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 […]

RIP Solomon Burke

I have been listening to Solomon Burke today. Sadly, the eccentric showman credited for helping to keep the lights on at Atlantic Records in the early 60s has died. Burke had a subtle vocal style and wide eclectic influences that earned him respect from a range of artists. This has made his music wound tightly […]

Check out Thunder Soul

Anyone who knows me knows that I am often talking about how important it was for me that I had the opportunity to participate in a great high school music program. You can understand then how excited I am to see Thunder Soul – Mark Landsman’s documentary about the great Kashmere Stage Band from Texas […]

RIP Herb Ellis

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=337hbXJD9vk I can almost always pick Ellis even when he is doing ‘strictly rythym’ percussive accompaniment as he does in the lead off here.  We will miss his clean, hard driving swing and unpretentious playfulness but we have lots of great records to listen to and I am sure OP is glad to see him […]

The Many Mysteries of Rudy Van Gelder

Rudy Van Gelder is considered to be the vital ‘fifth Beetle’ on a zillion of the best jazz records ever made. Though he considers himself strictly a recording engineer, the Van Gelder sound is as signature as any great musician’s. Have you ever mucked about trying to get his sound or even kinda sorta his […]

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 […]

Books by Musicans about Creating

The creative process is often a solitary, tortured and somewhat mysterious act. I am always interested in learning how great artists (and great software developers for that matter) find a way to stimulate their creative mind, focus and produce their work. Aside from David Bowie’s new book ‘Bowie: Object’, there are a few other books […]

Marvin Isley

One of the funk bass greats has left us today. Marvin Isley was responsible for laying down the law for the crossover hits that kept the Isley Brothers on the radio for much of the 70s. Here are some great live Soul Train performances from 73-4. httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JAKfiP1oySg httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P6bC8GvSHxU httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x04iW-J6EhA

Mary Kaye Trio

I stumbled across this post on boing boing about the Mary Kaye Trio. I have heard this excellent singing group in various compilations but did not realize that she was the founder of the Vegas lounge show itself. These late night shows were credited with greatly expanding the success of the nascent casino industry by […]

Farewell Tavern on the Green

I am saddened that Tavern on the Green will be closing. I was a founding member of a Tavern house band that performed jazz there regularly in 1998 – 2001. They were sometimes brutal gigs but they paid the rent and kept my fingers warm while I was in grad school. I was fortunate to […]

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