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Hank Williams

Hank Williams has written 200 posts for Suga' in My Bowl

Tuesday 3/12/2019 Show: Carla Bley

Photo: Carla Bley | © Klaus Muempher. All Rights Reserved by photographer.

Program note: we’re in a new weekly Tuesday night slot from 10-12 midnight!

The next show will air on Tuesday March 12, 2019 from 10:00 PM – 12 Midnight 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 pianist Carla Bley.

Post-bop jazz has produced only a few first-rate composers of larger forms; Carla Bley ranks high among them. Bley possesses an unusually wide compositional range; she combines an acquaintance with and love for jazz in all its forms with great talent and originality. Her music is a peculiarly individual type of hyper-modern jazz. Bley is capable of writing music of great drama and profound humor, often within the confines of the same piece. As an instrumentalist, she makes a fine composer; she plays piano and/or organ with most of her bands, and while her playing is always quite musical, it’s clear that her strengths lie elsewhere. Bley’s asymmetrical compositional structures subvert jazz formula to wonderful effect, and her unpredictable melodies are often as catchy as they are obscure. In the tradition of jazz’s very finest composers and improvisers, Bley has developed a style of her very own, and the music as a whole is the better for it.

Born Carla Borg, Bley learned the fundamentals of music as a child from her father, a church musician. Thereafter, she was mostly self-taught. She moved to New York around 1955, where she worked as a cigarette girl and occasional pianist. She married pianist Paul Bley, for whom she began to write tunes (she also wrote for George Russell and Jimmy Giuffre). In 1964, with her second husband, trumpeter Michael Mantler, Bley formed the Jazz Composer’s Guild Orchestra, which a year later became known simply as the Jazz Composer’s Orchestra. Two years later, Bley helped found the Jazz Composer’s Orchestra Association, a nonprofit organization designed to present, distribute, and produce unconventional forms of jazz.

In 1967, vibist Gary Burton’s quartet recorded Bley’s cycle of tunes A Genuine Tong Funeral, which brought her to the attention of the general public for the first time. In 1969, Bley composed and arranged music for Charlie Haden’s Liberation Music Orchestra. In 1971, she completed the work that cemented her reputation, the jazz opera Escalator Over the Hill. In the ’70s and ’80s, Bley continued to run the JCOA and compose and record for her own Watt label. The JCOA essentially folded in the late ’80s, but Bley’s creative life continued mostly unabated. For much of the past two decades, she’s maintained a midsized big band with fairly stable personnel to tour and record. She’s also worked a great deal with the bassist Steve Swallow, in duo and in ensembles of varying size.

Bley wrote the music for the soundtrack to the 1985 film Mortelle Randone. She also contributed new compositions to the Liberation Music Orchestra’s second incarnation in 1983. All through the ’80s, ’90s, and into the new millennium, Bley continued releasing albums through ECM, ranging from duets with bassist Steve Swallow to the Very Big Carla Bley Band. In 2013, Bley returned with Trios, featuring Swallow and saxophonist Andy Sheppard; the album marked the very first time that the pianist recorded for ECM proper instead of WATT, which had been her home for over 40 years.

[(Bio adapted from  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.

Carla Bley will make a rare New York appearance at the Jazz Standard on March 19-20 leading a trio including longtime collaborator Steve Swallow.

Web Extras:

Watch Bley and Steve Swallow in this live  version of “Lawns.”

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 College in the City University of New York system.

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Tuesday 3/5/2019 Show: Jaimie Branch

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

Program note: we’re in a new weekly Tuesday night slot from 10-12 midnight!

The next show will air on Tuesday March 5, 2019 from 10:00 PM – 12 Midnight 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 trumpeter Jaimie Branch. We discuss a few of her projects including Fly or Die, Anteloper with drummer Jason Nazary and varying sideman projects including Fay Victor’s “Mutations for Justice,” James Brandon Lewis’ “An Unruly Manifesto” and Party Knüllers.

Jaimie Branch is a Huntington, Long Island native, who became a mainstay of the Chicago jazz scene and an active recent addition to the New York scene, Jaimie Branch is an avant-garde trumpeter known for her “ghostly sounds,” says The New York Times, and for “sucker punching” crowds straight from the jump off, says Time Out . Her classical training from the New England Conservatory (NEC) and “unique voice capable of transforming every ensemble of which she is a part” (Jazz Right Now) has contributed to a wide range of projects not only in jazz but also punk, noise, indie rock, electronic and hip-hop. Branch’s prolific as-of-yet underexposed work as a composer and a producer, as well as a sideman for the likes of William Parker, Matana Roberts, TV on the Radio and Spoon, is all on display in her debut record Fly or Die – a dynamic 35-minute ride that dares listeners to open their minds to music that knows no genre, no gender, no limits.

