Tuesday, July 1, 2014

New Program of Music and Narration About Joe Brazil to Premier August 10

"Cup of Joe Brazil" will premier at the Central Branch of the Seattle Public Library 2pm August 10. Based on archival research, oral histories, and personal reflection about Joe Brazil, I have created a new program of music and narration. The performances are supported by a Residency Partnership Grant from Chamber Music America. There will be 4 additional performances of this program at other Seattle Public Library branches.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Vital Family Records

Zodis Brazil (Joe's brother) lived at 17531 Cherrylawn St, Detroit, MI, 48221-2507 in 1983. He died in 1998.

In 1940, Joe (11) lived with his brother Zodis (14), mother Ida (34), and maternal grandfather Harrison Hill (72) at 5947 Rivard Street in Detroit. Joe's father Hilliard (43) lived alone at 536 Holbrook Avenue and worked as a chipper at Dodge Bros (source: 1940 Census).

In 1931 a Mrs. Ida Brazil lived at 1025 Adelaide, Detroit MI (source: City Directory)

In 1930, Moses Brazil (20) (Joe's uncle) lived with wife Trulia (19), daughter Dolores (7 mo), mother Mary (50), and brother Hilliard (33) (Joe's father) at 13526 Lumpkin Street, Detroit, MI (source: 1930 Census)

Zodis Brazil was born 6 May 1924 in Georgia. Joe was born 25 Aug 1927 in Detroit so their mother must have moved from Georgia to Detroit between 1924 and 1927. 

Joe's parents, Hilliard Brazil and Ida Hill lived on farms in adjacent counties in Georgia about half way between Savannah and Atlanta, just south of the path that General Sherman took on his March to the Sea during the Civil War.

Hilliard Brazil married Ida Hill ?? Dec 1926 and divorced 1 Apr 1940 in Wayne, MI (source: Michigan Divorce Records).

A gravestone for Mrs. Ida Breazeal in Macedonia Baptist Church Cemetery in Laurens County, GA lists a death date of 12 Oct 1951.

Hilliard Brazil was born 6 Sep 1895 in Georgia, and died 13 Mar 1980 in Oakland, CA. His mother's maiden name was Hardy (source: California Death Index).

A Hilyard Brazeal born 6 Sep 1895 registered for the US WWI draft on 25 Jun 1917 in Montrose, Laurens County, GA. His father is listed as Charlie Brazeal (source: US Draft Registration Card)

Hilliard Brazil was enlisted in the US Army 22 Aug 1918 and released 10 Dec 1918 (source: Veterans Affairs BIRLS Death Files).

Hilliard Brazil living at 536 Holbrook registered for the US WWII draft 27 Apr 1942 in Detroit, MI (source: US Draft Registration Card).

Charlie Brazeal married Mary Lou Hardy on 11 Jul 1893 in Laurens County, GA.

Charlie Brazeal (born Jun 1869) lived with his wife Mary Lou (born Jul 1872), daughter Queen (born 1894), son Hilliard (born Sep 1894), and son Isaac (born Apr 1900) lived next door to Charlie Hardy (born Jul 1845), wife Jane (born Jun 1854), daughter Anne (born Mar 1882), daughter Arlisie (born Mar 1882), son Oscar (born Oct 1887), and daughter Meula (born x 1891) in the Harvard District, Laurens County, GA (source: 1900 Census).

Charlie Brazeal (40) lived with his wife Mary L. (34), daughters Queen (16), Mary L. (8), and sons Hillard (14), Moses (5) in Harvard, Laurens County, GA (source: 1910 Census)

Charlie Brazeal (born 22 Jul 1878) registered for the WWI draft on 17 Sep 1918. He lived at 708 Decater, Dublin, Laurens County, GA. His occupation was Yard Man at a Power Plant. His nearest relative was Annie Lee Brazeal (source: US Draft Registration Card).

A Charlie Brazeal (born May 1877) lived next door to a farmhouse of 7 Brazeals (3 generations) in Hampton Mill, Laurens County, GA (source: 1900 Census).

In 1910, a Charlie Brazeal (28), wife Lou (25), and daughter Annie Lee (6) lived in Toombsboro, GA (Wilkenson County) (source: 1910 Census).

