Tag: 1994

Hank Jones (July 31, 1918 – May 16, 2010) — His 93rd Birthday Anniversary

hankJonesHank Jones would have been 97 years old the other day, and if he were still with us, I’m sure he’d be the same funny, polite, gentleman he always was…and he’d still be one of the very baddest musicians on the planet.

Here is a fantastic pair of interviews with the great pianist, both from Ted Panken’s great blog. He posted these a couple years ago also in honor of Jones’ birthday, one from a 2007 Jazziz piece, and the other a transcription from a 1994 WKCR interview. Both interviews are just great, and cover so much. Hank covers a number of personal topics in the 2007 interview in particular. From the piece:

And I wonder if I was true, let’s say, to my race. There were times when I wanted to join the civil rights movement and march, but I would have lost my job. I had a wife and stepdaughter, and I had to support them. With my temperament, something could have happened to me, because things were going on that I might not have been able to accept. Although my instincts were to do the proper thing, I repressed them.

Click here to read Hank Jones (July 31, 1918 – May 16, 2010) — His 93rd Birthday Anniversary

—Peter Blasevick

Two WKCR Interviews and a DownBeat Blindfold Test with Chico Hamilton

chicoHamiltonThe great drummer and bandleader Chico Hamilton passed away last week at the age of 92. As he so often does, Ted Panken pulled a number of interviews from his archive in order to post a wonderful tribute on his blog. The two cover virtually every topic you can think of in these pieces, including this about tap-dancers!:

TP:    Did you ever play with any tap dancers?

CH:    Did I ever play with any tap dancers!  Quite a few, as a matter of fact.  There was a tremendous dance team by the name of the Berry Brothers, there was a tremendous team named the Nicholas Brothers.  I kept time for them.  I think I played with Baby Lawrence at one time or another.  When you were in the big bands, that’s what you did.   You played for all those dancers.  Most bands when they were on the road, they were with a show.  There was a complete show.  They would have dancers and singers and things like that.  So you had to learn to play for dancers, which is an art within itself.  But laying down taps on one of my records… The last album I did, Dancing To A Different Drummer, I simulate a tap dancer dancing.  I do a brush solo, which is the same kind of thing, same kind of groove.

Click here to read Two WKCR Interviews and a DownBeat Blindfold Test with Chico Hamilton

—Peter Blasevick

Smithsonian Oral Histories: Roy Haynes 1994

royHaynesGetting back to posting some of these great Smithsonian oral histories today. Here is a 1994 interview with drummer and living legend Roy Haynes. As with all of these histories, they cover the subject’s entire life in depth up through the interview. The 79 page .PDF contains the entire interview, while the seven audio clips cover John Coltrane, how Haynes avoided being drafted to the Army, the culture of Harlem and New York City, playing at the Apollo Theater, what Lester Young calls a job, being misunderstood as a drummer, and the fact that Roy Haynes wants Sonny Rollins to call him back! From the interview, conducted by Anthony Brown:

Brown: Back in those days, what was distinctive about these different drummers’ styles, like Art Blakey or Kenny Clarke or Papa Jo? What was it particularly that was so captivating for you?

Haynes: Papa Jo – he wasn’t known as Papa Jo then, but he was Papa Jo, whether he realized it or I realized it. He had such a happy feeling. Whatever he played, if it was just one beat, it knocked me out, the way he did it. I wasn’t into necessarily all that rudimental brrrrrrrrrr – all of that. This guy was flashy, and the way he said what he said, that was it. 

How I met Kenny Clarke: he was introduced by one of the deejays at the same Sunday session – one of the Sunday sessions at the Ken Club. He was the last one to be introduced to the audience, Kenny Clarke. The deejay said, “If you want to know anything about this guy, ask Jo Jones.” When he said that, I had to love him automatically.

Click here to listen to and read Smithsonian Oral Histories: Roy Haynes 1994

—Peter Blasevick

Mulgrew Miller, R.I.P. (1955-2013) — A Downbeat Article and Several Interviews

mulgrewMillerWe are all saddened by the passing of the pianist Mulgrew Miller. He was a great artist and was as generous and kind as a man could be the couple of occasions I had to speak with him during my travels at William Paterson University where he headed up the Jazz Studies program.

Here is a tribute by Ted Panken, a collection of interviews from 1988, 1994, and 2005. From the piece, Miller discusses the music of James Brown, Aretha Franklin and Al Green:

“It still hits me where I live,” he says. “It’s black music. That’s my roots. When I go home, they all know me as the church organist from years ago, so it’s nothing for me walk up to the organ and fit right in. I once discussed my early involvement in music with Abdullah Ibrahim, and he described what I went through as a community-based experience. Before I became or wanted to become a jazz player, I played in church, in school plays, for dances and for cocktail parties. I was already improvising, and always on some level it was emotional or soul or whatever you want to call it. I was finding out how to connect with people through music.”

Click here to read Mulgrew Miller, R.I.P. (1955-2013) — A Downbeat Article and Several Interviews

1994 Tommy Flanagan interview on WKCR

The one year anniversary of TNYDP! Thanx to everyone who visits the site, I really hope that people are finding it useful. For the last month we are averaging about 20 new visitors a day and we’re up over 200 followers on Twitter, so I guess some are!

Here is a long in-depth interview with Tommy Flanagan conducted by Ted Panken. The pianist talks about everything in what was originally a Sunday Jazz Profiles show on WKCR in November 1994. HEre is a quick excerpt:

TP: …so many great stylists of Jazz came up out of Detroit around the same time.  Milt Jackson, Lucky Thompson, Billy Mitchell, Barry Harris, you, and the list goes on.    

TF: Yes.  Well, as a young musician, Lucky left Detroit early.  So we didn’t know him until he came back to settle in Detroit for a while.  I think he’d even been to Europe, and he did the West Coast scene with those bands out there.  When he came to Detroit, I guess I was like 17 or so.  Lucky formed a band with Pepper Adams, Kenny Burrell and myself — I can’t remember all the other players.  He was a wonderful writer.  It was a seven-piece band, a septet, and he wrote some beautiful arrangements, and really got me interested in how to voice music, and got me interested in trying to arrange — although I never did get that far into it.  But he was a big inspiration, and he helped us a lot in learning how to play music on a professional level.  He certainly was in a class with Coleman Hawkins and Ben Webster and Don Byas, just a notch under them, and he certainly was cut from the same cloth.

Click here to read 1994 Tommy Flanagan interview on WKCR