World of Slick Music

World of Slick Music
– Gospel Special

Hi there folks!

Time again for another edition of the slickest (?!) blog on line. As the headline above says today it’s a Gospel special i got. So Gospel maybe  you think of a mass choir singing happy clappy often syncopated songs. Well that’s perhaps the average image of Gospel music and not saying it’s necessarily is wrong. However Gospel music can be and also is much more than a mass choir and in my opinion their music isn’t especially slick. Now what kind of Gospel music am i gonna write about today then? Two different “projects” from back in the 90’s. First one is a project from 1993 called Soul Mission, see picture below.

Relaterad bild
Photo: http://www.allmusic.com

This thing started when two guys Darrell Brown and David Batteau managed to make a dream come true. They had both grown up in church with all that comes with it including music. They wanted to take the fun  of old school Soul music from the 60’s and then add the inspiration  and earthiness of the Gospel music. This whole thing started in a thin sheet-metal construction trailer out in the desert of Arizona. In the dust and heat out there, the songs were conceived and the demos completed. Next thing they called on the assistance of their friend Bob Glaub. His vast experience as a studio bassist on three decades (from John Lennon to Bruce Springsteen). With his help they put together their all star dream team Soul band. The number one choices for the guys was the legendary Memphis musicians Booker T Jones (Hammond B3) and Steve Cropper (guitar). They were both members of the group named Booker T & the MG:s. They played on albums with Soul icons such as Otis Redding and Wilson Pickett. Kinda hard to believe that this skinny guitarist were writing songs that are considered beeing Soul classics today. He co wrote songs with Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett, Eddie Floyd to name a few and he also was/is one of two guitarists in the Blues Brothers Band.

Bildresultat för booker t jones
Picture: Jazz wax
Left to right: Donald ‘Duck’ Dunn (R.I.P.), Booker T Jones himself, Steve Cropper, Al Jackson Jr (R.I.P.)

Steve and Booker T both accepted and joined the project, Darrel and David felt like their prayers were answered. Next guy to track down was R&B/Soul/Funk drummer James Gadson. He first got a reputation as a great Funk drummer  in the late 60’s as a member of Charles Wright & His Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band. After that band was dissolved he became a prominet session drummer and worked with Marvin Gaye and Bill Withers. After that they needed a bassist and they wanted to get Ready Freddie Washington a guy who has played with dosens of artists. After him they got a second guitarist Randy Jacobs (Bonnie Raitt, Was Not Was). Then percussionist Bobby Hall (Diana Ross & The Surpremes, The Four Tops). Horns were provided by Joe Sublett (Sax), Darrell Leonard (Trumpet) and Jerry Donato (Sax). They were also joined by Michael McDonald on piano on one track. This was the band now they needed singers.

Bildresultat för tata vega andrae crouch
Photo: Pinterest

The first name they came to think about was Soul/Gospel singer Tata Vega whom worked a lot with Gospel giant Andrae Crouch, picture above. Second was the legendary Stax vocalist Mavis Staples whom is featured along with her sisters and father in the concert movie The Last Waltz directed by Martin Scorsese, picture below.

Bildresultat för mavis staples the last waltz
Picture: Something Else Review

Through friends and colleagues they were introduced to singers Victor Cook, Grady Harrell, Lynn Davis, Alfie Silas and Gavin Christopher. Finally they also got a few other singers to be like a choir and they are on the album simply called “The Church”. Not gonna mentioning their names but trust all professional singers. So after the background of how this project came to be it’s now time for the song. Since not all of them are to be found on Youtube you can’t pick exactly anyone you want. Although one of my favorites are and it’s a kinda bluesy old school Soul with a touch of Gospel. Here’s  Salvation Road featuring Lynn Davis on lead vocals.

Enjoy your listening!!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ioaek7qDgt8

Tags: #worldofslickmusic #soulmission #darrellbrown #davidbatteau #bobglaub #johnlennon #brucespringsteen #staxrecords #bookertjones #stevecropper #bookertandthemgs #otisredding #wilsonpickett #eddiefloyd #thebluesbrothersband #donaldduckdunn #aljacksonjr #jamesgadson #charleswrightandhis103rdstreetrhythmband #marvingaye #billwithers #freddywashington #randyjacobs #bonnieraitt #wasnotwas #bobbyhall #dianaross #thesurpremes #thefourtops #joesublett #darrellleonard #jerrydonato #michaelmcdonald #tatavega #andraecrouch #mavisstaples #martinscorsese #victorcook #gradyharrell #lynndavis #alfiesilas #gavinchristopher

That was part 1 now time for part 2 which is also the last one. This project took place a few years later than the Soul Mission one. The album was released in 1995 and project number is called Sisters of Glory.
A project featuring five female Gospel/R&B/Soul singers and they are Thelma Houston, Cece Peniston, Phoebe Snow (R.I.P.), Albertina Walker (R.I.P.) and Lois Walden. This prjoect was meant to be “one time only” project. The group was put together by Lois Walden, whom also came up with the name, for a event on April 25 in 1994 for a TV-Show called Gospel Music: From the church to the charts as part of it’s thirteen weeks to benefit charity. The event took place at the intimate Oak Room at the Algonquin Hotel in New York City. It was a group of artists gathered around a piano in front of an audience filled with entertainment industry notables.

Bildresultat för sisters of glory
Photo: http://www.allmusic.com
Left to right: Thelma Houston, Cece Peniston, Phoebe Snow, Lois Walden and on the small pic Albertina Walker.

