Oh, what a JAZZ evening we had on this first Thursday of Spring, 2022.
First off, I want to thank everyone that joined in the session. We had a full array of listeners from all over the country. And for the very first time, we had a couple of Vinyl Listeners from across the pond. Two listeners, Chris and Tod, joined in, all the way from London, England. What a pleasant surprise. Everyone was encouraged and we used the Zoom chat feature to introduce ourselves and for conversations during the session. A few listeners played selections from their turntable.
We opened by acknowledging Women’s History Month. It seemed like that it set the tone for the evening. We started the evening with;
Brazilica by jazz pianist Ramsey Lewis from the album Salongo, released in 1976. I briefly mentioned to the listeners that we have had conversations in the past about Jazz genres. A question was asked prior to the session about what type of jazz we would be playing. I responded that in a few sessions I presented in text that showed there were over forty-five sub-genres of Jazz. We will be playing whatever our DJs interpretation of Jazz. With that, I listed the more than 45 Jazz genres in the Chat.
We talked and acknowledged that this is Women’s History Month. DJ Zach McGants mentioned that he would be playing only female artist during the session, and he started with;
We’ll Be Together Again by Vi Redd from the album Lady Soul. Redd is a vocalist and saxophone player. She has a smooth and sexy voice, like Billie or Sarah. That was followed by; Nick.
Everything Must Change by Nina Simone. Played by Dr Nick. He stole one my planned selections. But how can you get through Women’s History Month and Jazz without someone mentioning Nina.
African Dance by Muriel Grossman alto saxophone. A spiritual Jazz selection from her latest album Union, played by Elliot Simon. That was followed by;
Round Midnight by James Moody saxophone. I selected this tune and asked everyone to guess the title song. Our listener from London, Todd chatted in the song name and texted about his first time hearing this song. After the song was over, Tod came in on video and told us of the first time hearing this tune coming from another room when he was in college, 20 years ago. He did not discover the name and composer until sometime later.
Exactly Like You by vocalist Abbey Lincoln, from the 1958 album It’s Magic. She had ties to the DC area with musicians that she met through Betty Carter.
Messy Bessy, an original tune by Shirley Scott on the Hammond B3 organ. The album is titled Something with a full range of star musicians performing with her.
Get Ready from the album Just Ella by Ella Fitzgerald and Eric Gale 1968/69. This is late Ella and her encouragement from Eric Gale to get in into R&B during this period of her life. If it’s R&B (or anything else) sung by Ella, it has to be Jazz. There were other contemporary songs on this album.
Catching the Sun by Spyro Gyra from their 1980 release by the same name. A remarkably familiar Jazz tune.
Without Your Love I Will Die by the Blackbyrds. The player of this tune, Michelle, mentioned that the title is something that every woman wants to hear. This is a smooth jazz tune with hints of R&B.
In honor of Women’s History Month, I was going to play the entire side of the Baltimore album by Nina Simone. However, that was sabotaged by Dr. Nick with the playing of “Everything Must Change”. That was to be the album Baltimore by Nina. So, the next selection played was;
Baltimore by Nina Simone -
We had a first time Listener and friend, Velva Spriggs, who joined in. Velva is a music lover, and she paid a tribute to radio station WPFW in DC. Velva, who lives in DC, is a Social Worker, professor/educator, and an advocate for children and families.
Around 6:30 we raised a glass to remember and honor those we have lost from this earth. To give thanks to awakening this day. And look forward to the days ahead, to grow and to learn. May we have peace in the days ahead. We also recognized a few musicians whose birthday was in the month of March; Quincy Jones, George Benson, Harry Belafonte, Ornette Coleman, Nat King Cole, Aretha Franklin, Al Jarreau, Sly Stone, and Sarah Vaughn. The next selection;
Night In Tunisia by Chaka Khan
The next selection played was;
Broken Hearted Melody by Sarah Vaughn from the album The Magic of Sarah album. Elliot showed us a copy of Ella first album titled. Sarah Vaughn. The next song;
Mean To Me by Morgana King, former actress, turned jazz singer.
Bumpin On Sunset by Wes Montgomery. Can’t go wrong with Wes Montgomery.
