Friday, December 19, 2014

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-J.B. Lenoir

Artist:J.B. Lenoir
Song:The Mojo
Album:The Mojo 1951-1954

J.B. Lenoir (pronounced La-Nor) was successful on the Chicago blues scene in the 50s. and his best recordings were probably on J.O.B. Records in the early 50s. Unfortunately he died prematurely so he is somewhat forgotten. He was born Mar. 5, 1929 in Monticello, MS. JB was his given name. His father taught him to play guitar. Blind Lemon Jefferson was one of Lenoir's early influences. He moved to Chicago in 1949 and after a couple of singles for Chess, Lenoir signed with Joe Brown's J.O.B. Records. Lenoir was known for his showmanship and his high pitched voice. He frequently wore a zebra patterned jacket on stage. He also wrote social commentary like Eisenhower Blues. He first recorded The Mojo in 1953. The song is also called The Mojo Boogie. His band at the time included Sunnyland Slim on piano, Alfred Wallace on drums and J.T. Brown on tenor sax. Of course Slim was a Chicago blues pioneer. Brown was a Chicago session musician who also played with Elmore James. You can get all of Lenoir's J.O.B. recordings on this comp. Lenoir moved to Parrot Records in 1954 and had his only chart single with Mamma Talk To Your Daughters in 1956. He also recorded for Checker, Shad and VeeJay. By the early 60s, Lenoir gave up on being a full time musician and he worked in the kitchen at the University of Illinois in Champaign. Then Willie Dixon rediscovered Lenoir and took him on tour. J.B. Lenoir died on Apr. 29, 1967 at age 38 as a result of injuries he suffered in a car accident. Lenoir was featured in Martin Scorsese's series The Blues and he was inducted into the Blues Hall Of Fame in 2011. Here's a video of The Mojo by J.B. Lenoir.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Alexis Dufresne vs Marion Reneau added to Jan. 3 UFC show

Marion Reneau
The UFC announced today that Alexis Dufresne vs Marion Reneau has been added to UFC 182 Jan. 3 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. This fight will air on the UFC Fight Pass prelims. Alexis trains at Team Quest in Temecula, CA. Her record is 5-1. She lost her UFC debut to Sarah Moras on July 6. For starters, she missed weight and the fight was at 143lb catchweight. And then she tried a lay and pray strategy that backfired. So it was a poor performance and Alexis will be looking to bounce back. Marion trains at Elite Team in Visalia, CA which is the home for Bellator fighter Doug Marshall. Her record is 4-1 and her last fight was a win over Maureen Riordon on the July 25 RFA show. She was under contract to Invicta and was supposed to fight Mexican Irene Aldana a couple of weeks ago. But Irene got sick and the fight was scrapped. Invicta contracts aren't exclusive and they wouldn't stop anyone from going to the UFC anyway. That means Invicta contracts aren't worth the paper they are printed on. And that's fine. They are supposed to be a feeder league anyway. Marion's recent fights are not on Youtube so I can't evaluate her. And she hasn't fought a high level of competition anyway. That's why this is on Fight Pass.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Gary Numan

Artist:Gary Numan
Album:Premier Hits

Here in North America, Gary Numan is a one hit wonder for his 1979 top ten hit Cars. he's a much bigger deal in his native England. He is perceived as an innovator of electropop and one of the guys who launched the MTV era. He was born Gary Webb Mar. 8, 1958 in Hammersmith, England. he got into music as a teen after his dad bought him a guitar. He was in various bands in the 70s until he formed Tubeway Army with his uncle Jess Lidyard and Paul Gardiner. he got the name Numan from the Yellow Pages. They signed with Beggars Banquet Records and the single Are Friends Electric? topped the British charts in 1979. Numan's main influence was German electronic music pioneers Kraftwerk and his stage personality was influenced by science fiction. That's why he seems like an android. It was deliberate. Numan's solo album debut The Pleasure Principle was released in England as the Tubeway Army album Replicas. When Atco Records picked up the album in the US, Numan was convinced to turn it into a solo album. Cars reached #9 on the Billboard Hot 100 and the video was a big hit in the early days of MTV. He never had another hit in the US but he was very successful in England. He had six top ten hits in England in the early 80s. This comp covers that period. As Numan faded in the mid-80s, he got more into jazz and worked frequently with veteran sax player Dick Morrissey. Numan has owned his own label Numa since the mid-80s. He continues to record and tour today. Numan straddles the line between electronic music innovator and kitschy novelty act. Here's the video for Cars by Gary Numan.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Ray Conniff

