Thursday, January 31, 2013

A 1969 Bootleg Unearths Miles Davis' 'Lost' Quintet

A 1969 Bootleg Unearths Miles Davis' 'Lost' Quintet

by Tom Moon,
November 17th 2011

Enlarge image i Courtesy of the artist

After a slew of multidisc sets devoted to key points in the career of Miles Davis, you'd think Columbia Records would have unearthed every speck of consequential music by now. But not quite.

This week, Columbia brings out Live in Europe 1969: The Bootleg Series Vol. 2 — a three-CD, one-DVD set devoted to the jazz maverick's "lost" quintet, his touring band from 1969.

Playing hard, pivoting between moods and meters with whiplash-inducing quickness, these guys are breathing a brand of fire that's clearly time-stamped to 1969. Davis and his touring group — longtime saxophonist Wayne Shorter, keyboardist Chick Corea, bassist Dave Holland and drummer Jack DeJohnette — are clearly energized by what's happening beyond the realm of jazz.

Granted, they're still playing tunes like "I Fall in Love Too Easily," which were standards in Davis' repertoire in the late '50s. The tune might be old, but the treatment isn't. Davis was determined to be a part of the new music that was erupting, and he recognized that he'd have to jettison most traces of swing to do it. The first concert in this compilation was recorded in July 1969, just a month before the recording sessions for Davis' groundbreaking jazz-rock experiment Bitches Brew.

Until now, this short-lived version of the Miles Davis Quintet has been a phantom; it never made a studio recording. After Bitches Brew came out in January 1970, Davis expanded his band and became fully immersed in his next phase, mixing improvisation with rock, R&B and spacey funk rhythms.

Live in Europe 1969 catches this moment of transition. It's wild, fitful, ripping good stuff. And in a way, it's prophetic: Inside these discussions, a profoundly new (nonjazz) musical landscape is coming into view. The territory hasn't been mapped yet; there are no rules and very few structures or signposts. That can sometimes be terrifying, but it sounds like these five intense musicians like it that way.

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Monday, January 28, 2013

First Listen: Wayne Shorter, 'Without A Net'

First Listen: Wayne Shorter, 'Without A Net'

by Patrick Jarenwattanano,
January 27th 2013

Enlarge image i Robert Ascroft/Courtesy of the artist

Wayne Shorter, who turns 80 this year, is one of the greatest living jazz musicians. He would merit that praise based on the first 40-odd years of his career alone, when he was playing in and writing for groups led by Art Blakey and Miles Davis, and making canonical studio albums under his own name. The next few decades were more controversial; suffice it to say that he embraced electric instruments wholeheartedly, and not all of his fans agreed with that. But for the last dozen years and change, he's been performing with a band which put the jazz world on notice: Wayne Shorter is back — or, more precisely, he never really left.

What sort of band makes a living legend more legendary? For one, it's an acoustic quartet, returning Shorter's saxophones to the classic sounds of hammer, pluck and thwack. It also features three younger musicians at the top of their respective fields (pianist Danílo Perez, bassist John Patitucci and drummer Brian Blade), whose immense skill allows them to participate in an unusually high-level conceit. If some jazz bands feel like assembly lines — the sum of ride cymbal + walking bass + polite piano cliches — this one is a dis-assembly un-system, approaching Shorter's extensive repertoire as blueprints to spontaneously remodel. It's wrecking ball and bricklayer alike, Monet if he were Picasso, an entire career filtered through deliberate naivete.

This Wayne Shorter Quartet has a new album called Without a Net, a collection of live recordings mostly from a 2011 European tour. Represented are both the acoustic Wayne Shorter songbook ("Orbits," from the Miles Davis period) and the electric Wayne Shorter songbook ("Plaza Real," from the jazz fusion band Weather Report). Another surprising arrangement: "Flying Down to Rio," a theme from a 1933 film, elongated and compound-fractured into nearly 13 minutes.

The rest of the record features six new Shorter compositions — a headline-worthy bit for the many musicians who consider him one of jazz's all-time great composers. They range from short works which feel like interludes to "Pegasus," a 23-minute piece for quartet and the chamber ensemble Imani Winds. That recording in particular is a prime example of how Shorter's band constantly gathers massive quantities of information, preparing to push it back in a shrieking wave of intensity. One particularly potent burst from Shorter's soprano sax prompts a member of Imani Winds to exclaim, "Oh my God!" It's hardly a third of the way through the piece, and there's plenty more where that came from.

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Friday, January 25, 2013

Passinho Fever!

Passinho Fever!

by Caballo,
January 22nd 2013 9:40 AM

There is a new (old) trend coming up straight from Rio, and therefore, lots of places from Underground Brazil.

Passinho! Think somehow crunk meets Baile funk. Just this is a Cleaner funk with deeper and faster bass chops, deep rooted in Carioca funk and aimed to dance movements.
The trend started in 2011, but it was only until more production went to videos around mid 2012, it became fully viral!!
This one is actually a January 2013 track!

See Video:

Going back to the source, one of the first tunes about passinho is this one!!

See Video:

Get these 2 MASSIVE tunes for FREE ( or pay what you can)!
First has some kuduro, a sense of trap, and obviously lots of passinho!

Next is pure Bass Madness!

Passinho battles are all over!! Unless you speak portuguese, you wont be able to understand the words, but the beauty of music, is that you dont need to understand the whole thing to get an idea of how the battle dynamics are.

See Video:

So, I hope we can see more people geting the passinho fever, in the dancefloor and production wise!

PS: in the comment sections feel free to post about passinho soundclouds as we might do a passinho-inspired roundcloud sometime in February/march (hopefully)

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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Welcome to the New Billboard

Welcome to the New Billboard

by Billboard Staff,
January 21st 2013

The Jan. 26 edition of Billboard features a cover-story interview with Prince, but that world exclusive is accompanied by something else: A whole new magazine. This week, Billboard relaunches, and from the new logo on the front cover to the information packed graphic on the back page, the magazine is dedicated to the delivery of business journalism that leads and informs the essential conversations around the music and businesses it covers.

