Some quickies of the Blues Brothers. Jake and Elwood, played by John
Belushi and Dan Aykroyd respectively, are some of the most iconic
characters ever in cinema. Based on the SNL skits, The Blues Brothers is
a hilarious comedy, all while also being one of the most quotable
movies of all time, featuring some of the greatest musicians ever,
pleasing action fans (two of cinema’s greatest car chases are in this
film, and just maintaining an unparalleled level of “cool”. If Blues
Brothers isn’t a movie classic, I don’t know what is.
Nick Pourfard is a self taught wood worker from San Francisco who started a guitar making company called “Prisma” that combines his love of guitars & skateboarding by creating guitars using the wood from broken skateboards. Every single guitar is 100% handmade and each has a totally unique colour pattern making for some very cool looking guitars.
Greg Osby (saxophone) 1960 :: Jazziversary greetings to Greg Osby. Greg is an American jazz saxophonist who plays mainly in the free jazz, free funk and M-Base idioms.
He played on Jack DeJohnette’s Special Edition, and has recorded with Steve Coleman, Jim Hall and Andrew Hill (setting the stage for Hill and Hall’s later appearance on Osby’s The Invisible Hand).
He began recording albums under his own name for JMT Records in the 1980s, but his most celebrated work has been a run of records for Blue Note. Like Coleman, Osby likes to discover fresh talent and give players a chance to grow within his own band: he was responsible for giving exposure to the young pianist Jason Moran, who appeared on most of Osby’s 1990s albums (including the live album Banned in New York and an experiment with adding a string quartet to the band, Symbols of Light)
Osby has contributed to the homages to Miles Davis’s 1970s electric jazz performed by Henry Kaiser and Wadada Leo Smith’s “Yo Miles” group. The Village Voice critic Francis Davis wrote of his contribution to their double album Upriver, “Greg Osby superimposes his own brand of rhythmic complexity (one fully worthy of Wayne Shorter) on the rhythm section’s static vamps every time he steps forward.”
In 2003 Osby toured with The Dead, which was a reincarnation of The Grateful Dead for a full North American tour. He also has contributed in various lineups with Phil Lesh and Friends.
Greg was named Playboy Magazine’s “Jazz Artist of the Year” in the March 2009 issue.
Hamid Drake (percussion) 1965 :: Many happy jazziversary returns to Hamid Drake. Hamid is an American jazz drummer and percussionist. He lives in Chicago, IL but spends a great deal of time touring worldwide.
By the close of the 1990s, Hamid Drake was widely regarded as one of the best percussionists in jazz and avant improvised music. Incorporating Afro-Cuban, Indian, and African percussion instruments and influence, in addition to using the standard trap set, Drake has collaborated extensively with top free jazz improvisers. Drake also has performed world music; by the late 70s, he was a member of Foday Musa Suso’s Mandingo Griot Society, Liof Munimula, the oldest free improvising ensemble in Chicago.
Drake has also worked with trumpeter Don Cherry, pianist Herbie Hancock, saxophonists like Pharoah Sanders, Fred Anderson, Archie Shepp or David Murray and bassists like Reggie Workman or William Parker (in a large number of lineups)
He studied drums extensively, including eastern and Caribbean styles, he also frequently plays without sticks, using his hands to develop subtly commanding undertones. His tabla playing is also notable for his subtlety and flair. Drake‘s questing nature and his interest in Caribbean percussion led to a deep involvement with reggae.
In recent years, Drake has frequently appeared with Jazz legend Archie Shepp in various configurations. The most common is the group Phat Jam along with human beat boxer and rapper Napoleon Maddox. Drake also works with Maddox in the Jazz hip Hop group ISWHAT?!. Drake performs with European jazz groups, recording with Hungarian musicians such as Viktor Tóth and Mihály Dresch, also releasing projects with Polish saxophonist Mat Walerian. In addition to the drum set, Drake performs on the frame drum, the tabla, and other hand drums.
