Earshot Boombox

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Saturday, October 13, 2012

Roger Riddle - The Un-named mix.

Well here it is. My first mix on the new Earshot page. I'm sorry to say though, this mix isn't new. I ran across it while looking at my Soundcloud page. I hadn't played it in a long time and all I really remembered about it was the first two tracks. Once it got rolling I really got into it, so I decided to share.

I created this mix when I thought about applying to The Red Bull Academy 3 years ago. Then I got chicken and never sent in my application.

This mix is what it is. No title. No tracklist. Just an hour of good music. I always imagined driving around a city late at night in a nice car viewing a beautiful nighttime cityscape.

That's never happened for me. I hope it will for you.

Please feel free to let me know what you think. About this mix or about any of the posts I make. I love responses, "Likes", and tweets. Holla at a brotha.


Sean Haefeli - Rise

This is one talented cat. Go ahead and look at all that style. If you had to guess as to what kind of music he made, what would you think?

Yep. Jazz. And he is something we don't too often hear from the world of Jazz any more.

This Berlin based Jazz phenom is a vocalist as well as a pianist, a lyricist, and a composer. He has self released three albums, and to top it all off ... he's a model. If you were that smooth wouldn't you be a model too? You'd wake up, look in the mirror and say, "I think I am going to be a model today," and walk out your house on the way to a photo shoot.

Ok. Let's get back to the music this man creates. He has a deep voice and his style of singing seems to stand on the point where rapping, scatting, and singing all cross. My very first though was that his style was in the vein of Gil Scott-Heron.

His band is tight. They remind me of The Roots circa Do You Want More?!!!??!. At times on Rise, Haefeli's newest album, he opts for the warm tones of the Fender Rhodes instead of a piano, giving the album a feel more like a mid 70s Jazz album. However, on "Essential" when he does play piano, you get a glimpse of how talented a pianist this young man really is.

There's not much more I need to say here. Now it's up to you to give it a listen.

DJ Nature - Savage Reprise

There are many unsung heroes in the world of music. People who made a consistent impact over many years and they go largely unknown. However, if you meet the right people you will learn that these overlooked masters are held with the highest esteem by some.

Allow me to introduce you to DJ Nature (not to be confused with DJ Nature of "Live And Direct" with Slim Kid Tre and Rev. Shines in Portland) aka Milo Johnson. Back in the late 70s/ early 80s he went by DJ Milo and was throwing some of the most eclectic parties in Bristol, England with Nellee Hooper and Grant "Daddy G" Marshall. They became known as The Wild Bunch because they were playing funk, new wave, disco, jazz, reggae, soul, punk and hip hop.

This was indeed some heavy company. Marshall went on to form Massive Attack. Hooper went on to work with Soul II Soul.

Milo went on to tour Japan with The Jungle Brothers, DJ Red Alert, DJ Cash Money, and Public Enemy. He worked under the monikers DJ Milo, DJ Nature Boy and now DJ Nature. It's said, his style of DJing Disco records has had a direct influence on how the UK House DJs played in the early 90s.

Now, DJ Nature has been living in New York and enjoys a successful career as a House DJ, playing some pretty high profile parties. He has also released a few tracks via the Golf Channel Recordings record label.
"Savage Reprise" is a moving, soulful, House track that leans somewhat to the Detroit style of House. The video seems to be an introspective and artistic look into a day in the life of DJ Nature.

I enjoy playing House and a song like this one plays an important role in setting the vibe of the set in the early part of the mix. If you hear that one, you know it's going to be a deep and sexy night.

Dag Savage - Cali Dreaming

Dag Savage is a Calironia based group consisting of MC Johaz and producer Exile.

Exile is a busy man. This guy consistently puts out music from some of the best "under the radar" MCs. This is the same Exile behind Blu & Exile, Dirty Science Records, and even way back in the day (circa 1995-2005) a member of the group Emanon, which featured a rapping Aloe Blacc.

So, fresh off the second album from Blu & Exile, Give Me My Flowers While I Can Still Smell Them, Exile headed back into the studio to work with Johaz on the Dag Savage project. The result was a mixtape and an official 4-track EP, Cali Dreaming.

