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Free Write Friday ~ “My Year of Living Improvisationally.” Feat. Excerpts from Prelude to a Memoir Proposal ~ “Breaking Sounds” ~ Dizzy Gillespie performing Shadow of Your Smile with MJFO 1965.

 

"Jazz Box" Collage by Jazzybeatchick
Jazz Box” Collage by Jazzybeatchick

The Call:

The fog from PTSD of the  traumas in my life has lifted.  I had forgotten that major events like cancer, death from cancer, the death of my father, a neuropathy and mom’s death over time is cumulative.  It obnubilates living in the present moment.  Those moments expanded into thirteen years.  The Sound I Felt: Improvisations on Life.   Writing and listening to the sounds – jazzier and more; going to the beach; and daily life has evoked memories from 1965.   I didn’t know how to piece a narrative together.  Dramatic events.  Elusive missives and musings.  On frequent occasions only timbre or sound.  I didn’t write about the most traumatic experience, my mom’s death over this past decade.  I want to know why?  Now these past events are giving me the courage to transform my life.  Today marks the beginning of a new journey using improvisation and living creatively using conversations, quotes, literary and collage art and  participating in community literary and visual arts.programs in Oakland, CA.

Now thirteen years later, those consequences inspired me to start Fifty Shades of Jazz| Living Improvisationally | A,  a personal blog in 20014.  The unexpected utterances have liberated me from feeling hostage by the sum total of those traumatic experiences.  The dwelling on loss seems utterly self indulgent and toxic – actually it is, if it consumes all of your thoughts.   Now I am able to embrace those disorienting years through my poetry and accepting the mind’s selective entities.  I want to place individuals and communities especially those that  healed and were amazing and those times when not, strictly for holistic purposes.

Note:  I selected this track of my father’s cd because it celebrates the Men From Monterey and the launching of my creative life inspired by Gil Fuller (my dad), Ralph J. Gleason (muse) and Dizzy Gillespie (comic relief).

Yesterday I watched Joe Albany… A Jazz Life- 1980 Complete 60 min. Feature Documentary Film and Sepia Cinderella (1947) which brought back centering memories on growing up in jazz as a writer, poet and collage artist.  I plan to watch Blue Note: A Story of Modern Jazz.  Jazz documentaries bring back my fondest memories from  my year of musical thinking that began February of 1965 with the Monterey Jazz Festival , my father, Gil Fuller was the Music Director featuring Dizzy Gillespie, James Moody and the MJF Orchestra.  At the end of that rehearsal I learned the importance of hearing music at rehearsals, especially the final one.

I was eleven years old at the final rehearsal before the live performance when I met Mr. Ralph J. Gleason founder of Rolling Stone magazine.  I knew absolutely nothing about Ralph J. Gleason nor how meeting him transformed and inspired my literary and collage arts took flight.  It was the final rehearsal at the studio behind the sound stage….

“You were, he thought, accountable to those who formed you; it was your responsibility, especially if you were a writer with the chance to reach others, to honor those who had mattered, who had made a difference in how you or your readers lived their lives. Ralph was the most honorable man I have known. Some who did not know him will perhaps find such a claim excessive or too “emotional.” Those who did know him well will recognize it as a simple statement of fact.”The rehearsal was now under way, it became an invitation to my imagination renewing my love for writing – cultivating a joy deep in my heart.

But there was a time, not that long ago, when there were only a few and they all knew each other. Today’s pop music critics, who cut their teeth on Pearl Jam and Nirvana, will never have the chance to leave behind a legacy like Gleason’s. In an age of the information superhighway and media overload, the era of E! Television and Entertainment Weekly, how do you explain one lone writer working for a daily newspaper in a provincial backwater changing music history? But it was never easy to explain Gleason, even when he was alive.  Greil Marcus. Ibid

From the moment I met Ralph J. Gleason  and after that 1st meeting @ the final rehearsal  inspired me to pursue my dream to write.  In a lot of ways I have always been before my time, maybe it was because I began to read at three years old.  I credit mom for that.  Every chance I got when I was five years old I would read books from the library dad and converted  to a den.  I read Jung and secretly started writing in my journal poetry and doing collages in sync with what dad was composing on the  Steinway Grand piano in our downstairs livingroom.  I fell in love with words and reading things aloud to my mom.  I began to explore who I really was.  Dad did not encourage me to function as a creatively independent woman. I guess he thought I would have plenty of time to be independent and a woman.  During that time I would get frustrated and somewhat confused with the mixed messages I was getting from him. I knew what the clan wanted; I learned how to fit into the tribe and not make waves otherwise I could possibly lose my father’s love or be ostracized.  I grew to be afraid of being abandoned.  I couldn’t connect to my inner self and embrace solitude much less how to be a free individual.  What I did learn when I was with Dad at rehearsals was the musicians exhibited a fierce respect for their own creativity as well as respect and the creativity of the other musicians; I learned about the musicians and the families that I sat with and inadvertently learned about myself,

I began to explore who I really was.  Dad did not encourage me to function as a creatively independent woman. I guess he thought I would have plenty of time to be independent and a woman.  During that time I would get frustrated and somewhat confused with the mixed messages I was getting from him. I knew what the he wanted.  To keep the peace, I learned how to fit into the my dad’s wishes and not make waves.  Otherwise, I could possibly lose my father’s love or be ostracized.  I grew to be afraid of being abandoned.  I couldn’t connect to my inner self and embrace solitude much less how to be a free individual.  What I did learn when I was with Dad at rehearsals was the musicians exhibited a fierce respect for their own creativity as well as respect and the creativity of the other musicians; I learned about jazz life through musicians and their families, Gleason, my mom, dad… that I at the end of the day –I learned about myself,

My Response:

Do you remember1965?  It was early spring and you received a call from Jimmy Lyons one of the Promoters for the Monterey Jazz Festival.  You accepted the position for the MJFO and We were sitting in that Ford Torino station wagon that you constantly called it a pig of a car,  You hated that car.  We were going to Benny’s CantoneseWhen I close my eyes in the Parking lot at Azuma’s on Wilshire Blvd. “Dad, you created a phenomenal year for Jazz music from Monterey to the opening of the Music Center in L.A., …

 

Grace Notes to My Father

by Jannat Marie

 

I.

