Sunday, June 30, 2013
Album:New York Art Quartet
The New York Art Quartet was a short lived but successful example of the golden age of free jazz. They only recorded a couple of albums in the 60s and then they went on to other things. This 1964 album was remastered and reissued with bonus tracks in 2008 and the band has reunited in recent years. The band was led by Danish sax player John Tchicai and trombonist Roswell Rudd. Tchicai moved from Copenhagen to New York City in 1963 and joined the New York Contemporary Five led by sax player Archie Shepp and former Ornette Coleman trumpeter Don Cherry. Rudd had recorded with Shepp and pianist Cecil Taylor. After the New York Contemporary Five disbanded, Tchicai and Rudd formed the New York Art Quartet with drummer Milford Graves from Paul Bley's band. Bassist Lewis Worrell went on to work with Albert Ayler. The 1964 album New York Art Quartet was released by the jazz label ESP-Disk. This was a small but very important label in the free jazz movement. This album was released on CD in 2008. It's available as a budget CD. The recordings were remastered and poet Amiri Baraka aka LeRoi Jones participates in a couple of new bonus tracks. This album is a must for free jazz fans. Then they recorded the 1965 album Mohawk. In 1966, Rudd joined Archie Shepp's band and Tchicai moved back to Denmark. The New York Art Quartet reunited for a 35th Anniversary CD in 2000 and then the 2010 CD Old Stuff. Tchicai and Rudd have kept busy with other projects and both are educators. Here's a video of Black Dada Nihilismus featuring poet Amiri Baraka and then Sweet by the New York Art Quartet.
Saturday, June 29, 2013
Song:Black Bottom Stomp
Jelly Roll Morton was a jazz pioneer as a writer, arranger and bandleader. His 1926 recording Black Bottom Stomp is an important recording in jazz history. The only problem with Morton is he went a little overboard with self promotion claiming he invented jazz and similar nonsense. It made him look foolish and it wasn't necessary. His music was enough. He was born Ferdinand Joseph LaMothe Oct. 20, 1890 In New Orleans. Some other dates have been thrown around but this date is on his baptismal certificate. When his parents separated, his mother married a man named Mouton which was anglicized to Morton. As a teen, he played piano in a brothel and gave himself the nickname Jelly Roll. Of course that is a slang term for genatalia. When his grandmother found out he was playing jazz in a brothel, she threw him out of the house. Morton toured minstrel shows in 1904 and composed songs like Jelly Roll Blues and King Porter Stomp during this time. While touring vaudeville with his girlfriend Rosa Brown, Morton settled in Chicago. Then he moved to Vancouver for a few years. He moved back to Chicago in 1923. In those days, many folks had player pianos that used piano rolls. So Morton's first recordings were on piano rolls. In 1926, he signed with RCA Victor and Black Bottom Stomp was first recorded at that time. Black Bottom Stomp was a rearranged version of a song called Queen Of Spades. Musicians on the recording were Omer Simeon on clarinet, George Mitchell on trumpet, Kid Ory on trombone, Johnny St. Cyr on banjo, John Lindsay on bass and Andrew Hilaire on drums. Ory went on to a significant career as a bandleader. St. Cyr and Hilaire both worked with Louis Armstrong. Jelly Roll Morton & His Red Hot Peppers were a very successful touring act. The 1926 recordings are the cream of Morton's recordings. You can get them on this Bluebird budget comp along with some of his later recordings just to put things into context. Morton got married and moved to New York in 1928. His New York recordings weren't as successful and RCA dropped him in 1931. Morton was known to be very arrogant and a lot of musicians wouldn't work with him. Things got so bad he even toured with a burlesque show. Black Bottom Stomp was a big band hit but Morton didn't copyright it so no royalties for him. He moved to Washington in 1935 to manage a bar. While there, he was interviewed by folklorist Alan Lomax. Morton claimed he invented jazz but he lied about his age so he could claim that. His claims are refuted by jazz historians. Morton was stabbed in 1938. Though he recorded in 1939, his health gradually declined until his death on July 10, 1941 at age 50. Despite some of his silly claims, Morton's music was very influential especially on stride piano and blues. He is in The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame and the Broadway musical Jelly's Last Jam is based on his life. Here's a video for Black Bottom Blues by Jelly Roll Morton.
Friday, June 28, 2013
Song:Gentle (Calling My Name)
Album:WDAS 105.3FM: Classic Soul Hits Vol. 10
Here's a classic 80s slow jam that I am sure many have heard but they don't know who does it. That's because Gentle was the only chart hit for Frederick in 1985. Supposedly this was the most popular R & B record to be recorded in Cleveland until The Dazz Band and Gerald Levert came along. Remember The O'Jays were from Cleveland but they didn't record in Cleveland. Frederick Davis was born Apr. 7, 1957 in Cleveland. He led a band when he was in high school. It split up when Davis joined the US Navy. It seems he was a good boxer. Davis competed in the 1975 Golden Gloves tournament in Cleveland and trained with the Navy Boxing Team. But he returned to music after his discharge and was looking for a break. He was introduced to Time Traxx Productions owner Le Ray Ruffin. When Cleveland DJ Jeffery Charles played Davis' demo of Gentle on his WZAK For Lovers Only radio show, the phone lines went crazy. Ruffin signed Davis and got distribution from the small Akron based label Heat Records. Gentle reached #40 on the Billboard Hot 100. It should have been much bigger. The female singer Janice Dowlen who appears on the record was under contract to Heat. Frederick was under contract to Time Traxx. While the two record company owners were bickering, Heat couldn't keep up with the demand and should have farmed the record out to a national distributor. There was demand for the record but stores couldn't get it. Then when Frederick went on tour, Heat owner James McCants wouldn't allow Janice to tour with him. The whole thing was bungled. Frederick recorded an album but left Time Traxx and started his own label. Janice Dowlen died in 1991 but Frederick still performs and worked at Veterans Hospital in Cleveland for many years. You can get Gentle on this Collectables various artists comp. here's a video for Gentle (Calling My Name) by Frederick featuring Janice Dowlen.
