Friday, March 31, 2017
Song:Warm Red Circles
Album:A Singles Collection 1982-1992
The progressive rock group Marillion had success in the 80s mostly in their native England and Europe. Most of their success was as an album and touring band. This changed significantly when the lead singer left but Marillion is still around today. Marillion was formed in 1979 in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, England. The key figure in the early days of Marillion was lead singer Derek "Fish" Dick who wrote most of the lyrics. The other members are Steve Rothery on guitar, Mark Kelly on keyboards, Pete Trewavas on bass and Ian Mosely on drums. Except for Fish, this has been the band lineup since 1984. Marillion signed with EMI in 1982 and they released their debut album Script for A Jester's Tear in 1983. They had success mostly in England. The one criticism is they sounded too much like Genesis. They continued to have success in England and even got some radio play in the US while touring. By the time of the 1987 release of Clutching At Straws, Marillion was worn out from the constant touring. Fish blamed this on the group's manager who was making 20% of the gross. He was making all the money and the band was doing all the work. So he gave them a choice and Fish left Marillion in 1988. Fish has recorded solo since 1990 mostly on his own label. Steve Hogarth was brought in as the new lead singer. Hogarth also played keyboards and he became the new lyricist. They weren't as successful but they still did OK. Marillion left EMI in 1995 but they are still around and they just released a new live CD. This budget comp covers their 80s singles. Here's the video for Warm Red Circles by Marillion. Most of this video was filmed at a show in Germany.
Thursday, March 30, 2017
DVD:The Rescuers 35th Anniversary Edition/The Rescuers Down Under
Many music fans should be familiar with Louis Prima from his days performing with his wife Keely Smith. Most of their hits were on Capitol Records in the 50s. The biggest hit was probably That Old Black Magic. The duo's stage antics and the jazz background of Sal Butera and the Headhunters was a big draw in Las Vegas. The end came when Keely filed for divorce in 1962. Prima tried to replace Keely with 21 year old waitress Gia Malone. That didn't turn out very well but they did marry and had a son Louis Prima Jr. Prima was not getting bookings so it looked like his career was over. Fortunately, he got involved with Walt Disney. Disney was casting for the 1967 film Jungle Book which was Disney's final production before his death. He met comedian Phil Harris at a party and Harris was cast as Baloo. Disneyland Records president Jimmy Johnson suggested that Louis Prima as King Louie would be a good foil for Harris. The film was a big success. Prima performed I Wanna Be Like You and he recorded two albums with Harris. Disney had planned to produce The Rescuers in 1962. That didn't work out but Don Bluth revived it in the early 70s. The original plan was for Prima to play Louis The Bear and sing several songs. Robin Hood songwriter Floyd Huddleston wrote three songs for Prima including Peopleitis and Prima recorded the songs so the artists could get to work. The songs and character were supposed to remind us of Prima's performance in Jungle Book. The studio proceeded with pencil tests and storyboards. Unfortunately, Prima got very ill in 1975 which led to his 1978 death. Bluth decided to continue the film without Louis The Bear and the songs weren't used either. So these songs sat in the Disney vault all these years until Disney decided to release a 35th anniversary DVD with The Rescuers and the 1990 sequel The Rescuers Down Under in 2012. One of the extras is a video for Peopleitis using the Louis The Bear pencil tests and storyboards. You can also get the lost songs on The Lost Chords: The Rescuers. That was released only on mp3. I recommend either to Disney fanatics. It's not for casual fans though it is an interesting story. Here's the video for Peopleitis by Louis Prima from The Rescuers 35th Anniversary Edition. Thanks to A Lost Film for the story.
Wednesday, March 29, 2017
Song:The Ladies Who Lunch
Album:Company: 1996 London Cast Recording
You might think that Sheila Gish is from a famous Hollywood family. But she was a veteran British actress who was unknown outside England. She won an Olivier award for her performance in this 1996 revival of the Stephen Sondheim musical Company. She was born Sheila Gash Apr. 23, 1942 in Lincoln, Lincolnshire, England. She studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and made her stage debut in 1964. She appeared in many West End plays over the years. She made her film debut in the 1965 film Darling. Her best known role was probably in the 1972 film A Day In The Death of Joe Egg which has a significant cult following. She also appeared in the 1981 film Quartet and The Highlander series. She did all kinds of TV. The most significant was the 1969 mini series The First Churchills as Queen Mary. That aired here on PBS. Company was a musical that got its first big revival at the Donmar Warehouse in London in 1996. It was directed by Sam Mendes, best known for the film American Beauty. An unusual thing about this production was that the lead role of Bobby was played by black actor Adrian Lester. Sheila won an Olivier award for her performance in a role made famous by Elaine Stritch. A taped production aired on BBC. It doesn't seem to be available on DVD but RCA released a cast album. I think it's Sheila's only appearance in a musical. Sheila retired after losing an eye to cancer. She made public appearances wearing an eyepatch. She died on Mar. 9, 2005 at age 62. Sheila's daughters Kay Curram and Lou Gish are TV actresses in England. Lou died of cancer in 2006. Here's Sheila Gish performing The Ladies Who Lunch in Company as it aired on the BBC in 1996.
Tuesday, March 28, 2017
Song:There's A Big Wheel
Album:The Very Best of Wilma Lee and Stoney Cooper and The Clinch Mountain Clan
The husband wife duo of Wilma Lee and Dale "Stoney" Cooper were bluegrass artists who had success on the country music charts in the 50s. There's A Big Wheel was their biggest hit in 1959. Dale Cooper was born Oct. 16, 1918 in Harman, WV. As a teen he was a member of the bluegrass group The Leary Family Singers. And that's where he met Wilma Lee Leary born Feb. 7, 1921 in Valley Head, WV. She performed with her parents and Cooper played fiddle. They started performing as a duo and got married on 1941. They performed as Wilma Lee and Stoney Cooper and the Clinch Mountain Gang. For ten years they were on WWVA radio in Wheeling, WVA on the show WWVA Jamboree. They left in 1957, joined the Grand Ole Opry and signed with Hickory Records which was owned by Acuff-Rose Music. They had success on the country charts with the 1959 single There's A Big Wheel. It reached #3 on the Country Singles chart. The song was written by country music legend Don Gibson and his brother Dave Gibson. Other hits included Come Walk With Me and Big Midnight Special. They also continued to perform with her family group The Leary Family Singers. This kind of bluegrass sound didn't usually make the country charts. But Wilma is a fantastic singer and I'm sure that was the big reason for their success. They recorded for Decca and for Rounder in 1976 before Cooper's death on Mar. 22, 1977 at age 58. He had been in failing health for several years. This Varese comp covers their 50s recordings. Wilma recorded a couple of albums for Rounder in the 80s and she continued to appear on the Grand Ole Opry. Wilma suffered a stroke in 2001 and died on Sept. 13, 2011 at age 90. Her daughter Carol sang at the Grand Ole Opry until her 2012 retirement. Here's Wilma Lee and Stoney Cooper performing There's A Big Wheel in the 1965 film Country Music On Broadway.
