Duke Ellington Orchestra
Duke Ellington Orchestra
Harry Edison, Count Basie, Eddie Davis
Harry Edison, Count Basie, Eddie Davis
Miles Davis
Miles Davis
Ron Carter
Ron Carter
Tony Williams
Tony Williams
Woody Shaw & Dexter Gordon
Woody Shaw & Dexter Gordon
Mal Waldron
Mal Waldron
Keith Jarrett
Keith Jarrett
Charlie Haden
Charlie Haden
Jean-Luc Ponty
Jean-Luc Ponty
Lou Levy
Lou Levy
Billy Cobham
Billy Cobham
Airto Moreira
Airto Moreira
Cecil Taylor
Cecil Taylor
Weather Report
Weather Report
Paul Bley
Paul Bley
Johnny Griffin
Johnny Griffin
Duke Ellington Orchestra
Duke Ellington Orchestra(Monterey Jazz Festival, 1970)The Maestro always knew how to close a festive evening, leaving his joyous crowd begging for more. This delightful finale featured a reunion with vocalist Joe Williams and special guest, bandleader Woody Herman, with happy orchestra members Paul Gonsalves, Joe Benjamin, and Harold Ashby looking on.
Harry Edison, Count Basie, Eddie Davis
Harry Edison, Count Basie, Eddie Davis(Nice, France 1976)For big band jazz lovers on the French Riviera, the summer afternoon of 1976 was pure ecstasy.  For all of his decades of success as a top bandleader, Count Basie knew what it took to keep his orchestra in demand and excite crowds around the world.  In addition to the signature smooth rhythm section and his own understated piano playing, “old Base” (as he called himself) always surrounded himself with strong section players and outstanding soloists. After headlining at the Nice Jazz Festival’s open air stage, I caught him with two of his favorite soloists, trumpeter “Sweets” Edison and tenor saxophonist “Lockjaw” Davis.
Miles Davis
Miles Davis(Palo Alto, CA 1972)Jazz is “change.”   By the 1970s Miles Davis was the personification of that word, both musically and image-wise.  A sizeable Stanford University crowd got a glimpse of the new Miles taking the music in a much-different direction.   
Ron Carter
Ron Carter(Berkeley, CA 1978)Half of the long-running Miles Davis Quintet’s rhythmic foundation of the mid-1960s, Ron Carter remains at the top of his game and – as one of music’s most- recorded bassists in history – always in demand.       
Tony Williams
Tony Williams(Berkeley, CA 1979)He was still a teenager when Miles Davis chose him to provide that special edginess he wanted for his “second great quintet.”   Tony Williams didn’t just possess the fire and creative spark that made this group so important in jazz history.  As  Miles said, “The direction the band moved in depended on Tony.”
Woody Shaw & Dexter Gordon
Woody Shaw & Dexter Gordon(Berkeley, CA 1977)After nearly 14 years in Europe, the expatriate tenorman returned stateside in 1976 to a hero’s welcome beginning at the Village Vanguard in New York before touring west. Dexter Gordon, along with Woody Shaw (foreground), made for a most formidable front line.The contented pair relaxed in Dexter’s hotel room after bringing down the house at the University of California’s Greek Theatre.
Mal Waldron
Mal Waldron(San Francisco, CA  1978)Among the most interesting and intriguing artists I ever met, Mal was one of jazz’s true worldwide messengers and the unofficial “Chess Master of Munich.”  Always on the go, the inimitable pianist and composer not only communicated with audiences through his music, but also – being fluent in five languages – via the spoken word.
Keith Jarrett
Keith Jarrett(Oakland, CA 1976)One of the west coast’s venerable stages for the performing arts is Oakland’s Paramount Theatre, site of its share of history-making events.  Among those who were fortunate enough to have witnessed some of Keith Jarrett’s most exploratory music were here in January of 1976 when the pianist presented his so-called “American Quartet” featuring tenor saxophonist Dewey Redman, bassist Charlie Haden and drummer Paul Motian.