Artist:Ray Conniff
Song: Somewhere My Love
Album:The Best Of Ray Conniff

Like his labelmate Percy Faith, Ray Conniff was an easy listening staple for decades. His albums were big sellers in the 60s. And he would occasionally cross over to pop as he did with Somewhere My Love in 1966. He was born Nov. 6, 1916 in Attleboro, MA. His dad played trombone in a local band. Conniff learned to play trombone and led bands as a teen. He moved to New York and was in Bunny Berigan's band for two years. He also played with Bob Crosby, Artie Shaw and Glen Gray. During WWII, Conniff was in the US Army and was an arranger for Armed Forces Radio. He worked as an arranger for Artie Shaw until Mitch Miller hired him to be house arranger at Columbia Records in 1954. His biggest hit in that period was singer Don Cherry's 1955 hit Band Of Gold. He also worked with Johnny Mathis, Johnny Ray, Guy Mitchell and others. He also recorded as Jay Raye for Epic Records. Conniff was experimenting with an orchestra and chorus in the studio. and Miller liked the sound so much, Conniff recorded the 1956 album 'S Wonderful. The album was a big seller and the rest is history. Conniff's albums were very popular for most of the 60s. He created The Ray Conniff Singers in 1959 so he could tour. Conniff rarely strayed from his formula and that's why his albums were consistent sellers. Somewhere My Love reached #9 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1966 and it was Conniff's only top ten pop hit. Of course it played on the success of the film Doctor Zhivago. This budget comp is a good intro to his music. Conniff continued to record for Columbia into the 90s and he was very popular in Latin America. Ray Conniff fell and hit his head and died on Oct. 12, 2002 at age 85. His music is not for me but one can't argue with his longevity. Here's Ray Conniff performing Somewhere My Love in Sao Paulo, Brazil in the 80s.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Julia Budd vs Talita Nogueira added to Feb. 13 Bellator show

Talita Nogueira
Bellator announced yesterday that Canadian Julia Budd vs Brazilian Talita Nogueira has been added to Bellator 133 Feb. 13 at the Save Mart Center in Fresno, CA. Julia is from Port Moody, BC. Her record is 6-2 and the last time we saw her she beat Charmaine Tweet on the Dec. 7, 2013 Invicta show. She won all four of her Invicta fights but I don't think her opposition was top quality. Julia is a great kickboxer but she's not very good on the ground. Talita is from Sao Paulo, Brazil and trains at Gracie Fusion. Her MMA record is 6-0 but the combined record of her opponents is 1-7. So as an MMA fighter, I would describe her as unproven. However, she has been competing in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu since 2007 and she won the 2011 World Jiu Jitsu Championship in her weight class which is 163lb. She drops to 145 for MMA. Back in the summer, she was in talks with the UFC to drop to 135. But when Scott Coker took over Bellator and got back into women's MMA, her manager got a call and she signed with Bellator so she could stay at 145. Talita has the kind of ground skills that could give Julia a lot of trouble. I haven't seen her striking but these elite BJJ competitors want to be complete MMA fighters so I'm sure Talita works on her striking daily. Julia will want to keep Talita standing at a distance. That could be a tough task for her. This could be an interesting fight.

