Sunday, March 22, 2009

One of the funniest music videos I have ever seen, period.

My lack of love for smooth jazz is no secret, and fusion types (of which I am certainly one) are often the most brutal critics. The wonderful sax and EWI player Steve Tavaglione sent me a link to a YouTube video of Dave Koz "playing" John Coltrane. The poster's description reads as follows:

Refreshing sounds from Dave Koz from latest album, At the Movies. The bass player can play Ascension all on his own. Its amazing.

Since then I've laughed so hard, I'm in tears. Funny, funny stuff.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Emily Remler

Emily Remler was likely the best woman (yet) to ever play jazz guitar. She had a grace about playing, combined with effortless technique, that made her always a pleasure to listen to. Unfortunately, she also had a reported heroin addiction that led to her untimely death at only 32.

Emily Remler - How Insensitive

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Allan Holdsworth - Proto Cosmos

Guitarist Allan Holdsworth remains one of the most respected musicians among peers anywhere. Here's a tune he first began playing with drummer Tony Williams in the 1970's.

Allan Holdsworth - Proto Cosmos

Miles Davis - Hannibal

Miles Davis playing "Hannibal" on David Sanborn's "Night Music" in 1988.

Miles Davis - Hannibal

Michael Landau - Why U Lie

Michael Landau has been around for decades playing on zillions of studio tracks in Hollywood, touring with people like Joni Mitchell and James Taylor, and quietly building his own library of blues, rock and fusion songs. When he's in town, you can catch him in a variety of settings at Studio City's The Baked Potato including Hazey Jane (with wife Karen), the Jazz Ministry (with Greg Mathieson and Abraham Laboriel (Jr. and Sr. - book early) and this little "power trio" with Jimmy Johnson on bass and Gary Novak on drums. I shot this one night in September, 2007 with a new camera, and happened to catch one of the killer guitar performances you'll likely hear in some time. Great stuff.

Michael Landau - Why U Lie

The Stones Do Psychedelic

The Rolling Stones' effort at psychedelia was largley obscured, and forgotten, in the era of The Beatles' overwhelming success of Sgt. Pepper, etc. However, the track "2000 Light Years From Home" remains one of the most representive tunes to ever come of the period.

The Rolling Stones - 2000 Light Years From Home

The Best Working Fusion Band On The Planet

After seeing these guys off and on over the last two years, I'm now convinced the Scott Kinsey Group, in its various forms, is the best regularly working fusion band on the planet.

Kinsey, lead keyboardist for Tribal Tech, released his own solo CD, "Kinesthetics", in 2006 to generally rave reviews. And the CD doesn't really do justice to what these guys do live.

The group comes in two basic versions, one with guitarist Scott Henderson as the co-leader, the second with sax/EWI/flute master Steve Tavaglione. Jimmy Earl from The Jimmy Kimmel Show is on bass, with Gary Novak on drums. The parts change from time to time depending on who has other gigs going, but the bottom line is that these guys simply play their asses off, night after night, no matter who's there. The tune below, "2Fast", is called "2Hard" by Earl, who is tasked with playing a bass line at a tempo another bass virtuoso calls simply..."vicious".

Kinsey is poised as the only real heir apparent to Joe Zawinul, and is beginning to work a few classic Weather Report tunes into his repertoire. We can also only hope more of the Tribal Tech library is resurrected into this band. Regardless, a chance to hear these guys is one that should not be missed. Period.

Scott Kinsey Group - "2Fast" - At Joe Zawinul's Birdland, February 2006, with Matt Garrison on bass.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Eliane Elias - Samba Triste

Brazilian born pianist Eliane Elias is likely the best intereprter alive of Brazilian samba jazz, some of the most sensual music on earth. Here from the movie "Calle 54", with husband Marc Johnson on bass.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Joni Mitchell - Sex Kills

Here's a rare live performance of "Sex Kills" from 1994...

Tribal Tech - The Best Band You Never Heard In Your Life

Scott Henderson and Gary Willis formed Tribal Tech in the late 1980's while Henderson was being schooled in the bands of Chick Corea and Joe Zawinul. In 1991 the band came of age with the self-titled album "Tribal Tech". Fusion music was reborn, and along with Allan Holdsworth, Tribal Tech led the way to some of the best modern music ever recorded. This live track from 1993 features a rare line-up with Hilary Jones on drums, joined by the young keyboard virtuoso Scott Kinsey, who eventually became Henderson's twin collaborator. I took a well-known L.A. studio musician and producer to see Henderson and Kinsey at Hollywood's Baked Potato - his reaction to Henderson was "He's a motherf****!!! - where did these guys come from?!?" This tune, "The Precipice" features some of the most intense Henderson soloing ever recorded.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Christina Aguilera Sings A Standard - Song For You

Although it certainly didn't go unnoticed with a 2005 Grammy Nomination, Herbie Hancock's collaboration with Christina Aguilera on Leon Russell's "Song For You" showed off the incredible range and control Aguilera has in a way never seen before.

