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Hank Williams

Hank Williams has written 153 posts for Suga' in My Bowl

Sunday 10/15/2017 Show: Rudresh Mahanthappa

Photo: Rudresh Mahanthappa @ New York’s Vision Festival | © Joyce Jones/ Suga Bowl Photography. Some Rights Reserved. Creative Commons CC-NC-BY-ND. Used with Permission.

The next show will air on Sunday, October 15, 2017 from 11:00 PM – 1:00 AM Monday Eastern Standard Time on WBAI, 99.5 FM in the NYC metro area or streaming online at wbai.org. This broadcast features an interview with alto saxophonist, composer, bandleader and educator Rudresh Mahanthappa. We’ll start the show with a brief check in with BRIC Jazz Festival co-organizer Brice Rosenbloom for a preview of this year’s schedule.

Few musicians share the ability of Rudresh Mahanthappa to embody the expansive possibilities of his music with his culture. The saxophonist/composer hybridizes progressive jazz and South Indian classical music in a fluid and forward-looking form reflecting his own experience growing up a second-generation Indian-American. Just as his personal experience is never wholly lived on one side of the hyphenate or the other, his music speaks in a voice dedicated to forging a new path forward.

One of Rudresh Mahanthappa’s projects titled Bird Calls (2015), which was named #1 album of the year by both Downbeat and NPR Music’s Jazz Critics Poll. This 21st Century tribute to Charlie Parker, which Downbeat Magazine recently named Best Album of 2015, includes a stellar band of pianist Matt Mitchell, bassist François Moutin, drummer Rudy Royston, and 20-year old trumpet prodigy Adam O’Farrill. The 2013 album Gamak featured guitarist David “Fuze” Fiuczynski, whose own microtonal vocabulary opened new possibilities for Mahanthappa’s compositional imagination, alongside bassist Francois Moutin and drummer Dan Weiss. The 2010 release of Samdhi (ACT Music + Vision), a multi-cultural ensemble that advances Mahanthappa’s blend of jazz and Indian music with modernist electronic music, was described by JazzTimes as “a landmark convergence of styles that didn’t lend itself to easy analysis… new music of this caliber hasn’t been attempted before.” Other projects run the gamut from the cross-generational alto summit Apex featuring Bunky Green; trios MSG and Mauger; the quintet Dual Identity co-led with fellow altoist Steve Lehman; and Raw Materials, his long-running duo project with pianist Vijay Iyer. Mahanthappa was enlisted by Jack DeJohnette for the legendary drummer’s new working group, while a collaboration with the renowned Carnatic saxophonist Kadri Gopalnath resulted in Mahanthappa’s critically- acclaimed 2008 CD Kinsmen (Pi).

Hailed by the New York Times as possessing “a roving intellect and a bladelike articulation,” Mahanthappa has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, two New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowships, and numerous commissions. He has been named alto saxophonist of the year four of the past five years in Downbeat Magazine’s International Critics Polls and for five years running by the Jazz Journalists’ Association. In April 2013, he received a Doris Duke Performing Artist Award, one of the most prominent arts awards in the world. In 2015, he was named a United States Artists Fellow.

Rudresh Mahanthappa’s Indo-Pak Coalition has been hailed by The New York Times as “a trio equally grounded in folk tradition and jazz improvisation, propos[ing] a social pact as well as a musical ideal.” The ensemble’s three formidable talents — Mahanthappa on alto saxophone, Rez Abbasi on guitar, and Dan Weiss on tabla — first documented their group conception in 2008 with Apti, which won praise from The Guardian for its “irresistible urgency.” Agrima, the long-awaited follow-up, finds Mahanthappa and the group expanding aesthetic horizons: adding a modified drum set, incorporating effects and electronics, and working with a broader audio canvas overall.The core of the band’s sound, the vibrant presence of Indian rhythmic and melodic elements in a charged, modern improvisational framework born of the New York jazz scene, remains firmly in place. The scheduled release date is October 1 as a digital download for $2.50.

(Bio adapted from Mahanthappa’s official website.)

This program is hosted, engineered, produced, and edited by Joyce Jones. Listen for our On the Bandstand segment with NYC metro area appearances of Suga’ guests at the end of the first hour with Associate Producer Hank Williams.

Rudresh Mahanthappa’s Indo-Pak Coalition is scheduled to appear as part of the BRIC Jazz Festival on Saturday, October 21.

Web Extras:

Watch Mahanthappa and the Indo-Pak Coalition in this 2010 live clip from the Flushing Town Hall.

Watch the video preview of the Indo-Pak Coalition’s Agrima.

Watch Mahanthappa and pianist Vijay Iyer in this live clip from the 2007 JVC Jazz Festival in New York.

Hank Williams is assistant producer for Suga’ in My Bowl and produces the weekly “On the Bandstand” segment as well as running the show’s website and blog, where he has reviewed several jazz festivals. His writing has also appeared in Left Turn magazine and American Music Review. He teaches at Lehman and Hunter colleges in the City University of New York system.

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Sunday 10/1/2017 Show: Jack DeJohnette

PhotoJack DeJohnette @ New York’s Charlie Parker Jazz Festival | © Joyce Jones/ Suga Bowl Photography. Some Rights Reserved. Creative Commons CC-NC-BY-ND. Used with Permission.

The next show will air on Sunday, October 1, 2017 from 11:00 PM – 1:00 AM Monday Eastern Standard Time on WBAI, 99.5 FM in the NYC metro area or streaming online at wbai.org. This is a broadcast features an interview with drummer, composer, bandleader and pianist Jack DeJohnette.

Born in Chicago in 1942, Jack DeJohnette grew up in a family where music and music appreciation was a high priority. Beginning at age four, he studied classical piano privately and later at the Chicago Conservatory of Music. He added the drums to his repertoire when he joined his high school concert band at age 14.

