Artist Highlight – Thelonious Monk

theloniusmonk

Monk had a unique improvisational style and made numerous contributions to the standard jazz repertoire (including his classic works Round Midnight and Blue Monk). He is often regarded as a founder of bebop, although his playing style evolved away from the form.

“Everyone is influenced by everybody but you bring it down home the way you feel it.”

Thelonious Monk

Round Midnight

His compositions and improvisations are full of dissonant harmonies and angular melodic twists, and are impossible to separate from Monk’s unorthodox approach to the piano, which combined a highly percussive attack with abrupt, dramatic use of silences and hesitations. Round Midnight is a 1944 jazz standard by jazz musician Thelonious Monk. It is thought that Monk originally composed it sometime between 1940 and 1941, however Harry Colomby claims that Monk may have written an early version around 1936 (at the age of 19) with the title Grand Finale. This song has also been performed by many artists such as Bobby McFerrin, Chick Corea and Hermeto Pascoal.

Blue Monk

Bebop or bop is a form of jazz characterized by fast tempos and improvisation based on harmonic structure rather than melody. It was developed in the early and mid-1940s. It first surfaced in musicians’ argot some time during the first two years of the Second World War. Hard bop later developed from bebop combined with blues and gospel music. Melodically the predominating contour of improvised bebop is that it tends to ascend in arpeggios and descend in scale steps. While a stereotype, an examination of Charlie Parker solos will show that this in fact is a key quality of the music. Ascending arpeggios are frequently of diminished seventh chords, which function as 7b9 chords of various types. Typical scales used in bebop include the bebop major, minor and dominant (see below), the harmonic minor and the chromatic. The half-whole diminished scale is also occasionally used, and in the music of Thelonious Monk especially, the whole tone scale.

Charlie Parker, Well You Needn’t

He was born on October 10, 1917 in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, the son of Thelonious and Barbara Monk, two years after a sister named Marian. A younger brother, Thomas, was born a couple of years later. His parents moved to New York when young Thelonious was five years of age. A year or so later he was picking out tunes on the family piano. Monk started playing the piano at the age of nine; although he had some formal training and eavesdropped on his sister’s piano lessons, he was essentially self-taught. By the time he was 12 he was accompanying his mother at the local Baptist church as well as playing at “rent parties”, those informal gatherings where tenants who were behind with their payments to the landlord would hold a party in the hope that visitors would contribute to the debt clearance!

Thelonious Monk started his first job touring as an accompanist to an evangelist. He was inspired by the Harlem stride pianists (James P. Johnson was a neighbor) and vestiges of that idiom can be heard in his later unaccompanied solos. However, when he was playing in the house band of Minton’s Playhouse during 1940-1943, Monk was searching for his own individual style. Private recordings from the period find him sometimes resembling Teddy Wilson but starting to use more advanced rhythms and harmonies.

He worked with Lucky Millinder a bit in 1942 and was with the Cootie Williams Orchestra briefly in 1944 (Williams recorded Monk’s “Epistrophy” in 1942 and in 1944 was the first to record “‘Round Midnight”), but it was when he became Coleman Hawkins’ regular pianist that Monk was initially noticed. He cut a few titles with Hawkins (his recording debut) and, although some of Hawkins’ fans complained about the eccentric pianist, the veteran tenor could sense the pianist’s greatness.

Fortunately, Alfred Lion of Blue Note believed in him and recorded Monk extensively during 1947-1948 and 1951-1952. He also recorded for Prestige during 1952-1954, had a solo set for Vogue in 1954 during a visit to Paris, and appeared on a Verve date with Bird and Diz.

In 1955, he signed with Riverside and producer Orrin Keepnews persuaded him to record an album of Duke Ellington tunes and one of standards so his music would appear to be more accessible to the average jazz fan. In 1956 came the classic Brilliant Corners album, but it was the following year when the situation permanently changed. Monk was booked into the Five Spot for a long engagement and he used a quartet that featured tenor saxophonist John Coltrane. Finally, the critics and then the jazz public recognized Thelonious Monk’s greatness during this important gig. He came to Europe to play at the Paris Jazz Fair and played in the audiences at the Salle Pleyel and the Club St. Germain, joining in the loud applause for this true jazz original. Towards the end of the Fifties, with riverside records setting up all manner of interesting studio sessions, he formed his own quartet, first with tenor saxist John Coltrane, then Johnny Griffin and, in 1959, Charlie Rouse. It was Rouse who probably had more experience of Monk’s music than any other horn player, for Charlie remained with Thelonious from 1959 until 1970. In the autumn of 1967 Monk’s quartet was booked to take part in a touring extravaganza under the title “Jazz Expo ’67”; along with men such as Dave Brubeck, Herbie Mann etc. It was decided to enlarge Thelonious’s working group of Charlie Rouse, Larry Gales and Ben Riley with the addition of some additional frontline players and the so-called Nonet made its appearance in the Odeon Hammersmith, in London, just a week before the Salle Pleyel date presented here.

