The Stars Come Out to Give Natalie Cole Her Due at the Hollywood Bowl
by A. Scott Galloway
September 13, 2016
As New Year’s Eve was transitioning from 2015 to 2016, a uniquely gifted, beautiful and anointed woman of music made her graceful ascension to Heaven. When Natalie Cole, daughter of the immortal Nat “King” Cole, slipped from this earth that night, little did any of us know that she was the first in a painful and profound train of irreplaceable icons making their way to Jordan this year.
Sergio Mendes Talks 50th Anniversary of Brasil `66 and Rio Olympics-themed Weekend of Shows at The Hollywood Bowl
by A. Scott Galloway
August 8, 2016
Sergio Mendes is world renowned as the master of the Brazilian Jazz-Pop crossover. Born in Niteroi, Rio de Janiero, Brasil, he grew up surrounded by the sea, sunshine, soccer and people happy with the simple things in life. Key to that was the music of the region –a cultural fusion of Africa and Portugal. He began studying classical music of Bach and Chopin at 7 on a piano bought by his mother. Then at 12 years-old, a childhood friend turned Sergio onto The Dave Brubeck Quartet’s classic jazz LP Time Out featuring “Take Five” which blew his mind. He started putting jazz bands together playing Brazilian flavored jazz that led to recordings for the Philips label while still a teen and a legendary November of 1962 concert at Carnegie Hall in New York City that featured Dizzy Gillespie, Stan Getz, Joao & Astrud Gilberto and Sergio’s mentor, Antonio Carlos Jobim. The next night, Sergio went to Birdland to hear The Cannonball Adderley Quintet (then featuring Viennese pianist Josef Zawinul). The next day, Adderley had Mendes in the studio cutting Cannonball’s Bossa Nova for Riverside Records. The rest is five decades plus of sweet musical and cultural mingling history.
Sergio at the piano
Jazz Radio Host LeRoy Downs Brings Contemporary Spin to Jazz on Television with “The Jazz Creative”
Story by A. Scott Galloway
February 25, 2016
Jazz on television has gone from cigarette sponsored quarter hour black-and-white segments – often put on late night – to a cable network scrambling to fill 24/7 with jazz content. Los Angeles Jazz radio host LeRoy Downs has long held a vision of presenting the music in a fresh context to keep lovers of the music up on the latest and, more importantly, coaxing others that hold the art form at arm’s length to step into the embrace. In the interview that follows, Downs discusses his new monthly television program “The Jazz Creative,” debuting Friday, February 26 at 10 P.M. PST/1 A.M. EST, on the Aspire Network (check internet listings for how to see it on TV where you live).
Jody Watley: Fashionista…Flashinista…Shrewd Criminista
Interview and Concert Reflections by A. Scott Galloway
February 3, 2016
It’s Friday night on the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood – the winding boulevard that was once the funky vanguard of Rock & Roll debauchery, California-style. Tonight at The Roxy – a landmark club of the `70s that would open its doors to everyone from Neil Young (opening week in `73) and Genesis to The Crusaders, Frank Zappa, George Benson and Bob Marley & The Wailers (who all recorded live albums there) to the `80s/`90s-era when I personally saw Chaka Khan, Wynton Marsalis, Average White Band, The Time, Phoebe Snow, Tracy Chapman, Lenny Kravitz, Israel Houghton, Wendy & Lisa and Ernie Isley, to all the local hopefuls that fill in the nights between starbursts – I was on a mission. This night marked my first trip there in years to check in on iconic and ever-evolving Jody Watley, the Soul-Pop-Dance superstar who spun out of the trio Shalamar to become an international superstar of music, video and fashion.