To subscribe to Billboard or buy this week's relaunch edition, go HERE.

As Billboard editorial director Bill Werde puts it in an editor's letter in the new issue, "The music industry is a dynamic place, and this book will serve your information needs more than ever, going deeper into the trends, technologies and ideas shaping your decisions. If you don't learn something that will help your business in every issue, we aren't doing our jobs."

Get the first issue of the new Billboard FREE via iPad edition right here!

Among the changes:

•    An Expanded and Reformatted Charts Section: a top-to-bottom redesign of the charts section adds eight pages, expanding the Hot 100 to two pages and the Billboard 200 to four pages. These charts are easier to navigate and more information-packed than ever, and have more room for analysis by Billboard's charts team on what's moving and why. Billboard has also deepened its coverage of the burgeoning dance scene by launching Dance/Electronic songs, the first-ever ranking of the nation's top dance songs combining digital download sales (tracked by Nielsen SoundScan), radio airplay (monitored by Nielsen BDS) and streaming data (tracked by BDS from such services as Spotify, Muve, Slacker, Rhapsody, Rdio, MySpace, Xbox Music and Guvera) and reported club play from a select national panel of 140 club DJs.

•    The Deal: an-depth report on the most important music business negotiations of the week

•    The T&E Report: event-driven coverage of the places where the music business unfolds, narrated by dealmakers and experts

•    Gear: a look at what tools the musicians, producers and business people use in their jobs

The New Is Coming!

•    Coda: An information graphic back page that details and explains chart movements every week

The New Coming Soon!

In addition, the new Billboard is now available for the first time on your iPad. The Billboard iPad edition features exclusive videos, music and photos, along with expanded, interactive charts that are playable on Spotify. The Billboard iPad edition is free to subscribers and available for $99.99 per year or $9.99 per month.

To subscribe to Billboard or buy this week's relaunch edition, go HERE, and get Billboard's iPad edition here.

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Sunday, January 20, 2013

The Prescription Pad: The Funk Manifesto

The Prescription Pad: The Funk Manifesto | Jan 18th 2013

Welcome back to the second installment of Dr. Funkendan's Prescription Pad, and I'm gonna start this one off with an apology: I'm sorry about the lack of funk in last week's inaugural column. I had a few feels about 2012 that I had to get off my chest before they got stale, but we got through it. Let's breathe. No no, TOGETHER. Okay. Deep breath. Okay.

An editor of mine recently asked me what type of music I enjoyed listening to, at which point I immediately blurted out "FUNK" before going on to list a number of other vague genres and artists. He responded dismissively, something along the lines of "I like funk music too, I just don't see anything new happening in the genre these days." This statement simultaneously gave me a splitting migraine and a short-lived yet serious identity crisis that took me a few days to rescue myself from. It's not that his statement was necessarily jarring in and of itself to a self-described doctor of the funk, but that I didn't have an immediate response. I was, for a moment, stuck.

There are a few different ways to approach the notion that he raised, and we'll tackle them here over the next few weeks (unless I decide to wander down a yellow brick tangent road for a week or two), but I think before we delve into new vs. old, stagnation vs. evolution, and the merits of the current funk movement, I think it's necessary to lay down a singular, simpler definition of what the funk actually is, and debunk a few myths and misconceptions along the way. That's right ladies and gentlemen, I present to you:

The Funk Manifesto.

In this country, "pop" music has always been a shifting paradigm, whether it be the rock and roll in the late fifties and early sixties, the blues-based British rock that emerged in the mid-to late sixties, disco in the late seventies, hair metal in the eighties, soft rock in the nineties, or the current electro-pop that dominates the airwaves today. Funk music slotted in with its heyday in the early to mid 1970s, when people like James Brown, Sly Stone and George Clinton were spinning their funky webs all over the masses.

Yet even during the time when funk was the popular music of the people, there was a widespread misunderstanding as to what it was. In 1971, for instance, Rolling Stone's Vince Aletti opened his review of Funkadelic's masterpiece Maggot Brain by asking "Who needs this shit?" and ending with the idea that "funk for funk's sake is merely garbage," managing to marginalize one of the greatest funk albums of all time and simultaneously completely miss the point. Funk, in actuality, does not exist for ANYone's sake. It exists because it is a pure emotion inside all of us that, one way or another, needs to be expressed. Ever heard the phrase "everybody's got the blues"? Everyone's got the funk inside them too; it's all about how you let it out.

I would argue that there are very few types of music that exist as pure, unadulterated emotion: blues music being the standard-bearer as a simple form that exists as a method for unleashing the soul. The beautiful thing about the blues is that it doesn't tell that soul how to feel, it just gives it a framework for how to express that emotion, whether positive or negative, boisterous or miserable.

Funk music flips that on its head. In the funk, there is no set framework, no 12-bar variations or permutations to navigate. There are no rules. It necessarily exists outside of all conventions, because to capture the true spirit of what funk is, you necessarily have to leave all of that behind. It is a genre where the only requirement is that you must surrender to the feel of the music.

You see, the biggest problem I have with the notion that "there is nothing new happening in funk music" is that funk music – like blues – was NEVER new, in the sense that it isn't a musical genre so much as an instance of feeling, so much as it is an expressed state of being in a particular moment, so much as it is a jolt of electricity that surges through you in a way that is unique to human physiology. It's not all Sly-slapped bass runs, the tight, flying horns of the JB's, the pockets of infinitesimal Prince-ly silence when you least expected them, or the mythical party raging in George Clinton's mind. It's not just the synthesizer whining over "Funky Worm," the traditional marches of a Rebirthed second line, or the ocean waves swelling from Bernie Worrell's keys. It's not the current (and fresh) funkification of Lettuce, Galactic, Sharon Jones, Trombone Shorty, Soulive, Sophistafunk, Mokaad, or, really, anyone else. It is not just one of any of those, because it can and is all of those. What the funk is, is the feeling that courses through and out of your soul when the perfect sound grabs you and doesn't let you go, shakes you around like a rag doll because it sticks to you, like gorilla glue that won't come off until you stop thinking about it so much. It's almost indefinable, a feeling of complete supplication before the groove.