“As a child, I listened to all kinds of music and I never put them into categories,” he recalls. “I had formal lessons on piano and listened to opera, country and western music, rhythm and blues, swing, jazz, whatever. To me, it was all music and all great. I‟ve kept that integrated feeling about music, all types of music, and just carried it with me. I’ve maintained that belief and feeling in spite of the ongoing trend to try and compartmentalize people and music.”

By the mid-1960s, DeJohnette had entered the Chicago jazz scene – not just as a leader of his own fledgling groups but also as a sideman on both piano and drums. He experimented with rhythm, melody and harmony as part of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians during the group‟s early days, and later drummed alongside Rashied Ali in the John Coltrane Quintet. He garnered international recognition during his tenure with the Charles Lloyd Quartet, one of the first jazz groups to receive crossover attention.

In 1968, DeJohnette joined Miles Davis‟s group just prior to the recording of Bitches Brew, an album that triggered a seismic shift in jazz and permanently changed the direction of the music. Miles later wrote in his autobiography: “Jack DeJohnette gave me a deep groove that I just loved to play over.” DeJohnette stayed with Davis for three years, making important contributions to prominent Davis recordings like Live-Evil and A Tribute to Jack Johnson (both in 1971) and On the Corner (1972).

During this same period, DeJohnette also recorded his first albums as a leader, beginning with The DeJohnette Complex in 1968 on Milestone. He followed up with Have You Heard in 1970, then switched to Prestige, where he released Sorcery in 1974 and Cosmic Chicken in 1975.

The mid 1970s were marked by a series of short-lived groups and projects – many of them leaning toward the experimental side of jazz, including The Gateway Trio (featuring Dave Holland and John Abercrombie), Directions (with Abercrombie and saxophonist Alex Foster), and New Directions (Abercrombie, with Eddie Gomez on bass). Special Edition – which helped launch the careers of little known musicians like David Murray, Arthur Blythe, Chico Freeman, John Purcell and Rufus Reid – remained active into the 1990s, although the project was frequently interrupted by DeJohnette‟s various other collaborative ventures, especially recordings and tours with Keith Jarrett.

DeJohnette has worked extensively with Jarrett as part of a longstanding trio with Gary Peacock. The threesome will celebrate its 30th anniversary in 2013.

DeJohnette’s Peace Time won a Grammy in 2009 for Best New Age Album. The album consists of an hour-long, continuous piece of music that eMusic described as “flights of flute, soft hand drumming, and the gently percolating chime of cymbal play, moving the piece along a river of meditative delight.” But the 2009 Grammy is just one many awards that DeJohnette has received over the years, beginning in 1979 with the French Grand Prix Disc and Charles Cros awards. He has figured prominently into readers polls and critics polls conducted by Downbeat and JazzTimes over the past two decades. He was awarded an honorary doctorate of music from Berklee College of Music in Boston in 1991, and was inducted into the Percussive Arts Society‟s Hall of Fame in 2010.

(Bio adapted from DeJohnette’s official website.)

This program is hosted, engineered, produced, and edited by Joyce Jones. Listen for our On the Bandstand segment with NYC metro area appearances of Suga’ guests at the end of the first hour with Associate Producer Hank Williams.

One of DeJohnette’s latest recording projects is as a member of supergroup Hudson, which is the title of the Motéma release with guitarist John Scofiled, keyboardist John Medeski and bassist Larry Grenadier. DeJohnette and Hudson will be at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Rose Hall on October 6-7.

Web Extras:

Watch DeJohnette play with guitarist John Scofield and keyboardist Larry Goldings in this 2010 live clip.

Watch DeJohnette play with Miles Davis at the Isle of Wight concert in this 1970 live clip.

Watch DeJohnette play with Charles Lloyd’s quintet in this 1966 live clip.

Hank Williams is assistant producer for Suga’ in My Bowl and produces the weekly “On the Bandstand” segment as well as running the show’s website and blog, where he has reviewed several jazz festivals. His writing has also appeared in Left Turn magazine and American Music Review. He teaches at Lehman and Hunter colleges in the City University of New York system.

Sunday 9/17/2017 Show: Ray Mantilla

Photo: Ray Mantilla with World Saxophone Quartet & M’BOOM, Jazz Middelheim, BE, 2010 | © Bruno Bollaert via FlickrCreative Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0). Some Rights Reserved by the artist.

The next show will air on Sunday, September 17, 2017 from 11:00 PM – 1:00 AM Monday Eastern Standard Time on WBAI, 99.5 FM in the NYC metro area or streaming online at wbai.org. This broadcast features features “The Complete Percussionist,” composer and instructor Ray Mantilla.

Ray Mantilla was born in 1934 in the rhythm rich, dance-crazed atmosphere of the South Bronx where Afro-Cuban rhythmic forms transmogrified with jazz harmonies and sensibilities in the streets, the homes and dance halls. By 21, Mantilla was on the bandstand playing conga drums along with contemporaries Eddie Palmieri and Ray Barretto, playing that unique Neo-Nuyorican synthesis known as ‘salsa’.

With flutist Herbie Mann, Ray Mantilla entered the international spotlight in 1960. Then, Max Roach invited him to be part of the classic Freedom Now Suite recording. After a stint in Puerto Rico where he honed his skills on the trap set, Ray returned to the States to find himself touring nationally and in Europe and Japan with Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers. For the seven years Ray was with Blakey he occupied his off-hours doing studio work while recording and performing with almost every major figure in jazz including singers Eartha Kitt and Josephine Baker.

In 1977, Ray Mantilla became the first North American Latin musician to play in Cuba since the Cuban Revolution when he appeared there as an essential member of the historic goodwill ensemble led by Dizzy Gillespie.

