IYOUWE Universe

Vince Wilburn

August 07, 2018 IYOUWE Season 1 Episode 5
IYOUWE Universe
Vince Wilburn
Show Notes Transcript
Vince Wilburn was always fascinated by Tony Williams, Jack De Johnette, Al Foster, or whomever held the drum throne of his uncle Miles Davis’s group. At the tender age of 9, at the Plugg Nickel in old town Chicago, Miles had Vince sit in on a set with his band… Chick Corea, Jack DeJohnette, Wayne Shorter, and Dave Holland. Vince founded and played in various Chicago bands through high school. Most notably, he was in a band called AL7, which caught Miles' attention. That band became the catalyst for “The Man with the Horn”, Miles' 1981 comeback album. The album was recorded in NY using AL7's core rhythm section. In 1983, Vince joined Cameo. In 1984, Vince went to Copenhagen to co-produce and record Miles' GRAMMY award-winning album “AURA” for Columbia Records. Vince played additional drums on the album. Later, Vince co-produced “Decoy”, which featured Al Foster on drums. In the summer of 1984, Vince began to live his dream. He co-produced and shared the drum chair with his idol, Al Foster, on Miles's record “You're Under Arrest”. Once the record was completed, Miles added Vince to his band, anointing him to the coveted drum throne. Vince toured the world with Miles while he held the drum chair from 1984 through 1987. In addition to heading his own company, NEFDRUM, Vince and his cousins, Cheryl and Erin, oversee Miles Davis Properties, LLC. In 2007 Vince called me to collaborate with him on “Evolution of a Groove”, a groundbreaking Miles Davis EP that features the likes of hip-hop icon Nas, guitar legend Carlos Santana, along with Victor Bailey, Pat Thrall, Olu Dara, and Charley Drayton. Vince was also Executive Producer of the Miles bio pic featuring Don Cheadle called “Miles Ahead”.
Speaker 1:

What's up everybody? Lenny white here and I want to welcome you to the IYOUWE Universe Podcast. On this podcast I, Lenny White, want to invite you, the listener, to join me and my guests as we discussed music, arts, science, some amazing personal journeys and everything in between! Today, I'm going to talk with someone who's like my brother, Vince Wilburn. Vince Wilburn was always fascinated by Tony Williams. Jack Dejohnette, Al Foster or whoever held the drum throne of his uncle's band. His uncle happened to be Miles Davis. At the tender age of nine at the Plug Nickel in Old Town Chicago, Miles had Vince sit in on a set with his band Chick Corea, Jack DeJohnette, Wayne shorter, and Dave Holland. Vince founded and played in various bands in Chicago throughout his high school years, most notably, he was in a band called AL7, which caught Miles's attention. That band became the catalyst for "The Man With The Horn" Miles's 1981 comeback album. The album was recorded in New York using AL7's core rhythm section. In 1983, Vince joined the band Cameo. In the summer of 1984, Vince began to, he co-produced and shared the drum chair, with his idol Al Foster on Miles's record "You're Under Arrest". Once the record was completed Miles added Vince to his band. I know I didn't even today covered it. Drum throne. Vince toured the world with miles while he held the drums from 1984 through 1987 in 2007. Vince called me to collaborate with him on evolution of a groundbreaking miles Davis ap that teachers the likes of hip hop icon, Nas, guitar legend Carlos Santana along with Victor Valley and Charley Drayton. Vince was also executive producer of the Maasdam is bio pic featuring don cheadle. Call miles ahead. I know vincent about 17 years old, so finally we sat down and talked about old times present times in the future. Hey Buddy, lenny white again with another iue podcast, and today especially, I'm excited to have my vince wilburn from las and town. Vince, you're in town today because

Speaker 2:

I'm in terms of because our brother q tip from tribe called quest is playing from Jamaica, Queens. Jamaica. Queens is playing A. I'm doing a play the day of the life of Miles Davis and Qtip is actually playing miles.

Speaker 1:

Wow. For those that don't know, Vince burn is miles Davis, his nephew. So Vince, I've known you since she was, what? 15? No, younger. Well, younger than him. Younger than they are around 15 days. Thirteen, 14 year old Chicago, right. I used to come to Chicago and like you used to always come backstage to the gigs. Right. And had backstage passes and tickets. Well let me ask first, let me ask you the obvious. I mean, what was it like growing up with your uncle being miles Davis?