Funk for funk's sake is not garbage. Funk exists only for funk's sake, and exists because it must. And to answer the question of "who needs this shit?"

We all do.

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Friday, January 18, 2013

News/New Releases: Iconic Soul Singer Aaron Neville Celebrates New Release, "My True Story" with Guest Appearances | CD Coming Jan. 22nd, 2013

News/New Releases: Iconic Soul Singer Aaron Neville Celebrates New Release, "My True Story" with Guest Appearances | CD Coming Jan. 22nd, 2013 | Jan 22nd 2013





January 8th, 2013 — New York, NY — Iconic soul/R&B vocalist and multiple Grammy Award-winning artist Aaron Neville will celebrate the release of his latest album and Blue Note Records debut My True Story with a host of high-profile appearances. They include performances on The Today Show on January 23rd and The Tonight Show With Jay Leno on January 29th, a featured interview on NPR's Morning Edition that will be broadcast on the album's release date of January 22nd, a sit-down interview on PBS' Tavis Smiley that will air in February (check local listings), a performance for the Yahoo! Music series "The Sessions" that will be posted on January 21st, and a performance for NPR's "Free At Noon" concert series that will broadcast live from Philadelphia's World Café on January 18th.

NPR All Things Considered has named My True Story one of the most anticipated releases of 2013, saying, "there is an enormous amount of passion put into it, he clearly loves and wants to embody this material…It's quite lovely." Listen to the story here. NPR will also host an exclusive "First Listen" of My True Story from January 14th through the album's January 22nd.

In addition, PBS will air the special Aaron Neville: Doo Wop: My True Story — a concert filmed in November at New York's Brooklyn Bowl — in March 2013. For the show, Neville was joined by incredible array of musicians and guests, including guitarist Greg Leisz, drummer George G. Receli, and bassist Tony Scherr (all of whom played on My True Story), Neville Brothers' saxophonist Charles Neville, keyboardist Michael Goods, and backing vocalists Joel Katz, David Johnson, and Earl Smith, Jr. Neville was also joined by special guests Paul Simon, Joan Osborne, Eugene Pitt of the Jive Five (who co-wrote the album's title song), and Dickie Harmon from the Del-Vikings. Watch a private preview here.

My True Story finds Neville revitalizing some of his favorite songs from the doo-wop era and beyond, including "Tears on My Pillow" and "Under the Boardwalk," and performing them in his inimitable vocal style. The album was produced by Blue Note Records President Don Was and Keith Richards, who also contributes his signature guitar playing throughout the album. To Neville these songs weren't just the soundtrack to his youth; they became the underpinning for all of the remarkable music he has created across five decades.

Last month Neville wrapped up his annual Christmas Celebration tour, during which he performed holiday songs, fan-favorite hits, and songs from My True Story to sold-out audiences across the country. The album is available for pre-order on iTunes here and Amazon here. Watch a video about the making of My True Story here. Neville will return to the road in support of his new album in the spring. Please see below for dates.

Aaron Neville Quintet - Spring 2013 Tour Dates:

April 13 Birmingham, AL Alys Robinson Stephens PAC
April 14 Nashville, TN War Memorial Auditorium
April 16 Skokie, IL North Shore PAC
April 18 Milwaukee, WI Northern Lights Theatre
April 19 Cleveland, OH Tri-C Jazz Fest - State Theatre
April 27 Shreveport, LA Sam's Town Hotel & Casino
April 28 Houston, TX Houston International Festival
May 04 Biloxi, MS IP Casino
June 02 Augusta, NJ 24th Annual Crawfish Fest

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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Steve Jordan Interview

Steve Jordan Interview

by EJAdmin,
July 19th 2005

Steve Jordan has accomplished more in his drumming career than he ever could have imagined. Of the big names he played with, a short list would include Ashford & Simpson, Chuck Berry, Keith Richards, Sheryl Crow, Stevie Nicks, The Pretenders, James Taylor, Bob Dylan, B.B. King, David Sanborn, Tom Scott, and The Blues Brothers.

by Billy Amendola

He's also served as a musical director, a multi-instrumentalist, a producer, and a writer. These days he's comfortably taking on the role as a member of The Verbs with his wife and music partner Meegan Voss.

Recently Steve's video The Groove Is Here was released on DVD. The project is pure Steve, featuring the legendary groover laying it down with famous friends Leroy Clouden, Bernie Worrell, and Danny Kortchmar. As you'll soon find out, this is only the beginning of the next chapter of Jordan's amazing career.

MD: Your DVD doesn't follow the normal instructional-type video format.
Steve: I thought that format had gotten a little stale. There are so many players with a great amount of facility, so to go down that route would have been silly. There are drummers who just need some helpful hints, something to get their brain going – a different mode of thought.

MD: How did you become so involved with producing?
Steve: I became a producer, engineer, and multi-instrumentalist because I found that I would play on something that we all thought was going to be fantastic, and when the record came out, it would be mixed terribly. Or after we cut the rhythm track, they would overdub too much on it. Not to mention the fact that the record company maybe didn't get it. That's one of the reasons I wanted to stretch out.

MD: Was drumset your first instrument?
Steve: I was a timpanist first. I played orchestral percussion, then I switched to playing traps. When I got my first kit, it really wasn't a whole kit, I kind of got it piece by piece. My grandmother gave me my first snare drum – I was about eight, and she said, "You take lessons, then you get to keep the drum." So I had to take lessons. Anyway, later I got a Rogers student kit with a single-tension bass drum and a clip-on rack tom. And then I got a hi-hat.