The show was both hosted and directed by Lois Walden and they performed some of the most important songs of the gospel tradition, shared behind-the-scenes stories and interacted with eachother and the audience in a fun-filled and high energy celebration of gospel music. That small room went electric as the audience joined in singing, clapping and testifying. The media reception was immediate and overwhelming. Then came a phone call from one of the producers of the 25th anniversary of the classic and legendary Woodstock Festival in 1969. He had heard about the evening and wanted the ladies to recreate this thing one Sunday morning August 14 1994. This was nothing planned but the ladies performed infront of over 200 000 people in upstate New York and infront of million tv-viewers. There were no costumes no elaborate sets no preparatory tour. There where only time for one-three hour rehearsal before the newly named group boarded the bus for Saugerties. Accompanied by only organ, bass and piano the Sisters of Glory entered the North Stage and sent forth a musical wake up call.

Bildresultat för sisters of glory woodstock 1994
Photo: last.fm
Left to right performing at Woodstock 94
Cece Peniston, Thelma Houston, Lois Walden,
Phoebe Snow and Albertina Walker.

As they were performing people came from all over the place to hear them. The crowd were dancing, clapping, singing along, swaying, holding hands. The audience gave back as much as they were getting from the 5 singers on stage! Bet that was a moment to remember. In the album’s liner notes a woman named Jennifer Cohen along with Lois Walden writes “for those of us priviliged to on that stage, the true meaning of days of peace and love was captured in that early morning hour. Now after this huge success a guy living in the Vatikan State in Rome Italy had most likely seen and heard them on tv and got totally blown away! They guy was the Pope John Paul II who invited them to his Christmas concert on December 16 “Christmas at the Vatican II”. This led to the 5 ladies singing a record deal and in 1995 there only record was released, see picture below.

Bildresultat för sisters of glory woodstock 1994

It contains old classic songs from the mostly American church tradition although some of them i’ve heard choirs in Sweden singing. I did it as well when beeing member of a youth Gospel choir. There are differen arrangements to every song, some more funky some more traditional some with a twist! For example “Oh Happy Day” is with a like Carribean twist! You can find it on Youtube if you wanna know how it sounds. The song i’ve choosen is called “How i Got Over” and it’s a more funky version here, i guess you can call it “Gospel Funk”!

Enjoy your listening!!

Tags: #worldofslickmusic #sistersofglory #thelmahouston #cecepeniston #phoebesnow #loiswalden #albertinawalker #jennifercohen

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World of Slick Music

                            World of Slick Music
– Jeff Golub

Happy new slick year 2017 folks. I hope you’ll had a great time during the holidays. I did having almost 2 weeks of like Christmas vaccation. Tomorrow back to work again. Anyway as the headline above says it’s time for us to remember a guy that left us on this day way too early 2 years ago. For the big mass i don’t think this guy, Jeff Golub, was that well known. If you know your artists within the like Smooth jazz genre then perhaps you’ve heard of Jeff.

Bildresultat för jeff golub
Photo: @youtube

He was born in 1955 in a place called Copley located outisde the town of Akron, Ohio on April 15. When he began playing the guitar he was listening and emulating to the blues-rock guitarists of the 60’s like Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Jimi Hendrix. He grew also listening to funk, r&b, jazz, pop and rock besides the blues. Then in the 70’s he left Akron to attend the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston. He didn’t stay in Boston for too long cause by 1980 he had once again relocated to New York City where he would stay for the rest of his life. In the early 80’s he gost his first bigger gig when he was hired to back arena rock/hard rock star Billy Squier. That session led to others and so on. During the 80’s he was busy working either in studio or live with many different artists such as Tina Turner, Vanessa Willimas, John Waite, Ashford & Simpson, Dar Williams, Peter Wolf.

Bildresultat för jeff golub rod stewart
Photo copyright: @rodstewartfanclub
Jeff with his boss for 8 years Rod Stewart on the left.

In 1988 he began working with Rod Stewart which he would continuing doing for 8 years. The same year he released his first solo album called Unspoken Words although he was still devoting most of his time backing other artists. It wasn’t until 1994 when he formed the group called Avenue Blue he began beeing more like solo artist. This project or what we shall call it Avenue Blue made only 3 albums. As already mentioned the first in 1994 then 1997 and the last in 1999. The thing was on all those three albums it stood Avenue Blue featuring Jeff Golub. Also in 1999 his album Out of the Blue, released by Atlantic Records was strictly under his own name and so it remained he never did any more albums with Avenue Blue or any other like group name. He contiued realeasing albums all the way to end. As a guitarist he was inspired and influenced by Wes Montgomery, George Benson, Lee Ritenour, Larry Carlton to name a few. He once said that he refused playing straight eleveator music but he enjoyed when people compared him with guys like David Sanborn, The Crusaders, Ronnie Laws, Joe Sample, and Grover Washington Jr; that is, instrumentalists who could be commercial- and groove-oriented but still have a jazz improviser’s mentality.

Bildresultat för jeff golub
Photo copyright: @newyorkdailynews
Jeff with his guide dog Luke who was a Labrador.

In 2011 the optic nerves in Golub’s eyes inexplicably collapsed, leaving him blind and requiring a guide dog. In September of 2012, while attempting to catch the subway in New York City, he fell onto the tracks as a train was approaching. He was clipped and dragged by the train as bystanders tried to help. Amazingly, other than cuts and bruises, he was unharmed. Undaunted, the guitarist recorded a collaborative album with British keyboard legend Brian Auger, , ironically entitled, The Train Keeps A-Rollin’. This album came in the summer of 2013.

Bildresultat för jeff golub brian auger
Photo copyright: @jazzdagama
Jeff on the right and keyboardist Brian Auger on the left.

While touring in support of The Train Keeps A-Rollin, however, Golub began suffering problems with his motor skills, including issues with his balance and speech. In November of 2014, he was diagnosed with Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP), an incurable degenerative brain disease. Golub died of complications from the disease on January 1, 2015. He was 59 years old. The all-star benefit album The Vault, featuring unreleased and reworked recordings from Golub and guests, was released posthumously in April 2015. The album featured appearances from trumpeter Rick Braun, Dave Koz, Kirk Whalum and others, with proceeds going to Golub’s family. There are so many weird diseases out there and i’m convinced that the majority of those you can actually cure including Cancer. The sad part is that the big pharma ain’t intrested in kill a disease cause no cash in actually curing a disease but billions of cash in curing the symptoms.