Speaker 2:

Um, growing up as miles' nephew and uncle miles? Well, you know, back in the sixties you were allowed to go to meet the people at the gate, you know, you could walk to the gate from the airport and the airport. Right? Right. And so we would walk. I remember as a kid, I remember walking to the gate and the guys would get off the, off the plane. I always remember the two for some reason. And um, and I, I often stared at Tony, I remember the quintet and just, I don't know why it's not even knowing when there's too many places I was just fixated on Tony and I could smell, I could smell the Cologne uncle miles hat on and I remember us walking through the, through the, um, through the, through the terminal, back to the car and everybody stopping uncle so everybody knew who he was, you know. But as a kid I was like, you know, I didn't, I didn't, I didn't put it all together. And then when he would play that night or the night, the next night, um, my mom and dad would hang out in the. My Mom and dad would go to the and see the show from the audience, but I wanted to be backstage so I could see everything that was going on and I would stay in the wings, you know, and I, I vividly remember that. The way the silhouette lift them uncle miles on stage with the, with the light on them.

Speaker 1:

So now what are you interested in becoming a musician because of your uncle Mike?

Speaker 2:

I back then at the auditorium or wherever they would put a plug nickel or whatever they were playing in Chicago, there were four or five bands, so I get to see four or five different drum kits and a in my mind I used to always think that at the end of the night I was going to somebody who's going to give me a drum kit, you know, so I'm just going to give it to you. Yeah, yeah. Free. And I was, I was always mesmerized on whoever be it Tony, Jack or whoever was playing in that, in those particular bands. I was always fixated on the drums, whatever the drummer was doing and was like, you know, the, the, the, the emotion of the drug deal. Three is movement. And it's like, I always felt that the drummer control was the, was the, was the engine that didn't move the band and, and, and, and, um, that's what I wanted to do. What was it? Did your dad buy you your first drum kit? My Dad took out a loan and bought me a, a Ludwig Kit and I'm [inaudible] Ludwig was, was in Chicago. That's right. The, uh, the uh, the uh, factory. And before that I had a norma for monroe catalog, a monroe catalog, if monroe was like sears and Roebuck catalog ordering a, uh, a company. And so after that, after the normal kit and then the Ludwig Kit, Uncle Mike said, just keep letting me keep playing. If he's serious that I'll get them a kit. And then he sent me a Yamaha kit and he was one of the first. He was actually the first artists to sign with Yamaha. It is exclusively for amps, Oregon and drum kit. Wow. And, and it was a hours, one of the top five guys, our Bruno car and Dougal and Eddie more anymore. Yeah. Yeah. I think I'm pretty, I'm not mistaken. And then Gad and buddy and all. Right. Right, right, right. And I know how much you love your Montra Fun Pun. Right, right, right. So I mean in Chicago, which is a very rich musical tradition within many bands that you know, of course going to see your uncle play was one thing, but what are in any other bands that you would go to see that played quote unquote jazz music at the time that influenced you or were you more influenced by, you know, different musics? Yeah, I was influenced by, by different, there was Joe Siegel had the jazz showcase. Right. And so we would go there and I saw Elvin and Roy and woody shaw and, and you know, the cool thing about Chicago you can go and staples thing. I'm moving around because this is all coming back to me. Staple singers had a studio there. Paul Ronald had a trumpeter, excellent system. Trumpeter had a place called pns where a lot of hits with recorded there. Natalie Cole and punching different hits. And I'm in the studio or a Ramsey recorded there. Ramsey Lewis. So then you had some called the transitions east, not the transitions. East was a, was a place where you could go here. The ACM and ACM was an advancement associated for advancement of creative musicians. And so out of that came the pharaohs and the farrells was Maurice White, Louis Satterfield, Dan Myrick, hip Mo, those guys. So it was like they had. And then we had the neighborhood band, sons of slums, weapons of peace. So it was always music around, you know, uh, um, sticks was out of, out of Chicago. They went to Mendel. Um, I'm a survivor. I had a tiger, so it was always music. Does Chicago, the group Chicago, it was always music is called. They were called CTA after the bus company. Right. So all of this was happening around the same time. So you know, you, you had the jazz because I was steeped in jail. I mean I was, I was with my mom and dad was, I could hear the records in the basement of them. I'm planning this great music. And, and so I was, I had a, I had a one up. I'm on my boys in the neighborhood because I knew all the jazz cats and, but, but um, it's a lot of music around the time. So, but at the jazz showcase was, was the spot for, for jazz. Well, what about the, there was a black hawk, Black Hawk. What was that hotel? Uh, that was the blackstone. Blackstone was. He didn't just say no, no, that was after the Zaftig yeah, because you'll see the original jazz showcase