Listening Session: Randy Brecker

Randy_Brecker

Randy Brecker and I did this late night listening session after one of his concert performances at the 2011 Copenhagen Jazz Festival. He had been up for two days but was inspired by the selections played and offered insights into both the music and players.

1) Terri Lyne Carrington

“Michelle” (from Mosaic, Concord). Carrington, drums; Geri Allen, piano; Ingrid Jensen, trumpet; Anat Cohen, saxophone; Esperanza Spalding, bass; Gretchen Parlato, vocal. Recorded in 2011.

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R.I.P. Rose Marie McCoy

You may not recognize the name of songwriter Rose Marie McCoy (1922-2015), but you likely know her work. The Arkansas-born McCoy scored her first hit with Gabbin’ Blues recorded by Big Maybelle. Her songs, co-written with Charlie Singleton and others, were recorded by Nat “King” Cole, Louis Jordan, Dinah Washington, Elvis Presley, Jimmy Scott, Sarah Vaughan and many more. She reportedly turned down offers from Atlantic, Stax and Motown Records, and set up shop in the Brill Building. Ms. McCoy, who continued to write into her 9th decade passed on Jan. 20 . She was 92.

Here are some of my favorite songs written or co-written by Rose Marie McCoy. The first one features McCoy herself taunting Big Maybelle. The last is a rare 78 of McCoy herself singing

Living Legends Panel Discussion

On Friday Oct. 10, 2014 I had the pleasure of moderating a panel discussion celebrating the seven Living Legends of Jazz: Roy Haynes, Jimmy Heath, Rufus Reid, Larry Ridley, Reggie Workman, Kenny Barron and  the 2014 honoree pianist, composer Joanne Brackeen. The discussion took place at Levine Music in Washington D.C. and was co-sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation. I gave my camera to Josh Kohn and asked him to take some shots of the panel in action. Continue reading

Blue Note at 75 Panel Discussion

Had the pleasure of interviewing Lou Donaldson, Michael Cuscuna and Jason Moran at the Blue Note at 75 panel discussion, May 10, 2014 at the Library of Congress. I was a bit under the weather that day, but the conversation lifted my spirit. Special note of thanks to Bruce Lundvall for his contributions to jazz and American music.