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Jazz Fusion

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Sunday 6/15/14 Show: J.T. Lewis

JT_Lewis_suga_promo

The next show will air on Sunday, June 15, 2014 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 installment of Suga’ in My Bowl will feature drummer JT Lewis, one of New York’s in-demand session drummers and one third of Harriet Tubman, which has been called an “avant metal Jazz band”. This exploration is mostly conducted by Suga’ Associate Producer and web guy Hank Williams.

Lewis has performed/recorded with over 200 artists from all genres from the Jazz greats such as Stanley Turrentine, Roy Ayers, Herbie Hancock, Lena Horne, and Dave Sanborn, to the Pop icons such as Tina Turner, Sting, Lou Reed, Marianne Faithfull, Elvis Costello, Whitney Houston, Debbie Harry, Garland Jeffreys, and Vanessa Williams, to the Jazz revolutionaries such as Don Pullen, David Murray, Henry Threadgill, Marc Ribot, Sonny Sharrock, Pete Cosey, Bill Laswell, Kip Hanrahan, and many more. He is also one of the original members of Vernon Reid’s Living Colour.

He is currently co-leader of ”Harriet Tubman,” featuring Melvin Gibbs (Bass) and Brandon Ross (Guitars).
He has “subbed” for the great Bernard “Pretty” Purdie on the ”Godfathers of Groove” tour featuring Grant Green Jr (guitar) and Rueben Wilson (Hammond B3).

Lewis has been (and still is) the drummer for the Legendary Vanessa Williams for the past 20 yrs. He is currently a part-time Professor at York College teaching drums for the York College Jazz program run by Dr. Tom Zlabinger.

Show engineered and edited by Joyce Jones. Produced and hosted by Joyce Jones and Hank Williams, 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.

Lewis will be appearing with Sandra St. Victor in the Celebrate Brooklyn! series in Prospect Park on June 28th. You can also catch him in Damrosch Park on August 8th at Lincoln Center’s Out of Doors festival.

Web Extras:

Watch JT in this live performance of the McCoy Tyner classic “Fly With the Wind” with tubist (and former Suga’ guest) Howard Johnson’s Gravity at NYC’s 2014 Winter Jazz fest



Watch JT in this live performance revisiting the Miles Davis classic “Bitches Brew” at the 2010 Montreal Jazz Fest, also featuring former Suga’ guest Adam Rudolph.



Watch JT in this live 2013 performance of the Bille Holiday classic “Strange Fruit” live in Europe with vocalist Cassandra Wilson.

Sunday, January 12th Show: Alphonse Mouzon

Al_MouzonReminder: Suga’ in My Bowl now airs weekly on WBAI, except for the last Sunday of the month! Please update your calendars, pass the word on to friends, and share on social media if you like the show.

The next show will air on Sunday Janury 12, 2014 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 installment of the program will feature an exclusive interview with Chairman/CEO of Tenacious Records, composer, arranger, producer, drummer, multi-instrumentalist and actor Alphonse Mouzon.



Alphonse Mouzon, (who is an African American mixed with French and Blackfoot Indian) was born on November 21st 1948 in Charleston, South Carolina. He attended Bonds-Wilson High School where he received his early musical training under the direction of saxophonist high school music teacher Lonnie Hamilton III, and took some drum lessons from Charles Garner before playing gigs with the Lonnie Hamilton Band. Following graduation from high school, he moved to New York to study music and drama at The City College of New York and medicine at Manhattan Medical School. Mouzon took drum lessons from jazz pianist Billy Taylor’s drummer Bobby Thomas. While attending college, Mouzon played in the pit band of the Broadway show PROMISES, PROMISES after being recommended by Thomas. Mouzon worked as a medical technologist at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital after graduating from Manhattan Medical, but abandoned a medical career as he his musical reputation grew.

