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Jazz Vibe Alive! Jamming to Jazz Golden Classical Funk-Jazz & Rare Grooves -- Volume Ii

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Master Blasting Rare, Jazzy Funky And Vibey Grooves

Digging The Best Funky, Soulful Riffs In The Mix

Digging The Best Funky, Soulful Riffs In The Mix

No More "Is Jazz Dead"

We are informed by Alexander Brown that:

For 2013, I hope not to hear any "jazz is dead" arguments. The past few years have been rife with them, from systemic looks at the decline of the popularity to creative attempts at rebranding. None of the discussions really solve anything, but serve a human need to conflate controversy with enlightened entertainment or debate. Jazz isn't dead, so much as it's grown up.

No one would consider the over-reaching classification of classical music dead. We are far from the days when composers could overwhelm their fans with Lisztomania. People aren't clamoring to claim "I was there when" in regard to Alex Ross' New Yorker columns. At the same time, a city isn't considered a city without its own symphony hall or opera house.

Jazz is about at that level of respectability, with a few caveats. Only a handful of cities really take pride in their jazz districts and club. There are also a number of jazz artists who will proudly proclaim that their stage performance drops the panties or pants. But make no mistake, jazz is music mostly aimed at grown folks, and that's probably a good thing.

Does anyone really want the current end-all be-all targeted music audience, teens and the twenty-somethings, be the main focus of this music? That audience, while seemingly vast and flushed with a nearly inexhaustible amount of capital for entertainment, is also fickle with their loyalties. The people who fell in love with 'N Sync a decade and a half ago aren't buying Justin Timberlake's The 20/20 Experience with the same aplomb.

Nothing stays massively popular forever. No one talks about theatre being dead, despite the fact film and television outstrip its popularity many times over. People still buy private journals and scrapbooks, even though starting a Facebook or Pinterest account are the norm and downright required for some professions.

One of the wonders of the 21 century is the fact that any crowd can be an "in crowd." Yes, jazz is subsidized by academia, taxpayers, or foundations. But maybe we shouldn't take it as a sign of an art form's demise but rather its evolution and acknowledgement into something more than the prelude to a good lay. Not that jazz isn't still that.

The potential of the genre lies not in its ability to appeal to all comers, but to its capacity to encapsulate a maturity of a lifetime. Leave all the confusing thoughts and feelings of unfocused youth to hip-hop and pop music, eventually they’ll have to grow up, too. And growth isn’t death, just change, and things that change don’t die. And jazz has certainly changed, and if you can’t see how that’s a good thing maybe you have some growing up to do.


The presentation made below is solely for entertainment purposes, intention and goals. I am a Jazz appreciator and collector. Over the Years I have listened to Jazz in all its specific genres, and still do today. In this Hub I only want to present Jazz musicians whose composition remain etched in my musical soul.

By creating this Hub, I do not claim to be a Jazz anything, but appreciator of the music. As I have listened over time to jazz, and there are tracks composed by certain artist which rock me to the core. So that, this Hub is for people who want to listen to some real-Funky Jazz in a long drawn-up Hub, and hope you keep on coming back, or use it for special occasion for ones invited friends and situations like that get the bodies swinging and dancing continuously. Jazz as a musical genre has a lot of music that one can just to, present and set in way that it become continuous, fun and tightly jazzing and jamming hard listening experience. This is a Hub for Those who love Jazz Funk...

Throughout the years different genres came and left the scene just as soon as they appeared. In this case we can speak about "Disco" and the present musical craze called "Hip-Hop". But throughout the fame and rise of these two genres, Jazz has been morphing and adapting to the styles like Soul, Funk, Some Disco, and Rap. What I am saying is that jazz has never been stagnant, and in its changing, it has maintained its classical approach, and was one with the new changes that were taking place in the music scene.

It is true that those who were the "Appreciators" of Jazz, mostly have passed-on. But it is also true, if one reads the comments on YouTube on the Jazz posts there, that the younger generations, because most of the music they have been listening to was "Sampled" from" jazz that's already there, will always comment that they were sent to the video by so-and also; and it turns out that they were listening to the sampled form, and someone told to go and listen to the original track and gave them the artist name and the song.

The new technologies, too, are enabling and resuscitating jazz in a myriad ways. It is a very fortunate thing that YouTube came around, and in it we can find most of the music that has been appreciated from the 1900, to date. This is a very good thing(From YouTube) because it gave a lease on life to jazz.

Today, despite what many say, there is a new life that has been injected into Jazz. It is a form that has come a long way to be where we are in the Technological Age. Jazz has gone viral like everything else, and it has always been an international genre, and it is more so now because it is readily and easily accessible to all those who look for it and want to listen to it.

This Hub is going to attempt to cover as much ground, although I will not go too deeply into the classical form of Jazz, it will try to concentrate on those Funky Jazz sounds that have come down the many generations, to those we are listening to and see it in today's world. Many musicians have since passed, but that does not mean that they left us without anything to hold on to.

Some of the tunes were way-ahead of their times, and still are fresh when one listeners to the. In most cases, in this Hub, I have tried to give a short Bio of the artists, and in some cases added my own historical interaction in being an "appreciator " of the Jazz Music. Towards the end, I will give our various tunes, just so that I can recap the music of jazz without much interruption of bios or my comments.

I hope I will have been able to create a Hub that will preserve the music right into the next millennium, 3,000 AD. I know, that even then, Jazz will be holding its own, no matter what genres pop-up into the musical scene of the future.

Jazz Will And still remains Alive.