Thelonious Monk, who was criticized by observers who failed to listen to his music on its own terms, suffered through a decade of neglect before he was suddenly acclaimed as a genius; his music had not changed one bit in the interim. In fact, one of the more remarkable aspects of Monk’s music was that it was fully formed by 1947 and he saw no need to alter his playing or compositional style in the slightest during the next 25 years. After his death it seemed as if everyone was doing Thelonious Monk tributes. There were so many versions of Round Midnight that it was practically a pop hit! He played with the Giants of Jazz during 1971-1972, but then retired in 1973. He passed away on February 17, 1982.

By Ranie Smith

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UC Jazz Ensembles Fundraising Concert at Yoshi’s Monday, October 27, 2008

Gary Johnson, Bassist, at UC Jazz Ensembles show great promise. He is fabulous.
Gary Johnson – Bassist at the UC Jazz Ensembles


The UC Jazz Fall 2008 Fundraiser will be held on Monday, October 27, 2008 at Yoshi’s Oakland. Please order tickets now – thank you for your support! 

UC Jazz Ensembles to perform at
Yoshi’s in Oakland
Monday, October 27, 2008 

A Fundraiser and Night of Jazz in honor of Robert Cole, Director of Cal Performances and Student Musical Activities with optional Pre-Concert Dinner and Silent Auction

Enjoy a lovely dinner, silent auction and or a marvelous concert. 

Please make your concert reservations now! 

8 pm General Admission is $25
8 pm Student is $10

10 pm General Admission is $15
10 pm Student is $10

Let’s join and save the music program together. With your assistance we can keep this musical tradition alive despite the economic conditions and perhaps especially because of the economic condition. A thriving culture, celebration of music has long brought joy and a wonderful quality of life to our State. We need musicians of fine quality and people who enjoy and appreciate great music. Please support our effort to keep the UC Jazz Ensembles program going. Funding for this fine music program has been truly needed. 

To RSVP for the Dinner and Shows package and for more information about opportunities for sponsorship, program ads, auction donations and contributions in honor of Robert Cole and UC Jazz in general, please go to ucjazz.berkeley.edu or call (510) 643-2662.

Learn about last year’s fundraiser – Click 

Join us to honor Robert Cole

In his words: While every new season is a challenge and an opportunity, the 2008/09 Season takes on particular meaning for me as it is the last in my 23-year tenure as Director of Cal Performances. Therefore, I hope you’ll agree that it is a special one indeed, and unlike any other in our history! It is a season that has been specifically designed to please you in ways both large and small, including the return of many of the great artists that have been associated with Cal Performances over the years, the introduction of exciting new talents in their Bay Area debuts, and the inclusion of specially requested works on the programs of our Chamber Series and more. 

Learn more about Robert Cole MORE 

Ted Moore, Director of UC Jazz Ensembles

Mr. Moore is Director of UC Jazz Ensembles at UC Berkeley. Aside from his administrative duties, he offers his skills as the Percussion Director of UC Jazz Ensembles Advanced Combo II and the Improv Workshop.

A graduate of the Eastman School of Music, Ted Moore has toured the world with Paul Winter, Marian McPartland, Stan Getz, Joe Williams, Eric Gale, Jack Wilkins, Gene Bertonzini, Joey DeFrancesco, and many others. For several years, he lived in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, performing timpani and percussion with the Brazilian Symphony Orchestra, as well as touring and recording with one of Brazil’s leading saxophonists, Victor Assis Brasil. Mr. Moore has composed original scores for several films and television series, including the NOVA science series on PBS. MORE 

Thank you all for your support of UC Jazz Ensembles! 

Event and Sponsorship Information 

Member Support Services Find out about the UC Jazz Club membership benefits, and how you may wish to contribute and interact with other volunteer and member companies. 