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Pete Zimmer Quartet

Artist:Pete Zimmer Quartet f/Jeremy Pelt
Album:Chillin' Live @ Jazz Factory

Drummer Pete Zimmer has been part of the New York jazz scene since 2001. He started his own label in 2004. The 2008 CD Chillin' Live @ Jazz Factory was a fresh start with a new band featuring trumpeter Jeremy Pelt. Zimmer was born September 18, 1977 in Waukesha, WI. He took up drums as a child and played in local jazz clubs as a teen. One musician he played with was guitarist Dave Sullivan. His son John Sullivan would play bass in Zimmer's first band in New York. Zimmer studied at Northern Illinois University and then the New England Conservatory of Music. Among his teachers were drummers Jerry Bergonzi and Bob Moses. Another teacher was sax player George Garzone and Zimmer played in Garzone's band when he first moved to New York City. Zimmer started his own label Tippin Records and released his debut CD Common Man. His old pal John Sullivan played bass. Other musicians were Joel Frahm on tenor sax, Michael Rodeiguez on trumpet and either Toru Dodo or Rick Germanson on piano. With his fourth CD Chillin' Live @ Jazz Factory in 2008, Zimmer put together an all new band featuring rising star Jeremy Pelt on trumpet, Avi Rothbard on guitar and David Wong on bass. Zimmer writes most of the songs but this cover of Sonny Rollins' Doxy is excellent straight ahead jazz. Zimmer's latest CD Prime Of life was released in 2012 and features his old teacher George Garzone on sax. They work together frequently in New York clubs. Here's Pete Zimmer with Jeremy Pelt, Avi Rothbard and David Wong performing Doxy at Jazz Factory 2008. This video is not on Youtube.

PETE ZIMMER QUARTET featuring: JEREMY PELT "Doxy" from Pete Zimmer on Myspace.

Monday, December 15, 2014

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Jewel

Song:You Were Meant For Me
Album:Greatest Hits

In hindsight, the success of folksinger Jewel Kilcher seems unlikely. But she had three top ten hits including You Were Meant For me in 1996. She was born may 23,1974 in Payson, UT but she was raised in Homer, AK by her father. her grandfather was an Alaskan state senator. Her upbringing was chronicled in the Discovery Channel series Alaska: The Last Frontier. Jewel and her father sang in local clubs and she learned to yodel. She moved to Michigan to study music at the Interlochen Arts Academy. After graduating, she traveled the US performing in clubs. She met Steve Poltz in San Diego and he would later be a key figure in her career. Jewel signed with Atlantic Records in 1994 after former Paramount exec Inga Vainshtein got a tip about her. Her 1996 debut CD Pieces Of You was produced by Neil Young's long time recording engineer Ben Keith. he had never produced anyone other than Young. Young's band The Stray Gators backs her up on the CD. You Were Meant For Me was the second single. After it was released, Atlantic pulled it and the music video and asked Jewel to record it again. This second version reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100. And a new music video was filmed which featured Steve Poltz. He wrote the song with Jewel. The next single Foolish Games also reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100. Pieces Of You was certified 12XPlatinum. So now Jewel is a big star. She had one more top ten hit Hands from her 1998 CD Spirit. You can get them on this budget comp. Though Jewel never had another hit single, her albums still did well until her 2006 CD Goodbye Alice in Wonderland was her first CD to not at least be certified Gold. Then she left Atlantic and recorded for the country label Valory. She has also had success with children's music. She is currently working on new music and the CD will be released on Jewel's own label. Jewel has published several books of poetry and has done a lot of TV. She hosted the 2011 TV talent show Platinum Hit. I expect that in the future we'll see her more on TV than on the charts. Here's the video for You Were Meant For Me by Jewel.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Big Bad Blog Video Theater-Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs Claudia Gadelha