Thursday, June 27, 2013
Album:The Golden Age of American Rock 'N' Roll: Special Novelty Edition
This goofy novelty song was a number one hit in 1960. Larry Verne had one other chart song and quit the music business. He worked as a construction coordinator in the film industry for many years. He was born Larry Vern Erickson Feb. 8, 1936 in Minneapolis. So everyone knows about General Custer and the massacre at Little Big Horn. This silly song has one of Custer's soldiers begging not to go. The song was written by Al DeLory, Fred Darian and Joe Van Winkle. They had a songwriting and production company in Los Angeles called Jatco Productions. DeLory went on to produce most of Glen Campbell's albums and was part of the Los Angeles studio musician group The Wrecking Crew. Larry Verne worked in a photography studio in the same building. They spoke to Verne and thought he would be perfect to record Mr. Custer. They sold the recording to Era Records. Mr. Custer topped the Billboard Hot 100 in 1960. The record sold over a million copies. The follow up single Mr. Livingston charted but was not a big hit. Novelty singers rarely have long careers. According to his son, Larry Verne was offered a contract to be a serious singer by Decca Records but Verne had a seven year contract with Era and they wouldn't let him out of his contract. You can get Mr. Custer on this various artists comp from Ace Records. Verne always said that he hated Mr. Custer but loved the residual checks. He quit the music business and became a contractor. For many years he was a construction coordinator in the film industry. Among his credits are the 1982 TV series Seven Brides For Seven Brothers, the 1988 film Rambo III and the 1989 film Tango & Cash. He retired in the early 90s and lives in Los Angeles. Here's Larry Verne performing Mr. Custer 1960. Thanks to Joe Troiano for the Larry Verne bio.
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
|RENA, Lorena Klijn|
Song:Secret Agent Man
Album:The Saint/Secret Agent: Original Music From The TV Series
Most folks should be familiar with the Johnny Rivers hit Secret Agent Man. The series was originally called Danger Man with music composed by Edwin Astley. He wrote music for several other British TV shows and recorded his own version of Secret Agent Man. I don't know who the singer is. Astley was born Apr. 12, 1922 in Warrington, Cheshire, England. His daughter Karen Astley married Pete Townshend of The Who. Astley started out in the 50s as an arranger for the popular British bandleader Geraldo and performed with his own band The Ted Astley Orchestra in the north of England. He started working for Lord Lew Grade's ITC Entertainment in the late 50s. His first TV theme was for The Adventures Of Robin Hood. Astley's two best known shows are The Saint and Danger Man. Danger Man starred Patrick McGoohan. CBS first broadcast the show in 1961 but brought it back in 1965 as Secret Agent. Astley's original theme for Danger Man was called High Wire and it is on this CD. But when CBS retitled the show Secret Agent they hired the team of P.F. Sloan and Steve Barri to write a new theme song. They hired Johnny Rivers to sing it and that recording reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100. Astley released his own recording of Secret Agent Man and it was released in 1966 on LP. I couldn't find out who sings this. You can get it on this Collectables CD that has music from Secret Agent and The Saint. Astley went on to compose the music for the 1969 BBC documentary series Civilisation. Astley retired in the 70s and died on May 19, 1998 at age 76. Jools Holland was a big Edwin Astley fan and produced the TV special Astley's Way in 2001. Here's a video for Secret Agent Man by Edwin Astley and his Orchestra.
Tuesday, June 25, 2013
Song:Give It All We Got Tonight
Album:Love Is Everything
Of course George Strait has been one of the most popular and durable country music artists since the 80s. He has had numerous number one country music hits. And he has also had success in films. I have written about Strait before and Love Is Everything is his new CD. Is it his last CD? The talk in Nashville has always been that Strait planned to retire on his 60th birthday. He turned 60 in 2012. His 2011 CD Here For A Good Time did well. It topped the Billboard Country Album chart. But none of the three singles from the album topped the charts. Strait announced in Sept. 2012 that he would go on a retirement tour. It's called The Cowboy Rides Away tour. He will do 20 concerts this year and then 20 more concerts next year. He says he's not touring after that. It doesn't mean he is retiring from recording. Love Is Everything is Strait's new CD. It was released last month. Give It All We Got Tonight was the first single from the CD released Oct. 2012. Universal launched a 60 for 60 campaign to make this his 60th number one country hit while Strait was still 60 years old. They cheated a little bit. It only reached #7 on the Billboard Country Singles chart but topped the Clear Channel owned Mediabase chart last month. That's what happens when a single is released months in advance of the album release. There is a 60 Number One Hits comp scheduled for release but it hasn't come out yet. They didn't even do a video for this song. The song was written by veteran producer Mark Bright (Rascal Flatts, Carrie Underwood), Tim James and Phil O'Donnell. The album was produced by veteran producer Tony Brown. Here is George Strait performing Give It All We Got Tonight on the 2013 ACM Awards broadcast. I think he looks a little tired in this video. Time will tell if George Strait retires but I don't think this is his final CD.
Monday, June 24, 2013
Song:WKRP In Cincinnati
Album:Tube Tunes Vol. 3: The '80s
WKRP In Cincinnati is one of those sitcoms that keeps on giving. I never get tired of watching it. And a lot of fans loved the opening theme song. There was a full version of the song released in 1982. Unfortunately it was not a big hit and the album has never been released on CD. But you can get it on this Rhino TV theme comp. Steve Carlisle was the singer. He was from Atlanta and was a one time member of the one hit wonder group Starbuck (Moonlight Feels Right). After they split up, he became a studio singer doing jingles and backup vocals. WKRP In Cincinnati was created by former Bob Newhart Show writer and producer Hugh Wilson. Wilson wrote the opening theme lyrics and the music was written by Tom Wells. There was a rumour that Richard Sanders, who played Les Nessman in WKRP, sang the theme on the show. Wilson says on the WKRP DVD commentary that is not true. I can only assume that Wells knew Carlisle from his studio work. WKRP was around for four seasons and I'm sure fans wanted to buy a record of the theme. Carlisle recorded the album Steve Carlisle Sings WKRP In Cincinnati for MCA Records in 1982. The album was produced by Buckner & Garcia (Pacman Fever) who were veterans of the Atlanta studio scene. The single WKRP in Cincinnati reached #65 on the Billboard Hot 100. But it wasn't a big hit and neither was the album. It has never been released on CD but at least you can get it on this comp with a lot of other TV themes. And the full version of WKRP In Cincinnati is on this CD. Carlisle never recorded another album. It looks like he quit the music business and moved to Australia to become a minister. Here's a video for WKRP In Cincinnati by Steve Carlisle.