The title track features up and coming Cali MCs Fashawn and Co$$ and...wait...is that Tiombe Lockhart singing? Yes! Tiombe Lockhart of The Platinum Pied Pipers and Cubic Zirconia makes a guest appearance as well.

What I like most about this track is that in this era of flash, pizazz, and trap, this is just straight forward hip-hop. A solid simple beat and lyrics that convey stories about life.

Well done Dag Savage. Well done.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Millie Forte - Titleless

When certain people send me music I get excited because I know they are always going to hand me something extraordinary.

For instance, I knew when I heard from Al King, whatever this track was was going to be good. Damn good.

And it was.

He introduced me to a young artist named Millie Forte out of Atlanta. Forte is part of a collective of creative minded musicians, rappers, and producers named Universal Kingdom.

Millie Forte is the singer of the collective. He's appeared on some of Al King's past works. He works in a very mellow and laid back style that he refers to as "Chillwave"; a soulful, downtempo, electronic style that overachieves on "Titleless". This is the type of electronic music that would make even the most staunch electro hater listen close.

However it's not really fair to just group "Titleless" in with electronic and leave it be when there are so many elements at work. The best thing to do is just listen and let you decide for yourself.

It seems to touch on styles similar to artists such as Submotion Orchestra, 4Hero, Anthony Valadez, and others while still being unique. This one will definitely end up in an up coming downtempo mix from me.

I'll be checking for more from Millie Forte and the rest of the Universal Kingdom crew.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Kutiman - Dover.D

I'm going to start this blog off not talking about the artist who is the subject.

Instead I am going to talk about my love of Star Wars.

When I was 2 years old, my parents sent me to New York to stay with my aunt while they moved from our apartment into a house. It was June, so my birthday was the following month and I would turn 3 then, but I was still 2 years old at the time.

My aunt took me to see a double feature. It was Grease and Star Wars; an unlikely combination. She later told my mother that I danced through Grease but I fell asleep on Star Wars. That wasn't quite true. I may have fallen asleep but I was sitting very still because I was blown away by the robots and spaceships. I became a lifelong Star Wars fan. That day set the tone for the rest of my life. When I saw my mom all I could talk about was Star Wars. I wanted to make everything I saw in that movie. I grew up learning how to program computers and even studied electrical engineering because of Star Wars.

BUT, I also grew up obsessed with music. I secretly wanted to be a DJ. I eventually left all of my technology work behind to try my fortune as a DJ. Here I am even writing a blog about music. Grease kinda won the battle for my soul (Which side did I join? The Light or the Dark?). I say kinda because I still watch the original Star Wars once a year. I still buy the toys. I play the video games. I want to be a wookie. And I saw this video and thought it was the coolest thing in THE WORLD!

Well, I'm on the hunt for new music and I run across this great jazzy song. I at first thought it was something from the late 60s or early 70s, it was so swank. However, I found out the song was new and was made by a guy named Kutiman.

Kutiman is a musician and animator from Israel. He studied Jazz in Tel Aviv. There he met a DJ named Sabbo. Sabbo turned Kutiman onto funk and afrobeat, and his traditional Jazz tastes began expaning rapidly.

In 2003 he took a trip to Jamaica to study reggae and ended up meeting and working with Stephen and Damien Marley.

In the years that followed he became a YouTube sensation with a musical visual collage called ThruYou. He took YouTube videos of other musicians and made their videos fit his own music. The videos went viral. He was even asked to do a similar video for Maroon 5.

Well, then I run across the video for this Dover.D song that I had been digging and my jaw hit the ground. Here's what I saw.

Holy moley! Dover.D is apparently an ode to the work of graffiti artist Dover.D who was hired by the Tel Aviv City Hall to install public art on the escalators! The words in the song even make sense "I'm gonna change you woman, step by step"!

Kutiman also has a self-titled album released in March of 2011.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Fatima and Funkineven - Phoneline

I first heard Fatima in 2010 on "Warm Eyes" which featured Dam Funk on production on her debut release, Mind Travellin EP. Her voice combined with the smooth beat from Dam Funk had me hooked. However the stunner for me from that album was the soulfully electronic "On The Go" which was produced by Funkineven.

