Friday, March 29, 2019

House Cleaning…

In my previous post I spoke about the trajectory of this blog as being more or less complete.  Since that posting I was forced to move my main website to a new server and in the process gave it a re-design.  You might have a look as I’ve taken advantage of the opportunity to create an audio archive of selected tracks going back to 1987.  However, there was some archival material on the previous incarnation of the website that I have decided to post here since this blog now stands as a sort of archive in itself. First things first…

The new website is up and running at:

When I designed my first website I created a page on The Left Bank Jazz Society of Baltimore (my hometown) concert listings from 1964 to 1967.  I have now scanned three of the Left Bank's annual yearbooks containing listings and photographs which you can download.

"Baltimore Jazz Scene 1967"

"Baltimore Jazz Scene 1970"

"Baltimore Jazz Scene 1975" (containing a retrospective of listings and photographs from 1964 to 1974)

I also had a section devoted to archival material concerning the jazz scene in Baltimore that is available from the Friedheim Music Library of the John’s Hopkins Peabody Institute.

Sounds and Stories - The Musical Life of Maryland's African-American Communities. This site is a collection of interviews with musicians and people associated with the Baltimore music scene in the early days. I recommend starting with the Henry Baker and Reppard Stone interview. Henry ran a club called "The Closet" that I played at for years when I was living in Baltimore. I met a lot of great musicians there. Bob Berg and Tom Harrell, Gary Bartz, Clifford Jordan. I even got to sit in with Woody Shaw. Henry has stories that go back to his days hanging with Lester Young and Charlie Parker. There's also an interview with Ruth Binsky. Her husband Mike ran a club called "The Bandstand", another place I played at. I once sat in with Pepper Adams and Philly Joe Jones there when I was about 19.  You can access the collection at this link.

Finally, there was a section devoted to Bobbie Lee & Rodd Keith, my musician parents.

I’ve written about my mother Bobbie Lee on the blog, (here) particularly about her musical life and early development in the Pentecostal church.  Since posting that entry I have come into contact with a dear friend of my mother’s from that time in her life.  She is also a musician (pianist) and her family was deeply rooted in the church.  She’s given me quite a bit more insight into how she and my mother learned to play and what the environment was like at that time.  At some point I will probably update that post accordingly.

At one time I had created a Rodd Keith website, which is now unavailable.  I’m not sure whether or not I will create a new one, at least not in the near term.  So for now you can read the 1996 article I wrote on Rodd Keith for the WFMU Radio magazine “Lowest Common Denominator”.  It’s on the WFMU website at this link.

In 1997 the long running radio program, “This American Life” interviewed me about Rodd Keith’s work.  You can listen to that here, on their website.

Also, on February 11, 2003 PBS aired "OFF THE CHARTS: The Song-Poem Story" on the series "INDEPENDENT LENS". The film explored the "send us your lyrics" music industry and profiled my father Rodd Keith as well as some of the song-poets themselves. I was in there too, being interviewed. You can view the documentary on Netflix.