Category Archives: jazz

“Kenny G – Silhouette – 1988 – [HD]” 

“Kenny G – Silhouette – 1988 – [HD]” 

Silhouette is the fifth studio album by saxophonist Kenny G. It was released by Arista Records in 1988, and reached number 1 on the Contemporary Jazz Albums chart, number 8 on the Billboard 200, and number 10 on the R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. Through April 2011, the album has sold 25 million internationally.

Leave a comment

Posted by on March 9, 2018 in jazz



“Creole Jazz – Acker Bilk” 

“Creole Jazz – Acker Bilk” 

Featured image:

Bilk played with friends on the Bristol jazz circuit and in 1951 moved to London to play with Ken Colyer‘s band.[3]Bilk disliked London, so returned west and formed his own band in Pensford called the Chew Valley Jazzmen, which was renamed the Bristol Paramount Jazz Band when they moved to London in 1951. Their agent then booked them for a six-month gig in Düsseldorf, Germany, playing in a beer bar seven hours a night, seven nights a week.[4]During this time, Bilk and the band developed their distinctive style and appearance, complete with striped-waistcoats and bowler hats.[4]

After returning from Germany, Bilk became based in Plaistow, London, and his band played in London jazz clubs.[3]It was from here that Bilk became part of the boom in Trad jazz in the United Kingdom in the late 1950s. In 1960, their single “Summer Set” (a pun on their home county), co-written by Bilk and pianist Dave Collett, reached number five on the UK Singles Chart,[6] and began a run of 11 chart hit singles. In 1961 “Acker Bilk and His Paramount Jazz Band” appeared at the Royal Variety Performance.[7]

Bilk was not an internationally known musician until 1962, when the experimental use of a string ensemble on one of his albums and the inclusion of a composition of his own as its keynote piece won him an audience outside the UK. He had composed a melody, entitled “Jenny” after his daughter, but was asked to change the title to “Stranger on the Shore” for use in a British television series. He went on to record it as the title track of a new album in which his deep and quavering clarinet was backed by the Leon Young String Chorale.

The single was not only a big hit in the United Kingdom, where it stayed on the charts for 55 weeks, helped by Bilk being the subject of the TV show This Is Your Life, but also topped the American charts.[2] As a result, Bilk was the second British artist to have a single in the number-one position on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart.[8] (Vera Lynn was the first, with “Auf Wiederseh’n Sweetheart” in 1952.) “Stranger on the Shore” sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc.[9] At the height of his career, Bilk’s public relations workers were known as the “Bilk Marketing Board”, a pun on the Milk Marketing Board.

Bilk recorded a series of albums in Britain that were also released successfully in the United States (on the Atlantic Records subsidiary Atco), including a collaboration, Together, with the Danish jazz pianist and composer Bent Fabric (“The Alley Cat”). Bilk’s success tapered off when British rock and roll made its big international impact beginning in 1964 and he shifted direction to the cabaret circuit. He finally had another chart success in 1976 with “Aria”, which went to number five in the United Kingdom. In May 1977 Bilk and his Paramount Jazz Band provided the interval act for the Eurovision Song Contest.[10] His last chart appearance was in 1978, when the TV-promoted album released on Pye/Warwick, Evergreen, reached 17 in a 14-week album chart run. In the early 1980s, Bilk and his signature hit were newly familiar, due to “Stranger on the Shore” being used in the soundtrack to Sweet Dreams, the film biography of country music singer Patsy Cline. “Aria” featured as a central musical motif in the 2012 Polish film Mój rower (pl).

Bilk continued to tour with his Paramount Jazz Band, as well as performing concerts with his two contemporaries, Chris Barber and Kenny Ball, both of whom were born in 1930, as “The 3Bs”. Bilk also provided vocals on many of his tracks, including on “I’m an Old Cowhand”, “The Folks Who Live on the Hill”, “White Cliffs of Dover”, “Travellin On” and “That’s My Home”.

In 2005 he was awarded the BBC Jazz Awards‘ “Gold Award”.


Posted by on March 2, 2018 in classic music, jazz, music


Tags: ,

“Charlie Musselwhite – Blue Steel” 

Charles Douglas “Charlie” Musselwhite (born January 31, 1944) is an American electric blues harmonica player and bandleader,[1] one of the non-black bluesmen who came to prominence in the early 1960s, along with Mike Bloomfield and Paul Butterfield, or bands such as Canned Heat. Though he has often been identified as a “white bluesman”,[2][3] he claims Native American heritage. Musselwhite was reportedly the inspiration for the character played by Dan Aykroyd in the Blues Brothers.[4]

Musselwhite was born in Kosciusko, Mississippi. He has said that he is of Choctaw descent, born in a region originally inhabited by the Choctaw. In a 2005 interview, he said his mother had told him he was actually Cherokee.[5] His family considered it natural to play music. His father played guitar and harmonica, his mother played piano, and a relative was a one-man band.

