Tag: R&B

Why the Hell Should I Like… post-‘Thriller’ Michael Jackson?

Why the Hell Should I Like… post-‘Thriller’ Michael Jackson?

Music
“Why the hell should I like… ?” is an experiment of sorts between Popblerd and The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit. What we’re going to attempt to do is to pick 10 songs from our favorite artists — one for which the other has professed dislike or disinterest — and show them why they’re wrong. On June 25th, 2009, the world lost one of the greatest entertainers of all time -- Michael Jackson. Although recent history had not been kind to Michael, after his passing it seemed like a light switch went on in the collective mind of the American public and they began to view him with respect again. Because let's face it, despite his obvious issues, the man was a one-of-a-kind talent. A fantastic singer, a great dancer, a solid songwriter and producer, and, if you look over the current pop mu
Listening booth — The Crusaders live in Colchester, 1978

Listening booth — The Crusaders live in Colchester, 1978

Listening Booth, Music
Today marks the first time I'm making a live bootleg available on GFS, but I think it's worth the wait in this case. What we have here is a smooth, yet super-funky 1978 set by the Crusaders performing at North Essex Polytechnic in the United Kingdom. This show, the group's last on their supporting tour of the Images album, was broadcast by the BBC and that's what you'll hear today. By this point in the group's history, it had been eight years since they changed their name from the Jazz Crusaders. That much will be obvious on first listen, as these songs draw much more from the wells of funk and R&B than jazz. It's also a different sound than even the early Crusaders years showcased, as founding member and trombonist Wayne Henderson departed a few years prior to become a full-time pr...
Platters that matter: 20 albums that changed my life (#10—#1)

Platters that matter: 20 albums that changed my life (#10—#1)

Listcruft, Music
At long last, I present the conclusion of my list of 20 albums that have had the most impact on me and my love of music. For a brief refresher, you can check the back half of the top 20 here. But for your convenience, here's the list: #20 — Queen, The Game #19 — Seals & Crofts, Summer Breeze #18 — Kiss, Creatures of the Night #17 — Iron Maiden, The Number of the Beast #16 — Run-D.M.C., Raising Hell #15 — Kiss, Alive! #14 — Rush, A Farewell to Kings #13 — Miles Davis, Kind of Blue #12 — Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Pictures at an Exhibition #11 — various artists, Jazz Master Files OK, now that we're all caught up, let's finish this thing already. As a reminder, this is no particular order but I know people love countdowns so there you go. #10 — Genesis, Duke If Rus
Listening booth — Mary Wells, “Two Lovers”

Listening booth — Mary Wells, “Two Lovers”

Listening Booth, Music
Over at Popdose we're cooking up an exciting new project — a comprehensive overview of the famous Time-Life AM Gold series. Up first is the 1962 entry, which features a whopping 22 songs. One of the early standouts in our discussion seems to be "Two Lovers" by the late, great Mary Wells. It was written and produced by Smokey Robinson, who was well on his way to superstar status with Motown Records. A 17-year-old Wells signed with Berry Gordy's Motown in 1960 and had her biggest hit in 1964 with the immortal "My Guy." She scored one more Top 20 hit the same year and became the first Motown act to perform in the U.K. (opening for an obscure act called the Beatles). Label battles and health problems cut her career short, and she retired from the music business in 1974. She returned later i
2010 – The year in recorded musical performances

2010 – The year in recorded musical performances

Music
I really need to find a way to turn music listening into a paying, full-time gig.  Because that's the only way I could ever hope to have time to take in all the good (and not-so-good) music that comes out every year.  Life really was much simpler when I didn't even want to make time for anything that wasn't by Kiss, Rush, or Iron Maiden.  So instead of approaching this as a "Best Albums of 2010" or "Best Music of 2010" list, it's more of a "My Favorite Albums/Music of 2010 That I Had Time to Listen To" list.  These are the albums that moved me one way or another this year, although obviously this is not (and cannot be) an exhaustive list.  I'm sure lots of really swell records got left off, but that's why there are other year-end lists on the internet, right? #10. Kanye West, My Beautiful
Listening Booth – Johnny Cymbal, “Mr. Bass Man”

Listening Booth – Johnny Cymbal, “Mr. Bass Man”

Listening Booth
Here's an oldie but a goodie - from 1963, it's "Mr. Bass Man" by the late Johnny Cymbal.  I dare you to listen to this and not crack a smile. Told you so. The Bass Man in question is Ronnie Bright, an R&B/doo-wop singer who was in groups such as the Valentines, the Cadillacs, the Deep River Boys, and the Coasters.  But what I want to know is, is he the mystery man behind this vintage Ajax commercial?
Album review: Robert Glasper – Double Booked

Album review: Robert Glasper – Double Booked

Music
It is tempting and easy to interpret the meaning behind the track order and title of Robert Glasper's latest album, Double Booked, as being a presentation of the artist's two separate sides - jazz and hip hop/R&B.  Certainly, given that the first half of the record is billed to the Robert Glasper Trio while the second is credited to the Robert Glasper Experiment, that conclusion seems inescapable. But to look at it this way would be to miss the statement that Glasper has been making with his music since his 2003 recorded debut, Mood - jazz, R&B, and hip hop are not disparate elements to be combined or mixed by Glasper for mere novelty or effect; they are both integral and inseparable parts of his artistic vision. It's that vision, combined with his prodigious talent, that mak
Listening Booth – The Roots, “How I Got Over”

Listening Booth – The Roots, “How I Got Over”

Listening Booth, Music
This has been making the rounds for a few weeks, but I just heard it today.  It's the lead single and title track off the next Roots album, How I Got Over.  This has already been played on Jimmy Fallon's awful show, so I guess I'll have to find a clip. Nice.  The groove is undeniable, thanks in large part to ?uestlove always tasty drumming. That's Black Thought singing on a few verses, with better-than-expected results. I have no idea if this R&B style is the direction the new album will take, but I like it already.