Thursday, August 21, 2014

Labor Day Weekend @ Haze with Krewella

Krewella Performs LIVE 

Labor Day Weekend @ HAZE!

Saturday, August 30, 2014 @ 10:30PM
HAZE Nightclub keeps the party going through Labor Day Weekend with a special live performance from KREWELLA. Fresh off their European tour, the Chicago-based trio will treat the crowd to a full set including chart topping hits, “Alive” and “Live For The Night”  With KREWELLA in the house, this is going to be one of the biggest parties of the year!

To buy tickets:
The Light Group
6276 S. Rainbow Suite 120 Las Vegas, NV, 89118

Yankee's Legend Bernie Wiliams In Concert!

Additional Premium Meet & Greet tickets just became available! Meet Bernie Williams after the show by purchasing Premium price tier tickets in the first 4 rows for $100.

Throughout Williams' years with The Yankees, his passion for music never waned, and the sound of a guitar would often be heard emanating from the clubhouse or during team flights. Whether acoustic or electric, a guitar was a constant presence in the star's locker or equipment bag, and it was no surprise in 2003 when he demonstrated how serious his musical pursuit was with the release of his first album, "The Journey Within." The record featured fusions of jazz, rock and the tropical rhythms of Williams' heritage and was met with both strong critical praise and instant chart success- reaching #3 on Billboard's "Contemporary Jazz Chart."

Bernie Williams raised his musical game even further with the release of his second album "Moving Forward." Featuring guest appearances by Bruce Springsteen, Jon Secada, Dave Koz, and an all-star cast of renowned studio musicians, "Moving Forward" debuted as Billboard's #2 Contemporary Jazz album in the country, and spawned two consecutive Billboard #1 singles, "Go For It," and "Ritmo de Otono." The album was nominated for a Latin Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Album in 2009.

Paramount Hudson Valley is operated by Red House Entertainment LLC
Address: 1008 Brown Street, Peekskill NY 10566 -
For general inquiries phone: 914 739 0039

Big Band Music Needed for Hollywood Film

Follow TAXI:


He's searching for Mid-to-Up-Tempo SONGS and/or INSTRUMENTALS that have the classic Swing sound, feel, and vibe. You can submit Songs and/or Instrumentals that feature a Male or Female lead vocal performance **OR** Instrumentals with a classic sound, authentic to the Big Band era of the 1930's - 1950's. Please listen to the following examples to point you in the right stylistic direction for this pitch:

"In The Mood" by Glenn Miller

"From The Bottom Of My Heart"
by The Harry James Orchestra feat. Frank Sinatra

"Sometimes I'm Happy" by Benny Goodman
He's looking for Songs and/or Instrumentals featuring the kind of instrumentation typical to this genre such as: clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, trombone, double bass, drums, keyboards, electric guitars, guitars, strings, etc. Give him full sounding Songs and/or Instrumentals that feature a tight rhythm section that supports a loose, flowing, improvisational, wind or brass section. Your submission will be used as background source music (in a dancehall or from a radio) for a flashback scene in this film.

You can submit ORIGINAL pieces **OR** material that's in the Public Domain. You do NOT have to submit an authentic vintage master recording for this pitch. Recently recorded Songs and/or Instrumentals that have been made to sound vintage could work very well. Please do NOT submit anything that sounds stiff or MIDI-driven. It's important that your submission has the authentic character and feel like the Standards you could find in The Great American Songbook.

If you submit a song with a vocal performance, please be sure your lyric themes have Universal lyrics. Avoid references to specific dates, names, times, places, brands, etc. Lyric themes about twerking, cell phones, Vanilla Ice, etc., probably won't work well for this pitch ;-) Keep your lyric themes true to topics relevant to the popular culture of the '30s -'50s era.

