1. The Pace Report: "The Freedom To Be" The Charles Tolliver Interview

    55:53

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    • The Pace Report: "The Edith Piaf & Miles Davis First Day of Issue Ceremony Unveiling"

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      On June 12th, 2012 at the Rubin Museum of Art in New York City, the United States Postal Service unveiled two new stamps of two of the most iconic music figures of the 21st century. French vocalist Edith Piaf and trumpeter/jazz icon Miles Davis will now grace the USPS’s Forever stamp series available online as well as your nearest post office. The event was both a celebration of these legends and now how the world can support the legacy of their work. Both friends, family, and members of the Piaf and Davis estate were on hand for the star-studded gala as well as soirée hosted by the Jazz Foundation of America held at the Historic Bogardus Mansion in Tribeca, New York. Piaf, was born Edith Giovanna Gassion on December 19, 1915 in Paris, France. She became a cultural icon in her native France as well as one of the first entertainers to become a international star both there and here in the states. This was due to her heavy touring of Europe, South American, and the States after World War II. Piaf was very instrumental in helping a very young Yves Montand and Charles Aznavour get their start as vocalists and entertainers. Her life was filled with many marriages and addictions; but added to Piaf’s vocal sensibilities and range of music she performed in her shows. Edith’s signature black dress is symbolized in the USPS’s Forever stamp. Her song “La Vie en Rose” is what music fans remember her for as well as the heavy dramatics she stressed and lived in her music. On a trip here in the United States in 1960, she discovered the song “No Regrets” that would become her anthem. Piaf died of liver cancer at the age of 47 on October 11, 1963. Miles Dewey Davis III was born on May 26, 1926 in Alton, Illinois to Dr. Miles Henry Davis a dentist. Davis and his siblings grew up in East St. Louis, Illinois. Miles was one of the innovators and icons of jazz music here in the United States. His legacy goes back to him being trained by the legendary Clark Terry and playing professionally while in his native hometown. At 17 he played in vocalist Billy Eckstine’s big band before he graduated from high school. Upon graduating high school he attended the Juilliard School of Music in New York City. Although he started classical studies at the famed school, he didn’t feel the classroom setting wasn’t to kind to jazz or other popular music forms that were shaping the culture as well as musically. He eventually dropped out where he studied at another famed institution in Uptown Harlem, New York called “Minton’s Playhouse.” It was at Minton’s where the “University of Be-Bop” were holding classes and musicians like Monk, Gillespie, Roach, and Blakey were the teachers and Davis became one of their prized students. From there he’d play in lots of clubs on 52nd Street where he developed name as one of the young trumpet stars that was going to make a dent in jazz music. Throughout his five decades in the business, Miles changed the way the way the music was played, how it was recorded, and was one of the early moneymakers in the game. He evolved during be-bop, straight-ahead jazz, fusion, and later hip-hop. The musicians that played in Miles’s groups later became superstars themselves in both the jazz and R & B circles. Many of the Davis alumni include: Ron Carter, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Steve Grossman, Foley, Kenny Garrett, Bill Evans, Cannonball Adderely, James Mtume, Chick Corea, Dave Holland, Jack DeJohnette, Lenny White, Marcus Miller, and endless names too many to name! Tuesday’s event was hosted by Sirius/XM’s “Real Jazz” host and director, Mark Ruffin. There was a musical tribute to both Ms. Piaf and Mr. Davis. Singer and actress Maria Elena Infantino performed a musical tribute in honor of Edith. Dressed in Piaf’s famous black dress, Mrs. Infantino performed six of the legend’s classic songs including the show-stopper, “No Regrets.” Then, The Juilliard School of Music performed a musical tribute to Miles Davis performing his famous compositions like “Human Nature” and “So What.” The three trumpeters, Alphonso Horne, Randall Haywood, and Mike Cottone, brought a new light to Miles’s music. While the rhythm section which consisted of Clovis Nicolas on bass, Bryan Carter on drums, and Luke Celenza on piano, were on point. Carl Allen, Artistic Director of Jazz at the Juilliard School, chose some of the school’s best students to represent the Davis legacy and the afternoon program. Other highlights of the First Day of Issue Ceremony were the touching comments from Two-Time Emmy Award Winning Actress Cicely Tyson. Tyson, who’s work include: “The Autobiography of Miss. Jane Pitman,” “Roots,” “Sounder,” “King,” and “Bustin’ Loose,” reflected on the life and times of Miles Davis. Ms. Tyson, who was married to Miles during the 1980’s, remained dear friends up until his death. NEA Jazz Master and bassist Ron Carter also spoke on the behalf of the legendary quartet that he, Herbie Hancock, Tony Williams, and Wayne Shorter were part of from 1963 until 1968. The quartet would record the landmark recordings “E.S.P,” “Miles Smiles,” and “Sorcerer.” Other speakers included Rock and Roll Hall of Famer songwriter Mike Stoller, NEA Jazz Master and legendary record producer George Avakian, Blue Note Records President Don Was, Erin Davis, and drummer Vincent Wilburn, Jr. This event once again put jazz music on the map again. An icon as powerful and innovative as Miles Davis will again be resurrected via this new stamp to the tune of tens of thousands of postal customers daily from all over the country. To order the Edith Piaf and Miles Davis Forever Stamp go to the United States Postal Service online at https://www.usps.com.