Event and Sponsorship Information 

Edie Okamoto 

eokamoto@riovida.net For more information about donations please contact

Carol Suveda
carols@sma.berkeley.edu For more information about UC Jazz please contact

Ted Moore
tmoore@ucjazz.berkeley.edu 

Sign-up or stop UC Jazz Newsletter subscription by contacting us at info@riovida.net 

About the UC Jazz Ensembes 

The UC Jazz Club was founded by the students of UC Jazz Ensembles and its faculty. Our goal is to share our fine tradition of Jazz with our members and the community at large. 

UC Jazz Ensembles have been teaching students since 1966. We hope our members will enjoy our monthly newsletter, our performances and most importantly we hope you will support our effort to expand our popular program. 

We invite donors and volunteers to continue to support our growing program and to join us now. 

The UC Jazz Club offers several unique sponsorship opportunities which will support us in our goal to remodel the UC Jazz studios. 

With your support we will also maintain and grow our current resources in the studios. This includes the purchase and maintenance of our equipment, expanding and renovating our practice areas, adding to our jazz library and ultimately making recordings of our big band and ensembles live performances. 

Our goal is to uphold the UC Jazz tradition which has enchanted the world. We have taught students how to carry on this wonderful musical tradition with great success. Jazz has become mainstream and is becoming increasingly popular. 

Please contact Ted Moore, director of UC Jazz Ensembles to learn about the program. You may also contact RioVida Networks for assistance to set up interviews with the faculty, students and fund-raising committee.

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Artist Highlight – Stanley Jordan

Celebrating grammy-award nominated
Stanley Jordan

Ranie Smith, Executive Director of the UC Jazz Club, honored Stanley Jordan at one of the first Ranie’s Jazz Salon functions. He held the function at Jim Dennis Photography Studio. Everyone had a wonderful time and I encourage you to get in touch with us to be put on this special invitation list. The gatherings are for UC Jazz Club members and the press only. Lloyd Gregory and Rolando Morales were present at the function to honor Stanley Jordan.

Stanley Jordan performs “All Blues” of his “State of Nature CD”

Stanley Jordan, world renowned musician and now holistic philosopher, has released a new CD “State of Nature”. It is a true gift. 

“State of Nature” promises to become a hit. It combines Jordan’s magical ability to compose music that inspires and refreshes with his amazing musical skill. When listening to the album you are taken on a magical journey that is both uplifting and enlightening. Stanley brings nature to life and urges us to embrace it while at the same time enjoying our humanity as part of nature. The CD starts with “A Place in Space” which is fun to listen to. It evokes a feeling of bouncing harmoniously in space among many other stars and planets. This composition is melodic and modern. It immediately demonstrates Jordan’s ability to play guitar in a way that hardly anyone else can match. The notes are bouncing, echoing, flowing, and they create a feeling of richness and fullness that reminds us that we are part of a very big mysterious world. Jordan asks us with his commentary in the liner notes to become conscious and aware of this vast and mysterious Universe. He suggests that as we become aware of the infinite vastness of space we will naturally grow to love and care for our precious planet, our home called Earth.
 
He continues on with “All Blues”. This composition brings us right back down to earth with its bluesy and smoky sound. It reminds us that we are part of everyone and everything. We are part of the All. Stanley Jordan invites us along this musical journey and into his musical mind with the accompanying poem in the liner notes:  “Universal and cool, blowing indigo riffs to syncopate the primordial swing. Hip changes reverberate for Miles and stretch modal and blue across the landscape of now.” Like his music, Stanley Jordan is so very, very cool!
 
With “Forest Garden” Jordan increases the sophistication in this haunting and beautiful sonata by bringing in natural sounds of birds, the sound of a breeze in the leaves and wolves howling in the background. His guitar sounds classic and pure. Meta Weiss on cello perfectly compliments Stanley’s harmonies, and percussionist Hartt Steams is breezy, transporting you to this peaceful outdoor garden setting. Here Stanley succeeds in creating a feeling of refreshing peace. In his poem he describes the feeling: “In a perfect state of original oneness all things and beings in the garden simply are. The arrival of humankind brings a new awareness and a new capacity for compassion.”

