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A Perfectly Tuned Evening Every Time...
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
August 16, 2019

 

This week we celebrate the music artistry of Dorothy Ashby and Alice Coltrane.

 

Harpists are quite rare in most musical circles, much less, Jazz. And yet, two Detroit-born musicians not only became known as the top harpists in Jazz, they received world-wide attention as virtuosos in their field.

 

 

DorothyAshby Print shirt:Harp last.fm

 

Dorothy Ashby / Photo Last.FM

 

 

Jazz harpist, Dorothy Jeanne Thompson, known as Dorothy Ashby (August 6, 1930-April 13, 1986) both popularized and legitimized the use of the harp in Jazz. She was quite an innovator in several ways.

 

 

She had a sound all her own and as early as the 1950’s and 1960’s, was one of the first Jazz artists to blend traditional Jazz with R&B, world and other music.

 

 

She not only used compositional elements from these genres, but utilized instruments from various cultures such as the ancient Japanese harp-type instrument, the Koto.  This could be heard on her commercially successful 1970 release “The Rubaiyat of Dorothy Ashby”.

 

 

Born in Detroit, she attended the world renowned Cass Technical High School along side other emerging Detroit Jazz giants such as Donald Byrd, Gerald Wilson, Alice McLeod Coltrane and Kenny Burrell.

 

 

She went on to study at Detroit’s Wayne State University where she studied piano and music education. After graduating, she began playing the piano, as well as the harp, in Detroit’s vibrant Jazz scene, though by 1952 she had made the harp her main instrument.

 

 

At first her fellow jazz musicians were resistant to the idea of adding the harp, which they perceived as an instrument of classical music and somewhat ethereal in sound for Jazz performances. So Ashby overcame their initial resistance and built support for the harp as a Jazz instrument by organizing free shows and playing at dances and weddings with her trio.

 

 

She recorded with Ed Thigpen, Richard Davis, Frank Wess and others in the late 1950s and early 1960s. During the 1960s, she also had her own radio show in Detroit.

 

 

dorothy ashby : afro harpin'

 

Dorothy Ashby’s Afro-Harping album on Cadet records / Wikipedia.org

 

 

She definitely paved the way for Alice Coltrane (second wife of innovative Jazz saxophonist, John Coltrane) who also went to Cass Tech and played harp, piano, harmonium and other instruments as she also fused music from various cultures, especially Indian folk themes and other Asian elements.   Ashby died on April 13, 1986 in Santa Monica, California.

 

 

 

aliceColtrane,SilkPortrait

 

Alice Coltrane, “Silk Potrait”,  photo: Word Press.com

 

 

Alice Coltrane, (August 27, 1937 – January 12, 2007) was a Detroit born pianist, organist, harpist, and composer, and was married to the iconic Jazz saxophonist John Coltrane. Her first husband was Detroit Jazz vocalist Kenny “Poncho” Hagood. In the 1960’s she studied Jazz with the great Bud Powell in Paris.

 

 

AliceColtrane UniversalConsciousness.blogspot.com

 

Alice Coltrane / Universal Consciousness (Improvised Solo)  album / blogspot.com

 

Like so many other great Jazz artists from Detroit, she also attended Cass Tech High School and became one of the few harpists in Jazz. Her knowledge and love for music from many cultures had a major influence on John Coltrane who learned a lot about music from her during their marriage.

 

 

She recorded many albums as a bandleader, beginning in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Many of her works were very spiritual, containing motifs and instrumentation from Africa and Asia. One of her most revered albums was “Journey in Satchidananda” (1971 Impulse) with saxophonist Pharoah Sanders, bassist Charlie Haden, Vishnu Wood on oud and others.

 

 

Stay tuned for Part Two of our Detroit Birthdays  for August which includes profiles of Benny Maupin and Regina Carter.

 

 

 

 

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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August 8, 2019

pianist CameronGraves (2)

 

Pianist Cameron Graves / Photo: Discogs.com

 

 

 

Since its beginning, Jazz is constantly evolving as it keeps up with emerging trends in the genre, while staying rooted in it’s past. That’s how Jazz stays current while it attracts new fans and artists who represent younger generations that keep the music fresh and up to date.

 

 

A perfect example of this is with pianist Cameron Graves who is at the Dirty Dog this week and also at the Detroit Jazz Festival Labor Day weekend. I was lucky to hear him perform when he was at the Dirty Dog earlier this year.