Mouzon’s musical associations read like a veritable Who’s Who of Modern Jazz and Pop Music. His talents cover a broad range of musical disciplines and philosophies. He was the rhythmic foundation for the far reaching musical explorations of pianist McCoy Tyner. He was a charter member along with keyboardist Joe Zawinul and saxophonist Wayne Shorter, of the group Weather Report. Along with guitarist Larry Coryell, Mouzon was co-founder of The Eleventh House, the seminal fusion band of the seventies. Mouzon and Coryell still tour together in a trio and with the Eleventh House. Mouzon’s musical credits include the 1991 film Dingo and accompanying Miles Davis soundtrack. The often demanding Davis was impressed enough to praise Mouzon’s skill in his autobiography.

Mouzon’s name can be found in just about every Jazz Encyclopedia/ Dictionary, and is listed the 2nd edition of Marquis Who’s Who In Entertainment and Who’s Who In The World. He was voted the #2 BEST MULTI-INSTRUMENTALIST in the 1995 Jazziz Magazine Annual Readers Poll.

Mouzon draws inspiration from his Christian faith and has survived prostate cancer. He strongly encourages every man over 35 to have a PSA blood test done to make sure cancer is not present, since early detection is a lifesaver.

Listen for our On the Bandstand segment with NYC metro area appearances of Suga’ guests at the end of the first hour. Also on the blog this week will be a cheat sheet to NYC’s Winter Jazz Fest, highlighting former Suga’ guests.

Produced, engineered, edited, and hosted by Joyce Jones.

Photo: Alphonse Mouzon. Courtesy of the Mouzon website.


Web Extras:

Watch this clip from the 1991 film Dingo, which has a cameo appearances by Miles Davis and Mouzon. Mouzon can be seen briefly in the background here:



Watch Mouzon perform “The Funky Waltz” with the Eleventh House Reunion band in this 2013 live concert clip:


Watch this live 1971 performance of the McCoy Tyner Quartet with Mouzon:

Sunday 12/15 Show: Pat Metheny

Metheny_Orchestrion_crop
Pat Metheny. Photo credit: Flickr user Steevithak/ Creative Commons licensed.

Reminder: Suga’ in My Bowl now airs weekly on WBAI, except for the last Sunday of the month! Please update your calendars, pass the word on to friends, and share on social media if you like the show.

The next show will air on Sunday December 15, 2013 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 installment of the program will feature an encore presentation of a 2010 interview with the incredibly versatile guitarist, composer, and bandleader Pat Metheny. It’s a fund drive special, so we’ll be offering the interview and one of Metheny’s CDs as as thanks for a pledge to the station.

Pat Metheny was born in Kansas City on August 12, 1954 into a musical family. Starting on trumpet at the age of 8, Metheny switched to guitar at age 12. By the age of 15, he was working regularly with the best jazz musicians in Kansas City, receiving valuable on-the-bandstand experience at an unusually young age. Metheny first burst onto the international jazz scene in 1974. Over the course of his three-year stint with vibraphone great Gary Burton, the young Missouri native already displayed his soon-to-become trademarked playing style, which blended the loose and flexible articulation customarily reserved for horn players with an advanced rhythmic and harmonic sensibility – a way of playing and improvising that was modern in conception but grounded deeply in the jazz tradition of melody, swing, and the blues. With the release of his first album, Bright Size Life (1975), he reinvented the traditional “jazz guitar” sound for a new generation of players. Throughout his career, Metheny has continued to re-define the genre by utilizing new technology and constantly working to evolve the improvisational and sonic potential of his instrument.

Metheny joined us via telephone for an hourlong wide-ranging interview before a rare week-long stint at New York’s Blue Note with bassist Larry Grenadier. Metheny talks about his use of electronics in music, the art of improvisation, his innovative Orchestrion releases and tours, his stint teaching at the prestigious Berklee College of Music as a teenager, and much more. We’ll play excerpts of the interview and music from the entire spectrum of his incredibly prolific career.