was on rush. And remember you walked downstairs and the, and the disco was upstairs. The happy medium. A happy medium because he hated that. It was difficult because sometimes you can hit a disc. The disc will be playing during, during balance. Right. But um, and so he moved after he, he moved the, I'm from rush street to the blackstone and also there was the London house. London houses was classic man, that's where we're. Ramsey played a lot at the London house, I think a red hope in a young hold. Unlimited play there. And then you had stan getz yesterday. I guess you had the purging, the purging. That's one of the most famous of all time, man. You're the person who had the plug nickel. You have had really great jazz clubs. Roberts with the blues. Robert's $500. Herman Roberts had a, had a club and then and then later on you had to park west park once. Stole my hat. That's right. That's right. It was a magazine that was stolen at the far west, but it was, it was. It was always a lot. A lot of places to go and hear music. What was that guy from Chicago? Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe. He thought he was lending white black Gretsch kit and the rumor was he took your hat. I don't know how true it is, allegedly for the lawyer. Right. Allegedly. So Chicago was really a vibrant music scene. I mean. Yeah. Now you. I had never heard until you just mentioned it, the name of the group that Maurice White had before we, before earth, wind and fire, the pharaohs man. It was an aunt of Pete Cosey hooked me, turned me onto the pharaohs p play with people, part of the ferrels with Don Myrick and Louie Louie Satterfield, sap play trombone with earth, wind and fire. But he was an excellent session. Bass player. He played on, on rescue me with Fontera Bass, although we fill up church and, and Maurice was playing drums on it. They did tons of hits for chess. Chess was out of where? Ben? Just gestures in Chicago on Indiana. Oh really? Is he doing on South Michigan or something? Deanna Leonard. Chess. Chess records. Right. So now the transition from you going to see your uncle play and hearing the jazz music and then what was going on in Chicago with the music scene. How did you float into that? Well, we used to have, did you do a lot of sessions and things like that? What? We had battle of the bands, so battle of the bands, you know, we had talent shows. So from the talent shows your name would get out and, and I like to mention Tom, Tom Washington because time had, he was like, he was like the welding irving, you know, who was playing and who was, who was hot and who's coming up and he'd give you a shot to do sessions, you know. So my, one of my first sessions was soft sheen. Softsheen was a African American hair company based in Chicago, the Johnson's and one of my first jingles was a commercial call brand new Una de two. I remember it distinctly, distinctly, distinctly because every time he came it came on the soldier on the soul train commercials because Johnson products and uh, was one of the sponsors are so trained and man, you couldn't tell me nothing because they're brand new. You had two brand new you in 82. And it was the emotions were singing on the hook and it was me, Keith Henderson and chuckle up. We'll play with the emotions based plan and the oldest rider's and Tom. Tom was conducting, you know, so. So once Tom, once you word got out that you could, you could, you could, um, do jingles than even they would call you. So that's why that was my start. You did it. You did a bunch of jingle. I didn't do as many as Maurice, Maurice Jennings in somebody, other castes, but I did have a fair share. Thanks to time, you know. Right,

Speaker 1:

right. I used to see Tom Tom [inaudible] 88 on the back of earth.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. Yeah. Tom. Tom was a, was a heck of an arranger along with Charles, Stephanie, or days tariffs birthday today. Excuse me. Yeah. And, and how's his daughter doing? She's fine. Yeah. Yeah. We keep in touch. She's trying to catalog the music and

Speaker 1:

like, because I, I met her, I met them both when I had my affiliation and a comradery with earth, wind and fire and then all of them, you know, Larry can, you know, I, I actually, I met earth wind and fire signed to Columbia records and there was a convention at the Grove now gross in the House hotel in London. Wow. Yeah. It's in the, you know the book Hitman Itall right. This is all Zola photo but, but, but, but I'm, Clive Davis was the head of CBS and, and he had just signed earth, wind and fire. He signed, um, what's his journey? I can see clearly now it's named Johnny. No. Yeah, there was somebody else that design and he signed Azteca. Wow. And it was just a hush hush thing that Clive Davis was introducing a new band at midnight at the Nice hotel. And that was my first trip to, uh, Europe. We went to London, we flew to London and we played at the CBS convention. That's when I met her on a fight that I met all the guys then. And I think that that first album was last days and time. That was that album

Speaker 2:

that happened. And then it was, um, open our eyes. Was [inaudible] last day. Jessica cleaves was in the beer. That's right. That's right. Shout out to Sherry. Sherry Scott was the original female vocalist before. Jessica. I'll play with you sherry.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, Scott in Chicago. Yeah. So, so now you're doing sessions.