 

 

A member of the cutting edge, Los Angeles collective, the “West Coast Get Down”. Graves style was described by his fellow “West Coast Get Down member”, Kamasi Washington, as an “almost unbelievable combination of modal jazz, romantic era European classical music and mathematical death metal.”

 

 

Graves first record on Detroit’s own Mack Avenue Records, “Planetary Prince”, also serves as his pseudonym. Graves was a member of Jada Pinkett Smith’s band Wicked Wisdom and has performed and recorded with Stanley Clarke (Artist in Residence at the Detroit Festival this year), Kamasi Washington, Thundercat, Dr. Dre and Miles Mosley.

 

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On his second Mack Avenue album Cameron explains. … “I wanted to go back to my roots and do an old school R&B album…what I call a ‘Grown Folks’ record. You’ll hear many of the new compositions from his new album during his upcoming performances at the Dirty Dog Jazz Café and the Detroit Jazz Festival.

 

 

Pianist Cameron Graves

Pianist, Cameron Graves / Photo: SfJazz.org

 

 

Special performances with Cameron Graves and the Detroit Jazz All-Stars are scheduled this week at the Dirty Dog. The Detroit Jazz All-stars includes Rob Pipho (piano/vibes), Chuck Newsome (guitar), Marion Hayden (Bass) , David Taylor (drums)  and Detroit Jazz Festival Foundation President Chris Collins (saxophone).

 

 

Go to DirtyDogzJazz.com for more information on these performances.

 

 

HERE’S THE SCHEDULE OF PERFORMANCE DATES/TIMES with CAMERON GRAVES this week at the DIRTY DOG JAZZ CAFE:

 

WEDNESDAY  August 7: The band performs from 7pm-8:30pm

 

FRIDAY August 09: Band Performs from 6:30pm-7:30pm

 

SATURDAY: August 10: Band Performs from 6:30pm-7:30pm

 

For more information go to DirtyDogJazz.com or DetroitJazzFest.com.

 

https://www.mackavenue.com/artists

 

 

 

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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August 1, 2019

MaRainey 1920's

 

 

Ma Rainey Georgia Jazz Band posing for a studio group shot in the mid-1920s, with Thomas A. Dorsey at the piano.

Photo: JP Jazz Archives/Redfern

 

 

Not only was Jazz one of the most popular music styles in the U.S. for more 50 years during the first half of the 20th century, it was also celebrated during what is known as the “Jazz Age”.

 

 

Wikipedia tells us about the Jazz Age…

 

The Jazz Age was a period in the 1920s and 1930s in which Jazz music and dance styles rapidly gained nationwide popularity in the United States. The Jazz Age’s cultural repercussions were primarily felt in the United States, the birthplace of jazz. Originating in New Orleans as a fusion of African and European music, jazz played a significant part in wider cultural changes in this period, and its influence on pop culture continued long afterward.

 

 

 The movement was largely affected by the introduction of radios nationwide. During this time, the Jazz Age was intertwined with the developing cultures of young people, women, and African Americans. The movement also helped start the beginning of the European Jazz movement. American author F. Scott Fitzgerald is widely credited with coining the term, first using it in his 1922 short story collection titled Tales of the Jazz Age.

 

 

According to Statista Research today’s top music genres are Rock, Hip Hop, and Country – with Jazz being 11th on the list. This was based on the total music album consumption in the U.S. in 2018.  Not long ago though, Jazz was number one for more than 50 years, from the early 1900’s until the 1950’s.This was no accident.  There were many crucial events that helped propel Jazz onto the world stage.

 

 

The early 20th century was the dawn of the modern era, when the world first heard the Blues, Ragtime and Tin Pan emergence coincided with the advent of radio and recordings in the 1920’s. How fortuitous this was for Jazz!

 

 

The music industry was born and the pressure was on to sell records and celebrity performers. During the 1920s, blues singers, like Mamie Smith, turned into recording artists and became the first “coast to coast” musical celebrities.

 

 

Mamie_Smith bmpAudio

 

Mamie Smith (née Robinson; May 26, 1891 – September 16, 1946) was an American vaudeville singer, dancer, pianist and actress. As a vaudeville singer she performed in various styles, including Jazz and Blues. Photo: BMPAudio

 

 

The new and powerful effective technology of records and radio began spreading the music far and wide, inspiring new regional Jazz styles in New York, New Orleans, Chicago and elsewhere including Detroit, of course!

 

 

In the 1930s, radio fueled the new and immense popularity of the Big Bands of Fletcher Henderson, Benny Goodman, Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway and others. There were live nightly broadcasts from Chicago and New York that aired coast to coast for years.

