The Jazzcat

Tag: Jazz Heaven

The Much Loved Drummer Tony Reedus is Now in Heaven

by on Nov.20, 2008, under News

Tony Reedus, 49, top jazz drummer


Tony Reedus, 49, top jazz drummer
Wednesday, November 19,



A man with a big heart and a big beat, drummer Tony Reedus

cared for other people the way he cared about making a band swing.


was true blue, he'd do anything for you,” said pianist Mulgrew Miller, who knew

Mr. Reedus as a youth in Memphis, where the drummer was born, and later employed

him in his trio in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

“He was

supersensitive,” said his wife, violinist Jenise Grice-Reedus. “He'd see a

person who was sad and would go talk to that person, and would have another

friend for life.”

“He was a funny guy,” said organist and pianist Mike

LeDonne, with whom Mr. Reedus regularly performed. “Just a sweetheart, that's

what Tony Reedus was, and great to work with.”

Mr. Reedus died Sunday of

a pulmonary embolism en route by ambulance to Jamaica Hospital Medical Center in

the Richmond Hill section of Queens. He had collapsed at John F. Kennedy

International Airport after getting off an American Airlines flight from

Bologna, Italy, where he had been performing with LeDonne. He was 49.


Reedus lived in Irvington with his wife and their 5-year-old daughter, Cameron.

He had been troubled with undetermined gastrointestinal issues since


A superb musician, Mr. Reedus picked up the drums when he was 13

and broke into the upper echelon of jazz just seven years later, performing and

recording with innovative trumpeter Woody Shaw. In a story in The Star-Ledger in

2006, he likened joining Shaw to a baseball player “going from single-A to the


“It was music on such a high level,” said Mr. Reedus.


played on Shaw's albums “United” (Columbia) and “Master of the Art”


Mr. Reedus also played and recorded with such masters

as trumpeter Freddie Hubbard, vibraphonist Milt Jackson, saxophonist Benny

Golson, and guitarist Dave Stryker. Mr. Reedus also was a leader who made three

solo albums.

Mr. Reedus was noted for his all-around drum kit acumen —

in particular, his ride cymbal beat. “He had a real wide beat, and his feel on

the cymbal was unique,” said Stryker, whose organ trio included Mr. Reedus for

several years. “He felt great to play with, just really swinging,


Of the importance of that beat, Mr. Reedus said in 2006, “It's

a heavy feeling that makes people want to pat their feet, sway back and forth.

When people come to see you play, they want to escape, they want to feel good.

Music is a celebration of life that comes from the heart.”

Mr. Reedus

returned to college in the middle of his career, earning a B.A. in music from

Rutgers University-New Brunswick in 2005. “The day he graduated was one of the

happiest days of his life,” said Grice-Reedus, who plays with the Garden State

Philharmonic and the Plainfield Symphony and leads the Ebony String


Another was the birth of his daughter. “He loved being a father,

being married,” said Stryker.

Linda Grice, Mr. Reedus' mother-in-law,

said: “He loved his family; he took good care of my daughter and my


Mr. Reedus' survivors include his brothers Chris and

Keith, both of Memphis.

A visitation will be held Sunday at 2 p.m., with

services at 4 p.m., at the Prospect Presbyterian Church, 646 Prospect St.,

Maplewood. More information is available by calling (973) 763-8955 or visiting

the church's website (

Zan Stewart is the Star-Ledger's jazz

writer. He may be reached at or (973) 324-9930.

©2008 Star Ledger
© 2008 All Rights Reserved.

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The International Association for Jazz Education has filed for Bankruptcy.

by on Apr.19, 2008, under News

Jazz music continues to take so many hits. The International Association for Jazz Education conference has been for so many not only educational, informative, entertaining and a great resource, but one of the greatest networking jazz hangs around.

