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Opened in 2008, The Dirty Dog is one of the premiere destinations in the United States for world class Jazz and cuisine. It combines the charm of an English-style pub with intimacy and meticulous attention to detail and hospitality.
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The Dirty Dog brings together the musicians and guests in a way that creates a lasting impression and desire to come back.
Archive for
Jazz Notes With Judy Adams
June 10, 2019

double-bass

 

The modern “double bass” or simply  “bass” is the largest and lowest pitch string instrument in the modern symphony orchestra or bands in other genres including Jazz.

 

 

The bass provides the “foundation” of the band, and has a special role in supporting all of the other essential compositional ingredients in Jazz and other genres. Those ingredients include the melody, chord changes, rhythmic figures and much more.

 

 

Jazz would be lackluster without the bass. This essential instrument helps create the “bottom end” and the inherent swing and groove elements that define the Jazz feel. The bass keeps things on track, guiding a band through the various progressions in the music.

 

 

Along with keyboards, drums and percussion, the bass is part of the Jazz rhythm section. Its diverse role ranges from playing the roots of the chords, to providing melodic material and contributing rhythmic figures, that coincide with the drums.

 

Fender Electric bass

Fender Electric Bass

 

There are many different kinds of basses from the centuries-old acoustic upright “double bass” or “bass violin”, to today’s electric bass guitar and electric stand-up bass which create modern, contemporary sounds for an instrument with roots in ancient times.

 

 

The bass can be played in a variety of ways, thus creating a variety of sounds. This includes strumming, plucking, slapping, bowing, tapping, popping and other methods; each having a distinct role and affect. Many of these add specific rhythmic emphasis, especially with Jazz’s walking-bass and fusion styles.

 

 

The beautifully rich sound from an acoustic bowed bass is almost other-worldly, adding deep, resonant, sustained tones to the overall sound of the ensemble.

 

 

Next week’s “Jazz Notes” blog will pay tribute to many of great bassists who are or have been from Detroit.

 

 

The list includes one of today’s finest bassists in Jazz and contemporary music, Ralphe Armstrong, who performs at the Dirty Dog, Wednesday June 26 and Thursday, June 27. For reservations and information, call 313-882-5299 or go to DirtyDogJazz.com

 

 

 

 

Detroit Public Radio mainstay, Judy Adams, is a pianist, composer and musicologist who hosts a Jazz and contemporary music show on CJAM 99.1FM and guest hosts on WRCJ 90.9FM. She made her mark at WDET 101.9FM where she was program director and daily on-air music host for more than 30 years.

 

 

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June 3, 2019

TumbaoBravo.com DDJC

 

Tumbao Bravo at the Dirty Dog Jazz Cafe, Photo: TumbaoBravo.com

 

Formed in August 2003 by reedman Paul VornHagen and conguero Alberto Nacif, this popular, award-winning Latin Jazz combo has released five CDs of mostly original compositions that have been featured on most of the major public radio Jazz stations in the U.S.

 

 

The band has been a winner of several Detroit Music Awards for Best Jazz Recording and Best World Music Band, and they have performed at many Michigan Jazz festivals including Detroit, Lansing, Birmingham, Raisin River, Great Lakes Folk, Blissfest, Wheatland Dance and Ann Arbor to name a few.

 

 

The band has also performed many times at the Dirty Dog Jazz Café and will be returning to our stage this coming week on Wednesday June 5 and and Thursday June 6.

 

 

Latin jazz is a favorite of many music fans who love infectious dance-based rhythms and carefully crafted melodic material rooted in Afro-Cuban culture.  Cuban or Latin Jazz is really Afro-Cuban Jazz because of its African roots. The rhythms and instrumentation are centuries old and are the foundation of the music.

 

 

Afro-Cuban Jazz got its start primarily from two Havana-born musicians, Francisco “Machito” Grillo and Mario Bauza. After studying music in Cuba, Bauza came to New York in 1930 and played in bands led by Chick Webb, Cab Calloway and others.

