For those who grew up in the 80s, it was his music that got us up to dance and kept us dancing at every party. It was his videos that kept us up late on Friday nights to watch Friday Night Videos. Almost everyone I grew up with attended a “Thriller” video premiere party. For my 15th birthday in May of 1983, I received two Thriller albums (yes, vinyl) as gifts. I already had the album, of course, so I returned one to the store and re-gifted the other.
What are your Michael Jackson memories? Let me know by commenting on here.
It’s understandable to be shocked and saddened but let’s remember and celebrate the music that added so much to our lives. Thanks for the boogie, Michael!
Everybody say, “Ma Ma Se, Ma Ma Sa, Ma Ma Coo Sa!”
Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’
With The Jacksons:
They Don’t Care About Us
Wanna Be Startin’ Something 2008 – Michael Jackson and Akon
Ah, summer! ugh, humidity! Whether you love the summer sun and fun or you suffer from the summertime blues, there’s a song for it. It seems that of the four seasons, summer, and its related activities, is the subject of the most songs. This theory excludes the genre of holiday songs, where winter is often mentioned. I’ve chosen some off the top of my head and welcome more suggestions from you.
We’ll begin with the California group that sang extensively about summer fun and named themselves after the number one place to spend summer days – The Beach Boys.
The Mamas & The Papas
John, Michelle (who epitomized the California girl), Mama Cass, and Denny needed no instruments. Their harmonies were angelic. The foursome’s greatest success came with the anthemic California Dreamin’. Check it out below.
Other summer songs:
Summer in the City – Lovin’ Spoonful
Hot Fun in the Summertime – Sly & The Family Stone
In The Summeritme – Mungo Jerry
Heatwave – Martha & the Vandellas
Summer Nights – John Travolta & Olivia Newton-John
Summer Breeze – Seals & Croft
4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy) – Bruce Springsteen
Girls In Their Summer Clothes -Bruce Springsteen
Summertime – Janis Joplin
Summer of ’69 – Bryan Adams
Summertime – Sublime
Summer Love – Justin Timberlake
Summertime – Fresh Prince & DJ Jazzy Jeff
Summertime Blues – Eddie Cochran
Please send me comments with more suggestions, and we’ll make this list longer throughout the summer.
During this week in 2003, the late Luther Vandross topped the charts with his album Dance With My Father. At the time, he was recovering from a stroke he suffered that April.
As far as I can tell, and I have searched, there isn’t an official video to this lovely song, as Luther was already ailing at the time of its release. But here’s a fitting tribute to Luther.
Recently, I put out the question “Which instrument the sax or the trumpet is more important to jazz?” Take a look at the following videos, and then cast your vote. Please send me your comments and suggestions on other great jazz performances and artists.
On the sax, Paul Desmond with Dave Brubeck on the piano – “Take Five”
Miles Davis on trumpet – “Tutu”
Or is a combo better?
Miles Davis on trumpet, John Coltrane on the sax – “So What”
Cast your vote!
Backstreet Boys’ Millenneum was the Number #1 album this week in 1999. It was nominated for five Grammy Awards and produced four Top 40 singles, including “I Want It That Way.” Millennium set records for most albums sold in its debut week; most albums sold internationally in one week (2.2 million); and was certified at least platinum in 45 countries. It has sold 40 million copies worldwide. It was the best selling album of 1999 and spent 93 weeks on the Billboard chart.
Here’s the track listing: (Click on titles for videos)
Larger Than Life
I Want It That Way
Show Me the Meaning of Being Lonely
It’s Gotta Be You
I Need You Tonight
Don’t Want You Back
Don’t Wanna Lose You Now
Back to Your Heart
No One Else Comes Close
The Perfect Fan
Today is Prince’s 51st birthday. Prince Rogers Nelson was born on June 7, 1958, in Minneapolis, MN. He has won seven Grammy Awards, a Golden Globe, and an Academy Award. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004. Rolling Stone ranked Prince #28 on its list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time in 2008.
Prince is one of the most prolific musicians, composing all his music, along with music for other artist. Prince was responsible for helping several lovely ladies enter the music biz. All of Prince’s albums are written and, most often, entirely performed by him. He is also a very talented guitarist. Prince and his music don’t fit in any one genre, however he mixes elements of R&B, soul, funk, rock, blues, new wave, psychedelia, folk, jazz and into his compositions. He has recorded 30 albums, which include the soundtracks Purple Rain, Batman, Graffiti Bridge, and Parade.
Prince is complex and controversial. Most people have an opinion – positive or negative – about Prince: weirdo, perv, musical genius… Ok, so maybe he’s all three. Regardless, the man has been a true entertainer, musical poet, and innovator for 30 years.
“Pop Life” Life ain’t very funky unless it’s got that pop. Dig it!
Here are some other Prince classics:
Let me know your thoughts on Prince by making comments on this site. Be sure to join me in August for the 25th Anniversary of Purple Rain.
The legends Chick Corea and John McLaughlin have reunited! Forty years after their sessions with Miles Davis, they’ve assembled a stellar jazz quintet. Corea and McLaughlin met in 1969 and the first song they played together was Davis’ “In A Silent Way.” They also appeared together on the Davis’ groundbreaking jazz/funk album Bitches Brew.
Corea and McLaughlin are virtuosos on the piano/keyboards and the guitar respectively, and have led successful and prolific solo careers that helped shape jazz. Their double-album Five Peace Band Live captures their new quintet on the first leg of its European tour. Joining Corea and McLaughlin are Christian McBride on bass, Kenny Garrett on alto sax, and Vinnie Colaiuta on drums.
The album contains complex acoustic jazz, burning jazzy funk, some Corea and McLaughlin solo career classics, and a nice tribute to Miles Davis, who brought Corea and McLaughlin together in the first place. The set begins with McLaughlin’s fiery “Raju,” with Garrett’s sax blowing the tune to new heights and Corea giving it some additional harmony. Corea’s “Hymn to Andromeda” runs almost 28 minutes and begins with him on the piano. McBride delivers a moving bass solo as then the rest of the group joins in, with Garrett delivering another set highlight. “New Bruise, Old Blues,” another McLaughlin original, is the funkiest tune on this album; Corea adds his most instinctive moves on the synthesizer. “Senor C.S.” has been reworked as a high-speed samba that begins with a Corea/McLaughlin duet that demonstrates the friendly bond that makes this pairing so special. Again, Garrett and his horn steal some moments from the duo.
Five Peace Band Live closes with a tribute to Miles Davis, reworking “In a Silent Way/It’s About That Time,” with Herbie Hancock accompanying them on the piano. Corea and McLaughlin close the show with “Someday My Prince Will Come, which Miles made famous.”
Five Peace Band Live is an exceptional opportunity to hear two masters create something which points to their individual accomplishments as well as creating something with a new personality. This musical pairing is a very important collaboration for today’s jazz world.