Archive for the ‘Jazz’ Tag

The Poet Is Sighing   1 comment

Jackson Square N.O. Dec 2014-2-Art-72A Jackson Square Morning — Photo-Artistry by kenne

The fog begins to lift
cobblestones still wet
from a passing shower —
the poet is sighing.

Cathedral bells ring
pigeons flying off
leaving their home —
the poet is sighing.

I can lose myself
in the French Quarter
in its endless embrace —
the poet is sighing.

Deep shadows in
alleys behind iron gates
guarding tropical courtyards —
the poet is sighing.

A lone musician
plays a jazz tune
not seen, but heard —
the poet is sighing.

Artists make their way
down to the square where
they hang their painting —
the poet is signing.

Morning life in the square
repeats again and again
the movement of generations —
the poet is signing.

A child of the mist
catches my attention
in my camera’s eye —
the poet is signing.

We bookmark each moment
looking at you again,
Renaissance and me —
the poet is signing.

— kenne

A Teacher’s Teacher: Ellis Marsalis, RIP   3 comments

Ellis Marsallis-72A Teacher’s Teacher: Ellis Marsalis (November 14, 1934, April 1, 2020) Image Source: Chicago Tribune 

All of us reach an age when it seems like every day someone of our generation dies, even more now with the COVID-19 pandemic. Sadly, on April 1, a giant in education and jazz became one of the numbers in the current pandemic. 

In the 1980s, Ellis Marsalis, with his sons, became the fresh new face to a resurgence of jazz in the last decades of the 20th century. “My dad was a giant of a musician and teacher, but an even greater father,” Branford Marsalis said in a statement. “He poured everything he had into making us the best of what we could be.”

Ellis Marsalis had a light and graceful touch at the piano, allowing his enter fellings to pour out like a gentle flowing mountain stream. He had held a weekly gig for decades at Snug Harbor, one of New Orleans’s premier jazz clubs, before giving it up in December. 

The New Times critic, wrote: “Sticking mainly to the middle register of the keyboard, the pianist offered richly harmonized arrangements in which fancy keyboard work was kept to a minimum and studious melodic invention, rather than pronounced bass patterns, determined the structures and tempos.”

 

One of my favorite Cole Porter songs done superbly by Ellis and his son Branford.

McCoy Tyner, Dead At 81   Leave a comment

4947342368McCoy Tyner— Image Source Penn State News

 

Posted March 6, 2020 by kenneturner in Information, Jazz, Music

Tagged with ,

Live Jazz In The Old Pueblo   Leave a comment

Old Pueblo  9724 - 2010-08-01-art-72.jpgLive Jazz In The Old Pueblo — Photo-Artistry by kenne

The Weary Blues

— Langston Hughes

Droning a drowsy syncopated tune,
Rocking back and forth to a mellow croon,
     I heard a Negro play.
Down on Lenox Avenue the other night
By the pale dull pallor of an old gas light
     He did a lazy sway . . .
     He did a lazy sway . . .
To the tune o’ those Weary Blues.
With his ebony hands on each ivory key
He made that poor piano moan with melody.
     O Blues!
Swaying to and fro on his rickety stool
He played that sad raggy tune like a musical fool.
     Sweet Blues!
Coming from a black man’s soul.
     O Blues!
In a deep song voice with a melancholy tone
I heard that Negro sing, that old piano moan—
     “Ain’t got nobody in all this world,
       Ain’t got nobody but ma self.
       I’s gwine to quit ma frownin’
       And put ma troubles on the shelf.”

Thump, thump, thump, went his foot on the floor.
He played a few chords then he sang some more—
     “I got the Weary Blues
       And I can’t be satisfied.
       Got the Weary Blues
       And can’t be satisfied—
       I ain’t happy no mo’
       And I wish that I had died.”
And far into the night he crooned that tune.
The stars went out and so did the moon.
The singer stopped playing and went to bed
While the Weary Blues echoed through his head.
He slept like a rock or a man that’s dead.

 

Come Blow Your Horn   4 comments

Old Pueblo“Come Blow Your Horn” — Image by kenne

Jazz in the Old Pueblo
where music fills the air
on summer evenings, 
where the dry air is cool
after 
a hot day in the desert.

*****

“All right, everybody, shut up!
And listen!

— Dave Van Ronk

Cruisin’ Down the Road   1 comment

BelAir-0597_art blogImage by kenne

Cruisin’ down the road
Your arm over my shoulder
Miles of lovin’ smiles.

