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. 2022 NEA Jazz Masters; Clarke, Harrison, Hart, Wilson

    It's not that Clarke hasn't done anything of note. But the NEA Jazz Master Award is the country's highest honor in jazz. That's a high bar, and Clarke's contributions to the art form don't come anywhere close to meeting that standard,
  2. 2022 NEA Jazz Masters; Clarke, Harrison, Hart, Wilson

    Who are the other nominees in this category?
  3. In alphabetical order: Stanley Clarke, Donald Harrison (jazz advocacy award), Billy Hart, Cassandra Wilson. I'm especially happy to see Billy Hart included here -- so deserved and an inspired choice. By the same token, Stanley Clarke is a terrible pick (nothing personal, just the wrong guy for THIS award. If I'm Buster Williams or Cecil McBee, neither of whom is yet in the club, I'd be livid). I'm basically cool with the others, though Michael Cuscuna is WAY overdue for the advocacy award and so is Chuck Nessa. Louis Hayes and Charles McPherson would be sterling picks in 2023, along with Cuscuna and either Williams or McBee -- whichever bassist is left out in 2023 gets in in 2024, along with Chuck.
  4. Pleased to be quoted in this piece. The music is fantastic.
  5. George Wallington Quintet at Cafe Bohemia

    VERY early Donald Byrd, who had only relocated to New York from Detroit in June and had only made two studio dates by the time of this gig.
  6. Please read this surprising and deeply meaningful piece.
  7. RIP Della Reese

    Happy birthday to Della Reese, born July 6, 1931 in the Black Bottom neighborhood of Detroit. Here she is in 1960. Man, she was born to sing. Dig the multiple endings -- when it feels this good, you don't want to stop. I think the only person who didn't dig it is the director, who keeps panning back when he thinks things are coming to a close. Oops.
  8. Rodney Dangerfield Jams With Gerald Wilson

    I think the black flute/piccolo player on our left is likely Bill Green.
  9. Rodney Dangerfield Jams With Gerald Wilson

    From the regrettably short-lived Redd Foxx Comedy Hour, yes?
  10. Gang: I'm trying to track down a story about Howard McGhee that ran in Downbeat in the August 15, 1963 issue. I have the issue before this and the issue after this is my collection, but, alas, I am missing the one I need. I'd be grateful i anybody that has it could take some phone pics and email them to me. PM me if you can help and I'll send you the email address. Many thanks -- MS
  11. Julius Hemphill on Fresh Air in ...1976 (!)

    It is. I fucked up. Fixed. Thanks.
  12. Via Ethan Iverson, here's a 36-minute interview with Hemphill conducted by Terry Gross in 1976. Fascinating stuff. Coda: Gross has been doing this a LONG time. She began doing Fresh Air in 1975, so she's about 24 at the time of this interview.
  13. Right! What Shepp had no way of knowing is that Joel LOVES to play fast, so he took that instruction as both a challenge and license. The faster he goes the more comfortable he gets. Anyway, sounds like it was one of those memorable moments that always happen at the best festivals. Would like to hear it.
  14. One set I've always heard about but the tape hasn't shown up in the archive is the 1982 (I think) appearance by the Archie Shepp Quartet. Drummer John Betsch was delayed for some reason and because the set was being nationally broadcast it HAD to start on the button. My old friend Joel Spencer, who had just finished playing with a big band, was quickly recruited to start the set, and by all accounts played his ass off. Betsch arrived after a tune or two but Shepp waved him off and Joel played the entire set. A young Kenny Werner was in that band too. Not if you're stressing about deadline! That shit will take its toll -- if not the walk, then the post-filing alcohol (or whatever) to calm the adrenalin. YMMV. I always tried to have at least my lede written in my head before I reached my computer, whether it was formed on the walk/drive back to the office or actually while sitting in my seat at the performance, where I would jot it down in my notebook. Made a big difference to me to get rid of the blank screen as soon as possible -- even if I eventually ended up rewriting the lede.
  15. I was lucky with the Detroit Jazz Festival all the years I was on the beat, because the footprint for the festival was a 5 to 15 minute walk from the newsroom depending on where exactly you were starting from. Those extra minutes were a godsend on deadline. Still, in later years, I'd take my laptop and often file from the festival grounds.