We ended the session with a bit of comedy from the legendary humorist and activist, Dick Gregory, with a selection from his 1973 “Caught in the Act” album, wherein he talks about quitting the night club circuit.
We ended with our Goodbye’s. A Great Time Was Had By All. I hope to see you on our next Vinyl Listening session, hopefully in April.
Earl Jackson - The Vinyl Listening Lounge Club
As the snow began to fall this winter evening in Maryland, we began the 1st 2022 Vinyl Listening Club Birthday Celebration at the Vivens Lounge in Rockville, MD. I want to truly thank everyone that joined in the session to celebrate my birthday and to have some fun. We had new listeners as well as short time and longtime Vinyl LLC listeners. Listeners were from all over the country; Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Alabama, Tennessee, Rhode Is., New York, California, and of course the DMV.
All attendees were encouraged to utilize the Zoom Chat feature so everyone could introduce themselves and to chat throughout the session for conversations.
To get the evening event warmed up, we started off with;
· HOT - Roy Ayers, a rocking number with outstanding vibraphone play.
· Keep On Loving – Dr. Lonnie Smith
· Where Have All the Flowers Gone – Earth Wind Fire
Jazz reviewer and writer, Elliott Simonpresented the most appropriate song of the evening by introducing a favorite song by a traditional New Orleans Jazz clarinetist. He wouldn’t tell us the name of the song when he introduced the author. He said, “you will recognize it when you hear it.”
· Happy Birthday to You – Willie Humphrey, it was well received. Playing the washboard on this album was Betty Carter., a prolific jazz singer. This led to the next song;
· A Few of My Favorite Things – Betty Carter
· Knucklehead – Grover Washington
To get listeners involved, I asked everyone to chat who will win the AFC and NFC football playoffs. Who is going to the Super Bowl and who is going to WIN? The winner will receive a surprise gift from the Vinyl LLC.
· Everlasting Love – Rufus and Chaka Khan
· It Takes Two – Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock
· Funky Broadway – Wilson Pickett
· Mt. Airy Groove – Pieces of a Dream
We continued with a segment wherein we play of an entire side of a particular album.
This segment was devoted to the album Deeperby Pete Belasco. A somewhat unknown crooner. This album, Deeper, was released in 2004. Belasco was influenced by the music veterans of 1970s and early ‘80s, such as Marvin Gaye, Curtis Mayfield, and Smokey Robinson. He created the record as an homage to those musicians.
Side A of the Deeper album
1. Hurry Hurry
3. I’ll Come to You
4. Keep On
His grooves are relaxed but steady. The incredible wah-wah sounds coming from the guitars, the contemporary jazzy style of the saxophone, and that smooth falsetto strongly recalls his heroes.
The style is deliberate and has references to a quiet storm, the musical style named after a Smokey Robinson album, on "I'll Come to You".Comments were made that said he was smooth like Curtis and Smokey.
We continued with;
· Amani – Deodato, a smooth Latin style song
Around 6:30 we took a time out to make a toast and pay homage to those who we have lost, to the blessings of seeing this day, and to look forward.I shared some advice from a sheet I recently came across from many years ago by my very dear friend Darrilyn.
HAPPY NEW YEAR
You have experienced many positive and possibly some unpleasant experiences in this past year. You have made a positive difference in the lives of more people than you probably realize. May all your prayers and efforts be rewarded beyond your wildest imagination. I stand for your new year being full of God’s richest blessings of Health, Peace, Prosperity, Good Friends, Good Times, Laughter, Love, and Faith.
We continued play with;
· Smiles and Smiles to Go – Larry Carlton, jazz guitarist who has collaborated with many artists.
Everyone was thanked again for their participation this evening. It is my utmost wish that sometime in 2022 we will be able to meet for an in person listening meet. My greatest wish is that we will meet on one of the last warm summer days in September. Preferably in a rooftop setting. Keep on the lookout for spaces where we can meet.
Zach McGant, who played a few selections, introduced himself as a buyer and seller of record albums. Contact Zach at email@example.com buy/sell vinyl records.
We concluded the session on a comical note with the selection, ”Africa”, from Richard Pryor’s 1982 Live on the Sunset Strip album.
Thank You and Be Safe
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