Wednesday, August 20, 2014

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Oscar Peterson and Itzhak Perlman

Artist:Oscar Peterson and Itzhak Perlman
Song:Mack The Knife
Album:Side By Side

From what I could tell, this 1994 album is the only time legendary jazz pianist Oscar Peterson ever recorded with a famous classical musician. Israeli born violinist Itzhak Perlman is more famous than most classical musicians because he appeared on TV a lot and his disability due to polio makes him memorable. By the early 90s, Peterson's health was deteriorating badly. He had put on a lot of weight and had hip replacement surgery. Then he suffered a stroke in 1993 that affected his left hand. But he continued to record for Telarc Records and he returned to performing in public in 1995. He was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Grammy in 1997. It's not clear if Side By Side was recorded before or after the stroke. The big problem with the album is Perlman doesn't improvise. So that means Peterson, guitarist Herb Ellis, bassist Ray Brown and drummer Grady Tate have to work around that. They do a very good job of making Perlman sound like he belongs. I wouldn't say that this album is Peterson at his best. But the album is an interesting curiosity that I think Peterson fans will enjoy. Of course Oscar Peterson's health got worse until his 2007 death. This was Perlman's first attempt at recording jazz. He recorded a 2003 jazz album with Andre Previn. He is still one of the most famous classical musicians in the world. Here's a video for Mack The Knife by Oscar Peterson and Itzhak Perlman.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-K. Michelle

Artist:K. Michelle
Album:Rebellious Soul

R & B singer K. Michelle is best known as one of the stars of the VH1 reality show Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta. After a false start to her music career, she seems to be back on track with her 2013 debut CD Rebellious Soul and the single V.S.O.P. She will release a new CD and launch a new reality show by the end of 2014. She was born Kimberly Michelle Pate Mar. 4, 1984 in Memphis. As a child, she learned to play piano and guitar and attended Florida A&M University (FAMU) on a music scholarship. She was Miss FAMU for the 2003-04 school year. After graduating with a degree in psychology, Michelle signed with Jive Records in 2009. Her 2009 single Makin' It with Missy Elliott attracted some buzz on radio. But it didn't chart because it was only released as a promo single to radio and on iTunes. Jive released two more singles and Michelle appeared on singles by R. Kelly and J. Cole. She was working on her debut CD when Sony folded Jive into Epic Records and hired LA Reid as Epic president. Her album was shelved and they bought out her contract. Michelle released some mixtapes to keep her name out there and then signed to appear in the VH1 reality show Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta. The exposure on the show got her a deal with Atlantic Records. After two seasons, she left the reality show and moved to New York. Her debut CD Rebellious Soul was released Aug. 2013 and reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 200. The single V.S.O.P. reached #27 on the R & B Singles chart. The song was written and produced by the team of Pop & Oak. Andrew "Pop" Wansel is the son of 70s R & B star Dexter Wansel. He and partner Warren "Oak" Felder have worked with Alicia Keys among others. Michelle toured with Robin Thicke earlier this year. She has turned Rebellious Soul into a musical and it will premiere on VH1 tonight. Her new VH1 reality show My Life will premiere Nov. 2014. And her new CD AWBAH will probably be released when the show premieres. Because a lot of K. Michelle's content is explicit, I think it is doubtful she will cross over to pop. But she's going places in R & B. Here's the video of V.S.O.P. by K. Michelle. The guy in the video is former teen rapper Chi-Ali.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Larissa Pacheco replaces Valerie Letourneau at Sept. 13 UFC Brazil show

Jessica Andrade, Larissa Pacheco
The Brazilian TV network Globo reported this afternoon that Canadian Valerie Letourneau is out of her match on the Sept. 13 UFC show in Brasilia, Brazil and will be replaced by undefeated Brazilian fighter Larissa Pacheco. Her opponent is Jessica Andrade. 19 year old Larissa is from Para, Brazil and trains at JB Jiu Jitsu. Her record is 10-0 and has finished all her fights. Of course she isn't fighting top fighters. Lately she has fought for Jungle Fight. I watched her most recent fight over Lizianne Silveira on the Apr. 16 Jungle Fight show. Though Larissa won easily with a third round triangle choke, she got careless at times against a wild swinger who lacked skills elsewhere. So obviously Jessica is a big step up in competition for Larissa and if she gets careless with Jessica, it will cost her. Like everyone else who comes to the UFC, Larissa Pacheco needs to prove herself. They are both aggressive fighters so it should be a good scrap.