In 1940, a Charlie Brazil (58) and wife Lena (45) lived on Decatur Street, Dublin, GA (Laurens County). Charlie is listed as a laborer at a rim factory (source: 1940 Census)

A Charlie Brazeal died 8 Mar 1969 in Laurens, GA. A gravestone says he was born in 1875.

In 1880, Harrison Hill (17) (Joe's maternal grandfather) lived with his father John (57), mother Bettie (52), brother Jack (20), and brother Monroe (14) on a rented farm in Bluff, Twiggs County, Georgia (source: 1880 Census).

In 1910, Harrison Hill (45), wife Mariah (42), their daughters Bessie (20), Daisy (14), Bettie (11), Ida (9), Bertha (7), and sons Burke (19), Holliman (17), Freddie (16), Harrison Jr. (12), John (4), Albert (2) lived on a farm in McDonalds, Twiggs County, Georgia (source 1910 Census).

Gravestone


Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Joe Brazil Audio Tapes from Detroit

While organizing the Joe Brazil audio tape collection, I came across these gems:

Date
Place
Personnel
9/?/1954
Blue Bird Inn
Sonny Stitt
Miles Davis
Elvin Jones
Barry Harris
?/?/1955
Club 411
Joe Brazil
Johnny Griffin
1/21/1956
West End
Sonny Stitt – saxophone
Kenny Burrell – guitar
Tommy Flanagan – piano
James Beans Richardson – bass
Elvin Jones – drums
Wilber Hardin – trumpet
Joe Brazil – announcer
1/22/1956
Rouge Lounge
Side 1
Sonny Stitt
Kenny Burrell – guitar
Elvin Jones – drums
Tommy Flanagan – piano
Beans Richardson – bass

Side 2
Sam Ward – tenor
Oliver Skee Wilson – s
Jess Jones – bass
Joe Brazil – alto
Bert Myrick – drums
?/?/1956
West End
Thad Jones
2/5/1956
Rouge Lounge
Max Roach – drums
Clifford Brown – trumpet
George Morrow – bass
Richie Powell – piano
Sonny Rollins – tenor
1956-7?
Brazil’s basement
Koko Winfrey – tenor
Bernard McKinney – euphonium
Melvin McRay – tenor
Hugh Lawson – piano
Joe Brazil – alto
Ali Jackson – bass
Bert Myrick – drums
Stony Nightingale – tenor
Abe Woodley – vibes
11/?/1957
Rouge Lounge
Bud Powell – piano
Elvin Jones – drums
11/?/1957

Bud Powell – piano
Elvin Jones – drums

12/3/1957

Clifford Brown – trumpet
Max Roach – drums
George Morrow – bass
Richie Powell – piano
Sonny Rollins – tenor
Yusef Lateef – tenor (guest)
Kenny Dorham – trumpet (guest)
12/3/1957

Max Roach – drums
Kenny Dorham – trumpet
Yusef Lateef – tenor
George Morrow – bass
?/?/1957

Max Roach – drums
Kenny Dorham – trumpet
Sonny Rollins – tenor
George Morrow – bass
Wade Legge – piano
?/?/1957
Third Ave and Warren
Bass – Herman Wright, Ernie Farrow, Ali Jackson
Piano – Barry Harris, Hugh Lawson, Bobo
Drums – Roy Brooks, Johnny Clever
Sax – Yusef Lateef, Koko Winfrey, Joe Brazil, Charles McPherson, Pepper Adams, Donald Waldon, Joe Henderson, Sonny Red
Trumpet – Donald Towns, Lonnie Hilliard, Vincent Pitts
Trombone – Brewster McKinney, Mike Terry
2/11/1958

Tommy Flanagan
Sonny Red
Joe Brazil
Joe Harris
Ernie Farrow
Koko Winfrey
10/13/1958
Blue Bird Inn
Thad Jones – trumpet
Billy Mitchell – tenor
Elvin Jones – drums
Barry Harris – piano
James (Beans) Richardson – bass
Alvin Jackson – bass (last tune)
1/18/1959
Blue Bird Inn
Barry Harris – piano
Brewster McKinney
Sonny Red – alto
Hugh Lawson – piano
Ernie Farrow – bass
Bert Myrick – drums
Abe Woodley – vibes
?/?/1959


2/23/1960
Brazil’s basement
John Coltrane – soprano
Joe Brazil – tenor
Bennie Muffett (Maupin?) – tenor
Teddy Harris – piano
Vance Madlock – bass
George Goldsmith – drums
6/?/1960

Joe Henderson
Joe Brazil
Oliver Wilson
Jess Jones
Felton Jones
Joe Harris
& others
11/24/1960
Brazil’s basement
John Coltrane – soprano
McCoy Tyner – piano
Reggie Workman – bass
Will Austin
Frank Marellie
Jimmie Hawkins
Teddy Harris
George Goldsmith
Bob Cook
Joe Brazil
?/?/?
Prince Hall
Barry Harris – piano
Bert Myrick – drums
Sal Austin
Joe Brazil
Koko Winfrey

Strolling Set
Joe Thurman
Joe Benny
W. Austin
Joe Harris
Koko Winfrey
?/?/?
Rouge Lounge
Sonny Stitt – saxophones
Bobby Timmons – piano
Edgar Willis – bass
Kenny Dennis – drums
Koko Winfrey – saxophones
Joe Brazil – saxophones
?/?/?
Rouge Lounge
Max Roach – drums
Sonny Rollins – tenor
Donald Byrd – trumpet
Barry Harris – piano
George Morrow – bass

Side 2 (Session at Brazil’s basement)
Donald Byrd – trumpet
Doug Watkins – bass
Harold McKinney – piano
Joe Brazil – saxophone
Frank Gant? – drums
?/?/?
Brazil’s basement
Doug Watkins – bass
Donald Towns – trumpet
Joe Brazil – alto
Teddy Harris? – piano
Bert Myrick – drums
?/?/?
Brazil’s basement
Felton Jones – trumpet
Joe Brazil – saxophone
Bert Myrick – drums
Charles McPherson – alto
Lonnie Hilliard
Ira Jackson (Sweet Georgia)
Brewster McKinney
Sonny Red – alto
?/?/?

Max Roach – drums
Elvin Jones – drums



?/?/?

Doug Watkins
Joe Brazil
Brewster McKinney
Joe Harris
Bert Myrick
Jack Lipscomb
Koko Winfrey
?/?/?

Koko Winfrey
Brewster McKinney
Joe Brazil
Bert Myrick
Melvin Jackson
Abe Woodley
?/?/?
Rouge Lounge
Sonny Stitt
Koko Winfrey
Jack Lipscomb
?/?/?
Blue Bird Inn
Thad Jones
Barry Harris


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Jerry Heldman RIP

Jerry Heldman played bass with Joe Brazil. His daughter reminisced on his passing. He set up a website about the club where he played with Joe. I think the mp3 files there include Joe.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Coltrane in Detroit

I'm trying to track down when John Coltrane and Joe Brazil might have met. According to The John Coltrane Reference, Coltrane worked in Detroit on the dates below. Joe Brazil was born in Detroit and owned a house there from 1951 to 1962. Coltrane was recorded from Brazil's basement in September of 1958. There were 9 times before that when Coltrane could have been at Brazil's house and 5 times after. There is a tape from Brazil's house on Thanksgiving, November 24, 1960 3:00am with Coltrane on soprano and McCoy on piano. In an interview with Paul de Barros, Brazil says Coltrane stayed with him whenever Coltrane was in town as a leader.
  • Nov 5-11, 1948 w/ Howard McGee
  • Mar 27, 1949 w/ Eddie Vinson
  • Jan 13-19, 1950 w/ Dizzy Gillespie
  • May 15, 1950 w/ Dizzy Gillespie
  • Feb 16-25, 1951 w/ Dizzy Gillespie
  • Nov 2, 1952 w/ Johnny Hodges
  • Dec 8-20, 1952 w/ Johnny Hodges
  • May 3-9, 1954 w/ Johnny Hodges
  • Oct 5-9, 1955 w/ Miles Davis (right after marrying Juanita Austin)
  • Mar 12, 1956 w/ Miles Davis
  • Jul 9, 1956 w/ Miles Davis
  • Jul 24-29 w/ Miles Davis
  • Apr 15-20, 1958 w/ Miles Davis
  • Sep 23-28, 1958 w/ Miles Davis
  • Dec 11-20, 1959 w/ Miles Davis
  • Aug 23-28, 1960 as leader
  • Nov 22-27, 1960 as leader
  • Feb 21-26, 1961 as leader
  • Aug 1-6, 1961 as leader
  • Jan 16-21, 1961 as leader
  • Jul 31-Aug 5, 1962 as leader