Sunday, June 23, 2013
Last night I went to the Luminato Festival to see Rosanne Cash. Of course most folks know that she is the daughter of the legendary Johnny Cash. I have been a Rosanne Cash fan since I heard her sing on French composer Michel Berger's 1980 album Dreams In Stone. And the concert was free. Again there was the threat of rain but it never did. I live in Etobicoke in west Toronto and on my way home I noticed that it did rain there. It just didn't rain downtown. So I think we got lucky. The opening act for this concert was Canadian singer songwriter Kevin Breit. He played solo but he isn't a folksinger. Breit is from the Sudbury area in Northern Ontario. He led the jazz trio The Sisters Euclid for several years. In recent days he has worked with eclectic singer songwriter Harry Manx. Their 2011 CD Strictly Whatever was released in 2011 on Stony Plain. Breit has also played a lot of sessions with Norah Jones, Cassandra Wilson and most recently Hugh Laurie. I can see why he is in demand as he is a very good guitarist. I liked him but I wouldn't mind seeing him as part of a larger band sometime. Rosanne Cash's band is led by her husband John Levanthal. Levanthal has a couple of Grammys on his mantel for producing and writing the 1997 Shawn Colvin hit Sunny Come Home. Since they were married in 1995, Levanthal has done other things but the two write together and he produces her CDs. Rosanne actually has a different band when Levanthal isn't on tour with her. That's why I asked her on Twitter if he was coming. He's a killer guitarist. The other guitarist was Kevin Barry. He started out in the 80s playing with blues guys like Mighty Sam McClain. Today he plays a lot of sessions. He also plays steel guitar. Jon Cowherd was on keyboards. He is a member of the jazz group The Brian Blade Fellowship but he has also toured with Rosanne for several years. Bassist Zev Katz has played with Rosanne since the 80s. And drummer Dan Rieser is a member of Marcy Playground and the Norah Jones led Willie Nelson tribute band The Little Willies. They played a mix of songs, even oldies like Seven Year Ache. And they played a couple of songs from Rosanne's upcoming CD to be released in Jan. 2014. But they played quite a few songs from her latest CD The List. When Rosanne was a teen, her dad was upset that she was listening to crappy music. So he made a list of a hundred songs that she should listen to and gave it to her. Rosanne and producer Levanthal turned it into The List. They performed the Hank Snow song I'm Movin' On, the Bob Dylan song Girl From The North Country and special guest Rufus Wainwright was brought out to sing the Merle Haggard song Silver Wings. Though the concert was over an hour and a half long, it seemed a lot shorter. That's a good thing. So I enjoyed it. And the concert was live streamed on Youtube so you can enjoy it too right here on the blog. The concert starts at about the ten minute mark of the video. Enjoy!
Song:Overture/All That Jazz
Album:Chicago: Music From The Miramax Motion Picture
Catherine Zeta-Jones is best known as a film actress. But she started out performing in musicals on stage in England. And she claims she always wanted to be a singer. So it's not all that surprising that she won an Oscar for her performance in the film musical Chicago. She was born Sept. 25, 1969 in Swansea, Wales. She acted professionally on stage as a teen. Her first starring role in London was in the musical 42nd Street in 1987. After a few more plays, she made her film debut in the 1990 French film Les 1001 Nuits. Then she starred in the British TV series The Darling Buds Of May. Catherine attempted to launch a recording career and appeared on the 1992 album Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of Spartacus. Her 1994 duet with David Essex True Love Ways charted in England. But she went back to acting in films and TV. Catherine's big break came when Steven Speilberg saw her in the 1996 CBS mini-series Titanic and cast her as the female lead in the 1998 film The Mark Of Zorro. That made her a movie star. And then her performance as Velma Kelly in the 2002 film musical Chicago won her critical acclaim and a Best Actress Oscar. Chicago was a musical that was first performed on Broadway in 1975. Attempts to turn it into a film were unsuccessful until Miramax got it done. It was very successful. Catherine continues to act in films but I think it's fair to say that she hasn't been as successful since Chicago. She is in the upcoming film RED2. She made her Broadway debut starring in the 2009 revival of A Little Night Music and she won a Tony. Catherine is married to Michael Douglas and they have two children. With her acting career stalling, maybe it's time for Catherine to record an album. Here's Catherine Zeta-Jones performing All That Jazz from the 2002 film Chicago.
Saturday, June 22, 2013
|Megumi Fujii announces her retirement|
Song:The Third Man Theme
This is a ska version of one of the most popular movie themes in history. I don't have much info about Granville Williams except that he led this band that played Jamaican clubs and they were used occasionally to back up Jamaican artists of the mid-60s. Chances are pretty good that ska fans have heard this recording of the theme from the 1949 film The Third Man and don't know who recorded it. The theme as performed on the zither by Anton Karas was probably more popular than the film though the film is really good. Guy Lombardo had a hit single with The Third Man Theme in 1950 using a guitar to play the melody. And it has been recorded by many artists over the years. The original by Karas could have been a bigger hit but in the late 40s instrumental film music was something new to record companies and they hadn't figured out how to sell it. That's why Decca Records had Lombardo record the song. Jamaican artists have always recorded ska or reggae covers of popular songs. From what I could tell, Granville Williams led this orchestra in the early 60s. He worked for a while with legendary singer Dobby Dobson and backed up singles recorded by Lascelles Perkins, The Silvertones and Derrick Harriott. In 1967, Williams started his own label G.W.O. Records and recorded the album Hi-Life. It was all instrumental. Hi-Life was released as a single and Williams also recorded covers of Hang On Sloopy and You've Lost That Loving Feeling. It's the only album he ever recorded. But the Christmas song Santa Claus Is Skaing To Town and The Third Man Theme were released as singles. You can get The Third Man Theme on this Trojan budget comp. Williams also recorded an album with Lyn Taitt & The Jets. It looks like Williams may have moved to Canada in the 70s as he is credited with producing the 1978 Audley Williams album Hedonism for the Canadian label Generation Records. I'm not sure about any of that. But I am sure that this ska cover of The Third Man Theme is pretty cool. Here's a video for The Third Man Theme by The Granville Williams Orchestra.
Friday, June 21, 2013
Song:A Better Man
Album:Ultimate Clint Black
Neo traditionalist Clint Black was one of the most popular country artists of the 90s. He had a total of 13 number one country music hits. A Better Man was not only his 1989 debut single but it was his first number one hit. So Black was a big success right from the start. He was born Feb. 4, 1962 in Long Branch, NJ but he grew up in the Houston suburb of Katy, TX. He got into music as a teen and played in a band with his brothers. He moved to Nashville in the early 80s and worked day jobs while performing in clubs at night. He was heavily influenced by George Strait. in 1987, Black met guitarist Hayden Nicholas and they started writing together and recording demos in Nicholas' home studio. One of those demos got into the hands of ZZ Top manager Bill Ham. He became Black's manager and before long, Black signed with RCA Records. His 1989 debut CD Killin' Time was produced by James Stroud and Mark Wright. Wright worked in RCA's A & R department at the time. Black and Nicholas wrote most of the songs on the album including A Better Man. It was the first debut single by a male artist in 14 years to top the Country Singles chart. The album was certified Platinum. At the time, there was a changing of the guard in country music with young "hat acts" like Black, Garth Brooks, Alan Jackson and Mark Chesnutt becoming very popular. So I think Black's success was part of a larger trend. He came along at the right time. While having this success, Black married Knots Landing actress Lisa Hartman in 1991. In 1992, Black sued Ham after Lisa's mother told him Ham was getting heavy royalties for Black's songs. They settled the lawsuit that summer. Black appeared in the 1994 film Maverick and has occasionally done TV. But for the most part in the 90s, he concentrated on his music. As Black's career was declining in the late 90s, he decided to take a break. The Blacks had a daughter in 2001 and Black left RCA. You can get all his RCA hits on this budget comp. Black started his own label Equity Music Group. He last recorded in 2008. He was a mentor on the 2003 season of the CMT talent show Nashville Star. And he has appeared on Celebrity Apprentice and Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. And he has appeared in the direct to video films Flicka 2 and Flicka 3. He is currently recording a new CD and will tour this summer. Here's the video for A Better Man by Clint Black.
