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In the Groove: Music My Way-the Music That Never Never Fades: All Time Favs and Classic Musical Masterpieces Vol. 1

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One Good Thing About Music, When It Hits You, You Feel No Pain(Marley)

Man Combining His Musical Notation and Art with Nature in real time and real life

Man Combining His Musical Notation and Art with Nature in real time and real life

If Music Be The Fruit And Soul Of Life, Play and Listen On

First Movement: Symphony Number One

This Hub is about the music that I consider to be my favorite musical videos. I will not select them in any particular order, but I will provide the photo of the group or artist/s, then follow this up with the video and a a brief history. The aim of writing and producing such a video is to honor the artists and their craft. One other thing that I aim to do is to keep the vibes and grooves alive and remind the musicians and music appreciators that this music has not gone away or died.

These days of the viral web, it is important that we as music lovers keep the music in its proper perspective. In a way, this is what is called "World Music" in its true sense,meaning and sound. This is also a Hub published for the enjoyment of the readers without getting caught up in the daily hum-drum of life. I hope for those who will listen/partly read and view the videos below, will find some songs that they have not heard in a very long time, and hoping that they be songs that bring back valuable and good memories to all.

Because so many genres have been relegated to the Rubbish bin of sound systems, I want to present it as an ever-green groove and that the genius of the musicians should be at least given it due. I will therefore attempt to present music as I have appreciated it my way and hope that I am not alone in this endeavor.

This whole Hub will be done or written/composed in three movements. By this I mean, the first movement will be more intense and involve the bios of the artists and the choices will be what I consider to be my taste albeit not not a complete nor comprehensive choice of my listening appreciation. At the same time, there will be a Second and Third Movement of what I will call Symphonies just so that the listener and viewer has a sense of the change-ups in the various tunes that will be posted in the Hubs which will not necessarily follow any strict genres.


Time Is Tight by Booker T. & The MG's (1998) - Box set

On Rodney Franklin Briefly

Rodney Franklin, 16th September 1958, Berkeley, California, U.S.A.

Rodney Franklin was born in Berkeley, California, in September 1958.

He was taking jazz piano lessons by the age of six at Washington Elementary School.

His Administrator at the school was Dr Herb Wong, a noted jazz journalist, DJ and teacher.

Prior to signing with CBS in 1978, Rodney worked extensively with John Handy in San Francisco, and toured with Bill Summers, Freddle Hubbard and Marlena Shaw.

In 1978 he signed with Columbia Records and recorded his debut album for the label, In The Center, a jazz fusion workout that was not released in the UK. His second album, You’ll Never Know, redressed the balance. Aided by the hit single, ‘The Groove’, which sparked a popular dance craze (dancers had to ‘freeze’ in time with the track’s breaks), Rodney hit the Top 10 of the singles charts and saw You’ll Never Know rise in the album listings. Although subsequent Columbia releases never came anywhere near repeating the extraordinary success of You’ll Never Know, they did establish Franklin as a considerable name in the fusion market, particularly with Marathon. In 1988 he switched labels to BMG, recording Diamond Inside You which featured lead vocals by Jennifer Holliday on the single ‘Gotta Give It Up’. Subsequent releases have failed to restore Franklin to his previous commercial position, but he remains a respected keyboard player and fusion artist.

Grooving to the Vibes

Music is the core of the soul/spirit

Music is the core of the soul/spirit

Ronnie Laws and his vibe

Ronnie Laws

Ronnie Laws

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Sangre de un Don ( Herencia Afro Peruana ) by Peru Negro

Ronnie Laws's Soulful Tenor

The younger brother of Hubert Laws, Ronnie Laws has a nice soulful sound on tenor, but has never seriously pursued playing jazz. Throughout his career, which includes early-'70s gigs with Quincy Jones, his brother, Ramsey Lewis, and Earth, Wind & Fire, Laws has essentially been an R&B player. He has led his own albums since 1975, but recorded very little of interest to the jazz world, although he is often listed on Billboard's contemporary jazz chart.

In 1970 he moved to Los Angeles, where he found work under the tutelage of such legendary talents as The Jazz Crusaders and Hugh Masakela. His formative training also included stints with Jazz pianist Walter Bishop Jr. and organist Doug Cann. He was a member of the 70’s much-revered soul group Earth Wind and Fire, where he played tenor and soprano sax for a two-year stint, before finally venturing out to pursue a solo career.

Assisted by immortal Jazz great Donald Byrd, he soon signed his first recording contract with Blue Note records, resulting in the impressive debut album Pressure Sensitive (1975), produced by family friend, Wayne Henderson, (a founding member of the contemporary jazz pioneers The Crusaders), which rapidly emerged to become the longest selling album, at that time, in the 42 year history of the label. Pressure Sensitive, was followed up by his second album Fever (1976).

Controversy quickly erupted around him, with so called Jazz “purist”, criticizing Laws’ inventive, non- traditional, “Jazz Fusion” style. Laws promptly answered his critics by also scoring unprecedented cross-over success in R&B and Pop, in addition to Jazz, and receiving multiple awards for originality in the process.

