In Africa, music is not an art form as much as it is a means of communication.
A Negro has got no name. Quite often, the words of the song are meaningless.
A Negro has got no name We are wearing the name of our master
Tidbits, Random Thoughts,Trivial Pursuits (30 second "brain dump")
My apologies to anyone that I haven't responded to in the past week or so. My cousin Vernon Wright of Los Angeles passed away last week at the age of 54 and we buried him over the weekend. Vern grew up with Mike and I in New York in the 60's & 70's. That's him in the on the right at a LA Soul-Patrol Event with Dre' Hines of the LA Funk band Rio Soul.
Some of you may know Vern as a result of Soul-Patrol. He served as Soul-Patrol's West Coast Coordinator during the early 2000's. Some of you may know him from being a popular Los Angeles Club DJ during the 80's & 90's. Some of you may know him from his days as a Radio DJ in Delaware in the 1980's. Or some of you may know him from just being a "regular brotha" in the Brooklyn and/or Los Angeles areas. However you knew him, you knew that Vernon Wright was one of the kindest individuals that you could ever possibly hope to meet in your life.
Vern was a teacher by profession. He had several advanced degrees and taught in the Los Angeles School District, eventually becoming a Principal at several schools. He carried the kindness that he had in his personal life over into his professional life, using that trait to improve the quality of life for thousands of young people in the Los Angeles area.
He left quite a legacy.
We will miss you Vern.
1. MFSB "Love Is The Message" (The Brooklyn National Anthem) - Vern was a great dancer, this was one of his favorites, so I am playing that song right now in his honor. If you have it, put it on as you read.
2. RIP FRANK REED (Chi-Lites) - Some of you are probably saying, "Whose that?" Well if you have seen the Chi-Lites perform live over the past 15 years or so, you know exactly who Frank Reed is, although you may not know his name. Frank Reed "replaced" Eugene Record as the lead singer of the Chi-Lites. Frank's voice was a dead ringer for Eugene Record's voice which is probably the reason why you may not have taken notice. Frank passed away last week and I will miss him. He was one of those "strong silent types" who let his stage performances do the talking. Frank was one heck of a nice guy and he was much more than just a fantastic lead singer. He was also quite an artist. For example he did the graphical illustration of the Chi-Lites that you see below. Frank is second from the left.
3. GET WELL SOON MARSHALL THOMPSON (Chi-Lites) - As many of you no doubt have heard, the last remaining ORIGINAL member of the Chi-Lites, Marshall Thompson suffered a "minor" stroke last week. This occurred on the cruise ship that was hosting the Soul Train Cruise in the Caribbean. I am told that luckily the boat was docked at the time and Marshall was rushed to the hospital on shore ASAP. I am told that he is now back in Chicago recovering.
4. ANGEL RISSOFF LIVE - This is a rare treat for those of you who dig REAL SOUL MUSIC! March 14th, 10:30pm, Angel Rissoff @ Pete's Saloon (http://www.petessaloon.com) in Elmsford, New York.
5. N-WORD & NFL - Somehow I manage to make it thru each and every day without having a need to use that word. I'm glad that the NFL has finally realized that there is no reason why it shouldn't penalize its employees who use that word in their workplace (the football field.)
6. TEDDY PENDEGRASS and ETTA JAMES TRIBUTE (PHILLY) - Our friends at Remarkentertainment.net (http://www.remarkentertainment.net/music-tribute-tribute-shows-philadelphia-pa.html) a great series of R&B Tribute shows in Philadelphia at Chateau Caterers and this is the first one. Go to the link above to buy tickets online or call (877) 661-6748 to make reservations
7. SHOULD THE USA INVADE UKRAINE? - I'm not sure why this is a question in the news. First off we have a terrible record when it comes to invading other countries (Vietnam, Bay of Pigs/Cuba, Iraq, Afghanistan, etc.) Second why is anyone surprised that Russia would make a move when it feels that it's key warm water port (Remember the Crimean War?) is threatened. Any student of 11th grade World History could have predicted the outcome. As far as the United States taking action is concerned, consider if the script was flipped. Imagine if the Puerto Ricans, the Native Americans, the Hawaiians, etc. decided that "Manifest Destiny" was a load of BS and decided to take back some of their former territory, declare their own sovereign nation & right to "self-determination." There would be many countries around the world that would be supportive, perhaps even giving money in addition to moral support. Nevertheless, "you can bet your last money honey," that the US Government led by Barrack Obama would send in troops to quell such an uprising and "restore order." And you can bet your bottom dollar, that no matter how outraged the rest of the world might be, not a single country is going to send in any military personnel to invade and assist the Puerto Ricans, the Native Americans, the Hawaiians, etc. in fighting against the US Government. (in other words, its none of our damn business)
8. I SAY ALL OF THAT TO SAY THIS - Why did Secretary of State Kerry just give the Ukrainian government 1 billion dollars today? If the Obama Administration has 1 billion dollars just lying around why couldn't that money have been used to help out the long term unemployed or to restore some of the food stamp cuts or to help prevent some folks from becoming homeless or maybe rebuild a few roads & bridges (or something at least in the United States?) How about taking that 1 billion and putting it into music education in public schools? Instead we have somehow found 1 billion to give to the Ukrainians, despite the federal deficit? Hell, I'd rather see Obama give that 1 billion dollars to "Gov. Fatboy" to spend any way he wants to (oops didn't he already do that?) Maybe the damn Tea Baggers are right about Obama?
9. GLOBAL NOIZE @ The BERKS JAZZFEST on 3/29/2014 - I know that a few of yall thought that I just went thru a whole bunch of "global noise." However if you really want to dig on the REAL GLOBAL NOIZE, then come on out to the Berks Jazzfest in Reading PA. I'll be the emcee for the show. It's Global Noize performing their award winning album LIVE! Sly Reimagined: The Music of Sly & The Family Stone featuring Jason Miles, Nona Hendryx, Maysa, Karen Briggs, Andy Snitzer, Alex Bugnon, Falu, Maya Azucena, Jay Rodriguez, Nick Moroch, Amanda Ruzza, Gene Lake, Ian Cook.
10. JOHN LEE HOOKER - is still who I wanna be like whenever I grow up. (boom, boom, boom, boom)
Chi-Lites - How Come People Don't Wanna Buy New Music In 2014? (it's the replay button)
There are a whole lot of very smart people in the music industry trying to figure out the answer to this question. Well there are several....However probably the most important reason is because, the critical mass of music fans, don't think that the songs are worth the money. (DUH)
Now we could certainly have a fierce discussion about this....In my mind there are absolutely some great songs that are being produced today.
But...Even I as a person who truly is on the hunt for great new songs each and every day, only rarely finds a new song, that I find myself literally hitting the replay button inside of my head, over and over again, for years and years after I first heard it.
-I could be at work -I could be in the car -I could be mowing the lawn -I could be at the DMV -I could be riding my bike -I could just be doing nothing -I could be 6 years old or 60 years old
If it's a great song, and I dig it, I make a lifetime commitment to hitting that replay button inside of my head and replaying that song in my mind over and over again. To me that is the definition of a truly great song!!!
Here is one example of a song that I have made a lifetime commitment to hitting that replay button inside of my head and replaying that song in my mind over and over again. As a matter of fact, I just hit that replay button for it a few moments ago
And I made that commitment...THE VERY FIRST TIME THAT I EVER HEARD IT....LITERALLY WITHIN THE FIRST 30 SECONDS
(and no dj/tastemaker/twitter feed/magazine/tv show/website/blog/etc. had to convince me to do so)
Chi-Lites - Stoned Out Of My Mind
Baby, when I found out you were lyin'
Playin' around and connivin'
Undesired tears I was cryin'
Cause sugar coated lies I was buyin'
I was just a backseat driver in a car of love
Goin' wherever you take me
Don't know why I put up with the pain
Cause nobody else could make me
You got me goin' [Stoned out of my mind]
You got me goin' [Stoned] Hey, hey [Out of my mind]
You got me goin' [Stoned out of my mind]
You got me goin' [Stoned] Hey, hey [Out of my mind]
When you led me to the water I drank it
Man, I drank more than I could hold
When you took my mind and body
You know you wanna take my soul
Where can I run
Where can I hide
Who can I talk to
Tell me what, what can I do
When you got me goin' [Stoned out of my mind]
You got me goin' [Stoned] Hey, hey [Out of my mind]
You got me goin' [Stoned out of my mind]
You got me goin' [Stoned] Hey, hey [Out of my mind]
Hee...you got me goin' [Stoned out of my mind]
You got me goin' [Stoned] Hey, hey [Out of my mind]
Been around with every guy in town [Stoned out of my mind] Funny but I just can't put you down [Stoned out of my mind]
You got me goin' [Stoned out of my mind]
You got me goin' [Stoned out of my mind]
NOTE: When I first heard this song I was broke, I loved it so much, found it so utterly compelling, that I taped it off of AM radio. I listened to that scratchy & distorted "illegal" tape to it that way till I could afford the 59 cents to buy the 45. (old school version of "ripping tracks")
For me there are hundreds of such songs, that i've made a lifetime commitment to hitting that reply button inside of my mind. Here are a few more...
Booker T And The MG's - Green Onions
Laura Nyro - Wind
Dee Dee Warwick - Do It With All Your Heart
Etta James - Something's Got a Hold On Me
Chante Moore - Do For You
Little Sister - Your The One
Fuzz - I Love You For All Seasons
Chantels - The Plea
Alicia Keys - Teenage Love Affair
Five Stairsteps - Don't Waste Your Time
Jimmy Castor Bunch - Supersound
Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears - Sugarfoot
Tony Williams Lifetime - Million Dollar Legs
Earth Wind & Fire - The World's A Masquerade
Sun Ra - Disco 2100
The Rebirth - Walk Talkin' Mizell (Until We Meet Again)
Little Richard - Rip It Up
Dells - Oh What a Night (1969 version)
Les McCann & Eddie Harris - Compared To What
Prince - One Of Your Tears
Billy Stewart - I Do Love You
Chakachas - Jungle Fever
Marlon Saunders - Afro Blew My Mind
Shuggie Otis - XL-30
Miracles - Baby Baby Don't Cry
Brandy - I Wanna Be Down
Wilson Pickett - Ninety-Nine And One-Half (Won't Do)
Joe Tex - Aint Gonna Bump No More With No Big Fat Woman
Edgar Winter Group - Frankenstein
Funkadelic - Music For My Mother
Dramatics - Fell For You
Tower Of Power - Oakland Stroke
Color Me Badd - I Wanna Sex You Up
Brenda and The Tabulations - Right On The Tip Of My Tongue
Ad Libs - The Boy From New York City
DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince - Summer Time
Donny Hathaway - The Ghetto
Harptones - Life Is But A Dream
Bobbi Humphrey - Chicago Damn
Impressions - Gypsy Woman
Rio Soul - The Cure
Graham Central Station - The Jam
Chambers Brothers - Time Has Come Today
Billy Ward & the Dominoes - Sixty-Minute Man
Sly & the Family Stone - Sex Machine
Archie Bell And The Drells - I Can't Stop Dancing
Jr. Walker & The All Stars - Shotgun
Joseph Wooten - Revolution of the Mind
Brighter Shade of Darkness - Love Jones
MFSB - Love Is The Message
Eddie kendricks - Girl You Need A Change Of Mind
Chairmen of the Board - Chairmen of the Board
Blackbyrds - Do It Fluid
Miracles - I Love You Secretly
Gabriela Anders - Wanting
Mary Wells - The One Who Really Loves You
Rickie Lee Jones - Chuck E's in Love
Cornelius Brothers & Sister Rose - Too Late To Turn Back Now
Prince - Let's Go Crazy
Sylvia - Next time that I see you
Sylvia - Sweet stuff
Gil Scott-heron - Lady Day and John Coltrane
JB's - Same Beat
Jimi Hendrix - Pali Gap
Isaac Hayes - Don't Let Go
Al Green - Backup Train
Stylistics - Payback Is A Dog
Brides of Funkenstein - Disco To Go
Ike & Tina Turner - Sexy Ida
Al Green - Can't Get Next To You
War - Sun Oh Son
Crusaders - Double Bubble
Swinging Medallions - Double Shot Of My Babys Love
Sam Cooke - Little Red Rooster
Capitols - Cool Jerk
Brother Jack McDuff - Soulful Drums
Ray Parker Jr - Jamie
Johnnie Taylor - Who's making love
Friends of Distinction - I Really Hope You Do
Chuck Berry - Reelin' & Rockin
Archie Bell And The Drells - Tighten Up
Enchantment - It's You That I Need
Dusty Springfield - Wishin' And Hopin'
Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings - Better Things
The Supremes - Automatically Sunshine
Santana - Jungle Strut
Bohannon - Run It On Down Mr. D.J
Soul Survivors - Expressway To Your Heart
Mandrill - Hang Loose
Flamingos - I Only Have Eyes For You
Donna Summer - Spring Affair
Fabulous Thunderbirds - Gotta Have Some Just Got Some
Spinners - It's A Shame
Rascals - I Ain't Gonna Eat Out My Heart Anymore
Honeycone - Want Ads
Beatles - I Saw Her Standing There
Cymande - Bra
Jackie Wilson - Doggin' Around
Eric B & Rakim - I Know You Got Soul
Moonglows - We Go Together
Kool & The Gang - Kool & The Gang
Fatback Band - I Like Girls
Slave/Steve Arrington - Just A Touch of Love
Temprees - Love's Maze
Billie Holiday - Strange Fruit
Pat Cooley - Hold Still
The Shirelles - Foolish Little Girl
Barry White - Satin Soul
First Choice - Let No Man Put Asunder
Dramatics - Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get
Manhattans - Follow Your Heart
Quincy Jones - Killer Joe
Ocapellos - The Stars
Foxy - Get Off
Bo Diddley - I'm A Man
Chip Shelton - Quiet Storm
Moments - Girls
Roy Ayers - Everybody Loves The Sunshine
Kid Creole and the Coconuts - Stool Pigeon
Fred Wesley & the JB's _ You Can Have Watergate But Gimme Some Bucks And I'll Be Straight
Billy Preston - My Sweet Lord
Delfonics - Break Your Promise
Marvin Gaye - You're the Man
Elenor Grant - Come Back
Funkadelic - Cosmic Slop
Grover Washington Jr - Passion Flower
Mary Jane Girls - All Night Long
Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble - I'm Leaving You (Commit a Crime)
Temptations - I Want a Love I Can See
James Brown - Escapism (album version)
Queen Latifah - Hello Stranger
The Miracles - Do It Baby
Bobby Lewis - Tossin' And Turnin
Prince - Calhoun Square
Dr. John - Right Place Wrong Time
April Hill - Manipulation
Buddy Miles - Down By The River (live version)
Little Walter - My Babe
Sonnyboy - Like Collard Greens
Mable John _ Your Good Thing (Is About To End)
Manu Dubango - Soul Makossa
Emotions - So I Can Love You
Rufus Thomas - The Breakdown
Nina Simone - Mississippi Goddam
Solange Knowles - 6 O'Clock Blues
Dells - Walk on By
Chic - Le Freak
Rose Royce - Wishing On A Star
Jimi Hendrix - South Saturn delta
Young-Holt Unlimited - Soulful Strut
Rotary Connection - I Am the Black Gold of the Sun
Gerald Alston - A Change is Gonna Come
Five Stairsteps - Danger She's a Stranger
Teeny Tucker - Hound Dog
Ohio Players - Walt's First Trip
The Revalations (Featuring Tre Williams) - Everybody Knows
Brenda Holloway - You've changed me
Johnny Guitar Watson - Ain't That a Bitch
Miles Davis - Black Satin
Stylistics - Peek-A-Boo
Global Noize - Spin Cycle
Timmy Thomas - Why Can't We Live Together
Public Enemy - 911 Is a Joke
Shirley Marshall - How Could This Be
Spaniels - Goodnite Sweetheart Goodnite
Donald Byrd - Lanasana's Priestess
Sly & The Family Stone - Thank You For Talkin' To Me Africa
Nightliters - Afro-Strut
Shelley Nicholes Blakbushe - Blak Girls
New Birth - Until It's Time For You To Go
Tommy James & The Shondells - Crystal Blue Persuasion
Bootsy Collins - Stretchin' Out (In a Rubber Band)
Marvelettes - The Hunter Gets Captured By The Game
Return To Forever - Earthjuice :)
That's enough for now....LOL
Bottom line is that I would suggest to you that if you took the sum total of whatever all of these songs + the hundreds of others that I have all set to hit the replay button inside of my mind, you would know a heck of a lot about the nature of an individual called Bob Davis.
What songs do you press the replay button inside of your mind for?
"Bob, you can always tell a hit record. It's a song that you start singing the lyrics to, before the song is over, the very first time that you hear it..."
--Marshall Thompson (Chi-Lites)
Kristy Love Brooks - Gonna Love You (A Barry White Remake)
I just wanted to introduce yall to a fantatstic tribute to the musical legacy of Mr. Barry White and not only is it just in time for Black History Month, but it's appropriate anytime you are in need of that "wine & candlelight 3am groove" that Barry White made so popular. It's by MS. KRISTY LOVE BROOKS and you can check out the video on her site http://kristylovebrooks.com (Bob Davis)
KRISTY LOVE BROOKS releases a classic Barry White song from her album " Songs of Love and Peace. This contemporary version of "GONNA LOVE YOU MORE' (I'm Gonna Love You Just A Little More, Baby) reached the TOP 10 on the Smooth Soul chart in just 3 days. Predictions are that it is destined to be a huge hit and record sales are in order for this song to be the "love song of the holiday season". Kristy Love's version of this Barry White song embodies the essence of love and sensuality. It creates a wholesome mood and has deservingly earned her the title of "The female Barry White".
This is not the first time Kristy Love has topped the charts. "ALL OVER THE WORLD", her first release from "Songs of Love and Peace" has been on the charts for more than sixteen weeks. It reached #4 on the Indies Chart and #8 on the Urban Hip Hop Chart on the Starfleet International DJ Pool. It also reached Top 40 on the Reverbnation Chart. The Remix by Julian Marsh is currently on the Breakout Chart for Dance Music. The ALL OVER THE WORLD video, with Film Director/Music Producer Dave Future, will be released soon.
Also released with this song is Kristy's original song, "I'M YOUR DJ", an up tempo dance/club number herald as "the DJ's anthem". It is quickly becoming a DJ/Club favorite thru pre-release. "Songs of Love and Peace", with 15 songs, including GONNA LOVE YOU MORE and I'M YOUR DJ can be found on iTunes, Amazon, and CD Baby as well as other sites.
Kathleen "Kristy Love" Brooks heals the body, mind and soul with her music. Known as an entertainer extraordinaire, she has performed as a solo vocal artist, actress, and dancer; and with a group. Her special gifts and talents are displayed through her vocal and acting performances in which she brings the gift of love and touches the souls of her audience. She has graced the stages worldwide across the United States to Hong Kong, Singapore, Haiti, Bahamas, Hawaii and more. Her latest album "Songs for Love and Peace" including the single "All Over The World" displays her unique sound and will create a new excitement in the mainstream dance music industry.
Kristy Love has established herself as one of the worlds true "Divas". She is a former RCA recording artist, and she has released several groundbreaking independent albums including: For Lovers Only, Kristy's Classics Vol. 1, and a children's album titled With a Child's Heart. Her CD "Giving You Love" received rave reviews overseas in Britain and the United Kingdom. She performs her solo act with tributes to the original "Divas" including: Roberta Flack, the Motown Divas, Aretha Franklin, Gladys Knight, Whitney Houston, Yolanda Adams and more. She creates a variety of moods and tempos from mainstream dance, standards, and jazz to contemporary R&B and music from the 50's.
During her career on stage she has starred in the "Jimi Hendrix Story" on Broadway and has been casted in several major motion pictures including: Lean On Me, Cotton Club, Malcolm X, Crooklyn, Fly By Night, Coming To America, Nightfall in Manhattan, and Ransom.
From 1998 - 2006, Kristy Love performed as a member of "The Platters" at the Sahara Hotel in Las Vegas. She first joined the original company under manager Buck Ram, who was responsible for casting the group's members.
In addition to her extensive performance history, Kristy Love has a Doctorate in Music and Theatre and three Masters Degrees. As a producer she has successfully written, and directed three musicals and starred in her own cable TV show "Kristy's Positive Images"; broadcasted in New York and Las Vegas. As an educator, she shares her heart and knowledge by being a part-time instructor at the Art Institute of Las Vegas and the College of Southern Nevada (CSN).
Using her extensive background in drama, music, and humor to inspire, entertain, and educate. Kristy Love travels internationally as a performer and motivational speaker inspiring positive mental attitudes, leadership skills, better relationships through communication, and a strong passion for the arts.
