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. Could not agree more about James. I have his 1960 book "Ten Modern Jazzmen," published by Cassell (London). It's a collection of essays on Bird, Bud, Dizzy, Miles, Monk, Mulligan, Levis, Konitz, Getz and Gray. Some of these were from Jazz Monthly but others appear to have been written for the book. What's really needed is a collection of his pieces on the hard bop folks. I recall Gitler referring in some set of liner notes -- might be "Capuchin Swing" -- to a James essay on Jackie McLean. I've never seen it. Do we know what happened to James?
  2. What vinyl are you spinning right now??

    Some might argue that "The Real McCoy" is Joe Henderson's greatest Blue Note even if all the tunes are by McCoy. I'm recommending three records with each chapter in my book. For Joe Henderson it's "Inner Urge," "Power to the People" and ""The Real McCoy."
  3. What vinyl are you spinning right now??

    I'd guess that "Mode for Joe" ranks high for people because the compositions and larger ensemble give the record an approachable quality that's different from the others. For me, however, "Inner Urge" is the clear No. 1 -- it's not even close -- with In 'N Out" in the No. 2 position, "Mode for Joe" at No. 3 and then "Our Thing" and "Page One" are basically tied. That may underrate "Our Thing" but that one was out of print when I was young and I didn't get it until it was reissued in the mid '80s and by then I had learned every groove of the others so it wasn't really a fair fight.
  4. When I played in John Garvey's band at the University of Illinois from 1983-85, the Billy Byers chart on "Come Fly With Me" was our typical set opener. God knows how many times I played it, but if you're truly swinging, it's a gas every single time. There are a lot of reasons that a lot of the guys stayed in Basie's band for a long time, but one of them is that to sit in the middle of a band breathing as one while playing a chart like this embodies a real-time elation and contributing-to-something-larger-than-yourself that do not exist in many facets of life. Nothing does that like playing music. It's a drug, and the Basie high is addictive. pl
  5. I have lots of these records on LP and glad to have them -- REALLY glad to have some of them -- but, frankly, I wouldn't pay a premium for all of them in a box. Having said that, "Standing Ovation" is one of my all-time favorite Basie records. It's every bit as good as the rightly celebrated "Basie at Birdland" and "Breakfast Dance and Barbecue." Band is in great shape, repertoire is ideal, Sweets is on board and Lockjaw is ALL over it. Another worth tracking down is "The Great Concert of Count Basie" -- live concert from London, 1966. 2 LPs. More Jaws. I have it on an import label Disques Festival.
  6. The Lost Tapes: Charles Mingus Live In Detroit

    Yes, Strata was the progenitor of Strata-East. No, it's not the same people, though Stanley Cowell was an original member of Strata's board of directors and technically in charge of Strata's publishing arm, (This part of the Strata initiative never got off the ground.) Cox and Moore started Strata in Detroit in 1969. Strata-East founders Charles Tolliver and Stanley Cowell had played at the Strata Concert Gallery and Cowell had known Cox and Moore going back to 1964, when Cowell was a grad student at the Univ. of Michigan and part of the Detroit scene. Tolliver and Cowell took inspiration from what the guys were doing in Detroit and for a time they were discussing the idea of functioning as an east coast subsidiary -- hence the name Strata-East. (There were brewing plans for a Strata-West too.) In the end, Tolliver and Cowell were wary of Strata's complex corporate model -- the Detroit guys literally sold stock to raise capital and set-up a grandly ambitious corporate structure that included recording, performance, publishing and management divisions. So Strata-East came into being as a separate entity with a different business model in which artists financed their own recordings and "the company" packaged and distributed the product. But Strata-East kept the the Strata name as an homage to their roots and similar self-determination philosophy.
  7. The Lost Tapes: Charles Mingus Live In Detroit

    In my forthcoming book I tell the story of the Strata Corporation -- a self-determination effort founded by trumpeter Charles Moore and pianist Kenn Cox (2/5 of the Contemporary Jazz Quintet) -- in 1969. The Strata Concert Gallery was one of their ventures. Among the performs were Ornette, Cecil, Mingus, Joe Henderson Sextet, Herbie's Mwandishi Sextet, Weather Report, Chick Corea Trio (Stanley Clarke/Horacee Arnold) and many who came in and played with Detroiters, including Archie Shepp, Stanley Cowell, Joe Chambers. In doing research, I dug up posters from these gigs and the original AFM artist contracts for a number of these performances. A lot of these were broadcast on WDET-FM and bootlegs have circulated. I've never heard the Mingus so I don't know if it's been around, but at least one of the Mwandishi performances has traded for years and is actually on YouTube. I tried to upload a photo of a poster that lists this Mingus gig among the others in early 1973 but the system is balking. You can see it here:
  8. The Lost Tapes: Charles Mingus Live In Detroit

    Correct. You hear him on the tape too, hosting the show.
  9. George Walker

    Sad to report that Walker died Thursday after a fall at home. He was 96.
  10. Aretha Franklin, RIP

    A while back in another thread, the name of Aretha's longtime musical director H.B. Barnum came up. Here are his reflections on Aretha, From Billboard magazine. https://www.billboard.com/articles/news/8471051/hb-barnum-aretha-franklin-interview
  11. Aretha Franklin, RIP

    She left no will or trust. This could get complicated. https://www.freep.com/story/entertainment/music/aretha-franklin/2018/08/21/aretha-franklin-no-wills-trust/1057966002/
  12. Songs We Should Retire

    When Dave Liebman was with Elvin in the early '70s, his nightly ballad feature was "I'm a Fool to Want You." After a couple of months playing it, Liebman went to Elvin and said that he wanted to play something else, because he felt as if he was stuck for for fresh ideas. Elvin looked at him and said: "So, you're stuck, but it's the SONG'S fault?"
  13. That's an incredible "Love Letters." Does this whole concert exist somewhere on film?
  14. Today -- August 19, 2018 -- marks the 32nd anniversary of Sonny Rollins jumping off a ledge in mid performance, because, well, Sonny Rollins. He broke his heel in the process -- but kept playing. Here's the film. Stay through the interviews for the incredible performance of "G-Man," one of Sonny's best post-1971 solos.
  15. I don't want to wade in too deep here, but as short hand of my feelings, I would say (a) My favorite record of all time is "A Night at the Village Vanguard" (b) I'm happy with my life and choices, but if I could do anything, it would to be able to play like Sonny on a good night between 1964 and '68. (c) My views about the later work hew pretty close to Jim, even if I perhaps harbor a bit more frustration than Jim does on some points. Also, speaking of the sound, I've stood right next Sonny as he played acoustically, without a microphone, and that was the most expansive sound as I've ever anyone get on any instrument. Ever. Also, I heard him play about 4 minutes of "Three Little Words" at a Soundcheck around 2008 that rank among the most inspired four minutes of improvisation I've ever heard live.