We all survived theKultur Shock: Heaven and Hell Tour of November/December 2013 with limps, scrapes, a mashed fingertip, various pitched coughs (depending on size of chest cavity), enduring lots of ice & cold and Saso guiding us through dicey driving conditions (thanks Santa Marta for all you do for us).
But more importantly every concert was amazing, we met the next young generation of music lovers, orgonite was in positive evidence. Other high points: security guards surrounded me when I filmed a CPR video in the foyer of a Health Clinic waiting to meet my friends (no arrest), plus I inadvertently broke and entered a man’s apartment in Mostar looking for a toilet ~ he kindly offered me coffee (no arrest).
This short tour created more beautiful memories than one could ever imagine. 18 concerts in 21 days, spanning France, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Montenegro, Serbia, Hungary and Romania. See photos & videos to the right…
Yuseef Lateef is photographed at the Ford Detroit International Jazz Festival in 1999. / James L. Aho
Text by Dawoud Kringle
When I was in my teens, I would occasionally go to a record store that sold records at bargain prices. I remember a record in the jazz section that stood out: 1984, by Yusef Lateef. It just looked so cool and intense.
Many years later, I had the opportunity to attend a few of his master classes. They were life changing experiences for me, and opened up musical possibilities I couldn’t have imagined.
I still have the CDs he’d given me as a gift.
I also performed at an event in Philadelphia where he was the headliner.
The last time I saw him was last Spring when Roulette presented a concert celebrating his 93rd birthday. I spoke with him briefly for the last time, and promised I’d send him a copy of my book – one of the characters in the novel was named and patterned after him. The last communication I had with him was via an email: he told me he’d received the book, and thanked me for the honorable mention.
He changed music for the better, and changed my life for the better. I salute him, and thank Allah for his life.
Ronald Shannon Jackson, a drummer and composer who worked largely within the realms of free jazz, funk and fusion, died Oct. 19, in Ft. Worth, Tex. Jackson’s passing was confirmed by his cousin, Tobi Hero, on Jackson’s Facebook page. Jackson was suffering from leukemia and had been living in a hospice. He was 73.
Jackson recorded more than 20 albums as a leader and served as a sideman with such pioneers of jazz’s avant-garde as Cecil Taylor, Ornette Coleman and Albert Ayler. (The drummer was in fact the only musician to work with all three.) Jackson’s band the Decoding Society, formed in 1979, incorporated contemporary elements such as rock, funk and dance and included, at various times, such now well-known players as Billy Bang, Byard Lancaster, Zane Massey, David Fiuczynski, Jef Lee Johnson, Melvin Gibbs, Robin Eubanks and Vernon Reid.
Being myself an Iranian I’ve been always looking for Iranian or American-Iranian musicians living and playing here in the States. Iranian musicians who either don’t play the LA type of “Iranian Pop music” nor Persian classical music, but a kind of music which is contemporary and original. One of them I found out is the Iranian-American composer, saxophonist, theorist and educator Hafez Modirzadeh who lives and teaches in LA. Unfortunately since coming to New York I haven’t have the chance to meet him. In fact I missed two of his New York concerts in the last two years due to my own music commitments.
The first time I heard of Modirzadeh was about ten years ago, when I still lived in Tokyo. A Japanese jazz journalist surprised me with a cassette of Modirzadeh’s music which sounded “oriental jazzy,” very cool and original. I was impressed by what I heard. At that time I didn’t understand what he was playing. Today I know: he played “chromodal” which is a a cross-cultural musical concept and music style, developed from his own American jazz and Iranian dastgahheritages.
But I liked his music and the tone of his tenor sax. Last spring with the release of my CD SoSaLa Nu World Trash I used this occasion to mail Modirzadeh and introduce myself. He responded to my mail shortly writing:
Madison Square Garden, on the cold, rainy night of November 27th, 2012, Thousands filled every inch of the venue, and hundreds more stood outside and in Time Square, gathered around the enormous video screens and speakers that, after months of haggling with Mayor Bloomberg, were permitted to be set up. Major networks, live internet streaming throughout the world, and the unprecedented use of 3D hologram imaging simulcast live in Paris, London, Tokyo, Moscow, Dubai, and the Mayan ruins in Chichin Itzu, Mexicio carried the event. Millions waited with anticipation for what promised to be a defining musical moment.
On that night, the world celebrated the 70th birthday of one of the greatest musicians of our age, Jimi Hendrix.