Monday, March 27, 2017
The accompanying picture is my brand new powerchair. It's a Permobil F3. Those who read this blog regularly will know that I tried this chair out at the 2015 People In Motion (PIM) show knowing that I would be getting a new chair in 2016. For me, the main selling point of this chair is it comes with snow tires. That's because it has a mid wheel drive. Most powerchairs get stuck in the snow. It has some other features including one extra that I have been asked by my supplier not to discuss because if I do, everyone else will want one. If you really want to know, you can direct message me on Twitter. I won't break my promise publicly. This is my third powerchair from my third different supplier. When I approached my previous supplier about the Permobil F3, he wasn't too interested probably because Permobils tend to be more expensive than what they would normally supply. My previous chair was OK but it needed service too frequently. The biggest problem seemed to be with casters and the forks that hold them. In fact, the left front caster went bad on Friday and probably needs to be replaced. And I should mention that chair is still here for now but it will be junked. When I went to the 2016 PIM show, I talked to Permobil and they suggested I talk to Randy Keith at Motion Specialties. And if you read my review of the show, you'll know that Randy was at the show. He works in Motion's Toronto office but he's originally from British Columbia. He's been in the mobility business for 40 years. He knows how to handle Ontario government paperwork. He left me a demo to try out and I took it out on a road trip. The chair was ordered in August and it was finally approved in March. As I joked on Twitter, it's like giving birth. When the caster went bad on Friday, I was going to call Randy today to see where my chair was at. But he called me an hour later to tell me he was bringing it today. The chair is manufactured to my specifications. The major difference is the seating is much lower because of my height. Not only can I get snow tires but the tires are filled with gel. So no more flat tires and the gel provides a smooth ride that air filled tires provide. My previous supplier tried convince me to use hard rubber tires but they don't provide a smooth ride which can lead to back problems. The only thing is this chair doesn't manoeuvre as well indoors. That will take some time for me to get used to but the chair has different speeds for indoor and outdoor mode. So I'm running it slowly indoors for now and increasing the speed when I go out. I haven't gone out to Rabbas yet and there are already two adjustments that it will need. I may find more when I take it out. One of the reasons Randy likes Permobil is they don't need service as frequently as other brands. We'll see if that's true.
Album:Juntos Para Siempre
Of course most jazz fans should be familiar with legendary Cuban pianist Jesus "Chucho" Valdes. And I think most are aware of his father Dionisio "Bebo" Valdes. After many years of separation, they recorded this 2008 album. In the 50s, Bebo was a big part of the local jazz scene in Cuba. But he defected in 1960 and moved to Europe. He lived in Stockholm, Sweden for many years. Meanwhile, Chucho was the leader of the Cuban jazz boom of the 80s as leader of Irakere. Bebo was very happy for Chucho but he never thought he would see him again as Chucho still lived in Cuba. In 1994, Chucho's Irakere partner Paquito D'Rivera went to Sweden to record the album Bebo Rides Again with Bebo Valdes. It was Bebo's first recording since the 50s. Then while planning the 2000 documentary Calle 54, Fernando Trueba announced plans to reunite Bebo and Chucho for the film. After the film was released, Trueba started his own record label and signed Bebo Valdes. He had Bebo record with singer Diego El Cigala and then Bebo recorded a couple of solo CDs. But what Trueba really wanted to do was have father and son record. Of course the main barrier to this is Chucho's busy tour schedule. He was finally able to get them together and Juntos Para Siempre was released in 2008. The album won the Best Latin Jazz Album Grammy and it also won a Latin Grammy. It's a great album. And the best thing is Bebo was very happy. He said his life is now complete. Bebo Valdes died on Mar. 22, 2013 at age 94. Here's Bebo & Chucho performing Tres Palabras in 2007.
Sunday, March 26, 2017
Song:Living On Video
Album:On My Own
The 1983 song Living On Video was very successful on the dance charts. This kind of synth pop was very popular at the time. The man behind Trans-X was Pascal Languirand. He was born in Paris and he grew up in Montreal. He liked to mess around with electronic keyboards and in the late 70s, he released a couple of albums of space music. In 1982, Languirand formed Trans-X with keyboard player Steve Wyatt. They released the 1983 album Message On The Radio on the Canadian dance music label Matra. Living On Video caught on in the dance clubs and it became a big hit. Languirand wrote and performed all the keyboards and he also sang. Wyatt was on Trans-X's first album and then he was replaced by dance music producer Richard Buck. The girl in the song was Laurie Gill but Languirand usually toured with his wife Denise. Living On Video was a big hit in Europe and it was a big dance hit. The release history is confusing because Trans-X was on Atco in the US and Polydor in Europe. So the song turned up on several different albums. This has been clarified by Montreal label Unidisc who bought Matra in 1988 and today they specialize in releasing classic Canadian hits on CD. On My Own was first released in Canada in 1983. Atco released the album Living On Video in 1985 and On My Own was released in 1988. Unidisc released On My Own on CD in 2011 with bonus tracks. And Living On Video is on all kinds of various artists CDs. Languirand retired Trans-X in 1986 and went back to recording space music. He revived Trans-X after moving to Spain in 1994. He now lives in Mexico. He has worked with several singers. But when he last recorded as Trans-X in 2012, the singer was Argentinian Corina Lawrence. I expect we'll hear from Trans-X in the future. Here's the video for Living On Video by Trans-X.