Kristy Love is now available for solo performances with her band for special occasions, conventions, corporate dates and major venues
Promotion Contact: Dean Jackson of Jackson Promotions (718) 776-9820
Press Release: Love Star Enterprises Inc. (702) 612-7022`
Check out more at: http://kristylovebrooks.com
BLACK HISTORY MONTH - IT AINT YOUR PARTY/SH*T OR GET OFF THE POT
I have been reading a lot of commentary criticizing the recent Grammy Awards TV show. Everyone from India Arie to Hip Hop fans, to fans of the Spinners, to fans of the Isley Brothers, etc just-a-complaining about this TV show.
I just don't get it.
IT AINT YOUR PARTY.
YOU DON'T GET TO COMPLAIN ABOUT THE MENU.
You don't like the way the Grammy's operate?
Have your own party. Then you get to decide what's on the menu!
When you have your own party.... Then YOU get to laugh at the people who don't like what YOU decide to put on your menu!
(and yes I got a couple of ideas)
"I wouldn't want to be a member of any club that would have me as a member..." --Groucho Marx
Back in 2010 I made the following posting below regarding Tribute Shows. If it was a trend them, it is an avalanche in 2014.
One of the things that some folks have been whining about this past week were the "tributes" that were done on the 2014 Grammy's TV show.
I say, instead of whining about what others are doing (or not doing) why not do your own? (then you won't have anything to complain about?)
Would that be such a terrible thing?
To actually step forward and accept accountability?
Or is it better to sit back and blame others?
Tough to look in the mirror and accept responsibility for your own lack of involvement isn't it? However that is my challenge to everyone reading this today.
SH*T OR GET OFF THE POT.
HELL IT'S BLACK HISTORY MONTH 2014.
LETS GET STARTED.
Cuz that is exactly what Soul-Patrol is going to do.
Many of the original artists have passed on.
We however aren't going to just let their music die.
We are going to look to become involved proactively with some of the good folks around the country and around the globe who have also made up their minds to not simply whine about the current state of affairs and to organize tribute shows, seminars, movies, plays and other events on the local level that seek to give props to our legacy/culture with an eye towards insuring it's future.
There are people I know who are already doing this.
I plan to get more involved with more of them.
There are lots that I don't currently know about.
My plan is to reach out and develop some working relationships with them.
Doesn't matter to me if they are dong, Jazz, Blues, Pop, Soul, Funk, Rock n' Roll, Rap or whatever.
What's your plan?
You don't have one?
Well if you are interested in this.
Let me know and maybe I can help you to put something together?
Or maybe you can connect me with someone in your local area who is doing "tributes" that I don't know about?
Either way, my feeling is that the time is long past to become proactive. So I am not going to sit on the sidelines anymore. And I am certainly not going to criticize the way that someone else chose to organize their TV show. (To me that is just plain stupid!)
LET ME KNOW IF SOME INDIVIDUAL OR ORGANIZATION IS DOING TRIBUTES IN YOUR AREA. HOOK ME UP WITH THEM. HOOK THEM UP WITH ME.
IF YOU HAVE SOME IDEAS, LET ME KNOW.
And I think that Black History Month is the absolute perfect time for me to start down this road!
Thanks in advance...
Sent: Tuesday, September 21, 2010 9:14 AM
Subject: Re: Soul-Patrol: A Trend To Watch - Tribute Shows????
I fully realize that many of you hate the notion of "tribute show" in a similar manner that you hate the notion of "compilation albums." That is because you may feel that anything less than the original configuration of the music/artist is less than satisfying.
Nevertheless the much maligned "tribute show" seem to be one of the hottest trends emerging in the "new paradigm," and it seems to be generating big business for promoters at live venues all over the country. I see it happening at venues all over the country and seems to be getting bigger and bigger with each passing year. As I mentioned last week, I have recently been to quite a few "tribute shows" myself. Over the past year I have seen excellent tributes to specific artists like Michael Jackson, Barry White, Sly & the Family Stone, Teddy P, Curtis Mayfield, Jerry Butler, Jimi Hendrix, P-Funk, etc. I have also seen excellent genre specific types of tributes to things like Doo Wop, Woodstock, 70's Slow jams, 50's/60's Rock n' Roll, Motown, 70's Funk, and more...
Here are a few questions...
--Why do you suppose that this trend seems to be growing more and more?
--What is the likelihood that you would attend a show like this?
--What is the likelihood that you would purchase a recording or video performance of an event like this?
--Do you feel that this trend helps or hurts the continuing efforts of the original artists who are still alive & available to perform?
--Do you feel that this trend is "creepy" and you are satisfied with listening/watching the original recordings/videos of this music and moving on?
SUPER BOWL NOTES:
1. Great Mash up at halftime w/Bruno Mars & RHCP.
2. Great Tributes to Jackie Wilson, James Brown, Isley Bros, New Edition, Jackson Five & others by Bruno Mars and his group.
2. I loved the Cheerios commercial.
3. Congrads to homeboy Russell Wilson!
Nice way for the NFL to help kick off Black History Month!!!
Bob Davis - CEO Soul-Patrol
1636-44 Route 38 #310
Lumberton, NJ 08048
RIP - Pate Seeger (from Martha Redbone)
American folk singer and activist Pete Seeger (left) adopted and helped popularize "We Shall Overcome" by teaching the song at rallies and protests. Here he sings with activists in Greenwood, Miss., in 1963.
Remember back in the day, when we used to dig artists, not just for their music alone, but also for what they stood for? And when they said that they stood for something, we knew they meant it, We knew they meant it because we could see them "walking the walk and not just talking the talk."
Martha Redbone is one of my favorite artists today, for exactly that reason. Below is a piece that she wrote about Pete Seeger.
Pete Seeger's songs have touched so many lives for decades, through generations, summer camps as a kid, benefit concerts as a musician, causes, marches, children. Generous in spirit and kindness, thoughtful and brilliant, he was all these things and more. Pete Seeger was a true advocate for humanity. He leaves us with more than a fine example of taking responsibility for each other in our communities and furthermore, the world. He left big shoes for us to fill, because he never meant for only one man to fill them, he lived in the hope that we would fill them together.
I am thankful to have had his music in my life, and also for the opportunity to have met him and shared the stage, thanks to WHYHunger.org and their Artists Against Hunger & Poverty program. We were invited to sing in honor of Pete and his wonderful lifetime dedication to humankind. He had a cold so I made him a cup of herbal tea and we chatted briefly about the song I would sing, Drums, by Peter LaFarge, who was a friend of his. We talked about Peter, Dennis Banks, AIM, Buffy Sainte-Marie, and he was very excited to learn about my music and community work. He had time for everyone that evening, and we took that photo, he put his hand on my shoulder, squeezed and said 'it was an honor to meet and talk with you. So glad to learn you're doing great things. that is really just great."- a beautiful moment I will treasure. RIP Pete Seeger 1919-2014
RIP - Anna Ruby Gordy Gaye
EDITOR'S NOTE: I have never met this lady.
However she has always totally fascinated me.
Someone should do a movie about her.
IMHO her story is an important component in understanding the reality of Motown and hence that story of Black music in Amerika.
Rest in peace Anna Gaye!
Taken from Wikipedia
Anna Ruby Gordy Gaye (née Gordy; December 12, 1921 - January 31, 2014) was an American businesswoman, composer and songwriter. An elder sister of Motown founder Berry Gordy, she co-founded the photo concession at Detroit's Flame Show Bar, with sister Gwen. In 1958, she co-founded the record label Anna Records, alongside Gwen and Billy Davis. Later the wife of Motown recording artist Marvin Gaye, she co-wrote two tunes on Gaye's What's Going On album, and co-wrote hits with Gaye for the Motown group The Originals, including the hit ballad "Baby, I'm for Real". The troubled marriage between Anna and Marvin became the focal point of Gaye's 1978 album Here, My Dear.
Life and career
Anna Ruby Gordy was born in Milledgeville, Georgia, located in Baldwin County, Georgia, the third-eldest of eight children of Berry Gordy Sr. (Berry Gordy II) and Bertha Ida (née Fuller) Gordy. Shortly after her birth, Gordy's father moved up to Detroit from Georgia to seek a better life for his family and to escape any hint of racial tension due to a business deal, later sending for his family after settling down. Gordy, like most of her family, became a successful businesswoman, starting out as a co-operator of the photo concession at Detroit's Flame Show Bar in the early fifties with sister Gwen, later starting her own namesake label, Anna Records with Gwen and Billy Davis in 1958, a year before her brother Berry launched Tamla Records, later to be a subsidiary for Motown.
The label would later be noted as the distributor of Tamla's first national hit record, "Money (That's What I Want)". Other artists such as David Ruffin, Marvin Gaye and Joe Tex also recorded for the label, which lasted until 1961, when Berry Gordy absorbed the label and its artists. Gordy then joined her brother's label and started the Artist Development class, becoming its president. Gordy also joined Motown's staff team as a songwriter. Gordy's biggest success as a songwriter came in the late 1960s and early 1970s, co-writing two major hits for Motown group The Originals, alongside her then-husband Marvin Gaye, including "Baby, I'm for Real" and "The Bells", which also featured Anna's niece Iris, as a co-writer. In 1971, Gordy's husband released the acclaimed What's Going On, which featured two songs co-composed by Gordy, including "Flyin' High (In the Friendly Sky)" and "God Is Love".
The song's musical instrumentation was co-composed by Gordy and was used in another Gaye-Gordy composition, "Just to Keep You Satisfied", which Gaye produced versions by The Monitors and The Originals before overdubbing The Originals' version for his own version on 1973's Let's Get It On. However on Marvin Gaye's version, the singer completely rewrote the lyrics and based the song on the demise of a marriage. Gordy left Motown in 1979 and retired from the music business.
Gordy met Marvin Gaye around 1960. Although seventeen years her junior, Gaye pursued Gordy for months before the two eventually started dating around 1961. After a two-year courtship, they married around June 1963. According to Marvin, it was Anna who convinced Motown to allow Marvin to work on a standards album (The Soulful Moods of Marvin Gaye). Gordy, herself a songwriter, helped to pen the song, "Never Let You Go (Sha-Lu-Bop)", from the album. Inspired by their romance, Gaye penned hit singles based off Anna including "Stubborn Kind of Fellow", "Pride & Joy" and "You're a Wonderful One". Of "Pride and Joy", Gaye said, "When I composed 'Pride and Joy', I was head over heels in love with Anna. I just wrote what I felt about her, and what she did for me. She was my pride and joy."
The marriage between Marvin Gaye and Anna was reportedly turbulent, leading to public spats. During their marriage ceremony, Anna threw one of her heels at Marvin to stop an argument. In order to bring some stability to their home life, Anna and Marvin adopted a little boy who was born on November 17, 1966. The boy was soon named after his adopted father (Marvin Pentz Gaye III). While the boy was said to have been naturally conceived by Anna and Marvin during Motown's public relations stories of the couple, Marvin himself would confirm the adoption in David Ritz's Marvin biography, Divided Soul: The Life of Marvin Gaye. In later years, the identity of the mother was revealed as Denise Gordy. After Marvin's death, 17-year-old Marvin III learned of his mother's identity and of his parents' adoption. Marvin Gaye told Ritz that he was afraid of revealing the truth about the adoption due to facing ridicule for not being able to father a child naturally.
During the mid-1960s, Marvin and Anna lived at a comfortable home outside Outer Drive in Detroit until 1972 when the couple relocated to Hollywood. Shortly after the move, however, the Gayes' marriage fell apart. By 1973, Gaye had moved out of their Hollywood Hills home, filed for legal separation from Anna and settled with a young woman, Janis Hunter, who ironically was seventeen years younger than Marvin. Following the births of their children, Nona and Frankie, an upset Anna Gordy filed for divorce. The ensuing divorce case lasted for a year and a half, with the matters settled by March 1977. The divorce court was extensive due to Gaye's absence in court as Gordy's attorneys discussed matters of payments for spousal support and alimony for their son, the few times Gaye did show up to court, he would leave angered enough to compose music. To settle Gaye's financial difficulties in the divorce settlement, Gaye's attorney Curtis Shaw worked out a deal in which Gordy would be paid off from the royalties of Gaye's next album.
The resulting album, Here, My Dear, gave audiences a view of the marriage through Marvin's point of view. Released in December 1978, Gordy heard the album and threatened to sue Marvin Gaye for $5 million for invasion of privacy. Nothing came of this threat. Despite the divorce, by the early 1980s, Marvin and Anna had reconciled their friendship and Anna began attending events with Marvin following the release of his Midnight Love album and was present at the Grammy Awards in 1983 when Marvin Gaye won his only two Grammy Awards. When rumors escalated that the exes had considered remarriage, Gaye would tell reporters that he and Anna were happy enough to "remain friends". Gaye's death in 1984 devastated Gordy; later she and Marvin's three children disposed of most of Gaye's ashes near the Pacific Ocean following his cremation after his funeral while Anna herself kept a portion of Marvin's ashes following his funeral. When Gaye was honored with induction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Gordy attended and accepted Gaye's induction to the Hall of Fame on his behalf with Marvin Gaye III.
Gordy made her last public appearance with her brother Berry at a red carpet event where he was honored, in 2008. She died on January 31, 2014 at the age of 92.
The Mighty Hannibal, Funk-Soul Iconoclast, Dead at 74
I know that a few of you got to see The Mighty Hannibal a few years ago in Brooklyn.
A great Funk artist! RIP
From Spin Magazine..
The Mighty Hannibal, Funk-Soul Iconoclast, Dead at 74
Outspoken Atlanta artist born James Shaw was a mentor to many, including Black Lips
January 30 2014, 9:09 PM ET
The Mighty Hannibal has died. According to Norton Records founder Billy Miller, the man born James Timothy Shaw passed away on Thursday, January 30, at the age of 74. The funk-soul singer, songwriter, and producer released precious few album in his time - 1973's Truth, 1998's Who Told You That, and the 2001 Norton compilation Hannibalism - but he was influential among and beloved by his fellow musicians.
His passing seems to have been quite sudden.
"Very, very sad news," wrote Miller on Facebook, sharing a vintage photo of the Atlanta born, raised, and based artist wearing his signature pink turban, a blue tie, and a sharp-looking suit. "Norton Records superstar The Mighty Hannibal has passed away. We do not have the full details. He called Norton HQ this morning and was his usual upbeat self and all seemed fine. This is devastating news. A true legend is gone..."
One of the earliest responses came from the Black Lips, who are on the verge of releasing their seventh album, Underneath the Rainbow. "Very sad news today," one of the Atlanta flower-punks wrote on their Facebook page. "My dear friend, mentor and fellow Leo, The Mighty Hannibal has passed away. Gonna miss you buddy." In 2007, the Black Lips backed the Mighty Hannibal at what was billed as his "first southern show in thirty years."
At that same show, a city official declares January 12 "The Mighty Hannibal Day." Watch below, and also be sure to listen to his "Hymn No. 5," an anti-war classic recorded during the Vietnam War and banned from radio during its day;
Concert Review - THE WOOTEN BROTHERS At the Keswick Theatre - Glenside, PA (12-12-2013)
Review of THE WOOTEN BROTHERS
At the Keswick Theatre - Glenside, PA (12-12-2013)
At 9:00pm, it was time for some W-FUNK (Wooten Funk). "Mr. Hands of Soul" himself Joseph Wooten started the show with Sly & the Family Stone "Dance to the Music", by first bringing out the drummer Roy "Futureman" Wooten (with a drum solo), the guitarist Regi "The Teacher" Wooten (with a guitar solo), the bassist Victor Wooten (with a bass solo), and Joseph himself on organ (with an organ solo)...talk about some funky organ riffing & some nasty lead guitarisms! "If You Want Me to Stay" was nice and featured a little vocal snippet (by Joseph) of P-Funk's "Flashlight" and Third World's "Now That We Found Love". The band even threw down a little bit of "Everyday People" and "Stand".
After the Sly segment, Victor began to talk to the audience and remarked that this is REAL MUSIC -- this is NOT a MP3, this is NOT a sample.
The next song was a Victor original, named "Two Timers" (from the album PALMYSTERY), a song featuring a lot of tempo changes, Joseph's flute synth riffs and Victor's magnificent bass work.
"The Carol of the Bells" (a Christmas song) was actually one of the best performance that I ever witnessed -- this was a FUNKY INSTRUMENTAL JAM with spaced-out synthesizer riffing by Joseph (some INTERGALACTIC shiznit, fo real)! Victor added to the funk stew by playing some LOUD SLAP-BASS, BASS THUMPIN, BASS SPANKING...VERY FAST & FEROCIOUS BASS POPPING, SWINGING THE BASS AROUND & CATCHING IT IN MID-AIR............................(silence)..............uh, sorry 'bout that (I just blacked out for a minute...it happens almost everytime I see the man with 8 hands...NO, make that 12)!!! DAY-UM!!!!! Regi was next with some wicked super-fast, smoldering rhythm guitar riffing (I was watching his hands the whole time and)........................(silence)....................WOW, I knew Regi was talented, but DAY-UM!!!! Regi finished with some wailing guitarisms! Roy followed with the drums of fire. I was actually very impressed by Roy's skills.
Victor took time out to talk about the history of The Wooten Brothers....there were five of them (the four on stage plus saxophonist Rudy Wooten, who passed away 3 years ago). I didn't know it but these guys released an album in 1985 on Arista Records. Producer Kashif worked with them, along with projects for Whitney Houston (her first LP) and Kenny G. Unfortunately, The Wooten Brothers album never took off. It was nice to know that Roy played on Whitney's "You Give Good Love" and that Joseph sang background on "Thinking About You". The band performed a few songs from that album. "Hey Girl" (written by Joseph) was a good R&B cut. The next song was funkier tune with some good stinkin' bass.....WOOO!!! "Baby Doll" (sung by Joseph) was a R&B ballad.
Joseph went into an impression of James Brown..."Keswick, can I count it off? Keswick, can I count it off? One, two, three, four...." It was time for "Sex Machine/Super Bad", some good ole funk with a little medley of "Soul Power", "Get Up, Get Into It, Get Involved", "I Don't Want Nobody to Give Me Nothing (Open Up The Door, I'll Get it Myself)", "I'm a Greedy Man", and "The Little Groove Maker Me".
Joseph had the time hit ONE time on "45"......a LONG wait before the band hit it!
The guys sung a little bit of Philly soul -- "For the Love of Money" (O'Jays), "We Are Family" (Sister Sledge), "If You Don't Know Me By Now (Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes), and "Turn Off The Lights" (Teddy Pendergrass).
The guys went into country territory, playing some fast-tempo country funk, with Regi playing bango guitar...make you wanna say "YEEEEEEEEEEEEE-HAHHHHHHHH!!!" A couple of funky songs later, they performed "John Coltrane", with Victor playing the upright bass (incidentally, the upright bass he had was one of Stanley Clarke's bases)...this was some good jazz with great vocal harmonies by the four brothers! Afterwards, Regi had a solo where he was playing some FAST lead guitar riffs (playing a little bit of Ohio Player's "Love Rollercoaster")--Regi later sung a little bit of "Come on and Go With Me" and "Close The Door" (both by Teddy Pendergrass). They covered Led Zeppelin's "Kashmir" very well, with metal guitar shredding by Regi!
The ending to this madness of a W-FUNK concert was Victor's own "Me and My Bass Guitar/Pretty Little Lady"....nasty bass thumpin' by Victor for sure. The guys threw in a little of "Ladies Night" (Kool & the Gang) and "Thank You (Fallentime Be Mice Elf Agin)". The show was over at 11:00pm.
Now, I know what I want for Christmas -- I want this show on MP3 or CD (better yet, on DVD)!!!! I DON'T WANT NOTHING ELSE BUT THIS SHOW!! DAY-UM!!!!
BIG UP's To Maysa & Ryan Shaw (2014 Grammy Nominiee's)
I think that everyone here knows that I have probably close to zero interest in the Grammy Awards. IMHO the Grammys are simply just another one of the failed & corrupt institutions that is preventing this country from moving forward in the future.
Simply as a matter of personal accomplishment, I need to take a pause for the cause and recognize the accomplishments of two artists who are near & dear to Soul-Patrol.com. In fact they are nominated for recordings that we have featured right here on Soul-Patrol.com
Quite simply these two artists are KEEPING OUR MUSIC ALIVE. And they continue to do so often at great personal sacrifice.
I mean, they could just simply "SELL OUT & DO THE KNEE-GRO RADIO THANG." Hell in Ryan Shaw's case he "does the 45 thang.")
But they dont and yet they still managed to get nominated.
As I have maintained since I started this website, our music clearly has NO FUTURE without EMBRACING ITS PAST.
THATS WHAT MAYSA & RYAN SHAW DO. THEY DO IT AND THEY DO IT GOOD!
(ok.....I'll be quiet now, but please do scroll down and read just a few of the comments we made about the recordings that MAYSA & RYAN SHAW are nominated for, at the time of their respective releases.)
ALBUM REVIEW: MAYSA - BLUE VELVET SOUL
"Blue Velvet Soul" the new release by Maysa Leak is exhilarating! It is soulfully jazzy, smooth, and exciting! Invoking and igniting all kinds of emotions, thrilling, wistfulness, deep into the gut, melodically seducing into a state of musical delightfulness!
