In The Spirit Of Rashied Ali

RECOMMENDATION – JORIS TEEPE

Bassist Joris Teepe has been living and working simultaneously in New York and Amsterdam since the 90s. As the only Dutch jazz musician of his generation, Teepe has enjoyed a fruitful career on the American scene. He has performed and recorded with, among others, Benny Golson, Slide Hampton, Charles McPherson, Harold Mabern, Billy Hart, Eric Alexander, Tom Harrell, Peter Bernstein, Mulgrew Miller and Randy Brecker. More and more, Teepe leaned to avant-garde jazz, particularly under the influence of drummer Rashied Ali. Rashied Ali was one of the big free jazz drummers. He is perhaps best known for his cooperation with John Coltrane on Interstellar Space. Teepe was part of Ali’s group from 2001 till 2009, when Ali passed away. His robust yet silken tone and fluid style keeps Teepe in high demand.

Now the bassist and composer has released the booklet and album In The Spirit Of Rashied Ali, a dedication to his mentor that also features saxophone players Wayne Escoffery, Johannes Enders and Michael Moore, guitarist Freddie Bryant and drummer John Betsch. The thoroughly instructive and well-designed booklet is written by John Weijers.

(Clockwise from left to right: Joris Teepe – In The Spirit Of Rashied Ali; Benny Golson & Joris Teepe; Rashied Ali & John Coltrane)

Teepe says: “You could say for me there is the period before Rashied and the period after Rashied.”

One rather cruel anecdote from Patricia Ali during her interview with Teepe and drummer George Schuller about the period during which Ali ran a club in New York City speaks volumes about the maverick spirit of the late avant-garde drummer (and Patricia!), who refused to be dictated by the whims of corporate labels:

“Rashied was into doing his own thing. He had his own recording company called Survival Records. He had his own publishing company, Ali Music. And then he wanted a club because there was no place for this type of music to be played at the time. You know, the Village Vanguard wasn’t really presenting that. So there was a lot of jazz, but no place for the Avant Garde. Rashied actually got a liquor license and so there was food and liquor. His partner Benny Wilson was wonderful. He did double-duty as Rashied’s bassist and part-time cook in the club.”
George: “And the club was exactly where the studio was?”
Patricia: “No…the club was on the first floor. There was the front door and then there was a ticket window, and that’s where the recording booth was. And then you went through another door, you couldn’t actually get into the club until you paid.”
George: “So the storefront, with the fashion boutique, is where the club was?”
Patricia: “Yes…that whole space. And in the back was the kitchen and also an area for musicians to hang out.”
George: “What came first, the club or the studio?”
Patricia: “The club, the studio wasn’t built until the 1980’s.”
Joris: “First, he was renting, right?”
Patricia: “Well, he rented both floors.”
Joris: “And then he wanted to buy the place, he got tired of the Mafia coming around…”
Patricia: “See, the Mafia kept track of local businesses by cigarette machines and by garbage collection.”
This was the common practice of a kind of neighborhood extortion by the Ma a in New York City at the time.
“So Rashied refused to have a cigarette machine in the place, and then he would take his own garbage to wherever you take garbage. And they did not like that. They broke his jaw at one point and they rammed his fingers, but luckily, he could still play. Then one day he sent me over there with one of the kids. I wanted them to see that we were a family. We had to pay $50 to someone over there. I went down there, looking very pathetic of course, because $50 was a lot for us at that time. So, we bought an ad in the local ‘neighborhood’ newspaper. And that seemed to settle the problems with the Mafia for us, because they could tell there wasn’t a huge amount of business going on here. They wanted their payment based on things like garbage and cigarette machines.”

In The Spirit Of Rashied Ali is released by Jazz Tribes. It is available on Amazon.

Check out the website of Joris Teepe here.

Bruut! V (Dox 2018)

NEW RELEASE – BRUUT!

Just when you think how in the hell are the guys from Bruut! going to keep it fresh after all these years, they turn in V. Their fifth album, and their grittiest.

Bruut!

