Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Autumn is the Perfect Time to Fall Back Into Fitness

It's autumn; the perfect time to fall back into fitness. 

Summer fun is over. Time to start a new way of living. Time to get inching and ready for better health and more feel great days. 

Not as many barbecue grills out anymore. Kind of cold now but nice enough to take a stroll and experience the beauty of the new season. Remember; with just 30 minutes of cardio fitness a day, you can improve your heart health tremendously. Walk, run, jog, kettlebell, Wii sport or whatever; do something to give your engine a pure workout. 

If you aim for fitness at all, do it for the sake of your health. And whatever you do, aim and stay on target until you reach that point. You got the strength!!!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

What About Them Strings?

I always thought of the bass as my favorite instrument because of the energy of the musician playing it and the funk of it. 

The bass always seems like the first thing I hear in any song. The deep bottom that just holds the groove together, in my opinion, makes a song just what it is. 

I was walking through the Flatbush Frolic today that ran across Cortelyou Rd in Brooklyn, NY from Coney Island Avenue to a Ocean Avenue, and saw a table with some very unique guitars. Of the many they had, a custom made bass guitar, once played by John Popper of the Blues Travelers Band. 

It was light in weight. Plucked a pretty nice sound. I could hear the bass thumps reverberating out of the amp as I took a slap at it. Nice!  

What makes this funk machine unique is the many carvings of endangered species that run around it; These are the things that make it one of those instruments you know "be killing the wild sounds."

The instrument show was all part of Bar Chord's display. Bar Chord is a bar and lounge located at 1008 Cortelyou Road between Coney Island Avenue and Stratford Road in Brooklyn, NY. The owner, Johnny, told me that there's live entertainment there every night. And on any night that you make your way there, there are unique guitars for sale above the stage and in the window. 

I think I want to go there just to check out some of the other cool guitars they might have; that is, after I join into the jazz jam session they have on certain nights of the week. 

I'm loving how Kensington just keeps on getting better and better. Now, How do you like them strings? 

Antiquated Rhythms

I don’t know about you, but it seems like things of the past continue to recycle in my life, not always as a memory but sometimes as something as vintage as Lady Mechanika Saloon chic, coming into the here and now moments; and sometimes also with the amnesia of these forgotten moments in time.  

Consider music that never dies or old fashion styles that continue to reinvent themselves in these here moments. For if it were not for the inventors who paved the way and inspired, some would have never found that dose of motivation to begin.  And although some of those reinvented things from the past are what many would consider antiquated, new kids on the block might be seeing these things for the first time and consider them as new.

I remember recently being on stage with the Celebrate Band at the 2014 Jamaica Arts and Music Festival and singing background for our drummer Hakeem Hanton, who was  interpreting a cover of the Force MDs “Tears” and doing a wonderful job hitting all the falsetto notes.  Then all of a sudden,  I was at the COBANYC 2014 Family Day at Six Flags Great Adventures and the Force MDs themselves were right their crooning their tune.  How ironic is that?
With The Force MDs and DJ Denise at Six Flags Great Adventures
In today’s world when we hear new expressions of classical tunes that were originally composed in the 1500s and vocal jazz scatting, you realize that some things just never die. They just remain in hearts and minds and continue to live on. And then we have all the remakes, the polka dot phase resurfacing and the sheer clothing items that folks have been wearing lately.  It was just the other day when I was watching the best of Soul Train on DVD and saw a commercial about Afro Sheen and then today we see so many beauties returning back to the natural hair styles. 

The more things in life change, the more they remain the same.  And the more we get lost in trying to find new things and reach new horizons, the more acculturated we become with who we are.  The key in life is to rise out your seat and to do a song and dance that fits who you are, whether you are wobbling forward or you are doing the running man into doors that only God can open.

Remember to never forget to acknowledge the truth that God, our creator and savior, holds our tomorrow. So today, thank him for, all that he has done, all that he is doing and all that he will do.  And if you think about it, no matter how antiquated old time religion might seem to be, God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.
And this truth never changes!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

My Nails Did in Five Minutes

Sometime there's time to do the things you know you want and deserve and then there are times when you just don't get those special moments.

I tell you; there is nothing like sitting in that wonderful massage chair at my nail salon to get my nails and feet done. There's just something about allowing someone to beautify you just a little bit more than you are right now. 

But those times when you don't have an available moment for it, there are always other options. 

For instance! Today, I had to wake up bright and early to drive up to Great Adventures Them Park to sing with the ATM Band. Sound check is early so we had to make sure to be there on time. Disappointedly, I didn't get a chance to get my nails done. But who says I can't have salon quality looking nails? 

I was able to put on my nail dresses by Kiss My Nails on and in less than five minutes, my nails look performance ready. Thank God for my affordable option. 

Friday, September 19, 2014

"The Intern" during Rush Hour in NYC

Friday night at the end of the work day in the Wall Street area, is when you see working men and women, running like speed racers to catch their buses and trains for home, friends rushing to get to happy hour at some local bar and tourists rushing to get to some pretty, cool NYC attractions in the area. 

