From the recording Homage 1

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Everything Akbar

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Written by Janice Scroggins.

Reggie Houston - soprano sax
Janice Scroggins - keyboards
Reinhardt Melz - drums
Andre St. James - acoustic upright bass
Stan Bock - trombone

"Everthing Akbar" is a composition by one of my very favorite piansists, Janice Scroggins whose impeccable and beautiful playing can be heard throughout this album. I feel so blessed to have been able to perform regularly with such a maestro-- in New Orleans we'd call her "professor," the highest honor a musician can achieve among fellow musicians. This song is both a tribute to Janice, and to its namesake, the legendary drummer Akbar dePriest. The song got its name from Janice's daughter, who just adored Akbar. Janice would take her to Akbar's house for rehearsals when she was just a little girl, and she'd sit in the room and point to all of Akbar's things and proclaim all of them "Akbar!" Here in Portland Akbar dePriest was an educator much like my teacher Alvin Batiste in Louisiana-- both masters of their instruments who chose to teach and to help so many young musicians learn their craft. He walked the world with giants like Coltrane, Dexter Gordon, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Gene “Jug” Ammons, and many more. Yet he chose to finish out his days as a teacher, nurturing and shaping both Portland's young talent and the jazz scene itself. So "Everything Akbar" is as much a tribute to Janice and Akbar as it is to all of the great men and women who set aside their own performance careers to pursue the most noble profession of all: teaching. Men and women who kept alive the musical traditions of the past, inspired the young musicians of the future, and left their indelible stamp on the very genres they helped to create and evolve.