Hubert Laws And grant Green

Hubert Laws:  is an American flutist and saxophonist with a career spanning over 40 years in jazz, classical, and other music genres. Alongside Herbie Mann, Laws is probably the most recognized and respected jazz flutist. Laws is one of the few class

Hubert Laws: is an American flutist and saxophonist with a career spanning over 40 years in jazz, classical, and other music genres. Alongside Herbie Mann, Laws is probably the most recognized and respected jazz flutist. Laws is one of the few class

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Grant Green: Many of Grant's recordings were not released during his lifetime. These include McCoy Tyner and Elvin Jones (also part of the Solid group) performing on Matador (also recorded in 1964), and several albums with pianist Sonny Clark. In 196

Grant Green: Many of Grant's recordings were not released during his lifetime. These include McCoy Tyner and Elvin Jones (also part of the Solid group) performing on Matador (also recorded in 1964), and several albums with pianist Sonny Clark. In 196

Grant Green & Hubert Laws - "Main Attraction"

The Opening Salvo - Jazz In The Viral Soup

Whenever I am listening to music, the least I can for the artist is to show his face, plus give a short-bio on them But the Hub is mostly for listening, and I try to keep the reading to a minimum, But the bit I post, helps the listener to read about the artist, see their photo, and chose one track that keeps me upbeat and listening to each and every note and instruments.

I open with the music of Grant Green because I think before the storm, the hard hitting tunes, it is appropriate, soulful and very well rounded as a start of the Main Events of the many 'Main Attractions' that are to follow from various artists that I find their music edifying and spiritually/soul satisfying in their Jazz/Funky vibe. I think I am talking as the music progresses about how it affects they way I write, and I am also hopeful that the Jazz/Funk love will acknowledge that some of the tracks will be long… Well, that too was to keep the spirit engaged and tied up so that the next piece, will keep on adding up to the crescendo of Funk/Jazz below.

I also play one track from Grant Green and one from Hubert Laws. I selected their well-known tunes because today the younger generation no longer listens to this music. I hope in time they will come across such Hubs and listen to the music and see/hear the beauty of the compositions that are always and stay evergreen.

I selected for this listening section The well-known and very sensuously funky jam of Hubert Laws's "Miss Thing," and with it, I selected Grant Green's "Ain't It funky Now".. Which I think it is beginning to be having listened to Green's Jazz funk

Hubert Laws Quintet - Land of Passion

Grant Green - Ain't It Funky Now

Gene "Jug" Ammons

Eugene “Jug” Ammons (April 14, 1925 - August 6, 1974) was an American jazz tenor saxophone player, and the son of boogie-woogie pianist Albert Ammons. Ammons began to gain recognition when he went on the road with trumpeter King Kolax band in 1943, a

Eugene “Jug” Ammons (April 14, 1925 - August 6, 1974) was an American jazz tenor saxophone player, and the son of boogie-woogie pianist Albert Ammons. Ammons began to gain recognition when he went on the road with trumpeter King Kolax band in 1943, a

Gene Ammons - "Hittin' the Jug"

Gene Ammons - Lady Mama (1972)

An Appreciation: Gene Ammons (1925-1974)

Gene Ammons is a jazz saxophonist who has been regularly finding his way into my CD player for 20 years. His very expressive style displayed a high technical mastery of the instrument while remaining true to his soul and R&B connections.

Born in 1925 in Chicago, Gene “Jug” Ammons was the son of renowned boogie-woogie pianist Albert Ammons. His talent was apparent as early as high school and at 18 he joined the King Kolax Band. A year later he moved over to Billy Eckstine’s band and started to really establish himself as a young talent. It was in Eckstine’s band that he took the chair next to Charlie Parker and Lester Young. Reflect on that for a moment — that was just an incredible line up of talent across those three chairs! Young (along with Ben Webster) was the biggest influences on Ammons.

It was Eckstine himself who bestowed the nickname “Jug” on Ammons. Eckstine had ordered straw hats for the orchestra and they couldn’t find one that fit Gene’s giant noggin. He good-naturedly accepted the name but it’s good to note that in later years (due to his talent) he was also known as “The Boss”. (Sorry Bruce.)

Eckstine went on to a solo career and Ammons formed his first group as leader employing Miles Davis and Sonny Stitt. Chicago was THE jazz scene after the war. As I may have mentioned in the past, keep in mind that the returning GI’s had gotten a taste of jazz in Europe and were very open to the new sounds that were evolving past the “Big Band” sound that dominated the war years.

In ’49 Ammons briefly replaced Stan Getz in Woody Hermann’s band but soon went on to a duet group with Sonny Stitt. The 1950′s were Gene’s most prolific period and his discography just grows.

Gene wasn’t immune to the evolution towards bebop (remember he had played with Parker and Young) and he was more than capable of handling the fast changes and technical skills needed for bebop but Gene also remained very true to his expressive jazz roots and also stayed current with the new soul and R&B sounds that were coming out of Chicago in the late ’50′s and early ’60′s.

In many ways, Ammons has been an under-appreciated talent in the history of jazz. He is certainly not the household name that Coltrane, Parker, or Miles became yet on some levels he was just as good. He died at the age of 49 of cancer and left a huge legacy of music.

For the new listener I would recommend sticking to the Greatest Hits CD that catalogs his work of ”The Fifties” and for a little more depth, the three-volume Greatest Hits – Jug Retrospective – release.

He remains a master at capturing the ear — and heart – with emotional ballads that make you stop and listen. This is music for a quite evening at home. Low lights, a favorite drink, a lush spectrum of sound. It’s all there.


Feeling Good - Gene Ammons

Gene Ammons - "Play Me"

Ben Webster

Ben Webster

Ben Webster

Ben Webster - Hymn To Freedom

Ben Webster - Blue Light

Ben Webster

Benjamin Francis Webster (Kansas City, Missouri, USA, March 27, 1909 – Amsterdam, The Netherlands, September 20, 1973) was an influential American jazz tenor saxophonist.

Ben Webster, a.k.a. “The Brute” or “Frog," was considered one of the three most important “swing tenors” along with Coleman Hawkins (his main influence) and Lester Young. Known affectionately as “The Brute," he had a tough, raspy, and brutal tone on stomps (with his own distinctive growls), yet on ballads he played with warmth and sentiment. Stylistically he was also indebted to alto star Johnny Hodges, who, he said, taught him to play his instrument.

Webster learned to play piano and violin at an early age, before learning to play the saxophone. Once Budd Johnson showed him some basics on the saxophone, Webster began to play that instrument in the Young Family Band (which at the time included Lester Young). Webster spent time with quite a few orchestras in the 1930s (including Andy Kirk, Fletcher Henderson in 1934,Benny Carter, Willie Bryant, Cab Calloway, and the short-lived Teddy Wilson big band).

