Thought I’d share this Live Set on Yahoo! Music that features Herbie fielding questions from fans. What a great guy. If I had the chance, though, I would have asked more questions regarding his musical career and development. Specifically, I’d love to know what allowed him to grow and change musically in such a drastic fashion – from his leader debut Takin’ Off and before to albums that redefined their drastically different respective musical generations in Head Hunters and Future Shock.
I don’t know much about guitarist Lionel Loueke, except that his major label debut Karibou is out. It’s not my traditional fare, but Loueke’s roots in Benin make him and subsequently his music an intriguing figure. It doesn’t hurt that one of my favorite artists from any era (or all of them in the past 60 years), namely Herbie Hancock, is closely connected to Loueke through mentorship.
It was the entrancing and lovely opening notes I heard on Loueke’s website on a recent visit that has made me ever more curious to hear Loueke, who I might be fortunate enough to catch in person at the Regatta Bar in Cambridge very soon. Anyway, several samples later, and I’m certainly going to attempt to acquire Karibou soon.
Lately I’ve been trying to discover a realm of music closely related to my primary tastes but more contemporary. Though I could conceivably spend a lifetime “studying” or appreciating music from the an era past, there’s something about connecting to modern music that I want to embrace more fully, and Lionel Loueke represents a promising step in that direction.
Jazz Week in Boston seems to be kind of a neat event — it’s like a city wide, week long festival to which the entire city is completely … oblivious. But no matter, for fans of jazz, this is a glorious week. Of course, time and financial constraints mean that I’m seeking out the highest quality free events for the week. (I might break down and go check out Lionel Loueke at Regatta Bar.)
I was able to check out a nice talk by Dick Vacca titled “From Savoy to Storyville: Boston in the 40s and 50s.” He discussed Boston’s jazz history – at a time when downtown was littered with dance halls with jazz big bands, with no dancing allowed on Sundays, of course. Weaving a story through some of the biggest little names in the world of jazz, Vacca opened up a world of Sabby Lewis, Sandy and the Rhythm Kings, Herb Pomeroy, and others that I’m hoping to explore soon. He told of Ace Recording and legendary venues that reminded me that I was probably born in the wrong generation of music.
The brief questions turned out to be even more informative, as it turned out that one of the audience members penned the liner notes of a rare George Wein album, sparking a dialogue with Vacca regarding his upcoming book on Boston jazz. Additionally, another person in the audience recanted his tale of helping Sabby Lewis during his return to the piano after a car accident temporarily ended Lewis’s career.
It was an intimate conversation with Vacca and the other jazz lovers curious about the history of Boston jazz, and it reminded me once again what a rich cultural tradition this town enjoys, even in the world of jazz.
Starting tonight is Jazz Week in Boston, MA. It’s a citywide festival with events going on from Boston College to Sculler’s to the Copley Square Library. Check out the list of events at jazzboston.org.
The funky, dirty Lettuce (Deitch, Smirnoff, Kraz, Erick Coomes, Neal, Rashawn, Zoidis, and Sam) is at it again, after a 5 year hiatus from a new record release. The members of this band have been doin’ it in various other forms for awhile, but Lettuce’s albums are consistently strong, from Outta Here to Live in Tokyo, which I only just recently heard courtest of eMusic. Of course all eMusic did during my brief stay with them was prompt me to finally purchase Live in Tokyo, which I was able to do today while going to grab the new Lettuce joint, Rage!
From first listen, Rage! is an album that pays some serious tribute to the funky soul sounds of the seventies, with plenty of fresh originals from the talented composers of this group and some serious takes on Curtis Mayfield’s “Move On Up” and Charles Wright’s “Express Yourself.” This album couldn’t have come at a more perfect time in my musical odyssey, as I’ve recently filled in that era of education of 60s and 70s Black music from Stevie Wonder to Aretha Franklin to Gil Scott Heron and James Brown (to whom this album is so purposefully dedicated).
I definitely dig this album, but it’s not recommend for anyone who doesn’t wanna have a good time!