Tag Archives: Tuneage

Musical palate cleanser, 2016 ain’t over yet edition

Greg Lake, RIP.

“I know people think we’re pretentious, but it’s really a product of sophistication,” Mr. Lake told New Musical Express in 1973. “To judge pretentiousness, I think you must look at the people behind it and their motives. As a band we’re into trying to advance our instruments — sometimes to a bizarre degree — which obviously puts some people off.”

I say this as someone who went through an ELP phase in high school — sorry, Greg, but you guys were pretentious.  Doesn’t mean I didn’t buy my share of King Crimson…

… and ELP albums, though.

The man did have some pipes.

Man, that whole progressive rock thing seems so long ago now.  Probably because it was.

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Musical palate cleanser, Good Gawd! edition

I don’t know about you, but I could use six minutes of James Brown dance moves this morning.

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Musical palate cleanser, he’s not dead edition

Good news!  Randy Newman is set to release his first album in about a decade sometime early next year.  That’s worth celebrating. Here’s a taste of what’s to come.

Here’s a video dedicated to a great world leader. I hope all of you like it. I know he will. —Randy Newman

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Musical palate cleanser, no mas edition

C’mon, 2016.  Enough’s enough.

Sharon Jones, the soul singer and powerful voice of the band the Dap-Kings, died on Friday of pancreatic cancer that had been in remission but returned last year. She was 60.

Ms. Jones’s death was confirmed by Judy Miller Silverman, her publicist. She said Ms. Jones was surrounded by members of the Dap-Kings and other loved ones when she died.

She continued performing throughout the summer, even while undergoing chemotherapy that she said caused neuropathy in her feet and legs and restricted her movements onstage. But Ms. Jones remained undeterred.

“Getting out on that stage, that’s my therapy,” Ms. Jones said in a New York Times interview published in July. “You have to look at life the way it is. No one knows how long I have. But I have the strength now, and I want to continue.”

The summer tour promoted “I’m Still Here,” a single with the Dap-Kings that detailed Ms. Jones’s birth in a brutally segregated South, a childhood in the burned-out Bronx, and a career hampered by record executives who considered her “too short, too fat, too black and too old.”

Ms. Jones was that rare music star who found fame in middle age, when she was in her 40s.

In addition to working as a correction officer at Rikers Island and an armed guard for Wells Fargo, Ms. Jones, who had grown up singing gospel in church choirs, initially dabbled in professional music as a session singer and the vocalist in a wedding band, Good N Plenty.

My favorite of hers, “100 Days, 100 Nights”:

Sigh.  This dying shit’s for the birds.

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Musical palate cleanser, fat daddy edition

A couple of folks in my tailgating group are absolutely obsessed with this song by a Washington, DC area drummer/singer named Joe Maher, so I though I’d share “Layin’ In The Alley” with you guys.  Enjoy a little jump blues this morning.

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Musical palate cleanser, 2016 just keeps trucking on edition

RIP, Mose Allison, The Who’s favorite jazz musician.

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Musical palate cleanser, 2016 keeps getting suckier edition

I really hate this year.

Leon Russell, the longhaired, scratchy-voiced pianist, guitarist, songwriter and bandleader who moved from playing countless recording sessions to making hits on his own, died on Saturday in Nashville, Tenn. He was 74.

His death was announced on his website, which said that he had died in his sleep but gave no specific cause.

If you don’t know much about Russell except for a couple of hits, his career was remarkable.

With a top hat on his head, hair well past his shoulders, a long beard, an Oklahoma drawl in his voice and his fingers splashing two-fisted barrelhouse piano chords, Mr. Russell cut a flamboyant figure in the early 1970s. He led Joe Cocker’s band Mad Dogs & Englishmen, appeared at George Harrison’s 1971 Concert for Bangladesh and had hits of his own, including “Tight Rope.” His songs also became hits for others, among them “Superstar” (written with Bonnie Bramlett) for the Carpenters, “Delta Lady” for Joe Cocker and “This Masquerade” for George Benson. More than 100 acts have recorded “A Song for You,” a song Mr. Russell said he wrote in 10 minutes.

By the time Mr. Russell released his first solo album in 1970, he had already played on hundreds of songs as one of the top studio musicians in Los Angeles. Mr. Russell was in Phil Spector’s Wall of Sound Orchestra, and he played sessions for Frank Sinatra, Sam Cooke, Aretha Franklin, the Ventures and the Monkees, among many others. He is heard on “Mr. Tambourine Man” by the Byrds, “A Taste of Honey” by Herb Alpert, “Live With Me” by the Rolling Stones and all of the Beach Boys’ early albums, including “Pet Sounds.”

My favorite performance of his was from the aforementioned Concert for Bangladesh, where he delivered a rollicking version of “Jumping Jack Flash/Youngblood”.

Vaya con Dios, my man.

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