 

ChanoPozoand DizzyGillespieBackStage1947, LifeMagazine

Chano Pozo and Dizzy Gillespie back stage in 1947. Photo: Life Magazine

 

 

Machito arrived in America in 1937 and worked with many bands in New York. In 1943 his piece “Tanga” was heard nightly over WOR radio from the La Conga Club in Manhattan, as it was their opening and closing theme. Soon some of the bands he and Machito played with or led included soloists such as Afro-Cuban Jazz pioneer Dizzy Gillespie, as well as Charlie Parker and Buddy Rich among others. Afro-Cuban music soon became instantly popular worldwide and the rest is history.

 

 

Other significant Afro-Cuban Jazz artists you can add to your listening list include Poncho Sanchez, Bebo and Chucho Valdes, Arsenio Rodriquez, Israel Cachao Lopez, Chico O’Farrill, Mongo Santamaria, and Paquito D’Rivera, to name just a few.

 

 

LegendaryAfoCubanJazzArtistsBenyMore,MarioBauza and family Pinterist

Beny More, Mario Bauza, and family, Photo: Pinterest

 

 

 

 

Detroit Public Radio mainstay, Judy Adams, is a pianist, composer and musicologist who hosts a Jazz and contemporary music show on CJAM 99.1FM and guest hosts on WRCJ 90.9FM. She made her mark at WDET 101.9FM where she was program director and daily on-air music host for more than 30 years.

 

 

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May 24, 2019

JeffCanadyAtDDJC

Jeff Canady at the Dirty Dog Jazz Cafe (photo: John Osler)

 

For the past two summers, the world-renowned Jazz publication, Downbeat magazine, has created a center-fold feature about the the Dirty Dog Jazz Café, the world class Jazz club in Grosse Pointe Farms.

 

 

For the first issue they asked me to interview Carl Williams, the Dirty Dog’s popular, award-winning bartender and music aficionado.

 

carlWilliams

The Dirty Dog’s Carl Williams (Photo: John Osler)

 

Carl has has been with the club since they opened more than 11 years ago and hearing five nights per week of  live Jazz, Carl has heard it all. He’s been an astute music listener for most of his life. And, at the Dirty Dog he knows most of the performers and their music very well. Those seated at the bar enjoy conversing with Carl as he shares his knowledge of the music and the musicians – hearing his many stories and details about Jazz.

 

 

Carl’s reputation as a serious music fan is what prompted Downbeat to tap into his musical mind for this article. The editor at Downbeat wanted to know Carl’s five favorite Detroit based Jazz drummers.

 

 

Here’s my Downbeat magazine interview,  “Take Five”, with Carl as he explains his five favorite Detroit drummers including Jeff Canady who performs with his band at the Dirty Dog Wednesday, May 29 thru Saturday, June 1.

 

________________________________________________________

Carl’s Take Five
by Judy Adams

 

Jf Canady Osler

Jeff Canady (Photo SoultoneCymbals.com)

 

Jeff Canady

Known for his work with Dave McMurray and other prominent artists, Jeff Canady is at the top of Carl’s list. He said he admires his unique style and that he knows how to set a perfect groove – intuitively feeling the pulse of the music. He especially admires Canady’s “signature” triplets and rolls, which are markedly fast and smooth.  Besides being a drummer, Canady is also as recording artist, producer and vocalist.

 

Jeff Canady and his band are the Dirty Dog from Wednesday, May 29-through Saturday, June 1st. For reservations and information call 313-882-5299 or go to DirtyDogJazz.com.

 

 

Skeeto Valdez

Skeeto is one of Detroit’s most experienced “go to” drummers. Carl is impressed with his versatility and knowledge of most styles from Bebop and Swing to Rock and Funk and beyond. He puts a lot of his personality into the music, making things more fun for the audience and the band.

 

 

Gayelynn McKinney

One of Detroit most prolific drummers, Gayelynn has played with Aretha Franklin, Steve Turre, Larry Coryell and others. She’s known for “going off the grid” as Carl says, with her innovative improvisations that often utilize the entire drum kit as she supports the music with a very creative approach to her rhythmic ideas.

 

 

Doug Cobb

Doug is known for his work with Jazz clarinet virtuoso, Dave Bennett.  Carl loves his playing, commenting “he’s cool and clean and one of the cleanest drummers I’ve ever heard. You’ll never hear him click his sticks. He’s flawless and relaxed, which comes to him naturally”.

