Yellowjackets raising their voice?

Raising Our Voice by Yellowjackets

The new Yellowjackets recording, Raising Our Voice, supposedly is “subtly taking a resistant stand against the status quo of the cultural and political undercurrent of our times.” But I don’t even hear any subtle stand.  No resistance, protest, or even a song title that indicating the current times other than maybe “Strange Times.” It’s the great Yellowjackets sound with Luciana Souza on vocals on most tracks. Just disappointed that they really didn’t say anything.

Aretha Franklin has passed

The Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, passed away today at age 76. The cause of death was “advance pancreatic cancer of the neuroendocrine type.”

Indisputably a legend, she impacted many lives. Here’s what some jazzers had to say:

From the time that Dinah Washington 1st told me that Aretha was the “next one” when she was 12-years old, until the present day, Aretha Franklin set the bar & she did it with the professionalism, class, grace, & humility that only a true Queen could.

I treasured every moment that we spent together from working in the recording studio, to performing on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, or simply hangin’ in the kitchen, & I will miss her dearly. RIP Ree-Ree…You will reign as the Queen forever.

The world has suffered a devastating loss with the passing of Aretha Franklin. She was a dear personal friend, kindred spirit, passionate advocate of civil rights, the arts and freedom of expression.

Aretha had a sound that touched the deepest part of your being and she will be forever in our hearts.

  • Herbie Hancock
  • Sad day…. Aretha Franklin was a bolt of the most beautiful and soulful light that only comes around every couple of million years. Her ability was so immense. I wish The Queen safe travels.
  • Stanley Clarke

RIP #ArethaFranklin, an inspiration to countless artists from Dr. Lonnie Smith who covered “Think” on his 1968 Blue Note debut to Norah Jones who says Aretha’s version of “You Send Me” made her want to be a singer. Everlasting RESPECT to the Queen of Soul!

We all feel the loss of #ArethaFranklin today deeply and with such sadness. Love and Prayers to her family and friends Such gratitude for all she gave the world thru her music and so much more.

Catch up with John Patitucci

Find out what legendary contemporary jazz bassist and composer John Patitucci has been up to! Jon Liebman recently posted an interview with the the busy bassist for his ForBassPlayersOnly.com site. Patitucci discusses his 2017 schedule, his current basses, the state of jazz, and possible upcoming projects!

Michael Franks – Blue Pacific and Walter Becker

This week, in 1990, the Blue Pacific recording by Michael Franks hit #1 on Billboard’s Contemporary Jazz chart. It was really my first exposure to him. I recall that his voice surprised me. It wouldn’t be until later that I gained appreciation for the wittiness and uniqueness of his lyrics. I think I remember some excitement about Walter Becker producing some tracks. The late Steely Dan co-founder (Becker passed away Sept. 3, 2017) produced three of the ten tracks, with Jeff Lorber and Tommy LiPuma dividing up the remainder.  It was the first track, “The Art of Love,” that grabbed my attention – a good catchy uptempo track. I’m pretty sure we put that into rotation on the radio station’s late night jazz show immediately.

Blue Pacific by Michael Franks

Michael shared his memory, as well as a photo, of working with Walter Becker, saying “I’m so grateful I got to know and work with Walter- he was a gentleman, an incredibly talented musician and producer and a terrific storyteller.”

Throwback Thursday – MoJazz ad

While researching jazz magazines for something else, I ran across this 1993 advertisement from the MoJazz label. MoJazz wanted to get your attention so they did a Model of the Month.

MoJazz Model of the Month - 1993 ad

“Alicia is from Los Angeles, CA. This 5’10” Sagittarian enjoys horseback riding, stimulating conversation and romantic evenings listening to JAZZ. Her favorite Jazz Artists are ERIC REED and WAYNE JOHNSON.”

Sex sells and a barely dressed woman always gets my attention. But there is nothing about the new recordings from Eric Reed or Wayne Johnson except that Alicia likes them. Would Alicia go out with me if I bought those releases since they are her favorite?  Is Alicia the model girlfriend of the ad designer and trying to get her noticed? Where is Alicia today? Does she still spend her evenings listening to jazz?

MoJazz was Motown’s jazz label that launched with the debut recording of Norman Brown’s Just Between Us in 1992.