HERMAN ACE WALLACE 1925.06.18-1996.02.28
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HERMAN ACE WALLACE 1925.06.18-1996.02.28
Remembering Sir Miles Davis, seen here on stage at Gröna Lund in Stockholm in the summer of 1987 (photo: KG Asplund)
What can we say about remembering Sir Miles? Music has not been the same since he left. It lost a whole lot of something something, that was in fact about him.
We can all wonder what he would have been doing, had he been here today. And we all know that we can't quite know what that would have been. And that is even one of the things that are so special with Miles Davis. People just had to see where he was going to know where he was going. They couldn't go some place and wait for him there artistically, because there was no way of knowing if he would show up there. And, alongside his leaving a mighty musical journey behind as he left, he left a world of wise things he said, which is a bit strange indeed, as he wasn't always so talkative. "It can take a lifetime to learn to play like yourself". Quote Miles Davis. You can so often interpret some things he said in wider terms, and you often even must. At any height of his legendary career he was still searching for his tone. Knowing what he wanted from others, and from himself too, in the nano moment, what he uttered wasn't something fluffy for an article, but a real thing. And that is so it. Miles Davis was so cool. And it was a real cool, not a pose. "It can take a lifetime to learn to play like yourself" really means It can take a lifetime to learn to be yourself.
Those ears... One of the most magical pairs of ears in music. They could tie so much together with two notes. The way Miles Davis HEARD music... We can only leave that to silence.
Miles Davis, May 26, 1926 – September 28, 1991
Musicians' Corner remembers Luther Vandross
Thinking of that special voice. In a world full of singers, imagine that a voice can be as unique and as easily recognizable...
What can we say?
He spoke for himself, and he only needed a note to do that.
The king of covers, Luther Vandross, would make any song his own. Starting out as backup to another velvety voice, Roberta Flack, and becoming an in-demand backup singer, before he went on to being the much loved and heavily Grammy-decorated lead that he was, after the breakthrough with his group Change, Vandross also penned hit songs. He further found himself in many duet collabs.
One of us recalls seeing him at Royal Albert Hall, where he had a residence for a few shows, one of the many highlights in the career of a very talented performer indeed.
Frank and Luther...
LUTHER VANDROSS, April 20, 1951 – July 1, 2005
Remembering Ornette Coleman.
We don't know much about the shape of jazz to come, today. But we remember the Pulitzer Prize winner and Doctor of music, Ornette Coleman, around the time of the 90th birthday, which he celebrates up high.
The 1st part of an interview with Coleman from Bonnaroo.
Born on The Isle of Man in The UK, brothers Maurice and Robin later made the move to Australia with the Gibb family. Forming the successful trio The Bee Gees with their older sibbling Barry, they would go on to achieving chart toppers and careers with longevity in the music industry.
Remembering these musical twins on their heavenly birthday with a fan-made video:
MAURICE GIBB & ROBIN GIBB, 22 December 1949 – 12 January 2003 & 22 December 1949 – 20 May 2012
Sammy Davis Jr and his Swedish wife May Britt
Remembering the versatile Sammy Davis Jr. This singer, dancer, musician and comedian truly is someone you could call Mr. Show-Business.
Here he is telling a story with song and sharp moves:
And here he takes over the drums and vibes:
There is no way that you won't be thoroughly entertained if you do your own search for clips.
We salute and remember Sammy Davis Jr. around the time of his heavenly birthday.
Sammy Davis Jr, December 8, 1925 – May 16, 1990
Gospel artist Kirk Franklin was censored - twice - by TBN (the Trinity Broadcasting Network) as he was accepting awards for his work. He brings attention to this in a video clip.
We here at Musicians' Corner regard it as serious when artists are censored, and in this case we find it particularly sad with regards to what Franklin brought up in his acceptance speeches. We hope that this was an isolated occurence, and that media outlets take what happened here as a springboard to putting principles in place that prevent censorship of this nature this from being repeated.
We encourage you to listen to and spread what Kirk Franklin has to say about his experience, and to stand by artists if and where they are being silenced.