Paige regains WWE Divas Championship on her 22nd birthday

Here's the match video of Paige vs AJ Lee from last night's Summerslam at Staples Center in Los Angeles. As you have probably already heard, Paige regained the WWE Divas Championship on her 22nd birthday. I liked the match except they should have been given more time. For one thing, I like this frenemies angle a lot better than the underdog champ angle they gave Paige the first time around. I think the heel character suits her a lot better and I'd like to see a lot of evil out of her. But that doesn't mean she's crazy but the WWE seems to think that crazy is the only way to sell female wrestlers. Some fans are blaming Michael Cole for calling Paige crazy. But he's only saying what he is being told to say in his earpiece. So the real problem is with Vince McMahon, not Michael Cole. The women are crazy angle has been done too frequently. Stop doing it. I liked some things about the match like AJ biting Paige when she tried to shake AJ's hand. The hair extensions silliness was funny. I don't know why these girls even wear them. There was some solid wrestling by both women. I liked the ending and I liked Paige's behaviour after the match. I expect this feud to continue. Of course we also had the Stephanie McMahon vs Brie Bella match ending with a Nikki Bella heel turn. Considering that she isn't a wrestler, I thought Stephanie performed well. The problem that a lot of fans have with The Bella Twins is they are terrible wrestlers. Look, they have been in the WWE for a long time. They should be better but they aren't. So though Stephanie was supposed to be the heel, fans weren't really booing her because they hate The Bella Twins not as heels, but as bad wrestlers. The Bella Twins split was teased last year. And WWE Total Divas viewers should recall that it was discussed at the end of season one. The WWE didn't go through with it at the time and the girls didn't want to split. Remember season three of WWE Total Divas starts on Sept. 7 and this heel turn should be the season three cliffhanger. We'll see how this is handled on tonight's RAW. Enjoy the Paige vs AJ Lee video!
Paige Vs AJ Lee by wwefan53

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-O'Bryan

Album:The Best of O'Bryan

Singer songwriter O'Bryan McCoy Burnette II had success mostly on the R & B and dance charts in the mid 80s. Lovelite was his biggest hit in 1984. He was born Dec. 5, 1961 in Sneads Ferry, NC. He grew up singing and playing piano in church. His family moved to Santa Ana, CA in 1974. While singing in the church choir, he was approached by another choir member who asked him if he was interested in a career in music. It turns out her husband is Ron Kersey who was keyboard player for The Trammps and co-writer of Disco Inferno. Kersey took O'Bryan to Soul Train host Don Cornelius and O'Bryan signed with Capitol Records. O'Bryan's debut album Doin' Alright was released in 1982 and the single The Gigolo reached #5 on the R & B Singles chart. O'Bryan's success on the R & B charts continued through his next couple of albums. And his song Soul Train's A-Comin' became the Soul Train theme in 1983. O'Bryan's 1984 album Be My Lover turned out to be his highest charting album. And the single Lovelite was his only R & B chart topping single. O'Bryan recorded his next album Surrender but the release was delayed due to contract negotiations. By the time Surrender was released in late 1986, O'Bryan lost all momentum and the album flopped. He left Capitol. You can get all of O'Bryan's hits on this budget comp. O'Bryan signed with A & M Records. But he never recorded an album there as the exec who signed him left the company. O'Bryan returned with the 2007 album F1RST on his own label and he still tours. Here's the video for Lovelite by O'Bryan. Beware! This video is NSFW.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Big Bad Blog Video Theater-Sara McMann vs Lauren Murphy

Here is the fight video of Sara McMann vs Lauren Murphy from last night's UFC show in Bangor, ME. Last time we saw Sara, she folded like a cheap suitcase after UFC Women's Bantamweight champ Ronda Rousey nailed her with a knee to the liver. Sara thinks it was a fluke and wants back in the title picture. Sara is wrong about a lot of things. She needs a dominant win over former Invicta Bantamweight Champ Lauren Murphy. Sara is bigger, stronger and has Olympic caliber wrestling. At the start of round one, Sara scores a takedown but doesn't advance her position. Instead Lauren is landing elbows from the bottom. Obviously this was the strategy given to Lauren by her coach John Crouch at PLab in Phoenix. Keep it standing if she can. But if Sara scores a takedown, be active from the bottom. It's risky strategy because judges may not see it Lauren's way. Generally speaking, top position is king. When Lauren wasn't scoring with elbows, she was keeping Sara close so Sara couldn't do anything. I think Lauren should have tried to escape anyway because of the risk of remaining on the bottom. Sara did not advance her position so I scored round one 10-9 for Lauren. I don't believe a takedown itself is enough but remember some judges will see it differently. Round two was very similar except that Lauren wasn't active from bottom position and it became lay and pray and the ref stood them up. I scored round two 10-9 for Sara because of her two takedowns. Round three was very similar to round one. Lauren's ground strikes gave her the edge 10-9. So I scored the fight 29-28 for Lauren. But I was not surprised that the judges scored it as a split decision for Sara. Was it a robbery? It doesn't matter because a win like that is as bad as a loss for Sara McMann. She needed to dominate and she was ineffective after her takedowns. Sara said afterwards that Lauren's strikes from bottom position were not significant. But Sara's inability to advance her position after the takedowns made Lauren's strikes more significant than they should have been. If she thinks a squeaker like that is going to advance her to title contender status, she is out to lunch. Enjoy the video!

