Mark Levine

Grammy-nominated pianist and JCMS faculty member Mark Levine has launched the Bay Area Jazz Archives. Bay Area Jazz Archives (BAJA) is a unique collection of previously unreleased recordings of the San Francisco Bay Area’s finest jazz artists from 1970 – 2000. The Jazzschool is proud to release the Bay Area Jazz Archives series on the Jazzschool Records label. All BAJA releases are available at the CJC Bookstore, 2087 Addison St Berkeley Ca 94704.

“Some of the music is pretty extraordinary, and really should be heard. So we’re hoping to get exposure for the music, the artists, and the label.” -Mark Levine



BAJA #1 David Ginsberg “Tribute” $9


David was a brilliant meteor that flashed through the Bay Area in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s before decamping for NY. His album showcases his trumpet playing, his compositions, and the presence of under-recorded folks like Bishop Norman Williams, David Schnitter, and the late Bobby Rosenstein.

David Ginsberg, trumpet
David Schnitter, tenor sax
Bishop Norman Williams, alto sax
Ed Neumeister, trombone
Mark Levine, piano
Peter Barshay, bass
Bobby Rosenstein, drums


BAJA #2 Linda Goldstein “What’s To Expect?” $9


Linda, before becoming Bobby McFerrin’s manager for the past 30 years, was an aspiring jazz vocalist and lyricist. She wrote the words to many of Mark Levine’s songs, some of which are showcased here. The presence of Bay Area legends Mike Morris and Jimmy Robinson greatly enhance the music.

Linda Goldstein, vocal
Mark Levine, piano
Mike Morris, tenor sax
Peter Barshay, bass
Jimmy Robinson, drums


BAJA #3 Mike Morris “The Legend Of ‘Trane” $9


Mike is another of those ‘talents deserving of wider recognition.’ A brilliant tenor player and composer, he surrounded himself with some of the best folks around in those days – Warren Gale, Susan Winder (who wrote all the lyrics), Al Bent, and the incomparable Eddie Hendeson.

Mike Morris, tenor/soprano sax, flute
Mark Levine, piano
Susan Winder, vocal
Tom Harrell, trumpet
Warren Gale. trumpet
Al Bent, trombone
Peter Barshay, bass
Bobby Rosenstein, drums


BAJA #4 Ellis Island “Ellis Island 1977” $9


This short-lived but all-star Latin jazz group was started bytrumpet player Joe Ellis, and features some great writing and playing by Al Bent. Mike Morris, Warren Gale, Mike Clark – The Best of the Bay in 1977.

Joe Ellis, trumpet
Warren Gale, trumpet
Gary Myose, alto sax
Mike Morris, Tenor sax
Chuck Bennett, trombone
Nic Tenbroek, bass trombone
Mark Levine, piano
Peter Barshay, bass
Mike Clark, drums


BAJA #5 CHUCK CLARK “Blue Room” $9


Chuck Clark was an incredible Bay Area talent who never got the recognition he deserved. These are also among the first recordings that Peter Washington and the Grenadier brothers made before their respective moves to New York. I especially dig the groove that Peter and Deborah get on the title track. Peter was not yet using an amp, and takes his first recorded bowed solos here.

With: Chuck Clark, tenor sax
Mark Levine, piano
Peter Washington, bass
Larry Grenadier, bass
Deborah Craig, drums
Phil Grenadier, trumpet
Eric von Buchau, drums

BAJA #6 QUE CALOR “Keeper Of The Flame” $9


Que Calor was born after Ron and Mark traveled to Cuba to study in 1997. The band lasted a few years, but gigs were hard to come by. This recording was originally released, but with no distribution quickly sank out of sight. A great rhythm section, great horn players, great Latin jazz writing – enjoy!