 

I learned that timing is the secret to living a jazz improvised life,

Knowing when to stop, to start, to step it up,  to slow it down but oh

so important is learning how to wait thru the strife.

Jazz harmony is the theory and practice of changing

dominant and tonic chords of life,

where major and minor share the same syncopated space

in a timeless bond…

Progressions depart in thirds and stacked fourths

favoring harmonic progressions where tensions are in intervals that resound

 

II.

 

I learned that searching for meaning, or intentions and having the blues

is about finding your truth and grace found in a life of humility

coz the universe is mistin’ the air with valuable scented truths

Improvisation is the essence of living in a tranquil and joyous place

where cadence and notes become window dressing that is a façade

pierced by listening to the spoken word filled with harmonic intent

of the path and choices you debate.

Play it slant is the message best heard in the evening.

 

III.

 

I learned that being different is the integral part of the master plan

Leaning in and seeing how high you can reach

The harmonies in real-time, flowing and ebbing

an improvisational context is the lessons you will teach.

I learned that playing jazz has four elements

broadening your words and expressing every letter

in a charismatic way to enhance

finding your intentions and mixing all of them together —

where freedom and coordination learn how to really dance.

Jazz has the power to go deep within,

having a relationship with you as next of kin

Transforming arrogance into the love of sound on the page.

IV.

I have been saved by jazz and words from above

healing my soul and body from within

thru life’s trials and tribulations

finding peace on earth that is filled with

the promise of words and life dancing with joyous jubilation

in our wake!

A Love so Supreme….Your Daughter

I found myself  on May 8th, 2015 without a place to call home.  For over a decade dealing with all of the post traumatic events in my life, year after year it was not a real place and I didn’t want to go there.  Today feeling like I had to summon up the courage to live a fuller, improvised life by learning from the grace noted memories that have been revisiting me on a frequent basis lately.  It has given me a new lease on transforming my life  to finish writing The Sound I Felt.  I am looking to work for a non-profit part-time re-connecting me with the creative community.  I love to read and write after meeting Ralph J. Gleason in 1965 how he transformed my life by using quotes and prose taking us on an incredible audiovisual journey, Starting today, I am going to write about  those scented and ornamented grace notes and wisdom from Gleason, my mom and dad and the cast of characters that have affected my life. This new series for 2016  is entitled “My Year of Living Improvisationally.”  Welcome, Peace & Love Out!  JBC 😎 & >3!

Symbol 4 Inner Peace & Strength
Symbol 4 Inner Peace & Strength

Copyright © 2011-2016 by Jannat Marie/Jazzybeatchick/Jazaenista. All rights Reserved.

This material has been copyrighted, feel free to share it with others; it can be distributed via social media or pingbacks or added to websites; please do not change the original content and please provide appropriate credit by including the author’s name or visual artist @ http://jazzybeatchick.com your readers shall not be charged by you under any circumstance.

50 Shades of Monterey ~ The Best Laid Plans…featuring “Groovin’ High” (2007 Digital Remaster) ~ Dizzy Gillespie)

happiness-quote-quotes-text-Favim.com-524414[1]

This is an excerpt from my memoir “The Sound I Felt” ~ The Feelin’ ain’t gone, it’s filled with riffs from the past, present and future.

When I woke up yesterday morning, the first day of the Monterey Jazz Festival I discovered that my breast cancer treatment was scheduled for the same day. The one thing that I have discovered on the road to Monterey is that no matter where I am – I am always there.  All is well.

It’s Saturday, September 19, 2015.  Today I headed to Fisherman’s Wharf.  There was a Tsunami of emotional memories that came like a wave of healing that inspired me to expand on this whole idea of moving from Seattle, Washington back to my jazz roots in Monterey.  I am living in the East Bay but BART is my portal back to the 1965 MJF fairgrounds for day two of this year’s festival.

When the idea (in my terms the “melody”) in this case covering the Festival, breast cancer always seems to hit the bottom notes creating my counter melody. So jazz and its’ culture becomes the ambient substrate for me to write harmonic riffs and changes to heal my life and to improvise a way to have the best of both worlds. There are three categories that describe ways which folks approach life. Inner-directed, other-directed and tradition-directed.

Growing up, my father through his music and living style demonstrated and showed me that I am an Inner-directed individual. In my sixty years, I can’t think of any musician, artist or writer who is not. Inner directed people don’t care about anything except what they want to do most! On the other hand I have gone to school and have friends that are other-directed that don’t appear to have a sense of their identity based upon the approval of others or the world around them. In the 70s when I was graduating from college and I tried to make my father happy by going to medical school, the tradition-directed approach would be the best way to describe following the rules that were handed down from my father’s dream for me and past. There were many discordant harmonies that threw me off balance and caused a tremendous amount of conflict, dis-ease and most of all an identity crisis. Don’t you know that mixed chicks don’t fit in anywhere.

Life is not linear even though it is based upon notes that are on a scale. Mindfulness constantly reminds me of how I am feeling. When the melody and rhythm are bathed in jazz form, there is freedom to explore and to live within the discomfort and acceptance brings about healing on all fronts.

This is a prelude to the next segment ~ Riff Words ~ Monterey Jazz, Then & Now on my Kindle…

Live, Laugh and Love
Live, Laugh and Love

© Copyright  2011-2015 by Jazzybeatchick/JazZenista/Jannat Marie. All rights reserved.

This material is and has been copyrighted.  eel free to share it with others; it can be distributed via social media or pingbacks and added to websites; please do not change the content, and please provide credit by including the author’s name @ http://jazzybeatchick.com and your readers shall not be charged by you under any circumstance.