Ray Mantilla’s career has included membership in many legendary Jazz and Latin Jazz ensembles. A short list of Mantilla’s credits includes, Max Roach, Charles Mingus, Ray Barretto, Gato Barbieri, Sonny Stitt, Bobby Watson, Herbie Mann, Tito Puente, Cedar Walton, and Freddie Hubbard. Prolific in the studio, Mantilla can be heard on more than 200 albums. Ray Mantilla appeared on the great recording, “Fifty Years of Mambo”, recorded live in Town Hall, New York, which received a Grammy nomination. He has appeared in all major clubs in New York City — the Apollo Theater, Palladium, Blue Note, SOB’s, Birdland, Fat Tuesday’s, Village Gate and the Village Vanguard in addition to many major international jazz festivals such as Sanremo, the Pori Jazz Festival, JVC Jazz Festival, Montreaux Jazz Festival and the Grande Parade du Jazz. He has been voted Percussionist of the Year by the Jazz Journalists Association as well as by major jazz periodicals from around the world – including Jazz Times (USA), Jazz Magazine (Italy), JazzThek (Germany) and others.

Ray Mantilla describes his music as “Latin Jazz with authentic Latino rhythms.” His goal, he says “is to keep playing good music, have people come to see us, and to preserve the tradition.” In 2003 Ray Mantilla signed with Savant Records and his first record for the label, Man-Ti-Ya was released (SCD 2059). His second recording, Good Vibrations (SCD 2073) climbed to the prestigious #1 one spot on jazz radio and remained there for over 3 weeks, overtaking artists such as Eddie Palmieri and Ray Barretto. Ray Mantilla’s latest release on Savant titled High Voltage was released earlier this year in April.

(Bio adapted from Mantilla’s official website.)

This program is hosted, engineered, produced, and edited by Joyce Jones. Listen for our On the Bandstand segment with NYC metro area appearances of Suga’ guests at the end of the first hour with Associate Producer Hank Williams.

Web Extras:

Watch Mantilla play in this 2014 live clip from Piacenza Italy.

Watch Mantilla play “Mambo Diablo” with Tito Puente in this live clip.

Watch Mantilla play  in this 2003 live clip from New York City’s JVC Jazz Festival.

Hank Williams is assistant producer for Suga’ in My Bowl and produces the weekly “On the Bandstand” segment as well as running the show’s website and blog, where he has reviewed several jazz festivals. His writing has also appeared in Left Turn magazine and American Music Review. He teaches at Lehman and Hunter colleges in the City University of New York system.

Sunday 9/3/2017 Show: Lenny White

Photo: Lenny White | © Tore Sætre. Creative Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0). Some Rights Reserved by the artist.

The next show will air on Sunday, August 20, 2017 from 11:00 PM – 1:00 AM Monday Eastern Standard Time on WBAI, 99.5 FM in the NYC metro area or streaming online at wbai.orgThis special rebroadcast features drummer, producer and composer  Lenny White.

Program Note: We’re rebroadcasting our previous show for the holiday weekend.

Lenny White is still best-known for being part of Chick Corea’s Return To Forever in the 1970’s. White was self-taught on drums and he largely started his career on top, playing regularly with Jackie McLean (1968) and recording Bitches Brew with Miles Davis in 1969. White was soon working with some of the who’s who of jazz including Freddie Hubbard, Joe Henderson, Woody Shaw, Gato Barbieri, Gil Evans, Stanley Clarke and Stan Getz among others. As a member of Return To Forever during 1973-76, White gained a strong reputation as one of the top fusion drummers, but he was always versatile enough to play in many settings. After the breakup of RTF, Lenny White headed several fusion projects but none of the recordings (for Nemperor and Elektra) have dated well at all, emphasizing commercial funk. However his work with the Echoes Of An Era and Griffith Park all-star groups were been more successful and he has been a valuable sideman for a wide variety of projects.

(Bio adapted from White’s page on Allmusic)

This program is hosted, engineered, produced, and edited by Joyce Jones. Listen for our On the Bandstand segment with NYC metro area appearances of Suga’ guests at the end of the first hour with Associate Producer Hank Williams.

Web Extras:

Watch White play in this 2014 live clip.

Watch White play with Chick Corea and Stanley Clarke in this 2014 live clip.

Watch White play “Sorceress” with Return to Forever in this 1976 live clip.

Hank Williams is assistant producer for Suga’ in My Bowl and produces the weekly “On the Bandstand” segment as well as running the show’s website and blog, where he has reviewed several jazz festivals. His writing has also appeared in Left Turn magazine and American Music Review. He teaches at Lehman and Hunter colleges in the City University of New York system.

Sunday 8/20/2017 Show: Lenny White

Photo: Lenny White | © Tore Sætre. Creative Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0). Some Rights Reserved by the artist.

The next show will air on Sunday, August 20, 2017 from 11:00 PM – 1:00 AM Monday Eastern Standard Time on WBAI, 99.5 FM in the NYC metro area or streaming online at wbai.org. This is a broadcast features drummer, producer and composer Lenny White.

Program Note: Our last show was pre-empted for WBAI’s Summer Fund Drive. We’re back to our normal schedule now.

Lenny White is still best-known for being part of Chick Corea’s Return To Forever in the 1970’s. White was self-taught on drums and he largely started his career on top, playing regularly with Jackie McLean (1968) and recording Bitches Brew with Miles Davis in 1969. White was soon working with some of the who’s who of jazz including Freddie Hubbard, Joe Henderson, Woody Shaw, Gato Barbieri, Gil Evans, Stanley Clarke and Stan Getz among others. As a member of Return To Forever during 1973-76, White gained a strong reputation as one of the top fusion drummers, but he was always versatile enough to play in many settings. After the breakup of RTF, Lenny White headed several fusion projects but none of the recordings (for Nemperor and Elektra) have dated well at all, emphasizing commercial funk. However his work with the Echoes Of An Era and Griffith Park all-star groups were been more successful and he has been a valuable sideman for a wide variety of projects.