The rush sort of reminds me of the movie "Rush Hour." It's action packed, somewhat funny when you think about it but minus the excitement because the getting home process can be somewhat difficult at times; especially when the traffic to get to the tunnel can often be backed up or when the train is standing room only yet, buskers still find room to dance and do cartwheels among the car passengers. Yet, we make it home in one piece, ready for the blessings of the weekend.

Today was no different. Rush hour came and I was like an Olympian running from my desk out the building, just to get to my next destination. Working men and women were in floods with the same mindset trying to get down Water Street. But something different happened today. Excitement! 

The film and camera crew of the upcoming movie, "The Intern," were stopping pedestrians from rushing like normal, so they could film a few of the scenes. 

Made sense. I mean, for Anne Hathaway and Robert DiNero to be portraying roles as part of a true working class in New York City, rush hour must be involved. Only, without the true working class, but instead with their own budgeted in $300,000,000 background extras. 

Not that I'm upset or anything, I mean, my bus stop was right across the street from where the scene was being shot. How do you get folks to stop rushing during rush hour so that a movie scene can be shot? Easy; you ask. 

Some kindly stop. I'd call those, the people who live in the neighborhood; but some rush to not miss their mode of transportation. These are the folks with kids or a life after work. They say that we New Yorkers are always in a rush. I guess you can call us mean. Yet, these are the mean streets of New York! 

Happy however to see something great happening in the area. Check out the movie, "The Intern" in theatres September of 2015. 

Prayers for Los Cabos

I will never forgot traveling to Los Cabos, Mexico with my sisters for an awesome vacation. 

What a place! Beautiful all around. The water, the sites, the weather; made me not only love it but constantly talk about the wonderful place it was to others. 

Now to hear of Hurricane Odile basically destroying it and trapping tourists in, leaves me with sorrow. 

Hurricane Odile was a category three storm. With it's 30 mile winds, it knocked out power and left people struggling to find food and water. 

As much as I loved the land I got to know only for a short while, I can honestly say that my heart is torn to hear of this tragedy. Let's keep the dwellers of Cabo San Lucas in prayer. For as visitors, we come in and out but those who live there have to remain and deal with all the destruction and loss. May God bless Los Cabos. 

Saturday, September 13, 2014

The Joints Still Be Jumping

"Music brings life to the world" - Donald Sangster

"The joints are jumping" never seemed more like a relevant term than it did tonight when I saw it for myself before my eyes. 

Music blaring in the air. Sax blows. Bass thumps. Drum rolls. Key strokes. Waltzing. 

The scene inside of Jazz 966 located at 966 Fulton Street in Brooklyn, NY looked like one that would be in an old 1940s jazz movie; only it's today's time. Though the times have changed tremendously, one thing stands clear; jazz music is housed in the hearts of many. 

Every Friday night at 8pm, Brother Harold Valle of the Central Brooklyn Jazz Consortium hosts 966 Jazz shows; a different act each week with something new to love about it each time. 

The program was founded and put together by Sam Pinn; primarily for the senior population. Makes sense why the room literally jumps;  most of the jazz enthusiasts (mostly comprised of a mature, adult crowd) dance the night away to the different jazz styles that the musicians play. But whether you are young or old, you will enjoy the ambience of the room. Very cool atmosphere! Music rings and pure enjoyment is the only response. 

And if you don't believe me, take it from
Barbara who said she danced so
Much that her hips would be hurting in the morning, but that the experience was worth it. Cool thing to know that someone can go to a joint right here in NYC and for a low cost, walk into a room filled with quality music, eat good food, and crowd the dance floor and do the lindyhop and/or other jazz dances through the night. 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

9-11, A Day I'll Never Forget (A. Poem)

9-11, A Day I'll Never Forget

We walked it like soldiers in fight
No calmness though as dark as night
We marched in terror with our strength
Hoping to make it all the way

We saw it from the window view
Toppling of buildings to their doom
And those within stayed within
And those without scattered about

The city that never sleeps that day in slumber
Lives lost pierced as loud as rolling thunder 
No emergency broadcast tests this time
For it was as real as Pearl Harbor;  "Run for your lives."

And news reports embedded images in our mind
Some that will last forever in time
World trade gone into shreds and debris
I saw burnt paper in Brooklyn from the twins drift over me

And we cried and we prayed and our faith left in doubt
When them planes took the beauty of our skyline down 
And all the streets empty and fear filled the land
For a day that no one had foreseen coming

But thank God we had heroes willing to risk life to save
Lord bless the souls of the lives lifeless in that grave
For in that space the towers stood before it stood no more
911 is a day that we just cannot ignore

(Poem written by Stephanie Jeannot) 

Monday, September 8, 2014

Bossa Nova

I have heard Shirley Horn sing before. Her voice us very mellow and pretty. She creates a soothing sound that the ears can just love. 

What I did not know about her is that she also played the keys and played it very well. I discovered this fact when I started watching this "Antonio Carlos Jobim All-Star Tribute."

What music! Everything about this program is cool. The sounds. The round up of artists and the mere fact that the concert is hosted by Herbie Hancock. 

The diva thing will always stand out to me. Just one more thing to love and appreciate about music. You never know what new and exciting thing you will come across; even if it is something that is old like this 1995 DVD.