LA MADE  Hubert Laws Flute Concert

Internationally renowned flutist, and National
Endowment Jazz Masters Recipient, Hubert Laws, is one of the few classical artists who has
also mastered jazz, pop, rhythm and blues genres. He has appeared as a soloist with the New
York Philharmonic, with the orchestras of Los Angeles, Dallas, Chicago, Cleveland, Amsterdam,
Japan, and Detroit. He has given annual performances at Carnegie
Hall. He has performed sold out performances at
our very own Hollywood Bowl. In addition, he has appeared at the Montreux,
Playboy, and Cool Jazz Festival. His recordings have won three Grammy nominations. Now, please welcome to the stage, Mr. Hubert
Laws. [Applause]
HUBERT LAWS: Thank you very much. Good afternoon. [Inaudible response]
HUBERT LAWS: You’ve heard of kiss and tell; right? Not kiss and tell, but show and tell? [Audience laughter]
HUBERT LAWS: Well, we gonna show you how it works out when you’re on stage and you also
have to work out your sound system at the same time. I was so sorry that you had to wait later,
but we’re trying to work out some issues. You know, family issues cost time. All of us come from some family one way or
another so we know that there always family issues here and there. And we were having some. We know that everyone has problems every now
and then. So we’re just trying to work out our sound
problem, but I did lobby to have them let you in so you wouldn’t bake in that hot sun
out there. [Applause]
I’d like of you to note too that this is somewhat the first performance I’ve had when I didn’t
have my regular group. I recorded a CD some years ago. Well, within this past 10 years, I recorded
a CD is that right Joey? JOEY: I think it was 15. [Laughter]
HUBERT LAWS: I’m stalling with time too. We have this where I record some material
I had written some years ago, but I’ve changed the names and I’ve also changed the style
because I never had a full Latin or salsa band before, but I love the music so much. As matter of fact, I began my career in New
York playing with Mongo Santamaria and influenced a lot of my
[Applause] you know, so it influenced a lot of the music
that I wrote and we’re gonna show you what it’s like here on stage provided we let’s
hear what your violin sounds now that it’s amplified. (Violin playing)
Much better. It didn’t sound like that during the sound
check. Show and tell, that’s what we’re doing, showing
you how it’s done during the sound check. It’s very important, especially for our instruments—unamplified,
you can hardly hear them. In the symphony orchestra, if they write for
them to be heard, that is a composer’s right for them to be heard. Sometimes I hear people say: Man they don’t
have the flutes amplified in the orchestra. I hear them. I say: Well you don’t understand because a
composer’s know there’s something called balance. So when the flutes are playing in the orchestra,
they don’t usually have percussion and all the other instruments that eclipse the sound
of our instrument. That’s why we were waiting so patiently to
get this sound system worked out so we can do what we’re gonna do now. We’re gonna start with a piece that I wrote
years ago called Mean Lene but I changed the title to fit the album which is Baila Cinderella. It’s a Spanish or a Latin or salsa album,
and I changed it to Lene Mezquino. Those who speak Spanish know what I’m talking
about. By the way, this lovely lady here is from
Cuba. [Applause]
I was thinking about a situation. I started my career with Mongo Santamaria
and then I ran into Dayren Santamaria. I ask her: Do you know Mongo? She says: I don’t know. And they’re both from Havana. They’re both from Havana. So she probably doesn’t even know she has
a trace of roots. She’s probably related to him. Anyway, you’re going to hear a lovely talent. We’re going to do this piece Lene Mezquino. (Song: Lene Mezquino)
[Applause] Yeah. How about if we’re Joe Rotondi on keyboards
here. [Applause]
Dayren Santamaria, violin. [Applause]
Alfredo Ortiz on congas. [Applause]
The guy behind me played with my band years ago. We weren’t playing salsa so much, but
So the next piece we’re going to do is something I actually played at the Hollywood Bowl with
Jean-Pierre Rampal. We did like a joint concert there with classical
and jazz. I wrote this little piece for that particular
occasion. It’s called Music Forever, in Spanish, Musica
Para Siempre. (Song: Spanish Musica Para Siempre)
How about that lady? Dayren. [Applause]
That’s on the CD. You know, you guys got in here free, right. You shouldn’t go out free. We got every one of these pieces that we’re
playing is featured on that CD called Baila Cinderella. The only difference is Baila Cinderella’s
not there because I had a big band for that one. But all these other ones, you can get on that
CD going out. [Chuckling]