(Bio adapted from White’s page on Allmusic)

This program is hosted, engineered, produced, and edited by Joyce Jones. Listen for our On the Bandstand segment with NYC metro area appearances of Suga’ guests at the end of the first hour with Associate Producer Hank Williams.

Lenny White will be at the Jazz Standard from August 31 to September 2 with Cyrus Chestnut’s trio.

Web Extras:

Watch White play in this 2014 live clip.

Watch White play with Chick Corea and Stanley Clarke in this 2014 live clip.

Watch White play “Sorceress” with Return to Forever in this 1976 live clip.

Hank Williams is assistant producer for Suga’ in My Bowl and produces the weekly “On the Bandstand” segment as well as running the show’s website and blog, where he has reviewed several jazz festivals. His writing has also appeared in Left Turn magazine and American Music Review. He teaches at Lehman and Hunter colleges in the City University of New York system.

Sunday 7/23/2017 Show: T.K. Blue

Photo: T.K. Blue | © Joyce Jones/ Suga Bowl Photography. Some Rights Reserved. Creative Commons CC-NC-BY-ND. Used with Permission.

The next show will air on Sunday, July 23, 2017 from 11:00 PM – 1:00 AM Monday Eastern Standard Time on WBAI, 99.5 FM in the NYC metro area or streaming online at wbai.orgThis broadcast features leader, composer, arranger, alto and soprano saxophones, flute, mbira, sanza, and lukembi player T.K. Blue.

T.K. Blue, also known as Talib Kibwe, was born in New York City of a Trinidadian mother and Jamaican father. T.K. began playing music at the age of 8 years old on trumpet. After two years his interest shifted to academic and athletic endeavors… He returned to his musical studies in High School while playing the flute.

He took lessons from Billy Mitchell, the legendary tenor saxophonist with Count Basie and Dizzy Gillespie, eventually pursuing music as a career after receiving a full academic scholarship to New York University, where he began playing soprano & alto saxophone. He earned a bachelor’s degree in both music and psychology. T.K. Blue went on to earn a master’s degree in music education from Teacher’s College at Columbia University.

After touring with Abdullah Ibrahim for three years, T.K. Blue moved to Paris, France to quench his cultural thirsts. Living in Paris afforded Blue numerous opportunities in traveling and performing in Africa.

T.K. Blue toured Europe with Sam Rivers and his eleven-piece saxophone choir called The Winds Of Manhattan. This group did a recording for Black Saint Records in Milan, Italy.

In Paris, T.K. connected with a group from Senegal called Xalam. He toured and recorded with Xalam for three years with the culmination in a feature film by Michel Blanc called Marche A’ L’Ombre.

In Paris T.K. Blue recorded his first project as a leader called Egyptian Oasis. This recording garnered many great reviews and eventually led Blue to tour Africa on three occasions for the USIA State Department, where he visited over 25 countries.

T.K. Blue met the great, iconic pianist during his stint with Abdullah Ibrahim. NEA Jazz Master Dr. Randy Weston was living in Annecy, France at this time. T.K. re-established his working relationship with Dr. Weston after moving to Paris. He went on to become Randy’s chief saxophonist/flutist, arranger, and musical director for over three decades. This union led to countless tours, recordings, concerts, clinics, radio, and television appearances.

T.K. Blue is the musical director and arranger for Dr. Randy Weston.

After moving back to NYC, T.K. debuted as Dr. Weston’s musical director during the recording of Spirit Of Our Ancestors on Verve Records. This project featured many jazz giants: Dizzy Gillespie, Pharoah Sanders, Idrees Sulieman, Benny Powell, Billy Harper, Dewey Redman, Alex Blake, Jamil Nasser, Idres Muhammad, Big Black, and Azzedin Weston.

While residing in Paris, T.K. Blue was blessed to meet the incredible poet Jayne Cortez in London during an international book fair organized by the late writer and activist John La Rose. He went on to become a member of Cortez’s backup band called the Firespitters, which recorded and toured internationally.

Blue has taught at Long Island University, but left the music faculty in 2014 to concentrate on performance, adjudication, clinics/workshops, and lessons for his private students.

T.K. Blue signed a new recording contract with Dot Time Records and his new CD is titled Amour.

(Bio adapted from http://www.tkblue.com/biography)

This program is hosted, engineered, produced, and edited by Joyce Jones. Listen for our On the Bandstand segment with NYC metro area appearances of Suga’ guests at the end of the first hour with Associate Producer Hank Williams.

T.K. Blue will be at Harlem’s Farafina Café on July 24. He’ll also be in Brooklyn on July 28 at Medgar Evers College’s Jazzy Jazz series for a free outdoor performance. He leads a quartet for the Jazzmobile series in Harlem on August 1 and appears at Jazzmobile’s popular Grant’s Tomb concert on August 23.

Web Extras:

Watch T.K. Blue in this 2017 live clip.

Watch T.K. Blue play the blues standard “Stormy Monday” with Nazzz Jazz in this 2014 live clip.

Watch the video preview for T.K. Blue’s Amour release.

Hank Williams is assistant producer for Suga’ in My Bowl and produces the weekly “On the Bandstand” segment as well as running the show’s website and blog, where he has reviewed several jazz festivals. His writing has also appeared in Left Turn magazine and American Music Review. He teaches at Lehman and Hunter colleges in the City University of New York system.