Speaker 2:

I got the band going, right. And we're doing talent shows and, and, and, and, and, and Tom's producing us as a, as an act. The deal. The slave was with Henry Allen. I think he was a continuing records the deal. Excuse me, the deal that, that slave, um, deal the slave guy was our deal. Oh yeah. And um, um, so who was in your band? He was, it was the band that that day was called the data data. It was myself, Randy Hall, Randy. I went to to write male with a horn, Robert Irving, Steve Le Flore, Richard Paterson, who went on to play with, with it was last bass player, right? Otis Smith, Ulta move to London. And I'm giving. Have singers. No, randy saying randy, I didn't seem randy and Richard knows guys st background and um, we recorded all this music at um, at uh, a paragon. Paragon was where Ohio players recorded. No, so we'd have the night, the night, uh, hours because it was cheaper. And so we've come in right after or right after the Ohio players. So you gotta pitch these long, this long staircase and you got these cuts with all these mink coats on coming down the stairs and us on our head, you know, sugarfoot head is. And Man, we were looking at it like, wow. It's like we're coming up stuff. They're coming down the steps and you know, we had to move out the way where they come down. And uh, I never forget it. I teased diamond. Jim Diamond is the drummer with her, with her, they had to remember the liquid rocker, Hansel's thick hair pitted. He, he had that he had to get up in the studio and I played after him and they were all dented in and be like, he'd beat the heck out of these drugs and seemed like smoke steam coming up. But um, we recorded at paragon after Ohio players at night and um, we didn't get the deal because it fell through, but we rehearsed it. We would play on the weekends and, and uncle miles would call my mom's house and have my mom put the phone down because we stuck at it, you know. And, and, um, he would do it as long as our grades rub. We could rehearse every day and play on the weekends. And so he would call her mom, put the phone down for an hour and, and, you know, whatever long we were playing, one song or two songs and then he would critique us and he would just do this and call everyday, call everyday. That's great. Yeah. Yeah. And give us like positive criticism. And then one day he said, you guys want to make a record? And we were like, what is he? A flight New York can make a record. And it was mailed with a horn that was 1979. And George Butler, genevieve. Remember genevieve? Genevieve was Dr George [inaudible] assistant and got our flights. We came to Sheridan centers. We could order room service. Room service was the thing back then sir had gear provided at the uncle Bob's house on West 77, 77. And Thirtieth Street was the studio stamp. Tampa was the engineer and the engineer that did dig that Gil used to come by and, and hanging the corner and just. And just check us out and assuming just chill. Great. Yeah man.

Speaker 1:

So that, you know, that transition was a great transition. Be Yelling in the basement. And then your uncle who was the great my called y'all come and make a record.

Speaker 2:

And a lot of people think that I was the catalyst to bring him back, you know. And I want to make, you know, on record, I want to say it was when he was ready. You know, Lynn, it wasn't, it wasn't me, it wasn't cecily. I mean since the hell he got his health together, God bless her. But when he, when he was ready to make a record, he made a record, he was ready to come back, but you know, you always knew who was playing what because you ever go visit them right word on the street who was playing and who was hot and, and I think some hidden McKell sightings. He would stick his hand up in certain spots just to see what's planning. And so we did man with the Horn and then we split it with. So I split the drum chair with al and then um, we went, miles was next because they were recording live on, on, on, on the tour kicks in, Boston. Avery Fisher will, you picked me up, took me for riding your porch. Um, and some other places in places in Japan. Was that, was? That was. That was when Marcus got to Gig, right? Exactly, exactly. Marcus played with you first. Of course. So

Speaker 1:

because you did young man with a young man, you did man with a heart, right? Right. Because actually very interesting because, um, I just did jazz cruise with Marcus and on the cruise we did a tribute to us. We did a, I mean, Marcus Played Upright Bass, but then we did men, man with the. I mean we did a uh, um, my man's gone now. Yeah. Okay. So, you know, and I went back and listened to them, you know, so. So I mean, that must've been a trip for you. Now the fact is that you have a iconic