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50 Shades of Monterey Jazz ~ Living Life on a Liminal Edge “Man From Monterey” ~ Gil Fuller and the Monterey Jazz Festival Orchestra circa 1965 feat. Dizzy Gillespie

“Spirit is always with me. It wants to lift my pain. It does this not by abolishing painful memories but by putting me totally in the present where the past does not exist.” Deepak Chopra

Silver linings on water
Silver linings on water

riff referred to any imaginative improvised melody.  In Jazz, a riff is a repeated phrase or melody.  In the past six months there have been many riffs that are filled with painful emotions as well as physical manifestations.  These riffs would continue until I created a break in my response to that pain.  It has become very enlightening. Not feeling physically good varies from day to day sending riffs of pain that have become a part of living with breast cancer.  I am learning to accept it as a part of life.  Now I respond very quickly. . Now ask myself, am I maintaining my integrity? Do I do what I say I am going to do and respect and recognize other’s boundaries? Do I ask for forgiveness?   That has been something that has been on my mind and proven to be very liberating. . I find comfort being alone with my heart. The solitude awakens me to finding nuances in the melody and the finer points my existence..

I have been running from painful riffs most of my life.  Now I respond differently with God’s grace to open my heart and mind to the beauty that surrounds me.   Beneath the lush green grass beats a heart that is uniquely mine. Changing the riff to a melody that is set to a different rhythm allows me to get into a groove that is healing and transforms my soul.  Not letting the well-meaning gardeners disrupt my balance and groove.  My center is dynamic and dependent upon the connection to that sacred space. It is within as well as surrounds me in a golden light that is only shadowed by painful memories. But those memories are just signs and guideposts of where I need to look in order to find my true center. I am listening to the Man from Monterey I am looking toward Monterey….I am remembering 1965.  It was a year full of racial tension, misfortune and misery ringing out.  I have no agenda. My soul speaks and inspires me to share my experiences and dreams.  I realize I have spent most of my life-giving everything away.  I just wanna keep the rest for myself.  Life is tragic when you have not lived your dreams..  I have mindlessly taken the path of least resistance which drowned out all connections I have to my truth.  The glorious part of 1965 when I was 11 was that was the year that Jazz provided the ambience for my soul.  It was safe,   it was impenetrable and had washed away the misery that was blazing through the souls and streets of civility, compassion and love.    I am still in search of my home. Where my heart can sing praises to living the life I waited my whole life for. Some folks say that you cannot live anywhere in Northern California, but, it is more than a trend or whim, it is something that has been calling me. I have given in so often, but, I will know if that is true when I feel I have exhausted every possible source, door, window and opening that is presented to me. Tomorrow is one big fulfillment of my dream. And now I am more accepting which makes the harshness of reality a discomfort rather than a barrier. What more can anyone ask? I am jazzed and ready to hear sounds that resonate with my soul. This is going to be a then and now for me. I hope you swing by and check out upcoming posts. So just for today, I am looking forward — all I see and feel is a joy and sense of wellbeing when I am writing with jazz as my muse filling my heart and soul with a love supreme. See you there! How about you?  What would be your muse?  What are the riffs you have changed?  Peace Out!

Symbol of Love
Symbol of Love

© Copyright  2011-2015 by Jazzybeatchick/JazZenista/Jannat Marie. All rights reserved.

This material is and has been copyrighted.  eel free to share it with others; it can be distributed via social media or pingbacks and added to websites; please do not change the content, and please provide credit by including the author’s name @ http://jazzybeatchick.com and your readers shall not be charged by you under any circumstance.

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50 Shades of Monterey ~ Poet’s Beat ~ Grace Notes Celebrating My Father, His Music and The Place That Forever Changed My Life… featuring The Shadow of Your Smile (Love Theme from the “Sandpiper”) Gil Fuller & The Monterey Jazz Festival Orchestra feat. Dizzy Gillespie

 

abstractexpressionism1 Courtesy of Creative Commons
abstractexpressionism1 Courtesy of Creative Commons

I wrote this poem to honor and tribute the first man I ever loved.  He was complicated, dedicated and brimmed with tough love.  I now understand that it was a blessing in disguise.  I have always been a poet and artist at heart.  I thought he didn’t want me to go into a creative life.  Now when looking back I realize that if writing and being an artist meant that I was willing to devote my life to it completely and especially when it came to facing the hour of the wolf I would not to succumb to giving up but to surrender and face the harsh reality that it is my soul’s purpose and must push on past it no matter what….What about you?  Is there someone special in your life that made such an impact?  I have included my favorite song besides the one he wrote for me is The Shadow of Your Smile performed by Dizzy Gillespie and the Monterey Jazz Festival in 1965 in my memoir.  Although Dizzy and Lorraine didn’t have any children, he considered all young people as his Love Children…Best wishes, have a great day!  Peace and Love  JBC 😎 >3

Dear Dad,

 

Thank you for the lessons on life in 1965 where you created a phenomenal year of Jazz from  the Monterey Jazz Festival to the Grand Opening of the Music Center in L.A.  Thank you for the song you wrote for me…when I was three years old.

 

I.

 

I learned that timing is critical in jazz as in life,

Knowing when to stop, start, step it up, slow it down

and more so important is learning how to wait thru the strife.

Jazz harmony a theory and practice of changing dominant and tonic chords,

where major and minor share the same syncopated space in a timeless bond…

Progressions depart in thirds and stacked fourths

favoring harmonic progressions where tensions are in intervals of 9ths, 11ths, or 13ths abound.

 

II.

 

I learned that the search for meaning, intentions and having the blues

is about finding your truth and appreciating a life of humility

‘cause the universe is misting the air with valuable truths

Living in the essence of a universal tranquility.

where cadance and notes are window dressing, a façade creates

by listening to the spoken word filled with harmonic intent

of the path and choices you debate.

Play it slant is the message best heard in the evening.

 

III.

