March 29, 2008. Posted by Simon Rentner.
Beatboxer, hip-hopper, and jazz musician Baba Israel takes a look at what's going on in the world today with this news rap-up.
Iphones entice us
While gas prices rise and bust
I be mobile through the text and the vocal
While my car stays local
Because we in the economic choke hold
The battle of the haves and the have nots
While Bush boasts of job growth
Is that data that he invents?
Economic expansion is only 4.2 percent
Did he really lie?
It is the worst percent until 1945
Now working folks, you know we need a fair turn
But we losing money just like Bear Sterns
While the US dollar falls
The Rockets soared in Texas
And got shot down by the Celtics
After St. Patties Day
And a rocket still soared a world away
Now 4,000 US soldiers died
5 years into the war is history
And Bush is still promising victory?
It sounds like mad hype
While rappers spit about the fast life
Spitzer falls from grace
And now Ashley's blowing up on MySpace
As the presidential race gets hit with low blows
Ferraro playing the race card solo
Saying Obama is on the map because he's black, not equipped
And if he was a woman we wouldn't have a chance now that's legit
Clinton distancing in an instance to a different tune
It's a woman verse the black man
McCain verse himself now
Who can keep the pace, who can keep the pace?
Obama responds with a historical speech on race
And earns Richardson's respect now
With more Latino votes he collect
© 2008 WBGO
March 28, 2008. Posted by Joshua Jackson.
Make plans to visit the WBGO Blog on Monday. We'll be presenting Great Live Moments - selected material from WBGO's extensive archive of broadcast recordings. Our blog will showcase one song per weekday for five consecutive weeks. Dexter Gordon, James Moody, Jim Hall, Michel Camilo, and Roy Hargrove - and that's just the first week. WBGO celebrates a birthday in April, which coincidentally is Jazz Appreciation Month. We've been recording great jazz for 29 years, and we want to share some found moments from the jazz vault with you. So come back Monday.
© 2008 WBGO
March 27, 2008. Posted by Joshua Jackson.
I'm in the mood for Moody, simply because it's his birthday. Jazz legend James Moody, one of Newark, New Jersey's finest, turned 83 yesterday. Last year, WBGO celebrated Moody's contribution to music at our annual gala. Daniel Karcher and I created a video vignette for the award presentation. Here it is:
So next time you see Moody, wish him a happy birthday. Give him a hug, and you can wear his cologne for the rest of the day. I like to think that wearing Moody's cologne is like that line from Walt Whitman's Song of Myself - "A scented gift and remembrancer designedly dropt."
On a more serious note, you can see Moody and lots of his music playing friends on Monday night, March 31st at BB Kings. The concert is a benefit for the James Moody Scholarship Fund at Purchase College. Information about the fund and the fundraiser here.
© 2008 WBGO
March 26, 2008. Posted by Doug Doyle.
Even though Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has had his fill of basketball, he says he can never get enough jazz. You can tell the NBA's all-time leading scorer enjoys talking about his early days in Harlem and his love of jazz. Find out more.
Click here for the latest session of SportsJam, WBGO's new podcast/on-demand feature. When you hear how serious Kareem is about music and basketball, you can understand why he has been so successful on and off the court. It's great to hear that Kareem listens to WBGO when he's in NYC, a place where he gave Knicks fans nightmares.
© 2008 WBGO
March 25, 2008. Posted by Simon Rentner.
In America, this compilation is a rare gem, a "must-listen-to" from WBGO archives: The Legendary João Gilberto, The Original Bossa Nova Recordings (1958-61).
It doesn't get much better than this, folks. These are the first studio recordings made by João Gilberto, the living legend on vocals and guitar. This wasn't going to be my first blog entry on bossa nova, which celebrates its 50th Anniversary in less than two weeks, but I couldn't resist. I just discovered this compilation on CD - in beautifully re-mastered pristine fashion - tucked away in WBGO's library. So I feel obliged to share it with the WBGO family and readers of our blog.
The first sessions from this compilation occurred in July of 1958, when he recorded Chega de Saudade and Bim Bom. I hate making grandiose comparisons between cultures and genres of music, but here are a few for the sake of driving home the importance of this music. This record is like Charlie Parker's Dial and Savoy sessions, or Louis Armstrong's Hot Fives and Hot Sevens, or Miles Davis' album Kind of Blue, or Ornette Coleman's Something Else!!!! This music is completely new, and revolutionary. It documents the first time João Gilberto sang while playing guitar, introducing his bossa nova rhythm to the world.
Like Louis Armstrong on his cornet, Gilberto revolutionized the way to solo on his instrument. Listen to the way the guitar and vocals relate as a whole: no other guitarist/singer ever sounded like two musicians, singing in one rhythm, and accompanying himself in another. Plus his voice, which is literally pitch-perfect, has no trace of vibrato, a style he mastered after countless, maniacal hours of practice. To top it off, these are some of the first recordings featuring the bossa nova's perfect trinity: Gilberto, composer Antonio Carlos "Tom" Jobim, and lyricist Vinicius de Moraes. In Jobim's words: "João Gilberto appeared as a light, as a big star in the firmament, in the heavens. He became a focus, because he was pulling the guitar in one way and singing the other way, which created the third thing that was profound." Brazilian music would never be the same. - Simon Rentner
© 2008 WBGO