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B. WILLIAMS BIG

Daily Dose Of Jazz…

Charles Anthony Williams was born April 17, 1942 in Camden, New Jersey. His father was a bassist and his teacher, preparing lessons for him each day, stringing his bass and demanding practice everyday after school.

Nicknamed Buster, he started his professional career in Philadelphia in 1959 working with Jimmy Heath, then went on to play and record with the Gene Ammons – Sonny Stitt quintet from 1960-61. Leaving the quintet he moved to Los Angeles and played behind Betty Carter, Sarah Vaughan and Nancy Wilson through the decade. He also worked with The Jazz Crusaders, Bobby Hutcherson/Harold Land Quintet and Miles Davis.

In 1969, Williams moved to NYC, joined the Herbie Hancock Mwandishi Sextet and for the next three years doubled on acoustic and electric bass. In the ‘70s he worked with Mary Lou Williams and the Ron Carter Quartet and in 1975 released his debut album “Pinnacle”. Since the ’80s, Williams has appeared as a sideman on a significant number of sessions with notable jazz instrumentalists and vocalists, Chet Baker, Kenny Barron, Dexter Gordon, Carmen McRae, Illinois Jacquet, Frank Morgan, McCoy Tyner, Shirley Horn, Woody Shaw, Stanley Cowell and the list continues.

With opportunities to lead his own sessions being rare, in 2008 Buster began releasing a series of live albums exclusively for download through his company, Buster Williams Productions. A solid supportive player, he has made subtle swing, a precise rhythm and superb technique the landmark of his playing.

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A. SANTOS

Daily Dose Of Jazz…

Alejandro Santos was born on April 11, 1956 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He is widely-recognized both in his home country of Argentina and internationally as an extraordinary flutist and multi-instrumentalist playing the piccolo, bass flute, native wood-flutes, tenor and soprano sax, piano, and synthesizers.

He has developed a career as a composer with a unique style, which fuses modern jazz with traditional Argentinean rhythms like candombe, tango, and folk music. He has collaborated on recording and performing projects with Dino Saluzzi, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Anthony Jackson, Bob Moses, Claudio Roditi, Toquinho, Maria Creuza, Fito Paez and others. Since 2001 he has steadily worked with Al Di Meola’s World Symphony and has recorded on De Meola’s latest album “Flesh on Flesh”.

Alejandro released three solo albums with RCA and GNA/Invasion Records, one of them: 5 Carnavales 4, released in the States, received excellent reviews and reached into the top 30 jazz playlist of the Gavin Report magazine. Alejandro Santos currently performs with his quartet that includes bandoneon, bass and drums.

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S. GADD BIG

Daily Dose Of Jazz…

Steve Gadd was born April 9, 1945 in Irondequoit, New York and when he was seven his drummer uncle encouraged him to take lessons. By eleven he had sat in with Dizzy Gillespie. After graduating from Irondequoit’s Eastridge High, he attended the Manhattan School of Music for two years before transferring to the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, playing in wind ensembles and concert bands.

After matriculation in the late ’60s, Steve played regularly with Chuck and Gap Mangione, making his recording debut on Gap’s solo album, Diana in the Autumn Wind in 1968. Drafted into the Army he spent the next three years drumming in the Army Music Program as a part of the Jazz Ambassadors. Discharged, Gadd returned to Rochester, formed a band and traveled to New York City where eventually the trio split. Gadd stayed on finding work as a studio musician that led to his short tenure with Chick Corea and Return To Forever.

During the ’70s and ‘80s, he toured internationally, recorded with Paul Simon and also with Al Di Meola’s Electric Rendezvous Band. In 1976, Gadd and other session musicians in New York City, including Richard Tee, Eric Gale and Cornell Dupree formed the group Stuff. Their work included appearances on NBC’s Saturday Night Live.

By the end of the 1970s, Steve Gadd was an accomplished drummer bringing orchestral and compositional thinking, great imagination and a great ability to swing to his playing. In 2005 he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Music degree from Berklee College of Music for outstanding contributions to contemporary music. He is one of the highest paid session drummers in popular music.

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L. CORYELL BIG

Daily Dose Of Jazz…

Larry Coryell was born April 2, 1943 in Galveston, Texas moved to Washington as a child. After graduating from Richland High School in eastern Washington, he moved to Seattle to attend the University of Washington.

 In 1965, Coryell moved to New York City where he became part of Chico Hamilton’s quintet replacing Gabor Szabo. In the Sixties he recorded with Gary Burton, played with The Free Spirits and extended his musical landscape to include influences of rock, jazz and eastern music.

He formed his own group, “The Eleventh House” in 1973 and following the break-up of this band, Coryell played mainly acoustic guitar but returned to electric guitar later in the 1980s.

In 1979, Coryell formed “The Guitar Trio” with jazz-fusion guitarist John McLaughlin and flamenco guitarist Paco de Lucia. The group toured Europe, released “Meeting of Spirits” recorded at Royal Albert Hall in London, however, his drug addiction led to his being replaced by Al Di Meola.

By the turn of the century he settled back into a more mainstream style of playing releasing “Cedars of Avalon”, “Monk, Trane, Miles & Me”, “Tricycles”, and “Power Trio: Live In Chicago”. In 2007, Coryell published an autobiography titled Improvising: My Life in Music”. Guitarist Larry Coryell remains active in the music industry performing, touring and recording.

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THE SOUND OF MUSIC

From Broadway To 52nd Street…

The Sound Of Music brought up the curtain of the Lunt Fontanne Theatre on November 16, 1959 and finished with a blockbuster run of 1443 performances. The show starred Mary Martin and Theodore Bikel. The song My Favorite Things composed by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein went on to become a jazz standard. The show won a Tony Award for Best Musical.

The Story: Based on the Trapp family story the musical takes us on their journey to escape the Nazis. Set in Salzburg, Austria just before World War II, Maria Rainer, one of the postulates from Nonnberg Abbey is wrestling with her decision to joining monastic life or pursue more secular endeavors. With the help of the Mother Abbess she is placed in the home of Captain Georg von Trapp to act as governess to his seven children. As war looms over their happy existence they escape to Switzerland over the Alps.

Details of the von Trapp history were changed for the musical. They lived in a villa outside Salzburg, Maria was a tutor for one child, the names and ages were altered, and the family spent time in Austria after Maria and the Captain were married. Opposing the Nazi regime, he declined a commission in the German Navy, left Austria for Italy, then on to London and finally to the United States. The escape over the mountains on foot provided more drama for the play.

Broadway History: Broadway theatre,commonly called simply Broadway, is theatrical performances presented in one of the 40 professional theatres with 500 or more seats located in the theater District and Lincoln Center along Broadway in the Manhattan borough of New York City. Along with London’s West End theatres, Broadway theatres are widely considered to represent the highest level of commercial theatre in the English-speaking world.

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