So finally back to the music and the song i’ve choosen is actually a cover again this time a song first recorded by the Beatles for their last recorded album Abbey Road. It’s one of the most beautiful song that George Harrison ever wrote regardless if it was during the years with The Beatles or as a solo artist. The song is called Something and Jeff recorded it in 2007 on his Grand Central album.

Tags: #worldofslickmusic #jeffgolub #ericclapton #jeffbeck #jimihendrix #billysquier #tinaturner #vanessawilliams #johnwaite #ashfordandsimpson #darwilliams #peterwolf #rodstewart #avenueblue #wesmontgomery #georgebenson #leeritenour #larrycarlton #davidsanborn #thecrusaders #ronnielaws #joesample #groverwashingtonjr #thebeatles #georgeharrison

World of Slick Music

                                   World of Slick Music
– George Michael

Hi folks!
I hope you had a great a Christmas despite all the sad news we got. As you can see on the headline the artist today is George Michael. To be honest i’ve never been any bigger fan of neither him or Wham but some songs i like. Second confession is that i didn’t planned to write about George Michael but his passing made me change my mind. Usually i use to tell you pretty much everything about the artist’s life both private and and professional. Today i’m gonna make a little shorter version cause i believe you know his story. How he in the early 80’s along with Andrew Ridgeley under the name Wham got a major breakthrough. They were adored, mostly GM i believe to be honest, by millions of teenage girls world wide.

Bildresultat för george michael

Picture copyright: biography.com

Further i assume you all know that deep inside he wasn’t satisfied beeing that major idol for teenage girls. In the mid 80’s he released his first single as a solo artist and then the question was when rather than if he would go solo full time. As a private person he most definetely had his many ups and downs. Then sometime in the 90’s after he got busted getting a bj on a public toilet by some dude he “came out” as gay. Maybe he tried to convince himself he was straight but i remember growing up in the 80’s remebering Wham beeing like the biggest band there was at that time. I was like 10 or 11 years old and everyone was saying about George Michael that he was gay.

When he finally announced it i was like thinking what’s the big deal nothing we didn’t already knew. He was one of the best like “blue eyed soul” singers there ever was or will be. My cousin said yesterday that George Michael was one of the absolutely best live voices he’s ever heard. Trust me he has heard many of them.
George was featured as one lead singer on the 1984 smash Christmas hit Do They Know It’s Christmas by Band Aid as they were called written by Sir Bob Geldof in benefit for the starvation in Ethiopia at that time. It was released as 45″ single that year. It featured the very cream of the British pop elite in the mid 80’s. Besides George/Wham there were Sting, Duran Duran, U2, Phil Collins on drums to name a few of them. No i’m not gonna include that song.

Let’s jump to the year of 1992 and the classic world famous arena of Wembley Stadium in London. That year a huge tribute concert to the late frontman/lead singer of Queen, Freddie Mercury was beeing held with several British and American artists/groups.
George was featured as one performer on this show on which he did 3 songs 39, These Are the Days of Our Lifes (a duet with Lisa Stansfield) and the kinda Gospel penned Somebody to Love together with the London Community Gospel Choir and just like the rest of the cast he was also singing in the great finale We Are the Champions.

The official cause of his death is said to be heart failure he died in his sleep. That might be the case but oh the irony of dying on Christmas day thinking that during the entire December you can’t pass by almost any store without hearing the big season hit Last Christmas. The same with almost like every radio station will play it during December. He was found by his partner on the morning of Christmas day (December 25) this year. No doubt that he left us way too early. He was 53 years old on his passing. Now this clip below you might think this guy has totally lost it, completely disillusioned and one major “foil hat”. But i see a pattern here which he mentions. Not saying he has right but for me it actually does make sense. You make your own opinion about it.

However there are a kinda secret, demonic society that controls the showbiz and it’s called the Illuminati. If you heard about them you might think that i have lost it and i’m just believing another crazy conspiracy theory. I leave it up to you to think wether i’m sane or not. Personally i don’t believe in coincidences there is a greater master plan behind it all. Let’s leave it like that cause after all this blog ain’t about politics or “conspiracy theories” but music!

Finally something about the song i’ve choosen. It was written by himself and was featured on the Wham! album “Make it Big“. It was also released as a single in 2 versions in a way. One “version” was George Michael as a solo artist and the second one was Wham! featuring George Michael. The “second version” was only called so in Japan, Canada and the United States. The song was his first solo hit released in 1984 though he was still performing with Wham!.

This song reached #1 at the charts in 25 different countries and sold 6 million copies world wide. Further it has a very prominent saxophone riff. For beeing over 30 years old, recorded and produced in the mid 80’s the mix is very like fresh and sounds not like 1984 at all! The song is offcourse Careless Whisper a song i’ve always have had “a thing for”, a song that never really let go. Somehow it always stays in the back of your head or memory. Kinda funny in a way cause i have no special or precious memories connecting to the song. I still remember when i heard it/saw the video on tv for the first time i was 10 years old back then! Man time sure does flies!