The estimated license fee for this is $1,000 - $5,000. This is a Direct-to-Music Supervisor placement, so you'll keep 100% of the sync fee and any applicable performance royalties. No Publisher Splits. You'll also keep 100% ownership of all your original rights! You must own or control 100% of the Master and Copyright to pitch for this opportunity, unless you submit a track that's Public Domain. 

In this case, you'll need to own or control 100% of the Master. Please do not copy or rip off the referenced artists or compositions in any way, shape, or form. Broadcast Quality is needed (great sounding home recordings are fine). All songs will be screened on a Yes/No basis. No full critiques. Please submit 1-3 songs no later than MONDAY, August 25th, by 2pm (PDT). TAXI #U140825BB Good luck!

Kofi Baker's Cream Experience live in LA!

MWW Management Presents:
September 11, 2014 @
The Baked Potato (3787 Cahuenga Blvd, Studio City)
2 Sets: 9pm/11pm

Kofi Baker | Drums
Fran Banish | Guitar
Robertino Pagliari | Bass


Beware of Mr. Baker

BOOKING: Manager/Agent
Angie Seegers

Celebrating Contessa's Birthday in LA!

Celebrating Contessa's Birthday this Sunday, August 24th @ The Terrace.

3rd Annual Celebrating Charlie Parker Festival

Jazzonian proudly presents the 3rd Annual Celebrating Charlie Parker Festival, Monday, August 25th, 7 PM, at the Bienes Center for the Arts at St. Thomas Aquinas, 2801 SW 12th Street, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33312. For information, call 305-298-2380. Free admission.
The event will be hosted by saxophonist/flutist Maestro Bobby Ramirez and band--also including: Jose Velasquez, bass; Antulio Mora, piano; and Ivan Velasquez, drums. Area musicians are welcomed to sit in.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Yvonne Black & Joseph Cristopher celebrating the release of "Back For More" in LA!

DJ Yvonne Black & Joseph Cristopher celebrate the release of "Back For More!" This next Tuesday, August 19 @ Couture (1640 N. Cahuenga, Los Angeles, CA). From 9:30pm till 2am.

R.I.P.: John Blake

R.I.P.: As I had posted on Facebook a couple of days ago, violin virtuoso John Blake, born July 3, 1947 in Philadelphia, PA, and who recorded for CTI as a member of both Locksmith and Grover Washington, Jr.'s bands, passed away on August 15 (in his native city) of complications of multiple myeloma. He was 67.

I was fortunate to attend some of his concerts with McCoy Tyner in the '80s, with whom he recorded such brilliant albums as "Horizon" and "La Leyenda de la Hora," both on the Milestone label. With Grover he did such albums as the 2-LP set "Live at the Bijou" (Kudu), "Reed Seed" (Motown) and "Paradise" (Elektra). With the funk band Locksmith, he released one album on Arista (produced by Harvey Mason) and several singles (the first one for CTI's Kudu label.)
(Harvey Mason & John Blake during a recording session) 

The Philadelphia born violinist John Blake, Jr. has been one of the world’s leading jazz violinists for over four decades. A four-time winner of the Down Beat Critics’ Poll Violinist Deserving Wider Recognition category he was also one of the top two jazz violinists in the 49th, 50th, and 51st Down Beat Readers’ Poll, Classically trained, Blake first gained recognition on early '70s recordings he made with Archie Shepp and in the mid-70s became established with a global audience during three years recording and touring as a member of Grover Washington, Jr.’s popular “crossover” jazz band.

He then spent five years working extensively as a member of various ensembles led by pianist McCoy Tyner. Among other artists with whom Blake has performed and/or recorded with are the Duke Ellington Orchestra, Turtle Island String Quartet, Quartet Indigo, the Steve Turre Sextet, the Billy Taylor Trio, Avery Sharpe, Cecil McBee, Jay Hoggard and James Newton.

