Wednesday, May 04, 2016

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Tina Brooks Quintet

Artist:Tina Brooks Quintet
Song:Minor Move
Album:The Complete Recordings: Master Takes

Sax player Harold "Tina" Brooks had a brief career at Blue Note in the late 50s. The problem was three of his four albums weren't released until years after his death. And his career was cut short by heroin addiction. His music is worth checking out. He was born June 7, 1932 in Fayetteville, NC. Tina or Teeny was a childhood nickname. His brother David "Bubba" Brooks played sax for Bill Doggett for many years. His family moved to New York City in 1944 and Brooks began playing local clubs in the early 50s. He played with Sonny Thompson and Lionel Hampton and then trumpeter Little Benny Harris recommended him to Blue Note producer Alfred Lion. Brooks appeared on albums by Jimmy Smith and Kenny Burrell. And he also recorded four albums as a leader. Minor Move was his first album in 1958. Musicians are Lee Morgan on trumpet, Sonny Clark on piano, Doug Watkins on bass and Art Blakey on drums. The album sat in the Blue Note vault until it was released in Japan in 1980 and then Blue Note released it on CD in 2000. This is now out of print but last year Parlophone in England released a Complete Recordings CD. Three of Brooks' four albums went unreleased when they were recorded. So he never got the opportunity to see if he was viable as a leader. Nobody knows why this happened to Brooks but speculation is Lion didn't like Brooks possibly because of his disheveled appearance due to his heroin addiction. His music is great so it wasn't that. Brooks also recorded with Howard McGhee, Freddie Hubbard, Jackie McLean and Freddie Redd. He never recorded after 1961. Brooks health deteriorated as his heroin addiction got worse. He died of liver failure on Aug. 13, 1974 at age 42. Here's a video of Minor Move by the Tina Brooks Quintet.

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Miles Ahead film review

Anyone looking for a traditional biopic of jazz legend Miles Davis should avoid Miles Ahead like the plague. When star and director Don Cheadle first discussed the film with the Davis family, they pitched him various concepts and he thought they were all boring. He told them he wanted to make Davis a gangster. Once they agreed to that, he agreed to star and then to direct. For the most part, the film concentrates on a period in the late 70s when Davis had retired from everything. He had recorded an album that was to be his comeback. So Rolling Stone reporter Dave Brill (Ewan McGregor) knocks on his door to write about it. From here it turns into an action adventure film that is mostly nonsense but is fun to watch. In fact, the Brill character is fiction. Cheadle says that to get the film financed, he needed to have a white co-star. So we have this plot where Davis' master tapes have been stolen and he and Brill have to get them back. Music fans will wonder what the hell is going on. We see in flashback sequences that he regrets the way he treated his first wife Frances (Emayatzy Corinealdi of Middle of Nowhere). That's her on the album cover of Someday My Prince Will Come. And we also see him recording with Gil Evans (Jeffrey Grover) and rehearsing with Herbie Hancock. But then we return to this action adventure film that seems to be included mainly to infuriate Miles Davis fans. But as Ewan McGregor said, Davis might have wanted to star in that kind of film. As a nod to music fans, the closing segment has a concert featuring Don Cheadle on trumpet. Wayne Shorter on sax, Herbie Hancock and Robert Glasper on piano, Gary Clark Jr. on guitar, Esperanza Spalding on bass and Antonio Sanchez on drums. If that's what you want to watch, there are concert DVDs available. This is not a standard biopic. It's a caper pic starring Miles Davis. And I enjoyed it for what it was because I knew what the film wasn't before I saw it. Many thinks to the fine folks at Hollywood Suite for the passes. Check out the trailer.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Lillix