Tags: #worldofslickmusic #georgemichael #andrewridgeley #wham #sirbobgeldof #bandaid #sting #duranduran #u2 #philcollins #queen #freddiemercury #lisastansfield #londoncommunitygospelchoir

World of Slick Music

 World of Slick Music
– Christmas Edition

 

Hi there folks!
So Christmas is only 1 or 2 days away defending where you live. The most common in Europe is to focus on Christmas eve while in America it’s Christmas day. I’m a sucker for Christmas as a Holiday and also for Christmas song. These days when it’s dark early then walking around in town watching all the lights really gets me in the mood!
Yesterday i visisted the amusement park in my town and at this time a year it’s Christmas theme. It’s been like that since the year 2000 i think. Among lots of other things they have this tower which they “transform” into a giant Christmas tree! That is like the symbol of the “Christmas city of Gothenburg”. The authorites here began early to advertise the city as the “Christmas city” both in Sweden and abroad. Enough of that cause after all this is a music blog!
Last year on the Christmas edition then i was revisting some “old friends” meaning artists i’ve written about here. This year it’s the opposite i had in mind, a like “teaser” of what will come next year.

1: Chicago

First band band out is the iconic and legendary band Chicago. If you like music i expect you to know these guys. Now i’m saying you must know their every song, i don’t! Still this band has been around since 1968 or so and still have 4 original members in it. If you are familliar with Chicago you may think of some kinda lame and boring ballads. Cause those songs are mostly been played on the radio. Anyway i will tell you lot more of them in 2017. So here i’ll give Chicago doing their version of the classic American carol God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qdOV5TeZCa8

2: Marilyn Scott

Next artist i guess is not so well know for the big masses. Still he has had a long career working with many different artists in the business releasing many albums under her own  name. Her style is like pop or maybe AOR/West coast if you will with influences from Jazz and Soul. Her productions are often solid works with some of the best cats around. This song is by far no exception. She is taken on another classic Christmas tune Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. This version got a nice groove and the band swings a lot!
In the horn section we find 3 guys plus the drummer whom all have been members of
Tower of Power. That itself is a guarantee that the cats knows how to swing!
So here comes Marilyn Scott with her take on Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

3: John Stoddart

Next one is R&B/Gospel singer John Stoddart whom i think isn’t that famous for the big masses either but who cares? I don’t! Anyway how does he sound? Pretty much like how the most contemporary R&B singers do. To be honest isn’t always what makes me going but if they have one or more enough slick songs then that’s enough for me.
He has worked /performed a lot with sax man Kirk Whalum, whom i wrote about last year, both on albums and on stage. Here he does his own song called All I Want.

 

4: Andreas Aleman

Next artist would actually surprise some if you know about! This guy is from Sweden but his music is awesome in the style of like Michael McDonald, Bill Champlin, Airplay.
On his Christmas album there’s actually a song on which Michael McDonald is featured as guest vocalist. This guy made some Christmas shows in Stockholm in Sweden but not in my town, too bad. Maybe next year he’ll do a show here, Christmas or not. Here i give you my native Swede singer Andreas Aleman doing his own composition             Home For Christmas.

 

5: Israel Houghton & New Breed

Last artist out in this Christmas edition of 2016 is contemporary Gospel artist/singer
Israel Houghton. If you’re not familiar with contemporary Christian/Gospel music then the chances that you’ve heard of Israel or his band The New Breed. His style is like a mix of pop/rock, gospel, soul/funk, jazz with some latin vibes. Mostly gospel and soul thou. So here comes the 5th and last song in this Christmas edition of World of Slick Music of 2016 i’ll give you Israel Houghton & New Breed doing their version of the classic song, at least within the churches, Go Tell It On the Mountain.

Stay tuned folks there’s more slick music coming your way in 2017!!

 

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Slick Year 2017!!!!

 

World of Slick Music

In memory of Joe Cocker 1944 – 2014

Hi folks!
It’s been a very long time since my last post. Have no good explanation for that guess i’ve been too lazy. Anyway today i was remembered about a great singer whom left us too early on this very day 2 years ago. As the headline above says it’s Joe Cocker that is today’s artist.

Bildresultat för joe cocker
Photo copyright: starsingers.net

As always let’s go way back to Sheffield in the United Kingdom. The year was 1944 and the date was 20 May on 28 Tasker Road, Crookes. He was born as John Robert Cocker as the youngest son of a civil servant, Harold Cocker, and Madge Cocker, née Lee. There are different stories of how he got the his nickname Joe. Some says it was due to a childhood game called “Cowboy Joe” or from a window cleaner named Joe. While growing up his first musical influences were Ray Charles and Lonnie Donegan. The stage debut where he sang for the first time came when he was 12. This happend when his older brother Victor invited him to gig with his skiffle group. Joe had his own first band in 196o, a trio called The Cavaliers. However this project only lasted for about a year. Then next year he had a new band going on although he called himself Vance Arnold now.

Bildresultat för joe cocker young

Photo copyright:Pinterest
A young Joe most likely in the mid 60’s but not sure.

The next band was called Vance Arnold & The Avengers. They played mostly on different pubs in Sheffield doing Chuck Berry and Ray Charles covers. At this time Joe began to discover the Blues music and started to check out guys like John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters, Smokestack Lightning and Howlin’ Wolf. In 1963 the band got a bigger gig as support act for The Rolling Stones at the City Hall in Sheffield. The year after he got a contract as a solo artist for Decca Records. They released his first single “I’ll Cry Instead” a Beatles cover featuring Big Jim Sullivan and Jimmy Page on guitars.This wasn’t the only time Joe got to work with guitarist Jimmy Page but i’ll get back to that later.
Despite heavy promoting from the record company and pointing out Joe’s working class background the single was not a success which led to Joe beeing dropped by Decca in the end of 1964.

Bildresultat för joe cocker young

Photo copyright: Martin Grams

Joe at the legendary Woodstock Festival in 1969.