[(Bio adapted from the International Anthem Recording 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:

Read

Watch the video preview of Branch’s Fly or Die album.

Watch Branch in this live performance.

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 College in the City University of New York system.

Tuesday 2/12/2019 Show: Camille Thurman

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

Program note: we’re in a new weekly Tuesday night slot from 10-12 midnight!

The next show will air on Tuesday February 12, 2019 from 10:00 PM – 12 Midnight 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 saxophonist, flute player, composer, clarinetist, bandleader and educator Camille Thurman.

Acclaimed by Downbeat Magazine as a “rising star” singer with “soulful inflection and remarkable, Fitzgerald-esque scat prowess” and hailed by All About Jazz as a “first class saxophonist that blows the proverbial roof of the place”, Camille Thurman has been amazing audiences throughout the world with her impeccable sound, remarkable vocal virtuosity and captivating artistry. Many have praised her vocal abilities to the likeness of Ella Fitzgerald and Betty Carter. Her lush, rich & warm sound on the tenor saxophone has led others to compare her to tenor greats Joe Henderson and Dexter Gordon.

An accomplished performer, educator and composer, Thurman has worked with notable Jazz and R&B icons such as George Coleman, Roy Haynes, Dianne Reeves, Wynton Marsalis & the Jazz At Lincoln Center Orchestra, Buster Williams, Charles Tolliver, Jack DeJohnette, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Terri Lyne Carrington, Jon Hendricks, Harry Connick Jr., Audra MacDonald, Diana Krall, Pattie LaBelle, Gladys Knight, Chaka Khan, Louis Hayes, Russell Malone, Nicholas Payton, Jacky Terrasson, Janelle Monae, Alicia Keys, Lalah Hathaway, Jill Scott and Erykah Badu among others.

Thurman has performed at the Kennedy Center, Rose Theater, Alice Tully Hall, Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, the Charlie Parker Jazz Festival, The Library of Congress, the Sydney International Women in Jazz Festival, the Tomsk International Jazz Festival, the International Fano Jazz Festival and many other prominent jazz venues and festivals around the world. She has performed and toured throughout China, Africa, South America, Europe and Central America with her band. A 2018 season highlight includes performing with Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz At Lincoln Center Orchestra for the world premier of the historic work “The Every Fonky Lowdown” as a featured vocalist.

Thurman is a recipient of the Martin E. Segal –Lincoln Center Award for Outstanding Young Artists and was a runner up in the 2013 Sarah Vaughan International Vocal Competition. SF Jazz named Camille as one of “10 Rising Female Instrumentalists You Should Know” and she was featured in a ground breaking New York Times article recognizing women jazz musicians. She was a two-time award winning recipient of the ASCAP Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composers Award and a winner of the Fulbright Scholars Cultural Ambassador Grant to Nicaragua and Paraguay. In 2018 she along with the Darrell Green Trio was selected by the U.S. State Department to tour 5 countries in Africa as a U.S. Cultural Ambassador. Her compositions were featured and performed by her quartet in the ASCAP/ The Kennedy Center “Songwriters: The Next Generation” showcase. Camille has appeared on BET’s Black Girls Rock as the saxophonist & flutist in the All Star Band.

[(Bio adapted from Thurman’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.

Web Extras:

ReadThurman’s commentary on her experiences with sexual harassment in music at the Musician’s Union Local 802 blog.

Watch Thurman perform “Change of Mind” in this live clip from 2012.

Watch the trailer for Thurman’s 2018 Waiting for the Sunrise album

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 College in the City University of New York system.

Tuesday 1/29/2019 Show: Randy Weston Memorial

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

Program note: we’re in a new weekly Tuesday night slot from 10-12 midnight!

The next show will air on Tuesday January 29, 2019 from 10:00 PM – 12 Midnight 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 pianist, composer and pan-Africanist Randy Weston. This program originally aired on September 21, 2010 in celebration of the 50th anniversary of Baba Weston’s release “Uhuru Africa” and his autobiography “arranged by” Willard Jenkins titled “African Rhythms: The Autobiography of Randy Weston.” Baba Weston was the “composer” of this book.