Thursday, June 20, 2013
Song:What Kind Of Fool Am I?
Album:The Definitive Collection
Sammy Davis Jr. was known as "The World's Greatest Living Entertainer" and one of the most versatile performers in history. Though it wasn't his biggest chart hit, the 1962 top 20 hit What Kind Of Fool Am I? is probably his signature song. And of course Davis is known as part of The Rat Pack with Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin. He was born Dec. 8, 1925 in Harlem, NY and as a child he performed with his father in a group led by Will Mastin. He first met Frank Sinatra when Mastin opened for Tommy Dorsey in Detroit in 1941. After serving in the US Army in WWII, Davis returned to the Mastin group and they became headliners in the early 50s. Davis broke out as a solo act and signed with Decca Records in 1954. After losing his eye in an auto accident, Davis had some hit singles. His biggest hit at the time was Something's Gotta Give in 1955. He also made his Broadway debut in the 1955 show Mr. Wonderful. He also got a lot of praise for his performance in the 1958 film Porgy and Bess. Then he became a member of The Rat Pack and regularly performed with Sinatra and Martin at the Sands Hotel in Las Vegas. He signed with Sinatra's new record label Reprise Records. There was controversy with Davis' conversion to Judaism and his marriage to the very blonde Swedish actress May Britt. It didn't hurt him. He reached #17 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1962 with What Kind Of Fool Am I? The song was written by Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley for the show Stop The World-I Want To Get Off. Davis won the 1962 Song Of The Year Grammy. Though Davis continued to have success in other areas, his recording career had stalled by the late 60s though he had a top 20 hit in 1969 with I've Gotta Be Me. He even signed with Motown in 1970 thinking they could make him "hip" again. Davis signed with MGM Records and got his only number one hit in 1972 with The Candy Man from the film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. That was his last big hit and you can get all of them on this Hip-O budget comp. Though Davis continued to perform in films, TV and on stage, he last recorded in 1976. A lifelong smoker, Sammy Davis Jr. died of throat cancer on May 16, 1990 at age 64. Here's Sammy Davis Jr. performing What Kind Of Fool Am I? on The Andy Williams Show 1962.
Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Album:The Golden Age of American Rock 'n' Roll Vol. 2: Hot 100 Hits From 1954-1963
The doo wop group The Crescendos hit the top five in 1958 with Oh, Julie. They never charted again and split up in 1959 after recording only ten singles. The man behind The Crescendos was Nashville DJ and TV show host Noel Ball. He discovered The Crescendos and wrote Oh, Julie. Ball hosted TV shows like Sock Hop and Saturday Showcase on Nashville TV station WSIX. The Crescendos were students at Cumberland High School in Nashville. At first they were called The Spades and then wisely changed it to The Crescendos. The lead singer was George Lanius along with Kenneth Brigham, Jimmy Hall, Tommy Fortner and later George's brother Jimmy Lanius. Ball saw them perform on the annual high school talent show. He took them to Globe Recording Studio in Nashville and recorded Oh, Julie. The girl singer in the background was 16 year old Janice Green who happened to be auditioning for Globe owner Jim Maxwell at the time. She didn't know the group. Hall sold Oh, Julie to Nashboro Records and they released it on the Nasco label. It reached #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1958. You can get it on this Ace records various artists comp. The Crescendos were on a tour called The Biggest Show Of Stars. But subsequent singles did not catch on. Jimmy Hall had already left by the time The Crescendos split up in 1959. Janice Green went on to be a backup singer for producer Bob Crewe. Here's a video for Oh, Julie by The Crescendos. Thanks to Way Back Attack for the Crescendos bio.
Tuesday, June 18, 2013
Here's the match video of AJ Lee vs Kaitlyn from Sunday's WWE PPV. I really liked how AJ set up the angle for this match though it was predictable how Kaitlyn's secret admirer would end. The bottom line is the WWE gave this match a lot more time than they normally give to Divas matches on PPVs. If they want fans to care about these girls, these matches have to be made to seem important. The match itself was a mixed bag partially because Kaitlyn is very green. She's still a bodybuilder trying to be a wrestler and she hasn't figured out how to use her strength yet. AJ is a trained wrestler but she's so small and frail looking it's hard to believe that she could generate any offense on a much larger opponent. I'd like to see her put on ten pounds of muscle so she doesn't look so frail. I liked Kaitlyn throwing AJ into the Spanish announce table and I also liked AJ's dropkick from the apron. A lot of the rest of the match was OK but nothing special. In the end, AJ outsmarted Kaitlyn into delaying going for the pin after her spear finisher. That was just her being stupid and AJ won with her Black Widow finisher. That hold was Antonio Inoki's finisher in the 70s. I don't think it's an effective finisher today because as we saw earlier in the match, it's not difficult to get out of. It's obvious the WWE plans to continue this feud. I guess we will see Kaitlyn cry a lot. Enjoy the video!
AJ Lee Vs Kaitlyn (Payback 2013) by chriswormley
AJ Lee Vs Kaitlyn (Payback 2013) by chriswormley
Last night I went to a free concert at the Luminato Festival featuring the Carolina Chocolate Drops at the David Peacaut Square behind Roy Thompson Hall at King & Simcoe in downtown Toronto. I didn't realize it until I got there but I was at a 2011 Toronto Jazz Festival concert at this location. The setup is a little different for this as the concert was outdoors and there was rain in the forecast. Fortunately, it didn't rain. Luminato is running free concerts all week and this was one of the two I wanted to see. The opening act was blues artist Corey Harris. Harris is very similar to other contemporary blues artists like Keb Mo but Harris is distinguished by a heavy Jamaican influence. He has recorded for Alligator, Rounder, Telarc and his latest CD Fulton Blues is on his own label. I'm not crazy about his voice but he has a decent band and I liked Harris when he played steel guitar. There were technical issues when the bass player's amp failed and it had to be replaced. Harris was OK but I didn't come to see him. I first heard of the Carolina Chocolate Drops two years ago. The best way to describe them is they are a modern reproduction of an old time string band. Of course most folks have never heard an old time string band so they don't know what I am talking about. It doesn't matter because the group is so entertaining that you won't care what type of music they are doing. CCD have been recording since 2006 and their latest CD Leaving Eden is on the Warner label Nonesuch. They are from Durham, NC led by Dom Flemons and Rhiannon Giddens. Flemons plays guitar and banjo and other instruments along with singing and goofy dancing. Giddens plays violin and other instruments including kazoo and she sings and dances as well. Guitarist Hubby Jenkins joined CCD when original member Justin Robinson left in 2011. Cellist Layla McCalla has joined them for this tour. I don't think she is a full time member. The band has toured with extra musicians in the past. What I like about Carolina Chocolate Drops is they are performing very old music going back to minstrel show music of the 1850s but they are approaching it like the music has never been performed before. That's why their sound is fresh. And Flemons in particular tries to give a sense of the way old time string bands performed. It reminds me of how the cowboy music tribute band Riders In The Sky tried to recreate that music. Anyone could perform those songs but CCD is successfully recreating the feel and authenticity of the old time string band. The funniest thing was when they performed the 2001 Blu Cantrell hip hop hit Hit 'Em Up Style in CCD's old time string band style. Jerry Lawson of the a capella group The Persuasions used to say that any song can be done a capella. I guess any song can be done in old time string band style too. From the moment I learned that Carolina Chocolate Drops was coming to Luminato, I couldn't wait to see them. Most folks at the concert had probably never heard of them. I don't think anyone was disappointed. And the great thing is the concert was streamed on Youtube and you can watch it right here on the blog. Be sure to check it out.