 

I learned that being different is the integral part of the master plan

pressing forward seeing how far you can reach

harmonies in real-time, flowing and ebbing broadening the span

of improvisational context is what matters in all you teach.

 

IV.

 

I learned that playing jazz has four elements

broadening your words and expressing every letter

in a charismatic way to enhance

finding your intentions and mixing all them together.

where freedom and coordination learn how to really dance.

 

V.

 

Jazz has the power to go deep within,

having a relationship with you as next of kin

Surpassing arrogance into a love of the sound of spoken words

sharing that experience with others is where you begin.

VI,

 

I learned that I was saved by jazz

healing my soul and my body from within

thru life’s trials and tribulations to

finding peace on earth that is filled with

the promise of words and life dancing with joyous jubilation!

A Love so Supreme

 

Your Daughter

Symbol of Love
Symbol of Love

© Copyright  2011-2015 by Jazzybeatchick/JazZenista/Jannat Marie. All rights reserved.

This material is and has been copyrighted.  eel free to share it with others; it can be distributed via social media or pingbacks and added to websites; please do not change the content, and please provide credit by including the author’s name @ http://jazzybeatchick.com and your readers shall not be charged by you under any circumstance.

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Fifty Shades of Monterey Jazz 2015 ~ Riff Shots, Licks, Tropes & Memory Bytes~” Blues Alley DC, Dizzy, Me, My Ex in D.C”. Video Snap of Dizzy Gillespie – “And Then She Stopped” and a Jazz Byte of Creole Shrimp Gumbo Mack Recipe

Dizzy Gillespie ~ This is how I remember him!  Courtesy of  http://dialogosdosubsolo.blogspot.com/
Dizzy Gillespie ~ This is how I remember him! Courtesy of http://dialogosdosubsolo.blogspot.com/

“I don’t care much about music.  What I like is sounds” ~ Dizzy Gillespie

 

It’s mid-December 1985 when I spotted an announcement in the Washington Post that Dizzy Gillespie and his band was performing at Blues Alley in Georgetown, D.C.  Cell phones to call Dizzy were rare back then so I relied on plan B going in person.   So me, my ex and his father drove, found a great place to park, which is rare in Georgetown especially on a Saturday night back then.  To make a long story painfully short, we arrived sixty minutes early, it was a rainy and chilly evening with little cover over the cobblestone alley.  I knocked on the club door and asked the Maître D’ to give the note I hurriedly scrawled on the way to Dizzy. After a long glaring pause, the Maître D’ looked once more at the note and then back at me and in the next instant disappeared into the dark ambiance of club.  Typically when Dizzy came to L.A. for a visit or was performing, he would always come and stay with us.  He was the complete opposite of my father.  Sometimes I felt my father wanted to lock him up in the attic hidden from polite society.  But that was a losing battle because Dizzy was just like my grandfather and dad knew that he couldn’t compete with that kind of love.  I stood behind the door underneath a small awning listening to my ex and his dad saying he ain’t coming…the door gradually opened.  Where the hell are you?  I stepped out into the light and Dizzy was standing in the doorway with a big ol’ bowl of Shrimp Gumbo in bare feet, You escaped!  Girl, if you don’t get your tail in here right now, I am not sure who scares me more, your dad or my wife.  He motioned me into the foyer turning he instructed the Maître D’ to seat my ex and his father to reserved seats in front of the band stand.  It was a night to remember and if you haven’t caught on by now, I love Shrimp!  here is a family fav, this is an authentic slammin’ New Orleanian recipe here are the ingredients with instructions:  Welcome to my mixed ethnic world and Bon appétit!

Jazz Byte:  Authentic N’awlins Bonnaroo recipe for a Slammin’ Bowl of Creole Shrimp Gumbo

The Original recipe makes 20 servings (P.S. you can plug into an app to adjust to the serving size you want)

Smokey Hot Sauce Creole with Gumbo Courtesy of creolecontessa_blogspot_com
Smokey Hot Sauce Creole with Gumbo Courtesy of creolecontessa_blogspot_com

Ingredients:

1 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 cup bacon drippings

1 cup coarsely chopped celery

1 large onion, coarsely chopped

1 large green bell pepper, coarsely chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 pound andouille sausage, sliced

3 quarts water

6 cubes beef bouillon

tablespoon white sugar

salt to taste

2 tablespoons hot pepper sauce (such as Tabasco®), or to taste

1/2 teaspoon Cajun seasoning blend (such as Tony Chachere’s®), or to taste

4 bay leaves

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves

1 (14.5 ounce) can stewed tomatoes

1 (6 ounce) can tomato sauce

2 teaspoons gumbo file powder

2 tablespoons bacon drippings

2 (10 ounce) packages frozen cut okra, thawed

2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar

1 pound lump crabmeat

3 pounds uncooked medium shrimp, peeled and deveined

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

2 teaspoons gumbo file powder

Check All Add to Shopping List

 

Putting it all together:

 

Make a roux by whisking the flour and 3/4 cup bacon drippings together in a large, heavy saucepan over medium-low heat to form a smooth mixture. Cook the roux, whisking constantly, until it turns a rich mahogany brown color. This can take 20 to 30 minutes; watch heat carefully and whisk constantly or roux will burn. Remove from heat; continue whisking until mixture stops cooking.

Place the celery, onion, green bell pepper, and garlic into the work bowl of a food processor, and pulse until the vegetables are very finely chopped. Stir the vegetables into the roux, and mix in the sausage.

Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium-low heat, and cook until vegetables are tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat, and set aside.

Bring the water and beef bouillon cubes to a boil in a large Dutch oven or soup pot. Stir until the bouillon cubes dissolve, and whisk the roux mixture into the boiling water. Reduce heat to a simmer, and mix in the sugar, salt, hot pepper sauce, Cajun seasoning, bay leaves, thyme, stewed tomatoes, and tomato sauce.

Simmer the soup over low heat for 1 hour; mix in 2 teaspoons of file gumbo powder at the 45-minute mark.