Saturday, March 25, 2017
The British progressive rock group Van Der Graaf Generator had a cult following in the 70s. They were enigmatic and obscure even for that kind of music. They are an interesting band led by lead singer and main songwriter Pete Hammill. I guess the main attraction of the band is Hammill's dark lyrics but generally they are a hard band to market. They were formed in 1967 at Manchester University. Drummer Chris Judge Smith was inspired by a trip to San Francisco to form a band and he met Pete Hammill who was already writing songs and had been in bands. According to Smith, the name of the group was on a list he gave Hammill. Van de Graaf Generator creator Robert Van de Graaf had just died and was in the news at the time. They added organist Nick Pearne and played a gig. They sent out demos and they got a deal with Mercury Records. Pearne left as he didn't want to leave school. They brought in organist Hugh Banton, bassist Keith Ellis and drummer Guy Evans. They played live on BBC Radio and released a single on Polydor that was withdrawn because they were already under contract to Mercury. Then Smith left though he would continue to write songs with Hammill. The management issues forced Van Der Graaf Generator to disband in May 1969. Hammill continued to perform solo and he recorded an album. His manager worked out a deal with Mercury that his album would be released under the Van Der Graaf Generator name. It was called The Aerosol Grey Machine and it ended the Mercury contract. So Van Der Graaf Generator reformed with Nic Potter replacing Ellis who had joined Juicy Lucy. They also added sax and flute player David Jackson. Their manager started Charisma Records and Van Der Graaf Generator was the first band signed to the label. Potter left and Banton switched to bass. Hammill started playing keyboards. They recorded three albums and gained a cult following. They were popular in Italy so they toured there. But they got burned out and the band split up in 1972. Hammill recorded three solo albums and the others were in The Long Hello. But then they reformed and they recorded three albums in the next year. Still Life was the second album in 1976. It was released on CD in 2005 with a bonus track and it is available as a budget CD. There is no Van Der Graaf Generator comp available right now. EMI released a 4CD box set but it is out of print. The band were forced to abandon their tour due to the theft of their gear. Then Banton left followed by Jackson. An album was released in 1977 but the band had already split up. Hammill continued to record solo. But there was always talk about reforming. And they did in 2005. Today Hammill, Banton and Evans still tour as Van Der Graaf Generator. They have released new music, most recently Do Not Disturb in Sept. 2016. So the cult following is still around. Here's Van Der Graaf Generator performing Still Life at Theatrehaus in Stuttgart, Germany Mar. 4, 2007.
Friday, March 24, 2017
Here's the match video of Asuka vs Priscilla Zuniga from this week's episode of NXT. In a couple of weeks, Asuka will defend her NXT Women's Championship against Ember Moon. This match is to remind us of Asuka's skills. It's a warmup. Priscilla Zuniga wrestles in Florida indy feds as Angel Rose. And she also appeared with LAX in Impact Wrestling a couple of weeks ago. After Asuka does her usual entertaining ring entrance, she tells Ember Moon "This will be your fate" and nails Priscilla with a spinning head kick. Priscilla slaps Asuka and Asuka smiles and beats the crap out of her with kicks and knees finished with the Asuka Lock. Then she cuts a promo in Japanese. What a great beating. But it didn't turn Asuka heel. The fans still cheer for her after the match. The real problem is the Ember Moon character hasn't really caught on with fans. We know she's good because we remember her as Athena. But I don't think the character is working. And as I have said before, I hate her finisher which depends too much on the victim being in proper position. It takes too long to set up. So I expect Asuka to retain the title and then move up to Smackdown. And considering the kind of match the WWE is doing for the Smackdown Women's Championship, I would not be surprised if Asuka appeared at Wrestlemania. They have left things open ended. If Asuka does appear at Wrestlemania, remember who told you first. Enjoy the video!
Priscilla Zuniga vs. Asuka by therackattackvideos
Priscilla Zuniga vs. Asuka by therackattackvideos
|Carla Esparza, Maryna Moroz|
Song:Life Is A Highway
Album:Mad Mad World
In Canada, Tom Cochrane is in the Canadian Music Hall Of Fame and a member of the Order Of Canada. In the US, he's a one hit wonder for the 1991 top ten hit Life Is A Highway. This shows how tough it can be for Canadians to break into the US market even if they are successful in Canada. That's why I have never liked Canadian content (Cancon) regulations. It creates an artificial success and the Canadian market isn't big enough to support musicians. They need to break the US market. Cochrane was born May 14, 1953 in Lynn Lake, MB but he grew up in the Toronto suburb of Acton, ON and then Etobicoke in the west end of Toronto. After graduating high school, he started playing local clubs and he wrote the theme for the infamous Canadian film My Pleasure Is My Business which was about and starred Xaviera Hollander AKA The Happy Hooker. Then he signed with Daffodil Records and released the 1974 album Hang On To Your Resistance. That's when I first heard of him. It's a great album that's worth getting. But Daffodil was having financial problems and they closed. Cochrane joined Red Rider in 1978. They signed with Capitol. They had success in Canada but they were unable to break into the US market. Cochrane went solo in 1989. Mad Mad World was released in 1991. Life Is A Highway topped the Canadian charts and it reached #6 on the Billboard Hot 100. Mad Mad World is available as a budget CD and a 25th anniversary 2CD edition was recently released. The second CD is a live recording. It would turn out to be Cochrane's only big hit in the US. But he continues to record and tour in Canada. His latest CD Take It Home was released on Universal Canada in 2015. He is also known for his humanitarianism especially with World Vision in Africa. Life Is A Highway was inspired by one of Cochrane's many trips to Africa. He's in the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, on Canada's Walk of Fame and a member of the Order of Canada for his philanthropy. Here's the video for Life Is A Highway by Tom Cochrane.
Thursday, March 23, 2017
Song:At Her Open Door
Dead Meadow is a modern day recreation of stoner rock or psychedelia. They are successful mostly as a touring band. Dead Meadow are from Washington, DC. They were formed in 1998 out of the ashes of The Impossible Five and Colour. The lead singer and guitarist is Jason Simon. Steve Kille is on bass and Mark Laughlin plays drums. Influences include early metal bands like Black Sabbath, psychedelia and authors like Tolkien and Lovecraft. They released two albums on a small label. Legendary BBC DJ John Peel liked them so much he asked them to come to London to record a Peel Session. But the band couldn't afford to travel so it was the first Peel Sessions to not record in the BBC studio. But it gave Dead Meadow a boost as Peel is a major influencer. In 2002, Laughlin left to attend law school and he was replaced by Stephen McCarty of Canyon. Dead Meadow signed with Matador Records in 2003 which meant their CDs would finally get decent distribution and they could do videos and tour like other bands. They added guitarist Cory Shane. At Her Open Door is from the 2005 album Feathers. Dead Meadow's music also appeared in the popular HBO series The Wire. Jason Simon is the nephew of The Wire creator David Simon. Feathers is out of print. But At Her Open Door is on this 2010 live CD/DVD. Shane left and they were a trio again. Dead Meadow recorded three albums for Matador and then started their own label Xemu. Laughlin returned in 2010. Dead Meadow released their most recent CD in 2013. But they continue to tour and I expect them to record new music when the tour is finished. Here's the video for At Her Open Door by Dead Meadow.
