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Ron Scott

Stories by Ron

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Iconic songwriter, musician Allen Toussaint dies at 77

Allen Toussaint, the pianist, songwriter, arranger and record producer whose whimsical, funk-laced songs influenced the New Orleans R&B scene, died Nov. 10 while on tour in Madrid.

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Grimes celebrates 80, BMHC, James Hurt, Masekela and Willis

Henry Grimes, the revered bassist who played a role in expanding the jazz language in the 1950s, along with Albert Ayler, Sonny Rollins, Charles Mingus and Cecil Taylor, recently celebrated his 80th birthday on the Upper East Side at Jan Hus Neighborhood Center.

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Sistas’ Place, Black Violin, afternoon jazz, Harrison smokes

Sistas’ Place in Brooklyn is more than a jazz club. It is a jazz family that supports the music and is involved in community activism.

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Jazzmobile, ‘In White America,’ Wilbur Ware benefit

Jazzmobile the nonprofit organization founded in the 1960s to bring live jazz to New York City communities, has moved indoors for the fall. Nov. 13 at 7:30 p.m., its benefit concert “Keep the Music Playing” takes place at the Sanctuary in First Corinthian Baptist Church (FCBC), 1912 Adam Clayton Powell Blvd. at 116th Street.

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Kamasi at Bric, AACM celebrate Dr. Lonnie Smith Award

Since the early 1960s, Los Angeles has been acknowledged for its West Coast cool jazz sound perpetuated by the composer-pianist Dave Brubeck and the vibraphonist Cal Tjader.

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Cary’s ‘Harlem Sessions,’ AACM 50th anniversary

Tiny pin-lights adorn the steep narrow staircase ascending to the top, where a young lady sits, politely greeting and taking cash ($10). As one pays, a thick black curtain blocks the view from the inside, although the enticing music, cheerful chatter and clinking glasses can be heard, which only peaks your anticipation of getting behind that curtain.

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Young Lords exhibit, Christian Scott at Harlem Stage

The 1960s were heavily colored with shaded overtones of rebellious youth implementing revolutionary tactics against an indifferent government.

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BRIC JazzFest, Mixon’s Hot House

With the generational influence of Brooklyn native musicians Cecil Payne, Max Roach and Randy Weston, the keeper of African music and culture, the borough will present its first installment of the BRIC JazzFest.

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Nicholas Payton at Birdland, Bob Stewart Tuba Competition

With the summer dispersing, it’s fast leaving us with just memoires of those wonderful outdoor jazz concerts that featured the sounds of nature with Gotham’s chirping bird solos and those long improvised notes of the crickets that sometimes persisted for hours.

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Black Panthers, Sista’s Place, Bronx Tour and Jazz

Over the years, there has been an abundance of information written on the Black Panthers, as well as a few off-Broadway plays and short film clips.

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Dizzy’s Club Jazz Fest, Randy Weston residency

As the long hot summer sun bows to the shorter brisk days of fall and winter, jazz enthusiasts fold up their leisure chairs as the outdoor free jazz concerts become a warm, swinging memory.

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Gary Keys, a force in documentary films, dies at 81

Gary Keys, the producer, writer and director who brought history and a lively perspective to his many popular documentaries on Count Basie and Duke Ellington, died Aug. 9 in Manhattan.

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Charlie Parker Jazz Fest, Maxine Sullivan Way

The phrase “Bird lives” refers to Charlie “Bird” Parker’s iconic life as the most influential alto saxophone player in jazz.

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Mixon’s ‘Pass It On,’ Cassandra’s Jazz Club

The pianist, arranger and composer Danny Mixon is underrated on the jazz radar screen, but his music and contributions to the field are a big deal.

Newport Jazz Fest, Regina Carter, Jazz House Kids

Before 1954, Newport, R.I., was a quiet resort town for the rich who loved sunshine, tennis, their sailboats, yachts and, of course, fresh seafood.

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Salsa Sundays, Harlem Afternoon Jazz Series

The swinging bands of salsa flourishing with its big brass sound leaked out into the streets from social clubs to Bronx spots such as the Carlton Terrance and Concourse Plaza to Manhattan’s Corso and Riverside Plaza.

