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Ron Scott

Stories by Ron

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Sonny Fortune, persevering saxophonist, dies at 79

Sonny Fortune, who played alto saxophone like an erupting volcano, with a flute sound reminiscent of a mysterious night covered by a full moon, died.

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Hamiet Bluiett baritone sax virtuoso dies at 78

Hamiet Bluiett, the innovative musician and composer who gave new definition to the relevance of the baritone saxophone, died Oct. 4, at his home in Brooklyn, Ill. He was 78.

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Post festival jazz happenings in South Africa

After the Joy of Jazz fest, Kevin Naidoo, the owner of The Orbit jazz club, a major Johannesburg jazz venue, had a “post jam session” for the remaining musicians in the city, as well as festival participants and local jazzheads. Those dynamic festival highlighters, the Nairobi Horns from Kenya, performed, and they were still fired up. “This is our first time playing in such a large festival and now Orbit,” said MacKinlay Mutsembi, the trumpeter and co-founder. “This is fantastic!”

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Jazz Notes: Johannesburg Joy of Jazz Festival

As Mayor Herman Mashaba of Johannesburg stated, “What better place to have a jazz festival than in the heart of this great city, where music is a part of our life?”

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Jerry Gonzalez, Latin jazz genius, dies at 69

Jerry Gonzalez, the Latin jazz innovator, whose multi-instrumental talent effortlessly merged the genres of Afro-Cuban jazz, straight-ahead jazz, salsa and Latin jazz, died around midnight Oct. 1. He was 69.

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Nat King Cole play, Andy Bey, Carolina Slim

By the end of the 1940s into the 1950s, the smoky tenor-textured voice of Nat King Cole had all the young bobby-sox girls mesmerized.

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Coltrane Thrice CPF review

The all-star ensemble will feature alto saxophonists Greg Osby, Vincent Herring and Jaleel Shaw and tenor saxophonist Jon Irabagon, with pianist Helen Sung, bassist Lonnie Plaxico and drummer Matt Wilson.

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Randy Weston, jazz griot, dies at 92

Randy Weston, the Brooklyn native and son of Africa, died peacefully Sept. 1, at his brownstone in Brooklyn. He was 92.

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Randy Weston, jazz griot, dies at 92

Randy Weston, the Brooklyn native and son of Africa, who made the history of the motherland a prerequisite to his live performances and many albums such as Uhuru Africa (1960) died peacefully Sept. 1, at his brownstone in Brooklyn. He was 92.

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Jazz Notes: Jazzmobile, Harlem Jazz, Sugar Hill, Matana Roberts

What happened? Summer is over already? Not fair. The winter seems to hang on like a hungry alligator, but the summer sun fads into the wintry night like a Billie Holiday blues song.

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JAZZ NOTES: Ms. Sax, Onaje Gumbs, King of Stage, Persip fundraiser

Camille Thurman was the second place winner of the Sarah Vaughan Vocal Competition, but the rising composer, tenor saxophonist and flutist assured me the brass instrument is her first love.

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JAZZ NOTES: Aretha Franklin, definitive rhythm and blues singer, dies at 76

Aretha Franklin, the singer and pianist who, from her musical pulpit, spun her gospel upbringing into a spirited soulful sound, died August 16 at her home in Detroit. She was 76.

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Harlem Week, Jazz in the Valley, Nicole Mitchell

Since Harlem Week’s inception as “Harlem Day” in 1974, its metamorphosis has gradually blossomed into Harlem Month, from July 29 through Aug. 25.

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Olatuja, Trio Da Paz, Fania, Jefferson Centennial and Harris, Jazz Gallery

The mezzo-soprano keys of Alicia Olatuja’s vocal instrument can easily dissolve into a rich honey flavored texture as she swings into her jazz element.

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Umbria Jazz Festival highlights

Covering the Umbria Jazz Festival was somewhat of a surreal experience.

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Quincy’s blast at Umbria Jazz Fest and reviews

Most recently, Umbria Jazz 18 celebrated its 45th anniversary as one of the most popular jazz festivals in the world. Aside from its wealth of participating musicians, the picturesque Perugia is the capital city of both the region of Umbria in central Italy, crossed by the river Tiber, and the province of Perugia (that dates back to 310 B.C.).

