Mark Stryker

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About Mark Stryker

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    Groove Merchant
  • Birthday 08/10/1963

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  • Gender Male
  • Location detroit, mi

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  1. Clifford Brown revisited

    Just posted in Jazz in Print ...
  3. Clifford Brown revisited

    I’m writing the monthly Chronology column for them. Basically a historical focus, usually around a particular corner of someone’s career or discography, but it’s loose enough to go in any direction. I try and follow the theme of the issue — this month was “legends” so I write about Quincy Jones as an arranger for hire in the 50s. Next month was “brass” so I’ve written about McGhee in the 1940s. Following month is “drums” and I’ve gone a little broader and written about Peter Washington and Kenny Washington as a team. They’ve been posting them online ...
  4. Clifford Brown revisited

    Without disagreeing at all with the Dizzy/Miles/Fats taxonomy of creating separate schools, I would just add an adjacent footnote that Howard McGhee is the forgotten man of the bebop era -- Dizzy, Maggie, and Fats were the true first generation bebop trumpeters. (I think of Miles as a half-generation behind those three.) Maggie didn't start a school of course; he came of the Eldridge/Dizzy line -- but that motherfucker could PLAY as far back as the Andy Kirk band, where a section mate for a bit was Fats, who always said he got a lot from McGhee. My next Jazz Times column takes a close look at McGhee in the ‘40s. Carry on. Re: Clifford Short list of the greatest improvisations captured on tape. His second bridge (!!) is among my favorite eight bars in music.
  5. Good Jazz Albums from 1979?

    I always thought that "Disco Monk" was a real low point for Sonny -- dorky, obvious pandering to the most hoary commercial style of the moment and all that -- and I couldn't figure out why the disco part of the track was connected to what otherwise was quite lovely ballad playing. But a few years ago in a multi-contributor Twitter conversation about disco tracks by jazz and jazz -adjacent musicians, Sonny's longtime publicist Terri Hinte suggested an alternate interpretation that I've come around to -- that the disco part of the tune is actually affectionate satire, a playful nod to Monk's own humor and quirkiness by parodying the au currant style, but that the ballad sections are sincere expressions of Sonny's true feelings for Monk, who of course was still alive in 1979. .
  6. Good Jazz Albums from 1979?

    To me, this is THE Bunky Green record. Also, add to the 1979 list: Roland Hanna, "Swing Me Now Waltzes" -- also for me THE Roland Hanna record.
  7. Charlie Watts RIP

    Please read saxophonist Tim Ries' remembrance of Charlie that was posted today, So glad NPR (presumably Nate Chinen) asked him to do this.
  8. John Coltrane - Love Supreme: Live in Seattle

    As a follow up, here’s Steve’s photo of the actual tape.
  9. John Coltrane - Love Supreme: Live in Seattle

    Special shoutout here belongs to my old friend Steve Griggs, a Seattle saxophonist (and Organissimo board member), who is the person who actually discovered the tape among Joe Brazil's belongings. As honest and selfless as the day is long, Steve has been doing pioneering research into the life and career of the Detroit-born Brazil and it is he who befriended Joe's widow and took the first steps toward this material seeing the light of day.
  10. Charlie Watts RIP

    The last time the Stones played Detroit, the band's longtime tenor saxophonist Tim Ries -- a native of metro Detroit broadly defined, who most of you will recognize as a terrific jazz musician -- organized a side gig for his Rolling Stones Project. This was Tim's band that played jazz and jazz-related covers of Rolling Stones songs and some other material too. At one point, Tim announced there was a young drummer in the house looking for a break so they were going to let him play a couple tunes. That was Charlie's cue to come out from backstage. He played on "All or Nothing at All" (medium Latin/swing the bridge) and "For All We Know" (ballad, brushes all the way). Sounded terrific -- musical and solid. He brought those same qualities to the Stones. No coincidence that perhaps the two best rock bands of the '60s, the Beatles and the Stones, had the two drummers that the FELT the best. Here's 30 second snippets of Charlie on that gig with with Ries. Bernard Fowler is the vocalist, Daryl Jones the bassist.
  11. Charlie Parker with Strings August 27, 1954.

    Tracks on YouTube ...
  12. Leaving aside the cover debate, a much bigger issue for me regarding the LT series is why the Japanese versions of these albums that came out on King sounded so much better than the domestic versions. On Friday, I found a mint Japanese copy of "The Soothsayer" (1979) that just destroys the LT version that I have had practically since the day it came out. If the Japanese could deliver this kind of sonic quality in the late '70s and early '80s, how come America could (or wouldn't)?. Carry on ...
  13. Previously unreleased Sheila Jordan. 1960 (!!)