Wednesday, March 22, 2017
Album:Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of War Of The Worlds
Justin Hayward is best known as the leader of The Moody Blues. He began to record solo in 1975 and he had his greatest success with this 1978 single Forever Autumn from this musical adaptation of the H.G. Wells science fiction novel War Of The Worlds. Hayward was born Oct. 14, 1946 in Swindon, England. In 1966 he replaced Denny Laine as lead singer of The Moody Blues and of course he was lead singer on all their hits. When The Moody Blues went on hiatus in 1974, Hayward recorded the album Blue Jays with Moody Blues bassist John Lodge and producer Tony Clarke. They had a top ten hit in England with Blue Guitar which Hayward recorded with 10cc. In 1977 Hayward released his debut solo album Songwriter. Then he was called to work on this musical version of War Of The Worlds. Jeff Wayne was a jingle writer who produced the David Essex hit Rock On. He got the idea to do a progressive rock version of War Of The Worlds. After Richard Burton agreed to narrate, Wayne signed with Columbia. He brought in Hayward, Essex, Chris Thompson of Manfred Mann's Earth Band, Phil Lynott of Thin Lizzy and stage actress Julie Covington to sing. The musicians were mostly veteran session men like Chris Spedding on guitar, Herbie Flowers on bass, Ken Freeman on keyboards and Barry Morgan on drums. Veteran songwriter Gary Osborne wrote the lyrics and Wayne wrote the music. Forever Autumn was based on a Lego jingle that Wayne wrote in 1969. Osborne recorded it with Paul Vigrass in 1972 as Vigrass and Osborne. Hayward's recording of Forever Autumn was a top five hit in England and top 40 in the US. The album performed well and Wayne took it on tour. He's turned it into a cottage industry as he continues to release versions of War Of The Worlds on CD, DVD and on tour. Hayward appeared on a couple of the tours. But he mostly concentrates on his own music. You can get Forever Autumn on some Moody Blues comps. But War Of The Worlds is one of those albums that should be heard on its own. And it is available on CD. Here's Justin Hayward performing Forever Autumn on Top Of The Pops 1978.
Tuesday, March 21, 2017
Travis Greene made a big splash on the gospel charts with his 2015 major label debut album The Hill. Intentional topped the gospel singles chart and Greene was nominated for two Grammys. He was born Jan. 17, 1984 in Delaware but he grew up in Warner Robins, GA. Greene was still born and then resuscitated. Then at age four, he fell from a four story building in Germany. He was pronounced dead and then resuscitated. Then his father died in 1989. Fortunately, Greene's mother was a preacher so he grew up singing in church. After releasing two albums independently, Greene signed with RCA Inspiration and his debut The Hill was released Oct. 2015. Intentional topped the Gospel Singles chart and so did the follow up single Made A Way. Greene was nominated for two Grammys and 13 Stellar Awards. Greene is currently on tour. He recently relocated with his family and opened a new church in Columbia, SC. Those who enjoy the contemporary gospel of artists like Kirk Franklin and Tye Tribbett should check out Travis Greene. The Hill is available as a budget CD. Here's the video for Intentional by Travis Greene.
Monday, March 20, 2017
Song:Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds
Album:Across The Universe: Music From The Motion Picture
Of course everyone knows that Paul "Bono" Hewson is the lead singer of U2. One would think that he would have recorded a solo album at some point. But he never has. However, he does make guest appearances with artists as diverse as Frank Sinatra, Kirk Franklin and B.B. King. In this particular case, he recorded two songs for the 2007 film Across The Universe. It looks like this is the only time he's done this for a film. Across The Universe is a film that tells the story of young people set to the music of The Beatles. Most of the music in the film is performed by the cast including Jim Sturgess, Evan Rachel Wood, Joe Anderson and TV Carpio. But special guests appear on the soundtrack including Joe Cocker, The Secret Machines, Eddie Izzard, Jeff Beck and Bono & Edge. Bono appears in the film as Dr. Robert and performs I Am The Walrus. Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds plays over the end credits. The music in the film was written and produced by veteran composer Eliot Goldenthal who has been the romantic partner of director Julie Taymor for many years. Bono also worked with Taymor on the 2010 Broadway musical Spiderman: Turn Off The Dark. I don't know what Bono will do in the future. He's a big star. He can do whatever he wants. In this case, I think he was asked to add some star power to the film. Here's Bono performing Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds over the end credits of Across The Universe.
Sunday, March 19, 2017
Here's the match video of Lina Lansberg vs Lucie Pudilova from yesterday's UFC show in London. Lina is the Swedish fighter brought in as a sacrifice to Cris Cyborg. She is mostly a Muay Thai expert. Lucie is from the Czech Republic and she was brought in as a late replacement. Her only loss was to Lina mostly because Lina used her size and strength to trap her on the fence and the ref allowed it. Lina tried to do the same at the start of this fight but ref Neil Hall broke them up quickly. So now Lina needed a different approach. Fortunately for her, Lucie wasn't very aggressive in round one. She just didn't throw enough and Lina was marginally more effective. So I scored the round 10-9 for Lina. Round two was very similar except Lina was more aggressive and she even scored a takedown near the end of the round. So I scored round two 10-9 for Lina. Lucie needs a finish. She wins round three but doesn't get the finish. I scored it 10-9 for Lucie. But some thought it was 10-8 and I'm going to explain why it wasn't 10-8. I noticed that face damage to Lina tends to look worse than it is. Miesha Tate was like that too. So even though Lina didn't get hit much in the first two rounds, she looked like she was hit a lot. Her mistake was getting into a clinch with Lucie and leaving Lucie's right arm free. Then she compounds that mistake by trying for a takedown instead of getting the hell out of there. This allows Lucie to land uncontested strikes and Lina's right eye is a mess when she gets out of it. The entire segment lasted about a minute. If Lucie had continued her dominance after that, I could consider a 10-8. But she didn't and it's wasn't enough. And the ref didn't look to stop the fight. The damage looked worse than it actually was. So I scored round three 10-9 for Lucie and Lina won the fight 29-28. All three judges scored it the same. Afterwards, Lina gave an awkward interview where she said she thought Lucie won. One of the reasons it was awkward is Lucie doesn't speak English. One thing is for sure. This was a lot better than their first fight. Enjoy the video!
