Herbie Handcock Interview ~ The Guardian



Miles Davis then enlisted you for his Second Great Quintet.

Miles Davis on stage with Hancock in Berlin, 1964.
Miles Davis on stage with Hancock in Berlin, 1964. Photograph: Jan Persson/Getty Images

I felt like the impossible had happened. Joining Miles and having Watermelon Man become a hit at the same time, I felt as if I was on top of the world.

Did the success go to your head?

I couldn’t walk around saying: “Hey, look at me, I’m playing with Miles Davis.” No, no. I had to be serious, right? Because the level of musicianship was so high. You had to be on your game with Miles, but it was so inspiring, working with him.

What was Davis like as a bandleader?

He said [hoarse, Miles-ish whisper]: “I don’t pay you to just play to get applause.” He told us he paid us to experiment on stage. He said: “I want you to try new things, brand new stuff.” And I told him, some of it’s maybe not going to work, so what about the audience then? He said: “Don’t worry about it. I got the audience.” He loved being challenged, being stimulated, being thrown a curveball. It’s like playing baseball: he was the homerun king, ready to strike any ball and send it over the stands.

Blue Train by John Coltrane

Miles encouraged you to play electronic instruments in the later stages of your time with him.

I was thrilled, because I was an electrical engineering major in college, and had some understanding of electronics. As a matter of fact, I got my first computer in 1979, which was really early in the game. I still have that computer today. It was an Apple II Plus, and it had 48k of RAM, and you had to store the programs on a cassette. But I knew computers were going to be important in music, and I encouraged every musician I met to learn how they worked.

How did your tenure with Davis come to an end?

In 1968 I got married. I told my wife, we can either have a big wedding in New York and invite all our freeloading friends to give us presents we don’t want, or we can get first-class tickets to Rio de Janeiro and spend our honeymoon at the top hotel there. She said: “Where’s my ticket?”

But I got food poisoning in Brazil, and the doctor said my liver was swollen and I had to stay a couple more weeks. I was supposed to be playing with Miles, but I stayed another week, because I didn’t want to endanger my life. When I got back, he’d already replaced me with Chick Corea. Later, I found out that Miles knew that myself, drummer Tony Williams and saxophonist Wayne Shorter all had record contracts of our own and had talked about leaving his band. He realised that if he moved Chick into the group, he wouldn’t have to start from scratch when Tony and Wayne left.

But I was in love with that band – we were having such an amazing time, and there’s nothing like accompanying Miles Davis. What he did was always genius. And Wayne Shorter, too. I couldn’t figure out how I’d ever leave. But moving on opened up a whole new side of my career I hadn’t explored before.


Bob Fulton


We were flying and filming for the Wilderness Society….

Bob, overcome by the need to blast a few Coltrane measures

and not enough room in the cramped 185

set it down on the Little Switzerland glacier for a music break.

crédito total, Edgar Boyles

Bob Fulton accident was 20 years ago yesterday…..RIP good friend.



N.O. JAZZ FEST documentary

Jazz Fest — or, as the annual Big Easy music gathering now in its 51st year is more formally known, the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival — isn’t now and never was just about jazz. As the lively and illuminating documentary “Jazz Fest: A New Orleans Story” makes clear, it’s a celebration of funk, gospel, blues, rock, Cajun, zydeco, soul, hip-hop and many, many genres in between, including something called rap cabaret. That’s what’s practiced by the singer known as Boyfriend (Suzannah Powell), who appears on camera in her trademark giant hair rollers, waxing rhapsodic about the event, along with a host of other musicians, onstage and off.

Look for soul singer Irma Thomas; Ben Jaffe, musician and creative director of the Preservation Hall Jazz Band (and son of Preservation Hall founders Allan and Sandra Jaffe); rapper Pitbull; rocker Bruce Springsteen; and the late Ellis Marsalis, patriarch of the musical family that has brought us Wynton, Delfeayo, Jason and Branford Marsalis. Ellis died in 2020 and performed with his sons at Jazz Fest the year before.


