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GILBERTO GIL

Daily Dose Of Jazz…

Gilberto Passos Gil Moreira was born June 26, 1942 in Salvador do Bahia, Brazil though he spent much of his childhood in the countryside of Ituaca. The offspring of a doctor and a schoolteacher, he attended the Marist Brothers school until he was nine and then returned to Salvador for secondary school.

Gil’s interest in music began when he was two and grew up listening to the forro music and the street performers of Salvador. Early on, he began to play the drums and the trumpet, and then took up the accordion before attending music school. He first played classical music, but grew more interested in the folk and popular music of Brazil, influenced by accordionist Luiz Gonzaga. He discovered the samba music of Dorival Caymmi, American big band jazz and tango.

In 1950 while still in high school he joined his first band, Os Desafinados (The Out of Tunes), playing accordion and vibraphone and singing. Soon afterwards he settled on the guitar as his instrument after hearing Joao Gilberto and started playing bossa nova. Gil met guitarist and singer Caetano Veloso at the Universidade Federal da Bahia in 1963 and immediately they began collaborating and performing together, releasing a single and EP soon afterwards. Along with Maria Bethania, Gal Costa and Tom Ze, they opened the Vila Velha Theatre with a night of bossa nova and traditional Brazilian songs in 1964.

Gilberto would go on to become musical director of the theatre’s concert series, sold bananas, composed jingles for tv ads and work for Unilever before moving to Sao Paulo in in 1965. Though he had a hit single with Louvação that was later recorded by Elis Regina, his first solo hit was the 1969 song Aquele Abraco. Arrested with Veloso he spent seven months in jail and house arrest and then instructed to leave the country. After a concert in Salvador in ’69 they left for Portugal, Paris and London where he listened to Bob Marley, Jimmy Cliff and Burning Spear. He performed with Yes, Pink Floyd and the Incredible String Band. It was in London that he recorded Gilberto Gil Nega and attended Miles Davis and Sun Ra concerts.

Over the course of his career he participated in the Aids benefit album Red, Hot + Rio, win Grammy awards, receive the Legion d’honneur from France, and was the first Latin American recipient of the Polar Music Prize in Stockholm. In between performances he turned to politics becoming the Salvador Secretary of Culture, founded the environmental protection organization Onda Azul (Blue Wave), was a Good will Ambassador for the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, became Brazil’s Minister of Culture and then retired due to a vocal cord polyp.

Tenor, baritone and falsetto vocalist, guitarist, lyricist and composer Gilberto Gil who is one of the pioneers of tropicália, and became increasing interested in the welfare of Black culture and focused on Afro-Brazilian culture. He continues to transcend the eras of dance and music trends emerging on the other side with a blend of music styles that stay true to his traditional Bahian roots while engaging with commercial markets.


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HERMETO PASCOAL

Daily Dose Of Jazz…

Hermeto Pascoal was born an albino on June 22, 1936 in Lagoa da Canoa, Alagoas, Brazil at a time when there was no electricity. He learned the accordion from his father and practiced for hours as his condition of birth did not allow him to work the fields.

Hermeto’s career began in 1964 with appearances on several Brazilian recordings alongside relatively unknown groups that included Edu Lobo, Elis Regina and Cesar Camargo Mariano, establishing widely influential new directions in post-bossa Brazilian jazz.

By 1966 he was playing in the Sambrasa Trio with Airto Moriera and Humberto Clayber releasing one album Em Som Maior. Then he and Airto joined Trio Novo and in 1967 renamed the group Quarteto Novo and released an album that launched the careers of Pascoal and Moreira. Pascoal would then go on to join the multi-faceted group Brazilian Octopus.

Pascoal initially caught the international public’s attention with an appearance on Miles Davis’s 1971 album Live-Evil, which featured him on three pieces he composed.  Later collaborations involved fellow Brazilian musicians Airto and Flora Purim. From the late 1970s onward he has mostly led his own groups, that have included bassist Itibere Zwarg, pianist Jvino Santos-Neto and percussionists Nene, Pernambuco and Zabele.

Known as o Bruxo (the Sorcerer), Hermeto often makes music with unconventional objects such as teapots, children’s toys, and animals, as well as keyboards, button accordion, melodica, saxophone, guitar, flute, voice, various brass and folkloric instruments. Folk music from rural Brazil is another important influence in his work.

