This show took place on 3/24/2007 and was a part of the Berks Jazz Fest at the 1,200 seat Scottish Rite Cathedral in West Reading PA.
It was a special all star aggregation of musicians assembled by our own Jason Miles called "Soul Summit". The whole idea was to do an evening of Soul/Funk music within the context of a two week long "smooth jazz" extravaganza. It was a badd azz 90 minute show. Our girl Maysa Leek was there and turned it out as well.
Here is the line up for the show: World Premiere Concert Soul Summit Featuring
I really enjoyed this concert!
There were tributes to legends like Jr. Walker & the All Stars, Irma Thomas, Dusty Springfield (Susan Tedeschi) and others. However the highlight of the show was the James Brown Tribute (featuring I Feel Good, I Got The Feeling & Sex Machine), which closed out the show.
Our girl Maysa Leek "channeled Lyn Collins" during the James Brown set, but it was really Karl Denson who turned out!
Not only did he make the aggregation sound like "the JB's" on sax, but as he emerged from the horn section in the back to come out front and take over the lead vocalist role, Karl Denson slid across the floor (a' la James Brown), just like a "sex machine".
Of course as all of this was transpiring, I was up on my feet grooving to this stank azz funk. However I did notice that I was virtually alone inside of the 1,200 seat Scottish Rite Cathedral (which appeared to be full to my eyes).
NOBODY WAS DANCING
I looked around to see if there was indeed a sign posted that said
"NO DANCING PERMITTED"
But there was no such sign.
Then I remembered two very important facts:
1. The concert was in "West Reading, PA" and not in "Reading, PA". I have spent quite a bit of time during my life in the city of Reading and its surrounding areas. It is indeed a "tale of two cities" & it's not a pretty "tale" at all.
2. This was a "smooth jazz" crowd (which by definition is
The show ended and I bolted backstage to see if I could talk to the performers and to congratulate them on a great show. As I was "bolting", I noticed in the corner of my eye a tall/slender white woman calling out my name. I stopped, turned around and saw that it was our friend Kayte Connelly (Former Executive Director of the Berks Jazz Festival & the R&B Foundation). We hugged and without missing a beat Katie said "I thought that had to be you when I saw a Black dude standing up, dancing & and writing in a notebook at the same time during the show, I gotta get you backstage..."
(and that was exactly what she did.......lol)
Once backstage Jason Miles introduced me around by saying... "This is Bob Davis of the REAL SOUL-PATROL, everyone here needs to get to know him"
- I interviewed Maysa Leek and congratulated her for making Soul-Patrol.com's best of 2006 for her album "Sweet Classic Soul". Maysa told me that she's got another solo album (remember she's also a member of Incognito) coming out soon!
- I interviewed Karl Denson and we had a wide ranging discussion mainly focused around the topic of "How come Black people don't support Black Music anymore?" I told Karl that is just so happens that I know a whole bunch of Black people who support Black music and best of all "I know where they live....".
- I interviewed the legendary funk drummer Steve Ferrone (Passport, AWB, Pat Metheny, Duran Duran, Eric Clapton, Anita Baker, George Benson, Jonathan Butler, Whitney Houston, Chaka Khan, Freddie King, Marcus Miller, Jeffrey Osborne, Paul Simon, Bernie Worrell, Jaco Pastorius, etc). Steve Ferrone was well aware of Soul-Patrol and he told me that he's got a LIVE CD that he wants to get into my hands. (I can hardly wait)
We all took some pictures and then the backstage area quickly emptied out.
Jason Miles & I walked out into the lobby we talked about the 2007 Soul-Patrol Convention and he said that he would be there. I said you betta be to get your award cuz your name is on the flyer....lol
Jason then said...
"You mean TWO awards Bob, cuz I also won one in 2005..."
"My bad....you are correct...
"What's Going On Tribute To Marvin Gaye" (2006)
"Miles To Miles" (2005)"
Jason Miles was indeed selected to Soul-Patrol's "Best of" TWO YEARS IN A ROW!
Look for him at the 2007 Soul-Patrol Convention in May and when you see him, thank him.
Quiet as it's kept, Jason Miles is doing a whole lot more than most to make sure that the legacy of Black music is something that indeed will have a future. Not only has he done award winning tribute albums to Marvin Gaye & Miles Davis two years in a row, but the staging of this "Soul Summit" concert as a part of the Berks Jazz Festival was truly a great thing. Onstage during the show Jason made several thoughtful comments regarding the still onging crisis in New Orleans as well as the need for these type of concerts to connect people together. I enjoyed the heck out of the show and the good news is that there are going to be more of these type of concerts across the country (and we will let you know about them).
In the meanwhile check out Jason Miles online at: http://www.jasonmilesmusic.com
As I left the Scottish Rite Cathedral and drove back towards Route 422 I decided to take a detour and cruise around the city of Reading for a little while. The city of Reading is pretty much a "hell hole" (not unlike places like Camden, Chester and other places where the industry has left, leaving both the economy & the people "depressed".) I drove past Reading's most famous "landmark" the long deserted station of the Reading Railroad on Chestnut & 7th (made famous by the Monopoly board game, during a time when both the railroad & the city were "industrial giants"). I looked outside of my car window in horror as I drove down streets that looked like "someone forgot to turn on the street lights" at repeated scenes of large groups of young people with nothing to do, hookers, pimps, drug dealers, etc. I wondered if the music that I had just heard at that wonderful STANK FUNKY concert, just an hour before might make a difference in the lives of the people that I saw on the streets of Reading, PA, near and around the site of one of the most famous places in American popular culture (The Reading Railroad Train Station)?
Although the "Soul Summit" concert had taken place less than two miles from Chestnut & 7th. It might has well have been on another planet.