Finger poppin, head bobbin, foot stomping!
This is a CD with no bad tracks, each song is its own, skillfully written and delivered with a soul-satisfied punch! Maysa outdid herself, proving that there is still great music being done by great singers who gives their all, to all, a must have CD! It is hard to give top picks, I am smitten, and haunted by the first track "Beautiful Dreamer" it makes me think of special people, my grands, lovers, and close friends. Track 4: "Good Morning Sunrise" is just, so smooth, very jazzy. Track 5: "What Can I Do" has to be the funkiest track on the CD, It starts out a little EWF'ish, then breaks down into a very funky, bluesy, jazzy groove, , two thumbs up for "Blue Velvet Soul! "
Blue Velvet Soul" can be purchased at Amazon, ITunes.
1. Beautiful Dreamer
2. Sophisticated Lover
3. Be There
4. Good Morning Sunrise
5. What Can I do
6. Pouring Rain
7. When Your Soul Answers
8. Put It On Me
9. Inside My Dream
10. When You Touch
11. Quiet Fire
12. I Care
13. This Much
14. Nothing But You
15. Love Me Good
Album Review: Ryan Shaw - Real Love
Twitter Review: @kozmicfunk If your looking for the REAL THANG in music 2012, look no further than: Ryan Shaw - Real Love
There...now go & buy it. You can thank me later. Oh you say that isn't enough of a review? Too short? Need more perspective, than 140 characters can give you?
Well below is the Soul-Patrol.com review, if you need to understand the larger context, past/present/future of where this great new release fits into the paradigm of Black music.
I don't mind telling you that I am doing some serious mult-tasking at the moment:
-- I am watching the movie "JFK" on Cable TV (for about the 20th time)
-- I am in the middle of writing a piece on legendary NYC communicator, Hal Jackson
-- I am listening to the new Ryan Shaw album "Real Love" (for about the 10th time, since November 2011)
-- I am also preparing a new playlist for Nu Soul @ RadioIO.com
By now I am certain that you have heard about Ryan Shaw's latest release: Real Love? It has certainly generated a whole lot of publicity and is being featured all over the place these days. In fact Real Love is already in the top 10 on the iTunes Soul/R&B chart and it's just been released. I've been listening to the album for a good 6 months or so now, and if you are reading this, I strongly suspect that you will like Real Love as much as I do.
I get to review all kinds of albums, from all kinds of musical genres. Everything from doo wop to hip hop to bebop and everything in between. However in 2012 oddly enough I don't get to review very many "Classic Soul" albums, despite the fact that there are lots of them around. Sound like a contradiction? Well maybe...
The contradiction in my mind is that the use of the term "Classic Soul" as a marketing term, is poison. However the use of the names of "Classic Soul Artists" as a descriptor in order to "hype" something is perfectly acceptable. How many artists today do you see labeled as "Sounds like WilsonPickettMarvinGayeAlGreenOtisReddingSamCooke." That apparently is acceptable. Even more acceptable is to evoke the "vibe" of Classic Soul. That's because the "vibe' of Classic Soul is such a powerful undercurrent in our society, that even in 2012 all a President has to do is sing a few words from an Al Green song in order to put an entire nation into a "Classic Soul Groove." Hell in 2009 all a white girl from the UK (Amy Winehouse) had to do was a whole album of "Classic Soul," to win 5 Grammy Awards.
The movie "JFK" of course takes place mostly in the 1960's and the 1960's is when "Classic Soul" ruled. As I am watching the movie many of the events that inspired "Classic Soul" music during the 1960's are depicted. Of course our friend, the late Hal Jackson was the first to play the music of "WilsonPickettMarvinGayeAlGreenOtisReddingSamCooke",
etc. on the radio in NYC during the 1960's.
My personal belief is that Classic Soul is the greatest music ever produced by the United States, despite the fact that it's "chart lifespan" according to Billboard was probably less than 2 decades. Obviously it is the music of James Brown, Aretha Franklin, Prince, Temptations, Isaac Hayes, Whitney Houston, R. Kelly, Barry White, Dells, Smokey Robinson, Michael Jackson, Donna Summer, and more. Not quite so obviously it is also the music of Bruce Springsteen, Madonna, Peter Gabriel, Mick Jagger, the Beatles and more. Our society is so impacted by Classic Soul, that whenever one of the Classic Soul artists passes away (ex: Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Amy Winehouse, James Brown, Donna Summer, etc.) we go into a "national state of mourning," for at least 2 weeks. In some cases, their funerals are even nationally televised, similar to that of a head of state.
I realize that "Classic Soul" has an image that is frozen in time. It makes us think of segregated lunch counters, or perhaps of images of people from the past wearing afos/processes, flashy clothes or those very same people now 40 years older. However the reality of Classic Soul" in 2012 is far more complex than those images. It is actually all of that and more. Hell, just go to any college campus in the United States, poke around for a few hours and you will quickly discover that the most popular nightclub in the campus area is one where students dressed in 60's/70's vintage clothing dance till the wee hours to 1960's & 1970's Classic Soul 45's and that the most popular campus radio show is the one where a hip young DJ with a peach fuzz beard spins a combination of old 45's + brand new "classic soul music" created by garage bands with equally peach fuzz bearded members.
"Classic Soul" is also is one of this country's greatest exports. Music fans all over the world enjoy the timeless quality of it's sound/vibe, a fact that I have documented as a result of doing worldwide internet radio broadcasts and running one of the most popular worldwide music sites for well over a decade.
So why then is the term "Classic Soul" itself so damn "toxic" from a marketing perspective in 2012? I don't know the answer to that question, but I can tell you what at least a part of the solution is pretty obvious to my ears/eyes...
Which brings me to Ryan Shaw & Real Love...
First off, I have to applaud Ryan Shaw and his team (people like Jimmy Bralower, Johnny Gale, Al Kooper, Karen Manno, Robert Randolph, The Soul Survivors & more) for having the guts to produce a true fully formed and fully realized "Classic Soul" album in the year 2012. This my friends isn't anything "neo" or "retro," it is instead the REAL THING. By that I mean, the album has an "analog" (warm) feeling to it, as opposed to a "digital" (cold) feeling to it. In other word, it could be dropped into a 1973 "R&B Radio playlist" (or for that matter a 1973 "Top 40 Radio playlist.")
The album Real Love is a true "Classic Soul," album. It isn't "retro." Not one bit. There is only one "cover" (Beatles - "Yesterday") This album is so good that when I heard a rough cut of the songs back in November of 2010 I immediately said that I would add Evermore, Gone, Gone, Gone, That is Why, Yesterday, and Morning Noon and Night to my playlist.
Listening to the album you can hear clear influences. I can hear influences of the great Classic Soul record labels of the past. I hear Stax, I hear Motown, I hear Chess, I hear Atlantic. I hear the regional styles of Detroit, New York, Memphis, Chicago, East LA, The Carolinas, and more. I hear doo wop, I hear funk, I hear music to drive to the mountains with, I hear music you hear walking down the boardwalk to, I hear music to dance to, I hear music to make love to and I hear the sound of America (in all of its red/blue state permutations.) And yes I do hear the echoes of "WilsonPickettMarvinGayeAlGreenOtisReddingSamCooke."
Clearly the music of Ryan Shaw and Real Love stands on the shoulders of all of this and does so with an un-yielding passion. It doesn't purport to be anything "new" at all. When you listen to it for the first time, it will make you smile in the same way that "comfort food" does when you take that first bite. It is poised to be at the forefront of something huge that is taking place.
The good news here is that this all feels to me like the beginning of something as opposed to the culmination of something. Ryan Shaw is hardly the only artist in 2012 that is looking to the past in order to provide our musical answers for the future. However because you and I are likely to be hearing tracks from this album all summer long in a variety of situations is going to be seen as the leader of this movement. My best advice to you is to pick up on this album in whatever your preferred format is, sit back and enjoy the ride. This is gonna be a whole lotta fun...
GET RYAN SHAW - "REAL LOVE"
PRESS RELEASE: Check Cashing Day - Bobby Watson & The I Have a Dream Project
A few weeks ago, a few of you might recall that I wrote a piece about the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington. As I was writing that piece, I was listening to this then un-released digital album. It was absolutely an inspiration to me.
A fantastic suite of jazz.
More later, but if you want to have a familiar artist in mind that you could make a comparison with, that artist would be Gil Scott-Heron.
Check it out online at:
Listening to it may just inspire you as well....
Check Cashing Day
Bobby Watson/alto sax, Glen North/poet, Hermon Mehari/trumpet, Curtis Lundy/bass, Richard Johnson/piano, Eric Kennedy/drums, Pamela Baskin-Watson/vocals, Horace Washington/flute, Karita Carter, trombone
"Check Cashing Day" is the second self- produced recording on my (Bobby Watson) label, Lafiya Music. The project is a commentary on where we've been, where we are, and where we need to go as a people, as a country, and as a global community. The project is in honor of the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and Dr. Martin Luther King's iconic 'I Have a Dream' speech. However, instead of focusing on the 'I have a dream' part of his speech, which is all too familiar, I chose to concentrate on another very significant part of his speech, the part that symbolizes the reason why over 300,000 people, black and white, were in Washington, D.C. on April 28th, 1963. Dr. King spoke of coming to Washington to cash a 100 year old check, a moral check that the founding fathers wrote into the Declaration of Independence but, to this day, the check keeps coming back marked 'insufficient funds. This, being the year of my 60th birthday, I sadly understand that Martins' dream has not been fully realized and the struggle continues.
"Check Cashing Day" is a concept recording, a play in 15 acts,. musical theatre, if you will. This project introduces a wonderful poet and spoken word artist from Kansas City by the name of Glenn North. I asked Glenn to put some poetry, from his perspective, to several of my compositions, as well as one written by Pamela Baskin-Watson and two written by Curtis Lundy. The result is something more powerful and thought provoking than I could have imagined. It is my hope that this recording provokes positive conversation and continued movement towards Dr. King's Dream so that the 'dream' becomes a reality that we all live everyday.
Review/Commentary: Sandra St. Victor - Oya's Daughter (SSV's Got a Hold on Me)
Over the course of about the past 10 years I have been asked the following question many times in interviews, panels, and in general conversation.
"Bob, who is your favorite female vocalist?" My answer is always the same:
"All-time; Etta James, Right Now; Sandra St Victor..."
And the response is usually; "Who is Sandra St Victor?"
And I say..."She's the MACK DIVA OF BLACK MUSIC."
And usually that is where the conversation will end. It is almost as if people might regard such a title as something to be afraid of....LOL
And that's who "SSV" is!
And if you know her name at all it is likely because you remember that she was the lead female voice of the hit making group called "Family Stand" back in the early 1990's.
But the "MACK DIVA OF BLACK MUSIC" is not anything to be afraid of. Far from it in fact. It is something that will nurture your soul, make your spirit soar and cause you to rethink your own potential of what you can do to not only improve your individual lot in life, but those around you as well.
I first met Sandra St Victor in the late 1990's and have been captivated by her music and her person ever since. At that time she was the "Queen Bee of the NYC Neo Soul Scene"
As a result, we have developed quite a friendship over the years. Long distance for the most part. Nonetheless just as intense as if she & I lived right next door to each other.
It is never a surprise when she writes an intense commentary on something I have written. Sometimes in agreement. Sometimes not.
She will take me to task one moment. And in the next moment seemingly compare me to Langston Hughes. It's that kind of honest relationship that makes you think "round the way girl."
More importantly, Sandra St Victor(SSV) has been continuously releasing music over the course of the past 15 years. And I have listened to all of it. And I have loved most of it. And I have shared most of it. On Soul-Patrol, On the radio, In my car (where I have forced passengers to listen to the music of Sandra St Victor for the past 15 years......LOL
First time I saw her perform live I compared her to Bessie Smith. However in hindsight, I now know just how limiting that description is...
If you listen to her music, you will hear echoes of other artists for sure (Chaka Khan, Betty Davis, Nina Simone, Tina Turner, etc) If you try to classify her music after listening, you walk away thinking; "Funk, Blues, R&B, Hip Hop, Jazz, Gospel, Rock, etc."
(However even those labels do her a dis-service)
Some of Sandra St Victor's songs might be classified as "message songs" and evoke the memory of artists such as Curtis Mayfield, Marvin Gaye, James Brown, Bob Dylan, etc. Clearly Sandra St Victor (SSV) reads the newspapers on a daily basis :)
However that isn't enough either. That's because she's also got some of the most powerful/compelling songs about human relationships laid down over the past 15 years or so. And if you pay attention, you just might find some solace in your own human relationships.
So much like Billy Eckstein's famous quote "If I were white I would have Frank Sinatra's career..."
I will paraphrase Billy Eckstein and update his quote for Sandra St Victor (SSV)... "If she was white yall would think of the MACK DIVA OF BLACK MUSIC, the same way that you think of Carole King, Laura Nyro, Carly Simon, Bonnie Raitt, etc...."
However even that wouldn't be enough. It does Sandra St Victor(SSV) a dis-service.
I say all of this to say that...
Sandra St Victor(SSV) has a new album coming out soon.
I'm listening to it right now!
And yall would do yourselves a dis-service if you didn't take a serious listen to it.
A few months ago Sandra St Victor (SSV) wrote to me and asked me what I thought of her new single "I Prefer?"
I wrote back to her and told her that the song sounded like "tater tots vs. the hash browns w/onions & green peppers that I knew that she could make..."
She fired right back to me and said...
"I'm ready for you Bob Davis, you need to know that I have been in my kitchen cookin and I got some serious hash browns for you...But listen, in my head, I mixed my onions and greens up in there! But I knew you'd think it was too commercial. I'm ready for you! So...Here are a few of thangs NOT MIXED OR MASTERED that I hope you feel me on."
Attached to that email were several hellified songs. I had no response. That's cuz she "did tha do."
As I am listening to my preview of the album, I am pleased to hear those songs that Sandra St Victor (SSV) told me that she had "mixed my onions and greens up in there!"
I'm sitting here smiling. And so will you when you listen :)
Sometimes "mah people" do extraordinary things...
And despite reports to the contrary, In fact they do them often. They do them every day. You see, we have no choice but to do extraordinary things, in order to survive. Sometimes when they do them, the general public gets to hear about them and they come to light. The whole world knows about the accomplishments & innovations of Barrack Obama, Muhammad Ali, Magic Johnson, Fredrick Douglass, Ralph Bunche, Jackie Robinson, Michael Jackson, James Brown, Lena Horne, etc.
However most often, those accomplishments of "mah people" never ever come to light. But they impact the people that they are supposed to impact. Usually that is good enough. But every so often, a "window of opportunity" will open up and it stays open for just a short period of time, for someone who could make a difference far beyond their normal reach. One such "window of opportunity" has opened up for my friend Sandra St Victor (SSV) with her soon to be released new album.
My hope is that when that happens, you will take a moment from your busy schedules to stop for a moment to do yourselves a favor, by taking a peek thru that window for yourself.
And when that moment occurs, I want you to do that for the most selfish of all reasons. Doing so will do YOU a heck of a lot of good.
(I'll write later about the songs themselves)
PRESS RELEASE: Drew Schultz Detroit Benefit Project Continues w/ Eddie Willis of Motown's Funk Brothers
EDITOR'S NOTE: Our friend Drew Schultz is back again.
And he is doing something so against the grain, I gotta give him mad props. He is actually trying to help to fix a real problem. A whole lotta people talk a whole lotta junk about these kind of problems and what should be done, Few if any are willing to put any "skin in the game."
Go ahead and click on these links and tell be this isn't something worth supporting?
Drew Schultz Detroit Benefit Project Continues w/ Eddie Willis of Motown's Funk Brothers
"Kid Motown" Drew Schultz continues Back To Class, Detroit Public School benefit project, with "Take It Slow," a new single featuring Eddie Willis, guitarist from Motown's legendary studio recording band The Funk Brothers
NOW AVAILABLE ON iTunes, Amazon mp3, Spotify, and more
Drew Schultz entered the music industry at the age of 19 performing with legendary Motown group the Four Tops, and appearing on stage with countless iconic soul artists including The Temptations, Aretha Franklin, Martha Reeves, The Dramatics, The Miracles, The Contours, Harold Melvin's Blue Notes, and more. In 2012 he released his debut album, "Back To Class." The record consists of 16 songs written by Schultz, featuring performances by the Four Tops, Dennis Coffey, James Jamerson Jr, Melvin Davis, Spyder Turner, Pat Lewis, Lenny Pickett, and many more. 50% of the profits go towards the music programs of the Detroit Public School System. Schultz now continues the project with the release of "Take It Slow," a follow up single featuring Eddie Willis of Motown's studio band, The Funk Brothers.
The Funk Brothers, with Eddie Willis as one of multiple guitarists, played the instruments on almost every song of Motown's Detroit era, including iconic hits by Diana Ross & The Supremes, Smokey Robinson & The Miracles, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, The Temptations, and the Four Tops. "I met The Funk Brothers when I was still in high school," Schultz recalls. "Uriel Jones, one of their drummers, was a mentor to me. He really helped me through some times when I felt like giving up on playing, and the music that Uriel and Eddie made was always there. The Funk Brothers are literally responsible for the soundtrack of my life." Schultz' band, The Funk Machine, is the backing group on both the original "Back To Class" album and the upcoming single. Drew and The Funk Machine performed in Detroit in July to showcase the project at Don Was' All Star Review for the Concert of Colors, and last December saw the first donation to the Detroit Public Schools Foundation of $1,000. The project was featured in international press including Modern Drummer Magazine, SoulTracks.com, and Big City Rhythm & Blues Magazine, and prompted Susan Whitall of the Detroit News to dub Schultz "Kid Motown."
DETROIT PUBLIC SCHOOLS DONATION VIDEO:
Schultz is the proud product of a public school music program in Shaker Heights, Ohio, which groomed him for all of his following success in the industry. "Shaker's music program was incredible," he says. "The public schools there had it all - concert wind ensembles, jazz bands, small combos, orchestra, musical theater, and a several-hundred member strong marching band. Studying music growing up taught me how to be diligent in practicing. It taught me how to succeed at something I cared about, and it taught me how to handle failures. It taught me how to work in a team, and how to be comfortable out on my own in front of others."
After three years studying jazz performance in Manhattan at New York University, Drew was called to move to Detroit and join the Four Tops as their full time drummer. "It was a dream come true," he says. "I grew up idolizing all of these classic soul artists, and to perform with them was my dream job." However, Schultz still needed to complete his college degree, and in the fall of 2012 he left the road to finish his education. The "Back To Class" idea came about through his love for classic soul music, combined with the need to return to NYU. "I had such a positive experience with the Shaker Music Programs," he says, "I felt like this was a way to produce a passion project with some of my favorite artists while helping to ensure that other kids can have the same experiences I did. I couldn't be prouder to continue the project with Eddie Willis. It means the world to be able to collaborate with someone who has influenced me so deeply, and to do my best to capture the spirit of the music that Eddie, Uriel, and The Funk Brothers gave us."
The single also features Schultz' New York band, The Funk Machine, who played the instruments on the original "Back To Class" CD. The band consists of Jent LaPalm on bass, Emilio Tostado on guitar, John Guari on keys, and Chris Ams on vocals. Delbert Nelson and Brian Asselin are also guests on the song, having toured with The Funk Brothers following the "Standing In The Shadows Of Motown" movie, and working together currently in Delbert & The Commotions.
Drew Schultz can be found at www.DSdrums.com and "Take It Slow" is now available digitally through iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, and more. The original "Back To Class" album is still available both digitally and on CD.
Quickie Album Review: Theodis Ealey - You and I, Together
When I was a teenager growing up in New York, most of the time I listened to the same radio station. I was a loyal WBLS-107.5 listener. Although I would also listen to WWRL-1600 AM, WLIB-1190 AM, WRVR-FM 107.1 and even sometimes WBAI, WNJR outta Newark, occasionally WMCA-570 AM & WABC-770 AM, mostly after around 1971 or so I pretty much tuned in to WBLS-107.5 all of the time.
That's because my very favorite DJ, Frankie "Hollywood" Crocker was on each & every day from 4pm - 8pm. In NYC back in those days, Frankie "Hollywood" Crocker wasn't just the most popular DJ on the radio. He was an institution and kids like me all over the New York area paid very close attention to every word that Frankie Crocker said. We knew that he was also the Program Director for the station and that whenever he said also went for WBLS-107.5 FM as a whole.
At first he said that WBLS stood for "Black Liberation Station." Later he said that WBLS stood for "The Total Black Experience in Sound." Frankie Crocker explained his concept of "The Total Black Experience in Sound," by suggesting that the station was about a whole lot more than "just soul music." Frankie said that as WBLS Program Director it was his responsibility to bring to us the listener, "The Total Black Experience in Sound." That meant that we would hear:
-Both Little Richard & Richard Pryor.
-Both James Brown & James Baldwin.
-Both Jackie Wilson & Jackie Robinson.
