Rebecca Coupe Franks was born on November 27, 1961 in San Jose, California. It was natural that she started playing trumpet when she was ten, as her brother, mother, grandfather, and great uncle all were trumpeters.
A professional by the time she was 15, Rebecca moved to New York City saw her attending New York University from 1990 to 1991 and practicing on the roof of the music building overlooking Lower Manhattan.
In the early 1990’s, she made a strong impression with her two albums for the Justice label. Her 1992 release Suit of Armor included appearances by saxophonist Joe Henderson, pianist Kenny Barron and bassist Buster Williams. During the 2000s she self-released several records, including Exhibition: Tribute to Joe Henderson.
Trumpeter Rebecca Coupe Franks continues to compose, record, perform and tour with her Groovemobile, which is a five piece band playing a mix of r&b, jazz and soul.
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Ghetto Music is the 1968 debut album recorded by trumpeter Eddie Gale and released on the Blue Note label. The album seamlessly blends the new jazz of the ’60s with gospel, soul, and the blues. It was very much representative of the upheaval and turbulence in America at that time, being recorded just five months after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.
The Allmusic Guide awarded the album 5 stars and stated “The aesthetic and cultural merits of Eddie Gale’s Ghetto Music cannot be overstated. This is some of the most spiritually engaged, forward-thinking, and finely wrought music of 1968”.
Recorded at Rudy Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey on September 20, 1968. All five compositions are Gale originals: The Rain, Fulton Street, A Understanding, A Walk With Thee and The Coming of Gwilu.
The Band: Eddie Gale – trumpet, thumb piano, steel drum, bird whistle, Russell Lyle – tenor saxophone, flute, Jo Ann Gale Stevens – guitar, vocals, James “Tokio” Reid, Judah Samuel – bass, Richard Hackett, Thomas Holman – drums, Elaine Beener – lead vocals, Sylvia Bibbs, Barbara Dove, Evelyn Goodwin, Art Jenkins, Fulumi Prince, Edward Walrond, Sondra Walston, Mildred Weston, and Norman Wright – vocals.
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On March 12, 16 and 30, 1965 four men walked into the recording studio at Atlantic Records and laid down the tracks that would become Sing Me Softly Of The Blues. Produced by Arif Mardin, this Art Farmer Quartet album was released that same year. It is just 34 minutes and 50 seconds long and Farmer’s twentieth album and his 4th recording for Atlantic.
The album is comprised of just six songs: Sing Me Softly of the Blues (Carla Bley) – 6:44, Ad Infinitum (Bley) – 6:21, Petite Belle (Traditional) – 4:08, Tears (Pete LaRoca) – 5:45, I Waited for You (Walter Gil Fuller) – 5:55 and One for Majid (LaRoca) – 5:57.
The quartet personnel are: Art Farmer/flugelhorn, Steve Kuhn/piano, Steve Swallow/bass and Pete LaRoca/drums.
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Kim Rene Nalley was born November 14, 1971 in San Francisco, California but was raised in New Haven, Connecticut in a musical family that includes jazz drummer and photographer Reggie Jackson and R&B guitarist-vocalist Earl Whitaker. She received piano lessons from her great-grandmother and originally pursued classical voice, studying drama and opera at the Educational Center for the Arts in New Haven. She went on to study classical music at Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts.
At Holy Cross, Nalley sang with the power rock combo The Limit, which featured Crusader musicians Garrett Scott Flynn, Steve Guerette, Jim Januzzi, Allan Harper and Anthony O’Donnell. Switching to jazz shortly after moving to San Francisco, while attended UC Berkeley, she sang in the Cal Big Band, as well as receiving a See’s Candy’ Scholarship for Outstanding Musicianship.
Kim performed weekly at the Alta Plaza and director Michael Tilson Thomas discovered and recorded her in concert and hired her to sing a program of Gershwin tunes with the San Francisco Symphony. She began performing with the Johnny Nocturne Band for the Rounder/ Bullseye label, went on national and international tours, relocate to Switzerland, but returned to save the club Jazz at Pearl’s from going out of business.
Citing the Little Rascals and Bug Bunny cartoons as her seminal jazz influences, jazz and blues singer, actress, historian and former Jazz at Pearl’s club owner Kim Nalley, known for her powerful 3½ octave range, scatting, r&b, spirituals and folk guitar, continues to perform and record.
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Soaring is an album recorded in 1973 by trumpeter Don Ellis and released on the MPS label. The album features Hank Levy’s composition which provided the title for, and was the title song for the 2014 film Whiplash. The film stars Miles Teller, J. K. Simmons, Paul Reiser, and Melissa Benoist and depicts the relationship between an ambitious jazz student (Teller) and an aggressive, abusive instructor (Simmons).
Four of the eight tracks are composed by Ellis and include Whiplash, Sladka Pitka by Milcho Leviev, The Devil Made Me Write This Piece, Go Back Home composed by Sam Falzone, Invincible, Image of Maria, Sidonie by Alexej Fried and closes out with Nicole.
Twenty multi-instrumentalists and four arrangers comprised the orchestra that brought this session to life playing a myriad of instruments, making it one for the collection. They are Don Ellis, Fred Seldon, Vince Denham, Sam Falzone, Gary Herbig, Jack Caudill, Bruce Mackay, Gil Rathel, Sidney Muldrow, Mike Jamieson, Ken Sawhill, Doug Bixby, Jay Graydon, Milcho Leviev, Dave McDaniel, Ralph Humphrey, Ron Dunn, Lee Pastora, Earle Corry, Joel Quivey, Renita Koven, Pat Kudzia, Alexej Fried and Hank Levy.
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