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Berta Monday’s, ‘Can’t Cope,’ NYO Jazz, Dwyer Center art

One Harlemite who keeps that jazz torch burning is Berta Indeed.

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Club Harlem, Grant Green Jr., Christian Sands

There was an abundance of Black-owned jazz clubs during the blood-drenched years of segregation, but now, because of that trickle down economy, Black clubs have dwindled drastically in this 21st century of openness, cloaked under smiling faces of eager racism.

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Barry Harris, Jazzmobile, Acuna at Dizzy’s, Betty Davis

No pianist has the distinctive soft percussive ever-roving touch like the eminent elder statesman Barry Harris.

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Lorraine Gordon, Village Vanguard owner, dies at 95

Lorraine Gordon, owner of the iconic Village Vanguard jazz club in New York, and one of the few non-musicians to be named an NEA Jazz Master, died June 9, at Beth Israel Hospital in Manhattan.

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Malone honoree, Dayramir, Barbara Jordan, Green funk

The guitarist Russell Malone, whose pronounced pitched sound has caught the ear of anyone who listens, from New York to Europe, will be honored by Jack Kleinsinger’s “Highlights in Jazz.”

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George Coleman, J.D Allen,King of Stage,' Asinamali

Since VTY started its jazz series, Sunday Serenade, at the West End Lounge on the Upper West Side (955 West End Ave. at 107th Street), it seems to be having a resurgence of popularity reminiscent of earlier times.Since VTY started its jazz series, Sunday Serenade, at the West End Lounge on the Upper West Side (955 West End Ave. at 107th Street), it seems to be having a resurgence of popularity reminiscent of earlier times.

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‘Paradise Blue,’ Ishmael Reed’s Play

The play “Paradise Blue,” written by the award-winning playwright Dominique Morisseau (“Skelton Crew” and “Pipeline”) gets its title from Detroit’s Paradise Valley entertainment district that was prominent in the Black community known as Black Bottom during the 1940s through the early 1960s.

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James Europe tribute, BAM R&B, Dylan tribute

Long before the outspoken voices of Miles Davis, Nina Simone and Thelonious Monk, who were determined to forge their own musical paths, there was bandleader, composer and arranger James Reese Europe.

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Jazz Notes: Vision Fest, Mickey Bass, children’s jazz book

For 23 years, the Vision Festival has been the mecca where enthusiasts gather to salute avant-garde’s future, present and past.

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Jazz Notes: Jazz at Lincoln Center, Black films, VTY jazz, Schomburg, Franco

Miriam Makeba and Nina Simone (2018 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame) were the unapologetic revolutionary voices of the people of South Africa and America, both on and off the stage.

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Jazz Notes: ‘JAZZLAND,’ Winard Harper, ‘Beyond the Notes’

When young people and jazz come together, one can be assured it’s going to be a joyous fun-filled coaster ride.

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Jazz Notes: Unchartered, Hostos, St. Nick’s, CBJC, Schomburg

The cellist and songwriter Marika Hughes is a stirring musician who might cover a variety of genres in one show.

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Jazz Notes: Allan Harris, Celebrate Kirk, Jazz Day, B.B. King’s closing

The New York City-born vocalist and composer Allan Harris inherited a hip jazz cat street suaveness that simmers in every song he sets in motion.

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Jazz Notes: JFA gala, Reggie Workman, Sistas’ Place, Smoke

The Jazz Foundation of America’s annual fundraiser held at the Apollo Theater (253 W. 125th St.) is one of the most varied musical events in Harlem.

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Jazz Notes: Cecil Taylor, iconic innovator, dies at 89

Cecil Taylor, the pianist whose music was an intentional sound of revolutionary freedom, died April 5 at his home in Brooklyn. He was 89.

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Jazz: An appreciation

April is Jazz Appreciation Month throughout the world, and the big celebration day is International Jazz Day. Held April 30 and implemented by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization in 2011, it highlights jazz and the diplomatic role it has played culturally throughout the world.

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Jazz Notes: Uncharted, Weston at 92, Brown at Gallery

The 2018 Uncharted Concert Series, now running through May 12, is one of those unique jazz experiences multilayered with an assortment of possibilities to be explored.