 

 

Sean Dobbins

Sean Dobbins is a Detroit favorite and one of its most gifted drummers. “His playing is electric. He really knows how to work up an audience. His solos are filled with rhythmic power and intensity and played with skill and precision.”

 

 

All five of these drummers have performed the Dirty Dog many times as the club is known for presenting the top Jazz talent from this region and beyond.

 

Partrons of the club are lucky to have the opportunity to hear these great Detroit-based artists on a regular basis. Thanks to the Dirty Dog’s Carl Williams and Downbeat magazine for spreading the word on these musicians to their world-wide readership and global Jazz audience.

 

 

 

Detroit Public Radio mainstay, Judy Adams, is a pianist, composer and musicologist who hosts a Jazz and contemporary music show on CJAM 99.1FM and guest hosts on WRCJ 90.9FM. She made her mark at WDET 101.9FM where she was program director and daily on-air music host for more than 30 years.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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May 13, 2019

 

 

 

MarsalisFamilyAt2019 NewOrleansJazzFest

Photo: Sophia Germer/Associated Press

 

This year the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, better known as Jazz Fest, is celebrating its 50th year of New Orleans culture, food and, of course, music.

 

The pianist Ellis Marsalis was part of the first New Orleans Jazz Fest.  This year his four well-known musician sons — Branford, Wynton, Delfeayo and Jason — joined him to perform his own compositions.

 

It’s a common fact that children growing up with professional, or even self-taught musicians in the house, often become musicians themselves. Growing up in a musical household gives family members an advantage with their continuous exposure to the music and provides a regular source of shared musical enjoyment.

 

The Marsalis’s are one of today’s most well-known musical families. Led by their father and mentor, pianist/educator, Ellis Marsalis, the famous brothers, Wynton, Branford, Delfeayo, Jason, Ellis III and Mboya-Kenyatta have helped to promote the Marsalis name throughout the world.

 

JasonMarsalisVibes

Jason Marsalis playing the vibraphone

 

Jason Marsalis is one of the youngest members of the esteemed Marsalis family and is known for his multi-talented skills as a composer, drummer and vibraphonist.  He  returns to the Dirty Dog stage with his band on Friday May 17 and Saturday 18th, with two seatings each night. For reservations and information call 313-882-5299.

 

Unlike many other music genres, that come and go,   Jazz audiences continue to grow in many ways which show’s us that this 100+ year old musical art form definitely has lasting appeal.

 

While musical families that play Jazz, keep the music alive while  nurturing their family members, we also see this happening with Jazz education as more and more schools are including Jazz studies in their curriculums for students of all ages.

 

There’s no doubt that exposure to the music, especially live performances,  is the key to forming new artists and fans, young and old. who develop an appreciation and love for the music and become enriched by the sounds of Jazz.

 

 

 

 

Detroit Public Radio mainstay, Judy Adams, is a pianist, composer and musicologist who hosts a Jazz and contemporary music show on CJAM 99.1FM and guest hosts on WRCJ 90.9FM. She made her mark at WDET 101.9FM where she was program director and daily on-air music host for more than 30 years.

 

 

 

 

 

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May 4, 2019

stanleyClarke jazzizCom

 

Bassist Stanley Clarke / Photo: Jazziz.com

 

So many people have benefitted from the Detroit Jazz Festival’s artist-in-residence program. Started in 2007 with violinist Regina Carter, the program has featured such stellar musicians as Joshua Redman, Danilo Perez, Terence Blanchard, Jeff “Tain” Watts, Christian McBride, Pat Metheny Wayne Shorter and others. This year, award-winning Bassist, composer, award-winning Stanley Clarke will take the prestigious position.

 

 

Responsibilities of the 2019 artist-in-residence, bassist, Stanley Clarke include playing multiple sets with various ensembles at the festival, spanning all four days He also appeared in an intimate trio performance at Dirty Dog Jazz Café, a few weeks ago.