Song:The Impossible Dream
Album:Man Of La Mancha: The New Broadway Cast Recording
Brian Stokes Mitchell was a TV actor in the 80s who turned to Broadway musicals in the 90s. He has been nominated for four Tony awards including a nomination for playing Don Quixote in the 2002 revival of Man Of La Mancha. He won a Tony in 1999 for Kiss Me, Kate. He was born Oct. 31, 1957 in Seattle. His father was an engineer for the US Navy so the family moved a lot. Mitchell performed in musicals while attending high school in San Diego. He moved to Los Angeles in the 70s and got his first big break in the 1979 mini-series Roots: The Next Generation. Then he played Dr. Justin "Jackpot" Jackson on the TV series Trapper John M.D. from 1979-86. He also had a recurring role on the sitcom the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Mitchell also does a lot of voiceovers for animated cartoons. That's a very lucrative business. He first appeared on Broadway in the 1988 show Mail. His first Tony nomination was for the 1998 musical Ragtime. Then he won a Tony for the 1999 revival of Kiss Me, Kate and he was nominated for the 2001 show King Hedley II and then Man Of La Mancha in 2002. The musical Man Of La Mancha was based on the 1959 teleplay I, Don Quixote. The music was written by Mitch Leigh and the musical was first performed on Broadway in 1965 starring Richard Kiley. It was turned into a film starring Peter O'Toole in 1972. Mitchell starred in the 2002 revival with Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio and Ernie Sabella. The show ran for about a year so it was successful. The original cast recording is available as a budget CD. The Impossible Dream is the best known song from the show but it was never a hit single. Jim Nabors sang it on the Gomer Pyle sitcom in the 60s. Man Of La Mancha was Mitchell's last long run on Broadway though he has appeared in some short runs. He has recorded two CDs. His latest CD Simply Broadway was released on his own label Oct. 2012. And he played one of Rachel's dads on the TV series Glee. This year he has been doing concerts to promote his CD. Here's Brian Stokes Mitchell with Mary Elizabeth Matstantonio performing The Impossible Dream on the 2003 Tony Awards broadcast.
Monday, June 17, 2013
Song:Spirit In The Sky
Album:Party Time Vol. 2: The Ultimate Party Album
Doctor & The Medics had a number one hit in England in 1986 with their cover of the Norman Greenbaum psychedelic classic Spirit In The Sky. The record charted in the US but was not a big hit and the band's goofy look didn't catch on. The band was formed in London by DJ Clive Jackson in 1981 with guitarist Steve McGuire, bassist Richard Searle and drummer Steve Ritchie along with female backup singers and dancers known as The Anadin Brothers. Later it was changed to two girls but they kept the name. Doctor & The Medics released one single in 1982 and then signed with I.R.S. Records in 1985. After a couple of EPs, they recorded the 1986 album Laughing At The Pieces with producer Craig Leon. Their cover of the 1968 Norman Greenbaum classic Spirit In The Sky topped the British singles chart and reached #69 on the Billboard Hot 100. You can get the song on this various artists budget comp from SPG/Capitol. They don't mess with the song but the costumes and their look is a little odd. Apparently this is how they appeared on stage. Subsequent singles including a cover of Abba's Waterloo featuring Roy Wood didn't catch on. I guess looking weird for no reason doesn't lead to longevity in the music business. Doctor & The Medics recorded two albums for I.R.S. but recorded on their own label in the 90s. After appearing on the retro TV variety series Baby One More Time in 2002, Jackson formed a new version of Doctor & The Medics and they tour England today. Here's the video for Spirit In The Sky by Doctor & The Medics.
Sunday, June 16, 2013
Here's the match video of Alexis Davis vs Rosi Sexton from last night's UFC PPV in Winnipeg. Alexis was the favourite in this match mostly because of her size advantage and a black belt in jiu jitsu. But Rosi has never lost by submission her ground game is really good. The other thing is that Alexis is mistake prone and those mistakes have cost her fights in the past. And that's what happens in the first round of this fight. It's fairly even until Alexis takes Rosi down but winds up on the bottom. Alexis attempts a triangle leg choke but never applies it properly. She needs to get her leg crossed with her shin. The problem is she uses a lot of energy to apply a hold that was going nowhere. And she left Rosi's arm free. So not only did Alexis eat leather but her gas tank was empty from the triangle attempt. Rosi won the first round. Round two is fairly even until Alexis gets top position and starts pounding Rosi. The problem is that Alexis is not a great puncher. It's something she needs to improve. Also she was pooped from round one. There was also less than a minute left in the round. If this had been earlier in the round, the fight would have been stopped. But remember this call is at the ref's discretion. And despite warning Rosi three times, Herb Dean chose not to stop the fight. Alexis said afterwards that she was OK with the fight not being stopped. She may change her tune after she watches the fight. There was no response after three warnings. It's a no win situation for Dean. It's a debatable call either way. The third round was fairly even but Alexis got the edge in the second half of the round. She won by unanimous decision. I scored it 29-28 for Alexis. One of the judges scored the second round 10-8 for Alexis. All it took was one big mistake and it almost cost Alexis the fight. Enjoy the video!