-Both Miles Davis & Buddy Miles.
-Both John Lee Hooker and Dr John "The Night Tripper."
-We would hear Dukes, & Counts, Kings (BB) and Queens (Aretha) -We would hear Doo Wop & Funk & Rock & Blues & Soul & Jazz.
And we would hear it "all mixed up," just the way "we" invented it!
So how influential was Frankie Crocker?
We may never know the answer to that question.
However if you have been paying attention to Soul-Patrol for any amount of time, clearly Frankie Crocker's whole "Total Black Experience in Sound," has had a pretty big impact on a certain teenager named Bob Davis.
And that is my long winded way of bringing you back to the subject of this review...
MR. THEODIS EALEY
Yes my friends. Theodis is a Frankie Crocker kinda artist!
I think that if Frankie were still around he would add every song on the album, Theodis Ealey - You and I, Together to the WBLS-107.5 FM playlist. Below is my track-By-Track review of the album...
Theodis Ealey - You and I, Together
1. Theodis, What's Up aka Shut The Puck Up Theodis Ealey
[Stevie Ray Vaughn Style Blues Rock + Richard Pryor Style Comedy]
2. You and I, Together Theodis Ealey & Lacee
[Moments/Sylvia Style East Coast Slow Jam]
3. 634-5789 Theodis Ealey
[Very tasty Southern Fried Wilson Pickett Cover]
4. Love's Guarantee Theodis Ealey
[Moments/Sylvia Style East Coast Slow Jam]
5. Number One Baby Theodis Ealey & Lacee
[Otis Redding/Carla Thomas type duet, with just a taste of Johnnie "Guitar" Watson style guitar playing]
6. Think It Over Theodis Ealey & Lacee
[Jerry Butler/Brenda Lee Edgar type duet, Tyrone Davis style relationship advice, Curtis Mayfield style guitar playing]
7. Slow Grindin' Theodis Ealey
8. The Old Man's Story Theodis Ealey
[These two songs sound like what Black folks would call "country," kinda "Clarence Carterish," featuring blusey harps, twangy guitar playing, spoken word monologues, these are really an artistic multi-genre songs that could easily be played on both Blues or Country radio stations. Or better yet a Blues or Country music jukebox, just to keep em guessin. Let me put it this way, if he were still alive, Elvis might want to cover these two songs. Then what "genre" would you call it?]
9. The Last Time Theodis Ealey
10. Sweet Curvaceous Love Theodis Ealey
[These two songs are the kind of songs that would be "jukebox hits." BTW jukeboxes still exist in the "deepest/darkest" parts of the Black community. Just go to the ghetto at 2pm in the afternoon on a hot summer day, and look for a bar that's open. Usually the door is wide open to create a nice cross-breeze with the open back door, just walk right in and order a drink. Observe the scene closely and you might just see 7-10 older males & females. They are doing some heavy drinking, mostly talking a whole bunch of crap about their jobs, their family & neighborhood gossip. However there is always one couple in the bar that aren't participating in the general conversation. They are having their own private conversation. Eventually one of the two will walk over to the jukebox and play a song. These are the type of song that will be selected and the two (illicit?) lovers will find a dark corner of the bar to do a wild/erotic x-rated grid....]
11. Baby's Got Them Blue Jeans On
[More Curtis Mayfield style guitar, this time combined with Stax style horns]
So when you take it as a whole, this album is a pretty good example of "Total Black Experience in Sound." If you have any interest whatsoever in incorporating what Frankie Crocker would call "Total Black Experience in Sound," or perhaps you are a person who doesn't think that such a concept even exists in 2013, I think that you will be pleasantly surprised if you take a moment, to check out Theodis's website (http://www.theodisealey.com ) ignore the Twitter/Facebook/TMZ world that we are living in for just a few moments.
You will find that despite the recent passing from the scene of some great artists, that...
Theodis Ealey - You and I, Together
Concert Review - Billy Cox: The Last Gypsy
Saturday night at The Hamilton Live in DC the last gypsy from the Band of Gypsy's put on a hell of a show. On the night after the great Bobby Bland passed away, Billy and the band dedicated the Jimi Hendrix blues classic Red House to the blues legend. Billy talked about how he was about to retire when he heard 2 guitarists that helped delay his retirement. One was Dani Robinson. The other was Byron Bordeaux. I had heard about these guitarists but I didn't know that they were both black. Byron looked just like a "freezed dried" Jimi Hendrix. If you were to freeze Jimi when he died and thawed him today you have Byron. He looked just like Jimi would today. Same outfit, similar face. His guitarisms, however, were not quite there. He was excellent between the frets, but there was only one Jimi Hendrix. Still the greatest guitarist to ever pick up a guitar. Cox told several Woodstock stories between songs and talked about that second guitarist who played along side Jimi at Woodstock, Larry Lee. "Jimi always wanted to have a second guitarist to play songs like Dolly Dagger and Freedom" according to Cox. That's how he justified carrying 2 guitarists on this tour. However, we all know that it takes a village to teach our children and it takes at least 2 guitarists to take on Jimi's heroics. Byron played behind his back and with his teeth but Dani was the true guitar hero last night. He was super fast and had a tone that reminded me of Robin Trower meets Albert Collins. The funky drummer was also kicking! Especially on Machine Gun.
The show started off with a roaring interpretation of Jimi's Freedom. The crowd got into it immediately and sang along to it's catchy lyrics. The guitars were , at first, deep in the mix to show off the deep thundering bass of the star of the show Billy Cox. Billy showed why Jimi chose him to play in his Band of Gypsy's after he disbanded the Jimi Hendrix Experience. And it wasn't just because they were friends at the army base in Ft Campbell Ky. Billy can stank up a place. I saw him last year at the Experience Hendrix show in Rockville and he was aiight, had about a three on it. But last night, up close and personal at the intimate Hamilton Live (great acoustics) he showed up and showed out! Even when he released his guitar army later on in the show he was still the star of the show. I was proud of a brotha.
They also performed Dolly Dagger, All Along The Watchtower and (dedicated to Band of Gypsy drummer Buddy Miles) Them Changes. I thought it was interesting that they also played Wilson Pickett's Have Mercy and waxed about how a young Jimi played on the Don Covay original version. Again it was Billy who cranked on this one. That bass was thumping! On Voodoo Chile it was Dani who was the star attraction! He made love to his ax like Jimi would have done. And on Foxey Lady he (Dani) didicated it to his facebook girlfriend who was in the audience of around 200 (very diverse) Band of Gypsy fans.
My favorite of the night was Machine Gun. Although Dani sounded more like Ernie Isley (who used to perform it at live shows) he at times channeled Jimi also. He really showed what he was made of and turned it up to about an 11. He sounded like these guitar heroes but he also started to define what Dani was all about. And your boy Byron was right there also. Stroking like a Garry Shider spanking War Babies. Great performance.
After the show JJ, John and I had a chance to talk to our hero. We took several,pictures and bought Last Gypsy Tee shirts. I asked Billy why Bootsy didn't show up last year at Experience Hendrix. But like when I asked Bootsy himself, I got no answer. I guess I will see Billy again later this year at Experience Hendrix 2013!! Maybe Bootsy will show up???
NEW RELEASE/REVIEW - SLY REIMAGINED-GLOBAL NOISE (BY EARL GREGORY)
EDITOR'S NOTE: If you are in the NYC area, I can't urge you enough to go and check out Global Noize @ Joe's Pub. I have seen them live many times and they always deliver. I am a big fan of their music and I am quite pleased to say that for the second time I am quite honored to have participated in writing liner notes for a Global Noize album.
Of course that puts be in the position of not being able to write a review of the album, so I asked our friend Earl Gregory to take a listen and give us his thoughts. Below is Earl's review:
I was supposed to do this review last week, but it was just too difficult. With Clarence Burke Jr. and Marvin Junior joining the 'Ancestors', I just couldn't wrap my head around much else. The Lead and Signature voices of two groups that had influence and impact on me and my career and the legacy they both left behind, put me in a reflective mode too distracted to offer an honest impression on what is a wonderful project.
"SLY REIMAGINED"-GLOBAL NOIZE
-Family Affair (Groove Vibe Version)
-The Sane Thing
-You Can Make It If You Try
-Thank You For Talkin' To Me Africa
-Family Affair (Falu Mix)
-The Same Thing (Muhuland Drive Mix)
Recently, someone posed the question, "Are Cover songs: Homage or irksome marketing ploy?" My answer is, it depends on the artists and their intentions. Lord KNOWS there have been 'covers' and 'covers of covers' throughout the history of recorded music. Some just 'like' a song and want to do 'too'.
Some like an artist and want to 'follow in their footsteps'. And there are some that want to 'make that money' copying a popular song or recording. In the end, the 'proof' is in the 'hearing' and after having heard other projects by Jason Miles and DJ Logic, and I dare presume what their intent was, they took another look at some of the music of Sly & The Family Stone, and as the title says," Re-Imagined" them.
As usual, Global Noize defies 'labels'. I think it is their idea to 'create' and let 'us' call it what we want to. For sure, there is 'The Funk'. "Rubber Neckin'/Chicken Neckin" Funk. If it don't make you move your head, check your pulse, because in the overall listening you get caught up and stay caught up to the end.
The Track List shows songs we all pretty much know, but they have been 'Re-Imagined'. No real 'surprises'. They didn't try and put 'Whistler's Mother' in a 'Lazy Boy' or 'Mona Lisa' with 'teeth'. They took what was 'there' and enhanced it with excellent musicianship and vocals sitting on top of a 'Funky Foundation'.
I'm looking at this 'Press Release' and there are some notables they called in for various tracks. Should anyone from this project read this and I didn't give you mention 'PLEASE' forgive me!
'In Time' has this beginning with Malika Zarra doing this 'crazy chromatic thing'. Then Nona Hendryx (my 'Bluebell') on the lead. Right from the start, you're 'in'.
There are 'TWO' versions of 'Family Affair'. Both have Ms. Roberta Flack on the lead along with James D Train Williams and is 'Groove Vibe Version). The second is the Falu Mix without 'D Train'. Falu joins Ms. Flack on the vocals of this one. Both seem similar, but minus 'D Train' more attention goes to the 'groove' as Falu does her 'improve' along with it.
There are also TWO versions of 'The Same Thing'; the second being the 'Muhuland Drive Mix'. Both just 'lay there' in 'deep Funk'. You might want to bring in your 'shoulders' on these.
Another familiar voice is Maya Azucena on 'Fun'. She also lends herself to ''You Can Make It If You Try" and "Stand". She is strong but not overpowering to all else that is going on musically.
This aspect seems to be a 'theme' in all these tracks. The lead further enhances the instrumentation and the instrumentation sits nicely under the lead vocals. I guess you can call it 'balance'. You get just enough of everything and not too much of anything. Guess you can call that 'blend'. Then again it is the signature and distinction of Funk. But I digress.
"Thank You For Talkin' To Me Africa", with Global Noize 'regular' Falu brings her world sultry style into this one along with Amy Hanaiali. Don't know who the guys are, but I'm likin' the harmony here that...yet again...sits on an 'easy Funk' groove with some poppin' horns.
"Dreams" is the only tune I wasn't familiar with as Sly's work. Falu is here again. 'This' track, to 'me' is reflective of the kind of music and style I have grown to appreciate with Global Noize; pulsating and airy. It is that 'sound' that defies 'labels' and you are free to 'call it' whatever you 'interpret' it to be.
Another signature of Global Noize is 'the company they keep'. They bring in musicians and vocalists that further enhance the 'images' of music creation they set down as foundation. On this one, to 'me', I think they just raised the bar. Outstanding arrangements, comping with each other within every track giving 'color' to all the songs. Props to the DJs adding appropriate scratches' and 'effects' moving the tracks. In fact, props all the way around for "Sly Reimagined". Just in time for summer. Gotta have this one if you don't get anything else!
'Covers'? Not this one! "Re-'Imagined' ".
R.I.P. Marvin Junior - The Multi-Generational "Voice" of Black Culture
My very first encounter with the Dells was in 1969. I had just heard the song "Oh What a Night" on the radio in NYC. I was listening to the radio in my bedroom and of course I thought the song was off the hook. As the song was just about to end, my father walked in to the room and said:
Mr. Davis: What's That you are listening to?
Young Earthjuice: It's a brand new song.
Mr. Davis: That song isn't new.
Young Earthjuice: Frankie Crocker just said that; "it's the brand new release from the Dells."
Mr. Davis: It may be a new release, but that song is old as dirt. It first came out when I was a teenager and the guy singing it has to be at least my age, if not older.
Sure enough, as I would later learn, via continuous listening to Frankie Crocker, the Dells had indeed originally released the song "Oh What a Night," back in 1955. Frankie said that it had been a hit song and that the Dells were one of the few "doo wop" groups that were still around & kickin. He also said that the Dells lead singer Marvin Junior had co-written and sang on the original 1955 version of the song.
Years later when I met Marvin Junior, I told him that story. He told me that he has heard a variation of that same story many times from many different people. He said that every time he hears it that it made him smile because it means that the Dells are truly "multi-generational."
And that they are. Marvin Junior might just be the single most influential "voice" in the history of Black music. His influence on male singers like Teddy Pendergrass, David Ruffin, Cee Lo Green and others are quite obvious. Other influences are just as powerful, but perhaps not quite so obvious. Take for example of friend Chuck D, front man of the legendary rap group Public Enemy. A few years ago, Chuck D. told me that when he first started, he intentionally set out to sound as much like Marvin Junior as possible. I didn't quite believe him, so I decided to spend an afternoon listening to Public Enemy songs & Dells songs, back to back to back. The vocal similarities are astounding. Chuck really does sound like Marvin. Not exactly, but "almost," in the same kind of way that Teddy P. & David Ruffin did.
So one way we can think about Marvin Junior is that his influence runs from "doo wop to hip hop."
But more important would be to think about and consider, exactly why Marvin would have such a multi-generational influence?
Well I think that is also painfully obvious. Marvin's voice is that of a proud and virile Black man. It is of someone who recognizes the struggle that he faces and faces it head on. It is a voice of teachers & preachers. It is a voice that all men who want to influence others would want to emulate. It is in fact the voice of leadership. Listen carefully to speeches of people like MLK, Jessie Jackson, Louis Farakkahan & others. Listen to the voices of some of your favorite Black politicians, DJ's, actors, etc. Don't many of them sound like they are emulating the voice of Marvin Junior?
All of this may just be too much to think about or to consider, after all wasn't this man just a singer? Or even just a great singer?
Well perhaps you are correct?
Perhaps it is all too complex to think about?
Maybe I should just let it go?
After all, the whole topic of Rhythm & Blues itself is a pretty complex topic, and perhaps it's complexity is best left alone and we should simply focus on the songs?
Marvin Junior wasn't really what you would consider "computer literate."
However he was quite interested in Soul-Patrol.com. He told me that he would have someone print out many of the things I had written, and whenever I would see him, we would have conversations about some of the topics I had written about.
Once backstage Marvin said to me; "Bob one of the reasons that I like you so much is because you understand that Rhythm & Blues is a complex thing."
Of course I knew just where he was going, but I could tell that he wanted to let it all out, so I said to him...
How so Marvin?
Marvin said; "One of the reasons why some Americans prefer Blues over Rhythm and Blues, is because Blues is pretty simple. Blues is easy to play and it's easy to relate to. Blues is straightforward, simple, and reflects a back to a time that is simple and uncomplicated. Rhythm and Blues on the other hand was born first of the complexities of the great migration of Blacks from the south, then the complexities of WW II and the integration movement of the 1950's/1960's. Rhythm and Blues is complex, it's harder to play, harder to interpret, it's complicated and carries with it implications for America that some Americans don't want to deal with."
Of course I smiled and when I did, I thought about all of the people from the major music publications who questioned why the Dells belonged in the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame. They told me that they thought the Dells weren't significant enough, that they hadn't accomplished enough, etc. I could look into their eyes and know what they were really thinking.
They were thinking; "the Dells are nothing but a broken down, bunch of dumb doo wop singers, who in no way shape or form belong in the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame."
They never bothered to get to know Marvin Junior.
And that was their loss.
They just might have missed out on their opportunity to learn something about Rhythm and Blues, but also about the true origins of Rock n Roll, from one of it's masters!
But then again, maybe that is what they were afraid of?
Back to that "leadership thing" for just a moment....
Whenever I was around Marvin and started talking about artists like Smokey Robinson or Lionel Ritchie, Marvin would always say the same thing...
"Bob, what I don't understand is why when these guys decide to go solo, they don't take the rest of the group with them? Seems to me that even as a solo artist, you still need background singers, why not keep the same background singers who made you successful in the first place? After all, these are the people who best know how to maximize your strengths & minimize your weaknesses..."
Now to be perfectly clear, speaking as someone who knows the Dells very well, I can tell you that the Dells don't have a "leader."
They are the shining example of "harmony" on multiple levels, which each member making a valuable contribution to the whole, if often unseen by the general public. Notice I didn't say that they always agree on everything. But they always found a way to make "harmony" out of a disagreement. That's the reason why the Dells have been together for so long, unlike many of their contemporaries.
But Marvin was their lead singer, on most of their songs. And he certainly could have become a "solo artist" had he wanted to. But instead he stands as a shining example of "leadership among equals." And that my friend is something that we can all take inspiration from.
RIP - Marvin Junior
NOTE: Marvin Junior will have private services.
Paula Deen/Culture Bandity/Sonny Corleone/A Teachable Moment?
No doubt you all have seen the furor that has erupted over Paula Deen & her recent testimony in a lawsuit that has been published all over the internet?
My initial reaction when hearing about is was something along the lines of; "Well it doesn't exactly surprise me, she's no different than a whole lot of people in the United States..."
Then I thought about the different ways that Lil Wayne and Emmett Till might react to Paula Deen and her commentary?
Then I saw Black American CBS News commentator Nancy Giles on TV making the following statement: "...and on top of everything else she STOLE all of OUR recipes anyhow"
That's when the light bulb went off over my head.
I thought back to the very first time that I had seen Paula Deen's cooking show on TV. And I remember thinking to myself: "She is making Soul Food acceptable to the mainstream and I'll bet that she is going to make a boatload of money doing so. How come someone Black can't do the same thing?"
Obviously the whole topic of Culture Banditry has been one of the key topics discussed here on Soul-Patrol since it's inception. We have mostly discussed it in relation to the historical exploitation of Black American musical artists. It is a tough issue to discuss in a public forum, simply because it is really easy for it to quickly degenerate into a hurtful & finger pointing discussion regardless of what your take may be on the topic.
Is it about money or is it about race?
Culture Banditry is about economic exploitation.
And much of American History (musical & otherwise) is built upon the reality of that economic exploitation. Culture Banditry is so much a part of the fabric of what some people refer to as "American Exceptionalism," sometimes we don't even think about it when the exploitation is staring us right in front of our faces.
Do you think I am exaggerating?
Ask a Latino how they feel when they drive down the road and pass a "Chi-Chi's" restaurant? I think that you might find that they feel the same way that Black Americans felt when they drove past a "Sambos" restaurant or how a Native American feels when they see the Washington Redskins playing on TV.
You see it is really easy to look at Culture Banditry and think that it is the same thing as racism. But it isn't. It's mostly about money. Culture Banditry doesn't care who gets exploited. It only cares about the money that can be generated. And it cares that the people being exploited don't have the resources to prevent the exploitation from happening.
Oh folks may complain about the exploitation in private.
But they can't stop the exploitation from happening.
For example, just a few weeks ago I was in a restaurant with my family. And I ordered chicken wings.
Of course as I placed my order, I asked the young white waitress; if their chicken wings were one piece or 3 pieces..." She didn't quite understand me. Then I had to explain in more detail. I said your menu says 5 chicken wings. I just want to know if that means 5 pieces of chicken wings or does that mean 5 whole chicken wings. Because 5 pieces of chicken wings really just means something less than 2 whole chicken wings..." She still didn't understand, so she got another waitress who happened to be Black to come over. The Black waitress replied; "sir each one of our chicken wings has 3 pieces, don't worry we serve REAL CHICKEN WINGS HERE..." And we all laughed.
When the waitresses left; I said to my daughter; "when I was a kid you couldn't give chicken wings away to white folks for free, however in today's worlds white people love chicken wings so much that they sometimes they consider a single chicken wing to be 3 pieces of meat. And when they started doing that they made chicken wings too expensive for Black folks to eat anymore...."
My daughter laughed.
My wife laughed.
Clearly we recognized the Culture Banditry at work.
However I am not in a position to stop it or prevent the economic exploitation from flourishing into the future.
Of course Paula Deen is one of the reasons why in 2013 White Americans love chicken wings so much. She and other Culture Bandits have gotten rich popularizing food recipes that were once the staples of the decendants of Black American slaves.
Is that racist?
Or is that just good business?
Perhaps the great NYC philosopher Sonny Corleone said it best in this speech to Michael Corleone and Tom Hagen?
Sonny: [laughing] What are you gonna do? Nice college boy, didn't want to get mixed up in the family business. Now you want to gun down a police captain. Why? Because he slapped you in the face a little? What do you think this like the Army where you can shoot 'em from a mile away? No you gotta get up like this and, badda-bing, you blow their brains all over your nice Ivy League suit. C'mere. You're taking this very personal. Tom, this is business and this man is taking it very, very personal.
In other words,.....Black folks shouldn't get upset with Paula Deen for using bad language, if you want to be upset with her at all, it should be because she stole your culture, made millions and is laughing at you, ALL THE WAY TO THE BANK because you were stupid enough to let her do it...
(Please see the Col. Tom Parker file re: Elvis for the musical analogy)
A Teachable Moment?
The topic of Culture Banditry continues to play a large role in the daily lives of most Americans, simply because if we are to have a future, we as Americans need to be able to have an honest conversation about exactly how the events of the past have brought us to where we are in the present. This will give us the information that we need to have in order to plot out exactly what kind of a future we want to have as Americans. My hope is that this whole Paula Deen story will be helpful in creating an environment where Americans can start having honest discussions about this topic. I agree with "Sonny." This is about business, it's not personal..."
GOD DON'T LIKE UGLY (EXAMPLE #666: LIL WAYNE/EMMETT TILL)
Sometimes things happen and we don't understand why.
But in reality we do understand why, don't we?
Today I offer an example, ripped from today's headlines of two news stories (just like "Law & Order,") that to some would appear to be un-related. However it doesn't take much to see very clearly that these two news stories are in fact related...
EMMETT TILL'S FAMILY REACTS TO LIL WAYNE LYRIC
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- A cousin of the late Emmett Till wonders if Lil Wayne understands just how damaging it was when he rapped a vulgar reference to the black U.S. teen whose death in 1955 became a significant moment in the civil rights movement.
Airickca Gordon-Taylor says Till's family would like an apology from Lil Wayne for the brief but disturbing lyric on Future's "Karate Chop" remix. But more than that, she'd like the platinum-selling New Orleans rapper to understand how his comparison of a sex act to the 14-year-old Chicago native's torture death in Mississippi is hurtful to the black community.
"It was a heinous murder," Gordon-Taylor said in a phone interview Thursday from Chicago. "He was brutally beaten and tortured, and he was shot, wrapped in barbed wire and tossed in the Tallahatchie River. The images that we're fortunate to have (of his open casket) that 'Jet' published, they demonstrate the ugliness of racism. So to compare a woman's anatomy - the gateway of life - to the ugly face of death, it just destroyed me. And then I had to call the elders in my family and explain to them before they heard it from some another source."
LIL WAYNE HAS BEEN HOSPITALIZED, BUT ACCORDING TO HIS CAMP AND HIS OFFICIAL TWITTER ACCOUNT - HE'S OK.
The multiplatinum rapper was hospitalized in Los Angeles on Friday and reps confirmed he was "recovering." He apparently tweeted to his fans from his official account on Friday night: "I'm good everybody. Thx for the prayers and love."
A person close to the superstar's camp who asked for anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter confirmed to The Associated Press that Lil Wayne had a seizure. He has a history of seizures in recent years that have led to previous hospital visits.
While there were some reports that Lil Wayne was fighting for his life, members of his Young Money camp denied it on Twitter.
Before the tweet from Lil Wayne's account, rapper Mack Maine tweeted: "Wayne is alive and well! We watching the Syracuse game...thanks for the prayers and concern. he will update you all soon."
Rapper Birdman, Lil Wayne's mentor, also downplayed reports that Lil Wayne was in grave condition, tweeting: My son is in good spirit..feelin much betta...be home soon."
The 30-year-old New Orleans native, whose given name is Dwayne Michael Carter Jr., is one of the biggest stars of not only his genre but in all music. He's due to release his 10th album, "I Am Not a Human Being," on March 26.
Please take note of the name of this upcoming album.
(I'd change that real quick if I were him, no matter what it costs.....LOL)
Tidbits, Random Thoughts,Trivial Pursuits (30 second "brain dump")
1. A BLACK HISTORY MONTH MOMENT - President Barack Obama spoke at the dedication of the new Rosa Parks statue at the U.S. Capitol Wednesday. Many relatives of the civil rights icon attended, including 3-year-old Terrell Anderson Jr. of Detroit. The president picked him up, and Anderson got to touch his hair.
2. SOLVING THE US DEFICIT - In all of the various proposals that I have seen, all of the currently undocumented workers are to become US citizens, they have to pay a fine + back taxes. I wonder just how much money that would add up to?
3. SHIRLEY BASSEY - Did yall see her performance at the Oscars? If you did, were you blown away? Pour friends at the STAX museum did and posted the video of Shirley Bassey's ICONIC perfomance at the 2013 Oscars. Check it out: http://www.staxmuseum.com/video-images/videos/view/dame-shirley-bassey-goldfinger A GREAT 2013 Black History Moment!
4. VOTE FOR ME AND I'LL SET CHA FREE - I understand that the Us Supreme Court has the Voting Rights act up, which mostly applies to the former Confederacy for review. Word on the street is that the "Supremes" may throw it out. I almost hope that they do. Maybe the US Congress will come back and make an updated version of the law, so that it will cover all 50 states?
5. RIP TREYVON MARTIN - Check out this CNN Commentary from our friend Chuck D: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l1eFFk_roXA
6. BOUT TIME - I hear that D'Angelo will soon have a new album?
7. TALE OF TWO TEMPS - Richard Street passed away this week. This week was also Damon Harris funeral. We lost two Temptations in a one week span of time. It just doesn't get much sadder than that in the world of Black music.
8. SOUTHERN SOUL - Look for some new Otis Redding music on Soul-Patrol.com in March.
9. I'LL TAKE YOU THERE - RIP Cleotha Staples, the eldest sibling in the influential gospel and rhythm-and-blues group the Staple Singers, died on Thursday at her home here. She was 78.
10. BIG UP'S - To our friend Ryan Shaw, who is now on Broadway in that new Motown play!
11. JOHN LEE HOOKER - is still who I wanna be like whenever I grow up. (if I ever "grow up' that is) (boom, boom, boom, boom)
PRESS RELEASE: So Good, So Right: Nicole Henry Live
This new release is right on time for Black History Month. It is outstanding. In fact, it's...So Good, it's So Right :)
But this is an artist that I have seen perform live (last week in NYC) and I am ABSOLUTELY POSITIVE that she would never have a need (or a BS excuse) for "fakin da funk" by using a RECORDED TRACK on National TV. (I'm NOT going to "call no names," but yall KNOW who I'm talking bout.....LOL)
Check out her website at the following link: http://bit.ly/VxVer5
We will have a whole lot more about her here on Soul-Patrol coming up, but I just wanted to send this out to "whet your whistle..."
Since her debut in 2004, Nicole Henry has captivated audiences while establishing herself as one of the jazz world's most acclaimed vocalists. Her expressive, soulful voice and uplifting energy has earned her three top 10 albums along with international accolades from Moscow to Madrid. Adding to her vocal talents, Nicole's beauty and on-stage rapport, combining confidence, sincerity and a touch of sass, have beguiled fans in over 15 countries. http://bit.ly/VxVer5
On her sixth album So Good, So Right: Nicole Henry Live, Henry demonstrates her gift for sublime interpretation as well as her love for the emotionally tinged soul, pop and rock songs that were staples of the 1970's. The 13-track live album, which was recorded at Henry's sold-out performances at Feinstein's in NYC in May 2012, showcases her soulful, inspired interpretations of some of her favorite classic hits of the decade from iconic artists including Bill Withers, Aretha Franklin, Joni Mitchell, James Taylor, The Commodores and Gladys Knight. http://bit.ly/VxVer5
"I really connected with the music of the 70's-all those incredible grooves and great lyrics that conveyed hope and love and being free," comments Henry. "Growing up I can remember my parents listening to lots of soul and pop music, and so many of those songs just gave me a great feeling of happiness. The artists of that time were true craftsmen and their music had such a broad sound, accessible by people of all races- that's the kind of music I loved-no definitions! I wanted to revisit that time and those emotions and share them with my fans." http://bit.ly/VxVer5
Featured tracks on the album include the title track, Brenda Russell's 'So Good, So Right,' which Henry loves for the "simplicity of the adjectives Good and Right and how, in this song, "SO" completely explains that feeling of inexplicable perfection of that moment. It just IS." Henry grew up on Aretha Franklin's music so when album producer Matt Pierson recommended to her the song 'Spirit in the Dark,' from Franklin's 1970 album, she knew she had to cover it. "I grew up listening to Aretha's 1972 live gospel album Amazing Grace- as far as I'm concerned, everything Aretha sings is gospel," says Henry. "This song reminds people to be free, look within themselves, and lose control when you need to - a revival of spirit." Other tracks include the great Bill Withers 1972 classic 'Use Me,' which Henry says "shows just how funky he was, and the lyrics show how direct his writing could be. The song's meaning is obvious. GOOD LOVING goes a long way!" http://bit.ly/VxVer5
Henry also shines on tracks such as Joni Mitchell's 'Big Yellow Taxi,' where, as Henry explains, "Joni Mitchell's whimsical melody, combined with her sad lyrics, always throws me for a curve on the last verse," and Stealers Wheel's raucous 'Stuck in the Middle,' where Henry showcases her signature attitude. So Good, So Right: Nicole Henry Live closes with Fleetwood Mac's iconic 'Landslide,' a beautiful song Henry interprets to be about "learning to love, growing up, accepting one's past sacrifices, and making decisions about where you're going." http://bit.ly/VxVer5
Growing up in a musical family in Bucks County, PA, Henry immersed herself in the arts early on, singing in school and churh, and studying cello and ballet. After graduating from the University of Miami with a degree in Communications and Theatre, Henry launched a successful acting career, appearing in commercial roles as well as a series of voiceover assignments. But she directed her strongest passion toward the development of her full-time singing career which was quickly rewarded in her present hometown, when the Miami New Times named Henry "Best Solo Musician 2002." http://bit.ly/VxVer5
Henry's 2004 debut CD release, The Nearness of You, won considerable attention from audiences and critics in the U.S. and in Japan, where they named Henry Best New Jazz Artist of 2004. The following year, Henry's Teach Me Tonight reached #1 in Japan and was named HMV Japan's Best Vocal Jazz Album of 2005. 2008's The Very Thought of You substantially expanded her American audience, reaching #7 on Billboard's jazz chart. 2011's Embraceable, a slight departure from her prior recording, reached the top 20 on jazz and smooth jazz radio charts and was a creative triumph for Henry, increasing her repertoire of originals, and further established her as a peerless interpreter of jazz, and pop standards, transcending genre boundaries. http://bit.ly/VxVer5
So Good, So Right
Recorded live at Feinstein's at Loews Regency in New York City in May 2012, Nicole Henry captures the musical essence of the 1970s in a stunning performance. This intimate journey through familiar and classic songs will surprise and delight listeners of all ages.
1. Stuck in the Middle With You
2. So Good, So Right
3. Neither One of Us
4. Big Yellow Taxi
5. Waiting in Vain
6. Use Me
7. Fire and Rain
8. Love Don't Live Here Anymore
9. Spirit in the Dark
10. Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word
12. Sweet Love
Album Review - Angel Rissoff - Nu Soul Stories (Life, Love and Tall Tales)
First & Foremost, this is a great album:
Angel Rissoff - Nu Soul Stories (Life, Love and Tall Tales)
Featuring three Rock & Roll Hall-of-Famers
Angel Rissoff is quite possibly the most important artist that I have covered here on Soul-Patrol over the course of the past 10 years.
His music is great, no doubt about that. But of course there is much more to the story. And this weekend it seems most appropriate to tell you all why. http://bit.ly/XmpOGV
This is a very special weekend. First of all it is my birthday. I was born on January 19th 1957.
And no different than any other kid who has a birthday, right around Christmastime, I grew up feeling slightly "gypped," when it came to getting presents. My family was always quite broke after Christmas, and although they always tried their best, my birthday always felt like it was something of an afterthought. Really and truly, just another cold day in January.
Of course this all changed quite dramatically in 1983, when Dr. King's birthday was made a national holiday. Well for me, strictly as a "side effect" it also meant that my birthday suddenly became celebrated during a "three day weekend" most years.
And this year it takes on additional significance, because it is also the weekend celebrating the second inauguration of President Barrack Obama. For many Black Americans, even those who disagree with many of his policies this is a big moment in history. And not just because it is taking place on Dr. King's birthday. It is because this second election means that perhaps that which not so long ago seemed not just impossible or even unthinkable, might actually be a normal or a regular thing. And if what was previously impossible or even unthinkable, could be normal or regular, that means there is hope for a whole lot of other things to be normal/regular as well.
And this brings me back to Angel.... http://bit.ly/XmpOGV
Angel is a dude from the Bronx. Just a regular dude. Happens to be a white dude.
Musically he comes out of the same musical tradition that gave us artists like Dion, Laura Nyro, the Rascals and others. A few of you out there might call it a tradition of "blue eyed soul." Personally I can't stand that term. It is so shallow and in some ways is offensive. It implies somehow that the artist and their artistry is just "impossible or even unthinkable" as opposed to being "normal/regular." One of the problems in attempting to describe music using shorthand terminology like "blue eyed soul," simply because we are too lazy to consider what it actually is and what it might actually represent. Therefore we don't allow ourselves the pleasure of being able to accept the "impossible or even unthinkable" as being "normal/regular." http://bit.ly/XmpOGV
And I am here to tell you that very clearly the days of being unable to "impossible or even unthinkable" as being "normal/regular," are over. http://bit.ly/XmpOGV
Dion, Laura Nyro, the Rascals and others from NYC who happened to be white were bonafide R&B artists. They could and should be considered to be GREAT R&B artists, simply because not only did they perform it, but they lived it. And nothing should be considered to be unusual about that. Nor should we have to insult, and marginalize their artistry by using terminology like "Blue Eyed Soul."
And so should the music of Angel. It is quite simply a great album of what some might call R&B music. Some might call some of the songs "Classic Soul." Some might call it "Nu Soul." Some might call it "Blues." Some might call it "Funk." Some might call it "Jazz." http://bit.ly/XmpOGV
But again, these are all shorthand names that each sorta miss the point. It's all great Black music.
-- It's "normal/regular" because it is created by a talented cat from the Bronx. This is Big City music for Big City folks who walk down their streets with a "glide in their stride & a dip in their hips."
--It's "impossible or even unthinkable" because it dares/challenges the listener to consider the fact that maybe, just maybe the era of GREAT BLACK MUSIC hasn't come to an end, simply because this kind of artistry still exists in 2013.
No surprise to me whatsoever. That's because these two things ALWAYS holds true for all of the music that comes from Angel. And that is why I feel he may be the most important artist that I have covered over the course of the past 10 years. His music represents both the past and the future at the same time. http://bit.ly/XmpOGV
Here is the track listing:
1. 29 Ways
2. Baseball Junkie
3. Sugar Bowl
4. You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling
5. Back From The Dead
6. Thought I Knew Her
7. Thought I Knew Her pt 2
8. Every Man
9. You Better Run
10. On The Other Hand
11. Fine Wine
12. Open the Door To Your Heart
13. Shag Time
Note: some of these songs are covers and some are originals. This album is far more than the sum of its parts. Although some of you may not have the "attention span," you really should try to "swallow it whole."
Try it, you can sample all of the tracks at his website: http://bit.ly/XmpOGV
And if you do, you might just find that what you thought was previously "impossible or even unthinkable" as being "normal/regular."
And just like everyone finally coming to understand that the existence of something like "President Obama," is actually quite "normal," the existence of a work of Black Music Artistry coming from "a talented cat from the Bronx," is quite "normal" as well.
After all, he's only been doing it for the past few decades.
Now back to my birthday celebration....
Saving our Sonz (SOS) - Lawrence Perry (a small miracle)
I just want yall to take a moment and take note of one of those "small miracles," that we often miss when they occur. It has been my experience that when these "small miracles" occur, that they usually lead to BIG CHANGES in the lives of those who are impacted.
We usually miss them when they occur, however this one is on my radar because of the involvement of our friend Lawrence Perry (aka ELP56, you all have enjoyed his reviews here on Soul-Patrol.com for many years.)
One of the reasons why this is on my radar is because while a whole lot of folks that I know seem to think that somehow, something magical is supposed to happen, just because a Black man named Barrack Obama is President and therefore they don't have to do anything except sit at home, watch TV or take potshots on the internet and simply wait for the "magic to happen." What those folks don't realize if that it is up to them to "create the magic," Obama used up all his magic in getting elected. If you want "magic" to happen, you need to do what Lawrence Perry (and his son) did and you need to do it right in your own neighborhood! (Bob Davis)
Southwest Globe Times Newspaper (Philadelphia)
December 3, 3012
More than 30 young men participated in the Saving our Sonz (SOS) workshop which took place at the 46th Street Baptist Church on Saturday, December 8.
As described by organizer Bob Bell, the event was the first in a series of programs aimed at bringing together boys aged 7 -14 and their parents with a team of outstanding men in the community, "To start the process of developing self respect, positive thinking, leadership, and communicate important values like education and giving back to the community through service."
The program benefitted, of course, from Bell's own extensive work history including over thirty years as a police officer, youth advocate, and community advocate. Presently, he is CEO of 906Works which seeks to change behaviors and attitudes in the African American community. Bell's challenge was how to maximum the amount of interaction in a relatively short time. To do this, he took the unique approach of stationing each of the adult mentors at a separate table and over the three hour workshop, small groups of boys circulated between them. In this fashion, the adults were able to convey their own life experiences, values and principles directly and forcefully to each of the young participants and answer their many questions.
Commented mentor Ian Brown, in a facebook reflection on the event, "Although we had a successful day at our first Saving Our Sonz S.O.S Workshop event we want to see more parents bring out their boys." Brown also noted that this kind of positive event needs to be highlighted to counteract the excessive media attention to shootings, stabbings, drug busts or home invasions in the community.
"I was particularly touched by the comment of another mentor who said that going into the workshop, he had no idea of the extent that the table conversations seemed to empower the young people," affirmed Bell. "Overall, the workshop greatly exceeded our expectations," Bell said. Paying tribute to the men he had recruited as mentors, "It wasn't about us; it was all about the kids - teaching them that they can be leaders in their world and in the community. The fact that so many adults stepped forward shows the youngsters that people care."
In addition to Brown, Bell listed mentor/table leaders Henry Demby, Robert L. Bell III, Tyrone Norwood, LAWRENCE PERRY, LAWRENCE PERRY JR., Ras Niger Hamal Ali, Aaron Boyd, E. Scott Bell, Shawn Smalls, Troy Parham, Trevor Parham, and Lamond Muhammad, and added his profound appreciation for their efforts.
"Mr. Darrell Henderson was also scheduled as one of our speakers. However, he unexpectedly passed away last Tuesday night," noted Bell with respect and sadness. "We dedicated the SOS workshop to him."
Typical of the kind of man who made the effort to prepare himself for discussions with the youngsters was LAWRENCE PERRY. "An outstanding musician and percussionist, Lawrence has played with dozens of bands at major events," recounted Bell. "He has also performed at many of the churches in the area over the past 50 years. Music through drumming is his passion and his life's work." Bell found it a pleasure and a blessing to have Perry share his career with the groups of boys that came to his table.
Bell went out of his way to cite three of the mentors who were in their 20's. "The boys gravitated right to them; their tables were always buzzing!" he said. "The men were surprised at the way their views and feelings seemed so important and meaningful to the youngsters." One discussion point of interest to many of the parents was that of abuse under the heading "Is Someone Hurting You?" and covered what to look for if abuse is occurring. "We want to follow up on that subject in our subsequent sessions," noted Bell.
"We want to thank the members of 46th Street Baptist Church and Pastor Martin Wright for their hospitality and the way they pitched in to set up the workshop," stressed Bell. "We also want to thank the people who contributed to package of school supplies, notebooks and other items given to the boys who attended." Each of the youngsters also proudly received a certificate of participation in the event."
Bell and his team are looking forward to another workshop in March where parents will join in the breakout sessions and provide their input. "We are also planning a third session later in the spring which will emphasize empowerment." Bell stated. "We want the boys to tell us what they think is helpful in their development. We will certainly invite those who attended this first event, and also invite some new kids as well."
Bob Bell can be reached at 215-359-7928, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
IT IS TIME TO CHANGE THE CONVERSATION! (Bill Ortiz - Highest Wish)
There was once a time when hip hop provided us with the answer to a question that we didn't even realize that we had. That's because we didn't really think of it as a question yet. However by the time the answer came along, apparently it was too late for the question or its answer to have any meaning whatsoever.
Back in the 1995, trumpeter Branford Marsalis was probably the most famous jazz musician in the country. As the bandleader of the "Tonight Show." he had a successful nightly platform for his artistry. However in 1995 Branford announced that he would be leaving the show in order to focus on a new project that would fuse together jazz, funk and hip hop. He said that he wanted to help to bridge a generation gap that he saw forming, and that he had a musical vision, that would not only fuse together these musical styles, but also create a communications vehicle for the fans of those musical styles.