In 1940 Ben Webster became the first major tenor soloist of Duke Ellington’s orchestra. During the next three years he was on many famous recordings, including “Cottontail” and “All Too Soon.” After three productive years of playing with Ellington, Webster left the band in an angry altercation, during which he cut up one of Ellington’s suits. After leaving Ellington in 1943, Webster worked on 52nd Street in New York City; recorded frequently as both a leader and a sideman; had short periods with Raymond Scott, John Kirby, and Sidd Catlett; and toured with Jazz At The Philharmonic during several seasons in the 1950s.

Charlie Parker

Blues - Charlie Parker

Blues - Charlie Parker

Charlie Parker -Jam Sessiom - Funky Blues

Charlie Parker's "Funky Blues" on hit album Titled "Jam Session

Charlie "Bird" Parker was a peerless musician who needs no further introduction. Despite his vast discography, there are few good-sounding recordings where the majority of the tunes run any more than 5 minutes in length. Jam Sessions is one of the notable exceptions. Backed by an all-star band (including such giants as Johnny Hodges, Ben Webster, Benny Carter, and Oscar Peterson), Parker stretches with leisurely exuberance across lengthy jams (every track is over 13 minutes).

The assembled talent really come together and hit their stride on the album's two blues numbers. "Jam Blues" kicks off the record in an up-tempo, surging forward with one inspired solo after another, including a genius guitar solo by the great Barney Kessel, who swings with an almost rockabilly edge.

Trumpeter Charlie Shavers and saxophonist Flip Phillips deserve much greater acknowledgment after their work on these sessions. "Funky Blues" is the closest we can come to actually seeing the Bird soar in an after-hours jam session. This easy-paced blues unfolds deliciously, with each solo building on top of the preceding one, as these musicians converge on the bluesy heart of their playing. Benny Carter's alto rarely sounded sweeter, and Ben Webster's breathy tenor deserves honors.

The album's two ballads balance out the program, and are of fine quality, if not a little too pretty. But the real reason that you must hear this recording is to experience the swinging sensation of its soulful blues.


1. Jam Blues (14:42)

2. What Is This Thing Called Love? (15:51)

3. Ballad Medley (17:23)

4. Funky Blues (13:27)


Charlie "Bird" Parker: Alto Sax

Johnny Hodges: Alto Sax

Benny Carter: Alto Sax

Ben Webster: Tenor Sax

Flip Phillips: Tenor sax

Charlie Shavers: Trumpet

Barney Kessel: Guitar

Oscar Peterson: Piano

Ray Brown: Bass

J.C. Heard: Drums

This performance highlights the difference between Parker's form of expression on the blues in contrast to the approaches that came before him. I am indebted to saxophone master Von Freeman for initially pointing out these observations.

Obviously this recording was altered to highlight the differences between these players, as Hodges and Carter were the two major alto saxophone stylists during the era before Parker arrived on the scene. Based on the jump in tempo after Bird's statement, you can hear that the original recording was edited so that Benny Carter's statement would follow Bird's. Clearly, this was not how it was originally recorded.

The two older alto saxophonists are East Coast players; Hodges from Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Carter from New York City. During that time, a player's musical style seemed to reflect the region of the country they came from; regional differences seemed more pronounced than they are today. Of course, these differences had little to do with the level of musicianship, but they did seem to show up in some of the stylistic tendencies of the players. This is not at all meant as a critique. I only wish to point out that each of these players had different approaches to the Blues idiom, and some of that was a reflection of which area of the country they came from.

This first appearance of more complex voice-leading occurs at the beginning of what's called the turnback(2:28), a pivot area in the seventh through eighth measures that progresses from the subdominant through the tonic and dominant areas, then back towards the subdominant, where Bird's spontaneous melody perfectly follows Ray Brown's bassline.

The cadential target on the upbeat of the end middle of this phrase (2:30) rhymes with the target upbeat cadence at the end (2:34) via the adroit use of contour and paraphrase. The next phrase flips the cadential targets from upbeat to downbeat, while simultaneously slightly lengthening the cadences, in a motion leading to the tonic. However, immediately upon touching the tonic, Bird progresses to the subdominant. This chorus ends with a blues-tinged afterthought.

The second chorus begins with a miniature version of a classic blues form, against the background chorus of the other horns functioning as the congregation to Bird's preaching. The opening phrase is repeated three times in an I don't believe ya heard me form, with the middle phrase as the darker lunar expression (i.e., subdominant).

After this bluesy statement, beginning in the fourth measure, Bird, in a whispering statement that feels like an explanation, shifts gears into a level of sophistication rarely heard in the blues of this time. In the sixth measure (3:07), Parker literally falls out of this mode of playing, through an alternate tonal path in the form of a descending semi-pentatonic figure, again melodically shadowing Brown's bass line with sophisticated rising and falling voice-leading in the crucial pivoting area of seventh and eighth measures, hitting every passing tonality while still maintaining his melodic emphasis.

Moving into the tenth measure (3:19), Parker again shifts into the overdrive, ascending as a light color, squeezing out the top of the line, descending using shifting darker hues, then moving towards the subdominant before doubling back on a darker dominant path towards the tonic. Parker's innate sense of balance was incredible, as is clearly demonstrated at the end of this solo.

Whereas most players today with his level of technique would feel a need to follow the harmony explicitly, Bird is able to suggest the voice-lead just with the shape of his pentatonic and diatonic line, using a well developed sense of just where to rhythmically place the tones that lead by proximity to the target pitches that express the passing tonalities. With Parker it is the melodic contour and path which rules supreme, not the tones in a particular chord. The difference is subtle.

Finally, I would like to state that I think of these slow versions of the blues as examples of secular rituals. In much West African music there is this constant interplay of 3 communing with 2, an intimate marriage of the ternary feel (called perfect meter in medieval times because it was related to the Trinity) and the duple feel (imperfect meter). The intervals of the Perfect Fifth and Perfect Fourth were called perfect for this same reason, as they were associated with the number 3, considered perfect since ancient times.