Album:Crazy For You
The 60s influenced duo Best Coast had some success with their 2010 debut CD Crazy For You. They released a CD last year and they are currently on tour. Bethany Cosentino grew up in Los Angeles and did some acting as a child. She started writing songs as a teen and generated record company interest through her MySpace page. But they wanted to turn her into a pop princess and she didn't want to do that. She went to school in New York for a while and moved back to Los Angeles in 2009. Then she got together with Robb Bruno to record demos. The rumour was he was once her babysitter. That was a joke. She had seen him in bands and they met through a mutual friend. They signed with indie label Mexican Summer and released Crazy For You in 2010. They hired Ali Koehler of Vivian Girls to play drums. Bethany has said that Best Coast is heavily influenced by 60s California pop music especially The Beach Boys and producers like Jack Nitzsche. But Bethany doesn't believe her voice has that happy pop sound. So their music is a little off kilter and should appeal to fans looking for something a little different. Their latest CD The Only Place was released last year. The duo said that they wanted to make a more professional recording and they hired veteran producer Jon Brion. Koehler has left Best Coast and session drummers have been hired for tours. Best Coast is currently touring opening for Green Day. Here's the video for Boyfriend by Best Coast.
Saturday, June 15, 2013
Song:Salt To The Sea
Singer songwriter Kelli Scarr is best known for touring with Moby in 2009. She has also recorded solo and has an Emmy nomination. Vocally she reminds me of Portishead lead singer Beth Gibbons. Kelli was born in Monterrey, CA and went to high school in Folsom after her parents divorced. After graduating high school, she moved to Boston to study at the Berklee School of Music. In 1998, Boston University students David Moltz (guitar), Khodayar Akhavi (bass) and Daniel Mintzer (drums) were forming a band and placed an ad for a lead singer in local papers. Kelli Scarr responded to that ad. The band was called Moonraker and were heavily influenced by Portishead. They had some success in local Boston clubs and moved to Brooklyn in 2002. They were unable to secure a major label contract and split up in 2004. Kelli wrote the score for the 2008 HBO documentary In A Dream and was nominated for an Emmy. In 2009 she met Moby and sang on his album Wait For Me. She also toured with him. And she has also recorded with j.viewz. In 2010, Kelli signed with the indie label Silence Breaks and Piece was released Aug. 2010. The CD is very cheap and is worth checking out. Kelli continues to record solo and recently released the EP Dangling Teeth to iTunes. She is also working local clubs in Brooklyn as lead singer of the country music cover band North Of Amarillo. Here's Kelli Scarr performing salt To The Sea on Sleepover Shows.
Friday, June 14, 2013
Album:Time Capsule: Songs For A Future Generation
The B-52s were one of the first groups to emerge from Athens, GA which would become a music hotbed. They had some success at first because their music seemed to be more fun than the typical New Wave music of the time. And they also had a kitschy look. Love Shack was their biggest hit in 1989. The B-52s got together by accident when they jammed together in an Athens club in 1976. The members were Fred Schneider on vocals, Kate Pierson on organ and vocals, Cindy Wilson on vocals, her older brother Ricky Wilson on guitar and Keith Strickland on drums. They wanted to have fun so they decided to have a unique thrift store look and the girls wore beehive hairdos and that's where the name B-52s comes from. Their first single Rock Lobster was released on DB Records in 1978. It generated enough buzz to get them a record deal with Warner Bros. in the US and Island Records in the UK. Though they didn't have a hit single at the time, the first three B-52's albums sold very well and were certified Gold. After the 1983 album Whammy!, the B-52s took a break and returned with the 1985 album Bouncing off the Satellites. During the recording, Ricky Wilson became ill and died of AIDS on Oct. 12, 1985 at age 32. He kept his illness a secret from the band. They considered disbanding but Strickland had already switched to guitar and the band had been using drum machines. The B-52s returned to the studio in 1988. Strickland had written a lot of music and the girls and Schneider wrote the lyrics. The 1989 album Cosmic Thing was a success. Love Shack reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100. Supposedly the song is based on a real cabin where Kate Pierson lived in the 70s. The song cemented the B-52s rep as a party band. They continued to record but weren't as successful in the 90s. You can get all their hits on this budget comp. Keith Strickland quit touring with the B-52s last year but The B-52s will tour this summer with The Go-Gos. Their most recent CD was released in 2008. Here's the video for Love Shack by The B-52s.
Thursday, June 13, 2013
I am asked all the time by fans who fondly remember FMW hardcore joshi matches from the 90s who don't really follow joshi puroresu if those kind of matches are still done in Japan. For the most part, the answer is no. A few years back, Kyoko Kimura got a rep for doing hardcore matches. She doesn't do them anymore. Yumiko Hotta does them once in a blue moon. The only wrestler who does hardcore street fights regularly is OZ Academy owner Mayumi Ozaki. This match is from the Apr. 24 Korakuen Hall OZ Academy show. The set up is that Ayumi Kurihara is tired of getting the crap beat out of her by Ozaki and The Ozaki Army. So she challenges Ozaki to a street fight. With Ayumi retiring in August, I guess this was a match on her bucket list. Of course there are the usual weapons like chairs, chains and barbed wire boards. Ozaki even has an umbrella. And there is also The Ozaki Army of Police, Mika Nishio, Yumi Ohka and Mio Shirai. Kurihara brings her own army of Manami Toyota, AKINO, Dynamite Kansai and Sonoko Kato. Typically, Kurihara gets clobbered and bleeds. I thought Ozaki would take Kurihara to the Korakuen Hall balcony but she actually takes her downstairs into a hallway. Kurihara gets her revenge but the attraction of this match is watching someone like Kurihara who doesn't usually do these kind of matches. Ozaki usually wins these matches. There's another match video on Daily Motion of Ozaki initiating Ice Ribbon actress turned wrestler Hikaru Shida into her hardcore world that is typical. In this one, Ozaki gets the upper hand when she spits Kurihara's face with red mist a la The Great Muta. But then Police hits Ozaki by mistake and Kurihara spits blue mist in Ozaki's face. I thought that was a nice touch. And then Kurihara wins. As tends to happen when a Police mistake costs Ozaki a match, they show her beating him up backstage. I'm not a big hardcore match fan. But I don't mind it once in a while and this one is very entertaining. Enjoy the video!
04. Ayumi Kurihara vs Mayumi Ozaki - (OZ 04/24/13) by SenorLARIATO
04. Ayumi Kurihara vs Mayumi Ozaki - (OZ 04/24/13) by SenorLARIATO
Song:Mama Used To Say
Album:The Best Of Junior
The classic R & B hit Mama Used To Say led to an 80s revival of British soul. It was also the biggest hit for singer songwriter Norman "Junior' Giscombe. He was born June 6, 1957 in London, England. He was inspired by the Philly Soul of Thom Bell to become a musician. In 1980 he was a backup singer for the British soul group Linx. That group's biggest hit was Intuition in 1981. Linx keyboard player Bob Carter liked Junior and they started writing together. An independent release of the single Hot Up & Heated led to a contract with PolyGram's Phonogram label in England and Mercury in the US. Mama Used To Say was Junior's first single in 1982 and it reached #2 on the R & B Singles chart and #30 on the Billboard Hot 100. Today it is considered a soul classic and Mama Used To Say was recently covered by Beverley Knight on her 2011 tribute CD Soul UK. It also led to the success of British soul artists like Billy Ocean and Sade. Junior had some other hits like Too Late and his 1987 duet with Kim Wilde Another Step (Closer To You). You can get all his hits on this comp. Junior records occasionally. In 1999, he re-recorded all his hits for K-Tel. But he is mostly behind the scenes writing songs for others. He is also a DJ for internet radio station Solar Radio. His CD Prisoner Of Hope was released on his own label Nov. 2011. Here's the video for Mama Used To Say by Junior.