I don’t usually do that, but I’m really happy about that particular one. You know, it explores a part of my career,
of my life that I really enjoyed so much. When playing with Mongo, we used to play downtown
in New York City at the Manhattan called the Manhattan Center. Every Saturday night, they would have these
wonderful, wonderful dancers. As a matter of fact, it inspired me to write
a tune called Medias Negras. Who can tell me what that means out there?>>Black stockings. HUBERT LAWS: Black stockings, exactly. They used to wear those black stockings and
I was watching them dance. [Laughter]
So much fun. Any way, you heard the other flute you know
what this was an impromptu situation because, you know, I wrote this piece for three flutes. And Bobby Shugold, give him a hand. Bobby Shugold. [Applause]
That’s another story that’s another story I can tell you. I think I’m going to spend most of my time
talking up here today. [Chuckling]. But any way, Bob he likes to be called Bobby. But we’ve known each other for a number of
years. Great flute player. He plays mostly classical. The last time we worked together was Mission
Impossible 3. We did the recording for the soundtrack for
Mission Impossible 3. But anyway, he completed he rounded off the
three flutes we needed for that last piece we played, Musica Para Siempre. The next piece we’re going to do is something
I wrote when I first signed with Atlantic Records back in New York City. This one’s called Muchacha Extrana. You gonna tell me what that means?>>Strange girl. HUBERT LAWS: Strange girl. Muchacha. Yes, muchacha. (Song: Muchacha Extrana)
[Applause] Very tasty on that piano; isn’t he? Joe Rotondi. Yeah. I sort of jumped ahead of myself. I was telling a story about Medias Negras. Now we’re gonna play that piece. [Laughter]
What’s after that? Goodness. I love this. You know why? Because it’s all spontaneous. You know [Applause] that’s what jazz is all
about spontaneity. I recall when I played I played 5 years in
New York with the New York Philharmonic and also with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. When I was sitting there in the flute section,
sometimes my colleagues were sitting there reading the newspaper. And I’m wondering why I’m listening to this
wonderful you know, Richard Strauss you know one of the famous operatic composers like
Richard Strauss was one of my favorite, Wagner was as well. But sometimes you don’t have the flute parts
playing all the time. So while they’re waiting to play their part
rather than listen to that beautiful music. Man, I just couldn’t understand why they couldn’t
just revel in that beautiful music. But they were reading newspapers, going out
and restrung stuff like that. You know we’re in the pit. People couldn’t see ya. We’re in the pit. You got the singers up there on stage above
you, you know. But any way why did I start talking about
that? Oh, I know why. I know why. Because I’m comparing classical music or scripted
music with spontaneity. So you see there’s a great deal of everybody
wants freedom. Everybody loves freedom. This allows us to express freedom in music. Now, Bob plays wonderful flute, but most of
the work that we had to do for instance, Mission Impossible, we had to stick to the script. Every note that was written, we had to play
it as the composer wanted it. But I’ve got another friend who played with
the lovely Philharmonic. His name is Jim Walker. You remember Jim Walker? You know, he says: Man, my greatest moment
was when I played the solo on Daphne Daphnis and Chloe. Those written by Ravel. You know there’s a big flute solo in that. Guess what he did? He decided he’s gonna leave there and start
playing some jazz. Yeah, that’s what happened. True story. So and now, what did I say that for? [Laughter]
Well we’re about to play Medias Negras. As we said, black stockings. By the way, I wrote that for Mongo Santamaria’s
group. Yeah. Yeah. Poncho Sanchez also recorded this piece, you
know. I don’t know if any of you are Poncho Sanchez
friends out there, but [Applause] yeah. He recorded a couple or three of my pieces
for Concord. Any way here we go. (Song: Medias Negras)
Okay. That reminded me of something too. The last few weeks of Mongo’s life, I was
told by a good close friend who was his care keeper. He says: Hubert, Mongo got that CD. This CD I’m telling you about. [Chuckling] He got that CD and he was listening
to two cuts over that CD over and over again. One of them was Baila Cinderella and the second
one was Medias Negras. So every time I hear that, it reminds me of
Mongo listening to this piece over and over again. You know, he was a very strong conga player. But he loves his music from Cuba. The next piece we’re gonna do is I’m going
to ask my translator to tell me what this means: Caras Falsas? Cara Falsas? That’s it. False faces. That was the original title when I did it