This was also true in early European music. For example, the metered sections of some Notre Dame organum as well as some of the secular music of medieval times was typically governed by rhythmic modes which were all expressed in triple meter to symbolize the Trinity. So in some ways, this connects to what Dizzy called Parker's Sanctified Rhythms.

If you listen carefully to Parker's opening phrase, it is almost completely in a kind of ternary feel, and this is true of the most blues-inflected parts of his performance.(Reviewer: Steve Coleman)

Harold Mabern

Harold Mabern

Harold Mabern

Harold Mabern

Harold Mabern (born March 20, 1936 in Memphis, Tennessee) is a hard bop and soul jazz pianist.

Early in his career, Mabern played in Chicago with Walter Perkins’ MJT + 3 in the late 1950s[1] before moving to New York in 1959. Mabern has worked with Jimmy Forrest, Lionel Hampton, the Jazztet (1961-1962), Donald Byrd, Miles Davis (1963), J. J. Johnson (1963-1965), Lee Morgan (1965), Hank Mobley (1965), Sonny Rollins, Freddie Hubbard, Wes Montgomery, Joe Williams (1966-1967), and Sarah Vaughan. In more recent years, he has recorded extensively with his former William Paterson University student, the tenor saxophonist Eric Alexander.(1)

He performed in a video recorded session with Wes Montgomery in 1965 that is currently available on DVD as Wes Montgomery Live in ‘65.

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, Mabern led four albums for Prestige Records, performed with Lee Morgan, and recorded with Stanley Cowell’s Piano Choir. Harold Mabern has recorded as a leader for DIW/Columbia and Sackville and toured with the Contemporary Piano Ensemble (1993-1995).

A longtime faculty member at William Paterson University, Mabern is a frequent instructor at the Stanford Jazz Workshop.

Harold Mabern - "Rakin' and Scrapin'"...

Johnny 'Hammond' Smith

Johnny "Hammond" Smith

Johnny "Hammond" Smith

Jonhhy "Hammond" Smith

When Johnny Hammond signed with Milestone Records in the summer of 1975, he was reuniting himself with his old record catalog. Except for the years 1971-75, Hammond recorded exclusively for Prestige and Riverside Records, under his real name, Johnny Smith. Johnny’s nickname was Hammond, named after the instrument he helped to popularize—the Hammond organ. There are currently eight albums by Johnny in the Prestige catalog.

“I dropped the Smith—not because I didn’t like the name, but because I got tired of being confused with Jimmy Smith. We’re both organists, and we’ve both made our mark on the music. It’s just that Johnny is too close to Jimmy—if you get what I mean!” Hammond smiles.

It should be stated that Hammond does not concentrate entirely on the organ. The truth is that Hammond is a total keyboard player. A good listen to Forever Taurus will afford one with a healthy dose of Hammond’s talents on the electric piano and the synthesizer.

Born John Robert Smith in Louisville, Kentucky, December 16, 1933, he has a mildly musical background: “My mother sang in the choir, my sister and others in the family were musical, but I’m the only one who became a professional.”

He studied piano at a local music school and—more valuably, he says—with a private teacher, Elizabeth Minnis.

“My influences were Charlie Parker, Dizzy, Bud Powell, Art Tatum—all the people who were really happening in the mid-1940s. I guess you could say I made my professional debut at 15. I had a buddy who also played piano, and we’d both slip into a little club down the street and take turns playing for whatever they’d put in the kitty.” Not long after that, Johnny joined a band led by Kenny Hale, a Kenton-style group. “Hale is a first cousin of Don DeMicheal, the critic who became editor of Downbeat; in fact, sometimes Don would sit in with us on drums.”

Smith was 18 when he left Louisville. For a while, he lived in Cleveland, playing with groups led by saxophonist Jimmy Hinsley and guitarist Willie Lewis.

Around the time he came of age, his ears were captivated by the sound of Wild Bill Davis, who had just begun to show the possibilities of transferring modern jazz sounds to the electric organ. Inspired by Davis, and also to some extent by Bill Doggett, Johnny gradually made the changeover from piano to organ himself.

“I was the first jazz organist in Cleveland—or, to put it another way, the first jazz musician in Cleveland even to own an organ. I began working around in small combos.

“Believe it or not, I was playing from the very start pretty much the way I’m playing now. I played single lines then, then built up to shout out-choruses with big chords and so forth, just the way I do today. The only difference at first was that I hadn’t turned the vibrato off the organ, whereas Jimmy Smith had. Later, around 1957, I began turning it off.”

Shortly after Hammond’s acquisition of an organ, Wild Bill Davis left the Chris Columbus group in which he had been working. Johnny got the job with Columbus and went almost immediately to New York. From that point on, he shuttled between New York and Cleveland as alternate homes.

In 1958, he had his first opportunity to extend his popularity through records. “I was working in Columbus, Ohio, with Nancy Wilson who was more or less unknown at that time. Some man came in, heard the group and offered us a contract. He said, ‘I’ll give that girl a deal, too.’ But Nancy said, ‘No, when I sign a contract, I’m going to sign with a big company.’ She was smart. Only a year later, she had a contract with Capitol.”

Johnny went ahead and recorded for the independent label. Soon afterward, in 1959, recommended by tenor saxophonist Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis, he was offered a deal with Prestige.

If the mid-Seventies are “the age of the synthesizer,” then the mid-Sixties were “the age of the organ.” Johnny Hammond helped make it happen.

During that time, he played in some of the more popular New York organ rooms, such as Count Basie’s, Minton’s, and the Shalimar. Whatever his claims about having played the same style all along, he certainly managed during those years to develop and strengthen the basic characteristics of his style.

Among the problems that seem to confine too many of the present-day school of organists is that they tend to work almost exclusively out of two alternating bags. One is the blues-funk-soul style, often with elaborate “look-ma-no-limit-to-the-notes-I-can-play” overtones. The other is a ballad approach that lapses all too often into virtual somnolence.

Johnny Hammond seems to have overcome these restrictions. Certainly he knows as well as anyone how to play on the audience’s emotions through an inspired and ingeniously planned crescendo, with admirable use of his not inconsiderable technique. But his uptempo and ballad performances seem to be all of a piece, products of the same inventive mind, rather than opposite musical poles.