In 1966 he teamed up, what would become his long time musical director,  Chris Stainton to form the Grease Band. Just like previously bands he had even this one played mostly at local Sheffield pubs. Eventually Joe and Chris moved to London and the band was dissolved. Before that Joe had met a producer called Denny Cordell whom had worked with British artists like Procul Harum, The Moody Blues and Georgie Fame. He produced a song called “Marjorine” and later Cordell set Cocker up for a residency at the classic rock club Marquee in London. The song “Marjorine” had some minor success in the U.S. although the big breakthrough was just around the bend…
This time it was another Beatles song but completely and totally rearranged!
The recording featured guitarist Jimmy Page, yes THE Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin fame, B.J. Wilson on drums, backing vocals from Sue & Sunny and organ from Tommy Eyre. Following quote is from Sir Paul McCartney regarding Joe’s passing and version of the Beatles tune “With a Little Help From My Friends”

“He [Cocker] was a lovely northern lad who I loved a lot and, like many people, I loved his singing. I was especially pleased when he decided to cover “With a Little Help from My Friends” and I remember him and (producer) Denny Cordell coming round to the studio in Savile Row (central London) and playing me what they’d recorded and it was just mind-blowing, totally turned the song into a soul anthem and I was forever grateful to him for doing that.”

Bildresultat för joe cocker young

Photo copyright: The Independent

Joe sometime in 1970.

Denny Cordell convinced the arranger of the Woodstock Festival to book Joe and his band. Due to the large masses there they had to be flown into by Helicopter. About this gig Joe later said “like an eclipse … it was a very special day.” After this legendary festival he played several other festivals and did several tv apperances as well. On stage he had a very unique style he exhibited an idiosyncratic physical intensity, flailing his arms and playing air guitar. This was something that continued for the rest of his career. By the end of 1969 Joe was unwilling to embark another US tour so he dissolved the Grease Band. Despite Cocker’s reluctance to venture out on the road again, an American tour had already been booked so he had to quickly form a new band in order to fulfill his contractual obligations. Denny Cordell christened the new band “Mad Dogs & Englishmen,” after the Noël Coward song of the same name. The style became a  more bluesy kind of rock compared to what The Rolling Stones played.

Bildresultat för joe cocker mad dogs and englishmen

Photo copyright: Music of our hearts

Joe and The Mad Dogs and Englishmen in action early 70’s.

Joe had many success’ from an artistic point of view hower all touring began cathing up on him. He began drinking heavily and got mental isssues such as depression. He cathed up working with Chris Stainton again but when he left to pursue a solo career and build up his own studio Joe fell deeper into depression. He began using Heroin although he managed to kick the drug habit but not the drinking one. Still fighting with his alcohol problems he still managed to record albums. Although his problems were still there and reports said he had thrown up on a show in 1974. In 1976 he was in Cocker was $800,000 in debt to A&M Records while struggling with alcoholism. At this time he met producer Michael Lang who offered to help him due to Joe staying sober.

Bildresultat för joe cocker the crusaders

Joe with Jazz band The Crusaders. Left to right: Joe Sample (keyboards), Wilton Felder (Saxophone), Joe himself, Stix Hooper (drums).

Eventually Joe managed to get his act together and sober up. He continued to make albums with different session players. In 1980 he was featured as guest singer on two tracks on the Jazz band Crusaers album “Standing Tall”.
The two songs were “This Old World’s Too Funky For Me” and “I’m So Glad I’m Standing Here Today”. The latter one was writtten with Joe in mind and received a Grammy nomination. At the ceremony they performed the track together.
At the behest of producer Stewart Levine Joe recorded the song “Up Where We Belong” for the “An Officer and An Gentleman” movie along with songtress Jennifer Warnes in 1982. The song later won a Grammy Award for “Best Performance by a Duo”.

Bildresultat för joe cocker and jennifer warnes
Photo copyright: Billboard
Joe and Jennifer Warnes performing their famous duet.

Now during the 8o’s Joe was definetely back on the right track so to speak. His album were selling quite well and he was featured in different charity/benefit concerts with all kinds of “All star line-up’s” meaning with different famous musicians and singers. Then in 1986 the title track from his “You Can Leave Your Hat On” album was featured in the 9 1/2 Weeks movie starring Mickey Rourke and Kim Basinger. On the European charts this album eventually sold platinum. Then the next two albums were also commercial success’. The first of the two were Unchain My Heart which earned a Grammy nomination but failed to win. Then the album that followed One Night of Sin sold better than the previously one. When the 80’s turned to the 90’s Joe continued to tour all over the world while still recording albums.

Bildresultat för joe cocker across the universe

Joe in a scene taken from the 2007 movie Across the Universe.

So in 2007 Joe played a small part in an indipendent movie called Across the Universe a movie about the 1960’s in America. The story is somewhat based on the music of the Beatles. The caracters all have names from different Beatles songs. If you haven’t seen it do it! In 2011 he was featured on a benefit concert for guitarist Cornell Dupree whom played on of Joe’s albums in the late 70’s. Now Cornell himself was a member of a New York City band called Stuff in the mid 70’s and they were touring with Joe in 1976 promoting Joe’s Stingray album. Maybe sometime in 2017 i might write about Stuff.

Bildresultat för joe cocker stuff

Joe on the left and actor/comedian John Belushi on the right performing together on the Saturday Night Live show with Stuff in 1976. The guitarist on the right on the pic with the the Fender Telecaster is Cornell Dupree.

Cocker kept recording and touring through his later years. 2012′s Fire it Up, which would turn out to be Cocker’s last studio album, was followed by an extensive tour, consisting of a US leg in 2012 and a European leg in 2013. He played 25 shows in Germany alone on the European leg of the tour, which reflects the popularity Cocker enjoyed there. The full show of 22 April at Colonge’s Lanxess Arena was recorded and released on CD and DVD under the title Fire it up Live later in 2013. The last concert on the tour, which was to be Cocker’s final live performance, was at the Loreley Open Air Theathre in Sankt Goarshausen 7 September 2013.

While performing a concert at Madison Square Garden on 17 September 2014, fellow musician Billy Joel stated that Cocker was “not very well right now” and endorsed Cocker for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame before impersonating the singer in a take on “With a Little Help From My Friends.”