Song:It's About Time
Album:Falling Uphill

The Canadian girl group Lillix probably should have been more successful. But they had record company problems. It's About Time was their only chart single. They were teens when they first formed in 1997 as Tigerlily. They are from Cranbrook, BC. They all sing but they also play their own instruments. The band was Tasha-Ray Evin on guitar, her older sister Lacey-Lee Evin on keyboards, Louise Burns on bass and Kim Urhahn on drums. After playing local clubs, a demo found its way to Maverick Records owned by Madonna and Guy Oseary and distributed by Warner Bros. Tigerlily signed with Maverick in 2001 and the group name was changed to Lillix. Their debut CD Falling Uphill was released in 2003. They worked with several producers with recording engineer Philip Steir supervising. It's About Time was written and produced by the production group The Matrix (Graham Edwards, Lauren Christy, Scott Spock). They had their biggest success with Avril Lavigne and you can hear that influence on It's About Time. Lillix also covered the Romantics' classic What I Like About You and it was used as the theme of the sitcom What I Like About You. They also worked with producers like Glenn Ballard (Alanis Morrissette), Linda Perry (Pink) and John Shanks (Michelle Branch). So with all that high powered talent, why did Lillix go nowhere? There were problems at Maverick. Madonna sued Warners and there was a countersuit. It was gross mismanagement and Maverick closed after releasing Lillix's second CD only in Canada in 2006. Lillix continued and they released a CD in Canada in 2010. Louise Burns has recorded a few solo CDs. Lillix continued for a few years. They don't appear to be active right now. Here's the video for It's About Time by Lillix.

Monday, May 02, 2016

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-IIIrd Tyme Out

Artist:IIIrd Tyme Out
Song:Raining In L.A.
Album:Footprints: A IIIrd Tyme Out Collection

IIIrd Tyme Out is an excellent bluegrass group and they were very successful in the 90s. They are from Cummins, GA led by lead singer and guitarist Russell Moore. Moore was a member of Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver in the 80s. He left in 1990 and IIIrd Tyme Out was formed in 1991. Other Members were bassist Ray Deaton also from Quicksilver, fiddler Mike Hartgrove from The Bluegrass Cardinals and Quicksilver, mandolinist Wayne Benson who joined in 1994 and banjo player Steve Dilling from The Bass Mountain Boys. He also joined in 1994. After a couple of albums for Rebel Records, IIIrd Tyme Out signed with Rounder Records. Raining In L.A. is from the 1996 album Letter From Home which was their first album for Rounder. The song was written by Rebel Records session musician Wesley Golding. IIIrd Tyme Out was International Bluegrass Music Association Vocal Group of the Year from 1994 to 2000. Bluegrass fans will enjoy the harmonies. This comp is a good intro to their Rounder recordings. IIIrd Tyme Out left Rounder in 2001 and have since recorded for Chateau and Rural Rhythm. Moore still leads them but other than Benson, it's an all new band. Their latest CD Bluegrassed: Timeless Hits From The Past was sold at Cracker Barrel stores. And of course they still tour. Bluegrass fans should check them out. Here's IIIrd Tyme Out performing Raining In L.A. on the PBS series Jubilee 2013.

Sunday, May 01, 2016

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Holly Cole

Artist:Holly Cole
Song:I've Just Seen A Face
Album:The Best Of Holly Cole

Jazz singer Holly Cole has been very successful in her native Canada and Japan. Blue Note's attempts to break her in the US were unsuccessful and attempts to give her a more mainstream sound like with this cover of I've Just Seen A Face failed. So she's returned to jazz in recent years. She was born Nov. 25, 1963 in Halifax, NS. Her father Leon Cole worked for the CBC and he was a classical musician. Holly and her older brother both studied piano at Berklee in Boston. He got her into jazz by listening to Sarah Vaughan and Billie Holiday. Holly moved to Toronto in 1983 and she formed a trio with pianist Aaron Davis and bassist David Piltch. And she still works with them today. Both are veterans of the Canadian jazz scene who have worked with a who's who of Canadian music since the 80s. They played Toronto clubs for a few years and signed with Alert Records in 1989. This led to a US record deal with Blue Note. Holly had success with the 1993 album Don't Smoke In Bed and her cover of the Johnny Nash classic I Can See Clearly Now. The album was certified Platinum in Canada. She also became popular in Japan which can be a very lucrative market for jazz musicians. Her next album was an album of Tom Waits covers called Temptation in 1995. This cover of The Beatles classic I've Just Seen A Face is from the 1997 album Dark Dear Heart. This was an attempt to turn Holly more mainstream. It was produced by Larry Klein who has worked with many female singers including his ex-wife Joni Mitchell and his current wife Luciana Souza. I've Just Seen A Face was her biggest hit single in Canada. But it didn't break through in the US as Blue Note had hoped. This comp covers Holly's 90s recordings. Holly currently records for the German label Tradition & Moderne and her own label Rumpus Room in Canada distributed by Universal. Her latest CD Night was released in 2012. She lives in Kingston and performs occasionally. But she's not as active as she used to be. It almost seems like she is winding down her career. Here's the video for I've Just Seen A Face by Holly Cole.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Big Bad blog Video Theater-Asuka vs Eva Marie

