Adeli’s Music Blog

Isaac Hayes (1942 – 2008)

Posted in music by adeli on August 11, 2008

Isaac Hayes was an innovator. He was a singer, songwriter, arranger, and multi-instrumentalist, and he paved the way for disco, along as serving as a role model and influence to R&B singers and rappers. He will be missed by his fellow musicians and fans.

The baritone voice and the bald head, during a time when soul singers donned Afros, made him standout. And his talent, influence, and contributions to music still live on. He is best known for the “Theme From Shaft,” which earned him both an Academy Award and a Grammy, however his legacy of work is quite extensive.

The Tennessee native started playing in local bands at an early age. When he was 21, he became a backup singer for Stax Records, the pioneering R&B label in Memphis. His first session was with none other than Otis Redding. For much of the 1960s and the early ’70s, he was a principal songwriter and performer for Stax. His writing credits include Sam and Dave’s classics “Soul Man” and “Hold On, I’m Comin’,” along with all his own tunes.

His groundbreaking 4-song album Hot Buttered Soul in 1969 brought him much success. The songs begin with vocal intros or ‘raps,’ have rich arrangements, and run 2-3 times longer than most songs. His 1971 double album Black Moses earned him much respect as a producer, arranger, and composer. Several songs are covers, however his arrangements make these songs quite impressive on their own. Hayes was elected to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002.

Click below for videos and/or performances of this legendary soul artist:


Never Can Say Goodbye

The Look of Love

By The Time I Get To Phoenix

Walk On By



Isaac Hayes: Black Moses

Dusty Springfield

Posted in music by adeli on April 16, 2008

Dusty Springfield (Mary Isabel Catherine Bernadette O’Brien), born on April 16, 1939, made the biggest impression among the female artists of the British invasion. From 1963 to 1970 she scored 18 Billboard Hot 100 singles. Dusty Springfield is an inductee of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the UK Music Hall of Fame.

Dusty Springfield sang with soul, earning her the nickname “White Queen of Soul.” Her husky voice communicated a sense of longing, and created music that was evocative. Dusty’s image included her peroxided blonde hair in a beehive style, heavy eyeliner and fake eyelashes, and elegant evening gowns.

Her hits include Son of a Preacher Man, The Look of Love, I Only Want To Be With You, You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me, Wishin’ and Hopin’, Stay Awhile, and I Just Don’t Know What to Do with Myself.

After some time away from the music business, Dusty accepted an invitation from the British pop duo Pet Shop Boys in 1987 to sing on their single What Have I Done to Deserve This? and appear on the promotional video. The record rose to Number 2 on both the British and American charts. With BJ Thomas, Dusty recorded the theme song As Long as We Got Each Other for TV’s Growing Pains.

Dusty lost her battle against breast cancer and died at the age of 59 on March 2, 1999.

Below, some of Dusty’s performances.

Son of a Preacher Man

The Look of Love

I Just Don’t Know What to Do with Myself

I Only Want To Be With You

Stay Awhile

December Jazz

Posted in music by adeli on December 19, 2007

Chris Botti’s 2002 holiday set, December, is comforting; a much needed and welcomed feeling during this last month, and often the most stressful time, of the year. It’s clear the holidays aren’t always the most joyful time for all, so comfort and joy are the gifts Botti offers with this collection. Yes, there’s a feeling of melancholy at times, but that’s fine, because that’s what true jazz does sometimes.

Botti’s trumpet always sets an intimate and soothing ambiance, and that is exactly what we get here. Most of the songs are instrumental, and not drenched with jingly bells. Botti takes on vocal duties on two songs: Perfect Day and Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas. Winter Wonderland gets a swinging rendition and Santa Claus Is Coming To Town gets a Brazilian beat. O Little Town of Bethlehem has romantic piano accompaniment. And it’s quite a surprise to hear a Leonard Cohen tune on a Christmas album, but Hallelujah appears here. I’ll Be Home For Christmas closes December, and it’s smooth, uplifting, and a perfect ending to a great CD.

This lovely collection will appeal to fans of jazz, easy-listening and fusion. Chris Botti delivers comfort and joy with ease and style.

I will be seeing Chris Botti perform at the legendary Blue Note in New York City tomorrow evening and I can hardly contain my excitement.

For more on Chris Botti, mainly his latest release, Italia, see my October 28th post: Viva Italia!* This CD was reissued in 2006 with Ave Maria replacing Perfect Day.

Check out these live performances:

Lover Man with Gladys Knight

A Song For You with Michael Bublé

The Look of Love with Paula Cole and Burt Bacharach