The cosmic sound of "On The Go" was so fresh and new, the song sat on repeat for weeks. I was unsure which I was more enamored with, Fatima's voice or Funkineven's production. I mean Fatima breaks down the song at the end with an interpolation of Tears For Fears "Head Over Heels", while even through the electronic cosmic storm of this beat you can hear an influence from Donald Byrd on Funkineven.

I felt like I had met the musical equivalent of my best friends.

Lucky for me (and everyone else) this duo realizes how well they work together because they continue to release music on Floating Point's label, Eglo.

They have just released a video for the title track from their upcoming EP Phoneline. This funky number that gives a nod to 90s House doesn't disappoint.

While the EP is available in the UK, it becomes available in the US on October 15th.

Floco Torres - Mega Ton Bombshell

I love Macon music. I think listening to the music from the town you live in grounds you and plugs you in to what happening.

Floco Torres is a New Jersey expatriate now living in Macon, Georgia. He fits in with a generation of hard working, successful musicians in Macon which include, Jubee And The Morning After, Back City Woods, Mag Tard, and DJ Shawty Slim.

Floco Torres considers the month of October his own. His birthday falls in the middle of the month and he usually celebrates all month long by releasing new music and performing live shows, dubbing the month "Floctober".

Torres starts this Floctober off with a bang (heh heh...sorry about that) with the release of "Mega Ton Bombshell". We find the playful lyricst joined production-wise by the equally talented G!manfantastic. Together they create a hard hitting downtempo track that pokes fun at what the mainstream considers cool today.

This track will be featured on the upcoming EP The ProjecT, to be released on October 15th, Torres birthday.  The ProjecT EP is a precursor to his new album Psychdelphia Two.

When you download "Mega Ton Bombshell" for 99 cents, all proceeds go to the production costs of the new album.

Bobby Womack - Love Is Gonna Lift You Up (Julio Bashmore Remix)

One of the greatest things that happened to music over the last year was the release of Bobby Womack's new album, The Bravest Man In The Universe, this past summer. While the album may not have been a chart topper and may have gone widely unnoticed by everyone except die hard Bobby Womack fans and music collectors, it made a statement about longevity in the music industry.

Bobby Womack's musical career has lasted 50 years. In those 50 years he wrote and recorded "It's All Over Now" which went on to be covered by The Rolling Stones and became their first UK #1 hit. He was the guitarist for Sam Cooke. He played on Aretha Franklin's Lady Soul album. He worked with Sly And The Family Stone. He was close friends and even wrote "Trust Me" for Janis Joplin.

In the 70s it seemed like Womack could do no wrong releasing several hit albums that gave us stand  out tracks like "Across 110th Street", "Harry Hippie", "Lookin' For A Love" and others.

He didn't slow down in the 80s either, releasing hits like, "If You Think You're Lonely Now" and "I Wish He Didn't Trust Me So Much".

1998 he was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.

He was recently heard on The Gorillaz Plastic Beach album with Mos Def on "Stylo". Which would lead to Damon Albarn teaming up with Richard Russell to produced The Bravest Man In The Universe for XL Records. The album is a great piece of Soul with Womack's voice sounding older but as strong as ever.

With a career like that one thing that has always bothered me is that there aren't a lot of moments where you can pull off playing Bobby Womack as a DJ in the club. You can work Across 110th Street in sometimes but that's about it. The Bravest Man In The Universe has inspired some remixers to correct the situation for us DJs.

One of my favorites is a House rework of "Love Is Gonna Lift You Up" by Julio Bashmore. He turns the song into a building, uplifting, dance number that would sound good early in a set, setting the mood for what's to come.

But you can't go wrong with the originals. Pick up this album if you don't have it already.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

"Whiter Shade Of Pale", "When A Man Loves A Woman" and "Canon In D Major"

The UK's Procol Harum broke onto the scene in 1967 with their very first single becoming a number 1 hit. "Whiter Shade Of Pale", known for it's unusual lyrics and Hammond organ, has become a monument to Rock and Roll.

