International Jazz Day 2017

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Love to you all.

Ben "Daddy Ben Bear" Brown Jr.
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Introduction Part 1

What exactly is Soul Jazz? Technically speaking, it is a sub-genre of Jazz music that incorporates strong influences from Rhythm and Blues, Soul, Gospel, and eventually funk and psychedelic music. Many consider it to be an extension of Jump Blues, much like Rock and Roll is. More of than than not, songs end to be shorter than many traditional Jazz pieces, and the performing combos tend to be smaller. Many of the the songs in the genre focus on the organ or the saxophone and tend to have repeating riffs, not unlike many Pop or Rock songs.

But this only tells some of the story. All of the styles I have mentioned here all derive from one single source from over 100 years ago: The Blues. Some of the artists here resisted the Soul Jazz label, preferring to call themselves Jazz artists or Jazz Fusion artists. One artist we will feature actually wrote and recorded what is considered by many to be one of the quintessential early Rock and Roll instrumentals.

Soul Jazz could have developed no where else except for in the United States and at no other time than during the 1950's. Within a decade, it spread and merged with other styles around the world, most notably Caribbean, Latin and African Jazz musical styles.

Introduction Part 2

The one thing that holds all of these tracks together is a blending of the worlds of Soul and Jazz, regardless of what label they had then or will carry forward. Sadly, around the 1950's, an atmosphere of elitism and snobbery infiltrated itself into Jazz culture. Even Miles Davis, arguably the greatest superstar Jazz has ever created, was wary of those who would put down on other forms of Jazz as being hip or cool.

In his own words about Jazz elitism: "Those people who say there's nothing but Bop are just stupid. it shows how much they don't know."

This elitism is a reflection not primarily of musicians but of a small section of die-hard music fans who think that something they have discovered is so pure and beautiful that anyone else finding out about it from someone else other than a true believer is sacrilege, and Soul Jazz would not be something of value you would have heard of on a Top 40 radio program, for example.

If Soul Jazz did one thing well, it was to bring the music back to the streets, away from intellectuals, elitists and snobs and back to the very neighborhoods it originally arose from. Many of these tracks were ones you could also dance to, not unlike Jazz music in the decades prior.

Introduction Part 3

As Soul Jazz progressed, as all major music movement do, it became splintered. Some of it became Jazz Fusion; some of it became light or Smooth Jazz. Some of it became modern Soul/R&B; some of it became Jazz Funk. And some of it became immensely popular, creating a backlash with cries of "sellout" from those in the Jazz community who weren't selling as many records as their contemporaries who refused to adapt their sounds to the changing directions in the genre.

Everything that Jazz had offered was finally now front and center, with many of these artists winning many major mainstream music awards or becoming some of the biggest R&B and Pop acts of the 1970's. Nature abhors a vacuum, but unfortunately, some continued to live in their bubble, not realizing that the rest of the music-loving public could actually enjoy something just for the sheer pleasure of it, regardless of the label.

Looking back now, some four to six years decades later, that you see the common thread in all of these recordings: at their core, their literal and figurative Soul is what glows brightest.

Track List/Artist Info Part 1

First Part

  • One Mint Julep, Ray Charles, 1961, Genius+Soul+Jazz
  • The Broilers, Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis, 1959, Cookbook, Vol. 2
  • Loving You Was Like A Party, Marlena Shaw, 1974, Who Is This Bitch, Anyway
  • The Sidewinder, Lee Morgan, 1963, The Sidewinder
  • Duffin Around, “Brother” Jack McDuff and David “Fathead” Newman, 1968, Double Barreled Soul

Second Part

  • Cantaloupe Island, Herbie Hancock, 1964, Empyrean Isles
  • Blues 3+1, Jimmy Smith, 1972, Bluesmith
  • Blues Walk, Lou Donaldson, 1958, Blues Walk
  • Some Skunk Funk, The Brecker Brothers, 1975, The Brecker Bros.

Finale

  • Mercy, Mercy, Mercy (live), Cannonball Adderley, 1966, Mercy, Mercy, Mercy!

