Photos: Paul Chen, AKA Whimsy City Productions at City Winery 2018, except Tania D.
George Freeman & Billy Branch
41st Annual Chicago Jazz Festival
Friday, August 30, 2019 4:15 - 5:00 pm
Millennium Park's Jay Pritzker Pavilion
George Freeman, Guitar
Billy Branch, Harp & Vocal
John Devlin, Bass, Accordion & Vocal
Luiz Ewerling, Drums & Percussion
Joanie Pallatto, Vocal
Bradley Parker-Sparrow, Piano
with Special Guest Tania Daley, Dancer!
Hot off the heels of the new Southport Records release, GEORGE THE BOMB!
We’re so excited to be part of the 41st annual Chicago Jazz Festival on Friday, August 30th at 4:15pm at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park, 201 E Randolph St, Chicago, Illinois 60602.
Join us! FREE event!
NEW RELEASE FROM SOUTHPORT RECORDS
STREET DATE: APRIL 2, 2019
GEORGE FREEMAN – GEORGE THE BOMB!
SPECIAL GUEST – BILLY BRANCH
“You will always have jazz; jazz is not dead—as long as you have kids coming into this world who have rhythm and soul and a feeling.”
– George Freeman (Chicago Jazz Magazine, 2015)
Guitarist George Freeman turns up the volume in his Chicago living room as he listens to "George The Bomb!" and he is smiling. He turns 92 on April 10, 2019. He remembers a time when Charlie Parker wouldn't go onstage without him. He is one of the few remaining living musicians who recorded with Bird ("An Evening In Chicago" Savoy, 1950). The music of George Freeman is not restricted to swing, blues, bop, rock or modern because George has been a living part of all of these eras.
On track #1, "George The Bomb!" harp master extraordinaire Billy Branch sends out a sound that explodes! His sly way of comping on the title track gets the groove rocking and rolling. The surprise here is when Freeman breaks into a full vocal scat! Is it jazz or is it blues? Who cares, it's hot! On track #3, "Where's The Cornbread?" George and Billy have a fun ride with their vocal conversation... "Hey Billy!" - "Yes, George..." To hear Billy Branch sing the blues standard "Help Me", track #5, while showcasing his authentic blues harp alongside Freeman's searing guitar is the breakout culmination of their collaboration.
John Devlin's accordion creates a lush canvas on track #2, "Gorgeous George" -a masterful composition from Freeman. Could this be a new "Steppers" song, with it's smooth groove? Drummer Luiz Ewerling adds the right spice with his percussion.
The entire recording was a joyful collaboration! Pianist Bradley Parker-Sparrow opens track #4, "Tonto" with a moody swing groove, while Freeman delivers a strong and happy scat! Track #9, "Home Grown Tomatoes" features a vocal bluesy duet between Freeman and vocalist Joanie Pallatto. Freeman penned track #11, "Al Carter-Bey" for his lifelong friend and radio impressario.
George Freeman is a living legend and has toured and/or recorded with musical legends from Charlie Parker to Lester Young, Johnny Griffin, Richard "Groove" Holmes, Gene Ammons, to Dinah Washington, along with his brothers Von Freeman and Bruz Freeman and his nephew Chico Freeman.
"George The Bomb!" features: George Freeman, electric guitar and vocals; Billy Branch, harmonica and vocals; John Devlin, 6-string electric bass, accordion and vocals; Luiz Ewerling, drums and percussion; Joanie Pallatto, vocals and Bradley Parker-Sparrow, piano.
All of the tracks are original songs by George Freeman, © 2019 Porkpie Music BMI (with the exception of "Help Me" by Ralph Bass, Sonny Boy Williamson II, and Willie Dixon (BMI) and "The Music Goes 'Round and Around" by Edward Farley / Michael Riley / Red Hodgson (ASCAP).
Produced by Joanie Pallatto & Bradley Parker-Sparrow
Recorded August - December 2018 at Sparrow Sound Design Recording Studio, Chicago, IL
Promotions: Blujazz Records, Lampkin Music Group, Orman Music Media Group
STREET DATE: APRIL 2, 2019 – SOUTHPORT RECORDS
A NEW RELEASE: S-SSD 0148
1. George The Bomb! (5:47) 7. The Music Goes 'Round and Around (3:42)
2. Gorgeous George (7:20) 8. Cha Cha Blue (3:43)
3. Where's The Cornbread? (7:22) 9. Home Grown Tomatoes (4:20)
4. Tonto (5:57) 10. Intimate (5:05)
5. Help Me (7:29) 11. Al Carter-Bey (3:14)
6. Uncle Funky (5:20)
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LET’S EAT CAKE! Green Mill, 1/27/19 at 2PM
Southport Records acknowledges pianist and composer George Flynn for his contributions to American classical and new music with his twelve recordings for the Southport Composers Series. Flynn will celebrate his birthday at his annual performance on January 27, 2019 at Chicago's famed Green Mill (4802 N. Broadway, Chicago 60640, 773-878-5552) from 2 - 5 PM, featuring 12 music performances and one poetry reading event from various artists.