Wednesday, June 12, 2013
Song:Story Of My Life
Social Distortion started out as a late 70s punk band. But they are probably best remembered for early 90s recordings like Story Of My Life, Ball and Chain and their cover of Johnny Cash's Ring Of Fire. The band is from Fullerton, CA in Orange County. Lead singer and main songwriter Mike Ness formed Social Distortion in 1978 with bassist Dennis Danell who he knew in high school. The band had a revolving door of members over the next couple of years. Bassist John Maurer and drummer Christopher Reece both joined in 1984 and that was Social Distortion's lineup for the next ten years. The band's progress was delayed by Mike Ness's heroin addiction. In the mid-80s he spent time in rehab and jail. Ness successfully kicked his heroin addiction in 1985 and was in the band Easter for two years. Social Distortion reformed in 1988 and their album Prison Bound earned them a contract with Epic Records. Their major label debut Social Distortion was released in 1990 and was produced by recording engineer turned producer Dave Jerden. With college radio hits like Story Of My Life, Ball and Chain and Ring Of Fire, Social Distortion broke through to a larger audience. Their music now was a mix of punk and country known as Cowpunk. Their 1992 CD Somewhere Between Heaven and Hell also did well. Christopher Reece left in 1994 and they had some difficulty replacing him and eventually settled on former Danzig drummer Chuck Biscuits. After the release of their 1996 CD White Light, White Heat, White Trash, Social Distortion left Epic and released a live CD in 1997. This comp is a good intro to their music. Mike Ness recorded two solo CDs. Dennis Danell died of a brain aneurysm on Feb. 29, 2000 at age 38. Ness continues to lead Social Distortion today. Their latest CD was released in 2011 and they are currently working on a new CD. Here's the video for Story Of My life by Social Distortion.
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Song:Worried Man Blues
Album:Can The Circle Be Unbroken
Today when most fans think of The Carter Family, they think of June Carter Cash who married Johnny Cash and sang with her sisters. But The Original Carter Family as they are billed on this CD were pioneers of bluegrass and country music and wrote many country music standards like Worried Man Blues. The leader of this group was Alvin Pleasant Delaney Carter, known as A.P. or Doc. He was born Dec. 15, 1891 in Maces Springs, VA. He married Sara Dougherty in 1915. They formed The Carter Family with sister in law Maybelle Carter and first recorded for RCA Victor in 1927. Along with Jimmie Rodgers, The Carter Family were the first successful country music stars. They were touring nationally until the 1929 stock market crash. They still recorded during The Great Depression of the 30s but were financially unable to tour. And A.P. and Sara were having marriage problems and they divorced in 1939. But the group continued. Worried Man Blues is one of many country music standards written by A.P. Carter and this Sony budget CD consists of recordings they did for Okeh Records in 1935. By 1939 The Carter Family had their own radio show in Texas and several Carter children joined the group but they weren't on The Carter Family recordings. In 1943, Sara Carter retired and moved to California with her new husband and A.P. Carter moved back to Virginia and owned a general store. Maybelle Carter formed a new group with daughters Helen, June and Anita and that's the Carter Family group a lot of fans are familiar with. They were usually billed as Mother Maybelle and the Carter Sisters. A.P. and Sara reformed The Carter Family in 1952 with their children but it wasn't successful and they disbanded in 1956. A.P. Carter died on Nov. 7, 1960 at age 68 and The Carter Family was inducted into The Country Music Hall Of Fame in 1970. John Carter Cash currently leads Carter Family III. So The Carter Family legacy continues. Here's a video of Worried Man Blues by The Original Carter Family.
Monday, June 10, 2013
Song:Staten Island Groove
Album:The Best Of Down To The Bone
There is a long history of British R & B and funk from bands like The Brand New Heavies. Down To The Bone is in this tradition. But they are odd because Down To The Bone founder, leader and composer Stuart Wade doesn't play in the band. Wade is a DJ and he doesn't play any instruments. And the way he writes songs is he hums a melody and the musicians execute it. He started Down To The Bone in 1996 and when Staten Island Groove became a hit, he decided to record the 1997 album From Manhattan To Staten. The album reached #2 on the Jazz Album chart. Since then Wade has recorded as Down To The Bone for Atlantic, Verve, Narada and his latest CD The Main Ingredients is on Trippin 'n Rhythm. This comp from Narada is a good intro to their music. Several jazz funk legends like Reuben Wilson, Jeremy Steig, Brian Auger and Roy Ayers have appeared on Down To The Bone CDs along with singers Flora Purim, N'Dambi and Hil St. Soul. Wade hires different musicians to play in Down To The Bone for North America and England. That's very unusual but I guess one should remember that Wade doesn't play in the band. Funk fans will enjoy them regardless. Here's Down To The Bone performing Staten Island Groove in Chicago 2010.
Sunday, June 09, 2013
Song:If I Didn't Have You
Album:The Music Of Randy Newman
Jazz singer Roseanna Vitro emerged from the Houston jazz scene of the 70s and has done well recording as a solo artist since the 80s. If I Didn't Have You is from her latest CD The Music of Randy Newman, her tribute to one of the all time great songwriters. She was born Feb. 28, 1951 in Hot Springs, AR. Her father owned a local nightclub so Roseanna was interested in music at an early age. She moved to Houston in the 70s and sang frequently with tenor sax great Arnett Cobb. She also sang with visiting jazz musicians like Bill Evans, Oscar Peterson and Tommy Flanagan. Roseanna moved to New York in 1978 and toured with Lionel Hampton. She also worked frequently with Kenny Werner. She first recorded as a solo artist for a couple of small labels in 1985. Her 1993 CD Softly on Concord was her major label debut. She usually records with a small band. On that CD, the band was led by pianist Fred Hersch. Since then Roseanna has recorded for Telarc, Challenge and Half Note. The Music Of Randy Newman is her first CD on Motema Music and was released in 2011. The band is led by former Sonny Rollins pianist Mark Soskin with violinist Sara Caswell, bassist Dean Johnson and drummer Tim Horner. If I Didn't Have You is from the 2001 film Monsters Inc. and won Newman his first Best Original Song Oscar. This CD was nominated for a Best Vocal Album Grammy and Newman praised it as well. So Randy Newman fans should check it out. Rosanna Vitro is currently on the faculty of New Jersey City University. She is currently working on her next CD which will be a tribute to big band leader Clare Fischer. Here's Roseanna Vitro performing If I Didn't Have You with Mark Soskin, Sara Caswell, Dean Johnson and Tim Horner at Dizzy's Coca Cola at Lincoln Center in New York City June 13, 2011.
