Poet A. D. Winans / Charles Hamilton Quartet

Sunday, July 22 – 2:00 pm

Poet A.D. Winans & Friends

Al Winans is a thoroughly engaged and committed poet, turning an unblinking stare on society and its lack of compassion for those aced out of the good life.  He’s also got a long record, with his Second Coming Press, of championing (and publishing) poets that come to their work honestly.  He’s got no patience for careerists.

Read the terrific profile on him by Evan Karp that appeared in this Friday’s San Francisco Chronicle by clicking on this link.

A raft of good friends and fellow poets will join Al this Sunday to read from his new collection, San Francisco Poems. 

Guests will include Neeli Cherkovski, Nellie Wong, Ann Menebroker, Art Beck, Soheyl Dahi, Evan Karp, William Taylor, Jr, Paul Fericano, Trina Drotar, Bill Gainer and Bill Vartnaw.

Sunday, July 22 – 4:30-6:30 pm

Charles Hamilton Quartet

which way west? Sunday concert series

Charles Hamilton, trombone; Glen Pearson, piano;
Erich Hunt
, bass; Larry Vann, drums

Trombonist Charles HamiltonCharles Hamilton was born in San Francisco in the late 1940s and then was raised in Louisiana, taking up the trumpet at age twelve.  He toured with an R&B band called the Titans while still in high school, gigging in New Orleans, Baton Rouge and the like.  Then, in 1965, he switched to trombone and moved back to the Bay Area to study music at San Francisco State.  Through the years, he’s played with top figures like Joe Henderson, Warren Gale and Louie Bellson, and for 28 years — until just a couple years ago — he directed the jazz program at Berkeley High.  In his teaching career, he’s been instrumental in developing the talents of scores of talented young players, many of whom are household names on the national jazz scene today — players like David Murray, Joshua Redman, Benny Green, Peter Apfelbaum, Josh Jones, Erik Jakobsen…

The kids learned from a master.  Hear him at Bird & Beckett with musicians that have been setting audiences on their collective ear at Oakland’s 57th Street Gallery and other spots where jazz is the lingua franca of the day.  Pianist Glen Pearson directs music studies at the College of Alameda.  He’s played and done arrangements for Jimmy Scott, Ernestine Anderson, Dianne Reeves, Marlena Shaw, Bobby Hutcherson, Delfeayo Marsalis, James Moody, Frank Morgan and Chico Freeman, and was for eleven years Musical/Band Director for the Boy’s Choir of Harlem.  Bassist Erich Hunt has a lengthy resume of bandstand associations with musicians from E.W. Wainwright to Julien Priester to Flip Nunez to Johnny Coles… the list goes on.  As for drummer Larry Vann, he’s been dubbed the creator of the Oakland scratch groove, drawing from a deep well of gospel, soul, blues, jazz and funk.  For what it’s worth, all three of Charles’ cohorts on the stage this Sunday are Oakland-born native sons and deeply rooted in the local area, though all have long professional experience that extends far beyond.  Indeed, the music they make together for you this Sunday will take you far beyond what you think you know.

Thursday, July 26 – 7:00 pm

I Hear Music in the Air
a book party for poet/artist
Joseph McNair

Joe McNair’s
I Hear Music in the Air (Xumba Press, 2011)
is a wonderful compendium of his poems and collages on several dozen of the jazz greats, from Billie Holiday to Charlie Parker to Cecil Taylor and well beyond.

Avotcja (KPOO/KPFA), who will host the party, has declared that it’s just one of the most beautiful books out there, and vouches for Joe’s work and sensibilities.  Former poet laureate of San Francisco devorah major and steel drum musician Val Serrant will lend their talents to make the evening that much more memorable.

A prolific poet, essayist and novelist, Joseph McNair is Professor of Education at Miami Dade College and edits Asili: The Journal of Multicultural Heartspeak,  an influential African American online literary review.

Check out Joe’s poem for Black Arthur Blythe at this link.

Friday, July 27 – 5:30-8:00 pm

The 230 Jones Street, Local 6
Literary Jazz Band
with vocalist Dorothy Lefkovits

jazz in the bookshop
every Friday!

Also known as The Chuck Peterson Quintet, this is our regular fourth-Friday-of-the-month jazz aggregation, and a swinging unit it is!  Chuck Peterson and Howie Dudune hold down the front line — two sympatico reed players whose association goes back to the early 1960s.

Their colleagues on the bandstand have similar longevity in the music and on the local scene.  Drummer Tony Johnson, who hails from Australia, arrived in San Francisco in 1960 and promptly fell in with legendary alto player Pony Poindexter and pianist Flip Nunez, recording as a unit behind vocalist Bev Kelly in a live date at the Coffee Gallery on Grant Street in North Beach for Riverside Records.  He played at The Hungry i with Bobby Short and on the Ed Sullivan Show with the Vagabonds (of which he was musical director).   Tony played with Sammy Davis, Jr., toured with Earl “Fatha” Hines, worked with Peggy Lee (at the Venetian Room in the Fairmont Hotel) and was a member of the House band at the Hyatt Regency Jazz Concerts for a half dozen years.  He toured and recorded with the Claude Williamson Trio in the 1990s (with Don Prell on bass).  Now, he remains in high demand as a drummer for gigs throughout Northern California and is familiar to fans at a number of regular venues in the region.  How’s that for a brief resume?

Then consider also Dean Reilly on bass.  He started in the biz in 1945, and hit big in the original Vince Guaraldi Trio, with Eddie Duran on guitar, debuting at the Hungry i in 1955 and recording two albums for Fantasy Records (the eponymous “Vince Guaraldi Trio” in ’55 and “A Flower is a Lovesome Thing” in ’56).  He also recorded nine Fats Waller tunes with pianist Earl “Fatha” Hines for Fantasy in 1955, in a quartet that included Eddie Duran on guitar and Earl Watkins on drums.  And he recorded with Eddie on his debut record (“Jazz Guitarist”) in 1957.  Howie Dudune was on that date, too, as it happens.  Dean then went on the road with the Kingston Trio all through the ’60s, nicely putting his kids through college, I’d imagine…  Returning full-time to the jazz scene, well, Dean has played with dozens of the greats from Kenny Burrell to Bill Evans, Philly Joe Jones to Eddie Lockjaw Davis, you name it… and has recorded also with Cal Tjader, Clark Terry, Helen Humes, Weslia Whitfield…  He’s just one of the most respected and well-traveled bassists around and a charming guy to boot.  Plays a nice little pocket trumpet, too.

As for Dorothy Lefkovits, she played piano on amateur night at the Apollo Theatre in Harlem on several occasions– and became known to us as a vocalist with a more-than-avid fan base, working most often with guitarist Henry Irvin and bebop saxman Bishop Norman Williams.  She’s been gracing the Bird & Beckett stage for many years, and is always charming, swinging and just wonderful.

Regulars Chuck Peterson (sax) and Glen Deardorff (guitar) are off this week, but we’ve got Frank Phipps playing a lovely, compact valve trombone and a superb guitarist name of Bob Brumbeloe in their place, helping Howie with the lead lines.  More on Howie next time.  Promise.