At the age of three, Musselwhite moved to Memphis, Tennessee. When he was a teenager, Memphis experienced the period when rockabilly, western swing, and electric blues and other forms of African-American music were combining to give birth to rock and roll. That period featured Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, and lesser-known musicians such as Gus Cannon, Furry Lewis, Will Shade, and Johnny Burnette. Musselwhite supported himself by digging ditches, laying concrete and running moonshine in a 1950 Lincoln automobile. This environment was a school for music as well as life for Musselwhite, who eventually acquired the nickname Memphis Charlie.[6]

In true bluesman fashion, Musselwhite then took off in search of the rumored “big-paying factory jobs” up the “Hillbilly Highway”, Highway 51 to Chicago, where he continued his education on the South Side, making the acquaintance of even more legends, including Lew Soloff, Muddy Waters, Junior Wells, Sonny Boy Williamson, Buddy Guy, Howlin’ Wolf, Little Walter, and Big Walter Horton. Musselwhite immersed himself completely in the musical life, living in the basement of and occasionally working at Jazz Record Mart (the record store operated by Delmark Records founder Bob Koester) with Big Joe Williams and working as a driver for an exterminator, which allowed him to observe what was happening around the city’s clubs and bars. He spent his time hanging out at the Jazz Record Mart, at the corner of State and Grand, and a nearby bar, Mr. Joe’s, with the city’s blues musicians, and sitting in with Williams and others in the clubs, playing for tips. There he forged a lifelong friendship with John Lee Hooker; though Hooker lived in Detroit, Michigan, the two often visited each other, and Hooker served as best man at Musselwhite’s third marriage. Gradually Musselwhite became well known around town.

In time, Musselwhite led his own blues band, and after Elektra Records‘ success with Paul Butterfield, he released the legendary album Stand Back! Here Comes Charley Musselwhite’s Southside Band in 1966 on Vanguard Records to immediate and great success.[3][7] He took advantage of the clout this album gave him to move to San Francisco, where, instead of being one of many competing blues acts, he held court as the king of the blues in the exploding countercultural music scene, an exotic and gritty figure to the flower children. Musselwhite even convinced Hooker to move to California.

Since then, Musselwhite has released over 20 albums and has been a guest performer on albums by many other musicians, such as Bonnie Raitt‘s Longing in Their Hearts and the Blind Boys of Alabama‘s Spirit of the Century, both winners of Grammy awards. He also performed on Tom Waits‘s Mule Variations and INXS‘s Suicide Blonde. He has won 14 W. C. Handy Awards, has been nominated for six Grammy awards. received Lifetime Achievement Awards from the Monterey Blues Festival and the San Javier Jazz Festival, in San Javier, Spain, and received the Mississippi Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts.

In 1979, Musselwhite recorded The Harmonica According to Charlie Musselwhite in London for Kicking Mule Records, intended to accompany an instructional book; the album became so popular that it was released on CD. In June 2008, Blind Pig Records reissued the album on 180-gram vinyl with new cover art.[8]


Tags: ,

“Santana – Oye Como Va”

“Oye Como Va” is a song written by Latin jazz and mambo musician Tito Puente in 1963 and popularized by Santana’s rendition of the song in 1970 on their album Abraxas, helping to catapult Santana into stardom with the song reaching #13 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song also reached #11 on the Billboard Easy Listening survey and #32 on their R&B chart.[1]

The title comes from the first words:

Spanish: English:

Oye como va Listen to how [it] goes OR Hey, how is it going[2]

Mi ritmo “My rhythm”

Bueno pa’ gozar “Good for enjoying” or “good to enjoy”

Mulata See: Mulatta[3]

The fact that the phrase “Oye como va” is the title of the song and is sung somewhat separately from the phrase “mi ritmo” makes it easy to interpret the meaning as “Hey, how’s it going?” However, the first sentence is actually “Oye como va mi ritmo”, meaning “Listen to how my rhythm goes.”

The song has the classic rhythm and tempo of cha-cha-cha. It has similarities with “Chanchullo” by Israel “Cachao” López. The Latin Beat Magazine writes, “Cachao’s tumbaos for his 1937 composition of Rareza de Melitón (later changed to Chanchullo) inspired Tito Puente’s signature tune ‘Oye Como Va’.”[4] On the original recording of the song the voice of Santitos Colon, the Puente orchestra singer at the time, can be heard in the song along with those of Puente and other orchestra musicians. Cachao can be heard playing contrabass in some of Tito Puente’s live versions of “Oye Como Va”.

