The next show will air on Sunday, July 13, 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 a return visit from drummer, percussionist, composer, arranger, multicultural warrior educator Bobby Sanabria, who will again join host Joyce Jones live in the studio to continue last week’s discussion. If you remember our special presentation “The Journey,” this time we focus solely on Bobby’s career, including some of his more recent work.
Bobby, the son of Puerto Rican parents, was born and raised in the “Fort Apache” section of New York City’s South Bronx. Inspired and encouraged by maestro Tito Puente, another fellow New York-born Puerto Rican, Bobby “got serious” and attended Boston’s Berklee College of Music from 1975 to 1979, obtaining a Bachelor of Music degree and receiving their prestigious Faculty Association Award for his work as an instrumentalist. Since his graduation, Bobby has become a leader in the Afro-Cuban, Brazilian and jazz fields as both a drummer and percussionist, and is recognized as one of the most articulate musician-scholars of la tradición living today, and is a Professor at The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music.
He has been featured on numerous Grammy-nominated albums, including The Mambo Kings and other movie soundtracks, as well as numerous television and radio work. Bobby was the drummer with the legendary “Father of the Afro-Cuban Jazz movement,” Mario Bauzá’s Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra. With them he recorded three CDs (two of which were Grammy-nominated) which are considered to be definitive works of the Afro-Cuban big-band jazz tradition. Bobby was also featured with the orchestra in two PBS documentaries about Bauzá and also appeared on the Bill Cosby show performing with the orchestra. He also appeared and performed prominently in a PBS documentary on the life of Mongo Santamaria.
Bobby is also an award-winning documentary producer whose films include The Palladium—Where Mambo Was King, shown on BRAVO, (see it on Vimeo) and From Mambo to Hip Hop—A South Bronx Tale, shown on PBS; he was a featured interviewee in both films. In 2005, Bobby was voted Percussionist of the Year by the readers of DRUM! magazine. In 2006, he was inducted into the Bronx Walk of Fame and had a street named after him in recognition of the global impact of his work in the arts.
Bobby’s latest release is ¡Qué Viva Harlem! with the Manhattan School of Music Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra on Jazzheads label…
Show engineered, produced, hosted, 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.
See Bobby Sanabria live at a free performance in Damrosch Park on July 23, 2014 of Larry Harlow’s Hommy: A Latin Opera as part of Lincoln Center’s Out of Doors Festival. He’ll also be the featured performer at a free performance in Marcus Garvey Park on August 13, 2014 as part of the Summerstage series. Follow our “On the Bandstand” segment on air and on our blog for info on future concerts.
Watch Bobby perform “Mi Guajira” with a live trio.
Watch bobby and Ascensión perform live.
Watch this short video profile of Bobby done by late WBAI producer Ibrahim González.
Photo: Sharpeville Massacre via Wikicommons
The next show will air on Sunday, February 9th, 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. During this membership/fund drive installment, Suga’ in My Bowl presents a rebroadcast of a tribute to Nelson Mandela and the South African freedom struggle writ large in honor of Mandela’s transition and to continue to not forget this chapter as part of Black History Month. Please join us and help keep this listener-supported experiment alive. In this show, we’ll take a look at how jazz played a part in the struggle both in the US and on the continent. We’ll also look at the relationship of jazz to musicians in South Africa and how South African musicians had to leave because of the danger that the music posed.
Since Mandela was not the only one in the movement, we’ll present some critical analysis from activists and experts to assess how his life and work fit into the broader goal of ending the apartheid regime. Nana Dr. Leonard Jeffries, recently retired Professor of Black Studies (and former department head) at the City College of New York will walk us through the big picture of Mandela’s role in the struggle and what it meant internationally from a talk recorded live this week at a community forum in Brooklyn. Omowale Clay of the New York-based December 12th Movement will provide insight into the ongoing work on reparations and radio personality Bob Law will talk about media’s important role in the movement.
We’ll then turn to the role that music and artists played in the international struggle. Ingrid Monson, Quincy Jones Professor of African American Music at Harvard University and author of Freedom Sounds: Civil Rights Call Out to Jazz and Africa, will talk about the connections forged by African American artists. Poet Rashida Ismaili Abubakr will discuss how exiled South African singer Sathima Bea Benjamin and musical collaborator Abdullah Ibrahim (Dollar Brand) raised consciousness with their art.
Finally, in signature Suga’ style, look for as much great music as we can fit in from Max Roach and Abbey Lincoln, Sathima Bea Benjamin and Abdullah Ibrahim, Hugh Masekela, Miriam Makeba, the Blue Notes, Archie Shepp, and Randy Weston!
