Sunday, September 5, 2010

Music From an American Roots Perspective--FIRST EDITION!

O'God, Another Blog
This blog is named after famed Chicago DJ from the Golden Age of Jazz, the 1950s, Holmes "Daddy-O" Daylie. Dad-E-O on the Rad-E-O. "The music host who loves you the most." Sunday nights on one of Chicago's 50,000-watt stations, WMAQ, was time for Daddy-O's Jazz Patio. Daddy-O was a man of poetic patter and fluid-drive jive. And Daddy-O came in clear on clear nights though you had to keep fine tuning with the pots or moving the antenna around if there were weather disturbances between wherever you were and Chicago.

Here's Daddy-O's bio from

"The music host who loves you most," Holmes "Daddy-O" Daylie was born May 15, 1920, in Covington, Tennessee. His mother died during childbirth and his father five years later, leaving him to be raised by an older brother, Clinton. The family moved to Chicago's South Side when Daylie was a child. He attended John D. Shoop Elementary and Morgan Park High schools. A talented athlete, after graduation Daylie played professional basketball with the Harlem Yankees and the Globetrotters. However, he soon tired of the lodging discrimination encountered while traveling across the country, and he returned to Chicago to begin a new career.

Affectionately called "Daddy-O" long before his entrance into radio, Daylie was known for his linguistic gymnastics and sense of humor. These qualities proved the key to his success. Daylie was discovered in 1947 while working as a bartender in the Beige Room of the Pershing Hotel where famous disc jockey Dave Garroway was impressed by the artistic rhymes Daylie used while serving his clientele. On Garroway's suggestion, Daylie enrolled in radio school to refine his skills and, in 1948, Daddy-O's Jazz Patio made its debut on WAIT.

Daylie's relaxed style and hip improvisational rhythmic monologues during the 45- minute program were an instant success. In addition to introducing audiences to the innovative sounds of jazz, blues and swing music, Daylie used his program as a platform to further the cause of civil rights and to highlight other social maladies in African American communities. One of his proudest achievements was Operation Christmas Basket, which helped feed hungry Chicagoans during the holiday season.

After leaving WAIT, Daylie first joined the staff of WMAQ radio and then WAAF. He retired in 1988. Daylie died on February 6, 2003.

There were three 1950s DJs (disk jockeys) that influenced my life's directions growing up out on the rather isolated plains of West Texas. I heard their voices and the music they played over three very powerful radio stations, 50,000-watt clear-channel AM radio stations (there was no FM yet; there was no stereophonics yet either) I was able to pick up late at night on my Hallicrafters shortwave radio. These were DJs who I devotedly listened to night after night from my early teens until I went to college when there were suddenly a plethora of local FM jazz stations...and then suddenly there was stereophonic sound, too, and two-channel stereophonic recording and broadcasting. But at that time, these three DJs kept my young naive and growing-up self up-to-date in one of those future devotions that had already materialized in my young life and had grabbed my musical directions by the reins. And I respected these guys, their delivery, their knowledge, their coolness. Through these guys, I became enchanted by the lady Duke Ellington called Madame Zzaj, the mother symbol of that great American classical music I grew up living in and getting to know and love as Jazz. And Jazz Music became my mistress (Duke Ellington's autobiography was called Music Is My Mistress)--Progressive Jazz Music in my case--Contemporary Jazz Music it was also called--Modern Jazz Music it was also being called...a Jazz that became one of my life-long mistresses...and passions. (Listen to McCoy Tyner playing "Passion Flower.")

Jazz became the music that ruled my everyday life: through my speech, my thinking, my actions, my look, my clothing styles, my cultural understandings, my life-long habits.

The main DJ I always tried to catch was Daddy-O Daley out of Chicago. Why him? The reason, and this is true: he was Black and I knew straight up he was Black and he played the best Black Jazz and sent out the best Jazz comments along with the music. And I emphasize this because most of the other famous JAZZ DJs in that age were White, like my other two favorites: Wes Bowen who came in on week nights around 1 in my mornings on KSL out of Salt Lake City and then my main man, Dick "Doc" Martin, whose "Moonglow With Martin" Jazz show came in from 11:30 pm to 1 am every week night via WWL in New Orleans. I actually communicated for awhile by mail with Martin, who always started his replies by addressing me as "Doc Mike" and then giving in shorthand his answer to a question I had asked him or saying he was going to play one of my many requests on a certain coming night.

