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Showing posts with label Jazz-Funk. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Jazz-Funk. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Bernard "Pretty" Purdie

Bernard Lee "Pretty" Purdie (born June 11, 1939) is an American session drummer, and is considered an influential and innovative exponent of funk. He is known for his strict musical time keeping and "The Purdie Shuffle".
Purdie recorded Soul Drums (1968) as a band leader and although he went on to record Alexander's Ragtime Band, the album remained unreleased until Soul Drums was reissued on CD in 2009 with the Alexander's Ragtime Band sessions. Other solo albums include Purdie Good (1971),Soul Is...Pretty Purdie (1972) and the soundtrack for the Blaxploitation film Lialeh (1973).

Purdie was credited on the sound track album for Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1978) and more recently he was the drummer for the 2009 Broadway revival of Hair and appeared on the associated Broadway cast recording. In 2010, he had his portrait painted by Jane Moorhouse, an artist based in London.

At an early age Purdie began hitting cans with sticks and learned the elements of drumming techniques from overhearing lessons being given by Leonard Heywood. He later took lessons from Heywood and played in Heywood's big band. Purdie's other influences at that time were Papa Jo Jones, Buddy Rich, Gene Krupa, Joe Marshall and Art Blakey.

In 1961 he moved from his home town of Elkton, Maryland, to New York. There he played sessions with Mickey and Sylvia and regularly visited the Turf Club on 50th and Broadway, where musicians, agents, and promoters met and touted for business. It was during this period that he played for the saxophonist Buddy Lucas, who nicknamed him 'Mississippi Bigfoot'. Eventually Barney Richmond contracted him to play session work. In the same year original Beatles drummer Pete Best and guitarist Tony Sheridan recorded tracks in Hamburg with the Beatles. Later Bernard Purdie added drum overdubs to tracks from these sessions, including "Ain't She Sweet", "Take Out Some Insurance on Me Baby" and "Sweet Georgia Brown". The main reason for this was to give them a punchier sound for the US market. These tracks were eventually released on January 31, 1964 by Polydor. Ringo Starr's physical approach to drumming was probably influenced by Purdie's Motown style.

Purdie was contracted by arranger Sammy Lowe to play a session with James Brown in 1965 and recording session records also show that Purdie played on "Ain't That A Groove" at the same session. This was one of several sessions he played with Brown and the track "Kansas City" from Brown's album Cold Sweat (1967), displays one of the most sophisticated and driving shuffles recorded for Brown's catalogue. Purdie is also credited on the albums Say It Loud-I'm Black and I'm Proud (1969) and Get on the Good Foot (1972) on which "Ain't That A Groove" appeared.

Purdie started working with Aretha Franklin as musical director in 1970 and held that position for five years, as well as drumming for Franklin's opening act, King Curtis and The King Pins. In 1970 he performed with both bands at the Fillmore West; the resulting live recordings were released as Aretha Live at the Fillmore West (1971) and King Curtis's Live at Fillmore West (1971). His best known track with Franklin was "Rock Steady", on which he played what he described as "a funky and low down beat". Of his time with Franklin he once commented that "backing her was like floating in seventh heaven".

In 1973 Purdie founded Encounter Records and released five albums

EN 3000: Seldon Powell - Messin' With
EN 3001: Sands of Time - Profile (with Jimmy Owens, Garnett Brown)
EN 3002: East Coast - East Coast (with Larry Blackmon, Gwen Guthrie)
EN 3003: Frank Owens - Brown N Serve (with Hugh McCracken)
EN 3004: Harold Vick as "Sir Edward" - The Power of Feeling


  • Soul Drums -Direction (1968)
  • Stand By Me-Mega (1971)
  • Purdie Good -Prestige (1971)
  • Soul Is ... Pretty Purdie" -Flying Dutchman (1972)
  • Lialeh - Bryan (1973)
  • Shaft - Prestige (1974)
  • Delights of the Garden- Celluloid (1975)
  • Purdie As a Picture - Kilarnock (1993)
  • Tokyo Jazz Groove Sessions - Lexington (1993)
  • Coolin' 'n' Groovin' - Lexington/West 47th 1993 (1993)
  • After Hours with The 3B's - 3B's (1993)
  • The Hudson River Rats - 3B's (1994)
  • Kick N Jazz Drum Beat- Blocks (1996)
  • Soul to Jazz I -Act(1997)
  • In the Pocket- P Vine (1997)
  • Soul to Jazz II- Act (1998)
  • Get It While You Can- 3B's (1999)
  • Purdie Good Cookin' Own Label (2003)
  • The Godfathers of Groove(2008)
  • The Godfathers of Groove _vol 3 (2010)  


