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Showing posts with label Smooth Jazz. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Smooth Jazz. Show all posts

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Legendary Bobbi Humphrey



Biography

Bobbi Humphrey is a jazz flautist whose musical tastes lean toward fusion and smooth jazz-pop. From the outset of her career, Humphrey was quite popular, winning a large crossover audience with her pop-oriented jazz-fusion. Throughout her career, her popularity exceeded her critical acclaim, but she received high marks for her technique and showmanship. Audiences stayed with Humphrey for decades, buying her records and attending her concerts from the Montreux Festival to Carnegie Hall.

Although Bobbi Humphrey was born in Marlin, TX, she was raised in Dallas. She began playing flute in high school and continued her studies at Texas Southern University and Southern Methodist University. Dizzy Gillespie saw Humphrey play at a talent contest at Southern Methodist and, impressed with what he had heard, he urged her to pursue a musical career in New York City. She followed through on his advice, getting her first big break performing at the Apollo Theater on amateur night. Shortly afterward, she began playing regularly throughout the city, including a gig with Duke Ellington.

Humphrey signed with Blue Note in 1971. Her smooth blend of jazz, funk, pop, and R&B fit in well with the new sound of Blue Note, and her six albums for the label -- Flute In, Dig This, Blacks and Blues, Satin Doll, Live at Montreux, and Fancy Dancer -- were all successes. In particular, 1973's Blacks and Blues was a rousing success, earning her a crossover pop and R&B audience. That same year, she played the Montreux Festival in Switzerland. In 1976, she was named Best Female Instrumentalist by Billboard. The following year, she switched record labels, signing with Epic and releasing Tailor Made that same year. She also played on Stevie Wonder's platinum album Songs in the Key of Life in 1977.

Tailor Made was the first of three albums for Epic Records; Freestyle followed in 1978 and The Good Life appeared about a year afterward. During the '80s, Humphrey continued to perform regularly, even if she didn't record often. She returned to recording in 1989, releasing City Beat on Malaco Records. Five years later, Passion Flute appeared on her own Paradise Sounds label, where she is President and C.E.O.


Discography

  • 1972 Dig This
  • 1972 Flute In
  • 1973 Live at Montreux
  • 1974 Blacks and Blues
  • 1975 Satin Doll
  • 1975 Fancy Dancer
  • 1977 Tailor Made
  • 1978 Freestyle
  • 1979 The Good Life
  • 1982-90 Rare Singles
  • 1989 City Beat
  • 1994 Passion Flute
  • 1998 Blue Breakbeats

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Freddie Hubbard



Frederick Dewayne "Freddie" Hubbard
(April 7, 1938 – December 29, 2008) was an American jazz trumpeter. He was known primarily for playing in the bebop, hard bop and post bop styles from the early 1960s and on. His unmistakable and influential tone contributed to new perspectives for modern jazz and bebop.