Album:Toy Soldiers: The Best Of Martika
So I bet you all remember this 1989 chart topper as the video was played to death on MTV and MuchMusic. But whatever happened to Martika? Well, that's what I'm going to talk about. And though I know Martika is perceived as a one hit wonder, she had some other hits. She was born Marta Marrero May 18, 1969 in Whittier, CA. She appeared in the 80s TV series Kids Incorporated along with Fergie and Rahsaan Patterson. She left the show in 1986 and signed with Columbia Records and producer Michael Jay who had worked with the British girl group 5 Star. The album Martika was released in 1988. The first single More Than You Know reached #18 on the Billboard Hot 100. Toy Soldiers was the second single and it was a big worldwide hit. Martika wrote it about a friend's cocaine addiction. It was Jay who got her into songwriting. The guitar solo was by film composer Mark Leggett. The album was certified Gold. For her 1991 album Martika's Kitchen, Martika worked with several producers including Prince who wrote and produced the top ten single Love...Thy Will Be Done. She also had a recurring role in the TV series Wiseguy. That was it. Martika went underground for several years due to burnout and the pressure of fame. She returned in 2000 and talked about recording but never did until she joined forces with husband Michael Lee to form the group Oppera in 2003. Back in the 90s, he recorded as Nikki Lee. They released two albums independently with Martika calling herself Vida Edit. Meanwhile, rapper Eminem based his 2004 hit Like Toy Soldiers on Toy Soldiers and Columbia released this budget comp. Martika resurfaced again in 2011 with a single and plans to record an album of dance music. The album never happened. She has announced plans to tour that never materialized. But she was part of last year's Totally 80s nostalgia tour of Australia and she apparently got positive reviews. She is currently on a similar tour in England with Paul Young, Toyah and China Crisis. Here's the video for Toy Soldiers by Martika.
Saturday, March 18, 2017
The Three Degrees are best known for the 1974 smash hit When Will I See You Again written and produced by Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff for Philadelphia International. But they had success before that most notably this 1970 cover of The Chantels classic Maybe for Roulette Records. The Three Degrees were formed in 1963 in Philadelphia. And then they were discovered by Richard Barrett who was lead singer of the doo wop group The Valentines. By this time he had turned to producing. He signed The Three Degrees to Swan Records and they released several singles. None of them went anywhere. This included a 1966 cover of Maybe which Barrett wrote. Beware as this is not the version that was a hit. The Three Degrees went through several personnel changes until Valerie Holiday arrived in 1967. The other two members were Fayette Pinkney and Sheila Ferguson. That was the lineup for all their hits with Valerie usually singing lead. After Swan got caught up in a payola investigation, The Three Degrees recorded for Warner Bros-Seven Arts, the Gamble-Huff owned Neptune Records and Metromedia before they landed with Roulette Records. Maybe was the first single and it reached #4 on the R&B Singles chart and #29 on the Billboard Hot 100. The long version of Maybe is on this 3CD box set from the British reissue label Goldies which is owned by Proper Records. This is a budget release that has hits from several labels. The Three Degrees did a TV special in Australia and they appeared in the 1971 film The French Connection. They only recorded one album for Roulette followed by some singles. Barrett decided to move them to Philadelphia International and the group had most of their success there. They are particularly popular in England. Apparently Prince Charles is a big fan. They left Philadelphia international in 1975 for Epic. Then they moved to Ariola and producer Georgio Moroder who had just had success with Donna Summer. But The Three Degrees didn't have success there and they bounced around a few labels in the 80s. Valerie Holiday still leads The Three Degrees and they tour mostly in England as they were always bigger there than in North America. Here are The Three Degrees performing Maybe from that 1970 Australian TV special.
Friday, March 17, 2017
Song:Ladies In Mercedes
Album:Selected Recordings (Rarum IV)
Vibraphonist Gary Burton was brought to ECM Records in 1971 by Chick Corea. The two recorded and toured together and then Burton recorded for ECM until 1986. His normal pattern was to record as a quartet sometimes with guest musicians. For the 1980 album Easy As Pie, the rhythm section was long time collaborator Steve Swallow on bass and Mike Hyman on drums. Hyman had worked with sax player Jamie Aebersold. The other musician was sax player Jim Odgren. For the 1984 album Real Life Hits, Odgren was replaced by Japanese pianist Makoto Ozone. I presume Burton spotted Ozone on one of his many trips to Japan. In addition to recording and touring with Burton, Ozone had just finished his first solo album with Columbia. Burton and Ozone have recorded together many times including a couple of duet albums. So I think it's fair to say that Burton was responsible for Ozone's rise in the world jazz scene. Ladies In Mercedes was written by Swallow. Unfortunately, Real Life Hits is out of print but Ladies In Mercedes appears on this ECM Selected Recordings comp. Ladies In Mercedes also appears on the 2004 CD Generations on Concord. Ozone appears on that album along with guitarist Julian Lage. Burton and Ozone recorded the CD Time Thread in 2013 on Verve. And I'm sure they will record together again. Here's Gary Burton with Makato Ozone, Steve Swallow and Mike Hyman performing Ladies In Mercedes at the Budweiser Newport Jazz Festival in Madarao, Japan Aug. 1984.
Thursday, March 16, 2017
|Kanako Murata, Claire Fryer|
Album:Blue River/Stages: The Lost Album
Folksinger Eric Andersen was a big part of the 60s Greenwich Village folk music scene. But he never had the commercial success that others had. The 1972 album Blue River was an attempt at a commercial success. And though it didn't work out, Andersen is still touring and recording today. He was born Feb. 14, 1943 in Pittsburgh but he grew up on the Buffalo suburb of Snyder, NY. After traveling to Boston and San Francisco, Tom Paxton brought Andersen to New York where he settled in to Greenwich Village. Andersen recorded several albums for the folk label Vanguard. Some of his songs were recorded by others, most notably Thirsty Boots by Judy Collins. But Andersen knew he would have to leave Vanguard to achieve commercial success. He recorded the 1968 album Avalanche for Warner Bros. at a time when Warners had just been sold to Seven Arts. so Andersen's album fell through the cracks. It was produced by Jerry Goldstein who went on to great success with War. After two albums at Warner Bros.-Seven Arts, Andersen moved to Columbia for the 1972 album Blue River. He was sent to Nashville to work with veteran producer Norbert Putnam with Nashville session musicians backing him up. The album was great and it sold OK. But it wasn't the breakthrough that either Andersen or Columbia president Clive Davis wanted. Andersen recorded a second album Stages again with Putnam and guest musicians like Leon Russell, Rick Danko and Garth Hudson. But somehow the master tapes were misplaced at Columbia and so Stages wasn't released until 1990. You can get Blue River and Stages on this twofer from the reissue label BGO. Andersen went to Arista with Davis in 1975. After three albums at Arista, Andersen moved to Europe. He toured in the 80s but he didn't record much. He resurfaced with the group Danko Fjeld Andersen with Rick Danko and Jonas Fjeld. They toured and recorded through the 90s. In recent years, Andersen has recorded for Appleseed most recently on the German label Meyer Records. Andersen lives in The Netherlands and he is supposed to have a new album coming out called Dance of Love and Death and a documentary called The Songpoet is in production and scheduled for a 2018 release. Here's Eric Andersen performing Faithful at the 1986 Philadelphia Folk Festival.