To state just how big the song is, in 2004 Rolling Stone magazine named "Whiter Shade Of Pale" #57 in it's 500 greatest songs of all time. In that same year Phonographic Performance Limited recognized it as the most played record by British broadcasting of the past 70 years. There are over 1000 known covers of the song.

Procol Harum has always said that their song was based on Bach's Orchestral Suite Number 3 in D Major (remember that, it will come into play again later).

"A Whiter Shade Of Pale" sounds very similar to another famous song. Percy Sledge's "When A Man Loves A Woman", even down to the cadence the lyrics are sung in both (Particularly the very last line you can hear as "A Whiter Shade Of Pale" begins to fade out and the famous opening line of "When A Man Loves A Woman").

Recorded and released in 1966, "When A Man Loves A Woman" was also a number 1 hit on both the Hot 100 and R&B charts. Rolling Stone magazine ranked this song #54 on the 500 greatest songs of all time.

The coolest part of the story behind this song is that when they went in the studio to record it, the song had no title or lyrics and Sledge completely improvised the song. He was so convincing that the band assumed he had the lyrics written down.

And they both sound like Pachelbel's Canon in D Major!

Canon In D Major was most likely written in the late 1600s. It was forgotten for a couple of centuries but was rediscovered and published for the first time in the early 1900s. It became wildly popular and if Billboard had existed back then, it would have been a number 1 hit. We've all heard this song at more than one wedding and the song seems to have no desire to fade away.

Now the crazy part of this story is, it is speculated that Pachelbel may have written the song for a wedding. In fact it was probably written for Johann Christoph Bach's wedding, who just happened to be the brother of Johann Sebastian Bach!

Well what is it about these three songs that made them so popular? Is it the power of D Major as a key? Is it the use of descending chord progressions? If you figure it out, please tell me so I can write the next big classic hit.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Cut Chemist - Adidas To Addis

Cut Chemist is the record collector's collector. By that I mean if you are a record collector, there are a few big named collectors out there that you know have the collection of your dreams. Cut Chemist is going to wind up in that conversation sooner or later.

He was one of the DJ's for the California based Hip-Hop group Jurassic 5. He is a world class turntablist. He is a not notch producer and remixer. Due to his extensive record collection, he is a bit of a music historian.

 If you found out that Cut Chemist record collection was 35,000 pieces deep, how would you react? (Yes that is correct and not a typo.) I mean, my own collection is only roughly around 3,000 pieces. HE HAS OVER 10 TIMES MORE THAN ME. His collection is so big that he owns an old horse stable that he has converted into record storage. He once took a trip to Brazil to go record shopping with so many other heavyweight collectors that the trip may have been the single biggest factor in the sharp rise of the price of records in Brazil. So knowing all that, wouldn't you want to take a peek at his collection?

Well, Fuse knows that we want to see a collection that impressive. So they sat down for an interview in the midst of all (well, most) of his records.

What does someone do with a record collection like that? Well, he takes tiny bits of different songs and creates music like this:

You can download "Adidas To Addis" for free.

JADEN - The Coolest

Back before Will Smith became the actor everyone knows today, in the Hip-Hop world he was known as The Fresh Prince from Philadelphia.

Now it seems his son Jaden is following in dad's footsteps.

Jaden just released a new track titled "The Coolest" and I have to admit, it's not that bad. In fact it is better than a lot of stuff I hear. He does have the fact that the beat is from The Stuyvesants, working to his advantage.

Originally they hadn't been given credit for the beat but it seems all that has been straightened out and Jaden will even be using a second beat from them on his upcoming album released through DatPiff.com.

That's all really good news for The Stuyvesants. They make really good music and deserve a big break like this one.

In case you haven't seen it, here's the video.

He looks so much like his daddy. That haircut makes me think 1989 all over again.

Rotary Connection - I Am The Black Gold Of The Sun

Rotary Connection was the idea of Marshall Chess, the son of Leonard Chess, founder of the famous Chess Records.