on the Land of Passions CD. This is the Spanish version. It was also I wrote lyrics for that False
Faces, but this is the instrumental version in the salsa vein. (Song: Caras Falsas)
This is a spot where I’m supposed to talk a little bit again. This past week, there was a lot of attention
given to the Lady of Soul. You know who I’m talking about because she’s
all over the news globally. [Applause] I had the opportunity to record
one or two tracks with her. I was able Quincy called me in New York to
play on this track she did called Day Dreaming. And I did a couple of the tracks with her,
but it was such a pleasure to do something like that because it gives me a chance to
express the variety of genres that I’ve been involved in for a long time: Gospel, salsa,
classical, bebop, all of those. But we’re about to play a tune and they
were playing the intro to it just now of a gentleman that you didn’t hear about, but
wonderful composer, arranger. You probably know him through the work he
did for the Mary Taylor Moore TV show. He wrote for Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett,
Barbara Streisand, all these well known artists. But he remained pretty much in the background. A wonderful, wonderful talent. So he wrote so he wrote the soundtrack to
the movie of How to Beat the High Cost of Living. I was going to Japan to play with this orchestra. I called Pat and I say: Pat, you wrote this
beautiful song, and I want to play it with this orchestra in Osaka. So he sent me the chart. It was so interesting because Pat didn’t think
it was much of a tune. He said: Hubert, you like that? I say: Man, I love that tune. It’s a beautiful, beautiful ballad. And it’s called Song For a Pretty Girl. So you heard that lovely intro before I was
able to tell you about it, but now we’re going to do it again from the top. Okay. (Song: Song for a Pretty Girl)
[Applause] The reason why I brought up Pat Williams in
the context of Aretha Franklin is because he passed away two weeks ago. It made me think of how often there are so
many unsung heros we never hear about, but contribute so much to our musical environment. It brings back a lot of memories. I know some of you out there probably had
your first dance with your loved one or with your mate. Probably through some musical experience,
some tune you hear, reminds you. It always does that. That’s how powerful music is. I’m so happy to have my livelihood to be surrounded
by that kind of aura, that would be music. Unfortunately I should say fortunately you
guys are here — and you’re experiencing something that’s constantly being dwindled in the so
called musical arena, where the music that’s popular today is bereft of melody and harmony. It’s loaded with rhythm. You know, some of the baser instincts that
we have; but, you know, it’s the melodies and the harmonies that really dig deep down
into your emotions, you see. And often the music and it’s reflected in
society and the behavior of society. Because music is lacking those elements, those
components, the melody and the harmony. Most people can remember melody. You got your snare on? Boy, I almost feel like I’m lecturing again. You know, it’s so important because we seldom
get a chance to understand. We see so much violence in the community – I
mean in the world and we don’t understand why. It’s so often propelled or fuelled as something
as subtle as music. I was quiet because I wanted you to think
about that for a second. It’s often propelled by something as subtle
as music. A friend of mine, and I quote him, once said:
Structure dictates function. So true. Structure dictates function. All right. We gonna go ahead here. What was the next one? Oh, isn’t that interesting. The next piece is Tierra De Pasion, and I’m
talking about that right now. You want to tell us what that means? That’s right, the Land of Passion. That’s the name of that piece. Bob, I didn’t intend for you to sit on stage the whole time, but I think you want the best seat in the house. [Chuckling]
(Song: Tierra De Pasion) [Applause]
This next one doesn’t need any introduction. (Song)
[Applause] Ross Shodack on base. Joe Rotondi, keyboards. Joey Heredia, drums. Alfredo Ortiz, congas. Dayren Santamaria. Thank you, Bob Shugold. Thank you very much. [Applause]

  1. British Orchestras are renowned for reading newspapers as well and looking at their watches.
    Yeah, it's just a job to them. Like most classical players – just well oiled machines,
    and they all seem to have the same'Classical' flute sound. Impossible to tell them apart.

    Profi flutist, more than 50 years.

  2. Sounds like the sound technicians are on a another planet. Really bad Sound mix. To bad for one of the best Jazz flute players in the history of Jazz.

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