Personnel

Maarten Hogenhuis (alto & tenor saxophone), Folkert Oosterbeek (Hammond, Farfisa, Korg, Vox, Mellotron, piano, harmonium), Thomas Rolff (bass), Felix Schlarmann (drums)

Recorded

on June 1-3, 2018 at Moon Music Studio, Maasbracht, The Netherlands

Released

as Dox 372 in 2018

Track listing

Lopez
Maestro
Phteven
Bud
Watkins
Vox
Klets
Les
Hemiola
Peewee


These guys may not look like a couple of greasy workers diggin’ potatoes. Instead, they are some of the sharpest dressers on the scene. But if not dirty on first sight, saxophonist Maarten Hogenhuis, organist Folkert Oosterbeek, bassist Thomas Rolff and drummer Felix Schlarmann got soul of a strangely twisted kind. In their universe, marriages are celebrated between boogaloo and power pop, post-punk and mood music, perhaps even Link Wray and P.J. Harvey. If a pop band would try its hand on this kind of crossover music, it would most likely be unconvincing. But Bruut! consists of accomplished jazz musicians and each member adds his particular talent and vibe to the palette of entertaining NU-soul jazz.

The wedding party likely takes place in one of those seedy East Hollywood strip clubs frequented by a dozen or so Tom Waits impersonators and the lady that makes a rather charming impression despite the blue bags under her eyes, Botox breasts and stale perfume dating back to the era during which E.T. was in the pre-production phase. Or it might be held at one of the trashy jetset places one always reads about in the tabloids and is never able to attend.

Whatever spot it might be, the fat, resonant bottom of drums and double bass is perfect foil for Hogenhuis and Oosterbeek. The alto and tenor sax of Hogenhuis sounds raw, like a distorted Varitone sax, and Hogenhuis regularly hams it up like a disgruntled hooligan on ketamine. His timing is immaculate and he allows himself a number of solo spots and ad-libs that demonstrate an apparent admiration for Eddie Harris. Oosterbeek provides crunch and edge with all kinds of keyboards like the Hammond, Korg, Vox, even Harmonium. Angular hooks that are groovy and jazzy but also part Queens Of The Stone Age part Pogues part B52’s are enlivened with frivolous bridges and underscored by varying, hefty beats from Schlarmann. As a breather, Hogenhuis contributes his customary mood pieces that showcase his liquid silver tone and melodious lines.

As usual, Bruut!’s song titles consist of only one word. Lopez. Bud. Maestro. Klets. Peewee. Part of the group’s identity that is crystal clear and hasn’t worn.

Find the album here.
And check out their new single Lopez here

Persson To Persson

Jan Persson (1943-2018) –

Danish photographer Jan Persson passed away on November 15. He worked for Downbeat, Melody Maker and various Danish papers since 1962. His work mainly centered around visiting jazz musicians in Copenhagen, one of the most jazz-minded cities in Europe where numerous legendary American artists came to perform or live. Persson photographed pretty much everyone from Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk, Dexter Gordon to Chet Baker, Michael Brecker and Roy Hargrove. In the late sixties, Persson also focused on visiting rock artists and groups like Bob Dylan, The Beatles and Cream.

Persson’s photos are collected on the website of the Center For Danish Jazz History. Persson’s photos, instead of the more stylish pictures of Francis Wolff, have a kind of rugged quality, catching the artists in performance but also in ordinary, off-stage situations. Find the website here. It’s fantastic to browse through the collection.

See a couple of pictures below:

Clockwise from left to right: Oscar Peterson; Hank Mobley; Bill Evans

Clockwise from left to right: Charles Mingus & Ben Webster; Elvin Jones Trio with Joe Farrell & Jimmy Garrison; Don Cherry

Mister Ben’s Tempo

BEN DIXON (1934-2018) –

Drummer Ben Dixon sadly passed away on November 8. Flophouse reached out to Pete “Doodlin’ Lounge’ Fallico, who posted a RIP on Facebook. Through the grapevine, Fallico heard about someone who attended the funeral: ‘Apparently muslims bury or cremate a body the next day after death. Ben was a quiet person who did not have a web presence, hence the lack of information.’

