Tuesday, April 25, 2017

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Chick Corea Akoustic Band

Artist:Chick Corea Akoustic Band
Song:My One And Only Love
Album:Chick Corea Akoustic Band

Of course pianist Chick Corea is one of the all time jazz greats. He is mainly known for jazz fusion like Return To Forever. But he has played acoustic piano at the same time. I guess those recordings don't get as much credit. The 1989 album Chick Corea Akoustic Band was an attempt to balance that. In 1985, Corea signed with GRP Records and formed Chick Corea Elektric Band. The band was Corea on electric keyboards, John Patitucci on bass and Dave Weckl on drums with either Scott Henderson or Carlos Rios on guitar. The band recorded three very successful albums from 1986-88. On the 1988 album Eye Of The Beholder, Corea seemed to prefer playing acoustic piano. Sax player Eric Marienthal was added along with new guitarist Frank Gambale. So Corea formed the offshoot band Chick Corea Akoustic Band with Patitucci and Weckl. Though the 1989 album got mixed reviews, it sold well and Corea won a Grammy. He took this band on tour and it recorded three albums. Corea also continued to record and tour with the Elektric Band. On the 1989 album Chick Corea Akoustic Band, Corea records a mix of originals and standards. My One And Only Love is a jazz standard that has been a part of Corea's repertoire since he recorded it on the 1968 album Now He Sings, Now He Sobs. The song was written by Guy Wood and Robert Mellin. Though Frank Sinatra was the first to record it, sax player Charlie Ventura popularized it in 1953 and it's been a jazz standard ever since. The best known version of My One And Only Love was recorded by John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman in 1963. The Chick Corea Akoustic Band recorded three albums. Corea ended both bands when he left GRP in 1992 to start his own label Stretch Records in 1992. He reunited the band for the retrospective CD and DVD Rendezvous In New York which was recorded at the Blue Note in New York in 2003. It's a DVD box set with reunions of all of Corea's bands. It seems to be out of print. Here's Chick Corea Akoustic Band performing My One And Only Love at the Blue Note in New York Apr. 2003 from the Rendezvous In New York DVD.

Monday, April 24, 2017

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-New Kids On The Block

Artist:New Kids On The Block
Song:Step By Step
Album:Greatest Hits

As typically happens with boy bands, New Kids On The Block (NKOTB) had brief success at the top of the charts. When their teen girl fanbase grew up, they faded and split up. Step By Step was probably their biggest hit. The genesis of the band was with producer Maurice Starr. He had success with New Edition. When he cut ties with them, he decided to form a white version of the group. He held auditions in Boston and Starr really liked 15 year old Donnie Wahlberg who was multi talented. Wahlberg helped recruit the other members including his brother Mark Wahlberg and his friend Danny Wood. He also brought in schoolmate Jordan Knight who was probably the best singer in NKOTB and he brought in his brother Jonathan Knight. They began rehearsing and when Mark Wahlberg quit, Starr found 12 year old Joey McIntyre to replace him. At this point they were called Nynuk. When Starr signed them to Columbia, they demanded a name change and he came up with New Kids On The Block. Their debut album didn't do that well when it was released in 1986. But Starr convinced Columbia to let him record a second album. When the first single from the 1988 album Hangin' Tough stiffed, Columbia was going to drop them. But that single Please Don't Go Girl started getting airplay, Columbia decided to promote it and it reached #10 on the Billboard Hot 100. And NKOTB continued to have success with number one hits like I'll Be Loving You (Forever) and Hangin' Tough. Starr hired a touring band led by Greg McPherson and sent them on tour. NKOTB recorded a Christmas album. Columbia released a video collection. So when the 1990 album Step By Step was released, the title track and first single topped the charts. Unfortunately for them, that was their final big hit. You can get all their hits on this budget comp that was first released in 1999 but then reissued in 2008 with a new cover and bonus tracks. At this point, things started to go south. After McPherson was replaced by David Dyson in 1991, he claimed that NKOTB's vocals were lip synced and Starr was the actual singer. McPherson eventually recanted because it wasn't true but the damage was done. NKOTB split with Starr and they wrote and produced the 1994 album NKOTB. It didn't sell and they split up in 1995. Of course Donnie Wahlberg, Jordan Knight and Joey McIntyre have all recorded solo with varied success. They reunited in 2008 with a new album and tour. And they still tour. They even recorded and toured with Backstreet Boys. They are probably a nostalgia act at this point but NKOTB are releasing a new EP and will begin touring on May 12. Here's the video for Step By Step by New Kids On The Block.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Big Bad Blog Video Theater-Alexis Davis vs Cindy Dandois