I also devotedly read both Metronome and Down Beat magazines every week. And I would especially excitedly hurry to read all the reviews for new album releases that came out week-to-week. It was fun too to check out the various record company ads where they listed their new releases along with old releases still hot and also published stock photos of their new album covers. For a while, Jazz albums carried contemporary art on their sleeves (covers), which was called "cover art." Like Andy Warhol did some covers for Victor and Blue Note, one for Victor a famous one for an Artie Shaw album. Pacific Jazz covers contained the works of contemporary Californian artists. And David Stone Martin became Jazz famous as a cover artist for Norman Granz's early Norgran, Clef, and Verve albums.
An Andy Warhol JJ Johnson-Kai Winding-Benny Green Prestige Cover: It's a 16 rpm recording!!
David Stone Martin's cover for Verve's "Charlie Parker Volume 2" LP. The saxophone is a Bird!! And that looks like a hummingbird sucking nectar out of Diz's trumpet bell!

Metronome was a monthly but Down Beat was a weekly, same as Billboard and Variety were the weeklies for the pop and commercial music crowd. I'd see new releases I wanted to hear so if I liked what I heard I'd have the lady at my hometown record store special order them for me. So I'd write Doc Martin and Wes Bowen and even Daddy-O and request they play cuts from these albums. I never got a reply from Daddy-O, though I do remember for sure I wrote him several times asking that he play something for me.

Through the radio and later on many a late night I'd listen to the remote broadcasts from New York City, Chicago, and the West Coast--like Symphony Sid's and Bob Garrity's live remotes from Birdland in New York City in the very early 50s--one of those in 1951 on which I first heard Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie and their All Stars--that first time hearing Bird and Diz turning me instantly into a Bopper, a Be-Bopper, a beret-wearing, bop-beard sporting, pipe-smoking Bopster. A Hep Cat. Then a Hip Cat. Then a Hipster. Which led to Hippy. Which led to Yippie. Just a few notes out of the bells of Diz's and Bird's horns and my life was changed from then on.

But in reality, all Jazz music had me hooked--then later over the big clear-channel radio stations in Shreveport, Louisiana, and Nashville, Tennessee, I heard the White DJs peddling record-shop blues packages--and through shows like "Stan's Record Review" from Shreveport and "Randy's Record Review" from Nashville, I came face-to-face with the Blues--with country blues, with urban blues, with acoustic blues, with electric blues. And the Blues became the measurement I used to judge my Jazz--the Blues in those days being the fountainhead from which came the highest forms of Jazz, this just prior to Whites bringing European music forms into Jazz--starting back in the early days of Bop with White pianist Lennie Tristano--who blended the Blues into a European mix of fuguing and rondoing and "taking five" to come up with, to a White boy, very complicated improvising though at times shallow in terms of swing and drive and improvisational extension--the White influences into Jazz being variations on Black themes that emerged from the improvisational solos of the great Black masters and mentors--by improvising modally on these Black themes, White jazz musicians brought in another measurement device, the argumentative ear, and soon there developed in jazz contests to see if jazz musicians could identify other jazz musicians. Every week Down Beat, for instance, ran Leonard Feather's "Blind-fold Test" where Jazz stars listened to records Leonard played and then not only did these stars try to identify the musicians on those records but also at the end rated them by giving them stars--five stars--same as good cognac--being the highest rating a record could get. As a result of these contests, I developed a great argumentative ear and became fairly proficient at distinguishing individual sounds of individual jazz musicians. The big stars were easy, but I also had a knack of being able to identify players who weren't that well-known in even the hippest of jazz circles--like hearing a record and saying, "That's Bill Triglia on piano...." or "That's Frog Walton on trombone...I met him when I lived in New Orleans...and coincidentally met a niece of his one night at Sweet Basil's in New York City while digging Lou Donaldson."