Blake released his recording debut as a leader and composer, "Maiden Dance," in 1984, the first of five well-received projects on Gramavision Records including one that teamed him up with fellow jazz violinists Michal Urbaniak and Didier Lockwood. He released his sixth album, "Quest," that reunited him with Grover Washington and featured Joe Ford, Charles Fambrough, Ben Riley, Omar Hill, Joey Calderazzo, on Sunnyside Records in 1992. Blake’s first recording with his touring quartet, "The Traveler," was released in 2007.

Born in Philadelphia on July 3, 1947, Blake began studying violin in that city’s public school system and at the Settlement Music School. After graduating from West Virginia University he did postgraduate work at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Montreux, Switzerland and received a grant to study studied East Indian music. In addition to his work as an instrumentalist performing with his quartet and as a featured guest soloist at concerts and on studio sessions, Blake was also an accomplished composer, arranger and producer as well as an author, teacher and lecturer who presented hundreds of workshops annually to musicians at all levels.

He co-wrote with Suzuki educator Jody Harmon J.I.M.E., the definitive beginning string jazz method book and CD in use around the world. In addition to lecturing on campuses throughout the US, Blake was on the faculty of the University of the Arts in Philadelphia and at the Manhattan School of Music in New York City, and has been a guest lecturer at Berklee College of Music in Boston. In 2004 he was appointed to the Basler Chair of Excellence for the winter semester at East Tennessee State University and that year also was awarded a Chamber Music America Jazz Composer Grant.

Blake also mentored many musicians outside the classroom such as Regina Carter, for whom he produced the “Reverse Thread” CD in 2010. His latest release as a leader, released that same year, was “Motherless Child.”

He is survived by his wife of 38 years, Barbara Irene Blake; a son, the drummer Johnathan Blake; two daughters, Beverly Woodson and Jennifer Watson; two brothers, Alan and Elliot; and six grandchildren. Rest in Peace.
(Jon Blake with Locksmith)

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Alex Nester live in California, Aug 23

Next week, on August 23, at 9pm, don't miss the Alex Nester Band hitting up the Maui Sugar Mill Saloon (18389 Ventura Blvd, Tarzana, CA).

FREE show, FREE parking, GREAT drinks, COOL vibe :)
Featuring Andre Hillman on keys, Max Rich on guitar, Tristan Gajate Garcia on bass, and Johnny Franco on drums.

"For all our musician friends--bring your axe and come jam with us," says Alex. You go, girl!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

'Sweet' Sue Terry strikes again!

“I'll Take Female Saxophonists for 600, Alex.”

She's been described as "formidable" (Ray Barretto), "remarkable" (National Public Radio), a "saxophone master" (Dr. Billy Taylor), "simply extraordinary" (Die Wahrheit, Berlin, Germany), and a "superwoman of jazz" (Hartford Courant).  A former protégée of Jackie McLean, she recently made the bold move to give up alto saxophone—the horn that made her reputation—in order to focus exclusively on soprano and clarinet.  She's also published two non-fiction books and holds eight USKSF Championship Tournament gold medals in taiji quan kung fu.

“Who is 'Sweet' Sue Terry?”
Her latest project?  A prolific creator, this year Sweet Sue collaborated with American film director Ashley Rogers and Venezuelan cinematographer Hernán Salcedo on a 9-minute documentary short titled The Source.   It was written and narrated by Sue and was filmed while she was Artist in Residence at the Jazz Society of Ecuador.  It features stunning visuals of the Ecuador landscape as well as live music scenes with up and coming Ecuadorian musicians and a guest appearance by New York pianist Bob Albanese.
* As an offering to the artistic community, the filmmakers have made it available for free on YouTubeand Vimeo


'Sweet' Sue Terry & Peggy Stern
in "The Art of the Duo"
Wed. August 20, from 7pm to 8:45
Somethin' Jazz Club
212 E. 52nd St (bet. 2nd & 3rd Ave.) 3rd floor
NYC 10022
Reservations: 212-371-7657

Sweet Sue with the Festival All Stars and Estrella All Stars
Wall Street Jazz Festival
Sat. Aug. 30, from 5pm on
corner of Wall Street & North Front Street
(rain location: BSP Theater on Wall St.)
Kingston, NY 12401

