Friday, April 19, 2013

Friday Flashback: Public Enemy

I personally would like to give a big shout to Public Enemy and congratulate them on their induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame on yesterday in Los Angeles. Before they were called P.E., the original name of the group was Spectrum City, which only consisted of Chuck D, Professor Griff and Flavor Flav at the time, in 1982. The first mention of the words "public enemy" was in a demo tape called Public Enemy #1 which Chuck did with Flav to fend off a rival MC and as a promo for WBAU, the radio station where they were working at the time.

With the help of Bill Stepheny, Chuck and Flav were signed to Def Jam after Rick Rubin heard the demo of the song "Public Enemy Number One". At the suggestion of Stepheny, he asked Rubin to mesh the hard style of Run-DMC with political lyrics of Chuck D that were geared toward black youth. Chuck D recruited Hank and Keith Shocklee, Eric Sadler, the collective known as The Bomb Squad, to do his production, and local mobile dj Terminator X. Topping things off with Spectrum City members Flavor Flav and Professor Griff, Public Enemy as a group was born.

For a more detailed bio, please visit the Public Enemy Official Website.

Welcome To The Terrordome: Public Enemy Tribute Mix by Djkoolemdee on Mixcloud

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Airborne: Sunshower

Since we are in the midst of celebrating Jazz Appreciation Month, there's no doubt that I had to make mention of New Haven, CT's own Contemporary Jazz Band by the name of Airborne. These guys have been passing out much love to me by giving me promos of their music that I have been spinning at happy hour and lounge sets, along with setting festive moods for special occasions.

Currently, they are kicking things into high gear for a very special full length release of Silver Skies to celebrate their 25th anniversary. Their first single off the album is "Sunshower", a light, melodic tune that will lift your spirit and help put a smile on your face. As vivid as my imagination is, I can picture a white linen gathering in your backyard with friends with their music to compliment some fine wine and cheeses, along with plenty of laughter.

Be sure to visit their website and feel free to purchase their previous works, as well as read and listen to music samples on their Jazz Education page. Let's help to ensure a 50th anniversary celebration of doing what they love. Enjoy!

Submerse: Truth [Official Video]

It's been awhile since i've posted anything from Project Mooncircle, so i'm gonna hit'cha with this new heater they released last month by Submerse called "Truth", off his Algorithms and Ghosts EP.

Originally hailing from Cheshire, UK, now living in Tokyo, here's what Submerse had to say about the inspiration he received for making the EP:

"I took a lot of inspiration from 3 main points of Tokyo City. There are traditional parks and shrines/temples that really take you away from the high rise buildings and make you feel like you could be in the countryside. Next, there are typical shops, neon lights, offices and general city life, and lastly, there is the red light area which is a great place to see all walks of life, from gangsters, working girls and strange things behind closed doors. I'm fascinated by this place, It seems like another world to me, I'm always drawn to it out of curiosity and the feeling I get while passing though is really inspiring."

Monday, April 15, 2013

Mixtape Mondays: New Mixes From DJ Kool Emdee

Just wanted to give you all a heads up on the new mixes I have recorded lately and posted on Mixcloud. I have to do a little more research, but I hear that it helps artists to get paid when you post to their site. So the plan is to start putting my mixes on there from now on.

ZIEL: Means "soul" in Dutch.

Ziel by Djkoolemdee on Mixcloud

The Storm: "I called this "The Storm" because, just like a hurricane is on its way to make landfall, there's a calm before it hits, then you're suddenly hit with high winds tossing things around, hard rain and lightening. Next comes the eye of the storm, then it gets back to doing its damage. Soon comes the aftermath and calm again. While storms can be quite dangerous and chaotic, at the same time, there still is a lot of beauty that comes along with it. Just take this as an admiration for the beautiful side. ENJOY!"

The Storm by Djkoolemdee on Mixcloud

Transcendence: Mind & Space: A blend of 2013 chill Drum n' Bass tunes.

Transcendence: Mind & Space by Djkoolemdee on Mixcloud

Reflections: The Hip-Hop Mix v.1: After having quite a few online discussions with the pioneers, artists, producers and fans of Hip-Hop culture, it was heavy on my mind to put together this mix of tunes that I liked growing up in the culture.

Reflections: The Hip-Hop Mix v.1 by Djkoolemdee on Mixcloud

All cover art by DJ Kool Emdee.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Jazz Appreciation Month: Nina Simone

Since today is my birthday, and I have already posted something from Ella Fitgerald, I decided to treat myself with my other favorite vocalist, Nina Simone, the "High Priestess of Soul". I came across this live version of one of my favorite tunes by Simone titled "See Line Woman". Here, she adds a little bit of comedy to spice things up a bit more, as well as keeping it minimal by only using lead and background vocals and percussion.

Happy Birthday: Maya Angelou, Muddy Waters & Jill Scott

Many, many respects to Maya Angelou who made age 85 today. Widely known for her poetry and speeches, she has also had acting parts in movies and television shows, and authored several books. Maya Angelou has won an extensive list of awards and honors, to include a Lifetime Achievement Award, Pulitzer Prize, Presidential Medal of Freedom, Tony Award, NAACP Image Award, Mother Teresa Award and the National Medal of Arts.

