Thursday, August 4, 2011

Favorite DC Area Jazz Musicians

as you may have gathered, below are the links to the web site for Washington DC based Ian Dylan Music, and more

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  • Some Of My Favorite Washington DC, Maryland, and Virginia Based Jazz Musicians: are; me, myself and i; to find out more and to book my trio or quartet for your event, please click the link called home above:;

    ok just kidding; well mostly; actually; there are tons of people other than my cloce friends and I who you need to know about if your going to be taken seriously as a jazz fan residing anywhere in DC MD and Northern Va; let me talk about some of them, and i say that as I just can't address everyone here. Thus you can find out about many many more musicians worth mentioning via links available elsewhere on this blog.

    There are certain jazz musicians in the region who I
    look for when attending a concert,, and while This list is not perfect it's a good start, You should know that, it’s not based on musicality alone, but personality also. IN other words, though there are times when live music just speaks for itself, i also appreciate someone who can really perform and relate to an audience as well, and so, my idea was to include both personalities and types of experience here as best I could. preference is usually given to those who I have found to be friendly and also have performed with as it's much easier to really know what you think of someone's playing when you can really experience it from the inside as it were. Also, my tastes will become evident in about another half a second as again, I’m not trying to teach a class here, only trying to let you know about people in the DC area who may deserve more of an audience and who you may enjoy hearing.

     for now though, let’s just say that - this has been longer than I intended but, it Just   couldn't be helped. I'd like to start by giving you an over view by way of notable press mentions of the top 5 Dc area jazz albums, and sure, some of these people are mentioned here. Below and elsewhere:

     We'll deal with drums first as that's what i do and also, hey, why not?


       Warren Wolf

     To be honest, I heard about this guy who plays vibes, drums, bass, and piano, and thought, yeah, right. No one can really do that much well. I mean sure I got it that he can play vibes early on by attending a show or two but even so. Not an amazing thing all by itself. But wait as there’s more; the truth is that, though I don’t know what he’s like as a bassist and think I’d need to play with him as I’m a drummer, in order too, decide, I can now say that – it’s not hype. He really plays great drums, and vibes. And I’d hire him as a pianist also assuming that that worked for all concerned. As a vibes player, he’s a bad-ass. As a drummer? Yeah, same thing. And to tell you the truth, I’d prefer him and his playing to allot of people in general. He’s got great time, a great sense of innovation, and yup, he’s not loud and or busy enough to trip my please, stop and or pick one or the other alarm. Lots of people are too busy for my taste, or too loud. Either one is fine give or take, but for my money, far too many drummers do the loud and busy thing both at once and together. Which though necessary for allot of band leaders, frankly it just isn’t my bag in terms of taste. But he somehow manages to be just the right amount of both as a drummer, while keeping my interest. Not as easy as you may think, I can assure you…

      Gary Jinkins:

    so my friend and one of my teachers now has a web site. And i can tell you this, which is that Gary is one of the somewhat few people in town who's drumming i always! enjoy hearing. Its hard to be or feel tired when he plays, no matter what kind of day you had. Though he's originally From Cleveland O, i for one am glad that he's chosen to continue to live here in the DC area.

     J Jefferson:

    J is the most recent example of someone who made me say - huh, if you can afford
    him and find him first, give him a call, He's not the only one that gives me that feeling but, he's one of the very very few, and to tell the truth, I'm trying to sound and be more like him, give or take. He's not so all fired loud as are many drummers, and for my money, he just really has it goin' on. and he's just sounding better than ever.
    Lenny Robinson:

    His playin, usually a touch louder than j, is just excellent. if you're looking for something that is often the best of many worlds, Lenny might just be it. at least one Recording has Him playing with tenor sax man, Ron Hollaway that you may wish to seek out. He has something with his own trio now too that's great as well. He has a really beautiful slightly more open than the 1950's style that i use to try and emulate myself, a bit like Jimmy Cobb..
     Chuck Redd:

     Though he's becoming equally known for his vibes playing, Chuck was originally and still is a dam good drummer, and actually, I've studied with him and Lenny both. His shows are always fun, partly because of his personality, and there aint nothing wrong with that. there are plenty of great records with him playing vibes that you might enjoy. Those would be recordings under Chucks name. also what he recorded with the late Guitarist Charlie Byrd,

    you may wish to check in to all of those. You can find links For Lenny, and Chuck on my web site.
    Harrold Summey:


     any show where he's the drummer is excellent. Harold has great control of not only the hands but the feet also and that's a bit unusual. He won a Thelonius Monk first place percussion award as well, and that's no lie.