The song was only performed three times live, each time for a TV audience. While the Grammy night live performance went well over the top with Aguilera's vocal gymnastics, this earlier video from "The Tonight Show" shows what Aguilera can do with the right material and musicians. Herbie Hancock remains the greatest counterpoint pianist in the history of jazz, and his talent is on full display here in helping Aguilera find her way in a musical genre unknown to her prior.

Christina Aguilera & Herbie Hancock - Song For You

Animal Logic, Live on The Tonight Show, 1991

If you never heard of Animal Logic, you're not alone. This short-lived supergroup featuring Stewart Copeland of The Police, jazz virtuoso bassist Stanley Clarke, and singer-songwriter extraordinaire Deborah Holland graced the musical stage from 1987 to 1991.

After acheiving moderate success with their first CD in 1989, a second album in 1991 met with little notice, and the group disbanded shortly thereafter. The Tonight Show performance below from November 7, 1991 was their last. It gives a sample of just how good Animal Logic had become, yet the material from their second release was almost never played live. After hearing this, you'll wonder why.

Animal Logic on MySpace

Saturday, September 23, 2006

The Cheese Shop

John Cleese and Michael Palin...If you've heard of 20% of know more than me.

Wes Montgomery

The great Wes Montgomery....playing Round Midnight...

With A Little Help From My Friends...

Joe Cocker at Woodstock...

Joe Cocker
Uploaded by Hanvak

Lively Up Yourself

Bob Marley Live...he was great at messing with tempos to drive stuff live. From the 1977 concert at the Rainbow Theatre in London

The Great Buddy Rich

An incredible talent and maybe the best drummer I'll see in my lifetime....this is from a 1981 Sinatra Special...when he was no kid anymore.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Maybe the funniest seven minutes in the history of television

The Upper Class Twit of the Year

Last Year's Competitors:
Vivian Smith-Smythe-Smith
Has an O-level in chemo-hygiene

Simon Zinc-Trumpet-Harris
Married to a very attractive table lamp

Nigel Incubator Jones
Best friend is a tree
Stockbroker in his spare time

Gervaise Brook-Hampster
Used as a wastepaper basket by his father

Oliver St John-Mollusk
Said to be this year's outstanding twit

The Course:

-Walking Along The Straight Line
-The Matchbox Jump
-Kicking The Beggar
-The Hunt Ball Photograph
-Reversing Into The Old Lady
-Waking The Neighbour
-Insulting The Waiter
-The Bar
-Shooting The Rabbits
-Taking The Bras Off The Debutantes
-Shooting Themselves

This is the rare full version with all the events. Incredible announcing by John Cleese. If you don't laugh at this, you may never laugh.

George Benson & John McLaughlin

George doing the Miles Davis standard "All Blues"...I ran into George on a plane between Orlando and Phoenix about ten years ago, and we have talked on occasion since. A very smart businessman on top of being a great talent. Since people heard him do pop stuff like "Breezin", they often never knew what a great player he was. I also produced an interview with him in Orlando in the early 80's for a television program and the soundcheck video we shot was some of the hottest Benson I ever saw anywhere...was I think with a 17-piece band at the Tupperware Center in Kissimmee. Maybe it'll make it to the Web someday. The second part of this clip is John McLaughlin doing "In A Silent Way", another great Miles tune, with another Miles tune after with Dennis Chambers and Ray Cooper.

My Generation

The Who from The Smothers Brothers Show...good ole Tommy Smothers...this is where Keith overloaded the explosive charge at the end and about deafened Pete forever. His tinnuits started here...

The Who
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The Beatles - Nowhere Man

A 1966 recording from Munich, Germany...maybe the only live video in concert I've ever seen where they weren't being drowned out by hysterical screaming...

The beatles
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Higher Ground

Steviw Wonder doing "Higher Ground" from the German show Beat-Club. From maybe the best record to ever come out of Detroit - "Innervisions". I had the pleasure of meeting him one night in a small club in L.A. about ten years ago. An incredible talent.

What's Goin' On

Marvin Gave with a killer version of this tune on the Motown 25th Anniversary Special with a great narrative from Gaye. I bought this video years ago largely to get this tune...but there is certainly a lot of other great stuff on the video.

The Meek Shall Inherit Nothing

Frank Zappa doing this tune on Saturday Night obvious favorite for personal

Frank Zappa - The Meek Shall Inherit Nothing

Zappa Does Stairway

Frank playing that totally overused "Stairway To Heaven", a song no one will ever know the meaning of short of Robert Plant or whoever wrote it. Note the interesting horn section choreography. I believe this was recorded in Cleveland. Enjoy.