Monday, September 28, 2009

Give The Drummer Some

Having grown up in a musical family who listened to Jazz, Funk, Soul, Reggae, and many other genres, i've heard plenty of pioneering artists and the best that music had to offer in the 20th century. Many regard that time as the greatest period in history for the arts. During this period we have seen the origins of many genres that housed many well noted legends in vocal and instrumental categories. In this post, I am paying homage to a few of the greatest drummers in traditional African rhythms, Soul, Funk, Jazz, Latin, & Rock, from Africa, the U.S., and Latin countries.

The title of this post stems from a phrase James Brown is known to have said on one of his records (which led to the song being titled) to let the band know to give a "break" for his drummer Clyde Stubblefield, who is known as The Funky Drummer...

Clyde Stubblefield

Known largely for working with James Brown. His drum groove on James Brown's "Funky Drummer" may be the world's most sampled record. Other works by James Brown that Stubblefield played on include: "Cold Sweat", "There Was A Time", "I Got The Feelin'", "Say It Loud - I'm Black and I'm Proud", "Ain't It Funky Now", "Mother Popcorn", the album Sex Machine, and the remix of "Give It Up, or Turnit Loose" on In The Jungle Groove.

Max Roach

A pioneer of bebop and an one of the inventors the hard bop style of drumming, he has worked with many of the greatest jazz musicians, including Coleman Hawkins, Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus, Sonny Rollins and Clifford Brown.

Roach's most significant innovations came in the 1940s, when he and jazz drummer Kenny Clarke devised a new concept of musical time. By playing the beat-by-beat pulse of standard 4/4 time on the "ride" cymbal instead of on the thudding bass drum, Roach and Clarke developed a flexible, flowing rhythmic pattern that allowed soloists to play freely. The new approach also left space for the drummer to insert dramatic accents on the snare drum, "crash" cymbal and other components of the trap set.

By matching his rhythmic attack with a tune's melody, Roach brought a newfound subtlety of expression to his instrument. He often shifted the dynamic emphasis from one part of his drum kit to another within a single phrase, creating a sense of tonal color and rhythmic surprise. The idea was to shatter musical conventions and take full advantage of the drummer's unique position. "In no other society", Roach once observed, "do they have one person play with all four limbs."

Kenny Clarke

An early innovator of the bebop style of drumming, as well as an inventor of the hard bop style of drumming. As the house drummer at Minton's Playhouse in the early 1940s, he participated in the after hours jams that led to the birth of Be-Bop, which in turn led to modern jazz. While in New York, he played with the major innovators of the emerging bop style, Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonious Monk, Curly Russell and others, as well as musicians of the prior generation, including Sidney Bechet.

In the 1930s, while working in the bands of Edgar Hayes and Roy Eldridge, Clarke began experimenting with moving the time-keeping role from the combination of snare drum or hi-hat and bass drum to embellished quarter notes on the ride cymbal- the familiar "ding-ding-da-ding" pattern, which Clarke is often credited with inventing.

Art Blakey

Along with Kenny Clarke and Max Roach, he was one of the inventors of the modern bebop style of drumming. He is known as a powerful musician and a vital groover; his brand of bluesy, funky hard bop was (and remains) profoundly influential on mainstream Jazz. For more than 30 years his band the Jazz Messengers included many young musicians who went on to become prominent names in jazz.

From his earliest recording sessions with Eckstine, and particularly in his historic sessions with Monk in 1947, Blakey exuded power and originality, creating a dark cymbal sound punctuated by frequent loud snare- and bass-drum accents in triplets or cross-rhythms. Although Blakey discouraged comparison of his own music with African drumming, he adopted several African devices after his visit in 1948–9, including rapping on the side of the drum and using his elbow on the tom-tom to alter the pitch. His much-imitated trademark, the forceful closing of the hi-hat on every second and fourth beat, was part of his style from 1950–51.

Art Blakey appeared on an episode of The Cosby Show.

Mongo Santamaria

Afro-Cuban Latin-Jazz percussionist is famous for composing the Jazz standard "Afro Blue" and was an integral figure in the fusion of Afro-Cuban rhythms with R&B and Soul, paving the way for the "boogaloo" era of the late 1960s. His 1963 hit rendition of Herbie Hancock's "Watermelon Man" was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1998.

Carlos "Patato" Valdes

He invented and patented the tunable conga drum (earlier drums had nailed heads) which revolutionized use of the instrument. For over 60 years Carlos "Patato" Valdez demonstrated how a musician could combine technical skill with superb showmanship. His conga playing demonstrated the fusing of melody and rhythm, and his keen understanding of rhythm is rooted in dancing. Patato even mastered the art of actually dancing ON TOP of his congas during his performances, to the delight of the audience.

Patato has recorded and toured with Tito Puente', Miguelito Valdes, Perez Prado, Beny More, 'Cachao' Lopez, Machito, Herbie Mann, Kenny Dorham, Cal Tjader, Art Blakey, Elvin Jones, Dizzy Gillespie, Quincy Jones, and Mario Bauza. Patato acted in and composed the title song of the Bill Cosby Show.

Willie Bobo

Made his name in Latin Jazz, specifically Afro-Cuban Jazz, in the 1960s and '70s, with the timbales becoming his favoured instrument. He met Mongo Santamaria shortly after his arrival in New York and studied with him while acting as his translator, and later at age 19 joined Tito Puente for four years.

His first major exposure was when he joined George Shearing's band on the album The Shearing Spell. After leaving Shearing, Cal Tjader asked Bobo and Santamaria to become part of the Cal Tjader Modern Mambo Quintet, who released several albums as the mambo craze reached fever pitch in the late '50s. Reuniting with his mentor Santamaria in 1960, the pair released the album Sabroso! for the Fantasy label. After the runaway success of Tjader's Soul Sauce, in which he was heavily involved, Bobo formed a new band with the backing of Verve Records, releasing Spanish Grease, of which the title track is probably his most well known tune. Highly successful at this attempt, Bobo released a further seven albums with Verve.

Billy Cobham

Acclaimed as one of Jazz fusion's greatest drummers and regarded as one of the best drummers in the world, Cobham is one of the first drummers to play open handed lead: a drummer that can lead (or ride) with either hand and begin or end a beat or fill with either hand (most drummers lead with 1 hand). He was also one of the first drummers to play with 3 or more snare and/or bass drums and multiple hi-hats.