NEA Jazz Master and practitioner of African rhythms Randy Weston has never failed to make the connections between African and American music. His dedication is due in large part to his father, Frank Edward Weston, who told his son that he was, “an African born in America.”

Growing up in Brooklyn, Weston was surrounded by a rich musical community: he knew Max Roach, Cecil Payne, and Duke Jordan; Eddie Heywood lived across the street; Wynton Kelly was a cousin. Most influential of all was Monk, who tutored Weston upon visits to his apartment. Weston began working professionally in R&B bands in the late ’40s before playing in the bebop outfits of Payne and Kenny Dorham. After signing with Riverside in 1954, Weston led his own trios and quartets and attained a prominent reputation as a composer, contributing jazz standards like “Hi-Fly” and “Little Niles” to the repertoire. He also met arranger Melba Liston, who has collaborated with Weston off and on into the ’90s. Weston’s interest in his roots was stimulated by extended stays in Africa; he visited Nigeria in 1961 and 1963, lived in Morocco from 1968 to 1973 following a tour, and has remained fascinated with the music and spiritual values of the continent ever since. In the ’70s, Weston made recordings for Arista-Freedom, Polydor, and CTI while maintaining a peripatetic touring existence — mostly in Europe — returning to Morocco in the mid-’80s.

After contributing seven decades of musical direction and genius, Randy Weston remained one of the world’s foremost pianists and composers today, a true innovator and visionary.

Randy Weston joined the ancestors on September 1, 2018.

[(Bio adapted from 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 Weston and the African Rhythms ensemble perform “Blue Moses” in this live clip from approximately 2010.

Watch Weston and saxophonist Billy Harper perform “Blues to Senegal” 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 College in the City University of New York system.

Tuesday 1/22/2019 Show: Joey DeFrancesco

Photo: Joey DeFrancesco

Program note: we’re in a new weekly Tuesday night slot from 10-12 midnight!

The next show will air on Tuesday January 22, 2019 from 10:00 PM – 12 Midnight 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 organist, trumpeter, vocalist and tenor saxophonist Joey DeFrancesco.

Raised in Philadelphia, this is where the foundation of his musical roots in Jazz, Blues and other musical art forms were born. To hear Joey DeFrancesco today, his music embodies the traditional art form infused with a distinct modern approach, just part of what makes his music unmistakably his own.

Joey DeFrancesco’s emergence in the 1980s marked the onset of a musical renaissance. Organ jazz had all but gone into hibernation from the mid-’70s to the mid-’80s until DeFrancesco reignited the flame with his vintage Hammond organ and Leslie speaker cabinet. The son of “Papa” John DeFrancesco, an organist himself, the younger DeFrancesco remembers playing as early as four-years-old. Soon after, his father began bringing him to gigs in Philadelphia, sitting in with legendary players like Hank Mobley and Philly Joe Jones, who quickly recognized his talent and enthusiasm. With a natural gift for music, DeFrancesco also swiftly picked up on the trumpet after a touring stint with Miles Davis as one of the two youngest players ever recruited for any of Davis’ ensembles.

DeFrancesco has recorded and/or toured with his own groups as well as numerous renowned artists that include Ray Charles, Diana Krall, Nancy Wilson, George Benson, James Moody, John Scofield, Bobby Hutcherson, Jimmy Cobb, John McLaughlin, Larry Coryell, David Sanborn and many more. The four time Grammy® Award-nominee, with more than 30 recordings as a leader under his belt, has received countless Jazz Journalist Association awards and other accolades worldwide, including being inducted into the inaugural Hammond Organ Hall of Fame in 2014, the Philadelphia Music Walk of Fame in 2016 as well as topping the Critics Polls in DownBeat Magazine eleven times over the past fifteen years and the Readers Polls every year since 2005. DeFrancesco also hosts a weekly program on SiriusXM Radio’s Real Jazz channel titled “Organized.”

In 2018, DeFrancesco toured in support of his Grammy nominated record, Project Freedom, as well as select concert dates celebrating the collaborative recording with iconic recording artist Van Morrison, titled You’re Driving Me Crazy.

DeFrancesco’s latest “In The Key Of The Universe” will be released on March 1, 2019 on Mack Avenue Records.

[(Bio adapted from the Oberlin College 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.