Sunday 7/9/2017 Show: Kelan Phil Cohran Memorial Broadcast

Photo: Kelan Phil Cohran @ the 2014 CIMMFEST, Concord Music Hall | © Jamie Bernstein. Some Rights Reserved. Creative Commons CC-NC-BY-ND.

The next show will air on Sunday, July 9, 2017 from 11:00 PM – 1:00 AM Monday Eastern Standard Time on WBAI, 99.5 FM in the NYC metro area or streaming online at wbai.orgThis show is a memorial broadcast in honor of multi instrumentalist, composer, bandleader, and teacher Kelan Phil Cohran featuring remembrances from artists Kahlil El’Zafar, Maia, Aquilla Graves Sadilla and son Gabriel Hubert, who is one of the member of Hypnotic Brass Ensemble.

“Women in wool hair chant their poetry. Phil Cohran gives us messages and music made of developed bone and polished and honed cult. It is the Hour of tribe and of vibration, the day-long Hour. It is the Hour of ringing, rouse, of ferment-festival. On Forty-third and Langley black furnaces resent ancient legislatures of play and scruple and practical gelatin. They keep the fever in, fondle the fever. All worship the Wall.” – Gwendolyn Brooks, “Two Dedications: II The Wall August 27, 1967”

Kelan Phil Cohran was born in Oxford, Mississippi (May 8, 1927 – June 28, 2017) and grew up in St. Louis, Missouri. ‘Kelan’ is an honorific meaning ‘holy scripture’ bestowed on him by Chinese Muslims during a visit to China. He played trumpet in bands led by Jay McShann in the early 1950s, and then in a U.S. Navy band.

He was introduced to the Sun Ra Arkestra by John Gilmore in 1959. He appeared on the albums Fate In A Pleasant Mood and Angels and Demons at Play among others. He played mostly trumpet and sometimes stringed instruments such as the zither. He can be heard with The Arkestra on “Rocket Number Nine,” “Fate In A Pleasant Mood,” “Holiday For Soul Dance” and “We Travel The Spaceways,” but his most striking contribution was his ukelin zither playing on “Angels And Demons At Play.” Cohran’s harp-like fills working against Sun Ra’s organ on “Music From The World Tomorrow” and his abstract stabs against astral flute on the title track epitomise The Arkestra’s ‘black to the future’ concept like no other early Sun Ra recordings.

When the Arkestra moved from Chicago in 1961, Cohran declined to accompany them. In 1965 he took part in the founding of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM). The first meeting was held in Cohran’s house on his birthday.

Early in his career, he invented an instrument he called the Frankiphone or the Space Harp, which is actually an electrified mbira or kalimba; he played it on some of Sun Ra’s early albums. This instrument inspired Maurice White to use an electrified Kalimba in performance with Earth, Wind and Fire. “On the Beach” features the Frankiphone on the title track, as well as a piece called “New Frankiphone Blues”.

He formed the Artistic Heritage Ensemble with Pete Cosey, future members of Earth, Wind and Fire’s horn section and Motown percussionist “Master” Henry Gibson, among others. By this time, he was playing the harp, cornet, French horn, baritone saxophone and percussion. The group recorded the album On the Beach around 1967, which there was a celebration scheduled on the day of this broadcast in Chicago to recognize its 50th anniversary .

In the autumn of 1967, Cohran set up the Affro-Arts Theatre as a permanent home for the kind of events that were taking place on the beach that summer. “The band played Friday, Saturday and Sunday, that’s how we paid our bills because we had a popular band,” Cohran says. “We trained music, history; we had Hebrew, Arabic and Swahili taught free; civilization classes, forums. We also held conferences there, one conference of Third World countries.” The reissue of On The Beach includes a live version of their most famous track, “Unity”, recorded at the Affro-Arts Theatre on 15 February 1968.

Unfortunately, not everyone involved in the Affro-Arts Theatre was of one thought. After some internal turmoil, at the end of 1968 Cohran left the group and the theatre to teach at Malcolm X Junior College.

Several of Cohran’s sons make up seven of the nine members of the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, which consists of four trumpets, two trombones, one euphonium, a sousaphone and drums. Cohran taught voice and music to inner city youth and adults at Northeastern Illinois University’s Center for Inner City Studies. He died in Chicago on June 28, 2017 at the age of 90.

(Bio adapted from Wikipedia)

This program is hosted, engineered, produced, and edited by Joyce Jones. Listen for our On the Bandstand segment with NYC metro area appearances of Suga’ guests at the end of the first hour with Associate Producer Hank Williams.

Web Extras:

Watch “Brother Phil” sing “Boon to a Loon” in this 2014 live performance in São Paulo.

Watch Cohran play the Frankiphone in this short clip.

Watch Cohran join the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble to play “Cuernavaca” in this live clip.

Hank Williams is assistant producer for Suga’ in My Bowl and produces the weekly “On the Bandstand” segment as well as running the show’s website and blog, where he has reviewed several jazz festivals. His writing has also appeared in Left Turn magazine and American Music Review. He teaches at Lehman and Hunter colleges in the City University of New York system.

Sunday 6/25/2017 Show: James Brandon Lewis

Photo: James Brandon Lewis @ the Cell Theater | © Joyce Jones/ Suga Bowl Photography. Some Rights Reserved. Creative Commons CC-NC-BY-ND. Used with Permission.

The next show will air on Sunday, June 25, 2017 from 11:00 PM – 1:00 AM Monday Eastern Standard Time on WBAI, 99.5 FM in the NYC metro area or streaming online at wbai.org. This week’s show features an interview with up-and-coming saxophonist James Brandon Lewis.