Muddy Waters (April 4, 1913 – April 30, 1983), born McKinley Morganfield in Issaquena County, Mississippi, was given the name "Muddy" by his grandmother, because he liked to play in the muddy water in a nearby creek, but later changed it to "Muddy Waters". Waters is known as the "father modern of Chicago blues" from providing tunes that took him from being a local favorite to boosting him to national recognition. His reign over the Chicago scene also provided a proving ground to other local musicians who went on to have successful solo careers.

By having a good-natured rivalry with former band member Howlin' Wolf, Waters scored hits with the songs "Mannish Boy" and "Sugar Sweet" in 1955, followed by "Trouble No More," "Forty Days & Forty Nights" and "Don't Go No Farther" in 1956.

Grammy Award winning singer-songwriter, actress and poet Jill Scott makes 41 today. Scott started reciting poetry in Philadelphia and was eventually discovered by Amir "Questlove" Thompson of The Roots. He asked her to join them in the studio where she helped pen the single "You Got Me", that featured Erykah Badu and won a Grammy for Best Rap Performance by Duo or Group in 2000. The Roots debuted her as an artist during one of their live shows as the original artist and composer of the tune.

Scott was first signed to Hidden Beach Recordings and released Who Is Jill Scott? Words and Sounds Vol. 1 (2000), Experience: Jill Scott 826+ (2001) and Beautifully Human: Words and Sounds Vol. 2 (2004). The latter winning a Grammy in 2005 for Best Urban/Alternative R&B Performance for "Cross My Mind". The Collaborations (2007) served as pre-cursor for her next studio album, The Real Thing: Words and Sounds Vol. 3 (2007). She would eventually leave the label and released The Light of the Sun (2011) on her own imprint, Blues Babe Records, which is distributed by Warner Records.

If you pay close attention to the background in this video, you will see that Jill pays tribute to fellow artists Muddy Waters and Marvin Gaye, born under the ARIES zodiac sign.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Jazz Appreciation Month: Ornette Coleman

At the suggestion of "Donatas" from the online music community that i'm a part of, we spotlight Ornette Coleman, a multi-instrumentalist that hails from Ft. Worth, Texas. Free Jazz: A Collective Improvisation is his most controversial tune, as well as the lengthiest single Jazz recording in history. "Free Jazz" was recorded in stereo and featured a "double quartet", meaning, they recorded it with one quartet solely on the right channel, and the other quartet on the left. The musicians featured were Ornette Coleman on sax, trumpeter Don Cherry, bassist Scott LaFaro, and drummer Billy Higgins on the left. Trumpeter Freddie Hubbard, bass clarinetist Eric Dolphy, bassist Charlie Haden, and drummer Ed Blackwell on the right.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Jazz Appreciation Month: Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers

Today we bring you the bluesy sounds of Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers playing "Moanin'", the title cut off their Blue Note release from 1958 that was composed by pianist Bobby Timmons. This is a live video recording of the tune from that same year, performed by the original line-up as the LP in Belgium, with Art Blakey (drums), Bobby Timmons (composer, piano), Jymie Merritt (bass), Benny Golson (tenor saxophone) and Lee Morgan (trumpet).

Monday, April 1, 2013

Happy Birthday: Gil Scott-Heron & Marvin Gaye

Gil Scott-Heron
(April 1, 1949 – May 27, 2011)

Gil Scott-Heron is another artist who ranks in my top favorites for his compositions in poetry, Jazz, Soul and other genres. He helped to wake up people stateside and abroad, addressing social and political issues in his music and poetry. Many Hip-Hop enthusiasts consider him to be a key person in the development of the culture.

Soul On Ice! {Episode#5:Gil Scott Heron} 4/6/11 by Thedynamitedavesoul on Mixcloud

Marvin Gaye
(April 2, 1939 – April 1, 1984)

Marvin Gaye, his smooth vocal style and the introduction of concept albums has helped changed the face of Soul music. Starting out as a session drummer for Motown records, he went on to release his own solo projects to become one of the most revered artists in American music.

Soul On Ice! {Episode#6:Marvin Gaye tribute}4/6/11 by Thedynamitedavesoul on Mixcloud

Jazz Appreciation Month (JAM): April 2013

Jazz Appreciation Month (JAM) is a music festival held every April in the United States, in honor of Jazz as an original American art form. JAM was created by John Edward Hasse, PhD, curator of the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History.

Jazz Appreciation Month was created to be an annual event that would pay tribute to Jazz as both a living and as a historic music. Schools, organizations, even governments, celebrate JAM with events ranging from free concerts to educational programs. The first year was 2001, and initial funding was provided by the Ella Fitzgerald Charitable Foundation. Miss Fitzgerald's archives are housed at the Smithsonian. [Source: Wikipedia]

To kick off this month's tribute to the artform, we find it fitting to start with the sounds of Ella Fitzgerald, whom many consider the Queen of Jazz and the First Lady of Song. Here's Mrs. Fitzgerald performing "One Note Samba" along with Ed Thigpen on drums, Frank de la Rosa on bass and Tommy Flanagan on piano.