Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Yellowjackets Samurai Samba

Oh! So that's where those tunes originated from.

 Yellowjackets Samurai Samba was frequently heard from Jim's office. I admit I enjoyed the jazz music, but I never put a name to it. Now I have the name forever - Yellowjackets!

The 1985 album was produced by Tommy LiPuma and Yellowjackets, with: 

  • Russell Ferrante, keyboards
  • Jimmy Haslip, bass
  • Ricky Lawson, drums/electric drums
  • Marc Russo, alto sax
  • Also, in later editions:
  • Carlos Rios, guitar
  • Michael Landau, guitar
  • Paulinho Da Costa, percussion
  • Bobby Caldwell, Marilyn Scott, Paulinho Da Costa and Carl Caldwell, vocals
  • Bobby Caldwell, lead vocal on “Lonely Weekend”
  • Paulo da Costa Jr., vocals on “Los Mambos”
Tracks include:
  • Homecoming (Ferrante)
  • Deat Beat (Ferrante/Haslip/Lawson/Russo) 
  • Daddy’s Gonna Miss You (Ferrante/Haslip/Lawson/Russo) 
  • Sylvania (Ferrante/Haslip/Lawson) 
  • Silverlake (Ferrante)  
  • Lonely Weekend (Ferrante/Curiale/Lawson/Caldwell) 
  • Los Mambos (Ferrante/Russo/da Costa)  
  • Samurai Samba (Ferrante) 

The jazz fusion band steps back to 1977 when guitarist Robben Ford was recording his first album.  He recruited to join him keyboardist Russell Ferrante, base guitarist Jimmy Haslip and drummer Ricky Lawson. The name Yellowjackets was selected by producer Tommy LiPuma from a list of suggestions from band members.

Band membership has changed over the years. Current members include Russell Ferrante, Bob Mintzer, William Kennedy and Dane Alderson. But the band remains true to its rasping saxaphone, deep bass, rythmic drums, and melodic keyboard sounds. Yellowjackets remains a popular jazz fusion band pleasing old and current generations of fans. Soloist Luciana Souza has added her own special flair.

The band has recorded close to 30 albums,been nominate for numerous awards, and evolved into its own jazz sound.  Check out the band's itinerary for a concert or workshop you don't want to miss.

Listen  to Yellowjackets Samurai Samba and more at its website, or take home some of its music from the amazon Buzz Store.      

Monday, May 27, 2019

Brinsley Schwarz - Silver Pistol / Please Don't Ever Change

I'm back. Been listening to the music, but did not feel like writing. Guess it is time to get back at it.

I thoroughly  enjoyed listening to Brinsley Schwarz Silver Pistol / Please Don't Ever Change as I drove the highway to and from work. It's a little piece of 1970's rock and roll heaven. Named after the band's guitarist, Brinsley Schwarz , the British band developed a strong  following, but never really took off.

The Silver Pistol and Please Don't Ever Change albums include Nick Lowe on base, guitars, and vocals. Bob Andrews on keyboards and vocals.  Bill Rankin on drums. BrinsleySchwarz ( I think his parents were out to get him)a1 on guitars, and Ian Gomm on guitars, bass and vocals. 

Silver Pistols includes:
  •  Dry Land (Gomm)
  • Merry Go Round (lowe)
  • One More Day (Gomm)
  • Nightingslr (Lowe)
  • Silver Pistol (Lowe)
  • The Last Time I was Fooled (Lowe)
  • Unknown Number (Lowe)
  • Range War (Gomm) 
  • Egypt (Lowe)
  • Niki Hoeke Speedway (Ford)
  • Ju Ju Man (Ford /Vegas)
  • Rockin'Chair (Gomm)
Please Don't Ever Change consists of:
  • Hooked On Love (Gomm)
  • Why Do We Hurt The One We Love (Lowe)
  • I Worry (')Bout You Baby ) (Lowe)
  • Don't Ever Change (Goffin / King)
  • Home In My Hand (Self)
  • Play That Fast Thing (One More Time) (Lowe)
  • I Won't Make It Without You (Lowe)
  • Down in Mexico (Lowe)
  • Speedoo (Navarro)
  • The Version (Hypocrite) (Sibbles)
The band played together from 1969 through 1975. Members went on to various bands including Ducks Deluxe  and various solo careers.