Dixon was one of the great organ jazz specialists. He was born in Gaffney, South Carolina and grew up in Washington D.C. and Buffalo, NY. Early in his career, Dixon played with Buck Hill, Shirley Horn and Webster Young. During Dixon’s three-year stint with the popular r&b singer Lloyd Price, Dixon met John Patton, whom he persuaded to take up the Hammond. Introduced by Lou Donaldson to Blue Note’s Alfred Lion, Dixon and Patton (plus guitarist Grant Green) went on to form a prolific tandem on many of the label’s now-classic soul jazz albums of the early and mid-sixties. He quit the music business in 1967 but resurfaced in 1997 with The Real Jazz Quartet. His only album as a leader, Say Yes To Your Best including organist Adam Scone was released in 2000. Dixon’s discography as a sideman includes a series of albums with Lou Donaldson, Grant Green and John Patton, George Braith’s Laughing Soul, Ray Draper’s Tuba Sounds, Stanley Turrentine’s A Chip Off The Old Block and Baby Face Willette’s Face To Face.

The work of Ben Dixon is textbook material for aspiring soul jazz drummers. Playing in an organ group requires some adjustments and a whole lotta groove. Ben Dixon’s meaty hi-hat on the 2 and 4 constituted a tight pocket. His bass and ride cymbal locked tight with the organist’s bass lines. He accented changes, turnarounds, bridges and shout choruses with press rolls, but not excessively, so as not to disturb the flow and uses lively snare and tom figures to inspire the soloists. This way his accompaniment is an arc of tension, more tension, heat, release… Throughout, Dixon swings, grooves, makes sure those toes keep-a-tappin’. His shuffle was rock-solid. Dixon also wrote a number of catchy tunes like Cantaloupe Woman, Pig Foot and Fat Judy.

Check out Ben Dixon’s style on Brother Jack McDuff’s Whap!, Grant Green’s Miss Ann’s Tempo and Lou Donaldson’s Funky Mama.

Harold Vick’s Our Miss Brooks and John Patton’s Fat Judy. Picture of Ben Dixon.

Ben Dixon was 84 years old.

(Thanks Pete Fallico of The Doodlin’ Lounge and Jazz Organ Fellowship)

Roy Hard Groove

ROY HARGROVE (1969-2018) –

A shiver went through the jazz world with the passing of trumpeter Roy Hargrove on November 2. Hargrove, who suffered from kidney failure, died of cardiac arrest in the hospital. He was 49. Few carried on the torch of real jazz as brilliantly, fiery and sensitively as Hargrove. When touring in Europe, Hargrove regularly performed in jazz club Porgy & Bess in Terneuzen, The Netherlands, birthplace of yours truly. Hargrove and Porgy’s management had a special rapport since the early nineties. Like many, Porgy is saddened by the loss of the acclaimed trumpet and flugelhorn player. Read an overview of comments on Hargrove’s passing below.

Trumpeter Nicholas Payton on his website:

“Y’all don’t even understand. I lost my spirit brother today. I remember I first started hearing about this dude when I was around 12-years-old. When I would hang out and get lessons from Wynton Marsalis, he would tell me about this cat around my age from Texas by the name of Roy Hargrove who was a prodigy like me. I didn’t meet him face-to-face for another 4 years or so, but as you can imagine, the excitement built in my mind. Who is this little mothafucka playing as much horn as me? In my mind, I was the only one. When we first met, I felt like I had reunited with my long, lost soul brother. I felt so much love for him instantly. Much in the same way I locked eyes with my son for the first time, there was a kindred feeling of family present from the jump.

Years later, Wynton had this series he started at Lincoln Center called the Battle Royale. He pit Roy and I against each other on the old standard called “Just Friends.” How ironic. Haha… Anyway, if you can find that tape anywhere, you’ll hear perhaps the most heated trumpet battle you’ve ever heard in your life. We loved each other, but we were going for blood. The vibe in the room was electric and it was very clear who the next two trumpet stars on the scene were to be.

That event signaled the start of the music industry doing everything in its power to create of web of conflict between the two of us. And like brothers, we fought over everything: the same record company, the same gigs, the same women. We kept each other in check and made each other our best selves. I couldn’t go anywhere without him right there. Even my big Grammy night when I thought I would one up him, he won his first Grammy the same night. That little mothafucka! lol

There aren’t many relationships like ours in the world. The closest I can think of is that of Magic Johnson and Isiah Thomas, or even better, Phife and Tip. The world got the best of the best because we both existed. And now he’s gone. It’s just me and it hurts beyond belief.