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.
We’re not offering any special premium or thank-you gift this week. We’re just asking listeners who can to donate to WBAI in support of our show. You can give as little as $5 online and full station membership is $25. Anything you can pitch in will help a lot, especially in sending the message to station management that the type of show we do is still relevant.
Show, produced, engineered, and hosted by Joyce Jones.
Watch Hugh Masekela perform “Stimela (The Coal Train)” live at UNESCO’s 2013 International Jazz Day.
The next show will air on Sunday May 19, 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. On the heels of pianist Marc Cary’s recent Harlem Stage events and new release honoring Abbey Lincoln, this installment of “Suga’ In My Bowl” will continue to honor renaissance woman Abbey Lincoln. This special was originally offered in October 2010. You can hear a short preview below.
Most people are only familiar with Abbey Lincoln as a singer and actress. However, Ms. Lincoln was also published poet, writer, visual artist and composer. During this special, several artists will either share their personal tributes and/or read the work of Ms. Lincoln. Contributing artists include:
Sonia Sanchez, who will read Ms. Lincoln’s piece “To Whom Will She Cry Rape?” from the 1970 Toni Cade Bambara anthology “The Black Woman” and originally printed in a 1966 issue of “The Negro Digest.” Latasha N. Nevada Diggs will read Ms. Lincoln’s poetry which was included in Amina and Amiri Baraka’s 1983 anthology titled “Confirmation: An Anthology of African American Women.” Lashonda Katrice Barnett, author of “I Got Thunder: Black Women Songwriters on Their Craft,” which featured an exchange with Abbey Lincoln, will read excerpts from Ms. Lincoln’s unpublished autobiography. Rembrances from political prisoner Mumia Abu Jamal, writers the late Jayne Cortez, Amina and Amiri Baraka, Mark Anthony Neal, Farah Jasmine Griffin and Carl Hancock Rux, filmmakers Ifa Bayeza (“You Gotta Pay The Band”) and Carol Friedman (“Abbey Lincoln: The Music Is The Magic” in production), Maggie Brown (daughter of Oscar Brown Jr.), bassists Christian McBride and Charlie Haden.
These contributions will be offered as a 2-CD set in an effort to help continue this listener-supported experiment that is WBAI/Pacifica Radio. Please join us as we continue to remember Ms. Abbey Lincoln (Aug. 6, 1930 – Aug. 14, 2010).
Co-Hosted by Joyce Jones and Hank Williams. Produced and engineered by Arts Producer Joyce Jones.
The next show will air on Sunday March 24, 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 the program will feature vocalist and pianist Diane Schuur. Listen to a short preview below:
Born in Tacoma, Washington, in December 1953, Schuur was blind from birth. She grew up in nearby Auburn, Washington, where her father was a police captain. Nicknamed Deedles at a young age, Schuur discovered the world of jazz via her father, a piano player, and her mother, who kept a formidable collection of Duke Ellington and Dinah Washington records in the house.
She was still a toddler when she learned to sing the Dinah Washington signature song, “What a Difference a Day Makes.” Armed with the rare gift of perfect pitch, Schuur taught herself piano by ear and developed a rich, resonant vocal style early on, as evidenced in a recording of her first public performance at a Holiday Inn in Tacoma when she was ten years old. She received formal piano training at the Washington State School for the Blind, which she attended until age 11. By her early teens, she had amassed her own collection of Washington’s records and looked to the legendary vocalist as her primary inspiration.
Schuur made her first record in 1971, a country single entitled “Dear Mommy and Daddy,” produced by Jimmy Wakely. After high school, she focused on jazz and gigged around the northwest. In 1975, an informal audition with trumpeter Doc Severinson (then the leader of the Tonight Show band) led to a gig with Tonight Show drummer Ed Shaughnessy’s group at the Monterey Jazz Festival. She sang a gospel suite with Shaughnessy’s band in front of a festival audience that included jazz tenor saxophonist Stan Getz, who in turn invited her to participate in a talent showcase at the White House. A subsequent return performance at the White House led to a record deal with GRP, which released Schuur’s debut album, Deedles, in 1984.
Over the next 13 years, Schuur recorded 11 albums on GRP, including two Grammy winners: Timeless (1986) and Diane Schuur and the Count Basie Orchestra (1987).
