Monday, December 15, 2014

Eddie Jefferson Concert

Two months ago, I learned about the late, great Eddie Jefferson. 

What a singer? He is known as the father of vocalese. He could take any instrumental tune and imitate the sounds of the instruments with words or scatting. Listening to him sing is an earful. He definitely has an interestingly, different sound worth listening to. And so, I have been listening. I also enjoy viewing performances and am excited to be watching one of his performances on DVD.

What is interesting about this concert is that it was recorded exactly six months after I was born which was also his last performance before his tragic death only two days later. The performance was recorded at Joe Segal's Jazz Showcase in Chicago in 1979 and featured Richie Cole on saxophone, John Campbell on piano, Kelly Sill on bass, Joel Spencer on drums and Jefferson on vocals. 

I am enjoying watching how he graces the stage while interacting with his musicians and audience. He is so free with the words he sings and has a wonderful approach. Though it is almost 36years after this concert was performed, it is still relevant and just in time for someone like me who just recently started singing jazz more frequently and am always seeking direction and inspiration. Jefferson is a great singer to listen to and learn from. This would definitely be a great gift for that songbird in your life. 

Disclaimer: I am not a distributor or seller of this product. I will not be given compensation for discussing this program. I am a music enthusiast and am sharing the information for others who might be interested in obtaining it for their own personal viewing. 

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

First Tuesdays at Rustik Tavern in Brooklyn, NY

I love how jazz music is not just about listening but the singing, dancing and appreciating. 

This is a visual of what Eric Frazier's jazz jam looks like. Music, singing, tap dancing, great food and more. Such a great night of energy.  

You can experience it for yourself every first Tuesday of the month at Rustik Tavern located at 471 Dekalb Avenue in Brooklyn, NY 11205.  

Every first Tuesday from 7pm to 11pm. All are welcome.   

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Singer/Songwriter Stuart Thomas

Stuart Thomas is a singer and songwriter from the Brooklyn, NY area who is about to release a video for his song entitled, "Can't We Try to Live."  I had the opportunity to sit down with the independent artist today and here are some of the things we discussed about his life and his music.

MCSJ: What is the song "Can't We Try To Live" about?
Thomas: It is about relationships. Basically, the ups and downs of love. It is about a couple who is still together but wanting to start life over again to make things better. 

MCSJ: Wow! Sounds interesting and very real. That is a situation that many listeners will be able to relate to. How long have you been writing?
Thomas: I've been writing since I was in high school. I think it was about 25 years ago in 1989. 

MCSJ: Where do you get the inspiration for the songs you write?
Thomas: From everyday life that people live. From the things that we see in life and from the relationships we tend to attach ourselves to.

MCSJ: Are there any artist or genres that you love to sing or listen to the most?
Thomas: I love all types of music. And it's funny; I grew up in a household where my father sang when he was alive and my sister sings all day long around the house. I went to High School of Music in Harlem on 135th Street and Convent Avenue. I was a member of the Brooklyn Boys Chorus where I've sung opera in Italian and French all over the world including in Italy, Venice and at the world renowned Carnegie Hall and with artists like Leonard Bernstein, Andre Watts and the Philharmonic Orchestra. I also love jazz music. But out of all the genres, I listen to R&B the most. Marvin Gaye, Luther Vandross and Earth Wind & Fire inspire me very much.

MCSJ: You have a lot under your belt I must say. That's impressive. So I know the ladies are dying to know; is there a Mrs Thomas?
Thomas: No. I am single, in my forties and have no kids.

MCSJ: Alright single ladies. Here is a strong-minded and available man without baby mama drama who is going places. Stay tuned for more. Video coming soon! 

Monday, October 27, 2014

Dishing Out A Plate of Sandy: 2 Years Later

Two years ago today I was getting myself together to go on my very first cruise. 

It was supposed to be on the Carnival Cruise line going to Puerto Rico, Barbados and Turks & Caicos and leaving from New York City. Our boat was scheduled to leave on October 29th but because of the approaching storm, the date of departure was changed to the 28th to try to beat Sandy. I hadn't even packed my bags yet and had a late night gig at Plate of Soul in Queens with 19 South Band the night before. 

That Saturday was spent rushing to get the last minute things I needed as well as getting my nails and feet done. I only had a short period of time to get myself together plus to be at Plate of Soul for my singing engagement. 

While I was sitting at the venue. as I am in the picture above, I received notice that my trip was cancelled; the next few days was history. 

Sandy! New York! State of emergency! Destruction. Thank God we got insurance on the trip and were able to get our money back. 

What a blessing to say that two years later, I'm still here. Could've been worst I guess but I still hope one day to go on a cruise and enjoy it!!! 

Friday, October 3, 2014

Smile, it's Friday!!!

It's Friday. The first Friday of October, 2014. And a great day to share a smile. Not simply because today is Friday; thank God. But because it's world smile day. 

Share a smile with someone today. It takes more effort to frown than to smile. You never know who's day you can brighten. Smiling is contagious. 

Happy Friday and happy world smile day!!!!


Wednesday, October 1, 2014

A Year of Jazzy Strong Arms Around Louis

Mama Kat is always inspiring some cool blogs as she did this one. What was I writing about a year ago?

2013 Reincarnated

A year ago around this time, I was taking jazz classes with hopes to learn how to scat. I came across a great jazz improvisationalist named Marion Cowings and he gave me guidance on the art of jazz crooning; though I have found that jazzmusic is still one of the most difficult genres of music to grasp. After listening to his CD and heard his cover of the Flintstones, I wrote a blogpost about his song and his class, among other things.

A year ago, I was writing about songs that have been reincarnated and my blogpost started with an image of Louis Armstrong. Check out the old post here, written on September 29, 2013: The Sounds of Reincarnated Music.

To look back and see where you were is interesting when you look at the here and now at what has occurred since then. For one, I visited the home of Louis Armstrong, now a museum located in the Corona section of New York.

Louis Louis

It was awesome to see where he lived, how he lived and to learn more about this fascinating jazz musical icon; especially about the song "What a Wonderful World."

The lyrics itself are wonderful. A truly positive message is reverberated through the words and sound. And Louis sang it so beautifully. Louis was a type of person who loved where he lived and he loved his neighbors. The children all around loved him and would call him Uncle Louis. These song was written in honor of them because he loved coming back to Corona and enjoying life and his surroundings; especially the children. Made me find a little bit more respect for the song and made me want to sing it.

And so, I did. Still trying to grasp jazz singing, I am always trying a new song. I learned the lyrics and melody to "What a Wonderful World," and sang it; live. I changed the key to Bflat but, this song has so much meaning to me now that I fell in love with it.

Please check out the live footage of my performance of the cover of "What a Wonderful World" on Youtube. The following is the link:

Thank you for reading my blog post.