Laws is a proven natural at combining the exploratory heart of Jazz with the broader reaching strains of Soul and Pop music. His first hit, “Always There” (credited as Ronnie Laws and Pressure on the original 45), was one of the most popular, sax-driven, cross-over hits of the 70’s Jazz-Funk Fusion era. He ushered in the sensualization of the soprano sax with Quiet Storm gems such as “Grace”, “Karmen”, and “Just Love”. Pressure Sensitive, Fever, and Friends and Strangers (Blue Note 1978), the title track of his third album, all propelled to gold status.

Donald Byrd's Music Must be played with the Volume turned All the Way Up!

Donald Byrd: "Let's remember Donald as a one of a kind pioneer of the trumpet, of the many styles of music he took on, of music education. In sum, Donald was an avid, eternal student of music, until his death.

Donald Byrd: "Let's remember Donald as a one of a kind pioneer of the trumpet, of the many styles of music he took on, of music education. In sum, Donald was an avid, eternal student of music, until his death.

Ancient Evening Sibongile Khumalo

Donald Byrd made an important contribution to music education

We learn about Donald Byrd's brief bio from John Fordham who informs us that:

"The teaching of jazz in conservatoires may now be commonplace, but for decades the art was informally learned by listening to records and sharing ideas. Many of the giants who shaped jazz as it sounds today learned from each other, and from the pioneers who preceded them. A rare few learned their music formally and informally in about equal measure. One of that handful was the trumpeter Donald Byrd, who has died aged 80.

Byrd spent much of his life in academic institutions studying everything from composition and music education to law, but his craft as a trumpeter was homed in one of the most famous of all road-going jazz finishing schools – Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers. Through the ranks of the Messengers, from the mid-1950s to the late 1980s, there passed a procession of stars-to-be, nurtured by the drummer Blakey's belief that the best young players to hire were the ones with the talent and determination to become bandleaders themselves. Despite a roster of Blakey trumpeters over the years that included Clifford Brown, Lee Morgan and Wynton Marsalis, one of the most celebrated of brass-playing Messengers was the gifted Byrd.

He was born in Detroit, Michigan, where he attended Cass technical high school. Byrd played in a military band while in the US air force, took a music degree at Wayne State University in Michigan and then studied music education at the Manhattan School of Music in New York. He joined the Jazz Messengers in the mid-1950s. Byrd's trumpet predecessors in Blakey's company had already included the graceful, glossy-toned Brown and the Dizzy Gillespie-influenced Kenny Dorham, but the newcomer with his polished phrasing and luxurious tone was recognised as a technical master equal to both.

He was even heralded as the new guiding light in jazz trumpet, and the acclaim intensified after Brown died in a 1956 road accident. Byrd's talent seemed to encompass some of Brown's spontaneous, narrative-generating strength and his exquisite tone, as well as Miles Davis's pacing, and the fire and penetrating attack of the first-wave bebop trumpeters inspired by Gillespie. After that racing start, Byrd eventually prioritised academic work over musical creativity – but until the arrival of the similarly skilled Freddie Hubbard, and his own withdrawal to the classroom, Byrd was briefly one of modern jazz's leading young trumpeters.

He was prolifically active in the late 1950s, in demand for sessions on the Savoy, Riverside and Blue Note labels, in the company of Max Roach, John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins and Horace Silver among others. At the end of the decade he was also leading or co-leading his own ensembles, mostly operating in the laconically pyrotechnical, blues-inflected hard-bop style. Byrd regularly worked with the bop pianist George Wallington and with the alto saxophonist and composer Gigi Gryce, and in 1958 he led a quintet including the Belgian saxophonist Bobby Jaspar on a European tour.

On his return to the US, Byrd teamed up with the excellent baritone saxophonist Pepper Adams, and the two continued to mine the hard-bop seam with various partners, including the then little-known pianist Herbie Hancock. Byrd sounded as polished as ever, but a shade predictable alongside more individualistic players such as Adams, or Wayne Shorter and Hancock, with both of whom he played on the 1961 album Free Form.

In the early 1960s, Byrd studied composition with Nadia Boulanger in Paris, and though he periodically visited the Blue Note studios for steadily more easy-listening ventures in the 1960s, African-American musical history became his central preoccupation. He took up posts at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey; the Hampton Institute in Virginia; Howard University in Washington; and North Carolina Central University. He was a pioneering force in establishing jazz studies in American colleges and conservatoires (evolving in the process into a leading African-American ethnomusicologist), regularly lectured for the New York outreach organization Jazzmobile, and developed an education programme he called Music + Math = Art, to link the teaching of music and mathematics. Byrd later became a distinguished artist in residence at Delaware State University, from 1996 to 2001 and then from 2009, founding a $10,000 scholarship fund in his name.

At Howard, Byrd became chairman of the black music department in the 1970s. Dedicating himself to raising the status of black American music and securing equality for black players, he studied law as well as music to broaden the scope of the advice he could offer in his lectures and workshops. Byrd said in the 1970s that he was addressing "the plight of black musicians in academia … Until we get an integrated view of things with respect to black music, nothing is going to happen". It was this concern, rather than the material success and supposed musical dumbing-down for which he was lambasted, that probably influenced Byrd's decision to embrace the pop- and soul-influenced end of jazz. He wanted to draw attention to the situation of black music in colleges in the most high-profile way he could, even if the results did nothing to enhance the respect his musicianship had previously commanded.