MD: What led you to play guitar and bass?
Steve: The music I listened to always had great songwriting. I grew up listening to The Beatles, Miles Davis, Sly And The Family Stone, James Brown, Motown, Stax?. The fusion of me loving orchestral music and jazz, rock, or anything that was good, led me to get a guitar. I also played trombone in junior high school because I loved the horn bands – Kool & The Gang, Mandrill?. I messed around with the trombone because I wanted to play like Fred Wesley. But I didn't stick with it very long.

Later my mom got me this classical guitar, and I taught myself – just started playing. I'd put on my favorite songs and just follow the roots. That's very different from how I was trained as a drummer, or as a percussionist. Over the years, as I got to know all these great guitar players, I'd pick things up from them. My love for playing the guitar would lead me to collecting them.

MD: What did you learn from playing with Keith Richards?
Steve: Keith's a lot of fun, and a lot of good music was made. I learned about songwriting and guitar playing. Keith's a great player and a great writer.

MD: Would you say being a multi-instrumentalist has made you a better drummer?
Steve: Oh, most definitely. I grabbed on to the bass because if you love James Jamerson the way I do, and Paul McCartney, and Ray Brown – you get into the bass. And the pocket is the main thing with all these players. I've been blessed, the first session I ever did was with Nathan Watts, who's one of the greatest bass players ever. He used to play in Wonderlove, Stevie Wonder's band. And then the second session I ever did was with Anthony Jackson. So when you get baptized like that, you know what the bass is supposed to do. And then when you don't get that feeling, you know something is wrong. I'll never forget the first time I ever played with Bob Babbitt. I got this feeling that I used to get when I would listen to some of my favorite Motown records – not knowing that he was the guy who played on some of it. But I got this chill – it was the real thing. That flipped me out.

MD: Speaking of Bob, we saw you in Standing In The Shadow's Of Motown. That must have been a thrill.
Steve: Oh yeah, I had known most of the history before. Most of us knew about the first rhythm section, with Benny Benjamin, James Jamerson, and Earl Van Dyke. But the second rhythm section with Uriel Jones and Bob Babbitt, I didn't know as much about that.

MD: You were the musical director for the BMI Pop Music Awards. How was that?
Steve: That was amazing! We started doing it a couple years ago. They've been holding that event for maybe fifty years, and the first time we did it was the first time they had live music. Our performance was for a Lifetime Achievement award that went to Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, and Little Richard. We put together a band with The Staples Singers, Johnny Lang, and George Thorogood. George did the Bo Diddley section, because he and Bo are tight. We put together about twenty minutes of music. We started with a Bo Diddley medley, then we went into a Little Richard medley where Ivan Neville sang lead and played some great Little Richard piano. Then we went into a Chuck Berry set, which featured Johnny Lang. We did "Maybelline" and then we went into Mavis Staple doing "Rock And Roll Music" and "Livin' In The USA."

MD: Were Chuck, Little Richard, and Bo there?
Steve: Oh yeah. They were very pleased! [laughs] This past year Holland, Dozier, Holland got the award, and they asked me to put together a tribute. So I thought, Okay, this is the perfect opportunity to be able to hire The Funk Brothers. Playing with them was a dream come true. When I worked on the film, I didn't play because I was the musical director for the Bootsy Collins segment. So it was a different thing. But when we had the premier of the film, I had the chance to play with them – at the Apollo Theater! That was amazing. And they're the sweetest people, I love them. One of my mentors was Funk Brother Freddie Waits, who I met when I was in high school. Freddie became another dad to me in a way. He took me under his wing and taught me a lot, not only about music but also about life. Freddie played on some very groundbreaking material, like Stevie Wonder's "Fingertips." And he also played on one of the greatest R&B/pop records ever, "Dancing In The Streets" by Martha & The Vandellas.

MD: How did you meet Freddie?
Steve: At a program called Jazz Interactions. They had an after-school program every Thursday, and there would be classes with some of the great musicians of our time. There'd be people there like Roland Hannah, Charlie Persip, Ben Riley, Freddie Waits, Joe Newman, Frank Foster – I think Billy Taylor used to help out. I met a lot of fellow drummers going to this. And that's when I first met Freddie. I was very eager to learn, and we struck up a relationship. I wanted to go further, so he started to teach me privately. Then sometimes I got to a point where I would just go there and play, and he would listen and watch me and guide me. And we became friends. He taught me about being a vegetarian. It was a wonderful thing. Another major influence on me was Justin D'Cocciccio from the Manhattan School Of Music.

MD: How old were you at this time?
Steve: Around sixteen.

MD: So, what have you been up to recently?
Steve: I did a few tracks on John Mayer's new CD, Heavier Things. And I'm on a track on Alicia Keys' new one, Diary. She was going for a classic Aretha type of sound, kind of an old-school Atlantic thing. That was a lot of fun. She can really play piano. She's very talented, and we just wish her the best because she's a really good person. Both Alicia and John are good people, so those gigs were very promising.

Right now I'm finishing up a production on [Bruce Springsteen's wife] Patty Scialfa's new record. I'm co-producing and playing on that. I'm also going in the studio to produce a new record with the John Spencer Blues Explosion. And I'm working on a film by Antione Faqua, who was the director of Training Day. Last February I played a show at Radio City Music Hall, in New York City, that launched Martin Scorsese PBS series on the blues. This is the eighth film in that series, and it will be a theatrical release. We had sixty-six musicians – a real massive undertaking. But it was all worth it. I was also the musical director and music supervisor of that concert. My wife and collaborator, Meegan Voss, and I worked on that project very closely. And I'll also be doing a new Buddy Guy record sometime in the year. Also, I've been playing with the great Sonny Rollins for the past year and a half, and I'm very excited about going into the studio to record a new CD with him.