He has worked with trumpeter Miles Davis, pianists Herbie Hancock and Horace Silver, also playing or recording with saxophonist Stanley Turrentine, organist Shirley Scott, and guitarist George Benson. In 1971, with fellow Davis alumnus guitarist John McLaughlin, Cobham co-founded Mahavishnu Orchestra, a definitive jazz fusion ensemble.

Tito Puente

Puente is often credited as "El Rey" (the King) of the timbales and "The King of Latin Music". He is best known for dance-oriented mambo and Latin jazz compositions that helped keep his career going for 50 years. He and his music appear in many films such as The Mambo Kings and Fernando Trueba's Calle 54. He guest starred on several television shows including The Cosby Show and The Simpsons.

Tony Allen

As drummer and musical director of Fela Anikulapo Kuti’s band Africa 70 from 1968 to 1979, Tony Allen was one of the primary co-founders of the genre of Afrobeat music. Fela once stated that, "without Tony Allen, there would be no Afrobeat."

A self-taught musician, Allen began to play drum-kit at the age of eighteen, while working as an engineer for a Nigerian radio station. Allen was influenced by music his father listened to (Juju, traditional Yoruba ceremonial music), but also American jazz, & the growing highlife scene in Nigeria and Ghana. Allen worked hard to develop a unique voice on the drums- feverishly studying LP's & magazine articles by Max Roach & Art Blakey, but also revolutionary Ghanaian drummer Guy Warren (now Kofi Ghanaba-who developed a highly sought sound that mixed tribal Ghanaian drumming with bop- working with Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk, and Max Roach).

In 1964, Fela Ransome Kuti invited Allen to audition for a jazz-highlife band he was forming. Kuti and Allen had played together as sidemen in the Lagos circuit. Fela complimented Allen’s unique sound: "How come you are the only guy in Nigeria who plays like this - jazz and highlife?" Thus Allen became an original member of Kuti’s "Koola Lobitos" highlife-jazz band.

In 1969, following a turbulent and educational trip to the U.S., Fela and the newly renamed Africa ’70 band developed a new militant African sound- mixing the heavy groove and universal appeal of James Brown’s soul with jazz, highlife, and the polyrhythmic template of Yoruba conventions. Allen developed a novel style to compliment Fela’s new African groove that blended these disparate genres.

Post-Fela, Allen developed a hybrid sound, deconstructing & fusing Afrobeat with electronica, dub, R&B, and rap. Allen refers to this synthesis as afrofunk.

Guy Warren or Kofi Ghanaba

a Ghanaian musician, best known as the inventor of Afro-jazz and as a member of The Tempos. He worked with leading jazz musicians such as Max Roach, Thelonious Monk, Lester Young and Charlie Parker.

He is also known by the honorary title Odomankoma Kyrema, meaning the Divine Drummer. Max Roach called him far more advanced than anyone of the time.

Babatunde Olatunji

Nigerian drummer, educator, social activist and recording artist, Olatunji was introduced to traditional African music and drumming at an early age. In the 1950s, while attending New York University to study public administration, he started a small percussion group to earn money on the side while he continued his studies.

Olatunji won a following among jazz musicians, notably creating a strong relationship with John Coltrane and Columbia Records A&R man John Hammond who signed him to the Columbia label in 1957. With Coltrane's help, he founded the Olatunji Center for African Culture in Harlem. In 1959 Olatunji released his first of six records on the Columbia label, called Drums of Passion. In 1969, Carlos Santana had a major hit with his cover version of this first album's "Jin-go-lo-ba," which Santana recorded on his debut album, Santana, as "Jingo." Olatunji favoured a big percussion sound, and his records typically featured more than 20 players, unusual for a percussion based ensemble. Drums of Passion became a major hit and remains in print; it introduced many Americans to world music. Drums of Passion also served as the band's name. Notable band members included; Clark Terry, Bill Lee, Horace Silver, Yusef Lateef, Sikiru Adepoju and Charles Lloyd, among others.

Olatunji recorded with many other prominent musicians, including Cannonball Adderley (on his African Waltz album), Horace Silver, Quincy Jones, Pee Wee Ellis, Stevie Wonder, Randy Weston, and with Max Roach and Abbey Lincoln on the pivotal Freedom Now Suite aka We Insist, and with Grateful Dead member Mickey Hart on his Grammy winning Planet Drum projects. Olatunji composed music for the Broadway theatrical and Hollywood film productions of Raisin in the Sun. He assisted Bill Lee with the music for his son Spike Lee's hit film She's Gotta Have It.

Buddy Miles

George "Buddy" Miles was known as a child prodigy, originally playing drums in his father, George Miles, Sr.'s, jazz band, The Bebops, beginning at age 12. Miles Sr. had played upright bass with Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Charlie Parker and Dexter Gordon.

Miles was most known as a member of Jimi Hendrix's Band of Gypsys from 1969 through to January 1970.

Rashied Ali

A free jazz and avant-garde jazz drummer best known for playing with John Coltrane in the last years of Coltrane's life. He has also recorded or performed with Pharoah Sanders, Alice Coltrane, Arthur Rhames, James Blood Ulmer and many others. Among his credits are the last recorded work of John Coltrane's life (The Olatunji Concert) and Interstellar Space, an album of duets with Coltrane recorded earlier in 1967. Ali "became important in stimulating the most avant-garde kinds of jazz activities".

Idris Muhammad

He is known for his funky playing style, has released a number of albums as leader, and has played with a number of jazz legends including Lou Donaldson, Johnny Griffin, Pharoah Sanders and Grover Washington, Jr. He has been touring and recording with pianist Ahmad Jamal since 1995. At 15 years-old, one of Muhammad's earliest recorded sessions as a drummer was on Fats Domino's 1956 smash hit "Blueberry Hill".

Elvin Jones

One of the great jazz drummers of the post-bop era who was a member of the John Coltrane quartet, a celebrated recording phase, appearing on such albums as A Love Supreme. Following his work with John Coltrane, Jones led several small groups, some under the name The Elvin Jones Jazz Machine. He recorded with both of his brothers during his career, jazz musicians Hank Jones and Thad Jones.

Elvin began his professional career in 1949 with a short-lived gig in Detroit's Grand River Street club. Eventually he went on to play with artists such as Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, and Wardell Gray. In 1955, after a failed audition for the Benny Goodman band, he found work in New York, joining Charles Mingus's band, and releasing a record called J is for Jazz.