And then in 1964, my Jazz world was violently intruded upon by 4 little cereal-bowl hair-cutted White boys from Liverpool, England. Not into Jazz at all (though I know they heard American Jazz on Brit radio; later they put the Modern Jazz Quartet and a lot of Jazz on their Apple label), but they were infected mostly by U.S.A. Blues, especially the Blues of our heavy original rockers like Paul Williams (the man who took Parker's "Now's the Time" and turned it into "The Huckle-Buck" and whose "Slow Down" the Beatles copycatted Whitely on their first album), or Chuck Berry or Ike Turner, Chuck and Ike to me the true originators of what we now call "Rock" but then was called "Rock 'n Roll" or really "Rhythm & Blues." As Muddy Waters sang, "The Blues had a baby/And they named it 'Rock 'n Roll'"--but the Beatles through their Brit music background, grounded in a church mode, turned our swinging side-to-side rhythmic rock 'n roll into a pogo-stick-beat that caught on with the White kids who had extra money enough to buy records and soon we American Jazz Music lovers, who'd snootily played down Rock 'n Roll, were left out in the cold of obsolescence and were overwhelmed and put gradually out of business by what's now known in American Music History as "the British Invasion."

Jazz Music Before the Beatles is really the Jazz era I'm still hung up in. Is it obsolete anyway now? Yes, it is in terms of it's being listened to by a public or being played the way it was then played in the so many places to play. And record stores had Jazz sections...and music was still being recorded on LPs--and Jazz players could play for 20 minutes on one tune (like John Handy's truly magnificently wonderful performances at the 1964 Monterrey Jazz Festival).

michael greene
(local blues legend)
Mister Greene's Top Ten Jazz Albums

These albums had a profound effect on me and the direction I was taking my ear and my own playing back when I was living and listening among the roots of the beginnings of blues, jazz, r&b, rock 'n roll, and American classical music. By the time I entered college I was a fairly proficient jazz pianist. The music on these albums all boiled together to give me a style and a new direction in Jazz and life--a life of true improvising--of working off a riff.

