Monday, September 27, 2010

Changing Up the Beat...

A few post back I was thinking about influences on life and earlier today I got a pleasant surprise that echoed just that.  The website had a special visitor today and he left a note, saying his mother was John Bartee's youngest sister. He briefly wrote of a memory as a 4 year old child in Burbank, California, and John visiting having with him a guitar & a box of sheet music.  Now John's nephew can't remember how his uncle looked at that young age but to this day he remembers how he was taken by the Guitar and the music STUFF.  He went on to start playing a guitar at age 8, and playing Upright & Electric Bass at 12.  He will say Music was a gift, as will my own nephew who has also received that natural gift.  We may watch and listen to them play the different instruments and enjoy their talents... But I feel the Music is so much deeper in them than what we witness outwardly.  A gift which they may not even have words for... A love & A life.

With that said I'd I like to change up the Jazz beat a little with some sounds that would have no problem being in the same room with those which came before.

I had only seen pictures of Johnny Alexander playing Bass,  we have never met personally.  Yet a few hours ago I got to see & hear him perform thanks to the technology of the Internet.

                                Dave Crimmen & his Band

   Dave Crimmen - Lead Vocals,Guitar 
  Johnny   Alexander - Bass Guitar 
  Greg Windust - Drums

    "Just Plain Old Rock & Roll Sounds"
                       by Jonathan Farrell  September 17, 2010

Yeah... I think these guys really Love the MUSIC.

If you are near the San Mateo - San Francisco Area of California you need to check out Dave Crimmen & his Band live. Get their schedule and If you enjoyed the above tunes, they are burning things up at Myspace

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Illusion of Credit and Creation...



1. adherence to moral and ethical principles; 
soundness of moral character; honesty.

Number one reason to maintain silence.

Fear of losing the Illusion of Integrity.

Number one reason to lie.

Loss of Integrity.

These words don't just apply to the Music Industry... The lack of integrity has become an ever present force within our World.  It surrounds us and draws us in... even the best of us is challenged daily to compromise what is right.

It reins its power over our governments, the financial systems of the world, and even the religions that so many consider the moral compass of their souls.

I will find a way to deal with those elements in the world around me... What bothers me most is the lack of integrity we allow in recorded History.  Here we are at what many would say is the most technology advanced stage of the human civilization. Though we are put to shame by history recorded in pictures on a cave wall, and even some of those early historians exaggerated the truth.  The future is based in part on the History we leave behind, will truth not be of any importance to our descendants.

The PC age of computers has allowed us to record & scan massive amounts of information. Now a document that was once only known to one individual where it was buried among boxes in their attic... that same document can be scanned and re-united with other hidden pieces of the event.  Even though this may not paint us a precise picture of the past, it might allow us a clearer understanding of what took place.

Without fail... the over whelming power that keeps the truth away seems to always have an underlying reason.

In the Music Industry this reason is ROYALTIES.  If the acknowledgement of the real truth could possibly lead to the lost of current day royalties for individuals & music publishers... they have either recopied, burned, buried or locked that truth up in Fort Knox.  Even if they were told they still get to keep all the money & rights, they will not share the truth.  For then the illusion of integrity is gone.  So... the code of silence is the Industry motto... 

After hundreds of inquiries to individuals & corporations within the music industry over the last seven years regarding John Bartee, I have gotten the message loud & clear.  CASH trumps Truth.

Old lovable Buddy in the Dick Van Dyke Show went to his grave under a similar code, denial.  Right or Wrong...even in this case the truth is in there somewhere.  Are we prepared as individuals for the generations of the future to write the wikipedia article on who we were based on the information they have available.  But then do we really care?

Lord Invader -  Rum & Coca Cola

Andrew Sisters - Rum & Coca Cola

At least this makes it easier to understand the rules of the game.  I am now only under the illusion that there were 9 laws on those stone tablets, and even those are now debatable.   Play Ball...

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Influences on Life

 It seems that a day doesn't go by where a visitor to this blog one way or another opens my eyes to yet another piece of the musical world.  One individual who tends to enlighten & educate me more on the off stage business of the industry is jazz journalist & writer, Chris Albertson.  I assume most of us have arrived at our present location in life due in part to the influence of others.  Bessie Smith seems to have played a role in influencing the path of his life when in 1947 he first heard one of her recordings on Danish  radio.

From that first song an appreciation of  jazz and blues music apparently has taken Mr. Albertson on a very interesting journey.  On his current blog Stomp Off he regularly reaches into a treasure of notes, letters, and  original recordings of interviews he did in the past.  I'm sure there are others in the music business that have a closet full of history also, but Chris appears to endeared himself to a wide range of individuals within the industry, most importantly.. the Artists of days gone by.  From what I have learned about Chris without personally meeting him I feel many who know him might share feelings about him similar to those Duke Ellington shared about Stanley & Helen Oakley-Dance,  long time friends to both Ellington & Chris

In 1970 Duke Ellington wrote:
"Stanley is well informed about my activities and those of my associates. He has been a part of our scene for a long time, maybe longer than he cares to remember. He and his wife Helen are the kind of people it is good to have in your corner, the kind of people you don't mind knowing your secrets. In other words they are friends - and you don't have to be careful with friends."