The song has had many arrangements and remakes by a number of artists in various tempi. NPR included the song in its “NPR 100: The most important American musical works of the 20th century”.[5]

Santana version
Santana’s arrangement is a “driving, cranked-up version”[5] in a new style of Latin rock (attributed to musicians like Santana), adding electric guitar, Hammond B-3 organ, and a rock drum kit to the instrumentation and dropping Puente’s brass section. The electric guitar part takes on Puente’s flute melody, and the organ provides accompaniment (with organist Gregg Rolie’s discretional use of the Leslie effect). There are several guitar solos and an organ solo, all of which are rooted in rock and the blues but also contain licks similar to those of the original arrangement.[5][6] The song was inducted into the Latin Grammy Hall of Fame in 2001.[7]

Tito Puente, speaking in the intro to his recording of “Oye Como Va” on the album “Mambo Birdland,” said “Everybody’s heard of Santana. Santana! Beautiful Santana! He put our music, Latin rock, around the world, man! And I’d like to thank him publicly ’cause he recorded a tune and he gave me credit as the composer of the tune. So, since that day… all we play… is Santana music!” The version of the song on “Mambo Birdland” is a Santana-ized version.


Posted by on February 12, 2018 in entertainment, jazz






Paris Ile-de-France, destination: Impressionism – The Musée d’Orsay

Mona Vivar Abstract Original New Orleans

Artist – Sir Richard Roland

Portrait of Ntombi by Jane Digby

Paul YgartuaJazz Singer – Painting – Impressionism


Posted by on February 9, 2018 in FRENCH FRIDAYS, jazz, music



 “Autumn Leaves–Acker Bilk” 

Autumn Leaves” is a popular song. Originally it was a 1945 French song, “fr:Les feuilles mortes” (literally “The Dead Leaves”), with music by Hungarian-French composer Joseph Kosma and lyrics by poet Jacques Prévert. The Hungarian title is “Hulló levelek” (Falling Leaves). Yves Montand (with Irène Joachim) introduced “Les feuilles mortes” in the film  Les Portes de la nuit.


Posted by on February 8, 2018 in blues, jazz, music



“The Mar-Keys – Philly Dog

“The Mar-Keys – Philly Dog

As the first house band for the label, their backing music formed the foundation for the early 1960s Stax sound.

Early success with “Last Night” (1961)

The group began as The Royal Spadeswhile its members were in high school. They tried to get a record made for the local Satellite Records (the forerunner of Stax), unsuccessfully, even though the label was owned by the mother and uncle of the group’s tenor sax player, Charles “Packy” Axton. When the band eventually made a record, Axton’s mother, Estelle Axton, convinced them to change their name, and they became “The Mar-Keys”.[1] However, the live lineup of the Mar-Keys was not always the same as the band heard on the recordings.

Their first and most famous recording was the organ– and saxophone-driven single “Last Night“, a number three hitnationally in the US in 1961.[2] It sold over one million copies, earning certification as a gold disc.[3] The lineup for this recording included Royal Spades Steve Cropper (normally a guitarist, here playing second keyboard), Packy Axton (sax), Wayne Jackson (trumpet), and Jerry Lee “Smoochy” Smith (main keyboards), augmented by horn players Floyd Newman and Gilbert Caple and others.[3] The authorship of the song, credited simply to “Mar-Keys” on the label, is registered with BMI to Axton, Caple, Newman, Smith and producer Chips Moman.

The six-man line-up (1967-69)

Although The Mar-Keys were no longer routinely issuing singles, the name still had a certain amount of marketability, and in the late 1960s the Mar-Keys name was used whenever horn players Andrew Love and Wayne Jackson (later known as the Memphis Horns) teamed with Booker T. & the M.G.’s in live performances. The two groups shared billing on a live album in 1967, Back to Back, from a concert in Paris.

For the 1969 album Damifiknow!, the Mar-Keys were back in the studio, and were explicitly identified in the album credits as the sextet of Cropper, Jones, Dunn, Al Jackson Jr., Love and Wayne Jackson (unrelated to Al Jackson). The album was not a chart success, and the Mar-Keys name was essentially retired once again. While all six members of the group continued to play on Stax sessions, they did not use the Mar-Keys name on any of their future recordings.


Posted by on January 12, 2018 in jazz, r&b



%d bloggers like this: