Saturday, October 30, 2010

Remembering Jam Master Jay

Jason "Jam Master Jay" Mizell
(January 21, 1965 – October 30, 2002)


Today we pay homage to one of the greatest DJ's of all time in the genre of Hip-Hop music. Jay is responsible for helping to shape the sound of Run-DMC and creating the style of dress with the signature black hats and Adidas sneakers. Jay is also a cousin of the legendary Jazz-Funk producers, the Mizell Brothers.



Monday, October 25, 2010

R.I.P. Gregory Isaacs

Gregory Isaacs
(July 15, 1951 – October 25, 2010)

Today we bid farewell to legendary Reggae singer/songwriter Gregory Isaacs. Isaacs was a pioneer of lovers rock with his recording of "My Only Lover", credited as being the first of its kind ever made. This came about after partnering with singer Errol Dunkley to form their own African Museum Records in 1973.

In 1982, Isaacs would go on to score a big hit with "Night Nurse", the title track on Night Nurse released on Island Records. This album would launch Isaacs into gaining a wider audience. Although the song didn't chart, it was a hit amongst DJs on the club scene. The late 80's and 90's would bring more success for Isaacs with recording "King Ruler Come Again" in 1984, Private Beach Party in 1985, and then to release "Rumors", the massive hit from Red Rose For Gregory in 1988, which was followed by further popular singles including "Mind Yu Dis", "Rough Neck", "Too Good To Be True", and "Report to Me".

Gregory Isaacs succumbed to cancer earlier today in his London home. A great voice that will be dearly missed.



Friday, October 22, 2010

Flying Lotus: Kill Your Co-Workers

Flying Lotus does it again with "Kill Your Co-Workers" from his current EP that's OUT NOW called Pattern+Grid World on WARP Records.

Black Einstein ft. Maseo & Mystro: Arabia


The collective known as Black Einstein has released a David Bowie inspired EP titled Whatever Happened To Major Tom which features "Arabia" that samples Bowie's "The Secret Life of Arabia".

UK based production mastermind Colin Emmanuel (a.k.a. "The Nubian Nerd") of Black Einstein has produced for the likes of Baby Sol, Eric Roberson, Jamelia, The Beta Band, Estelle and Beverly Knight. On this track, he's collaborated with UK emcee Mystro and the legendary Maseo of De La Soul. What I really like about this track is it's old school style that still has a futuristic touch. Here's the other great thing about it....it's a FREE download. Enjoy!



Download the full single here: blackeinstein.bandcamp.com

Easy Star All-Stars: Dubber Side of the Moon


Hailing from New York City, the Easy Star All-Stars, who happen to be one of my favorite new school Dub and Reggae bands and production crew, are set to release Dubber Side of the Moon on October 26th. This is a remix project of the previously released Dub Side of the Moon(2003), which is a Reggae tribute to Rock band Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon.

Production credits go to the likes of Adrian Sherwood, Mad Professor, Kalbata, John Peel and Dreadzone. To pre-order, more info and tour dates, log on to EasyStar.com.


Any Colour You Like (Kalbata Remix)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Happy Birthday: Celia & Diz

Celia Cruz
(October 21, 1925 — July 16, 2003)

Dizzy Gillespie
(October 21, 1917 – January 6, 1993)

Click here to view Record Realm post from October 2009.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Happy Birthday: Anita O'Day, Chuck Berry & Wynton Marsalis

Anita O'Day
(October 18, 1919 – November 23, 2006)

Born Anita Belle Colton, O'Day was admired for her sense of rhythm and dynamics, and her early big band appearances shattered the traditional image of the "girl singer". Refusing to pander to any female stereotype, O'Day presented herself as a "hip" jazz musician, wearing a band jacket and skirt as opposed to an evening gown. She changed her surname from Colton to O'Day, pig Latin for "dough," slang for money.

O'Day's skills in improvisation of rhythm and melody put her squarely among the pioneers of bebop; indeed, a staple of her live act in the 1950s was a cover of "Four" by Miles Davis. She cited Martha Raye as the primary influence on her vocal style, although she also expressed admiration for Mildred Bailey, Ella Fitzgerald, and Billie Holiday. O'Day's backbeat-based singing style was strongly influential on many other female singers of the late swing and bebop eras, including June Christy, Chris Connor and Doris Day.

O'Day's career was on the upswing after performing with Count Basie in September 1948 at the Royal Roost in New York City. Her first album, Anita O'Day Sings Jazz (reissued as The Lady Is a Tramp), was recorded in 1952 for the newly established Norgran Records (it was also the label's first LP). The album was a critical success and further boosted her popularity. On February 25, 1954, she began work on her second album, Songs by Anita O'Day (reissued as An Evening with Anita O'Day). She recorded steadily throughout the 1950s, accompanied by small combos and big bands. In person, O'Day was generally backed by a trio which included John Poole, the drummer with whom she would work for the next 40 years.

As a live performer O'Day also began performing in festivals and concerts with such musicians as Louis Armstrong, Oscar Peterson, Dinah Washington, George Shearing, Cal Tjader, and Thelonious Monk. She appeared in the documentary Jazz on a Summer's Day, filmed at the 1958 Newport Jazz Festival which increased her popularity.



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Chuck Berry

Charles Edward Anderson "Chuck" Berry (born October 18, 1926) is a guitarist, singer, and songwriter, and one of the pioneers of Rock and Roll music. With songs such as "Maybellene" (1955), "Roll Over Beethoven" (1956), "Rock and Roll Music" (1957) "Johnny B. Goode" (1958), and "My Ding-a-Ling" (1972). Chuck Berry refined and developed Rhythm and Blues into the major elements that made rock and roll distinctive, with lyrics focusing on teen life and consumerism and utilizing guitar solos and showmanship that would be a major influence on subsequent rock music.

Influenced by the guitar riffs and showmanship techniques of blues player T-Bone Walker, he was performing in the evenings with the Johnnie Johnson Trio. His break came when he traveled to Chicago in May 1955, and met Muddy Waters, who suggested he contact Leonard Chess of Chess Records. With Chess he recorded "Maybellene"—Berry's adaptation of the country song "Ida Red"—which sold over a million copies, reaching #1 on Billboard's Rhythm and Blues chart. By the end of the 1950s, Berry was an established star with several hit records and film appearances to his name, as well as a lucrative touring career.

Berry was among the first musicians to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on its opening in 1986, with the comment that he "laid the groundwork for not only a rock and roll sound but a rock and roll stance." Berry is included in several Rolling Stone "Greatest of All Time" lists, including being ranked sixth on their 2004 list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll included three of Chuck Berry's songs: "Johnny B. Goode", "Maybellene", and "Rock and Roll Music". Now in his eighties, Berry continues to play live.



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Wynton Marsalis

Wynton Learson Marsalis, born October 18, 1961 in New Orleans, Louisiana, is a Jazz and Western classical virtuoso trumpeter and composer. He is Artistic Director of Jazz at Lincoln Center. He has promoted the appreciation of Classical and Jazz music, often focusing on young audiences.

As a Jazz performer and composer he has made display of his extensive knowledge about jazz and jazz history and for being a classical virtuoso. As of 2006, he has made sixteen classical and more than thirty jazz recordings, has been awarded nine Grammys in both genres, and was awarded the first Pulitzer Prize for Music for a Jazz recording.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Happy Birthday: Fela Kuti (The Black President)

Fela Kuti
(October 15, 1938 — August 2, 1997)

Fela Kuti, born Olufela Olusegun Oludotun Ransome-Kuti in Abeokuta, Ogun State, Nigeria, is known as the "Father of Afro-Beat" and also as "The Black President". Most of Fela's music was about socio-political struggles and the corrupted government of Nigeria.

The title of "Black President" stems from Fela establishing his own political state in 1970 after returning to Nigeria from the U.S. called the Kalakuta Republic, which housed a compound that had a free clinic and recording studio. After writing and releasing "Zombie", which was about the the local military regime, the compound was burned to the ground on February 18, 1977 after an assault by a thousand armed soldiers. During the assault, Fela was severely beaten and his mother was thrown from a second story window and died after being in a coma for 8 weeks. Fela took her remains and placed them on the steps of General Olusegun Obasanjo's residence. In further protest Fela composed "Coffin For Head of State" and "Unknown Soldier".

On the subject of Afro-Beat, Fela created this style with the help of his drummer Tony Allen. Fela is quoted to having said, "without Tony Allen, there would be no Afrobeat". Afro-Beat is a fusion of West African rhythms and chants, highlife of Ghana and Nigeia, Funk (mainly through influence of James Brown), psychedelic rock, Jazz and also borrowing from the native "tinker pan" style of percussion. He featured two baritone saxophone players and would sometimes have two bass guitar players who both would play interlocking melodic riffs. There were two guitarists, horns, percussion and his wives who would lend a hand at vocals, in which many of his songs were call and response. Fela called his show the Underground Spiritual Game.