Speaker 2:

uncle [inaudible] that's one of the,

Speaker 1:

just musicians in the history of this music and you're coming up and you know, he's championing you, which is really a thing

Speaker 2:

now before this happened and you got to the point where like you're playing with him, you know, there was the transition that he went through when he stopped playing. Did you get to talk with them or be with them when he stopped playing? Because you in Chicago and he's in New York. I used to come in and the summers. Right. Hang with him and um, um, you know, our, I would call our album come by and I heard foster foster would come by and check her herby or whoever was in town. Joe will come by with the guys will weather report. Um, and I, I used to, I would always be sad because I felt like he should be playing, you know, but it wasn't me. I was a kid. It wasn't me for me to say, you know, then some substances were involved in. It used to hurt me. But, um, I guess at one point he just eats, he stopped doing all of that, started going to the gleason's to working out again and got a trainer and a boxing trainer. We always had a boxing cat and you ever seen a cat ballou and Lee Marvin Shell. It reminded me when, remember when he got his, got released and they broke his beliefs out, cleaned it, and do the gun fight. It's like, um, I used that as an analogy. It's just he cleaned it all up and got rid of all the heineken bottles and in the hanger ons and he was ready to play and got, got his, got his, um, wouldn't sauce Taylor, you know, I went to see him and, and that was around the time of the um, he played a refrigerant. Right. Remember you had that green camouflage. I went to see him the night says just really deep because, you know, it was built as miles come back and it was part of the Newport jazz festival. And before that there was a gig with Freddie Hubbard call the cool jazz fest cigarettes. But, but, but it was Freddie Hubbard, I think Dizzy Gillespie

Speaker 1:

and I had gone to and miles is going to be at midnight and I had gone to this to uh, Freddy and dizzy. I mean, you couldn't play no more trumpet. I mean, like the trumpet that I heard from those two. I mean, like I said, I couldn't hear no more trumpet. It was like, and then admin miles played and he played one note and I forgot everything that I had heard. It was marcus and it was great. It was great, you know, so I had paid at that time, I paid $80 for tickets, one for Jill and one for me. Wow. And it was, that was a lot of money, but I had to be there to see my. And so I went back afterwards and you know, he greeted me saying, Oh man, I didn't know you were coming. I wish I would have let you down. I said, yeah, I should've tried to call you. And, and so

Speaker 2:

he said, how you like my bass player? I said, well, he are you talking about. I said he played with me first and so he said to me that you play with me first. So I said, yes, you're right. I didn't give it up, but yet I was there that night that they came. How did you hear marketers and had the gag direct marketers call you? I don't remember because they thought he was a joke when exactly marcus' mom. Um, but, you know, that was great and like, but I was just interested because now one of the other things I want to talk with you about is the movie because you called me every day about their. Yeah. And I think the movie concentrated more on that time period where he did not play as opposed to, you know, him playing. Yeah. You know, I, I'm not, you know, when we had our conversations about the movie and I told you that I would never, you know, say I told you what my feelings were and uh, you know, championing you to the end and I still do. But the situation is miles Davis was much more than what that. I agree. I agree. And you know, from shitting with Cheeto, with Don cheadle who's starting his directorial debut, Don wanted to do a part of his life that he thought was important or that stood out in Don's mind. And that was the period when he was to come back. But he kind of took a spin on it. And, and, and, and came up with this, this, this script with a guy named Steve Begelman. Steven Begelman,

Speaker 3:

um,

Speaker 2:

to be honest with you, I was just happy that the movie was made well. Yeah, I've been there. I could understand. And, and, and I love you for your honesty because

Speaker 3:

um,

Speaker 2:

it was certain scenes in the movie that, you know, the Cherilyn Aaron tonight, you know, music flying out in the streets and those types of things, but they kinda kinda got to a spot. I just want to say that number one, it was hard to get the movie made it over to Don. I commend don for taking a shot and, and, and, and, and, and, and, and, and bringing it to the movie to life because man, we were fight, we will hurt. It was hurdle after hurdle after hurdle after hurdle. I'm talking about that. I mean, you know, getting, getting, getting a film. I mean, not now you're a movie producer. Yeah. The initial, the initial idea was to have don star and point to direct Herbie Hancock to score. So Herbie was busy doing his global, you know, um, you know, his, his, his, his music and his global affiliations and, and, um, Antwan's budget would have taken his, his feet for directing but have taken our entire budget and then he had to do, um, equalizer at the time, the first equalizer. And so don don talked to Carl Franklin. Carl Franklin was the director and devil in a blue dress. He's a director of African American director concert. Hey man, why don't you direct? So Carl told that, you know, you sit down and made a suggestion to don and then don asked me, he said, what do you think about me directing the movie? And at, at this point I just wanted to be a positive force. And Dod with Don. Yeah. I wanted to be an ally. So I said, well, hey man, you think you can do it because it's the subject. You know, his uncle miles. Yeah. Miles Davis. He said, I'll never forget. He says, as long as I have a great add, I'll be okay. And so I tell you, Lynn, we'll add an assistant director. Yeah. Just for those that don't know, man, a couple of times, you know, when Aaron and I went to Cincinnati because it was filmed in Cincinnati because it was great tax incentives to do the movie in Cincinnati, Ohio, don kind of Erin and I can kinda like, like wow, because he kind of had the vibe on the way he was, you know, the way he looked at at this particular day, we went to witness the shooting, went on set. Um, and don was really, I got to say this too, he really wanted to nail it. He really wanted to, to, to, to get into two miles mystique. So I would take, I would, I would personally drive, take hard drives to his house and delivering to them, stick them in, as, in, as, in, as in his, um, his mailbox if he wasn't home, leaving him at his door so he could like get into miles. And he was always, you know, I think it. Did he call you? He was calling certain people to talk about what it was like to be. I know he talked to her a lot and um, and um, for, for, for what it's worth, I think that was, was, I think he was, you know, I thought he did a good job. I've done a great job as being mild. Yeah. Yeah. Now the move is the movie. I know the movie wouldn't go to sit right for a lot of people, but that was one of Don's, um, suggestions. He was, man, I gotta we gotta keep people in their seats. He didn't want to. He didn't want it to be like a, a cradle to the grave movie and that's why he chose that particular term of miles. Right. Oh, come on. It's fine. Um, when I look back at miles ahead now I'm proud of it. I'm proud for what it did. It opened up a door for us to do another movie, you know, we were getting calls to, to, to, to, to do other movies on miles for some of one. I'm director wants to do miles in Paris, you know, because that's, that's, you know, that's falling in love with Juliet Greco, who's probably going to be a better. Yeah, yeah, I love Paris, I love France and he was knighted in France and then we're doing a documentary now now on um, hockey miles with a guy named Stanley Nelson, African American director, excuse me, who, um, who has picked up by an American masters and, and Stanley did, um, one on the black panthers and then there's a rumor quincy troops who did the autobiographies, got to do a movie with the guy from the wire of Michael who's actually I met and he's a friend of Don's, right? So, you know, it's like the music as long as this interests and as long as people want to do it and they're coming at us, why not tonight, if I can say lenient, are going to, uh, to see, uh, w w I want to talk about that too. I know we did to um, see cq two

Speaker 1:

to this. This is his play with her, with Nelson George. This one of the writers, he and Nelson George. Well there's, there's no doubt that, you know, it's endless. It's of course, because miles Davis is, is synonymous with the evolution and transition of jazz music. I mean, he was, excuse me, he played with Charlie Parker and then, you know, went from playing with Charlie Parker to having John Coltrane and, and kind of blindly and Bill Evans and his band to make one of the greatest jazz records of all time. And then after that 10 years later, go and make bitches brew, but dig this and you played on bitches brew and your record collection is vast. Yes. In your music. The music. Yeah.

Speaker 2:

You love is his past. And so I'm gonna flip it, coming up. I mean, how, how, uh, how is it that you never got pigeonholed? I mean, you've had hits in RNB, you've had hits and jazz, you've produced, you know, jazz artists, you produce our brs coming up. Did your mom and dad played a wide variety of, of different music?

Speaker 1:

Oh, I listened. Yeah. I, because you never got locked into just being a quote unquote jazz drummer, but you've got to understand the fact is that there was a transition and, and, and it was traditional music that was played in my house forever. I mean like from Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie to, to lester young and Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Ray Charles, he know all of that music. Yeah, miles and train. But you gotta understand. I was also listening to the drifters.