Forming the Blackbyrds soul and funk band from a pool of his Howard University students, Byrd directed some lucrative if artistically unsteady forays into dancefloor jazz and fusion. His million-selling 1973 album Black Byrd made him a major star again, and brought Blue Note more income than the label had ever generated from any release before. But the follow-ups in 1975 and 1976 became increasingly bland.

In 1987, Byrd returned to jazz, recording for the experienced producer Orrin Keepnes's Landmark label, on a primarily hard-bop repertoire that by the final recording, A City Called Heaven (1991), was also including interpretations of Henry Purcell, and the voice of a mezzo-soprano. Byrd's old blazing virtuosity was gone but he could still be an affecting player of ballads, and his front-rank partners included the saxophonists Joe Henderson and Kenny Garrett, and the vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson.

Byrd's legacy is his contribution to music education in a culture that spawned jazz but then neglected it – a role he pursued from the unique vantage point of having been a leading player in the idiom. His work has been sampled by pop and hip-hop artists including Public Enemy and Ice Cube, and many young musicians at work today owe their education, and the widespread acceptance of their art, to his tireless pursuit of stature and respect for jazz."

Byrd married Lorraine Glover in 1955.

Donaldson Toussaint L'Ouverture Byrd II, trumpeter and educator, born 9 December 1932; died 4 February 2013

Playing the Keys and voicing the music

Ivories on the Vibe

Ivories on the Vibe

George Duke - Fusion Master Musician

George Duke

George Duke

Do It! Poncho Sanchez

George Duke

He worked with numerous acclaimed artists as arranger, music director, writer and co-writer, record producer and as a professor of music.

George Duke was born in San Rafael, California, and reared in Marin City, a working class section of Marin County. When he was just four years old, his mother took him to see Duke Ellington in concert. "I don't remember it too well," says George, "but my mother told me I went crazy. I ran around saying 'Get me a piano, get me a piano!'" He began his piano studies at age seven, absorbing the roots of Black music in his local Baptist church. "That's where I first began to play funky. I really learned a lot about music from the church. I saw how music could trigger emotions in a cause-and-effect relationship."

By the age of sixteen, George had played with a number of high school jazz groups. He was heavily influenced by Miles Davis and the soul-jazz sound of Les McCannand Cal Tjader. Attending the San Francisco Conservatory Of Music and majoring in trombone and composition with a minor in contrabass, he received his Bachelor of Music degree in 1967.

George and a young singer named Al Jarreau formed a group which became the house band at San Francisco's Half Note Club. "There was another club up the street called The Both/And and I worked there on Mondays with everybody from Letta Mbulu to Sonny Rollins and Dexter Gordon." George later received a Masters Degree in composition from San Francisco State University and briefly taught a course on Jazz And American Culture at Merritt Junior College in Oakland. It was about this time that George began to release a series of jazz LP's on the MPS label.

One night, on a local jazz station, George heard a record by the violinist Jean-Luc Ponty. When he found out that Jean-Luc was coming to California to record, he sent a tape to Dick Bock at World-Pacific Records, along with a note saying "There is no other pianist for this guy but me."

The George Duke Trio which emerged from those sessions was soon burning a path of creative excitement through the jazz world. It included a major European tour and an appearance at the Newport Jazz Festival. The group's first gig in a rock-oriented venue came in early 1969. "It was a club in Los Angeles called Thee Experience," George recalls. In attendance were Cannonball Adderly, Quincy Jones, Frank Zappa, and the unexpected presence of an electric, rather than acoustic, piano on-stage. The Ponty-Duke performance wowed the crowd, and ushered in the West Coast counterpart of the Eastern fusion revolution sparked by Miles Davis, The Mahavishnu Orchestra and Weather Report. Before '69 was out, George joined Frank Zappa (as he put together a new "Mothers Of Invention" lineup) and toured for an entire year.

At the end of 1970, George Duke received an offer he couldn't refuse from veteran jazzman Julian "Cannonball" Adderly. "I joined the group in January '71, and stayed two years. Through Cannonball, I was given the opportunity to meet and work with Nancy Wilson, Joe Williams, Dizzy Gillespie -- all these great artists I'd been listening to since I was a kid."

I met Stanley Clarke through my association with Cannonball. We played a festival in Pori Finland where I heard Stan with Chick Corea for the first time live – I was astounded! Through my recordings and live performances with Cannonball and Stanley, I developed a musical, and even more importantly, a family relationship with Flora Purim and Airto Moriera. The 70’s were filled with musical experimentation with all of these great musicians and more.

In 1973, George rejoined Zappa and brought Jean-Luc Ponty with him. That band stayed together for the next three years, until Duke left to join forces with drummerBilly Cobham. Together, they formed a powerhouse jazz fusion unit even more popular and influential than the earlier Duke/Ponty group.