Musicians' Corner remembers the beautiful and talented Natasja Saad (Dou T, Little T), the Danish native with a Sudanese background, whose promising career and young life was cut short by a car accident in 2007.
Here she is performing live hours before her passing
The smash hit "Calabria"
NATASJA SAAD, 31 October 1974 – 24 June 2007
Gone way too soon
The Roy Hargrove Quintet live at New Morning
ROY HARGROVE, October 16, 1969 – November 2, 2018
A short interview:
KOKO TAYLOR, September 28,1928 – June 3, 2009
The Woodstock Festival took place on a dairy farm in Bethel the 15th through 17th of August 1969. And while many attended the event many were also stuck in traffic and never made it there for trying... The queue on the highway stretched all the way to New York! So that means that many out there recall what they did at this time fifty years ago, and that this was: being stuck in a car!
The very word "Woodstock" still means something so clear to people, and so naturally to people who weren't even born at this time too. It needs no explanation. If you say "Woodstock" you're done talking. People got you.
The word conjures up the immortal sounds of Jimi Hendrix playing the Star Spangled Banner. A classic moment in American history and the history of music.
Herb Reed of The Platters' fame, joined this successful singing group in the early 50's, to sing on hundreds of recordings with them, and tour consistently until the time of his passing. He was the last surviving member of the early line-ups of this group.
HERBERT REED, August 7, 1928 – June 4, 2012
There is little doubt that The Dramatics is one of the greatest groups that ever worked in the music industry. Thirty plus something top ten hits, more appearances than anyone on Soul Train, went on for 48 something years, you can't even sum it up if you try - there is so much to find out about this group. And although it is in fact often times about numbers when we look at things, with music the proof is in the pudding too - and it can't even be fully described where the most deep and rich music is concerned. You could attempt to, and assign music theorists and poets for the task of describing the harmonic, melodic, rythmical, blended, rich, vast, deep sounds of the Dramatics, and they would be coming up short. The best music is indescribable. We don't have the faculties. We can wave about a bit and say SOMETHING about the music, but it will only ever be something in the midst of it ALL that could have been said had we had the vocabulary.
The Dramatics original members were Ron Banks, Larry Squirrel Demps, William Wee Gee Howard, Elbert Wilkins - and Willie Ford - all native Detroiters. The group was formed in the 60s and a trillion gazillion things happened since. And two weeks ago we had the heavy - heavy - news that Willie Ford has transitioned, and as these words are written this great contributor to music is being returned home.
Willie Ford's unique bass voice and stellar capabilities as a dancer is a combo that has made Willie Ford a true one-of-a-kind artistic presence for five decades in entertainment. He has projected the poise of someone who enjoys executing his profession to perfection on stage. He certainly is the very illustration of the gift of musical superbness that we know as The Dramatics. He was there for the creation of and massive break-through of this group, which is what most people associate with The Dramatics, and which was also the pinnacle of their chart success - and he was there for the full journey through all its twists and turns.
Willie Ford leaves a legacy of happiness to those hundreds of millions of lives that were and will be touched by what he gave of himself to the world. He is forever one of the personalities who make Detroiters extra proud to be Detroiters, and equally one of the legends who represent what music became at the very height of what has been the golden era of recorded music.
We so regret that we didn't get to hear more of him. We will always miss the solo album, and what it could have been. We can only sense what it could have been, and that's something else.
The end... Something feeling like the dignified & matured thing this legacy and five part harmony five lead singers' concept deserved. And you just look at that young crowd loving every second. Well done!
Thank you so much, Willie Ford, for what you have done for music, and enjoy that Heaven that loves to have you.
Small Note: Willie Ford recorded a song, titled ''Lie To You'', which is currently in the 'vault' of bassist Tony Green. Willie Ford sings straight through this cut. Supposedly this song belongs to the people who commissioned and paid for it, and it shouldn't be lost to the world.