Visionary composer and tenor saxophonist James Brandon Lewis’s bravest, yet most palpable artistic feat, Days Of FreeMan, opens with a poignant and profound introductory monologue from a maternal sage. She says, “The best thing of living is living who you are. You can’t be somebody else; you gotta be what God gave you to be and who you are. You look in the mirror and see yourself and say ‘I’m James Brandon Lewis.”’Next, bass and drums congeal around the sapphire melodic motif of “Brother 1976,” recalling one of those jazzy jewel-like hooks from a 1990s Native Tongue hip-hop jam. The effect is like 1990s hip-hop’s fascination with jazz being spit back by a prodigious jazz innovator. Welcome to Days Of FreeMan.

James Brandon Lewis is one of the modern titans of the tenor. He’s received accolades from mainstream cultural tastemakers such as Ebony Magazine who hailed him as one of “7 Young Players to Watch,” and earned the respect of a diverse cross section of esteemed artists. James has shared stages with such icons as Benny Golson, Geri Allen, Wallace Roney, Grammy® Award-winning singer Dorinda Clark Cole, and the late “Queen of Gospel Music,” Albertina Walker. In bold contrast, James has also worked with such intrepid artists as Weather Report bassist Alphonso Johnson, William Parker, Gerald Cleaver, Charles Gayle, Ed Shuller, Kirk Knuffke, Jason Hwang , Marilyn Crispell, Ken Filiano, Cooper Moore, Darius Jones, Eri Yamamoto, Federico Ughi, Kenny Wessel, Marvin “Bugalu” Smith, and Sabir Mateen. In addition, he has collaborated with the dance company CircuitDebris under the direction of Mersiha Mesihovic. James attended Howard University and holds an MFA from California Institute of the Arts.

Currently, James resides in New York City where he actively gigs as a sideman and leads his own ensembles. In NYC, he is a co-founder of “Heroes Are Gang Leaders” with poet Thomas Sayers Ellis—a collective of poets and musicians—and he is a member of the collective “Dark Matter,” a conceptual musical collaboration exploring that which is invisible but is detected by it’s gravitational effects. Outside NYC, James is an active national and international touring artist with a highly respected profile. Some career highlights are playing such esteemed festivals as Winter Jazz Festival /Sony Okeh records Showcase with William Parker and Gerald Cleaver; The Eric Dolphy Festival with an ensemble featuring Grachan Moncur III, Richard Davis, Andrew Cyrille, Angelica Sanchez , Ted Daniel , and Alfred Patterson; and Princeton University as part of Fred Ho’s “Journey to the West,” an interdisciplinary dance and music project.

James is deep in an intrepid artistic continuum that explores identity and spirituality through challenging and awe-inspiring concepts and epiphanic playing that melds formalistic technique, bold exploration, and strains of gospel and blues. Each new James Brandon Lewis release presents a rich dialogue with his audience that is both fiery and cerebral. For his third album, Days Of FreeMan, he uses ideas from 1990s hip-hop to masterfully weave together threads of cultural identity, cross-generational identity, and personal reflection.

“I didn’t grow up a hip-hop head, but where I grew up in Buffalo, New York, on Freeman Street, the sound of 1990s hip-hop was ubiquitous,” James says. “I decided to go back and explore that time through music.”

Days Of Freeman is imaginatively organized in chapters with classic hip-hop style breaks and interludes functioning as chapter breathers. Like the cross-cultural and generational mosaic on Freeman Street proper, the album invites the listener into many dialogues. It is a nod to 1990s hip-hop, and explores rhyme-scapes and the musical conventions of that golden age of hip-hop in a revolutionary way. The album also explores hip-hop as a culture through taking inspiration from the original four pillars of hip-hop: dance, rapping, graffiti, and DJ-ing. Days Of FreeMan also loosely functions as a memoir with an underlay of nostalgia for the carefree boyhood days of fly nicknames, basketball, and those first encounters with the transformative power of music. Adding to the power and emotionality of this thread on growing up, are pontifications on love, identity, and God peppered throughout the album, culled from informal conversations James recorded with his grandmother, Pearl Lewis. James’s immersive creative process to realize his vision for Days Of FreeMan include poring over hip-hop documentaries for up to eight hours a day, and dissecting albums by KRS-One, Digable Planets, Pete Rock & CL Smooth, A Tribe Called Quest, Medeski, Martin & Wood, along with fearless jazz trumpeter Don Cherry’s 1985 album Home Boy and Lauryn Hill’s 1998 masterpiece The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill.

How all of this preparation plays out musically is stunning. For years instrumentalists held fast to the lofty notion of “singing through the instrument,” but on Days Of FreeMan, Lewis aspires to MC through his tenor. The album’s title track perfectly captures the clipped cadence of a master MC with speech-like phrases and a long flowing solo that conjures up a blazing freestyle battle rap session. “Black Ark” traces the legacy of hip-hop from the balmy and pioneering dub explorations of Lee “Scratch” Perry in Jamaica (“Black Ark” is the name of his famed studio) to the burgeoning sounds of hip-hop blaring out in the Bronx. On “Lament for JLew,” in five vigorous minutes James ties together the dual lineages of classical music to hip-hop and classical music to rock using original classical-flavored motifs to illustrate the overlaps.The second to last track of Days Of FreeMan is the political and timely “Unarmed With A Mic” and is a reminder of hip-hop’s power as a form of protest music. On this track Lewis plays with seething sentimentality. The album concludes with “Epilogue,” a reprise of the infectious melody of the opening track “Brother 1976.”

On the album Lewis is accompanied by former Ornette Coleman Prime Time bassist Jamaaladeen Tacuma and Bill Frisell and Ravi Coltrane drummer Rudy Royston. Both took the weighty undertaking of album deeply, researching 1990s hip-hop jams for inspiration and vision. Their attention to the vocabulary of the era Lewis sought to explore, and their panoramic musicality and sympathetic musical skills, match James’s artistic ideal to authentically and thoroughly fuse genres and cultures without pandering to trends in jazz-groove records. The record also features a guest spot from the gifted freestyle rapper Supernatural on the track “Days Of FreeMan.”