In his albums, and in his performances, he invariably shows that harmonic ideation, rhythmic sensitivity, and melodic values can be applied to every number he plays.

“Can be applied” is the important phrase here, rather than “must be applied.” On some tunes, he hovers around a single chord for several minutes, without even bordering on monotony. On others, he concentrates on a display of his exceptional technical command of the console.

Gears, Hammond’s Milestone debut LP released late last year, was his second collaboration with producers Larry and Fonce Mizell. For this new LP, Forever Taurus, he teamed with top LA arranger Wade Marcus and they’ve come up with a very strong, commercial, danceable, musical album.

Johnny gets his music across to his audience—whether they’re sitting in their living rooms listening to an LP or in a nightclub or concert hall. Hammond’s virtuosity and talent cuts through every time—he plays with tremendous feeling, which is the very most that can be said about anyone!

Johnny “Hammond” Smith died June 4, 1997.

Johnny Hammond - Tell Me What To Do (1975)

Idris Muhammad

Idris Muhammad(Drummer)

Idris Muhammad(Drummer)

Idris Muhammad - Loran's Dance - 1974 [Soul-Jazz]

Idris Muhammad - Turn This Mutha Out

Idris Muhammad

Idris Muhammad was born on November 13,1939, and began playing the drums at age 8 in his native New Orleans. By the time he was 16, he was performing in jazz bands. Muhammad became known as one of the most innovative drummers in soul music of the 1960s, performing with singers Sam Cooke, Jerry Butler, and The Impressions.

He played for the popular musical Hair while performing with the house band for the Prestige Label in the early 1970s. For the rest of that decade, he accompanied popular singer Roberta Flack, led his own band, and worked with Johnny Griffin and Pharaoh Sanders.An excellent drummer who has appeared in many types of settings, Idris Muhammad became a professional when he was 16.

He played primarily soul and R&B during 1962-1964 and then spent 1965-1967 as a member of Lou Donaldson's band. He was the house drummer at Prestige Records (1970-1972), appearing on many albums as a sideman. Of his later jazz associations, Muhammad played with Johnny Griffin (1978-1979), Pharaoh Sanders in the 1980s, George Coleman, and the Paris Reunion Band (1986-1988).

He has recorded everything from post-bop to dance music as a leader for such labels as Prestige, Kudu, Fantasy, Theresa, and Lipstick. Muhammad's 1993 recording My Turn includes saxophonist Grover WashingtonJr., trumpeter Randy Brecker, both of whom are also featured performers in this year's 25th Annual University of Pittsburgh Jazz Seminar and Concert.

Idris Muhammad - Say What

Idris Muhammad - See Saw - 1978

"Big" John Patton

Dr. J Said: "Patton didn't play the kind of consistently advanced solos that Larry Young and Jimmy Smith played - not his bag - but he was a highly talented and tasty player, and in my opinion of the 3 was by far the ultimate "groove master." Smith w

Dr. J Said: "Patton didn't play the kind of consistently advanced solos that Larry Young and Jimmy Smith played - not his bag - but he was a highly talented and tasty player, and in my opinion of the 3 was by far the ultimate "groove master." Smith w

"Big John Patton ~ "Ding Dong"


"Big" John Patton Then Came Along

John Patton (born July 12, 1935, in Kansas City, Missouri, died March 19, 2002, in Montclair, New Jersey), sometimes nicknamed Big John Patton, was a soul jazz organ player. He was not nearly as well-known as other warriors in the organ jazz field of the 1960s, yet he could be counted upon for a reliable, even fervent collection of blues and bop-saturated licks and steady bass lines on the Hammond B-3.

Mostly self-taught with some rudimentary instruction from his mother, Patton started playing piano in 1948, eventually landing a gig with the Lloyd Price touring band from 1954 to 1959, before moving to New York. Once there, he began to make the transition from piano to organ, learning a lot from future two recording mates, drummer Ben Dixon and guitarist Grant Green.

He recorded with Lou Donaldson for Blue Note from 1962 to 1964 and, after impressing Blue Note founder Alfred Lion, made the first of a string of albums as a leader for the label in 1963. Interestingly, many of his albums, though scheduled for release, never saw the light of day until after Blue Note’s resurrection in 1985.

When the Hammond B-3 and soul-jazz went out of fashion in the 1970s, Patton’s career went into eclipse as well, and he settled in East Orange, NJ. But, shortly after he started recording again in 1983, Patton was rediscovered by a younger generation, particularly the avant-garde figure John Zorn, who began using his sound out of its usual context on recordings like The Big Gundown and Spillane’s “Two-Lane Highway.”

His music evolved to incorporate elements of modal and free jazz, without ever losing the basic, earthy groove that he brought to it from the beginning.

He wrote some classics and will be remembered fondly both by musicians and fans. His stellar work included “Funky Mama” and Along Came John. During the late 60s John recorded some very adventurous music for the Blue Note label with artists such as Harold Alexander and George Coleman on LPs such as Understanding and Accent on the Blues.

Of particular note on the early sessions recorded for Blue Note both under his own name and also with George Braith, Don Wilkerson and Lou Donaldson was the superlative empathy he developed with guitarist Grant Green and drummer Ben Dixon - an organ trio whose work in the soul jazz genre remains unsurpassed to this day.

Since the resurgence in interest in music from this period Blue Note has unearthed many sessions that lay in the vaults.

John Patton - Soul Man

"Big" John Patton - Chitlins con Carne

"Big" John Patton - The Silver Meter

On a Patton Tilt and Swing

I have been listening to John Patton since I was a kid in the Ghetto of Soweto, and have found him to be able to caress and massage my soul and spirit. If I indulge the listener with several of his Vibe, it is because it never ages neither dull. It might not make one jump to the ceiling, but instead cutting the carpet is a much more driving sound.

He rollicks and spins my listening core; he tickles the cops in tandem with the body gyrating to his dominant licks on the Orga. Whether it is a B3 or whatever organ, I know for a fact that he makes one feel ebullient and very jazzed up and be Funked up, too, the hilt.