Wednesday, March 15, 2017
Album:The Best Of Both Worlds
Van Halen was one of the most popular bands of the 80s. Jump was their only number one hit in 1984. The ironic thing is the use of synthesizers on Jump and the album 1984 led to the departure of lead singer David Lee Roth. Guitarist Eddie Van Halen and drummer brother Alex Van Halen were born in The Netherlands but the family moved to Pasadena, CA in 1962. Their dad Jan Van Halen was a jazz musician. They met David Lee Roth in 1972 when they wanted to rent a sound system from him. Instead they let him join the band. In 1974, they replaced original bassist Mark Stone with Michael Anthony from the band Snake. At first they called themselves Genesis. Of course they had to change that, first to Mammoth and then to Van Halen in 1974. Roth claimed it was his idea. He thought the name Van Halen could be like Santana. They played Los Angeles clubs until they signed with Warner Bros. in 1977 by Mo Ostin and Ted Templeman. Templeman had produced The Doobie Brothers. Their debut album Van Halen was released in 1978. A cover of The Kinks' You Really Got Me was a top 40 hit. The album was certified Diamond and the band toured successfully. They were very successful for the next few years. But Eddie Van Halen and Roth clashed over the direction of the band. Van Halen liked a more serious approach. Roth was more of a showman. It all came to a head with the album 1984. Van Halen began to use more synthesizers over Roth and Templeman's objections. Though they came to a compromise, it led to Roth's departure despite the album's success and that Jump was their first #1 hit. Van Halen wrote the keyboard riff for Jump in 1981. The band hated it but Templeman convinced Roth that it could be a hit and Roth should write lyrics for it. Things deteriorated during the ensuing tour. Van Halen was upset that Roth was doing outside projects without checking with the band. Roth was upset with Van Halen's drug abuse. Roth left after his cover of California Girls was a hit. Sammy Hagar, who knew Templeman from the band Montrose, replaced Roth. You can get all of Van Halen's hits on this 2CD comp. The band has continued. They still tour sometimes with Roth. Their latest CD was released in 2012. Here's the video for Jump by Van Halen.
Tuesday, March 14, 2017
Jazz organist Richard "Groove" Holmes scored a hit single with this 1966 midtempo version of the Erroll Garner standard Misty. Holmes was a Jimmy Smith influenced organist who made his name in Philadelphia. He recorded for Pacific Jazz in the early 60s. He moved to Prestige Records in 1965. His first album for Prestige was Soul Message. There is nothing unusual about the album except that Prestige released an edited version of Misty as a single and the record reached #44 on the Billboard Hot 100. For Holmes' next album, Prestige decided to call it Misty and add the single version to the album. The musicians on Soul Message were Holmes' longtime guitarist Gene Edwards and drummer Jimmie Smith who ironically went on to work with Erroll Garner for several years. The musicians on Misty are Edwards and drummer George Randall. Both albums are available on CD but Misty is available as a budget CD. But if you want the original six minute version of Misty, you should get Soul Message. Holmes left Prestige in 1968 and he recorded for World Pacific, Groove Merchant, Flying Dutchman and Muse. Today Holmes is revered and frequently sampled by hip hop guys. He is also considered to be a big influence on acid jazz. Richard "Groove" Holmes died of prostate cancer on June 29, 1991 at age 60. In 1992, The Beastie Boys recorded a tribute instrumental Groove Holmes on their album Check Your Head. Here's a video for Misty by Richard "Groove" Holmes.
Monday, March 13, 2017
Song:My 3-Year-Old Is A 3-Year-Old
There was a time when comedy albums were best sellers. Back in the 60s, Bob Newhart outsold a lot of music. These days comedians depend on doing stand up comedy on HBO and Comedy Central and making good money from DVD sales. Sometimes CDs are released with the DVD. Such is the case with Louis C.K., one of today's most popular comedians. He was born Louis Szekely Sept. 12, 1967 in Washington, DC. His family moved to Mexico when he was a child. His father is Mexican. Then they moved to Boston and Louis said he wanted to be a writer influenced by Richard Pryor and George Carlin. After graduating high school, he worked as a mechanic and at a public access TV station where he learned to produce. He began to do standup in 1985 and then he moved to New York in 1989. HBO released his first comedy special in 1996. He was a regular on the late night talk show circuit. Louis was nominated for an Emmy for his 2008 Showtime special Chewed Up. He produced Hilarious in 2009 and then sold it to Epix and Comedy Central. It aired in 2010 and it was released on CD and DVD on 2011. Like most of his comedy, My 3-Year-Old is A 3-Year-Old focuses on Louis' family life. the routine is pretty funny though a little long. The CD is available but the DVD is out of print. Louis continues to tour doing standup and he releases occasional CDs. He has also done films and TV. His biggest success is the FX sitcom Louie which has run for five seasons. Louis hasn't decided yet if the show will continue. He is currently working on a couple of other shows that may not allow him to return to Louie. Here's Louis C.K. performing My 3-Year-Old Is A 3-Year-Old from the DVD Hilarious. This video is not on Youtube.
Sunday, March 12, 2017
Here's the match video of Bethe Correia vs Marion Reneau from last night's UFC show in Brazil. This fight emphasized the shortcomings of both fighters. Bethe is a mediocre fighter with no ground game or punching power. Her mouth has gotten her places in the UFC. Marion has lost fights due to her lack of aggression. She has skills but I think she tends to overthink things and not use her instincts. Her instincts should have told her that Bethe can't submit her and Bethe doesn't have the power to KO her. There's no reason for Marion to be tentative with Bethe. But that's what happened in the first two rounds. And in the first round, it's not like Bethe did much either. But she did enough to win the round 10-9. Two of the judges scored it that way. The third judge scored it 10-9 for Marion probably based on some strikes she landed from bottom position after Bethe took her down at the end of the round. I didn't think it made up for her lack of offense in the rest of the round. The second round was worse for Marion as she again did nothing and Bethe scored with jabs and combinations. Her punches couldn't break an egg. But she did enough to win the round 10-9. So now Marion is down two rounds and she needs a finish. Her trainer Doug Marshall read her the riot act between rounds. It's like Marion sending one of her students to the principal's office. Lo and behold, Marion is a different fighter in round three. She takes Bethe down and pounds her. If she had stuck to that, she would have got a stoppage. But instead she switches to a rear naked choke attempt that she is unable to complete. It was a mistake but I don't mind aggressive mistakes. I scored the round 10-8 for Marion. It's a 28-28 draw. But will the judges score round three 10-8? They did and the fight was a majority draw. If you watch the end of the fight, Bethe thought she won. Obviously she thought winning the first two rounds was enough. There would have been justifiable outrage if the judges had scored round three 10-9. Most fighters know when they are getting clobbered. Not Bethe. Marion blamed herself for not doing enough in the first two rounds. That's easy to fix. Be aggressive at all times. Time will tell if she has learned her lesson. Lack of aggression seems to be an epidemic as this is the third straight UFC women's fight that I have scored a draw. Fighters don't win fights by default. Aggression is the key to winning. Enjoy the video!
