Circa 1905

This story is so sad I can barely stand to think about it ---- This child was wholly determined to become a jazz player -- Her middle name was Jazz, fercrissakes, it was ordained! Altho, spelled with only one Z --------- Ella Jaz Kirk at her weekly lesson with Jeanie McLerie at Fiddle Hill, Silver City, New Mexico -- February 5, 2008 -- photo by Mark Weber ---- She died in a small plane accident on May 23, 2o14 when strong winds interrupted the intended flight to head over the Gila National Forest where she and another student were to monitor the recent fires there in the forest, besides music she was very involved in conservation issues (having more soul than our current President)

This story is so sad I can barely stand to think about it —- This child was wholly determined to become a jazz player — Her middle name was Jazz, fercrissakes, it was ordained! Altho, spelled with only one Z ——— Ella Jaz Kirk at her weekly lesson with Jeanie McLerie at Fiddle Hill, Silver City, New Mexico — February 5, 2008 — photo by Mark Weber —- She died in a small plane accident on May 23, 2o14 when strong winds interrupted the intended flight to head over the Gila National Forest where she and another student were to monitor the recent fires there in the forest, besides music she was very involved in conservation issues (having more soul than our current President)

The Thursday Jazz Radio Show

June 8, 2o17 Jazz @ Noon every Thursday (starts at 12:07 after the satellite news) Host MARK WEBER KUNM Albuquerque, USA 89.9 FM (Mountain Standard Time) also streaming on the web KUNM.org Current time zone offset: UTC*/GMT -6 hours (*Coordinated Universal Time)/Greenwich Mean Time)

Circa 1905

Obviously, there wasn’t any great division in the music between blues and jazz —— it later divided into distinct styles, and/or was marketed as distinct. The 3-phrase song form of the blues probably grew out of field hollers. And what are field hollers? Call and response:

[Lone singer]: Pickin’ these cotton got the sun go down
[group response]: Pickin’ these cotton got the sun go down
[Lone singer]: Thirsty as the man with the thorny crown
[group rising in volume]: Thirsty as the man with the thorny crown

And the field hollers were a mix themselves with no division: something of a prayer, a salutation, a dance, a crib song, anything, a coded love lament, a bit of news, an exaltation, joy, rapture, bliss, announcement of a new child, anything —————– The bluesman merely carried on with his piano or guitar these songs, like a reminder, a ghost, the anima carried over from Africa —————– And then from there, instrumental groups, in what became “jazz” echoed these 3-phrase songs and used them to improvise upon, illustrating how much music is really simple, but profound, even glorious, just romping.

Bob Haggart Quartet -- May 4, 1998 -- Outpost Performance Space, Albuquerque ---- Bob on bass; Butch Miles, who lived in Albuquerque at the time, on drums; Warren Vache (cornet & flugel); Howard Alden on 7-string Benedetto guitar, of which I seem to recall he told me it was on loan from Bucky? George Van Eps? I can't remember exactly, but he was trying it out, I remember that ----- I got to pick them up at the hotel to drive to the gig and with Bob in the front seat I asked (I have a devil in my soul) Hey are you going to play "Big Noise from Winnetka"? and Bob said, "Oh, Mark, you don't want to hear that do you?" and I said Sure I do ---- Well, they played it, and amazing best version I've ever heard ---- "Big Noise from Winnetka" is a novelty ditty that Bob recorded with the Bob Crosby Bobcats in 1938 in duet with drummer Ray Bauduc, and I gather it's been an albatross around Haggart's neck ever since --- when they played it, Butch came over and played Bauduc's part on Haggarts strings and Warren played the whistling part on cornet (I imagine you could find it on YouTube) ------- Here's a trivia NOTE: David Parlato once played "Big Noise" on Lawrence Welk television show with his father, who was long-time trumpeter for that great band, and with his brother Chris hammering on the bass strings with his drum sticks -- I have it on VHS, it was a Lawrence Welk show where he invited the orchestra's family members to perform, circa 1970, David had that beard you see on Warne Marsh's album NE PLUS ULTRA