Meanwhile, melt 2 tablespoons of bacon drippings in a skillet, and cook the okra with vinegar over medium heat for 15 minutes; remove okra with slotted spoon, and stir into the simmering gumbo. Mix in crabmeat, shrimp, and Worcestershire sauce, and simmer until flavors have blended, 45 more minutes. Just before serving, stir in 2 more teaspoons of file gumbo powder.

And now for the Pièce de résistance I give you a snap shot of Dizzy the man that my father wrote inspired amazing arrangements for.  This one is captures what he was really like on and off stage.  There was no one in the world like him and he treated everyone the same way, DIZZY!

Bon Appétite!  I hope that you enjoyed this post as much as I did remembering it.  It is only fifty three days until the Monterey Jazz Festival 2015.  So gear up and get your comfy clothes on and sandals because we are about to stroll down vistas that are blasts from the past and steppin’ into the future in September.  Hope to see you there….Peace and Love Out!  JBC 😎 & >3.

Symbol of Love
Symbol of Love

© Copyright  2011-2015 by Jazzybeatchick/JazZenista/Jannat Marie. All rights reserved.

This material is and has been copyrighted.  eel free to share it with others; it can be distributed via social media or pingbacks and added to websites; please do not change the content, and please provide credit by including the author’s name @ http://jazzybeatchick.com and your readers shall not be charged by you under any circumstance.

 

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The Sound I Felt ~ Coming Home or 50 Shades of Monterey ~ Finding my way Back to Monterey ~ featuring Gil Fuller and the Monterey Jazz Festival Orchestra with Dizzy Gillespie

Photo courtesy of Monterey Jazz Festival
Photo courtesy of Monterey Jazz Festival

“Do not be afraid of being wrong; just be afraid of being uninteresting.” – T. Carl Whitmer

 

Day 55:  Well one perk to finding the place I shall call home is that I get to live my life in full on improvisational mode. The one thing that I have discovered is that relationships have a certain fluidity and flow that has thrown my balance off.  Stress like change is a naturally occurring phenomenon.  One thing that I know for sure is that I am not afraid of my cancer coming back.  I now know that my cancer has morphed into what is now considered “Secondary Breast Cancer”.  According to Cancer Research UK the definition of Secondary Breast Cancer is A cancer is made up of millions of cancer cells. These form a tumour. The original cancer in the breast is known as a primary breast cancer. Some cells may break away and spread to another part of the body. The symptoms include low energy, poor appetite and extreme fatigue.  In my particular case it is complicated by Guillain Barré Syndrome which has the same symptoms.  However, I developed an enlarged lymph node in 2013 which developed after I was diagnosed with lymphedema in the chest wall in 2007.  In 2014 I was experiencing extreme itching 24/7 and the doctors could not give a diagnosis.  I am by no means a hypochondriac in terms of fabricating symptoms in fear of the cancer returning as it did in my mother and it was metastatic and terminal.  I love living in San Francisco and I had no misconceptions that things would be the same as they were twenty nine years ago.  But, I think that I have a soft spot for living in the Monterey area or even Santa Cruz.  Big city and big lights does not do it for me any more and the congestion of people, traffic and city life really messes with my flow.

So Monterey is plan B.  The 4th of July is coming and I wrote this post in 2013 about my relationship with my father.  I know that he loved me but growing up and being the apple of his eye as he would call it created a tremendous amount of trauma when he flipped the script and getting GBS and being in the hospital through Thanksgiving and Christmas of 1990 was a wake up call that gave me a better understanding of him and myself.  It hurt like hell, but, in retrospect I realize that was the only way he could deal with it.  I picked “Things Are Here” featuring Dizzy Gillespie because in 1965 this was the song that they were rehearing in downtown L.A. just before the festival and it is a wonderful reminder of my father’s talent and his being a complicated man of contradictions.  This is my story and I am sticking to it… Peace Out!

 

This is an excerpt from my memoir ~  Coming Home….

 

My relationship with my dad had dramatically changed.  The first time was when I was accepted into medical school in 1972. Subsequently requested a leave of absence — the school granted an indefinite leave. The second was not to be a doctor.  It was dad’s dream, not mine.  I did nothing for at least a month.  I was, as my dad described it “wretched”.  I had no feelings whatsoever.  I still felt like I was that 11-year-old mixed girl on the way to the rehearsal studio riding in the car with my dad.  Now, 8 years later it felt like I lived four lifetimes.  Initially dad did not want me to go to medical school when I was accepted at 18 years old, he felt I was too young.  However, I had other plans .  Just wanted to get it over once and for all.  Although I had an aptitude for science because I was in an Extra Honors Science program in high school and graduated high school In the 11th grade.  I knew then that my real love and passion was writing.  I secretly wrote in my journal and wrote poems  though out school.  Now my father didn’t know how to deal with me, I was despondent.  He wanted me to respond to him, life, anything.  When he was approached by Gil Noble of ABC-TV he asked my dad to be a technical consultant for the documentary.  Dad thought that giving me the assignment of researching and writing would bring me back to life.  It did.  I got a chance to go to the library at Rutgers and to go into the City by myself   I came back to life.  It was a new lease on my creative life.  I took up residence.  For a month I got up got my notebooks together and set out with the sun in my face and coming home the sun was at my back. I turned over the segments to my dad and he was very happy and the show won an Emmy.  I finished my B.A. degree and got a M.S. from Fairleigh Dickinson Univesity.  He was elated until I announced that I was moving to D.C. because I was accepted into Georgetown University’.