Biographical Information

  • One Mint Julep, Ray Charles, 1961, Genius+Soul+Jazz
    Impulse Records, a record label most associated with John Coltrane, released only Ray Charles title, from which this Clovers cover is taken. It was also the only top ten Billboard Hot 100 single the label ever had.

 

  • The Broilers, Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis, 1959, Cookbook, Vol. 2
    Davis was a well-regarded musician, playing swing, bop, hard bop, Latin jazz, and soul jazz genres. Some of his recordings from the 1940's also could be classified as rhythm and blues. Organist Shirley Scott plays on this track.

 

  • Loving You Was Like A Party, Marlena Shaw, 1974, Who Is This Bitch, Anyway
    The biggest-selling album for Shaw was also her last for the Blue Note label in 1974. She still continues to perform to this day, at the age of 74.

 

  • The Sidewinder, Lee Morgan, 1963, The Sidewinder
    Even though Soul Jazz is a genre that lends itself easily to the saxophone, a few other brass instruments have made their way into it’s ranks, most notably the trumpet, of which Lee Morgan played.

 

  • Duffin Around, “Brother” Jack McDuff and David “Fathead” Newman, 1968, Double Barreled Soul
    McDuff, an organ player, and Newman, primarily a saxophonist, perform together on this Atlantic recording from the late 1960’s written by Newman. Leo Johnson, another saxophone and flute player, also played on this recording.

 

  • Cantaloupe Island, Herbie Hancock, 1964, Empyrean Isles
    Yes, Hancock was also featured on our Jazz Fusion program last year. More than likely, he will also be featured on our program next year. What style of Jazz that program focus on? Who knows, but it’s likely that whatever we pick, Hancock will have recorded some seminal type of music for it.

 

  • Blues 3+1, Jimmy Smith, 1972, Bluesmith
    Considered the Godfather of Soul Jazz, Smith is one of it’s most instantly recognizable artists, not only placing high charting Billboard Soul and Top 200 albums for many years, but also placing a series of well-loved instrumentals on the Billboard Hot 100 as well.

 

  • Blues Walk, Lou Donaldson, 1958, Blues Walk
    Donaldson, a Jazz veteran who’s initial influence was Charlie “Bird” Parker, played on two of the most influential Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers albums of all-time, A Night at Birdland and it’s similarly-named sequel.

 

  • Some Skunk Funk, The Brecker Brothers, 1975, The Brecker Bros.
    The Brecker Brothers were real brothers Randy and Michael. Outside of their impressive Jazz Soul/Jazz Funk recordings, they were highly sought after session musicians, even playing one of the greatest, if not the greatest, Funk album of all time, Parliament’s the Mothership Connection.

 

  • Mercy, Mercy, Mercy (live), Cannonball Adderley, 1966, Mercy, Mercy, Mercy!
    Adderley is another Soul Jazz artist with a history that was steeped in traditional Jazz. He was one one of the players on the Miles Davis modal masterpiece, Kind of Blue, in 1959. He was also a jazz educator, narrating the Child’s Introduction to Jazz LP for Riverside Records in 1961.

Track List/Artist Info Part 2

First Part

  • Grazing In The Grass, Hugh Masekela, 1968, The Promise of a Future
  • Listen Here, Eddie Harris, 1967, The Electrifying Eddie Harris
  • Help Somebody, Earth, Wind & Fire, 1971, Earth, Wind & Fire
  • Soulful Strut, Young-Holt Unlimited, 1968, Seven Days of Night
  • I Haven't Got Anything Better To Do, Stanley Turrentine, 1971, Salt Song
  • Song For My Father, The Horace Silver Quartet, 1965, Song For My Father

Second Part

  • Breezin’, George Benson, 1976, Breezin'
  • Cleo's Mood (original mono single mix), Junior Walker & The All Stars, 1965, Shotgun 
  • (They Call It) Stormy Monday, Lou Rawls with Les McCann Ltd., 1962, Stormy Monday
  • Messie Bessie, Shirley Scott. 1970, Something

Finale

  • Sookie Sookie (live)(full length album version), Grant Green, 1970, Alive!

Biographical Information

  • Grazing In The Grass, Hugh Masekela, 1968, The Promise of a Future
    The very first artist in this program is also the very first artist from South Africa to have a #1 Billboard Hot 100 single with this recording. Earlier this week, he had to cancel his appearance due to illness at the Atlanta Jazz Festival. Know all of us here are wishing you a speedy recovery.