After one album on Atlantic records in 1999 – Music is My Life, produced by Ahmet Ertegun – Schuur joined the Concord label with the 2000 release of Friends For Schuur. The move to Concord marked the beginning of a series of highly successful collaborative projects: Swingin’ For Schuur (2001), a set of finely crafted duets with trumpeter Maynard Ferguson; Midnight (2003), Schuur’s unique interpretations of thirteen songs (mostly new material) written or co-written by Barry Manilow; and Schuur Fire (2005), a decidedly Latin-flavored album featuring the Caribbean Jazz Project.
Schuur’s February 2008 Concord release, Some Other Time, is a recording of songs by jazz artists whom she first discovered via her parents during her childhood and adolescent years. The set also includes a surprisingly mature-sounding rendition of “September in the Rain,” recorded at the Holiday Inn in Tacoma in 1964 when Schuur was only ten years old.
Diane Schuur’s latest studio release, The Gathering, is unique in both material and style, and features special guests Alison Krauss, Vince Gill, Mark Knopfler, Larry Carlton and Kirk Whalum. The Gathering is a collection of 10 classic country songs, mostly written during the golden era of the 1960s, and is the first time Schuur has featured this genre of music to this extent.
Schuur’s most recent release is Diane Schuur Live, and it is a unique and special album as it’s a project close to Diane’s heart. This album is dedicated to Diane Schuur’s husband, Les Crockett. The recording takes place where she and her husband shared a magical night reflecting on memories of the very place they first met 16 years earlier.
Engineered, Produced, and Hosted by Joyce Jones.
WBAI’s financial situation remains dire due to back rent owed on their transmitter at NYC’s Empire State Building. Please give what you can to the WBAI Transmitter Fund and/or come out next Wednesday, March 27, for the WBAI Dance Party at S.O.B.’s.
Web extra: Watch Diane Schuur and Ray Charles perform live.
Note: Suga’ in My Bowl’s new Behind the Mic blog is now up and running. We’ll use it to expand on some of the shows, artists, and ideas you’ve heard on the show and post related content, new release info, and provide a space for discussion. We’re still tweaking it, but invite you to head over and check it out.
Our home station WBAI is in a serious crisis due to back back rent owed on their transmitter at NYC’s Empire State Building. They’ve struggled in the past, but this time the situation is serious. Details are on the Pacifica Radio Network home page. You can also donate directly to the transmitter fund.
The next show will air on Sunday March 10, 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 the program will feature composer, vocalist and warrior queen René Marie. Listen to a short preview below:
René Marie, the award winning singer whose style incorporates elements of jazz, soul, blues and gospel, has quickly become a heroine to many; a woman of great strength exuding stamina and compassion; often explaining how finding her voice and self through singing gave her the courage to leave an abusive marriage. But since the release of her recording debut, Renaissance, this Colorado based heroine has also evolved into one of the greatest and most sensuous vocalists of our time. Unmistakably honest and unpretentious while transforming audiences worldwide with her powerful interpretations, electrifying deliveries and impassioned vocals — René Marie has drawn a legion of fans and music critics who find themselves not only entertained, but encouraged and even changed by her performances.
It is hard to believe that Marie didn’t sing professionally until after she turned 40. But in fact, the Virginia native, married at 18, mother of two by 23 and a member of a strict religious group with her then husband only occasionally sang in public while she was focused on raising a family. It was in 1996 that Marie’s eldest son Michael urged her to take the plunge to pursue a career. “He told me that was exactly what I needed to do” she explains. Two years later following an ultimatum by her husband to either stop singing or leave their home, she chose to leave after 23 years of marriage.
Hosted, produced, and engineered by Joyce Jones.
Don’t forget to give to the WBAI Transmitter Fund. If there is no transmitter, there really is no WBAI.
Listen to the full song “Black Lace Freudian Slip”. (Background music for the Suga’ show teaser.)
Watch René Marie sing “This is Not a Protest Song” live.
The next show will air on Sunday February 3, 2013 from 11:00pm – 1:00am Monday Eastern Standard Time on WBAI, 99.5 FM in the NYC metro area or streaming online at wbai.org. This installment of Suga’ will feature one of the 2013 NEA Jazz Master recipients, alto saxophonist Lou Donaldson. This program originally aired in May 2009 and focused on recordings that were sampled by hip hop artists to lead up to the June Hip Hop Takeover.
You can hear a 30-second preview below.
Donaldson has long been an excellent bop altoist influenced by Charlie Parker, but with a more blues-based style of his own. His distinctive tone has been heard in a variety of small-group settings, and he has recorded dozens of worthy and spirited (if somewhat predictable) sets throughout the years.