In 1960, he joined with the classic John Coltrane Quartet, which also included bassist Jimmy Garrison and pianist McCoy Tyner. Jones and Coltrane often played extended duet passages, both giving and taking energy through their instruments. This band is widely considered to have redefined "swing" (the rhythmic feel of jazz) in much the same way that Louis Armstrong, Charlie Parker, and others did during earlier stages of jazz's development. Elvin Jones' sense of timing, polyrhythms, dynamics, timbre, and legato phrasing - as well as the sheer mass of sound he produced - brought the drumset to the foreground. Jones was touted by Life Magazine as "the world's greatest rhythmic drummer", and his free-flowing style was a major influence on many leading rock drummers.

Papa Ladji Camara

He was born June 15, 1923, in Norassoba, Guinea, West Africa. Papa's fate was revealed to his parents by his maternal grandfather before he ever entered this world. His grandfather said that through the great sacrifices his family will have to endure, this third child would become one of the greatest drummers this world would ever know. His gift will take him from his native Guinea to Mali, Senegal, Europe, and America and in fact, throughout the world.

Ladji is known mostly for his work with various African dance companies, mainly Les Ballet Africans. Amongst his multiple performances around the world, he has also performed with the likes of dancer/choreographer Katherine Dunham, Babatunde Olatunji, Yusef Lateef, Mongo Santamaria, Nina Simone, Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers, and Alvin Ailey.

After going thru more music, I had to add more to this post.

Papa Jo Jones

I had to ask myself, "how could you forget to post one of the most influential drummers in the history of Jazz?" If you took a peek at the video clip, you should see why Papa Jo was well deserving of that title. Excellent showmanship, technique, precision, and his smooth transitions with polyrhythms, and not forgetting how he also changes it up by playing without his drum sticks, then goes back to playing with them flawlessly.

Jones worked as a drummer and tap-dancer at carnival shows until joining Walter Page's band, the Blue Devils in Oklahoma City in the late 1920s. He recorded with trumpeter Lloyd Hunter's Serenaders in 1931, and later joined pianist Count Basie's band in 1933. Jones, Basie, guitarist Freddie Green and bassist Walter Page are one of the more important rhythm sections in jazz.

He was one of the first drummers to promote the use of brushes on drums and shifting the role of timekeeping from the bass drum to the hi-hat cymbal. Jones is regarded as the premier jazz drummer of the Swing era, and the transitional figure between classic and modern jazz drumming. In contrast to big band drummer Gene Krupa's loud, insistent pounding of the bass drum on each beat, Jones often omitted bass drum playing altogether. Jones also continued a ride rhythm on high-hat while it was continuously opening and closing instead of the common practice of striking it while it was closed. Jones's style influenced the modern jazz drummer's tendency to play timekeeping rhythms on a suspended cymbal that is now known as the ride cymbal.

He had an incalculable influence on major drummers such as Buddy Rich, Kenny Clarke, Roy Haynes, Max Roach, and Louie Bellson. Jones performed regularly in later years at the West End Jazz Club at 116th and Broadway in New York City. These performances were generally very well attended by other drummers such as Max Roach and Roy Haynes, coming to pay court to an influential master.

Roy Haynes

Haynes is one of the most recorded drummers in jazz and in his over 60-year career has played in a wide range of styles ranging from swing and bebop to jazz fusion and avant-garde jazz. He has a highly expressive, personal style ("Snap Crackle" was a nickname given him in the 1950s) and is known to foster a deep engagement in his bandmates.

Haynes began his full time professional career in 1945. From 1947 to 1949 he worked with saxophonist Lester Young, and from 1949 to 1952 was a member of saxophonist Charlie Parker's quintet. He also recorded at the time with pianist Bud Powell and saxophonists Wardell Gray, and Stan Getz. From 1953 to 1958 he toured with singer Sarah Vaughan. Haynes went on to work with more experimental musicians, like saxophonists John Coltrane and Eric Dolphy, or pianists Chick Corea and Andrew Hill.

Haynes has recorded or performed with Gary Burton, Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Henry Grimes, Christian McBride, Jackie McLean, Chick Corea, Pat Metheny, Thelonious Monk, Gerry Mulligan, Art Pepper, Sonny Rollins, Horace Tapscott and many others. He has also led his own groups, some performing under the name Hip Ensemble. His most recent recordings as a leader are Fountain of Youth and Whereas, both of which have been nominated for a Grammy Award. He continues to perform worldwide.

Philly Joe Jones

Known as the drummer for the Miles Davis Quintet. Davis also described Jones' style of playing as "that Philly Joe lick". In 1947 he became the house drummer at Café Society in New York City, where he played with the leading bebop players of the day. The most important influence on Jones among them was Tadd Dameron.

Jones then toured and recorded with Miles Davis Quintet from 1955 to 1957 — a band that became known as "The Quintet", and is regarded by many as one of the greatest groups in the history of jazz. From 1958 onwards he worked as a leader, but continued to work as a sideman with other musicians, including Bill Evans and Hank Mobley. Miles acknowledged Jones as his favorite drummer, while Evans openly admitted Jones as being his all-time favorite drummer.

Narada Michael Walden

With a music career spanning more than three decades, Walden got a huge boost by playing with John McLaughlin's Mahavishnu Orchestra, after replacing Billy Cobham. He has a signature drum pattern known by other drummers as the "10 note drum lick/fill", which is a combination of bass kicks, snare taps, and toms in a specific pattern.

Along with his skills as a session drummer, Walden is also a gifted songwriter, producer, and vocalist. Billboard Magazine lists him as one of the Top 10 Producers of All Time. This multi-Grammy Award winning and Emmy Award winning artist has written and/or produced for Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Ray Charles, Diana Ross, George Michael, Sting, Wild Orchid, Tevin Campbell, Angela Bofill, Steve Winwood, Regina Belle, Andy Vargas, Debelah Morgan, Jermaine Stewart, and many more, leading to him becoming a multi-platinum selling artist on various projects.

Walden also adds to his resume by working on the soundtracks The Bodyguard and Stuart Little, as well as the Emmy Award winning theme for the 1988 Olympics, "One Moment In Time".

