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Bill Cosby & Quincy Jones – Hikky Burr

26 Mar

This song was recorded by Bill Cosby and Quincy Jones in 1969 as the theme song for The Bill Cosby Show. This song is so funky, thanks to the loose kind of playing. It sounds like everybody is just jamming and having a good time. Note the amazing saxophone lines and the awesome bass playing by Carol Kaye (amazing female bass player, played on classics like ‘Good Vibrations’ by the Beach Boys, ‘River Deep – Mountain High’ by Ike & Tina and a lot of Simon & Garfunkel songs).

Roy Ayers – Stoned Soul Picnic

23 Mar

A couple of weeks ago I bought this record on vinyl, especially because of the great cover. I only knew the name Roy Ayers vaguely, but he could also be an American president or whatever. But listening to the record was a pleasant surprise, because the music has the exact same, relaxed vibe as the picture on the cover. I think the title track says enough.

The Temptations – My Girl

14 Mar

Oh yes, some more Motown! Just after I watched The Four Tops playing live, The Temptations climbed upon the stage. They performed their 1965 hit single My Girl. No depressing feelings after listening to The Temptations!

 

If you are interested, here is a link to the BBC interview of The Four Tops and The Temptations.

The Four Tops – Baby I Need Your Loving

14 Mar

To have some variation on our blog, I’m taking a step away from all the electronic music and I want to take some time to post about some oldschool Motown! This 1964 hit song is from The Four Tops and what is really great about them is that they still perform live. Today I woke up and I watched some BBC when they announced that The Four Tops were going to perform live. I waited until they performed and I must say, looking at four old men singing their hit single from 1964 in 2012 was really a nice way to get up today. Baby I Need Your Loving!

New Vinyls

19 Feb

Last week I bought a couple of new vinyls for to get back into that old school listening to music. Me and a friend went to Rotterdam, which is a great place to look for records and going through all the boxes full of vinyl. Especially the Nieuwe Binnenweg is the place to be, with stores as the Plaatboef and Demonfuzz Records. Plaatboef has a lot of records, cd and vinyl, ranging from new releases to a lot of second hand vinyl. Demonfuzz is the store for the real vinyl fans. It is a bit more expensive, but the quality of all the records is very good. Plus it has a lot of music that I like, a lot of jazz, soul, hip-hop and world music.

So these are the records that I bought:

Steely Dan – Greatest Hits. This is a band that I did not really know that well, but I heard some quite interesting stuff of them. Reason enough to check more of them. It is hard to say which genre this is, but I can best explain it as complex pop music with a lot of jazz influences. Listen: Reelin’ In The Years

A Tribe Called Quest – Low End Theory. One of the most inspiring and groundbreaking hip-hop records. Released in 1991, this was one of the records that showed hip-hop was not only about gangsters and ghettos. The Tribe rapped about everyday stuff, like love, their interest in rap music and the racism they had to go through in normal life. All this was done in a quite optimistic way with smooth, jazzy beats. Records like these show the wide variety of subgenres in hip-hop and are perfect for sunny summer days. Listen: Buggin’ Out 

Charlie Parker – Immortal Sessions: Volume 6 Bongo Bop. Of course, Charlie Parker is one of the most influential saxophone players ever. I didn’t have any records with his music, so here I go. Probably more to follow. Listen: Cool Blues

Eric Gale – Ginseng Woman. Eric Gale is a guitar player, who did most of his work as a session musician. I got to know him by a friend of mine who let me hear a band called Stuff (check this out). I didn’t know he released solo records, but Wikipedia tells me he has twelve solo records and many, many more albums as session guitarist. I really like this album, it has a very relaxing vibe to it. And it sounds like Gale is really doing his own thing, instead of playing on others’ records. Listen: East End, West End

Nigeria 70 Sweet Times. This record is a collection of ‘Afro-Funk, Highlife & Juju from 1970’s Lagos’. I really like this Afro-Funk and Highlife stuff, because it shows a weird development in history. We all know that Afro-American soul and jazz music was highly influenced by original African music. What happened in the 1960’s and 70’s is that this music came back to Africa and had a big influence over there. The result are funky soulful grooves with typical African sounding vocals. Listen: Unity In Africa by Eji Oyewole.