That project was called "Buckshot LeFonque," and IMHO the two "Buckshot LeFonque" albums released in the 1990's were two of the best Black music albums of the decade, they were artistic masterpieces. However the albums failed to reach their intended audiences. Other attempts at a similar type of "fusion" in the early to mid-1990's from artists such as Guru/Donald Byrd, Digable Planets, US3, Miles Davis/Easy Mo Bee and others were artistic successes, by were commercially uneven, never truly reaching their intended audiences. A whole musical "sub type" called "Acid Jazz" focused on this fusion between jazz, funk and hip hop, which proved to be quite popular in the UK, but never made a real commercial impact in the United States.
The whole question of fusing together jazz/funk/hip hop was a legitimate one, from a musical, cultural & audience perspective. The problem was that despite all of the great music that was produced during this period, the "answer to the question came about 5 years later than when the question should have been asked in the first place."
When Branford Marsalis embarked on his quest, the reason he gave at the time was that he felt that the music could be the basis for a vehicle to open up an avenue for inter-generational communication, which could avert a split in the Black community that had never existed before. He said that he felt it was his duty to do what he could do to head off what could possibly be a tragic "generation gap."
Despite the best of intentions, his idea was bound for failure. That's because, unknown to him as well as the rest of us, with the acceptance of "Gangsta Rap" as a lucrative/mainstream form of popular music, hip hop (and its fans) would never look back and seek to be a part of the continuum of Black culture. It would instead seek its own path and it's fans would insist that it was "something new" and had no connection to anything else. In fact it would have its own language, culture, dress and attitude that would have nothing in common with anything else that proceeded it.
Perhaps a few of you out there remember this period of time?
Fast forward to 2012...
I say all of this to say that the album Highest Wish, by Santana trumpeter Bill Ortiz harkens back to the 1990's strain of thought that a generational bridge, with music as a basis. To do this, Bill Ortiz reaches even further back for a frame of reference, in using the late/great Gil Scott-Heron to help provide some of the context.
Once again this is a very successful musical endeavor, much as the musical efforts in the 1990's were:
--If you are a funk music fan, then you will love this album.
--If you are a jazz music fan, then you will love this album.
--If you are a hip hop music fan, then you will love this album.
This all goes without saying.
And of course you can check it out for yourself at:
However there is more…
IT IS TIME TO CHANGE THE CONVERSATION!
Everything that Branford Marsalis predicted back in 1995 has come to pass.
Only it is far worse.
IT IS NO LONGER JUST A "BLACK PROBLEM."
The generational gap that Branford spoke of in 1995 is a universal one that threatens the ability of our entire society to move forward. It is now absolutely critical that younger people and older people find a basis for common communication. Far too much knowledge is being lost, and that lost knowledge contains essential facts that younger people require, for their own survival.
The mid 1990's may in fact have been the wrong time to have the conversation. Perhaps it should have been held earlier? I dunno. But I do know that it needs to be held RIGHT NOW. Because with each passing day the opportunity to have that honest conversation, drifts further and further away.
Let's face it, most of today's hip hop fans likely know less about the music of artists like Guru/Donald Byrd, Digable Planets, US3, Miles Davis/Easy Mo Bee, Buckshot LeFonque and others than does GOP Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan. Although it may feel like it was just yesterday to some of us, many of them weren't even born yet in the mid 90's. Therefore it is incumbent upon those of us who do know to:
CHANGE THE CONVERSATION!
We have to be willing to do the "outreach," we have to be willing to take the time to expose younger music fans to music such as Highest Wish, by Santana trumpeter Bill Ortiz. This is one of those kind of things that if we care about, we have to be proactive about. If we want younger people to care about our musical legacy, then we should care enough to be willing to educate them about it…
(why not…put a little skin in the game?)
GO TO: http://bit.ly/PWYY3I
Still not ready yet?
Check out the press release below...
Commentary: I have 3 thoughts about the passing of Dick Clark
1. My first thought will always be that I got to do something in 2007 that millions of people wanted to do, but never got a chance to. I got to dance on American Bandstand (sorta.) As some of you may recall, we held the cabaret portion of the 2007 Soul-Patrol Convention in what was formerly the TV studio of WFIL in Philadelphia. The event was held inside of the very room (bout the size of a small HS gym) where the American Bandstand TV show was filmed. Those of you who were there will recall the floor was decorated with graphical icons, marking the spot where the cameras were placed, where the bleachers were, the outline of the dance floor, Dick Clark's podium stood, the control room & more. Sadly that floor no longer exists. The owners have now replaced it with a regular wooden floor. The cabaret was DJ'ed by our own "Dr G," he truly "FUNKED UP" American Bandstand, and is one of the highlights of my life. It reminds me that what we do with the Soul-Patrol Convention is to try to create "once in a lifetime" opportunities to do something musically that you would otherwise NEVER have the chance to do. (Be there or be square....LOL)
2. Kevin Amos's great audio interview of Stanley Blitz: Funkoverlord Interviews Stanley Blitz, Author of "American Bandstand The Untold Story," which discusses the true story of how the show began as an R&B and Jazz show, how it evolved, how Dick Clark came to replace Bob Horn. This interview appears on the Soul-Patrol.com website at the following link: http://www.soul-patrol.net/bandstand.ram the interview is required listening and the book is required reading if anyone is interested in learning the TRUE history of the American Bandstand TV show.
3. Dick Clark was a man who built a multi-media empire. He did it the "all amerikan way." He came from a wealthy and politically connected family. He used that wealth and political connections to build a powerful foundation for his multi-media empire on the backs of Black American culture. He used that foundation to first avoid going to jail, when clearly what he was doing was the very definition of what is now known as "payola." Next he used that foundation to expand into a vast multi-media empire, taking it even to the point where his name and face became synonymous with a national holiday (megalomania?) Although I am a native of New York, I have lived in the Philadelphia area now for 20+ years and as a result of my various activities with Soul-Patrol.com I have had the chance to speak with many people who have been associated with the American Bandstand TV show, and it is fair to say that people here are proud of the TV show, but few have had nice things to say about Dick Clark. Today there are many Black folks who are celebrating Dick Clark as if he was some sort of "deity." Please do not count me among that group of people. It is one thing for us to continuously allow our culture to be exploited for profit. It is quite another for us to celebrate those who victimize us.
APOLOGY TO DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING: (Guest Commentary from Carlton J. Smith)
Dr. King on behalf of my brothers and sisters I apologize for our behavior.
I'm sure that on this day back in 1968 when you lay on that balcony - mortally wounded - surrounded by Benedict Arnold turncoat race traitors within your inner circle - race traitors who were complicit in your shooting - I'm sure you never imagined that 44 years on from that fateful day (April 4th) that we would be openly calling each other NIGGER and have the whole world singing along, having convinced ourselves it's a term of endearment.
I apologize for the historical amnesia that so many of us labor under. We have no knowledge of ourselves, of the pain and suffering that our forefathers and foremothers went through as well as the day to day struggle but we can recount at the drop of a hat how Chris Brown beat Rhiannas ass.
I apologize for the fact that you went to prison on behalf of our struggle and it inspired you to write the classic, LETTERS FROM A BIRMINGHAM JAIL" - nowadays artists go to jail and it inspires nothing but a spike in their CD sales.
Dr. King I apologize because seemingly we have learned nothing and as a result we are doomed to repeat a lot of the same mistakes. We are still behaving like crabs in a barrel...if one of us makes it up the rest of us try to pull him/her back down. Your assassins were more unified than we are.
Dr. King you went abroad to receive your Nobel Peace prize and represented us on international shores...nowadays Kanye and Jay Z (two of our supposed best and brightest) are representing us on international shores with a song called "NIGGERS IN PARIS".
Oh Dr. King I apologize from the bottom of my heart.
If there's any solace to be gleaned from your tragic passing it's that when you took one in the neck you were on a balcony surrounded by your staff...Malcolm X took seventeen bullets in his chest in FRONT OF HIS WIFE AND CHILDREN, Medgar Evers took two in the back in the driveway of his home in front of his wife and children courtesy of that cowardly Klansman Byron DeLa Beckwith.
Dr.King would you please tell them that we're sorry too?
You know Dr.King we're so far gone that we have allowed ourselves to believe that there's a distinction between someone calling us the "N" word and their ending it with an "A" as opposed to an "ER"...as if that's supposed to make it alright.
Dr.King if you see Harriet Tubman, tell her that once more some of us need to be led out of the darkness and into the light.
Tell Frederick Douglass and Booker T. Washington that we're sorry also. Time was we would be killed for trying to read and educate ourselves and nowadays the old adage ,
"...if you want to keep a secret from a black man, just hide it in a book..." seems truer than ever.
DR. KING it would appear that you death was in vain...James Brown told us to be BLACK AND PROUD...nowadays we just want to be paid and proud...no matter what the cost.
Our obsession with material things as opposed to spiritual will prove to be our downfall.
Yes there's a black man in the White House and a black first lady...but that move was designed and calculated to allow White America to pat themselves on the back in a self congratulatory look - how - far - we've come move while doing nothing to erase the age old problems.
Dr. King I pray that you are resting in peace with Coretta right by your side.
You may run into a young man by the name of Trayvon Martin whose recent demise was proof positive that ain't a damn thing changed but the weather. I don't know how much he knows of you, but please fill him in and wrap your arms around him. He truly wasn't supposed to meet you just yet.
Again I hope I haven't been too presumptuous...no one asked me to speak for all black people but I felt compelled.
You did so much for us and look how we're repaid you.
We owe you so much more.
THANK YOU FOR HAVING WALKED AMONGST US.
YOU WERE A MAN AMONGST MEN.
"I THANK GOD FOR MUSIC!"
- CARLTON J. SMITH
Gil Noble Passes
I would assume that by now, many of you all have heard, brotha Gil Noble has passed away. For most of you, even if you have heard of him, Gil Noble was just a local TV newsman. But for those of us who grew up on him, Gil Noble was our teacher. His TV show, "Like It Is," was an institution in NYC.
Gil Noble didn't talk down to Black folks. He made YOU come up to his level. And if you couldn't keep up, then you were going to get left behind.
He didn't talk "street." But you knew that he was cool as hell.
Watching his show, I always got the feeling, that he didn't consider Black History to be "yesterday's news." I got the feeling that it was his expectation, that "Black History," was the bare minimum of knowledge that you were supposed to have and that he was going to make absolutely certain that you were going to learn all of the Black History that he knew about, and then some.
So he made Black History documentaries, just for the "Like It Is" program.
Clearly Gil Noble didn't think that you were supposed to learn history, just for the sake of knowing it. My impression was that without understanding that history, it would be impossible to navigate daily life as a Black American.
So he made Current events broadcasts that tackled the most important local/national issues, and tied those issues to the history lessons he also taught, just for the "Like It Is" program.
I used to watch these broadcasts, all during Junior High & High School, every Sunday at 1pm. One week it would be Jackie Robinson, the next week it would be about a school board dispute, the next week it might be Count Basie, the next week it could be about a rent strike against a slumlord, the next week it could be Bobby Seale, the next week it could be about a girls Double Dutch competition, the next week it could be a local funk band like Mandrill, the next week it could be Lena Horne, etc.
Hopefully some of these broadcasts are available on tape/DVD.
If they are, I would buy it.
Although I didn't realize it at the time. For me each broadcast was like a attending college lecture. With brotha Gil connecting the dots, between all of it.
Before there was Ed Bradley (There was Gil Noble)
Before there was Tavis Smiley (There was Gil Noble)
Before there was Don Lemmon (There was Gil Noble)
And I think that I am most likely a better person for it....
From ABC TV
It is with much regret to inform you that Gil Noble has passed away.
Gil Noble (born February 22, 1932 in [[Harlem, New York]-April 5, 2012]) is an American television reporter and interviewer. He was the producer and host of New York City television station WABC-TV's weekly, Like It Is, originally co-hosted with Melba Tolliver. The program focused primarily on issues concerning African Americans and those within the African diaspora.
Noble joined WABC in July 1967 as a reporter, and starting in January 1968 became an anchor of its Saturday and Sunday night newscasts. He became host of Like It Is a few months prior to the rebranding of the station's newscasts as Eyewitness News in November 1968. In addition, he was an occasional interviewer on some of WABC's other public affairs shows, such as Eyewitness Exclusive. From 1986 on, Noble concentrated exclusively on Like It Is.
Noble also created documentaries on such topics as W. E. B. Du Bois, Malcolm X, Fannie Lou Hamer, Ella Baker, Decade of Struggle, Martin Luther King Jr., Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., Jack Johnson, Charlie Parker and Essay on Drugs. In 1977, he wrote, directed and produced the first documentary on Paul Robeson, entitled The Tallest Tree in Our Forest.
In 1973, Noble reported (for local TV station WABC channel 7) on the first mobile cellular phone invented by Marty Cooper from the NY Hilton in New York.
Noble won four Emmy Awards. In 1981, he wrote an autobiography, Black is the Color of My TV Tube.
Noble was a supporter of The Jazz Foundation of America, hosting the 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2007 "A Great Night in Harlem" Concert / Benefit for The Jazz Foundation to support The Musicians Emergency Fund. He is! also a member of the Board of Directors.
In July 2011, Noble suffered a serious stroke. In late September, his family announced that Noble would not be returning to host Like It Is.
Condolences from Mandrill:
Condolences for Gil Noble's family and friends:
Gil Noble, another Icon, has transitioned to join the ancestors. His body of work as a television journalist was second to none. His documentaries, such as Paul Robeson, Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, Jack Johnson and so many others, were informative and uplifting.
Mandrill was fortunate to be featured on Like It Is (WABC TV/Channel 7) out of New York City in 1970. This was one of our earliest television shows and we were in awe of Mr. Noble's presence and his ability to make you feel at home as he asked very poignant and pertinent questions. We also performed on the show and we are truly indebted to him for helping to put Mandrill on the map back in the early days, shortly after our inception.
To Mr. Noble's family and friends, we give our Condolences. His work will live on to inform and inspire a whole new generation. May he rest in peace.
The Wilson Brothers, Lou, Ric, Carlos and Wolf of Mandrill
Echoes of an Era (Trayvon Martin & Sgt Robert Bales outrage)
I give you the following two "echoes."
The general public seems to be outraged by these two cases, as well they should be. Both cases seem to be the very definition of what the "flip side" of the American Dream is supposed to be. Of course the media is simultaneously fueling that outrage, yet at the same time is warning us that those who appear to be the guilty parties, still must be presumed innocent.
Yet even if they are innocent, there still feels like something is terribly wrong.
1. The case of Trayvon Martin in Sanford Florida (Echoes of Emmett Till)
2. The case of Sgt Robert Bales in Afghanistan (Echoes of Lt. William Calley/Mi Lie Massacre)
A few weeks ago, I wrote about my personal disdain for the "values" of the hip hop generation. Well these two artists (Jasiri X and Sgt Dunson....along with Rebel Diaz) are the exceptions that prove the rule.
Please feel free to forward these videos to your frineds online and make them as popular as they can be. Perhaps it will encourage the mainstream music industry to start speaking out on these critical issues?
PRESS RELEASE: James Biscuit" Rouse - "Conversations in Analog, vol. 1"
Did yall tell me that yall dig some REAL FUNK MUSIC....Just head on over to the website of James "Biscuit" Rouse (http://www.jamesrousemusic.com), take a listen and let me know what yall think?
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: New York based drummer/singer James Rouse is excited to welcome us into the conversation with his debut solo project, "Conversations in Analog, vol. 1", a soulful exploration of the intersection between funk and jazz.
James Rouse is well-versed in soul and funk, as evidenced in the many years he has spent as a diverse side musician, playing alongside the creative gifts of r&b songstress Lauryn Hill, smooth jazz bassist Gerald Veasley, and jazz bassist Mike Henderson from the Miles Davis ensemble, among others. Drawing influences from 70's era jazz fusion, Philadelphia soul, psychedelic rock, Conversations takes you on an emotional trip through the creative amalgam of all groove-based idioms. Grammy-award winning Songwriter Nile Rodgers, has said of this project [insert quote].
Conversations in Analog features guest appearances from fusion trumpeter Phil Lassiter (Philthy, Dallas AllStars), sultry jazz singer Mavis Swan Poole (Lauryn Hill), bass clarinetist Scott Kreiger (Broadway) and James Rouse's wife Charisa the ViolinDiva, (Mos Def, Savion Glover). Their cohesive talents, from Poole's sassy storytelling to Adam Klipple's blazing organ solo on "Strawberry Fields" combines their cohesive talents to create a truly notable project. Not a small task, considering that most of this album was recorded while James Rouse was on an extensive international tour with Lauryn Hill, with members of the band recording solos everywhere from dressing rooms to soundchecks, and over long distance songwriting sessions.
Other memorable moment s from the album include the soul-stirring remake of Beatles Classic "Strawberry Fields", and the unrelenting funk on James Rouse's original "Freedom", which also features James' rich vocals in one of only two vocal tracks on the album. As stated by bassist Gerald Veasley, [James "Biscuit" Rouse establishes himself as a multi-talented recording artist with "Conversations in Analog". This CD is a breath of fresh air from an artist whose influences range from P-funk to opera to hip hop. Biscuit is at home in a sultry jazz night club jam session or a spirit filled gospel performance. "Conversations" is an break out debut from a musical chameleon"] As stated by DJ/ Producer King Britt [James Biscuit Rouse has created a really dope album. Especially for jazz heads, his fusion influences are show, channelling Michael Urbaniak, Herbie Hancock and even James Brown. His drumming is always on point and favorites, Good Hip and Freedom, make me hit repeat overtime. Bravo!] With Conversations in Analog, vol 1 James Rouse and his band deliver a powerful testament to the richness of soul, funk, and jazz, and the next chapter of their ongoing dialogue for a long time to come.
for all inquiries and bookings, please contact:
Alex Branch, Management (215-240-3284/ 818-570-0659)
Album Review: Revelations Featuring Tre Williams - Concrete Blues
The last time I saw a torch get passed so obviously and willingly it was when MJ presented JB BET's Lifetime Achievement (Vanguard/Sammy Davis Jr.?) Award a couple years ago. Like Ali frail and wobbly making his way through in that Olympic Torch lighting ceremony, Brown was waaaay ready to give it up but there was seemingly no takers. Enter MJ and the deal was sealed in one of the most memorable moments (TV or otherwise) ever.
So now we see Lattimore, the bad black lion passing the torch of Southern Soul to a not-so-young-but-young-enough-for-government-work (and the purposes necessary therein) Tre Williams. The new album is called Concrete Blues.
The irony here is that all of that in-studio wizadry (trickery?) is conspicuous by it's absence here. No sound gates, gone are the hokey horn patches and it's all replaced by the sparest of spare rhythm section (replete with a nice greasy Hammond b3 organ), bari and tenor saxes and a trumpet player. Horns are only on a couple tunes but their presence is so effective that it's another one of it's great selling points. Due to Mr. Williams' age the subject matter and delivery while very similar in some ways to Lattimore's is informed instead by the reality of black male life TODAY!
It also borrows heavily from the PEAK days of this genre. Luther Ingram, Johnny Taylor, Sam Cooke, Bobby Womack, Otis Redding along with the guitar playing of a Curtis Mayfield or Steve Cropper are all invoked. Anthony Hamilton comes to mind as well as his soul emits the exact same kind of emotionally charged maturity through the vagaries of the life experience. Jaheim got it too but those two are a lil more 'caught up' in 'today-isms' to matter as much as they could. By 'today-isms' I mean the 'hot' 'happenin' studio stuff.
One of the things that always endeared Tre Williams to me was his totally organic approach to music making. It's authentic, honest, traditional and fresh all at the same time. What Lattimore sang on the Ladies Man CD (All Said And Done) that "there aint nuthin new under the sun when it's all said and done" he had to be channeling this guy.
Maybe because of the sadly deteriorating aspects of our culture through broken dysfunctional nuclear families and the subsequent impairment of the black community, so many of today's young artists lack the continuum of tradition necessary to move forward. I believe that this is the main contributing factor informing this need for 'the next hot thing'. Cats acknowledge the presence of the Masters and all of their groundbreaking pioneering efforts only to abandon the same in search of this ever elusive 'Eldorado' of relevance.
Forget it! Just stop, NOW!.....(continued here)
Album Review: Betty Wright & The Roots - Betty Wright: The Movie
Please allow me to share with all of you another great find that came out recently - the latest from Betty Wright.
We all know the output of Miami-based soul legend Betty Wright, known for such classics as "Clean Up Woman", "Tonight Is The Night", "No Pain, No Gain", and "After The Pain". She did a song with Angie Stone back in 2006 or 2007 titled "Baby".
Well, she's back with a brand new CD titled "Betty Wright: The Movie". The music is provided by Philly's own The Roots and, let me tell you, the CD is SLAMMING!!!
