JMood Records...A Sound Choice...The intersection of art and audio!

 

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RELEASING DATE - NOVEMBER 1, 2021

 

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RELEASING DATE - MARCH 1, 2022

 

It is with great sadness that JMood Records reports the loss of Alonzo "Scooter" Powell. 

Scooter worked on the 2010 JMood Records "Cannonball Funk" project in Kansas City, Missouri with Roberto Magris. 

Scooter was instrumental in helping our young artists on this project navigate thru some complex rhythmic patterns, while adding a feel of jazz funk and credibility to the session. 

Scooter was also a part of our first 2006 "live" recording project at the famous Catalina's Jazz Club in Hollywood, California performing and recording with the famous and legendary bassist Dr. ART DAVIS, Tony Lakatos on sax from Germany, and Roberto Magris on piano from Italy. 

On this date, we were scheduled to record 2 nights, a total of 4 sets of recorded music. However, only remnants of the recording and video survive due to an unusual audio/video snafus experienced by the mobile recording engineer. This was frustrating and disappointing and an expensive mistake. 

The "live" recording date was very special to us since Catalina's was not keen on booking us or spreading the red carpet as it were for "new" jazz acts like ours at the time. 

I worked with Jason Parson (Jay McShann’s grandson) and asked if he would help us book the date at Catalina’s, which he did. Even though we had stellar artist like Dr. Art, Tony Lakatos and Scooter who had performed there before, they still made it difficult for us to be successful, in addition to the technical difficulties we experienced. This would have crushed us from the start, however, it made me more determined to keep moving forward. Remembering the advice of the late Jay McShann who told me to keep starting a spark here and there until things get started. 

The show in Hollywood, CA at Catalina’s was dedicated to the legend Jay McShann and family from Kansas City who were very supportive of my efforts in jazz. 

A funny story now, but, not at the time, is when after securing the gig at Catalina’s and I began putting the unit together, Dr. Art was interested in who would be on the gig. I knew for sure it would be Roberto Magris and Tony Lakatos but was still trying to secure the drum chair with someone Dr. Art was familiar with (Jack DeJohnette, Idris Muhammad, and the like). I contacted Jack DeJohnette who was not interested in working with us. Time was slipping away from me when my wife suggested her cousin “Scooter” Powell, drummer who lived in Los Angeles, CA at the time. 

We mentioned our cousin “Scooter” to Dr. Art, and he exploded…! He thought we were trying to sneak our cousin on to the gig and did not like it one bit. On the verge of losing the opportunity to work with the legend, Roberto wanted me to try and salvage the opportunity. So, I booked a flight and arranged a person-to-person meeting with Dr. Art in Hollywood, CA at a Greek restaurant at the time (about a block away from Capitol Records). Dr. Art had eaten there before either before or after a recording session at the famous Capitol Records studio. 

I remember my wife was very terse with Dr. Art and calmed him down and we were able to work out a compromise. One night of the gig we would work with John Alessi on drums and the next night we would work with “Scooter” on drums. Somehow peace prevailed… 

“Scooter” has worked with several Grammy Award winning artist such as Sting, James Ingram, Stevie Wonder, Patti LaBelle, Bruce Conte, Kashif, and Norman Brown just to mention a few. 

I remember we would always inquire of Scooter where he was in the world and at times who he was performing with if he could talk about it. We were very proud of him! 

Scooter had a beautiful spirit and was always available to us if we needed him musically! Will truly be missed.

The JMood Records Family is saddened by the loss of Sam Reed. 

Sam Reed worked with us in Kansas City, Missouri on the 2013 Roberto Magris studio recording of “Ready For Reed”.  I first became acquainted with Sam Reed after my association and conversations with Albert “Tootie” Heath of the famous musical family of Heath Brothers. Tootie Heath worked with us on two projects. Morgan Rewind: A Tribute to Lee Morgan volume 1 and One Night In With Hope and More volume 1. 

Initially, my conversations with Tootie Heath centered around his contemporary, neighborhood musician and Philadelphia great Lee Morgan. As I was interviewing Tootie Heath, he mentioned several legendary Philadelphians, several who had attended the prestigious Mastbaum Vocational and Technical School he missed out on, Lee Morgan being one of them and Sam Reed to mention a few. 

As I replayed the interview repeatedly several names stood out but, one caught my attention, Sam Reed simply because Tootie Heath referred to him as a childhood friend who he kept in touch with person, and over the phone. To me, for Tootie Heath to love you, there had to be some substance there. 

So, off I went exploring this Sam Reed. His musical history was impressive! However, there was one problem. Sam Reed did not have a website or contact information that I could find via the Internet. 

More research, more time goes by and nothing. Then, I came across an article written by a Philadelphia journalist, who had an email address listed in the article! 

I fired off an email to this journalist, and sure enough, he knew exactly how to get a hold of Sam Reed. Excited with this discovery, I reached out to Sam Reed to get a feel for his response to recording with my young jazz label, JMood Records and Roberto Magris. 