What's.It.All.About.Pat.MethenyWe’ll also share cuts from his 2010 What’s It All About solo release, which we’ll be offering along with a copy of the full interview for people who donate to WBAI. All About Jazz‘s Nenad Georgevski calls it “an essential record” in his positive review, noting that “Metheny impresses more with subtlety and melodic logic than with firecrackers. In the end, he has made a record that can lure the listener into emotional spaces that enchant, seduce and delight.”

Please join us and help keep this listener-supported experiment alive. WBAI. Donate to WBAI or pledge for the CD set if you can, but be sure to join us for Suga’ in My Bowl’s latest musical trip!

See the full track list and info on What’s it All About on Allmusic.

Engineered and Produced by Joyce Jones. Hosted by Arts Producers Joyce Jones and Hank Williams.

Web extras:

Watch Metheny play a solo version of “Into the Dream” with the Pikasso 42 string guitar.



In memory of the recently deceased guitar great Jim Hall, watch them perform together live with (former Suga’ guest) bassist Christian McBride.

Sunday 6/9 show: Joe Sample

Joe Sample/ Flickr user Tom.Beetz via Wikicommons

Joe Sample/ Flickr user Tom.Beetz via Wikicommons

The next show will air on Sunday June 9, 2013 from 11 PM to 1 AM Eastern Standard Time on WBAI Radio, 99.5 FM in the NYC metro area or streaming online at wbai.org. This installment of “Suga’ In My Bowl” will feature an exclusive interview with pianist Joe Sample, known to many from his work with The Jazz Crusaders (later The Crusaders). You can hear a short preview below.One of the many jazzmen who started out playing hard bop but went electric during the fusion era, Joe Sample was, in the late ’50s, a founding member of the Jazz Crusaders along with trombonist Wayne Henderson, tenor saxman Wilton Felder, and drummer Stix Hooper. The Crusaders’ debt to Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers wasn’t hard to miss — except that the L.A.-based unit had no trumpeter, and became known for its unique tenor/trombone front line. Sample, a hard-swinging player who could handle chordal and modal/scalar improvisation equally well, stuck to the acoustic piano during The Crusaders’ early years — but would place greater emphasis on electric keyboards when the band turned to jazz-funk in the early ’70s and dropped “Jazz” from its name. Though he’d recorded as a trio pianist on 1969’s Fancy Dance, 1978’s Rainbow Seeker was often described as his first album as a leader. In contrast to the gritty music The Crusaders became known for, Sample’s own albums on MCA and, later, Warner Bros. and PRA have generally favored a very lyrical and introspective jazz-pop approach.

Next show: Sunday 7/8 with Christian McBride on Jazz Fusion

The next show will air on Sunday June 8, 2012 from 11:00pm – 1:00am Monday on WBAI, 99.5 FM in the NYC metro area or streaming online at wbai.org and feature a return visit from previous Suga’ guest Christian McBride. You can hear a 30-second preview below:

In this installment, we’ll have a discussion about the music that is called “Jazz Fusion” with bassist, composer and Grammy winner Christian McBride, who recently won a Grammy for one of his latest two recordings, “The Good Feeling.”

Beginning in 1989, this Philadelphia-born bassist moved to New York City to further his classical studies at the Juilliard School, only to be snatched up by alto saxophonist, Bobby Watson. Since then, McBride’s list of accomplishments have been nothing short of staggering. As a sideman in the jazz world alone, he’s worked with the best of the very best – Freddie Hubbard, Sonny Rollins, J.J. Johnson, Ray Brown, Milt Jackson, McCoy Tyner, Roy Haynes, Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock and Pat Metheny. In the R&B world, he’s not only played with, but also arranged for Isaac Hayes, Chaka Khan, Natalie Cole, Lalah Hathaway, and the one and only Godfather of Soul himself, James Brown. In the pop/rock world, he’s extensively collaborated with Sting, Carly Simon, Don Henley, and Bruce Hornsby. In the hip-hop/neo-soul world, he’s collaborated with the Roots, D’Angelo, and Queen Latifah. In many other specialty projects, he’s worked closely with opera legend Kathleen Battle, bass virtuoso Edgar Meyer, the Shanghai Quartet and the Sonus Quartet.