Sweet Sue Special Band with Vic Juris, Bob Cranshaw & Steve Johns
Sat. Sept. 13, from 7pm to 11
Deer Head Inn
5 Main Street
Delaware Water Gap, PA 18327
Reservations: 570-424-2000
Music charge: $15

Sweet Sue Special BandwithVic Juris, Bob Cranshaw&Steve Johns
Sat. Sept. 20, at 8pm
Artists Collective
1200 Albany Ave.
Hartford, CT 06112
Tickets: 860-527-3205
This is their annual FREE concert for the community!

Sweet Sue with Joe Fonda, Mike Musillami, Michael Rabinowitz & George Schuller
Sat. Sept. 27, at 7:30pm
fundraiser for Tribal Link, the voice of indigenous peoples
The Rochon Loft
100 Grand St, 6th floor
Suggested donation: $100 patron/ $40 sponsor
Tribal Link is a 501 (c) (3) organization and your contribution is tax deductible

Luiz Simas Band (led by the Brazilian singer/songwriter/pianist)
featuring'Sweet' Sue Terry, Gustavo Amarante & Adriano Santos
Sat. Oct. 11, from 7pm to 11
Deer Head Inn
5 Main Street
Delaware Water Gap, PA 18327
Reservations: 570-424-2000
Music charge: $15

‘Sweet’ Sue Terry is a Yamaha Artist.
She uses Jody Jazz mouthpieces, Manning ligatures and Légère reeds.
For more information please contact Qi Note, Inc.

Trent Cantrelle, Contessa & Jia @ The Terrace

This August 24, from 10 pm till 2am, Trent Cantrelle alongside Contessa and Jia @ The Terrace (6536 Hollywood Blvd.). Open Your Ears, You Can Fly!
That night we'll be celebrating Contessa's birthday!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Gina Saputo live @ Steamers, tomorrow night!

Book of The Month - "Inside The Music: The Life of Idris Muhammad"

Book of the Month
"Inside The Music - The Life of Idris Muhammad" (Xlibris Corporation)

This book is the product of extensive tape-recorded interviews conducted by Britt Alexander, a professional drummer who currently lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Britt met Idris Muhammad at Joe Segal's Jazz Showcase in Chicago, IL., in the Fall of 1998, when he was working as a free-lance writer for drum publication magazines. At that time, Idris resided in Austria. Upon publication of the initial interview, both Muhammad and Alexander were living in New York City, and the interviews continued. The result has been formatted into this book, released in 2012 when Idris was back to his native city, New Orleans.

A fascinating journey into Idris' fabulous career, this book is divided in eight sections, covering all aspects of one of the best drummers in the history of music, a prolific and extremely versatile artist who transcended the jazz boundaries to achieve fame in the pop, funk and disco worlds. From the early days in New Orleans to the Blue Note era which included many hit albums with Lou Donaldson, from the 4-year period as the drummer for the original "Hair" on Broadway to the stint with Roberta Flack, from his admiration for Rudy Van Gelder to the successful career as a leader that reached its peak with "Turn This Mutha Out."

There are some mistakes, though, like the mispelling of the name of Ralph Kaffel, the long time President of the now defunct Fantasy Records, who is referred to as Ralph Kaplan. But Idris' heart, personality, and talent shine throughout the interviews. Highly recommended to all his fans and to CTI lovers, since it includes many stories about the sessions with George Benson, Hank Crawford, Grover Washington, Jr. and other CTI stars. The recording sessions of Idris' first solo album for the Kudu label, "Power of Soul," are told in details in an entire chapter devoted to that superb album.