(((Even smaller note that really doesn't belong here: To those of you who come to this page from a soul music site where it's linked - we have tried to change the somewhat faulty Dramatics' ''facts'' on that page to no avail. We managed to change ONE thing and are since thanked on that page whatever we tried to get across and even if we asked to be removed... Please check the intel presented to you in life...)))
For example... For anyone who went to see Solomon Burke in latter years this is so well known...
There was a man up there, behind the keys of an organ, in constant conversation with King Sol throughout. This man was the fire in the belly of the band, feeding the music with his performances, living the music with every fiber, reaching for the sky in between and sometimes during his playing. An outstanding instrumentalist, who also played the organ for preacher Burke in church and worked with many other luminairies in music.
His name: Rudy Copeland.
Remember that name.
His story is of course so much longer and you will be well advised to go explore HERE
Here he is being excellent solo:
And here he is laying the foundation to a very memorable cut:
Thank you for the music, Mr. Copeland.
For a little more reading about Solomon Burke's band we recommend the articles with Kenneth Meredith a.k.a. 'the love man', that are featured here.
"Prove It On Me Blues" Ma Rainey
Ma Rainey (perhaps born April 26, 1886 – December 22, 1939)
Musicians' Corner remembers Bobby Womack
BOBBY WOMACK, March 4, 1944 – June 27, 2014
Remembering Didier Lockwood. Monsieur Lockwood did an article with us in 2014, and it didn't take many moments into our talk with him before we realized that we had set up way too little time for the article. A man of great depths! The article became a flicker of something, as we faced the fact that we had in fact missed an opportunity to dive deeper. But the subtext speaks volumes. We always intended on getting back to him, and we especially wanted for someone to do an artist-to-artist interview with him to really get in there, into the conversation on the inside of music. Sadly this never happened, and it is without a doubt one of our biggest regrets here on Musicians' Corner.
A quartet that blows our minds: Didier Lockwood, Mike Stern, Tom Kennedy, Dave Weckl
Didier Lockwood, 11 February 1956 – 18 February 2018
Musicians' Corner remembers Warren Zevon
Warren Zevon, January 24, 1947 – September 7, 2003
He was my closest and best friend on the planet.
We played together in our neighborhood band the VSQs, we played together, with The Stylistics and with Kool & the Gang. He was such an energetic player.
I stay in touch with his sisters.
I still grief for him.
They don't stand still, do they? Trenton natives Mike and Cliff perform together.
Musicians' Corner remembers Cleo Brown
Cleo Brown, the first female instrumentalist who was honored with the NEA Jazz Masters Fellowship.
Cleo Brown, December 8, 1909 - April 15, 1995
Musicians' Corner remembers Clifford Brown
Max Roach talks vividly about Clifford Brown
Clifford Brown, October 30, 1930-June 26, 1956
Musicians' Corner remembers John Coltrane
An interview with John Coltrane from 1965
John Coltrane, September 23, 1926 – July 17, 1967
Musicians' Corner remembers Barry White
"Let The Music Play"
A VH1-documentary about and interview with Barry White
Barry White, September 12, 1944 – July 3, 2003
Musicians' Corner remembers Tiny Grimes
Lloyd Tiny Grimes, July 7, 1916 – March 4, 1989
Eric Dolphy, The Last Date:
Eric Dolphy, June 20, 1928 – June 29, 1964
Musicians' Corner remembers Prince
Classic Prince interview:
A conversation with Kim Berry, Prince' hair stylist:
NPG members who have spoken here on Musicians' Corner so far:
PRINCE ROGERS NELSON, June 7, 1958 – April 21, 2016. Rest in Power. We miss you.
Yass, yass, yass - remembering Fats Waller.
Thomas Wright Fats Waller, May 21, 1904 – December 15, 1943
Musicians' Corner remembers Jimmy Ruffin
What becomes of the broken hearted missing the many, many - many people in music whom we have lost?
Jimmy Ruffin, May 7, 1936 – November 17, 2014
Musicians' Corner remembers Bernie Worrell
An interview with Bernie Worrell
Bernie Worrell, April 19, 1944 – June 24, 2016