  • Gabor Szabo - Jazz Raga (1966)
  • James Brown - Cold Sweat (1967)
  • King Curtis and his Kingpins - Instant Soul (1967)
  • The Soul Finders - Sweet Soul Music (1968)
  • Albert Ayler - New Grass (1968)
  • James Brown - Say It Loud-I'm Black & I'm Proud (1969)
  • Al Kooper - You Never Know Who Your Friends Are (1969)
  • Gary Burton - Good Vibes (Atlantic, 1969)
  • Dizzy Gillespie - Cornucopia (Solid State, 1969)
  • Aretha Franklin - Young, Gifted and Black (1972)
  • James Brown - Get On the Good Foot (1972)
  • Larry Coryell - Coryell (1969)
  • BB King - Completely Well (1970)
  • Robert Palmer's Insect Trust - Hoboken Saturday Night (1970)
  • Eddie Palmieri - Harlem River Drive (1970)
  • Aretha Franklin - Aretha Live at Fillmore West (1971)
  • King Curtis - Live at Fillmore West (1971)
  • Larry Coryell - Fairyland (1971)
  • Herbie Mann - Push, Push (1971)
  • Dizzy Gillespie - Real Thing (1971)
  • Hubert Laws - Wild Flower (Atlantic, 1972)
  • Aretha Franklin - Amazing Grace (1972)
  • Esther Phillips - Alone Again Naturally (1972)
  • Miles Davis - Get Up with It (1972)
  • Ronnie Foster - Sweet Revival (1972)
  • BB King - Guess Who (1973)
  • Cat Stevens - Foreigner (1973)
  • Hall & Oates - Abandoned Luncheonette (1973)
  • Jimmy McGriff - Come Together (1974)
  • Joe Cocker - I Can Stand a Little Rain (1974)
  • Bama The Village Poet - Ghettos Of The Mind (1974)
  • Cornell Dupree - Teasin' (1975)
  • Todd Rundgren - Initiation (1975)
  • Jorge Dalto - Chevere (1976)
  • Hummingbird - We Can't Go On Meeting Like This (1976)
  • Steely Dan - The Royal Scam (1976)
  • Steely Dan - Aja (1977)
  • Hummingbird - Diamond Nights (1977)
  • Pee Wee Ellis - Home in the Country (1977)
  • Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson - You Can't Make Love Alone (1977)
  • Joe Cocker - Luxury You Can Afford (1978)
  • Dizzy Gillespie - Digital at Montreux, 1980 (Pablo, 1980)
  • Steely Dan - Gaucho (1980)
  • Jimmy McGriff - Blue to the Bone (1988)
  • Elliott Randall - Still Reelin (2006)
  • Hair - Broadway Cast Recording (2009)

Monday, January 23, 2012


Brick is a former American band that created a successful merger of funk and jazz in the 1970s. Their most popular single was "Dazz", (#3 U.S. Pop, #1 U.S. R&B, #36 UK Singles Chart) which was released in 1976.

Brick was formed in Atlanta, Georgia in 1972 from members of two bands - one disco and the other jazz. They coined their own term for disco-jazz, "dazz". They released their first single "Music Matic" on Main Street Records in 1976, before signing to the independently distributed Bang Records. Their next single, "Dazz", (#3 Pop, #1 R&B) was released in 1976. The band continued to record for Bang records until 1982. Other hits followed: "That's What It's All About" (R&B #48) and "Dusic" (#18 Pop, #2 R&B) in 1977, and "Ain't Gonna Hurt Nobody" (#92 Pop, #7 R&B) in 1978. Their last Top Ten R&B hit was "Sweat (Til You Get Wet)" in 1981.


Jimmy Brown - lead vocals, saxophone, flute
Regi Hargis Hickman - guitar, bass, vocals
Eddie Irons - lead vocals, drums, keyboards
Donald Nevins - keyboards, vocals
Ray Ransom - vocals, bass, keyboards, percussion

  • 1976 -Good High , Bang
  • 1977-Brick , Bang
  • 1979-Stoneheart , Bang
  • 1980-Waiting on You , Bang
  • 1981-Summer Heat , Bang
  • 1982-After 5 , Bang
  • 1988-Too Tuff , Magic City
  • 1995-The Best of Brick , Epic/Bang 
  • 2000-Super Hits , Sony

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Art Blakey

Arthur "Art" Blakey (October 11, 1919 – October 16, 1990), known later as Abdullah Ibn Buhaina, was an American Grammy Award-winning jazz drummer and bandleader. He was a member of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.Jazz drummer Art Blakey grew up in a religious family, and he learned to play the piano in church. He gigged in Pittsburg clubs as a pianist, and later switched to the drums. Guided by swing drummer Chick Webb, Blakey developed great skill at the instrument, and he began to make a name for himself while performing with pianist and composer Mary Lou Williams.
In 1939, Blakey joined Fletcher Henderson’s band, and later played with bandleader Billy Eckstine. In that group, Blakey had the opportunity to play with Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie. He contributed to the development of the bebop style of drumming, pioneered by drummers Kenny Clarke and Max Roach. By the late 1940s, Blakey was one of the top drummers on the scene, playing with musicians such as Miles Davis and Thelonious Monk. In 1948, Blakey visited West Africa, where he was exposed to Islam and to the polyrhythms in African music. This visit had a profound impact on his life and work. He began to consider himself a Muslim, and took the name Abdullah Ibn Buhaina. He also sought to infuse bebop with a soulful and powerfully rhythmic drive, sewing the seeds of the hard bop style. In 1954, Blakey formed a quintet with pianist Horace Silver, bassist Curly Russel, saxophonist Lou Donaldson, and trumpeter Clifford Brown. They recorded the seminal album Live at Birdland, Vol. 1. This album marked the beginnings of the Jazz Messengers, which Blakey later dubbed his small ensembles. The Jazz Messengers became a pinnacle group of the 1950s and early sixties, and launched the careers of many legendary jazz musicians.
Blakey populated the Jazz Messengers with the most talented young musicians. At one time or another, his group included Wayne Shorter, Freddie Hubbard, Lee Morgan, Hank Mobley, and Benny Golson, and decades later, contemporary stars such as Wynton Marsalis, Terence Blanchard, and Kenny Garrett. Playing in Blakey’s group was practically a pre-requisite for becoming a serious jazz musician. Since Blakey didn’t compose very much, band members could hone their composing skills.