Here's the match video of Alexis Davis vs Cindy Dandois from last night's UFC show in Nashville. This aired on UFC Fight Pass. Though both are veteran fighters, Cindy is a UFC newcomer. Most fans have probably seen her in Invicta. A few years ago, Cindy had not planned to return to fighting post pregnancy. She is a high school teacher in Belgium and she has three kids. Who has time for fighting? But Miesha Tate convinced her to return. Cindy trained with Miesha at Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas and Miesha was in her corner. Cindy's major flaw is terrible striking. For that reason alone, I don't believe she belongs in the UFC. Alexis is a former title contender in her second post pregnancy fight. The one thing is her striking is better than Cindy's. But that's not saying much. The fight was close but not very good. I didn't think Alexis was at her best and it makes me wonder if she'll ever be good again. Sometimes fighters aren't the same post pregnancy. But I thought she was marginally more effective. I don't think she can beat an elite fighter anymore. But the buzz on Twitter last night was how shockingly bad Cindy's striking really is. She's been a fighter for a long time. Her striking has always been bad. Of course the UFC magnifies that. I wasn't surprised because I've seen her in Invicta and in Europe. She needs to improve if she wants to get anywhere in the UFC. But Cindy is 32 years old and it's hard to teach an old dog new tricks. I believe the UFC signed her for the Welterweight division as she has fought at 145 in the past. But I certainly don't want to see her sacrificed to Cris Cyborg. Again, I don't believe Cindy is a UFC caliber fighter. Enjoy the video!

Big Bad Blog Video Theater-Danielle Taylor vs Jessica Penne

Here's the match video of Danielle Taylor vs Jessica Penne from last night's UFC show in Nashville. This aired on Fox Sports 2 in the US and The Fight Network in Canada. Of course Jessica is a former title contender on a two fight losing streak. She needs a win. She has a significant height and reach advantage over Danielle. Plus Danielle doesn't have any wrestling skills. So one would think Jessica would want to take Danielle down. Brian Stann compared Danielle to Tecia Torres. Danielle shows a lot of movement but she doesn't do anything. It's the kind of fighting style that fools judges. She seems busy by darting in and out. And she has no power. So she's a points fighter like Tecia. Jessica needed aggression to deal with that. She just didn't do it. There's no excuse for that. And that's what the fight was like, three rounds of light sparring where neither fighter did enough to win. I scored the fight 29-28 for Jessica but the judges scored it 29-28 for Danielle. It was a close fight but not a very good fight. It's a big win for Danielle. Look, this is how Danielle always fights. Being a points fighter is like playing with fire. Sometimes you get burned by a judges decision going the other way. That's what will happen to Danielle. Jessica knew Danielle's fighting style. She did nothing to counter it. What happens next with Jessica depends if her contract is over. I would not expect the UFC to renew it. She already works as a coordinator at Alliance in San Diego. I would not be surprised if she retired to do that. She needed a win and she didn't go out and take it. Maybe it's time to go. Enjoy the video!