    He's kind of a cross between Ben Riley, Buddy Rich and Max Roach. and probably a lot better than most people even the really good players that most people believe are really good. If you pay to see him play, you'll get your money's worth.
    Believe! it.
     Speaking of Buddy Barry hart is the nearest thing to seeing Buddy Rich if you missed out on seeing him live and many of us did. I know that it seems weird to say so little about either of the just mentioned here but, the favorite jazz performances I’ve attended section on this blog will say more as needed. also, i didn't find much or anything about Barry when i tried so, my suggestion is to check out Guitarist Rick Whitehead and his trio as Barry is a usual drummer with him. Always really deeply fun and exciting music.


     Robert Redd:

      Robert, Brother of Chuck Redd, just mentioned is always managing to surprise me, but not in an alienating way as some do. Just when you think ok, i know who you are and what you'll do, he proves that i don't and it's always fun and musical when he's playing for you.

     Jon Ozment:

     Keep an eye out for when he's playing as he's able to do anything musical at any instant, and - that's more than cool. I know this because we did a gig together, and he did that hey I’m right there with you no matter what you do thing even while playing the role of bassist at the same time.. It's clear that Jon has heard everything but, he does what's needed, when needed, not as easy as it sounds.

    Bob Sykes:

     He's another one that can really make it happen with the left hand bass or darn near anything else too evidently.. I did a gig with him and a vocalist once and, he was always right there with whatever we needed, no problem, much more difficult than I’m making it sound to be that good a player let me assure you. and he knows lots of music, anything that classy people like us might enjoy.
     Allyn Johnson:

     Any gig that has him as the pianist is a  great time. He's very humble, and just really has it goin on. he Also does a good bit of gospel as well.

     Janelle Gil:
     Always fun to hear and as good as any man and better than most of those who claim to play piano. What can I say, it's difficult to suppress emotion when you hear her play. She doesn't forget the blues in her playing and that's something that many of us appreciate very much.
    Paul Rosenberg:

     He Plays some darn good piano and even sax and flute too. It's amazing how together some people can be as he's been doing the day job and family thing a lot too but, hey, for someone who is able to play for less than a small fortune, he's really got it going on pretty darn good. and yup, I say that as someone who has performed with him also

     Kim Reynolds:]
    As someone who's performed with him a good few times, I can say,  he's one of my favorites when it comes to playing as part of a band the size of a quartet or more. Not everyone has what it takes to be a team player, but Kim does.
    Paul Wingo:

     Paul recently passed This year - 2014 - we're sorry to say. He was a great guy and will be missed.
    This is one guitarist who, was always musical and you certainly didn't notice the lack of a pianist if there was none around and To tell the truth you might as well know that when it comes to jazz, that's a lot of what goes in to my enjoyment of a guitarist.
    Dave Mosic:

     He is another one who you should check out when you can as he's just an all around good player who really knows allot as well. and, as a matter of fact, he studied ear training with an under discussed guy named Asher Zlotnic as did my buddy Justin Lees. In other words, it's a real musician who can really use their ear like those guys can; those who know how too as they've been trained as just mentioned.
      Donato Soviero:  

    This is another one you should really check out. Again, a truely humble funny guy and a really world class musician also.

    Russell Rodgers:

    He's a good guy and just really got it going on and really knows the music and it feels great playing with him. Saddly, that's much more difficult to find than one might suppose. If I were going to learn bass, He'd be on the top 3 or five people to study with in the DC Area for me.

      The Late Butch Warren

    Butch was known for being an amazingly musical presence on a good few Bluenote jazz recordings in the 1960's. Dexter Gordon's record entitled Go for example. he passed on October 5th of 2013. I can say that I am honored to have had the chance to play with him several times at various jam sessions and even a time or two on a gig of mine. Those occasions were a beautiful thing. He was all about just making the music happen. To me he'll always be the friendly giant who was never to good to chat with one of us regular guys. there's no denying that he really was just a great guy to have played with. You should definitely read more about him on the web site available at the link above, and also do yourself a favor and make sure that you have at least one record in your collection that has him playing bass as i certainly do.
    Cyndy Elliott:

     Now, she's, doing something that's very exciting with her swingtopia Jazz octet. Let’s just say that it's a small big band that's a truely welcomed blast from the past as far as i'm concerned.
    Anyone thinking that they're going to easily best her, on bass has different tastes than i do.
    Zach Pride:

    I sat in with him for a tune once and it was really nice, just a really beautiful thing he has going on there. to say nothing of the impressive resume.