Happy Birthday: Ben E. King

Soul singer/song-writer Ben E. King, born Benjamin Earl Nelson in Henderson, North Carolina on Sept.28, 1938, later relocated to Harlem, NYC with his family at the age of nine. He got his music career started in 1958 with a doo-wop group called The Five Crowns, who would later replace the orignal members of The Drifters after their manager fired all of the members. Nelson co-wrote the first hit by the new version of The Drifters, "There Goes My Baby" (1959). He also sang lead, using his birth name, on "Save the Last Dance for Me", a song written by Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman, "Dance With Me", "This Magic Moment", "I Count the Tears" and "Lonely Winds". King only recorded ten songs with The Drifters, including a non-single called "Temptation" which was later redone by Johnny Moore.

In 1960, he left the Drifters after failing to gain a salary increase and what he felt to be a fairer share of the group's royalties. At this point he assumed the more memorable stage name Ben E. King in preparation for a successful solo career. Remaining on Atlantic Records, King scored his first solo hit with the ballad "Spanish Harlem" (1961). "Stand by Me" was his next recording. Written by King, Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, "Stand by Me" was voted one of the Songs of the Century by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). "Stand by Me", "There Goes My Baby" and "Spanish Harlem" were named as three of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll and were all given a Grammy Hall of Fame Award, as well as "Save The Last Dance For Me". His other well known songs were "Don't Play That Song (You Lied)" (which was covered by Aretha Franklin in the 1970s), "Amor", "Seven Letters", "How Can I Forget", "On the Horizon", "Young Boy Blues", "I (Who Have Nothing)", "First Taste of Love", "Here Comes the Night", "Ecstasy", That's When It Hurts , Down Home , River of Tears , Do It in the Name of Love , and It's All Over .

In the summer of 1963, King had a top 30 national hit with "I (Who Have Nothing)", a song that reached the Top 10 on New York's radio station, WMCA. The song has been covered many times, notably by Luther Vandross & Martha Wash, John Lennon, Shirley Bassey, Tom Jones, Sylvester James, U2, Bruce Springsteen, Jedi Mind Tricks, and most recently by American Idol contestant Jordin Sparks, during the March 20, 2007 and May 15, 2007 telecasts. King's records continued to place well on the Billboard Hot 100 chart until 1965. British pop bands began to dominate the pop music scene, but King still continued to make R&B hits and minor Pop hits. King's other hits were "What is Soul?" (1967), "Supernatural Thing, Part 1" (1975), and the re-issue in 1986 of "Stand by Me", following the song's use as the theme music to Stand By Me movie.

Throughout his career he has achieved five number one hits, which were "There Goes My Baby", "Save The Last Dance For Me", "Stand By Me", "Supernatural Thing", and the 1986 re-issue of "Stand By Me". He also earned twelve Top 10 hits and Twenty four Top 40 hits, from 1959 to 1986. He has also been inducted to the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame as a Drifters member and nominated for his career as a solo artist but not yet accepted.

Currently, King is active in his charitable foundation, the Stand By Me Foundation. He has been a resident of Teaneck, New Jersey since the late 1960s.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Happy Belated: Jelly Roll Morton, Ray Charles, & John Coltrane

Things have been pretty busy for me lately as I work to make a better life for myself and further my career in music. As the saying goes, "better late than never", but on this note, please forgive my tardiness. These are talented and pioneering figures who will always deserve full honor for their contributions to the world of music.

Pianist Jelly Roll Morton, born Ferdinand Joseph LaMothe in New Orleans, La. on Sept. 20, 1885 (although there is a baptismal certificate issued in 1894 lists his date of birth as October 20, 1890) was credited as being the first serious Jazz composer, however in 1902, Morton outright claimed he invented Jazz.

Widely recognized as a pivotal figure in early Jazz, Morton's talents also included arranger, bandleader, and Vaudeville comedian. Around 1904 Morton started touring the American south with minstrel shows and composed several tunes. By 1910, Morton got to Chicago, and to New York City in 1911, where future stride greats James P. Johnson and Willie "The Lion" Smith caught his act, years before the blues were widely played in the North.

By 1914 he had started writing down his compositions, and in 1915 his "Jelly Roll Blues" was arguably the first jazz composition ever published. Morton went on to compose other Ragtime (or "rags"), Jazz, & Jazz-Blues tunes like "Wolverine Blues","Black Bottom Stomp","Buddy Boldens Blues", and "Tiger Rag" (a tune that imitated the sound of a tiger's roar).

Morton moved back to Chicago in 1923 where he published a series of piano rolls and later on records. In 1926, Morton succeeded in getting a contract to make recordings for Victor Records. This gave him a chance to bring a well-rehearsed band to play his arrangements in Victor's Chicago recording studios. These recordings by Jelly Roll Morton & His Red Hot Peppers are regarded as classics of 1920s jazz. The Red Hot Peppers featured such other New Orleans jazz luminaries as Kid Ory, Omer Simeon, George Mitchell, Johnny St. Cyr, Barney Bigard, Johnny Dodds, and Baby Dodds. Jelly Roll Morton & His Red Hot Peppers were one of the first acts booked on tours by MCA.

In November 1928, Morton got married to Mabel Bertrand and moved to New York City, where he continued to record for Victor. With the Great Depression and the near collapse of the phonograph record industry in 1931, Morton's recording contract was not renewed by Victor. He continued playing in New York, briefly had a radio show in 1934, then was reduced to touring in the band of a traveling burlesque act while his compositions were recorded by Fletcher Henderson, Benny Goodman and others, though he received no royalties from these recordings.

In 1935 moved to Washington D.C. and would become manager and piano player of a local nightclub called at various times the "Blue Moon Inn", "Jungle Inn", and "Music Box". Morton was also the master of ceremonies, bouncer, and bartender of the club. He was only in Washington for a few years, however it was during his brief residency at the Music Box that folklorist Alan Lomax first heard Morton playing piano in the bar. In May 1938, Lomax invited Morton to record music and interviews for the Library of Congress. The sessions, originally intended as a short interview with musical examples for use by music researchers in the Library of Congress, soon expanded to record more than eight hours of Morton talking and playing piano. Despite the low fidelity of these non-commercial recordings, their musical and historical importance attracted jazz fans, and they have helped to ensure Morton's place in jazz history. These interviews, released in various forms over the years, were released on an eight-CD boxed set in 2005, The Complete Library of Congress Recordings. This collection won two Grammy Awards. The same year, Morton was honored with the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

Jelly Roll Morton died on July 10, 1941 in Los Angeles, aged 51 or 56.