Jordan then brings us the moving and mournful popular love song “Insensatez” by Jobim, who not only mourns his lost love but also his own behavior that brought about the loss. Stanley Jordan’s rendition of the song is beautiful. In his liner notes he reminds us that often our callous behavior is unintended. He muses that perhaps we shut down our empathy precisely because we are so sensitive, too sensitive to allow ourselves to feel the pain we cause others because it might become too overwhelming.

We are healed by the next piece which is the wonderful “Mozart’s Piano Concierto #21- Andante in F” played flawlessly by Jordan as a celebration of our own potential for greatness. We can bask in the perfection of Mozart’s composition while realizing how complex and wonderful we are. Within each of us slumbers this great potential.

Stanley Jordan and Mozart’s Piano Concierto #21

“Song for my Father” is included as a tribute to David Jordan, Stanley’s own father. This Horace Silver classic is a perfect fit on this wonderful journey. Peaceful, energetic and playful, it lets us all wander down memory lane. Stanley Jordan, Song for my Father – live in Paris “Mindgames 1, 2, & 3” are Stanley Jordan’s own brief compositions which bring nice transitions between songs. Stanley urges us to take mental breaks and to exercise our minds regularly. Read the full poem in the liner notes. Stanley is not just an amazing musician but also a wonderful poet and philosopher.
 
“Ocean Breeze,” composed by Jordan and sitarist Jay Kishor, is a perfect meeting of East and West. It is harmonious and serene. Stanley brings cool Western poise to this song and Jay’s sitar brings Eastern serenity. Together they refresh our spirit.
 
Jordan’s composition “Healing Waves” is beautiful, and promises to be an instant classic. In true Stanley Jordan style it combines abstract music with rich melodies and harmonies. It is at once demanding and soothing. It evokes many feelings, assisting with the release of emotions and eventually bringing one back to a harmonious, peaceful and centered place. If you like classical music you will definitely love this piece.
 
“Shadow Dance” displays the richness of the full Stanley Jordan sound. It may be a little reminiscent of Kitaro or of Santana. This piece is melodic, beautiful and rich, yet easy to listen to. I needed to sit back and listen to it over and over again. Jordan bares his soul with this song and allows us to delve deeply into our own. In his liner notes poem he ends: “Time Passes. Somewhere in the distance I hear bells. A ray of golden light has pierced the gray clouds and awakened me.” This song is like a cosmic and mystical journey home.
 
After another “Mind Games” break we come to “Prayer for the Sea,” another original on this CD. It is modern, and Stanley succeeds in bringing out his abstract musical style in a deeply harmonious way. This song is relaxing like a day at the beach on a sunny Spring afternoon. It is also reminiscent of the first song “A Place in Space” on the album, yet this time is feels close and cozy. Prayer for the Sea reminds us that we need to care for ourselves, our home “Earth” and especially our oceans which cover 70% of the earth. Let’s become aware and conscious of the need to preserve water before it becomes another “oil crisis. “
 
“State of Nature” ends with the old-school hit “Steppin’ Out” and brings the CD to a joyous ending. After this musical journey I am ready to embrace my humanity and Stanley Jordan’s CD and I are ready for “Steppin’ Out”. I am energized yet relaxed. What a great musical experience!
 
Stanley Jordan came to prominence with the release of his 1985 debut album Magic Touch, which sold over 500,000 copies. Magic Touch placed him at the forefront of re-launching the legendary Blue Note Records into a contemporary entity of jazz and beyond, as well as establishing Stanley Jordan as among the most distinctive and refreshing new voices of the electric guitar. He has enchanted millions of listeners around the world ever since.

I recommend that you go out and buy Jordan’s new CD. It is totally worth it and available at all major music retail outlets. If you can catch his show try to see him. Stanley is once again proofs to be amazing!

From the moment he made his debut in 1985 with the gold-selling Grammy© nominated album MagicTouch, guitar virtuoso Stanley Jordan has proven himself as a forward thinking innovator. With his nimbly executed “touch” or “tap” technique, he ushered a dazzling and spellbinding new sound into the world of progressive instrumental music.

Over the course of five major recordings and several smaller independent releases, Stanley has explored earthly and astral musical trailways. Because of the extraordinary originality of his approach to guitar, Stanley has been looked upon first and foremost as a musical original, orbiting in an artistic universe without predecessor or immediate successor.

With his groundbreaking 2007 album, “State Of Nature” his debut for the Mack Avenue label, Stanley Jordan makes another bold step by using his music to musically illustrate profound and unifying truths about man’s relationship to nature and humankind.


