Tag Archives: Woodstock Music & Art Fair

Lew Soloff

Lew Soloff

February 20, 1944 – March 8, 2015
Lou Soloff
Jazz trumpeter Lew Soloff ( Photo: lewsoloff.com)
Soloff was born in Brooklyn and raised in Lakewood, NJ where he began studying piano at an early age. When he was ten, he took up the trumpet, eventually attending the Julliard Preparatory School and, later, the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY.

He became one of the most respected jazz musicians of his generation.

After one year of graduate school at Julliard, Lew became involved in the New York Latin jazz and jazz scene, playing with artists like Maynard Ferguson, Joe Henderson, Tito Puente and Gil Evans.
He joined Blood, Sweat and Tears in time to be part of their second album, Blood, Sweat & Tears (he replaced Randy Brecker). The album won GRAMMYs for Album Of The Year and Best Contemporary Instrumental Performance (“Variations On A Theme By Eric Satie”).
Lew Soloff
cover of Blood, Sweat & Tears
It is Lew Soloff who, at about the 2-minute mark, blasts away on Spinning Wheel and helped make it a hit. Here's the vinyl version (with its bit of scratch and pop)

Blood, Sweat and Tears performed early Monday morning at the Woodstock Music and Art Fair after Johnny Winter and before Crosby, Stills, Nash (and Young).
For some artists, Woodstock was a pinnacle. Blood, Sweat, and Tears did not get much traction out of Woodstock as they did not appear in the movie or on the album, but they were already Grammy successful. Soloff remained with BS & T for four more albums and remained in music playing with dozens of different bands for the rest of his life.
The Allmusic.com site synopsis states:  Soloff was closely associated with Gil Evans from 1973 on, and also played with George Gruntz's Concert Jazz Band, the Manhattan Jazz Quintet, and Carla Bley; he was also teamed with the colorful trombonist Ray Anderson on several often-humorous recordings.
Daniel E Slotnick wrote in the New York Times, Mr. Soloff had little use for genre limitations. He was a session musician for Barbra Streisand, Frank Sinatra and Lou Reed; he was the lead trumpeter of both the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra; he tackled Bach as a member of the quintet Manhattan Brass.
Check the link below for his discography at Wikipedia or here for the AllMusic list. Your finger will be tired. The man played a lot! (All Music discography)
Lew Soloff died of a heart attack in Brooklyn on March 8, 2015. His daughter, Laura Solomon, wrote the following at her Facebook page:
Tonight I lost my dad. We flew to New York to spend the week with him and my sister, enjoyed the day together, had dinner at our favorite grub spot. On the way home, he suffered a massive heart attack and collapsed into my arms on the sidewalk in front of my husband and children. I performed CPR with the help of a passerby and continued to assist after EMTs arrived. He died at the scene, was resuscitated, made it through an angioplasty but couldn't stabilize afterward and passed away just before 1:00 AM.

My dad was amazing. He could drive me fucking crazy, but that didn't make him any less essential to my life. He loved his grandkids. He loved my sister and me. He was one of the greatest trumpet players in the world and I'm so proud to be his daughter. I'm so happy to carry on a fraction of his musicality in the now rare moments that I pick up my violin.

Dad had more friends than anyone I know. He was always on the phone. Always. Even when it was totally inappropriate. He was so loved by so many. His life overflowed with people who cared for him. I am so thankful for you all.

I am devastated. I can't picture my life or my kids' lives without him in it. It doesn't seem real. It's definitely not fair. But I am so grateful to have spent my dad's last day on Earth together in New York City.

Please keep my family in your thoughts and respect our privacy during this awful time. We're hurting badly.
 

Lew Soloff

Lew Soloff performs the Hoagy Carmichael classic, "Georgia on my Mind" at the Velvet Note in Alpharetta, GA. Kenny Banks on piano, Che Marshall on drums and Kevin Smith on bass. Photographed and edited by Richard Angle.

Reference >>> NYT obit
Reference >>> UK Telegraph obit
Reference >>> Wikipedia discography

 

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Marty Balin

Marty Balin

January 30
Happy birthday Marty Balin
Marty Balin
Marty Balin (photo from http://imgbuddy.com/marty-balin.asp)

Born Martyn Jerel Buchwald in Cincinnati, Ohio, on January 30, 1942, parents Joe and Jean Buchwald raised Marty in in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Marty Balin

In 1962 Marty renamed himself Marty Balin and began recording with Challenge Records, releasing the singles “Nobody But You” and “I Specialize in Love."

