Tag Archives: Birthdays

Trumpeter Thomas Henry Lowther

Trumpeter Thomas Henry Lowther

Birthday greetings

Trumpeter Thomas Henry Lowther

July 11, 1941
Jazz musician and…
Member of Keef Hartley Band at Woodstock

Thomas Henry Lowther was born in Leicester, England. “As a child Lowther learned trumpet from his father and took private violin lessons before going on to study with Manoug Parakian at London’s Royal Academy of Music.” (from All Music).

It has been a lifetime of music since then.

Of Woodstock he said, ““You know I played Woodstock as the first gig of an American tour with the Keefe Hartley band. The only other trumpet player at the gig was Sly Stone’s sister!”  (Jazz Wise magazine)


John Till and Louis Gasca with Janis, Steve Madaia and Keith Johnson with Paul Butterfield, and Chuck Winfield and Lew Soloff with Blood, Sweat and Tears might differ with his view, but we’ll just attribute Lowther’s error to that famous Woodstock Haze.

Trumpeter Thomas Henry Lowther

Henry Lowther

           From  Vortex Jazz site: During the sixties Henry was one of the first musicians on the British jazz scene to experiment with total free improvisation, notably with Jack Bruce, Lyn Dobson and John Hiseman. He played with the original and seminal Mike Westbrook band (which included Mike Osborne and John Surman), and also with John Dankworth, including playing on the now legendary and rare Kenny Wheeler album “Windmill Tilter” while also working on occasions on the rock scene with musicians such as Manfred Mann, John Mayall and  Keef Hartley, with whom he appeared at the famous Woodstock festival in 1969.

          His work on the British jazz scene reads like a “Who’s Who”. He has played regularly with the likes of Gordon Beck, Michael Garrick, Graham Collier, Mike Gibbs, Pete King, Loose Tubes, John Surman, John Taylor, Stan Tracey and Kenny Wheeler. 

Here is his All Music list of credits. You’re going to be here awhile!

Trumpeter Thomas Henry Lowther

After Keef Hartley

            After Lowther left Keef Hartley in 1970, he worked with dozens of different musicians including Bryan Ferry, Van Morrison, and did the trumpet solo for Elton John on “Return to Paradise” in 1978.

Trumpeter Thomas Henry Lowther

From his own site

              In 1996, along with his great friend the great bass player Dave Green, Henry formed his own band Still Waters to enable him to pursue his increasing interest in composition. In 1997 Still Waters recorded an album, “ID”, on the Village Life label, to much critical acclaim

Trumpeter Thomas Henry Lowther

2018

In March, Still Waters released a new album: Can’t Believe, Won’t Believe. The personnel are: Henry Lowther (trumpet/flugel); Pete Hurt (tenor); Barry Green (piano); Dave Green (bass); Paul Clarvis (drums)

Of it, the Financial Times said, “The sturdy theme and somnolent harmonies of the opening title track have trace elements of a works’ brass band. But the melody has a quizzical edge, and elliptic splatters of percussion lie underneath. As the piece evolves, the trumpeter’s brassy certainty is interrupted by drummer Paul Clarvis’s off-kilter breaks. Can’t Believe, Won’t Believe is dedicated to cynics everywhere. As the album progresses, Lowther’s modern jazz quintet embroiders the trumpeter’s elegant and knowing compositions with unruffled emotions and filigree detail. Pete Hurt is a wispy-toned tenor sax foil to Lowther’s precise turn of phrase, and pianist Barry Green’s haunting impressionist voicings are underpinned by Dave Green’s pitch-perfect counterpoint bass.”

Trumpeter Thomas Henry Lowther
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Activist Arlo Davy Guthrie

Activist Arlo Davy Guthrie

A happy birthday (or a belated happy birthday)

June or July?

Sources agree on the year, 1947. Sources agree on the date: the 10th. Sources disagree on the month: June or July. The majority say July, so here we are.

Arlo’s page only uses the year. I suppose once one approaches their eighth decade, a month really doesn’t matter.

Arlo’s site says, “Arlo is the eldest son of Marjorie Mazia Guthrie, a professional dancer with the Martha Graham Company and founder of The Committee to Combat Huntington’s Disease, and America’s most beloved singer/writer/philosopher/artist Woody Guthrie.”

Growing up the child of American icons has both its pros and cons. A pro: name recognition from the start. A con: name recognition from the start.

Many Americans associated the name Guthrie with Communism at a time when the Cold War to defeat the Red Menace was still at its height.