He is really an artist who Gives us the "Congo Chant" to Rhythm us in the pure African vibe, and we get to Have an "Understanding" of his Groove much. Whilst one will be chomping on the meal, it is spiced and made tasty by being spice up with the "Chitlin con Carne", making all (usually I hang out with my dear friend(s) who might be or hardcore "Soul Men" and "Soul Women"", that in the end we jam to the evergreen and exotic and far-flung sounds of John Patton in a "Big" way.

These are my own impressions as an 'appreciator' of the music of Jazz in all its forms and sounds/vibes/and its Rare-grooves. As I listen to John Patton, life has never stood still, it has pierced the Dark Matter and the Universe and always reverberates in the Cosmos consistently, harmoniously and 'Soulfully. It's all Jazzy and Funky!'

The Soul Man has given us hops and skips in the music that we will miss him very much. His music makes me hum from the inner caverns of my singing and musical soul. One cannot get enough of the way John Patton marshall's the music to touch ones hidden self and inner-sanctum of the spiritual soul. His Vibey, Funky and Soulful licks keep on giving.


Freddie Hubbard

Freddie Hubbard

Freddie Hubbard

Freddie Hubbard

Frederick Dewayne “Freddie” Hubbard (trumpet, flugelhorn) was born on April 7, 1938, in Indianapolis, Indiana and passed away on December 29, 2008, in Sherman Oaks, California at the age of 70.

The son of a mason, he was one of six children, the youngest but for his sister. His mother was active in the local church (he later played trumpet there).

Lionel Hampton came to town during Hubbard’s youth, and distributed instruments as part of his longstanding commitment to the black community. Freddie was interested in the drums but when all the drums were gone he was left with a bugle. He played sousaphone (marching band tuba) in school. But at 11 his parents divorced and this threw the family into disarray. His older siblings had to move out to support themselves. His mother was so poor that a local agency tried to get Freddie put into a foster home. His mother collected food stamps, his sister went to work, and he did odd jobs, but began practicing music constantly as his way of getting out of poverty and the ghetto.

Hubbard started playing the mellophone and trumpet in his school band at Arsenal Technical High School in Indianapolis, Indiana. Trumpeter Lee Katzman, former sideman with Stan Kenton, recommended that he begin studying at the Arthur Jordan Conservatory of Music (now the Jordan College of Fine Art at Butler University) with Max Woodbury, 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 1960s, he appeared on two of its landmark albums: Coleman’s Free Jazz and Coltrane’s Ascension, as well as on Sonny Rollins’ 1966 ‘New Thing’ track East Broadway Run Down with Elvin Jones and Jimmy Garrison.

Later career

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 — this time with Billy Childs and Larry Klein, among others, as members — 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 whichLive 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 had died from complications from a heart attack suffered on November 26.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 him during times of illness. After his death, Hubbard’s estate requested that tax-deductible donations be made in his name to the Jazz Foundation of America. (The Jazz Trumpeter)

Blue Mitchell

Blue Mitchell

Blue Mitchell

Blue Mitchell

Richard Allen (Blue) Mitchell (March 13, 1930, – May 21, 1979), was an American jazz, rhythm and blues, soul, rock, and funk trumpeter, known for many albums recorded as leader and sideman on Blue Note Records.

Mitchell was born and raised in Miami, Florida. He began playing trumpet in high school where he acquired his nickname, Blue.

After high school he played in the rhythm and blues ensembles of Paul Williams, Earl Bostic, and Chuck Willis. After returning to Miami he was noticed by Cannonball Adderley, with whom he recorded for Riverside Records in New York in 1958. He then joined the Horace Silver Quintet playing with tenor Junior Cook, bassist Gene Taylor and drummer Roy Brooks. Mitchell stayed with Silver’s group until the band’s break-up in 1964.

After the Silver quintet disbanded, Mitchell formed a group employing members from the Silver quintet substituting the young pianist Chick Corea for Silver and replacing a then sick Brooks with drummer Al Foster. This group produced a number of records for Blue Note disbanding in 1969, after which Mitchell joined and toured with Ray Charles till 1971.

From 1971 to 1973 Mitchell performed with John Mayall on Jazz Blues Fusion. From the mid — 70s he recorded, and worked as a session man in the genres noted previously, performed with the big band leaders Louie Bellson, Bill Holman and Bill Berry and was principal soloist for Tony Bennett and Lena Horne. Other band leaders Mitchell recorded with include Lou Donaldson, Grant Green, Philly Joe Jones, Jackie McLean, Hank Mobley, Johnny Griffin, Al Cohn, Dexter Gordon and Jimmy Smith. Blue Mitchell kept his hard-bop playing going with the Harold Land quintet up until his death from cancer on May 21, 1979, in Los Angeles, California at the age of 49.

Lou Donaldson

Ou Donaldson

Ou Donaldson

Lou Donaldson

One of the few remaining musicians that defined the sound of jazz after the bebop musical revolution, alto saxophonist Lou Donaldson illustrates the richness and ambiguities of jazz evolution during the crucial period between the late forties and early seventies. During these intense and fascinating times of contemporary United States history, jazz exploded into a variety of paths that ran parallel with different environments, artistic, social and political concerns.

In coexistence with the upcoming Black Power movement and its multiple expressions, jazz took off with different responses and approaches. Some were involved in an innovative search for something higher or qualitatively different, defined by strong personalities and (sometimes) artistic genius.

Others were part of a more popular or mass-representation culture that, despite holding generally high standards, was closer to the idea of popular music than to art. With people pulling from both sides—and all the conflicting mix around—both positions were finally criticized, though with the passing of time the innovator leader has usually been valued most, despite many not liking the results of their innovations.

Donaldson fits into the second category, and belongs to a group of musicians that more or less stayed faithful to their sound, aware that the music they played was not only their group creation but also a collective music meaningful for its impact on people. Often underestimated, Donaldson's music and trajectory not only speak about jazz's perception and guiding codes but also about more abstract matters such as the functions and roles of artistic expression in the contemporary world.