Thursday, October 14, 2010

So Far To Go: J-Dilla Tribute Art Contest


The J-Dilla Foundation, La Famiglia and 323 East are currently hosting an art contest for artists who have done pieces with the legendary late producer James "J-Dilla/Jay Dee" Yancy as the subject. You can go to the Art4Dilla website to vote for contestants who's works span four pages. Submissions deadline is December 30, 2010. Please take the time to support the foundation and listen to the tribute mix I did. Enjoy!

J-Dilla Foundation

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Hard Times: A Classic Revisited


While at one of my favorite spots, which is where I DJ at on Thursdays and any other day i'm booked, my long time friend named Troy who is a bartender there played a few tunes on the digital jukebox. I started buggin' when I heard the opening and asked him who it was that did this remake of this Soul classic by Baby Huey & The Babysitters, which is also a staple amongst producers who have sampled this tune in many Hip-Hop classics. Turns out it was The Roots featuring John Legend off their new album Wake Up.

Personally, i'm not really a fan of John Legend. I had been seeing Questlove tweet about the album hundreds of times and never really gave it a second thought seeing John's name attached to it. After hearing this (finally), i'm still not a fan of his, but have to give props for his delivery. As usual, the legendary Roots Crew killed it with their superb musicianship.


Baby Huey (born James Ramey, August 17, 1944 - October 28, 1970) was influential in Hip-Hop after many rappers started mimicking his style of self-referential rhyming. Huey was signed to Curtis Mayfield and Eddie Thomas' Curtom Records. In 1969 Baby Huey & The Babysitters recorded The Baby Huey Story: The Living Legend, which contained "Hard Times", "Listen to Me", and "Mighty Mighty Children", have been frequently sampled by hip hop producers. The album was released posthumously after Huey suffered a heart attack and passed away.

The Original Baby Huey & The Babysitters version.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Foreign Exchange: Authenticity

YES! The wait is finally over because Authenticity is here. Right now, do yourself a favor and get this album NOW. It will also make a great gift for friends and family. It comes in a lovely fall foliage package and some great tunes that can be enjoyed for hours on end. Have your credit cards ready, log on to The Foreign Exchange Music or iTunes and purchase today. No operators are standing by. Follow them on Twitter: @FEOfficial. Enjoy!

Happy Birthday: Badbwoy BMC/Riddim Tuesdays Kickoff

A big big birthday shout goes out to my homie of a few years, Billy McCain a.k.a. Badbwoy BMC who's a heavy cat (I do call him a lion) in the Dnb/Dubstep/Drumstep/Bass game here in Houston. I met him at at a spot called Underground Lounge after his spun this fantastic DnB set and he linked me up with one of his mix CDs that blew my flippin' mind. If you ask me, I think he's the best DnB DJ in the state and one of the best in the country as well.

As an added treat, BMC will be kicking off his new night called Riddim Tuesdays. If you're 21 years of age and older, you get into this event for FREE! I'm honored to be spinning for this event alongside the host Badbwoy BMC, DJ Nine, Thurs 1 and Sunonwater. There will also be a party this Saturday with a lineup of hot DJs. For more info go -->here<-- to see a more detailed description and the lineup. Of course you know I had to post some wicked tunes by the man of the hour. Enjoy!

Texas Dub Blog



Monday, October 11, 2010

Happy Birthday: Monk, Blakey & Verdi

Thelonious Monk
(October 10, 1917 – February 17, 1982)

Thelonious Sphere Monk born in Rocky Mount, North Carolina is a jazz pianist and composer considered "one of the giants of American music". Monk had a unique improvisational style and made numerous contributions to the standard jazz repertoire, including "Epistrophy", "'Round Midnight", "Blue Monk", "Straight, No Chaser" and "Well, You Needn't". Monk is the second most recorded jazz composer after Duke Ellington, which is particularly remarkable as Ellington composed over 1,000 songs while Monk wrote about 70.

Often regarded as a founder of bebop, Monk's playing later evolved away from that style. His compositions and improvisations are full of dissonant harmonies and angular melodic twists, and are consistent with Monk's unorthodox approach to the piano, which combined a highly percussive attack with abrupt, dramatic use of silences and hesitations.