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      • The Pace Report: "A BAADASSSS! Family Reunion" The Melvin and Mario Van Peebles Interview

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        Mario Van Peebles, son of famed film and author Melvin Van Peebles, was part of a special Van Peebles celebration at the David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center in New York City. Mario's movie, "BAADASSSSS!" was screened with moderator Greg Tate discussing candidly his views and take on how he saw his dad direct and finance his iconic "Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song" in 1970. The film is recollection and thanks to his father's spirit and drive in which Melvin has become a icon in the world of independent film, music, and writing. Melvin Van Peebles at 81 years strong continues to make a mark with his new band, wid Laxative, which is an amalgamation of his written works as well as jazz, soul, blues, gospel, and hip-hop. The music is backed by the legendary Burnt Sugar Arkestra headed by musician and journalist Greg Tate. Melvin recorded his very first record of this kind of stature in 1969 titled "Be'er Soul" which was the precursor to music and poetic geniuses like Gil Scott Heron and the Last Poets. In this special episode of the Pace Report, I sat down with both visionaries on how this was a long time in the making and also reflect on this year's academy awards and if they're been some changes in how Hollywood and the system continues to portray people of color.

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        • The Pace Report: “A Friendly Conversation” The Hugh Masekela Interview wsg Larry Willis & Stevie Wonder

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          If jazz music needed a international representative then trumpeter Hugh Masekela would be it’s ideal spokesperson. For well over 50 years Mr. Masekela has played for endless kings, queens, presidents, and other important heads of states all over the world. In fact, on April 30th, on the first International Jazz Day concert held at the General Assembly at the United Nations in New York City, Hugh was one of many jazz musicians from all over the world that took to the stage and showed the world how this music has been a major impact to musicians like himself. Most importantly Mr. Masekela’s music spoke of the freedom, struggle, and hope that suppressed the people of his native country of South Africa under the government’s oppressive Apartheid race laws for over 60 years. The music and his passion for the people have made him a icon globally. Hugh Ramopolo Masekela was born on April 4, 1939 in Witbank, South Africa. As a child he listened to American jazz music via 78 records of musicians like Louis Armstrong, The Mills Brothers, Duke Ellington, and Benny Goodman. It was the movie “Young Man With a Horn” with Kirk Douglas on the life of trumpeter Bix Beiderbecke that inspired the musician to take up the trumpet. He was given his first trumpet by his chaplain while a teen. While growing up in Johannesburg, Hugh learned to play the trumpet and technique from Uncle Seuda, a member the “Native” Municipal Brass Band. He and other teenagers formed the Huddleston Jazz Band, the first youth jazz band in South Africa. Around 1960 Hugh would meet pianist Abdullah Ibrahim and form a group called the Jazz Epistles that were heavily influenced by Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers. The Jazz Epistles were the first South African group to record a jazz record in their country. In 1960 Hugh left his native South Africa and moved to London and eventually relocated to New York City where he attended the Manhattan School of Music where he studied classical trumpet. Throughout his career he’s performed and befriended some of rock, jazz, and world music icons like Harry Belafonte, Paul Simon, Fela Kuti, Herbie Hancock, Miriam Makeba, James Brown, and The Crusaders just to name a few. Hugh has a brand new record out he recorded with the great Larry Willis on piano titled “Friends” on his own House of Masekela Records label. The four CD set features the duo playing standards as well as disc features them being accompanied by a band. Currently he’s about to go on the road in support of his latest disc. To find out his upcoming club dates please visit Hugh online at http://www.griot.de/hughmasekela.html.