Joey DeFrancesco will be at the Jazz Standard on Wednesday February 27 in a release event for “In The Key Of The Universe” with previous Suga’ guest Billy Hart on drums and Troy Roberts on tenor saxophone.

Web Extras:

Watch DeFrancesco perform “Blues for Bobby C” in this live clip

 

Watch DeFrancesco with guitarist John McLaughlin 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 College in the City University of New York system.

Tuesday 1/15/2019 Show: Nancy Wilson

Photo: Nancy Wilson | © John Mathew Smith – Date Unknown.

Program note: We’ve moved to a weekly slot on Tuesday nights from 10 PM-Midnight!

The next show will air on Tuesday January 15, 2019 from 10:00 PM – 12 Midnight 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 song stylist Nancy Wilson. This was the third interview show host Joyce Jones ever conducted, and an abbreviated version originally aired on March 8, 2007, as part of WBAI Radio’s International Working Women’s Day programming.

Born February 20, 1937, in Chillicothe, Ohio, Wilson first attracted notice performing the club circuit in nearby Columbus; she quickly earned a growing reputation among jazz players and fans, and she was recording regularly by the late ’50s, eventually signing to Capitol and issuing LPs including 1959’s Like in Love and Nancy Wilson with Billy May’s Orchestra. Her dates with Shearing, including 1960’s The Swingin’s Mutual, solidified her standing as a talent on the rise, and her subsequent work with Adderley — arguably her finest recordings — further cemented her growing fame and reputation.

In the years to follow, however, Wilson often moved away from jazz, much to the chagrin of purists; she made numerous albums, many of them properly categorized as pop and R&B outings, and toured extensively, appearing with everyone from Nat King Cole and Sarah Vaughan to Ruth Brown and LaVern Baker. She even hosted her own Emmy-winning variety series for NBC, The Nancy Wilson Show, and was a frequent guest performer on other programs; hits of the period included “Tell Me the Truth,” “How Glad I Am,” “Peace of Mind,” and “Now, I’m a Woman.” Regardless of how far afield she traveled, Wilson always maintained her connections to the jazz world, and in the ’80s, she returned to the music with a vengeance, working closely with performers including Hank Jones, Art Farmer, Ramsey Lewis, and Benny Golson. By the 1990s, she was a favorite among the “new adult contemporary” market, her style ideally suited to the format’s penchant for lush, romantic ballads; she also hosted the Jazz Profiles series on National Public Radio.

In the early 2000s, Wilson recorded two albums with Ramsey Lewis for Narada (2002’s Meant to Be and 2003’s Simple Pleasures). Her 2004 album R.S.V.P. (Rare Songs, Very Personal) was a blend of straight-ahead jazz and ballads, similar to her next record, 2006’s Turned to Blue, which, like R.S.V.P., used a different instrumentalist for each track. In 2005, Capitol released a three-part series to pay tribute to Wilson’s contributions to music in the ’50s and ’60s: Guess Who I Saw Today: Nancy Wilson Sings Songs of Lost Love, Save Your Love for Me: Nancy Wilson Sings the Great Blues Ballads, and The Great American Songbook.

Nancy Wilson died at her home on December 13, 2018 after a long illness.

(Bio adapted from 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.

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 College in the City University of New York system.

Tuesday 1/8/2019 Show: Gary Bartz/Winter Jazz Fest

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

Program note: We’ll be moving to a weekly slot on Tuesday nights from 10-12 midnight starting on January 8!

The next show will air on Tuesday January 8, 2019 from 10:00 PM – 12 Midnight 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 composer, soprano and alto saxophonist and educator Gary Bartz. This is a rebroadcast that originally aired on December 19, 2010. It also continues our coverage of the 2019 Winter Jazz Fest.

A native of Baltimore, Gary Bartz ventured to New York City to attend the Juilliard School in 1958. At the time, performers such as Thelonius Monk, Ornette Coleman, and Miles Davis were playing at Birdland and the city’s other premiere clubs every night, and Bartz regularly snuck in to see them.

In the 1960s, Bartz joined the Max Roach/Abbey Lincoln Group and the Charles Mingus Jazz Workshop, quickly earning a reputation as the greatest alto saxophonist since Cannonball Adderley. In 1965, after meeting the group at his parents’ nightclub, Bartz joined Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers and recorded Soulfinger, his recording debut. Around the same time, he began working with McCoy Tyner, and their relationship deepened the influence of John Coltrane on Bartz.