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Art Blakey
(October 11, 1919 – October 16, 1990)


Arthur "Art" Blakey was a Jazz drummer and band leader. Along with Kenny Clarke and Max Roach, he was one of the inventors of the modern bebop style of drumming. He is known as a powerful musician and a vital groover; his brand of bluesy, funky hard bop was and continues to be profoundly influential on mainstream Jazz. For more than 30 years his band, Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers included many young musicians who went on to become prominent names in Jazz. The band's legacy is thus not only known for the often exceptionally fine music it produced, but as a proving ground for several generations of Jazz musicians. Blakey's groups are matched only by those of Miles Davis in this regard.



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Giuseppe Verdi
October 10, 1813 – January 27, 1901)


Giuseppe Fortunino Francesco Verdi was an Italian Romantic composer, mainly of opera. He was one of the most influential composers of the 19th century. His works are frequently performed in opera houses throughout the world and, transcending the boundaries of the genre, some of his themes have long since taken root in popular culture - such as "La donna รจ mobile" from Rigoletto, "Va, Pensiero" (The Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves) from Nabucco, "Libiamo ne' lieti calici" (The Drinking Song) from La Traviata and the "Grand March" from Aida. Although his work was sometimes criticized for using a generally diatonic rather than a chromatic musical idiom and having a tendency toward melodrama, Verdi’s masterworks dominate the standard repertoire a century and a half after their composition.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

R.I.P. Solomon Burke

Solomon Burke
(March 21, 1940 – October 10, 2010)

We are at a point again where we bid farewell to one of our greats in music. Solomon Burke passed away from natural causes while on a flight to the Netherlands. He was due to perform there on Oct. 12th.


Known to many as the "King of Rock n Soul", Grammy Award winning singer/songwriter Solomon Burke started out as a preacher in his home town of Philadelphia, then moved on to hosting a gospel radio show. His musical influences stemmed from gospel and Little Richard.

In the 60's Burke signed with Atlantic Records when he started doing more secular music and recorded "Just Out Of Reach (Of My Two Open Arms)", a cover of a country tune which was his first hit. Burke never could quite break through into the mainstream as did Sam Cooke or Otis Redding, who covered Burke's "Down in the Valley" for 1965's Otis Blue. Burke's best known song is "Cry to Me", which was a hit twice: first in the 60's, and again in the 1980s when it was used in the film – and appeared on the soundtrack for – Dirty Dancing. In 1964, with Bert Berns and Jerry Wexler, he wrote and recorded "Everybody Needs Somebody to Love", his most prominent bid for an enduring soul standard.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Happy Birthday: Lennon, Vaughn, Mellencamp, Yo-Yo Ma, Braxton, Checker, Yorke

John Lennon
(October 9, 1940 – December 8, 1980)

Born John Winston Ono Lennon in Liverpool, England, was an English singer-songwriter who rose to worldwide fame as one of the founding members of The Beatles and, with Paul McCartney, formed one of the most successful songwriting partnerships of the 20th century. Lennon revealed a rebellious nature and acerbic wit in his music, his writing, on film, and in interviews, and became controversial through his work as a peace activist. He moved to New York City in 1971, where his criticism of the Vietnam War resulted in a lengthy attempt by Richard Nixon's administration to deport him, while his songs were adapted as anthems by the anti-war movement. Disengaging himself from the music business in 1975 to devote time to his family, Lennon reemerged in 1980 with a comeback album, Double Fantasy, but was murdered three weeks after its release.

Stevie Ray Vaughn
(October 3, 1954 – August 27, 1990)

Stephen Ray "Stevie" Vaughan, born in Dallas, Texas, was a guitarist, singer, and songwriter. Vaughan has won several Grammy awards during his lifetime and posthumously including 'Best Rock Instrumental Performance' and 'Best Contemporary Blues Album'. Eighteen albums of Vaughan's work have been released.

Vaughan was inspired to play guitar by his older brother, Jimmie Vaughan, and was influenced by such players as Jimi Hendrix and Buddy Guy. After a few years as a sideman in and around Austin, Vaughan formed the band Double Trouble, with whom he made four successful studio albums and established a reputation as one of the foremost blues guitarists in the world. He was noted for using the Fender Stratocaster, with several guitars being made in tribute to Vaughan, including a Signature Stratocaster and a replica of his famous Strat named "Lenny". In 1986, after years of substance abuse from alcohol and cocaine, he spent a month in drug rehabilitation, and remained clean and sober for the final four years of his life, until his death in 1990 in a helicopter crash.