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Heatwave~Joan Osborne & The Funk Brothers from ‘Standing In The Shadows of Motown’


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Standing in the Shadows of Motown is a 2002 documentary film directed by Paul Justman. It recounts the story of The Funk Brothers, the uncredited and largely unheralded studio musicians who were the hand picked house band by Berry Gordy in 1959. They were the band who recorded and performed on Motowns‘ recordings from 1959 to 1972.[1] The film was inspired by the 1989 book Standing in the Shadows of Motown: The Life and Music of Legendary Bassist James Jamerson, a bass guitar instruction book by Allan Slutsky, which features the bass lines of James Jamerson.

The film covers the Funk Brothers’ career via interviews with surviving band members, archival footage and still photos, dramatized re-enactments, and narration by actor Andre Braugher. The film also features new live performances of several Motown hit songs, with the Funk Brothers backing up Gerald LevertMe’shell NdegeocelloJoan OsborneBen HarperBootsy CollinsChaka Khan, and Montell Jordan.[1]

The impetus behind making the film was to bring these influential players out of anonymity. In addition to bassist James Jamerson, The Funk Brothers consisted of the following musicians: Jack Ashford (percussion); Bob Babbitt (bass); Joe Hunter (keyboards); Uriel Jones (drums); Joe Messina (guitar); Eddie Willis (guitar); “Pistol” Allen (drums); “Papa Zita” Benjamin (drums); “Bongo” Brown (percussion); Johnny Griffith (keyboards); Earl Van Dyke (keyboards); and Robert White (guitar).

The Funk Brothers produced more hits than The BeatlesThe Rolling Stones, and Beach Boys together. It was their sound, according to Mary Wilson (of The Supremes) that backed The TemptationsThe SupremesThe Miracles, the Four TopsGladys Knight & the PipsMarvin GayeStevie WonderMary Wells, amongst other noteworthy bands during their tenure from 1959 to 1973.[2]


May 8, 20228:58 AM ET


Mexican singer Vivir Quintana talks about her latest song, ‘El Corrido de Milo Vela,’ which tells the story of one of the many journalists who have been murdered in Mexico for doing their jobs.

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Heisenberg Song – Breaking Bad – Sin Sub Ni Logos – Audio Remasterizado-Negro y Azul

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A cool old Buddhist song by Donovan


The lock upon my garden gate’s a snail, that’s what it is
The lock upon my garden gate’s a snail, that’s what it is
First there is a mountain, then there is no mountain, then there is
First there is a mountain, then there is no mountain, then there is

The caterpillar sheds his skin to find a butterfly within
Caterpillar sheds his skin to find a butterfly within
First there is a mountain, then there is no mountain, then there is
First there is a mountain, then there is no mountain

Oh Juanita, oh Juanita, oh Juanita, I call your name
Oh, the snow will be a blinding sight to see as it lies on yonder hillside

The lock upon my garden gate’s a snail, that’s what it is
The lock upon my garden gate’s a snail, that’s what it is
Caterpillar sheds his skin to find a butterfly within
Caterpillar sheds his skin to find a butterfly within

First there is a mountain, then there is no mountain, then there is

First there is a mountain, then there is no mountain, then there is
First there is a mountain, then there is no mountain, then there is
First there is a mountain, then there is no mountain, then there is
First there is a mountain


Moïse and Alida Viator began performing with the Eh, La Bas, a band that plays the New Orleans Creole has a great version of the song …

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There Is a Mountain” is a song and single written and performed by British singer-songwriter Donovan,[1] released in 1967.