Balin was the lead for the folk music quartet called The Town Criers, followed by a brief stint with the Gateway Singers in 1965.
On July 25, 1965, Dylan famously "went electric"  at the Newport Folk Festival.  Deciding to do the same but getting refusals from the folk clubs, Balin opened the San Francisco Matrix night club on August 13, 1965 featuring his new band Jefferson Airplane. The Grateful Dead, The Doors, Big Brother and the holding Company, and Steve Miller all performed there. The Airplane and the Matrix helped create the San Francisco scene.
In August 1969, the Airplane famously played their sunrise set at Woodstock.

For personal, personnel, and musical reasons, Marty left the Airplane in April 1971. In a 1993 interview with Jeff Tamarkin of Relix Balid said "I don’t know, just Janis's death. That struck me. It was dark times. Everybody was doing so much drugs and I couldn’t even talk to the band. I was into yoga at the time. I’d given up drinking and I was into totally different area, health foods and getting back to the streets, working with the American Indians. It was getting strange for me. Cocaine was a big deal in those days and I wasn’t a cokie and I couldn’t talk with everybody who had an answer for every goddamn thing, rationalizing everything that happened. I thought it made the music really tight and constrictive and ruined it. So after Janis died, I thought, I’m not gonna go onstage and play that kind of music; I don’t like cocaine." (click >>> Relix interview)
Balin joined Airplane's reconstructed Jefferson Starship in 1975 and remained with them until 1978. Afterward, he returned to his solo career, though he did join the band for reunions in 1989 and 1996
He has released 12 solo albums.
In 1996, Jefferson Airplane was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (Grace Slick was absent due to medical reasons). Most in jackets and ties, they performed "Volunteers" with Balin on lead vocals.

 

References: Marty Balin site >>> home page bio

Marty Balin, Marty Balin, Marty Balin, Marty Balin,
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Palm Beach Music & Art Festival

Palm Beach Music & Art Festival

From the “Palm Beach Pop Festival” short
Palm Beach Music & Art Festival
poster for Palm Beach Music & Art Festival. Note how the festival used “music and art” in their title (the earlier Woodstock was the only one to do that) and note the “bird/peace symbol”…too similar to Woodstock’s to be a coincidence

Palm Beach Music & Art Festival

For many people, the only festivals in 1969 were the famous Woodstock Music and Art Fair and the infamous Altamont Speedway Free Festival. There were many more: none larger than Woodstock, all more peaceful than Altamont. The Palm Beach Music & Art Festival was one of the last that year.

It ran on Thanksgiving weekend, November 28 – 30, 1969.  Like most of those many other 1969 festivals, little can be found about them. Organizers didn't record nor film them. Occasionally someone's hand held movie or recording pops up.

But over all, the Palm Beach Music & Art Festival remains unknown. There are some still pictures and a group is trying to collect anything anyone has to create a documentary:

There is a 2009 Palm Beach Post article: Then-Palm Beach County Sheriff Bill Heidtman vowed to make life miserable for the free-loving, pot-smoking, anti-establishment youngsters who were coming to the Palm Beach Pop Festival. He threatened to herd alligators toward the crowd, gathered on a grassy field at the Palm Beach International Raceway. And he promised to dig out fire ant colonies and relocate them at the venue.
Palm Beach Music & Art Festival
Palm Beach Music & Art Festival

Palm Beach Music & Art Festival

The Festival was at a drag strip outside of West Palm Beach. Among others, Grand Funk played three nights also. The show featured Iron Butterfly, King Crimson (Robin Fripp and Greg Lake), Jefferson Airplane, Rotary Connection (Minnie Ripperton), PG&E, Rolling Stones, Vanilla Fudge, Janis Joplin and Her Full Tilt Boogie Band, Johnny Winters, and others.

On the third night, Winters played, then Vanilla Fudge, followed by Janis Joplin. Afterwards, the announcer said, Johnny wants it, Janis wants it, and the Fudge wants one. All three bands came out on stage and jammed. Winters jammed with the guitar players and scatted with Janis.

Wavy Gravy was there in his WW2 pilot helmet or whatever it was, guiding a car backwards trying to help them and backed them into the pond. We'd like to think he knew it was the police in an unmarked car and put them in the pond on purpose since we know he didn’t do drugs.

2014 Palm Beach Post retrospective article 

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