♪          ♪          ♪

So when I moved to D.C. in 1979 that was the another major change in our relationship.  I had come home for the Christmas holidays with a dental student I met at Georgetown.  I worked in the Anatomy department.  Dad was not happy with  any of this, but, now I was on my own and he had to deal with it.  So coming home with walking pneumonia became virtually the last straw.  I did come home from time to time when I got married to someone I knew he would hate.  I wanted to get back at him.  Unfortunately it backfired.  I was unhappy in so many ways.  I was molested by my father in law.  I couldn’t tell my dad otherwise he would have killed him.  I didn’t want that on my conscience.  So, I decided to move to San Francisco.  My grandmother (on my mom’s side) called my dad to find out my phone number in D.C.  My father called several weeks later.  Now my grandmother was in NY Hospital in a coma.  There had been an electrical fire that had started in her basement.  A young man was walking by the house and saw the flames he threw something through the window and found my grandmother lying on the floor because she couldn’t get out.  My uncle would not let my mother in to see my grandmother.  Mom called me from the hospital sobbing.  I asked her to put the Attending on the phone and then explained to him that my uncle was not in his right mind.  I am her granddaughter and my mom is her daughter, and pled my case.  He hung the phone up and walked my mother to my grandmother’s room.  My mom held my grandmother’s hand, brushed her hair and talked to her.  A week later my grandmother had succumbed and passed away.  It was early in the morning and the sun peeked through the blinds.  I got up, and packed my clothes to return to New York for my grandmother’s funeral.  It also signaled the end of my marriage.  I came back to the crowded streets with concrete gardens and the hustle and bustle of New York City.  I was a grown up child sitting next to my dad in the ride back from the JFK airport.  I wasn’t angry that he didn’t tell me sooner about my grandmother’s call or the fact that he refused to talk to me or let me talk to mom when I called during the six years I lived in D.C.  I stayed for 10 days, and then made my move to San Francisco.  The last part will be in the next post.  Hey, I am covering ten years and trying not to leave crucial parts of the story out.  Till then, Peace & Love Out! JBC >3 & 😎

 

Symbol of Love
Symbol of Love

© Copyright  2011-2015 by Jazzybeatchick/JazZenista/Jannat Marie. All rights reserved.

This material is and has been copyrighted.  eel free to share it with others; it can be distributed via social media or pingbacks and added to websites; please do not change the content, and please provide credit by including the author’s name @ http://jazzybeatchick.com and your readers shall not be charged by you under any circumstance.

 

 

Free Write Friday ~ RiffShot ~ The “Manteca” Backstory

FreeWrite Friday        On September 29th, 1947,   “Manteca” dropped into the jazz scene at Carnegie Hall  it was a hit!  Manteca literally means lard.  It is an Afro-Cuban slang term for marijuana.  Mario Bauzá‘s “Tanga” (1942), was also an Afro-Cuban term for marijuana.  Mainstream jazz audiences at that time were not familiar with the Afro Cuban sound and improvisations of Machito’s band.  Gillespie,  as with most musicians at the time would jam and the cultural exchange was fluid and became alliterations of cultural and rhythmic sounds coined cu-bop.  The song became a two-part tune dubbed “Cubana-Be/Cubana-Bop”. In the Spring of 1948, the band took the spotlight with”Manteca” with the inclusion of Pozo’s Abakuá chants which opens the song when it was being performed.

 

Copyrighted  phrase written by Gil Fuller
Copyrighted phrase written by Gil Fuller

Manteca” in 1947 was considered by critics to be one of the earliest groundbreaking tunes of Afro-Cuban jazz.  Chano Pozo sung the tune at a rehearsal in 1947 because Pozo did not write music.  Big band arranger Walter “Gil” Fuller in 1947 wrote the arrangement that reshaped and created Gillespie’s signature style making the recordingsas the most legendary jazz orchestrations.  According to Gary Giddins of the Village Voice, Manteca” in addition to “A Night in Tunisia” also arranged by Fuller became,  “one of the most important records ever made in the United States“.   “Manteca” was the first rhythmically established song performed on the clave rhythmic pattern used  as a tool for temporal orchestrations that became an American jazz standard.

 

Dizzy Gillespie ~ This is how I remember him!  Courtesy of  http://dialogosdosubsolo.blogspot.com/

In 1947, Gillespie asked Mario Bauzá to recommend a Cuban percussionist for his big band. Bauzá suggested Pozo, a rough-living percussionist already famous in Cuba.  When the band was touring in California Pozo presented Gillespie  and Fuller with an idea for the melody.  Fuller integrated Pozo’s Cuban-style percussion into the band’s arrangement.    It featured a bridge of two eight-bar trumpet vocalization by Gillespie melding the percussive patterns played by Pozo, amalgamating the horn lines by Gillespie’s.  You can see in the video that they are really groovin’ to the rhythm and improvising solos that make for one great sound and fun for everyone.  Manteca reflected the racial tensions and unrest in America, especially Los Angeles. You can see and hear Gillespie singing, “I’ll never go back to Georgia“.   In 1965, the Joe Cuba Sextet got their first crossover hit with the Latin and soul fusion of “El Pito (I Never Go Back To Georgia)”.  I hope that you enjoy this video as much as I do.  Peace and Love Out!  JBC  😎 & ❤

Uploaded on Dec 19, 2011

Chano Pozo was the brother of the famous trumpeter Felix Chapotín admirer of Rita Montaner, and magnet public broadcasting station Radio Cadena Azul. In the forties, Chano Pozo, the Cuban American jazz injected a new and vigorous energy, thanks to the vision of the musician Mario Bauza. He worked with figures like Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie, Dizzy when being popularized the familiar theme of Manteca. The brilliant career of Chano Pozo, the United States began in 1942, when he left the Machito Orchestra, Chicago to join in to all the Jack Cole Dancers. Manteca was released in the jazz world in 1947, during the presentation of a big band in the name of Pozo and Gillespie. At that concert involved two other glories of world jazz, pianist John Lewis, who later would found the Modern Jazz Quartet, and drummer Kenny Clarke, one of the fathers of Bebop. In Caliente, one of the great compositions of Chano Pozo, Delannoy remember Chano style gradually Gillespie led to increasingly running musical risks, which resulted in a perfect fusion of a genius of jazz harmony with a genius . the Afro-Cuban rhythms. Courtesy of cesarchalon

© Copyright 2011-2014  by Jannat Marie/Jazzybeatchick. All rights Reserved.