Born in Badin, North Carolina in 1926, Donaldson moved to New York in 1950, after the insistence of jazzmen like saxophonist Illinois Jacquet and trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie. Like most saxophonists at the time, he grew up with the influence of Charlie Parker, who inspired him to take in the bebop language. Donaldson's ability to sound like Bird earned him his first recording date for Blue Note, in fact, where he embodied the label's bluesy, night-evoking sound.

Coming out of the bebop foundations, Donaldson—along with people like pianist Horace Silver and trumpeter Clifford Brown—proved his virtuosity and skills, and made a name for himself by participating in legendary recordings including drummer Art Blakey's A Night at Birdland(Blue Note, 1954), a keystone for what came to be known as hard bop, a style that went back to the popular roots of blues and gospel.

Donaldson then took off on his own particular journey, absorbing new and classic sounds into his own language, and stressing the importance and value of groove and feeling. His first and biggest hit arrived in 1958 with "Blues Walk," an irresistible blues spiced up with percussionist Ray Barretto's Latin touch. The sensuality and nocturnal ambiance of the tune contributed to making Donaldson a crossover artist, admirable for taking jazz to the people and ultimately aligning himself in the understanding of jazz as popular music for regular people.

Assuming "Blues Walk" as his signature tune, Donaldson's music announced a changing African American sensibility that looked back to its past to better understand itself and its history. In a move that merged bebop and rhythm & blues as two dominant Black music forms, Donaldson's subsequent recordings stood out for their straight-ahead approach, blues base, and rhythmic repetition; a swinging soul potion that hung over a common cultural tradition and went for emotional, heartfelt communication.

In opposition to cool jazz arrangements and tricks, hard bop traced back to Black church imagery and devices, combining it with a talkative, colloquial, street-like style. Participating on albums such as organist Jimmy Smith's The Sermon (Blue Note, 1959), along with a dream team line-up (Art Blakey, trumpeter Lee Morgan, saxophonist Tina Brooks and guitarist Kenny Burrell), Donaldson soon incorporated the organ, contributing to the establishment of blues-based organ combos that would continue from then on.

Here 'Tis (Blue Note, 1961), a relaxed and happy album, was first, followed by The Natural Soul (Blue Note, 1962), where the altoist took a harder pulse and initiated a growing orientation towards dance that would continue with Signifyin' (Argo, 1963) and Alligator Bogaloo (Argo, 1967), culminating with a new high-point,Midnight Creeper (Blue Note, 1968).

The sound of what came to be known as soul jazz was commercially successful during the mid-sixties because of its connection with the audience. It drew on the "Black is beautiful" spirit of the times, the negritude beauty and body movement, and soul food's appeal. The music offered a sensual blend of elegant blues, funk and soul that was perfect for a chilling, compromised and smoking atmosphere.

But on the other hand, some critical voices aroused within the hard-core jazz world. Not only were they to criticize what they perceived as an accommodated version of jazz that followed a formula (opposed to a constant searching attitude), but they also fell into valuing music in terms of technical difficulty by labeling musicians like Donaldson as "uncomplicated bop."

It cannot be denied that certain recordings did not work out as smoothly as others, precisely for the difficulty of balancing emotional connection and harmony amongst band members, environment and audience, with a necessary extra touch to stand out. It may be true, then, that, immersed in rules of the entertainment industry and capitalist economy, great players like Lou Donaldson, on Blues Walk (Blue Note, 1958), and Lee Morgan with The Sidewinder (Blue Note, 1964), among others, overused certain musical treatments for commercial success.

However, the communicative and interactive nature of music must not be forgotten, as well as bearing in mind one of the possible goals of artistic search and expression: to communicate in a language that people can understand and, at the same time, offer freedom for improvisation and innovation in order to express particular personalities, without breaking the bond between the individual and the community.

Overall, the two paths sketched out here should not be seen as necessarily opposed or contradictory; one need not be chosen over the other. Instead, a wider analytical and aesthetic scope allows the distinguishing of different roles, functions and performances. A dynamic process that demands attention to the non-musical aspects that condition the perception of music, this position—rather than towards general acceptance—leads to a critical perspective, towards the valuing of jazz that revises the repetition of clichés.

In an incredible and unexpected opportunity, Lou Donaldson's recent European tour has given younger generations a more real connection with the glorious and idealized past of jazz and popular music. The energy and strength of the 85 year-old legend has brought many jazz fans and writers the chance to experience, first-hand, the melodies and rhythms that have previously only been discovered through celebrated recordings.

Donaldson reveals himself as a calm, easy-going gent that, unlike many, does not mythicize his past story. It is one of those special moments in a musical lifetime when a historic, mighty presence naturally shows up as a charming, laid-back person, ready to hold up his alto saxophone and blow his sweet and winding sound, tracing the down-home flavor lines that have drawn modern jazz. (Joseph Pedro)

The Lou Donaldson/South african African Jazz Funk Coonection

In the Mid to the late 1970s, at the height of Apartheid rule, music was one of the outlets we Africans depended upon. Particularly America Soul and R&B music. Specifically Jazz, which was the heartbeat of our survival against the harsh and cruel realities of Apartheid. Jazz afforded us a chance to see beyond our miseries and have hope. It was at this time that James brown, and Lou Donaldson's version of James' Song "I am Black and I am Proud' that was a huge picker-upper. Donaldson's style of music made us have hope against all odds.

His jazz funk, which at that time in South Africa we called "Afro-Jazz," instilled in us the idea that there is a better world beyond our suffering. The new sounds he played, made us feel real and special. We knew that he was Africa(Black); we knew that the vibe resonated with our soul in much the same way it Affected the present-day African Americans during that same time period. Also, the Apartheid regime was rabid about censorship.

Even though this music was banned for its title, and many other books and magazines, including musical bands within South Africa, we managed to get the Vinyls of the music of the artists like Lou Donaldson, Monk Higgins, Donald, and the whole slew of African American musicians.