The Jazz Messengers continued in various forms throughout the decades, through peaks and valleys of critical and commercial success. Wynton Marsalis and the “Young Lions” of the 1980s and ‘90s, adopted Blakey’s emphasis on soulfulness and swing, which paved the way for the modern straight-ahead school of jazz.

Art Blakey died of lung cancer in 1990, just after his 71st birthday. To this day, his propulsive drumming style and the body of work he spurred by leading the Jazz Messengers are regarded as two essential elements of jazz history.

as a leader :

  • Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers(Birdland)
  • At the Cafe Bohemia(Blue Note)
  • Art Blakey & His Rhythm(Columbia)
  • Once Upon a Groove(Blue Note)
  • Ritual: The Modern Jazz Messengers(Blue Note)
  • Orgy in Rhythm(Blue Note) altrn
  • Mirage (Savoy)
  • Tough! (Cadet)
  • Reflections on Buhania (Elektra)
  • Jazz Messengers Play Lerner and Loewe (VIK)
  • Theory of Art (Bluebird/RCA
  • A Night in Tunisia (RCA/Bluebird)
  • Art Blakey/John Handy: Messages (Roulette)
  • Dawn on the Desert (Jubilee)
  • Midnight Session (Savoy)Flac
  • Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers Live (Calliope)
  • Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers (Bethlehem)
  • Art Blakey Big Band (Bethlehem)
  • Cu-Bop (Jubilee)
  • Second Edition (Bluebird/RCA)
  • Africaine(Blue Note)
  • At the Jazz Corner of the World (Blue Note)
  • Les Liaisons Dangereuses (Polygram)
  • Paris Concert: Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers (Portrait)
  • Live in Stockholm (Dragon)
  • Live in Copenhagen (Royal)
  • Paris Jam Session (EmArcy)

  • A Day with Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers(Eastwind)
  • Live: Olympia 5-13-61(Trema)
  • Paris Jazz Concert (RTE)
  • A Jazz Hour with Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers: Blues March (Movieplay)
  • Pisces(Blue Note)
  • Roots & Herbs(Blue Note)
  • The Witch Doctor(Blue Note)
  • The Freedom Rider(Blue Note)
  • Mosaic(Blue Note)
  • Buhaina's Delight(Blue Note)
  • Art Blakey!!!!! Jazz Messengers!!!!!(Impulse!)
  • Ugetsu(Riverside)
  • Selections from the Film: Golden Boy (Colpix)
  • A Jazz Message(Impulse!)
  • Blues Bag (Affinity)
  • 1965-Soul Finger(Limelight)
  • Art Blakey Live! (Trip)
  • Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers (Catalyst)
  • For Minors Only (WestWind)
  • Vol. 1 Child's Dance
  • Anthenagin (Prestige)
  • Buhaina ( Prestige)
  • Vol. 2 Mission Eternal
  • Gypsy Folk Tales (Roulette)
  • In My Prime(Timeless)
  • Reflections in Blue(Timeless)
  • Live Messengers (recorded 1954, 1961, 1962)(Blue Note)
  • In This Korner (Concord Jazz)
  • Night in Tunisia (Polygram)
  • One by One (Palcoscenico Records)
  • Jazzbuhne Berlin '80 (Repertoire)
  • Live (Kingdom Jazz)
  • Art Blakey in Sweden (Evidence)
  • Live at Montreux and Northsea(Timeless)
  • Album of the Year(Timeless)
  • Straight Ahead ( Concord Jazz)
  • Killer Joe: Art Blakey & George Kawaguchi (Storyville)
  • Aurex Jazz Festival '83 (East Worl
  • Super Live ( Baystate)
  • New York Scene (Concord Jazz)
  • Live at Ronnie Scott's (DRG)
  • Live at Sweet Basil (GNP)
  • Farewell (Paddle Wheel)
  • Buhaina: The Continuing Message (Affinity)
  • Live at Kimball's (Concord Jazz)
  • Hard Champion (Evidence)
  • Dr. Jeckyl (Evidence)
  • New Year's Eve at Sweet Basil (Evidence)
  • Blue Night(Timeless)
  • Feeling Good (Delos)
  • Standards (Paddle Wheel)
  • Not Yet(Soul Note)
  • I Get a Kick out of Bu(Soul Note)
  • Chippin' In(Timeless)
  • One for All (A&M)

as a sideman:


  • Sonny Stitt-Kaleidoscope
  • Buddy De Franco - Mr. Clarinet
  • Kenny Drew Trio- New Faces, New Sounds
  • Gerry Mulligan With Chet Baker And Buddy DeFranco
  • Clifford Brown - Memorial Album
  • Paul Bley - Introducing
  • Annie ROSS - King Pleasure Sings,Annie Ross Sings
  • Horace Silver-Safari
  • Thelonious Monk Trio-Thelonious Monk Trio
  • Joe Gordon - Early Sessions
  • Elmo Hope - Trio and Quintet
  • Thelonious Monk-Monk
  • Sonny Rollins - Moving Out
  • Thelonious Monk -The Complete Black Lion And Vogue Recordings
  • Thelonious Monk & Sonny Rollins
  • Earl Bud Powell - Vol. 2-Burning In U.S.A.
  • Clark Terry - Swahili
  • Randy Weston - Solo, Duo & Trio
  • Kenny Dorham - Afro-Cuban
  • Julius Watkins - Julius Watkins Sextet Vols. 1 & 2
  • Hank Mobley Quartet
  • Herbie Nichols - The Prophetic Herbie Nichols, Vol. 1
  • Herbie Nichols - The Prophetic Herbie Nichols, Vol. 2
  • Duke Jordan - The Street Swingers
  • Gigi Gryce - Nica's Tempo
  • Thelonious Monk - The Unique
  • Rita Reys - The Cool Voice Of Rita Reys
  • Stan Getz Special vol. 1
  • VA - 4 Lessons in Jazz
  • Hank Mobley and His All Stars
  • Milt Jackson - Plenty, Plenty Soul
  • Jimmy Smith-A Date With Jimmy Smith
  • Jimmy Smith - The Sound Of Jimmy Smith
  • Jimmy Smith -At The Organ
  • Clifford Jordan & John Gilmore -Blowing in from Chicago
  • Hank Mobley Quintet
  • Johnny Griffin - A Blowin' Session
  • Thelonious Monk – Monks Music
  • Sonny Rollins Volume 2
  • John Coltrane-The Bethlehem Years
  • Blue Mitchell - Out Of The Blue
  • Various - New Blue Horns
  • Sonny Clark - My Conception
  • Kenny Burrell - On View At The Five Spot Cafet Cafe
  • Benny Golson-Groovin' With Golson
  • Lee Morgan -Here's Lee Morgan
  • Hank Mobley - Soul Station
  • Dizzy Reece - Comin' On!
  • Lee Morgan-Lee-Way
  • Bobby Timmons - Soul Time
  • Wayne Shorter - Second Genesis
  • Art Blakey - Philly Joe Jones - Charlie Persip - Elvin Jones_Gretsch Drum Night At Birdland
  • Lee Morgan-Expoobident
  • Hank Mobley - Roll Call
  • Lee Morgan and Wayne Shorter-The Complete Vee Jay Sessions
  • Gigi Gryce - Nica's Tempo
  • Thelonious Monk With John Coltrane
  • Lee Morgan - Tom Cat
  • Giants Of Jazz In Berlin' 71
  • Thelonious Monk-Something In Blue
  • Thelonious Monk-The Man I Love
  • Dizzy Gillespie & Thelonious Monk-Unissued In Europe
  • Jimmy Smith jazz Set - More Jam Session and the Jimmy Smith jazz Set
  • Giants of Jazz-Giants of Jazz
  • Wynton Marsalis - Best Of The Early Years
  • Freddie Hubbard -Feel the Wind
  • Bluesiana Triangle-Bluesiana Triangle


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Jazz Crusaders (a.k.a. The Crusaders)

The Crusaders were formed in 1960 in Houston, Texas, U.S.A.

The group comprised of:

Joe Sample (b. Joseph Leslie 'Joe' Sample, 1st February 1939, Houston, Texas, U.S.A. - keyboards)
Wilton Felder (b. Wilton Lewis Felder, 31st August 1940, Houston, Texas, U.S.A. - tenor sax)
Stix Hooper (b. Nesbert 'Stix' Hooper, 15th August 1938, Houston, Texas, U.S.A. - drums)
Robert 'Pops' Popwell (b. Robert Popwell, 29th December 1950, Daytona, Florida, U.S.A. - bass guitar)
Wayne Henderson (b. 24th September 1939, Houston, Texas, U.S.A. - trombone)

The Crusaders hail from Houston in Texas. Since 1961, the group (under various names) have released more than forty albums, 19 of which were recorded under the name 'The Jazz Crusaders' (in betweeen 1961 and 1970). In 1954, keyboards player, Joe Sample teamed up with high-school friends, tenor saxophonist Wilton Felder and drummer Stix Hooper to, originally, form the Swingsters. The group first played together in high school before relocating to Los Angeles in the early '60's. As the Swingsters, they were joined by trombonist Wayne Henderson, flautist Hubert Laws, and bassist Henry Wilson and the group became the Modern Jazz Sextet. The group then changed their name to the Jazz Crusaders.

The Jazz Crusaders signed with the Pacific Jazz label, where they remained for a decade, before simplifying their name to the Crusaders in 1971. Their Early Pacific Jazz albums included 'Freedom Sound', 'Lookin Ahead', 'At The Lighthouse' and 'Tough Talk'. The Crusaders first album was entitled 'Pass The Plate' for the Chisa imprint, which was followed by a label change, to Blue Thumb/ABC, and a second album release, confusingly entitled 'Crusaders 1'. In 1972, they released '2nd Crusade', followed by 'Hollywood' (in 1973), 'Unsung Heroes' (in 1973) and 'Scratch' (in 1974). By 1974, they had incorporated the electric bass and electric guitar into their music. Bass guitarist 'Pops' Popwell and guitarist Larry Carlton joined the band, and featured on the group's albums throughout the latter part of the 1970's. They developed a more crossover, jazz-funk style of appeal, and the group's recordings started to appear on the Billboard pop charts.