Bob Haggart Quartet — May 4, 1998 — Outpost Performance Space, Albuquerque —- Bob on bass; Butch Miles, who lived in Albuquerque at the time, on drums; Warren Vache (cornet & flugel); Howard Alden on 7-string Benedetto guitar, of which I seem to recall he told me it was on loan from Bucky? George Van Eps? I can’t remember exactly, but he was trying it out, I remember that —– I got to pick them up at the hotel to drive to the gig and with Bob in the front seat I asked (I have a devil in my soul) Hey are you going to play “Big Noise from Winnetka”? and Bob said, “Oh, Mark, you don’t want to hear that do you?” and I said Sure I do —- Well, they played it, and amazing best version I’ve ever heard —- “Big Noise from Winnetka” is a novelty ditty that Bob recorded with the Bob Crosby Bobcats in 1938 in duet with drummer Ray Bauduc, and I gather it’s been an albatross around Haggart’s neck ever since — when they played it, Butch came over and played Bauduc’s part on Haggarts strings and Warren played the whistling part on cornet (I imagine you could find it on YouTube) ——- Here’s a trivia NOTE: David Parlato once played “Big Noise” on Lawrence Welk television show with his father, who was long-time trumpeter for that great band, and with his brother Chris hammering on the bass strings with his drum sticks — I have it on VHS, it was a Lawrence Welk show where he invited the orchestra’s family members to perform, circa 1970, David had that beard you see on Warne Marsh’s album NE PLUS ULTRA

Come out of Seattle to play for us in Albuquerque: Bert Wilson & Rebirth: Bert on saxophones, Nancy Curtis (flute), Craig Hoyer (piano), James Zitro (drums), Jeff Johnson (bass), Syd Potter (trumpet) -- May 10, 1998 presented at South Broadway Cultural Center by Outpost Productions -- photo by Mark Weber -- the handbill says: Mulit-instrumentalist / Multi-phonic legend --------- We'll listen to some of his intricate music this day

Come out of Seattle to play for us in Albuquerque: Bert Wilson & Rebirth: Bert on saxophones, Nancy Curtis (flute), Craig Hoyer (piano), James Zitro (drums), Jeff Johnson (bass), Syd Potter (trumpet) — May 10, 1998 presented at South Broadway Cultural Center by Outpost Productions — photo by Mark Weber — the handbill says: Mulit-instrumentalist / Multi-phonic legend ——— We’ll listen to some of his intricate music this day

Lanny Morgan - Jack Nimitz Quintet in Cucamonga: Andrew Simpkins(bass), Lou Levy(piano), Dick Berk(drums) -- November 9, 1980 -- photo by Mark Weber -- Sunday afternoon concerts at Gilberto's on Rt 66

Lanny Morgan – Jack Nimitz Quintet in Cucamonga: Andrew Simpkins(bass), Lou Levy(piano), Dick Berk (drums) — November 9, 1980 — photo by Mark Weber — Sunday afternoon concerts at Gilberto’s on Rt 66

Two dancers: Fayard Nicholas & Foster Johnson at a recital for Foster's dance studio -- October 13, 1980 at Pasadena Film Forum (in conjunction with my first photo exhibit, curated by Terry Cannon) -- photo & line drawing by Mark Weber --------- Who's to know about dreams ---- My waking dream the other day was Fayard Nicholas calling me on the telephone and we talked minimally, outside the formalities and saying Hi, great to hear from you and how are you doing? He didn't talk hardly at all and there were long silences with no words, just quiet ---- He was elderly in this dream, I wonder'd if he was still alive and this dream was a portends that I should call him even though I really didn't know him, it was Foster who had introduced me and I used to bump into Foster all over town (Foster was the proprietor of the renowned Finale Club in L.A. in the early 50s where Bird played) ---- I ruminated on this dream on how older folks become quiet and our relationship with them is to abide in the quiet, I got out of bed and looked Fayard up and he had passed on in 2006, age 91, in Los Angeles ---- You've no doubt seen his dancing in movies like the amazing mind-blowing routines in Stormy Weather (1943) with his brother Harold as the Nicholas Brothers

