Lalo’s Classics

Great performance from the BBC big band directed by Lalo Schifrin, one of my favorite 20th century composers.  This guy has written some amazing soundtrack music over the years — Dirty Harry, Bullitt, Mission:Impossible… just to name a few.

Big bands are pretty amazing, especially in person. The power and precision is addictive and you just feel good watching a big band work through their numbers.

If your town offers anything like this, I recommend checking it out. Scrub up, put on a nice suit, grab your lady, and take her out for some drinks in style.


Lalo Schifrin and BBC Big Band

Required Viewing – The O’Jays Crush It

Daryl Hall has reworked his show Live from Daryl’s House and it’s still one of the best music shows going. Originally set in a barn on his rural property, it was a jam session sleepover recorded for our entertainment. He brought all sorts of artists out to the barn – indie and legends – and they would jam on a few songs, hang out, and generally just celebrate the awesomeness of great live music.


screen-shot-2016-09-19-at-3-08-56-pm


It’s now in a club-like setting up the road, featuring more space and better sound and still without a crowd. The end result feels a bit more like a throwback recording session than a jam session.

Which is awesome, of course.

The sound is perfect and there’s a little more space to stretch out and get more camera angles. It feels as though the musicians present the songs better than in the barn, perhaps because it’s more obviously a TV show and recording session. The barn was charming but had a private rehearsal feel.

I’ve watched several of the 2016 episodes now and the highlight has to be The O’Jays. They are funny, have a monstrous catalog, and of course Daryl is such a disciple of the O’Jays sound that it all fits perfectly.

The Original Tech Get Down

There are moments when things change in music. Something new is done. The future is revealed.



The 1980’s were about fusion. Not the pop and art fusion of the 60’s, or the jazz and rock fusion of the 70’s, but a new tension between technology and humanity.

Synthesizers were smaller and becoming digital, which would bring their price down drastically. Electronic drums were available. Digital effects units could bend signal in new ways.

Hip-hop was on the forefront of this tension because of technology. First the mixing board with crossfaders and mutes, then the sampler and drum machine. These were new technologies that the masses used to make a new style of music, a cutup of old and new.

The late 80’s project Tackhead was fearless. It brought together sampling, looping, hip-hop, and live playing like no one before. Since then several have moved into this direction, including my crew with 2MERICA, the amazing Headtronics project with Freekbass, and others.

Tackhead Live 1989

Taking the stage with instruments and gadgets and building something relevant that night is a small but growing art form. In some ways these guys started it all. Awesome stuff.

Wimbish is currently touring the states with Living Colour.

 

Everybody’s Got A Thang

The firstest and bestest version of the P-Funk Thang as it was forming in 1969.

 

Bernie isn’t there yet, neither is Tiki, Bootsy or Garry. But the Parliaments are out front and a very early version of Funkadelic is just blaring away behind them melding together 3-4 songs and 3-4 pieces of then unreleased songs.

The Parliaments have their dance moves down and their parts all together, no lie!

Eddie Hazel, Tawl Ross, and Billy Bass are forming a pretty nasty string section. The drummer and keyboard player here were soon replaced. George is from another world.

Screen Shot 2016-06-06 at 10.45.33 AM

Living For The Live

There’s a lot going on in this clip. It’s pretty good.

Ray Charles + Stevie Wonder, doing one of Stevie’s funk songs, with neither of their bands, for an awards show. It looks like the late 80’s with plastic keyboards and big hair but the talent is so great it works out just fine.

Also since Ray’s R&B big band really doesn’t do the early 70’s funk groove that this song was originally cut in, for this era they turned into a disco-tempo gospel style romp. It’s reframes the song nicely.

Imagine if these two ever did a full record together….

Screen Shot 2016-03-10 at 10.56.42 AM

Battle of Tributation

Stevie Wonder is a monster musical genius, capable of perfection at every angle. Tribute shows are the big thing now, and I’m not complaining. Anytime someone can throw down the cash needed to properly work these songs up and make other famous artists step up to the plate and deliver some classic material, magic can happen. This ain’t a laptop DJ.

So I found two great Stevie tributes online. Both feature amazing lineups, great setlists, perfect playing, Stevie himself lending a hand or two, and plenty of amazing moments.

I can’t decide which one is better.

So Many Millions

Another fine Fishbone song, recorded live in Cali on the Chim Chim tour (1996):

Bad recording but cool version of So Many Millions (starts at 19:48)

I almost broke my wrists trying to play the original version of this on drums, damn Fish, one of the sickest drummers ever!


fishbonevideo

Another Superjam

maxresdefault

The Bonnaroo music festival features some pretty cool collaborations they call Superjam. It’s always a strange mix of musicians doing beloved covers, usually the great ones that normal cover bands won’t touch.

The 2013 version had some great Sly & The Family Stone jams featuring Larry Graham, as well as a kinda slow but cool version of this Curtis Mayfield classic. Enjoy!

It’s Holding Back The Weather

…and the same will let it go

I love these guys. Here they are doing an early hit from a rare american TV performance.

 

Someone’s vocals are flat, probably a bad monitor mix.

This band rips – Ty Tabor on guitar, great tone, great everything, Doug Pinnick’s overly stringed bass monster, and Jerry Gaskill smashing the hell out of that little drum kit, and they all sing, usually in key.