Joe Sample performed various extra curricular performances for many Soul artists, along with some soft Rock artists including Joni Mitchell ('Free Man In Paris'). Further albums, 'Southern Comfort' (in 1974), 'Chain Reaction' (in 1975, including 'I Felt The Love'), and 'Those Southern Knights' (in 1976, including 'Spiral' and 'Keep That Same Old Feeling') were released before Wayne Henderson left the group to pursue solo recordings and production activities. The Crusaders recorded two more ABC albums, 'Free As The Wind' (1977) and 'Images' (1978) before the label merged with MCA. Pops Powell then left the group, and the Crusaders began to introduce vocals into their recordings.

The height of the group's commercial success came with 1979's 'Street Life', which peaked at number 18 on the pop album charts, and the title track from the album made the Top 10 on the R & B chart and number 36 on Billboard's Hot 100 chart. The song featured the vocals of Randy Crawford, whose album 'Now We May Begin' the group produced and played on in 1980. Also in 1980 they employed the vocal skills of Bill Withers on 'Soul Shadows' for their new album 'Rhapsody & Blues'. In 1981, 'I'm So Glad I'm Standing Here Today' featuring the vocals of Joe Cocker, reached the U.K. Top 75. In 1982 the Crusaders produced 'Don't Take Your Love To Hollywood' for Kelly Marie. Another founding member, Stix Hooper, left the group in 1983 and three more albums were recorded in the mid-1980's. Stix Hoopper was replaced with drummer Ndugu, and returned with the album 'Ghetto Blaster' in 1984, (including 'Night Ladies' - U.K. Top 75).

In the meantime Will and Joe both recorded solo albums. Ndugu performed on a final Crusaders album for MCA, 'The Good And Bad Times', which was released in 1986, and included 'The Way It Goes' featuring Nancy Wilson. In 1988, the group released 'Life In THe Modern World', that featured vocal and writing contributions from Ivan Lins ('Life In The Modern World' and 'Some People Never Learn') and Lamont Dozier ('Let Me Prove Myself Tonight'). In the 1990's, the group, for the most part, had disbanded. Wayne Henderson and Wilton Felder did, however, have a reunion as the Crusaders. In 2003, founding members Joe Sample, Wilton Felder and Stix Hooper revived The Crusaders and released 'Rural Renewal'. Ray Parker Jr. and Eric Clapton played guitar on the album. Also in 2003, a Wayne Henderson-led Jazz Crusaders released 'Soul Axess'. The Jazz Crusaders have released six albums since 1995. Joe Sample is still pursuing a successful solo career, and is recording again with Randy Crawford (two albums in 2006 and 2008 respectively).


as the Jazz Crusaders:

as the Crusaders:

The Vocal Album (1987)

Monday, August 15, 2011

Weldon Irvine

Weldon Jonathan Irvine, Jr. (October 27, 1943 – April 9, 2002), also known Master Wel,was an American composer, playwright, poet, pianist and organist.

Irvine, an African American, was born in Hampton, Virginia on October 27, 1943. He moved to New York City in 1965. He was involved with various musical genres including Jazz-Funk, jazz, hip hop, funk, rhythm and blues, and gospel.He served as the bandleader for jazz singer Nina Simone and was a mentor to many New York hip-hop artists, including Q-Tip and Mos Def. He wrote over 500 songs, including the lyrics for "To Be Young, Gifted, and Black", performed live for the first time by Nina Simone on the album Black Gold (1970). It became the official Civil Rights anthem.
Irvine's last major project was The Price of Freedom (1999), a compilation of original songs by hip-hop, jazz, funk, and R&B artists to respond to the shooting of Amadou Diallo. Irvine committed suicide outside of EAB Plaza and in front of the Nassau Coliseum located in Uniondale, New York on April 9, 2002. The location was chosen because it was the offices of his record company who were in part responsible for his desperate financial situation through refusing to pay him an advance. In 2004, Madlib produced a tribute to Weldon Irvine, A Tribute to Brother Weldon.

As Leader

1972: Liberated Brother (Nodlew) 
1973: Time Capsule (Nodlew)
1974: Cosmic Vortex (Justice Divine) 
1974: In Harmony (Strata-East Records)
1975: Spirit Man (RCA)
1976: Sinbad (RCA) 
1979: The Sisters (Saucerman) 
1994: Music Is the Key (Luv N Haight)
1995: Keyboards Wild DJ's Smile (Tuff City Records)
1998: Embrace the Positive (Nodlew)
2000: The Amadou Project: The Price of Freedom (Nodlew)


As Sideman

Dr. Lonnie Smith

Dr. Lonnie Smith (born July 3, 1942 in Lackawanna, New York) is a jazz Hammond B3 organist and pianist.