Two dancers: Fayard Nicholas & Foster Johnson at a recital for Foster’s dance studio — October 13, 1980 at Pasadena Film Forum (in conjunction with my first photo exhibit, curated by Terry Cannon) — photo & line drawing by Mark Weber ——— Who’s to know about dreams —- My waking dream the other day was Fayard Nicholas calling me on the telephone and we talked minimally, outside the formalities and saying Hi, great to hear from you and how are you doing? He didn’t talk hardly at all and there were long silences with no words, just quiet —- He was elderly in this dream, I wonder’d if he was still alive and this dream was a portends that I should call him even though I really didn’t know him, it was Foster who had introduced me and I used to bump into Foster all over town (Foster was the proprietor of the renowned Finale Club in L.A. in the early 50s where Bird played) —- I ruminated on this dream on how older folks become quiet and our relationship with them is to abide in the quiet, I got out of bed and looked Fayard up and he had passed on in 2006, age 91, in Los Angeles —- You’ve no doubt seen his dancing in movies like the amazing mind-blowing routines in Stormy Weather (1943) with his brother Harold as the Nicholas Brothers

Every town has a Django gypsy band these days and Albuquerque has an exceptional one in Le Chat Lunatique: Muni Kulasignhe(violin), John Sandlin(guitar), Jared Putnam(bass), Fernando Garavito(drums) -- photo by Mark Weber -- Here they are knocking it out of the park for a gallery opening at 516 Arts, Albuquerque -- October 15, 2o16

Every town has a Django gypsy band these days and Albuquerque has an exceptional one in Le Chat Lunatique: Muni Kulasignhe(violin), John Sandlin(guitar), Jared Putnam(bass), Fernando Garavito (drums) — photo by Mark Weber — Here they are knocking it out of the park for a gallery opening at 516 Arts, Albuquerque — October 15, 2o16

Wayne Peet, Vinny Golia, Alex Cline outside Century City Playhouse on the evening of the Evan Parker - Derek Bailey concert -- October 15, 1980 Los Angeles -- photo by Mark Weber

Wayne Peet, Vinny Golia, Alex Cline outside Century City Playhouse on the evening of the Evan Parker – Derek Bailey concert — October 15, 1980 Los Angeles — photo by Mark Weber

Charlie looked at me with my camera and then struck a pose, great guy that he is ---- and one of my favorite bluesmen and purely distinctive sound on the harp: Charlie Musselwhite Blues Band: June Core(drums), Matthew Stubbs(guitar), Jesse Ingalls(bass) at Albuquerque Museum Amphitheater -- May 22, 2o15 -- photo by Mark Weber

Charlie looked at me with my camera and then struck a pose, great guy that he is —- and one of my favorite bluesmen and purely distinctive sound on the harp: Charlie Musselwhite Blues Band: June Core(drums), Matthew Stubbs(guitar), Jesse Ingalls(bass) at Albuquerque Museum Amphitheater — May 22, 2o15 — photo by Mark Weber

Kanoa Kaluhiwa, the great tenor saxophonist of New Mexico, as a member of JQ Whitcomb's Five Below -- March 9, 2o17 Outpost Performance Space -- photo by Mark Weber (JQ on trumpet) -- JQ grew up in Albuquerque and visits often from NYC where he's enrolled at Juliard

Kanoa Kaluhiwa, the great tenor saxophonist of New Mexico, as a member of JQ Whitcomb’s Five Below — March 9, 2o17 Outpost Performance Space — photo by Mark Weber (JQ on trumpet) — JQ grew up in Albuquerque and visits often from NYC where he’s enrolled at Juliard

Glenn Ferris on the Bobby Bradford Quintet date April 14, 1979, Pasadena City College -- photo by Mark Weber

Glenn Ferris on the Bobby Bradford Quintet date April 14, 1979, Pasadena City College — photo by Mark Weber

Roberto Miranda with the Vinny Golia Trio (Alex Cline, drums) -- August 25, 1979 Los Angeles -- photo by Mark Weber

Roberto Miranda with the Vinny Golia Trio (Alex Cline, drums) — August 25, 1979 Los Angeles — photo by Mark Weber

Louisiana Red at San Francisco Blues Festival ---- August 13, 1980 -- photo by Mark Weber ---- I'm still looking for a record by this fireball that matches the performance he put on this day in San Francisco, he was blazing so hard that at one point he tossed the guitar up in the air it got so hot, caught it, didn't miss a beat, tore it all up

Louisiana Red at San Francisco Blues Festival —- August 13, 1980 — photo by Mark Weber —- I’m still looking for a record by this fireball that matches the performance he put on this day in San Francisco, he was blazing so hard that at one point he tossed the guitar up in the air it got so hot, caught it, didn’t miss a beat, tore it all up

Zeke Cooper soloing on alto saxophone with the Pan Afrikan Peoples Arkestra at Watts Towers Jazz Festival -- July 7, 1979 -- photo by Mark Weber ---- Horace Tapscott seemed to know every musician in the community and was always encouraging the youngsters ----- I wonder where Zeke is today?   I see on stage Linda Hill (sitting behind Horace on piano), Roberto Miranda just behind Horace, also,  and that's Adele Sebastian on flute . . . . .