This material has been copyrighted, feel free to share it with others; it can be distributed via social media or pingbacks or added to websites; please do not change the original content and please provide appropriate credit by including the author’s name or visual artist @ http://jazzybeatchick.com your readers shall not be charged by you under any circumstance.

 

Free Write Friday ~ Takin’ a Trip Down Memory Lane “These Times Are A Changin'” featuring Chicago Jazz Philharmonic – The Face of the Enemy Is Always Changing

“If Music is a Place — then Jazz is the City, Folk is the Wilderness, Rock is the Road, Classical is a Temple.”
― Vera Nazarian

Abstract Art Inspired by Music Courtesy of Bertiehigghns.com
Abstract Art Inspired by Music Courtesy of Bertiehigghns.com

The only constant in life is change.  I have decided to take a trip down memory lane in the way back machine.  Dad let me digress from listening to jazz on my  Mickey Mouse Record Player that he bought me and would let me buy Bob Dylan, among other folk singers, like Joan Baez, Judy Collins, Rita Coolidge Carly Simon, Carol King and Joni Mitchell to name a few..  I wasn’t so much a Hippie ‘cause multiracial folks was not even a category in that LA Black and White society.  1965 changed so many things on so many fronts.  Here are the lyrics to this powerful timeless song  These Times are a Changin’  you can watch the video.  I thought that “The Face of the Enemy Is Always Changing” in the present moment is way more fitting.  FYI ~  It was a year and eight months before the Watts riots and the Civil Rights Movement and the moment that life in America would undergo a Cultural Revolution.  Can You Feel it?   Peace and Love Out!  JBC 😎 <3.

These Times are a Changin’

Come gather ’round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You’ll be drenched to the bone
If your time to you
Is worth savin’
Then you better start swimmin’
Or you’ll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin’.

Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won’t come again
And don’t speak too soon
For the wheel’s still in spin
And there’s no tellin’ who
That it’s namin’
For the loser now
Will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin’.

Come senators, congressmen
Please heed the call
Don’t stand in the doorway
Don’t block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There’s a battle outside
And it is ragin’
It’ll soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin’.

Come mothers and fathers
Throughout the land
And don’t criticize
What you can’t understand
Your sons and your daughters
Are beyond your command
Your old road is
Rapidly agin’
Please get out of the new one
If you can’t lend your hand
For the times they are a-changin’.

The line it is drawn
The curse it is cast
The slow one now
Will later be fast
As the present now
Will later be past
The order is
Rapidly fadin’
And the first one now
Will later be last
For the times they are a-changin’.

These were the best of times and the worst of times growing up in L.A.   Here are highlights that I remember for that year.  Beetles appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show February 9th, 1964.  Jazz musicians dealt with those times with humor with stunts like:  When Dizzy Gillespie ran for president promising to rename the White House “the Blues House” and would appoint Ray Charles librarian of Congress, Miles Davis head of the CIA, and Malcolm X attorney general.  The miniskirt debuted that signaled a rapid change in the mores of the decade.  It was a tumultuous time for race relations which was about to hit the fan.  I was only feeling the tension that was becoming so thick you could cut it with a knife.  Peace Out!

© Copyright 2011-2014  by Jannat Marie/Jazzybeatchick. All rights Reserved.

This material has been copyrighted, feel free to share it with others; it can be distributed via social media or pingbacks or added to websites; please do not change the original content and please provide appropriate credit by including the author’s name or visual artist @ http://jazzybeatchick.com your readers shall not be charged by you under any circumstance.

Jazz In Your Ear ~ How to Listen to Jazz and Connect with the Universe Within Like a Pro ~ featuring The Shadow Of Your Smile ~2 Styles Dizzy Gillespie and Kenny G ~ Can U Hear Me Now?

Listening to the Universe within
Listening to the Universe within

When I started listening ( I mean really listening) to jazz music, it was daunting at first.  It was sorta like when I began meditating, I fell asleep! Ouch!  My bad! So this can happen to you when you first listened but even if it doesn’t it could be very enlightening by learning jazz lingo and what to listen for.  I am going to kick off 2014 with a weekly breakdown of the 7 aphorisms of understanding and listening to jazz.  Now that doesn’t have anything to do with the way you impart your style, swagger or look, so don those kicks, put on your favorite shades, grab the chaise and lean in and let the riffs begin.  Here are tips of what to listen for:

∞       How the soloist and the chord playing musician interact. 

∞  Comping (an abbreviation for “accompanying”) is a term used in jazz music to describe chordsrhythms, and counter melodies that keyboard players (piano or organ) or guitar players use to support a jazz musician’s (horn player’s) improvised solo or melody lines.

∞   Call and Response is an interaction between musicians.   The first is the Call phrase is played and the second phrase played is the commentary or Response to the first phrase. It corresponds to the call and response pattern found in a conversation between two people.  It is the basic element of musical form and is the most popular music phrasing in jazz.

∞       Rhythm ~ The backbone and is the most critical component of jazz.  Listen to how the drummer strengthens the bass player. In a Walking bassline the bass and drummer on the ride cymbal are playing the same rhythm.  When the bass player is not playing a walking bassline, the drummer will solo and will play the a dramatically improvised phrase.

∞       Solo Improvisation is where the artist will play without the accompaniment of the drummer. The soloist will sometimes lock on to an idea or phrase and the drummer will mimic the phrase during their improvisational exchange (call and response).

∞       Melody & Timing:   When listening to the solo improvisation keep the song’s melody and rhythm timing in your head to know where the musicians are in the song.  After the musicians have finished playing through the “form” of the song, the drummer will generally play some sort of rhythmic phrase to indicate they are going back to the beginning again of the song. (aka HeadChart).

The 1st track performed by Dizzy Gillespie was nominated for the 1966 Grammy.

There is nothing more beautiful than listening to Kenny G.

Two different artistic expressions and improvisations.  How many of the tips did you hear?