Roscoe Mitchell (reeds) 1940 :: Happy jazziversary Roscoe Mitchell! Roscoe is an African-American composer, jazz instrumentalist and educator, mostly known for being “a technically superb — if idiosyncratic — saxophonist.”
He has been called “one of the key figures” in avant-garde jazz who has been “at the forefront of modern music” for the past thirty years. He continues “to be a major figure.” He has even been called a “super musician” and the New York Times has mentioned that he “qualifies as an iconoclast.”
In 1965, Mitchell was one of the first members of the non-profit organization Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) along with Jodie Christian (piano), Steve McCall (drums), and Phil Cohran (composer). The following year Mitchell, Lester Bowie (trumpet), Kalaparusha Maurice McIntyre (tenor saxophone), Favors, Lester Lashley (trombone), and Alvin Fielder (drums), recorded their first studio album, Sound. The album was “a departure from the more extroverted work of the New York-based free jazz players” due in part to the band recording with “unorthodox devices” such as toys and bicycle horns.
From 1967 Mitchell, Bowie, Favors and, on occasion, Jarman performed as the Roscoe Mitchell Art Ensemble, then the Art Ensemble, and finally in 1969 were billed as the Art Ensemble of Chicago. The group included Phillip Wilson on drums for short span before he joined Paul Butterfield’s band. The group lived and performed in Europe from 1969 to 1971, though they arrived without any percussionist after Wilson left. To fill the void, Mitchell commented that they “evolved into doing percussion ourselves.” The band did eventually get a percussionist, Don Moye, who Mitchell had played with before and was living in Europe at that time. For performances, the band often wore brilliant African costumes and painted their faces. The Art Ensemble of Chicago have been described as becoming “possibly the most highly acclaimed jazz band” in the 1970s and 1980s.
In the 1990s, Mitchell started to experiment in classical music with such composers/artists such as Pauline Oliveros, Thomas Buckner, and Borah Bergman, the latter two of which formed a popular trio with Mitchell called Trio Space. Buckner was also part of another group with Mitchell and Gerald Oshita called Space in the late 1990s. He then conceived the Note Factory in 1992 with various old and new collaborators as another evolution of the Sound Ensemble.
Mitchell has made a point of working with younger musicians in various ensembles and combinations, many of whom weren’t yet born when the first Art Ensemble recordings were made. Mainly from Chicago, these players include trumpeter Corey Wilkes, bassist Karl E. H. Seigfried, and drummer Isaiah Spencer.
In 2007, Mitchell was named Darius Milhaud Chair of Composition at Mills College in Oakland, California, where he currently lives.
Jack Wilson (piano) 1930-2007 :: Jack Wilson was an American jazz pianist and composer. After graduating from Central High, Wilson spent a year-and-a-half at the Indiana University, encountering Freddie Hubbard and Slide Hampton.
Touring with a rock ‘n roll band, he wound up in Columbus, Ohio, connecting with the then unknown Nancy Wilson and Rahsaan Roland Kirk.
After a year in Columbus, Wilson moved to Atlantic City, leading the house band at the Cotton Club, now adding organ to his musical arsenal. At the Club he encountered Dinah Washington, with whom he worked from 1957-58.
In Los Angeles, Jack Wilson worked for Gerald Wilson, Lou Donaldson, Herbie Mann, Jackie McLean and Johnny Griffin. Frequently in and out of the studio for recording, film and television work, he did stints with Sammy Davis Jr., Sarah Vaughan, Lou Rawls, Eartha Kitt, Julie London, as well as Sonny & Cher.
He appeared on and wrote the title track for Earl Anderza’s debut album Outa Sight! (1962).In 1965, Jack Wilson recorded the album Jack Wilson Plays Brazilian Mancini together with Antonio Carlos Jobim.
Jack Wilson was part of the Ike Isaacs trio and is a strong presence on several of Lambert Hendricks and Ross recordings including “LHR sing Ellington”.