Afrodaddy's Jazz Club

Portland Oregon's only jazz nightclub created and owned by a woman of color! A full service restaurant featuring a millenial take on the jazz scene!

A Jazzclub in the NE Portland's Soul Dustrict.

Week 5: Eric Dolphy Live November 1, 1961

It’s been a while since I’ve posted on my Track of the Week. The activities of Afrodaddy’s Jazz Club has advanced so richly that my time is stretched across many aspects of small business ownership. The tasks of a woman of color taking on cultural dynamics of curating live jazz in Portland’s music scene has had its challenges and tremendous victories!  Although it is my love of live recording that inspires my vision and feeds my unselfish motive too add to PDX’s live jazz legacy.   And has led me to share a track from Coltrane The Complete 1961 Village Vanguard Recordings released on September 23, 1997 by Impulse Records.

Since 1959, the track Naima has become a classic Coltrane ballad and has been played by many greats throughout the years. One of my favorites is with the playful Jaco with Rashied Ali in 1984 ( ) Oh!!!

Although it wasn’t until I’d heard the live track with Eric Dolphy at the Village Vanguard that I’d truly began to appreciate the beauty in Trane’s composition and Dolphy’s range on the Bass Clarinet. I’ve always believed Trane may have unknowingly wrote this tune for the instrument or the bass clarinet just so happens to be in B flat. Lol you decide... Either way, Dolphy’s earthy and rich tone of advanced harmonies are captivating and seductive.

Trane’s introduction on this track is just a cleansing of the hearing palate as Dolphy begins to take charge of the right channel. Dolphy races in to express an apology and/or thank you call with an irresistible tempo.  I love the skillful play of the rhythm section. McCoy Tyner cannot help but fill in the gaps as if he is a voice to reason.  A sensual throwing and catching of reluctant afterthought or well positioned forethought, you decide…lol. This well documented example of Black male energy in sound is a beautiful thing to testify too. Either way Tyner gracefully enters the dialogue while Reggie Workman’s repeated plucks try to fool you.  Oh!!! All the while, Elvin Jones sits posted in a classic pick and roll status! This track is a fundamental example of collective charisma demonstrated as one! And yet very, very, very difficult to replicate!!  This track will always go down as Dolphy favorite!  

Week 4: Alice Coltrane "Walk With Me"

This week’s track is one of Alice Coltrane’s last studio tracks released.  This track is filled with so much emotion. So common to Alice Coltrane’s well composed and restrained delivery. She takes her listener on an ageless exploration. Perhaps those conservative classical training habits are hard to break. I’ve heard too many dreadful stories about adolescent piano lessons, lol.  

I met Ravi Coltrane for the first time sometime in the spring of 2004 at Portland’s Blue Monk. It was one of those intimate basement gigs that gave me an opportunity to show my love for his parents. I’d asked about his mother and when she was going to release something. Too my great surprise he’d said soon.   In excitement and untactfulness, I responded “With what label?” I could tell it was perhaps a sore spot as with many jazz artists from a different era of studio recording.  It was then I instantly remembered it was the late 70’s since she had released anything. In fact, I later looked through the vinyl and the last major label release was 1978 with Warner Brothers. Although, in true Trane humility and generosity, he answered “Impulse.”  

With a lesson well learned, I waited patiently and little did I know it was a matter of months, later that fall Translinear Light was released?  I remember taking my kids to school that morning and waiting for EM on Sandy to open, Lol. Yes, that’s how much I love Alice Coltrane and her contributions to jazz. Aside from being surprised her youngest son Oran Coltrane plays the alto saxophone on "The Hymn." I fell instantly in love with this week’s track. The traditional spiritual, “I want Jesus to walk with me” renamed “Walk with Me.” It is so musically and spiritually obvious her roots of playing in church but it is the lower eighty-eighty chord choice that I feel in love with. Followed by her signature flying across the keys removing the ivory, lol. As if she was sitting at her harp in a beautiful place!! For only a rhythm section on this track, I couldn’t imagine anything more. The talented Jeff "Tain" Watts on drums and James Genus on bass follow Alice’s lead as any nursing child would a mother! I really hope you all enjoy this track as much as I do! A well tested company to grief and happiness given to dinner guest, a priceless gem indeed!

I challenge any and all local musician(s) or vocalist(s) to perform this song on the Afrodaddy stage! It’ll be worth it! Part of Afrodaddy’s jazz footprint is too give preference to local jazz musicians and vocalist …so get ready to grind and make a path for the many greats you all will sit beside!!