 

 

DukeEllingtonAndHisCottonClubOrchestra 1927

 

Duke Ellington and his orchestra and the Cotton Club Orchestra in 1927.

 

 

Live broadcasts continued into the 1940’s, with Swing and then Bebop, created by such virtuosic artists as Charlie Parker, Bud Powell, Thelonious Monk and others. Thousands of these broadcasts were put on record as well.

 

 

Jazz was “king” until the 1950s when music tastes were swayed by the new sounds of Rock and Roll.  It was the post-War baby boom and the focus was on the fast growing youth audience. Since then radio became heavily formatted with fewer opportunities for live music. Plus, many Jazz clubs folded after television’s debut, which tempted people to stay home for their entertainment needs.

 

 

Yet, Jazz remains the most respected and influential modern genre to this day. It has expanded into countless sub-genres from Fusion and Acid Jazz, to Free Jazz and Experimental, impacting most music created in the past 100 years.

 

 

The Dirty Dog Jazz Cafe is known for presenting a full-spectrum of Jazz styles. See the “Upcoming Shows” section on the wbsite, DirtyDogJazz.com, for the current performance schedule for a world renowned Jazz club where Jazz is still “number one”.

 

CabCallowayPBS org

 

Cabell “Cab” Calloway III (1907-1994) was a jazz singer and bandleader who is known for his song “Hi Di Ho”. He was strongly associated with the Cotton Club in Harlem, New York City, where he was a regular performer. His popularity was greatly due to his twice-weekly live national radio broadcasts on NBC at the Cotton Club in the early 1930’s.

Photo: PBS.org

 

 

 

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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July 18, 2019

JudyAdams (OslerPhoto)

 

Judy Adams at the Dirty Dog Jazz Cafe / Photo by John Osler

 

 

 

It was back in 2014, that fellow blogger, John Osler, and I were invited by Jazz impresaria and owner of the Dirty Dog Jazz Café, Gretchen Valade, to write weekly blogs on Jazz for the Dirty Dog’s website DirtyDogJazz.com. Our blogs are on the “home page” under “recent posts”.

 

 

John’s blog, “UpBeat” reflects upon the art of Jazz and its environs, both local and international. John is a celebrated artist who created several Detroit Jazz Festival posters based on his amazing paintings and has published “Detroit Jazz” an award-winning book featuring his photographs of Detroit Jazz artists.

 

 

The purpose of my blog “Jazz Notes” is to bring you closer to the music and the artists who create it – both past, present and future. Think of “Jazz Notes” as a “listening companion” of sorts. It often suggests what to listen for in the music. I’ve met so many people who love and support Jazz but say, they do not know much about it such as its history, key artists or style makers.

 

 

My blog aims to increase appreciation for a multi-faceted genre that continues to be vibrant and growing in new directions since its inception approximately 150 years ago.

 

 

Jazz has been on a continuum since the beginning…ever changing, ever growing but maintaining its foundation. Many music genres are trends that come and go, while Jazz is constantly absorbing and reflecting the world around us.

 

 

As mentioned above “Jazz Notes” is a useful tool for people who are both new to the Jazz idiom as well as longtime fans and aficionados as we write about current and historical Jazz from Detroit’s vibrant Jazz community as well as from Jazz around the world. We discuss its form and content such as the use of improvisation, complex rhythms, and other defining elements. We also emphasize that Jazz is all about individual expression and creative freedom giving artists the permission to break the rules and create outside of the mainstream.

 

 

Over the past five years we’ve brought you closer to the music with blogs on:

Artist Profiles and Key Innovators

Jazz History Around the World and the history of Jazz in Detroit

The Detroit Jazz Festival including each year’s “artist-in-residence”.  This year it’s bassist Stanley Clarke!

New and emerging artists who are poised to take this genre into the future.

and much more…

 

Whether you’ve just found us or have been with us since the beginning, we’re glad you’re here to explore the wide world of Jazz, one of the most influential genres in music history.

 

 

 

 

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.

 

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July 8, 2019

MilesBrownDirtyDogJazzCafe

 

 

Bassist Miles Brown, who’s at the Dirty Dog this week, is out with a new album “Evidence of Soul and Body” on Detroit Music Factory.

 

 

 

Readers of our weekly “Jazz Notes” blog know that we’ve been concentrating on the “Jazz bass” for the past few weeks . This just happens to coincide with bassist Miles Brown’s upcoming performances at the Dirty Dog Jazz Café this week, (July 10-13)  in support of his new album “Evidence of Soul and Body” recently released this past May on the Detroit Music Factory label which is part of the award-winning Detroit label “Mack Avenue Records”.