— kenne

Cruisin’ Down the Road Video

This Side of Paradise   Leave a comment

Yellow Bird of Pardise-1522 framed blogA Yellow Bird of Paradise Blossom — Image by kenne

Sunday morning

after a late night,

a time to relax

and listen to the dark

rhythmic sounds of 

Avishai Cohen —

“There is a crack in everything.

That’s how the light gets in.”

Enjoy the grove as you

drift into solitude.

— kenne

The People Know, It’s Winter In America and I’m Looking for Some Rain   Leave a comment

ct-gil-scott-heron01-art-blogGill Scott-Heron — Grunge Art by kenne

Gil Scott-Heron was a soul and jazz poet, musician, and author known as one of the most important progenitors of rap music,  aggressive, no-nonsense street poetry that inspired a legion of intelligent rappers. He has been called ‘the black Bob Dylan.’

WINTER IN AMERICA

From the Indians who welcomed the pilgrims
And to the buffalo who once ruled the plains
Like the vultures circling beneath the dark clouds
Looking for the rain
Looking for the rain

Just like the cities staggered on the coastline
Living in a nation that just can’t stand much more
Like the forest buried beneath the highway
Never had a chance to grow
Never had a chance to grow

And now it’s winter
Winter in America
Yes and all of the healers have been killed
Or sent away, yeah
But the people know, the people know
It’s winter
Winter in America
And ain’t nobody fighting
‘Cause nobody knows what to save
Save your soul, Lord knows
From Winter in America

The Constitution
A noble piece of paper
With free society
Struggled but it died in vain
And now Democracy is ragtime on the corner
Hoping for some rain
Looks like it’s hoping
Hoping for some rain

And I see the robins
Perched in barren treetops
Watching last-ditch racists marching across the floor
But just like the peace sign that vanished in our dreams
Never had a chance to grow
Never had a chance to grow

And now it’s winter
It’s winter in America
And all of the healers have been killed
Or been betrayed
Yeah, but the people know, people know
It’s winter, Lord knows
It’s winter in America
And ain’t nobody fighting
‘Cause nobody knows what to save
Save your souls
From Winter in America

And now it’s winter
Winter in America
And all of the healers done been killed or sent away
Yeah, and the people know, people know
It’s winter
Winter in America
And ain’t nobody fighting
‘Cause nobody knows what to save
And ain’t nobody fighting
Cause nobody knows, nobody knows
And ain’t nobody fighting
‘Cause nobody knows what to save

— Gill Scott-Heron

If you are interested in some great music, damn good poetry and a little history of this nation, check out the video — it’s all about holding on to your dreams.

Morning Is Bright — B&W   Leave a comment

Alamos Street (1 of 1) B&W blog.jpgMorning is Bright — B&W Image by kenne

morning
in black and white
listening
to soft jazz

new light and passion
born
in the moment
of eternal morning

releasing negative energies
of past efforts
with the morning sun
my cares pass as

for a moment I am
childlike
in a world
false positives.

— kenne

Black and White by Man In A Room

Ken Nordine — “What Time Is It?”   Leave a comment

R-667478-1341524324-7196.jpegKen Nordine Album Cover: “How Are Things In Your Town?” 1972

Growing up in the Chicago area as a teen and young adult, I often I would listen late night jazz on the radio. One of the shows was that of Ken Nordine reading his poetry while playing jazz. He has one of the best radio voices anywhere. You may have heard his voice and didn’t know who it was, since over the years he has done a lot of voice-over TV commercials. Since his radio show in the sixties, he has done several Word Jazz albums. One of his albums that I have is “How Are Things In Your Town,” which includes, “What Time Is It?”

kenne

Jazz At The Old Pueblo   3 comments

Old Pueblo

Jazz at the Old Pueblo — Image by kenne

“Do you hear a sound?

That sound isn’t promising anything

or proving anything

or explaining

or excusing anything

or meaning anything

or, pardon me for speaking rankly—

selling or buying anything.

Truth doesn’t sell or buy: truth sings.

I hear singing.”

— E. E. Cummings

Round About Midnight   Leave a comment

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAA.J. Murphy, September 2002 — Image by kenne

Round About Midnight
by Bob Kaufman

Jazz radio on a midnight kick,
Round about Midnight.

Sitting on the bed,
With a jazz type chick
Round about Midnight,

Piano laughter, in my ears,
Round about Midnight.

Stirring up laughter, dying tears,
Round about Midnight.

Soft blue voices, muted grins,
Excited voices, Father’s sins,
Round about Midnight.

