Friday, September 21, 2018

Eve Of Juneteenth Brings Jubilant Jazz

by Kim (writer), Los Angeles, June 23, 2009


The Elliott Caine Quintet spelling liberation through their music at Farmer's Market

"Juneteenth" June 19, 1865 - marked the end of slavery for the slaves of Texas.

President Lincoln had sent the proclamation on January 1, 1863. The most focal reason for this failure in communication in this state can be attributed to slave owners wanting to obtain free labor out of the slaves as long as possible.

Alas, men, women, and children of Texas remained enslaved until General Gordon Granger and troops came to Galveston, Texas, took possession and enforced Emancipation Proclamation. 

It is widely believed the slaves broke out in great jubilation at receiving this miraculous although belated message. 

The day has become endearingly known as "Juneteenth" - June 19.

I suppose just before the dawn of this amazing announcement there was joy bubbling in the hearts and souls of those that were bringing the news.

One hundred and forty-four years later, the Elliot Caine Quintet embarks on an exulting mission brought to an enthusiastic crowd at the Original Farmer's Market on 3rd, in Los Angeles, CA. June 18, 2009.

The pronouncement was freeing, buoyant, affecting, infectious leaving me... in raptures.

I think the rest of the audience can attest to the same.

The quintet consisted of the following accomplished musicians:

Carl Randall - Saxophone

Kenny Elliott - Drums

Tim Emmons - Bass

Gary Blumer - Piano

Elliott Caine - Trumpet

Benny Golson's "Whisper Not" was performed in a superb fashion with solos by Elliott, Carl, and Gary that were flourishing with love and straight-ahead accents.

The Blues is always apparent in the Elliott Caine Quintet performances as well as attention to free form, creative soloing, consideration for each ensemble member and great cohesiveness.

Mongo Santamaria's "Afro Blue" a cathartic tune the group shared with delight and charm that's apparent in each ensemble member.

Kenny's style is a contrast of dynamics, subtleness, and usage of hi-hat, brushwork, timpani mallets, and in-the-pocket, relentlessly deliberate - just down right soulful drumming!

Elliot's mode is blissful and intricate filled with straight-ahead, the blues and always a deep spiritual connection that is simple marvelous to experience. His awareness of each ensemble member and his own persona are amazing.

Just the way he prepares the layout of the piece and progresses into it is magical.

Gary had an acute sensitivity to the shape of each piece while adding his own unique ideas accompanying and soloing. Vamping is no mystery to him but he sure makes the solo an adventure.

"Peace and Love" an original piece by Elliott was performed with untiring and unforgettable harmonic and melodic progressions on Sax by Carl Randall.

Just how long - can you state that energizing shout on your horn without taking a breath?

Carl possesses marvelous intuition and relation with his horn sharing a song on solos that linked us all to his memo.

Beautiful quotes, runs, and communion.

A tribute to Elliott's son, "Little Rio" was shared with passion and love. It was an enduring recognition.

"Blues from Mars" was another original tune by Elliott and you never thought the Blues could be out of this world, and then listen to this novel piece laid out without conventional borders and arrangement.

Elliott is fantastic on Trumpet, Carl on Sax shares more mystic to the off the planet expedition.

Tim on Bass shared refreshing and interlacing musical visions of his own. His offering presented intervals that were moving and unadulterated as Jazz should forever remain.

I'll make note here that I simply love the way the quintet plays off each other. It makes for very harmonious embracement. 

Other pioneering pieces played were "Outside In" and”Mambolishus" both composed by Elliott Caine.  Both tunes are full of brilliance, syncopation, insight, and satisfaction.

Look for Elliott's latest CD, available at or perhaps at your favorite grassroots music store.  You can also probably pick one up at his next gig which I highly recommend. Just check local Jazz venues, online Jazz news in the Los Angeles area.

The original Farmer's Market is offering a fresh musical passage every Thursday from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm in the food court area of the market. Stop by have browse around the authentic side of 3rd and Fairfax, and have a bite to eat, a drink, and enjoy some great music.


Celebrate the rest of the month and let freedom shout in its many forms every day.

About the Writer

Kim is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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