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Archive for March, 2007

Nicola Conte
“Bossa Per Due”

You can’t feature a set of Acid Jazz artists without including Nicola Conte. The music here is strong and steady. I’ll soon be wrapping up this “secret agent” music, it seems. It was good for a time, as it certainly helped me focus in on some things.

I’m not sure where we’ll be soon, but I want to delve into something new. We shall see. Secret Agent music may be around for a few more days. It just depends on how life evolves.

From the Album: Bossa per Due

Charlie Parker

A few people have asked me what I played on my saxophone the other day. Here’s the song (but in a different key). Naturally, Charlie sounds better than I do. I’m a bit out of practice.

Charlie Parker can rightfully be considered the father of modern jazz.

It looks like the secret agent music gets a second lease on life for a while. I’m sorry to those of you who like words in songs, but you’ll just have to be patient. The good times are coming for you again one day.

From the Album: Charlie Parker with Strings

Dave Brubeck
“Take 5”

I know this is a bit played and completely obvious. You don’t have to tell me that. I was a fan of Dave Brubeck’s music from the moment his sounds first graced my ears. I chose this song while listening to Medeski, Martin & Wood’s “Latin Shuffle”. I would have posted it but it is too long. It’s also probably a bit much for some of you. MM&W are crossover artists. Their music is phenomenal. Check them out sometime.

I know I’ve said it before, but I’m wrapping up the “secret agent” music. Take 5 is a great way to end it.

The only problem is, I’m not sure where that takes us for tomorrow.

From the Album: The Essential Dave Brubeck

Louis Jordan
“Is you is or is you aint my baby”

I gave this some thought. Where to go after “secret agent” week? Jazz/Blues Standards. You may be hearing things that are a bit obvious and played but they’ll be fun.

This particular song was probably my first exposure to “Jump Blues”, or any blues for that matter. When I was a kid, Tom & Jerry was always on the tube. There was a particular episode in which a female cat came onto the show and Tom sang this song to her. I remember thinking it was hilarious.

Louis Jordan was one of the biggest musical acts of the 1940s. He also played saxophone — That’s why he gets to kick off this week’s music.

From the Album: Louis Jordan and His Tympany Five

Cab Calloway
“Minnie the Moocher”

Good old Cab. This is fun music for sure. He was an extraordinary scat singer, as well as a band leader at the Cotton Club, in New York City.

I’ve always liked this song.

From the Album: Minnie the Moocher

“Just a Gigolo”

This song was immortalized by David Lee Roth. I’m sure you remember the video.
Louis Prima paved the way, though. He wrote this song half a century ago.

There’s more…

He recorded for Capitol, acted in a movie or two, even owned a golf course. Prima’s genius is infectious: lounge, swing, and Dixieland all fuse together into medleys that are fun, dance-worthy, and upbeat. Prima’s duets with Keely Smith are the obvious highlights here: “That Ol’ Black Magic,” “Hey Boy! Hey Girl!,” and “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” are essential Prima tracks. Sure, the cheese factor occasionally runs high, but it is a fun trip. –Jason Verlinde

From the Album: Capitol Collectors Series

Ray Charles
“This Little Girl of Mine”

Ray Charles was amazing. He did wonders for musicians during his time. The movie “Ray” brought to light many of the struggles Ray had as an artist. One of which was the opposition he faced when he started mixing gospel (mostly negro spirituals) with his music. This track “This little girl of mine” is very similar in parts to a song called “This little light of mine” (I’m gonna let it shine). It highlights the very simple method ray used to inject music of the time with a bit of soul – a bit of Ray’s own upbringing – into his music. It was a simple mixing, but it changed music forever.

Ray’s contribution to music is without measure.

From the Album: Definitive Ray Charles

Big Mama Thornton
“Hound Dog”

Where do you think Elvis got it from? That’s right — Big Mama Thornton. She wrote the original “Hound Dog”.

Like a lot of musicians in her time, she started in the (baptist) church. Her father was the minister. She started singing young and ran away at the age of 14 to start her career in secular (gasp!) music.

She could belt it.

From the Album: Hound Dog

Sam Cooke
“Bring it on home to me”

For the next few days we’re going to be featuring some Classic R&B+Soul songs. It has to be done, trust me.

Sam Cooke was the son of a Mississippi preacher, and he spent his youth in church choirs and gospel groups. Tragically, Sam was shot and killed in 1964 in circumstances that were never fully explained.

It’s too bad – he was at the height of his career.

From the Album: Portrait of a Legend 1951-1964

Otis Redding – These Arms of Mine

Otis Redding
“These Arms of Mine”

I love this song. It’s a perfect song for today. Soul/R&B like this is sorely missed (at least by me).

I feel his passing left a void in music that has yet to be filled. Eat your heart out Justin Timberlake — You probably don’t have enough soul to make music like this.

From the Album: The Very Best of Otis Redding, Vol. 1

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