 

 

Brown’s new album showcases his versatility as bassist, composer, performer and teacher who has earned bachelor and doctorate degrees from the Eastman School of Music in Jazz performance studies as well as a master’s degree from the Mannes College of Music in classical bass performance.

 

 

It’s not surprising that this multi-talented artist comes from a musical family. His father is a Jazz guitarist who can be heard on Miles’s new album. He was the director of the Jazz studies program at Ithaca College. His uncle played trumpet in Stan Kenton’s band and his grand father was a high-school band leader who also played with Latin band leader Xavier Cugat.  “There were always musicians coming through our house”, says Brown. “Mostly Jazz musicians staying the night, eating dinner, rehearsing.

 

 

 

 

In 2009, Brown came to Michigan to become director of the Jazz Studies program at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan where he stayed for about eight years. It was here that he met some of the top Jazz artists on the Detroit music scene including drummer and fellow music educator Sean Dobbins, as well as pianist Xavier Davis and saxophonist Diego Rivera, both from the Michigan State University music faculty.

 

 

Davis, Dobbins and Rivera are all part of the Michigan-based music family that Brown brings together for his performances at the Dirty Dog Jazz Café this Wednesday-Saturday, July 10-13th and on his new Detroit Music Factory release: “Evidence of Soul and Body”. Detroit Music Factory is a label that is part of Detroit’s award-winning Mack Avenue Records…it showcases some of some of Detroit’s most talented Jazz artists, and promotes their music around the world.

 

 

As a Jazz performer, Miles has led groups featured at the Syracuse Jazz Festival, the Rochester International Jazz Festival, the JVC Jazz Festival, and the Blue Note. He has played with Jazz masters such as Sam Rivers, Joe Magnarelli, Ralph Alessi, Walt Weiskopf, Harold Danko, Bill Dobbins, Joe Lovano, Ben Monder, and Kenny Werner.

 

 

His new album and live performances present a mix of standards and original compositions.

 

 

Call 313-882-5299 for reservations and information on his performances this week at the Dirty Dog Jazz Café, July 10-1

 

 

 

 

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 27, 2019

StanleyJordanStolenMoments.amazon.com

 

Photo: Amazon.com

 

Guitarists Stanley Jordan and Diego Figueiredo are performing at the Dirty Dog Jazz Café  June 28 and 29th.

Call 313-882-5299 for tickets and information.

 

 

Born in Chicago, award-winning guitar virtuoso, Stanley Jordan, actually began studying classical piano at age six, but switched over to the guitar at age eleven after he heard the music of Jimi Hendrix who he says “became his biggest influence”.

 

 

As a guitarist, he started performing in soul and rock bands in high school and college where he experimented with the “tapping” technique which he is now famous for.

 

 

He was exploring new territory and developed this technique himself. It involves tapping his fingers on the fretboard of the guitar with both hands which creates a very unique sound. He’s also known for playing two guitars at the same time and simultaneously playing piano and guitar.

 

 

stanleyJordan2guitars

 

“Double” guitarist Stanley Jordan

Photo: YouTube.com

 

 

In 1976, he won an award at the Reno Jazz Festival. At Princeton University, he studied music theory and composition with Milton Babbitt and computer music with Paul Lansky. While at Princeton he played with such notables as Benny Carter and Dizzy Gillespie.

 

 

On his current tour he is playing with another virtuoso guitarist, Diego Figueiredo, see below, who has played for the Dirty Dog audience in the past while performing with French singer Cyrille Aimee, who records with the Detroit based label Mack Avenue Records.

 

 

DiegoFigueiredo FLickrCom

Diego Figueiredo  /  Photo: JWPA Agency.com

 

 

Diego Figueiredo was born in Franca, Brazil, in 1980, and at the age of 4, he used to strike poses carrying his small guitar.

 

 

Diego has recorded and performed with big names like Gilberto Gil, João Bosco, Roberto Menescal, Toquinho, Belchior, Fafá de Belém, Angela Maria, Toninho Horta, Larry Coryell, Ken Peplowski, Lewis Nash, John Clayton, Cyrille Aimée and many others.

 

 

Besides being a multi-award winning guitar player, Diego is a producer, arranger, orchestrator, and multi-instrumentalist. His music spans many genres. It is a fusion between Jazz, Bossa nova and Classical music. Diego has a unique interpretation, with a lot of technique, and much passion and emotion.