Cocker died from lung cancer on 22 December 2014 in Crawford, Colorado at the age of 70. The two remaining living ex-Beatles, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, were among those who paid tribute to the singer, while Cocker’s agent, Barrie Marshall, said that Cocker was “without doubt the greatest rock/soul singer ever to come out of Britain. I was lucky to see him live one time at the biggest indoor venue in my town. This was in 1997 if i don’t recall wrong, man almost 20 years ago! Where did those years go?! I remember i thought it was a great show with a tight band. One of the members in the band was Steve Grove, Euge Grove nowadays, whom was a member of my favorite band Tower of Power a few years from the late 80’s til’ the early 90’s. He had a support act as well and that was 4 Irish siblings with the lastname Corr meaning it was the Corrs. Remember them as beeing a great live band never really liked their hit singles that much.

Finally about today’s song i’ve choosen. It’s taken from one of his most commercial succesful albums called One Night of Sin from 1989. It’s an uptempo song with a little like Gospel vibe. As a bonus i have to give you my favorite version of Joe’s breakthrough song.
So as always enjoy your listening!!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lvQ0IG1ZPUI

Bonus:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U6LNlxDdSgQ

Tags: #worldofslickmusic #joecocker #haroldcocker #madgecocker #raycharles #lonniedonegan #chuckberry #johnleehooker #muddywaters #smokestacklightning #howlinwolf #rollingstones #beatles #bigjimsullivan #jimmypage #deccarecords #chrisstainton #dennycordell #procolharum #moodyblues #georgiefame #bjwilson #sueandsunny #tommyeyre #ledzeppelin #paulmccartney #michaellang #thecrusaders #stewartlevine #jenniferwarnes #mickyrourke #kimbasinger #cornelldupree #stuff #johnbelushi #billyjoel #ringostarr #barriemarshall #stevegrove #towerofpower #thecorrs

World of Slick Music

World of Slick Music
– Quincy Jones

Hi folks!

This time it’s been several weeks since last post quess i’m getting more and more lazy…or i’m just busy doing other stuff. Anyway today i’m gonna write about perhaps the biggest legend with showbiz today, a guy whose career spans over 6 decades! As you can see on today’s headline today’s artist in none else than Quincy Jones!
So what can i say about this man that no one including himself hasn’t already been saying? Do i of all people been giving some very very exclusive stuff never shared before? I’m sure you all know the answer to that question…offcourse i don’t! To try covering everything he has done with everyone would like take forever so i’ll think i pass on that. We’ll just see how much i will cover.

Anyway it all began in 1933, on the South Side of Chicago, to Sarah Frances (née Wells) (1903-1999) and Quincy Delightt Jones, Sr (1895-1971). His father was a semi professional basket player and a carpenter from Kentucky. They had gone to Chicago as part of the Great Migration out of the South. Sarah was a bank officer and apartment complex manager. The music came early in his life since his mother used to sing spirtual/religious songs home along with next door neighbour Lucy Jackson.                    When he was five or six, Jackson played stride piano next door, and he would always listen through the walls. Lucy Jackson recalled that after he heard her that one day, she could not get him off her piano if she tried.

After the war Quincy moved with his family to Seattle where he attended high school near his home. He had discovered music when he was 12 and became more deeply involved in high school, developing his skills as a trumpeter and arranger. He found a friend in classmate Charles Taylor who played the saxophone and the two guys began playing with a band. At the age of 14 they were playing with a National Reserve band. Quincy says growing up in a smaller town got him to experience much more of music than living in bigger city due to the competition. When he was 14 he introduced himself to a 16 year old blind guy called Ray Charles…yes THE Ray Charles and they instantly became best friends!                                                                                                                               In 1951 he won a scholarship to Seattle University where a young Clint Eastwood, yes THE actor/director/producer, – also a music major there – watched him play in the college band.

After only one semester Quincy was transferred to what now is the Berklee College of Music in Boston on a another scholarship (as of 2016, Jones’ application for admission is preserved on display at Berklee). While on beeing a student on Berklee he played at Izzy’s Bar & Grille with Bunny Campbell and Preston Sandiford. Quincy’s main instrument was trumpet and as a young kid he took lessons from the legendary trumpet player Clark Terry whom said in an interview that he wasn’t so impressed with Quincy! Anyway he left his studies when he was offered to join vibes (vibraphone) player Lionel Hampton on tour as a trumpet player. And this is where his musical career got started. While touring with Lionel he began to realize that his best skills was actually not as a musician but arranger. He relocated to New York City and here got to work with some of greatest names within jazz music such as long time friend Ray Charles, Gene Krupa (drums), Dinah Washington (vocals), Sarah Vaughan (vocals), Count Basie, Duke Ellington perhaps the two most legendary names when it comes to beeing band leaders within big band/swing jazz.

He said touring in Europe with Lionel Hampton and said it turned him upside down, altering his view of racism in the USA.

“It gave you some sense of perspective of past, present and future. It took the myopic conflict between just black and white in the United States and put it on another level because you saw the turmoil between the Armenians and the Turks, and the Cypriots and the Greeks, and the Swedes and the Danes, and the Koreans and the Japanese. Everybody had these hassles, and you saw it was a basic part of human nature, these conflicts. It opened my soul, it opened my mind.”

Through out the 50’s he contiued touring across both America and Europe with different orchestras. With musicians from the Arlen show, Jones formed his own big band, called The Jones Boys, with eighteen artists. The band included double bass player Eddie Jones and fellow trumpeter Reunald Jones, and organized a tour of North America and Europe. Though the European and American concerts met enthusiastic audiences and sparkling reviews, concert earnings could not support a band of this size. Poor budget planning resulted in an economic disaster; the band dissolved and the fallout left Jones in a financial crisis. Quoted in Musician magazine, Jones said about the ordeal,

“We had the best jazz band on the planet, and yet we were literally starving. That’s when I discovered that there was music, and there was the music business. If I were to survive, I would have to learn the difference between the two.”

