Tag: .mp3

Sunday Jazz: Happy birthday Lester Young

Sunday Jazz: Happy birthday Lester Young

Music, Sunday Jazz
Yesterday was the 102nd birthday of saxophone immortal Lester "Pres/Prez" Young who was born in 1909 in Woodville, Mississippi. His contributions to jazz are immeasurable, and his story is typically tragic. Young was in the grip of alcoholism for the last years of his relatively brief life, and he died at the age of 49 on March 15, 1959. Prez's lyrical and relatively subdued sound is cited as a major influence of not only later players like Charlie Parker and Stan Getz, but of the entire Cool/West Coast Jazz sound. His pre-World War II recordings tend to have a little more fire in them, but there is plenty worth hearing from his late '40/early '50s period as well. The notion that Young's experience in the U.S. Army robbed him of his ability has by now been thoroughly debunked. The fi...
Listening Booth — Peter Gabriel at Rock Werchter, 1983

Listening Booth — Peter Gabriel at Rock Werchter, 1983

Listening Booth, Music
Another day, another listening booth, another great concert for your listening enjoyment. Today I offer up a recording of Peter Gabriel at the seventh annual Rock Werchter festival in Belgium. Gabriel took the stage on July 3 with four solo albums behind him, most recently 1982's Peter Gabriel (aka Security in America). Gabriel was already popular in his native Britain after his time as the lead singer of Genesis, but was just now on the verge of stardom in America thanks to the "Shock the Monkey" single. Remember, although everyone loves "Solsbury Hill" now it wasn't a hit when it was released in 1977. Gabriel and his band are in excellent form here, and the mixture of songs from the first four LPs is great. We even get a preview of "We Do What We're Told (Milgram's 37)," which wasn...
Listening booth — Amy Winehouse (Tränenpalast, Berlin, Germany 2004)

Listening booth — Amy Winehouse (Tränenpalast, Berlin, Germany 2004)

Listening Booth, Music
I'll cop to not being the biggest Amy Winehouse fan in the world, but there's no denying the incredible talent she possessed. That talent is on display during the concert I'm sharing with you today. This is from a July 29, 2011 broadcast on Deutschlandfunk, a German radio station. It captures Amy performing in support of her debut album, Frank, on September 28, 2004 at the Tränenpalast in Berlin, Germany. This is the Amy that fans will likely want to remember. Before the scandal, before the very public -- and ultimately losing -- battles with addiction, and before the days of mysteriously canceled shows and poor performances. Here, she's in great voice and hits a groove with her sterling backing band. (These are all in .mp3 format by the way. If you want to download the show in .F
Listening booth — Kiss at the Cow Palace, 1977

Listening booth — Kiss at the Cow Palace, 1977

Listening Booth, Music
As the Fourth of July approaches, I felt it only right to dedicate an edition of the Booth to one of my favorite all-American bands -- Kiss. This show captures the original foursome during a stop on their Love Gun tour, August 16 at the Cow Palace in San Francisco. Fans will note that this setlist is nearly identical to that found on Alive II. A few noticeable differences are the order of the songs and the fact that Peter Criss's "Hooligan" is in this set. Oh yeah, and this recording wasn't completely doctored and fabricated. I'd say that Kiss was still firing on all cylinders at this point, although history tells us that the end wasn't too far away. Although Alive II continued the band's hot streak later in 1977, they were just a year away from the commercial fiasco of the four solo al...
Album review roundup: The Zombies, Build, and the Cars

Album review roundup: The Zombies, Build, and the Cars

Music
The Zombies -- Breathe Out, Breathe In (Red House) Well this was surprisingly pleasant, although nowhere near the greatness of the original incarnation of the group. The opening title track is a dead ringer for latter day Steely Dan, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. But that's not really the Zombies that people are expecting to hear, is it? Still, it's clear that founding Zombies Colin Bluntstone and Rod Argent -- who receive featured billing status on Breathe Out, Breathe In -- still have plenty of songwriting gas left in the tank, as evidenced by strong songs like the prog-tinged rocker "Another Day," the delicate and melodic "Any Other Way," and the surprisingly effective and overtly religious "Christmas for the Free" -- the last of which comes damn close to recreating the vinta...
My favorite music: 1972

My favorite music: 1972

Music
If there's one thing the internet lacks, it's pointless music lists. So to fill that void, here's a sampling of my favorite albums from some random year. Let's say, 1972. Fleetwood Mac, Bare Trees -- Oh sure, I love Rumours as much as the next person. But there's something about this particular, pre-Buckingham/Nicks incarnation of the band that speaks to me. Bare Trees is a bit uneven in spots but I keep coming back to it just the same. That said, the original version of Bob Welch's "Sentimental Lady" found on this record is far superior to the 1977 hit single version. Steely Dan, Can't Buy a Thrill -- I don't care if Donald Fagen and Walter Becker want to disown this record, I love it and I know a ton of Dan fans love it. Like all classic Steely Dan records, the hits are only part o...
Sunday Jazz: Vintage Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie for Memorial Day

Sunday Jazz: Vintage Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie for Memorial Day

Music, Sunday Jazz
Memorial Day is upon is once again, and so for this edition of Sunday Jazz I'm offering up a pair of wartime-related jazz numbers. They're billed to Clyde Hart's All Stars and feature Hart on piano, but the true attractions were jazz immortals Charlie Parker on alto sax and Dizzy Gillespie on trumpet. Information on the recording sessions varies, but it seems that these tracks were laid down in New York City on January 4, 1945 -- just a few months before Hart's death from tuberculosis. They also feature Rubberlegs Williams on vocals. Listen carefully to his rather loopy performance, which sounds that way for a very strange reason. Seems Rubberlegs helped himself to some of Bird's coffee, which happened to be laced with Benzedrine. Yup, that explains a few things. So what's the Memori...
Sunday Jazz: Ron Carter’s “Empire Jazz”

Sunday Jazz: Ron Carter’s “Empire Jazz”

Music, Sunday Jazz
For most of my life I assumed that when it came to other musicians offering their take on John Williams' timeless scores for the Star Wars trilogy, the be all and end all was Meco's Star Wars and Other Galactic Funk. Who hasn't gotten down to the stone cold disco groove of "Star Wars Theme/Cantina Band" at least once in their life? But it turns out there is actually more sweet Star Wars tuneage from that era. Take, for example, this week's Sunday Jazz entry. It's five tracks of the swingin' space jazz courtesy of legendary bassist Ron Carter -- Empire Jazz. And dig that cover art! It was released in 1980 on the RSO Records label. RSO (home of the Bee Gees) also distributed the official soundtrack for The Empire Strikes Back, so this release seems like a natural progression. OK, maybe no...
Deep Cuts: Judas Priest

Deep Cuts: Judas Priest

Music
You don't even have to be a heavy metal fan to know who Judas Priest is. Over the past several decades, they've cemented their status as metal legends time and time again. This year marks the kickoff of the band's Epitaph World Tour, stated to be the last Judas Priest world tour ever. Who knows if that's really true (KISS, anyone?), but now seems as good a time as any to examine the band's lengthy discography and pick out a few hidden treasures. 1. "Burnin' Up" (Killing Machine/Hell Bent for Leather, 1978) -- By the late '70s the Priest had largely moved on from more complex song structures and the occasional foray into metal balladry. Few songs from this period typify the band's more streamlined approach than "Burnin' Up," a musically muscular and lyrically charged slice of metal. ...