 

  • Listen Here, Eddie Harris, 1967, The Electrifying Eddie Harris
    Eddie Harris, a Chicago native, had one of the earliest crossover Jazz hits of the Rock era with the "Theme From Exodus". A few years later, he switched gears musically to this classic Soul Jazz track, and was a pioneer in the use of the electrically amplified saxophone.

 

  • Help Somebody, Earth, Wind & Fire, 1971, Earth, Wind & Fire
    This track, taken from the Warner Brother’s debut album of the group that would become the biggest-selling R&B group of he 1970’s, is with a line-up that was not present during their superstar years, including having a woman in their ranks, vocalist Sherry Scott.

 

  • Soulful Strut, Young-Holt Unlimited, 1968, Seven Days of Night
    Drummer Isaac "Redd" Holt and bassist Eldee Young, who were former members of the Soul Jazz group the Ramsey Lewis Trio, teamed up with pianist Ken Chaney for this solid gold smash. They were never to replicate the success they had with Soulful Strut, and disbanded in 1974.

 

  • I Haven't Got Anything Better To Do, Stanley Turrentine, 1971, Salt Song
    Prior to his amazing solo recordings for CTI, Turrentine worked with the Godfather of Soul Jazz, organist Jimmy Smith, including on his career-defining Back at the Chicken Shack LP, and was also married to organist Shirley Scott.

 

  • Song For My Father, The Horace Silver Quartet, 1965, Song For My Father
    At 28 years, Silver may be the artist with the longest history at legendary Jazz label Blue Note Records. Silver received his first big break break from saxophonist Stan Getz, and later worked with Art Blakey of the Jazz Messengers.

 

  • Breezin’, George Benson, 1976, Breezin'
    Formerly a child prodigy, making his first recordings at the age of ten, yes ten, years old, Benson took Jazz to a completely new level in 1976 with the album Breezin’, resulting in a #1 Billboard 200 LP and a Grammy Award for Record of the Year with the Leon Russell-penned “This Masquerade”.

 

  • Cleo's Mood (original mono single mix), Junior Walker & The All Stars, 1965, Shotgun
    Autry DeWalt Mixon Jr., better known to all of us as Jr. Walker, was a native of Indiana. After having a string of hits on the Motown label, of which this was one, Walker would play on one of the best rock singles of the 1980’s, "Urgent", by Foreigner.

 

  • (They Call It) Stormy Monday, Lou Rawls with Les McCann Ltd., 1962, Stormy Monday
    Soul Jazz stalwart Les McCann and his trio backed Mr. Rawls on his debut LP, resulting in some truly smooth and beautiful tracks. Frank Sinatra himself praised Rawls voice, and often. Interestingly, Rawls today is less known for his musical talents and more for his incredible and tireless work on behalf of the United Negro College Fund.

 

  • Messie Bessie, Shirley Scott. 1970, Something
    Last year, during our Jazz Fusion program, the name John McLaughlin kept popping up over and over again. This year, the artist who’s name has infiltrated our current program is organist Shirley Scott. She defied the odds, which almost always meant a woman in a Jazz group would always be relegated to a signing position, and became one of the still very few women to command the respect of her peers on her chosen instrument, the Hammond organ.

 

  • Sookie Sookie (live)(full length album version), Grant Green, 1970, Alive!
    The first great Jazz guitar genius since Charlie Christiansen in the early part of the 20th Century, Green played in a variety of styles with many of the greats, including organist Jimmy Smith. On this track, taken from a live recording, you can hear how much he pretty much laid the foundation for Jazz Funk.