Hubbard started playing the mellophone and trumpet in his school band, studying at the Jordan Conservatory with the principal trumpeter of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. In his teens Hubbard worked locally with brothers Wes and Monk Montgomery and worked with bassist Larry Ridley and saxophonist James Spaulding. In 1958, at the age of 20, he moved to New York, and began playing with some of the best jazz players of the era, including Philly Joe Jones, Sonny Rollins, Slide Hampton, Eric Dolphy, J. J. Johnson, and Quincy Jones. In June 1960 Hubbard made his first record as a leader, Open Sesame, with saxophonist Tina Brooks, pianist McCoy Tyner, bassist Sam Jones, and drummer Clifford Jarvis.
In December 1960, Hubbard was invited to play on Ornette Coleman's Free Jazz after Coleman had heard him playing with Don Cherry.
Then in May 1961, Hubbard played on Olé Coltrane, John Coltrane's final recording session with Atlantic Records. Together with Eric Dolphy, Hubbard was the only 'session' musician who appeared on both Olé and Africa/Brass, Coltrane's first album with ABC/Impulse! Later, in August 1961, Hubbard made one of his most famous records, Ready for Freddie, which was also his first collaboration with saxophonist Wayne Shorter. Hubbard joined Shorter later in 1961 when he replaced Lee Morgan in Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers. He played on several Blakey recordings, including Caravan, Ugetsu, Mosaic, and Free For All. Hubbard remained with Blakey until 1966, leaving to form the first of several small groups of his own, which featured, among others, pianist Kenny Barron and drummer Louis Hayes.
It was during this time that he began to develop his own sound, distancing himself from the early influences of Clifford Brown and Morgan, and won the Downbeat jazz magazine "New Star" award on trumpet.
Throughout the 1960s Hubbard played as a sideman on some of the most important albums from that era, including, Oliver Nelson's The Blues and the Abstract Truth, Eric Dolphy's Out to Lunch, Herbie Hancock's Maiden Voyage, and Wayne Shorter's Speak No Evil. He recorded extensively for Blue Note Records in the 1960s: eight albums as a bandleader, and twenty-eight as a sideman. Hubbard was described as "the most brilliant trumpeter of a generation of musicians who stand with one foot in 'tonal' jazz and the other in the atonal camp". Though he never fully embraced the free jazz of the '60s, he appeared on two of its landmark albums: Coleman's Free Jazz and Coltrane's Ascension.
Hubbard achieved his greatest popular success in the 1970s with a series of albums for Creed Taylor and his record label CTI Records, overshadowing Stanley Turrentine, Hubert Laws, and George Benson.. Although his early 1970s jazz albums Red Clay, First Light, Straight Life, and Sky Dive were particularly well received and considered among his best work, the albums he recorded later in the decade were attacked by critics for their commercialism. First Light won a 1972 Grammy Award and included pianists Herbie Hancock and Richard Wyands, guitarists Eric Gale and George Benson, bassist Ron Carter, drummer Jack DeJohnette, and percussionist Airto Moreira. In 1994, Freddie, collaborating with Chicago jazz vocalist/co-writer Catherine Whitney, had lyrics set to the music of First Light.
In 1977 Hubbard joined with Herbie Hancock, Tony Williams, Ron Carter and Wayne Shorter, members of the mid-sixties Miles Davis Quintet, for a series of performances. Several live recordings of this group were released as VSOP, VSOP: The Quintet, VSOP: Tempest in the Colosseum (all 1977) and VSOP: Live Under the Sky (1979).
Hubbard's trumpet playing was featured on the track Zanzibar, on the 1978 Billy Joel album 52nd Street (the 1979 Grammy Award Winner for Best Album). The track ends with a fade during Hubbard's performance. An "unfaded" version was released on the 2004 Billy Joel box set My Lives.
In the 1980s Hubbard was again leading his own jazz group, attracting very favorable reviews, playing at concerts and festivals in the USA and Europe, often in the company of Joe Henderson, playing a repertory of Hard-bop and modal-jazz pieces. Hubbard played at the legendary Monterey Jazz Festival in 1980 and in 1989 (with Bobby Hutcherson). He played with Woody Shaw, recording with him in 1985, and two years later recorded Stardust with Benny Golson. In 1988 he teamed up once more with Blakey at an engagement in Holland, from which came Feel the Wind. In 1990 he appeared in Japan headlining an American-Japanese concert package which also featured Elvin Jones, Sonny Fortune, pianists George Duke and Benny Green, bass players Ron Carter, and Rufus Reid, with jazz and vocalist Salena Jones. He also performed at the Warsaw Jazz Festival at which Live at the Warsaw Jazz Festival (Jazzmen 1992) was recorded.
Following a long setback of health problems and a serious lip injury in 1992 where he ruptured his upper lip and subsequently developed an infection, Hubbard was again playing and recording occasionally, even if not at the high level that he set for himself during his earlier career. His best records ranked with the finest in his field.
In 2006, The National Endowment for the Arts honored Hubbard with its highest honor in jazz, the NEA Jazz Masters Award.
On December 29, 2008, Hubbard's hometown newspaper, The Indianapolis Star reported that Hubbard died from complications from a heart attack suffered on November 26 of the same year.Billboard magazine reported that Hubbard died in Sherman Oaks, California.
Freddie Hubbard had close ties to the Jazz Foundation of America in his later years. Freddie is quoted as saying, “When I had congestive heart failure and couldn't work, The Jazz Foundation paid my mortgage for several months and saved my home! Thank God for those people."
The Jazz Foundation of America’s Musicians' Emergency Fund took care of Freddie during times of illness. After his passing Mr. Hubbard’s estate requested that tax deductible donations be made in Freddie’s name to The Jazz Foundation of America.