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Axel Tosca (U)Nity, 92nd Street Y Jazz Fest

Don’t let his wild dyed-blond Afro fool you, pianist Axel Tosca Laugart from Cuba has skills.

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The Vision Festival, Jazzmobile Summer Sets

If you are looking for a jazz scene that scares the jazz police and causes those smooth jazz heads to run in the opposite direction, then the Vision Jazz Festival is the place.

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Charenee Wade records Gil Scott-Heron

Charenee Wade, for her debut release on Motema Music, took a bold leap by recording her interpretation of the music of Gil Scott-Heron, titled “Offering: The Music of Gil Scott-Heron & Brian Jackson.”

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Kathleen Battle: ‘Black Lives Matter’

Recently, the diva soprano Kathleen Battle brought her multi-octave angelic voice to the hip Blue Note jazz club.

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Jazz innovator Ornette Coleman dies at 85

Ornette Coleman, the multi-instrumentalist, composer and innovator whose harmonic concepts pointed jazz in a new direction, died June 11 in Manhattan.

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Kleinsinger’s Jazz, J.D. Allen, Newark Jazz Garden, Blue Note Fest

While institutions like the Village Gate, Mikel’s and the JVC Jazz Festival have become a subject of the past tense, the tradition has continued with Jack Kleinsinger’s “Highlights in Jazz,” New York’s longest running jazz concert series.

Neal’s 12th Peggy Epps 100, Harlem Jazz Museum

Rome Neal, with his many persevering projects in the field of jazz, has earned him the title of the “hardest working man in jazz” as a singer, actor, producer and promoter.

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Bruce Lundvall, Blue Note president, dies at 79

Bruce Lundvall, the distinguished president of Blue Note Records, who played a major role in the world of jazz, died May 19 in Ridgewood, N.J.

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The legacy of B. B. King

B.B. King, the anointed “King of the Blues,” who took the blues from the Mississippi cotton fields to mainstream America and the world stage, died May 14. He was 89.

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Wayne Shorter Fest, ‘Essentially Ellington’ at 20

Wayne Shorter is an accomplished composer and superb saxophonist always in transition. Many of his compositions, such as “Fee-Fi-Fo-Fum,” “Infant Eyes” and “E.S.P.,” have become jazz standards.

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Percy Sledge, ‘the Soul Man,’ dies at 74

Percy Sledge, the blues and soul singer who had both men and women unconsciously committed to singing the lyrics to his hit song “When a Man Loves a Woman,” died in Baton Rouge, La., April 14.

Miles, Michele Rosewoman, 2015 Jazz Masters

Ron Scott gives us this week's "Jazz Notes".

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Lawrence, Basquiat and Wiley: Art revolutionists

The artist Jacob Lawrence’s “One-Way Ticket: Migration Series and Other Visions of the Great Movement North” is now on exhibit through Sept. 7 at the Museum of Modern Art.

Dr. Ben and Dale Fitzgerald farewell

On a misty morning of clouds, more than 1,000 people, dressed primarily in African garb, stood regally in a tremendously long line, waiting for admission into Harlem’s Abyssinian Baptist Church to celebrate the life of Dr. Yosef Alfredo Antonio ben-Jochannan, affectionately called “Dr. Ben.”

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Billie Holiday centennial celebration

Billie Holiday is one of the best jazz singers in history. This is not up for debate. However, she could just as easily be considered one of the best blues singers as well.

Randy Weston, Maceo’s Funk, Donald Harrison

Randy Weston, the brilliant pianist and composer, will celebrate his 89th birthday at the Jazz Standard, 116 E. 27th St., April 2 through April 5, with sets at 7:30 p.m. and 10 p.m.

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Dee Dee Bridgewater; Trio 3 at Vanguard

During her recent engagement at the Blue Note, it became evident Dee Dee Bridgewater is the most dynamite female jazz vocalist of this century.

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Haynes at 90; Gloster Project; Vanguard at 80

The young Roy Haynes earned a reputation in his hometown of Roxbury, Mass., before Luis Russell sent him a one-way ticket to join his 18-piece band, which was engaged at Harlem’s Savory Ballroom in 1945.