He was born in Lackawanna, New York, into a family with a vocal group and radio program. Smith says that his mother was a major influence on him musically, as she introduced him to gospel, classical, and jazz music. He was part of several vocal ensembles in the 1950s, including the Teen Kings. Art Kubera, the owner of a local music store, gave Smith his first organ, a Hammond B3.
Smith's affinity for R&B melded with his own personal style as he became active in the local music scene. He moved to New York City, where he met George Benson, the guitarist for Jack McDuff's band. Benson and Smith connected on a personal level, and the two formed the George Benson Quartet, featuring Lonnie Smith, in 1966.
After two albums under Benson's leadership, It's Uptown and Cookbook, Smith recorded his first solo album (Finger Lickin' Good) in 1967, with George Benson and Melvin Sparks on guitar, Ronnie Cuber on baritone sax, and Marion Booker on drums. This combination remained stable for the next five years.
After recording several albums with Benson, Smith became a solo recording artist and has since recorded over 30 albums under his own name. Numerous prominent jazz artists have joined Smith on his albums and in his live performances, including Lee Morgan, David "Fathead" Newman, King Curtis, Terry Bradds, Blue Mitchell, and Joe Lovano.
In 1967, Smith met Lou Donaldson, who put him in contact with Blue Note Records. Donaldson asked the quartet to record an album for Blue Note, Alligator Bogaloo. Blue Note signed Smith for the next four albums, all in the soul jazz style, including Think (with Melvin Sparks, Marion Booker, Lee Morgan and David Newman) and Turning Point (with Lee Morgan, Bennie Maupin, Melvin Sparks and Idris Muhammad).
Smith's next album Move Your Hand was recorded at the Club Harlem in Atlantic City, New Jersey in August 1969. The album's reception allowed his reputation to grow beyond the Northeast. He would record another studio album Drives and one more live album Live at Club Mozambique (recorded in Detroit on May 21, 1970) before leaving Blue Note.
In the mid-1970s, Dr. Lonnie Smith converted to Sikhism. Smith has also been referred to from around that time as "Dr. Lonnie Smith" although the honorific does not represent an academic doctorate degree.
Smith toured the northeastern United States heavily during the 1970s. He concentrated largely on smaller neighborhood venues during this period. His sidemen included Ronnie Cuber, Dave Hubbard, Bill Easley and George Adams on sax, Donald Hahn on trumpet, George Benson and Larry McGee on guitars, and Joe Dukes, Sylvester Goshay, Phillip Terrell, Marion Booker, Jimmy Lovelace, Charles Crosby, Art Gore, Norman Connors and Bobby Durham on drums.
Smith has performed at several prominent jazz festivals with artists including Grover Washington, Jr., Ron Carter, Dizzy Gillespie, Lou Donaldson and Ron Holloway. He has also played with musicians outside of jazz, such as Dionne Warwick, Gladys Knight, Etta James, Joan Cartwright, and Esther Phillips.
He was named the "Organ Keyboardist of the Year" in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2008, and 2009 by the Jazz Journalist Association.


as a lider
1968: Think! (Blue Note)
1969: Turning Point (Blue Note)
1970: Drives (Blue Note)
1970: Live at Club Mozambique (Blue Note)
1971: Mama Wailer (Kudu)
1975: When the Night is Right! (Chiaroscuro)
1975: Afrodesia (Groove Merchant)
1976: Keep on Lovin' (Groove Merchant)
1977: Funk Reaction
1978: Gotcha (TK) 
1993: Afro Blue (Music Masters) part 1 \ part 2
1994: Foxy Lady: a Tribute to Hendrix (Music Masters)
2000: The Turbanator (32 Jazz)
2003: Boogaloo to Beck: A Tribute (Scufflin')
2004: Too Damn Hot (Palmetto)
2006: Jungle Soul (Palmetto)
2009: Rise Up! (Palmetto)
2010: Spiral (Palmetto)

as a sideman

1965:Red Holloway - Red Soul
1988:Jimmy Ponder - To Reach A Dream part1 \ part2
1993:Lou Donaldson - Caracas 
1994:Lou Donaldson - Sentimental Journey
1996:Essence All Stars - Organic Grooves 
1998-Ximo Tebar - Goes Blue
1999:Jimmy McGriff - McGriff's House Party
2000:Bobby Broom - Modern Man
2003:Crash - The Doctor Is In
2007:Saori Yano - Little Tiny


Dr. Lonnie Smith discography at

Monday, July 11, 2011

Legendary Reuben Wilson


 Reuben Wilson,was one of many soul-jazz organists to emerge in the late '60s, but he was one of only a handful of new organists from that era to be signed to Blue Note. By that point in the label's history, most of their artists were concentrating on accessible soul-jazz, and while he occasionally strayed outside of the conventions of the genre, Wilson more or less followed their rule. Between 1968 and 1971, he recorded five sessions for the label. None of his records received much acknowledgment at the time, but they were later rediscovered by a new generation of soul-jazz fans, becoming collector's items within acid jazz and soul-jazz revivalist circles.

Wilson began performing professionally in 1962. A native of Mounds, OK, he moved to Pasadena, CA, as a child, where he attended school with such future jazz musicians as Bobby Hutcherson and Herb Lewis. As a teenager, Wilson began to teach himself to play piano, but his attention was diverted by boxing. When he was 17, he moved to Los Angeles and married a nightclub singer, through whom he met a number of professional musicians. Associating with musicians conviced Wilson to return to music. Instead of pursuing the piano, he decided to take up the organ, and it wasn't long before he became a regular at the Caribbean club, where he played with drummer Eddie Williams, guitarist George Freeman, and, eventually, Clifford Scott. He played the L.A. circuit for several years before deciding to try his luck in Las Vegas. That venture proved unsuccessful, so he moved back to L.A., where he struck up a friendship with Richard "Groove" Holmes, an organist who would greatly influence his own style.

In December 1966, Wilson relocated to New York, where he formed the soul-jazz trio the Wildare Express with drummer Tommy Derrick. The Wildare Express lasted about six months, playing venues throughout the East Coast and Detroit, and then Wilson decided to concentrate on more complex variations of hard bop and soul-jazz. Eventually, such respected musicians as Grant Green, Roy Haynes, and Sam Rivers began playing with Wilson. Around the same time, Blue Note offered the organist a contract based on a demo he had sent the label.