Here's the match video of Asuka vs Eva Marie from this week's NXT. The goal is for Asuka to make Eva Marie look half decent. That's a tough job because Eva Marie's offense is terrible and she has a bad habit of admiring her own offense. The contrast is very striking. When Asuka kicks Eva, it looks like it hurts. Asuka tries to sell Eva's offense but no one is buying that. When Asuka's hip attack dumps Eva to the floor, Nia Jax comes out to give Eva moral support. After Asuka kicks Eva in the chest a few times, She hits a Shining Wizard followed by a spinning head kick for the win. Afterwards, Asuka has a staredown with Nia and Nia leaves. I expect that Asuka vs Nia Jax will be on the June NXT Takeover show. I thought they might turn Asuka heel and give Bayley a rematch. But we will see in the next couple of weeks that won't happen. Enjoy the video!
Asuka vs. Eva Marie by therackattackvideos

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Pat Metheny Group

Artist:Pat Metheny Group
Song:Daulton Lee
Album:The Falcon And the Snowman: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

Fans of guitarist Pat Metheny will want to check out this soundtrack from the 1985 film The Falcon and the Snowman. It was Metheny's first film score and from what I can tell, this music doesn't appear on any of his other albums. Metheny was between record companies at the time. He left ECM and he would soon begin recording for Geffen Records. He made some changes to his band in the early 80s though Lyle Mays was still his right hand man. And he was starting to get into South American music which would become very prominent in his late 80s albums. Metheny was a guest soloist on Jerry Goldsmith's score for the 1983 film Under Fire which was nominated for an Oscar. So it's not surprising that Metheny would be hired to score a film. The Falcon and the Snowman starred Timothy Hutton and Sean Penn and it was directed by John Schlesinger. The studio was Orion who also produced Under Fire. So I assume an Orion exec suggested Metheny to Schlesinger. Metheny used his usual group with Lyle Mays on piano, Steve Rodby on bass and Paul Wertico on drums. Metheny uses his synclavier to alter his guitar sound. There is also an orchestra and a choir and vocals by Argentinian singer Pedro Aznar who was a member of Metheny's group in the late 80s. The kicker is that David Bowie contributes guest vocals on This Is Not America and that song was a top 40 pop hit. Bowie was on EMI at the time and that's why the soundtrack is on EMI. Metheny fans will want the soundtrack because none of this music appears on any of Metheny's other albums. It's the only time he recorded for EMI. You can get This Is Not America on Bowie's EMI comps. It's a little different than Metheny's usual music because it's a film score. His only other score was for the 1999 film Map Of The World. So the Falcon and the Snowman is a very unusual Pat Metheny album and his fans should check it out. Here's Pat Metheny Group performing Daulton Lee in France 1987.

