March 09, 2011

Simple Pleasure, Simple Love

After woodshedding with Cannonball Adderley's recordings, alto saxophonist Vincent Herring worked up the nerve to approach Nat Adderley at a gig and proclaim familiarity with if not mastery of his late brother's music. A jam on stage proved it true and led to a gig.
Herring was born in Hopkinsville, N.Y., on Nov. 19, 1964, and grew up in California. He moved to New York City in 1983, where he played in the streets and subways before landing gigs with Lionel Hampton, David Murray, Cedar Walton, Abdullah Ibrahim, Horace Silver and Art Blakey. Herring joined Adderley's group in early '90 and producer Leroy Parkins, who heard him on the street, signed him to MusicMasters. At Adderley's urging, Orrin Keepnews also took an interest in Herring and produced sessions for Landmark.

"When studying the styles of Bird, Coltrane, and Cannonball, I realized that their music is so powerful it can engulf you," Herring explained to Down Beat writer Tom Nuccio. "To avoid this, I realized that you have to be able to take from their music without letting it take you."

It was only fitting that Vincent Herring gained his first important recognition playing with Nat Adderley, for his sound is strongly influenced by his idol, Cannonball Adderley. Born in Kentucky and raised in California, Herring moved to New York in 1983, and played with a variety of major musicians (including Lionel Hampton, David Murray, Horace Silver, and Art Blakey) before joining Adderley (1987-1993). Vincent Herring, who has recorded for Landmark and Music Masters, has led his own group since the early '90s

Amy Gabriel, better known in the poetry world as a.G., was born on May 6, 1972 in Akron, Ohio. Amy is an artist, poet, blog writer and social networking diva who recently rediscovered her passion for writing at the tender age of thirty-something. Living a life that she had deemed impossible; a life filled with the beauty of words, has syllabically enhanced a happy ending.

The love of words has been a constant in Amy’s life. At a young age she discovered that reading was the greatest escape/pleasure/release/comfort that she could have ever found. As a result, words became a constant companion; swirling in a polysyllabic dance that shaped the future of her world. A multitude of years spent in hospital rooms with a sickly sibling allowed her love for reading, and consequently writing, to come to full fruition.

Overcoming obstacles is a prevailing theme in Amy’s blog Words With Sass (, as well as her written and spoken poetry. She has had difficulties throughout her life but has used them as a tool for inspiration versus despair.
A recovering alcoholic, since the age of nineteen, Amy has gleaned a take on life that only comes from a spiritual journey of sorts. Years spent in formal education and employment as an Addictions Therapist/Mental Health Counselor, perpetuates a unique take on her writings. The peculiar twists of the human condition pepper her poetry with a transient zest for the real and raw. Another blog that she authors is I Love Recovery ( A site for the clean and sober and everything in between, Amy was asked to write this by In The Rooms (, a social networking website for individuals recovering from addictions.

A seven year expedition into a marriage with “Prince Charming-Less”, surprisingly did not leave her bitter but perpetuated compassion for suffering and heartbreak. All life experience is fodder for the poetry of Amy Gabriel. Passion and the exploration of the human heart, make for an interesting foray into the vast universe that comprises the culmination of her compositional fortitude.

Amy has a full, rich life surrounded by her “mini ninjas”; three beautiful daughters who are the air she breathes. More recently Ms. Gabriel has found true love, and in turn has inspired every single line of the love poetry she has recorded. Engaged to be married, for the very first time she has discovered the existential exquisiteness of what it means to "stick the landing"; the no-matter-what-ism of forever. Her Happily Ever After (commonly referred to as “Scott” who is also a phenomenal poet), has precipitated an upcoming move from the Midwest; aka “Frigid Ohio”. Looking forward to beach living on the East Coast, Amy will continue her love affair with life and as a result her inspiring words will continue to flow freely.

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