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Jazz Notes: FDNY fireman dies battling St. Nick’s fire

St. Nick’s Pub had been a resounding jazz voice since its 1940 inception. It was known as Luckey’s Rendezvous, owned by Charles Luckeyeth Roberts, a pianist, composer and band leader.

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Jazz Notes: Threadgill speaks, Chihiro Watanabe in U.S.

If music were mandatory, everyone would be required to listen to Henry Threadgill’s music at least once or see him perform live.

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Belafonte, Taylor Ho Bynum, ‘A Soldier’s Play’

Harry Belafonte’s life is a compilation of artistic and political channels that has affected America and the world—from his days of being dubbed “the king of calypso,” with a string of hits including his signature “Day-O” renamed “The Banana Boat Song” before its 1950s release.

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Jazz Notes: Dizzy’s, Donald Harrison, Freddie Cole, Russell Malone, Kara Walker

Now through Oct. 1 Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Coca-Cola Generations in Jazz Festival is in full effect.

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Memories of Dick Gregory, satirist and activist

Hearing of Dick Gregory’s death on Aug. 19 was a real shocker. And pondering the fact that he was a vegetarian and so aware of living healthy, it just seemed impossible he would leave us at the age of 84.

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JAZZ NOTES: Billy Hart, Basie, Parker Fest, McCloud tribute, Farafina

Billy Hart is a stalwart drummer whose reputation is as noteworthy as a luminous full moon.

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The Great Hill, Cornelia Street, Summerstage, Melvis live

Jazzmobile’s Summerjazz fest, Great Jazz on the Great Hill, in Central Park, Aug. 5, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., is a rainbow jazz combustion.

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Mclean, Belgrave, Jazzmobile, Saxton and Dr. Lonnie

When you attend a concert of the multireed player and flutist Rene McLean, his music will ascend the boundaries of the hard bop American tradition.

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Miami Jazz Fest’s WDNA-FM debut, Mustafa Jazz Fest

These days the only time you hear about Miami is in a political context on those rare occasions “the Orange Barron” visits from the “Crazy House” to cajole his loyal Cuban Republican supporters.

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The groove maker Mickey Roker dies at 84

The drummer Mickey Roker, whose distinctive groove placed him on the first-call list for such musicians as Sonny Rollins, Horace Silver, Tommy Flanagan, Herbie Hancock and Ella Fitzgerald, died May 22 in Philadelphia, where he had resided for many years.

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Parlor jazz, La Lupe honored at CCCA, Blue Note Fest

During the 1920s, rent parties were considered the hipper happenings of Harlem.

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Vision Fest, Hamiet Blueitt tribute and fundraiser

This year’s Vision Festival 22 runs now through June 3 at Judson Memorial Church (55 Washington Square South, in the West Village).

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Boss tenors, ‘ReOcurring Dreams,’ Regina salutes Ella

When discussing the tenor saxophone’s soul or its rhythm and blues swing vernacular, it is necessary to bring both Gene Ammons and Sonny Stitt into the conversation.

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T.K. Blue, HSA Dance, celebrating Ella

The multi-saxophonist, flutist, composer and arranger T.K. Blue has an unwavering sound that grew out of his parents’ Afro-Caribbean roots.

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Palmieri Mondays, PR music, Bobbi Humphrey, Jazz Gallery

Those now controllable frenzy-dancing salsa fans will always have explosive memories of the master Afro-Caribbean and salsa master Eddie Palmieri during his days leading his Conjunto La Perfecta (1961), his album “Azucar Pa Ti” (“Sugar for Me”), which is in the Library of Congress, and his collaborations with Cal Tjader.

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Jazz Day, Conduction, Carl Bartlett, Central Brooklyn Jazz Consortium

International Jazz Day will be celebrated as far away as Antarctica. The continent that contains 90 percent of all the ice on the planet and is the coldest. No fear. We hear the penguins have put together a dynamic bebop band for the occasion.

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Organ Monk, award for Plummer, Onaje Gumbs, Elombe tribute

When Greg Lewis (aka Organ Monk) plays the Hammond B-3 electric organ, it takes on the lively colors of soul, R&B and jazz with the accompaniment of electric guitar and drums. He has been swinging with this hip hypnotic style for more than half a century.

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