MD: Switching gears, can you take us through the process of laying down drum tracks? If you're not playing along to music, do you hum the tune in your head?
Steve: Well, when Meegan and I are working on new music together with our band The Verbs, for instance, we record in a number of ways since we play all the instruments. Sometimes we cut her playing guitar and me playing drums. Sometimes we'll just play guitar and then I'll overdub the drums. Sometimes if you want to evoke a certain groove, humming the song can help you get the groove to the track. When you're learning beats, sometimes you can get too caught up in trying to think about the coordination. It's got to be about the feel, so sometimes it's better to sing the beat. That might get you closer to it, as opposed to writing it out or trying to figure it out.

MD: Do you sometimes put down scratch drums, and then later do them over?
Steve: Sometimes. When I'm recording in our studio at home, the slightest thing can change the feel of a whole tune. I can play the same beat a million different ways. It's about how it's tilted: What side of the quarter note I'm playing on? What do I want the hi-hat and kick to do? Sometimes I want it to feel like it's the first time I ever played it. Sometimes I need that kind of naivet? for a song to work right. Sometimes it's not about sounding like somebody who's been playing all of his or her life. There's a lot of different ways to go about it.

MD: Is there any song that when you hear it you think, I wish I had played on that one?
Steve: [laughs] Oh God?. I wish I played on every Beatles album, every Miles album – every Sly record, every Motown record, every Stax record, every Elvis Presley record – and not because they weren't great already, but because I love them so much. Any they don't have to be big hits, just great songs. Any of the stuff that was recorded at Chess in Chicago in the '50s, I could go on and on.

MD: On your DVD, you play a tune called "Quack." Can you explain how you came up with that beat?
Steve: That song was written by Clifford Carter, and it was right around the time I was playing in the late '70s-type style, which I don't play anymore. That type of playing came from a certain frame of mind at the time. I wanted to come up with a beat that was uniquely its own. Like Steve Gadd, he can play a beat and you know it's him. Same with Harvey Mason, or Dave Garibaldi. Those three drummers were huge influences on me at that time. I wanted to come up with a beat that wasn't necessarily like one of their beats, but that was unique to me and that could hold up. I wanted to raise my bar of acceptance. I don't know if it made it up to that level, but that's what I was going for at the time.

MD: It's a great beat.
Steve: Thanks.

MD: Who was the first drummer you saw who made you think, "I want to play like that"?
Steve: My father, who was an architect, was also a great jazz fan, and a huge Miles Davis fan. And my mother used to sing classical music before she became this kind of educational motivator. Now, when my grandma gave me my snare drum, my dad said, "If you can learn how to play this beat, then you will be able to play anything," and he was absolutely right. It was Art Blakey's "Blues March." So that was the first thing I learned how to play on the drums.

Now, the first time I ever saw anyone play who really drove me insane was Ringo. I became a huge Beatles fan. So now I'm listening to Miles and The Beatles. And of course there was James Brown. Then Al Jackson, and Benny Benjamin because I was a Motown freak. I also listened to early Atco stuff, the Coasters?. I was listening to people like Big Sid Catlett before I knew who they were.
I used to collect records when I was two years old?I was like the family DJ. [laughs] I had my little record collection, and I would carry around my records at the family get-together. They got a kick out of that. And they would try to figure out how I knew what records I was playing. I couldn't read, but I would identify the labels.

Another one of the first guys I ever saw play live was Paul Kimbarrow. I went to a school event where he played the drums, and I thought it was so cool. We became friends later on. He's been playing with Sha-Na-Na for the past fifteen years or so.

MD: When you do a session, do you have a preference of how you like to hear the track for the first time? Would you prefer to hear a demo, or would you just like to have somebody play it on the guitar or piano and sing it to you and say, What do you hear?
Steve: It depends on what you get called for. For instance, sometimes when you get called to do a session, you're only overdubbing. In that case maybe you'll just give it a couple of listens and then play it. A lot of times I don't want to hear anything before I go in.

MD: You're not getting a pre-conceived idea.
Steve: Exactly. Though sometimes it's good to know what direction the artist wants, so that I have the right drums to suit the session?I have a large collection of drums. Not everybody prepares the same way. But it' always good to do the most amount of homework you can if you're just starting or if you want to make sure that things come out the right way. At this point in time, for me, sometimes I have a fresher approach if I don't hear anything. But that wasn't always the case. Generally you want to be prepared, and you want to do your best job.

MD: If somebody wants to be a session musician, what would be his or her must-do list?
Steve: If you want to be a session musician, you must listen to everything – all types of music – and be current. I also believe it's important to read – especially if you're going to do commercial work. In that case you must read. That doesn't mean you have to read like you're auditioning for the Philharmonic, but you have to know the basics. Of course, some people have made careers out of doing limited session work because their style is so unique, and they don't know how to read. So there are exceptions to the rule. I'm not saying to fall into massive depression because you don't know how to read. I'm just saying it's a good thing to know, even if you read minimally, just so you can get through a session.

MD: Any advice for the young drummers about the business?
Steve: I learned a long time ago that writing songs is very important. I used to read album credits, and I saw that Al Jackson wrote "Let's Stay Together" [Al Green] with Willie Mitchell. And I thought, well, he must be an actual writer, because you don't get paid as a writer just for playing a great beat – even though sometimes I think you should. But that's when I started to attack the guitar more, in my very remedial but full-of-energy state. I was just committed to it. It changed the way I play the drums completely. Before I played guitar, I would think of what kind of beat that would be interesting to me, not necessarily what worked for the song.

MD: Would you find yourself overplaying?
Steve: Yeah, without even knowing it. When people were freaking out about drum machines, I loved it, because I would just program my favorite beat and then play guitar to it, and then I knew it would be grooving. So I embraced that whole situation. Playing the bass and the guitar definitely changed the way I play the drums for the better. In fact, it made me fall in love with the drums again, because I got the insight of what the drummer can really do for a situation. I ended up with more passion than I had the first time around.