I am glad I happened upon this CD.  Now I have a name for the music I often heard Jim play.  It kept my foot tapping and generally added to the happy ambiance of home. I especially liked Play That Fast Thing One More Time and Hooked on Love.

Catch a glimpse of Brinsley Schwarz  on Wikipedia. Or listen to Please Don't Ever Change or  Down in Mexico.

I hope you discover some old favorites.


Sunday, May 6, 2018

Eddie Daniels - Blackwood

Whoa! To me, clarinets were always the "sick geese" of high school band. They filled each performance with - to me - a rather grating  sound. Yes, to me they sounded just like the proverbial fingernails on a chalk board.

Imagine my surprise when I pulled Eddie Daniels Blackwood from Jim's CD collection. His clarinet playing was remarkably smooth and enjoyable. Titles included are:

  • Blackwood
  • Cruise
  • Heartsong
  • P.I.
  • Toucan Dance
  • Black Diamond Run
  • Clara's Heart
  • Walking the Line
  • Blackwood (Reprise)
  • Blue Waltz
Each piece has wonderful percussion wrapped around Eddie's jazz clarinet playing.  It is awesome!  I'm not kidding.  Listen to Blackwood here.  And then he continues his magnificent playing in a classical setting. 

Produced by Dave Grusin, Rob Mounsey, and himself, Blackwood was released in 1980 by GRP Records Inc. The title, Blackwood, makes reference to the African Blackwood, from which the finest clarinets are made.

If you would like to learn more about Eddie and his remarkable musical career, visit his Web site.

After hearing Eddie's music, I'll never again think of clarinet playing as sick geese.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

The Beatles Please Please Me

Come with  me to the infamous cartoon character Mr. Peabody's Way Back Machine to 1963, where The Beatles were young, and I was even younger. Just listening to the music reminds me of warm summer days at the neighborhood pool, where popular music like The Beatles played all day.  That, an occasional frozen Zero chocolate bar, and nonstop swimming were the highlights of what was then endless summer.

The Beatles CD, Please Please Me, is  made-up of original sound recordings by EMI Records LTD, and includes:

  • I Saw Here Standing There
  • Misery
  • Anna (Go To Him)
  • Chains
  • Boys
  • Ask Me Why
  • Please Please Me
  • Love Me Do
  • P.S. I Love You
  • Baby It's You
  • Do You Want To Know A Secret
  • A Taste Of Honey
  • There's A Place
  • Twist And Shout
My toes are tapping just thinking about the tunes, even if by today's standards they are simplistic.
If you live in the Cleveland area,   you may want to catch a show by Beatles tribute band Revolution Pie on April 7, 2018.

Or if you would like to know more about the album Please Please Me, listen here:

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Duke Ellington Blues In Orbit

Wow! I never really thought much about Duke Ellington. 

Tunes of the great composer, pianist, and band leader would zip in and out of my life on the radio or old movies, with me rarely paying any attention where they originated. I was pleasantly surprised when I found a stack of Duke Ellington CDs among Jim's collection, and decided to listen to one. 

Blues In Orbit was released in 1988 by CBS Records Inc. as part of its Columbia Jazz Masterpieces series. The CD case proudly states the collection is  " Digitally Remastered Directly From The Original Analog Tapes" of the original 1960s album. It does hum, with the bass rattling the walls at a normal level. The jazz-swing compilation has been remastered over 10 times between the 1988 version and 2017.

The CD includes the original tunes from the album, and had some room to include a few later pieces. Fourteen titles making up the list include:

  • Blues in Orbit
  • Track 360
  • Villes Ville Is the Place, Man
  • Brown Penny
  • Three J's Blues
  • Pie Eye's Blues
  • C Jam Blues
  • Sweet & Pungent
  • In a Mellotone
  • Sentimental Lady
  • Blues in Blueprint
  • The Swingers Get The Blues, Too
  • The Swinger's Jump

I really enjoyed this CD. Made me want to get up and dance.  My toes are still tapping.  If you would like to know more about "the jazz legend" Duke Ellington, visit the official site here.

Or for a traditional taste of his music, listen to the YouTube post below.