 

stanleyClarkNPRorg

Stanley Clarke / Photo: NPR

 

Educational activities with up and coming Jazz musicians are an integral component of the artist-in-residency program. This gives younger students of Jazz a chance to attend special master classes with some of the most significant Jazz artists performing in the world today.

 

 

As we mentioned earlier, this year’s artist-in-residence is bassist Stanley Clarke. Here are some defining highlights of his illustrious career, excerpted from his press bio.

 

 

Mr. Clarke is a four-time Grammy-award winning recording artist, performer,
Composer, conductor, arranger and producer.

 

 

With the arrival of the British invasion bands in the 1960’s, and his high school years, the electric bass found its way into Stanley’s hands and so did opportunities to play at events and shows with many different bands.

 

 

Stanley soon made his way to New York City where he found opportunities to play with such Jazz greats as Horace Silver, Art Blakey, Dexte Gordon, Joe Henderson, Pharoah Sanders, Gil Evans and Stan Getz. He also was able to reunite with pianist Chick Corea.

 

 

Almost immediately the two recognized something in the talents of the other that would form the basis and creation of the ground-breaking unit, Return to Forever. The new Jazz style they championed became known as “fusion” as it fused traditional Jazz with Rock, Blues, Funk, World music and other idioms.

 

 

RTF romanticWarrior

 

 

RTF became one of the seminal bands of the fusion era, and included Lenny White on drums, and Al Di Meola on guitar.

 

 

The Detroit Jazz Festival takes place Labor Day weekend in downtown Detroit. For festival information including a list of performers, go to DetroitJazzFest.com.

 

 

Detroit Public Radio mainstay, Judy Adams, is a trained pianist, composer and musicologist who hosts a Jazz and contemporary music show on CJAM 99.1FM and guest hosts on WRCJ 90.9FM.

 

 

 

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April 24, 2019

 

 

 

ElvinJonesAmazonCoUK

 

Drum legend from Pontiac, Mich. Elvin Jones / photo: Amazon.co UK

 

 

Detroit has had its share of legendary drummers, with a long list that covers many decades and includes such luminaries and style makers as Elvin Jones, Roy Brooks, Louis Hayes, J.C. Heard, Don Moye, Ali Jackson, Pheeroan akLaff, Frank Isola, Art Mardigan, Tani Tabbal and many others.

 

 

Some current Detroit drummers who are making their “mark” on an international scale include Nate Winn, Karriem Riggins, Gayelynn McKinney, Leonard King, Alex White, Djallo Djakate, Mahindi Masai, Renell Gonzalves, Jessie Kramer, Gerald Cleaver, and the multi-award winning Sean Dobbins who performs with his band, “The Modern Jazz Messengers” at the Dirty Dog Jazz Cafe Wednesday May 8th, through Saturday, May 11th.

 

 

 

 

SeanDobbinsDDJC BW

 

Sean Dobbins at the Dirty Dog Jazz Cafe

 

 

Dobbins lists the following drummers, among those who have had a major influence on his playing: these include Art Blakey, Jeff “Tain” Watts and Elvin Jones.

 

 

Detroit Music Factory recording artist, Sean Dobbins, is one of the most “sought after” drummers performing today. He’s performed with such Jazz notables as Dr. Lonnie Smith, Johnny O’Neal, Cyrus Chestnut, James “Blood” Ulmer, Benny Golson,and many others.

 

 

He’s also one of the top Jazz educators in this region and is on the faculties at the University of Michigan, Oakland University and Wayne State University. He also serves as the Artistic Director of Jazz Ensembles for the Detroit Symphony and is the Executive Artistic Director of the South Eastern Music Academy.

 

 

The Dirty Dog is also presenting other talented drummers in the coming weeks. These include Willie Jones III April 26 and 27th, and Jeff Canady, May 29-June 1.

 

 

For information and to make reservations for Sean Dobbins and other upcoming performances at the Dirty Dog Jazz Café, call 313-882-5299 or go to DirtyDogJazz.com.

 

 

 

 

Detroit Public Radio mainstay, Judy Adams, is a trained pianist, composer and musicologist.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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April 17, 2019

bebop album cover

 

Vintage album cover/poster with Dizzy Gillespie; HiloBrow.com

 

 

Of all of the Jazz styles, Bebop remains as one of the most sophisticated both in its structure and intricate improvisational forms.

