Phil Upchurch was born July 19, 1941 in Chicago, Illinois where he learned to play the guitar and bass. He stared his career in the ‘50s working with Jerry Butler before becoming house guitarist for Chess Records. He also worked with The Kool Gents, The Dells, Gene Chandler, Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters and The Spaniels before going on to work with Curtis Mayfield, Otis Rush and Jimmy Reed.
Returning to Chicago he played and recorded with Woody Herman, Stan Getz, Groove Holmes, B.B. King and Dizzy Gillespie. In 1961, when billed as the Philip Upchurch Combo, his recording of “You Can’t Sit Down” sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold record.
In the mid-Sixties he was house guitarist for labels such as Sue and Cadet and after a tour in the Army, in 1967 Phil he recorded with Richard Evans, John Lee Hooker, Grover Washington, Jr. and Cannonball Adderley.
In the 70s he worked with Ramsey Lewis and Quincy Jones, led his own quartet with Tennyson Stephens, through the Eighties played with George Benson, Mose Allison, Gary Burton, Joe Williams, Natalie Cole, Carmen McRae and Michael Jackson.
By the 1990s he was working with Jimmy Smith and Jack McDuff, recorded for Ichiban, Palladium and Ridgetop labels and remains an active session musician and bandleader.
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I’ll Never Stop Loving You, composed by Nicholas Brodzsky and Sammy Cahn wrote the lyrics for the 1955 film Love Me or Leave Me. The film is a biographical romantic musical drama that retells the life story of Ruth Etting, a singer who rose from dancer to movie star.
Doris Day stars as Etting, James Cagney as gangster Martin “Moe the Gimp” Snyder, her first husband and manager, and Cameron Mitchell as pianist/ arranger Myrl Alderman, her second husband.
Dearly Beloved and I’m Old Fashioned 1942 song written by Johnny Mercer and Jerome Kern, introduced by Fred Astaire in the 1942 musical romance comedy film You Were Never Lovelier. Set in Buenos Aires, Astaire’s co-stars are Rita Hayworth, Adolphe Menjou and Xavier Cugat. Jerome Kern composed the music with Johnny Mercer writing the lyric.
The Story: The Acunas are a rich Argentine family, with four daughters and the tradition of marrying them off in order, oldest first. When sister #1 gets married, sisters #3 and #4 pressure Maria, sister #2, to get married because they have their husbands picked out already. But Maria hasn’t yet met a man she likes and knowing this her father secretly sends his daughter flowers and anonymous love letters, creating a “mystery man” for her to fall in love with. But Robert Davis, an American dancer looking for work, stumbles into the picture. Maria falls for him, but the father does not approve.
Eric Watson was born July 5, 1955 in Wellesley, Massachusetts. After graduating from Oberlin Conservatory he moved to Paris and by 1982 he recorded his first trio album with Paul Motian and Ed Schuller followed by two solo albums.
He worked in a long-time duo with double-bass player John Lindberg that became extended with Albert Mangelsdorff and Ed Thigpen. He has played and recorded with Steve Lacy, Linda Sharrock and Joelle Leandrein1991. His trio with Mark Dressler and Ed Thigpen recorded “Silent Hearts” in 1998 that became the basis for the “Full Metal Quartets” a year later with saxophonist Bennie Wallace.
Eric’s current small catalogue of seven recordings includes a solo piano project “Sketches of Solitude” in 2002 that became one of the best-selling jazz albums in France. Between 2003 and 2005 he toured Europe, Asia, and Australia with tenor saxophonist Christof Lauer.
His dance score The Peking Ballet was commissioned by Radio City Music Hall to a record summer attendance of 200,000. Watson has presented commissioned works at the Lyon Opera, the State Theatre in Poitiers, he has written for Martial Solal and the Orchestra National de Jazz and for Australian violinist Jane Peters.
In 2001, Eric Watson was appointed artistic director of La Villette Jazz Festival, is musical consultant to the director of the Cité de la Musique, and in 2003 he was appointed as a Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres.
Butch Miles was born Charles J. Thorton, Jr. on July 4, 1944 in Ironton, Ohio. He began playing snare drum at the age of 9 and went on to major in music at West Virginia State University from 1962–1966. After his matriculation he toured with the Iris Bell Trio.
Miles joined the Count Basie Orchestra in 1975 and the association lasted for four years and then returned for ten years from 1997–2007. He led his own group, Jazz Express, in the 1980s and ’90s.
Besides performing with the Count Basie Orchestra, Butch has played with Dave Brubeck, Ella Fitzgerald, Sammy Davis Jr., and Frank Sinatra among others as well as hitting the stage of the Newport and Montreux Jazz Festivals.
HE cites Buddy Rich, Gene Krupa and Jo Jones as favorite drummers and is currently a professor in the School of Music at Texas State University-San Marcos.
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