He was quite pleased and flattered by the offer to record with our trio featuring him but told me he was suffering from some respiratory challenges and was not sure he could do a whole album. I encouraged him to at least give us a try, that, we could take our time, and maybe not put so much pressure on him. 

In the meantime, I began looking for a supporting cast of young fresh horn players that would work, and do well working alongside Sam Reed, as I knew he had much experience working with an orchestra, and other musicians as a band leader, and musical director. 

Those jobs went to the now Dr. Kendall Moore, on trombone from Chicago, Illinois and Steve Lambert, tenor and clarinet player from Kansas City, Missouri. 

Roberto Magris was tasked with creating the playlist, and program for recording, the date was set, studio time booked, airplane ticket bought with lodging. 

Roberto Magris arranged a beautiful program which spread the work out to Sam Reed, and the “young lions” assembled for the project. 

Worked out perfect!!! 

Right after the recording, I hurried to ask Sam Reed for permission to interview him for our now famous “audio notebook” ™ 

He was winded, I was winded, and very nervous, but had prepared a few questions to ask while the unit was in the studio recording. I will include this interview at the end of this document. 

Sam Reed was a very gracious, kind, calm, sincere human. He found good to say about all the musicians he spoke about even when I pushed him to elaborate about James Brown and other marquee acts. In fact, we were having such a good time talking, I was getting signals from the control room to “cut” the interview short, because we were running out of time and everyone was tired after the recording, yet Roberto, and I, and the engineer still had work to do in the control room mixing what we had recorded and cleaning up the loose ends of the interview. 

Long story short, I am so happy that I was persistent in finding this legend and jewel of a man, and musician, so, humble, and mild mannered. I have learned a lot from him just in the few years we spend as friends. 

Rest up my friend…we will have plenty of time for making more great music!

Dear JMood Fans! As we celebrate the release of recordings of Lee Morgan "live" at The Lighthouse , Hermosa Beach, California, please explore our recordings dedicated to the legend Lee Morgan and all that he presents. We recorded (2) volumes of Lee Morgan music and added some track penned by Roberto Magris  in the style of Lee Morgan. We take this time to thanks all the Jazz Trekkers that worked with us on these amazing recordings. Most of all, we have fellow Philadelphian and jazz legend Albert "Tootie" Heath of the renown Heath Brothers joining us on Volume 1. We had a blast!!! Volume 2 featured some outstanding Kansas City, Missouri musicians that made the music come "alive"!!! I highly suggest purchasing volume(s) I and II to add them to your music collection. After hearing them again and again, I still feel the same way I felt when these tracks "flew" off the sound board in the studio! Just imagine me trying to keep my composure... Do yourself a favor and and savor the Lee Morgan Tribute from our perspective! Enjoy! 

 

 

 

Shuffling Ivories

Roberto Magris

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“This project is a fantastic voyage from, Eubie Blake to Andrew Hill, spanning over 100 years of jazz history and over 1 hour of amazing music”, says Kansas City jazz impresario Paul Collins. “Although this project reflects music from several jazz greats, it is primarily my tribute to Eubie Blake. He was a musical pioneer, with an original style at that time, that brought many diverse musical influences together in his music such as: operetta, ballads, vaudeville, comic routines, musicals, and traces of classical music and jazz. In addition, Eubie Blake, along with, Noble Sissle, were responsible for writing one of the first, and most successful African American Broadway musicals ever”! “The program also includes 3 new compositions by Roberto Magris: “Shuffling Ivories”, “Clef Club Jump”, which showcases a modern approach to the times of Eubie Blake/Noble Sissle, and the composition “Italy”, which recalls musical contributions from a list of European jazz icons. Roberto selected some beautiful, and rare, jazz compositions from different periods and styles of jazz”. “For example: Cal Massey’s “Quite Dawn”, Billy Gault’s “The Time of This World Is At Hand”, Trudy Pitts’ “Anysha”, the classic jazz evergreen, “I’ve found a new baby”, Andrew Hill’s “La Verne”, and two Eubie Blake classics: “Memories of You” and “The Chevy Chase”. “So, it is with great appreciation to Roberto Magris and Eric Hochberg for this quality recording, the inspiration, and the creativity they brought to this musical masterpiece, and something jazz fans around the world have come to expect from the JMood Record label. This is a true and sincere musical celebration of timeless beauty you are sure to enjoy”!

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Ira Sullivan 

The JMood Records Family is saddened by the loss of Ira Sullivan.  

Not only was Ira a jazz icon, he was a musical elder statesman for the JMood Family. We were introduced to Ira Sullivan by our co-producer Edward Blanco in Miami, Florida. We were on the heels of a successful “live” recording with Roberto Magris at the iconic WDNA Jazz Gallery in Miami, when we began discussing and coordinating a fresh “new” studio recording at the historic Criteria/Hit Factory in Miami, Florida. 

This session was recorded in studio “A” with Grammy Award Winning recording engineer ,Carlos Alvarez and afforded us an opportunity to bring in some “new” JMood Record Jazz Trekkers and friends from the Miami area namely, Jamie Ousley, Rodolfo Zuniga, Shareef Clayton, Mark Colby and the jazz legend Ira Sullivan. 