Jazz offers a great listening experience and for folks willing and with a little patience you will emotionally respond to the artist that you are listening to. Now it is a whole different talk show when it comes to going live or going Memorex.  Dizzy was a total performer and somewhat of a comedian when it came to being on stage. I thought I would give you an example …

Uploaded on Nov 21, 2008

Dizzy Gillespie and quintet recorded in 1965 to coincide with the release of the album Dizzy on The French Riviera, with Kenny Barron replacing Lalo Schifrin on piano.

Trumpet – Dizzy Gillespie
Saxaphone/Flute – James Moody
Bass – Christopher White
Piano – Kenny Barron
Drums – Rudy Collins

2 days left to MJF.  If you can’t be there in person, then join me and we will go there in our minds, after all Sun Ra got it…Space Is the Place especially when it’s a head trip…Peace Out!  JBC 😎

Copyright © 2011-14 by Jazzybeatchick. All rights reserved.

This material has been copyrighted,  feel free to share it with others; it can be distributed via social media or pingbacks or added to websites; please do not change the original content and, provide appropriate credit by including the author’s name @ http://jazzybeatchick.com and your readers shall not be charged by you under any circumstance.

Jazz on Canvas ~ In Camera: The Men From Monterey ~ 3 Jazz men, 20 year Reunion n’ Me It Does Not Get Any Better Than This…featuring Gil Fuller & Monterey Jazz Festival Orchestra – “Man From Monterey” – 2007 – Remaster

Romare Bearden Jazz  Collages
Romare Bearden Jazz Collages

“I’m saying: to be continued, until we meet again. Meanwhile, keep on listening and tapping your feet.” ~   Count Basie

Excerpt from memoir. This was a conversation I had with my father on the way to the tenth Rehearsal of the MJFO in July, 1965….
The sunrise cast a warm glow through my picture window early Monday morning.  Dad is sitting at the piano in our living room making last-minute notations for the songs for rehearsal later today.  He is my five a.m. wake up call. I would hear dulcet tones sending a breath of notes across my mind to the beat of my existence.  It was a series of riffs and changes with a syncopated harmonic intent.  It had a rhythm that majestically brought a sense of devotion to each note.  The sound of him hitting each piano key gave the house a mystery, transforming life and setting our house apart from the rest of the houses on Wilton Place.

As we are driving to the rehearsal studio my dad turned to me I gave up traveling with the band so that I could devote myself to my family. I am really excited about getting back into the groove again.   You know Dizzy chose me to serve as music director and conductor for the Orchestra this year. In the ‘40’s I wrote Dizzy’s arrangements . That’s where we met.  Back in the day we played Bebop with folks like Charlie Parker and Thelonious Monk.  We were best known for songs like “Manteca”, “Things are Here”, “One Bass Hit” and “Tin Tin Deo”. 

I know that I have offered you guitar lessons, but, being a musician, writer or singer leads to a hard life for you.  I know that you can do anything you want but just not anything creative because traditionally women are not appreciated or respected.  I am telling you this because I am your father.  I really want the best life for you. 

 I am numb.  I look at him hoping that he was joking but he quickly turned away, he is guilty of committing that very tradition in his orchestra.

We rode for the last 20 minutes in silence.    It is deafening.  I am the “native” daughter of the Jazz world in the ‘60’s where the reining tradition was parents (‘rents) had the final word.  I slump down in my seat staring out the window trying to recover.  I feel betrayed.   Deep down inside I always felt like I was a visitor especially when it came to expressing my feelings and even more so in the world.  To me being mixed race or checking the “Other” box is a perfect witness to my life.  My father is a very complicated man of contradictions.  So reading and writing poems became my escape.    It liberated me from the labyrinths of insuperable gender and race biases that tend to dissipate little girls like me.

I would hole up in my room for hours overhearing myself admit difficult truths that I could not hide from.  It welcomed creative inspirations into my sensory consciousness.    It gave me the chance to explore and discover the province of sound and words.   I found my rhythm and started writing poems and improvised prose. Mom taught me how to read when I was 3.

The rest of the drive to the rehearsal studio felt lonely.  Everything around me seemed to have vanished along with my excitement.  I shifted trying to compose myself.  I wanted to shake myself free from the volcano that just erupted in my soul.  Suddenly breaking my solitude my father proclaimed We Are Here!  My excitement returned.

The rehearsal was now under way.  It was an invitation to my imagination renewing my love for writing – cultivating a deep joy in my heart.  The studio fell silent. My father began to motion the count as he tapped his foot.  Calm waves from the alto sax and trombones began to move into the downbeat, the cymbal gently touches the shores of 4/4 time….Dizzy’s cheeks puffed out, his crazy angled trumpet bell releases the sounds of surprise announcing …the  Man from Monterey has arrived.

Ralph Gleason from the Chronicle summed up the day’s session perfectly on the album’s liner notes… he wrote The 1965 Monterey Jazz Festival music clearly is designed to last.  This amalgam of the talents of Gillespie and Fuller are insurance that it will. The orchestra played the music at this session for all time, which is the way good jazz is always played.

I had fallen in love with the sound of words, even though I had to keep it a secret.   I credit discovering my inner voice when immersed in the sound and creation of jazz music was realized at today’s session.  Now when I am facing cancer trials and tribulations, I write.  When I am grateful for the wonders of life and God’s blessings, I write.  When I am weary and discouraged, I write.  I always felt that my father didn’t want me to become a writer, it wasn’t until after his death that I found out it was just his way of letting me know that if I can take all the adversity and really feel that I had to write,  then I must write…..  Peace Out!  JBC 😎

Copyright 2011-2015  by Jannat Marie/Jazzybeatchick. All rights Reserved.

This material has been copyrighted, feel free to share it with others; it can be distributed via social media or pingbacks or added to websites; please do not change the original content and please provide appropriate credit by including the author’s name or visual artist @ http://jazzybeatchick.com your readers shall not be charged by you under any circumstance.