For information on obtaining Steve's DVD The Groove Is Here, contact Music Dispatch at (800) 637-2852,

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Saturday, January 12, 2013

Hear 'Nuclear,' first new Destiny's Child song in eight years

Hear 'Nuclear,' first new Destiny's Child song in eight years

by Gerrick D. Kennedy,
January 11th 2013

Destiny's Child (Kelly Rowland, left, Beyonce Knowles and Michelle Williams) are seen performing the national anthem before the start of the 2006 NBA All-Star game at the Toyota Center in Houston.

Hear that? That's the sound of the Internet freaking out over the release of "Nuclear," the first new single from Destiny's Child in eight years. (Or maybe it's just this reporter.)

After a whirlwind 48 hours for DC-3 fans that included Beyoncé announcing the multi-platinum trio -- which went their separate ways in 2005 -- would release a new compilation and reunite during the singer's halftime performance at next month's Super Bowl comes a new song, which was released to Mashable on Friday (warning: link contains profanity).

However, fans hoping for a swelling, fiery comeback that would rival sassy radio anthems such as "Bootylicious," "Independent Woman Pt. I," or "Lose My Breath" might be a bit disappointed with the Pharrell Williams-produced cut, which is a more low-key offering.

Co-written by Destiny's Child member Michelle Williams with James Fauntleroy and Lonny Bereal, the track offers a throwback to those '90s R&B grooves that will satisfy purists of the genre – especially those missing the honey-dipped harmonies the trio perfected.

"You had your dreams / And I had mine / As wide open when we dream together / They want to know how we keep our … together / They're wondering / It's just evolution / We're just getting better/ When the two become one, on a quantum level," Beyoncé sings at the opening of the song.

"Nuclear" is the lone new track on "Destiny's Child — Love Songs," a collection of the group's self-described "sensual" work coming to stores Jan. 29. "Love Songs" follows last year's collection of fan favorites, "Playlist -- The Very Best of Destiny's Child."

The trio is expected to tease a medley of their signature hits and debut "Nuclear" during the Super Bowl performance, which will reportedly end with Beyoncé's new single.

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Wednesday, January 9, 2013

E.A.R.T.H (Everything Around Runs Thru Hiphop)

E.A.R.T.H (Everything Around Runs Thru Hiphop)

by Indie Artists Profiles,
November 11th 2011

Artist Name: E.A.R.T.H.
Album: Global Grinding

Email address:
Hometown: Riverside, CA, USA
Style of music: Hiphop

Label Affiliation: Unsigned
Performing Rights Affiliation: ASCAP (USA)

E.A.R.T.H (Everything Around Runs Thru Hiphop) comprised of Ro Tone, Mr. NO, Doc Zais and Peso residing in Southern California. Constantly compared to the legends of Hip-hop such as; De La Soul, A Tribe Called Quest and Outkast

Bio: E.A.R.T.H (Everything Around Runs Thru Hiphop) comprised of Ro Tone, Mr. NO, Doc Zais and Peso residing in Southern California.

Constantly compared to the legends of Hip-hop such as; De La Soul, A Tribe Called Quest and Outkast "These cats are crazy. You guys are incredible; definitely won't be long before you guys can be heard with the rest of the hiphop cats such as Outkast. You remind me of De La Soul; Ya'll are like the West coast De La Soul to me, that's one of my favorite hip-hop groups ever in hip-hop. Ya'll are dope" – Tim Kelley & Bob Robinson (6-time Grammy Producers)

As a group, we embrace poignant, witty, well thought out lyrics, which at times are positive and geared towards exciting everybody. We have mass appeal and we easily appeal to those who like underground and mainstream/commercial hip-hop music.

E.A.R.T.H Discography:

E.A.R.T.H "That Feeling: Love Sex & Intrigue Vol. 2″ released on February 14, 2012

E.A.R.T.H "That Feeling: Love Sex & Intrigue Vol. 1″ released on February 14, 2011

E.A.R.T.H "Grass Roots From The Ground Up" released on December 2008

E.A.R.T.H "Everything Around Revolves Thru Hiphop" release on September 2005

mtvU Campus Invasion Tour in 2007 where E.A.R.T.H. shared stages with R&B singer Monica, Fabolous, Rick Ross, Crime Mob, Rich Boy, Shop Boyz and The Pack. E.A.R.T.H has also shared stages with artists; Far East Movement (FM), Pacific Division, Copywrite, E-Swift, 2mex, Sly Boogie, Nina Sky, Dirty Birdy, Twista, Killer Mike, Defari, Evidence, Madlib, Peanut Butter Wolf and many others.

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Guitar Center’s Drum-Off Finals to Feature Performances by Living Legends

Guitar Center's Drum-Off Finals to Feature Performances by Living Legends

Top Undiscovered Drummers In The Country Compete In The World's Premier Drum Competition, Plus An Evening Packed With Performances By The Drumming Elite

Now in it's 24th year, Guitar Center's nationwide search for the next great undiscovered drummer has chosen the 2012 grand finalists. Starting in August, drummers from across the nation signed up to compete in the world's largest drum competition, vying for thousands of dollars in cash and prizing as well as the coveted title of Guitar Center's Drum-Off Champion. After multiple qualifying rounds, five drummers will now go on to fight for the title and the grand prize package valued at nearly $50,000.

The annual competition was created to support talented drummers, providing them an outlet to be heard, giving them the gear and exposure they need to be a successful professional drummer. Past Guitar Center Drum-Off winners have gone on to have successful professional careers in music including Cora Coleman-Dunham (Prince, Beyonce), Tony Royster Jr, (Jay Z), Eric Moore II (Suicidal Tendencies), Thomas Pridgen (The Mars Volta). For more information please visit:

The 24th annual Guitar Center's Drum-Off competition will host five of the nation's greatest undiscovered drummers at the competition's Grand Finals event. In addition to the competitors, the night will feature live performances by drumming greats including the legendary Steve Gadd with Pedro Martinez, John Blackwell, Gerald Heyward, and many more. Additional guest performers as well as the panel of celebrity judges soon to be announced.