Jazz saxophonist and composer John William "Trane" Coltrane born in Hamlet, North Carolina on September 23, 1926, and grew up in High Point NC. In June 1943 he moved to Philadelphia PA, enlisted in the Navy in 1945, and played in the Navy jazz band once he was stationed in Hawaii. Coltrane returned to civilian life in 1946 and began jazz theory studies with Philadelphia guitarist and composer Dennis Sandole, which he continued his studies with him until the early 1950s. Originally an altoist, during this time Coltrane also began playing tenor saxophone with the Eddie Vinson Band. Coltrane later referred to this point in his life as a time when "a wider area of listening opened up for me. There were many things that people like Hawk, and Ben, and Tab Smith were doing in the '40s that I didn't understand, but that I felt emotionally."

An important moment in Coltrane's musical development occurred on June 5, 1945, when he saw Charlie Parker perform for the first time. He would later recall that moment by saying: "the first time I heard Bird play, it hit me right between the eyes." Parker became an early idol to Coltrane, and they played together on occasion in the late 1940s. Although there are recordings of Coltrane from as early as 1945, his peers at the time did not recognize 'genius' in the young musician, though he was a member of groups led by Dizzy Gillespie, Earl Bostic and Johnny Hodges in the early- to mid-1950s.

Coltrane was freelancing in Philadelphia in the summer of 1955 while studying with guitarist Dennis Sandole when he received a call from trumpeter Miles Davis. Davis, whose success during the late forties had been followed by several years of decline in activity and reputation, due in part to his struggles with heroin addiction, was again active, and was about to form a quintet. Coltrane was with this edition of the Davis band (known as the "First Great Quintet" to distinguish it from Davis's later group with Wayne Shorter) from October 1955 through April 1957 (with a few absences), a period during which Davis released several influential recordings which revealed the first signs of Coltrane's growing ability. This classic First Quintet, best represented by two marathon recording sessions for Prestige in 1956 that resulted in the albums issued as Cookin', Relaxin', Workin', and Steamin', some of the most treasured titles in Davis's early discography, disbanded in mid April.

During the later part of 1957 Coltrane worked with Thelonious Monk at New York’s Five Spot, a legendary jazz club, and played in Monk's quartet (July-December 1957), but owing to contractual conflicts took part in only one official studio recording session with this group. A private recording made by Juanita Naima Coltrane Live at the Five Spot-Discovery! of a 1958 reunion of the group was issued by Blue Note Records in 1993. Blue Train, Coltrane's sole date as leader for Blue Note Records, featuring trumpeter Lee Morgan, bassist Paul Chambers, and trombonist Curtis Fuller, is often considered his best album from this period. Four of its five tracks are original Coltrane compositions, and several of them, notably the title track, "Moment's Notice" and "Lazy Bird", have become standards. Both tunes employed the first examples of Coltrane's chord substitution cycles known as Coltrane changes.

Coltrane rejoined Miles Davis in his group in January 1958, by then was a sextet. He stayed with Davis until April 1960, working with alto saxophonist Cannonball Adderley; pianists Red Garland, Bill Evans, and Wynton Kelly; bassist Paul Chambers; and drummers Philly Joe Jones and Jimmy Cobb. During this time he participated in Davis' sessions Milestones and Kind of Blue, and the live recordings, Miles & Monk at Newport and Jazz at the Plaza.

Coltrane formed his first group, a quartet, in 1960 for an appearance at the Jazz Gallery in New York City. After moving through different personnel including Steve Kuhn, Pete La Roca, and Billy Higgins, the lineup stabilized in the fall with pianist McCoy Tyner, bassist Steve Davis, and drummer Elvin Jones. Also recorded in the same sessions were the later released albums Coltrane's Sound and Coltrane Plays the Blues. Still with Atlantic Records, for whom he had recorded Giant Steps, his first record with his new group was also his debut playing the soprano saxophone, the hugely successful My Favorite Things.

Before completing his contract with Atlantic Records, Coltrane recorded Ole' Coltrane. Coltrane would later go on to record more albums on the newly found Impulse! Records with whom he would record with the "Classic Quartet". By late 1961 while having residency at the Village Vanguard, Coltranes music took a new direction. Both critics and other musicians were divided over his "new thing" and would call his new direction "Anti-Jazz".

After a few changes with the "Classic Quartet" staff in 1962, and more changes in his musical style, John Coltrane's Classic Quartet produced their most famous record titled A Love Supreme. In later years, his compositions would continue to progress in styles, notably into "Free Jazz" and "Avant-Guarde", as well as the players and influences of his music.

Working in the bebop and hard bop idioms early in his career, Coltrane helped pioneer the use of modes in jazz and later was at the forefront of free jazz. As his career progressed, Coltrane's music took on an increasingly spiritual dimension. His second wife was pianist Alice Coltrane, and their son Ravi Coltrane is also a saxophonist. He influenced innumerable musicians, and remains one of the most significant tenor saxophonists in jazz history. He received many awards, among them a posthumous Special Citation from the Pulitzer Prize Board in 2007 for his "masterful improvisation, supreme musicianship and iconic centrality to the history of jazz."

John Coltrane died July 17, 1967 in Long Island, NY of liver cancer at the age of 40.

Ray Charles Robinson born on Sept. 23, 1930 in Albany, GA, known by his stage name Ray Charles, was a singer-songwriter, bandleader, pianist, and played the alto sax. When he was an infant, his family would move to a poor section of Greenville, Fl. Charles started to lose his sight at the age of five, but went completely blind by the age of seven. He attended school at the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind in St. Augustine, Florida from 1937-1945 where he developed his musical gift that he is known and remembered for today.

In school, Charles was taught only classical music, but he wanted to play what he heard on the radio, jazz and blues. While at school, he became the school's premiere musician. On Fridays, the South Campus Literary Society held assemblies where Charles would play piano and sang popular songs. On Halloween and Washington's birthday the Colored Department of the school had socials where Charles would play. It was here he established "RC Robinson and the Shop Boys" and sang his own arrangement, Jingle Bell Boogie.

Later, Charles would move to Tallahassee, Fl, in which he saw the city as musically exciting and sat in with the Florida A&M University student band. He played with Nat Adderley and Julian 'Cannonball' Adderley and began playing gigs with Lawyer Smith and his Band in 1943 at the Red Bird Club and DeLuxe Clubs in Frenchtown and roadhouses around Tallahassee as well as the Governor's Ball.