Away from the bass, Christian has become quite an astute and respected spokesperson for the music. In 1997, he spoke on former President Bill Clinton’s town hall meeting “Racism in the Performing Arts”. In 2000, he was named Artistic Director of the Jazz Aspen Snowmass Summer Sessions. In 2005, he was officially named the co-director of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem. Also in 2005, he was named the second Creative Chair for Jazz of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association.

Hosted by Arts Producer Joyce Jones

Next show: Sunday, 6/17 with James Mtume on Miles Davis’s electric period

This installment will feature composer, producer and former percussionist with Miles Davis during his “electric period” James Mtume from 1971 to 1975. It will air on Sunday June 17, 2012 at 11:00pm – Monday at 1:00am on WBAI, 99.5 FM in the NYC metro area or streaming online at wbai.org. You can hear a 30-second promo below:

James Mtume was raised in a musical family where his father and uncles formed a band “The Heath Brothers”. Already in the sixties, James Mtume studied percussion and soon after this, he also acquired guitar playing skills. It didn’t take long before he played together with artists like Herbie Hancock, Joe Henderson, Freddie Hubbard and eventually became the percussionist for Miles Davis. In the Miles Davis band, Reggie Lucas played guitar, and it was with Reggie Lucas that James Mtume started a song writing partnership that became the R&B group Mtume.

Mtume recorded as a bandleader for Strata-East before turning to funk in the late ’70s. Mtume’s band included the sassy, sultry vocalist Tawatha Agee, keyboardist Phil Fields, and bassist Ray Johnson. Mtume, the band, had a number one R&B hit with “Juicy Fruit” for Epic Records in 1983 and a number 2 R&B single in 1984 with “You, Me and He”. Mtume recorded for Epic until the late ’80s. Their final Top Ten hit was “Breathless” in 1986. Mtume produced and/or wrote for such artists as Stephanie Mills, Roberta Flack/Donny Hathaway, Phyllis Hyman, Gary Bartz, Sadane, Lou Rawls, Rena Scott, Eddie Henderson in the late ’70s, Levert, Tyrone Brunson, Roy Ayers, Henderson and Tease. Roots and Influences: Miles Davis and Pharoah Sanders. Mtume’s hits for Robert Flack and Donny Hathaway include “The Closer I Get To You” and “Back Together Again”, both platinum sellers and widely viewed “classic songs” in the business.

Hosted by Joyce Jones.

Web extra: Watch this discussion between jazz critic Stanley Crouch and James Mtume on the music of Miles Davis’s electric period. If you have an older computer or slower internet connection, changing the video quality to a lower setting will give you smoother play with fewer interruptions. Youtube explains how to do that here.

Part 1: 14 minutes, 40 seconds

Part 2: 14 minutes, 9 seconds

Next show: Sunday 1/1/12 with Creed Taylor

Happy New Year and Habari Gani Imani! First, a quick update on what the Suga’ team has been up to. If you haven’t been over to our audio archives page yet, jump over and check it out! We’ve uploaded most of the shows that aired in 2011 and are working backwards from there to make older shows available: most of 2010 should be up over the New Year’s weekend. There will also be a few web-only extras: snippets of sound that didn’t quite make the cut for the original show for whatever reason.

The next show will air on New Year’s Day: Sunday 1/1/2012 at 11:00pm – Monday at 1:00am on WBAI, 99.5 FM in the NYC metro area or streaming online at wbai.org. Listen to the 45-second promo below (may not work in all browsers, especially mobile ones):

Tune in to hear an interview with Creed Taylor, who revolutionized the respectability and popularity of jazz with CTI Records. In fact, some of the most significant jazz of the last half of the 20th century has been fashioned under Taylor’s guidance and supervision.

This show is a remixed version of one that originally aired as part of WBAI’s fifth Hip Hop Takeover in June 2007 and primarily focused on songs from the CTI Records catalog that have been sampled by hip hop artists.