Speaker 2:

Wow. The coasters that your parents were planted or you personally

Speaker 1:

played it. I mean, we used to get together every Sunday and bought a house, you know, we had a record player and everybody would come and bring a dish and then we eat food that, I mean I'm a kid, so like I wasn't allowed in the room with the big girls because you could put up, but I could hear you know, but the fact is all of that music that I had encompassed at that time and started now listening to Jimi Hendrix and led Zepplin and James Brown and all that. This is when your uncle decided to take all of that music and put it together with bitches. So you say, why didn't I get pigeonholed? Because I started with and that was the whole point. The whole point is what he did. Just take all that music that he had played before. All the music that he was listening to now and put it together at that point and from that point on, which is my first recording, that attitude has always been my attitude to be an inclusive attitude to include any kind of music that I heard.

Speaker 2:

And so that's, I, I think that's why you're the musician you are because you didn't get. I mean man, red clay is fucking. That's like some boogaloo shit that, that's exactly what it was. That's what sampling, I mean read, click and the things you, you know, all your music. But, but I think that this is just me, I think because you weren't locked into just. I mean you, you know, I know you loved all the cats, although you know car Philly, Joe and Max and, but you, you, you never got locked in. You just play different styles. And this is why you and a Dougal and and a couple of other

Speaker 1:

drummers, you, you stand the test of time because you don't get locked into anything you do. Just say you want to do good. That was your aunt, your uncle was the, the, the model. See, we didn't just want to play with Tony, Tony, Tony loved the Beatles, we didn't want to play with we wanted to be. And so for me to get an opportunity not just to meet him, but to play with him, he was sitting on side. I remember one night man, he asked me to come down and, and uh, see the band at the village gate and upstairs at the gate, um, a less mccandless play. And so he said, come on upstairs. So he took me upstairs and we would sit and he lists, we listened to the music, he said that see what they do, don't do that. And so he would do that and actually get in my head and told me, don't do this. This is the way that you do. So for me, as I tell my students every day I sit today, jazz music is not a style of music for me, it's my heritage because I was taught the music from the masters that I used to listen to and they helped me in the authenticity of what it is that I play. So it's my heritage and, and for me coming up as a child in the latter part of the 20th century, I got influenced by everything you were going to get locked in there. There's no way. I mean, the fact is if you got locked in, you will coordinate. Yeah. Yeah. You know, you had to be able to play playing with intervene coming up in Jamaica, Queens, we had to play. My, one of my first gigs was with Millie Jackson. Wow. And I had never played like R and b stuff and I'm on the stage a Millie Jackson and Whelan Irving says to me, man, just playing the high hat, don't play no ride cymbal. Playing the high hat backbeat and men in the sheep turnarounds. It don't be, you know, like on, on the stage. I learned what to do on the stoves and so it was really important for me to be authentic about whatever it is that I played. But then all of the cancer came under you were, were, were, were, were, were pigeonholed either, you know, like markets and Bernard. Right. And all those guys, you know. Yeah. It was good, you know the thing about it, which was great, is that like we all played different kinds of musics the way Steve Grossman got hired by your uncle. I was at your uncle's house and I played him a cassette tape of a wedding reception was clint Houston embracing George Cables, Steve Grossman and myself and we were playing James Brown's licon step out of here, I swear to you. And he said, oh, is that on sas phone? I said, that's my friend Steve Grossman. Let me have this number. Really just out of the office. Next thing I look and stick. Next thing I know we had done a session. He miles called me for another session and I went into the studio. It was John Mclaughlin and Dave Holland, Steve Grossman and myself. And we did sugar ray. That's on the um, box set. I'm Jack Johnson, box set. And then, and then mindset. Can I write that? We said Steve from Jamaica, we well know Steve's from, from Westbury Long Island, but he, he used to hang with the cats and then he had us play. So what real fast, you know, but you know your uncle is the reason why I never got virgin holed into one type of music because I didn't think that he was and he was one of the guys that was forward looking. He would be inclusive of all the different music that what happened and he was a conceptualist. That's right. Like all those guys that help shape the music of the seventies, that became the music of the eighties. That became what hip hop was sampled from. And so that's where we are now.

Speaker 2:

That's where I share with your students today, and this is. I repeat this a lot too. I've never been around somebody who changed clothes six times a day for five, six times a day. You look up, he's got another. But that's how his mind was thinking. That's how he thought about different things.