The Quest of Questions


Who is Joe Brazil? Years back, I had only heard of Joe Brazil as an obscure footnote. Today, I’m learning that he was a saxophonist from Detroit, friend of John Coltrane, teacher and band leader in Seattle, tool and die maker for automobile and airplane manufacturers, screen actor, student of math, programmer in applied physics, race track gambler and researcher of past contact between humans and extraterrestrials.

The chain of events leading up to my finding out about him started 40 years ago in an elementary school gymnasium. It was a night to try musical instruments. The lines of fifth grade kids for trumpet and flute were very long and noisy. But no one was at the table for clarinet and saxophone. Little did I know that the quest for finding Joe Brazil began here with the question: “Can I make a sound on the saxophone?”

I felt the weight of the shiny brass horn around my neck. The mother-of-pearl buttons were smooth on my fingertips. The plastic mouthpiece smelled faintly of human breath as if the instrument were alive – sentient but sleeping. The bamboo reed tasted tart on my tongue. I blew into the J-shaped metal cone. Not a pretty sound. But not too ugly, either. The vibrations of the reed tickled my lips, teeth and nose. My next question, “What sounds do all these buttons make?”

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Events with video and or audio tape in the Joe Brazil Collection


Artist
Date
Location
Ahmad Jamal
Unknown
University of Washington
Al McKibbon
11/1/74
University of Washington
Art Blakey
5/12/76
University of Washington
Bill Evans
11/22/74
University of Washington
Cannonball Adderley
7/27/74
Black Academy of Music
Chico Hamilton
5/10/75
Black Academy of Music
Chico Hamilton
5/12/75
University of Washington
Clark Terry
3/7/74
University of Washington
Count Basie
Unknown
Black Academy of Music
Dizzy Gillespie
10/12/74
Black Academy of Music
Dizzy Gillespie
10/9/74
University of Washington
Donald Byrd
4/74
Black Academy of Music
Donald Byrd
4/8/74
University of Washington
Earl Hines
4/15/71
University of Washington
Eddie Harris
1/28/72
University of Washington
Eddie Harris
1/72
Garfield High School
Eddie Harris
2/15/74
University of Washington
Elvin Jones
8/24/74
Black Academy of Music
Frank Gant & Jamil Nassar
5/31/74
University of Washington
Freddie Hubbard
5/5/72
University of Washington
Gary Bartz
6/15/74
Black Academy of Music
George Harmonica Smith
1/19/73
University of Washington
Grover Washington
Unknown
Black Academy of Music
Herbie Hancock
10/70
University of Washington
Herbie Hancock
72
Langston Hughes Center
Joe Henderson
4/20/75
Black Academy of Music
Joe Williams
1/26/73
University of Washington
John Handy
7/2/78
Black Academy of Music
Johnny Hammond Smith
4/4/73
University of Washington
Kenny Burrell
2/15/75
Black Academy of Music
Kenny Burrell
4/9/73
University of Washington
Kirk Lightsey
11/72
University of Washington
McCoy Tyner
11/22/71
University of Washington
Milt Jackson
4/26/74
University of Washington
Mongo Santamaria
11/5/75
Black Academy of Music
O.C. Smith
72
Garfield High School
O.C. Smith
73
Black Academy of Music
Portia Maultsby & Lillian Dunlap
11/21/73
University of Washington
Roland Haynes
5/7/71
University of Washington
Roy Ayers
4/5/74
University of Washington
Stanley Turrentine
6/21/74
Black Academy of Music
Stanley Turrentine
7/22/74
Black Academy of Music