Donaldson started playing clarinet when he was 15, soon switching to the alto. He attended college and performed in a Navy band while in the military. Donaldson first gained attention when he moved to New York and in 1952 started recording for Blue Note as a leader. At the age of 25, his style was fully formed, and although it would continue growing in depth through the years, Donaldson had already found his sound. In 1954, he participated in a notable gig with Art Blakey, Clifford Brown, Horace Silver, and Tommy Potter that was extensively documented by Blue Note and that directly predated the Jazz Messengers. However, Donaldson was never a member of the Messengers, and although he recorded as a sideman in the ’50s and occasionally afterwards with Thelonious Monk, Milt Jackson, and Jimmy Smith, among others, he has been a bandleader from the mid-’50s up until the present.
Donaldson’s early Blue Note recordings were pure bop. In 1958, he began often utilizing a conga player, and starting in 1961, his bands often had an organist rather than a pianist. His bluesy style was easily transferable to soul-jazz, and he sounded most original in that context. His association with Blue Note (1952-1963) was succeeded by some excellent (if now-scarce) sets for Cadet and Argo (1963-1966). The altoist returned to Blue Note in 1967 and soon became caught up in the increasingly commercial leanings of the label. For a time, he utilized an electronic Varitone sax, which completely watered down his sound. The success of “Alligator Boogaloo” in 1967 led to a series of less interesting funk recordings that were instantly dated and not worthy of his talent. These particular Blue Note recordings were often sampled by hip hop artists.
The next show will air on Sunday December 23, 2012 from 11:00pm – 1:00am Monday on WBAI, 99.5 FM in the NYC metro area or streaming online at wbai.org. In this installment of “Suga’ In My Bowl,” we will present pianist, composer, educator Harold Mabern. Mabern is also the father of Michael Mabern, a longtime producer of the “Creative Unity Collective” show on WBAI. You can hear a 30-second preview of the show below.
Harold Mabern (born March 20, 1936), one of jazz’s most enduring and dazzlingly skilled pianists, was born in Memphis, a city that produced saxophonists George Coleman and Charles Lloyd, pianist Phineas Newborn Jr. and trumpeter Booker Little. He was an unsung hero of the 1960s hardbop scene, performing and recording with many of its finest artists, and only in recent years has he begun to garner appreciation for his long-running legacy in jazz and the understated power of his talent; as critic Gary Giddins has written, “With the wind at his back, he can sound like an ocean roar.”
During his over half-century on the scene as sideman and leader, he has played and recorded with such greats as Lee Morgan, Sonny Rollins, Hank Mobley, Freddie Hubbard and Miles Davis, just to name a few. Mabern takes his sideman work very seriously: “I was never concerned with being a leader,” he says. “I just always wanted to be the best sideman I could be”. “Be in the background so you can shine through.”
In more recent years, he has toured and recorded extensively with his former William Paterson University student, the tenor saxophonist Eric Alexander. To date, Mabern and Alexander have appeared on over twenty CDs together. A faculty member at William Paterson University since 1981, Mabern is also a frequent instructor at the Stanford Jazz Workshop.
His latest release is “Mr. Lucky: A Tribute to Sammy Davis Jr.” released this year on HighNote Records.
Produced, Hosted, and Engineered by Joyce Jones.
Live clip of Mabern playing with Eric Alexander
Eric Alexander talks about Harold Mabern as a teacher.
On Sunday, November 18, “Suga’ In My Bowl” will celebrate Jazz legend Pharoah Sanders’ run at Birdland this week by offering the program that originally aired on April 20, 2010. Join Joyce Jones and Hank Williams as they spend time with this marvel in the music.
Pharoah Sanders possesses one of the most distinctive tenor saxophone sounds in jazz. Harmonically rich and heavy with overtones, Sanders’ sound can be as raw and abrasive as it is possible for a saxophonist to produce. Yet, Sanders is highly regarded to the point of reverence by a great many jazz fans. Although he made his name with expressionistic, nearly anarchic free jazz in John Coltrane’s late ensembles of the mid-’60s, Sanders’ later music is guided by more graceful concerns.
The hallmarks of Sanders’ playing at that time were naked aggression and unrestrained passion. In the years after Coltrane’s death, however, Sanders explored other, somewhat gentler and perhaps more cerebral avenues — without, it should be added, sacrificing any of the intensity that defined his work as an apprentice to Coltrane.