Dear IAJE Family,

It is with a

great sense of loss that I inform you that despite drastic efforts to cut

expenses and raise emergency funds, the IAJE Board has voted to file for

bankruptcy under Chapter 7 of the Federal Bankruptcy Law. I want to thank

profusely those who responded with their generous donations and offers of

assistance following my last communication. While over 250 individuals

contributed just over $12,000, this, along with the many other efforts and

contributions of IAJE staff, Board members, and association partners, was simply

not enough to address the accumulated debt of the organization or its urgent

need for cash relief.

In the next few days, a Kansas bankruptcy court

will appoint a trustee to oversee all ongoing aspects of the association. This

includes the ability to examine IAJE's financial records and mount an

independent inquiry into the causes of it's financial downfall as well as

disposing of the remaining assets of the association with proceeds distributed

to creditors in accordance with Kansas and Federal law. The board will no longer

be involved in operation of the organization and will at some point resign. IAJE

as it presently stands will no longer exist.

Approximately a week after

filing, all potential creditors of the association will receive notice of the

association's filing from the court. Members who desire additional information

regarding the petition, including a complete listing of association assets and

liabilities, may retrieve this, as it is a public document, through normal court

procedures. Undoubtedly, however, you will have more immediate questions

deserving of responses I hope to address in this report.

Since the first

communication to the membership outlining this crisis, there has been

considerable public speculation as to its causes. As noted in that

communication, years of dependence upon the conference as a primary (but

unreliable) revenue stream and the launch of a well-intentioned capital campaign

(the Campaign for Jazz), which generated a meager response but required

considerable expenditures in advance of contributions, drove the association

into insolvency. Sadly, the attendance at the conference in Toronto (the lowest

in 10 years) exacerbated an already critical situation, depriving the

association of the cash-flow needed to continue daily operations as well as the

time needed to seek alternative resources.

While ultimately not able to

skirt the financial land mines placed in its path, I want to assure you the IAJE

Board has acted responsibly, ethically, and with a sense of urgency ever since

it was blindsided last fall with the discovery of the extent of the accumulated

association debt. Since that time, the board slashed spending, set specific

performance targets for the Executive Director, sought outside consultations,

and enlisted the services of several past-presidents and strategic association

partners in attempts to raise funds – sadly, with minimal success.


goes without saying, the board you elected is comprised of very accomplished,

intelligent, and dedicated educators and professionals who have given generously

of their time in service to this association and care about it passionately.

Likewise, our entire professional staff, led by Associate Executive Director,

Vivian Orndorff, and Executive Producer, Steve Baker, has worked heroically in

the face of declining resources to meet the needs of the association and its

members. I wanted to take this opportunity to thank both the board and staff for

their service. I have been privileged and honored to serve with them. While

there may be those who question specific decisions or strategies in efforts to

meet this crisis, the dedication and integrity of these individuals should never

be in doubt.

As we move forward, one of the most pressing questions is

how the operations of individual chapters and affiliated associations will be

affected by this filing. Since our chapters are either separate corporate

entitles or voluntary associations with their own boards, constitutions and

bylaws; IAJE views them as completely independent entities. Ultimately, however,

the trustee and the court will make this determination and it is anticipated

that the trustee may request certain information from the chapters in this


Sadly, the 2009 IAJE International Conference in Seattle has been

cancelled. However, there has been some discussion of mounting a regional

conference in its place. At the moment, Lou Fischer, U.S. Board Representative

is fielding inquiries:

For the

time being, the IAJE website will remain up. However, the international offices

of IAJE will close their doors at the end of the day on Friday, April 18th.

Should there be additional questions you may submit them to and

every attempt will be made to respond to these as staffing allows.


we, the members of IAJE and the global jazz community, face an extremely

important task. For, as we all recognize, the opportunities, impact, and work of

this association are too vital to simply disappear. Whether you were first drawn

to IAJE for its conference, its magazine or research publications, its student

scholarship programs such as Sisters in Jazz or the Clifford Brown/Stan Getz

All-Stars, its Teacher Training Institutes, the resources provided through its

website or Resource Team, or any one of a number of other offerings; it is clear

the mission of IAJE still resonates and its advocacy is needed today more than

ever. We must, therefore, look at this as an opportunity to refocus the mission,

scope, programs, and vision of IAJE (or whatever succeeds it) to better meet the

needs of our members and the jazz community not only today but looking toward

the future.