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Discography


As leader

  • Open Sesame (1960 , Blue Note)
  • Goin' Up (1960, Blue Note)
  • Minor Mishap(1961)
  • Hub Cap (1961,Blue Note)
  • Ready for Freddie (1961, Blue Note) Flac
  • The Artistry of Freddie Hubbard (1962 ,Impulse!)
  • Hub-Tones (1962,Blue Note)
  • Here to Stay (1962 ,Blue Note) 
  • The Body & the Soul (1963 ,Impulse!) 
  • Breaking Point (1964 ,Blue Note)
  • Blue Spirits (1965,Blue Note)
  • The Night of the Cookers (1965,Blue Note)
  • Jam Gems: Live at the Left Bank 2001 ,Label M)
  • Backlash (1966 ,Atlantic) 
  • High Blues Pressure (1968 ,Atlantic)
  • A Soul Experiment (1969,Atlantic)
  • Without a Song, Live in Europe (1969, Blue Note)
  • The Black Angel (1970, Atlantic)
  • The Hub of Hubbard (1970, MPS
  • Red Clay (1970 ,CTI) 
  • Straight Life (1970 ,CTI) 
  • Sing Me a Song of Songmy (1971 ,Atlantic)
  • First Light (1971 ,CTI) 
  • Sky Dive (1973, CTI)
  • Hot Horn (1973, Everest)
  • Freddie Hubbard/Stanley Turrentine In Concert Volume One (1974 ,CTI)
  • In Concert Volume Two (1974 ,CTI)
  • Keep Your Soul Together (1974 ,CTI)
  • High Energy (1974 ,Columbia)
  • Polar AC(1975,CTI)
  • Gleam (1975 ,Sony (Japan))
  • Liquid Love (1975,Columbia)
  • Windjammer (1976,Columbia) 
  • Bundle of Joy (1977 ,Columbia)
  • Super Blue (1978,Columbia) 
  • The Love Connection(1979,Columbia)
  • Freddie Hubbard Quintet Leon Thomas live at Onkel Pö s Carnegie Hall 1979
  • Skagly (1980, Columbia)
  • Live at the North Sea Jazz Festival(1980 ,Pablo)
  • Mistral with Art Pepper (1981 ,Liberty)
  • Outpost (1981 ,Enja)
  • Splash (1981,Fantasy)
  • Rollin'(1982 ,MPS)
  • Keystone Bop Vol. 2: Friday & Saturday (1996,Prestige)
  • Keystone Bop: Sunday Night (1982,Prestige)
  • Born to Be Blue (1982 ,Pablo) 
  • Ride Like the Wind (1982,Elektra/Asylum) 
  • Above & Beyond (1982 ,Metropolitan)
  • Back to Birdland (1982, Real Time)
  • Sweet Return (1983 ,Atlantic)
  • The Rose Tattoo (1983,Baystate (Japan)) 
  • Double Take with Woody Shaw (1985 ,Blue Note) 
  • Life Flight (1987, Blue Note)
  • The Eternal Triangle with Woody Shaw (1987 ,Blue Note) flac 1\ 2
  • Feel the Wind with Art Blakey (1988 ,Timeless)
  • Times are Changing (1989 ,Blue Note)
  • Topsy - Standard Book (1989,Alpha/Compose) 
  • Bolivia (1991,Music Masters)
  • At Jazz Jamboree Warszawa '91: A Tribute to Miles (2000 ,Starburst)
  • Live at Fat Tuesday's (1992,Music Masters)
  • Blues for Miles (1992, Evidence)
  • MMTC: Monk, Miles, Trane & Cannon (1995,Music Masters)
  • New Colors (2001,Hip Hop Essence) 
  • On The Real Side (70th Birthday Celebration) (2008,Times Square Records)
  • Pinnacle, Live And Unreleased From Keystone Korner (2011)