Here's the video of Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs Claudia Gadelha from last night's UFC show in Phoenix. I expected this to be a fantastic fight. These two girls are high level athletes who are undefeated in MMA. The winner will get the first shot at Carla Esparza's UFC Women's Strawweight Championship. Joanna is a European Muay Thai champ who I think is the hardest puncher in women's MMA since Hisae Watanabe. Claudia is a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. How will Joanna defend that and will Claudia run out of gas if Joanna defends well? Round one is the key round. Claudia gets a couple of takedowns but is unable to advance her position. You'll notice throughout the fight that the moment Joanna gets taken down, she heads straight for the fence to get back up. And Claudia does nothing to prevent that. So Claudia is in control but Joanna is preventing any damage with excellent defense. Joanna floors Claudia with an uppercut to the chin. But it's too late in the round for a finish. I scored that round 10-9 for Claudia. But I've seen the judges scorecards and all three scored that round 10-9 for Joanna. She stole the round with the knockdown. And that is the key to this fight. Claudia seemed to slow down in round two and Joanna was very effective striking from a distance. I scored round two 10-9 for Joanna. So did two of the judges but the third judge scored the round for Claudia. At the start of round three, Claudia is cut over the eye by an accidental head butt. The fight continued after the doctor looked at it. And I think the break helped Claudia. She controlled round three with takedowns though Joanna continued to defend well. Claudia landed a punch after the bell but she apologized and she said afterwards she didn't hear the bell. The apology means she won't be penalized. I scored that round 10-9 for Claudia and so did the judges. So I scored the fight 29-28 for Claudia but I Tweeted that I expected a split decision. And Joanna Jedrzejczyk wins by split decision. She gets the title shot. So that means that knockdown at the end of round one won her the fight. And indirectly her defense won her the fight too. Claudia's inability to advance her position after takedowns cost her this fight. It wasn't enough. And Joanna's defense could present similar problems for elite wrestler Carla Esparza. That's why you have to finish fights. This fight proves that a close fight can be decided by one thing. Of course Claudia's corner kept telling her she was winning. Now they say they will appeal the decision which will get them nowhere. Look, I don't believe in round stealing but obviously some judges do. That can be a big factor with a fight that was this close. Enjoy the video!

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Trombone Shorty

Artist:Trombone Shorty
Song:Hurricane Season

Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews is today's standard bearer for New Orleans music heritage. His music is s mix of jazz, R & B and New Orleans party music. He was born Jan. 2, 1986 in New Orleans. His older brother James Andrews is a jazz trumpeter. Their grandfather Jessie Hill had a hit single with Ooh Poo Pah Doo in 1962. Shorty's main instrument is trombone but he also plays trumpet and other instruments. He went to high school at New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts whose graduates include Harry Connick Jr and Nicholas Payton. Beginning in 2001, Shorty released several CDs independently until he signed with Verve Records. Backatown was his Verve debut CD in 2010. Shorty plays trumpet on Hurricane Season which is one of his signature songs. Since then, Shorty has become one of Verve's best selling artists. His latest CD Say That To Say This was released in 2013 and topped the jazz charts. Trombone Shorty's music is not for jazz purists. He draws on his musical heritage to create a mix of all kinds of music including jazz. Trombone Shorty refuses to be put in a musical box. He recently appeared on the Foo Fighters HBO series Sonic Highways. Trombone Shorty is currently on tour. I saw him a couple of years ago and you should check him out if he's coming your way. Here's Trombone Shorty performing Hurricane Season at the 2012 North Sea Jazz Festival in Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Big Bad Blog Video Theater-Carla Esparza vs Rose Namajunas

