Bob Dylan changed folk music. But his legendary persona is undermined by an erratic and confusing recording career. As Bob Dylan releases his 33rd studio album today, WNYC”s Soundcheck debates his music and influence.
Listen: Subterranean Homesick Smackdown
Grammy-award winning veteran pianist Chick Corea teams up with the up-and-coming Japanese composer and pianist Hiromi Uehera on the two-disc Duet. With three generations between them, Corea and Uehera may seem like an odd pairing, but they play off each other like two friends who learned their instrument from the same teacher at the same time. They are totally in sync with each other. Corea seems as youthful and energetic as the 30-year-old Hiromi, while she performs with talent beyond her years
Duet documents the two pianists’ three nights of live duet performances at the Blue Note Tokyo. The selections chosen for this set are varied; covers of Bill Evans, George Gershwin, Thelonious Monk, Lennon- McCartney, and Antonio Carlos Jobim compositions to original compositions from the two pianists.
The first CD includes an original by each pianist as well as four covers. Monk’s “Bolivar Blues” and Lennon-McCartney’s “Fool On The Hill” attract attention on Disc One. The second disc contains four originals, two a piece. Gershwin’s “Summertime” is included on this disc, and the closer is a lovely melding of Joaquin Vidre Rodrigo’s “Concierto de Aranjuez” with Corea’s “Spain.”
Duet is masterful. It’s a great combination of two extraordinary pianists from different generations and cultures who, with the ivories, communicate with each other passionately and quite effectively.
Here they are performing “Summertime”
New Moon Born is Jana Mashonee’s first venture into the mainstream music scene, and it’s a pretty good one.
With this album, she explores new directions in her music by incorporating blues, soul, and world music into the new tunes. The Native American singer provides all the vocals and piano, and serves as co-producer of New Moon Born.
For the most part, all the songs on this album are varied and worth a listen. The lyrics possess honesty and passion. New Moon Born is comprised of a whopping 16 songs. However, a tighter set of 10-12 songs might have worked better, because the album gets off to a bit of a slow start. Also, a great deal seems to be synthesized, which weakens some of the album’s potential.
The album really takes off and shows its strength at song number five, the funky “Miracle.” It’s high-spirited, playful, and has fun lyrics involving unicorns and new moons. The meat of the album is right in the middle, with songs like “Never Fall” and “Just One Night,” a romantic ballad about new beginnings. The album closer, or bonus track, “Una Noche” is the Spanish version of this song. The upbeat songs that stand out here are “Take Me Back,” “Chameleon,” and “Carousel,” a very inspiring and soulful composition.
Jana Mashonee sings her heart out on New Moon Born and her passion for music really shines through. Her voice is soothing and powerful. Mashonee is a talented composer and singer, and bound for a successful career.
Mashonee earned a Grammy nomination for her 2006 concept album, American Indian Story, and has won seven Native American Music Awards, including one for The Enlightened Time video. It’s fantastic! View it below.
On April 7, 1915, Billie Holiday was born under the name of Eleanor Gough.
She started out singing in Harlem, in small clubs, such as The Hot Cha Cha Club and the Shim Sham Club. She was discovered by jazz promoter John Hammond, who arranged for her to record with Benny Goodman.
She was posthumously given a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1987 and three of her recordings received Grammy Hall of Fame Awards: Strange Fruit (1939), God Bless the Child (1941) and Lover Man (Oh, Where Can You Be?)” (1945).
She wrote an autobiography, titled Lady Sings the Blues (1956), which was later made into a movie in 1972, starring Diana Ross. Billie died in New York City on July 17, 1959, at the age of 44.
Here’s a clip from her film New Orleans: The Blues Are Brewin’
She got the nickname of Lady Day from the sax player Lester Young. Here’s a clip of them performing: Fine and Mellow
On this day in 1984, Marvin Gaye was shot and killed by his father during an argument in Los Angeles at the age of 44, the day before his next birthday.
Let’s witness a fantastic live performance by the legendary artist.
What’s Going On / What’s Happening Brother