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The lyrics refer to a Buddhist saying originally formulated by Qingyuan Weixin, later translated by D.T. Suzuki in his Essays in Zen Buddhism, one of the first books to popularize Buddhism in Europe and the US. Qingyuan writes

Before I had studied Chan (Zen) for thirty years, I saw mountains as mountains, and rivers as rivers. When I arrived at a more intimate knowledge, I came to the point where I saw that mountains are not mountains, and rivers are not rivers. But now that I have got its very substance I am at rest. For it’s just that I see mountains once again as mountains, and rivers once again as rivers.[2]

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This is an old zen statement about the experience of enlightenment


A rather famous Zen koan states ‘First there is a mountain, then there is no mountain, then there is’, referring to the spiritual path.  The unenlightened mind sees a mountain.  The Enlightened mind sees the mountain (and all things for that matter) as no-mountain (no-thing, devoid of a fixed self), a ripple on the ocean of sunyata that underlies Reality.  But to be able to communicate with and help living

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I don’t know what everyone is so puzzled about. He’s singing about plate tectonics and erosion. It couldn’t be more obvious


When this song was new I was about 12 years old, and I was proud that I was able to decipher “for the snow would be a blinding sight to see as it lies on yonder hillside”

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I would sing this song to my grandmother. Since I didn’t know the lyrics I would sing it, saying, Abuelita! instead, of saying, “Ohh juanita! I call your name”. “There are blind things, look upon my garden…”First there is mountain, than theres is no mountain, than there is”


April 30, 2022

Members of the New Wave Brass Band with We Are One and Keep n it Real Social Aid & Pleasure Clubs perform a Jazz Funeral for George Wein at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, on Friday, April 29, 2022, in New Orleans. (Photo by Amy Harris/Invision/AP)

Members of the New Wave Brass Band with We Are One and Keep n it Real Social Aid & Pleasure Clubs perform a Jazz Funeral for George Wein at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, on Friday, April 29, 2022, in New Orleans. (Photo by Amy Harris/Invision/AP)

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The memorial garden at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival is about to get a lot more crowded as fellow musicians honor the many musical icons — known as “Ancestors” — who have passed since the festival was last held three years ago.

Jazz Fest, which began Friday and will conclude on May 8, will feature on-stage tributes, as well as jazz funeral processions that will cross the Fair Grounds and conclude with the unveiling of the honoree’s likenesses alongside the other Ancestors at the rear of the Congo Square field.

“That’s Jazz Fest,” Quint Davis, the festival’s longtime producer/director, told The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate. Like many African cultures, “we stay connected to our ancestors. These people are part of us, part of our lives, part of New Orleans.”

Multiple commemorations, spread across both weekends, are planned for George Wein, Jazz Fest’s founder.

Wein helped found the Newport Jazz and Folk festivals and then replicated his success worldwide. In 1970, New Orleans leaders recruited him to remake the city’s two-year-old music festival. Wein added an outdoor “Louisiana Heritage Fair,” which became the blueprint for the contemporary Jazz Fest. He remained a fixture at Jazz Fest through 2019 and died on Sept. 13, 2021, in New York at the age of 95. 

The festival will honor Wein with jazz funerals on both weekends, as well as discussions about his legacy and a performance by his band, the Newport Allstars.

A jazz funeral also was held Saturday for Malcolm “Dr. John” Rebennack, who died June 6, 2019, at age 77 after a heart attack. A tribute concert on the main Festival Stage will be held in his honor on May 8.

Folk and blues guitarist Spencer Bohren performed one last time at Jazz Fest in 2019, dying six weeks later of prostate cancer on June 8, 2019, at age 69. On Sunday, his fellow members of the Write Brothers songwriters’ quartet will join his sons and others for a tribute on the Lagniappe Stage.

Lafayette zydeco and blues guitarist Paul “Lil Buck” Sinegal, who recorded and toured with Clifton Chenier, Buckwheat Zydeco and Rockin’ Dopsie, died June 10, 2019, at age 75. Fellow musicians will honor him in the Blues Tent on May 6.

