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Cymbalism

Melanie Futorian reflects on her years with percussionist Don Alias.


CYMBALISM

Don Alias and Jaco Pastorious

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[Author's Note: This marks the last article in the four-part series for Cymbalism, a tribute to the great percussionist and my companion, Don Alias. Please look for the forthcoming photo book on Amazon.com, Don Alias: The Moments We Spent. As well, keep an eye out for my upcoming for All About Jazz interviews with David Sanborn, Miles Evans and others.]Don Alias and Jaco PastoriusI had been touring supper clubs, posh hotels and concert halls with Lou Rawls for three years, and now we had an engagement to do a television show in Miami. On the bill ...

CYMBALISM

Don Alias and Joni Mitchell

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[Editor's Note: Cymbalism is an All About Jazz column featuring excerpts from an upcoming autobiography on the late, great percussionist Don Alias, co-written by Melanie Futorian, his companion for the last seven years of his life. This installment covers Alias' collaboration with singer/songwriter Joni Mitchell]Joni and I were living together working on our romance. She was a prolific genius; a woman who wrote about what happened in her life. I had introduced her to my musical world with all the congueros and Afro-Cuban musicians. She had a special depth that absorbed different cultures so I decided to introduce ...

CYMBALISM

Don Alias and Miles Davis

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[Editor's Note: Cymbalism is an All About Jazz column featuring excerpts from an upcoming autobiography on the late, great percussionist Don Alias, co-written by Melanie Futorian, his companion for the last seven years of his life. This installment covers Alias' work on trumpeter Miles Davis' iconic Bitches Brew (Columbia, 1970)]It was [drummer] Tony Williams who actually called me for that unforgettable Bitches Brew session. Man, when I walked into the studio and I saw the Bitches Brew personnel I knew it was going to be amazing. There was a percussionist friend of mine,Jumma Santos whom I had gotten ...

CYMBALISM

Don Alias and Nina Simone

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[Editor's Note: Cymbalism is a new All About Jazz column that will feature excerpts from an upcoming autobiography on the late, great percussionist Don Alias, co-written by Melanie Futorian, his companion for the last seven years of his life. This installment pays tribute to the sixth anniversary of his death in March, 2006.] Don Alias and Nina SimoneIt was Gene Perla who called me up one day and said, “Hey man, why don't you just try to do this gig with Nina Simone?" I said, “Wow! Nina Simone, are you kidding?"At that time I ...



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