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Imagine Dragons

Artist:Imagine Dragons
Album:Night Visions

Imagine Dragons emerged as the breakthrough band of 2013 with their debut album Night Visions and two top ten hits. I think they sound a lot like Coldplay. Sometimes that helps a band. Sometimes that hurts a band. Imagine Dragons are from Las Vegas. Lead singer Dan Reynolds is a Las Vegas native. He was attending Brigham Young University in 2008 when guitarist Daniel Wayne Sermon saw him in a club. They formed Imagine Dragons and moved to Las Vegas. Other members were Andrew Tolman on drums, his wife Brittany Tolman on keyboards and Ben McKee on bass. The Tolmans left in 2011 and were replaced by drummer Daniel Platzman and pianist Theresa Flaminio. Flaminio left and the band currently hires a pianist for touring. Imagine Dragons' big break came when they filled in at the 2009 Bite of Las Vegas Festival when Train dropped out due to illness. They generated enough buzz to get a record deal with Interscope Records. They work closely with producer Alexander "Alex Da Kid" Grant who worked with Dr. Dre among others. But Imagine Dragons is the first band he has completely developed. Their debut CD Night Visions was released Sept. 2012 and it was certified 2XPlatinum. the single Radioactive reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 and Demons reached #6. So they were a hit right off the bat. Imagine Dragons appeared on several TV shows and toured successfully. They are working on a second CD. They released the song Battle Cry on the Transformers: Age Of Extinction soundtrack. A release date for the new CD has not been announced but I think we'll see it in early 2015. I think those who like similar bands like Coldplay will enjoy Imagine Dragons. Here's the video for Demons by Imagine Dragons.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Marvin Holmes & The Uptights

Artist:Marvin Holmes & The Uptights
Song:Day Of Rest

Marvin Holmes has been a stalwart of the Bay Area funk scene since the 60s. Unfortunately he has never gotten his due and his recordings seem only to be available on various artists CDs like SuperFunk. I don't think Day Of Rest was ever released when it was recorded in the 60s but at least you can get a taste of his music. The high point of his career was when Marvin Holmes & The Uptights released the 1969 album Ooh Ooh The Dragon and Other Monsters on MCA's UNI label. Singles like The Funky Mule and Ooh Ooh The Dragon achieved modest success. Holmes recorded a second album for UNI but it doesn't look like it was ever released. It appears that Day Of Rest was supposed to be on the second album. But you can get the song on this various artists CD compiled by veteran DJ Dean Rudland for Ace Records. SuperFunk is a CD series that is recommended to those interested in rare funk. After Holmes disbanded The Uptights in 1970, he went back to backing up visiting soul acts when they came to Oakland. He also led bands like The Funk Company, Justice and The Rush Experience. In the 80s he released the single Feels So Good on MCA Records and toured with singer Randy Crawford. In recent years Holmes has worked with BDR Records producing several artists on the label. Here's a video for Day Of Rest by Marvin Holmes & The Uptights.

Friday, August 15, 2014

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Blaine Larsen

Artist:Blaine Larsen
Song:How Do You Get That Lonely
Album:Off To Join The World

In 2005, 18 year old Blaine Larsen looked like he was going to be the next big thing in country music when How Do You Get That Lonely reached the top 20 of the country charts. But it didn't work out and record company woes forced Larsen to leave the music business for the ministry. He was born Feb. 2, 1986 in Tacoma, WA. His family lived in California. But when his parents divorced, he moved with his mom back to Tacoma. Her new husband introduced him to country music and Larsen sang along with karaoke tapes and learned to play guitar. They took him to Nashville to record a demo. Rory Lee Feek heard the demo and signed Larsen to his Giantslayer label. Feek is best known as half of Joey + Rory. They released the 2004 CD In My High School. This led to a deal with the BMG Nashville owned label BNA. The 2005 CD Off To Join The World is a reworked version of In My High School. They re-recorded some songs and made a couple of changes. How Do You Get That Lonely reached #18 on the Country Singles chart. The song was written by Jamie Teachenor as a tribute to former Mount Pleasant, TN high school football player Lance Emmitt who committed suicide at age 19 on Nov. 11, 2003. It was Teachenor's first hit as a songwriter. He has had success writing for others and is attempting to launch a career as a performer. This song turned out to be Larsen's biggest hit as subsequent singles did not perform well. After the 2006 album Rockin' You Tonight, he left BNA. His management started Treehouse Records but they merged with Stroudavarious Records owned by former Giant Records president James Stroud. Larsen recorded an album and a couple of singles were released. But the CD was shelved when Stroud closed Stroudavarious and started the new label R & J Records in 2011. In 2012, Larsen announced on Youtube that he was leaving the music business to go into ministry. He describes himself on Twitter as a recovering country music artist. Here's the video for How Do You Get That Lonely by Blaine Larsen.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Marloes Coenen, Julia Budd sign with Bellator