In 1966, Marshall Chess, the director of Cadet Concept Records, wanted to move away from the blues, soul and rock that had made Chess a powerhouse record label and try something new. His idea was to tap the psychedelic movement that was prevailing in the 60s.

He formed Rotary Connection from musicians close to Chess Records. He gathered studio musicians, songwriters, and singers. Two stand out musicians who joined the band were guitarist Phil Upchurch (who went on to have a stellar Jazz career) and then Chess receptionist, Minnie Riperton.

They released 6 albums between 1967 and 1971. All of the albums are good but the stand out album is 1971's Hey Love. On this album we see a jazzier Rotary Connection than we have before. The band must have viewed it as a drastic enough change that they even credit the album to the New Rotary Connection. It features a song titled "I Am The Black Gold Of The Sun".

Starting in 1993, the House music DJ and Production duo of "Little" Louie Vega and Kenny "Dope" Gonzalez (known as Masters At Work) found themselves working with live musicians and even quite a few Jazz greats. They began releasing these recordings under the moniker Nuyorican Soul. In 1997, Nuyorican Soul covered Rotary Connection's "I Am The Black Gold Of The Sun". They then called in the UK Electronic Soul production team, 4Hero, to create a remix of the track. Widely regarded to be 4Hero's best remix, the result is a piece of work that keeps the integrity of the original and brings it into harmony with the fast paced style of Drum & Bass that was popular in the late 90s.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Fontella Bass - Rescue Me

You know those songs that everyone thinks is one singer and it's actually someone else. We've all corrected our friends when they coughed up the wrong singer. Well, I can't think of a song that I've heard people get wrong more than "Rescue Me".

Most people think it's an Aretha Franklin song. Fontella Bass recorded and released the song in 1965 on Chess Records. The song featured two unknown members of the backing back who went on to become stars in their own right. Maurice White (who later went on to form Earth, Wind & Fire) was on drums and a young Minnie Riperton was on backing vocals. The song went on to top the R&B charts for a month and reached #4 on the pop charts. It became a million selling single.

She never saw the success of "Rescue Me" again but she went on to work on many other great projects. Her career saw a resurgence when she recorded two tracks with Cinematic Orchestra on their albums Every Day (2002) and Ma Fleur (2007).

Cinematic Orchestra - "Work It" & "All That You Give"

Cinematic Orchestra is another group who is able to mix Jazz and Electronic music together in a way that even the most hating on Electro person you know will say, "That's good". The group plays live instrumentation with the accompaniment of a turntablist.

They released their first album Motion in 1999 and because of their name and their sound, they have been closely tied to movies ever since.

They were asked to perform at a Lifetime Achievement Award ceremony for Stanley Kubrick by the Director's Guild Awards.

Then, in 2001 they were asked to compose a new score for the 1929 Dziga Vertov silent film Man With A Movie Camera to be played live with a screening of the film at the Porto European City of Culture festival.

They later went into the studio and recorded the score and released it. They followed up that release with their second album, Every Day. It featured some songs from Man With A Movie Camera  reworked with lyrics, but it opened with the wonderfully arranged "All That You Give", featuring vocals by legendary soul singer Fontella Bass.

Since then they have released two more studio albums, including 2012's In Motion #1, a live album, a movie score for Disney, and a DJ mixed collection of favorite songs.

Mr Hermano - Free As The Morning Sun

While I was listening to Submotion Orchestra, I was thinking of other bands that reminded me of them. One that immediately came to mind was Mr. Hermano. I decided to look them up to see if they had put out anything new since we last crossed paths. The last time I had heard anything from them was on the 2003 album Free As The Morning Sun on the Mr. Bongo record label.

I found out that they hadn't released anything since then. Then I began to realize that I didn't know anything about the actual group. So I decided to look up who was in the group. That was even hard to find. There was no web page for them. Not even a Wikipedia page.

I did end up finding a page with just a little bit of information. What I learned for me was just as shocking as finding out that nothing really existed for them.

Mr Hermano was a project started by Ben Mitchell and Chris Fitzgerald. I had always assumed that Mr. Hermano was Brazilian based on how the music sounded. Come to find out both these guys are from the UK. And these two are kind of a big deal in the music industry.