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Artist Highlight – Count Basie

Count Basie

“If you play a tune and a person don’t tap their feet, don’t play the tune. “
Count Basie 

by Ranie Smith

Count Basie was regarded as one of the most important bandleaders of the swing era. He lived from August 21, 1904 to April 26, 1984. Basie led his popular Count Basie Orchestra for almost fifty years. Both of Basie’s parents were musicians; his father, Harvie Basie, played the mellophone, and his mother, Lillian (Childs) Basie, was a pianist. She gave her son his earliest lessons. Basie also learned from Harlem stride pianists, particularly Fats Waller who taught him how to play organ. 

In early 1929, Basie played with different bands, eventually settling into one led by Bennie Moten. Basie worked as a soloist before leading a band initially called the Barons of Rhythm. A few of Moten’s former band members joined this nine-piece swing band, among them Walter Page (bass), Freddie Green (guitar), Jo Jones (drums), and Lester Young (tenor saxophone). Jimmy Rushing became the singer. The band gained a residency at the Reno Club in Kansas City and began broadcasting on the radio. An announcer dubbed the pianist “Count” Basie. Basie got his big break when one of his broadcasts was heard by journalist and record producer John Hammond. Hammond touted him to agents and record companies. As a result, the band left Kansas City in the fall of 1936 and took an engagement at the Grand Terrace in Chicago. The next date was in Buffalo, NY, then on to Roseland in New York City. 

January 1937, Count Basie’s Band made its recording debut on Decca Records. Meanwhile, the band’s recording of “One O’Clock Jump” got its first chart entry in September 1937. The tune became the band’s theme song and it was later inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. 

Basie’s music was characterized by his trademark “jumping” beat and the contrapuntal accents of his own piano. “Stop Beatin’ Round the Mulberry Bush,” with Rushing on vocals, became a Top Ten hit in the fall of 1938. Basie spent the first half of 1939 in Chicago, meanwhile switching from Decca to Columbia Records, then went to the West Coast in the fall. He spent the early ’40s touring extensively, but after the U.S. entry into World War II in December 1941 and the onset of the recording ban in August 1942, his travel was restricted. In 1942 Basie moved to Queens, New York, to be with Catherine Morgan, a famous dancer from Cleveland. They got married in 1943. In his autobiography, “Good Morning Blues,” Basie said he married the girl from Cleveland in 1943 in Seattle. Their honeymoon was a string of one-night band appearances. The Basie band was working in New York when Katy was about to have a baby. She returned to Cleveland and stayed with her parents. Katy and Bill “Count” Basie’s only child, Diane Basie, was born in Cleveland. He rushed to Cleveland to be with his wife and daughter. Later, when they rejoined Basie in New York, he said he had vivid memories of seeing Katy getting off the plane from Cleveland carrying their baby. He said, “It was a special thrill bringing my family home from the airport that day, Old Base, his wife and daughter.” 

In 1943 while on the West Coast, he started to appear in five films, all released within a matter of months in 1943: Hit Parade of 1943, Reveille with Beverly, Stage Door Canteen, Top Man, and Crazy House. He also scored a series of Top Ten hits on the pop and R&B charts, including “I Didn’t Know About You” (pop, winter 1945); “Red Bank Blues” (R&B, winter 1945); “Rusty Dusty Blues” (R&B, spring 1945); “Jimmy’s Blues” (pop and R&B, summer/fall 1945); and “Blue Skies” (pop, summer 1946). Switching to RCA Victor Records, he topped the charts in February 1947 with “Open the Door, Richard!,” followed by three more Top Ten pop hits in 1947: “Free Eats,” “One O’Clock Boogie,” and “I Ain’t Mad at You (You Ain’t Mad at Me).” 

Joining ASCAP in 1943, his chief musical collaborators included Mack David, Jerry Livingston, James Rushing, Andy Gibson, Eddie Durham, and Lester Young. His songs and instrumentals also include “Good Morning Blues”; “Every Tub”; “John’s Idea”; “Basie Boogie”; “Blue and Sentimental”; “Gone With the Wind”; “I Ain’t Mad at You”; “Futile Frustration”; “Good Bait”; “Don’t You Miss Your Baby?”; “Miss Thing” “Riff Interlude”; “Panassie Stomp: “Shorty George”; “Out the Window”; “Hollywood Jump: “Nobody Knows”; “Swinging at the Daisy Chain”; and “I Left My Baby”. The big bands’ decline in popularity in the late ’40s hit Basie as it did his peers, and he broke up his orchestra at the end of the decade, opting to lead smaller units for the next couple of years. 

