Friday, 11/23/12

music clip of the day

Chicago: 1974 

“Muddy Waters Blues Summit in Chicago,”* Soundstage, 1974

*Muddy Waters, Junior Wells, Pinetop Perkins, Koko Taylor, Mike Bloomfield, Johnny Winter, Dr. John, et al.

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major and minor

music & preschool

while rehearsing for our Christmas program, i found that class time allowed for more than just learning and running through the christmas songs. so each class receives a mini-music theory lesson.

once we completed our rhythm unit, it was time to take things in another direction. i fondly recall the piano lesson in which i, age 9, learned to distinguish between basic major and minor chords. i was quite proud of my musical prowess and blissfully unaware that i was learning basic building blocks of modes.

translating that lesson to my 10 classes of preschoolers wasn’t an enormous leap. after all, they have the ability to differentiate between happy and sad, excited or mopey…music is much the same way.

these mini-lessons last about 10 minutes at most, and are very productive, especially since the little ones have the attention span of one level on Angry Birds. three weeks of major…

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makeson browne


Most musicians starting out in jazz will find their first audience in their peers. There’s a certain comfort in sharing one’s ideas and struggles (in performance) with musicians, as they more than often share similarities in their growth and general evolution.
History has shown that musicians have always been an audience to great artists and composers who inspire and move them. From Stravinsky to Duke Ellington and from Led Zepllin to Nirvana etc. Musicians are audiences whether they listen to albums, check out scores or go out and watch a live performance. A problem arises when musicians becomes one’s primary/target audiences.



The idea of having musicians as a primary audience has raised a few questions/thoughts about the purpose of the music that I play, personally. I found that my audiences has consisted of musicians for a long time and I’m questioning this much lately.

As soon as a…

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Nina Simone – Sinnerman (1965)


YouTube – AmazoniTunes – Discogs

Nina Simone 1971

I have already featured the funkier side of Nina Simone in this blog, but now for her exemplar jazz gospel rendition of ‘Sinnerman’. Nina Simone recorded her definitive 10-minute-plus version of ‘Sinnerman’ for her 1965 long player Pastel Blues. Simone learnt the lyrics of this song during her childhood and would use her interpretation as an end to her celebrated performances of the early 1960s. Have a great weekend.

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More Jazz Quotes!

“It doesn’t matter all that much. It’s just that when you’re playing, Stephane, you’ve got both Chaput and me backing you, but when I’m soloing I’ve only got one guitar behind me!” – Django Reinhardt

“I’m beginning to understand myself. But it would have been great to be able to understand myself when I was 20 rather than when I was 82.” – Dave Brubeck

“I don’t like rap music at all. I don’t think it’s music. It’s just a beat and rapping.” – Nina Simone

“You’ve got to learn your instrument. Then, you practice, practice, practice. And then, when you finally get up there on the bandstand, forget all that and just wail.” – Charlie Parker

“Some people try to get very philosophical and cerebral about what they’re trying to say with jazz. You don’t need any prologues, you just play.” – Oscar Peterson

“Wrong is right.” – Thelonious Monk

“When I first came to New York everybody on the scene would treat me like I could play, but I couldn’t.” -Wynton Marsalis

“Hot can be cool, and cool can be hot, and each can be both. But hot or cool, man, jazz is jazz.” – Louis Armstrong

Quotes courtesy of

Monday, 11/19/12

music clip of the day

Albert Collins (1932-1993), “Lights Are On But Nobody’s Home,” live, Austin, Tx., 1988

How strange to think that Albert, a sweet, warm, gentle guy I had the good fortune to work with in the ’70s while at Alligator Records, has been gone nearly 20 years.



musical thoughts

There’s one cat I’m still trying to get across to people. He is really good, one of the best guitarists in the world.

Jimi Hendrix (1968)

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[ooyala code=”AycnMyNzqkw-ctpQEhYo0f_V-X2YXfub”]

(Memphis)  A picture shows the Father of the Blues, W.C. Handy, at the opening of the theater that bares his name and a recording of his voice lets you hear his pride when talking about what Memphis had done to honor him.

“And it has built for $200,000 W.C. Handy Theater and to do so many things that make me feel I’ve been rewarded in more ways than one,” Handy said in a recording.          

The W.C. Handy Theater was built-in 1946 on Park near Airways for the black community during segregation.

It became the showcase for entertainers such as Count Basie, Duke Ellington and the Memphis R&B band the Bar-Kays.          

Elaine Turner is director of the W.C. Handy House and Museum on Beale Street, “It was a place that was opened to all of the African-American community, the children in the neighborhood, the professionals. Everybody went to the…

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Sunday in Blues


È domenica sera e si sa, a Londra la maggior parte dei locali chiudono presto. Stai cercando qualcosa da fare? Beh, nel cuore del West End, un po’ nascosto tra altri locali, troverai The Blues Bar. Una piccola gemma situata tra Regent Street e Carnaby Street e, come dice il nome stesso, è uno dei migliori posti dove ascoltare Blues in compagnia di “food&drink”.

La location è accogliente, l’arredamento assolutamente originale e l’atmosfera elettrizzante. Live music dal lunedì alla domenica con ingresso gratuito, ad eccezione del venerdì e sabato dopo le 20:30.

Vai e concludi il tuo weekend con il groove giusto!!!

Indirizzo: 20 Kingly Street, Soho – W1B 5PZ

Per arrivare: esci dalla metropolitana in Picadilly Circus, imbocca Glasshouse St e gira immediatamente a destra in Sherwood St. Percorri tutta la strada e poi gira a sinistra all’incrocio con Beak St. Cammina per una 50 di metri…

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