    Tommy Cecil:

    Any time when he's  on bass is a good time. He's again, friendly, funny, and everyone seems to just be having fun when he's playing and or around. Tommy can Often be found playing with Chuck Redd when possible.
    David Jernigan:

     He's someone who evidently knows and can play everything as he knows tons of songs, both jazz and scadds of famous and neglected tunes from here and Brazil. And he's ok with a drummer not being an electric clock too, which is always refreshing. You won't easily find anyone more musical than David. and I can say that from having played with him and from time spent getting to know him as well.
    Bhagwan Kahlsa:

    He  plays some darn good bass, in terms of my taste in bassists at any rate.. and Actually, I sat in at a jam where he was the house bassist and, looking back, i recall that he was doing all the right stuff. Not too loud, not to this, not to that, just letting the music happen, and Not everyone seems able or willing to do that as I’ve found. and, like David J, he's a real musician as he knows tons of music by heart. Just very easy to play with which, is sadly lacking. No  need to ask what I think right? :)

    Michael Bowie:


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     is also especially excellent at that no pushing no shoving, just letting the music happen with skill and grace thing.. Somewhat like Bhagwan and Zack,He just often has this beautiful light touch that a medium to quiet drummer like me really appreciates. He's not the only one who does but, he's one of the somewhat few who does. Or that's what it felt like to me when i sat in on a tune with him once.

    Max Murry is also just amazingly good and i know this as we played a wedding gig together, and Let me tell you, any gig is fun when a guy like Max is playing bass. Again, he just aloud me to be me, just lets the music happen instead of forcing it to happen. It's ok if someone else likes the forcing thing but, personally it's just not my taste. - Similar
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    she really has a great unique voice, and it's just hard to be bored when she sings i must say... Happy to have Anita King:

     She's really got the kind of thing going on that made me think, really, only one song? is that all i'm getting? Then again, it was a jam thus room had to be made for others as well. She may say that she hasn't been singing jazz for long  but, so what. Did I like it is what i care about and if i do then that's what leads me to give someone mention here. In other words, though lots of people are "good"  that doesn't mean that i enjoy hearing them. But if they're good and i enjoyed it, well that's what turnes me on. Being good by itself isn't enough any more and she did it for me on both counts.

       Randy Ruff:

     Our time performing together at a private event was really great fun, to say the least He has a way of just keeping your attention that’s not un heard of but not always easy to find either. Again, he draws your attention to him if your in a music mood, he doesn’t demand it. And he’s not someone who always does the same songs that everyone else does either though he can do that too.
    Julie  Mack:

     I've performed with her as well, and that was also great fun. She seems to have that rare thing going on where she is really connected to what i call her inner self. She kind of has this way of getting her thing across without killing you with brightness and loudness. Pitty not all vocalist or any kind of musicians get that; never the less, She just really is easy to hear, and impossible not to enjoy. very musical stuff
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    Vocalist Julie Mack performs jazz and Brazilian music in the Washington, DC area.

       Karen Lovejoy:
     She’s another one who I’ve done some really fun gigs with and, she also has a really great record, CD, that you should get. That has a wonderful original on it and lots of other good stuff. She just really has a unique approach to melody and a really nice relaxed sound that's easy to hear and like and hard to ignore.
     Mike is extremely impressive as a vocalist and I don’t say that just because he’s an old friend. He’s also a first rate sound man, a good pianist, a beast of a musician, and sings the heck out of jazz, gospel, and! r and b.. And, if that wasn't enough, he knows lots of tunes and scat sings very well.

     We once had a gig with trumpeter Kevin Jefferson and, though it was just the three of us, it was one of the most musical and wonderful experiences that I’ve ever had. Why is that? it’s because he listens well, and really understands music. also, Mike plays the role of bass and pianist at the same time, both so So Well, that it’s just a joy to experience and play with. Playing that duel roll is called playing left-handed bass, by the way, a skill that many pianists may think that they have and that most probably really don’t have. And his ear is well, perfect, ya know, just like mine;) ha-ha.

     I’m not done; and though Mike brings a lot of sound gear, not always but often enough, it’s not just for show, he actually knows how to use it, and that's pretty cool as That’s lacking in my experience... Who knew right? Well, now you do too.
     though a good rant is cool, ,  I Really enjoy giving credit where and when it’s due.

         horn players:

    How about harmonica to start?
    I just saw Phil Wiggins in concert and honestly, he's just the best of all words Ian in my correct opinion. He plays the heck out of the blues and plays plenty of jazz as well. Just a truly fun friendly bad-ass.
    next lets turn to a big band performance as
    after all
    what better place to find horn players.