Zeke Cooper soloing on alto saxophone with the Pan Afrikan Peoples Arkestra at Watts Towers Jazz Festival — July 7, 1979 — photo by Mark Weber —- Horace Tapscott seemed to know every musician in the community and was always encouraging the youngsters —– I wonder where Zeke is today? I see on stage Linda Hill (sitting behind Horace on piano), Roberto Miranda just behind Horace, also, and that’s Adele Sebastian on flute . . . . .

Connie Crothers (Bill Payne on clarinet) duet -- May 11, 2015 NYC -- photo by Mark Weber ---- Max Roach once nominated Connie for a MacArthur genius award, she sure could have used the money

Connie Crothers (Bill Payne on clarinet) duet — May 11, 2015 NYC — photo by Mark Weber —- Max Roach once nominated Connie for a MacArthur genius award, she sure could have used the money

6 Comments

  1. Carol Tristano

    June 3, 2017 at 9:34 am

    Ella Jaz Kirk – what beautiful, soulful eyes she has. I’m so sorry for this profound loss. What a sweet smile she has – I would have loved to hear her music.
    Thanks for posting this.

    I dug all the stories and photos, and the line drawing. There are so many unique musicians out there! You tell a whole story with your photos. And dancers! They used to be an integral part of the jazz scene. My favorite is Jimmy Slyde! I had the great fortune of seeing him dance live with Barry Harris – he tapped Bird! He was so loose and brilliant!

  2. Mark, you have taken so many awesome photographs over the years. Your collection is a treasure.

  3. So nice to see your photo of the nattily-attired Fayard Nicholas with the equally dap L.A. tap guru Foster Johnson, Mark. As you know, Foster was the tap dancer for the six-month run of Jon Hendricks’s “Evolution of the Blues” at the Westwood Theatre Playhouse. As Jon told me in 2006:

    “Except for Duke Ellington, I never saw a man as refined as Foster. He was an elegant gentleman and his dancing reflected that; it just flowed. What a nice character to have backstage. I spent most of my time in Foster’s dressing room. He was so elegant and he spoke elegantly. We could talk about Shakespeare, Byron, Shelley, the King James Bible, Francis Bacon and people like that. I could have the conversations that I liked to have with him because I had just returned from five years in London, where I was around lords and ladies.
    He was as different from the other tappers as night and day. This was a gentleman dancing. These other guys were off-the-corner hoofers. Most of the time they didn’t have anything to say. ‘Where’s the weed? Where’s the wine?’ Baby Laurence had a little elegance and a little ballet in his dancing; he aspired. I think Baby’s elegance came from dancing to Bird’s music.
    The last time I saw Foster was backstage at ‘Evolution of the Blues.’ Debbie Reynolds came to see the show six times! She was a fine tap dancer herself and she would always come backstage and hang out with Foster in his dressing room.
    I’m a man of words, supposed to be the Poet Laureate of Jazz, but when it comes to Foster Johnson, I know there aren’t words enough about him. The man was so rich in his gifts; he was deep. He was the still water that ran very deep.”

  4. If we could hold children like Ella Jaz Kirk in our hearts and consciousness always. Why are we here? How much the invisible gives us, can we give back.