Charlie Haden
Charlie Haden(San Francisco, CA 1978)A close friend and collaborator of Keith Jarrett over the past several decades, Charlie Haden remains as one of modern music’s true visionary bassists and composers, totally at home performing with a wide spectrum of the jazz world’s most disparate artists.  After Haden passed away in July, 2014, Jarrett remembered him with the following: "People will always love his playing but no one will ever imitate him. He was a rare, true original…Perfect intonation, the biggest ears, the warmest, most captivating tone in the history of the jazz bass.”
Jean-Luc Ponty
Jean-Luc Ponty(Berkeley, CA 1981)As the son of a violin professor and student of classical music, the Frenchman Jean-Luc Ponty seemed the most unlikely candidate to join the ranks of a genuine jazz leader.  But by electrifying the jazz violin, that’s exactly what he became.  What he did on his instrument is comparable to the groundbreaking contributions made by Charlie Christian on guitar and Monk Montgomery on bass.
Lou Levy
Lou Levy(Sacramento, CA 1978)He was the consummate accompanist for many of the top female vocalists, including Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan and --  for nearly two decades  --  Peggy Lee.  But the Chicago native also had deep roots in, and a love for, all things bebop.  He was in his element when he became the original pianist for the band Supersax in 1973, playing Charlie Parker’s music.  After a stimulating evening of recreating Bird’s tunes in Sacramento, the Capitol recording artist was still “smoking.”
Billy Cobham
Billy Cobham(Berkeley, CA 1972)The driving force behind John McLaughlin’s much-heralded Mahavishnu Orchestra could not be overlooked, even by the most casual of fans.  Recognized by many for his raw power and velocity, Billy Cobham also possessed an uncanny sense of time and precise phrasing, thanks in part to his considerable skills as a producer and composer.
Airto Moreira
Airto Moreira(Monterey, CA 1974)First it was Chano Pozo, the conga player with Dizzy Gillespie’s orchestra in the 1940s, who helped advance Afro-Cuban music to jazz. But beginning in the ‘70s it was the Brazilian, simply known as Airto (Eye-ear-toe), whose skills as a percussionist continue to play an ever-important role in the evolving field of modern music.  A collector and student of more than 100 percussion instruments, he has worked his magic with the likes of Miles Davis, Stan Getz, Cannonball Adderley, Billy Cobham and Quincy Jones. 
Cecil Taylor
Cecil Taylor(New York City, NY 1979)In this image taken through the open roof door of his fourth floor loft at 96 Chambers Street, Cecil Taylor heads up the stairs to enjoy a beautiful New York afternoon in seclusion.  This most innovative pianist was always the gracious host, and I always looked forward to our many encounters.
Weather Report
Weather Report(Berkeley, CA 1978)"8:30 Weather Report” was not part of a nightly news broadcast.  For many aficionados it was this quartet (Wayne Shorter, Peter Erskine, Josef Zawinul, Jaco Pastorius), the trailblazing iteration of 1978, that forever captured their imaginations and made them fans for life.  This image, taken at one of the band’s first of some 60 live dates worldwide, graced the back cover of their 1979 Grammy award- winning Columbia album by the same name.  No other group brought together the elements of jazz and rock as successfully as Weather Report, which lasted 16 years.
Paul Bley
Paul Bley(Berkeley, CA 1978)To my mind, he was one of the most comfortable of all people in his own skin.  Who else could have hired and managed all the affairs of his own band as a teenager (including members twice his age), and just a few years later booked the unpredictable genius Charlie Parker for a concert in Montreal, even shepherding him to and from New York to ensure his safe passage?  Anyone witnessing this free-thinking pianist in person could always count on hearing something inspiring and totally unexpected.
Johnny Griffin
Johnny Griffin(Monterey, CA 1978)After 15 years of living and performing abroad, the “Little Giant” made his first return to America at age 50.  Those who remembered his flawless speed and execution from his earlier bop dates with such innovators as Thelonious Monk and fellow saxophone expatriate Dexter Gordon were not disappointed when he made his long-awaited appearance at the Monterey Jazz Festival.   
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