With: Ron Stallings, saxes & flute
Jeff Cressman, trombone
Mark Levine, piano
David Belove, bass
Michael Spiro, percussion
Paul van Wageningen, drums


BAJA #7“Essencia” $9


SENCIA was a Latin jazz project of Al Bent, Jorge Ellington and Joe Ellis. This great band played a few gigs, but the economics of keeping a 13 piece band together eventually caused its demise. The band did release one recording, “Fuerza Positiva,” which has become a $300 collector’s item. The release of this one will coincide with the band’s rebirth in a Jazzschool gig on Sept 26, 2010!

Jorge Ellington, vocals
David Belove, bass
Joe Ellis, trumpet
Zane Woodworth, trumpet
Mike Morris, tenor and soprano saxes
Gerry Gilmore, baritone sax, Gerard Carelli, trombone
Mark Levine, piano
Steve Busfield, guitar
Cali Aleman, vocals
Nick Mendez, percussion
Willie Colon, percussion
Roger Paiz, percussion


BAJA #8 MARK LEVINE “New Music From New York” $9


This recording is from a live date at Sonoma State University. Mark was learning a bunch of new (at the time – 1990) tunes by some of my favorite musicians – Mulgrew Miller, Kenny Garrett, Donald Brown, Ralph Moore – and wanted to expose the Bay Area to their music, as well as to some of the area’s best young musicians.

With: Peck Allmond, trumpet
Eric Crystal, soprano & alto sax
Wayne DeSilva, tenor sax
John Wiitala, bass
Mark Levine, piano
Kenny Wolleson, drums


BAJA #9 WAYNE de SILVA “Marble Park” $9


Wayne, a great tenor player from Hawaii, lived in the Bay Area for many years before deserting us for Las Vegas. His tunes are beautiful, and fun to play. Eddie Marshall says “this is the best recording I’ve ever made.” ‘Nuff said.

Wayne de Silva, tenor sax
Mark Levine, piano
John Wiitala, bass
Eddie Marshall, drums


BAJA #10 JERRY RUSCH “Serenata” $9


Jerry Rusch was a gentle soul, and his music shows it. Originally from Minneapolis, he lived for many years in LA, working with every Latin band in town, including a long stint with the great Willie Bobo. A long-time girlfriend brought him up to the Bay Area often, and this demo from 1985 is a product of one such visit. He left us too soon, and is missed by his many friends.

Jerry Rusch, trumpet and vocal
Mark Levine, piano
Vince Lateano, drums
David Belove, bass
Michael Spiro, percussion


BAJA #11 Mark Levine Nonet at The Reunion, featuring Woody Shaw $9


Woody’s presence graced the Bay Area for a couple of years in the mid-1970s, leading a quartet that included Tom, Clarence, and Mark. He worked with Mark’s nonet at a SF club called the Reunion, sharing the $100 the band got on Monday nights – $11 a man- for almost two years. One night a friend brought in a tape recorder, and the world can now hear him play “Giant Steps.”

Woody Shaw, trumpet; Mark Isham, trumpet
Mark Levine, piano
Clarence Becton, drums
Tom Rutley, bass
Mel Martin, alto
Mike Morris, tenor
Wayne Wallace, trombone
Chuck Bennett, bass trombone




One of the cool things about this CD is that all three members composed the tunes. Paul graced the Bay Area scene for many years before moving to Boston a few years ago. He also worked for many years with Boz Scaggs. Jason, John and Paul mesh beautifully in this previously unreleased recording.

Paul Nagel, piano
John Shifflett, bass
Jason Lewis, drums


BAJA #13 George Cotsirilos “Seems To Be” $9


George has released three CD’s on OA2/Origin Records, including the recent trio recording, ‘Past Present.’ Paul Nagel, whose own CD “NLS” is part of this series (BAJA 12), meshes beautifully with Rob Fisher and the legendary Eddie Marshall, whose own BAJA release is coming up in Sept 2011.

