, of participating on two of the most important albums in jazz history: Coltrane’s Giant Steps, and Davis’ Kind of Blue. Both albums are radically different in style, a testament to Chambers’ ability. As a matter of fact, the song “Mr. P.C.” on “Giant Steps,” was written for Chambers (P.C. = Paul Chambers).






mygodcomplex said: So it's 2012... What gonna make this year different from 2011 for you?

The lessons that I’ve learned in 2011, I will be applying them to 2012, so i’m expecting 2012 to different just based on that alone. Musicwise, I’m aiming to release 4-6 albums this year, which i’ve never done any year before!

dreammerchant said: Hey,

I was listening to your KillaTape and it got me wondering: which beats did you submit to enter the Red Bull contest?

The only joints I didn’t use for the Red Bull Contest on KillaTape was:

Best Beat, Room #1414, and Never Ceases To Fail.

Donald Byrd “Cristo Redentor”

Donald Byrd was born in Detroit in 1932, he attended Cass Tech High School, and during college, his studies at Wayne State University (1954) were interrupted by military service, during which he played in an Air Force band. He then attended the Manhattan School of Music (MA in music education). At the same time he was the favorite studio trumpeter of the bop label Presitge (1956-58), though he also recorded frequently for Riverside and Blue Note.

 While still at the Manhattan School, he joined Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, as replacement for Clifford Brown. After leaving the Jazz Messengers in 1956, he performed with many leading jazz musicians of the day, including John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins, Thelonious Monk, and later Herbie Hancock.

Following the death of Clifford Brown in 1956, Byrd was for a few years arguably the finest hard-bop trumpeter. He had not only a masterful technique, displayed on all his albums from this period, but also a beautiful tone.

In the 1970s, Byrd moved away from the hard-bop jazz idiom and began to record jazz fusion and rhythm and blues. He teamed up with the Mizell Brothers (producer-writers Larry and Fonce) for Black Byrd in 1972. It was highly successful and became Blue Note Records’ highest-ever selling album. His best-selling album “Black Byrd” led to the formation of his students into the Blackbyrds, a hit group of the mid-1970s.

KT: When I was about 11 years old, I discovered my parent’s jazz collection. Amongst a few of the first jazz recordings I ever liked, was Donald Byrd’s album “A New Persective” (shouts to my mom!). This album had the song Cristo Rendentor. It sounded like Jazz and church at the same time to me. I thought it was cool.



Lyman Woodard Organization “Don’t Stay Away”

Lyman Woodard was born in Owosso, Michigan March 3rd, 1942. He started his formal musical training at age four on the piano. In 1962, he attended the Oscar Peterson School of Contemporary Music in Toronto, Canada. After hearing a performance of the great organist Jimmy Smith in 1963, he was convinced that this was his future and he made the switch from piano to the Hammond B3 organ. Lyman’s first Trio consisted of Melvin Davis on drums & vocals and legendary Funk guitarist Dennis Coffey.

Since the early 60s, the Detroit music scene has been largely defined by the music of Motown Records. The Motown “music machine” spawned many great R&B talents and from 1970 though 1973, Lyman got the opportunity to be a part of this heritage by landing the position of musical director for Martha and the Vandellas.

  By 1974, he was anxious to have his own band again and formed the Lyman Woodard Organization. In the 1970s, his band, the Lyman Woodard Organization, took up residence at Cobb’s Corner, a Cass Corridor nightspot and became a leading showcase for jazz in Detroit. People took him like catnip, “In the ’70s he was the king of club entertainers in Detroit,” said his publicist Matt Lee. “He wasn’t just a musician, he was a personality.”

Woodard was a master of the octopus requirements of the organ, playing bass lines with his feet on the pedals and his left hand, adding riff-like chords or single-note lines with right hand and controlling the pacing and dynamics of the music like a maestro of soul. Woodward’s 1975 LP “Saturday Night Special” (Strata), regarded as a jazz-funk-soul fusion classic and highly sought after on the collector’s market.