With every note, this brother dripped soul. In every phrase, he never let you forget you were listening to a Black man playing that horn. He inspires me to no end.”

Bassist Christian McBride on Instagram:

“I have no words over the loss of my dear brother of 31 years. We played on a lot of sessions together, laughed a lot together, bickered on occasion – and I wouldn’t change our relationship for anything in the world. Bless you, Roy Hargrove.”

(Parker’s Mood, 1995; Roy Hargrove’s Crisol, Habana, 1997; Earfood, 2008)

Photographer Nina D’Alessandro on Instagram:

“I remember being at Clark Terry’s house one night when Clark and Al Grey got home from the road. We were sitting around the kitchen table and Clark told us about a fourteen-year old trumpet player he’d just heard down in Texas. ‘Remember his name, Roy Hargrove,’ he said. ‘That young one is a Chosen One. He came into this world anointed.”

Wynton Marsalis on his website:

“We lost a true missionary and minister of our music this past week in Roy Hargrove.

Although he faced an uphill battle with his health over the years, it didn’t deter him or even slow him down from doing what he was undoubtedly born to do – minister through music. That he did until the end.

I first met Roy Hargrove in 1986 at Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing Arts in Dallas, Texas. He was a 16 years old phenom playing lead trumpet parts with incredible accuracy and also improvising original solos with gleaming nuggets of melody swimming in harmonic sophistication with generous helpings of downhome blues and soul.

Roy played piano, wrote songs, sang and had a great sense of humor. To top it all off, he possessed an unerring sense of time, in the pocket at any tempo fast or slow. Kids in the school just loved him and were all excited about his great musicianship and about the magic they experienced everyday listening to him and playing with him.

He played with an unusual and infectious combination of fire, honesty and sweet innocence. The first time I heard him it was clear, he was an absolute natural with phenomenal ears, a great memory and tremendous dexterity on our instrument.

He was diligent about his playing technically and emotionally. Playing with an uncommon depth of feeling with a very developed internal sense of that which is unspeakable about the intimate. A Roy ballad was always exquisite.

Just as many in the continuum of our music poured information and aspirations into him, Roy gave selflessly to others, particularly to young musicians. He did everything he could to ensure that the circle would not be broken, at least not on his watch.

His participation on the scene in New York most reminded me of Woody Shaw. Roy continued Woody’s tradition of sitting in all around town and of playing, of encouraging everyone to play (not just with incredible solos), but with knowledge of songs and with advice and with just the feeling of “we are in this together and this is worth doing, and it’s valuable.”

While I am truly saddened as I write this, I am also encouraged by the life and the legacy that Roy left. He meant it.

Rest in Peace Baby.”

(Bobby Watson & Horizon, No Question About It, 1988 debut as sideman; Johnny Griffin, Chicago, New York, Paris, 1994; Johnny O’Neal, *In The Moment, 2017, last recording)

Guitarist Dan Nicholas on Facebook:

“Thoughts keep turning to Roy Hargrove and what we’ve lost.

Roy Hargrove made the scene. He showed up. As soon as his gig was over, he was out there at the next spot, hanging, playing, teaching, sharing, representing.

Roy Hargrove corrected other musicians when something was wrong or inappropriate to the music. He didn’t “vibe” them, he shared his knowledge and experience in an attempt to have the music better served. This is the furthest thing from hostility. It’s generosity. The few who take the effort and energy to do this make our music better.

Roy Hargrove dressed immaculately. Even if he was wearing jeans and Nikes, they were the right jeans and the right Nikes, and they complimented the rest of his outfit. He carried himself with grace and poise, and looked beautiful walking on stage before playing a single note. This helped draw audiences to him and made them more open to receiving his musical message.

Roy Hargrove led BANDS. His music was arranged. His sets had an arc, they had variety, they had drama, they went from one song right into the next, no bullshiting, no chance for the spell to be broken.

Roy Hargrove played standards. He loved the American Songbook and he dug deep into it.