George Cotsirilos, guitar
Paul Nagel, piano
Rob Fisher, bass
Eddie Marshall, drums


BAJA #14 Khalil Shaheed “Tajine” $9


Khalil was among the most respected musicians in the Bay Area. He had played with everybody from Jimi Hendrix to Woody Shaw, and his Mo’Rockin project fuses jazz, funk, rock, and a genre I’ve always been partial to, Moroccan Gnawa music, and gimbri master Yasir Chadly is essential to the musical mix.

Khalil Shaheed, trumpet
Yassir Chadly gembre, oud, vocals, percussion
Deszon Claiborne, drums
Glen Pearson, keyboards
Ron Belcher, bass
Bouchaibe Abdelhadi, dembek, violin, oud, vocals, percussion
Richard Howell, saxes, vocals, percussion
Ele’ Howell, djembe
Daniel Ryman, keytar


BAJA #15 Benny Velarde “Viva Velarde” $9


Benny had the #1 salsa band in the Bay Area for over 50 years, and is still going strong in his mid-80s. I had the pleasure of playing both piano and trombone in Supercombo for many years in the 1970s and ‘80s, and enjoyed every minute of it.

Benny Velarde, timbales
John Calloway, flute & keyboards
Sal Nunez, vocals, percussion, coro
Terry Russell, trombone
Ray Martinez, percussion, coro
Jorge Pomar, bass
Tim Devine, sax
Carlos Araiza, congas, coro
Ross Wilson, trumpet. Trombone, coro
Orlando Cepeda, voice


BAJA #16 Don Weed “WITHOUT A SONG” $9


Don was a powerful player on the Bay Area scene in the 1980s. This recording also features the great Eddie Henderson, Scott Steed – long-time bassist with Diane Schuur – and Jimmy Robinson, Sacramento’s finest drummer.

Don Weed, tenor sax
Eddie Henderson. trumpet
Mark Levine, piano
Scott Steed, bass
Jimmy Robinson, drums

BAJA #17 Warren Gale “The Timeseekers 1993” $9


Warren has been the Bay Area’s leading jazz trumpet player for decades. The first time I heard him, I thought “Woody Shaw,” as he was influenced by the Great One from early on. This CD showcases Warren’s tune writing talent as well as his playing.

Warren Gale, trumpet
Jeff Chimenti, piano
Ron Belcher, bass
Jack Dorsey, drums


BAJA #18 Eddie Marshall “|JAZZ AT FILOLI 1992”
-Double CD $9


This was the best Bay Area small band in the ‘90s, and Eddie has been the premier drummer in the Bay Area for decades. This, only his third recording as a leader, was recorded at one of the Bay Area’s premier venues of all time, Jazz at Filoli, part of See’s Candies Jazz at Filoli series, and later broadcast on KJAZ, on See’s Sunday Night. The seldom recorded Kenny Brooks and Peck Allmond, both now in New York, shine in this recroding.
*All proceeds will go to The Eddie Marshall Memorial Scholarship Fund.

Eddie Marshall, drums, recorder (*)
Peck Allmond, trumpet, saxes, peckhorn
Kenny Brooks, tenor sax
Mark Levine, piano
Jeff Chambers, bass
Kenny Wolleson, drums (*)


BAJA #19 Sal Nistico “STELLA WISE 1981” $9


No, Sal was not a Bay Area guy, but he loved the area, and often talked about moving here. The rhythm section is all Bay Area, and gives a rare opportunity to hear Bobby Rosenstein. He was well on his way to being everybody’s favorite drummer until he left the planet, way too young.

Sal Nistico, tenor sax
Mark Levine, piano
Peter Barshay, bass
Bobby Rosenstein, drums


BAJA #20 Betty Shaw “ASK ME NOW 2010” $9


Betty is a living legend in the Bay Area, and has played with just about everybody. Still going strong in her eighties, she blends beautifully with Chuck and Ron, two other long-time heroes of the local scene.

Betty Shaw, piano
Chuck Metcalf, bass
Ron Marabuto, drums