Speaker 1:

Well, you always said that like he would have on TV

Speaker 2:

stations station because he'd have he paint. Did he cook a little bit? TV would be on, on the sound down and it would always be the concert or something. He was working on playing on the loudspeakers if, if somebody will want it on tv or I saw that didn't interest him, he turned the music off and turn the TV up, a group or, or a new something and if it was a kind of as a group, because MTV was prevalent at the time, then he called the record company in order to whoever it was that he wanted to hear. It said that, that he did that to Charles said that he could be playing piano and be cooking. Yeah, yeah. Time. Yeah. It was deep and, and, and he would paint and then hang the painting up, take the painting back down. Paint some more heavy man

Speaker 1:

today. That would be cold would add. But like, you know, that's genius. Jesus. Yeah.

Speaker 2:

Super Genius. And, and, and, and could cook like Bouillabaisse and fish and to getty. Well that's what he me, you know what he said to me when we were doing bitches brew, he said

Speaker 1:

think of this as being like a big pot. He said, and I want you to be the salt, you know, let, let Jack play a beat. And then you play all around it, you'd be the part, you know, you'd be the salt and spice and that didn't know it was really deep because when you think of it, rather than giving me a musical direction, he gave a direction that was a cooking of a life lesson. And then you take that and apply it to the music here. Yeah. So I mean I was so fortunate vents to be around your uncle and I learned so much about approach to music. I mean, you know, I listened all before I met him and understood

Speaker 2:

it was different, but didn't know how different it was until he actually told me what it is, you know, like he gave direction without giving direction, which is in itself great because he understood how to find the people that he needed. He could hear it, his point across that would think the same way that he thought, you know, and, and, and different, different musicians that were different on the axes. Like Michael Henderson was from motown and had Keith Jarrett and don and form a little part time and then do. And I always thought that he heard a little bit of something in all of the different musicians and he knew how to bring it all together. Exactly. He was, he was. He's the architect of doing that. That, that, that amazes me to this day. Right. What you're working on now, man, I'm working on some. I'm trying to get you to produce the selectric band that we were touring with its alumni to play with miles. And um, I tried to proud of myself. I'm not saying that because you're here, but I try to pattern myself after you because I don't want to get locked in. So I did it at Bernard Fowler who sings with the rolling stones. Did a spoken word record. Oh, is that cutting out? He. Well, we tried to get it with Sony, but the higher ups there was a, um, it was on an, something happened in the hierarchy. So the, the record, we were shopping at another labor. But I'm letting you, you, you, you to this day, you've influenced a lot of drummers also not to be pigeonholed. So whatever you learned from uncle miles, you've influenced a lot of different cats to, to, to like dramas could produce, drummers, can produce vocalist, drummers, can produce, farmers, can come from behind the drums, you know, drums can have their own labels, you know, and, and, and, and year one of the guys who, who lead by example, you know, we used to come to Chicago in 29 with they need to come back with, with, with the echoes of an era, you know, I'm like, yeah, and I'm a lot boys would know we, we, we pulled together and then go down to the concepts that lead would give us a lenny would give us backstage passes and, and talk to us. He made, he took the time like uncle miles did for you and Joe and cats do for you. You do for us and Philly, Joe and scouts did for you and talk to us, you know, like you're doing now with the students at Nyu Mazda's 19 when he played with Charlie Parker. And I know that he was somewhat timid. I was 19 when I played with miles. That's crazy. And, and he knew that I was sort of about, her uncle was a bird who's great, new trump and flare and bird. They exactly right. Right, right.

Speaker 1:

Hey man, you know, always you, you're my brother. You know, when, when I go to La, you, uh, help me provide for me when you come to New York, same family, like my family. So you know, it's nothing for us to talk about music about life or whatever. And it's fortunate leave for me. I've befriended you when you were young and I got an opportunity to play with your most famous and loving uncle and I just really thank you and appreciate you for spending some time with me today.

Speaker 2:

Let me, it's an honor because I got to say this, we call the machine gun lenny white. That's my cousin Aaron. Their mouth son call him. We call affectionately. We call any of that because he's, he, he cares about the music. He's, he's honest. If you can't take the criticism, you know, hey, but, but, but, but we respect and love that about one of the things we use restricted love about you and you make a homemade pizza. Thanks for. Thanks everyone.

Speaker 4:

Hey everybody. Lenny white here again and thanks for listening. Stay tuned all summer for new podcasts coming from the IUE universe. For more information, visit our website at.com and that's spelled I y o u w e e Dot Com. See you next time.