In 1970, Bartz received a call from Miles Davis, who asked Bartz to perform with his band at the historic Isle of Wight Festival. In the same year, Bartz also formed his own group, Ntu Troop, after the Bantu word for “unity.” Ntu blended soul, funk, African folk music, hard bop, and avant-garde jazz on such albums as I’ve Known Rivers and Other Bodies, based on the poetry of Langston Hughes, as well as Music is My Sanctuary, Love Affair, Another Earth, and Home.

Overall, Bartz has recorded more than 40 solo albums and over 200 as a guest artist. More recently, he released Coltrane Rules: Tao of a Music Warrior, Live at the Jazz Standard Volume 1 and Volume 2, and several others, on his own label, OYO, which is named for the Nigerian tribe and the acronym “Own Your Own.” He was also spotlighted in the “Blindfold Test” section of DownBeat magazine in January 2008, and he continues to perform with McCoy Tyner in such cities as Tokyo and Los Angeles.

Bartz is a Professor of “Jazz” Saxophone at Oberlin College and Conservatory.

(Bio adapted from the Oberlin College 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.

Gary Bartz will appear as part of the Winter Jazz Festival NYC in celebration of the 50th anniversary celebration of his release of “Another Planet” on Thursday, January 10, along with Pharoah Sanders at Le Poisson Rouge. The 2019 WJF runs through January 12 at several venues in downtown Manhattan and includes a series of talks. See the full lineup and details on their website.

Web Extras:

Watch Bartz in this live clip from 1974

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 College in the City University of New York system.

Sunday 1/6/2019 Show: Marcus Strickland

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

Program note: We’ll be moving to a weekly slot on Tuesday nights from 10-12 midnight starting on January 8!

The next show will air on Sunday January 6, 2018 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 composer and reeds player (tenor, alto and soprano saxophone and bass clarinet) Marcus Strickland. It also continues our coverage of the 2019 Winter Jazz Fest.

Saxophonist, composer, and bandleader Marcus Strickland is a charter member of the 21st century jazz vanguard. Similar to the torrent of artists that appeared on the jazz landscape in the early ’80s to pull jazz out of the grasp of the Fusion Era, Strickland, his identical twin brother E.J. Strickland (drummer), and artists such as Jeremy Pelt and Robert Glasper breathed new life into jazz early in the new millennium, often erasing the boundaries between it and other musical genres, from hip hop to funk to soul.

During a five-year stint with venerable drummer Roy Haynes, Strickland released two albums on the Fresh Sound New Talent label. At Last was released in 2001, followed by Brotherhood in 2003. Both albums featured precocious peers (Pelt, Glasper, bassist Brandon Owens) playing a lyrical, fiery, contemporary jazz. For the next three years, Strickland toured with artists such as Jeff “Tain” Watts, Haynes, and Dave Douglas, while also holding down dates with his own band. In 2006, he independently released Twi-Life, an adventurous double album on his own label Strick Muzik. It received much critical praise and proclaimed him “Best New Artist” in the JazzTimes Readers’ Poll. In 2007, the Twi-Life group released a live album entitled Open Reel Deck on Strick Muzik. The album featured Lage Lund on guitar, Carlos Henderson on electric bass, and E.J. Strickland on drums, as well as trumpeter Keyon Harrold, the hip-hop-tinged poetry of Malachi, and one track with pianist Jon Cowherd. The album displayed the curious side of Strickland’s compositional skills through funk, hip-hop, Afrobeat, rock, ska, and jungle grooves. Strickland was voted “Rising Star, Soprano Saxophone” in Downbeat Magazine’s 2008 Critic’s Poll. He released two albums in 2009 — Of Song on the Criss Cross label and Idiosyncracies on his label under the new name of SMK. Of Song, with brother E.J., Ben Williams, and David Bryant, was a more straight-ahead set, whereas Idiosyncracies featured Strickland’s increasingly daring compositions. Throughout his career, Strickland has worked with a variety of artists, including Mos Def, Nicholas Payton, Christian McBride, the Charles Tolliver Big Band, and Tom Harrell, among others.

In 2011, the saxophonist independently issued the half-studio/half-live double-disc Triumph of the Heavy, Vols. 1 & 2. One disc offered a concert portrait of his longtime trio with drummer E.J. and bassist Ben Williams, while the studio portion was a quartet with pianist David Bryant added.