Here's the fight video of Carla Esparza vs Rose Namajunas from the TUF 20 Finale in Las Vegas. The thing to keep in mind is those semi finals we saw on Wednesday actually happened four months ago. Carla had to know that she wasn't that impressive in the TUF fights compared to Rose. I thought Rose could win early in the fight but could she pace herself for five rounds? But I changed my mind after they came to the cage. I didn't like Rose's body language or her nervous energy. And Carla was very calm. So Rose came out gangbusters in round one. I thought she won the round marginally. But she seemed to run out of gas by the end of the round. Carla got takedowns but Rose defended well. Between rounds, Rose's trainer Trevor Wittman told her to pace herself better. But it was probably too late for that. Carla took over in round two and could have finished Rose with more time. The first minute of round three was a foregone conclusion. Carla took Rose down and won with a rear naked choke. Carla Esparza is the inaugural UFC Women's Strawweight Champion. So what was the difference? She fought like a champ last night. She didn't do that in the TUF fights. Maybe the TUF drama got into her head. Carla's first challenger will be the winner of Claudia Gadelha vs Joanna Jedrzejczyk on tonight's UFC show. That should be a good one. I won't post the videos of the other fights because it takes too long to upload them to the blog. But I'll give a quick analysis of each fight. Jessica Penne vs Randa Markos was probably the best fight of the night. I thought they split the first two rounds and Jessica won round three. So I scored it 29-28 for Jessica. The judges gave her the win by split decision. Felice Herrig won over Lisa Ellis by second round armbar. Felice was bigger and quicker than Lisa. I also think she's better when she is working with her usual coach Jeff Curran. The TUF house didn't do her any favours. Heather Jo Clark won over Bec Rawlings by unanimous decision. I thought they split rounds two and three. Round one was very close. I scored it for Heather but it could have gone the other way. Heather will have knee surgery this week and we'll probably see her in about a year. Joanne Calderwood beat Ham Seo Hee by unanimous decision. That's the Joanne we saw in Invicta. She admitted that TUF was not to her liking. I guess she likes to eat her mom's food and work with her usual trainer John Kavanaugh. Ham did OK. She stayed in the pocket and banged. But I have never thought that she is an elite fighter anyway. Ham is an elite kickboxer. Tecia Torres beat Angela Magana by unanimous decision. Tecia did her thing and Angela had nothing for her. She will have to do more to stick in the UFC. Aisling Daly beat Alex Chambers by first round armbar. And in the opener, Angela Hill beat Emily Peters Kagan by unanimous decision. It was dominant and maybe should have been stopped during round two. Neither Emily or Alex would be in the UFC under normal circumstances. I'm not sure how long they will stick around. Enjoy the video!

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Lovie Austin and her Blues Serenaders

Artist:Lovie Austin and her Blues Serenaders
Song:Traveling Blues
Album:The Chronological Lovie Austin 1924-26

Lovie Austin was one of two female jazz pianists in 1920s Chicago. Of course the other was Louis Armstrong's wife Lil Hardin. Lovie was mostly an accompanist but she also recorded as a leader. She was born Cora Calhoun Sept. 19, 1887 in Chattanooga, TN. After studying music in college, she toured the vaudeville until she moved to Chicago in 1923. As house pianist for Paramount Records in Chicago, she backed up singers Alberta Hunter, Ma Rainey, Ida Cox and Ethel Waters. Her song Downhearted Blues was a hit for Bessie Smith. She also recorded with her band the Blues Serenaders from 1924-26. Traveling Blues was recorded in 1924 with Tommy Ladnier on cornet, Jimmy O'Bryant on clarinet and W.E. Burton on drums. Trombonist Kid Ory recorded with Lovie in 1926. You can get all of Lovie's recordings on this CD. Lovie was musical director at the Monogram Theater in Chicago for many years and she didn't record after the 20s. She led bands and toured theaters for the Theater Owners Booking Association. Piano legend Mary Lou Williams says she saw Lovie perform when she was a child and she considers Lovie to be a big influence on her music career. Lovie had a bit of a comeback when she recorded the 1961 album Alberta Hunter with Lovie Austin's Blues Serenaders for Riverside Records. Lovie Austin died on July 10, 1972 at age 84. Especially as a woman in jazz, Lovie Austin was an unsung pioneer of jazz. Here's a video for Traveling Blues by Lovie Austin and her Blues Serenaders.