Taylor has been especially influential in the packaging of music. His records are as much art to see as they are to hear. With heavy, glossy, gatefold covers featuring stark design and striking photography, his records have the sound and feel of something bearing unusual class and great quality.

After earning a degree in psychology in the early 1950s, Taylor played trumpet in clubs around Virginia Beach. He relocated to New York and secured a venerable post as head of artists and repertoire at Bethlehem Records. He produced a wide variety of jazz for Bethlehem before he took a higher profile position with ABC Paramount during the late fifties. At ABC, he produced some jazz and a great many more vocal recordings that enjoyed popular success.

When ABC Records sought to form a jazz subsidiary in 1960, Taylor was recruited to oversee it all. He called the company “Impulse!,” conceived its distinctive black and orange label and spine design, brought in photographer Pete Turner for elegant, vivid cover art and initiated heavy cardboard, gatefold sleeves (to convey substance). Taylor, however, stayed with Impulse for only a few months. But during this short time, he recorded historically significant music by John Coltrane, Gil Evans, Oliver Nelson and Ray Charles.

Taylor jumped ship to accept a lucrative offer to run Verve Records, the jazz label Norman Granz sold to MGM in 1961. Here was a company that had solid name recognition in the jazz community as well as a rich parent company to fund many of Taylor’s lavish goals. Verve’s big budgets and Creed Taylor’s proven ability to turn jazz into hits (starting in 1962 with Stan Getz’s “The Girl From Ipanema”) afforded limitless opportunities to employ the cream of the crop in studio musicians for these records.

In November 1967, Taylor arranged with A&M’s Herb Alpert and Jerry Moss to begin his own organization, CTI Records. The team he took with him were among the finest in the business: engineer Rudy Van Gelder, designer Sam Antupit and, again, photographer Pete Turner. He also developed a small in-house staff of musicians comprised of jazz’s greatest names.

In 1970, Creed Taylor launched CTI as an independent entity. The shift was seen in the switch from the cover’s white backgrounds to black. George Benson made the transition too, staying throughout CTI’s greatest years in the 1970s. Some of the music’s greatest players, including (past Suga’ in My Bowl guest) Freddie Hubbard and Stanley Turrentine, were recruited to CTI and ultimately created some of their most remarkable recordings while under Creed Taylor’s aegis.

(CT’s bio adapted from Doug Payne’s excellent blog entry.)

Hosted by Arts Producer Joyce Jones.

Next show: Monday 10/10 with Pat Metheny

The next show will air at a special time: Monday October 10 from 10:00pm – Midnight Eastern Standard Time on WBAI, 99.5 FM in the NYC area or streaming online at wbai.org and will feature an interview with the incredibly versatile guitarist Pat Metheny.

Pat Metheny was born in Kansas City on August 12, 1954 into a musical family. Starting on trumpet at the age of 8, Metheny switched to guitar at age 12. By the age of 15, he was working regularly with the best jazz musicians in Kansas City, receiving valuable on-the-bandstand experience at an unusually young age. Metheny first burst onto the international jazz scene in 1974. Over the course of his three-year stint with vibraphon…e great Gary Burton, the young Missouri native already displayed his soon-to-become trademarked playing style, which blended the loose and flexible articulation customarily reserved for horn players with an advanced rhythmic and harmonic sensibility – a way of playing and improvising that was modern in conception but grounded deeply in the jazz tradition of melody, swing, and the blues. With the release of his first album, Bright Size Life (1975), he reinvented the traditional “jazz guitar” sound for a new generation of players. Throughout his career, Pat Metheny has continued to re-define the genre by utilizing new technology and constantly working to evolve the improvisational and sonic potential of his instrument.

During this membership/fund drive special, we will feature a discussion with Pat and share cuts from his latest release “What’s It All About.” Please join us and help keep this listener-supported experiment alive.

Hosted by Arts Producers Joyce Jones and Hank Williams.

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