Roy Hargrove played BALLADS. There’s a lot of them out there besides Body and Soul, many of the greatest songs ever written.

Roy Hargrove played MELODY. Sometimes just melody.

Roy Hargrove could play in any bag, any style, it was all just music to him. But when he spoke about learning, he continued to speak of Bird, Dizzy, Monk, Bud Powell, all of whom he felt were overlooked, and whose music he described as “the fabric of jazz.”

Roy Hargrove was all about the music. He didn’t seem to have much of an ego, at least as a musician. In a world of mercenaries out for themselves, he was a soldier in service to the kingdom of music. And music gave back to him unfailingly.”

(Roy Hargrove, 2017; Christian McBride & Roy Hargrove, late 80s; Roy Hargrove, Porgy & Bess, Terneuzen, early 90s)

Pinheiro, Ineke & Cavalli Triplicity (Daybreak/Challenge 2018)

NEW RELEASE – PINHEIRO, INEKE & CAVALLI

The Portuguese guitarist Ricardo Pinheiro gets inspiration from many sources, even Ennio Morricone. But it’s the way Pinheiro and his mates Massimo Cavalli and Eric Ineke treat standards that makes Triplicity remarkable.

Pinheiro, Ineke & Cavalli - Triplicity

Personnel

Ricardo Pinheiro (guitar), Massimo Cavalli (bass), Eric Ineke (drums)

Recorded

on November 25, 2017 at Estudio Vale De Lobos, Lisbon, Portugal

Released

as DBCHR 75227 in 2018

Track listing

Blues Just Because
Cinema Paradiso
If I Should Lose You
Along Came Betty
You’ve Changed
Conception
Retrato Em Branco E Preto
When You Wish Upon A Star


In a trio without piano, doing without the harmonic safety rings of the pianist, the jazz musician will have to dig deep into the well of his creativity. Sonny Rollins did a number of iconic recordings, notably Live At The Village Vanguard. Motion by Lee Konitz is a key album. There’s the output of Elvin Jones with Joe Farrell and Jimmy Garrison. The common denominator of these records is, of course, drummer Elvin Jones, one of Eric Ineke’s greatest inspirations. Switching to guitar players, Barney Kessel, Jimmy Raney, Jim Hall, Kenny Burrell, Ed Bickert and Bill Frisell released a number of challenging albums in their lifetime. Avant-gardists like Arthur Blythe had their say in the trio concept sans piano as well. Nowadays, even if not everybody is yelling ‘Stein go away!’, the practice is fairly common. But an affair that is interesting from start to finish, is, more or less, fairly unusual.

Perhaps their European roots are responsible for the fact that guitarist Pinheiro, drummer Ineke and bassist Cavalli find few obstacles during their search of still newer land, just like fellow travellers Toots Thielemans, Elek Bacsik or Enrico Rava. A coherent narrative runs through the whole 46 minutes of Triplicity, courtesy of a Portuguese, Dutchman and Italian who, in that order, are sincere and intriguing, sublime and responsive, strong and lyrical. They have been associated for a number of years now and have also recorded Is Seeing Believing? with Dave Liebman. The sound of Pinheiro has a metallic edge, is perhaps like John Scofield’s not the sweetest and warmest, but stands out. His playing is both angular and expressive, synonymous with Portuguese coffee, that gives one a solid kick before revealing its many exciting flavors. Cavalli is solid but he also likes to dance, placing frivolous and inspiring figures behind the stories of his company.

Ineke is grounded in the American tradition. He draws from his experience of playing with myriad American legends and a lifelong passion for heroes like Elvin Jones, Philly Joe Jones, Kenny Clarke, but is very hip and prolific, getting a kick out of cooperating with colleagues of all nationalities and ages and still eager to step out of his comfort zone. Perhaps his North-European background is most evident in the way he neatly puts all the ideas that flow around into context, meticulous like the tower controller at Schiphol Airport. Contrary to airport officials, however, Ineke allows himself a lot of freedom to color in the lines, is subtle or heated dependent on the situation, and always melodic.