Saturday, June 08, 2013
Song:In The Mood
Glenn Miller was one of the most popular artists of the Big Band Era of the early 40s and In The Mood was his signature song. After Miller went missing in action in 1944, he became even more popular after his death. He was born Mar. 1, 1904 in Clarinda, IA and grew up in North Platte, NE. He was interested in music at an early age and played trombone in local bands as a teen. By 1926, Miller moved to Los Angeles and played in bands led by Ben Pollock and Victor Young. Young's band got him into the Los Angeles studio scene and for the next few years, Miller was a session musician playing with Tommy Dorsey, Benny Goodman and Joe Venuti. He was an arranger and composer with The Dorsey Brothers in the mid-30s and then he worked for Ray Noble. This led to Miller forming his own band in 1937. He wasn't successful at first but his hiring of Wilbur Schwartz to play lead clarinet gave Miller a distinctive sound that led to a 1938 contract with RCA's Bluebird label. Miller's first really big hit was Tuxedo Junction which topped the charts for eight weeks in 1939. In The Mood topped the charts for 13 weeks. In The Mood was based on the 1930 Wingy Manone song Tar Paper Stomp. But he never copyrighted the song. Sax player Joe Garland wrote In The Mood and it was recorded by Edgar Hayes in 1938. After Artie Shaw turned down the song, Garland sold it to Miller and Miller arranged it with his pianist John Chalmers McGregor and Eddie Durham. Miller's other really big hit was Chatanoooga Choo Choo. During this time, Miller had a regular radio show on CBS. And he appeared in the 1941 film Sun Valley Serenade and the 1942 film Orchestra Wives. At the height of his fame in 1942, Miller became a Captain in the Army Air Force so he could lead the Army Air Force Band. He was praised for his patriotism. On Dec. 15, 1944, Miller was flying to Paris to perform for soldiers when the plane went down over the English Channel. Nothing was ever found and Miller was dead at age 40. For several years, Tex Benecke led the Glenn Miller band. This budget comp is a good intro to Miller's music. The film The Glenn Miller Story starring James Stewart was released in 1953. Like Tommy Dorsey, Glenn Miller started as a jazz musician but realized that most people didn't want to listen to real jazz. And understanding that is what made Miller a success though jazz purists don't think much of him. There have always been mixed feelings about Miller. Here's Glenn Miller performing In The Mood in the 1941 film Sun Valley Serenade. The film's stars Sonia Henie and John Payne appear in the clip.
Friday, June 07, 2013
|VV Mei, Lorena Klijn|
Album:Wynton Marsalis & Eric Clapton Play The Blues: Live From Jazz At Lincoln Center
Guys as legendary as Wynton Marsalis and Eric Clapton can play with anyone they want and do anything they want. So it's not that surprising that they would decide to play together. Marsalis' duet album with Willie Nelson was very successful and Clapton's album with B.B. King was a big seller. Clapton had been working a lot with his old buddy Steve Winwood and he recorded an album with J.J. Cale in 2006. Marsalis recorded an album with Willie Nelson in 2008. For his 2010 CD Clapton, he recorded a lot of old songs in a traditional jazz style with members of the Preservation Hall Jazz Band. Wynton Marsalis played trumpet on How Deep Is The Ocean. From there, Marsalis got the idea to do a series of concerts with Clapton at Lincoln Center in New York City. The concept was for Clapton to select the songs and Marsalis would arrange them in a 20s jazz style based on King Oliver. For the most part, Clapton chose songs from the 20s with the exception of Layla. Clapton said he thought of Layla but thought it would be presumptuous to suggest it. So bassist Carlos Henriquez suggested it. Other musicians include Chris Crenshaw on trombone, Victor Goines on clarinet, Ali Jackson Jr. on drums, Dan Nimmer on piano, Marcus Printup on trumpet, Chris Stainton on keyboards and Don Vappie on banjo. And Taj Mahal appears on the final two songs. The CD was released on Clapton's label Warner Bros. and there is also a live DVD. It's certainly interesting to hear Layla performed in this style. And Clapton is very deferential to the jazz musicians. I guess he doesn't feel he deserves to be in the same room with great jazz musicians. But he does deserve to be there. Here's Wynton Marsalis & Eric Clapton performing Layla from the DVD recorded at Lincoln Center.
Thursday, June 06, 2013
Song:The Look Of Love
Sergio Mendes was the biggest selling Brazilian recording artist of the late 60s. The Look Of Love was his biggest hit after he performed it on the 1968 Academy Awards broadcast. He also made a major comeback in the 80s. He was born Feb. 11, 1941 in Niteroi, Brazil and studied classical music as a child. He got into Bossa Nova as a teen and started hanging around Antonio Carlos Jobim and Joao Gilberto. He also met visiting jazz musicians like Stan Getz and Dizzy Gillespie. In 1961 he formed his own group Sexteto Bossa Rio and recorded for Philips Records. A 1962 appearance at Birdland in New York led to Mendes recording with Cannonball Adderley and a contract with Capitol Records. Mendes moved to the US in 1964. His early recordings went nowhere. Mendes signed with A & M Records in 1966 and formed Brasil '66. The original lineup was Lani Hall and Bibi Vogel on vocals, Bob Matthews on bass, Jose Soares on percussion, Joao Palma on drums and John Pisano on guitar. After their cover of the Jorge Ben song Mas Que Nada charted in 1966, Janis Hansen replaced Bibi Vogel for the 1968 album Look Around. She sings lead on The Look Of Love. The Look Of Love was written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David and sung by Dusty Springfield in the 1967 film Casino Royale. After Mendes performed The Look Of Love on the 1968 Academy Awards broadcast, his version reached #4 on the Billboard Hot 100. Janis Hansen had already left Brasil '66 to form the similar group The Carnival with Jose Soares. They split up after one album and Janis sang on Ford Commercials. Mendes' next single was a cover of The Beatles' The Fool On the Hill and it reached #6. This budget comp covers his 60s recordings. Mendes went into a decline in the 70s after Lani Hall left to marry Herb Alpert in 1974. Mendes moved to Bell Records. They became Arista in 1975. Mendes also recorded for Elektra. In 1983, he returned to A & M and had a top five hit with Never Gonna Let You Go with vocals by Joe Pizzulo and Leza Miller. He also reunited with Lani Hall for the theme of the 1983 film Never Say Never Again. Mendes currently records for Concord Records. His most recent CD was released in 2010. Sergio Mendes still tours and deserves some credit for popularizing Brazilian music in the 60s. Here's Sergio Mendes performing The Look Of Love in 1988.