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Stories written by Charles L. Latimer

73 stories found. Showing page 1 of 3.

Jazz Fest staying power: How Barry Harris and Roy Haynes found their niches

By Charles L. Latimer

Published: 9/1/2010

Types: Music, Jazz

Pianist Barry Harris and drummer Roy Haynes have things in common. Both octogenarians, major jazz figures for more than a half-century, are still going strong. Last month, Harris, 80, released Barry Harry Live in Rennes. At 85, Haynes hasn't released a disc in three years, but the last one was a doo...[MORE]

Jam on: An old jazz tradition is still all the rage

By Charles L. Latimer

Published: 8/4/2010

Types: Music, Jazz

These days you can find a jam session around Detroit every night of the week. From Monday nights at the Jazz Loft in Greektown to Sunday night at the Cadieux Café, there's always someplace you can bring your ax or your ears. It may not be quite a return to the glory days when Sonny Rollins an...[MORE]

Sheila & her ‘left-hand man’: Latest Sheila Landis-Rick Matle disc showcases a creative partnership in progress

By Charles L. Latimer

Published: 7/7/2010

Types: Music, Jazz

Jazz vocalist Sheila Landis loves to sing. There's no better way to summarize her. During an interview at the Rochester Hills home she shares with her longtime guitarist-collaborator-beau, Rick Matle, she sings the answers to several questions, belts verses from her blues song in progress ("Tal...[MORE]

Revival meetings: Drummer RJ Spangler convenes the musical generations

By Charles L. Latimer

Published: 2/24/2010

Types: Music, Jazz

It's Wednesday night at Cliff Bell's jazz club. Drummer RJ Spangler's regular organ-jazz jam session is under way. Spangler sits behind his drums flanked by guitarist Paul Carey and a nervous young trombone player. Spangler calls a post-bop tune, and he wants the young buck to take the first solo. T...[MORE]

Blowing again: Saxophonist Scott Petersen rebuilt his chops - after getting his new lungs

By Charles L. Latimer

Published: 2/17/2010

Types: Music, Jazz

Tenor saxophonist Scott "E-Dog" Petersen is a glass half-full, not-half-empty, kind of guy, but the optimist's outlook was hard to maintain last year. A double-lung transplant may have saved his life — after cystic fibrosis had devastated the lungs he was born with — but he ...[MORE]

Moody's mood: Saxophonist James Moody will never stop performing the song that put him on the map

By Charles L. Latimer

Published: 1/13/2010

Types: Music, Jazz

Come out to hear saxophonist James Moody and you know he'll play that song.  "I can't stop playing it. It wouldn't make sense. The song is why people come to my shows," Moody says over the telephone when asked if he ever gets sick of playing "Moody's Mood for Love." It's the son...[MORE]

High profiling: Meet Ralphe Armstrong, sideman to the stars

By Charles L. Latimer

Published: 12/9/2009

Types: Music, Jazz

There's a moment on saxophonist James Carter's 2004 album Live at Baker's Keyboard Lounge where bassist Ralphe Armstrong steals the show. It's on the well-named "Foot Pattin'." After a quartet of tenor saxophone solos — by Carter, David Murray and the since-departed greats Franz Jack...[MORE]

Keepin' in stride: Pianist Taslimah Bey's ragtime crusade

By Charles L. Latimer

Published: 10/28/2009

Types: Music, Jazz

Entering pianist Taslimah Bey's Rochester Hills townhouse, you'll immediately notice two things. There's a handsome portrait of Harry P. Guy, a largely forgotten ragtime pianist, composer and arranger from Detroit. And there's an antique Star brand piano in Bey's living room. Ragtime giants such as ...[MORE]

Bass line: From the great Ray Brown to the Grammy-winner John Clayton and beyond

By Charles L. Latimer

Published: 8/19/2009

Types: Music, Jazz

John Clayton is too modest a musician to boast about his considerable accomplishments. The bassist has seven Grammy nods in various categories. In 2007, he won for Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying a Vocalist for his work with Queen Latifah. And he's likewise handled arranging for the likes...[MORE]

High flutin': Alexander Zonjic's musical journey — and why he says purists are too hard on smooth jazz

By Charles L. Latimer

Published: 7/8/2009

Types: Music, Jazz

As the story goes, in 1973, Alexander Zonjic was a twentysomething aspiring rock guitarist with dreams of selling out arenas some day. All that changed one fateful day when a stranger on the street sold him a secondhand flute.  "When I saw the flute in the case, I fell in love with it. I asked...[MORE]

Rebuilding Joan: How jazz vocalist Joan Belgrave got her groove back

By Charles L. Latimer

Published: 6/10/2009

Types: Music, Jazz

About thirty years ago, jazz vocalist Joan Bow moved from Ann Arbor to California on a dream and a big fat lie. The 20-year-old University of Michigan student told her folks she was going for an extended vacation, sure that they'd try to dissuade her if they knew she intended to make it as a singer....[MORE]