As sideman

  • Wes Montgomery - Fingerpickin' (1958)
  • John Coltrane – Stardust(1958)
  • Paul Chambers-Go (1959) 
  • Kenny Drew – Undercurrent(1960)
  • Hank Mobley – Roll Call(1960)
  • The J. J. Johnson Sextet - J. J. Inc. 1960 
  • Curtis Fuller - Boss Of The Soul Stream Trombone 1960
  • Ornette Coleman - Free Jazz: A Collective Improvisation (1960)
  • Tina Brooks - True Blue (1960)
  • Eric Dolphy-Outward Bound (1960)
  • Slide Hampton Octet -Slide!(1961)
  • John Coltrane-Olé Coltrane (1961)
  • John Coltrane-Africa/Brass (1961)
  • Art Blakey-Mosaic (1961)
  • Art Blakey-Buhaina's Delight (1961)
  • A Jazz Hour with Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers: Blues March (1961)
  • Jackie McLean-Bluesnik(1961)
  • Dexter Gordon - Doin Alright (1961)
  • Oliver Nelson - The Blues and the Abstract Truth (1961)
  • Duke Pearson – Dedication!(1961)
  • Bill Evans - Interplay (1962)
  • Curtis Fuller Soul Trombone 1962
  • Curtis Fuller - Cabin in the Sky (1962)
  • Art Blakey-Three Blind Mice (1962) 
  • Art Blakey-Caravan (1962)
  • Herbie Hancock-Takin' Off (1962)
  • Art Blakey-Ugetsu (1963)
  • Art Blakey- Free For All (1964)
  • Art Blakey-Kyoto (1964)
  • Eric Dolphy-Out to Lunch! (1964)
  • Herbie Hancock-Empyrean Isles (1964)
  • Wayne Shorter - Speak No Evil (1964) Flac
  • John Coltrane-Ascension (1965)
  • Sam Rivers-Contours(1965)
  • Bobby Hutcherson - Dialogue (1965)
  • Herbie Hancock-Maiden Voyage (1965)
  • Wayne Shorter - The Soothsayer(1965)
  • Wayne Shorter – The All Seeing Eye(1965)
  • Hank Mobley – The Turnaround(1965)
  • Sonny Rollins - East Broadway Run Down (1966)
  • Herbie Hancock-Blow-Up (Soundtrack) (1966)
  • Duke Pearson – Sweet Honey Bee(1966)
  • Duke Pearson – The Right Touch(1967)
  • Wes Montgomery - Road Song (1968)
  • George Benson - The Other Side of Abbey Road (1969)
  • Quincy Jones - Walking in Space (1969)
  • Leon Thomas - A Piece of Cake (Palcoscenico Records)
  • Stanley Turrentine - Sugar (1970)
  • Kenny Burrell - God Bless the Child (1971)
  • Dexter Gordon - Generation [1972]
  • Randy Weston - Blue Moses (1972)
  • Milt Jackson - Sunflower (1973)
  • Charles Earland - Leaving This Planet (1973)
  • Don Sebesky - Giant Box (1973)
  • Raul De Souza - Sweet Lucy (1977)
  • Herbie Hancock- VSOP: The Quintet (1977)
  • Herbie Hancock-VSOP: Tempest in the Colosseum (1977)
  • McCoy Tyner - Together (1978) flac
  • Billy Joel - 52nd Street (1978)
  • Herbie Hancock-VSOP: Live Under the Sky (1979)
  • George Cables - Cables' Vision (1979)
  • McCoy Tyner - Quartets 4 X 4 (1980) flac
  • C. Terry, Freddie Hubbard, Dizzy Gillespie, O. Peterson - The Alternate Blues - 1980
  • The Trumpet Summit Meets The Oscar Peterson Big Four 1980
  • Oscar Peterson – Face to Face (1982) flac
  • Herbie Hancock-Round Midnight (Soundtrack) (1986)
  • Benny Golson, Freddie Hubbard - Stardust (1987)
  • Roberto Ávila & Sarava - Come to Brazil (1989)
  • Kirk Lightsey Trio - Temptation (1991)
  • Poncho Sanchez - Cambios (1991)
  • Stanley Turrentine – More Than a Mood(1992)
  • Joe Henderson-Big Band (1996)
  • Quincy Jones feat Tots Thielemans - I Never Told You (1998)

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Legend:Ramsey Emmanuel Lewis



Ramsey Emmanuel Lewis, Jr. (born May 27, 1935) is an American jazz composer, pianist and radio personality. He has been referred to as "the great performer",a title reflectin g his performance style and musical selections which display his early gospel playing and classical training (Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, etc.) along with his love of jazz and other musical forms. Ramsey Lewis has recorded over 80 albums and has received five gold records and three Grammy Awards so far in his career.

