Del Atkins is from the south central watts area of L.A. He started playing music in high school, 9th grade. His mother was a pianist and played for churches since she was 12 years old, learning as she went along his mom was making more money than grams cleaning houses. Del himself started with the bass, funk was at it's height in the 70s, and being so cool, he wanted in. Del Atkins was cruisin' South Central L.A. "with the Bass without a case". When the music bug hit I fell in love with it and was lucky enough to meet people along the way to help me through the process".
Del got into Latin music, the precision was such a big part of it, that the bass became really important in order to keep the rhythm. The style that goes into Jazz and other music has been one of the greatest expressions of improvisations and creation in an art form, and requires so much skill. Making music out of the 12 bar blues. Through all the genres when it's time to make his own musical statement, jazz is Del's form of choice.
Playing with Jazz greats such as Gladys Knight, and Lou Rawls, Del Atkins had to be able to read music and that gave him an edge. They would go to the show sound check and play all in the same night, so the ability to read and interpret music was really necessary. He started as a sub, and then was able to become a regular on the set.
After many years of the computer artists and the computer revolution, now people seem to be coming back to real instruments,,, Del Atkins has even worked with Dr. Dre and Dj. Quick who are very interested in the sounds of real instruments. "The guys who love the music understand how real instruments effect people".
Charles Owens born in San Diego, studied with Al Viola at Boston's Berklee school of music berfore working in the bands of Buddy Rich and Mongo Santamaria in the late 60's. He spent 10 years with the Duke Ellington Orchestra under the direction of Mercer Ellington.
I sat down with Charles an had a very relaxing conversation about his music, the love of jazz, and how it started for him.
Enjoy this interview with Charles Owens. recorded sept.6, 2013
at his home in Los Angeles, Ca.
Songs in order all from the CD "JOY" 1, Wildfire 2, Sham Time 3, Praised GOD 4, Mildred' s Groove 5, Spiritual 6, A Little Ditty
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