Just like Full Force did for James Brown back in 1988 for his album "I'm Real", The Roots are doing for Betty Wright on her latest CD. Fourteen songs of pure, unadulterated, gut wrenching soul and funk! The CD is solid from start to finish - there is not one single filler cut, on the whole CD. A solid listen from beginning to end.
She is still the storyteller that she has always been with her lyrics and her singing is still as soulful and solid as ever. The Roots understand her style very well and provide solid instrumentation with REAL INSTRUMENTS and REAL SOUL! No hip-hopped soul here. Granted, three of the songs do feature very brief raps in the middle (one from Snoop Dogg). However, even the raps fit in perfectly and are unobtrusive. Again, all involved understand the lady and they allow her to do her thing without getting in the way.....(review continued)
Album Review: Irene Cara presents Hot Caramel
Irene Cara presents Hot Caramel
(Rock, Neo Soul, Jazz, Funk, Fusion, Slow Jams, Southern Soul, Pop, Disco, Latin, Spoken Word/Rap)
Irene Cara - vocals, acoustic piano, synths
Audrey Martells - vocals
Chanda Leigh Bailey - keyboards, synths/FX, vocals
Errica Poindexter - bass
Reina Yvonne Poindexter - vocals
Donna Hairston - bass
Lafrae Olivia SCI - drums
Sheryl Bailey - guitar
(please note ..."an all girl band")
Here is what I will write on Twitter about this album, if I ever log on to my account there again: "Irene Cara presents Hot Caramel is the best album that I have heard released in 2011"
(I think that is fewer than 140 characters?)
Irene Cara; huh?
A few months ago I was contacted by a publicist, asking me if I would like to have a copy of the new release by Irene Cara, for potential airplay on RadioIO.com. Of course I am well aware of who Irene Cara is.....(review continued)
Album Review: Black Ivory - Continuum
Some 40 years ago (damn! has it been that long?), I added, BLACK IVORY as one of the groups I came to enjoy in style and substance. "I'll Find Away" is among my all-time favorites of 'ALL' of the songs I like to listen to even today. The 'Industry' can be cruel to recording artists and thus, cruel to the fans of recording artists. They set their own criteria for what they are willing to support, I suppose, based on a bigger picture. I'm being kind. They kick to the curb what 'they' don't want or think is viable to their business 'objectives'. We have seen it repeatedly.So BLACK IVORY was yet another casualty of this 'process'. But NOW....
"CONTINUUM by BLACK IVORY" has come into being. A 'reunion' of sorts of the three young men, Stuart Bascombe, Leroy Burgess and Russell Paterson we embraced some 40 years ago. They have come a long way from, "Don't Turn Around", but in many ways, this album is reminiscent of the style of vocals and harmony that their followers and fans were drawn to.....(review continued)
Concert Review: Lee Fields + Sugar Pie DeSanto @ The Bell House New Years Eve Brooklyn, NY (12/31)
This long overdue review from New Year's Eve December 31, 2011 /January 1, 2012, is going to end up being more of a "stream of consciousness," than a typical concert review. As many of you already know, 2011 was just about the worst year of my life, with the passing of my mother on Thanksgiving day, among other things that you don't know. So as you might well imagine, I was quite happy to see the year end and for a new one to begin.
As a general rule, I don't go out at all on New Year's Eve at all. I stopped doing that many years ago, for all of the obvious reasons why the best place to be on New Years Eve is right at home, in front of the TV set watching the ball drop along with Dick Clark.
However the idea of bringing in the New Year with our good friends, Lee Fields and Sugar Pie DeSanto, was inspirational for me. I knew that not only would the show be ultra phunky, but I also knew that it would be just the type of "attitude adjustment," for me on a personal level that would enable me to start of 2012 on a positive tip.
Both are longtime members of Soul-Patrol, over 10 years in fact.
--In fact Lee Fields had attended the 2011 Soul-Patrol Convention this past summer in Philadelphia.
--And back in 2008 we were quite honored to have been in attendance when Sugar Pie DeSanto was presented with her R&B Foundation Pioneer Award.
And of course, this was Sugar Pie's first NYC appearance in many, many years.
(Later we were to learn that she had just recently discovered that she had been born in Brooklyn.)
As "mrs. earthjuce' and I were preparing to make the journey from New Jersey to Brooklyn for the show, something occurred that perfectly set the tone for the evening. My daughter, home from college for the Holiday break, who had previously told us that she would ge going to Philly to hang out with her friends, informs me that those plans had fallen through and wants to know if she can hang out with mom & dad for New Years Eve? Although I would never have suggested it, nothing could have made me smile more :)
Anyhow, the rest of this is the "stream of consciousness" that I tweeted that evening from the Bell House nightclub in Brooklyn on New Year's Eve December 31, 2011 /January 1, 2012...
@kozmicfunk: Im sitting here in the super hip/super slick Bell House nightclub in Brooklyn with my two best girls (mrs earthjuice & rachel).
@kozmicfunk: We are waiting for the supa phunky Mr. Lee Fields and the legendary Ms. Sugar Pie DeSanto (the inspiration for Amy Winehouse) to to hit the stage.
@kozmicfunk: The instruments are on the stage, there is a huge dance floor and I am ready to throw down :-)
@kozmicfunk: I sure as hell will be quite happy to see 2011 come to an end. Stay tuned. I've got some big plans for 2012.
@kozmicfunk: Be safe and just be sure to keep it FUNKY, wherever you are tonight...a seven piece band including a horn section.
@kozmicfunk: Here comes Ms. Sugar Pie...
@kozmicfunk: She has already lept off of the stage several time to dance with the audience
@kozmicfunk: She brought someone up on stage to do a real nasty slow drag with her.......LOL
@kozmicfunk: This place is SOLD OUT PACKED (and she is driving them nuts)
@kozmicfunk: In The Basement (Sugar Pie Live)......Like being in a discotheque (circa 1965)
Sugar Pie DeSanto (http://www.jasmanrecords.com)
--Life Goes On
--Use Whatcha Got
--Slip In Mules
--Go Go Power
--Hello San Francisco
--In the Basement
--Let's tear it Up
@kozmicfunk: Ball just dropped and now waiting on Lee Fields...
@kozmicfunk: while we are waiting, the DJ has been rockin some Betty Davis.
@kozmicfunk: Sugar Pie was awesome....
@kozmicfunk: We hooked up with our boy Lee (http://whoislee.com) and his lady earlier. Lee always comes out to support
@kozmicfunk: Lee Fields and the expresions just took the stage....
@kozmicfunk: If y'all miss James Brown....("there it is")....then ya need ta check out brotha Lee Fields
@kozmicfunk: ...they are starting off with some mellow and phunky Hugh Masakela type stuff
@kozmicfunk: Horn driven and very cool.
@kozmicfunk: I think that the "Expressions" are actually the "Dap Kings?")
@kozmicfunk: Crowd is goin wild...
@kozmicfunk: The promoter tells me there are about 600 people here in this room tonite.
@kozmicfunk: Bro Lee is doin his thang.....
@kozmicfunk: Remember the song....."SUNNY?"
@kozmicfunk: Lee Fields just did a MONSTER cover version.....
@kozmicfunk: Brotha Lee is done....but back for an encore...........and soundin like Bobby Womack ;-)
@kozmicfunk: ....but he's dancin like.....JB.......
@kozmicfunk: (splits n twists and everythang to some badd azz sh*t that is some kinda bizarre cross between James Brown and Bobby Womack
@kozmicfunk: .....(totally ...."wild and peaceful")
Lee Fields & the Expressions (http://www.leefieldsmusic.com)
--Here Today, Gone Tomorrow
--Money is King
--Love Comes and Goes
--Could Have Been
--What Can a Man Do
--You're The Kind of Girl
--All Your Goodies are Gone
So we left the club, located in a kind of no man's land warehouse district between Red Hook, Park Slope, Gowanus and the BQE, currently undergoing gentrification, I was told. As we drove back to NJ, thru Manhattan (to avoid the unbelievable $18.00 toll on the Verazzano Bridge,) my family was quite happy that we had gone to see Lee Fields and Sugar Pie DeSanto and that we had all gone together.
We had a couple of drinks
I got to introduce my family to the artists.
But more importantly I got to expose my daughter to some fantastic live music. It was the cold blooded Black Music of the 1960's (Sugar Pie DeSanto) and 1970's (Lee Fields.) It was the REAL THING, as performed by REAL ARTISTS.
It was music whose best days some will claim, is best viewed thru the "rear view mirror of time."
But try telling that to the 600 or so folks between the ages of 20 - 35, at the 'sweatbox" called "Bell House" (http://www.thebellhouseny.com) who were there dancing their azzes off from start to finish, that this kind of cold blooded soul/funk is best viewed thru the "rear view mirror of time?"
Something tells me that my music does indeed have a future.
And it is a future that I am even able to share with my daughter.
How's that for a cool way to start off the year?
PRESS RELEASE: "Blood Is Thicker Than The Mud; Little Sister From The Inside Out" (www.vetstone.com)
Editor's Note: I am very pleased to send out this press release.
It's a sneak preview of a new book that has been a long time in coming. It's called "Blood Is Thicker Than The Mud; Little Sister From The Inside Out." And it's by our friend Vet Stone, the "Little Sister." www.vetstone.com
I have been privileged enough to have been an observer over the course of the past 10 years of much of this story, and I will tell you right up front that this book is NOT for everyone:
--It is NOT for people who are interested in gossip about Sly & the Family Stone.
--It is NOT for people who "think" that they know the history of Sly & the Family Stone and who don't want their opinions to be confronted by the truth, about that history.
--It is for people who are interested in actually understanding what the cultural & human dynamics are behind what was (and in some ways still is) one of the most compelling musical phenomena's of the second half of the 20th Century.
The press release is from our friend Tee Watts, who many of you here know. Go to the site, check out the sample chapter and contact the author directly with your thoughts & questions, directly from the site: www.vetstone.com
(we will have more lata....Bob Davis)
November 12, 2011
FOR IMMEDIDATE RELEASE
Blood Is Thicker Than The Mud;
Little Sister From The Inside Out
www.vetstone.com - Let's see. I believe it was Sly's running buddy, George Clinton who gave us the Pinocchio theory which stated, Fake the funk and your nose will grow. The point is, many author's have tried to chronicle the annals of Funk from the perspective of Sly & The Family Stone. There was Joel Selvin's Sly & The Family Stone-An Oral History, There's A Riot Goin' On by Miles Marshall Lewis, Sly-The Lives Of Sylvester Stewart and Sly Stone by Danny Santiago and I Want To Take You Higher-The Life and Times of Sly & The Family Stone by Jeff Kaliss. Yet to be seen is the much hyped and over-heralded, Thank You-The Story Of Sly & The Family Stone by the Nether-Twins, Edwin & Arno Konings.
Much of the afore mentioned titles are simply, to quote George Clinton, one mo gin', Biological Speculation, i.e., on the part of the collective authors. Shoot, one of them interviewed no one connected to the band or the family to write his book. Like uh, suspend that creative license, will ya?
Vet Stone, Commandress of the Sly produced group, Little Sister and Co-Engineer with Skyler Jett of Sly's 13 gig, 2007 European tour, has authored a very credible work, which allows the reader a glimpse into not only her life, but also into the inner workings of the Stewart family, specifically their spiritual and musical evolution. Blood Is Thicker Than The Mud takes you back to the childhood of the Stewart siblings and brings the reader to the present, inclusive of Sly Stone's reentry into rehab in October of 2011. Heavy emphasis is placed on what really went down in 2007.
This is the Stone family from the inside out. It is not a nasty, dirty Sly Stone tell all. This the story of a proud woman who loves her family and perceives her direction from on High. A must read for any historical funkster. The book will be released on 1/1/12. Advance orders are being taken at www.vetstone.com starting 11/12/11
West Coast Correspondent
Album Review - Charles Wright "That Funky Thang" ("Old Soul and New Soul")
I just did something that I haven't done in a while. I just posted the following two reviews of Charles Wright "That Funky Thang" on my Twitter feed (@kozmicfunk) at about 9:30 am est.
REVIEW 1 - @kozmicfunk ChasWright "That Funky Thang" FUNKBANGER http://www.expressyourself.net #houseparty #invitefriends #BrownLiquor #JAM #4am #BlackPeople #RNB #FUNK RT
REVIEW 2 - @kozmicfunk ChasWright "That Funky Thang" GROOVE http://www.expressyourself.net #bestthingtoday #RachelMaddow #retrosoul #DapKings #bqemusic #fitz&tantrums RT
If you go visit my page on Twitter @kozmicunk you can view these two reviews if you like. According to Twitter I have 769 "followers." Despite that I doubt if many of those followers will "retweet," either of the two reviews for two reasons.
1. It's been 3-4 months since I posted anything on Twitter, so I doubt if any of those 769 "followers" are paying attention to anything that I have to say.
2. Very few of those 769 "followers" are even awake at 9:30 am est on a Sunday morning.
Of course I knew all of this in advance, but I still wanted to post these two very different reviews, targeted at two completely different demographic groups that I feel strongly would fall in love with the album Charles Wright "That Funky Thang", for a reason.
If you look closely at the #hashtags" contained in the two reviews, the two different demographic groups are easily apparent, given the 140 character limitations of Twitter.....(review continued here)
Garland Jeffreys - The King of In Between
As a former Fortune 500 Strategic Planner, one of the key items that I was trained to look for is something called "convergence." That is to say, analyzing a whole series of internal/external business, technology and operational factors and looking for natural patterns of "convergence" between those factors. Doing this type of analysis on the natural patterns of convergence, would lead me to draw certain conclusions about the potential "future state" of these factors, leading me to begin to structure a strategy that would enhance/create business opportunities around certain 'converged factors." The implementation of that strategy is left to others to figure out.
The title of Garland Jeffreys new album is "The King Of In Between" and that title suggests a kind of "convergence." And that convergence is a reflection of the various 'factors' that seemingly make up the sum total of what I will refer to here as the "Garland Jeffreys Experience."
In the case of the album, some of these factors are obvious and we have certainly seen them displayed in the past both from Garland as well as by other artists. For example, there are songs on this album that are about existing in a world that never quite accepts the fact that you are a person of "bi-racial origins." There are songs that celebrate the uniqness of being from NYC, and take that even one step further by celebrating being from Brooklyn......(continued here)
2011 Soul-Patrol Convention Rewind
Right now I am sitting here eating a bagel w/cream cheese & lox. There are relatively few things that I enjoy more in life than doing that. It is probably on my top ten list of things to do.
This past weekend at the 2011 Soul-Patrol Convention, in Philadelphia at a German-American multi-purpose facility called Cannstaters, originally built as a haven for a group of people who were outcast from "normal society," I got a chance to do most of the other 9 things in life that I enjoy doing all squeezed into a relatively compressed 24 hour time period, I wanted to throw a birthday party for an entity called Soul-Patrol that I created 15 years ago by doing much the same thing that I am doing right now. I created it by sitting in this chair, in the middle of the night, just writing down my thoughts about music/culture. I wrote what I wrote without caring if anyone else would ever read what i wrote or if they were to read it, if they would care about anything that I would have to say.
Nevertheless I was compelled to put my thoughts down on paper about a subject matter that I have been obsessed with, since I was about 10 years old. I have been obsessed with the topics of music/culture since I was a child. However as an adult I have gone beyond a simplistic obsession with the collection of factual information. I have moved to the larger obsession of just how all of that factual information just might be connected to each other and what conclusions that having an understanding of those connections will lead me to.
.....(continued here: http://www.soul-patrol.com/convention)
2010 Best Black Music Albums, Tracks & Live Shows
(Classic Soul, Jazz, Southern Soul & Blues, Funk, Neo Soul, Rap & Rock n' Roll)
At the outset I need to explain the purpose of these various lists. We have been producing them since the inception of Soul-Patrol.com in 1996, using various formats. The original name of Soul-Patrol.com was something called "The P*Funk Review." It was a kind of play on the idea that we were primarily a Funk music site combined with our roots on the now defunct Prodigy Online Service (abbreviation = "P*") where I was the music director. Of course we ceased covering just "funk music," long ago and expanded to covering Classic Soul, Jazz, Southern Soul & Blues, Funk, Neo Soul, Rap & Rock n' Roll.
However the "Review" portion of the original name remains true to this day. Here at Soul-Patrol.com we consider it our obligation to identify excellence in Black music, and that is the reason why we create these lists (which you are free to disagree with if you like.)
The other purpose that these lists serve is that to a large extent we use them to define what the content of the Soul-Patrol Convention will be. In 2011 we will in fact have a Soul-Patrol Convention at a time and location yet to be determined and as has always been our custom all of the folks that appear on these lists are automaticly invited to participate in the 2011 Soul-Patrol Convention.
However since this year we are going to utilizing the 2011 Soul-Patrol Convention to highlight what is the 15th Anniversary of Soul-Patrol.com itself, all previous Soul-Patrol.com "Best of" awardees from all 15 previous years are also invited to participate in this year's Soul-Patrol Convention.
Stay tuned for more information about the date and location of the 2011 Soul-Patrol Convention...
I really do hate making lists. Which means that something is going to get left off, and no doubt I have left something out? The other thing about making lists is that they are "vertical" in nature as opposed to being "horizontal." This means that by definition a list will only tell you "half of the story." To get the entire story, you must also do the horizontal piece, by connecting the dots together. And of course that is what we do during the course of the year in all of the music/concert reviews that we do on the www.soul-patrol.com website and in all of the hand selected playlists on www.radioio.com.
And for Black music, an entity that seems so intent on destroying itself, knowing the entire story is absolutely critical. And telling that entire story is something that I feel quite strongly about. Fortunately I am in a position to do so, simply because I get to actually hear everything from the mainstream crap to the under the radar gems that the mainstream media is trying to keep hidden from us.
View the the Soul-Patrol.com Best of 2010 2010 Best Black Music Albums, Tracks & Live Shows
(Classic Soul, Jazz, Southern Soul & Blues, Funk, Neo Soul, Rap & Rock n' Roll) lists at this link...
Bob Davis - Soul-Patrol.com/RadioIO.com
798 Woodlane Rd
Mount Holly, NJ 08060
PRESS RELEASE: Jacques Schwarz-Bart - "RISE ABOVE" (featuring Stephanie McKay)
EDITORS NOTE: I wanted to make you all aware of the following press release, but before I do I would like to add a few items...
1. The new album from Jacques Schwarz-Bart called "RISE ABOVE" (featuring Stephanie McKay) was released yesterday. Check it out at the following link: www.brotherjacques.com
2. Of course many of you will recall Stephanie McKay and her fantastic song "RAINBOW" from the Soul-Patrol Digital/Virtual Album back in 2007. You will also recall that song was named by VIBE Magazine (Mark Anthony Neal) as one of the top 10 releases of 2007. (http://www.soul-patrol.com/newsletter/in/view1.php?id=202) and of course has been featured on the Nu Soul @ RadioIO channel
3. Well the song RAINBOW - STEPHANIE MCKAY gets it's official/official release on the album "RISE ABOVE" by Jacques Schwarz-Bart (and we are extremely happy about that!!!) In fact Stephanie can be heard singing on most of the songs on the album. www.brotherjacques.com
4. As a part of the celebration of the release of "RISE ABOVE" Jacques Schwarz-Bart & Stephanie McKay will be doing a residency during the month of September @ the NuBlu club in NYC at 62 Avenue C, New York, NY 10009-6916.
5. And to top it all off, tomorrow (9/2) is my brother Mike's birthday. We will be at the NuBlu club tomorrow night to check out Jacques Schwarz-Bart & Stephanie McKay LIVE. Come on out and join us if you are in the NYC area & if you can't, check out some of the other September dates in NYC.
5. I have listened to the album "RISE ABOVE" and I like it quite a bit. If you loved the song "RAINBOW" then you are going to dig this album as well. It's just about as perfect a blend of Jazz/Soul/Funk as we can possibly ask for in 2010. www.brotherjacques.com
Anyhow, enough of my ramblings.
Here is the press release...
Soulful sax man Jacques Schwarz-Bart makes his Dreyfus Jazz recording debut with Rise Above, an eclectic blend of jazz and neo-soul with the earthy rhythms of the Gwoka music from his native Guadeloupe. featuring the stirring vocal stylings of former Brooklyn Funk Essentials singer Stephanie McKay. Rise Above is an epic culmination of this son of a Black Guadeloupean mother and a French Jewish father's diverse experiences. "The great common denominator between all the styles I love, being Gwoka, Jazz, or Soul, is that the music starts with the drums. It is all about the feel," he says. "Each of these musical forms offers me an opportunity to express my personal feelings and unique story. I always felt that they needed to come together".