Ben Mitchell produces music for TV and films. With a career that spans over 20 years he has produced over 250 singles and 18 albums. He's worked with The BeeGees, Norman Jay, Heaven 17, The Idjut Boys and a bunch more.

Chris Fitzgerald ran Laws Of Motion Records ans was really a big part of the London Jazz scene in the late 90s early 2000s.  He was the male vocalist behind Mr. Hermano.

The rest of the band was like a who's who list of musicians. Joe De Jesus of Incognito, Billie Godfry who tours with Heaven 17 and Lionel Richie, Jeff Walker of The Idjut Boys as well as others.

The point of all this is that Mr. Hermano ceased after Free As The Morning Sun. They did release one album before this one called O Globo in 1999.

The title track from Free As The Morning Sun is beautiful and sounds like you feel when you wake up in a good mood. It is a cover of a Carlos Santana tune from his 1979 album Oneness, released under his Buddhist name Devadip Carlos Santana, on Columbia records.

The rest of the album from Mr. Hermano is just as good. I've not heard O Globo but I imagine it is a treat as well.

Submotion Orchestra - Blind Spot

The album I've played most over that last year was Submotion Ochestra's Finest Hour. And that's really saying something for me because the Quantic and Alice Russell album was high on my list.

However, the UK band from Leeds delivered with Finest Hour. It was absolutely beautiful. It was this amazing mix of Electronic, Jazz, Soul, and who knows what else. That had done it right. The arrangements of the songs were near mind blowing. They would make great arrangers like Bob James proud, and in another dimension they would have been worthy of Creed Taylor's signature.

Ruby Wood's vocals are to die for and can tug at your heart strings as she does perfectly on Finest Hour's "All Your's", which is available for free download on their website.

Now, I can't even say after a long wait because I am still playing the first album like it just came out, the second album, Fragments, from Submotion Orchestra is here! Well, almost. It will be released on October 8th. But, I have heard a preview of the album and it is all I wanted from a second album.

Tell me your thoughts on this track, "Blindspot".

Then buy the album on October 8th and tell me what you think of Fragments.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Jephte Guillaume - Ibo Lele (Ginen Tet Red Mix)

I'm not lying at all when I say this song is hard to find. I first heard it on Dimitri From Paris's "After The Playboy Mansion" mixtape and I have been looking for it ever since.

Jephte Guillaume is from Haiti. The song was released on Spiritual Life Music in 1999. There just seems to be so few of them out there.

Normally I am not into songs with tribal chants in them. However, this one grabs me. Guillaume's voice is deep and seems to control the song like when you hear a baptist preacher singing along in a gospel song.

Infectious isn't a strong enough word for how this song seems to make you want to move. You all let me know if you see this one somewhere.

Louie Vega - Thinking About Your Body

Louie Vega is one of the hardest working men in House music. I see his name constantly on re-edits, remixes, productions, DJ sets. He's everywhere and unavoidable if you are into House. That's not a bad thing.

Vega's music is good. In fact better than good. It's tip-toes on the line between House and Latin Jazz.

I was thrilled when I heard this newest selection which featured Josh Milan on the vocals. The deep and sexy track is full of great horns, lush string synths, piano, and great singing.

I love how House songs are long. When it's as good as a song like this one it makes you appreciate someone who can work one line or one melody over and over and it not bore you. You can't help but dance to this one.

I can certainly hear Dimitri from Paris playing this one.

Angel Haze - New York

Angel Haze, rocking a Detroit Tigers cap
Angel Haze is a young, new comer to the Hip-Hop scene. Born in '91, she started writing lyrics when she was only 11 years old. Her lyricism harkens back to the golden age of lady MCs.

So often what we hear from female MCs is all sexuality. It's nice to hear a focus on lyric crafting for a change. I've heard it recently from Ethel Cee and dumhi.

I hope this is becoming a growing trend.

I don't really know much more about Angel Haze. I do know that her song, "New York" is a great piece and I think it could hold it's own against the female heavyweights currently ruling the court in the world of Hip-Hop.