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Sia

Artist:Sia f/Sean Paul
Song:Cheap Thrills
Album:This Is Acting

Sia Furler has been around since the 90s as a singer and songwriter. In 2016, she finally scored her very first number one hit with Cheap Thrills. So she seems like an overnight success but she's not. She was born Dec. 18, 1975 in Adelaide, Australia. Her dad is a musician and her uncles are actor Kevin Colson and Colin Hay of Men At Work. Sia's early influences include Aretha Franklin and Stevie Wonder. She was a singer in the acid jazz group Crisp. But when they disbanded in 1997, she moved to England. She worked as a background singer and she recorded and toured with Zero 7. Then she signed with Sony's Dance Pool label and released the 2001 album Healing Is Difficult. Unhappy with the label's promotion of the album, she fired her manager and left Sony for Universal's Go! Beat label. Again, she was unhappy with Universal's promotion of the 2004 album Colour The Small One. She moved to New York in 2005. Sia got a boost when one of her songs appeared in the HBO series Six Feet Under. Sia signed with the Starbucks label Hear Music for the 2008 album Some People Have Real Problems. She had modest success on the dance charts and in Australia. In 2009, Christina Aguilera approached her about writing songs and she's worked a lot with Christina and she has written for other artists. She had some success with the 2010 album We Are Born but she took a hiatus from recording. When the David Guetta Titanium featuring Sia's vocal was a top ten hit, record companies started sniffing around. Sia wrote Titanium for Alicia Keys but Guetta got his hands on it and decided to use Sia's demo vocal. She didn't know about it until she heard it on the radio. She wasn't happy because she just wanted to be a songwriter. While she's writing songs including Flo Rida's top five hit Wild Ones, Sia signs with RCA and releases the 2014 album 1000 Forms Of Fear. The single Chandelier reached #8 on the Billboard Hot 100. So that's her overnight success story. Then with the 2016 album This Is Acting, the single Cheap Thrills topped the charts. The record features rapper Sean Paul but he isn't in the video. The album was certified Platinum. So now she's a big star on tour and Sia is getting plenty of attention. I bet many fans don't know she's 40 years old. I don't know what Sia will do next. But it wouldn't surprise me if she quit recording and touring to keep her privacy. She already disguises herself in public appearances for that reason. It seems like she would be perfectly happy writing songs for others. She gets the money but not the fame. Here's the video for Cheap Thrills by Sia.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Analysis of Invicta FC 23

After announcing two more matches yesterday, I am going to do my usual analysis of Invicta FC 23 which will happen May 20 in Kansas City. It will air on  UFC Fight Pass. There are no championship matches on the show. So that automatically weakens the main card. The main event has been announced as Brazilian Vanessa Porto vs Agnieszka Niedzwiedz from Poland. Look, they are both decent fighters. Vanessa has been around a long time. But neither belongs at the top of any card. Vanessa is 18-7. The last time we saw her she lost an Invicta Flyweight Championship match to Jennifer Maia Mar. 2016. Agnieszka is from Karakow, Poland. Her record is 9-0. She has had one fight in Invicta so I know I have seen her fight. But I can't remember her. That's not a good sign. I looked at her record and competition level of her opponents and it's not good enough. I could see her being high on a KSW show in Poland but not here. I don't have a problem with the fight but it doesn't qualify as a main event. The co-main event has Roxanne Modafferi vs Sarah D'Alelio in a Flyweight match. I like this a little better as a main event just because of Roxanne's popularity maybe against a different opponent because I don't care much for Sarah. Meanwhile, the Flyweight champ Jennifer Maia hasn't fought since September so I guess that's the real problem. In the other main card matches, former Invicta Atomweight champ Herica Tiburcio will face Tessa Simpson. I don't think Tessa is experienced enough for the main card. She's from Austin, TX and her record is 5-1. In her one Invicta appearance, she beat the overrated Simona Soukupova. Also Herica beat Simona last time she was in Invicta. I want to see Herica face a more experienced fighter. Tessa should be in the prelims. In the other main card fight, Elizabeth Phillips will face Kelly Faszholz in a Bantamweight fight. Of course both are former UFC fighters. But the last time we saw Elizabeth, she was KOd by Leah Letson on the Jan. 14 Invicta show and then given a 60 day medical suspension. Instead she fought on Feb. 3 for ExciteFight in her home state of Washington. She was able to do this because the show was on a Native American casino which is not under the oversight of the Washington AC. And she has fought for that promotion several times so she's pals with them. With that behaviour in her recent past, why does the Missouri AC approve her to fight. And to put on my promoter's hat for a moment, I wouldn't book a fighter who ignores medical suspensions. That's unprofessional behaviour. I dunno what Invicta is thinking. There are plenty of other fish in the sea. Kelly went 0-2 in the UFC. She looked OK in her first fight but not in her second fight. And just because a fighter had a cup of coffee in the UFC doesn't mean Invicta should automatically sign her. Some need to go back to regional promotions. Let's get to the prelims. In a Flyweight bout, Andrea Lee will face Liz Tracy. I have seen enough of Andrea that she belongs on the main card. Liz is an Invicta newcomer so it seems like a step down. Liz trains at Team Oyama in California. Her record is 3-1 and she won her last couple of fights in Super Fight League. Puzzling matchmaking. Tiffany Van Soest will face Christine Ferea in a Strawweight bout. Of course Tiffany is an elite kickboxer but that doesn't mean she will be good at MMA. She lost her Invicta debut to Kal Holiday and now she's getting another chance. Christine won her Invicta debut over Rachael Ostovich. That's the girl who wears the Wonder Woman gear but she's not a very good fighter. Two matches were added yesterday. In a Welterweight bout, Brazilian veteran Ediane Gomes will face Pam Sorenson. Ediane is a veteran who has fought at 135 and 145. I think she prefers 145. She was supposed to fight in Invicta last year but she missed weight. These days she trains at American Top Team in Florida. Who doesn't? She might look at Welterweight as a route to the UFC. I don't think she's good enough. Pam won her Invicta debut over Aussie Jessy Jess Clark. This is her pro Welterweight debut. All her pro fights have been at Bantamweight. I think she may be looking at Welterweight as a route to the UFC as well. Pam is from Minneapolis and her record is 5-1. And in a Bantamweight bout Shaianna Rincon will face Brooksie Bayard. Shaianna is making her pro debut. She has a 4-0 amateur record. Brooksie is 1-1 as a pro making her Invicta debut. Both fighters are from California. Again, I think this show has a weak main event and it might affect ticket sales.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Ian & Sylvia