George Flynn (b. 1937) has performed and organized concerts of new music in a variety of New York City and Chicago venues. He has composed over 150 works in all media, and has recorded for Turnabout, ATCO, Finnadar, Titanic, Wounded Bird and Southport labels. LP recordings include his own music as well as works by John Cage, Charles Ives, Olivier Messiaen and Jan Akkerman (a member of the Dutch group Focus), and CD recordings include many works of his own. Many of Flynn's works reflect extra-musical interests, including images of this country and the Vietnam experience. His chamber duos consider human relationships, and several piano solos seek to extend the limits of gestural, technical and poetic elements.
Flynn received his academic degrees from Columbia University, New York City, and taught at Columbia and Lehmann College (CUNY) as well as DePaul University (Chicago). He has been visiting lecturer/composer at many music venues throughout this country, Canada, and Europe, and has contributed articles to several American publications. As a pianist Flynn has performed and recorded new music for many years in the US and Europe. He is the recipient of awards from many individuals and organizations, is a member of ASCAP, and is entered in The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, Baker's Biographical Dictionary, and Maurice Hinson's Guide to the Piano Repertoire.
The Boston Globe called Flynn's 2011 Tanglewood performance of his "Pieces of Night" "a furiously virtuosic, brilliantly chiseled 50-minute monument to Vietnam-era insomnia, turbulence both historic and timely."
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2019 NEA JAZZ MASTER
vocalist, pianist, composer, arranger
b. 12-12-23, d. 4-23-18
Some people are instantly recognizable from hearing a few spoken words, Morgan Freeman, Andy Rooney and Marlo Thomas come to mind... but the unique sound of Arkansas-raised jazz legend Bob Dorough was like no other... and is like no other on the many recorded works that we can still hear and enjoy. Bob's voice had an irrepressible smile that was always positive, generous and encouraging.
Sparrow and I were to present a Tribute to Bob Dorough and his songbook on October 23, 2017 in New York at Pangea, along with celebrating Southport Records 40th Anniversary: Jazz Legend and Schoolhouse Rock composer Bob Dorough with Jazz Vocalist Martha Lorin, Broadway's Bill Nolte and pianist Deanna Witkowski - Presented by Ralph Lampkin/Lampkin Music Group and Christopher Gines!
9/4/17: I called Bob, he gave me the news... he said "I'm gonna make a lot of people cry..." he couldn't make our gig, but he would play at COTA on Sunday 9/10/17. He talked about the Oliver Wendell Holmes book about the Buggy that ran and ran, then fell & crumbled. He canceled the Norway trip with Sally. He said he would be 94 on December 12, the same age as when his father died. 10/10/17 Bob left a phone message: "Have faith, and Float Out to Sea... I love you..."
Bob did get the news about his NEA honor before he passed:
Monday, April 15, 2019 8:00 PM. The National Endowment for the Arts will honor the 2019 NEA Jazz Masters— Bob Dorough, Stanley Crouch, Abdullah Ibrahim, and Maria Schneider. The honorees will be celebrated at a free tribute concert on April 15, 2019 at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in DC.
Bob Dorough was born in Arkansas and raised in Texas and lived a life of music. A pianist and master of bebop, singer of scat and vocalese and a prolific songwriter, Bob is best known for his work as musical director, composer and performer of songs for Schoolhouse Rock! - the Saturday morning ABC-TV series created to help children with a wide range of studies, from math to politics, with songs such as "Conjunction Junction" and "Three is a Magic Number." His own recording career was off to the races in 1956 with "Devil May Care" for the Bethlehem label, and continued with more of his own sublime recordings. Bob was the featured vocalist on the Miles Davis "Sorcerer" album singing his own composition "Nothing Like You." He also wrote and sang "Blue Xmas" for Miles in 1962, which remains a dark and daring holiday classic. Davis also recorded an instrumental version of Bob's classic song, "Devil May Care," that same year. In 1995, Bob signed a contract with Blue Note Records and recorded three CDs for the label. In 2002 his trio was chosen to represent the State Department and Kennedy Center, as an Ambassador of Jazz and Blues. Bob Dorough, "Better Than Anything."
On a personal note, I had the privilege of recording with Bob for our label after writing him a letter in 1979. He wrote back "Dear Joanie Pallatto..." You can hear Bob on two of my CDs. "Who Wrote This Song?" (S-SSD 0021, 1994) with Bob's lovely composition "Love Came On Stealthy Fingers" where Bob plays piano, and I sing. "As You Spend Your Life" S-SSD 0133, 2011), included my 30-year desire to record Bob playing and singing Frank Foster's "Simone." April Aloisio and I vocalize with Howard Levy on harmonica (my lyrics, with Frank's blessing. Frank said to me "If Bob is playing AND singing, I know it will be right!")
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Real Jazz Made In Chicago
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Southport Records was founded in Chicago in 1977 as an independent voice for new music from Chicago to a world audience. There are over 148 projects in print.
Real Jazz Made In Chicago – Real Music Made In Chicago
Southport Records celebrates the documentation of recording Chicago artists for the past forty-two years!
Sparrow Sound Design (1977 - 2019)
See and hear Joanie & Sparrow on youtube!
Southport Records © 2017