George Duke became a solo artist in 1976, and enjoyed success with a series of fusion-oriented LP's such as his debut CBS LP, From Me To You. In 1978, the funk-flavored sound of the gold album Reach For It propelled George Duke into the upper reaches of the charts, and from small clubs to large arenas.

In the late '70s, George decided to get into producing as a career. George began by producing the Brazilian instrumentalist Raoul de Souza, then made his first vocal album with singer Dee Dee Bridgewater. His breakthrough came with an album by A Taste Of Honey. The single, "Sukiyaki," went to Number 1 on the pop, adult contemporary, and R&B charts, ultimately selling over two million copies.

"From there," says George, "things started snowballing." He went on to produce three albums for Jeffrey Osborne (including the Top Ten pop singles "Stay With Me Tonight" and "On The Wings Of Love") and two best-sellers for Deniece Williams(including her across-the-board number one smash "Let's Hear It For The Boy" and the chart-topping R&B single "Do What You Feel").

Duke also wrote and produced the number one single "Sweet Baby" for his own recording with Stanley Clarke (The Clarke/Duke Project). Duke's special expertise was even tapped by such unlikely mainstream artists as Melissa Manchester andBarry Manilow. By the end of 1988, he had produced four songs for Smokey Robinson and several songs for saxophonist George Howard. George's other production projects included the number one chart hit "Call Me" by Phil Perry and several songs for Miles Jaye, vocalist Dianne Reeves, The Pointer Sisters, 101 North, Najee, Jeffrey Osborne, Take 6, Howard Hewett, Chante Moore, Everette Harp, Rachelle Ferrell and, most recently, Gladys Knight, Keith Washington,Filipino star Gary Valenciano, Johnny Gill and Anita Baker.

George Duke made his debut on Elektra in February, 1985 with the Latin-flavoredThief In The Night. A second album, simply titled George Duke, was issued in August 1986, followed by Night After Night, George Duke's final release for Elektra.

Through the years, along with his own releases and busy producing schedule, George has acted as musical director for numerous artists and television specials, including the Soul Train Music Awards (nine years), NBC's Sunday Night Showand Anita Baker (Duke took Anita and a 14-piece band to Washington D.C. to perform at the Kennedy Center for The Democratic National Committee). He served as musical director for Disney's concert to benefit the Foundation for Pediatric AIDS For Our Children (featuring an all-star cast that included Michael Bolton, Paula Abdul and Kris Kross) and Disney's Salute To Youth during the President's Inaugural celebration. In '92, he went to Spain to be music director for the largest guitar festival in history, featuring such artists as George Benson, Stanley Clarke, Larry Coryell, Paco de Lucia, Rickie Lee Jones and John McLaughlin. He also was at the helm for Legend to Legend with George Burns, Tony Bennett, Johnny Mathis, and others.

In addition to his non-stop musical adventures, George appeared on NBC's soap opera Generations in '89, playing the role of a nightclub owner. He also found time in his schedule to appear on Comic Relief with Doc Severinson, donating his funds to the homeless. That same year George recorded a third album with Stanley Clarke for Epic Records, titled Stanley Clarke & George Duke 3.

In 1990, George Duke was named "R&B Keyboardist Of The Year" by Keyboard Magazine for the second consecutive year. Other honors include Grammy nominations for his production of "We Are The World" by the Children Of The World; "Sweet Baby" by the Clarke/Duke project; "Let's Hear It For The Boy" by Deniece Williams; "Stay With Me Tonight" and "On The Wings Of Love" by Jeffrey Osborne; and "Fumilayo" by Dianne Reeves. Tutu, by Miles Davis with selections produced by George Duke, won a Grammy in 1986. Both Miles Davis Amandla (selections produced by Duke) and Al Jarreau's Heart's Horizon (produced entirely by Duke) received Grammy nominations in 1990.

Duke has also established a reputation for television and film scoring work with The Five Heartbeats film soundtrack, the title song for the movie Karate Kid III, music for Paramount Pictures Leap Of Faith and Meteor Man, and NBC's Leeza and Mariludaytime talk shows.

Highlights of '91 included a sold-out U.S. tour with Dianne Reeves and Najee, with a performance at the Montreux Jazz Festival's 25th Anniversary and headlining the first annual Japanese Playboy Festival at the Tokyo Dome.

In '92, George's Warner Bros. debut Snapshot captured the number one slot on the jazz charts for five weeks and generated the Top Ten R&B single "No Rhyme, No Reason."

The following year, George Duke's Muir Woods Suite, a major orchestral piece, premiered at the Montreux Jazz Festival and, in 1994, Duke began work on Illusions.

Reflecting on Illusions George said, "I wanted to continue what I started with theSnapshot record, to continue doing that type of music... and I wanted to do a follow-up to 'No Rhyme, No Reason.'"