To order, please visit or send an email to

Singles of the Month - "Idris Muhammad"

Idris Muhammad: "Could Heaven Ever Be Like This" (Kudu KU 906) 1977
Distributed by CBS-Sugar Italy
Arranged & Produced by David Matthews
Side A: "Could Heaven Ever Be Like This" (David Matthews/Tony Sarafino)
Side B: "Crab Apple" (David Matthews)
Idris Muhammad: "Boogie To The Top" (Kudu KU 943) 1978
Distributed by RCA France
Produced by David Matthews & Tony Sarafino
Arranged by David Matthews
Side A: "Boogie To The Top" (Part 1)
Side B: "Boogie To The Top" (Part 2)
Idris Muhammad: "Soul Club 18 - Baia" (Kudu 42555) 1975
Distributed by RCA France
Produced by Creed Taylor
Arranged by David Matthews
Side A: "Baia" [Boogie Bump] (Ary Barroso/Ray Gilbert)
Side B: "House Of The Rising Sun" (Trad.; Adapted by D. Matthews)

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

R.I.P.: Idris Muhammad

One of my all-time favorite drummers passed away: Idris Muhammad. Back in 2001, I was blessed with the chance to produce the first CD reissue ever of "House of The Rising Sun" (for CTI in Japan, and also wrote the liner notes). And I used to include tracks from Idris' albums in as many compilations as possible, from "CTI Acid Jazz Grooves" to "A Trip To Brazil". He played in dozens of albums I love, mainly Luiz Bonfa's "Jacaranda" (I also produced the first CD reissue of this masterpiece) and Bob James' "One" (that superb version of "Feel Like Making Love"). 

Not to mention Idris' disco hit "Could Heaven Ever Be Like This" (from his third Kudu album, "Turn This Mutha Out"), the fantastic DVD with Ahmad Jamal ("Live in Baalbeck"), Roberta Flack's monster hit "Killing Me Softly," Lou Donaldson's best-selling Blue Note LP and acid-jazz anthem "Alligator Bogaloo," the original "Hair" soundtrack, Nat Adderley's masterpiece "Calling Out Loud" (with Joe Zawinul), Bob James' signature song "Angela," the successful albums with John Scofield, George Benson, Freddie Hubbard, Joe Lovano, Grant Green, the CTI All Stars, Paul Desmond, J.J. Johnson/Kai Winding, Hank Crawford, Eric Gale, Stanley Turrentine, Grover Washington Jr. etc etc etc. Oh boy! Luv ya forever!
Liner Notes written by Arnaldo DeSouteiro for the Japanese CD reissues of
Idris Muhammad: "House of the Rising Sun"
Reissues Supervised by Arnaldo DeSouteiro for CTI/Kudu
(Kudu KICJ 8363) released July 25, 2001
(Kudu KICJ 2221) released March 07, 2007

Besides working with some of the all-time best jazz drummers (from Osie Johnson, during the Bethlehem years in the Fifties, to Grady Tate in the Sixties, Jack DeJohnette in the Seventies, Ndugu in the Eighties, and Dennis Chambers in the Nineties), producer Creed Taylor also frequently recruited the services of the three most versatile drummers ever: Billy Cobham, Steve Gadd and Idris Muhammad. However, Idris – really the funkiest drummer among them all, most recently confirming his versatility on albums by John Scofield and Eric Alexander - was the only drummer who had the privilege to be signed to CTI/Kudu as a solo artist!

Born on November 13, 1939, in New Orleans, Louisiana, Idris Muhammad was still known as Leo Morris (his real name) when he rose to prominence in the mid-Sixties. He was hired as the house drummer for Prestige, became a member of Lou Donaldson’s group, and also recorded with Gene Ammons, Charles Earland, Sonny Stitt, Grant Green, Lonnie Smith and Houston Person, to name a few.