After his mother died in 1945, Charles did not return to school. He lived in Jacksonville with a couple who were friends of his mother. For over a year, he played the piano for bands at the Ritz Theatre in LaVilla, earning $4 a night. Charles moved to Orlando, then Tampa, where he played with a southern band called "The Florida Playboys". This is where Charles began his reputation of always wearing sunglasses that were made by designer Billy Stickles.[12]

Charles had always played for other people, but he wanted a band that was his own. He decided to leave Florida for a large city, but Chicago and New York City were too big. He moved to Seattle in 1947 and soon started recording, first for the label Swing Time Records, achieving his first hit with the 1949 "Confession Blues". The song soared to #2 on the R&B charts. He followed his first recording with his only other hit with Swingtime, "Baby, Let Me Hold Your Hand" in 1951. It hit #5 on the R&B charts. He then signed with Ahmet Ertegün at Atlantic Records a year later. When he entered show business, his name was shortened to Ray Charles to avoid confusion with boxer Sugar Ray Robinson. Almost immediately after signing with Atlantic, Charles scored his first hit singles with the label with "It Should Have Been Me" and the Ertegün-composed "Mess Around", both making the charts in 1953. But it was Charles' "I Got A Woman" (composed with band mate Renald Richard)[13] that brought the musician to national prominence. The song reached the top of Billboard's R&B singles chart in 1955 and from there until 1959, Charles would have a series of R&B chart-toppers including "This Little Girl of Mine", "Lonely Avenue", "Mary Ann", "Drown in My Own Tears" and the #5 hit "The Night Time (Is the Right Time)", which were compiled on his Atlantic releases Hallelujah, I Love Her So, Yes Indeed!, and The Genius Sings the Blues. During this time of transition, he recruited a young girl group from Philadelphia named The Cookies as his background singing group, recording with them in New York and changing their name to the Raelettes in the process.

In 1959, Charles crossed over to top 30 radio with the release of his impromptu blues number, "What'd I Say", which was initially conceived while Charles was in concert. The song would reach number 1 on the R&B list and would become Charles' first top ten single on the pop charts, peaking at number 6. Charles would also record The Genius of Ray Charles, before leaving Atlantic for a more lucrative deal with ABC Records in 1959. Hit songs such as "Georgia On My Mind" (US #1), "Hit the Road Jack" (US #1) and "Unchain My Heart" (US #9) helped him transition to pop success and his landmark 1962 album, Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music and its sequel Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music, Vol. 2, helped to bring country into the mainstream of music. He also had major pop hits in 1963 with "Busted" (US #4) and "Take These Chains From My Heart" (US #8), and also scoring a Top 20 hit four years later, in 1967, with "Here We Go Again" (US #15) (which would later be duetted with Norah Jones in 2004).

During the late 1960s and into the 1970s, Charles' releases were hit-or-miss,[8] with some big hits and critically acclaimed work. His version of "Georgia On My Mind" was proclaimed the state song of Georgia on April 24, 1979, with Charles performing it on the floor of the state legislature.[8] He also had success with his unique version of "America the Beautiful."

In November 1977 Charles appeared as the host of NBC's Saturday Night Live. In the 1980s a number of other events increased Charles' recognition among young audiences. He made a cameo appearance in the popular 1980 film The Blues Brothers. In 1985, "The Right Time" was featured in the episode "Happy Anniversary" of The Cosby Show on NBC. The next year in 1986, he sang "America The Beautiful" at Wrestlemania 2. In a Pepsi Cola commercial of the early 1990s, Charles popularized the catchphrase "You Got the Right One, Baby!" plus he helped in the song "We Are the World" a touching song for USA for Africa.

Despite his support of Martin Luther King, Jr. in the 1960s and his support for the American Civil Rights Movement, Charles courted controversy when he toured South Africa in 1981, during an international boycott of the country because of its apartheid policy. In 1989, Charles recorded a cover version of the Japanese band Southern All Stars' song "Itoshi no Ellie" as "Ellie My Love" for a Suntory TV advertisement, reaching #3 on Japan's Oricon chart. Eventually, it sold more than 400,000 copies, and became that year's best-selling single performed by a Western artist for the Japanese music market.

In the late '80s and early '90s, Charles made appearances on The Super Dave Osbourne Show, where he performed and appeared in a few vignettes where he was somehow driving a car, often as Super Dave's chauffeur. At the height of his newfound fame in the early nineties, Charles did guest vocals for quite a few projects. He also appeared (with Chaka Khan) on long time friend Quincy Jones' hit "I'll Be Good to You" in 1990, from Jones' album Back on the Block.

Following Jim Henson's death in 1990, Ray Charles appeared in the one-hour CBS tribute, The Muppets Celebrate Jim Henson. He gave a short speech about the deceased, stating that Henson "took a simple song and a piece of felt and turned it into a moment of great power". Charles was referring to the song "It's Not Easy Being Green", which Charles later performed with the rest of the Muppet cast in a tribute to Henson's legacy.

For years to come, Ray Charles made several more TV and movie appearances, as well as headlining concerts. In 2003 Charles performed "Georgia On My Mind" and "America the Beautiful" at a televised annual electronic media journalist banquet held in Washington, D.C., at what may have been his final performance in public. Ray Charles' final public appearance came on April 30, 2004, at the dedication of his music studio as a historic landmark in the city of Los Angeles. He died on June 10, 2004 at 11:35 a.m. of liver cancer at his home in Beverly Hills, California.

His final album, Genius Loves Company, released two months after his death, consists of duets with various admirers and contemporaries: B.B. King, Van Morrison, Willie Nelson, James Taylor, Gladys Knight, Michael McDonald, Natalie Cole, Elton John, Bonnie Raitt, Diana Krall, Norah Jones, and Johnny Mathis. The album won eight Grammy Awards, including five for Ray Charles for Best Pop Vocal Album, Album of the Year, Record of the Year and Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals for "Here We Go Again" with Norah Jones, and Best Gospel Performance for "Heaven Help Us All" with Gladys Knight; he also received nods for his duets with Elton John and B.B. King.

The album included a version of Harold Arlen's "Over the Rainbow", sung as a duet by Charles and Johnny Mathis; that recording was later played at his memorial service.[17]

Two more posthumous albums, Genius & Friends (2005) and Ray Sings, Basie Swings (2006), were released. Genius & Friends consisted of duets recorded from 1997-2005 with artists who were personally chosen by Ray Charles. Ray Sings, Basie Swings consists of archived vocals of Ray Charles from live mid-1970s performances added to new instrumental tracks recorded by the contemporary Count Basie Orchestra and other musicians for this album. Charles' vocals recorded from the concert mixing board were added to new accompaniments to create a "fantasy concert" recording. Gregg Field, who had performed as a drummer with both Charles and Basie, produced this album.

