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….

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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.

A Legend Passes – Leroy “Sugarfoot” Bonner, Guitarist & Sanger for Ohio Players, 69

 

360px-Leroy_Sugarfoot_Bonner_publicity_photoWe have lost an underrated musical genius, the voice of a generation, the creator of a new singing style, and an influence to countless other musicians (perhaps most notably Prince)…. Mr. Leroy Bonner, better known as Sugarfoot or just Sugar.

He started in the music business in the 1950’s and experienced just about every facet of the business in his 6+ decades. Ups downs and all arounds, Sugar always stayed true to himself and true to the music.

Mr. Bonner was the author of so many funk classics – writing or co-writing most of the Player’s material, singing lead on most of the major hits, and playing a smoking hot guitar. His fingerpicking and scat soloing was like noone-else.

He brought his double-neck to funk, his trademark Aww girl, put that suitcase down, You ain’t kiddin’ nobody, You can’t leave me, woman, you love me! vocal style has become the funk voice. This was just one of his many creations.

Video of the Ohio Players is very rare and not much is online. Here’s a cool interview and lip-sync on Soul Train from when they were blowing up in 1975 (cracked audio):


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Here’s one of my favorite Sugar performances, “Heaven Must Be Like This”:


Rest In Peace Mr. Bonner, you will be missed. You and your music will be remembered forever.

 

Patty and Bootsy Collins pay tribute.

Patty and Bootsy pay tribute.


 

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Go buy some classic Ohio Players albums now! 

 

 

Thank You For All Of It

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Steve Jobs: 1955-2011.

Where would the tech world, perhaps the world as a whole, be without Steven P. Jobs? The concepts he developed in his teens and twenties regarding if/how/when/why we interact with computers built entire industries. Appleholics like myself are everywhere now, and the Apple-haters have spent the last 5 years doing everything they can to catch up (or ignore) the market-leading companies of Jobs’.

Even technophobes gobble up his Pixar movies.

Look, platform debates amongst users are geeky fun but useless. I’ve used a mac as my main rig since the mid-90’s. I also am a developer and have worked cross-platform that whole time. Regardless of what OS you are using right now on your PC, laptop, or phone — stare at it right now and know that it wouldn’t work half as well as it might without Steve Jobs doing his thing.

He set the bar high and you either bought into his vision or you waited for someone to develop a slightly different version of his vision that fit your needs. But regardless, he has way more points in putting his vision into existence and into your life and pocket than any other modern businessman.

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He’s one of the few minimalists in tech, a huge part of his aesthetic that his copycat competitors always fail with. The discipline to remove features is what made Jobs and Apple so special. Doing 10 core functions better, faster, simpler than anything else was valued at Apple through most of their designs. Windows or Android might pile on the features but they always seem to ruin the core functionality and they taint the usability of the device.

Some of us have been preaching this for decades but it’s only the last 5 years that Apple got their product lines all firing at the same time and the speed and size of the tech caught up with the vision of Steve Jobs.

RIP my dear man, you have helped me to learn more, work more, explore more, earn more, and overall enjoy life more than anyone else I can think of.

Here’s a nice note from Prez Obama, also a fan of Jobs.