 

 

It has had lasting effect on modern Jazz since its early development in the 1940s and there haven’t been very many Jazz performances since that haven’t included elements of Bebop in one way or another. Its impact was profound.  It revolutionized Jazz for the ensuing decades – up until the present day.

 

 

The development of Bebop was a major turning point in Jazz. It emerged as younger musicians were breaking away from the popular, dance driven, Big Band music, which had dominated Jazz since the late 1920’s.

 

 

Bird,TRane,Dizzy

 

 

It signaled the dawn of modern Jazz – influencing new directions in Jazz and non-Jazz styles that emerged during the second half of the 20th century and even into the 21st century from Jump Music and Rock and Roll to Post-Bop, Avant-garde, Hip hop and more.

 

 

Miles Davis once said, “You can tell the history of Jazz in four words: Louis Armstrong. Charlie Parker”. Armstrong was a foundational figure who influenced the seminal styles of Jazz during its first 50 years and Parker took it from there.

 

 

ArtBlakeyHardBop

 

 

Bebop’s star players and creators not only include Charlie Parker, but Dizzy Gillespie, Max Roach, Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk, Kenny Clarke, Max Roach and others. Listen to any recordings from the 40s or 50s from these artists for an authentic Bebop experience.

 

 

The music is also known for group interaction through complex forms of improvisation while exploring rhythmic accents, manipulating scales with dense phrasing. It’s harmonically daring with band members weaving intricate patterns of notes at break neck speeds, many times in unison, while keeping the music accessible on most levels.

 

 

Bebop was still the hippest and most intellectual music of its time and a favorite of the beat generation. Looking back, and into the future, we can only respect the genre for its historical significance, fearless attitude, brilliant artists and sophisticated content.

 

 

“Bebop was a label that certain journalists later gave it, but we never labeled the music. It was just modern music, we would call it. We wouldn’t call it anything, really, just music.” A statement by drummer Kenny Clarke.

 

 

Bebop’s lasting effect can still be heard in much of the Jazz being performed around the world today. Musicians who play the Dirty Dog Jazz Cafe often play the genre straight up or use Bebop related elements and improvisation techniques in their performance.   Listen for it the next time you are there.

 

 

 

 

Detroit Public Radio mainstay, Judy Adams, is a pianist, composer and musicologist who hosts a Jazz and contemporary music show on CJAM 99.1FM and guest hosts on WRCJ 90.9FM. She made her mark at WDET 101.9FM where she was program director and daily on-air music host for more than 30 years.

 

 

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April 5, 2019

DetroitJazzFestPoster

 

 

 

As a service to our Jazz Notes readers,  we are sharing the initial line-up of performers for this year’s Detroit Jazz Festival which is celebrating it’s 40 anniversary! Here are excerpts from the Detroit Jazz Festival Foundation’s press release from this past week.

 

 

“We’re really excited about the exceptional lineup put together for the 40th year celebration which reflects a reunion of some of the most inspiring performers and performances we’ve had the pleasure of hosting over the last 10 years at the Jazz festival,” said Chris Collins, president and artistic director of the Detroit Jazz Festival Foundation.

 

“From jazz legends to up-and-coming revolutionaries and Detroit homecoming artists, these artists have become a part of our extended family and it’s only appropriate they come back to headline our reunion year.”

 

 

DetroitJazzFEst

 

 

Partial Initial Lineup 2019 Detroit Jazz Festival

 

 

This includes a real treat as former Artists-in-Residence Ron Carter, Pat Metheny, Joshua Redman, Danilio Pérez and Terence Blanchard will also take a stage for the Festival.

 

 

Below is an initial look at this year’s Festival lineup! What a list!