Following the release of Illusions in January 1995, Duke began mixing the Muir Woods Suite which was recorded live, when originally performed at the Montreux Festival in 1993. When not locked in the studio with the Suite, George arranged, produced and performed on songs and albums for a number of artists, including: Najee, George Howard, and the Winans (he arranged and produced three tracks on their Qwest album Heart And Soul which was nominated for a Grammy). George Duke also traveled extensively, performed a European tour with Anita Baker and a Brazilian tour with Rachelle Ferrell, as well as toured the states with his own Duke and Friends tour featuring Phil Perry, Howard Hewett, Dianne Reeves and George Howard. He ended the year performing in Jakarta with Phil Perry.

'95 also saw George involved in conducting and arranging for numerous award and episodic TV shows. He maintained his long time association with Soul Train, and served as Music Director for their 25th anniversary special and also wrote, performed and produced the theme for the Walt Disney show Inside Out.

The beginning of '96 saw the release of his musical and emotional tour de force Muir Woods Suite, which was performed by a jazz quartet made up of George Duke (piano), Stanley Clarke (bass), Chester Thompson (drums) and Paulinho Da Costa (percussion) with L·orchestre National de Lille, Ettore Stratta, conductor.

This was followed by more production with work on songs for Marilyn Scott, Al Jarreau and Natalie Cole. (George produced one-third of the songs on Natalie Cole's Stardust LP which was nominated for two Grammys and won one). George also wrote and produced the main title for The Malcolm and Eddie Show on UPN.

1997 began on a high note, with a trip to the Arkansas Ball for the President's Inaugural, where George Duke was a featured performer and special guest. This was followed by the spring release of George Duke's 30th solo album and fourth release on Warner Bros. Records, Is Love Enough? It displayed myriad influences and boundless energy, continuing his tradition of posing questions, inspiring thought and requiring reflection.

George Duke immersed himself in more "Love," serving as executive producer on Warner Bros. Records artist Marilyn Scott's album, Avenues Of Love. (George also produced the Grammy-nominated hit "The Look of Love," from the same album.) That same year, he played on yet another labelmate's album, Kirk Whalum's The Gospel According To Jazz, recorded live at the Roy Acuff Theatre in September of '97 (and released in late '98). The two teamed up again, along with Michael McDonald, headlining the inaugural event for a weeklong celebration entitled "Memphis Remembers Martin," in March of '98. Around the same time, he served as musical director for the critically-lauded Burt Bacharach television special on Fox Network entitled One Amazing Night, which featured Bacharach and an array of legendary and breaking artists including Dionne Warwick, Elvis Costello, Winona Judd and Barenaked Ladies.

In addition to doing his annual Soul Train Music Award stint in '98 and recording and releasing his "for lovers only" Grammy-nominated After Hours, his first completely instrumental album since 1975, he also produced three tracks for Dionne Warwickand one for Take 6. Next he hit the road, touring with Rachelle Ferrell, subsequently serving as music director for The Lady of Soul Awards and the Kansas City Jazz Festival.

George also produced the Grammy award winning In the Moment CD for Dianne Reeves, and Rachelle Ferrell's Individuality, delaying completion of his own year 2000 solo release, Cool. In the midst of production of his wonderfully diverse and vocally revealing sixth Warner Bros. solo release, he headlined a tribute to Jesse Jackson at a special birthday celebration for the renowned reverend, along withStevie Wonder and Erykah Badu and continued his longstanding association as musical director for the Soul Train Awards. During the summer, Duke toured with the Montreux Jazz Festival on Tour in the USA, for which he served as both musical director and a featured artist, along with an all-star cast of musicians and vocalists including Al Jarreau, David Sanborn, Roberta Flack and Joe Sample.

Immediately following the tour, George began work on another Dianne Reeves CD, a special tribute to Sarah Vaughn with full string orchestra. It is entitled The Calling.October 19th George received the Prism award and began shooting a one hour biographical television special for BET called "The House Of Duke." Once again, Duke served as music director for the Soul Train Christrmas Star Fest, and on December 16th plays at The Forum in Los Angeles as part of the Stevie Wonder Toy drive for disadvantaged kids.

In January, Duke flew to New York to sit on several panels for the International Association of Jazz Educators, including a one hour "One on One" discussion and interview with Quincy Jones. Live performances in January 2001 include Las Vegas, Vale, Colorado (w/Chante Moore) and a week at Catalina's Bar and Grill in Los Angeles. George also began work on a flag song for the Arthritis Association featuring artists such as Steven Seagal, Donnie McClurkin, Bonny James and more. George's CD Cool, is nominated for a Grammy and an Image award. While not winning either, George did win a Grammy for producing the Best Jazz Vocal Album In The Moment for Dianne Reeves.

In April, George re-releases Follow The Rainbow and From Me To You on CD via his Web Site. On April 19th, a special performance of Muir Woods Suite at St. John Devine Cathedral to aid various battered womens shelters in New York was scheduled. Upon his return, George began work on three tracks for a Christmas CD featuring Kelly Price.

