The Motif: Re-Imagine a Jazz Sensibility on 05/01/21

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Sat, 05/01/2021 - 2:00pm to 5:00pm


ulpanaylaylo's picture

Thank you so much Yugen. These 2 parts you've produced on the Jazz Crusaders being even greater as the sum of their individually stunning session person parts. As muses and headlining gig players these artists have forged a mainstream place for themselves without drawing anywhere near the attention they've deserved based on their creative accomplishments.

You've done a splendid job of creating here on the KBOO audio archives and over the air these past 2 Saturday afternoons a terrific learning experience with a heaping side order of fun. Definitely helping this Pandemic Pass gracefully and in good humor. The back-story to that radio-friendly mega hit "Put It Where You Want It" aroused the Song Chaser in me. You brought the Redd Foxx stand-up coda connection to the fore in charming style and suggested the ways in which a pop theme can migrate through a culture reaching peripheral people like me who never really listened to the sorts of strip-programming commercial radio where the (Jazz) Crusaders found their audience.

Listening to the clip you found of the bandmembers recalling how the leading stand-up comics of television fame began their career trajectories opening shows for the Crusaders and how the Chitlin Circuit triple X rated Redd Foxx used that sign off to his club act where he'd blow the audience a kiss and tell em as he left the stage to "Put It Where Ya Want It" created such a vivid picture in my mind of the ambiance missing during lock-downs and quarantine now entering year #2.

It also reminded me how little good writing on musical interpenetration throughout society there is these days. Last good book on that subject I came across was the biography of Richard Pryor that lived up to its title: FURIOUS COOL: Richard Pryor and the World that Made Him by David and Joe Henry. Redd Foxx was an early Chitlin' Circuit migrant and mentor to Richard Pryor when Pryor got to NYC and being a product of the black underground of midwestern Peoria, IL, the elder and more experienced Redd Foxx showed Pryor how to save money by sleeping in the warm summer months on roof tops in Harlem, using newspapers for blankets.

That the Jazz Crusaders could break the pop radio markets and didn't it also become a TV theme "Put It Where Ya Want It" all drawn from a sight gag that Redd Foxx used to end his stage act blowing kisses to his audiences recalls some of the ways particular songs in our lives or tracks or recordings or eras when radio had a format and regular way of playing such non-standard "hits" like jazz instrumentals catchier and craftier than the deep cut recordings we might use in our our mix tapes and discs for swapping with other fans kind of sums up the magic of folk lore or jazz lore or any show biz lore when we start tracking how influences have played different symbolizing roles in different social movements. The Chitlin Circuit intimacy between audience and performer being one such phase that was so well covered by the Henry brothers research into The World That Made Richard Pryor (and Redd Foxx and a piece of the smoother more mainstream touring and triple scale studio session aces of the Crusaders).

Health and balance
Keep on doing, Yugen
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Mitch Ritter\Paradigm Sifters, Code Shifters and Song Chasers
Lay-Low Studios, Ore-Wa (Refuge of Atonement Seekers)
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Z"L Roll on in peace dear Al Young who passed this past week while recovering from a stroke the great innovative writer and educator and performer suffered about a year ago.

Also, if a program on the passing\transition last week of this NEGLECTED inventor and innovator of the "Musical Memoir," namely 40 year literature and creative writing educator and pioneering novelist and poet, trail-blazing KJAZ radio broadcaster & free form DJ and aural collage artist of the flow, screenwriter for Richard Pryor projects and others Al Young could be managed by you Yugen at KBOO during these challenging times of Pandemic lock-out from the studios, that would be very greatly appreciated.

Although Al Young himself only issued a couple of obscure albums. Yet, his contribution to the interpenetration of the Great American Blues and Jazz Songbook into our lives through his innovation of juxtaposing when a track takes root in each of our personal lifetime narratives has been and will continue to influence our wider macro culture, just as our engagement with this soundtrack to our individual lives builds in value the longer we walk this mysterious world.

This coming Wednesday on KBOO's sister community radio station in Berkeley and Northern California KPFA the Wednesday morning COVER TO COVER show on books will pay tribute to Al Young's muse-filled and filling creative and human lives. It will be co- hosted by Bay Area musician and poet along with literary archivist Jack Foley and I wouldn't be surprised to hear Al Young's early partner in shaking up the U.S. literary underground namely Ishmael "Mumbo Jumbo" Reed joining others to pay tribute to the wondrous life and works and relationships of Al Young. To jazz fans his liner notes such as his Grammy album contribution to George Benson's BREEZIN album will be familiar. To any music lover or radio lover his 5 collections of Musical Memoirs will be personal micro\macro touchstones in the rip rap of our lives:

See online under THE NEGLECTED BOOKS archive here for my own contribution on Al Young who I miss so very much and he only left this world a few days ago. My deepest sympathies and condolences to his son Michael who so lovingly cared for his Dad after Al Young's stroke of last year, in my former hometown of Concord, California (and home to Carl Jefferson founder of the Concord Jazz recording label)...Although, regrettably I never got to know Al Young or any one member of his family personally. Through Al's intimate Musical Memoirs, among the first books I read when I got to Berkeley as an undergrad in 1980, along with Ishmael Reed's books and publications like his multi-cultural 'zine KONCH, one feels like these long-running and deeply feeling artists are like members of our extended sensibilities if not members of our family. No other beat paperbacks on my shelves have been reread as often and with such emotional results as Al Young's early in his career collections and later follow-ups on major publishers of those Musical Memoirs.

Yugenfardan's picture

Thank you for this in that I hadn't known of his passing. He and Brother I Reed collaborates on a periodical I needed to relocated. RIP

Yugenfardan's picture

Bro...I thank you! The detail of your review elevated a history rarely uncovers in Post Modernity, as you indicate here. Your review is more prose then a simple compliment, of which I thank you. It reads so evenly and punctuated a fabulous time in American Classic Music. Peace to you!

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