Chubby Checker

Born Ernest Evans on October 3, 1941 in Spring Gulley, South Carolina, is a singer-songwriter. He also popularized the dance style Twist, with his 1960 hit cover of Hank Ballard's R&B hit "The Twist". In September 2008, "The Twist" topped Billboard's list of the most popular singles to have appeared in the Hot 100 since its debut in 1958.

Yo-Yo Ma

Yo-Yo Ma born October 7, 1955 in Paris, France, is an cellist, virtuoso, orchestral composer and winner of multiple Grammy Awards. He is one of the most famous cellists of the modern age. His mother, Marina Lu, was a singer, and his father, Hiao-Tsiun Ma, was a violinist and professor of music. His family moved to New York when he was five years old.

Ma studied at the Juilliard School of Music with Leonard Rose and briefly attended Columbia University before ultimately enrolling at Harvard University. Prior to entering Harvard, Ma played in the Marlboro Festival Orchestra under the direction of nonagenarian cellist and conductor Pablo Casals. Ma would ultimately spend four summers at the Marlboro Music Festival after meeting and falling in love with Mount Holyoke College sophomore and festival administrator Jill Hornor his first summer there in 1972.

Ma was named Peace Ambassador by United Nations then Secretary-General Kofi Annan in January 2006. On November 3, 2009, President Obama appointed Ma to serve on the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities.

John Cougar Mellencamp

Born October 7, 1951 in Seymore, Indiana, John Cougar Mellencamp is a rock singer-songwriter, musician, painter and occasional actor known for his catchy, populist brand of heartland rock that eschews synthesizers and other artificial sounds in favor of organic instrumentation. He has sold over 40 million albums worldwide and has amassed 22 Top 40 hits in the United States. In addition, he holds the record for the most tracks by a solo artist to hit number-one on the Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks chart.

Toni Braxton

Toni Michelle Braxton born October 7, 1967 in Severn, Maryland, is an R&B singer-songwriter. Braxton has won six Grammy Awards in her career and has sold 40 million records worldwide. She has a contralto vocal range. Braxton topped the Billboard 200 with her 1993 self-titled debut album and continued that streak with her second studio album Secrets, which spawned the number-one hits "You're Makin' Me High" and "Un-Break My Heart".

Thom Yorke

Thomas Edward "Thom" Yorke, born October 7, 1968 is an English musician who is the lead vocalist and principal songwriter of the alternative rock band Radiohead. He mainly plays guitar and piano, but he has also played drums and bass guitar (notably during the Kid A and Amnesiac sessions). In July 2006, he released his debut solo album, The Eraser.

Friday, October 8, 2010

DJ Kool Emdee: Soca Fix 2010

Photo courtesy of Tommy Haye of 9.2.5.Ridez

I've sort of been out of the loop on what all the hot Soca tunes are, so i'm attempting to make up for it. Here's a mix of songs that I like from 2009/2010 and titled it Soca Fix 2010. This is only a preview snippet in the player below. Hope you Enjoy!



SOCA FIX 2010 Tracklisting:

01. Faye Ann & Beenie Man - Wine Faster
02. Patrice Roberts - Come Over (Soca Iron Refix)
03. Drupatee ft. Alison Hinds - Roll Up D Tassa (Refix)
04. Bunji Garlin - Rag Overload
05. Alison Hinds - All Night Iron
06. Tony Matterhorn - Nobody's Goin' Home
07. Destra Garcia - Fireworks
08. KMC - Living Water
09. Miss TC - We Wukin' It
10. Rupee - Mas Hysteria
11. Lil Rick - Spread Out
12. Patrice Roberts - Turn It Up
13. Machel Montano HD - Doan Hold We Back
14. Troy Special - De Truck
15. Skinny Fabulous - On Di Road
16. Lil Rick - Again
17. Madd Dawg - Diva
18. Dr. Evil - Splash
19. Mr. Dale - Shut Yuh Mouth
20. Peter Ram - Faxx Machine
21. Syannah - Don't Touch My Saltfish
22. Mista Vybz - Jab Jab
23. Jamesy P & Luta ft. Benji - Bruk She Waist (Refix)
24. Blaze ft. JW - Palance
25. Shal Marshall - Police
26. Colin Lucas - Bumper Mechanic
27. Alison Hinds - Chocolate & Vanilla
28. Blood Andy Armstrong - Back It Up
29. Wind Chaser - Move Gal
30. Statement - All Night Til Morning
31. Red Plastic Bag - Something's Happening