Days of FreeMan has turned out to be one James Brandon Lewis’s most ambitious works, and, interestingly enough, his most accessible. Reflecting on this intriguing duality he says: “The artist is charged with taking creative risks, but the universe lined up this time and I was able to connect with my audience conversationally.”

The James Brandon Lewis Trio’s latest release No Filter (BNS Records, 2016) is considered “an edgy but short LP which pays respect to early 90’s hip hop, experimental jazz, and groove” by All About Jazz.

(Bio from Lewis’s website)

This program is hosted, engineered, produced, and edited by Joyce Jones. Listen for our On the Bandstand segment with NYC metro area appearances of Suga’ guests at the end of the first hour with Associate Producer Hank Williams.

James Brandon Lewis will be at Scholes Street Studio in Brooklyn NY on July 1.

Web Extras:

Watch the video preview of Lewis’s Days of FreeMan release.

Watch  the James Brandon Lewis Trio play live in this short clip.

Watch  Lewis play with Heroes are Gang Leaders in this live clip.

Hank Williams is assistant producer for Suga’ in My Bowl and produces the weekly “On the Bandstand” segment as well as running the show’s website and blog, where he has reviewed several jazz festivals. His writing has also appeared in Left Turn magazine and American Music Review. He teaches at Lehman and Hunter colleges in the City University of New York system.

Sunday 6/11/2017 Show: Charnett Moffett

Photo: Charnett Moffett @ the Jazz Standard | © Joyce Jones/ Suga Bowl Photography. Some Rights Reserved. Creative Commons CC-NC-BY-ND. Used with Permission.

The next show will air on Sunday, June 11, 2017 from 11:00 PM – 1:00 AM Monday Eastern Standard Time on WBAI, 99.5 FM in the NYC metro area or streaming online at wbai.org“Suga’ In My Bowl” celebrates Charnett Moffett by recognizing his 30 years as a leader and his latest release titled Music From Our Soul on Motéma Records. We talked to him right before his recent Jazz Standard performance.

Whether as the leader or in a supportive role, Charnett Moffett’s intense and energetic solos inspire audience ovations around the world. Whether touring with his band or with his show-stopping solo bass project, Solo Bass Works, Moffett’s astounding virtuosity and heartfelt approach to performing have made him a favorite at jazz festivals worldwide.

Appearing on over 200 recordings, Charnett Moffett is a veritable bass legend and has one of the most distinguished careers in jazz. His father, Charles was the drummer for the late great Ornette Coleman, which led to Charnett being raised among jazz royalty and being exposed to adventurous musical sounds even from the womb which may explain his intense and relentless creativity.

Charnett, who was named after his father Charles and mentor to be, Ornette, later in life became a first call bassist for his legendary namesake and remains today as one of the leading practitioners of Coleman’s famed Harmelodic philosophy of music making. Moffett brings Ornette’s philosophies to new generations by bringing a free jazz spirit to his own inventive (yet structured) music which includes elements of classic jazz, free jazz, bop, classical, world, rock, pop, trance and various indigenous sounds from around the globe. These many influences are reflected both in his group projects and in his truly unique solo show “Solo Bass Works” in which he somehow manages to evoke all of these influences in a most musical manner from his solo bass in ways that mesmerizes audiences and defies expectations of what a bassist might achieve. His relentless quest for expanding the limits of the bass have led and Jazziz Magazine to comment that he has ‘jaw-dropping virtuosity”, and AllMusic.com to call him “one of the greatest bassists of the early 21st century.”

Moffett first appeared on a recording at age seven with the Moffett Family Band. At age 16 he attended Juilliard briefly and then left to join the Wynton Marsalis Quintet, kicking off a non-stop career working with innumerable icons of music including Art Blakey, Ornette Coleman, McCoy Tyner, Tony Williams, Dizzy Gillespie, Herbie Hancock, Dianne Reeves, Arturo Sandoval, Anita Baker, Stanley Jordan, Harry Connick Jr., David Sanborn, Branford Marsalis, Bette Midler, Melody Gardot and so many more.

Moffett is on the multi-Grammy-winning Motéma Music label where he has recorded five albums since 2010, his newest recording, Music From Our Soul, was released in May, 2017 and features an all-star cast – Pharaoh Sanders, Stanley Jordan, Cyrus Chestnut, Jeff ‘Tain’ Watts, Victor Lewis and Mike Clark – all long-time collaborators from his thirty years as a lead recording artist.

(Bio from Moffett’s website)

This program is hosted, engineered, produced, and edited by Joyce Jones. Listen for our On the Bandstand segment with NYC metro area appearances of Suga’ guests at the end of the first hour with Associate Producer Hank Williams.

Charnett Moffett will be at The Side Door Jazz club in Old Lyme CT on June 10.

Web Extras:

Watch Moffett play a solo version of “Eleanor Rigby” in this live 2013 performance.

Watch  Moffett with Will Calhoun and Marc Cary play “Afro Blue” in this 2013 live set at the Blue Note.

Watch  Moffett on the electric bass with the “NettWork” trio, including Stanley Jordan and Jeff “Tain” Watts live at Birdland.

Hank Williams is assistant producer for Suga’ in My Bowl and produces the weekly “On the Bandstand” segment as well as running the show’s website and blog, where he has reviewed several jazz festivals. His writing has also appeared in Left Turn magazine and American Music Review. He teaches at Lehman and Hunter colleges in the City University of New York system.