In the 1950’s, the big band era seemed to be near its end. Basie remained faithful to his beloved Kansas City Jazz style and helped keep the big band sound alive with his distinctive style of piano playing. In 1952, Count Basie increased his band back to the full Big Band sound with his 16-piece orchestra responding to the increased opportunities for touring. For example, he went overseas for the first time to play in Scandinavia in 1954, and thereafter international touring played a large part in his schedule. An important addition to the band in late 1954 was vocalist Joe Williams. The orchestra was re-established commercially by the 1955 album Count Basie Swings – Joe Williams Sings (released on Clef Records), particularly by the single “Every Day (I Have the Blues),” which reached the Top Five of the R&B charts and was later inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. 

Another key recording of this period was an instrumental reading of “April in Paris” that made the pop Top 40 and the R&B Top Ten in early 1956; it also was enshrined in the Grammy Hall of Fame. These hits made what Albert Murray (co-author of Basie’s autobiography, Good Morning Blues) called the “new testament” edition of the Basie band a major success .By the mid-1950s, Basie’s band had become one of the pre-eminent backing big bands for some of the finest jazz vocalists of the time. Tony Bennett, Sammy Davis, Jr. and Frank Sinatra also recorded with Basie. In 1957 Basie released the live album At Newport. At the first Grammy Awards ceremony, Basie won the 1958 awards for Best Performance by a Dance Band and Best Jazz Performance, Group, for his Roulette Records LP Basie. Breakfast Dance and Barbecue was nominated in the dance band category for 1959.

Basie was nominated for best jazz performance for “Basie at Birdland” in 1961 and “The Legend” in 1962. Iin 1962, Basie switched to Frank Sinatra’s Reprise Records. Sinatra-Basie reached the Top Five in early 1963. It was followed by “This Time by Basie!” Hits of the 50’s and 60’s, which reached the Top 20 and won the 1963 Grammy Award for Best Performance by an Orchestra for Dancing. Basie teamed with various vocalists for a series of chart albums including Ella Fitzgerald (Ella and Basie!, 1963); Sinatra again (the Top 20 album It Might as Well Be Swing, 1964); Sammy Davis, Jr. (Our Shining Hour, 1965); the Mills Brothers (The Board of Directors, 1968); and Jackie Wilson (Manufacturers of Soul, 1968), Broadway Basie’s … Way (1966). Later Basie returned a pure jazz format. His album Standing Ovation earned a 1969 Grammy nomination for Best Instrumental Jazz Performance by a Large Group or Soloist with Large Group (Eight or More). The band had first recorded for Norman Granz on Clef, then moved to Roulette, where it spent its peak years of the late ’50s and early ’60s. When Granz returned to recording activity in 1972 with Pablo Records, it would also mean a final renaissance for Basie, whom Granz recorded magnificently in trio, small band formats as well as with the band. A series of pairings with Oscar Peterson produced some unusually invigorating Basie piano. Basie died April 24, 1984, of cancer, but the band continues playing on today. Count Basie is quote to have said: “All I wanted was to be big, to be in show business and to travel… and that’s what I’ve been doing all my life.”

Watch Count Basie on U-Tube 

One O’Clock Jump 

Count Basie in the film “Hit Parade”, 1943 

Count Basie in Zuerich, 1959

Ella Fitzgerald and Count Basie, 1979 






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Artist Highlight – UC Jazz Ensembles

by Ranie Smith, Executive Director of the UC Jazz Club

“The UC Jazz Club wishes to thank all its members and the community at large for your continued support. “

“An Evening at Yoshi’s “

On November 12, 2007 the UC Jazz Ensembles performed their First Annual Fundraising Concert. The performance was stellar. Ted Moore, the Musical Director, Brad Brennan, Associate Director of Student Musical Activities together the Carol Suveda, Head of the Fundraising committee were pleased with the community response. It was clear that the community was greatly pleased with the students performance.

The fundraiser could not have been as successful without the strong support of Linda Marquardt, mother of Megan Marquardt. Megan dazzled audiences with her stellar performance. Members of the audience who had not experienced a UC Jazz Ensembles show expressed their astonishment. They applauded the performances, the flawless timing and the amazing solo performances, and the creative interplay between the instruments. 