     As of 2113, for 14 years Every Friday 6 to 9 pm, The Westminster Church located at 400 I Street Nw in our nation’s capital, is a place to check out some live jazz. Just about anyone who’s anyone in town wants to play at this authentically cool venue. Admission is only $5, and they have food for sale down stairs.

     This time it’s all about some of the most musically lovely ladies in town with the Shannon Gunn big band. A vocalist friend once booked a gig that had her, myself and two horns as part of the group and Shannon was one of them. the other horn player on the date enjoyed her trombone playing as much as i did. At any rate, this was a 16 piece big band and half of them are accounted for in terms of this usually better than average memory of mine.

    ·         On piano was Amy K Bormet who I’ve played with before as well, which is great as she’s shockingly good for her age, and actually become darn good for any age. On bass was the always respected Amy Shook, and on drums was Lidia Louis who I don’t know and had really only heard of but certainly enjoyed hearing more than most. Providing an alternative to Shannon’s own sound was trombonist Jen Krupa. who I’ve seen play before and who i enjoy immensely. Lee Pelzer played Baritone sax, and that’s always a welcomed addition for any big band and always a treat. Halley Shoneberg was on Clarinette and sax. On Tenor Sax and clarinette, was a new name for me, Anita Thomas. Conversation with her after the show revealed that clarinette was her first instrument, and had she done a clarinette solo on more than one song, she might have stolen the show.

    I’m going to just try and cut this a tad short as it’s easy to just keep going here but, really the big thing for me are two things. One, did it seem credible and also, did i enjoy myself, and though the answer is often yes, it’s certainly not always been yes, just like any type of experience in life. Thus Shannon really made it happen and my feeling is that only someone at death’s door would not have enjoyed the big band of wonderful women that night. To use the words of a family friend from childhood, it was “seriously good.”

       Seth Kibel:

      Seth plays Jazz and other things as well. Tenor Sax and clarinette and both very well. He’s probably one of the most cheerful musicians I’ve met and it shows in his playing. A real performer and really just someone who is evidently able to adapt his vision for any number of situations, with world music one day, and a version of a classic rock radio ballad the next. Truely an experience;
    Bruce Krohmer: 

    Bruce if you didn't know is, producer of The Takoma Park Jazz fest, and he also plays some wonderful clarinet, and that’s just such a cool thing and not so easy to find these days. He plays good tenor sax too but, I just love that clarinet. "seriously good" just really burn’in, no exaduration. - Similar
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    We are a local charitable organization that brings Jazz in its traditional and more modern forms to suburban Maryland and DC. Every June...

       Lyle Link:
     He plays some nice alto and tenor, but he really plays some amazing flute that’s really gotten my attention. And i don’t mean yeah that's nice I mean really ass kick flute.
       Antonio parker:

     He’s One of my favorite people to catch up with, and plays some really seriously good Alto sax. but did you know that he can play the heck out of soprano sax also? Well it was years before I knew either. His Link is on the Bio page of my main site.
    Muneer Nasser plays trump
    et and flugelhorn, not unusual maybe but, he has also gotten in to playing bass, probably Gods plan as his father was a wonderful player who you may have on some jazz records. That would be the late Jameel Nasser, formerly George Joiner. and that’s worth taking
     note of.. and, if that wasn’t enough, he’s also now an author. who knew, well now you do too. Here's Muneer playing with a wonderful band that i was a part of with Mike Nicholas at the Takoma Park jazz fest.

       Let’s not even try to have everyone I like outside of the Washington DC area be a discussion, so I’ll just say a thing or two and then leave off for now.

     Guitarist Justin Lees comes to mind as he’s one guitarist that’s able to satisfy just as much as most pianists, not so easy to find I find. Pianists Roberta Pickett, Noah Hydu and Johnny O’Neal are some favorites of mine when it comes to pianists not living here in DC..

     Bassist Ameen Saleem and Melissa Slokem Come to mind as well.

     Also, drummers Winard Harper, Billy Hart, Jeff Hamilton, Willy Jones the third, And Joe Farnsworth, are some very favorites of mine in case you find you can’t sleep without knowing that.
    , last and never least, Lets never forget, Branford Marcellus and His wisdom and completely amazing and beautiful soprano sax playing.

    I say more about other Washington DC based musicians in another post, but its based more so on live performances I’ve enjoyed.

    1 comment:

    1. you ought to check out my vocalist friend Angela Thomson; she even recorded a record with me as the drummer and you can hear it here;