On Broadway, Wilson's first album for Blue Note, was a quartet session featuring his old bandmate Derrick and was recorded in October of 1968. It was followed in March of 1969 by Love Bug, which featured contributions from trumpeter Lee Morgan and guitarist Grant Green. His third album, Blue Mode, was cut in December 1969 and offered some of his hottest playing. With his fourth album, 1970's A Groovy Situation, Wilson moved in a commercial direction, much like many of his Blue Note peers. In July of 1971, he recorded Set Us Free, his final album for the label.

Wilson's contract with Blue Note expired after Set Us Free and he moved to Groove Merchant, where he released three albums -- Cisco Kid, Bad Stuff, and The Sweet Life -- during the mid-'70s. Throughout the decade, he also played on sessions by funk, soul, and jazz artists, including a record by the Fatback Band. During the late '70s, he recorded sporadically, eventually retiring from music in the early '80s.

By the late '80s, Wilson's music had been rediscovered by a new generation, listeners who didn't dismiss his records as commercial fluff. Like several of his peers, his late-'60s and '70s records, through sampling, became cornerstones in the newly emerging acid jazz and jazz-rap genres. Soon, his out of print records became collector's items, and his sampled licks were appearing on dancefloors throughout England and parts of New York. Eventually, samples of his records were included on hit albums by A Tribe Called Quest, Us3, Brand New Heavies, and Nas. In light of all this new attention, Wilson decided to return to performing, and he toured with Guru's Jazzamatazz revue in 1995. He also began writing new material and performing in new groups, including combos he led himself. In 1996, he signed to Hip Bop and released two albums, Live at SOB's and Organ Donor. The following year, he recorded Organic Grooves with Dr. Lonnie Smith and Doug Carn.

1968 - On Broadway
1969 - Blue Breakbeats
1969 - Blue Mode
1969 - Love Bug
1970 - A Groovy Situation
1971 - Set Us Free
1972-The Sweet Life
1974 - Cisco Kid
1974 - The Sweet Life
1975 - Bad Stuff
1975 - Got To 1998 - Down With It
1998 - Organ Donor
2002-Organ Blues
2004 - Boogaloo To The Beastie Boys
2005 - Fun House
2006-Movin' On   part 1  \   part 2
2008--The Godfathers of Groove
2009-- Azure Te  part 1  \   part 2
2010-The Godfathers of Groove _vol 3