Friday, April 29, 2016

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Paul Young

Artist:Paul Young
Song:Everytime You Go Away
Album:The Essential Paul Young

Blue eyed soul singer Paul Young scored his biggest US hit with the 1985 number one hit Everytime You Go Away. He's a much bigger deal in his native England. He has had problems with his voice that has curtailed his career. But he's still around and he just released a new album. He was born Jan. 17, 1956 in Luton, Bedfordshire, England. He started out as a bassist. But in the 70s he was lead singer of Kat Kool & The Kool Kats and then Streetband who scored a top 20 hit in England with the novelty song Toast. After Streetband split up, Young formed Q-Tips and he started writing songs with keyboard player Ian Kewley. Q-Tips signed with veteran producer Mickie Most and his RAK label. They recorded two albums with modest success. But they split up in 1982 when Young signed a solo deal with CBS Records. Working with Ian Dury & The Blockheads producer Laurie Latham, Young's 1983 debut album No Parlez did well in England and his cover of the Marvin Gaye classic Wherever I Lay My Hat (That's My Home) was his first British number one hit. But Young's 1985 album The Secret Of Association also did well in the US. And the single Everytime You Go Away topped the Billboard Hot 100. Everytime You Go Away was written by Daryl Hall and it appeared on the 1980 Hall & Oates album Voices. They never released it as a single. It turned out to be Young's biggest hit in the US. For one thing, he was having problems with his vocal cords. And rest was the only thing that seemed to help. Young continued to record but he couldn't tour as he would have liked because of his voice problems. His other top ten hit in the US was his 1990 cover of The Chi-Lites classic Oh Girl. You can get all of Young's hits on this budget comp. He left CBS in 1993. He briefly reformed Q-Tips and formed the Tex-Mex group Los Pacaminos in 1995. He continues to record as a solo artist and with Los Pacaminos. Young released a new CD Good Thing last week and he is touring Europe to support it. Here's the video for Everytime You Go Away by Paul Young.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Valerie Letourneau vs Joanne Calderwood added to June 18 UFC show

This morning the UFC announced that Valerie Letourneau vs Joanne Calderwood has been added to UFC Fight Night 89 June 18 at TD Place in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. The interesting thing is that this fight will be at Flyweight. This will air on Fox Sports 1 in the US and TSN in Canada. At a December fan Q&A, UFC President Dana White said that they would add a Women's Flyweight division but he didn't say when. UFC Strawweight Champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk has also expressed interest in fighting at Flyweight. She wants to hold two titles. She fought at 125lb before she came to the UFC. And I'm sure if she was asked, her upcoming opponent Claudia Gadelha would say the same thing. Though the UFC has not committed to a Flyweight division yet, this is a sign that it's something of interest. They already have fighters on the roster who have fought at 125lb. And in the case of Valerie Letourneau, the cut to 115lb is very tough for her. And she is undersized for 135lb. She is better suited to fight at 125. Of course Valerie is a native of Montreal but she now trains at American Top Team in Florida. Valerie lost her Strawweight title shot. But obviously the UFC wants to keep her around and that's why they are looking at Flyweight. The last time we saw Joanne, she won over Cortney Casey last July in front of her home town fans in Glasgow, Scotland. Since then, she has moved to Montreal and trains at Tri Star. So I will be interested to see if she has picked up any new tricks there. Valerie trained at Tri Star for most of her career before moving to Florida a couple of years ago. I expect this to be a kickboxing match because neither fighter is adept on the ground. I wouldn't mind some surprises though. Look at this as a trial balloon. If it goes well, we could see a UFC Flyweight division by early 2017. That would be good.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Suicide

Song:Touch Me

Though the pioneering punk band Suicide were never a commercial success, they were one of the first punk bands to use synthesizers so they were influential. Suicide was a duo with singer Alan Vega (born Alan Bermowitz June 23, 1938 in Brooklyn, NY) and keyboard player Martin Rev (born Martin Reverby Dec. 18, 1947 in Brooklyn, NY). Vega studied art in college and he called himself Alan Suicide after the Ghost Rider comic book Satan Suicide. After seeing The Stooges in 1969, Vega met Rev and the two started playing New York clubs. Apparently Suicide was one of the first groups to use the word "punk" to describe themselves because that's how they behaved on stage. Things started to pick up for Suicide when Rev began to experiment with synthesizers and drum machines. They signed with Red Star Records owned by former Paramount and Buddah exec Marty Thau. Though the 1977 album Suicide was not a commercial success, the use of synthesizers on the album was a big influence on what was to come in the 80s. Artists as diverse as Bruce Springsteen, The Fleshtones and most 80s synth pop bands have acknowledged Suicide as an important band. Thau hired Ric Ocasek of The Cars to produce Suicide's second album in an effort to give them a more commercial sound. But the album was never distributed properly and Suicide split up. Vega and Rev immediately recorded solo and though they have occasionally reunited, the two are still active individually. The album Suicide is available on CD and those interested in the evolution of punk music should check it out. Here's Suicide performing Sweetheart and Touch Me at Hurrah in New York 1980.