June 18, 2010

"Vibin' with a Lady"

Warren Robert Cheeseboro, better known as Khan Jamal, was born July 23, 1946 in Jacksonville, Florida. Born into a musical family, his mother played jazz piano, Jamal was raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In his late teens, he took up the vibraphone, studying music both at college and privately.

Soon, he was playing professionally, and through the late 60s and into the 70s he worked mainly in the Philadelphia area. Among the musicians with whom he worked, sometimes under their leadership, were Frank Lowe, Grachan Moncur III, Archie Shepp, Byard Lancaster, Sam Rivers, Trudy Pitts, Sun Ra and Jerome Cooper.

With other Sun Ra alumni, he played in Cosmic Forces and, in collaboration with Lancaster he formed the group known as Sounds Of Liberation. The latter unit included at one time or another guitarist Monnette Sudler, drummers and percussionists Alvin Sharpless, Dwight James, Omar Hill and Rashied Salim, bass player Billy Mills.

Jamal continued with his studies, and one of his tutors was vibraphonist Bill Lewis, with whom he recorded an album of vibraphone-marimba duets. Also in the 70s, he was music director of the Philadelphia Jazz Foundation and played in Sunny Murray's band, Untouchable Factor.

During the following decade, Jamal, who plays both vibraphone and marimba, was with Ronald Shannon Jackson's Decoding Society, Billy Bang, Joe Bonner and others, notably Johnny Mbizo Dyani, who appeared on three of Jamal's mid-80s albums for SteepleChase Records.

Absent from the recording scene for some time, especially as leader, at the end of the 90s and early in the 00s, he made a striking return with the well-received Balafon Dance. Illness dogged Jamal for a while and a 2002 medical support fundraiser saw the appearance of several colleagues and friends, including the Sun Ra Arkestra under the direction of Marshall Allen.

A gifted, dynamic and restlessly inventive player, Jamal's chosen location, Philadelphia, has tended to keep him from the more widespread attention he deserves. When he does venture farther afield, and through his recordings, he ably demonstrates to the wider audience that his is an exceptional talent.

“Each and every poem I write, I consider a gift from God. A turn of a phrase. Emotions that surface. An experience distilled into verse. Each offering is a present from the Creator. All Praises. Thank you for choosing me as the vessel.” (Lady Dove’s Artist’s Statement)

"Lady Dove" aka Pheralyn Dove, is a poet, performer, wordsmith, infotainist and culturalist whose work has been showcased nationwide and internationally as a spoken-word artist, actor, author, essayist, playwright, creative writer and technical writer. She has appeared on stages in her native Philadelphia, New York City, Paris, France and Rome, Italy. Dove has been a press agent, an entertainment editor for the Philadelphia Tribune and feature writer for the Philadelphia Inquirer.

She portrays 17 characters in her poignant one-woman show, “Little Girl Blue,” which combines music, spoken word, monologues and video. Many of the poems in “Little Girl Blue” are excerpted from her book, Color in Motion (Axis Press), which has a foreword by drumming legend Max Roach. A graduate of Hampton University, Dove studied poetry and creative writing under Professor Sonia Sanchez at Temple University’s Pan African Studies Community Education Program (PASCEP). Currently Dove teaches “Practical Writing” in the very same Temple University PASCEP program. Dove was named an Honored Author two consecutive years at the Free Library of Philadelphia’s Annual Borrowers’ Ball, performed at the Jazz a la Villette Festival in Paris, France with the Sounds of Liberation and was a featured poet at New York City’s renowned “Vision Festival.”

Lady Dove lives in a perpetual state of gratitude. On a daily basis, she gives thanks to the Almighty for all the resplendent provisions. All praises, indeed.

To visit Lady Dove's website CLICK HERE

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