Marloes Coenen, Julia Budd
On Monday a rumour surfaced on Twitter that Bellator had signed Marloes Coenen and Gina Carano. After some digging, I came to the conclusion that Marloes did sign with Bellator and Gina did not. And new Bellator president Scott Coker confirmed that they did not sign Gina. Today Bellator announced they have signed Marloes Coenen and Julia Budd and they will fight on an upcoming Bellator show. Of course they are heralding this as the next era of the women's division. Two fighters do not make a division. We'll see who else they sign. Both Marloes and Julia have most recently fought for Invicta. Marloes has been around since she won the 2000 World Remix Tournament in Tokyo. Things didn't go so well for her in Invicta. After breaking her hand during an unimpressive win over Romy Ruyssen, she got clobbered by Cris Cyborg. I favour her over Julia because Marloes is a more complete fighter. Julia is a kickboxer who has problems on the ground. She won all four of her Invicta fights but none of those opponents measure up to Marloes. I'm not surprised by this signing as Coker has always been a big Marloes Coenen fan. And unlike other 145lb fighters, Marloes isn't planning a drop to 135. And I doubt that Julia could drop to 135 even if she wanted to. And the biggest problem with a 145lb division is the depth. A lot of 145lb fighters including Cris Cyborg and Ediane Gomes want to drop to 135 to get into the UFC. Among the fighters to consider are Veronica Rothenhausler who will be on the next Invicta show, Amanda Bell who beat Ronda Rousey's BFF Marina Shafir a few days ago and of course the infamous Fallon Fox. And another name I will float because I know Coker likes her is Belgian Cindy Dandois. Cindy had a baby so she hasn't fought for three years. But last year she was training with Miesha Tate. Time for a comeback. As for Gina Carano, as I have said for months, I don't believe she will sign with anyone as there is no mention of the possibility of her fighting in any of her movie contracts and the film producer has to sign off on it. Some producers may not want her to fight. This fight will be on Spike TV. I'll let you know when a date is announced.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-J.J. Johnson and Al Grey

Artist:J.J. Johnson and Al Grey
Song:Doncha Hear Me Callin' To Ya
Album:Things Are Getting Better All the Time

This is a 1983 album recorded by two legends of the jazz trombone. J.J. Johnson is considered by many to have popularized the jazz trombone especially in his long running band with Kai Winding. Al Grey is best known for his days with Count Basie. Johnson once played in the Basie band back in the 40s. But by the 70s, Johnson turned to Los Angeles studio work because he didn't want to move to Europe like many jazz musicians did just to get regular gigs. Johnson scored films like Across 110th Street, Cleopatra Jones and Willie Dynamite and for TV series like Starsky and Hutch and The Six Million Dollar Man. So he didn't tour much and he rarely recorded. Meanwhile, Al Grey finished his third stint with the Basie band in 1977 and went on the road with Jimmy Forrest. In 1983, Johnson recorded the album Jackson, Johnson, Brown and Company with Milt Jackson and Ray Brown. Then he recorded We'll Be Together Again with Joe Pass for Pablo Records. Brown asked Johnson if he had ever worked with Al Grey. Johnson thought that was a great idea. Brown played bass and produced Things Are Getting Better All Time. Other musicians were Kenny Barron on piano and Mickey Roker on drums. Doncha Hear Me Callin' To Ya is a traditional gospel song that was recorded in the 60s by Junior Mance. The album is available on CD and is recommended especially to jazz trombone fans. Johnson toured and recorded more frequently in the 80s until his wife got sick. But he returned in the 90s and worked a lot with trombonist Steve Turre. He died on Feb. 4, 2001 at age 77. Grey was active in the 90s until his death until his death in 2000. This album is the only time these giants of jazz worked together. Here's a video for Doncha Hear Me Callin' To Ya by J.J. Johnson and Al Grey.