  1. Dizzy Gillespie "The Champ" on Savoy.
  2. Charlie Parker & Dizzy Gillespie (with Monk, Curly Russell, and Buddy Rich) "Bird & Diz" on Mercury (under Norman Granz).
  3. The Thelonious Monk Quintet, (with Sam Jones, Thad Jones (Thad is unbelievable on this album), Art Taylor, Charlie Rouse) "5 x Monk x 5" on Riverside, 1959 (awesome "Jacky-ing").
  4. The Jimmy Giuffre Four (Jimmy Giuffre tenor, clarinet; Jack Sheldon, trumpet; Ralph Pena, bass; and Artie Anton, drums), "Tangents in Jazz," on Capitol.
  5. Les McCann & Eddie Harris, "Swiss Movement," on Atlantic.
  6. Charlie Christian, "The Charlie Christian Story" on Columbia; Charlie Christian & Lester Young, "Together" (the first LP featuring Charlie with the Benny Goodman Ork and Quintets and Quartets; the second being a Benny Goodman session featuring Prez playing with Christian in a BG small group first discovered in the 80s and issued on an off-brand label.
  7. Miles Davis's "Kind of Blue," on Columbia. The first stereo jazz album. And oh what an impact this album had on all of jazz--Miles bringing his Cool forward into its hottest form--a form that would lead Coltrane on forward into a transcendent jazz--a form that led Herbie and Wayne and Ron and Anthony into what became fusion--and causing Wynton Marsalis to eventually try and return us to the days of Louis Armstrong and his New Orleans kind of jazz improvising--more of a marching band improvising (listen to Art Blakey's "Blues March," on his "Moanin'" album on Blue Note, with Lee Morgan stepping off on the trumpet).
  8. Jaki Byard's extraordinarily unique recordings "Live From Lennie's on the Turnpike"--volumes 1 & 2--with Joe Farrell, Allan Dawson (Tony Williams's drum teacher), George Tucker (great bass player whose head exploded (brain aneurysm, I think) at a young age), and Jaki wailing away with his special brand of piano, an all-encompassing piano, as Jaki taught [and in the future, The Daddy O'Daily will feature an interview with a jazz pianist who actually studied with Jaki Byard in his home in New York City's Lower East Side--the same apartment the great Jaki Byard was found dead in bed with a bullet in his head one morning by his daughter. Who shot this dear man was never determined--assuming it could have been simply a stray bullet fired at random down on the street or from a roof across from Jaki's bedroom window--bad loss to jazz)]. Groundbreaking album for me; Jaki with the freedom he needed to show his stuff, though there's a video of Jaki in Norway with Mingus, Danny Richman, Eric Dolphy, Clifford Jordon, and one of my favorite trumpet players, Little Johnny Coles, where Jaki steals the show with his out-of-the-common-ordinary-world's solos).
  9. Bud Powell on the ESP label, "Earl Bud Powell" recorded in Paris in 1961 live at the Blue Note Cafe in Paris, with Pierre Micholet on bass and Kenny Clarke (Klook) on drums--with an especially brilliant respectful version of Bud's "Thelonious" and his "Dance of the Infidels" called "Shaw 'Nuff" on this album. Yes, Bud was sick and in bad mental shape during this time, but he was working every night in Paris, at the Blue Note, and all over northern Europe, with different pick-up rhythm sections--and ESP (the old Esperanto label) recorded a whole series of Bud Powell Lps, some of them never issued. This album was original called "Three Bosses" but was released by ESP in the 70s as a memorial to Bud who died in 1966. I went through a divorce in '74 and was caught in a pit of blues and heavy depression and I left my apartment very sad and down and walked over to a big Sam Goody Record Store up the block from my apartment and searched through the jazz albums and couldn't find anything I wanted until I came across this album stashed in the very back of the jazz bin. When I got it home, I almost wore it out the first day--and I played it over and over and it was Bud erratic, yes, but having moments of such great swinging involvement in his recreations of these tunes that had been embedded in his head since he was a baby--especially this version of "Dance of the Infidels" ("Shaw 'Nuff"), which along with "Thelonius" has always intrigue me to my jazz bone.
  10. Charles Mingus, "Tijuana Moods," Mingus venture with the RCA-Victor label. It was originally recorded in 1957 but wasn't released until 1962. I mean this album caught me, hugged me, and enfolded me into its fold. I had just had one of my plays published in a San Francisco-based literary magazine that also contained a play by the Black playwright Lonnie Elder. How surprised was I to find Lonnie Elder credited on this Mingus tour de force as doing the voices; Mingus letting his Mexican heritage come out of him after he and Danny Richmond had visited Tijuana from L.A. a time of bacchanalian visions and bloodlust remembrances and letting it all come out in this extraordinary listening adventure. Of course I've been into Mingus since I first heard Pithacantropus Erectus in mono back in college, but not like I got into him after I got hooked on this album.
Of course this list is my personal list. I'm sure some of you jazz experts have a totally different list--like where's my John Coltrane listing? Coltrane didn't have the effect on me he had on the younger jazz guys, though I certainly listened to everything he did and did find--like WOW--"Alabama" or "A Love Supreme"--absolutely other-world but still jazz and hard-swinging jazz, too--Elvin Jones! I mean, come on--and Jimmy Garrison--McCoy Tynner--and what a piano master McCoy became out of working with Coltrane. And Remember Leon Thomas? Another unique voice that slipped into jazz big time and now is far out in the jazz pastures--way out there with Eddie Jefferson, King Pleasure, Babs Gonzales, Jackie Paris. And I loved Coltrane's album he did that Alice Coltrane put out after his death. And where's my Duke Ellington LP? And one Ellington LP would be his film music, "Anatomy of a Murder"--the filmscore to Otto Preminger's truly 50's masterpiece with Jimmy Stewart, the slippery beautiful and enticing Lee Remick, and the very evil Ben Gazzara. What a movie and Duke plays Pie-Eye in it and a little out-of-the-Duke band combo is playing with Pie-Eye in the window of a roadhouse bar and grill up in Upper Michigan, Iron City, to be exact. I know Duke played Fargo, North Dakota, one year, but I rather doubt if he ever played Iron City, Michigan, though oh how wrong I may be since the Duke Ellington Band could have worked every city and town in every state in the Union that band worked so hard and long so many years. And there are so many albums I left out--so many Oscar Peterson albums; Clifford Brown-Max Roach albums on Emarcy; Gerry Mulligan Quartet albums with Chet Baker on Pacific Jazz; Eric Dolphy albums, too, especially those with Mingus, but also one with Chico Hamilton recorded out in LA of Duke Ellington tunes. And Monk's Blue Note and Riverside albums--those "Live at the Five Spot" albums with Coltrane and then Little Johnny Griffin--"Misterioso"--"In Walked Bud," with the amazing Abdul Malik on bass. Or Eddie Costa--I could have listed an Eddie Costa LP--the genius of Eddie Costa at the piano or on the vibes. I could go on listing albums that influenced me until I was way over 100, but the above 10 represent those that when I think back to when I was "learning" jazz by listening to every LP that came out as fast as they came out they sparkle free of the mine like the biggest diamonds I mined from those, all, greatest albums ever recorded.
The Music of Charles Ives
Playing a Church Standard on a Church Pipe Organ in an Ivesian Style
From New York City jazz pianist and working musician and church music director, Douglas Jordon, an example of how he took a standard church hymn, "Where He Leads Me," and jived it up using his knowledge of Ivesian improvisation. Here's how he did it:

"I picked an old chestnut, so old they're sick of it: Where He Leads Me. I give it the Ives treatment, beginning with some florid figuration based on the mi-re-fa-mi, on F, from the melody which gradually gets more dissonant until I end up on Eb where I play the melody rhythm on a dissonant Eb chord with clusters, sounds kinda Rite of Springish, but I'm really just playing the rhythm from the melody. Then it abruptly ends, leaving one Eb, and the pedals start in 3/4 so-do-so-so and I play the melody in parody, all wrong notes, but it's recognizable. When I get to 'I can hear my Savior calling' I stop on the IV, big chord, holding with moving notes in the middle, very impressive texture on a pipe organ. Then back to F with another rhythm this time on "Follow", make a vamp out of that, then go into a New Orleans 4. The musicians enter, we play it down once and end it. Big success.

Thanks Mr Ives."

From an email, Douglas Jordon, Sunday, September 5th, New York City. Douglas Jordon is represented at his improvisational best on his CD "Live to Tell" with his trio Dreamchanges: Douglas Jordon, piano; George Farmer, bass (Art's boy--remember Addison Farmer?); and Ahmed Kharem on drums. Recorded in 2000 and issued on his private label. Doug is a brilliant jazz stylist. He studied with Jaki Byard and Jaki taught him to respect all styles of jazz piano and try and learn them--and Doug was a good student--and this album shows his appreciation of Bill Evans and modal jazz--and Doug picks old Bill's bones clean--and I'm quite sure, Bill, if he's still keeping tabs on jazz, totally approves of Doug's consistent smooth and cool brilliance on this CD.
This is our introductory issue (post). We will try to keep this blog as "active" as we have time. Coming soon (we hope) are a listing of rare Charles Ives sheet musics and LPs in our running Ives collection of LPs and sheet music--which one day, in the far future, will be found on sale as a collection. We also, like we said, will have first an interview with a musician who studied with Jaki Byard and hopefully other interviews with other musicians (jazz, blues, rock, r&b, hip-hop, whatever) of our acquaintance, and double-hopefully current reviews of current jazz and American classical happenings, CDs, concerts, etc.

Please feel free to Comment--no matter how perhaps anti-Daddy O'Daily they are--we welcome harsh as well as respectful COMMENTS.
michael greene
"the man in current charge"
Remembering Herman Leonard, Jazz Photographer, Who Left Us This Year

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