I am, in no way, suggesting the membership turn a blind eye

towards the need for an independent inquiry into causes and ultimately assigning

responsibility for this situation. I ask you recognize the court appointed

trustee, who will have access to all necessary documents and facts, is charged

with that task. Our efforts and our passion, should be to collectively rally the

community to recognize the importance IAJE has had and continues to have in the

life and development of jazz and jazz education – seeking new strategic

partnerships, new government structures, and a revitalized mission that embraces

current needs.

Already there are efforts to do just that. I know that

Mary Jo Papich, who would have begun serving her term as President of IAJE

beginning this July, is dedicated to recreating such an association. As many

know, Mary Jo has been a tireless advocate for IAJE, serving it long and well.

You will, undoubtedly, be hearing from her in the near future. When she does

contact you, I urge you to join me in offering her every support and assistance.

Of course, others may also seek to fill this void by promoting alternative

visions for empowering, serving, and gathering the jazz community. While I

generally believe such diversity is quite healthy, I would strongly encourage

all such efforts and leaders to attempt to collaborate and seek ways to unite us

in spirit and strength.

Finally, I would encourage you to recognize and

remember IAJE for all the tremendous good it has done in the past 40 years. Many

individuals have contributed along the way, often at considerable personal

sacrifice of their time and resources, to establish and advance the work of this

association. Much has been achieved that can never be taken away! Therefore, the

vision, effort, and shared passion that have fueled the growth of IAJE and its

programs should not be forgotten or considered in vain. Rather, the spirit that

is IAJE must be rekindled into a new vision for the future.


The IAJE Board – Chuck Owen, President

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Nancy Wilson is in the Hospital and can use your thoughts and prayers

by on Apr.02, 2008, under News

JOSHUA TREE, Calif. — Jazz singer Nancy Wilson is in hospital for treatment of a collapsed lung.


spokeswoman for the 71-year-old Grammy-winning singer says she is

expected to recover but will not be able to make a performance

scheduled in Memphis, Tennessee next weekend. Devra Levy, wife of

Wilson's manager, John Levy, said Wilson's lung was being reinflated at

Hi-Desert Medical Center in Joshua Tree, California.

She says the singer is in good spirits.


who lives in the Southern California high desert, began experiencing

pain and was taken to the hospital by her husband, Wiley Burton.

Devra Levy said she did not know the cause of the collapsed lung.

She said Wilson has had some respiratory problems over the years.

Wilson has been singing professionally for more than 50 years and is semiretired.


year, her album “Turned to Blue” won the Grammy for best jazz vocal

album. She also won that category at the 2005 Grammys for the album

“R.S.V.P. (Rare Songs, Very Personal).” In 1965 she was presented the

Grammy for best rhythm & blues recording for “How Glad I Am.”

The Canadian Press

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Parker Protégé Frank Morgan Departs for Jazz Heaven

by on Dec.17, 2007, under News


Frank Morgan:

Alto saxophonist protégé of Charlie Parker

Published: 17 December 2007

Frank Morgan, alto saxophonist: born

Minneapolis, Minnesota 23 December 1933; died Minneapolis 14 December


'There's no one around who's better than Frank

Morgan on the alto saxophone,” said Wynton Marsalis. No wonder, because Frank

Morgan was a protégé of Charlie “Yardbird” Parker whose style and ranking was

somewhere between Parker's and Art Pepper's and who had, as a mere boy, for a

couple of heady nights played Johnny Hodges' role in the Duke Ellington band.

Morgan also spent 30 years in prison and the band he played with most regularly

during his life was the warden's band in San Quentin prison. “I was a superstar

in prison,” he said.

