I grew up being exposed to jazz and R&B in the north end of Hartford (the projects). Though I am white, my tastes were formed by the music around me: Gospel, Straight-Ahead Jazz, R&B, Afro-cuban...etc. My brother used to bring me on Tuesday nights to a gospel church. Sometimes there would be a keyboard player and just a drummer - other times an organ player and a guitarist, but whatever the combination, the band and the choir was always spine-chilling.
There was a place called the ''Club Sundown'' where jazz groups played.
Horace Silver played there frequently as he was from Bridgeport Ct. My
brother would bring me there and we would sit out back by the kitchen-door
which was always open. Mind you,I was only ten years old at the time.
Rats would scurry by, but it didn't matter. I was getting an education in
America's one true art-form. When I turned twelve we moved across the
river to East Hartford. When I was a young teenager, My best friend Eddie
and me would go to the ''State Theater'' in Hartford to see the R&B ''Reviews''
hosted by guys like Alan Freed or one of the hot D.J.'s of the time. These
shows would feature six or seven acts, sometimes more. with the likes of Ray Charles, James Brown, Bo Diddley, Laverne Baker, Ruth Brown the Caddilacs, the El Dorados, the Harptones, theCleftones, the Moonglows,
Chuck Berry, Aretha Franklin....and on and on. Later when I was playing in a
horn band, we would go to New York and catch Miles, Trane, Mingus..etc.
Anyway, I listen to a broad spectrum of music now, including classical, but I'll never forget those players and performers as long as I live.
Thanks for creating PANDORA - It's great !