I don't think it's the fault of the concert organizers or anyone else. "It's just the way things are in 2007"
I do however think that there is something wrong with our society that we can't somehow figure out a way to move these "two worlds" just a little closer together?
My view is that if we can find a way to move these "two worlds" closer to each other we will do two things
- Save our culture
- Save ourselves
NP: "What's Going On"
**Jason Miles: "What's Going On" (Songs of Marvin Gaye)
On the surface it would be easy for me to dismiss this CD as being "fluff". However I think that in 2006 we have to look deeper into the possibilities of what something like this impending mass popularity that this CD offers.
The legacy of Marvin Gaye has always been a puzzle to me. Obviously Marvin Gaye is one of the greatest examples of the kind of music that we hold near and dear to our hearts at Soul-Patrol. And of course there is hardly a human being on the planet who isn't willing to admit that they aren't a fan of some phase of Marvin's music. However Marvin Gaye has also become something of an icon that is paid "lip service" to and while it's politically incorrect to ever say anything bad about him, in reality he isn't really as popular or his music as institutionalized as one might think. I suppose that paying tribute to Marvin Gaye is always a good thing to do, his music deserves to be expanded into areas and exposed to people who really might not be hip to his greatness. And I would imagine that this CD will end up being a huge hit on "Smooth Jazz Radio". It's got all of the right hooks in it to make quite a bit of noise in a commercial sense, in fact this CD could even be marketed to the sometimes confused "neo soul scene". And I suppose that's where its real value lies. The potential for this CD ro reach deep within the iPod headsets of younger people is a very real thing.
"What's Going On" (Songs of Marvin Gaye) is the type of an album that makes for good driving music, background music at a gathering like a coattail party, art galley show or even a corporate reception. (Although I'm not quite sure that Marvin Gaye himself would have been exactly welcome at a "corporate reception"). It's good "buppie" music and it features the talents of well known/popular artists like Marcus Miller, Herb Alpert, Bobby Caldwell, DJ Logic ,Chiara Civello, Mike Mattiso and Dean Brown.. I could even see the music from this CD being used in TV commercials, movie soundtracks, ring tones and other highly lucrative endeavors.
I suppose that I will never quite be satisfied with ANY "Marvin Gaye Tribute", simply because I want the REAL Marvin Gaye. It's kind of like the wave of Jimi Hendrix tributes in the recent past. There is so much actual Marvin Gaye material available to the public thanks to the great reissue program at Universal/Motown, featuring the Marvin Gaye CD Deluxe packages ("What's Going On", "Lets Get it On" and "I Want You"), that actually are improvements on the original LP's from the 1970's and help us to truly understand the context of the situations that drove Marvin. Those CD's represent what I want younger people to hear from Marvin. I want them to feel the raw passion and intensity of a confused mad genius, during a confused time in American history. Marvin was a true artist who was searching for answers to the riddles of love, race, culture, war and everyday life.
Marvin Gaye was willing to explore all of those topics while at the same time exposing his own personal insanity and insecurity for all to see like an open sore. By allowing all of us to see the confusion, conflict and contradictions of his own existence, Marvin Gaye forced all of the rest of us to look inside and take stock of our own personal confusion, conflict and contradictions. By doing so, Marvin Gaye became an artist who actually had a major impact on our society and changed it for the better. I want all of that passion to be transported into the minds and hearts of younger people and I want them to get angry enough accept the responsibility to change our society, so that they will have a society of value in the future as opposed to the valueless society they are creating today. I'm not really sure that the power of Marvin Gaye's music and ideas can ever truly be represented outside of the context of his own voice. Therefore I want younger people to hear Marvin Gaye, dong Marvin Gaye music.
However I also realize that it's highly unlikely that I will get what I want. Younger people aren't inclined to seek out the best of Marvin Gaye in it's "raw form" on their own, because they just think of him as another "oldies artist". Those who do tend to focus on only his hit records, without probing deeper. Maybe in 2006 the best way to get younger people to truly embrace Marvin Gaye is to first get them to embrace an album like "What's Going On" (Songs of Marvin Gaye)? No doubt this will become a popular album and we will be hearing it in many forms and in many places over the next year. My hope is that all of those who hear it will use it as a platform to seek out the actual music of Marvin Gaye.
And if that can happen, then I appluad Jason Miles for making this album. This is what he accomplished with his last CD "Miles To Miles", where he opened up similar possibilities for the music of Miles Davis and we named it as one of "Soul-Patrol's Best of 2005."
**Jason Miles - "Miles To Miles"
Well, Well Well.......This is a special to ALL of you "MF's" (Miles Fans) out there. PLEASE DO NOT SLEEP ON THIS ALBUM. The legacy of Miles Davis is certainly an ongoing topic of interest here on Soul-Patrol. That's because Miles Davis is one of our "core artists". As such we know that without the music of Miles Davis, that thing we commonly refer to as "jazz", simply doesn't exist at all within the context that Soul-Patrol defines it. That's because Miles Davis "The Prince of Darkness" means so much to us on a cultural/spiritual level. What Jason Miles has done with the new CD "Miles To Miles", is to take the music of Miles Davis and not reform or reshape it (that would be heresy), but to simply go back to the 1980's timeframe of Miles Davis and extend it to 2005 Featuring an all star lineup including: Gerald Albright, Marc Antoine, Bob Berg, Michael Brecker, Randy Brecker, Maria de Burros, Karls Denson, Tom Harrell, Karsh Kale, DJ Logic, Keiko Matsui, Me'Shell Ndegeocello, Nicholas Payton, David Sanchez and more. If you are a fan of Miles Davis in the 1980's period, this album is essential to own if you are a Miles Davis fan. And if you aren't a Miles Davis fan, this would be a good one to pick up on to find out just what all of the fuss is about...
--Bob Davis firstname.lastname@example.org