All the fear of going to prison was taken out of

the whole thing, because it became a really comfortable haven. It's taken me a

long time to get out of the comfortable situation of the prison and really face

up to life. If, after my first solo at the Village Vanguard after I came out,

they hadn't applauded me so loudly, if someone had said “Boo”, I'd have run back

to San Quentin.

For most of his career Morgan played classic

bebop, but in the last two decades he spread his style to reveal masterful

ballad performances and a sensitive and delicate approach to his playing that

was much more cosmopolitan.

The son of the guitarist Stanley Morgan, who

played in the Ink Spots, Frank Morgan took up the guitar at an incredibly early

age (claimed to be two). “When my mother was pregnant with me,” he said, “my

father used to stand behind her and reach around and play his guitar against her

stomach. That's how soon I started getting the vibes.” The family moved from

Minneapolis to Milwaukee when Morgan was six and the boy switched from guitar to

clarinet. His father, who by now had worked regularly with jazz musicians, took

Frank to hear the Jay McShann band in Detroit. Charlie Parker was its


“I met Bird after the show and told him I wanted

to learn how to play one of those things,” Frank Morgan recalled.

I didn't even know it was called an alto at that

time. I remember I was mad at Bird for a while for insisting that I should begin

on clarinet and then go to saxophone. It was good advice and the next day my

father got me started on clarinet.

Bird was a beautiful person and it's the memories

of him and his music that have sustained me throughout my life. He is certainly

the prime factor in my love for the music I play.

The family moved again, to Los Angeles, in 1947.

Morgan won a talent contest that led him to record a solo with Freddie Martin's

band. Then, in 1948, he had an audition with the Duke Ellington band. “I went

backstage at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles and into Duke's dressing room.

He said, 'Take your horn out and play anything you'd like to play.' ”

Ellington's long-time star altoist Johnny Hodges was leaving the band and

Ellington wanted Morgan to start immediately. But because of his age, Morgan

couldn't legally go on the road with the band. “I played a couple of Easter

vacation gigs with him,” Morgan said ruefully.

Sadly, it wasn't just Charlie Parker's musical

skills that his many devotees tried to emulate. Parker was the first major

heroin addict on the jazz scene, and many musicians thought that, if Parker

indulged, it must be good. Morgan was one of them. Parker was horrified to find

that by the early 1950s, his disciple was already addicted. “It broke his

heart,” Morgan recalled. “He said, 'I thought you would be the one who had sense

enough to look at what it's done to me.' ” The preaching stopped when Morgan got

out an ounce and a half of cocaine and the two injected. “After we got high, he

talked to me about dying. In a tragic sense, I think Bird felt he could set a

better example by dying.”

It was in 1952 that Morgan joined the Lionel

Hampton band. Like many musicians he resented the low pay and Hampton's

continuous scrounging of cigarettes from his men. At this time, Morgan made this

first recordings with top-line musicians like the vibraphonist Milt Jackson, the

drummer Kenny Clarke and the saxophonist Wardell Gray. He went to prison for the

first time in 1953.

By the time he was distinguished enough to make

records under his own name in 1955, Morgan had been driven to crime by his

addiction. The exciting and accomplished tracks that he made with the trumpeter

Conte Candoli and Wardell Gray proved to be a tempting foretaste of what was not

to come, for he was soon in San Quentin (where he befriended Art Pepper) for

narcotics offences.

In 1970, before he was jailed again, Morgan played

in some of the Los Angeles clubs, but didn't make a stir outside the city. It

wasn't until 1985, after a parole violation that saw him jailed again from June

to November, that his success story began. His drug habit defeated and behind

him, he made his mark nationally and, like Art Pepper, began a “born again”


His qualities recognised, he began recording

regularly as a leader and used many top musicians like Wynton Marsalis, George

Cables and Buster Williams as his sidemen. Morgan had always feared playing in

New York, lacking the confidence to impress what he saw as a sophisticated

audience. His first appearance there at the Village Vanguard in 1986 was a

triumph acclaimed by audiences and critics alike. “I'm glad to be alive and

well,” he reflected. “That's the sum total of things at present. I've been

practising hard and developing my playing and planning for a peaceful


He was in demand to appear at jazz festivals and

to record for a variety of companies and his career flourished until his return

home to Minneapolis on 20 November last after a three-month European tour

playing 24 dates with the pianist Rein de Graaff's trio.