The summer of 2001 finds Duke on the Tom Joyner Cruise with a combination vacation and gig. Live dates include a special performance for the 100 Black Men of AmerIca Convention in Atlanta. Off to Europe where Duke is artist in residence at the North Sea Jazz Festival featuring performances with Dianne Reeves and Rachelle Ferrell. A special performance of Muir Woods Suite with the Prima la Musica Orchestra form Brussels was amazing! Also various performances at the Montreux Festival kept George busy. One special moment was a tribute to Miles Davisfeaturing Marcus Miller, Christian McBride and Richard Bona on basses; Herbie Hancock and duke on piano and synths; Terri Lynn Carrington and Chester Thompson on drums; Wallace Roney on trumpet and Jeff Lee Johnson on guitar.

Upon his return from Europe, rehearsals for a USA tour with Al Jarreau and Rachelle Ferrell begin. Once again immediately following the tour, George begins rehearsals for the Lady Of Soul Award Show featuring performances with Johnny Gil, Tyrese, Luther Vandross, Ronny Isley, Genuine, and El Debarge. In September, work began on his new CD to be released the Spring on 2002. George also was part of Wave for Peace, a concert to raise money for the victims of the WTC incident.

Predictably, the energetic, unstoppable George Duke keeps moving from strength to strength, bringing invention, dimension and texture to music that is alive with personality and rich with artistry. In the case of his passionately performed Cool,which was nominated for an Image Award and a Grammy, Duke takes the lead on vocals adding presence and power to his ever-evolving view of others and himself. This deeply revealing and yet thoroughly accessible edition of Duke celebrates life, love…and the “Ancient Source."

2001 was a great year for Duke! Tami Willis from BET produced and directed a profile called “House Of Duke.” We also find the release of the Duke produced Grammy award winning Dianne Reeves album, “The Calling.”

He hooked up with Kenny Lattimore to write and produce a Gospel song entitled “Healing.” George also enjoyed producing three tracks for the incredible Kelly Pricefor her first Christmas offering on Def Jam.

After returning from a brief European tour, George did a USA tour with Rachelle Ferrell and Al Jarreau. After another Soul Train Awards ceremony, George set about writing and recording the first CD for his new label, BPM (Big Piano Music) called Face The Music.

The beginning of 2002 finds Duke editing and enhancing Rachelle Ferrells live CD Live In Montreux 91-97, and putting the final touches on his new solo CD. This year also marks his debut performance in South Africa. In May of 2002, George began rehearsals for the second installment of Kirk Whalum’s “Gospel According To Jazz.” He also worked on Eddie Griffin’s movie “Undercover Brother” with Stanley Clarke, and played a “vacation” date in Bermuda.

Duke returned to Rotterdam for several shows with Randy Crawford before returning to LA to put the final touches on Dexter Gordons CD for BPM.

Face The Music was released on September 3rd. The rest of the year finds George on the road doing one promotional activity after another. Between these dates, George found time to play for the Emeril Show, and a trip to Holland to perform with the Metropole Orchestra.

The end of the year, he is quite busy scoring a film for Whoopi Goldberg andDanny Glover called "Good Fences," directed by Ernest Dickerson for Showtime. It is now available on DVD.

2003 finds Duke still touring and promoting his new CD, while handling the MD chores for Soul Train, The Trumpet Awards, and BET’s Gospel Celebration. The Dexter Gordon CD, Live at the Both/And Club 1970 was released on BPM, and George found time to recorded a tribute project for Jimi Hendrix and played several tracks on a new Will Downing CD.

During the summer, George takes his band to Moscow to perform, and secures the release of “Face The Music” in Europe through Challenge Records in Holland. George spends several weeks re-establishing contacts in Europe, and then returns to finish the DMX film.

2004 began with George performing “Muir Woods Suite” at Disney Hall with The LA Philharmonic, followed by a performance with The US Air Force Band at Constitution Hall in Washington DC.

MD for the Trumpet Awards was again on tap followed by an Artist In Residence series at Berklee College of Music.

George produced albums for Regina Belle and Marilyn Scott, and continued to tour with his band in the US and Europe. He also found time to score his second film for Ernest Dickerson “Never Die Alone” staring DMX.

Duke completed work on “DUKE,” his second solo CD on his label, BPM. In September he was MD for the Black Caucus Gala and the Thelonius Monk Institute Awards in DC.

George received the coveted Edison Lifetime Achievement Award in Rotterdam in November. January 2005, George served as artist and MD for a special series of concerts in India featuring Al Jarreau, Stanley Clarke, Earl Klugh, L Subramanium and Ravi Coltrane. BET and MTV India documented some of the shows.

Duke composed the theme for the “News & Notes” PBS radio show staring Ed Gordon, and flew to Jakarta, Indonesia for the 1st Annual Jakarta Jazz festival. More live dates followed with George promoting his new CD.

Another Marilyn Scott CD was on the way (to be released in 2006), and a very special George Duke & Friends show was presented at the Hollywood Bowl featuring Billy Cobham, Christian McBride, Airto, Bobby Hutcherson, Kenny Garrett, Roy Hargrove and Joe Sample. George & Joe also began playing some duo piano gigs in the US and Japan.

At a New Years Eve fundraiser, George saluted the Symphonic Jazz Orchestra with his jazz trio at the Bakery. Brain Bromberg was on bass and Terri Lyne Carrington was the drummer. A week later, Duke was in the studio with this band recording his new jazz CD for release in June 2006. At the end of January another project took place in Nassau, the Bahamas for the Michael Jordan Celebrity Golf Tournament. George put a band together for himself, Michael McDonald and Philip Bailey.