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          • The Pace Report: "#BAM..The Inaugural #BAM Conference" Featuring #BAM...Nicholas Payton

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            "Jazz is nothing but a terminology. BAM is a terminology. It’s just a phrase that’s been created for identification. Think about black people in general in this country. We’ve been called Negro, Colored, Black, Afro-American and now African American. Who decides these terms? Are they bad, good, or neutral? Or, are they just simply terms? Jazz has always been Black American music and musicians who play it no matter what culture they’ve come from need to understand that and I know deep down inside do understand that.” Bassist and Composer Christian McBride Since November of last year, trumpeter and educator Nicholas Payton has eloquently written on the negative connotation that the word ‘jazz’ has created over the last 40 years. His first blog posting “On Why Jazz Isn’t Cool Anymore,” posted on NicholasPayton.wordpress.com, has him explain that “jazz died in 1959.” In addition to him not liking the term ‘jazz,’ Nicholas has vowed to refrain from using the word in its entirety. He even went as far as to create the acronym “# BAM,” meaning Black American Music. He wants the music fans and lovers of Black American Music to reconsider how we coin the term ‘jazz’ and how labels have both direct and indirect meanings that have tainted the history of Black American Music. In addition to Nicholas posting many important articles weekly on his blog, he’s continued to reach out to his many music fans who’ve agreed and disagreed with his take on # BAM via Twitter(www.twitter.com/#!/paynic) and Facebook(www.facebook.com/nicholas.payton). Nicholas recently hosted the first “Inaugural #BAM Conference” at Birdland Jazz Club recently here in New York City. The conference was moderated by writer and MSNBC commentator Toure’, saxophonist and educator Gary Bartz, saxophonist Marcus Strickland, bassist Ben Wolfe, and pianist and bassist Orrin Evans. Organized and produced by Anna Sala of AMS Artists Management, the music industry along with the press, took part in the constructive dialog about the origins of Black American Music. Also, the panelists gave ideas on how live BAM music needs to get back to the people. The Pace Report proudly presents the first “Inaugural #BAM Conference” in its entirety. Please watch this and continue the constructive dialog on Black American Music.

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            • The Pace Report: "Guided By Listening" The Gary Burton Interview wsg Larry Coryell and Terence Blanchard

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              2013 marks the 70th birthday of jazz vibraphonist and master teacher Gary Burton. Last month he celebrated his birthday in grand style with a week of performances with special guests. Opening his first two nights he invited the legendary Arturo Sandoval to share the band-stage. Then, Grammy-Award winning trumpeter and composer Terence Blanchard hit the stage for two nights of fiery sets. And closing out the week was Gary reuniting with the legendary Larry Coryell. This was both Gary and Larry's first time playing together in 45 years since the two have recorded and toured in his first working quartet. Gary has a brand new autobiography marking his 50 years as a musician titled "Learning To Listen." The book reflects on the musicians he's played with over the years ranging from Stan Getz, George Shearing, and Roy Haynes just to name a few. He also sheds some light on his life as an educator and the highs and lows of the record industry. In addition to Gary's book, his latest Mack Avenue Records release "Guided Tour" is the second release with the label but also the second to feature talented musicians like Julian Lage, Antonio Sanchez, and Scott Colley. To order Gary's latest CD "Guided Tour" or his autobiography "Learning To Listen," please visit him online at www.garyburton.com or www.facebook.com/officialgaryburton

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              • The Pace Report: "Burdon-nistic Warrior" The Eric Burdon Interview

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                from Brian Pace / Added

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                For well over six decades frontman and leader Eric Burdon has lived a life many can only dream of. The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer was the leader of The Animals and founder of the Funk soul band War during the 1960's to the early 1970's. He's responsible of singing on The Animals massive hits including "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood", "House of the Rising Sun", "It's My Life", "See See Rider", and "We Gotta Get Outta This Place". Born Eric Victor Burdon in Walker, Newcastle upon Tyne, England, Burdon fell in love with the likes of Ray Charles and Big Joe Turner and the raw and gritty sounds of American blues and R & B. This music was the nucleus of him seeing and performing with the likes of rock icons like Chuck Berry and Jerry Lee Lewis before he was 21 when he and the Animals were their touring band as well as opened for them in the early 1960's when the two toured the UK. Eric's latest CD "'Til Your River Runs Dry" on the Abkco Records imprint is a mix of the musical styles that he's recorded throughout his career ranging from blues, soul, and rock and roll. He's also written two best-selling autobiographies: "I Used to be an Animal, But I'm All Right Now" and "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood: A Memoir". For upcoming tour info or to order Eric's latest disc, please visit him online at www.ericburdon.ning.com or www.facebook.com/originalericburdon.

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