Aric Improta (Hometown – Fullterton, CA)
Robert "Diamond" Johnson (Hometown – Gardner, KS)
Alphonso Lovelace (Hometown – Houston, TX)
Devon Taylor (Hometown – Fayetteville, GA)
Juan Mendoza (Hometown – Perth Amboy, NJ)

Guest Performers:

Steve Gadd – A seasoned session and studio player, the legendary Steve Gadd is regarded as one of the most influential drummers of all time. Most well known for playing with Paul Simon, Gadd has also played with such greats as Eric Clapton, Steely Dan, George Benson, James Taylor, Kate Bush, Paul McCartney and more. Gadd will be honored at the Drum-Off Grand Finals with a special induction to Guitar Center's RockWalk.

Pedrito Martinez – The New York-based world class Cuban percussionist Pedrito Martinez is a mainstay in the Cuban Rumba style and a former member of Afro-Beat band Yerba Buena. Martinez has been featured on more than 100 records, six of which have received Grammy nominations.

John Blackwell – A world-class groove master/drummer most well-known for playing with Prince, John Blackwell has also drummed for Justin Timberlake, Patti LaBelle, P Diddy, Cameo and more.

Zigaboo Modeliste – Zigaboo is a legendary New-Orleans drummer for the influential and iconic funk group The Meters.

Keith Carlock – Carlock has recorded and toured with such musical luminaries as Sting, Steely Dan, James Taylor, Diana Ross, Faith Hill, among others.

Darren King – As the official drummer for the electro-alt rock band Mute Math, Darren King was nominated for a Grammy in 2007.

WHEN: January 19, 2013
Doors open at 6:30 p.m.
Showtime at 7:30 p.m.

WHERE: Club Nokia at L.A. Live
800 W Olympic Blvd # 335
Los Angeles, CA 90015

TICKET INFO: Tickets are available now for $15 including taxes and fees and can be purchased at

SPONSORS: Guitar Center Drum-Off is presented by: DW, Pro-Mark, Orange County Drum & Percussion, LP, Meinl, Roland, Gretsch, Pearl, Modern Drummer, Shure, Vic Firth, Zildjian, DW, Sabian, Remo, Tama, Evans

ADDITIONAL INFO: The annual Drum-Off competition was created to support talented drummers, providing them an outlet to be heard, giving them the gear and exposure they need to be a successful professional drummer. Past Guitar Center Drum-Off winners have gone on to have successful professional careers in music including Cora Coleman-Dunham (Prince, Beyonce), Tony Royster Jr, (Jay Z), Eric Moore II (Suicidal Tendencies), Thomas Pridgen (The Mars Volta). For more information please visit:

The Legendary Steve Gadd will be honored at the Drum-Off Grand Finals with an induction to Guitar Center's RockWalk

Guitar Center's RockWalk is dedicated to honoring those artists who have made a significant impact and lasting contribution to the growth and evolution of Rock 'n' Roll, Blues and R&B. Guitar Center's RockWalk became a reality on November 13, 1985 with inaugural inductions including Stevie Wonder, Eddie Van Halen, Creator of the Gibson Les Paul guitar Ted McCarty, Martin Guitar founder C.F. Martin III, Marshall Amplifier creator Jim Marshall. Located at Guitar Center's Hollywood location on Sunset Boulevard, all Guitar Center RockWalk inductees are chosen solely by past honorees. In this way, inductees are chosen by real "music authorities," those who would best be able to gauge his or her contribution to music history.

As the latest inductee, Steve Gadd's handprints will reside in the RockWalk alongside other accomplished musicians and innovators such as, Eric Clapton, George Martin, Jimmy Page, Iron Maiden, Carlos Santana, Johnny Cash, Van Halen, AC/DC, Aerosmith, Marvin Gaye, James Brown, B.B. King, Stevie Wonder, Run-D.M.C. and Queen, among numerous others.

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Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The Movement: Jamaican Hip Hop

The Movement: Jamaican Hip Hop

With American Hip Hop heads starving for fresh beats and rhymes…

…can Jamaican artists make the most of a promising 2013?


While Jamaica birthed Dancehall music from the seeds of Reggae and Hip Hop, the island has never fully embraced or encouraged its own Hip Hop scene. Most aspiring rappers and DJs struggle until the pressure of success forces a switch to Dancehall. A few migrate in hopes of getting signed in the States.

Past acts like Vybz Kartel, Aidonia, Assassin, and Masicka, used Hip Hop style and flows to stand out in the crowded Dancehall industry. But with each year, Jamaica seems to grow hungrier for a Hip Hop scene of its own.

2012 saw an increase in Hip Hop talent coming from Jamaica and opened some promising avenues for Jamaican artists and entrepreneurs hoping to break into the music industry.



All past toiling is beginning to pay off for rappers like Five Steez, who expanded his local and international fan bases with a number of stunning performances and the release of his debut "War for Peace" last year.

Kingston-born MC Nomad Carlos made his name known with the release of his "Live From Yard" mixtape and "Me Against The Grain" street album. Carlos is expected by many to do even bigger things in the new year. Collaborations with established producers like Inztinkz, Moredecai and France's DJ King Flow from France helped them master their sound in 2012 and will be solid ground to build on in 2013. With the help of music videos, vlogs and mixtapes, Manchester-based group Blu Rok made their name know digitally.


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While Jamaican Hip Hop hasn't reached the level of dominating radio, it has slowly gained support from all aspects of Jamaican popular culture. Jamaica's Zip 103 FM, known for having Hip Hop themed mixes and remixes, gave Five Steez and other up-and-comers much needed exposure last year, offering mainstream support both on airwaves and at local events.

Hip Hop shows were never a regular occurrence in Jamaica, but 2012 saw a number of performances popping up to satisfy the peoples' new thirst for rap. While Hip Hop is usually designated for specific segments of larger shows, Manifesto Jamaica has been hosting a yearly festival since 2009 to give Jamaican rappers a true shot at display their talents via their "Festival of Art'Cal Empowerment" series.


