A Fun Musical Ride from Ireland

My friend Daragh from Cork recently spun a tasty set that I have listened to 3 times now. Daragh has a visual artist’s sense of sonic texture and is fearless about allowing a song out of its genre box to make new trouble. Check it out here.

Cat Samples – Soundiron’s Snack library

Want to sneak some  subtle feline-ness into a mix? Here are some free cat samples to get started. It is amazing what you can do with a vocal cat if you can get her into a studio.  

Alpha Music

The music that you hear when you are growing up can form the foundation of your sonic aesthetic. I am often relieved that my parents had eclectic taste and exposed me to some of the music I still enjoy today. I came cross Funk For First-Time Fathers recently and thought that this kid was pretty […]

RIP Fran Landesman

Fran Landesman wrote the lyrics to one of my favorite “50s era” standards – Spring Can Really Hang You Up The Most.  Her evocative lyrics were inspired by passages in The Waste Land by T.S Eliot. APRIL is the cruelest month, breeding Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing Memory and desire, stirring Dull roots with spring […]

Loving the Ghanaian Blues

A dear friend shares my passion for good music played by real musicians. She has recently pointed my ears toward a rich vein of African funk and soul that has filled my brutal winter commutes with joy. Ghana Special – Modern Highlife, Afro-Sounds & Ghanaian Blues | Soundway Records. Grab this stuff. It is special.

Sonny Stitt, WordPress 3.3 and Getting out of the Way

Jazz Wax just posted a timely piece on Sonny Stitt on his interesting use of the experimental Varitone or Electric Sax. The goal of this 1965 instrument was to integrate the organic reed vibration sound generation process and electric manipulation and amplification of the sound. The instrument would provide a suite of on-board tools and […]

A Labor Day Tribute to Records Made by Sidemen

The “sideman” is not a member of the band. He is the faceless hired gun who willingly accepts the lesser piece of the action despite often making a vital contribution the sound. Some great musicians ultimately emerged from these behind-the-scene roles to become stars in their own right but many more did not. This is […]

On Jazz Piano Solo

Nate Chinen recently wrote an article on NYTimes.com that is one of the best surveys of solo jazz piano I have read. I have been checking out pretty much everyone mentioned in this piece lately in an attempt to improve my solo playing.  Three lesser known solo piano albums I also really like are: Phineas […]

Old Records Young Kids Should Hear

I was listening to Jonathan Schwartz while making lunch in the kitchen this afternoon as I often do on a Sunday and he suggested that in order to insure that the cannon of 20th century song is passed into the 20th century and beyond, it is best for children to be exposed to this great […]

Hum This One Along With Me If You Know It

I love old sheet music. I love the artwork and the odd long-forgotten sentiments. Sometimes you find a timeless classic that still completely resonates but more often you find yourself laughing and trying to figure out what on earth is going on.  In another life I would be Jean Cunningham, Paramount Theatre music librarian.

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