 

 

He has recorded and performed with big names such as Gilberto Gil, João Bosco, Roberto Menescal, Toninho Horta, Larry Coryell, John Clayton, Cyrille Aimée and many others.

 

 

His duet performance with Stanley Jordan is at the Dirty Dog Jazz Café  June 28 and 29th. Call 313-882-5299 for tickets and information.

 

 

 

 

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 21, 2019

Detroit has certainly had its share of legendary Jazz bassists – these include the following artists:

 

Ron Carter, was born in Ferndale, Michigan on May 4, 1937 and is the most recorded bassist in the world, appearing on over 2500 recordings. He was a key component of Miles Davis’ famous Quintet in 1960’s; and is in Downbeat’s Jazz Hall of Fame.

 

RonCarterBlueNoteMilanoCom

Ron Carter/ Photo: BlueNoteMilano.con

 

The legendary Paul Chambers was raised in Detroit and performed mostly in the 50s and 60s, leaving his mark on such landmark, revered classics as John Coltrane’s Giant Steps and Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue.

 

 

PaulChambers:Coltrane:BlueNote

 

 

The masterful Ralphe Armstrong, is fluent on both electric and acoustic bass, playing with such modern style makers as John McLaughlin and the Mahavishnu Orchestra, Frank Zappa, Roy Ayers, Curtis Mayfield, Jean Luc Ponty and many others. Ralphe Armstrong will be performing at the Dirty Dog Jazz Café on June 26 and 27th. For more information and reservations call 313-822-5299 or go to dirtydogjazz.com

 

 

RalpheArmstrong2@DDJC

Ralphe Armstrong / Photo: John Osler

 

Rodney Whitaker heads the Jazz program at Michigan State and has played with Wynton Marsalis, Johnny Griffin, Pat Metheny, Cassandra Wilson and others. He’s also plays with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra.

 

 

RodneyWhitaker.com

Rodney Whitaker, Photo: RodneyWhitaker.com

 

 

The distinguished Robert Hurst teaches Jazz at the University of Michigan. He was with the Tonight Show Band for many years, and has played with everyone from Wynton Marsalis to Barbara Streisand.

 

 

Marion Hayden is one of Detroit’s most sought-after bassists and has worked with Dizzy Gillespie, Kenny Burrell, James Carter, Roy Brooks, and others. She’s also a founder of the highly acclaimed, female Jazz group Straight Ahead.

 

 

marionHayden.DirtyDogJazz.com

Marion Hayden / Photo: John Osler

 

 

James Jamerson was the uncredited bassist on most of the Motown Records:

 

Bassist JamesJamerson

 

James Lee Jamerson (January 29, 1936 – August 2, 1983) was the uncredited bassist on most of the Motown Records hits in the 1960s and early 1970s (Motown did not list session musician credits on their releases until 1971), and is now regarded as one of the most influential bass players in modern music history.

 

 

Jamerson moved with his mother to Detroit, Michigan in 1954. He attended Northwestern high school; there he started on the upright bass. He began playing in Detroit area blues and jazz clubs and was influenced by jazz bassists Ray Brown, Paul Chambers and Percy Heath. He was offered a scholarship to study music at Wayne State University, and he declined.

 

 

After graduating from high school, he continued performing in Detroit clubs. His increasingly solid reputation started providing him opportunities for sessions at various local recording studios. Starting in 1959, he found steady work at Berry Gordy’s Hitsville U.S.A. studio, home of the Motown record label. There he became a member of a core of studio musicians who informally called themselves The Funk Brothers. This close-knit group of musicians performed on the vast majority of Motown recordings during most of the 1960s.

 

 

Jamerson’s earliest sessions were performed on double bass but, in the early 1960s, he switched to playing an electric Fender Precision Bass for the most part.

 

 

Partial list of bassists who have noted Jamerson’s contribution or been influenced by him include:
Stanley Clarke, Marcus Miller, Paul McCartney, Jack Bruce, John Paul Jones, Victor Wooten, Ron Asheton, Jaco Pastorius, Bootsy Collins, Michael “Flea” Balzary, John Pattitucci, Brian Wilson and countless others.

 

The Dirty Dog Jazz Cafe has presented many of the bassists listed above among others, and continues to bring some the world’s finest musicians to our stage.

 

 

 

 

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 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.

 

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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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Each week the Dirty Dog Jazz Cafe hosts live performances from the greatest jazz musicians across the country.