Album:Promenade With Duke
Despite suffering from a crippling genetic disease, pianist Michel Petrucciani had a very successful career until his premature death. He was born Dec. 28, 1962 in Orange, Vaucluse, France. He suffered from the genetic disease osteogenesis imperfecta which causes brittle bones and in Petrucciani's case short stature. He played virtuoso piano despite great pain in his arms. His father Tony plays guitar. So does his brother Philippe and his brother Louis plays bass. His disease caused fractured bones over a hundred times before he reached adolescence. He also had difficulty walking so his dad was usually around to carry him. As a child, Petrucciani saw Duke Ellington on TV and he began to study piano at age four. His other big influence was Bill Evans as Petrucciani started listening to him at age ten. Petrucciani gave his first concert at age 13. He needed to move to Paris to further his career. But his father was very possessive. But musicians intervened and Petrucciani moved to Paris in 1977. He played with Kenny Clarke and then got to play with legendary trumpeter Clark Terry when Terry's pianist didn't show. At first Terry thought it was a gag when someone carried Petrucciani to the piano. But when he heard him play, Terry was astonished and agreed to help him. Petrucciani went to California in 1982 where he convinced sax player Charles Lloyd to come out of retirement and tour with him. Their first appearance was the filming of One Night with Blue Note at Town Hall in New York City. Then they played Montreux and Petrucciani and won the 1982 Prix d'Excellence. Then he moved to New York in 1984 and signed with Blue Note. From there Petrucciani was very popular on the jazz festival circuit and he recorded plenty of albums including this 1993 album Promenade With Duke. Of course it's a tribute to Duke Ellington with Petrucciani playing solo piano. This was his final album for Blue Note before switching to Dreyfus Jazz. Petrucciani knew he would die young. So he probably toured way too much especially in the late 90s and he also indulged in alcohol and coacaine. And he was married five times. So clearly he was a tough guy to get along with sometimes. I thought his playing was overdramatic sometimes. Technically he was a great pianist but he didn't have the feel that a guy like Bill Evans had. But audiences clearly loved that. Michel Petrucciani died of heart disease on Jan. 6, 1999 at age 36. Here's Michel Petrucciani performing Satin Doll on the INA TV show Le Cercle de Minuit Mar. 15, 1993.
Saturday, March 11, 2017
Song:Leaning On A Bear
Album:The Circle And The Blue Door
If you're a fan of 70s progressive rock, you may want to check out Purson who are certainly trying to emulate that sound. They are from London, England. Rosalie Cunningham is the group leader. She is the lead singer and she plays guitar and keyboards. She also writes and produces everything with bassist Ed Turner. Other members are William Cunningham on sax and Raphael Mura on drums. Rosalie formed her first band Ipso Facto in 2007. They released a few singles and split up in 2009. Purson was formed immediately afterwards. Apparently Purson is one of the Kings Of Hell. Rosalie wanted to name the band after a god. But she couldn't find one she liked so she named it after a demon instead. They signed with Rise Above Records in England and Metal Blade in the US. Their 2013 debut CD The Circle And The Blue Door was highly acclaimed by progressive rock fans. Fans of 70s progressive rock should check it out. For the 2016 album Desire's Magic Theatre, Purson switched to the Finnish label Spinefarm. After the album was recorded, Turner was replaced by Justin Smith. Guitarist George Hudson and keyboardist Samuel Shove were brought in for the tour so Rosalie could concentrate on vocals. Rosalie announced at the final show of the tour that Purson was disbanding which is similar to what happened to Ipso Facto. She has worked in other bands so I'm sure we'll hear from Rosalie again. But Purson looked to have potential. Maybe Rosalie should record solo. She certainly has talent. Here's the video for Leaning On A Bear by Purson.
Friday, March 10, 2017
Song:All About That Bass
Meghan Trainor started out as a songwriter before she burst onto the scene with the very catchy #1 single All About That Bass in 2014. My guess is this will turn out to be the biggest hit of her career. She was born Dec. 22, 1993 in Nantucket, MA. Her father was a music teacher and he played organ in church. She played in her family band as a teen. Her uncle was pals with former NRBQ guitarist Al Anderson. She began recording at home and she self released a CD in 2009. She finally met Anderson at a music conference in Colorado and he got her a publishing deal at Big Yellow Dog Music. After graduating from high school in 2012, Meghan started commuting to Los Angeles and Nashville for songwriting sessions. She met producer Kevin Kadish and he convinced her to move to Nashville permanently. Kadish produced Jason Mraz among others. After other artists recorded some of her songs, Meghan auditioned for Epic Records chairman LA Reid. He signed her and the single All About That Bass would top the Billboard Hot 100 in 2014. The album Title was certified 3XPlatinum. The song used musical terms to represent body image issues that many teen girls have. And Meghan doesn't have that thin model look that some singers have. The song resonated with teen girls. Meghan won the Best New Artist Grammy. Obviously the album was a big success. She went on tour but it was cut short due to vocal cord surgery. Upon her recovery, Meghan recorded the album Thank You mostly with producer Ricky Reed who is best known for producing Jason Derulo. Of course it's always difficult to follow a huge debut. The single No was a top five hit and Thank You was certified Gold. Of course that's not as good as her first album but that may have been a fluke and the sales of Thank You could be more typical of what can be expected. And even if Meghan's CD sales fall off a cliff, she can always write songs for others like Rascal Flatts who have recorded several of her songs already. She'll be just fine. Here's the video for All About That Bass by Meghan Trainor.