From the beginning o f my search for John Bartee,  I have been influenced by the sounds & History of an era where life & Music were far different from what we experience in the mainstream of  life today.  Yet an era that still had all the human vices & shortcomings that mankind has nourished from the beginning of his existence here on planet earth.

Years ago one of the first pictures that really drew me into the world of big band & jazz was this grouping of Chick Webb, Artie Shaw & Duke Ellington.

Jam Session with Jazz Giants (1937)

Helen Oakley, in the light dress, then working for Irving Mills, organized this 1937 jam session at the Brunswick Recording Studio in New York to help launch the Master and Variety record labels.
Chick Webb, Artie Shaw, and Duke Ellington all volunteered their time. Milt Gabler kneels behind Ellington; Oakley's British-born future husband, the jazz historian Stanley Dance, stands against the far wall.

And thats Teddy McRae, Back Bay Shuffle... to the left of Helen Dance.  Bandleader. George Hall right of Shaw.

  Originally uncredited:  Charles Peterson was the photographer for this event who himself is part of the pictures he created of the New York music world.  His son, Don, compiled his work in the book Swing Era New York.  Even here we come full circle finding the forward of the book by Stanley Dance. After seeing the preview pictures at the above link within this book I surely look forward to seeing the other images Mr. Peterson lived & captured on film.  The above picture is a weblink to a site where it is posted.

Turns out when Chris Albertson gives a lesson , most recently about his friend Stanley Dance... I am left wanting to know more.  Although I had seen her name before...Helen Oakley with this picture, until doing my homework I really didn't know who she was...  Now I really know how important this picture truly is in music history... for its not just about the well know musicians Webb, Shaw & Ellington.  Its about their friends, supporters and promoters within the industry also pictured who helped shape and influence their success.  

That event / open house for the new Variety & Master record labels was truly an event.  As noted above Stanley Dance stands against a the far wall, he had arrived in New York just the month prior aboard the Queen Mary.  Read a brief account from him.  There is so much more history beyond what is seen in this one picture yet true History is such a difficult product to market.  I bet a complete motion picture screenplay could be produced from just the beginnings of the snap of this picture.  But in this current economy, not even a film about Miles Davis doesn't get put on the shelf.

One thing I have learned about many books published regarding Music history is that many just scratch the surface when it comes to the individuals that aren't pictured on the album cover.  I am not sure if this is intentional between the writer & the publisher just to create the illusion of a product that will impart information & true knowledge of the subject for marketing.  But in this day and age if someone is actually reading & then they take the step to buy a book on a subject that is of interest to them...  Wouldn't it be more beneficial to a publisher's future publications if they were known to produce well researched truly informative books & articles?

Through this website I have been made aware that our news service industry, no longer depends on researching out first hand accounts for stories by contacting an individual like Chris Albertson.  Instead much of the great news research is done at a keyboard collecting third & fourth hand accounts of events through bloggers like myself.  So I add this disclaimer:   I am an authority on Custom Cabinetmaking, Genealogy research, John Bartee & visits to the emergency room... On all other things in life I remain a life long student with a passion for many subjects and activities. 

If you were puzzled about the previous post... Yes it does represent my feelings on many organizations & the fact I base my opinion of an individual on their personal actions.  We are what WE do, not the actions of any political , religious, or ethnic organization.  Beyond that... it was a humorous image that just popped into my head so I had to create it.  Not meant to offend any supporters of President Obama... You could cut and paste the face of any President of the past few decades & I would still see it the same.
If you read the quote by Thoreau it's very easy to understand the depiction.

Should you still be upset with my humorous depiction of World Government in action I refer you back to spokesperson Porky Pig

Monday, September 13, 2010

Sonny Rollins - 80th Birthday Concert Celebration

Sonny Rollins was really busy last week, on Tuesday, September the 7th he turned 80, and a new book by Abbott and Blumenthal, “Saxophone Colossus: A Portrait of Sonny Rollins” was released.  Though he was just warming up...

To top off the week he appeared with the guitarist Jim Hall who at age 79 brought the  two great Jazz artists together at the Beacon Theater in New York City.   If that wasn't enough of a draw to fill the sold-out concert... Roy Hargrove was the first special guest to join Mr. Rollins and his band on stage.  The drummer Roy Haynes who at 85 surprised the audience,  ( I think more for the fact that he didn't appear to be 85) when he joined Mr. Rollins in a trio with the youngster, 38 year old bassist Christian McBride for a number.  Then it seems as if Mr. Rollins had become a magician pulling another surprise guest from his hat, when alto saxophonist, Ornette Coleman who also turned 80 this year joined the show.

Also featured were Mr. Rollins’s longtime bassist Bob Cranshaw, the guitarist Russell Malone, the drummer Kobie Watkins and the percussionist Sammy Figueroa.

A very lucky audience seemed to be the receivers of  a gifted historical performance topping out Sonny Rollin's week long birthday celebration.
Apparently... 80 is the new magical number for really getting in the groove.  

Watch Sonny Rollins: Music is Meditation in Music  |  View More Free Videos Online at

TOP PICTURE /  Sonny Rollins 80th Birthday Celebration at Beacon Theater - By David Michael Wade ©2010

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Red Garland - Soul Junction

A rainy Sunday night here... a perfect title for a song and place we often find ourselves at in Life.

William Red Garland  1923 - 1984