Dallas native Annie Clark is better known as the singer St. Vincent. Last year she took a naked stroll out in the back 40 on a friend’s ranch. Alone and miles away from help, she was supremely startled by a rattlesnake and took off running, frightened as hell, sure that the snake was right behind her. That experience kicks off her delightfully quirky, self titled new album, “St Vincent”. And of course the song is called “Rattlesnake” and before long you almost feel like you’re running alongside her and “sweating, sweating” to the chorus. For some reason the song’s style and adrenaline rhythm track remind me of the “Run, Lola Run” soundtrack.
Flaco Jiménez is in his seventh decade as a performer. He’s played with Ry Cooder, Dwight Yoakam, and even The Rolling Stones. Jiménez’s newest album, Legends & Legacies, is a collection of songs that illustrate the legacy of the Latin music style for which he is so well known: conjunto.
Of all the bands that came out of the 60’s San Francisco music scene, nobody was cooler or rocked harder than the Flamin’ Groovies whose just the right amount of early Stones rock n roll sleaze and over the top goofiness led them to any measurable amount of commercial success beyond the Bay Area. During their 1969-1971 heyday, the band recorded several albums two of which are absolutely essential to one’s rock n roll collection. The first being their debut “Supersnazz”.
The Flamin’ Groovies first got together in 1965 and made a string of self produced EP’s, but it wasn’t until ‘69 that they released their first full fledged major label debut “Supersnazz” for Epic Records.
The John Abercrombie Quartet plays Kuumbwa Jazz in Santa Cruz, Monday Feb. 10, 2014
After almost fifty years of playing both traditional and progressive jazz and appearing on at least that many albums, guitarist John Abercrombie’s resume of the recordings he’s made and the people he’s played with has got to be a s thick an issue of DownBeat Magazine. His latest is called “39 Steps”. It’s Abercrombie’s 32nd album leading his own group.
The guitarist has revamped his previous quartet so this album features longtime buds, pianist Marc Copland, Drew Gress bass and long time drummer Joey Baron . Of the 10 tracks, all are original songs by Abercrombie and band members with the exception of their take on “Melancholy Baby”.
When Abercrombie was a 60’s Boston teenager and the Berkelee School of music student, he listened to a lot of post bop jazz guitarists, in particular, Jim Hall who was a major source of inspiration. At the beginning of the 70’s rock bands started messing with jazz and jazz musicians messed with rock, so Abercrombie joined the funk-horn band Dreams who mined the same vein as Chicago and Blood Sweat & Tears. They made two albums before disbanding in 1972 but the band served as a fusion incubator not only for Abercrombie but also for The Becker Brothers, drummer Billy Cobham, bassist Will Lee, and many others who did stints with Dreams and are now well known including the guitarist’s current pianist, Copland. Here’s Abercrombie playing on lead on “Devil Lady” from Dream’s self titled first album.
After Dreams fell apart and became a nightmare, Abercrombie signed with ECM Records and started exploring fusion and progressive jazz making a long series of memorable albums one of which is a favorite of mine, “Sargasso Sea” with Ralph Towner from 1976.
Brilliant Playing by Band Members.
On his current release, “39 Steps” Abercrombie has come almost full circle with a return to a more traditional and softer contemporary set of jazz originals that fit nicely with the contributions from his stellar bandmates. Only one track gets slightly “out there”. Perhaps Abercrombie is mellowing with age, but on this album his guitar is overshadowed by the brilliant playing of his fellow cohorts – especially pianist Mark Copland – who are doing most of the climbing on these “39 Steps”. – Eric Berg
Above: KUSP’s interview with Pete Seeger and his grandson Tao Rodriguez Seeger in Monterey, 2009.
Watch Amy Goodman’s interview from 2004.
Following story: By Paul Brown | NPR
A tireless campaigner for his own vision of a utopia marked by peace and togetherness, Pete Seeger‘s tools were his songs, his voice, his enthusiasm and his musical instruments. A major advocate for the folk-style five-string banjo and one of the most prominent folk music icons of his generation, Seeger was also a political and environmental activist. He died Monday at age 94. His grandson, Kitama Cahill Jackson, confirmed Seegers death and said he died of natural causes.
See also: ”Pete Seeger And The Public Choir“.
Pete Seeger came by his beliefs honestly. His father, Charles Seeger, was an ethnomusicologist and a pioneering folkorist whose left-wing views got him into trouble at the University of California, Berkeley. Charles Seeger introduced his son to some of the most important musicians of the Depression era — including Leadbelly and Woody Guthrie.
The audio above is NPR’s audio from the 2009 Newport Folk Festival. Seeger and his grandson, Tao Rodriguez-Seeger, led a singalong in the rain to close the event.
He also led a sing along at his debut at the Monterey Jazz Festival in 2009.
Pete Seeger led an emotional sing-a-long of ‘Turn, Turn, Turn’ at MJF.
From NPR reporter Paul Brown’s remembrance: “Seeger came by his beliefs honestly. His father, Charles Seeger, was an ethnomusicologist and pioneering folklorist whose left wing views got him in trouble at the University of California. Charles Seeger introduced his son to some of the most important musicians of the Depression era, including Lead Belly and Woody Guthrie. Seeger and Guthrie became fast friends, though they didn’t agree on all things.”
By SCOTT NEUMAN | NPR Morning Edition |
The first humans to catch a glimpse of the Earth rising over the moon nearly missed seeing it at all, let alone capturing the snapshot that became one of the most iconic photos of the 20th century.
NASA has released an animation commemorating the 45th anniversary of Apollo 8, the first manned mission to orbit the moon. The famous “Earthrise” photo was taken on Christmas Eve 1968.
Singer-songwriter Aoife (prounced EE-fah) O’Donovan is best known as the lead singer of Boston’s alt bluegrass band, Crooked Still. She literally drove into town, washed her clothes over at the Seabright Laundromat and then did a solo show at Kuumbwa Jazz Wednesday night, Dec. 11th performing almost all the tracks she wrote for her first major label solo album “Fossils” (Yep Roc) released this last summer.
A Brief Review
O’Donovan delivered a solid entertaining acoustic folksinger performance with her strong voice and great audience repartee. Having listened to “Fossils” many times prior to this show, I missed the absence of a backing band but that didn’t seem to bother the Kuumbwa audience, the majority of whom were fossils themselves at least twice her age. Go figure.
The holiday season is here, so that means it’s time to tell you about my favorite ten albums of 2013. Notice I said “favorite” and not “best”. These are the one’s that got the most of my ear time. With that noted, and in no particular order:
I have no idea how I stumbled upon Mop Mop, a six piece group of jazz percussionists and assorted friends who record in Germany. This is a must for fans of marimba, vibes and swirling rhythmic human beats and who won’t have a problem with a couple of totally cool raps. I must have played “Isle of Magic” several times a day for a solid month this summer.
By Laura Flynn | KUSP News
It’s Friday night. Inside the Drummond Culinary Academy restaurant smiling and wide-eyed students stand ready in position. Nervous energy permeates the air. Students busily prepare to give tonight’s expected 56 diners a full-fine dining experience. Front house trainer Andrea Mullany-Moneypenny talks to students about their jobs for the night.