Following his arrival in New York a decade ago, Schwarz-Bart first received widespread exposure as a member of Roy Hargrove's AfroCuban big band Crisol. He was later an important part of the trumpeter's groundbreaking RH Factorband - one of the first and most successful jazz/urban crossovers. Schwarz-Bart's tune "Forget Regret," featuring McKay's vocal, became a hit single from the band's much acclaimed Hard Groove album. Succeeding Hargrove as leader of the horn section for neo-soul god D'angelo, the saxist began writing tunes based on a mixture of soul and jazz with gwoka flavors. After connecting with soulmate Stephanie McKay, he started writing the songs with lyrics that would come together on Rise Above: "Adding her vocal presence completed the concept, allowing me to embrace a wide range of emotions, and find an artistic balance between simplicity and abstraction," says Jacques.
The sound of Rise Above reflects Schwarz-Bart's impressive resume which includes work with such popular music luminaries as Erykah Badu, Meshell Ndegeocello, Eric Benet, and Soulive, as well as jazz barrier breakers James Hurt, Danilo Perez and David Gilmore, but it's concept is distinctively the leader's own, reflect his unique background and heritage. "This is my oldest project, and yet the one that took the longest to achieve, he says. "I was waiting to have enough experience before taking on this complex musical chemistry." Rise Above is a concept album where each tune is whole and complete while at the same time taking a crucial part in the overall balance, like a planet in a galaxy. First and foremost it is a melodic album where every theme can be sung, which is done beautifully by both McKay vocally and Schwarz-Bart instrumentally.
Each of the ten tracks on Rise Above blend the different earthy rhythms of gwoka with jazzy harmonies and chosen nuggets of soul and funk that "thicken the sauce," giving a modern dimension to the sound that is sure to appeal to hip audiences. In addition to the proven hit "Forget Regret," other notable tracks include lead single "Feel So Free" (see video at http://vimeo.com/11641706), "Rainbow" and the closing "Home," co-written with Meshell Ndegeocello.
Concert Review: BB King @ Keswick in Philly (July 5th, 2010)
A day late and a dollar short I'm here to review the B.B. King concert of July 5th, 2010 @ The Keswick Theatre in Glenside, Pa.. The Keswick is fast becoming the venue for seeing a concert featuring a wide, almost Ed Sullivanian array of artists.
The crowd, their antics and opinions often equal the main attraction for provocative ness and entertainment value. More about that later.
The opening act for Mr. King was a band named for it's leader: Lukas Nelson. The irony is not lost on me that as Willie Nelson's cousin, Lukas and band represent a new generation of blues. As representative of his family we all know how famously Willie loves to straddle that thinnest of lines that exists between bluegrass/C&W/Country-Rock and the blues and rhythm and blues.
Willie Nelson's recordings with Ray Charles are legendary and Ray himself made a short but prosperous living dabbling in C&W. Lukas Nelson did not disappoint as he and his four band mates (drums, percussion, bass and keys) tore through a set that was reminiscent of the Big Brother and the Holding Company/Elvin Bishop/Hot Tuna sort of sound as well as the percussive Latin tinged rhythms of Carlos Santana.
You see if you don't know now you know. ALL IS THE BLUES! Everything or mostly everything you hear and dig has some sort of connection no matter how oblique to the blues. The fact that Lukas Nelson learned his lessons well and applied his teachings appropriately with such a young group of cats indicates that there IS hope!
Now if some of my more melanin enhanced brethren could turn away from the pro-tools, vocoders, autotunes and other various 'perfect-beat providers' and pick up and instrument we might really see some hell raised but for now we have Lukas Nelson and band to provide for us the very best in diverse blues.
The main act Mr. B.B. King himself came on after a brief intermission. At 84 years old Mr. King eased onto the stage after the band- review-style- tore up a couple of unidentifiable but really funky tunes. At this point folk like B.B King, Herbie Hancock, Willie Nelson, Madonna, Stevie Wonder and Aretha Franklin are slices of what is called Americana. They are icons and it really doesn't matter what they do...(review continued).
Concert Review: Sugarfoot's Ohio Players, (Masters Of Funk) @ Dell Music Center in Philly (July 5th, 2010)
I now will get into a masterful yet truncated Sugarfoot's Ohio Players set. First of all let it be said here that Leroy 'Sugarfoot' Bonner is easily one of the great soul/funk icons of all time and as it turns out a wonderfully honest and loving human being. His awareness of all around him and his need to include that into the context of his compositions both musically and spiritually make him one of my funk heroes. We interviewed Mr.Bonner and it should be up on the Soul Patrol site by week's end. I wont say anything else personally about the man because I don't want to take away from this beautifully conducted interview involving myself, Bob Davis and Mr. Bonner.
There's always a headliner of the actual Masters themselves. This band is the only band that shows up in complete and they take the stage as a band unto themselves. Other Masters Of Funk may perform with them but mostly it's just that band's set. This occurred before with The SOS Band and tonight this role was reserved for Sugarfoot's Ohio Players.
Weaving in and out of the Master's set smoothly, this version of the Ohio Players is soooooo good that it makes one wonder if we can get a Night with Sugarfoot's Ohio Players-all to themselves playing ALL of the hits.
As George Clinton, Stanley Clarke and Charlie (Uncle Charlie) Wilson have done previously Mr. Bonner has assembled some fine YOUNG (clearly no one over thirty) musicians. He's trained em, taken all of their chops and finely honed them to fit laser-like through the eye of a needle and in so doing has created a musical entity that comes as close to any of their recordings LIVE as any of the older Ohio Players groups have EVER done.....(review continued)
INTERVIEW: Larry Graham
(BY: "Dr G": Darden and DJ Mike Hall)
"Dr G": The best known up and coming rapper known as Drake says you are his uncle. Are you Drake's uncle?
Larry Graham: I have not met him yet to verify this. I have read it but I don't know. My daughter responded to his MySpace so we have reached out to him but they have not yet responded. We could be related but I don't know yet.
"Dr G": The first time I saw GCS was at a small club in Atlanta in 1973. I was a poor Morehouse student and you walked me into the club with your arm around me. I had no money but you and Hershall Happiness made sure I saw the show. This was your first show in Atlanta as GCS. How are Hershall and Chocolate doing and how is her funk box?
Larry Graham: Chocolate is living in LA. She toured with us a little while back and she is on the "Live in London" video soon to be available for you to see. Hershall is also on that video. I heard from him in the last 2 weeks. David Dynamite is no longer with us and Willie Wild came to a show recently. I talked to Butch a couple weeks ago.
DJ Mike Hall: The group we saw at The Birchmere the other night was very tight. When I imagine Larry Graham today, I envision a musician living his dream. You work at your own pace, enjoying family & friends, enjoying the benefits of your successes. You are not a slave to the music. You seem to be on top of things. How do you achieve that and what would you say to the young musicians about how to achieve that?
Larry Graham: Put spiritual things first and like Jesus said, you can't serve two masters. If spirituality is first and you love the music it's much more enjoyable and you are not so concerned about material things. You don't want to be a slave to the music and strive after those things like King Soloman did in the Bible. They don't know who their real friend is. We put spiritual things first and music is always a joy. I don't have a bunch of bills so it becomes a joy and I can work when I want to.
"Dr G": You want to speak on your spirituality and how it affects Brother Nelson (Prince) and your beautiful wife Tina.
Larry Graham: I had heard about Tina braiding hair. On the first GCS album cover you see everybody's hair braided except David Dynamite. She breaded everybody's hair.
"Dr G": People ask you everywhere?
Larry Graham: It took her 8 hours to braid my hair. The whole time we talked about the Bible and God. Then Tina's mom was baptized as a Jehovah Witness in 1974. Tina attended and contacted me and we both started studying. I was baptized a year later. I met Prince 12 years ago. GCS played the amphi-theater in Nashville while Prince was at the arena. He asked me to jam with him at a small club in Nashville. I didn't know he was raised on my music from Sly to GCS. He had tons of questions about the Bible and eventually asked me to move to Minnesota to teach him the Bible. We were going to move from Jamaica anyway, so we moved to Minnesota to help Prince study the Bible.
DJ Mike Hall: I just want to say that the tour with you and Prince was the last time I remember you being in the DC area and that conversation on stage between you and Prince was one of the most amazing moments that I have seen on stage. That just lives with me. What's coming up next?
Go here for the rest of the review: http://www.soul-patrol.com/funk/graham.htm
"Dr G": Darden and DJ Mike Hall
June 21, 2010
Commentary - Memo From The Grave of Lee Atwater: "When In Doubt Always Employ Race Baiting, It's a Winning Strategy"
Who in the hell is Lee Atwater?
(and why am I wasting time writing about him, instead of an album review?)
Well Lee Atwater is an "old family friend" of the Soul-Patrol.com website. In fact the very first award that we ever got was because of Lee Atwater.
Back in 1997 I wrote an essay entitled:
"Lee Atwater and the Destruction of Black Music"
In 1998 Yahoo Internet Magazine (at that time a print publication) named Soul-Patrol.com as the Best Soul/R&B website on the entire internet. As a part of doing so, they also wrote a detailed review of the website where they sited Soul-Patrol.com as being a place that explored music on a much deeper level than just track listings, discographies, artist biographies, etc. And they said that essays like "Lee Atwater and the Destruction of Black Music," were a big part of the reason why it was a required destination for music fans who wanted to know more than simply chart information or record industry propaganda. And of course, today we still continue along that same path (much to the displeasure of some of you)
Lee Atwater was a young political consultant from South Carolina who was the protégé of Mr. Harry S. Dent. In 1968 Harry Dent devised something called the "southern strategy" for the Presidential campaign of Richard Nixon. Of course the 'southern strategy" was indeed a winning strategy for Nixon. While Harry Dent created the "southern strategy," it was Lee Atwater who perfected it.
Lee Atwater was a person who was extremely knowledgeable about Black culture, in fact he was not only a big fan of Black culture, he was even a Blues musician. Some of you may even remember Lee Atwater playing the guitar alongside BB King, back in 1980's. He was able to use his knowledge of Black culture to refine the "southern strategy" into the science that propelled the winning elections of Ronald Reagan and George HW Bush in 1980, 1984 & 1988. Using his knowledge of Black culture, Lee Atwater developed the brilliant "Welfare Queen," "Willie Horton," and other ad's that scared the hell out of white voters. Lee Atwater passed away in the early 1990's. On his deathbed he is said to have asked Black Americans for their forgiveness in using them as a "pawn" to attract white voters to the candidates that had hired him.
As you might well imagine, that essay I wrote about Lee Atwater over a decade ago has generated a whole lot of feedback over the years. I have gotten email from the KKK to Lee Atwater's children about that essay. Of course if you read the essay (it's still in it's raw form, written in a burst of energy at 3am with lots of typos & mis-spellings,) you will see that I am in firm agreement with Nelson George and his book; In the book, Nelson George says, that "R&B ended around 1980." I go one step further and suggest that the fact that R&B ended was no accident and for that we have Lee Atwater to thank....(Continued here)
PRESS RELEASE: Bob Davis Presents American Popular Music Evolution @ Keswick Theatre in Glenside, PA (12/1/2009)
PRESS RELEASE: Bob Davis Presents American Popular Music Evolution @ Keswick Theatre in Glenside, PA (12/1/2009)
"A most unique, constructive and instructive approach to hold a class on American Popular Music, its history, its innovators and its social/political impact over the past 100 years…"
I want to let all of you know about this upcoming seminar/presentation that I will be giving in Philadelphia on 12/1/2009. If you are an educational institution in the area, I would strongly advise you to contact the Keswick for information on how your students can participate. If you are outside of the Philadelphia area or can't make the date, and are interested in this seminar contact me directly at 609-351-0854 for information on how to bring this educational program to your area. I have delivered this program to elementry schools thru universitys and to community organizations. This interactive session highlights the most influential artists, producers, record labels, entrepreneurs across American Popular Music Styles (Blues, Country, R&B, Rock, Jazz, and Hip Hop) and cross references the two way impact across American History. It combines historical data with analysis/commentary, and multimedia capabilities, this fast paced overview a leaves the student with a clear understanding of the tapestry of the American Music Art Form and it's intersection with American Cultural/Social/Political History.
The session is easily adapted/targeted for diverse audiences and has been presented to both small and large groups from the elementary school level to high schools, universities, community organization and seniors.
Brooklyn native Bob Davis, the creator/instructor of this class, holds degrees in Political Science and Economics from the University of Pittsburgh. After a successful career on Wall Street, he co-founded Soul-Patrol.com as a "hub" for gathering music and information. This site, one of the largest and oldest of it's type offers many different music industry types, across multiple genres including, performers, executives and owners, writers, producers, radio and club DJs, historians and of course music fans. Mr. Davis is also a Music Director at RadioIO.com on of the Internet's largest radio networks, where he is responsible for programming 8 different types of R&B, Rock, Hip Hop and Blues stations for a worldwide audience.
Bob Davis has consulted with entities such as Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame, R&B Foundation, Future of Music Coalition, STAX Museum, Black Rock Coalition, Universal Music, Concord Music, Chiltin Circuit Magazine, Rhino Music, Philadelphia Black Heritage Festival, Purpose Records, Shanachie Records, Wake Forest University, and others. Bob consults with artists/labels and small businesses on Internet strategy and technology deployment. Soul-Patrol is also engaged in software development and innovative content distribution projects (ex: Soul-Patrol Virtual Album) focused on improving the deployment of music/culture on the internet.
With all of this information archived, Bob has "connected the dots" to establish not only a time line, but the connection between the various "styles" of music. The obvious and not so obvious interrelationships between Blues, Country, Rock n' Roll, Jazz, Blues, R&B. and Hip Hop, showing a virtual "tree" and the branches of that same "tree" and the interconnection of the styles that have been the uniqueness of American Music.
The student gets an elaborate account of the evolution of these musical styles and the corresponding impact of American history. The course will compel the participants to dig even deeper.
CONTACT: Bob Davis, 609-351-0154 email@example.com
ALBUM REVIEW: Mighty Sam McClain - Betcha Didn't Know
I was introduced to Mighty Sam's music on Soul Patrol many years ago. I had the pleasure of meeting Mighty Sam and his wife a few years ago, along with a few of my SP friends from Chicago. (and he's a very nice person)
He has a new CD out entitled "Betcha Didn't Know". 13 tracks that I'm sure you will enjoy.
What I like about Mighty Sam's music is that it's real, and he uses a real band. (no keyboards, drum machines, etc; REAL MUSICIANS and a kick ass horn section!) Plus, Mighty Sam sounds like he's having a great time in the studio.
From the opening track "I Can't Stop The Funk", is exactly what the title of the song says. A nice funky groove that will get you on your feet dancin'....(review continued here)
Radio Daze (online, offline & otherwise)
Clearly internet radio represents the future of radio. And one of the reasons for this is because of the phenomenal amount of choice and diversity that is available.
For example, in preparation for my interview a few weeks ago w/Chuck D's AirAmerica Radio show I did a little bit of research (cuz I always like to have a few stats.....lol) over on Shoutcast, which is a server that aggregates some internet radio traffic.
On a Sunday afternoon at about 3pm Shoutcast showed that there were 500,000 + listeners streaming about 29,000 different radio stations. In my opinion these numbers are phenomenal. It's a clear demonstration that internet radio fills the listening needs of a large segment & ever increasing segment of the population and it shows that there is a wealth of diversity in listening choices. This past week I discussed this same topic among others on the Our Common Ground with Janice Graham show on the USA Talk Network as well.
Of course I am extremely biased and I think that the internet radio that I am personally involved in both here at Soul-Patrol.Net (podcasting) and at RadioIO.com (continuous stream) represents just that type of diversity & relevancy as well.
The listenrship numbers continue to grow. For example the podcast that we did the other day on Soul-Patrol.Net radio for the artist Donnie C's new album, had 4,000 listeners on a single day (pretty good exposure in one day for an "unknown artist"). At the same time the RnB Mix Channel (continuous stream) over on RadioIO.com gets hundreds of thousands of tune ins per month.
-- Soul-Patrol's audio outlet at www.Soul-Patrol.Net averages 70,000 + listeners each month.
-- The 8 stations I run on www.RadioIO.com (Classic RnB, Nu Soul, Classic Hip Hop, RnB Mix, Blues, Today's RnB, Top 20 HipHop & Top 20 RnB) total millions of tune ins each month. And these people don't just tune in. They stay and leave the station on all day long at work or at home, regardless of what "segment" of the Black music marketplace each one of those stations represent. I know this because they email me all day long with running commentaries on what they are hearing.
These numbers continue to grow month after month, especially with the increasing adoption of mobile devices that are capable to tuning in these stations. Much of my email & feedback related to internet radio is coming from folks listening on Blackberry's, iPhones & other mobile devices. And the good news is that many of these mobile users are plugging their devices into their car stereo systems and listening in their vehicles, as Chuck D told us that he does during the interview.
So clearly lots of folks are listening and more importantly, finding what they are looking for and listening from whatever devices suits their lifestyle. And that is really the whole point, being able to find what you are looking for and consuming the content in the manner that you want to consume it.
And truth be told, this is what the terrestrial broadcasters (Clear Channel, Cathy Hughes, etc.) fear even more than the passage of a bill that required them to pay the very same performance royalties to artists that internet radio has been paying for years.
As far as Black Radio is concerned, that ended in the 1980's, when Black radio stations abandoned the communities that had made them successful and decided to go "corporate." When you stopped hearing commercials for "Pookie's Funeral Parlor on 119th & Malcolm X Blvd." and started hearing commercials instead for "Enormous Corporate Scottish Brand Name Generic/Unhealthy Hamburgers", that was the end of Black radio. These stations lost their "community focus", because the person paying the bills (the advertisers), were no longer a part of nor did they care about the community. As a result the stations became just as bland & predictable as the "generic hamburgers" they advertised.
PREDICTION: Old skool Black radio oddly enough in the technologically advanced age we are in now has a chance to return. Black owned businesses (large & small) will now be in a position to sponsor both internet radio/tv programming. As the sponsor, they will be instrumental in insuring the voice of the community is heard.
NP: "Give The People What They Want"
2008 Best Black Music Albums, Tracks & Live Shows (Classic Soul, Jazz, Southern Soul & Blues, Funk, Neo Soul, Rap & Rock n' Roll)
Also posted at:
These rankings are also posted on www.soul-patrol.com and www.radioio.com as well as other places around the internet. Feel free to repost them wherever you hang out at online.
I really do hate making lists. That's because they have a beginning, a middle and an end. Which means that something is going to get left off, and no doubt I have left something out.
At any rate I have compiled a list of what I think are the very best ALBUMS (listed in rank order) and SONGS (listed in rank order/Black music style) released in 2008.
In addition to the rankings, clicking on the links below will enable you to listen to sound bytes from the associated albums and songs. If you are thinking about buying any of these, rest assured that you can buy them "sight unheard", they are ALL wicked, jazzy, funky, soulful, rockin joints that it is my extreme pleasure to turn you on to.This is a great year for Black music (Classic Soul, Jazz, Southern Soul & Blues, Funk, Neo Soul, Rap & Rock n' Roll), probably the best this decade! So we as music lovers had quite a bit to smile about in 2008.
Thanks in advance for your consideration...
Bob Davis - Soul-Patrol
798 Woodlane Rd
Mount Holly, NJ 08060
Also posted at:
Best of All Time in Funk/Jazz/Soul/Rock/Blues & Culture
Quite a few people have been writing in to me complaining about various lists that have been published by Rolling Stone Magazine over the years. The complaints have ranged from a lack of knowlege to outright rascim with respect to these lists. In my opinion it makes little sense in 2008 to complain about lists produced by Rolling Stone or any other entity. We are on the internet, we have mailing lists, we have message boards, we have blogs, we have the capability to create and publish our own list of who we think are the best artists, songs, etc.
THEREFORE I SAY F#@#&@#*K ROLLING STONE MAGAZINE, WE CAN CREATE OUR OWN
And over the years we have done exactly that here at Soul-Patrol.com. Not only do we announce our listing of best releases each year (and we will do so again for 2008 later this week), we also conducted a little survey of our readership back in the year 2000 of the BEST OF ALL TIME.
As selected by the "Soul-Patrol Board of Directors", back in the year 2000, we think these are the tops in Funk, Jazz, Soul, Rock, Blues and Culture, thru the year 2000. We published these results at the following link: http://www.soul-patrol.com/2000
These results are also published in this newsletter. Scroll down and see if you concur. Share it with your friends, argue about it create your own if you like. And if you disagree, why not consider creating your own list on your MySpace page, your website, etc. In 2008 you all have the ways and means to do so, and I would encourage you to follow suit. But whatever you do, don't complain to me about Rolling Stone, who really gives a crap about what they have to say about this topic. This is OUR music and if we actually care about it, lets start with ourselves and give it the props that it deserves.
Photos by James VandeZee
Check it out at the following link: http://www.soul-patrol.com/2000
Thanks in advance for your consideration...and next week look for Soul-Patrol's Best of 2008 In Black Music.
Bob Davis - Soul-Patrol
798 Woodlane Rd
Mount Holly, NJ 08060
If you would like to ask a question about Soul-Patrol feel free to contact the owner Bob Davis.
If you would like to ask a question about Soul-Patrol feel free to contact the owner Bob Davis.
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