Along with the “Saturday Night Special” album, one of my favorite songs from Lyman Woodard is “Don’t Stay Away”. When I stumbled upon the record about 7 years ago, I couldn’t stop singing this song around my house. I later sampled it on my album “Nowalataz”. Personal favorite. Much love to the music and life of Lyman Woodard. -14KT


Milt Jackson “Bag’s Groove” live in 86’

Milton “Bags” Jackson was born in Detroit, Michigan on New Year’s Day in 1923. He started on guitar when he was seven, and piano at 11; a few years later at 16, he switched to vibes. He actually made his professional debut singing in a touring gospel quartet. After Dizzy Gillespie discovered him playing in Detroit, he offered him a job with his sextet and (shortly after) his innovative big band (1946). Jackson recorded with Gillespie, and was soon in great demand. During 1948-1949, he worked with Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk, Howard McGhee, and the Woody Herman Orchestra. After playing with Gillespie's sextet (1950-1952), which at one point included John Coltrane, Jackson co–founded and began to record with a quartet comprised of John Lewis, Percy Heath, and Kenny Clarke (1952), which soon became Milt’s group called the Modern Jazz Quartet.

Jackson was one of the first vibraphonists to master the bop style, and is generally regarded as one of the finest performers on his instrument in the history of jazz. His composition “Bags’ Groove" is a jazz standard (“Bags” was a nickname given to him by a bass player in Detroit. “Bags” referred to the bags under his eyes from his habit of staying up all night). Some of his other signature compositions include “The Late, Late Blues”, “Bags & Trane” (for his album with Coltrane, Bags & Trane), and “Bluesology” (a Modern Jazz Quartet staple).



Marcus Belgrave Interview

Marcus Belgrave is a jazz trumpet player from Detroit, Michigan, born in Chester, Pennsylvania June 12, 1936. He is one of Detroit’s internationally recognized jazz trumpet greats. He came to promi- nence in the late 50’s, touring and recording with the late great Ray Charles’ Orchestra, at the height of Ray’s hit-making era. Marcus is heard as a trumpet soloist on some of Ray’s most famous “hits”, both albums and singles. He always pays tribute to Ray, who mentored him from the young age of 19. He is the only living member of Ray Charles’ small band horn section. The Great Clifford Brown also mentored Hank. Clifford’s early influence on the young Belgrave can still be heard in his tone. Belgrave then spent the early 60’s spearheading the modern jazz move- ment in New York working and recording in the bands of such major innovators as Charles Mingus, Eric Dolphy and Max Roach.

Belgrave moved to Detroit in the early 1960’s to join Motown Records as staff trumpeter, (playing on most of the Motown hits. Marcus has established himself as Detroit’s foremost jazz musician. Marcus was awarded the singular title of the official Jazz Master Laureate for the City of Detroit. In 2010, He was also awarded the Eminent Artist award for his 46 years of service to the young musicians of Detroit. He was an original member of the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra. He was a featured soloist as part of the Detroit Jazz Master’s concerts with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra at Frederick Rose Hall in New York, A concert that included other Detroit Jazz Master’s Yusef Lateef, Ron Carter, Curtis Fuller, Charles McPherson, and his protégé’ Geri Allen., Always the teacher, Marcus continues to mentor the “next generation” of jazz musicians. His protégés include violinist, Regina Carter, bass- ist, Robert Hurst, saxophonist, Kenny Garrett, pianist Geri Allen, saxophonist James Carter, guitarist, Ray Parker Jr., drummer Ali Jackson


Hank Jones Interview on Bebop

Born in 1918 in Vicksburg , Mississippi , Hank Jones grew up in Pontiac , Michigan. To hear Hank Jones is to understand why he is one of the rare individuals that the National Endowment for the Arts inducted as a ‘Jazz Master’. In over seventy years as a Jazz pianist and composer, his playing style has embodied the essence of mainstream Jazz making him one of the most sought after and recorded Jazz pianist throughout Jazz history.  Some of Hank’s highlights include induced in  the International Jazz Hall of Fame, Living Legend Jazz Wall of Fame, even receiving Grammy nominations for: ‘Bop Redux’, ‘Love for sale’ & ‘I Remember You’ .Throughout his career, Hank has played and recorded with the virtual who’s who of Jazz history. With over five hundred albums and CDs recorded and countless concerts, there aren’t too many significant names in Jazz that Hank has not played or recorded with.

Hank is the eldest member of a prolific Jazz musician family, which included the late drummer Elvin Jones and trumpeter/composer Thad Jones. Hank was also one of the featured Jazz greats photographed in ‘A Great Day in Harlem ‘, he has also participated in other historical events such as accompanying Marilyn Monroe when she sang ‘Happy Birthday Mr. President’ to the late President John F. Kennedy.

Elvin Jones “A Different Drummer” Documentary pt3