Strickland signed to Blue Note in 2015. He contributed a reading of Janet Jackson’s 1986 hit “Let’s Wait Awhile” with vocalist Christie Dashiell. In the spring of 2016, Strickland released Nihil Novi, his full-length debut as a leader for the label. It was produced by Meshell N’Degeocello and featured an entirely new band called Twi-Life (from his 2006 album title) with trumpeter Harrold, bassist Kyle Miles, drummer Charles Haynes, organist Mitch Henry, and keyboardist Masayuki Hirano. The album also featured all-star contributions from vocalist Jean Baylor, bassist Pino Palladino, drummer Chris Dave, guitarist Chris Bruce, and pianist Robert Glasper (the latter played on the Twi-Life album). Two years later, Strickland’s group issued its sophomore Blue Note date, People of the Sun. Self-produced, the band’s personnel shifted a bit with Ghanaian born, U.S.-based percussion master Weedie Braimah. The single “On My Mind” featured guest appearances by Bilal, Pharoahe Monch, and Greg Tate.

(Bio adapted from 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.

Marcus Strickland’s Twi-Life is scheduled to appear as part of the Winter Jazz Festival NYC at the Mercury Lounge during the Friday, January 11, Marathon Night. The 2019 WJF runs from January 4-12 at several venues in downtown Manhattan and includes a series of talks. See the full lineup and details on their website.

Web Extras:

Watch Strickland and Twi-Life in this clip from the 2015v BRIC Jazz Fest

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 College in the City University of New York system.

Sunday 12/23/2018 Show: Billy Hart

Photo: Billy Hart | © Girard Turner, 2017

The next show will air on Sunday December 23, 2018 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 composer, drummer/percussionist and educator Billy Hart. It also kicks off our coverage of the 2019 Winter Jazz Fest.

Billy Hart was born and raised in Washington, D.C. Jazz was in his blood. His family lived five blocks from the Spotlite Club, where the underage drummer pressed his ear to the window to listen to the Coltrane-Adderley-Evans edition of the Miles Davis Sextet, and the Lee Morgan-Benny Golson edition of Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers. His father, a mathematician and “an intellectual cat who demanded respect and knew a lot about a lot,” was a staunch Ellington fan; his paternal grandmother had played piano for Marian Anderson and knew William Grant Still. His mother was devoted to Jimmie Lunceford; his maternal grandmother—who bought him his first “good drum set for a gig with a good bebop band”—was a friend of D.C. tenor hero Buck Hill, who turned Hart on to Charlie Parker, and hired him at 17 for nine months of weekend gigs at a spot called Abart’s, where fellow McKinley High School students Reuben Brown and Butch Warren joined him six nights a week as the house rhythm section.

Hart matriculated at Howard University as a mechanical engineering major, but left when Shirley Horn, who had hired him out of Abart’s, took him on the road. Hart credits her with teaching him to play bebop at a simmer, not a roar. He also learned Brazilian rhythms from the source on early ’60s sub jobs at Charlie Byrd’s Showboat Lounge with Antonio Carlos Jobim, João Gilberto and Bola Sete.

Hart apprenticed with Washington, D.C. native sons like Jimmy Cobb, Osie Johnson, Ben Dixon, Harry “Stump” Saunders and George “Dude” Brown. Through local connections, he had backstage access to the Howard Theatre, where he analyzed such master New Orleanian drummers as Idris Muhammad (the Impressions), Clayton Filliard (James Brown), Ed Blackwell and Earl Palmer (Ray Charles). In 1967, he occupied the drum chair in the theater’s house band performing with The Isley Brothers, Sam and Dave, Patti Labelle, Otis Redding and Smokey Robinson and the Miracles among others.

He was also a sideman with Jimmy Smith (1964–1966), and Wes Montgomery (1966–1968). Following Montgomery’s death in 1968, Hart moved to New York, where he recorded with McCoy Tyner, Wayne Shorter, and Joe Zawinul, and played with Eddie Harris, Pharoah Sanders, and Marian McPartland.

In 1969, Hart joined Herbie Hancock’s groundbreaking Mwandishi band and remained there for four years recording three trend-setting albums. From there he joined McCoy Tyner’s band (1973–1974) and also performed with Stan Getz (1974–1977), and Quest (1980s) in addition to extensive freelance playing and recording (including recording with Miles Davis on 1972’s On the Corner).

