Maurice King: Detroit Music Master

By Jim Gallert with Lars Bjorn On Monday, December 28, 1992, some of Motown’s biggest stars gathered at the Union Second Baptist Church in Detroit to pay their final respects to Maurice King, a man whose talent helped them to develop into world class artists.  The Spinners and Stevie Wonder were among the hundreds ofContinue reading “Maurice King: Detroit Music Master”

Jimmy Wilkins: I Love The Sound of a Trombone!

By Jim Gallert and Lars Bjorn Like the Buckner brothers (Ted and Milton), Jimmy Wilkins (b.1921) and Ernie (b.1919) hailed from St. Louis, Missouri, but relocated to Detroit.  Jimmy settled in Detroit in 1955, and for the next forty years he was an important part of our music scene.  Wilkins and his lovely wife CynthiaContinue reading “Jimmy Wilkins: I Love The Sound of a Trombone!”

* Willie Anderson * Detroit Piano Wizard

By Jim Gallert with Lars Bjorn When Detroit pianists are discussed, Barry Harris, Tommy Flanagan, Roland Hanna, and Hank Jones are always mentioned.[1] If the participants are in-the-know, the names of Terry Pollard, Harold McKinney, and Kenn Cox could pop up.[2] Willie Anderson (1924-1971) seldom is included. For thirty years preceding his death at ageContinue reading “* Willie Anderson * Detroit Piano Wizard”

Phil Lasley: Alto Attitude

By Jim Gallert Phelbert Quincy Lasley III, (1940-2018) came of age during the 1950s. The 1950s were Detroit’s Golden Age of jazz, and he heard many great musicians like Barry Harris and Yusef Lateef before they left town. His family came to Detroit from Kentucky during the 1920s looking for work. When Phil was bornContinue reading “Phil Lasley: Alto Attitude”

Joe St. John A Tale in Two Jazz Cities

By Jim Gallert with Lars Bjorn Saxophonist, Joseph Robert St. John had a thirty-year career in Manhattan and Detroit. His New York band battled the great Chick Webb Orchestra and shared a stage with Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway, and King Oliver.  For five years, {1929-34} Joe navigated his band through the turbulent waters of theContinue reading “Joe St. John A Tale in Two Jazz Cities”