Dave Bartholomew, the trumpeter who co-wrote and produced most of Fats Domino’s hits, died June 23, 2019, at age 100. The Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Elvis Costello and pianist Al “Lil Fats” Jackson, will salute Bartholomew on May 5.

Jazz piano patriarch Ellis Marsalis Jr. died April 1, 2020 at age 85 of pneumonia brought on by COVID-19. On Sunday, a jazz funeral procession will be held and a tribute concert featuring his youngest son, drummer and vibraphonist Jason Marsalis.

Adonis Rose & the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra will celebrate Allen Toussaint’s legacyat the WWOZ Jazz Tent on May 6. He died in 2015.

James “Jim Boa” Olander, an audio engineer who spent decades as the stage manager for the Blues Tent, died on March 1 at age 67. On Thursday, the festival will unveil an “Ancestor Photo” of Olander inside the Blues Tent.

Neville Brothers and Meters keyboardist Art Neville died July 22, 2019, at age 81. He’ll be commemorated along with his saxophonist brother Charles Neville, who died April 26, 2018, at age 79. On Friday, their youngest brother, Cyril, will join family members, plus members of the Neville Brothers Band and the Funky Meters, for a tribute on the festival’s main stage. A joint jazz funeral will be held the next day.


May 4, 2022


LISTEN· 4:38

Ron Carter is one of the most prolific and influential bassists in jazz history. During his six-decade career, he has recorded more than 2,000 records, and he has no plan on slowing down.

Ron Carter: Tiny Desk (Home) Concert

“Age has not made me think slower,” Carter says. And it’s not made me refuse gigs. What it’s made me do is be thankful I got this far playing an instrument with four strings.”

Next Tuesday, May 10, For the Love of Ron Carter and Friends will take place at Carnegie Hall – which is a one-night 85th birthday celebration. Carter will lead three different bands performing highlights from his career.

The Most Important Bass Player

Born in Ferndale, Michigan in 1937, Carter started to play the cello at the age of 10, but switched to bass in high school because he claims opportunities were limited for Black musicians to play classical music. He studied at the Eastman School of Music, then went on to get his master’s degree at the Manhattan School of Music. By the time he was 25, he was one of the most sought-after sidemen in jazz.

Carter’s most historic recordings came in the 1960s as the bassist in the second great Miles Davis Quintet. He says the band – with Miles Davis on trumpet, George Coleman and then Wayne Shorter on saxophoneHerbie Hancock on piano, and Tony Williamson on drums — never rehearsed before recording.

“God gave Miles the title of Head Clinician at this laboratory,” Carter recalls. “And his job was to bring in these various chemicals night in and night out, and see what these remaining four guys in this group—what kind of combinations would they find of these explosive devices he brought to the gig, and what kind of fun could he have trying to keep up.”

The Miles Davis Quintet performance 1964. Rick Suchow YouTube

Each night when Carter would leave a gig with the Miles Davis Quintet, he’d review the session.

“I’d look back and say now, ‘How did I help these guys play better?’ And ‘how could I make me be better as I got them better?’ Those are my views,” he says. “And to this day, that’s still how I feel when I’m playing a gig: That I helped these people who I’m playing with get better because I’m playing with them.”

And Carter has certainly helped a lot of musicians get better. Bassist Stanley Clarkesays in the last 50 years, Carter has been “the most important bass player.” Before Clarke became famous as a founding member of Chick Corea’s Return to Forever band, he says he learned by listening to Carter.

“I remember as a young kid, I used to get his records,” Clarke recalls. “I could tell he was very, very professional because the consistency was there from record to record to record: his sound, his ability, and then his flow.”

Giovanni Russonello, who writes about Jazz for the New York Times, says Carter has left as big a footprint in the music as any musician, let alone bassists.

“When I think of Ron Carter, I think of this incredible ability to be sure-footed everywhere, but also sound almost like a plasma, like some undefinable, mutable substance,” he said. “Because his bass line sound endlessly fascinating, and full of ideas. And on the move.”