Irving Green, head of Mercury Records, helped Jones with a personal loan and a new job as the musical director of the company’s New York division. There he worked with Doug Moody, who founded Mystic Records. In 1964 he was invited by movie director Sidney Lumet to compose the music for the movie The Pawnbroker. It was the first of his 33 major motion picture scores. During the 60’s he got to work some other icons such as Frank Sinatra, Billy Eckstine (singer/band leader), Nana Mouskouri (vocals), Peggy Lee (vocals), iconic and legendary jazz vocalist Ella Fitzgerald. Besides his solo albums gained acclaim. In 1975 he founded his own label/production company and artists like Frank Sinatra, George Benson (guitar,vocals), Donna Summer, Patti Austin, Aretha Franklin, James Ingram, Rufus & Chaka Khan were all produced by Quincy.

In 1978, he produced the soundtrack for The Wiz, the musical adaptation of The Wizard of Oz, starring Michael Jackson and Diana Ross. And this leads us to the very peak of Quincy’s career, at least if you measure by the amount of sold albums. Michael Jackson were ready to take the next step of his career to reach to the absolute top. He had been working with the legendary Philadelphia songwriting duo Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff. When the news reached the business that Quincy was to produce the next album with Michael Jackson everyone was very sceptical to say the least! Not that they had anything bad to say about Quincy himself but they thought of him as a typical jazz cat who didn’t know popular music. First album with Michael was Off the Wall released in 1978 with some of the finest cats of Los Angeles.

In 1975 on a flight between Chicago and Los Angeles Quincy met Chaka Khan and they immediately found eachother and expressed their mutual admiration for eachother and a desire to work together. That took place in 1977 when Chaka was singing on the Quincy album Sounds…& Stuff Like That and the next year he produced the album Masterjam with Rufus & Chaka Khan. After seeing this band live Quincy went forward to talk to the guys after the show. He asked the rhythm section if they did some gigs outside Rufus, they said yes so when Quincy was about to do the Off the Wall album with Michael he hired John “JR” Robinson (drums), Bobby Watson (bass) and David “Hawk” Wolinski (keyboards) to play. JR Robinson then became of Quincy’s favorite drummers whom he often hired.

The first album from Michael produced by Quincy was a huge success but it was nothing comparing what was about to come with the next album in 1982…yes the biggest selling album of all time, Thriller! It has reputed sold a 110 million copies world wide. Starting in the late 70’s Quincy tried to convince legendary jazz trumpeter Miles Davis to revive the music he had recorded on several classic albums in the 60’s, which had been arranged by Gil Evans. n 1991, Davis, then suffering from pneumonia, relented and agreed to perform the music at a concert at the Montreux Jazz Festival. The resulting album from the recording, Miles & Quincy Live at Montreux, was Davis’ last released album (he died several months afterward). It is considered an artistic triumph.

The music that got Quincy in the business in the first place was the big band jazz/swing and towards the end of the 90’s he was contacted by his old friend and band leader/arranger Sammy Nestico. He reminded Quincy about a project they had been discussing back and forward over the years, an album with the kind of music that got them in the business in the first place. The album was released in 2000 and it’s called Basie & beyond and it’s kinda a dedication to Count Basie and the music he did. In the liner notes Quincy writes that Sammy was really telling him “hey man none of us are getting younger so let’s do one last album with the kind of music that got us in the business in the first place!” They did the recordings in the old style live with a huge big band and the drums in a booth. To make a album of this there’s only one place to do it, the classic and legendary Capitol Studios in L.A. Here Sinatra and those guys did many of their albums.

Further Quincy writes about the sessions that the musicians became like kids on christmas, when they saw so many of themselves gathering together at the same place and the same sessions they began taking photos of eachother! Quincy describes it like “wow are you also here?! Hey man take a pic of us here and so on!”. If you’re not familiar with solo projects of Quincy it’s a mix of soul/funk, jazz/swing/fusion, hip hop from the late 80’s and forward. Can’t say i embrace and like everything he has done but i gotta give him cred and respect for adapting to new moments and trying out new paths. Quincy has received none less than 79 Grammy Award nominations and von 27, last one came 2002 in the Best Spoken Word Album category for Q: The Autobiography Of Quincy Jones.

Some other projects worth mentioning he has been involved is offcourse the U.S. for Africa project and the song “We Are The World” which he produced and received a Grammy for. Another project is Handel’s Messiah – A Soulful Celebration. This album is a celelbration of the history of black music but also taking the music George Handel wrote in the 18th century and bring in to the 20th century. I’m sure you have heard at some point the so called “Hallejuah chorus” from Handel’s Messiah. This album ends with that song but it’s like updated to a soul gospel version á la 90’s. Quincy was concucting the choir here and it consisted of like every black Gospel, R&B/Soul singer both male and female that was around at that time. So basically Quincy has worked with everyone in the entire music business both musicians and singers. When Quincy wants your services you accept. Take the classic song Billie Jean from the Thriller album the guitar solo is made by Eddie van Halen, one amazing guitarist but the first name you think of when recording a Michael Jackson album. If you’re not familiar with Eddie he is basically one of the most acknowledged hardrock/heavy metal guitarists.

As i mentioned in the beginning to cover everything this guy has done or accomplished would take me lots and lots of time…and not sure if anyone would manage to read everything without falling a sleep or give up. So let’s end here while you still, i hope, are awake. The song i’ve choosed is taken from the album from 1981 called “The Dude” and it’s an instrumental written by brazilian singer/songwriter Ivan Lins along with a guy called Victor Martins. This song features another long time friend of Quincy, the legendary Harmonica player Jean “Toots” Thielemans.

