All About Jazz: The web's most comprehensive jazz resource

Serving jazz worldwide since 1995
All About Jazz: The web's most comprehensive jazz resource

Cymbalism

Melanie Futorian reflects on her years with percussionist Don Alias.


May 3, 2012

Don Alias and Jaco Pastorious

Read "Don Alias and Jaco Pastorious"

By MELANIE FUTORIAN

[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 ...

Read More
April 12, 2012

Don Alias and Joni Mitchell

Read "Don Alias and Joni Mitchell"

By MELANIE FUTORIAN

[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 ...

Read More
March 21, 2012

Don Alias and Miles Davis

Read "Don Alias and Miles Davis"

By MELANIE FUTORIAN

[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 ...

Read More
February 23, 2012

Don Alias and Nina Simone

Read "Don Alias and Nina Simone"

By MELANIE FUTORIAN

[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 ...

Read More