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Since launching in April 2012, Pay Attention JA has showcased Hip Hop talent with their free monthly concert series in Kingston. Pay Attention also laid the blueprint for #TheTakeover, which was held in early December and reeled in fans by the boatloads.

International DJs like DJ Ill Will have also given a hand to the movement, hosting mixtapes and offering their production skills to hungry artists across Jamaica. But when those in power dropped the ball, Jamaican artists used social media as a powerful tool for connecting with and generating fans as well as bringing awareness to the various musical movements brewing across the island.


See Video:


With all of this progress, it's exciting to imagine what Jamaica's Hip Hop scene will cook up in 2013. Keep following #TheMovement and see what the island's best MCs and DJs are able to create.

Words by W. Haye

Read more here.

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Sunday, January 6, 2013

Nile Rodgers hints that Daft Punk collaboration will be released this year

Nile Rodgers hints that Daft Punk collaboration will be released this year | Jan 5th 2013 3:47 PM

Producer suggests that his project with French duo will be out in 2013

Nile Rodgers has hinted that his collaboration with Daft Punk will be released this year.

In a blog post published on his website titled '2013 Won't Be Boring', the producer outlined his plans to play in Japan this year and then seemingly suggested that his project with the French electronic duo could be released in the next 12 months - and also included a photoshopped picture of him standing next to the enigmatic pair, which you can see at

"The next time I set foot in Japan, my collaboration with Daft Punk would have started to hit people's eardrums," he wrote. "As well as a number of songs I'm working on over the next few months with a select group of artists and, of course finally, my lost Chic and solo material. No matter how it ends, 2013 won't be boring!"

In August last year, Rodgers spoke about his studio sessions with Daft Punk in glowing terms and claimed their new material was sounding as good as his best work with David Bowie or Madonna.

The Chic man has a host of illustrious production credits to his name, and twiddled knobs on classic LPs including Bowie's 1983 album 'Let's Dance' and Madonna's 1984 LP 'Like A Virgin', as well as working with artists such as Duran Duran, Grace Jones and Diana Ross, but insisted: "All I can say is those guys are geniuses and to think that after all these years we've been trying to get together, they just show up at my apartment in New York City and the vibe between us is so powerful and so strong – it's unbelievable."

He added: "Spiritually and artistically working with them was as good as anything I've ever done. It's as great as being in a studio with Bowie, it's as great as being with Bernard Edwards, and it's as great as the best stuff I've ever done with [Duran] Duran and Madonna."

Earlier this week (January 3), however, rumours that Daft Punk could headline either this year's Glastonbury and Coachella festivals were quashed by Bestival organiser Rob Da Bank, who revealed that he had been informed through official channels that Daft Punk will not be appearing live at all this year.

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Saturday, January 5, 2013

New Music: Ludacris Ft. R.Kelly x Fabolous “Representin (Remix)”

New Music: Ludacris Ft. R.Kelly x Fabolous "Representin (Remix)"

by B.Dot,
January 4th 2013 6:51 PM

Kelly's out, but Luda's single stays afloat with new verses of R.Kelly and Fabolous. If this is a sign of things to come, then Luda's reppin' the right way.

Tags: fabolous, ludacris, r.kelly

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Friday, January 4, 2013

Q-Tip, The Roots, Talib Kweli perform “Electric Relaxation” at Okayplayer Holiday Jam [Video]

Q-Tip, The Roots, Talib Kweli perform "Electric Relaxation" at Okayplayer Holiday Jam [Video]

by Sam Gould,
January 4th 2013

A Tribe Called Quest's "Electric Relaxation" is one of those tracks I'll simply never tire of listening to, a track shot through with the spirit of hip hop as the mischievous rap gods intended it, so you can imagine my excitement when I heard this latest rendition of the track, a live offering from Q-Tip himself, music virtuosos The Roots and the one and only Talib Kweli.

The performance of the classic Tribe track was the most remarkable of many highlights from the annual Roots Jam in NYC last month, which also played host to guests such as A$AP Rocky, Kids These Days, Sonnymoon and Rahzel, and the footage below will make any hip hop fan wish they'd been there. A dream line-up turned the track into an extended jam with the help of live sousaphone and their varied vocal talents – and whilst I'd pay anything to hear Phife and Tip tagging in and out as they did on the original, this re-imagined version comes a close-second.

Check it out below, and scroll down for some more highlights from the special event.

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Thursday, January 3, 2013

Maceo Parker playing Blue Note residency in NYC +++ other dates

Maceo Parker playing Blue Note residency in NYC +++ other dates | Jan 2nd 2013

Saxophonist, member of The J.B.'s and Parliament, and all around funk legend Maceo Parker has only lined up a few 2013 shows so far, including a few dates in Japan in February, the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival in Idaho ( Feb. 20 - 23) and some dates in Louisiana. Parker will also be in NYC for a four-night run at Blue Note on April 22 - 25. Each night will feature the bandleader/instrumentalist playing two sets, and tickets are on sale for all eight shows: 4/22 early and late, 4/23 early and late, 4/24 early and late, and 4/25 early and late.

Head below for Maceo's full tour schedule, as well as some streams of classic material by The J.B.'s.


1st February Billboard Live Tokyo JAPAN
2nd February Billboard Live Tokyo JAPAN
4th February Billboard Live Osaka JAPAN
23rd February Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival Moscow, ID
28th February Tipitina's Uptown New Orleans, LA
1st March Lake Charles Civic Center Lake Charles, LA
2nd March The Manship Theatre Baton Rouge, LA
22nd April Blue Note Jazz Club New York, NY
23rd April Blue Note Jazz Club New York, NY
24th April Blue Note Jazz Club New York, NY
25th April Blue Note Jazz Club New York, NY

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Best Female Drummers: An Essential Top 25 Countdown