Breaking news: The Zowie Bowie show is moving from Red Rock to The Lounge at The Palms, starting March 6th. Doesn't impact our Monday night hang, 'cause they'll be doing the weekends. I think this is a great development. They will bring tremendous energy and a nice local following. Also, word is that The Lounge is going to undergoing some (sorely needed, IMHO) "renovations." Let's hope it includes installing an adequate pro light grid.
R.I.P. HANK CRAWFORD
Former Ray Charles sideman and subsequent proliferate career sax recording artist Hank Crawford has left us at age 74.
Born in Memphis, Tennessee on December 21, 1934, Hank Crawford (Bennie Ross Crawford, Jr) began formal piano studies at age nine and was soon playing for his church choir. His father had brought an alto saxophone home from the service and when Hank entered high school, he took it up in order to join the band. He credits Charlie Parker, Louis Jordan, Earl Bostic and Johnny Hodges as early influences...______
...His big break came in 1958 when Ray Charles passed through Nashville. Baritone saxophonist Leroy “Hog” Cooper had just left the band, and Charles offered Crawford the baritone chair. “I learned a lot about discipline and phrasing from Ray,” Crawford says. “He would keep me up a lot of nights and dictate arrangements to me. I learned how to voice and get that kinda soulful sound. I think I kinda had it before, but being around him just helped that much more.”
"Sherry", Hank's first composition and arrangement for the Charles septet, was recorded for the Ray Charles At Newport album shortly after he joined the band. He also contributed three tunes and six arrangements to Fathead Newman's debut albums later in 1958. Two years later, Charles expanded to full big band size and appointed Crawford musical director. (Crawford also switched to alto around this time.)
When Crawford left Ray Charles in 1963 to form his own septet, he had already established himself with several albums for Atlantic. From 1960 until 1970, he recorded twelve LPs for the label, scoring such pre-crossover hits as "Misty", "The Pepper", "Skunky Green", and "Whispering Grass".
After signing with Creed Taylor's Kudu label in 1971, he cut one album a year over the next eight years. At Kudu, Crawford wasn't allowed to write his own charts and was instead handed lavish arrangements in the then-fashionable CTI crossover mold...
NEXT FRIDAY AT THE BLUE MARTINI
MICHAEL GRIMM TONIGHT AT GREEN VALLEY RANCH
Cheryl is home! And her brother Marvin (one of 3 Prince brothers) is here from Alabama with his wife, So we're all gonna go hang at the Michael Grimm gig in the Ovation Showroom at Green Valley Ranch tonight (early shows, they start at 6:30 pm, IIRC). Come join us. Tyriq called me yesterday to say he'd be sitting in with Michael last night (I couldn't make it), maybe tonight as well.
MICHAEL GRIMM POST-GIG STUFF
Hadn't intended to take many if any gig shots, just took my camera 'cause Cheryl and her sister Michelle (and beau Rodney) and brother Marv and his wife Karen were goin'.
Great gig. Awesome night, we had the best time. A few shots below, starting with the awesome Michael Ray Tyler on trumpet (he has a new CD in release, it's killer. I bought one):
Bad Boy Fred Schueders on guitar now. Very cool. Below, rounding out "The Big Easy Horns," Santa Fe alternate Dave Phillipus on trombone and new sax cat in town from Oakland, Charles McNeal.
Below, throw it down, Bruce Wallace!
Above, Tyriq sat in during the second set and did some Earth, Wind, & Fire. It was killer.
Great hang. I even danced, LOL. Mr. Two Left Feet.
LOL, so, last night we stopped in at The Tides Oyster Bar at Green Valley Ranch prior to going to hang at Michael Grimm's gig. As we were going in I noticed this little area to the right of the entrance where you could actually sit between these two translucent panel vertically lit walls (obviously florescent tubes behind the plastic). Behind it, it looks out over a casino floor area.
"Baby, come, sit here..."
Cheryl, wearing her new Vera Wang glasses (she's home from Walnut Creek, and will be at the gig tomorrow night).
My new portrait studio, LOL. Drop by, have some calamari, shrimp, and oysters, and sit for a few headshots.