Come on baby, take off your clothes,
Round about Midnight

Coltrane — “A Love Supreme”   2 comments

Kenne & Coltrane (2 of 2) SQ blog“Desert Coltrane” — Image by Joy

Some years ago on one of our trips to New Orleans, Joy and I were walking in the French Quarter and decided to go in a resale store. That’s when I saw the John Coltrane t-shirt I’m wearing in above photo by Joy.  The t-shirt has faded over the years, but I still wear it often to live music events, also just when I feel like it. Okay, so I set it up for this posting, which I had planned on in the celebration of the 50th anniversary of Coltrane’s, “A Love Supreme.”  

In my teen years and early twenties I often would go to sleep listening to jazz on late-night Chicago radio. I still listen to a lot of radio, especially NPR where you can still find good jazz music. About ten days ago, I listened to and NPR story, 50 Years Of John Coltrane’s ‘A Love Supreme’. (A Love Supreme was recorded December 9, 1964.)

“I call it a sacred day for music fans, not just jazz fans. For people across musical boundaries and cultures — for Carlos Santana, Bono, Joni Mitchell, Steve Reich, Bootsy Collins, Gil Scott-Heron — hearing A Love Supreme was a revelation.” — Arun Rath

Many generations have and will continue to be influenced by the music of John Coltrane. If you let your soul listen you can hear his bluesy sound in the words and music of poets, singer-song writers and musicians:

Flirt with me don’t keep hurtin’ me
Don’t cause me pain
Be my lover don’t play no game
Just play me John Coltrane

 — from Righteously by Lucinda Williams

#####

So, catch the blues train,
ride the drum beat’s edge,
see tomorrow’s vision,

somewhere,
somewhere around the bend.

Locomotion,
a blues riff ,
Coltrane changes,

somewhere,
somewhere around the bend.

— from somewhere around the bend by kenne

“People had channeled emotions into music before. But no one had ever played the blues like this.

It’s the same message we get from the blues: Even in struggle and suffering, we sing, because life is a blessing. As much as Coltrane made his saxophone cry — for his suffering, and the world’s — in A Love Supreme he’s telling us that the most important voice to raise is one of gratitude to the creator for the gift of life.” — Arun Rath

De Grazia — The Man Was In The Grove   1 comment

DeGrozia GalleryDe Grazia Gallery In The Sun, Tucson

One of my favorite places in Tucson is the De Grazia Gallery In The Sun — I go there every chance I get to learn about and admire the work of Ted De Grazia. The gallery is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and houses six permanent collections of paintings that  trace historical events and native cultures of the Southwest.

Having just learned of a new book, De Grazia – The Man and Myths, by James W. Johnson and Marilyn D. Johnson, I’m eager to buy it and learn more about De Grazia. In the following video, the authors talk about the making of their book.

Janie & David VisitFamily Visiting the Gallery While In Tucson

The Gallery In The Sun is a must stop for family and friends visiting us here in Tucson. 

DeGrozia GalleryOne of my favorite Ted DeGrazia paintings — Tambolero

De Grazia’s art work overshadows his skills as a musician and composer. A trumpeter, De Grazia had a “big band” orchestra during the 1930’s, which help pay his tuition at the University of Arizona where he earned a Master of Arts with his thesis, “Art and its Relation to Music in Music Education.” One of my favorite De Grazia painting is that of a drummer, “Tambolero,” which brings to mind Steve Gadd, one of the most well-known and highly regarded session and studio drummers in the industry. If you like big band jazz, you will love the following video, Steve Gadd & The Buddy Rich Big Band: Basically Blue.

Birthday Of A Giant — Mile Davis   1 comment

miles_davis-art. blogMiles Davis — Image by kenne

Birthday of a Giant!

Some years ago I thought it a little eccentric to throw birthday parties for Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson. But then, over time I have become very much a part of the annual events held by the Montgomery County Literary Arts Council. Now I ponder the need to celebrate the birthdays of other greats in the arts.

Since my brother, Tom, is always reminding me of the birthdays of his “heroes” (mine too), today I received a reminder that today is the birthday of someone who changed the face of music forever, Miles Davis — May 25, 1926 – September 28, 1991. So, what’s good for Whitman and Dickinson should also be for Davis. Maybe I have a new project?!

Although his genius influenced many, then in 1970 “Bitches Brew” was recorded and the music world has never the same since — now we have the world of “fusion!”

Miles Davis will always amaze the music world of generations to come. One of those people is my good friend, Rafael. Check out Rafael and his friends.

Oh, happy birthday Tom! (May 23rd) And, thanks for caring and sharing.

kenne

 

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