Track List/Artist Info Part 3

First Part

  • Black Byrd, Donald Byrd, 1973, Black Byrd
  • Move Your Hand (Live), Lonnie Smith, 1969, Move Your Hand
  • Watermelon Man, Mongo Santamaria, 1963, Watermelon Man!
  • Funkier Than A Mosquito's Tweeter (live), Nina Simone, 1974, Is It Finished
  • Memphis Soul Stew, King Curtis, 1967. Memphis Soul Stew

Second Part

  • Mister Magic, Grover Washington, Jr., 1975, Mister Magic
  • Funky Nassau, Pt. 1, The Beginning Of The End, 1971, Funky Nassau
  • The "In" Crowd (single edit), Ramsey Lewis Trio, 1965, The "In" Crowd 
  • Push Push, Herbie Mann, 1971, Push Push

Finale

  • Honkey Tonk, Part 2, Bill Doggett, 1956, Everybody Dance the Honky Tonk

Biographical Information

  • Black Byrd, Donald Byrd, 1973, Black Byrd
    Donaldson Toussaint L'Ouverture Byrd II, better known to all of us as Donald Byrd, who held a Master’s Degree in music, recorded this track in 1973, the title of his Blue Note LP of the same name. It was, for many years, the best-selling title in the entire Blue Note records catalogue.

 

  • Move Your Hand (Live), Lonnie Smith, 1969, Move Your Hand
    Recorded live at Club Harlem in Atlantic City, New Jersey, the title track to this Blue Note release by the former organist for George Benson helped spread the word of Smith’s talent beyond the tri-state area enough to allowed him to tour nationally for the first time.

 

  • Watermelon Man, Mongo Santamaria, 1963, Watermelon Man!
    Recorded in 1962 after an impromptu live sessions saw an immediate and positive audience response, this Herbie Hancock-penned track became the foundation for a wave of Latin-tinged Afro-Cuban Jazz recordings by many artists starting in the 1960’s.

 

  • Funkier Than A Mosquito's Tweeter (live), Nina Simone, 1974, Is It Finished
    Released as part of her last proper recordings for the RCA Records label, this track, originally recorded by Ike and Tina Turner, it would be another four years before Simone would again record another release, Baltimore, on the CTI label.

 

  • Memphis Soul Stew, King Curtis, 1967. Memphis Soul Stew
    A man who could play the alto, tenor and soprano saxophones equally well, Curtis was a huge part of Atlantic Records early rock and soul recordings, playing on hits suck as “Yakety Yak” by the Coasters, “Respect” by Aretha Franklin, early recordings by rocker Buddy Holly and country star Waylon Jennings.

 

  • Mister Magic, Grover Washington, Jr., 1975, Mister Magic
    Considered one of the founders of the Smooth Jazz genre, Washington got his start playing the saxophone at the age of eight. This is the title track to Washington’s fourth LP, which proved to be his commercial breakthrough.

 

  • Funky Nassau, Pt. 1, The Beginning Of The End, 1971, Funky Nassau
    An act from the Bahamas, this group featured three brothers, Rafael, Leroy and Frank Munnings. This was their first recording and their only U.S. hit. According the Atlantic Records 47-74 box set liner notes, one of the reasons this group never went any further that this smash was that they didn’t trust Americans.

 

  • The "In" Crowd (single edit), Ramsey Lewis Trio, 1965, The "In" Crowd
    A Chicago native, Lewis has recorded over 80, yes, 80 albums of material over his lifetime, with three Grammy awards and seven gold records to his credit. This track propelled Lewis to a level of fame few in the Jazz idiom ever achieved after the rise of rock music: the single and the album went to #1 on the R&B chart and into the top five on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart and the Billboard top 200 album chart as well.

 

  • Push Push, Herbie Mann, 1971, Push Push
    Born in Brooklyn to Jewish Eastern immigrant parents, the man born Herbert Jay Solomon not only scored hits on the Jazz charts, he also found success on the R&B and pop charts, he even scored a #1 dance hit in 1975 with the song “Hijack”. Mann is considered on of the artists to bring a world-music sensibility to Jazz in the U.S.

 

  • Honkey Tonk, Part 2, Bill Doggett, 1956, Everybody Dance the Honky Tonk
    Our last track of this program may surprise many of you. It was the biggest R&B hit of 1956, spending 13 non-consecutive weeks at #1 on that chart; it also got as high as #2 on the pop chart. It is now considered one of the most influential of all early rock and roll instrumentals, but purists, take note: when the artist was asked at the height of this track’s popularity to perform on national Rock and Roll tours for huge amounts of money, he declined, reminding everyone he was a Jazz artist first.

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