Ramsey Lewis was born in Chicago, Illinois, to Ramsey Lewis, Sr. and Pauline Lewis. Lewis began taking piano lessons at the age of four. At 15 he joined his first jazz band, The Cleffs. The seven-piece group provided Lewis his first involvement with jazz; he would later join Cleffs drummer Isaac "Redd" Holt and bassist Eldee Young to form the Ramsey Lewis Trio. He has a grandson, named Ramsey Lewis who lives in California, but used to attend your local high school in Chicago's Northside.

The trio started as primarily a jazz unit and released their first album, Ramsey Lewis And The Gentlemen of Swing, in 1956. Following their 1965 hit The In Crowd (the single reached #5 on the pop charts, and the album #2) they concentrated more on pop material. Young and Holt left in 1966 to form the Young-Holt Trio and were replaced by Cleveland Eaton and Maurice White. White was replaced by Maurice Jennings in 1970. Later, Franky Donaldson and Billy "The Bhudda" Dickens replaced Jennings and Eaton; Felton Crews also appeared on many 1980's releases.

By 1966, Lewis was one of the nation’s most successful jazz pianists, topping the charts with The In Crowd, Hang On Sloopy, and Wade in the Water. Many of his recordings attracted a large non-jazz audience. In the '70s, Lewis often played electric piano, although by later in the decade he was sticking to acoustic and using an additional keyboardist in his groups.

In addition to recording and performing, Lewis hosted a morning show on Chicago "smooth jazz" radio station WNUA (95.5 FM) until May 22, 2009. His weekly syndicated radio program Legends of Jazz, created in 1990, features recordings from artists such as David Sanborn, George Duke, Herbie Hancock, Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Kurt Elling, Al Jarreau and Miles Davis. The show can be heard in 60 U.S. cities and overseas. On December 4, 2006, the Ramsey Lewis Morning Show became part of Broadcast Architecture's Smooth Jazz Network, simulcasting on other Smooth Jazz stations across the country for the first time. However, the show was still based in Chicago until it was cancelled when WNUA switched over to a Spanish format.

In 2006, a well-received 13-episode Legends of Jazz television series hosted by Lewis was broadcast on public TV nationwide and featured live performances by a variety of jazz artists including Larry Gray, Lonnie Smith, Joey Defrancesco, Dave Brubeck, Chick Corea, Kurt Elling, Benny Golson, Pat Metheny and Tony Bennett.

Lewis is artistic director of Jazz at Ravinia (an annual feature at the Ravinia Festival in Highland Park, Illinois) and helped organize Ravinia's Jazz Mentor Program. Ramsey also serves on the Board of Trustees for the Merit School of Music, a Chicago inner-city music program and The Chicago High School for the Arts, the new public arts high school in Chicago. Early in 2005, the Ramsey Lewis Foundation was created to help connect at-risk children to the world of music. As an offshoot of that foundation, Lewis plans to form a Youth Choir and Youth Orchestra. In January 2007, the Dave Brubeck Institute invited Lewis to join its Honorary Board of Friends at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California. Lewis is an Honorary Board member of the Chicago Jazz Orchestra. Lewis is a member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc. In May 2008, Lewis received an honorary doctorate from Loyola University Chicago upon delivering the keynote address at the undergraduate commencement ceremony.

Lewis still lives in Chicago, Illinois, the city of his musical roots. He has seven children, fourteen grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.

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Discography
As A Sideman:


Max Roach – Art Blakey – Percussion Discussion (Appr. 1957) (Chess)
Max Roach - Max (1958)


Video:

Legends of Jazz: Showcase (with Ramsey Lewis).(2006)
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