Sunday 5/28/2017 Show: Kidd Jordan

Photo: Kidd Jordan @ the 2016 Vision Fest | © Joyce Jones/ Suga Bowl Photography. Some Rights Reserved. Creative Commons CC-NC-BY-ND. Used with Permission.

The next show will air on Sunday, May 28, 2017 from 11:00 PM – 1:00 AM Monday Eastern Standard Time on WBAI, 99.5 FM in the NYC metro area or streaming online at wbai.org. Suga’ In My Bowl continues its Vision 22 coverage featuring the 2008 Lifetime of Achievement recipient composer, saxophonist, teacher and mentor Edward “Kidd” Jordan.

Edward “Kidd” Jordan (May 5, 1935) was born in Crowley, Louisiana, and was raised during the time when rice farming was the predominant economic activity in the area. Jordan has noted that the music in southwestern Louisiana was “strictly Zydeco and Blues from way around, and that’s what I came up listening to.” Zydeco musician Clifton Chenier hailed from the same area, as did tenor saxophonist Illinois Jacquet (whose music teacher also instructed Jordan).

Jordan’s first instruments were C-melody and alto saxophones. While in high school, Jordan began performing “stock arrangements for three or four saxophones” with some older musicians, and immersed himself in the music of Charlie Parker. Jordan read transcribed solos in Down Beat magazine but also learned Parker’s music by ear. He credits Illinois Jacquet with first giving him the idea of playing free improvisation, but was more profoundly affected by the free jazz of Ornette Coleman (who had previously performed in the area with blues bands).

Jordan majored in music education at Southern University, attending the school at the same time as Alvin Batiste (his brother-in-law). He originally planned to become a classical alto saxophonist. He moved to New Orleans in 1955, and began playing frequent R&B gigs with musicians such as Guitar Slim, Ray Charles, Big Maybelle, Big Joe Turner, Chuck Willis (with George Adams on baritone) and Choker Campbell. Jordan has described these gigs as being “satisfying for me, because there was a feeling that you’d get from dealing with that. I’ve played with some of the great female vocalists, from Gladys Knight to Aretha Franklin, or Big Maybelle, Little Esther, Lena Horne, and there’s an aesthetic in dealing with those people that a whole lot of people don’t get to. And the aesthetic from the Blues is a part of the thing that I want to have in my playing. I don’t care how out it gets.”

Jordan performs on tenor, baritone, soprano, alto, C-melody and sopranino saxophones, as well as contrabass and bass clarinets. He has indicated a preference for playing “outside” music (for example, free improvisation) on tenor, because he closely associates the alto with his earlier study of classical repertoire, tone, and technique. Jordan has performed and recorded with a wide selection of musicians in styles ranging from R&B to avant-garde jazz, including Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, R.E.M., William Parker, Alvin Fielder, Archie Shepp, Fred Anderson, Ornette Coleman, Ellis Marsalis, Cannonball Adderley, Ed Blackwell, and Cecil Taylor. In 2008, he was awarded a lifetime recognition honor by the Vision Festival.

In his performances and recordings his music is entirely improvised: “Everything you hear on my albums is improvised.” he explains. “It’s collective improvisation, but there are no tunes. I tried writing down ideas a long time ago but I don’t do that anymore.”


The French Ministry of Culture recognized Jordan as a Knight (Chevalier) of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 1985. The French government bestowed him with their highest artistic award for his impetus as a visionary educator and performer.

Jordan taught Donald Harrison and Branford Marsalis while the two were teenagers, and was an instructor at New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA). As an instructor of jazz studies at Southern University at New Orleans, Jordan encouraged his students to pursue new approaches to traditional musical forms. One of Jordan’s students was trombonist Charles Joseph, who would go on to co-found the Dirty Dozen Brass Band. Jordan composed “Kidd Jordan’s Second Line” for the Dirty Dozen Brass Band prior to their first European appearance in 1982, and has also performed with the band.

In 2006, Jordan lost his home and most of his possessions during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. A few weeks after the hurricane, he recorded the album Palm of Soul in Brooklyn with William Parker and Hamid Drake. Jordan has since returned to New Orleans In 2011, the television series Treme featured a track from Palm of Soul, “Last of the Chicken Wings.” Jordan later made a brief appearance in Treme.

(Bio adapted from Wikipedia)

Vision 22 starts Sunday, May 28 at Anthology Film Archives. Vision 22 features film, dance, music, visual art and poetry. Suga’ will open the program with a spoken word piece titled “Negroidal Noise” by Kalamu Ya Salaam featuring Kidd Jordan from his release My Story My Song.

Kidd Jordan will appear at Vision 22 on Friday, June 2, for the 9:30 p.m. set with the Dave Burrell Quartet: Dave Burrell – Piano, Kidd Jordan – Tenor Saxophone, William Parker – Bass, William Hooker – Drums. See our blog for an extended preview and full coverage of this year’s Vision Fest. WBAI proudly returns as a media sponsor.

This program is hosted, engineered, produced, and edited by Joyce Jones. Listen for our On the Bandstand segment with NYC metro area appearances of Suga’ guests at the end of the first hour with Associate Producer Hank Williams.

Web Extras:

Watch Jordan lead a quartet with bassist William Parker, drummer Hamid Drake, and the late violinist Billy Bang in this live performance.

Watch  Jordan with drummer Milford Graves and pianist DD Jackson in this 2013 live performance at the Vision Festival.

Watch  Jordan in this 2017 improvised set at the Hi Ho Lounge in New Orleans.

Hank Williams is assistant producer for Suga’ in My Bowl and produces the weekly “On the Bandstand” segment as well as running the show’s website and blog, where he has reviewed several jazz festivals. His writing has also appeared in Left Turn magazine and American Music Review. He teaches at Lehman and Hunter colleges in the City University of New York system.

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