T-Jam” from the DUKE CD was nominated for a Grammy as “Best Instrumental Pop Performance.” The new jazz CD should be released in June and the Clarke/Duke Project begins touring at the end of May. Also some very interesting production projects are coming up including a foray into the Broadway Musical scene.

Stay tuned.

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Gil Scott Hero: Musician, Composer, Poet, Revolutionary, Cultural Warrior and Great Humanitarian

IcePick Wrote the following article:

Gill Scott-Heron - The God Father of MC-ing Gil Scott Heron: Hip-Hop Progenitor Makes His Transition Fearless cult-icon - who helped inspire Hip-Hop's founding fathers and sparked a legion of MCs – initiated his transition this past Friday afternoon [May 27th] at Harlem's St. Luke Hospital at age 62. Gil Scott-Heron was admitted after feeling ill upon returning from a recent European tour. He was born in Chicago on April 1st 1949, relocating to Jacksonville, Tennessee a couple years later after his parents divorced. Gil lived there with his maternal grandmother until she transpired when he was just 12, only to then relocate to The Bronx with his mother where he attended Dewitt Clinton HS. Following in the footsteps of one of his literary inspirations, Langston Hughes, he enrolled at Lincoln University in Pennsylvania where he not only teamed up with musician and future ‘Blacks & Blues' band-mate Brian Jackson, but also where he initially met one of his greatest influences...

“We had gone to Lincoln University in 1968 to do a show and it was nice because it was ‘Black Power' time and the place was packed,” recalls Abiodun Oyewole of the legendary Last Poets. “Gil came into our dressing room and says... ‘Yo, I want to start a group like you guys.' I said, ‘Gil, we want Last Poets all over the world, because we're trying to start a revolution! Go for it!'” Adding: “Gil took us very seriously and went on and did an album called, ‘Small Talk On 125th Street' and on there he did ‘The Revolution Will Not Be Televised.”

‘Black & Blues' fused jazz, soul and blues music along with the socially-conscious spoken-word and/or sung commentary which vividly depicted the grim realities many Americanized-Africans endured in the United States then, calling it ‘bluesology'. Scott-Heron is genuinely regarded to be one of the greatest songwriters/poets of all times. He is a Hip-Hop progenitor who has been studied by, and helped influence, most prominent MCs since the urban-culture's inception. His signature pieces include: "The Bottle," "Home Is Where The Hatred Is", "Ain't No Such Thing As Superman", "Winter In America" and "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised." His songs addressed topics like: police brutality [Jose Campos Torres, No Knock], racism [The klan], alcoholism [The Bottle], corrupt politicians [Watergate Blues, Pardon Our Analysis], apartheid [Johannesburg], reparations [Who'll Pay Reparations On My Soul], Amerikkka's concentration camps [The King Alfred Plan], results of war [Did You Hear What They Said?].

“I said, ‘When the revolution comes', and Gil simply said, ‘It won't be televised! You're not going to see that Isht on NBC or ABC.' He graduated my stuff. I appreciate Gil. We were brothers for life!” asserted Abiodun. The Watts Prophets, The Last Poets and Gil Scott Heron initiated many inner-city youths to educate themselves about their origin, then relay those tales verbally to their peers. This inspired some to be the catalyst which brought about positive social changes in their dilapidated communities. His distinct unquivering delivery, along with his non-compromising, soulful messages, which detailed many of society's ills in America, captured the climate and sentiment of many angry Amerikkkanized-Afrikans, leading some to label him as the godfather of MC-ing. The information often delivered on the concrete corners by street scholars were now being articulated over thumping percussion patterns instead. His art reflected the climate of when the militant Malcolm X, the Five Percenters and the Black Panther Party were major forces in Harlem.

Black Panther, Tarik Haskins remarked on Scott-Herons social-impact during the 1970s: “Gil's music was like the tide coming in. It contributed to the atmosphere of revolution. We would be impacted on a personal level when we would turn the radio on and hear Gil say ‘The revolution will not be televised!' It was an important contributor for us maintaining our revolutionary spirit.” Tarik concurs: “He played a very significant part in the revolution. All of us knew his music, and that was like knowing him. The first rappers were revolutionaries/conscious, and they would try to impart a lot of information to the audience, and I'm sure Gil had inspired them to do that.”

Scott-Heron's ability to speak truth to power stimulated a generation of MCs to do the same. Regardless of soul and funk's mainstream success, revolutionary music can never be suppressed. Gil's art challenged the establishment's mental-grip on the masses, motivating the oppressed to seek and bring about change. “Our enemies saw the impact that Gil had on people, and they saw that he had inspired all the conscious rappers and that's when they put the breaks on conscious Hip-Hop and hit us with gangster rap,” Haskins determined.

