JFS #160 The Cleveland Eaton Interview



Oh the wind and rain sweeping across plains and swamps and bogs of Alabama. Head up north young man cause the Windy City is calling your name, not St. Louis but Chicago.

The home of Ovation Records.....the home of Howlin' Wolf and Muddy Waters, Ramsey Lewis Nick Gravenites and Bobby Christian.

The blending of music that was occurring in every urban bastion in this country at a certain time in our countries history is astounding. It's astounding because of the plethora of work opportunities that musicians had. TV programs and game shows in the morning with a studio session in the afternoon follow that up with night gigs at beer taverns in the south side boogie down where the good folk would waking up to go to prey and the musicians were heading home for rest as the sun came up.

Walk me out in the cold rain and snow and let me introduce you to my guest. A bassist who is from the same generation as Senator Eugene Wright, Bob Cranshaw and Richard Davis and John Heard. A bassist who became so obsessed with music that he was gigging by the time he got his drivers license and had become technically proficient in multiple instruments.

But it was the bass, the upright bass that locked the groove in Basie's big band and Ramsey's band and on his own records for Black Jazz.

You see for this host, that record label, founded by Dick Schory, with a left coast assist from Gene Russell helped elevate the status of unheralded Players who played Afro-Jazz. The kind of spiritual tribunal that represented links in the chain to Coltrane and Mingus and Monk.

My guest is one of the most heavily sampled bassists of all time. He rejects labels, he prefers to woodshed and continue his cosmic conversation in the universal language of jazz.

Cleveland Eaton, welcome to the JFS


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