Howard classmate Marion Brown introduced Hart to Sunny Murray and Rashied Ali. Hart increasingly self-identified as an experimental musician, drawing on their example in a trio with Joe Chambers on piano and Walter Booker on bass. Later, during mid and late ’60s stopovers in Chicago with Jimmy Smith, Wes Montgomery and Eddie Harris, he attended to the “textural, timbral approaches” of AACM drummers Thurman Barker, Steve McCall and Alvin Fielder. He applied those lessons during two years with Pharoah Sanders, a period when, via percussionist Mtume, he received the sobriquet “Jabali” (Swahili for “wisdom”). Hart’s mature tonal personality—advanced grooves drawing on “some knowledge of African and Indian music, and all the American traditions”—emerged during his years with Hancock’s Mwandishi band and subsequent tenure with McCoy Tyner.

Hart drew on all these experiences in conceptualizing Enchance, his debut album as a leader and subsequently, Oshumare (1985), Rah (1987), Amethyst (1993) and Oceans of Time (1997). On each record, he assembled idiosyncratic virtuosos from different circles, each signifying a stream of cutting-edge jazz thought. Functioning more as a facilitator than a stylist, he meshed their distinctive personalities, generating fresh ideas through intense drum dialogue. Each date has a singular quality, as though Hart had conjured a unitary vision out of various strains of the zeitgeist.

Hart currently leads the Billy Hart Quartet featuring Mark Turner, Ethan Iverson and Ben Street. They have recorded three CDs, the most recent, One is the Other, is on ECM Records.

(Bio adapted from The Cookers’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.

The Billy Hart Quartet is scheduled to appear as part of the Winter Jazz Festival NYC on the ECM Records Stage at Le Poisson Rouge during the Saturday, January 12, Marathon Night.The 2019 WJF runs from January 4-12 at several venues in downtown Manhattan and includes a series of talks. See the full lineup and details on their website.

Web Extras:

Watch a preview of Hart’s All Our Reasons album

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 College in the City University of New York system.

Sunday 11/25/2018 Show: Leon Parker

Photo: Leon Parker | © Goffredo Loertscher, Drummersworld.com

The next show will air on Sunday November 25, 2018 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 drummer/percussionist Leon Parker.

New-York born musician Leon Parker is one of the most intriguing musicians of his generation. Drummer, percussionist and body-rhythm pioneer, he constantly explores new sound possibilities, using an infinitive range of colors with an often-limited drumset (consisting sometimes in a unique cymbal). His distinctive groove, he draws from very natural roots, has built him a solid reputation on the jazz scene and beyond.

Leon Parker started drums when he was three, becoming a confirmed jazz musician in early adolescence. After having studied classical percussions, he took lessons with Barry Harris and started performing regularly in New York. Remarked for his unique musical print, he recorded first with Harvie Swartz and played with musicians such as Sheila Jordan and Kenny Barron.

After 10 years building his reputation as a side-man, recording with other musicians (including Dewey Redman, Jacky Terrasson, Brad Mehldau, Peter Bernstein, among others), and leading groups at clubs, he met producer Joel Dorn and recorded his first leader album, “Above and Below”, in 1994, before releasing two other albums for Sony. His 1996-album, “Belief”, and 2 years later “Awakening”, emerged as the result of a long work on sound and deep musical explorations. After the release of his album “The Simple Life” in 2001, he decided to move to France and started to work on a Body-Rhythm method.

While still appearing on numerous albums as a sideman (Including those of Jacky Terrasson and Giovanni Mirabassi), he developed his Body-Rhythm techniques for many years, teaching workshops and leading his own voice and body-rhythm group in Toulouse. This method, called “EmbodiRhythm”, is the basis on which Leon Parker has written new compositions.

(Bio adapted from Parker’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.

Sixteen years ago, Parker left the U.S. for France to focus on teaching EmbodiRhythm workshops instead of the French Jazz scene.

Leon Parker returns to New York as part of the Aaron Goldberg Trio along with Matt Penman. The Trio will have a run at the Jazz Standard from Thursday, November 29, through Sunday, December 2. Chamber Music America’s (CMA) French-American Jazz Exchange partnered with the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation and Brooklyn’s National Sawdust to help bring this project to fruition. Tune in for a ticket giveaway during the live broadcast!

Web Extras:

Watch Parker’s drum solo in this  live performance of “Perhaps.”

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 College in the City University of New York system.

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