Sergio Mendes & Brazil ’66. Of course we all know Sergio Mendes from the massive hit Mas Que Nada. But this guy has been active for a much longer time, since the 50’s! He was one of the first persons who played bossa nova, together with other legends as Antiono Carlos Jobim. This record is perfect for beautiful summer days. Listen: Upa, Neguinho

Simon & Garfunkel – Sound Of Silence

9 Jan

And now… back to studying. Let’s take a moment to relax with Simon & Garfunkel. Listening to the nice acoustic guitar and the vocals.

Best of Blue Note

10 Dec

On Dude, What’s My Food? I shared one of my Sinterklaas presents with you, now I’ll show you another one. I also got a box called Best of Blue Note, containing fifteen albums of true jazz legends on the famous record label. Almost all the famous jazz names made albums for Blue Note, like Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Herbie Hancock, Chet Baker and so on. I can tell you, those are not the least names in jazz music. And all of them are in the box. And not only their albums, every cd goes together with a book, telling the story of the artist and the album together with beautiful pictures.

Here some songs of the albums. Listen to it, and you’ll realize what a legendary record label Blue Note was.

Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers – Moanin’

Herbie Hancock – Maiden Voyage

John Coltrane – Blue Train

Bill Evans & Jim Hall – My Funny Valentine

I still have to listen closer to all the albums, so there is probably more to follow. But this will keep you excited for the time being.

 

Early Hendrix

27 Nov

We all know Jimi Hendrix. We all know some of his classics, like Purple Haze, Little Wing and Voodoo Child. His guitar playing was a huge influence on almost every electric guitar player after him. All the Eric Claptons, Stevie Ray Vaughans and John Mayers would have been nothing without Jimi.

But like of all of us, Hendrix had to start right at the bottom of the ladder. Before he became the guitar hero as we know him nowadays, playing with his teeth or behind his head, he worked as a session musician. Actually, his musical career started in the army, where he met some important musicians that introduced him to the scene. As a session guitarist, Hendrix played with quite famous people, like B.B. King, Little Richard and Bo Diddley. The interesting thing is that you can really hear his transformation as a guitar player. On the early recordings he sounds like every other soul guitar player, but with the years he developed his own style which we all recognize. Listen to the songs Mercy Mercy by Don Covay, (My Girl) She’s A Fox by The Icemen and Move Over & Let Me Dance by The Isley Brothers. Makes me wonder if these guys knew how legendary Hendrix would become?

Coincidence or not, today would have been Hendrix’ 69th birthday. Happy b-day Jimi!

Back To Basics

18 Nov

In this time of mp3’s, iPods and torrent seeds, there are a lot of moments when I am missing listening to music. And I mean listening. Those moments when you buy a new cd and put it in your cd player for the first time and doing nothing but sit in your couch listening. Or those moments when I listened to my parents’ vinyl records over and over, all those Beegees, Zappa and Ry Cooder songs.

That made me decide to buy a turntable myself and start collecting vinyl. As a good beginning, I bought about eight records. Later I was surprised it was all black music. All soul, hiphop and jazz.

These are some of the records I like most. Just listen to some of my favourite songs. Sure you’ll like it.

Candy by Lee Morgan

Hoochie Coochie Man by Muddy Waters

The World Is Yours by Nas

Rocket Love by Stevie Wonder

War/No More Trouble by Bob Marley

Doing It To Death by The J.B.’s

Perfect Soul Song

18 Nov

What’s the definition of a good soul song? What kind of ingredients are essential for that perfect song? What do all those Sam Cooke, Otis Redding or Aretha Franklin songs have in common, that is making them as legendary as we think they are?

Ofcourse, there is not one formula to make such a song. Thank god for that. There is enough music around based on formulas, with selling as much as possible as their main priority. That is why we shouldn’t want strict formulas in music or other art forms.

Until I heard this song: Bullets Don’t Have Eyes by ’60s soul duo Eddie & Ernie. Everytime I hear it, I’m feeling like listening to everything a soul song needs. It starts with this clean guitar lick and then the groovy horn part starts. From that moment you will get sucked into the rhythm and the drama of the song. It has everything, from great vocals to a great chord progression, from a great rhythm section to that beautiful title. And then, after only two and half minutes, it stops. It feels like a rollercoaster stopped and you have just heard everything that you want to hear.

It will make you listen to this song over and over, mark my words.

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