His first important collaborations with Creed Taylor started in the late Sixties, when CTI was a kind of jazz division for A&M Records. Creed remembers: “It was in 1968 that I noticed the immense versatility on Leo’s drumming. That year he was able to record one day with Paul Desmond (on the Summertime LP), the other day with Nat Adderley (on Calling Out Loud) or with J.J. Johnson & Kai Winding (Betwixt & Between), and at nights he was in the house band of the stage play Hair. He was really amazing”. Actually, Idris’ first session for A&M/CTI was a track, Footin’ It, recorded for George Benson’s Shape of Things To Come on August 27, 1968. With Benson, Idris later recorded the albums Tell It Like It Is and The Other Side of Abbey Road.

Idris continued to record for Creed when CTI became an independent label, appearing on Fats Theus’ Black Out (recorded in July 1970, it is one of the rarest albums in the entire CTI catalog, not yet reissued on CD), as well in the first albums recorded for CTI’s subsidiary Kudu by Hank Crawford (Help Me Make It Through The Night) and Grover Washington, Jr. (Inner City Blues). He remained in the landmark Hair until 1972, when he decided to spend six months in India. Returning to New York in early 1973, he resumed recording for Creed, taking part on sessions led by Stanley Turrentine (Don’t Mess With Mr. T), Eric Gale (Forecast), Bob James (One), Hank Crawford (Wildflower), and once again Grover Washington, Jr. (Soul Box).

His eclecticism allowed him to tour with progressive rock supertrio Emerson, Lake & Palmer, as well as to join soul diva Roberta Flack’s group during the singer’s heyday of Killing Me Softly and Feel Like Making Love. Then, in March 1974, Creed Taylor signed Idris Muhammad for Kudu, immediately beginning to prepare his debut album on the label, Power of Soul, arranged by Bob James and now a cult hit among the hip-hop jazz generation thanks to the dancefloor hit Loran’s Dance, included on the CTI: Acid Jazz Grooves compilation that I produced in 1997. Just this track would have been enough to make Power of Soul sound better than all Idris’ previous albums for Prestige.

Idris’ second solo session for Kudu, House of the Rising Sun, was cut during June, September and October, 1975, at Van Gelder Studios. That time, Creed invited David Matthews to write the arrangements, instead of Bob James. “I wanted a heavier atmosphere, a more r&b-oriented approach than the one that Bob had provided to Power of Soul, which had a lighter and subtler flavour, with many flugel and soprano sax solos”, Creed recalls.

David Matthews was unbelievably busy in June 1975, involved in two other projects for Kudu by Ron Carter (Anything Goes) and Hank Crawford (I Hear A Symphony), as well as arranging albums for David Sanborn and Mark Murphy. As if it was not enough, David was writing the scores for George Benson’s Good King Bad sessions, scheduled to begin on July 1st! Despite working under such a big pressure, Matthews excelled all the expectations on House of the Rising Sun. (Later, he produced/arranged two other Idris’ albums for Kudu: Turn This Mutha Out and Boogie To The Top.)

David Sanborn carries the melody on the title track, House of the Rising Sun, with Will Lee pumping on bass and Frank Floyd singing the lyrics of that traditional theme covered by everyone, from Joan Baez to Bob Dylan, from Claus Ogerman to Nina Simone. Sanborn’s crying alto sax once again leads the way on Theme For New York City, adapted by Matthews from Frederic Chopin’s Prelude in E Minor, Op. 28, No. 4, the same piece which inspired Antonio Carlos Jobim to write How Insensitive, the famous bossa nova standard. This Prelude has been recorded by such jazzman as Gene Bertoncini (on Someone To Light Up My Life) and McCoy Tyner (Prelude and Sonata), often with a bossa beat, to corroborate the comparison with Jobim’s tune.