Between 1996 and 1997, Pascoal worked on a book project called the Calendário do Som, that contains a song for every day of the year, including 29 February, so that everyone would have a song for his or her birthday. He continues to perform, record and tour.


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ROYCE CAMPBELL

Daily Dose Of Jazz…

Royce Campbell was born on June 7, 1952 in Seymour, Indiana the son of a career navy man. Growing up in several U.S. cities and abroad including Asia, Europe and the West Indies he was exposed to different music genres as a child. These added to his musical style and approach in jazz composition and playing. Though mainly associated with mainstream jazz, his first love was rock and roll that connected him at age nine to the guitar and Chuck Berry, followed by Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton..

By the time Royce finished high school in the early 1970s, he was certain he wanted to pursue a professional career in music. His uncle, Carroll DeCamp, an arranger/pianist who arranged for Stan Kenton and Les Elgart invited the young guitarist to live with him and study in Indiana, providing most of his musical education in theory and composition. By age 21, he had begun touring with R&B artist Marvin Gaye and developing his talents for stage performance. In 1975 he was hired by a local music contractor to do three concerts with award-winning film composer Henry Mancini in Indianapolis. Soon after Royce became the touring guitarist with Mancini’s orchestra, holding that positing until Mancini’s death in 1994.

Though appearing on recordings as a sideman, and a couple as leader, during the early years of his career, Campbell started recording and touring more on his own during the 1990s, focusing at first on mainstream or straight-ahead jazz. Although he cites Wes Montgomery as his main influence, the horn of Dexter Gordon, and Chet Baker also had a great impact.

In 1993, he produced Project G-5: A Tribute to Wes Montgomery which also featured guitarists Tal Farlow, Jimmy Raney, Herb Ellis and Cal Collins. His 1994 album 6×6 featured guitarists Pat Martino, John Abercrombie, Larry Coryell, Dave Stryker and Bucky Pizzarelli. A follow-up Project G-5: A Tribute to Joe Pass, in 1999, Royce brought together the talents of Charlie Byrd, Gene Bertoncini, Mundell Lowe and John Pisano.

During his career guitarist Royce Campbell has released more than 30 CDs as leader or co-leader among various sideman projects. Fifteen of these CDs have made it onto the US national jazz radio charts. His soloing is documented among other jazz guitarists of the era, in Mel Bay’s Anthology of Jazz Guitar Solos: Featuring Solos by the World’s Finest Jazz Guitarists!  He has been inducted into the Indianapolis Jazz Foundation Hall of Fame and continues to record, perform and tour.


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JACK WILKINS

Daily Dose Of Jazz…

Jack Wilkins was born on June 3, 1944 in Brooklyn, New York. He has played with many jazz greats including Bob Brookmeyer, Stanley Turrentine, Jimmy Heath, Epitaph Mingus and Eddie Gomez as well as singers Mel Torme, Ray Charles, Morgana King, Sarah Vaughan, Tony Bennett, The Manhattan Transfer, Nancy Marano and Jay Clayton.

Wilkins’ cover of the Freddie Hubbard standard “Red Clay”, from his 1973 album Windows, was sampled by the hip-hop group A Tribe Called Quest on their 1993 album Midnight Marauders and also by Chance the Rapper on the song NaNa, off his 2013 mix-tape Acid Rap. His full cover was subsequently included on the 1998 break beat compilation Tribe Vibes Volume 2.

Wilkins was awarded an NEA grant in recognition of his work with the guitar. He currently teaches at The New School, New York University, Long Island University and the Manhattan School of Music in addition to performing, recording and touring.


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DICK MCPARTLAND

Daily Dose Of Jazz…

Dick McPartland was born in Chicago, Illinois on May 18, 1905, the older brother of Jimmy McPartland. His father was a music teacher and a baseball player butt family problems caused the siblings to be partly raised in orphanages. He was an early member of the Austin High School Gang that helped establish Chicago-style jazz in the 1920s.

McPartland started out on the violin and then switched to the banjo and guitar. He played primarily in Chicago during the 1920s including with Red McKenzie, replacing Eddie Lang. He recorded with Irving Mills in 1928 and Jack Teagarden in ’29.

Dick’s rhythm guitar can be heard on sessions led by his brother Jimmy in 1936 and 1939. Unfortunately an early heart attack forced his retirement from full-time music by his early 30s. He later became a cab driver and only appeared at an occasional concert, including in 1955 when he played his final gig. He never led his own record date and on November 30, 1957, guitarist Dick McPartland passed away at the age of 52.


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