Week 3 : Charles Lloyd Live February 8, 2016

Ok, I admit, I have a thing for tenor players… So, this week it’s the one and only Charles Lloyd live,  February 8, 2016 in Scottsdale, AZ. This set features Bill Frisell on guitar, Reuben Rogers on bass and Eric Harland on drums.

All I can say is, Lloyd is on fire!  At 77, it takes him only a minute and a half and the brother was seeing angels or something.  For 13 minutes he held the audience hostage as you can hear their captivated yelping and clapping throughout the track. About eight minutes in, it’s another Lloyd blindside as he picked up his flute and contributed  a wild, wavy and somewhat  abandoned harmony.  Minus Frissel, Lloyd came to Portland later that month and I felt a little short changed until I heard this show. All too familiar for jazz at the Newmark Theatre, Lloyd was sophisticated and exceptionally controlled. Now I know why, the cat was tired and winded!! He’d sat most of the show and probably still coming down! All I can say is “this track is hot!”

Frissel is amazing too as he experiments with the Memphis boy (Lloyd) on his Memphis made 1959 Gibson. The collaboration is beautiful as Frissel plays with the vintage hollow body tone combined with various chorus, reverb and echo effects. It’s been said that Frissel is the biggest gearhead in jazz, I can see why.  As usual Eric Harland is a beast and his calling of the toms keeps the mood consistent. Reuben Rogers on the bass can be heard although the volume is not clearly picked up. Poor quality with low end capture can result for several reasons. In this case, it’s likely the mic of the smartphone or tablet used doesn’t have the capability.

All that aside, I know you all will enjoy this selection. Afrodaddy’s Jazz Club cannot wait till we get that giant on our stage! We aim high to bring great jazz to NE Portland. And Monk said it best…

“Where’s jazz going? I don’t know. Maybe it’s going to hell. You can’t make anything go anywhere. It just happens.”    ― Thelonious Monk  

Week 2: John Coltrane live in 62'

For this "track of the week." I've decided to slow it down with The John Coltrane Quartet live at Stefaniensall,  Graz, Austria, November 28, 1962.

The rhythm section is kickin' on this track! Jimmy Garrison on bass, Elvin Jones on drums and McCoy Tyner on the piano compliment Trane's melodies on Soprano Saxophone. Coltrane is in a musical place so deep that two and half minutes into the track you can hear him as he walks away from the mic to give Tyner the floor. A beautiful tune indeed!!

This show was released in 1991 by the Luxembourg label, Magnetic Records. They specialized in rare live jazz recordings and released this track on the CD - John Coltrane ‎– The Complete Graz Concert Vol. 1.

What's interesting about Magnetic Records is that between 1990-93, they released 31 rare recording albums and then fell off the map. They most likely stopped distributing because all were "private tapes."

after 91' the Graz Concert had become an official "liberated boot" and fair game to trade. I emphasize TRADE, selling bootlegs in the underground live recording world is called a TRAITOR NOT a trader! lol

Prior to this show being "liberated", I only had this track. Some cats can be real stingy so I gave up three Sun Ra shows for this!! I think he felt sorry for me because this 1944 Cole Porter tune became my favorite ballad Coltrane had played. A true Afrodaddy classic played on those raining Portland nights....Enjoy! 

Week 1: Pharoah Sanders Live May 21, 1992

 As a weekly feature, we've decided to dig into Afrodaddy's hard drive and liberate some jazz! and when you aint looking some Prince!!

We will select tracks that give an ear into Afrodaddy’s love for live jazz performance. Give a feel for what the Afrodaddy stage will bring too the community. Shine light on the lane cleared over twenty years ago for Afrodaddy’s Management Team and vision. So look for us every week and we will continue too keep your iPod full!

Our first live jazz track is Equinox by Pharaoh Sanders live at Cal Expo Amphitheater, Sacramento, CA on May 21, 1992. This set is with the great piano player William Henderson. Together they fill the stage with so much and without reservation. aside from the track Pharoah chose to play, the quality would spoil any live performance hobbyist!   

According to Afrodaddy’s “Pharaoh Guy”, Pharaoh played this song on occasion in 92’ and fortunately it was recorded this time! Although not surprising since Sanders and Henderson were the opening act for the Grateful Dead. Let it be known now, “deadheads” have the best quality and wildest live jazz on hard drive!! Lol

We are certain, this track will make any jazz enthusiast close their eyes and smile. Truly a favorite from the Afrodaddy archive. We are honored to share. Enjoy!

Afrodaddy liberates music so their is a download link. In exchange, leave a comment and spread the Afrodaddy love...