Pinheiro carries the embellishments and understated passion from his Brazilian/Portuguese forebears, and also a bit of Django Reinhardt’s pace and clarity, over to his style, especially during Pinheiro’s Blues Just Because and Antonio Carlos Jobim’s Retrato Em Branco E Preto. Partly because of this, the tunes are more closely linked than one would generally assume. Retrato develops from a dark-hued bowed bass section into an angular folk romp with a cinematic character. It’s easy to imagine a little movie scene in the countryside, a tipsy old couple slowdancing in the moonlight, gyspy children playing with a cat’s tail, a woman with a tear in her eye that runs down through the gullies of her cheek… Blues Just Because is a Now The Time-ish melody, boprocked considerably by the group and soloist Pinheiro, whose integration of crunchy chords adds to his multiplex of animated lines. Pinheiro even found time to pay attention to the last chord. It’s a lurid one similar to the way Eric Clapton would, and did, end a Cream song! Endings seem to comprise something of a running gag by Pinheiro, who also finishes Along Came Betty and George Shearing’s Conception with quaint, if rather more soft-hued, chords.

Blues Just Because‘s construction allows a lot of freedom for the voice of each personality, a method that marks the complete set. Morricone’s Cinema Paradiso gets a spheric reading, the Sketches Of Spain-type tale from Pinheiro is underlined by effective counter-rhythm by Cavalli and Ineke. Cavalli makes the most of one of his many opportunities to solo on this album, speaking with gusto and emotion. Cinema Paradiso is song turned into meaningful improvisation.

Benny Golson’s Along Came Betty, the hard bop anthem best known in the classic version by Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers, is salsa-fied with, again, tasty bass and drum intermezzos and suspenseful counter-rhythm, which makes it simultaneously loose and swinging. The three voices of If I Should Lose You speak as a unit but also separately, a way of working that depends on the power of conversation, which Pinheiro, Ineke and Cavalli have in abundance. Pinheiro’s groove is contagious. His ability to stretch bars or leave turnarounds be seems in-built. Ineke’s subtle brush work is the foundation of the tune, surely an album highlight. Ineke is a master with brushes on this one, and also during You’ve Changed. Carl Fisher’s ballad is also marked by great Cavalli stuff, whose phrases during Pinheiro’s solo glance forward to his own following statements. Lithe, crystalline strumming from Pinheiro ends the ballad on a beautiful, bittersweet note.

Standards turned into meaningful alternatives, with a lot of motion. On the other hand, When You Wish Upon A Star, the Disney tune that has been performed by countless artists, Glenn Miller, Guy Lombardo, Louis Armstrong, Dave Brubeck, Joe Pass, Keith Jarrett and Wynton Marsalis among them, will never be the same again. It is not an alternative but a relentless deconstruction. A drone with shadows of melody evoking the Indian raga, it is marked by evocative Ineke/Cavalli interaction and hypnotic Pinheiro playing, which suggests a definite upbringing with late sixties psychedelica. To perfectly trim the trio’s outlandish Disney-interpretation, Pinheiro makes use of dubbed guitar and a slice of feedback. Not unlikely, upon hearing it, the guys of Radiohead would be transformed from paranoid androids to frenzied fans of Pinheiro, Ineke & Cavalli’s extravagant closer.

The rabbit in the hat of an already surprisingly original album.

Find the album here.

Bay 3

B3 ORGAN FESTIVAL – That is going to be a lot of stops and drawbars. Most likely the B3 Organ Festival, held from September 20-23 in San Francisco, sets a Guiness World Record. But importantly, the festival, programmed by radio host and long-time ambassador of organ jazz Pete “Doodlin’ Lounge” Fallico as part of the SF Jazz Festival, offers a rich array of Hammond grooves. On the bill are heroes of the Hammond B3 organ Lonnie Smith, Reuben Wilson, Chester Thompson, Ronnie Foster and Joey DeFrancesco, as well as new stars and up-and-coming acts as Cory Henry & The Funk Apostles, Howard Wiley & Extra Nappy and Tammy Hall. A big treat for lovers of organ jazz, the genre that keeps building on the tradition and innovations of the church, Wild Bill Davis, Jimmy Smith, Larry Young and others.

Visit the B3 Organ Festival on September 20-23 at SF Jazz Center, 201 Franklin Street, San Francisco. Tickets available here.