Wednesday, February 28, 2007

February 18, 2007 A Fond Farewell to Bus Brown

Featuring the jazz music and musicians of North Carolina - This Valentine's Day a wonderful friend, jazz singer, song writer, performer, teacher, and kind-souled person, Bus Brown, died at age 99 1/2 plus. He died in Baltimore after a short illness. He was well-cared for by Von right up to the end. And Frankie Alexander kept a loving eye, ear, and heart out for him. She called him regularly to help maintain his connection to the outside world and sent care packages to help sustain him.

On my show this week I honored the jazz work of Bus Brown, who lived in Durham, NC and actively engaged and inspired the jazz community here, along with his good friend Brother Yusuf Salim. They came down from Baltimore together in the 70's. He mentored jazz singers such as Eve Cornelius, Nneena Freelon, and Frankie. He was in the Durham area for almost 20 years.

This week I also celebrated the birthdays of Nina Simone (b. Tryon, NC) and Frankie Alexander (b. Concord, NC and living in Durham, NC). I wove together the music of Bus Brown, Nina Simone and Frankie Alexander.

My radio show, Melva's Musings on Jazz, features the jazz music of NC Jazz musicians. My show can be heard on WCOM, 103.5 FM in the Carrboro/Chapel Hill, NC area. The 100 Watts of Wonder station can be enjoyed any where in the world by going to the WCOM website,, and clicking on the button for web-streaming. My show is every Sunday night from 7:00 - 9:00 EST.

- Nina SImone; Anthology CD; I Wish I Knew How it Would Feel to be Free
- Frankie Alexander; Mad About the Words CD: Mad About the Boy
- Nina Simone; Sugar in My Bowl CD; I Get ALong WIthout You (Except Sometimes)
- Bus Brown; Story Teller album; It Never Was Always
- Nina Simone; Sugar in My Bowl CD; To Be Young Gifted & Black
- Frankie Alexander & Scott Warner on piano (lived Chapel Hill for 10 years); Feeling Like Someone in Love & Alone Together
- Nina Simone; Jazz Masters 17 - Verve CD; My Baby Just Cares For Me
- Bus Brown; Story Teller album; A Hymn for Allah
- Yusuf Salim (Durham, NC-based piano player: Yusuf Sings Yusuf CD; A Hymn for Us All
- Bus Brown; Story Teller album; Freedom
- Nina Simone: Sugar in My Bowl CD; I Want a Little Sugar in My Bowl
- Frankie Alexander; Mad About the Words; The Man I Love
- Nina Simone; Jazz Masters 17 CD; I Loves You Porgy
- Nina Simone; Anthology CD; Why? The King of Love is Dead
- Bus Brown: Story Teller album: America
- Frankie Alexander; Mad About The Words CD; That's All
- Nina Simone; The Tomatoe Collection CD; But Beautiful
- Frankie Alexander; Jaminin'Ese CD: Gone With THe Wind & Lover Man
- Nina Simone; Sugar in My Bowl CD; I Shall Be Released
- Frankie Alexander; Mad About the Words CD; Once I Loved

Good-bye, Bus Brown. I will miss you forever. I used to call Bus on the phone after I had worked up a song on the piano. I would play it for him and he would immediately go into how I could improve it. We had some wonderful conversations about life and current affairs and politics. Bus stayed politically interested right up until the end. He was an awesome man.


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