Sunday Music: Damn Right I’m Somebody

Fred Wesley plays the trombone. It’s not a sexy instrument. So it’s not the type of instrument you typically see a band leader holding.  But it’s a wild instrument. An audacious instrument. A who-even-came-up-with-the-idea-for-this instrument.  Like a fretless bass meets a trumpet.  It can just do things other brass instruments can’t do.  Which means there … Continue reading Sunday Music: Damn Right I’m Somebody

Sunday Music: Sampha’s “Lahai” And Tiny Desk Concert

My wife and I were catching up on the last month (or three’s) of Tiny Desk Concerts last weekend. Sampha’s came on. He’s been on my radar a long time but apart from his guest spots with Kendrick and a few tracks off the last album, I haven’t caught the same bug that’s caught so … Continue reading Sunday Music: Sampha’s “Lahai” And Tiny Desk Concert

Saturday Morning Media: Dick Cavett’s Oscar Peterson Interview

Entertainment value AND educational value is determined by presentation.  Here’s Dick Cavett interviewing one of the all-time great jazz pianists, Oscar Peterson, back in 1979.  They start with Peterson playing some music. This sets the stage. Literally and figuratively - if you don’t know his work, the performance is intended to show the audience we’re … Continue reading Saturday Morning Media: Dick Cavett’s Oscar Peterson Interview

Sunday Music: Alicia Keys Songs I Wish I wrote

At the 61st Grammys, Alicia Keys did a solo segment they called, “Songs I wish I Wrote.”  She did the Hazel Scott 2 pianos thing (and shouted it out). But not turned backwards or while spinning in circles. She did it in the Tori Amos feminist front-facing way, and I think both artists deserve that … Continue reading Sunday Music: Alicia Keys Songs I Wish I wrote

Podcast Of The Week: Yasiin Bey (Mos Def) On Music, Life, And His Career

Yassin Bey, aka Mos Def, has a short Audible audiobook titled, “A Dynamic Career in Communications.” The music and stories are fantastic. Especially if you’re a fan. But he’s got some quotes.  This one on in particular, hit me hard. He was talking about church as a sacred and safe space in his childhood. He … Continue reading Podcast Of The Week: Yasiin Bey (Mos Def) On Music, Life, And His Career

Hitting The Shed (Studying Jazz, Studying Life)

When you’re learning to play jazz, you take a recording and break down everything - especially the improvisations, note for note. It takes patience and focus. There’s a reason jazz musicians call working this stuff out “woodshedding” (or “shedding,” or “hitting the shed,” etc.). It’s all about whittling the block down into tiny parts.  After … Continue reading Hitting The Shed (Studying Jazz, Studying Life)

I Sing The Body Electric Relaxation

Walt Whitman first published Leaves of Grass in 1855 with 12 poems in it. He wrote, rewrote, and expanded it. Edition by edition. In the 1892 “deathbed” version, there are 400 entries.  Four. Hundred. Entries.  And Whitman evolved alongside his work, as evidenced by the updates. Each new edition came with new perspectives and reflections. … Continue reading I Sing The Body Electric Relaxation

Sunday Music: Oscar Peterson’s Night Train

Sometimes you’re just in that mood. Oscar Peterson was practically the King Kazu of jazz for a few decades there. Never really retiring, evolving with the times and styles of play just enough to always be respected and relevant.  One of my favorite albums to cook to, Night Train by The Oscar Peterson Trio. Here’s … Continue reading Sunday Music: Oscar Peterson’s Night Train