Thursday, March 09, 2017
Song:I Can't Drive 55
Album:The Essential Red Collection
Sammy Hagar is best known first as lead singer of the 70s band Montrose and then in the 80s he replaced David Lee Roth in Van Halen. But he also had solo success especially in the 80s before he joined Van Halen. His success was mostly as an album artist. I Can't Drive 55 could be Hagar's signature song. He was born Oct. 13, 1947 in Salinas, CA. Hagar was in several late 60s bands including The Justice Brothers who were the house band at The Nightclub in San Bernardino, CA. Then Hagar moved to San Francisco. Guitarist Ronnie Montrose had a record deal with Warner Bros. and Doobie Brothers producer Ted Templeman. Montrose had previously been a session musician and a member of Edgar Winter's band. Hagar was recruited from a local cover band. Hagar wrote the Montrose hit Bad Motor Scooter. After two albums and during a European tour, Hagar left Montrose and went solo in 1975. He took bassist Bill Church and drummer Denny Carmassi with him so Hagar wasn't the only one not getting along with Montrose. Hagar recorded five albums for Capitol. He did OK but he didn't think they promoted him enough. So in 1982 Hagar signed with the newly formed Geffen label. His first Geffen album Standing Hampton was certified Platinum and the single I'll Fall In Love Again cracked the top 50. His 1984 album VOA did even better. For one thing, Hagar reunited with producer Ted Templeman. The album was certified Platinum and I Can't Drive 55 reached #26 on the Billboard Hot 100. Hagar says he wrote the song after getting a speeding ticket while driving on a desolate highway. He says he wasn't going that fast. NBC Sports and then ESPN used the song in NASCAR broadcasts. At this point, Hagar was a successful live draw. Then he replaced David Lee Roth in Van Halen in 1985. His run with them was very successful until his departure in 1996. Hagar stopped recording solo in 1987. He signed with MCA in 1997 and he released several albums as Sammy Hagar & The Warboritas. He returned to Van Halen in 2003 to tour to support a Best Of album. Afterwards, Hagar returned to The Warboritas and he has also led Chickenfoot and The Circle. Hagar currently records for Jimmy Buffett's Mailboat label. The Circle released a live CD in 2015. Hagar has discussed recording in the studio with them. Hagar is currently on a Rock & Roll Road Trip that is broadcast on AXS-TV. The Circle will tour this summer. Hagar's Capitol, Geffen and MCA hits are on this Hip-O comp. Here's the video for I Can't Drive 55 by Sammy Hagar.
Wednesday, March 08, 2017
Song:Gettin' Jiggy Wit It
Will Smith started out as one half of the rap duo The Fresh Prince and DJ Jazzy Jeff. They split up after Smith got into TV and movies. And then Smith recorded solo. He had his greatest solo success with the 1997 album Big Willie Style and singles like Gettin' Jiggy Wit It. He's mainly involved with films these days. His most recent album was released in 2005. He was born Sept. 15, 1968 in Philadelphia. He got into rap while attending high school. There have been reports that he turned down a scholarship to MIT but Smith says he wanted to rap and he never wanted to attend college. Smith met DJ Jazzy Jeff Townes in 1985 and they became one of the most popular and enduring rap acts of the late 80s mostly because their music was family friendly. But Smith mismanaged his money. He owed so much to the IRS he almost declared bankruptcy. Fortunately he signed in 1990 to star in the NBC sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel Air. That success opened the door for movies. His final album with Townes was released in 1993. Smith appeared in several films but the most successful was probably Men In Black in 1997. He also signed a solo record deal with Columbia. His first single was the theme for Men In Black. Then he released the 1997 album Big Willie Style. Most of the album was produced by Poke & Tone (Jean-Claude Olivier & Samuel Barnes) and L.E.S. (Leshan Lewis). They had success producing the rapper Nas who sat in on some of the recording sessions. Gettin' Jiggy Wit It was the second single. The song is mainly based on the Sister Sledge hit He's The Greatest Dancer written by Bernard Edwards and Nile Rodgers of Chic. Smith's idea was to repurpose the derogatory term "jigaboo" used to describe blacks. The single topped the Billboard Hot 100. The album Big Willie Style sold ten million copies worldwide. Smith has yet to repeat that success. And as Smith has had great success in films, he has phased out of music. For the 2005 album Lost and Found, Smith moved to Interscope. That's his most recent album. In 2011, Entertainment Weekly reported that Smith was recording a new album. Then in 2015, he announced plans to record with DJ Jazzy Jeff and plans to tour in 2017. Jeff is currently on a solo tour. So I don't know if Smith will ever record or tour again. Doesn't seem like it but you never know. Here's the video for Gettin' Jiggy Wit It by Will Smith.
Tuesday, March 07, 2017
Trumpeter Don Cherry is best known for his days with tenor sax legend and free jazz pioneer Ornette Coleman. He is also the stepfather of Neneh Cherry and father of Eagle Eye Cherry. But he recorded plenty of great music as a leader. He was born Feb. 18, 1936 in Oklahoma City. His dad played trumpet and owned the local club Cherry Blossom. He moved with his family to Los Angeles in 1940. His dad was a bartender at the Plantation Club on Central Ave. and that's where the jazz scene was in Los Angeles. Cherry attended Fremont High School. After skipping school to play in the swing band at Jefferson High School, Cherry was sent to reform school where he met drummer Billy Higgins. They became life long friends and collaborators. In the 50s, Cherry was in Art Farmer's band and he jammed with Clifford Brown and Max Roach. He toured with sax player James Clay and they became life long friends. Cherry first worked with Ornette Coleman in 1958 and along with bassist Charlie Haden and drummer Billy Higgins, they invented free jazz with albums like The Shape Of Jazz To Come on Atlantic Records. In 1961, Cherry recorded The Avant Garde with sax legend John Coltrane. They recorded the Thelonious Monk song Bemsha Swing. In the 60s, Cherry toured with Sonny Rollins, Albert Ayler and George Russell. He was also a member of The New York Contemporary Five with Archie Shepp and John Tchicai. He recorded as a leader for Blue Note. Cherry moved to Sweden in the late 60s. Neneh and Eagle Eye Cherry were born in Sweden. He was a member of Old and New Dreams with Dewey Redman, Charlie Haden and Ed Blackwell. They recorded several albums for ECM. Cherry also explored World Music with percussionist Nana Vasconcelos and sitar player Colin Walcott as Codona. They also recorded for ECM. In the late 80s, Cherry signed with A&M Records. He recorded Bemsha Swing on the 1989 album Art Deco. This album was a reunion with sax player James Clay who he toured with in the 50s and he also reunited with Charlie Haden and Billy Higgins. You'll notice Cherry doesn't play a normal trumpet. He plays a pocket cornet. It's amazing the sound he gets from that little thing. Don Cherry died of liver cancer on Oct. 19, 1995 at age 58. Here's Don Cherry performing Bemsha Swing with Herbie Hancock on piano, Ron Carter on bass and Billy Higgins on drums on New Orleans 1986.