Enjoy the performance! Eddie Lankford Productions filmed a large part of it for your enjoyment. We hope that you will agree with the UC Jazz Club members that this is a worthwhile music program that provides these committed and talented students a chance to deepen their talent. Your continued support is much appreciated. 

Frank Martin’s Advanced Combo brought a performance worthy of the beautiful and renown venue at Yoshi’s. Megan Marquardt, tenor sax, and Rolf Olson, tenor sax, gave a stunning performance together with Jeff Wiguna. Ryan Finch, bass, and Alex Wheatley, drums and Luke Hardesty, drums grounded the performance with their flawless rhythm section. They opened up with “Steps” by Chick Corea, brought the house down with “Sonnymoon for Two” by Sonny Rollins. Rosette Diaz, special guest vocalist, stole the show with her spirited and ravishing performance of “Straighten Up and Fly Right”. Megan Marquardt and Rolf Olson amazed the audience with their rendition of “Nardis” by Miles Davis, and Jeff Wiguna, held the audience spell-bound with his performance of “Armando’s Rumba” by Chick Corea. 

Ted Moore’s Advanced Combo gave a performance that gave you the feeling of being in the presence of greatness. Amy Shen shined on both the flute and the alto saxophone. She was complimented and supported by Andrew Baltazar on tenor sax, whose performance was flawless and mature giving you the feeling of listening to a much older jazz great. Richard Conway, trumpet, amazed as always with his precision and technique. Kirk Danielson, an award-winning pianist, carried off a performance that silenced the room with the audience spell-bound. Gary Johnson, bass, captured the audience and left them hungry for more. We hope he will keep playing because we want to hear him any chance we can get. He is hugely talented. Yanik Jayaram, drums, has a light touch that gave this ensemble a light-hearted backdrop. They performed Invitation by Kaper/Washington, Tuties, by Gary Johnson – we will keep watching his career. Please Gary keep playing! The classic of “Love for Sale” by Cole Porter was followed by the Killer June by Ted Moore and Rubidium, by Amy Shen. This ensemble touched the soul and left you wishing for more. 

The second set began with Dann Zinn’s Advanced Combo who showed Amy Shen and Andrew Baltazar on woodwinds. Amy is so amazing! She composes and is stellar on every instrument she plays. Charles Chen gave a piano performance that was passionate and showed off his technique. Clayton Ernst and the superbly talented Benny Amon played with a majority beyond their age in supporting the band. The entire ensemble played in a way that gave the impression that these complex pieces were easy for them to play. They performed “Free for All” by Wayne Shorter, “Mei Hua” by Amy Shen, “Solace in a Dream” by Amy Shen, and “Eat the Piano” by Charles Chen. 

The show ended with a stellar Big Band performance, which we unfortunately could not film this time around. They were amazing and we encourage you to read the UC Jazz Newsletter regularly to make sure you can catch them next time. Steve Campos organizes regular performances with his Big Band and we encourage you to check out his impressive background. His experience is transmitted to the Big Band who play together as though have have been together for years. 

Please join the UC Jazz Club and join in the fun. Our club members learned quickly that the joy we get out of supporting this wonderful program greatly outweighs the effort we put into supporting them. Join in the fun of keeping this all important cultural program alive. Come to the performances or give a secure online donation using your credit card at: https://egiving.berkeley.edu/urelgift/jazz.html 

We appreciate your support! And, we hope you enjoy this and future shows! 

Warm Regards, 

Ranie Smith
Executive Director, UC Jazz Club

We have much to appreciate this year! 

Enjoy the photo library

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Welcome to the UC Jazz Club!

UC Jazz Club's First Members

Introduction

The new UC Jazz Club has been founded by the University Jazz Students and its faculty. We invite donors and volunteers who have an avid interest in enjoying and supporting our growing program.

The UC Jazz Club will offer several unique sponsorship opportunities for the purpose of remodeling the UC Jazz studios.

Our current and growing resources in the studios include equipment, practice areas, a jazz library and recordings of live performances of the UC Jazz Ensemble’s members.. 

Our goal is to uphold this Bay Area UC Jazz tradition which has enchanted the Bay Area and often the world since 1966.