Emanative featuring Zara McFarlane - Lions Of Chiaroscuro

The other day on my Facebook page I talked about Steve Reid's "Lions Of Judah". It's a song I've always loved but don't own an actual copy of.

The legendary drummer, Steve Reid, passed away last year. In tribute to his life and work, Emanative, a project of drummer and percussionist, Nick Woodmansey, covered the famous track.

Nick Woodmansey
Today I ran across a version of the Emanative track that included vocals from Zara McFarlane's "Chiaroscuro" and featured the original trumpeter from the Steve Reid version, Ahmed Abdullah.  This version was titled "Lions Of Chiaroscuro" and was only released as a 7" limited release single from Gilles Peterson's Brownswood label and it only sold on this past Record Store Day. All proceeds were donated to the Steve Reid Foundation.

While it's going to be pretty hard to find this single until it gets a proper release (please let it get a regular release for all us poor saps who missed it), we can take consolation in Zara McFarlane's album, Until Tomorrow, which contains the original version of "Chiaroscuro".

Monday, September 24, 2012

Evitan - 3 Kings (Featuring Sadat X)

In the 80s and into mid-90s there was a collective of Hip-Hoppers called the Native Tongues. It was made up of De La Soul, A Tribe Called Quest, The Jungle Brothers, Queen Latifa, Monie Love, and Black Sheep. They were considered to be the conscious rap of the 90s. 

They never recorded an album together as a collective but they did feature guest appearances on each other's albums.

Later on you could say the group expanded to include Mos Def and even Common. The membership of this group was really loose.

As we come into this current era of Hip-Hop. One of the moments that hurt me most was the break-up of A Tribe Called Quest. No Hip-Hop group seemed to embody my thoughts on music more than The Tribe. They were full of Hip-Hop, Jazz, Soul, thoughtfulness, insight, and a host of other things that tend to lose focus on the actual music.

Well, my good buddy Stuckey hit me up one day and told me that Jarobi (the most enigmatic member of A Tribe Called Quest) and Dres (of Black Sheep) had formed a group called Evitan and it was good. And from the way he was going on it was more than good.

I listened to a track and I had to agree. The coming together of these two MCs was something special if you were a fan of the Native Tongues sound.

Well now the album, Speed Of Life, is out and it's a winner. It features guest appearances by, Homeboy Sandman, Bootsy Collins, Res, Craig G, Sadat X and others. It's as close as you can get to reliving those mid 90s days without having to wear the patterned collared shirts and air brushed jeans.

Here's "3 Kings" featuring Sadat X for the album.

Blue Mitchell's "Soul Village"

Blue Mitchell is often over looked when it comes to Jazz artists.

He got his start in the 50s playing trumpet with R&B bands but in 1958, Cannonball Adderly noticed him. He played with Adderly for awhile and then moved on to play with Horace Silver until the mid 60s.

When he left Silver, he formed his own band which included a young Chick Corea on piano. That band recorded a string of albums for Blue Note.

In 1971 he released a self-titled album, Blue Mitchell. It started off with the song "Soul Village" so the album is often mistakenly called Soul Village. This album was released on the Mainstream Records label. He released four albums on that label and they are considered to be not as good as his Blue Note releases, but that's just a matter of taste. If you are a hard core Bop fan you will enjoy the Blue Note releases. If you you enjoy a little funk in your jazz, you will probably prefer the Mainstream releases.

He later went on to tour with Ray Charles and John Mayall. And later became to principal soloist for Tony Bennett and Lena Horne.

I recently ran across "Soul Village" and I love it.

The album, Blue Mitchell, is available for download through Amazon. And seems to run for about $13-$35 for the original LP. I'm not sure if it has been re-released on vinyl.

Welcome to the new Earshot. Sorry for the inconvenience. The last host I had wasn't worth the money I paid for it. You'll still get the mixes and podcasts as I record them but now you'll also get some play by play commentary on music that I've run across that I find interesting. So stay tuned! This version of Earshot will be even better than the last.

Thanks for your patience.