Pharoah Sanders (his given name, Ferrell Sanders) was born into a musical family. Sanders’ first instrument was the clarinet, but he switched to tenor sax as a high school student, under the influence of his band director, Jimmy Cannon. Cannon also exposed Sanders to jazz for the first time. Sanders’ early favorites included Harold Land, James Moody, Sonny Rollins, Charlie Parker, and John Coltrane. As a teenager, he played blues gigs for ten and 15 dollars a night around Little Rock, backing such blues greats as Bobby “Blue” Bland and Junior Parker. After high school, Sanders moved to Oakland, CA, where he lived with relatives. He attended Oakland Junior College, studying art and music. Known in the San Francisco Bay Area as “Little Rock,” Sanders soon began playing bebop, rhythm & blues, and free jazz with many of the region’s finest musicians, including fellow saxophonists Dewey Redman and Sonny Simmons, as well as pianist Ed Kelly and drummer Smiley Winters. In 1961, Sanders moved to New York, where he struggled. Unable to make a living with his music, Sanders took to pawning his horn, working non-musical jobs, and sometimes sleeping on the subway. During this period he played with a number of free jazz luminaries, including Sun Ra, Don Cherry, and Billy Higgins. Sanders formed his first group in 1963, with pianist John Hicks (with whom he would continue to play off-and-on into the ’90s), bassist Wilbur Ware, and drummer Higgins. The group played an engagement at New York’s Village Gate. A member of the audience was John Coltrane, who apparently liked what he heard. In late 1964, Coltrane asked Sanders to sit in with his band. By the next year, Sanders was playing regularly with the Coltrane group, although he was never made an official member of the band. Coltrane’s ensembles with Sanders were some of the most controversial in the history of jazz. Their music, as represented by the group’s recordings — Om, Live at the Village Vanguard Again, and Live in Seattle among them — represents a near total desertion of traditional jazz concepts, like swing and functional harmony, in favor of a teeming, irregularly structured, organic mixture of sound for sound’s sake. Strength was a necessity in that band, and as Coltrane realized, Sanders had it in abundance.
Sanders made his first record as a leader in 1964 for the ESP label. After John Coltrane’s death in 1967, Sanders worked briefly with his widow, Alice Coltrane. From the late ’60s, he worked primarily as a leader of his own ensembles. From 1966-1971, Sanders released several albums on Impulse, including Tauhid (1966), Karma (1969), Black Unity (1971), and Thembi (1971). In the mid-’70s, Sanders recorded his most commercial effort, Love Will Find a Way (Arista, 1977); it turned out to be a brief detour. From the late ’70s until 1987, he recorded for the small independent label Theresa. From 1987, Sanders recorded for the Evidence and Timeless labels. The former bought Theresa records in 1991 and subsequently re-released Sanders’ output for that company. In 1995, Sanders made his first major-label album in many years, Message From Home (produced by Bill Laswell for Verve). The two followed that one up in 1999 with Save Our Children. In 2000, Sanders released Spirits — a multi-ethnic live suite with Hamid Drake and Adam Rudolph. In the decades after his first recordings with Coltrane, Sanders developed into a more well-rounded artist, capable of playing convincingly in a variety of contexts, from free to mainstream. Some of his best work is his most accessible. As a mature artist, Sanders discovered a hard-edged lyricism that has served him well.
Bio from Chris Kelsey, All Music Guide.
Show hosted and produced by Joyce Jones and Hank Williams. Engineered by Joyce Jones.
The next show will air on Sunday September 14, 2012 from 11:00pm – 1:00am Monday on WBAI, 99.5 FM in the NYC metro area or streaming online at wbai.org. During this installment, we will feature “Miles Davis and Gil Evans: Still Ahead,” a New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) event that is part of what will become an annual “James Moody Democracy of Jazz Festival.” Our guests will be bassist (and former Suga’ guest) Christian McBride, trumpter Terence Blanchard, conductor Vince Mendoza, and NJPAC President and CEO John Schreiber. You can hear a short preview below:
“Miles Davis and Gil Evans: Still Ahead” is an all-star recreation of the landmark original Gil Evans arrangements of the classic Miles Davis recordings of “Porgy and Bess,” “Sketches of Spain,” and Miles Ahead.” This concert will feature a unique cast of jazz greats, including Terence Blanchard, Christian McBride, drummer Peter Erskine, tuba master (and former Suga’ guest) Howard Johnson (who performed live with both Davis and Evans), trumpeter Sean Jones, drummer Jimmy Cobb (who played on the original recording of Porgy and Bess), and a jazz orchestra under the direction of Vince Mendoza.
Hosted, produced, and engineered by Arts Producer Joyce Jones