Sunday, February 26, 2012


Marion Hayden and late Roy Brooks 
I want to share with you a near perfect jazz concert I attended. Mr. Brooks. I'd be grateful if you would share my comments with Donald Walden and Kenn Cox. Some of their music was part of the concert.  Jazz bass player Marion Hayden has a group called the Detroit Jazz Legacy Ensemble, and Friday evening  they performed at the Detroit Institute of Arts. There was some overkill. I’ll touch on that later.

 First, I’ll give you a recap. The DJLE, Dwight Adams, Vincent Bowens, Cassius Richmond, Vincent Chandler, Dajallo Djakate Keita, and Mike Jellick jumped head first into Walden’s song “This Good Bye Could Last a Long, Long Time”.

Next, the DJLE played “Caravan”. Mr. Brooks, Hayden took a long solo. She has never been a spotlight hog. Normally, she’s busy keeping time, and her band-mates in line. Halfway through her solo people cheered. 

 Then Hayden told the audience Cox’s, and Walden’s death motivated her to form the ensemble. She wanted to keep their music alive. Mr. Brooks, she also talked about how important your Aboriginal Percussion Choir was. 

After she spoke, the DJLE performed your original “Five for Max”. Dajallo Djakate Keita opened “Five for Max” with an aggressive solo, which caught me off guard. I never knew he has and aggressive streak. He’s a low-key jazz drummer. 

 Special guest poet Rhonda Welsh  rapped on your song “Cosmic Spirits," which poet Crystal Clear wrote lyrics for. Welsh sight read the lyrics, and I was puzzled she didn’t have them memorized. 

 The second set the DJLE raced through “One Mint Julep,” your “Forever Mingus,” Walden’s “Middle Passage,” Cox’s “Mandela’s Muse,” and a Langston Hughes poem. Mr. Brooks, Hayden crammed a lot of music into two sets. 

The concert would’ve been perfect had Hayden left some things out. For example, she could’ve left out the tunes that weren’t written by the Detroit jazz legend’s “Caravan,” “One Mint Julep,” and the Langston Hughes poem. 

 The cameos by singer’s Shahida Nurullah and Robert Carlton were overkill. Singers tend to be chemistry killers. Mr. Brooks Detroit jazz musicians seem prone to overkill.

 Last year, at the Museum of African-American History, I caught the reunion of the 70’s jazz group Tribe. So much was happening on the stage it made me dizzy. 

 One more thing, Mr. Brooks, Hayden billed the concert as a tribute to Detroit jazz legend’s, but it felt like a tribute to you, particularly the first set. 

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