Artist:Ian & Sylvia
Song:You Were On My Mind
Album:Greatest Hits!

The husband wife duo of Ian Tyson and Sylvia Fricker were Canadian music pioneers and a big part of the early 60s folk music boom. Though they never had a hit single, You Were On My Mind is Ian & Sylvia's signature song especially after We Five scored a big hit with it in 1965. Ian Tyson was born Sept. 25, 1933 in Victoria, BC. He was a rodeo rider as a teen. But he got injured and he took up the guitar. Tyson acknowledges Canadian country music pioneer Wilf Carter as an influence. He started playing Vancouver clubs while attending the Vancouver School of Art. After graduating, Tyson moved to Toronto to take a commercial art job. That's where he met Sylvia Fricker. She was born Sept. 19, 1940 in Chatham, ON. Her mom was a church organist and choir leader. Sylvia always wanted to be a singer so she moved to Toronto in 1959. Ian & Sylvia started performing together in Toronto clubs. In 1962, they moved to New York. They got the attention of Albert Grossman who managed Peter, Paul & Mary and Bob Dylan. He got them a record deal with Vanguard Records. They released their debut album and performed at the 1963 Newport Folk Festival. They married in 1964. You Were On My Mind is from the 1964 album Northern Journey. Though You Were On My Mind was not a hit at the time, it became a hit in 1965 when We Five leader Michael Stewart wrote an uptempo arrangement that was more commercial. Folk music purists complained at the time. But I don't think Sylvia complained about the royalty cheques she got in the mail. Ian & Sylvia were successful mostly in Canada with hits like Four Strong Winds and Gordon Lightfoot's Early Morning Rain. This budget comp covers their Vanguard recordings. It was first released in 1970 as a 2LP set and released on CD in 1987 as a "twofer". Ian & Sylvia became more of a folk rock act in the late 60s. They left Vanguard for MGM in 1967. They formed Great Speckled Bird and released a Todd Rundgren produced album in 1970. That album was hurt by poor distribution but it is worth seeking out. Then they recorded two albums for Columbia that went nowhere and they divorced in 1975. Ian & Sylvia have had significant solo careers in Canada. They reunited for a 1986 CBC TV special which you can watch on Youtube. Here's Ian & Sylvia performing You Were On My Mind on the 1986 CBC TV special The Ian & Sylvia Reunion.

Friday, April 21, 2017

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Herb Alpert

Artist:Herb Alpert
Song:This Guy's In Love With You
Album:Definitive Hits

Of course Herb Alpert is best known as a trumpeter and leader of the very successful 60s instrumental group Tijuana Brass. So it's ironic that his only number one hit in the 60s was This Guy's In Love With You where Alpert sings. Alpert would be the first to admit that he can't sing. At the time Alpert was just supposed to perform the song on his 1968 TV special The Beat Of The Brass. So I'm sure he was surprised when people went nuts for it. Of course Alpert started Tijuana Brass and A&M Records in his garage and his first big hit was The Lonely Bull. There wasn't even a band at first. Alpert used studio musicians. But he started touring in 1965 and he was very successful especially because of the cover for the album Whipped Cream. Alpert is appearing on TV regularly and then he does his own special for CBS in 1967. It did so well that CBS asked him to do a second show. It was called The Beat Of The Brass and it aired on Apr. 22, 1968 and there was an album released to go with it. The story goes that Alpert was at Burt Bacharach's house and he asked Bacharach if he had any old songs that he wasn't using lying around. Alpert claims that he would routinely ask this of songwriters. Bacharach gave him This Guy's In Love With You. It was suggested to Alpert that he could sing this song on the TV special. Alpert agreed to do it as long as there was room for a trumpet solo. The video was filmed in Malibu and Alpert is singing the song to his wife Sharon. The song was not supposed to be released. It was just for the TV show. But when viewers started phoning TV stations asking where they could get the record, A&M released it as a single and added it to the album The Beat Of The Brass. It topped the charts. Bacharach arranged the song and conducted the orchestra. I think his arrangement and Bacharach's piano riffs were a big part of the record's success. Alpert faded after this and he would disappear from the charts until his 1979 number one hit Rise. That means Herb Alpert is the only one to have number one vocal and instrumental hits. Here's the video for This Guy's In Love With You by Herb Alpert.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Soul For Real