Oyewole reflects: “Because Gil is the only popular guy who did poetry and sang – he got that space and he mastered it and I was very, very proud of what he did.” Although original people have been breathing over rhythmic drum beats since time immemorial, the socio-political messages depicting urban pain during Amerikkka's Black Power era laid down the groundwork for Hip-Hop music. It is one reason some label him as the godfather of rap, a term he rejected. “It might have been that there was music in certain poems of mine, with complete progression and repeating 'hooks' which made them more like songs than just recitations with percussion,” he wrote in a 1990 intro to a collection of his poems.

Culture and resistance to oppression can never be divorced. Gil Scott Heron's music has been sampled by and/or inspired numerous Hip-Hop artists, including: Melle Mel, DJ Marley Marl, KRS, Rakim, Public Enemy, Tupac, Dr. Dre, AZ, The Coup, dead prez, Common, Mos Def, Nas; just to mention a few. The music to the title-track for Masta Ase's debut album ‘Take A Look Around', is looped from The Revolution Will Not Be Televised. His thought-provoking lyrics inspired a whole generation before Hip-Hop got COINTELPROed. “Gil left us a volume of work that speaks for itself and can't be denied. We're supposed to listen and learn from it. If you can write, try to parrot it somehow with your own ideas,” Abiodun suggested. The revolution will not be televised because it will be live! Peace go with you brother.

Ramsey Lewis: 3 Grammys; 5 Gold Records

Ramsey Lewis - Jazz Legend

Ramsey Lewis - Jazz Legend

The Columbia Years (1955-1985) [Box Set] Miles Davis

Ramsey Lewis - Legendary Jazz Music

Composer and pianist Ramsey Lewis has been referred to as “the great performer", a title reflecting his performance style and musical selections which display his early gospel playing and classical training along with his love of jazz and other musical forms. A native Chicagoan (born May 27, 1935), Mr. Lewis represents the great diversity of music for which Chicago is noted.

Ramsey Lewis first captivated fans with his first album “Ramsey Lewis And The Gentlemen of Swing” by the Ramsey Lewis Trio. By 1965, he 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. He has three Grammy Awards and seven gold records to his credit. Often called legendary, Ramsey concedes “It’s a high honor when someone says so, but I don’t see myself that way. What keeps me enthusiastic and energizes me, is the realization that the more I learn, the more I find there is to know.”

To his credit, he has been honored with three (3) honorary doctorate degrees, the Recording Academy Governor’s Award in 2000 and he was “Person of the Week” on ABC Nightly News in February 1995. Mr. Lewis performed at the White House State dinner President Bill Clinton held for President Fernando Henrique & Mrs. Cardoso of Brazil in April of 1995. He was awarded the prestigious Lincoln Academy of Illinois “Laureate” Award in Springfield, Illinois in April of 1997, and was one of the Olympic Torch runners who carried the Winter 2002 Olympic Torch during its journey to Salt Lake City in January of 2002.

In addition to recording albums and performing live, Mr. Lewis hosts WNUA-FM Chicago’s weekday morning drive-time radio show for which he has been awarded R&R’s 1999 and 2000 Personality of the Year Award. He also hosts the syndicated “Legends of Jazz with Ramsey Lewis”, a two-hour radio program which airs in over 65 cities throughout the U.S. Active in community affairs, especially on behalf of youth, he helped organize the Ravinia Festival’s Jazz Mentor Program and also serves as the Artistic Director for that festival’s jazz series. He is constantly his own trio composed of Larry Gray on bass and Leon Joyce on drums.Mr. Lewis has performed concerts and has played many of the jazz festivals and summer venues in the U.S. He has performed with over 25 symphony orchestras in the U.S. and Canada and has performed in concert and at festivals throughout Europe, Japan, Mexico and the Caribbean.

Lewis has performed at many of the jazz festivals and summer venues in the U.S. He has performed with over 25 symphony orchestras in the U.S. and Canada and has performed in concert and at festivals throughout Europe, Japan, Mexico, and the Caribbean. Since 2005, he has also been seriously composing large-scale musical works, including To Know Her ..., Proclamation of Hope, and Colors: The Ecology of Oneness. His most recent album, Songs from the Heart: Ramsey Plays Ramsey, came out in 2009 on Concord Records.

Lewis has been honored with three honorary doctorate degrees and the Recording Academy Governor's Award in 2000, and he was Person of the Week on ABC Nightly News in February 1995. He has performed at a White House State Dinner, was awarded the prestigious Lincoln Academy of Illinois Laureate Award in Springfield, Illinois, in 1997, and was one of the Olympic Torch runners who carried the Winter 2002 Olympic Torch during its journey to Salt Lake City in January of 2002.

Its all in the Blues and Jazz funk

Music from and for the soul

Music from and for the soul

Hiroshima's Music is Music With a tasty Japanese tilt

If you already listened to Hiroshima's music, you will know that they combine smooth jazz with the natural sound of the koto (a long Japanese multi-stringed instrument), which is performed by June Kuramoto. Hiroshima's multi-instrumentalist and co-fo

If you already listened to Hiroshima's music, you will know that they combine smooth jazz with the natural sound of the koto (a long Japanese multi-stringed instrument), which is performed by June Kuramoto. Hiroshima's multi-instrumentalist and co-fo