 

 

Friday, Aug. 30

o Danilio Pérez’s Global Big Band featuring the Detroit Jazz Festival Orchestra and Guests
o Artist-in-Residence: Stanley Clarke – Back-to- ‘School Days’
o The Soul Rebels
o Dr. Valade’s Brass Band led by New Orleans legend, Shannon Powell

 

Saturday, Aug. 31

o Macy Gray
o Ron Carter Quartet
o Yellowjackets with Luciana Souza
o Danilo Pérez’s Global Messengers
o Joe Lovano Nonet
o Untitled Artist: Cameron Graves with the Detroit Jazz Festival Generations Alumni Band
o Sheila Jordan
o The Soul Rebels
o ELEW

 

 

stanleyClarkeAmazon

Stanley Clarke / Photo: Amazon.com

 

Sunday, Sept. 1
o Artist-in-Residence: Stanley Clarke – A night of jazz with the Stanley Clarke Band
o Kenny Garrett Quintet
o Terence Blanchard – AB2 – Art Blakey Project

o Dee Dee Bridgewater and the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra
o Pat Metheny Ron Carter Duo
o John Pizzarelli Trio
o Untitled Artist: Cameron Graves
o Connie Han
o Red Baraat
o Veronica Swift
o Thornetta Davis

 

 

MethenyAllAboutJazzCm

Pat Metheny / Photo “All About Jazz”

 

 

Monday, Sept. 2

o Artist-in-Residence: Stanley Clarke – ‘Boyz in the Hood’ featuring the Detroit Jazz Festival String Orchestra

o Pat Metheny: Side Eye
o Chucho Valdés – Jazz Batá
o Still Dreaming with Joshua Redman, Ron Miles, Scott Colley and Dave King
o Luciana Souza’s Book of Longing featuring Chico Pinheiro and Scott Colley
o Marialy Pacheco
o The Four Freshmen and 5 Trombones
o Michael Jellick Sextet

 

Go to the festival website for more information:

DetroitJazzFest.com

 

 

 

Detroit Public Radio mainstay, Judy Adams, is a pianist, composer and musicologist who hosts a Jazz and contemporary music show on CJAM 99.1FM and guest hosts on WRCJ 90.9FM. She made her mark at WDET 101.9FM where she was program director and daily on-air music host for more than 30 years.

 

 

 

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March 28, 2019

Jazz Note’s Detroit Birthday Profile: Trumpeter/Band Leader Thad Jones

 

 

ThadJonesMelLewisBigBandYouTube

 

The Thad Jones Mel Lewis Big Band, 1970  (You Tube)

 

 

One of the world’s great music centers, Metro-Detroit, has been the home of so many important musical artists over the years representing several genres. The multi-talented Thad Jones was a member of the musical Jones family from Pontiac, Michigan which also included two other Jazz Greats: Pianist, composer Hank Jones and iconic drummer, Elvin Jones.

 

 

Thaddeus Joseph Jones was born March 28, 1923, and died in Copenhagen, Denmark August 20, 1986. He was known all over the world as a Jazz composer, arranger, bandleader, as well as a virtuoso trumpet and flugelhorn player, and cornetist.

 

 

His amazing career spanned more than sixty years and associated him with such bands and orchestras as those led by some of the most influential and well-respected bands in Jazz including Count Basie, Herbie Hancock, Thelonious Monk and his own highly revered Thad Jones/ Mel Lewis Orchestra.

 

 

The Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra was a Jazz big band formed by trumpeter Thad Jones and drummer Mel Lewis in New York in 1965. The band performed for twelve years in its original incarnation, including a 1972 tour of the Soviet Union during the height of the Cold War. (Wikipedia)

 

 

In January 1979, Thad Jones suddenly moved to Copenhagen, Denmark, where several other U.S. jazz musicians had gone to live as expatriates. There he became the leader of The Danish Radio Big Band which he transformed into one of the world’s best Jazz bands. We recently discussed in our blog how many Jazz artists have moved to Europe where they felt the music received more respect and financial support.

 

 

Thad Jones was an extremely prolific artist and recorded more than 24 albums with Count Basie’s orchestra as well as recording four LPs with his younger brother Elvin Jones and one with his older brother, Hank Jones. Other leading artists he played and recorded with during his impressive career included Lou Donaldson, Dexter Gordon, Coleman Hawkins, Milt Jackson, and many others.  Thad Jones also recorded for such major Jazz labels as A&M, Blue Note, Debut and others.