Please contact Mr. Ted Moore, the department’s director to learn about the program.Contact us NOW for our Ad Sponsorship Opportunities at https://ucjazz.berkeley.edu/

 

 

 

 

 

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Artist Highlight – Benny Goodman

Benny Goodman, King of Swing
Benny Goodman, King of Swing

“Sometimes when you start losing detail, whether it’s in music or in life, something as small as failing to be polite, you start to lose substance. ” Benny Goodman 

Benny Goodman, the King of Swing  by Ranie Smith

Benjamin David Goodman was born on May 30, 1909 in Chicago, Illinois to immigrants David Goodman and Dora Grisinsky Goodman. Benny grew up with eleven siblings.

His father worked as a tailor. As a ten-year-old, Benny Goodman, learned how to play the clarinet at the local synagogue. He was fortunate that there he was taught by Chicago Symphony Member, Franz Schoepp. Two of his brothers learned the tuba and the trumpet. Benny Goodman was very talented and joined his first band when he was 11 years old – performing at the Hull-House. He joined the American Federation of Musicians when he was 14 and devoted himself full-time to his music career. His father passed away and therefore the 15-year-old Benny used the money he made to help support his family Benny was 16 he joined the Ben Pollack band and became a featured soloist. In 1929 Benny left the Ben Pollack band to participate in recording sessions and radio shows in New York City. In 1933 John Hammond, a jazz promoter, recorded Benny Goodman together with drummer Gene Krupa and trombonist Jack Teagarden. This recording gainedBenny Goodman national popularity. In 1942, Benny married John Hammond’s sister, Alice Hammond Duckworth and had two daughters Rachel and Benji.

Benny led his first band in 1934 and their music had its roots in the Southern jazz forms of ragtime and Dixieland, while its structure adhered more to arranged music than its more improvisational jazz counterparts. This gave it an accessibility that appealed to American audiences on a wide scale. America began to hear Benny ‘s band when he secured a weekly engagement for his band on NBC’s radio show “Let’s Dance,” which was taped with a live studio audience. The new swing music had the kids dancing when, on August 21, 1935, Benny’s band played the Palomar Ballroom in Los Angeles. It was sensational and marked the beginning of the years during which Benny Goodman reigned as King of the Swing. Benny Goodman’s band became hugely successful among listeners from all different backgrounds all around the world. 

Benny Goodman was all about the music: ” If a guy got it, let him give it. I’m selling music, not prejudice.” During this period Benny also became famous for being colorblind when it came to racial segregation and prejudice. Pianist Teddy Wilson, an African-American, first appeared in the Benny Goodman Trio at the Congress Hotel in 1935. Benny added Lionel Hampton, who would later form his own band, to his Benny Goodman Quartet the next year. While these groups were not the first bands to feature both white and black musicians, Benny’s national popularity helped to make racially mixed groups more accepted in the mainstream. Time magazine in 1937 to call him the “King of Swing.” Benny Goodman and his band made history as the first jazz band ever to play in New York’s prestigious Carnegie Hall along with musicians from the Count Basie and Duke Ellington bands. After this success there were many changes to the band and he was joined by Cootie Williams and Charlie Christian, as well as Jimmy Maxwell and Mel Powell, among others. 

In the late 40s and 50s music tastes changed and Bop, Rock and Roll gained in popularity. Benny Goodman started playing solos with major orchestras. He enjoyed classical music and studied with internationally acclaimed classical clarinetist Reginald Kell. In 1955 a film chronicling his life, The Benny Goodman Story was released. Benny Goodman then started touring the world, bringing his music to Asia and Europe. When he traveled to the USSR, one writer observed that “the swing music that had once set the jitterbugs dancing in the Paramount aisles almost blew down the Iron Curtain.” 

During the late 1960s and 1970s, Benny appeared in reunions with the other
members of his quartet: Teddy Wilson, Gene Krupa and Lionel Hampton. In 1978, the Benny Goodman band also appeared at Carnegie Hall again to mark the 30th Anniversary of when they appeared in the venue’s first jazz concert. In 1982, Benny was honored by the Kennedy Center for his lifetime achievements in swing music. In 1986, he received both an honorary doctorate degree in music from Columbia University and the Grammy Award for Lifetime Achievement.

He continued to play the music that defined his lifetime in occasional concert dates until his death in June 1986, of cardiac arrest. He was laid to rest at Long Ridge
Cemetery in Stamford, Connecticut.

Benny Goodman is credited for the original sound that defined the Swing Era
and made him the world-renowned King of Swing.

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