Pure Jazz Magazine is a semi annual magazine featuring in depth Jazz stories, interviews plus other information you may find interesting. Based in Brooklyn, USA for the world.
A MUSICAL HARVEST IN 13 SESSIONS CBJC Awards Ceremony 2001 Ed Stoute, Leonard Gaskin, Mensah Wali, Randy Weston, Viola Plummer, Bob Myers -by Mike Howard A tree grows in Brooklyn, smack dab in the middle of the Borough a luxuriant tree that bears delicious musical fruits and attracts a special breed of songbirds. The seeds were planted by the many fine musicians native to the borough and nurtured by their admirers. When it blooms in April, what you’ll hear are the sounds of live performances from world-class musicians, emanating from a bevy of music emporiums, schools and churches. The 2nd Annual Central Brooklyn Jazz festival boasted 13 nights of fine Jazz. Here is a brief note of what happened each night: The annual opening gala conducted at the Sugar Hill Supper Club featured two bands, one for each floor, with the Ronnie Mathews Trio upstairs and a jammin’ session downstairs with Benny Powell, Ahmed Abdullah, Stanley Banks, Talib Kibwe, and Andrei Strobert. Lifetime achievement awards were presented to Randy Weston, Betty Roche, ‘Leonard Gaskin, Ed Stoute, and Al Vann. Proprietor Eddie Freeman was a gracious host as he smiled and greeted guests all night long. Night two found Fred Wright hosting us at Brown Sugar, where Jeff King held court with Andrei Strobert, Sulaiman Akim, Charles Carrington, and Talik Abdullah. City Council member Annette Robinson spoke, embracing the efforts of the consortium and pledged support. Night three was ladies night, at Bed-Stuy Restoration ‘s Skylight Gallery featuring five females artists who discussed their travails in the entertainment indus try. Sharing anecdotes and impressions, both lasting and fleeting, these ladies discussed what men (and some women) do to maintain the status quo in the industry. Dottie Anita Taylor, from the executive office of the JVC, offered serious discourse. And then they performed! Vocalists Melba Joyce and Karen Taylor split the microphone chores, and were superbly accompanied by Bernice Brooks on drums, Kim Clark on bass, and Joanne Brackeen on piano . The evening was dedicated to the late Rosalind Blair, consortium member and creator of Jazz: The Woman ‘s Viewpoint.” Torrie McCartney served as commentator during the panel discussion. Do you remember Mrs.Jones? Renowned vocalist Billy Paul, reminded us all on night four as he took center stage Saturday night at Medgar Evers College. His voice, captured in time, let every single patron know how he felt. At 65, he had a story to tell, and energy to bring to it. His classics “Billy Boy” and “Ebony Woman” had timeless appeal. The performance was conducted in part by the Billie Holiday and Jazzy Jazz Festivals, co-produced by Alma Carroll and the Jazzpaz azz Historical Society founded by her late husband Joe be-bop” Carroll. Night five found us nestled under the Williamsburg Bridge at the Williamsburg Music Center, where we hung out with guitarist/bassist/ owner Gerry Eastman . The quaint old railroad flat has been tastefully rest ored to prov i de the perfect ambiance to go along with Joe Ford Page 36 -Pure Jazz Magazine
on soprano sax, Newman Taylor Baker, drums and Sayuri Goto on piano. An enjoyable evening given to gather one’s thoughts and prepare for the u pcomi ng roar of the subsequent festival dates. Enter James Spaulding, on night six, with his alto sax roaring, at Sista’s Place with Eric Lemon Holding sway on bass, with a drummer from Chicago, so good you can‘t let him go back. Why even the vocalist reminded us of Billy Eckstine. Spaulding himself sang a few bars. Man! Nostrand and Jefferson Avenues served up several heated nights during the festival, but this was special! Night seven at the Akwaaba Cafe on Lewis Avenue (owned by Glen Pogue an d Monique Greenwood) displayed why it is becoming quite popular. We relaxed ourselves there, enjoying fine cui sine and the Chardavoine Band, with Gene Chardvoine on guitar leading a fine quartet... Cliff Lee Plus Three entertained us on night eight, at Club Traci’s on Tompkins s Avenue. Cliff was on trumpet and vocals, accompanied by t he John son Brothers. Ask for Aphrodite when you drop by.She makes you feel right at home. Night nine took us to Pumpkins on Nostrand Avenue where host Bill Rutherford featured the Louis Hayes quintet. The pumpkin really glowed that night. Night ten was really Friday the 13th but was “super-not-stitious” as two venues played on Concord Baptist Church presented Barry Harris and featured his composition based on the 23rd Psalm. You thrilled to the collaboration of Dr. Harris and the 100-member Jazz choir. Pastor Gary Simpson is represented on the consortium by music minister Phil Bingham and Richard D’ Abreu, who joined the group on piano and tenor sax. We didn’t skip a beat as Jazz 966 returned to the days of swing dancing, reminiscent of the Savoy Ballroom’s legendary gatherings . The Benny Russell Big Band kept things swinging, (and yes we had a winner in the swing dance contest) Jazz 966 founder Sam Pinn selected two consortium members, Jitu Weusi and Torrie McCartney, to serve as judges. Night eleven...whew! I’m out of breath just remembering the pace . This was also a doublebill. We began at Bed-Stuy Restoration with bass guitarist Stanley Banks and vocalist/saxman Lonnie Youngblood leading an eight-member, get-down and funk group. Consortium consultant Jacqui Woods hosted the event and had a ball doin’ it. We finished off the night at the Up Over Jazz Cafe where the Billy Harper Quintet made its annual return to the Central Brooklyn Jazz Festival. Owner Bob Myers had his staff don the festival t-shirts emblazoned with the CBJC logo, (they’re still available if you’d like one.) Number twelve on the list of events was The Five Spot on Myrtle Avenue, which served up music and cuisine with a brunch featuring Brass Monkey, a Dixieland blues ba nd, culminating with feverish percussionist Eric Frazier and his group. Last event, number 13: Kudos to St. Philips Episcopal Church and the October Club as they concluded this 2nd annual Central Brooklyn Jazz Festival. The Drake Colley Quartet opened , and guess who was on drums--w hy of course, Andrei Strobert. Spirited vocalist Torrie McCartney, in fine fettle, closed out this installment of what is sure to become a fixture in the Brooklyn community, Veteran bassist Bob Cunningham joined Torrie on the sa after he received a citation from the Brooklyn Borough President’s office acknowledging his Contributions to the Jazz community. This 13-nite/ day fete clearly demonstrates that the ideas, and commitment of the consortium members to move jazz to the next level in Brooklyn is right on key. As CEO of United Music Makers, an arm of CBJC (a member since its inception) he recently completed 16 years as facilitator of the Jazzy Jazz Festival held at Medgar Evers College. Mike has written several articles for the Black Star News and Pure Jazz Magazine. This article is a reprint from a 2001 edition of: Magazine Jazz Festival April 13th to May 13th 2017 firstname.lastname@example.org www.keithloftis.com WANTED: Writers/ Social Media Reps For a Jazz-tastic Magazine Contact: email@example.com Pure Jazz Magazine - Page 37