THIS MONTH, WE FEATURE ONLY ONE ARTIST,
THE LEGENDARY CHICO FREEMAN,
WITH A LENGTHY TWO-PART INTERVIEW.
HIS NAME REFLECTS THE SPIRIT OF THIS COUNTRY,
CELEBRATED THIS MONTH ON THE 4TH OR JULY.
CHECK HIM OUT IN THE INTERVIEW SECTION AND CATCH UP WITH HIS ILLUSTRIOUS CAREER
Match the artists below with their scheduled
shows on the left!
Check out this disc by Carolyn Fitzhugh, who deftly mixes a gospel feel with modern jazz.
See my review at http://www.jazzweekly.com/2017/07/carolyn-fitzhugh-simply-amazing/
But judge it for yourselves. You won’t be disappointed
Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!
When the people fear their government, there is tyranny. When the government fears the people, there is liberty.
Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing the freeness of speech.
You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free; only don’t let this freedom be an opportunity to indulge your selfish impulses. Rather, serve one another through love..
Apostle Paul, Galatians 5:13
We live in a country that was founded on a radical idea and experiment; a democratic republic. Give a godly people freedom of speech, religion and arms, and let’s see if the country can be a beacon of light to the nations. Best described by Ben Franklin as he was asked while walking out of the Constitutional Convention of 1787, “What have we got?” He answered “A Republic, if you can keep it.”
Freedom is something that we take for granted and unfortunately also abuse. If you’ve lived in another country, you might like its history, geography, music and health care system. But, after being there for awhile, you realize it lacks the freedom that the good ol’ USA has. Sure, we have tons of problems, but most of them are due to our freedom to make stupid or terrible choices. Our Founding Fathers thought that it was worth it to give us those freedoms in the context of a Republic in order to achieve great heights, even at the risk of great lows.
The same thing holds true of our relationship with God. He could have made us robots or automatons, but instead we were given a free will to choose not to obey Him. Look around, and you can see the results. Yes, we have wars, abuse, murder and parking lot owners, but we’ve also been able to create such wonderful things as Handel’s Messiah, Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina and the Parthenon. In America, even with our freedoms to destroy, we’ve founded some of the most wonderful charities, and are still the most generous nation on earth when it comes to helping other. “Where sin abounds, grace abounds all the more,” as the Apostle Paul wrote
The funny thing about freedom is that it is best used within certain confines. It’s a lot like raising kids. I was told the example for raising kids was like being a cattle rancher. If you let them roam completely free, they’ll wander off and get hurt or lost; if you confine them to a stable they don’t get a chance to grow and become strong. The best solution is to build a large fence around a pasture to let them roam within the confines of the marked area. That is what God does with us; we have complete freedom within the confines of his moral law.
The same goes for the arts. Within five years of strict enforcement of the Hays Code for movies in 1934, which limited what could be shown on the silver screen, Hollywood had its apotheosis in 1939 with a surfeit of classics like Stagecoach, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington and Gone with the Wind. In music, with the restriction of a 3 minute 78 rpm, the Swing Era brought us Duke Ellington, Count Basie and Benny Goodman.
When the time restrictions of the 78rpm were lifted and the invention of the long-playing record came into effect, the result was arguably the greatest year in recorded music. 1959 gave us Kind of Blue, Sketches of Spain, Blowin’ the Blues Away, Time Out, Mingus Ah Am, Giant Steps, The Shape of Jazz to Come and Portraits in Jazz, to name just a handful. The combination of freedom within form reached a zenith in sonic creativity.
This is an important concept for musicians and music fans today. In an era of seemingly unlimited technology, it’s easy to get lost in the self-indulgence of self expression. Hence, overlong solos, unrelenting cacophonies and unaccessible “melodies” and incoherent solos can be the result of unbridled freedom. Just like broken marriages, sexually transmitted disease, abortion and shallow relationships can result from the unrestricted sexual revolution, cacophonous sounds and a dismissal of music creativity can be the end product of freedom without form.
What is the solution? Revel in the freedom that you have, but as the Apostle Paul wrote, don’t use it for selfishness, but to serve one another (and, obviously, God). The freedom to choose good over evil is one of the most powerful things in this life; use it well!
KEEP WRITING US. HERE ARE SOME RECENT COMMUNICATIONS…
Just wanted to thank you so much for the wonderful interview/article. And it was so great chatting with you, as well…. thanks for an all around enjoyable experience!
Hope you are well. I just read your telephone interview with Nicolas Meier – very interesting! Nicolas and I have been good friends since he moved to the UK about 20 years ago – we also live very close to each other so we see each other frequently.
I think his latest album is his best to date – having Jimmy and Vinnie on it is awesome!
Also, I wanted to take the opportunity to see if you received my album ‘The Time Thief’ Redtenbacher’s Funkestra. I know you are very busy – just wanted to check that it actually has arrived for whenever you might have some time for it.
Thank you very much.
I’ve been enjoying your articles – as well as your support – and am wondering where you are based?
Thank you very very much for your review. I’m very happy that you enjoyed the music and the review is really nice and original. once more you showed a great attention to the music and I’m so grateful for that.
Let’s keep in touch and ALL THE BEST from Italy.
Mr. Gadd, you are a he’ll of a drummer. I listen to you when you where playing with, Grover Washington Jr. It’s so good to see that you are still playing!
I guess my Label sent you the CD. I would like to thank you for taking the time to listen to my music.The word you used really resonate with the way I perceive my music.
Thank you very much.Take Care
Funny enough after I was summarily fired from Verve Records back in ’97 I cooled my heels to get away from it all and moved to Sherman, CT. The real estate broker told me, ‘do you know Tommy Lipuma?” He’s your next door neighbor!” It was the house + barn where he recorded “Unforgettable.” Tommy had not taken over at Verve for another couple years and we somehow lived in peace, as he heard me in the distance banging my drums and driving my Ferrari at top speed (very loudly) on our rural roads in horse country. Super nice man. Love him. We even had Llamas next door too.
Thanks for the article,
I tuned in here to your writing to read a review of my latest disc, but instead I found an article on giving thanks, faith, and perspective. I been struggling in near every area of my life for nearly a decade. In my tight little family I faced cancer, drugs, lost faith, Alzheimer’s, and the prospect of supporting us on a musicians wages. I have been overwhelmed with my loss and how complete it seemed. Someone can say right thing to you at the right time and suddenly your life can seem so much better. Thank you for the article.
You inspired me to write the Thanksgiving Song !
Very good article, thanks
Dear Jazz Weekly,
I ran into your 2014 interview with Larry Carlton. I’ve been a Steely Dan fan for 35 years but never knew anything about Larry. I loved hearing that Larry is a man of faith, even after the gun shot incident. Thanks!
Really great work, George. That was one heck of a conversation with Kirk Whalum!
Peace, Love and Joy,
thanks again for this great review!
Great article. Thanks. I’Il share with the boys!
Philippe Saisse (Al Di Meola Band)