  5. Frederick Voss

    June 5, 2017 at 8:41 pm

    oh, how sweet, Mark, Ella Jaz… reminded me that I long ago had a jazz-loving lover who lovingly called me J.J.-Joanie Jazz (we both loved jazz–he took me to cool places but we broke up before we went to Lighthouse in Hermosa Beach–but I did see live Trini Lopez @ a Sunset Strip nite club who played Girl from Ipanema when I walked in looking pretty @ 22 in a black cocktail dress & 3-inch black patent leather heels)… Mark, your many and magnificent and loving photos grab me every time; you always capture a look, a move, a turn of the face that’s action-and-thought-packed. Don’t get to hear your Okie voice much these days so your narratives bring you close to my heart. So sad abt sweet Ella Jaz. Thank you for honoring her brief but bright life…your fine displays of evocative jazz pics of all those cool, extraordinary musicians looks like you’ve lived one long long many-decades-grooving Party… oh, loved that Foster Johnson with the beautiful white Afro–that’s what my hair wd look like now if I didn’t dye it auburn… love to you from your adoring fans Joan and Fred…

  6. —————————-playlist————————————–
    The Thursday Jazz Show
    June 8, 2o17
    KUNM Albuquerque USA
    Host MARK WEBER

    1. Herb Ellis “A Country Boy” 4 saxophones + rhythm section — cd HERB ELLIS MEETS
    JIMMY GUIFFRE (Verve) Herb(guitar) saxes: Art Pepper, Richie Kamuca, Bud Shank, Guiffre;
    piano: Lou Levy; rhythm guitar: Jim Hall; bass: Joe Mondragon; DRUMS: Stan Levey — March 26, 1959 Los Angeles —— WHAT a great band, whew, and one of Herb’s earliest records under his own name
    2. Jan Jahansson Trio “Love For Sale” — 17feb60 Stockholm
    3. Herb Ellis album NOTHING BUT THE BLUES — 11oct57 (Verve) w/ Roy Eldridge(trpt), Stan Getz(tenor), Stan Levey(drums), Ray Brown(bass) “Tin Roof Blues”
    4. Johnny Frigo Quintet “Osaka Saki” — 1994 album DEBUT OF A LEGEND (Chesky) w/ Gene Bertoncini(guitar), Bill Goodwin(drums), Michael Moore(bass), Bob Kindred(clarinet), Johnny Frigo(violin) *played in memory of Ella Jaz Kirk
    5. Art Van Damme Quintet + Johnny Smith(guitar) –1962 “Tickle Toe” (blues composed by Lester Young)
    Art Van Damme, accordion — album A PERFECT MATCH (Columbia)
    6. Bud Shank + Chet Baker “The Fool on the Hill” (I announced it as “The Fool who lives near Capitol
    Hill”) — November 1967 album MAGICAL MYSTERY (Pacific Jazz) w/Herb Ellis(guitar) among others
    *I didn’t say anything as I figured everybody by now has heard that it’s the 50th anniversary of the Beatles
    SGT PEPPER album
    7. Todd Moore “The Tornado Jones Poems” #1 & 2 & 3″ — private recording (Zerx Records) — 1nov99
    8. Sonny Stitt Quintet “I Remember You” –11oct57 (NOTE: same date and personnel as Herb Ellis’
    session for NOTHING BUT the BLUES) w/ Roy Eledridge, Oscar Peterson, Ray Brown, Herb Ellis, Stan Levey (re-issued on Fresh Sound) cd ONLY THE BLUES
    9. Todd Moore poems 4 & 5
    10. Pat LaBarbera – Kirk MacDonald Quartet “Walk the Talk” two tenors in unison, smoking — new cd
    SILENT VOICES (Jazz Compass) — July 2o16 w/ Adam Nussbaum(drums), Kieran Overs (bass)
    11. Todd Moore poem 6
    12. Glenn Ferris Pentessence Quintet “Sud-Ouest Jump” 2004 cd SKIN ME!
    13. Frank Sinatra “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” LIVE AT THE SANDS in Vegas w/ Count Basie –1966
    14. Glenn Ferris Trio “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” 2001 cd CHROMINANCE (Gema)
    15. Cal Haines & Colin Deuble — drums & bass “Alone Together” Live re-play from Thursday’s jazz
    show May 18, 2o17 — Live at KUNM
    16. Bert Wilson ReBirth “Ambrosia” quintet w/ Nancy Curtis flute solo — June 1994 — cd ENDLESS FINGERS (Arabesque)
    17. Lanny Morgan Quartet “Broadway” — 1996 cd PACIFIC STANDARD w/ Tom Ranier(piano), Dave Carpenter(bass), Joe LaBarbera (drums), Lanny (blazing alto saxophone)

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