The project was entitled “SunStone”. Not only was Ira Sullivan reunited with some of his own band members but was able to record with Miami natives Shareef Clayton (New York), Mark Colby (Chicago) and JMood Records International jazz pianist, Roberto Magris from Trieste, Italy.   

For me, I could not ask for more of a dream come true team, than to work with these fantastic musicians, band leaders and hit makers at the legendary Criteria/Hit Factory studios. 

Which brings me back to Ira Sullivan!   

After he agreed to work with us on the session, before, and, also after the session, we maintained a healthy friendship over the past few years. Either I would call him, or he would grace me by calling me. 

I found many chances to pick his brain or inquire about all the legends he had worked with in the past to seek some caveat about these jazz masters and his experience with them and connect me to this jazz tradition I love so much. 

For example, on the last “live” performance I attended in the Kansas City area before Covid-19 shut everything down, featured the music of Dexter Gordon. This performance was attended by his wife, Maxine Gordon who was also promoting her “new” book about her husband, Dexter Gordon.   

After this experience, I was inspired to do some additional research, only to find out Ira Sullivan had performed and recorded with Dexter Gordon! 

Several days later, I called Ira, and inquired about this experience with Dexter. He confirmed the fact, then, added the last performance and conversation they had together in Chicago, when Dexter Gordon informed him of his plans to move to Europe.   

His memory was so vivid, experience so vast and his musical abilities as a multi-instrumentalist is well documented. 

Over the past few years, my wife and I would time our travels to Chicago so we were there at the same time Ira would make his pilgrimage to Chicago to perform at the Jazz Showcase. On these occasions, would meet and have met other amazing musicians and jazz upstarts that Ira would use on his performances or would sit in on these occasions after the Chicago Jazz Festival. These visits would also reunite me with another JMood Records Jazz Trekker in Chicago, Mark Colby, who also greatly admired Ira Sullivan. 

Working with Ira Sullivan was a pleasure and a privilege for me. 

He would end all his conversations with me on the phone or in person with “God Bless”! 

God bless you and your family Ira Sullivan! Thanks for everything.  Rest in peace! 

  

Mark Colby 

The JMood Records Family are saddened by the loss of our friend , Mark Colby. 

I first met Mark Colby in Chicago, 2016 performing at the Brookfield Jazz Society. Some friends of Roberto Magris had assembled a unit to perform when they found out Roberto was coming from Italy to Chicago to open some new opportunities. 

I remember hearing Mark for the first time on this occasion and saying to myself ,“where has this guy been all my life!” His tone ,and technique were great, and, I could sense I was in the presence of a very special talent, without knowing his musical history. 

After the performance, I approached Mark and said how much I loved his playing, and that we need to do some things together. With his quick wit he said, yeah, yeah, yeah…! I said, no man, I really mean this…! I want to record you. We had become friends ever since. 

In 2017, and, for the next few years, I recorded him along with JMood Records International jazz pianist Roberto Magris, and some other great talent, which, also included music icon, Ira Sullivan. 

Ira was also a mentor to Mark in the early years of his music career, even up to this point. The two were reunited in Miami on the “SunStone” project recorded at the historical Criteria/Hit Factory Studio “A” in Miami, Florida. 

Our last performance and recording together was in November 2019. We were in Chicago for a performance at the Jazz Showcase, followed by a studio recording with Eric Hochberg, and, Roberto Magris  (Mark had introduced us to Eric several years prior).  That project is yet to be released entitled, “Shuffling Ivories”, and afterward, we recorded a duo project with Mark entitled, “Side By Side”, with Roberto Magris on piano, and Mark Colby on sax. 

Mark was a musical big brother to me. We talked off and on thru out the years about recording, jazz music history, and most of all life in general. 

Chicago is a tough market for outsiders, artist managers and an independent jazz label like mine.  Several jazz clubs snubbed us. However, Mark went to bat for us on several occasions, assisted us in getting booked at the Jazz Showcase on several occasions, and , we recorded a couple landmark recordings for JMood Records. Mark loved to record, perform, and connect on a deep level. 

My family and I spend quality time with Mark in Fort Lauderdale, FL and Miami talking about his life and time in South Florida, performing with jazz greats of the past, and gigging around in Fort Lauderdale and Miami. 

One funny story that we have talked about off and on and that made us all laugh, was a flight we booked for him from Chicago to Miami for the “SunStone” recording project. 

We were trying out a new airline to save a few bucks, and the whole experience became a nightmare! My wife and I had to run interference several times before he left Chicago to Miami and on his return trip from Miami to Chicago. We apologized, laughed, and made up over a good steak dinner. However, it was the running joke for the rest of our trip in Miami and we promised not to use that airline ever again! 

Mark was quick witted, good humored, friendly, and a talented soloist and musician. His own audio recordings as leader of the past the last few years, showcase his technique, tone, and musicality and knowledge of the audio recording process. 

I suggest checking them out if you have not already. Mark Colby has also been nominated several times around the world by his peers as one of the best sax men of his generation. We last communicated in June and August 2020. 

We will miss him. 

Rest up my friend!