It was not only the lyrics that sent us gyrating and jitter-bugging(name of a jazz dance by African South Africans) across the rooms and dance hall throughout South Africa, but the rhythm, sounds, vibes and grooves were fresh, revolutionary and very modern to us. If the Internet hurled contemporary society in the technological, African America music in the form of jazz, Soul, R&b and Spirituals(as we called them) eased us into the modern era and the fast changing musical sounds emanating from the Black(African) sounds of America.

Lou Donaldson made our hungry stomachs feel like "Pot Bellies". In fact, we felt too that "Everything We DO(DId) Was [Really] Going To Be Funky." The reader listener should remember that Apartheid made sure we lived in total misery and oppression. Lou Donaldson, made us feel like we are "The Kid(s)" of the future, with hard driving Boogaloo Grooves that launched us and our dejected states into a hopeful and very lively future.

We have South African African created Jazz bands and Big-bands of our brand. We also imbibed the music of Jazz from the early 1900s to the present-day jazz improvs. The thing I am saying is that we Africans in South Africa were privy to jazz in all it's genres and sounds.Amongst us as African people in South Africa, there are those who still believe in Classical/Avante garde jazz; then there was my generation which boarded the musical train from the fifties all the way to Y2K. We were buoyed by the music and groovy sounds of the jazz/funk of Lou Donaldson, that I thought I should add this bit of information as to the affect and effect of the music of Donaldson and his peers that gave hope to the enslaved Africans of South Africa

Monk Higgins

Monk Higgins

Monk Higgins

By the time we came to be introduced to the music of Monk Higgins(and we got most of him when he was playing with Gene Harris and the Three Sounds), we, in south Africa, are fully immersed into the Funk Genre, and we really dug it when it was incorporated into the jazz tunes of the 60s, 70s, 80s. 90s and Y2K.

Monk Higgins symphonized and funkified jazz and made it more soulful and really meaningful which was leading us to the 1970s and 80s.

We begun forming the earliest known Jazz Clubs from the High Schools we attended. We met on Weekends where we would show-off our newly discovered American artists. This helped us to begin to appreciate the music of jazz in all its diversity. Everyone who belonged to these jazz clubs had to bring brand new and unheard-of or unknown artists and their newly released tunes.

This was when we would 'repeat After'[the music} others introduced us to. Monk Higgins was at the top of the pile in those days, and we really dug him and studied the album's liner notes in order to get to know more about the artist. Down Beat magazine, although the issues would be months late, were part of the stuff we incorporated into listening to different artists and developing our jazz listening appreciation 'get-togethers'.

Musician, Composer, Monk Higgins

Monk Higgins, 50, a former Chicago social worker and public school music teacher, was a composer, musician, arranger and producer in Los Angeles. He recorded albums for MCA, United Artists, ABC-Dunhill, Chess and his own recording company, Almon.

Services were held July 9 at the Greater New Bethel Baptist Church in Inglewood, Calif. He died July 3 at a Los Angeles hospital.

He composed many songs that have been recorded by such artists as Blood, Sweat and Tears, Little Milton, Gloria Lynn and Stanley Tourrentine. His own recordings include ``Monk Higgins--Heavyweight`` for United Artists and

``Dance to the Disco Sax of Monk Higgins.``

``His music was a combination of soul and jazz,`` said a friend, J. Herbert King. ``He wrote the music for the Toyota and Mogen David ads and, most recently, has been the entertainment director of Memory Lane, a nightclub owned by Marla Gibbs, who played the maid on the television show ``The Jeffersons.``

He composed the music for the motion picture ``Sheba Baby,`` starring Pam Grier.

Mr. Higgins was born Milton Bland in Menifee, Ark. After graduating from Arkansas State University with a music degree, he did advanced studies at the Chicago School of Music. He taught first in the music department at Central High School in Hayti, Mo., and then in the Chicago public school system. He temporarily left music instruction to be a social worker for the Cook County Department of Public Aid.

He returned to music and in the early 1960s became music director and arranger for Onederful Records and later a recording artist, producer and arranger at Chess Records, both in Chicago.

In 1968, he went to Los Angeles to record and to produce for ABC-Dunhill. He produced the album ``MacArthur Park,`` featuring his tenor sax. He arranged ``Elegant Soul`` and ``Soul Symphony`` for the Blue Note label. Both became hits.

In May, 1985, the City of Los Angeles passed a special commendation for him and his contributions to other recording artists.

Survivors include his wife, Virginia, and three daughters, Joan, June and Janesse.

Sonny Phillips

Sonny Philllps

Sonny Philllps

Sonny Phillips

Sonny Phillips (b. December 7, 1936, Mobile, Alabama) is an American jazz keyboardist. His primary instrument is electric organ but he often played piano. Phillips began playing jazz organ after hearing Jimmy Smith in his twenties. He studied under Ahmad Jamal, and played in the 1960s and 1970s with Lou Donaldson, Nicky Hill, Eddie Harris, Houston Person, and Gene Ammons. His debut album was released in 1969, and he released several further records as a leader before suffering a long illness in 1980. He went into semi-retirement after this and moved to Los Angeles; since then he has performed and taught occasionally. Leader Discography, Sure 'Nuff (Prestige Records, 1969), Black Magic (Prestige, 1970), Black on Black (Prestige, 1970), My Black Flower (Muse Records, 1976), I Concentrate on You (Muse, 1977), Sideman Discography, with Rusty Bryant Rusty Bryant Returns (Prestige, 1969), with Ivan "Boogaloo Joe" Jones Boogaloo Joe (Prestige, 1969), with Houston Person Goodness (Prestige, 1969), with Billy Butler Guitar Soul (Prestige, 1969), with Gene Ammons Brother Jug (Prestige, 1969), with Houston Person The Truth (Prestige, 1970), with Houston Person Person to Person (Prestige, 1970), with Houston Person The Real Thing (Eastbound, 1973), with Ivan "Boogaloo Joe" Jones Black Whip (Prestige, 1973), with Willis Jackson In The Alley (Muse, 1976), with Houston Person Stolen Sweets (Prestige, 1976), with Houston Person Wild Flower (Prestige, 1977), with Etta Jones Don't Misundertand - Live In New York (High Note, 1980), with Bernard Purdie Coolin' and Groovin' (Lexington, 1993)

Donald Byrd