Finally as always enjoy your listening!!

 

Tags: #worldofslickmusic #quincyjones #sarahfrancis #quincydelighhtjonessr #lucyjackson #charlestaylor #raycharles #clinteastwood #bunnycampbell #prestonsandiford #clarkterry #lionelhampton #genekrupa #dinahwashington #sarahvaughan #countbasie #dukeellington #eddiejones #reunaldjones #ivringgreen #dougmoody #sidneylumet #billyeckstine #franksinatra #ellafitzgerald #nanamouskouri #peggylee #dinahwashington #georgebenson #donnasummer #pattiaustin #arethafranklin #jamesingram #rufus #chakakhan #michaeljackson #dianaross #kennethgamble #leonhoff #johnjrrobinson #bobbywatson #davidhawkwolinski #gilevans #milesdavis #sammynestico #georgehandel #eddievanhalen #jeantootsthielemans

World of Slick Music

Hi there!

So while having a day off from work, it’s Ascension Day in Sweden today, why not post something here. If you’ve been following this blog you’ll notice a lil’ change today, i won’t be adding pictures no more. The reason for this is i don’t wanna get in trouble or in worst case gettin sued. How did i came to this decision then all of a sudden? In one of my previosuly editions i had used a picture that belonged to a like “picture agency” a guy in Sweden has. He pointed it out to me that i’ve had “stolen” a pic from there without his permission. Now i had no idea that neither he or his agency existed thou when i looked it up it was clearly where the pic came from in the first place. He said it’s fine for this time but if i do it again…he would be compelled to act. I totally understand him and it was a “wake-up call”. He also said he found this little blog of mine intresting with intresting artists!

I like posting pictures showing the life and career of the artist i’m writing about but if i was to track down every photographer and ask for their permission to use a certain picture it would take a very long time and perhaps it could be very expensive as well. As the saying goes “better safe than sorry”! Anyway now you know that time to focus on today’s artist whom had some great successes in the ’70:s and ’80:s along with partner John Oates. Today’s artist is Daryl Hall of the duo Hall & Oates. He was born in Pottstown, a Pennsylvania borough located 40 miles (64 km) from Philadelphia. The music was there from the very beginning and especially singing since his father was a professional singer and his mother a vocal coach. While still being a student at the Oral J. Roberts he began recording. Later in college at Temple University, he majored in music, while still recording working as both as an artist and session musician  with the legendary songwriting duo Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff shortly known as Gamble & Huff.

In soul circuits these two gentlemen are in the same league as Lennon/McCartney or Jagger/Richards in pop/rock circuits however if you know your music history you know your songwriters. Back to Daryl whom during his first semester at Temple University in the fall of 1965 along with 4 white students formed the vocal harmony group Temptones. They were popular additions to the largely black Philly soul scene, defeating groups like The Ambassadors and The Delfonics in a contest at the Uptown Theatre. The Temptones recorded a handful of singles for Arctic Records, produced by Jimmy Bishop. While performing at the Uptown theatre, Hall formed creative affiliations with such artists as Smokey Robinson, The Temptations, and many other top soul singers of the 1960s. Then in 1967 he met his partner to be, John Oates, whom also studied at the same university. These two guys found eachother fast and it didn’t took long before they began playing together. Then Oates was transferred to another school but Daryl kept on playing never the less. He dropped out of college in 1968 and worked with a guy called Tim Moore in a short-lived rock band called Gulliver and released an album on Elektra Records in 1969.

Daryl began recording songs by other artists which led to a like “reunion” with John Oates and the duo signed a contract with Atlantic Records in the early 1970:s. They were signed by the founder of Atlantic Ahmet Ertegun and managed by Tommy Motola. The duo did 3 albums with Atlantic before they were dropped and promptly signed by RCA. This turned out to be a perfect match cause now the duo catapulted into international stardom. Between the mid ’70:s and mid ’80:s they scored 6 no. 1 singles on the Billboard Charts. It’s been said that the duo are the best selling duo of all time i can’t say for sure if this is true. John and Daryl never really quit their group despite dooing solo projects, charity projects or restoring old homes in both the UK and the U.S. as Daryl does. They were inducted to the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame in 2014. Daryl was closing act of the world wide broadcasted marathon concert from Wembley Stadium in London, UK and the John F Kennedy Stadium in Philly. On the Philly part Daryl was the last one to perform. This took place July 13 1985 and beeing a kid then it was big time wow moment! Later that year Daryl was featured on the song “We Are the World” by the supergroup USA for Africa. As the song implies it was benefit/charity project for the starvation in Etiophia at that time.

Daryl has been involved in dozens of musical prjocets and are still doing it including tv-shows or writing songs for others. Basically doing what he has always done! In Sweden we have a saying “cobbler stick to your last” meaning do what you do the best. As i mentioned Hall & Oates never really split up, their latest album came in 2006 called Home For Christmas. They are still touring and performing as Hall & Oates. Ok why did i pick Daryl for this edition, why not?! As a music nerd and grewing up during the ’80:s offcourse i’m familiar to the duo thou i’ve never really been listening to them. Some weeks ago while listening to the radio in the truck at work they played a song by Daryl called “I’m In a Philly Mood”. Never heard this song before but it got stuck immediately and is a great example of “Blue eyed soul”. This very track can be found on Daryl’s album Soul Alone from 1993.

Finally as always enjoy your listening!!

Tags: #worldofslickmusic #darylhall #johnoates #kennygamble #leonhuff #paulmccartney #johnlennon #mickjagger #keithrichards #temptones #theambassadors #thedelfonics #jimmybishop #smokeyrobinson #thetemptations #timmoore #gulliver #elektrarecords #atlanticrecords #ahmetertegun #tommymottola #rcarecords #usaforafrica