My mailbox is overflowing with responses to the jazz story that ran on Sunday. First, this one from Dr. Walt Broadnax, who promotes the "Jazz at the Hyatt" series:
"I know it is a great "spin" to say Jazz is dying, and that there are two jazz crowds; Black and White. As you know, I have been doing New York style Jazz, open to the best musicians regardless of race, first at Parktown/Coconut Grove, now at the Hyatt, for the last two years.
"Being intimately involved in the Jazz scene, I believe there is hope for Cincinnati. David "Fathead" Newman and Larry Coryell each drew 250 people. Local artists such as William Menefield (shown above with the Bobby Scott Trio at Simone's -- Bobby Scott on drums and Jim Anderson on bass), Mike Wade, and Randy Villars routinely draw 100.
We do not restrict who can play at our venue like the Blue Wisp. We are not a restaurant like Simones, where the Musicians can't fully play because of disturbing the "patrons". Our only criteria is that you can PLAY improvisational music; and you never "phone it in on my stage".
"All jazz fans, Black, White, Asian, etc. appreciate quality. Anyone who tries "Jazz at the Hyatt" returns for the music. Bottom Line. William Menefield is playing March 3rd. Come check us out. Help the Cincinnati Jazz community. Spread the word about what we are doing. www.jazzincincy.com."
This from Derek Canady:
"I appreciated and enjoyed your story about Cincinnati' s jazz legacy. I am
a young person that does not listen to hip-hop, and am familiar with the
music of George Russell."
Wardell Harper writes:
"Janelle, I enjoyed your story, Cotton Club led city jazz spots. I worked for Mr. Babe Baker for 30 years. I managed several clubs and also I was a very close friend to him and his wife. He passed away October 13, 2005. Mrs. Baker passed December 1997.
"Mr. Baker was the cornerstone for jazz in Cincinnati, I have several pictures of him with some of the big names and great musicians that preformed at the Log Cabin. Mr. Baker has never got the accolades that he deserved, before he died he told me he didn't want a funeral or a memorial service, he just wanted to be cremated and put in Mrs. Baker's crypt.
"I wish you would do a article on him so people will know all the other things he did for the West End and his community and his employees."
This from Jessica Perkins:
"I wish to first thank you for such a great article. I am the daughter-in-law of the former Christopher Perkins. I don't have that picture of him and I was wondering if I could get a copy of the photograph that was featured in your article? Christopher was known as the "Grandfather of the Cotton Club Musician." I have been working on the history of Christopher and his father, Constant Perkins, whom W.C. Handy AKA "The Father of the Blues" credited for his wider music experience in his book."
Marc Fields, CCM prof and jazz trombonist, writes:
"I am the jazz trombonist and only black faculty member ay the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music that you mentioned in your article "A Faded Jazz Scene". Jazz music is one of the loves of my life, and I want to thank you for writing the article. Jazz music needs to be presented to the public in a way that is is both interesting and thought provoking, and I think you have done that with your article. The subject of Cincinnati based jazz, both historically and in it's present form, especially from an African American perspective, is one that I find very interesting. I hope that you continue your research."
Dene A. Shiels says:
"I enjoyed your article on the Jazz history of the area. However you
neglected to mention one of the biggest proponents of jazz in our city, Helen Moor.
"Helen owned Mo-Pro records who for years put out recordings of both
local and national solo artists and groups (Blue Wisp Big Band) to try
to broaden the influence of the local scene. Helen and her husband Fred were ahead of their time ,and sadly Helen is no longer with us, but you can't mention the jazz scene in Cincy without recognizing Helen's accomplishment and dedication."