The Anwar Marshall Trio brings warmth to the soul.

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The scene was The Cheltenham Arts Center. The time was seven thirty pm. The group was The Anwar Marshall Trio. There were a few incarnations of tonight’s group. For one reason or another, Anwar was forced to bring out the big guns. Saxophonist Adam Siegel, a student of The University of the Arts here in Philadelphia, was summoned down from Albany, NY for the evening. Bassist Nimrod Speaks was a last minute fill-in and wasn’t even in the program of the M.C. Drummer Anwar Marshall has been a hot commodity in and around Philadelphia and is no stranger to the stage. You would think these cats had been playing this music together for weeks, but as I mentioned, they had minimal practice sessions. Whenever I go to a show, I wonder what kind of music will be played, meaning am I going to hear standards all evening or are they going to hit me with some original music. Well this night I was smacked in the face with some Anwar Marshall Originals. People are always asking where the future of Jazz music is going. What will these young folks bring to the table that I haven’t heard already? Well, how many times do you want to hear people playing Half Nelson? Of course, we all want to hear something familiar, but to hear the new writings of a drummer,  and have his young band bring the crowd to their feet, then they’re doing something right. By the way, the evening finished with Rhythm Changes for those who needed to be taken back.

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Holiday Portrait Special

HOLIDAY SPECIAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Jazz at South with Raul Midon

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It’s not of anyone’s surprise to hear Jazz on South. South meaning the famous street in Philadelphia known for great food and shopping. Well folks, this isn’t about that. This is a story about Jazz at South, a new hot spot on the Northern side of City Hall. South Broad Street in Philadelphia is known as The Avenue of the Arts where you can go to see Broadway quality shows, The Philadelphia Orchestra, and Jazz at The Clef Club. I’m glad that someone decided to take things uptown. This was my first visit to the up and coming establishment named South. The ambiance and overall feel of the place is warm and inviting with nice open space to enjoy some fine dining. Go ahead a few yards and you’ll be directed around a corner where the music takes place. Tonight I was going to see Raul Midon, a vision impaired, multi-instrumentalist. Raul’s main instrument is the guitar. He also performs the sound of the trumpet with his mouth while strumming which I found to be very soothing to the soul. Directly in front of him are small set of congas. On his right sat bassist Gerald Veasley. His groove is tack sharp, he knows where he’s headed, and even opens a few new avenues during his solos with a huge smile on his face. Then there was the third member of tonight’s trio, Pablo Batista. Bongos, congas, chimes, he handled it all. His playing was like pouring the syrup over the pancakes, sweet. Overall, I found the whole evening very stimulating musically and the crowd was full of ©Colgate smiles. If you have a chance to get to see Raul’s band or even to get out to South Restaurant & Jazz Club, 600 N Broad St, Philadelphia, PA 19130, make sure to show up with an appetite for some delicious sounds. To see additional images from the performance, click on this link additional images. To view a live performance, click HERE

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Seeing The Music; The Jazz Photography of Anthony Dean Book now available for the Holidays.

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This book is an overview of my experiences throughout the Philadelphia Jazz scene. Philadelphia has a rich history of Jazz legends and most of these musicians displayed in this book may not be legends, but will surely grab your ear and pull you toward the future of Philly Jazz. I have revised this from the original version and added the names of all of the musicians so you can keep an eye and ear out for things to come. If you’re a fan of Philadelphia Jazz or just Jazz in general, you’ll love this book as it takes you right into the front row of the performances. If you see another book expressing the wealth of Philadelphia Jazz musicians, I recommend you purchase it, but I think this will be the one that stands alone. This book comes in both a 7×7 and  12×12 version. Click on the version you prefer.

Reflections in the rain- Walking off your troubles

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Today for most, the weather was kind of dreary and damp. People had to work while looking out of the window thinking about the drive home in long traffic lines. Some were outside all day trying to get through the grueling slump of working  in the rain. Usually I would be one of these people as my full time job is a letter carrier for the United States Postal Service. Today was a bit different. It was my day off. Recent events in my life had me feeling pretty emotional as of lately. I lost a great friend, my best friend Lawrence Summers to Cancer this week. We’ve known each other since the ripe age of four which makes it 43 years in the books. Over the years, he and I have been through a lot of ups and downs, mostly ups and good times. Things like throwing snowballs and racing Big Wheels, Breakdancing, and getting that beer from the store when we were still underage. Other things included hanging out talking about Hip Hop, which we were heavily into since 1979, and sometimes just picking a bar anywhere in Philly to stop through and meet new people and environments. We both eventually grew into men and had our own families, but never stopped sharing new stories and experiences with each other.

Lawrence has always encouraged my photographic ventures, even jokingly telling me to follow radio host Michael Baisden’s advice to quit work and go for my dreams. That’s what we always did, made fun of each other, but in a way that showed love for each other. I actually had a photo exhibit a few weeks ago and hoped he could come up, but he wasn’t feeling too well at the time of the show. I remember him telling me “Good luck”. I had zero sales, but made a few important contacts. So I guess that little verbal rabbit’s foot helped me a bit.

My friend reached the end of his journey yesterday, but not before he made lots of friends and people who genuinely loved him. Today I just wanted to go for a walk to clear my head and make sense of it all. I wanted to take along my camera to remember the day, what the weather was like, how were the people on this particular day. I got more than I wanted. Some people were happy to see me with my camera, some not so happy. It’s all a part of life. You have friends and enemies, no matter how positive you live your life. Some people welcome you in with open arms and many shut their doors and turn the lights out in your time of need. Today I experienced a little of both but kept smiling and returned kindness and a smile to them and kept it moving. Contained below are some of the images I captured today. I hope this posting can change if only one person’s outlook on life. Yes, we all get into our little disagreements and squabbles, but you must look past them and see the bigger picture which is LIFE.

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