    To be clear, I didn't write the press release. That's the company ...
  14. Good God -- previously unreleased Sheila Jordan recorded two full years before her Blue Note debut. What a find. Here's the press release that just came over the transom. I just listened to one of the streaming tracks for press, and it's fucking amazing. Capri Records releases a never-before-heard 1960 recording by legendary vocalist and NEA Jazz Master Sheila Jordan Comes Love: Lost Session 1960, due out September 17, 2021, captures the singular vocalist on her earliest known session, two years prior to her Blue Note debut "Cheeky, importunate and canny, [Sheila] Jordan’s voice is one of the great standard-bearing instruments of midcentury jazz… she still has that mix of sagacity and ingenuous charm that endeared her to discerning listeners in the 1960s." – Giovanni Russonello, The New York Times “Sheila Jordan is a one-of-a-kind artist who possesses the power to captivate audiences, inviting all to join her on a magical mystery tour of jazz history.” – Roseanna Vitro, JazzTimes At the age of 92 and still going strong, singer-songwriter Sheila Jordan has been one of the most revered and utterly unique voices in jazz for decades. Beginning with her debut album, 1963’s Portrait of Sheila on Blue Note Records, she pioneered a bebop-inflected approach to singing accompanied only by solo bass (in that case, a duet with Steve Swallow on one of her signature tunes, Bobby Timmons’ “Dat Dere”). Following the release of that album, however, Jordan retreated from the scene to concentrate on raising her daughter, working as a typist for the next two decades and not recording as a leader again for more than a dozen years. The never-before-released Comes Love: Lost Session 1960 thus adds a crucial new chapter to Jordan’s remarkable story. Recorded on June 10, 1960 at New York’s Olmsted Sound Studios for the little-known Chatam Records, the recently discovered studio date presents the singer in nascent but instantly recognizable form on a set of standards. Due for release by Colorado-based Capri Records on September 17, 2021, the album is otherwise shrouded in mystery: Jordan has no recollection of the date or the names of her accompanists, a nonetheless deftly attuned trio. The music that comprises Comes Love was unearthed by record dealers Jeremy Sloan and Hadley Kenslow of Albuquerque’s SloLow Records, who purchased it among a large collection of acetates several years ago. Knowing of Capri Records owner Tom Burns’ acquaintance with Jordan, they forwarded the surprise discovery to the Capri founder. The 1960 recording predates Portrait of Sheila by more than two years, making it the earliest representation we have of the singer at the dawn of her storied career. At the time Jordan was working regularly at the Page Three Club in Greenwich Village, often with pianists John Knapp or Herbie Nichols, bassists Steve Swallow or Gene Perlman, and drummer Ziggy Willman. It’s possible that some of these musicians can be heard on Comes Love, though there’s no way of knowing for certain at this point. “Whoever is playing on it is really good,” attests Burns. “The group seems to have an empathic relationship with her; I don't think it was just some pick-up band. But while it’s troublesome that I can't distinguish the musicians, I really thought this was a recording that should be out there because there's so much good music on it.” Even without the identifying label on the acetate (and the haunting headshot of the singer that accompanied it, also included in the album packaging), the voice inside is unmistakably that of Sheila Jordan. Her mature style is not yet fully formed, but the jaunty scat that opens Duke Ellington’s classic “It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing),” the playful, sassy flexibility of her time feel on the Gershwins’ “They Can’t Take That Away From Me,” or the wry world-weariness that imbues Rodgers and Hart’s “Glad To Be Unhappy” reflect qualities that would remain and deepen over the next sixty years. “My first reaction was, ‘Wow, does she sound young!’” recalls Burns of his initial impression of the music – a reaction that he reports was shared by Jordan upon hearing the session. “Even though it's only a couple of years before Portrait of Sheila, she’d obviously developed more as a singer by then. But the way she dealt with a session of standards [at that stage in her career] impressed me. Most of the tunes aren’t your typical songs – there are a couple of well-known tunes, but most of them are kind of obscure even for that time.” The album opens with James Shelton’s wistful “I’m the Girl,” which Sarah Vaughan had recorded four years earlier on Sassy, though Jordan’s rendition emphasizes a naïve melodrama shared by “When the World Was Young,” perhaps the clearest indication that this is such an early effort. The winsome opening verse of “Sleeping Bee” takes on a sprightly tone also present on a brisk “I’ll Take Romance.” A stark “Ballad of the Sad Young Men” is followed by a brassy take on the title tune and a sultry version of Billie Holiday’s “Don’t Explain” that reflects the iconic singer’s influence. “She’s bending notes and singing the way a horn would play,” Burns points out. “[Jordan is] really trying different things out on this session. It’s an interesting look into her evolution as a performer.” Sheila Jordan One of the most distinctive and creative of all jazz singers, NEA Jazz Master and self-described “Jazz Child” Sheila Jordan is one of those rare vocalists whose voice can be regarded among the great instruments of the music. Raised in poverty in Pennsylvania's coal-mining country, Jordan began singing as a child and by the time she was in her early teens was working semi-professionally in Detroit clubs. Most of her influences have been instrumentalists rather than singers, the greatest being Charlie Parker. After moving to New York in the early 50s, she married Parker's pianist, Duke Jordan, and studied with Lennie Tristano. She didn’t begin recording until the early 60s, then faded from view for two decades as she stepped back from her career to raise her daughter. Since her return to recording in the late 1970s she has remained one of the most acclaimed and beloved vocalists in jazz, pioneering a duo approach with solo bass and enjoying longstanding collaborations with the likes of Cameron Brown, Harvie S and Steve Kuhn and recording with the likes of Carla Bley, Roswell Rudd, Mark Murphy, Arild Andersen and George Russell. Sheila Jordan – Comes Love: Lost Session 1960 Capri Records – Capri 74164 – Recorded June 10, 1960 Release date September 17, 2021 # # # ReplyReply allForward