Another very interesting track is Bahia (aka Na Baixa do Sapateiro), a tune composed by Ary Barroso (1903-1964), introduced by Brazil’s diva Carmen Miranda in the Thirties and later covered by John Coltrane (on Bahia, for Prestige, in 1958) and Stan Getz (on the seminal Jazz Samba produced by Creed Taylor for Verve in 1962, the album that launched the bossa craze in the USA). It was Creed Taylor’s personal choice for Idris’ repertoire. He explains: “I became familiar with Ary Barroso’s songs through Walt Disney movies, such as The Three Caballeros, which included Bahia. It was love at first sight”. Five years before, in 1970, Creed had suggested Antonio Carlos Jobim to include another Ary Barroso song, Brazil (from the animated film Alo, Amigos), on Jobim’s Stone Flower album. And, some months after Idris’ recording, he once again included Bahia on Lalo Schifrin’s Black Widow.

Hard To Face the Music, the Ashford & Simpson r&b hit, includes powerful solos by George Young (tenor sax) and James Brown’s trombonist, Fred Wesley, with Joe Beck on the guitar. It is one of the rare occasions on which ace guitarist Eric Gale is heard playing electric bass, something that also occurred on two other CTI albums: Bob James’ Two, and Upchurch & Tennyson.

The only song not arranged by Matthews, Sudan, should have given Tom Harrell (who composed and arranged this stunning tune) the recognition he only would receive ten years later, when joining Phil Woods’ quintet. It’s an explosive 11-minute long masterpiece, featuring explosive statements by the late Barry Rogers (trombone), Tom Harrell (trumpet), and Sir Roland Hanna (electric piano). Then a newcomer, bassist Wilbur Dud Bascomb, Jr. (son of trumpeter Dud Bascomb, from Erskine Hawkins’ Orchestra in the Thirties) became an overnight sensation in the fusion scene due to his performance on the Donato/Deodato album for Muse Records. Another newcomer was Bob Berg, who would only record again for CTI fourteen years later (!) on two all-star sessions: Rhythmstick (1989) and Chroma, recorded live in Tokyo in 1990 during the tour of a combo billed in Japan as CTI Super Band.

After the outstanding Idris’ performances on his previous album, Power of Soul, Sudan is by far Idris’ best track from all his Kudu sessions. And, for sure, also his best improvisation, including astounding African rhythmic variations that preceded, in twenty years, some of the Afro-Bahian beats that most of world-music fans think that were created by Brazilian percussionist Carlinhos Brown in the mid-Nineties...

Funk is back on the last track, an inspired version of a hit from The Meters’ Rejuvenation album (1974). Written by band members Joseph Ziggy Modeliste, Art Neville, Leo Nocenteli and George Porter, Hey Pocky A-Way gains new life on Idris’ powerful hands (and sticks!), with a gospel-like tambourine beat by percussionist George Devens. Hugh McCracken is on guitar, Eric Gale goes to the bass, there are solos by Fred Wesley (trombone) and future Manhattan Jazz Quintet star George Young (tenor sax), and Matthews adds a discreetly shadowy string section. New Orleans Funk at its best, by the best drummer ever born in New Orleans!

Arnaldo DeSouteiro
London, May, 2001
Mr. DeSouteiro is Brazil’s top jazz producer and CTI historian.
His bio, published in 2012:
"Inside The Music - The Life Of Idris Muhammad"

Idris Muhammad, legendary New Orleans drummer, is dead at 74

Idris Muhammad, whose drumming crossed over several musical styles including funk, jazz, and rhythm and blues, died Tuesday (July 29). He was 74.

Muhammad's death was confirmed by close friend Dan Williams, who got to know Muhammad through Williams' Jazz Journey concert series sponsored by the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation. Williams learned of Muhammad's death through family members in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. A converted Muslim, Muhammad was immediately buried in accordance with the traditions of Islam, Williams said.

His cause of death has not yet been confirmed, but Williams and other friends noted that Muhammad had been receiving dialysis treatment in New Orleans — where he had returned from New York City to retire back in 2011.

While he had spent the past two decades working with jazz pianist Ahmad Jamal, Muhammad's drumming covered almost every genre of contemporary music, including rock 'n' roll. He toured or recorded with a who's who of big names — Roberta Flack, Grover Washington, George Benson, Sonny Stitt and John Scofield, to name a few. Williams said that Muhammad got his first national touring gig with Sam Cooke before moving on to Jerry Butler, Curtis Mayfield and beyond.