Big dreams have led him to a big band: How Scott Gwinnell got his orchestra

By Charles L. Latimer

Published: 4/22/2009

Types: Music, Jazz

Ask a jazz musician with Steve Wood's stellar credentials — and a reputation as a saxophone sage — why he plays with the Scott Gwinnell Orchestra gig after gig, year after year, and you'll get a sense of what makes the band so great for listeners too. "First of all, Scott's writin...[MORE]

'Mother of the band': Marion Hayden has a philosophy of the bass

By Charles L. Latimer

Published: 2/18/2009

Types: Music, Jazz

A few Saturdays ago, bassist Marion Hayden's 12-year-old son Michael sat at a desktop computer in the combination rehearsal space and living room of the family's arts and crafts-style home in Highland Park. Hayden's upright acoustic bass was propped against a wall next to a framed drawing of H...[MORE]

Band of gypsies : Hot Club puts its stamp on the tradition of Django Reinhardt

By Charles L. Latimer

Published: 12/17/2008

Types: Music, Jazz

On a recent Saturday afternoon, guitarist Evan Perri rested on a sectional sofa that consumed most of his bachelor pad in Grosse Pointe Park. Perri fiddled with the strings on his new acoustic guitar while discussing his fascination with the late Gypsy jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt, and the ...[MORE]

The son of 'Big T': Joe Lovano on influences from Dad to the Motor City

By Charles L. Latimer

Published: 11/5/2008

Types: Music, Jazz

Saxophonist Joe Lovano is a workhorse indeed. He's just released Symphonica, his 27th album as a leader and his 20th for the Blue Note label. This year he's co-led the SF Jazz Collective and Tenor Summit, along with saxophonists David Leibman and Ravi Coltrane. His touring with his new band has take...[MORE]

'This man is still the bomb': Larry Smith, keeper of the bebop flame, is lighting up the stage again

By Charles L. Latimer

Published: 10/22/2008

Types: Music, Jazz

Alto saxophonist Larry Smith lounges on a secondhand green leather sofa in his 15th floor apartment off Jefferson Avenue. He's looking out at the picturesque view of Lake St. Clair. Atop the glass coffee table is a half-empty pack of cigarettes, a soup bowl nearly filled with ashes and butts, ...[MORE]

A bass supreme : How Christian McBride rose to the top

By Charles L. Latimer

Published: 8/27/2008

Types: Music, Jazz

On a recent evening at the Dirty Dog Jazz Café in Grosse Pointe, Philadelphia native bassist Christian McBride sat next to Terri Pontremoli, executive director of the Detroit International Jazz Festival. On the wall behind them hung a framed photograph of a youthful John Coltrane — ...[MORE]

Bohemians like us: A grand culmination for Joel Peterson's avant-garde endeavors.

By Charles L. Latimer

Published: 5/28/2008

Types: Music, Jazz

Over the course of just two short years, local bassist and concert promoter Joel Peterson has transformed his Festival of Jazz and Improvised Music into a not-to-be-missed annual event. The two-day music festival takes place at the Bohemian National Home, a community center for immigrants from...[MORE]

Free heart: Shelton's righteous scream

By Charles L. Latimer

Published: 1/23/2008

Types: Music, Jazz

"When it comes down to it, I got to make music. It's something inside of me. I'm going to play it at home or in a club. It doesn't matter," says saxophonist Skeeter Shelton lounging in his southwest Detroit home, surrounded by instruments imbued with great sentimental value. His greatest treas...[MORE]

Sonny’s time: A jazz legend pauses to chat

By Charles L. Latimer

Published: 10/10/2007

Types: Music, Jazz

He's one of the last of the titans who came of age when bebop was young, and he still pursues music with a young convert's passion. At 77, Sonny Rollins is busy establishing his own record label and Web site, and, most importantly, taking stages to defend his title as one of the greatest impro...[MORE]

Back in the Detroit groove: West Bloomfield couple see private "living room" jazz concerts as the wave of the future

By Charles L. Latimer

Published: 9/26/2007

Types: Music, Jazz

"Although we're jazz lovers who love live music in clubs and concert halls, we got tired of having to hear what's essentially an intimate art form in a cavernous space. Or worse yet, in a smoky club with drunks and loud talkers who distracted from the music." So says Andrew Rothman, who, along ...[MORE]

Re-introducing Kenn Cox: Blue Note reissues put a Detroiter back on the jazz map

By Charles L. Latimer

Published: 7/4/2007

Types: Music, Jazz

This could be the picture of a guy enjoying retirement. Kenn Cox is sitting in the family room of his west side Detroit home, dressed casually with a cold beer and a burning cigarette at hand. He's surrounded by his history and jazz history: the piano that his mother purchased for him is in th...[MORE]

Rockin’ the bass: Hakim Jami’s long road back to Detroit (again)

By Charles L. Latimer

Published: 6/6/2007

Types: Music

It would be easy to pigeonhole bassist Hakim Jami as just an avant-garde musician. For starters, the man played tuba and the bass with Sun Ra's arkestra. He's on a number of classic jazz albums, such as trumpeter Don Cherry's Brown Rice and saxophonist Archie Shepp's Attica Blues. He wrote the...[MORE]

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