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Lonnie Liston Smith

Lonnie Liston Smith, Jr. (born December 28, 1940 in Richmond, Virginia) is an American jazz,soul, and funk musician who played with important free jazz artists such as Pharoah Sandersand Miles Davis before forming Lonnie Liston Smith And The Cosmic Echoes, recording a number of albums widely regarded as classics in the fusion / Quiet Storm / smooth jazz andacid jazz genres.
The "fusion" jazz of the 1970s, which merged jazz with more commercially oriented influences from rock, rhythm-and-blues, and funk, fell out of fashion as its leading practitioners either moved into popular music or went on to newer jazz experiments. But keyboardist Lonnie Liston Smith has been fusion's survivor. Resurrecting his career several times after he seemed to have been written off by the jazz world, Smith seemed to have an uncanny ability to connect with younger musicians and yet maintain the core of his blissful, rather meditative style. He remained active long enough to find himself hailed as an elder statesman by acid jazz musicians of the 1990s and early 2000s.
The spiritual feel of Smith's music was shaped early in his life. Lonnie Liston Smith (not to be confused with organist Dr. Lonnie Smith) was born in Richmond, Virginia on December 28, 1940. His father worked in a tobacco factory at the time, but soon joined a gospel quartet called the Harmonizing Four. Virginia was a hotbed of gospel singing, and the elder Lonnie Liston Smith was able to turn music into a full-time job by 1946. Such stars of the gospel genre as the Swan Silvertones and Sam Cooke often stopped by the Smith household. The three male Smith children all became musicians; flutist and vocalist Donald Smith often performed with his Lonnie Liston Smith, and the Rev. Ray Smith served as music minister at the Richmond Christian Center church.
Smith learned to play the piano at home but began taking lessons after it became clear that he had some talent. As a high school student he became interested in modern jazz, but it was saxophonists Charlie Parker and John Coltrane, as well as the cool, unorthodox trumpeter Miles Davis that caught his ear. He intentionally tried to follow their styles and not to emulate the work of jazz pianists like McCoy Tyner and Horace Silver. While still in his teens, Smith was appearing with jazz groups in the Baltimore area and backing such vocal stars as Betty Carter when they came through town.
After earning a degree in music education from Baltimore's Morgan State University in 1961, Smith got a tip from a college bandmate that there was an open keyboard spot in the highly experimental Jazz Messengers band led by drummer Art Blakey. Smith moved to New York City in 1962 to take the job, making his recording debut with Blakey. He also filled a keyboard slot in the band of another very progressive percussionist, Max Roach. In 1965 he joined the band of saxophonist Roland Kirk (later Rahsaan Roland Kirk), appearing on six tracks of Kirk's Rip, Rip and Panic album that year.
In 1968 Smith joined the band of saxophonist Pharaoh Sanders, one of the top touring modern jazz ensembles of the time. It was with Sanders that Kirk started experimenting with the electric keyboards he would often use later in his career, creating a wash of sound as an underpinning for Sanders' frenzied soloing. In the early 1970s Smith began performing and recording intermittently with trumpeter Miles Davis, the key creator of fusion jazz and one of the all-time giants of the genre. Davis tabbed Smith to play on his 1974 Big Fun album, keeping Smith on his toes by demanding that he learn to play the organ. "It was intimidating," Smith recalled in an essay reproduced on his Web site, Lonnie Liston Smith Online. "Then Miles gave me two nights to learn how to make music on the thing. Miles liked to introduce new sounds in a surprising way—that's how he produced such innovative, fresh music."
After a stint with Argentine saxophonist Gato Barbieri, during which he added a persisting Latin accent to his music, Smith was signed to a contract by producer Bob Thiele on his Flying Dutchman label. Smith put together a band of his own, the Cosmic Echoes, and recorded his first album, Astral Traveling. Mostly but not exclusively instrumental, the music Smith and the Cosmic Echoes made was fusion jazz that combined a spacious, spiritual feel with a layer of funk and rhythm-and-blues (R&B). As Smith gained popularity with the Expansions LP (1975), Flying Dutchman was picked up for distribution by the larger RCA label.
mith moved to the Columbia label with his 1978 album Loveland and kept up a rapid pace of recording through the rest of the 1970s. When he added vocals to the mix, as with 1979's "Space Princess," Smith created a sound close to the commercial R&B of the day and gained a good deal of radio airplay. His fortunes were boosted by the emergence around 1980 of the "quiet storm" radio format, which blended jazz with sophisticated black pop styles; such Smith numbers as "Never Too Late" became staples of the format. His instrumental numbers often established a basic beat and then surrounded it with subtle shifts of a shimmering texture. Lyrics, when there were any, often referred to spiritual concerns and the expansion of consciousness.
Despite energetic touring, Smith's reputation faded a bit by the mid-1980s. "Smith has tended to regurgitate his better ideas in increasingly vapid cycles," complained the Washington Post in 1983. He found himself without a recording contract for a time. "I had a lot of idealistic concepts about music, and about the spiritual message I was trying to get across," Smith told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "But most record companies only care about demographics and bottom line sales." Still, he retained strong audience loyalty in Europe and Japan, appearing at festivals in both countries.
Smith made several recordings for the Doctor Jazz label and for the small, Maryland-based Startrak Records. In the late 1980s the hip-hop movement, with its strong basis in funk, began to propel his career upward once again. His debut album for Startrak, Love Goddess, featured guest appearances by vocalist Phyllis Hyman and saxophonist Stanley Turrentine, but soon Smith was working with rapper Guru, who was one of the first to attempt to mix the jazz and hip-hop genres. Smith found himself an elder statesman. "Guru and the other rappers would tell me how their uncles used to make them listen to me and Miles and Donald Byrd and how they got the message," Smith told Australia's Daily Telegraph Mirror newspaper.
Smith appeared on the Guru Jazzmatazz Volume One album but then took another hiatus from recording. He reemerged in 1998 with his Transformation CD, which returned to a sound reminiscent of the Cosmic Echoes years. (The Cosmic Echoes, after a series of personnel changes, disbanded in the mid-1980s.) Once again Smith showed his ability to connect with contemporary listeners; quiet storm radio had been reborn as "smooth jazz," and Smith, approaching the age of 60, was once again a frequent radio presence.
Career: Musician, 1962–; joined Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, New York City, 1962; joined band of Roland Kirk, 1965; joined band of Pharaoh Sanders, 1968; performed and recorded with Miles Davis and Gato Barbieri bands, early 1970s; formed own band, Cosmic Echoes, 1973; formed own label, Loveland Records, late 1990s–.Smith established his own label, Loveland, which was distributed by the large Sony conglomerate. Several of his early albums were reissued, and his music of the late 1970s and early 1980s was collected on a two-CD set called Explorations: The Columbia Years. Touring the United Kingdom in 2003 and 2004, fusion's cosmic-minded survivor showed no signs of calling it quits. He continued to live and make music according to a philosophy he had expressed nearly 30 years before to the Tri-State Defender: "Music is one of the ruling forces in the Cosmos and I constantly stretch for the ultimate. Music should bring a message and I am but a messenger."


Lonnie Liston Smith and the Cosmic Echoes

  • 1973 Astral Traveling (Flying Dutchman)
  • 1974 Cosmic Funk (Flying Dutchman)
  • 1974 Expansions (Flying Dutchman)
  • 1975 Visions of a New World (Flying Dutchman) 
  • 1976 Reflections of a Golden Dream (RCA)
  • 1977 Live! (RCA)
  • 1977 Renaissance (RCA)
  • 1978 Loveland (Columbia)
  • 1978 Exotic Mysteries (Columbia)
  • 1979 A Song for the Children (Columbia)
  • 1980 Love Is the Answer (Columbia)
  • 1983 Dreams of Tomorrow (Doctor Jazz)
  • 1984 Silhouettes (Doctor Jazz)
  • 1985 Rejuvenation (Doctor Jazz)
  • 1986 Make Someone Happy (Doctor Jazz)
  • 1990 Love Goddess (Startrak) 
  • 1991 Magic Lady (Startrak)
  • 1998 Transformation (Import)
  • 2002 -Explorations: The Columbia Recordings [Original Recording Remastered]

As a sideman

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