 

 

 

Detroit Public Radio mainstay, Judy Adams, is a pianist, composer and musicologist who hosts a Jazz and contemporary music show on CJAM 99.1FM and guest hosts on WRCJ 90.9FM. She made her mark at WDET 101.9FM where she was program director and daily on-air music host for more than 30 years.

 

 

 

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March 20, 2019

Judy Adams’s Jazz Notes: Jazz Goes Global

 

NinaSimoneDoWhatYouGottaDo

 

 

As we have mentioned in our blog many times over the years, Jazz and the Blues are two of the most influential music genres the world has ever known. They influenced the creation of most modern musical forms including R&B, Rock, Country, Funk, Hip Hop and more.

 

Blending cultural elements from various cultures from Africa, the Middle East, Europe, Asia and many more. These genres are also mostly made in America. With modern technology and the media, these styles ‘went viral” with the advent of radio and records nearly a century ago.  Jazz and Blues sonorities and rhythmic elements have reverberated all over the world since the beginning of the 20th century if not sooner.

 

 

European classical composers such as Rachmaninoff, Ravel, Debussy, Satie, were all drawn to Jazz and its influence is evident in their music. They were huge fans of Jazz, especially after be exposed to it on their visits to America.

 

 

More than ever, America needs to recognize and embrace Jazz as a major component of its cultural identity. Much like European countries have embraced Classical music as one of their major contributions to world culture. While Jazz has a huge following here at home, there’s still room for more Americans to accept Jazz as part of our musical heritage.

 

 

Today, Jazz has established itself as a major musical art form in Europe, Central and South America, and Asia. Countries with a fervent Jazz scene include France, Spain, Canada, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Brazil, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Indonesia, Japan, Italy, and of course the U.S.

 

 

There are more than three thousand Jazz clubs worldwide in more than 100 countries and 38 American states. International Jazz Day is a yearly event on April 30, organized by UNESCO to celebrate “the virtues of Jazz as an educational tool, and a force for peace, unity, dialogue and enhanced cooperation among people”.

 

 

Many musicians have said that there seems to be more support, acceptance and appreciation for Jazz outside the U.S. than here at home. Major Jazz recording artists have consistently found more gigs in other countries than in America when on tour.These attitudes led to many artists becoming expatriates and moving to countries where there was more support for the music.

 

 

This includes well known artists such as civil rights activist, actress, singer, Josephine Baker, who became a huge star in France in the 1920’s and beyond. Also, saxophonist Dexter Gordon, who left the United States in the 1960s to live in, primarily, Paris and Copenhagen. There, he played with fellow expatriates and continued to record for Blue Note. He experienced better treatment in Europe, as a Jazz player, than he had in the United States.

 

 

The great Jazz singer/songwriter, pianist and activist,  Nina Simone, lived in Liberia, Switzerland, England, Barbados and elsewhere before eventually settling down in the South of France.

 

 

 

This is still happening today as American artists continue to find more financial support for their music in other countries who quite often pay artists a stipend to support their efforts to maintain a higher quality of life in their communities.

 

 

We must remember that America is still a young country. It needs to celebrate its highly influential cultural identity with Jazz – a true American art form, which is more highly revered elsewhere than it is here at home. American Jazz has had a major influence on most of the music around the world in the past 100 years. It’s time we acknowledged how much we have contributed to world culture. We have so much to be proud of.

 

 

 

DexterGordonOurManInParis

 

Dexter Gordon spent years living and performing in Paris, France. In 1986, he was nominated for an Academy Award for his role in the French film, Round Midnight and was awarded the Order of Arts and Letters by the French Ministry of Culture. “Our Man in Paris” is a album he recorded in 1963. The album’s title refers to where the recording was made, Gordon (who had moved to Copenhagen a year earlier) teaming up with fellow expatriates Bud Powell and Kenny Clarke, both Parisian residents, and native Parisian Pierre Michelot.

 

 

 

Detroit Public Radio mainstay, Judy Adams, is a pianist, composer and musicologist who hosts a Jazz and contemporary music show on CJAM 99.1FM and guest hosts on WRCJ 90.9FM. She made her mark at WDET 101.9FM where she was program director and daily on-air music host for more than 30 years.

 

 

 

 

 

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