Activist Arlo Davy Guthrie

Woody’s Friends

Friends of his father, Woody, friends like Pete Seeger, Ronnie Gilbert, Fred Hellerman and Lee Hays (The Weavers), Leadbelly, Cisco Houston, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee were part of Arlo’s early life.

Arlo was also one of the many young artists who gravitated to Greenwich Village’s folk scene.

Activist Arlo Davy Guthrie

Alice’s Restaurant

Activist Arlo Davy Guthrie

For many, myself included, our first encounter with Arlo Guthrie was hearing “Alice’s Restaurant.” It came at a perfect time: anti-Vietnam War fervor peaking, anti-Establishment in tone, and simply a great story.

For many of those same listeners, Thanksgiving has meant listening again to Arlo’s masterpiece as much as watching the Detroit Lions play.

The song also likely played a big part in his invitation to the Woodstock Music and Art Fair. He didn’t sing “Alice’s Restaurant” that misty night, but he did declare that the “NY Thruway was closed!”

Not true, but a Woodstock myth too good to not hold onto.

Activist Arlo Davy Guthrie

City of New Orleans

And as funny and reaffirming as “Alice’s Restaurant” is, “City of New Orleans” is comforting and nostalgic. A yearning for the slower times and relaxed travel by train.

Activist Arlo Davy Guthrie

Activist Republican

For a bit, Arlo joined the Republican party because he felt it needed more people with his type of views, but lately he’s back to the Democratic Party.

Activist Arlo Davy Guthrie

Still strong

Guthrie continues to tour and perform regularly.  Santa Claus locks have replaced his curly dark topping, but his sense of humor, welcoming smile, and activism remain as strong as ever.

Guthrie continues to be a beacon for what is best about us.

Activist Arlo Davy Guthrie
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Young Drummer Michael Shrieve

Young Drummer Michael Shrieve

Santana
Woodstock Music and Art Fair
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Happy birthday!
Young Drummer Michael Shrieve
photo from http://www.michaelshrieve.com/gallery.html#
Young Drummer Michael Shrieve

OPEN-HEARTEDNESS

Michael Shrieve’s internet page opens to this statement:

MUSIC PROMPTS US TO RESPOND WITH OPEN-HEARTEDNESS INSTEAD OF JUDGMENT. IT USHERS US TO A HIGHER PLACE FROM WHERE WE CAN SEE BEYOND DISTRACTIONS TO WHAT IS TRUE AND GOOD AND LASTING. IF MUSICIANS ACCEPT THIS RESPONSIBILITY, THEY CAN CHANGE THE WORLD.

Such a view is not surprising from someone who has spent a lifetime with open-hearted music.

Young, not youngest Shrieve

When guests enter first part of the Main Gallery in the museum at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts they are surrounded by some of the 400,000 people who sat on the field at that historic event.

Above guests is a movie showing with commentary pieces of the festival. While Michael Shrieve does his iconic drum solo with Santana, Country Joe McDonald exclaims, “17!” referring to Shrieve’s age. On Saturday 16 August 1969, Michael Shrieve was young, but not that young.

Shrieve was born on July 6, 1949. He had just turned 20. We can forgive McDonald. By early Saturday, it was already a long weekend.

Interestingly, even Shrieve’s internet site gets it wrong. It states, “ As the original drummer for Santana, Michael – at  age nineteen – was the youngest performer at Woodstock.” 

Wrong twice as Sha Na Na’s Henry Gross, born on April 4, 1951 and 18 that August was likely the youngest performer.

And CSN & Y’s bassist Greg Reeves may actually have been younger.

Ah well. Such is the Woodstock Haze.

Young Drummer Michael Shrieve

Santana

During a performance at the Fillmore Auditorium, Shrieve came to the attention of Santana’s manager. A short time later Shrieve joined the band and became a mainstay. His jazz background helped develop a sound already influenced by the band Latin percussion component.

The aforementioned drum solo at Woodstock, it’s inclusion on the album as well as the movie put Michael Shrieve forever into the 1960s’ musical picture.

Young Drummer Michael Shrieve
photo from http://www.michaelshrieve.com/gallery.html#
Young Drummer Michael Shrieve

Michael Shrieve

Young Drummer Michael Shrieve
Shrive at the Monument at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts (photo from Shrieve’s Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/michaelshrieve

Shrieve remained with the Santana band until 1974 and has continued to be active since. He has released several of his own albums and collaborated with or sat in with dozens of other albums.

He occasionally rejoined the Santana band which continued to undergo various personnel changes throughout the years.

In 1998, the he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Young Drummer Michael Shrieve
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