Sista’s Place, Schomburg celebrate women; Kitano’s hosts Harlem chanteuse

Brooklyn was one of the hottest boroughs in Gotham, with jazz musicians such as Max Roach, Cecil Payne and Randy Weston all being born there and later turning the little city into a hotbed for jazz.

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Clark Terry and Cephas Bowles farewells

Clark Terry, one of the most influential trumpet and flugelhorn players for six decades, who mentored Quincy Jones, Miles Davis and Dianne Reeves, died Feb. 21 in Pine Bluff, Ark. He was 94.

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Bassist dies at 78; Garland Thompson Sr. memorial

The intuitive bassist and educator whose style was a perfect fit for such varied musicians from Duke Ellington to Dizzy Gillespie, Nina Simone, Cecil Taylor and Carmen McRae died Dec. 2 in his home in Montclair, N.J. He was 78.

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Harris swings, Kleinsinger’s highlights, Grammy 57

New York’s longest running jazz concert series, Jack Kleinsinger’s “Highlights in Jazz,” kicks off its 43rd season with a 42nd anniversary gala Feb. 19, featuring vocalist Catherine Russell and her band making their debut appearance.

Not ‘N*ggas in Paris,’ ‘Brown Butterfly,’ Whalum review

Hip-hop, jazz, blues, gospel, R&B and funk are all members of the Black music family. Like its older brother blues, hip-hop comes directly from the experiences and perspective of the singer or rapper.

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Harlem Fine Arts Show opens next week

The 2015 Harlem Fine Arts Show, which takes place Feb. 12 through Feb. 15 at the Riverside Church in Harlem, recently kicked off with a preview reception at The New York Times Corporate Headquarters.

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New Century, Jazz at the Met

Upon a recent visit to Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola (Jazz at Lincoln Center), it was quite evident the star of the hour was not an individual musician, but the all-inclusive New Century Jazz Quintet.

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Jazz wins Golden Globe, Dr. Martin Luther King on jazz, ‘Selma’

When it comes to television and film, jazz takes a backseat as the stepbrother to hip-hop, soul or pop music, so it was somewhat of a surprise when J.K. Simmons won Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture for the jazz-based film “Whiplash”.

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Jazz on Fifth, Marc Cary, Steve Kroon at Trumpet’s

The noted percussionist Steve Kroon, who has played many jazz venues nationally and internationally, will make his debut Jan. 16 at Trumpet’s Jazz Club, 6 Depot Square, Montclair, N.J.

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New Year’s Eve celebrations 2014

No one wants to be home New Year’s Eve. It is the evening of celebration, bringing in the New Year with a bang and big plans with wishes for the year.

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Jazz takes a stand

Regardless of America’s ever-changing situation, Black music has always been its soundtrack depicting the mood of the times, from war to peace, lynchings to chain gangs, segregation, civil disobedience, integration, police brutality and nonviolent resistance.

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Our Point of View, Sanabria in Bronx, Apollo Xmas, Sweet Lou

Some of the most influential jazz musicians to ever play an instrument recorded on Blue Note Records, founded in 1939 by Alfred Lion and Max Margulis, with Francis Wolff joining with them shortly afterwards.

HSA and Minton’s present Dr. Glory’s Youth Ensemble

The on-going jazz fable is the music is dying, and it has yet to reach a younger audience. Hopefully, eager enthusiasts will be able to kick six feet of dirt on this mindless concept after venturing into Minton’s to witness the collaboration with the Harlem School of the Arts Dec. 7.

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Paris Blues at 45

The neighborhood bar in Harlem has become little more than a memory only cherished by the community’s elders.

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Jimmy Scott memorial

He was called “Little Jimmy Scott,” but his heart was that of a giant.

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Gunn swings, Payton plays, Kellylee Evans

During Russell Gunn’s recent one-nighter at the Blue Note jazz club, his music took the audience to the musical cliff’s edge, and as the pebbles fell beneath their feet, they breathlessly moved to a spiked groove.