Jody Watley – Dancer
Jean-Luc Ponty Talks Team-Up with Former Yes Front Man Jon Anderson for Life Affirming “Anderson Ponty Band (APB)” CD/DVD/Tour Extravaganza
Interview by A. Scott Galloway
As current events overwhelmingly decree, our planet is creaking under the weight of hate and wailing for peace and balance. For the musically astute and love-filled at heart, an unimpeachably brilliant and joyous new collaborative project between pioneering jazz-rock fusion electric violinist Jean-Luc Ponty and uber-optimistic singer/songwriter Jon Anderson, former front man of the progressive rock band Yes, is the soundtrack of hope at its most passionately sought and prayed for. Leaping over perceived pigeonholes in glorious strides and bounds, Anderson and Ponty have pooled their catalogs to create the most humanity reconfirming musical offering of 2015 – the 14-song CD/DVD Better Late Than Never.
Valerie Simpson: Reflections From Soul-Pop’s Windmill of Amour
by A. Scott Galloway
Best known as half of the songwriting/performing duo Ashford & Simpson, Valerie Simpson is under-recognized today for her multi-faceted accomplishments as an individual singer/writer/pianist that was also a featured vocalist on the projects of others, plus recorded solo albums. She never scored a solo project that sold like Carole King’s Tapestry – a historical breakthrough that inspired many women singer/songwriters – but Valerie’s third and most recent solo project, Dinosaurs Are Coming Back Again, deserves serious attention for showcasing the lady’s singing, playing and writing skills in a cornucopia of themes and styles.
Legendary Dionne Warwick Brings Out the Best In Friends Old and New on All-Star Duets Project Feels So Good
Interview by A. Scott Galloway – Music Editor – The Urban Music Scene
In a season that has seen superstars such as Aretha Franklin, Smokey Robinson, Barbara Streisand and Barry Manilow releasing concept projects of collaborations and/or cover songs on major labels, Dionne Warwick’s all-star duets project Feels So Good on the independent Bright Music Records label is the qualitative “David” superior to all of those “Goliaths” put together. The reasons are the compatibility and sincerity of the performances – intimate offerings that resonate with warmth often missing in those other high wattage/low heat projects. And then there are the songs, many of them Burt Bacharach & Hal David chestnuts that only get better with time. Dionne is a master of duets who has enjoyed timeless hits be it with The Spinners on “Then Came You” in`74 or Jeffrey Osborne with ”Love Power” in`87 or even the four way collaboration “That’s What Friends Are For” with Stevie Wonder, Elton John and Gladys Knight.
A legend from day one for Jazz Music & a legacy unlike any other, T.U.M.S. is very excited about the interview between our guy, Terrill Hanna & Mr. Joe Sample! Mr. Sample is slated to appear in this upcoming weekends 5th Annual Jazz In The Garden – in Miami, Florida (3/20-21/10)! He stopped by the scene to speak on that performance to happen, News about The Jazz Crusaders projects down the line for 2010, some insightful dialogue & much more! Enjoy!
(Published on: Mar 15, 2010)
Bobby Womack: Universal Truth
Interview by A. Scott Galloway
On March 4, 2014, Bobby Womack will turn 70 years-old.
That day will mark an amazing milestone for a music man whose legacy spans from singing gospel & R&B, respectively, with his brothers in The Womack Brothers and The Valentinos under the guidance of the late great Sam Cooke to writing and playing guitar behind kindred spirits such as Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett, Sly Stone and Janis Joplin. After a few solo albums on the Minit/Liberty Label, Womack came out in earnest in 1971 on United Artists Records with one of the greatest soul albums of all-time, Communication, where he excavated The Truth from his own spirit in songs such as “Give it Back,” “That’s the Way I Feel About Cha” and a young Leon Ware’s “Come L’amore” as well as the soul inside of songs by Pop peers such as James Taylor (“Fire & Rain”), Bacharach & David (“Close to You”) and Ray Stevens even (“Everything is Beautiful”).
One of Contemporary Jazz’s legendary guitarists of our time comes center-stage to the Playboy Jazz Festival on June 15th for a special performance. Our publisher Terrill J. Hanna sat down with Mr. Klugh and discussed what’s going on behind the scenes, a thought or two about the late George Duke, recording new material, a look back at a few classic collaborations and much more. Pull up a chair and check out the conversation!!