Morgan appeared in the films Jazzvisions:

implosions (1986), Celebrating Bird: the triumph of Charlie Parker (1987) and

Birdmen and Birdsongs: a tribute to Charlie Parker (1990).

Steve Voce

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Joe Zawinul and Jon Lucien Transition into Creative Eternity

by on Sep.14, 2007, under News

Click Picture Above for Website Tributes

In 1959, Joe Zawinul emigrated to the United States on a scholarship to

study at the Berklee School of Music in Boston but left to join Maynard

Fergusion's big band. He next landed a gig with Dinah Washington. His funky

piano can be heard on her 1959 hit “What a Diff'rence a Day Makes”


In 1961 Joe Joined Cannonball Adderley's band in 1961. During his nine-year

stint with the band, he composed such tunes as “Walk Tall,” “Country Preacher,”

and most notably the gospel-influenced, soul-jazz anthem “Mercy, Mercy, Mercy,”

his first important recording on electric piano, which climbed the pop



In the late 60's Zawinul's pioneering work on the new Fender Rhodes

electric piano caught the ear of Miles Davis…Joe recorded with Davis' studio

band, His tune “In a Silent Way” served as the title track for the trumpeter's

first foray into the electric arena. Zawinul's composition “Pharoah's Dance” was

featured on Davis' groundbreaking 1970 jazz-rock fusion album “Bitches



After releasing his debut solo album in 1970, Zawinul teamed with

WayneShorter, who had just left Miles' band, to form Weather Report, which

became the preeminent jazz-rock fusion band of the 1970s. Weather Report enjoyed

its biggest commercial success with the 1977 album “Heavy Weather” which

featured Zawinul's catchy tune “Birdland,” which became one of the most

recognizable jazz hits of the '70s after it was also recorded by Maynard

Ferguson and the vocal group Manhattan Transfer.


After Weather Report broke up in 1986, Zawinul went on to form The Zawinul

Syndicate, which brought together a global village of musicians who recorded

such albums as the Grammy-nominated “My People” (1996) and “World Tour”



Zawinul's wife, Maxine, died earlier this year. Plans for Zawinul's funeral

were unclear but Vienna, Austria Mayor Michael Haeupl told reporters Tuesday

morning he would be given an honorary grave in the capital.

 Jazz singer Jon Lucien — known for his deep baritone and soulful love songs — has died.

Lucien's wife says the 65-year-old singer died Saturday in Poinciana from respiratory complications following surgery.

Lucien was born in the British Virgin Islands' main island of Tortola and raised in St. Thomas.

His 1970 RCA album “I Am Now” launched his career. Among his songs

were “Rashida,” “Lady Love,” “Dindi,” “You Don't Need Me,” “Hello Like

Before,” and “Sweet Control.”

His songs remained staples of soft jazz radio and “quiet storm” R&B shows around the country, long after their release.

“I would say my sound is a romantic sound … it's water … it's

ocean … it's tranquility,” Lucien is quoted as saying on his official

Web site.

Lucien's 17-year-old daughter, Dalila, was among the 230 people

killed in the crash of TWA Flight 800 off New York in July 1996. He

sought solace in the studio and recorded the album “Endless is Love,”

which was released in 1997.

“My daughter doesn't want me sitting around being unhappy,” Lucien

said. “I look at her and we communicate. We make music. The music is a

special force.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Jazz  – America's Gift to the world!

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The Beautiful Max Roach has Taken his Wings – Please sign Guest Book inside

by on Aug.24, 2007, under News

Click Here to sign Max's Guest Book

AT RIVERSIDE CHURCH PUBLIC VIEWING AND FUNERAL ON FRIDAYBill Cosby, Ruby Dee, Maya Angelou, Cassandra Wilson, Sonia Sanchez, Amiri Baraka, 
and Billy Taylor Among the Notables Paying Homage to Roach

NEW YORK (August 23, 2007)
Bill Cosby, Ruby Dee, Maya Angelou, Cassandra Wilson, Sonia Sanchez, Amiri Baraka and Billy Taylor will be among the luminaries paying homage to the late jazz great Max Roach at his funeral on Friday, August 24 at The Riverside Church in Manhattan. The daring and innovative drummer, who died of complications of dementia/Alzheimer’s disease on Thursday, August 16 in New York City at the age of 83, will be celebrated as he lived: in a ceremony awash with jazz, as performed by some of his most beloved colleagues.  Lieutenant Governor David A. Paterson will speak at the event which will be presided over by The Rev. Dr. James Alexander Forbes, Jr. Roach will be eulogized by the Rev. Calvin O. Butts III.
The public viewing will run from 9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Friday and continue with a public funeral service from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Roach, who is survived by his five children – Daryl Keith Roach, Maxine Roach, Raoul Roach, Ayo Roach and Dara Roach – will be buried in a private ceremony at Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx.
WHO:       Paying tribute will be: artists Bill Cosby, Ruby Dee, Maya Angelou, Sonia Sanchez, Amiri Baraka, Cassandra Wilson, Billy Taylor, Cecil Bridgewater, Randy Weston, Jimmy Heath, Gary Bartz, Abbey Lincoln, Odean Pope, Reggie Workman, Billy Harper, Elvira Green; Lt. Governor David A. Paterson; Jazz at Lincoln Center curator Phil Schaap; and Roach’s children Daryl Keith, Maxine, Raoul, Ayo and Dara
The Rev. Dr. James Alexander Forbes, Jr.
, the senior minister emeritus of The Riverside Church, presiding; and the Rev. Dr. Calvin O. Butts III, the pastor of Abyssinian Baptist Church, eulogist
WHAT:     Public viewing and public funeral service for the late Max Roach
WHEN:     Friday, August 24, 2007
9:00 a.m.
– 10:30 a.m.     Public viewing (Press invited, but no photographers, videographers or interviews)
                              VIP arrivals at 91 Claremont Avenue (primarily) and 490 Riverside Drive
                  11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.     Public funeral

WHERE:        The Riverside Church, 490 Riverside Drive/91 Claremont Avenue, Manhattan 

 Family Issues Statement On the Occasion of His Passing
NEW YORK, Aug. 17 /PRNewswire/ — A public viewing will be held at
Riverside Church for jazz great Max Roach, who died of complications of
dementia/Alzheimer's Disease at 12:45 a.m. Thursday in New York at the
age of 83.

His daughters Maxine and Dara were at his bedside, according to
family spokesperson, Terrie M. Williams.  Roach's public viewing will be held on Friday, August 24th at Riverside Church, from 9:00 A.M. to 10:30 A.M. with a funeral service from 11:00 A.M. to 1 P.M. The legendary drummer will be buried in a private ceremony at Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx.

Born on January 10, 1924 in Newland, North Carolina — which he
always referred to as “the Great Dismal Swamp of North Carolina” — Roach is survived by his five children Daryl Roach, Maxine Roach,
Raoul Roach, Ayo Roach and Dara Roach.

The family issued a statement: “We are deeply saddened by his
passing, yet heartened and thankful for the many blessings and condolences we have received, as we grieve. As a musician, educator and social activist, we are fortunate to share his life and his legacy with the world.”

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be sent to The Alzheimer's Association in Chicago,Illinois.

Kind words

Hi Folks,

Many of you may have seen this already but I just wanted to pass on this
notice about the passing of one of my heroes, the beautiful, brilliant,
never-ever-to-be-forgotten Max Roach.   Les DeMerle taught me Max's “For Big     \
Sid” years
ago and it has been looping in my head ever since.   I met Max once, many
years ago, while I was working at GRP – one of my co-workers knew I idolized     \
and she introduced us – we had a really nice chat, and of course it was, and
is, one of my favorite and valued memories.

Peace and blessings for Max Roach.   We are all indebted to him for making
this world a far better, and hipper, place.

jason paul harman byrne
55 92nd street suite C5 brooklyn ny 11209
347 578 7601,

The greatest living drummer on the planet is gone. Long Live Jazz.

Phil Schaap

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The Great Dr. and Scholar has departed all too soon. Dr. Art Davis

by on Aug.01, 2007, under News


We've lost another one .  .  .
Dr. Art Davis, the legendary bassist, has passed away

Funeral Services for Dr. Art Davis
Saturday, August 11, 2007
9 a.m. – 11a.m.   (Viewing)
11a.m.               (Service)
Click Map for Directions
Church at Rocky Peak
22601 Santa Susana Pass Road
Chatsworth, CA 91311
805)  522-5100

Dr. Art Davis,

72; jazz bassist, educator and activist

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               By Jeffrey Winston


     Art Davis, the classically-trained bassist, author and clinician, passed away on July 29 at his Long Beach home, following complications from diabetes and heart disease.


     A virtuoso of the highest order, Davis earned critical acclaim, beginning in the fifties, playing with Clifford Brown, Dizzy Gillespie, Quincy Jones, Clark Terry, Art Blakey, Gigi Gryce, Roland Kirk, Oliver Nelson, Coleman Hawkins, Freddie Hubbard, Zoot Sims, McCoy Tyner, Lalo Schifrin, Eric Dolphy, Abbey Lincoln, Wayne Shorter and scores of others.  Art’s uncanny timing and robust tone enhanced any ensemble while his arco and pizzicato execution was impeccable.

image imageimageimage

     Davis received his Ph.D. at NYU in clinical psychology.  He also held Master’s degrees in music and psychology.  When he wasn’t performing, Dr. Davis maintained a thriving, private practice.  Although Art’s dual careers propelled him to lofty heights, he remained grounded as a devoted family man.  His son,

Kimaili Davis, said, “As I reflect on his life, I realize how much he was there for us.”


Click 1st Picture for Video and 2nd Picture for Interview


     A native of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Art initially studied the piano before switching to both the bass and tuba in high school.  He garnered several awards for his command of both instruments, including prestigious scholarships to Julliard and the Manhattan School of Music.  Dr. Davis studied with cellist Lazlo Varga and Anselme Fortier, the principal bassist with the New York Philharmonic.  Many years later, Dr. Davis would develop a multiple-finger technique for the right hand and publish The Arthur Davis System for Double Bass.


     In 1958, Davis made his recording debut with Max Roach, George Coleman and Booker Little at the Newport Jazz Festival.   John Coltrane found the budding bassist working with Roach’s ensemble at Small’s Paradise in Harlem.  Coltrane was between sets of his own gig at Birdland, so he invited Art to “practice” with him.  Early the following morning, Coltrane arrived at Art’s hotel.  The ensuing sessions were intense, lasting for several hours each day.  John’s tenacity and discipline deeply inspired his young protégé.  In 1961, he became only the second African American member of the NBC Staff Orchestra, working regularly on the Merv Griffin, Jack Paar and Johnny Carson Shows.


      During his close association with John Coltrane, Art Davis played on stellar recordings such as Ole Coltrane, Africa Brass and Ascension.  Davis even appeared on an unreleased, original version of A Love Supreme with Archie Shepp.  It has remained in the vault for decades.  Although his demanding studio schedule prevented him from becoming a regular member of Coltrane’s celebrated quartet, the two remained extremely close until his death in 1967.   Davis toured with Dizzy Gillespie’s band but after two   years, he grew weary of the road and chose to freelance around New York City. 


    Throughout his prolific career, Art also appeared with practically everyone from Lena Horne, Kenny Dorham, Count Basie, Louis Armstrong, Thelonious Monk, Gene Ammons, Lee Morgan, Gil Evans and Hilton Ruiz to Judy Garland, Bob Dylan and Barbara Streisand.


    In 1993, Dr. Davis founded Better Advantages for Students & Society (BASS), a non-profit organization that awarded stipends to university students in all disciplines.  Two years later, he established The Gladys Davis Memorial Scholarship in honor of his late wife, a health care provider.


    Looming larger than life, an outspoken Davis championed many grassroots causes as a tireless advocate and mentor.   Though brutally honest, his uncompromising views on race, politics and culture were not always applauded. 


     Upon learning of his death, fellow bassist John Clayton said,” Art continued to contribute to the jazz world until the end.  He was an integral part of so many classic recordings, especially in the 60’s.  LA Weekly critic Brick Wahl adds, “Of all the sets I’ve seen at the Central Avenue Jazz Festival over the years, the good doctor’s were the most daring, gutsy and safety-net-be-damned things I ever saw.”


     Dr. Davis is survived by two sons, Kimaili Davis and Mureithi Davis; and a daughter, Taisha Jack.  Funeral arrangements are pending.


Jeffrey Winston
The World Stage

“He was a real cool cat, I am glad I knew him, vibed with him. He's there with
Horace, Billy, Miles and all the rest,
  He's alright.
  I have a rare (VHS) film that has never been shown publicly. It is a little concert
  (1997, I think) featuring Billy Higgins, Horace Tapscott, Dwight Trible and
Dr. Art Davis, at a small restaurant called, CEBU, it was in the Leimert Park
area and has since been torn down to make way for a housing development. These
giants performed this concert as a benefit for my Malcolm X community festiva
and related youth projects. They did not charge me a dime, and of course they
torn the place up! I'd sure love to have someone look at it, see what can be
done to preserve it, share it with the masses.
  As far as I am concerned, they were all the best at what they did
respectively, and Mr. Trible is of course still young, vibrant and doing his
thing to preserve the music/culture. I am proud to have been friends with all
of them.

  Boy, those were the days…

  Torre` Brannon Reese
  323. 864.2656
Torre' Reese

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The Hydeus Kiatta Memorial Education Fund through the Monterey Jazz Festival

by on Jul.03, 2007, under News

The Monterey Jazz Festival has done a wonderful job of helping to put

together a Memorial Fund in the name of my beautiful love, Hydeus


Click Picture above for details on the

Hydeus Kiatta Memorial Fund

What an honor it is to have the memory of her name continue on

to help up and coming young artists mold their musical craft. I know

that many of you may have never had the opportunity to meet Hydeus but,

I will tell you that this beautiful, young, precious woman, who many

loved so very dearly, spent her life creating music that was directed

at world unity, peace and love for all ages, races, colors and genders.

I cannot begin to tell you how much her spirit is truly missed but, I

know that her dream of singing and creating beautiful music will

continue on through the lives of those young musicians that will benefit from this wonderful fund.

Click Picture above for article in the Monterey Jazz Beat

One such young lady has already been a recipient of the Hydeus Kiatta

Memorial Fund and has been granted a scholarship to Summer Jazz Camp

sponsored by the Monterey Jazz Festival. Her name is Katie Caroll who

is a young singer from Carmel California. She in turn has been so

gratful; she has decided to start a blog of her daily endeavors at

Summer Jazz Camp and dedicating it to the memory of Hydeus. The other

two recipients are Olivia Sedoryk and a young lady named Simone. I will

give you more background about them once I receive the information.

Click the pictures above for Katie Carroll, Monterey Jazz Camp Scholarship Recipient's Blog Honoring Hydeus


For more information on Hydeus Kiatta, click any of the links below

USC Benefit Concert

Hydeus Kiatta Interview

Hydeus Kiatta Celebration and Tribute

Hydeus Kiatta Blog

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