Artist:Soul For Real
Song:Candy Rain
Album:Candy Rain

Soul For Real were teens when they scored the 1995 top five hit Candy Rain. After a second chart hit, they faded and they have been trying to recapture the magic ever since. Soul For Real is a family group from Wheatley Heights, NY which is in Long Island. There are four brothers, Christopher "Choc" Dalyrimple, Andre "Dre" Dalyrimple, Brian "Bri" Dalyrimple and 13 year old lead singer Jason "Jase" Dalyrimple. In 1992 they were discovered by Dwight "Heavy D" Myers and he got them a deal with Uptown Records. Of course Heavy D and the Boys were a popular rap group. But even when they were popular Myers was scouting talent for Uptown. Candy Rain was Soul For Real's debut album and single. The single topped the R&B Singles chart and it reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100. The album was certified Platinum. Myers and the production duo Trackmasters (Samuel Barnes and Jean-Claude Olivier) wrote and produced most of the album and the single Candy Rain. It samples from the 1991 A Tribe Called Quest song Check The Rhime which sampled Minnie Riperton, Average White Band, Grover Washington Jr., Dalton & Dubarri and Biz Markie. Soul For Real's second single Every Little Thing I Do hit the top 20. And that was it for Soul For Real. Candy Rain is available as a budget CD. By the time Soul For Real's 1996 album for Life... was released, Uptown founder Andre Harrell left to run Motown. Universal promoted Myers to president of Uptown. You would think that would be good for Soul For Real. But Universal cut Uptown's promotion budget and there were no hit singles and the album stiffed. Soul For Real released a 1999 album on a small label that went nowhere. They started their own label in 2003 and a single was released in 2007. Then in 2009, Brian Dalyrimple was indicted for identity fraud. The group has continued and they are supposedly working on new music. They have released a couple of singles. Here's the video for Candy Rain by Soul For Real.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Rich Gang

Artist:Rich Gang f/Young Thug and Rich Homie Quan

Cash Money Records is a very successful rap music label owned by Bryan "Birdman" Williams and brother Ronald "Slim" Williams. In 2013, they were looking for a way to promote new signings without having to invest in a full album. They can test out artists to see if they are worth keeping around. They decided to release a various artists album under the name Rich Gang. It was a good idea to label it so fans could easily find it. For the 2013 debut CD Rich Gang, they decided to have established stars on the album just so the audience would become familiar with Rich Gang. Fortunately the single Tapout reached #44 on the Billboard Hot 100 and the album also sold well. Tapout featured Lil Wayne, Birdman, Future, Mack Maine and Nicki Minaj. Anyone who bought the album got an assortment of artists. Once the Rich Gang was established, Cash Money released the single Lifestyle in 2014. This was only available as a digital download. This single did better than Tapout. It topped the R&B charts and it reached #16 on the Billboard Hot 100. The featured rappers are Jeffery "Young Thug" Williams and Desquantes "Rich Homie Quan" Lamar. As it turned out, neither of these guys signed with Cash Money. Williams bounced around several labels and has now started his own label. Lamar is working on his debut album for Motown. the single was produced by Cash Money house producer London "London on da Track" Holmes. Cash Money has released several Rich Gang singles. None of them have charted and Cash Money hasn't compiled them on one album. Lifestyle is available as a single and it's also on the various artists album Now R&B Vol. 1 available from iTunes. I expect Cash Money to continue to release Rich Gang singles. Just remember Rich Gang is not a group but an identifying label. Here's the video for Lifestyle by Rich Gang featuring Young Thug and Rich Homie Quan.