Besides winning 17 Grammy Awards in his career (including five posthumously), Charles was also honored in many other ways. In 1979, he was one of the first honorees of the Georgia State Music Hall of Fame being recognized for being a musician born in the state. Ray's version of "Georgia On My Mind" was made into the official state song for Georgia. In 1981, he was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and was one of the first inductees to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame at its inaugural ceremony in 1986. He received the Kennedy Center Honors in 1986. In 1987, he was awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. In 1991, he was inducted to the Rhythm & Blues Foundation. In 1998 he was awarded the Polar Music Prize together with Ravi Shankar in Stockholm, Sweden. In 2004 he was inducted to the Jazz Hall of Fame, and inducted to the National Black Sports & Entertainment Hall of Fame. Also in 2004, Rolling Stone Magazine ranked him #10 on their list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. The Grammy Awards of 2005 were dedicated to Charles. On December 7, 2007, Ray Charles Plaza was opened in Albany, Georgia, with a revolving, lighted bronze sculpture of Charles seated at a piano. On December 26, 2007, Ray Charles was inducted into the Hit Parade Hall of Fame. Additionally, Charles was presented with the George and Ira Gershwin Award for Lifetime Musical Achievement, during the 1991 UCLA Spring Sing.

Crowd Say Reload

Here's another sure shot for all my Drum n Bass lovers. This is a mix I did a couple of years ago (for a "road mix" to drive to) that's filled with some of my favorite Ragga DnB hits. In my opinion, all the tunes in this playlist deserves to get a "forward", "rewind", "pull up", or "RELOAD". If you don't know what this means, here's a brief description:

"Reloads or rewinds are another technique used by DJs. If a song seems to be especially popular, the DJ will 'spin back' the record by hand without lifting the stylus, and play the track in question again. Rewinds are also an important live element in many of drum n bass and dubstep's precursors; the technique originates in Dub/Reggae/Dancehall soundsystems, and is also used at UK garage nights."


1. Big Tune (Intro)
2. Dennis Brown - Problems (Visionary Remix)
3. I-Wayne - Can't Satisfy Her (Visionary Remix)
4. Dennis Brown - You Can't Surrender (Visionary Remix)
5. Garnett Silk - Wicked Man (Visionary Remix)
6. Visionary - Around The World (T-Power Remix)
7. Visionary - Stand Up
8. Dope Ammo ft. Spragga Benz - Inta-National
9. Visionary - Soundboy Burial
10. Leviticus - The Burial (Logistics Remix)
11. Ebony Dubsters ft. David Boomah - Murderation (Who Run Things Pt.2)
12. Potential Bad Boy ft. MC Det - Crowd Say Reload
13. Ebony Dubsters - Ra
14. Ebony Dubsters - Number 1
15. Benny Page - Can't Test
16. Shy FX & T-Power - Everyday (Chase & Status Remix)
17. Chase & Status ft. Capleton - Duppy Man
18. Beenie Man - Badman (Interphaze Remix)
19. Shy FX & T-Power ft. David Boomah - On The Run
20. Shy FX & T-Power ft. Yush - Lovers Rock
21. Benny Page - Turn Down The Lights
22. Rogue State ft. D-Bo General - Bashy Fashy (Jaydan DnB Remix)
23. Capleton - Banton's Babylon (Twisted Individual Remix)
24. Rawhill Cru - Mo Fire (Andy C & Fresh Remix)

Mixed by DJ Kool Emdee @ The Record Realm

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Floacist!

We all love to get gifts from time to time. And with me being a DJ, music is the best gift you can give me. A couple of hours ago I received a very special gift from Natalie Stewart, known to many as The Floacist, from the Soul duo Floetry. Contained were two pieces/peaces [Cipher & All Healing Is Possible] from her collection of works titled 'Spoken Transitions'. She will soon to be releasing a new album, which I don't have the album title as of yet.

I asked her what her inspiration was to help her in her creative moments. And here is what she had to say...

"My transition over the past three years and the meditations for healing my self, mind, body and etheric reality, is the journey that made manifest the pieces/peaces that are together a spoken word collection called 'Spoken Transitions'. I simply felt it necessary to share some of the thoughts that have benefited me upon my own healing journeys. These enlightenments became mantras to me, and in turn may hopefully be of some healing use to others. They are simply pages, passages and poems from my own journal...xx"

In another quote by her, I felt one part of it to be very noteworthy and should be a message to other artists and readers of this blog to be an inspiration to those who are currently in transition or need to make steps transitioning to a better direction in life. That quote (in part) is:

".....I don't need a record label to give you the messages of healing that have delivered me through these past three years of transition."

After listening to both tracks, "All Healing Is Possible" is a great piece to add to Reflections II, from my lounge series. The soundscape along with the vocal delivery makes it definitely a track to meditate and reflect to. "Cipher" is reminiscent of taking a journey through time, with percussion nearly imitating a grandfather clock, and a hint of dub reggae. Sit back, relax, and get your mind-veggies. Enjoy!

All Healing Is Possible


Friday, September 18, 2009

KRS-ONE & Buckshot: Survival Skills

A few minutes ago, I started listening to the new release by veterans in Hip-Hop, KRS-ONE and Buckshot. After getting halfway thru the second track, their first single off the CD, "Robot" (produced by Havoc), I had to stop the track and say...."Hip-Hop IS resurrected". "Robot" is another shot (much like Jay Z's DOA) at the commercial pop entertainer "rappers" who use Auto Tune.

Out the gate was the title track "Survival Skills" featuring DJ Revolution and produced by Ill Mind. This was indeed a great kickoff to get into the album, which is very reminiscent of the classic head nod Hip-Hop during the golden era. With the way DJ Revolution executed the scratches on this track, along with the lyrics in both songs (so far), I immediately wanted to set up my turntables and get in a hard practice, as well as kicking in my own lyrical juices.