"He was eclectic in terms of his playing," Williams said. "He mixed the New Orleans sound, that sound of the street music, with jazz music and rock 'n' roll, and had all that intertwined," Williams explained. "He tuned his drum to get the sound from the New Orleans street bands, the marching bands, and he'd get that kind of sound that would come from New Orleans. That's why he was so sought after.
"He had the syncopation of New Orleans."

The news devastated the WWOZ-FM staff, who had gotten to know Muhammad personally and through his music. After learning of the news, Wednesday's (July 30) "Morning Set" jazz show featured plenty of Muhammad's work.

I'd put him on the Mount Rushmore of New Orleans drummers, along with Smokey Johnson, Johnny Vidacovich and Herlin Riley." -- George Ingmire, DJ, WWOZ

"I'd put him on the Mount Rushmore of New Orleans drummers, along with Smokey Johnson, Johnny Vidacovich and Herlin Riley," said George Ingmire, host of Wednesday's "New Orleans Music Show" and the nationally syndicated radio show "New Orleans Calling."

As soon as he had set up his Mount Rushmore, of course, Ingmire, who didn't know Muhammad personally, started thinking of others worth including, such as Zigaboo Modeliste and Ed Blackwell. But Muhammad, he said, was special: "It was his the soulfulness that he brought to the funkiness of the music. He opened it up a little more by drumming in a soulful way. He played with a lot of people, and made their music sound better."

Maryse Dejean, WWOZ's volunteer coordinator, had become acquainted with Muhammad along with her husband, Don Paul, and marveled at Muhammad's contrasting personalities behind and away from the drum kit.

"He was just a humble person," Dejean said. "He was a genuinely nice guy, but when you listen to that music ... Mmm! His drive, the creativity, the sheer masterful strokes."

Leo Morris was born in New Orleans on Nov. 13, 1939. He was friends with the famed Neville family, and as Keith Spera noted in a 2007 article, helped Aaron meet his beloved wife, Joel Roux (now deceased), when the boys were "bippity-bopping" down Valence Street one day in 1957. By the time he was 16, he had played the drums for Fats Domino's 1956 hit, "Blueberry Hill," and later played with the Hawketts (led by Art Neville) on their iconic anthem, "Mardi Gras Mambo."

Writing in 2010, Spera said, "Leo Morris was mesmerized by the chants and rhythms of the Mardi Gras Indians. Years later, he moved to New York and then Europe, changed his name to Idris Muhammad and deployed those rhythms as a prolific drummer for hire. Over five decades, he logged hundreds of recordings and thousands of performances with Sam Cooke, Jerry Butler, Roberta Flack, avant-jazz saxophonist Pharoah Sanders, jazz funk saxophonist Lou Donaldson, guitarist Melvin Sparks, pianist Ahmad Jamal, New York tenor star Joe Lovano and many more. In recent years, Muhammad has returned to his hometown to mask Indian with saxophonist Big Chief Donald Harrison's tribe."

In 2012, Muhammad collaborated with fellow drummer Britt Anderson on "Inside the Music: The Life of Idris Muhammad."

Come back to for additional information and reflection from those who were close to Muhammad, and leave your own reflections in the comment section below.

My Top 10 Idris Muhammad albums for my private desert island:
1. Power Of Soul
2. House Of The Rising Sun
3. Turn This Mutha Out
4. Boogie To The Top
5. CTI All Stars Live in NY 1975
6. Stanley Turrentine: Don't Mess With Mr. T
7. Luiz Bonfá: Jacarandá
8. Bob James: One
9. Roberta Flack: Feel Like Makin' Love
10. Grover Washington, Jr.: Inner City Blues

Hors-Concours Item:
Ahmad Jamal: "Live in Baalbeck with Idris Muhammad & James Cammack" DVD