Right now, I know it's a must that I finish soaking in the whole CD. Especially with production credits going to Havoc of Mobb Deep, Ill Mind, Black Milk, Marco Polo, Moss, Khrysis, Nottz, Coptic, DJ Mentplus, and 9th Wonder. Vocal/lyrical talents include: Mary J. Blige, Pharoahe Monch, Sean Price, Loudmouf Choir, Slug of Atmosphere, Rock of Heltah Skeltah, Melanie Fiona, Naledge, Talib Kweli, K'Naan, Immortal Technique, Smiff & Wessun, and Bounty Killer. All this sounds like a recipe for a tasty brain dish.

If you haven't gotten the CD, go get it. For now, check out the interview and the "Robot" video.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Happy Birthday Doug E. Fresh

On Sept. 17, 1966, Douglas E. Davis, professionally known as Doug E. Fresh or the Human Beatbox, was born in Christ Church, Barbados. His recording debut was with rapper Spoonie G and DJ Spivey in the collective known as the Boo-Dah Bliss Crew, on a tune called "Pass The Boo-Dah", in 1983. Later that year he would go on to release his own records as a solo artist, with the songs "Just Having Fun" and "Original Human Beat Box." Two years later with the Get Fresh Crew, consisting of DJs Barry B & Chill Will, and rapper MC Ricky D, who is now known as Slick Rick, they recorded what are considered Hip-Hop classics, "The Show" (which contains the Inspector Gadget Theme) and "La Di Da Di".

Outside of recording his own "call and response" type Hip-Hop anthem "I-ight (Alright)" in 1993, Doug recorded a few more albums, numerous singles, movie and TV appearances, and crossed over into Dancehall/Reggae, and Drum & Bass.

For a more detailed description, discography, and other info, log on to

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Happy Birthday: Jon Hendricks & B.B. King

Jazz vocalist and songwriter Jon Hendricks was born on Sept. 16, 1921 in Newark, Ohio, and is one of the originators of the vocalese style of Jazz singing, who is also considered one of the best practitioners of "scat" singing. In 1957, he teamed with Dave Lambert and Annie Ross to form the legendary vocal trio Lambert, Hendricks & Ross. Hendricks influenced notable greats such as Bobby McFerrin, Van Morrison, The Manhattan Transfer, and Al Jarreau. Al Jarreau is quoted to say that Hendicks is..."pound-for-pound the best jazz singer on the planet—maybe that's ever been"

Riley B. King, commonly known by his stage name B.B. King, was born on Sept. 16, 1925 in Itta Bena, MS. This legendary Blues guitarist, songwriter, and philanthropist was influenced by the pioneering Blues artist Aaron "T-Bone" Walker. B.B. King first met T-Bone Walker while working as a disc jockey at local radio station WDIA, which is where he gained the nickname "Beale Street Blues Boy", later shortened to "B.B.". After hearing Walker, King is noted as saying..."Once I'd heard him for the first time, I knew I'd have to have [an electric guitar] myself. Had to have one, short of stealing!"

The story of "Lucille", B.B. King's beloved guitars:

In the winter of 1949, King played at a dance hall in Twist, Arkansas. In order to heat the hall, a barrel half-filled with kerosene was lit, a fairly common practice at the time. During a performance, two men began to fight, knocking over the burning barrel and sending burning fuel across the floor. The hall burst into flames, which triggered an evacuation. Once outside, King realized that he had left his guitar inside the burning building. He entered the blaze to retrieve his beloved $30 guitar, a Gibson acoustic. Two people died in the fire. The next day, King learned that the two men were fighting over a woman named Lucille. King named that first guitar Lucille, as well as every one he owned since that near-fatal experience, as a reminder never again to do something as stupid as run into a burning building or fight over women.

With more than half of his 52 year career playing his prized "Lucille", B.B. King is most known by covering Roy Hawkins' tune titled "The Thrill Is Gone". Over King's career, he has won 15 Grammys and other awards, inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1987, multiple television appearances, and has played in over 15,000 performances.

Having a cemented reputation of being one of the most respected, succesful, and most recognized bluesman, B.B. King is #3 on Rolling Stone Magazine's Top 100 Guitarists of All Time, and #3 on Time Magazine's Ten Best Electric Guitarists of All Time.

Friday, September 4, 2009

MJ + J-Dilla = Dilla Jackson

I had a few issues while putting this together, however, it's finally done. Here's the official full length preview of Dilla Jackson. Enjoy!

Dilla Jackson
1. Dedication/Y'all Ready For It (MJ Speaks I)
2. You Rock My World (Remix)
3. What We Had (MJ Speaks II)
4. Beat Tape Track 15
5. They Don't Care (F--k The Police)
6. Ni---s vs Police ft. Richard Pryor
7. Remember (Remix) ft. Bilal
8. Who Is It (Remix)
9. Dancing Machine (Move) ft. Jackson 5 & Q-Tip
10. Scream (Heat Remix) ft. Janet Jackson
11. Remember The Time (Vivrant Remix)
12. Dilla Scratchin'
13. Weed Break (Interlude)
14. Brazilian Groove (EWF)
15. History (Dubl Dose Remix)
16. Act Like You Know (G.O.A.T. Remix)
17. (Thriller) Sum Spooky Ish ft. Vincent Price
18. Beat Tape Track 21
19. Crushin' (Yeahhh!)
20. EM-MJ (Interlude)
21. All I Do Is Think of You
22. Time (Donut of the Heat)
23. Blowin' Into Coke Bottles
24. I Want You Back ft. Black Rob - Bonus Track

Mixed/Remixed by DJ Kool Emdee w/ Graphics by T. Piper Media

Email DJ Kool Emdee at for more info and to get a mastered copy.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Happy Birthday Billy Preston

William Everette "Billy" Preston was born on Sept. 2, 1946 in Houston, Tx., but raised mostly in Los Angeles, CA. He was considered by many as the "Fifth Beatle", and the only session man to play with both The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. Grammy award winning Preston collaborated with some of the greatest names in the music industry that included Ray Charles, Quincy Jones, The Jackson 5, Eric Clapton, Elton John, Bob Dylan,and Sam Cooke, to name a few.

In 1972, 'Outa-Space' (reached #2 on Billboard's Hot 100, #1 on the R&B chart) was an instrumental track that further popularized the sound of the clavinet in funk music. Two years later Preston penned two #1 singles,'Will It Go Round In Circles' & 'Nothing From Nothing'. Billy Preston also composed the ballad 'You Are So Beautiful' in 1974 for Joe Cocker, which is one of Cocker's biggest hits.

Learn more about Billy Preston, his accomplishments, and discography at