Saturday, June 30, 2012

DJ Applejac: Summer Madness v.1


A little earlier DJ Applejac hit me up on Facebook to let me know he had a new mix uploaded online. What a way to close out Black Music Month 2012 with this dope mix by DJ Applejac courtesy of Soul Bounce. Thing is, you have to visit Soul Bounce to listen to the stream and to download Applejac's Summer Madness v.1. By the way, Applejac also contributed a tune to the Tall Black Guy presents: Tempo Dreams compilation. Don't forget to order your copy.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Friday Flashback: Big Daddy Kane


With the mediocre rappers in the mainstream these days, "How You Get A Record Deal?" is one sure fire tune by lyricist Big Daddy Kane that should be brought back into heavy rotation. Big Daddy Kane, considered one of the greatest MCs of all time, was part of the prominent Juice Crew collective of the 1980's and 1990's, headed by DJ Marley Marl, that was part of the "bridge wars" rap battle beef, aimed mainly at MC Shan and Marley.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Happy Birthday: Bowlegged Lou

Feliz Cumpleaños to Bow-Legged Lou (Lucien George Jr.) of the legendary singer, production and songwriting team of brothers and cousins called Full Force. He's also an actor and comedian who plays practical jokes on his peers. Film credits include; Krush Groove, House Party(1 & 2) and Who's The Man?. He's helped to pen hits for artists such as James Brown, Patti LaBelle, U.T.F.O., Samantha Fox, Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam, The Black Eyed Peas and a host of others.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Friday Flashback: Johnny Hammond


I have to dedicate this Jazz-Funk classic to all my B-Boys and real Hip-Hop heads. "Shifting Gears" is one of those cuts I like to spin and see breakers working the floor to. Johnny Hammond, along with the world famous Mizell Brothers, have put their foot into this funky groove with a hardcore bassline and drums to match, that transformed to making its way into being sampled by Hip-Hop artists, like Stetsasonic, The Jungle Brothers, DMX and a few others. This is an excellent album to catalog in your music collection. Track it down, purchase and ENJOY!

Crates Remix Fundamentals v.1: Jill Scott


A new remix compilation series from Hidden Beach entitled CRATES: REMIX FUNDAMENTALS will come rushing out the starting gate on June 26th featuring remixed and re-grooved classic Soul tunes from Jill Scott for their first volume. DJ Jazzy Jeff who worked directly with Scott to add his "Touch of Jazz" by producing her multi-platinum debut, has his redux of "A Long Walk", along with veteran House producer Ron Trent helping to pay homage to Minnie Ripperton with his remix of "Spring Summer Feeling". Producers Teddy Vee and B-Sharp, along with a few others contribute on the music end for this project.

Happy Birthday: Schoolly D

A very happy birthday to Philadelphia rapper/musician/composer/actor Schoolly D, who's credited as being the first to create and record gangster rap with his "P.S.K. What Does It Mean???" tune from 1986. Other underground hits include "Saturday Night", "Put Your Filas On" and "Gucci Time". Schoolly also did the music and occasional narration for the animated series Aqua Teen Hunger Force on Adult Swim. He also created the song "Sharkian Nights" for the animated series 12 oz. Mouse.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Stacy Epps + Astronote: Rakotep


Atlanta based singer Stacy Epps, a superwoman who does everything, has been in the lab focusing on a new project with French producer Astronote, which is a self titled album they call Rakotep that's coming soon. After listening to the "2" singles uploaded to their Bandcamp page, I don't have the slightest doubt the whole project is breathtaking. ENJOY!

Happy Birthday: Pete Rock

Happy 42nd birthday to the General, also known as Soul Brother #1 and the Creator, PETE ROCK, one of the greatest Hip-Hop producers of all time, who also takes to the microphone as an MC and pretty wicked behind a set of turntables. With a catalog as heavy as his beats, he's a key person who helped set the tone for the golden era of Hip-Hop, alongside the likes of Marley Marl and Larry Smith. For now i'm posting a video of one of his tracks, but later today i'll post a tribute mix in honor of him on his date of birth.

Emma Shaheen: Heart Cries EP

Leeds based singer-songwriter and MC, Emma Shaheen is preparing for her Heart Cries EP release set for June 27th. Already, Tall Black Guy, the current hardest working man in the production biz has put his touch on remixing her "Sun Will Shine" track in broken beat style and fashion. Now take a deep breath. Exhale and treat yourself to a free download. Be sure to hit her up on Twitter to say hello and thanks.

Ravi Coltrane: Spirit Fiction


On this past Tuesday, saxophonist and composer Ravi Coltrane, the son of Jazz saxophonist John Coltrane and pianist Alice Coltrane, released his Blue Note Records debut titled Spirit Fiction. Being produced in its entirety by label mate Joe Lovano, who also doubles as a guest saxophonist on two tracks, several of the tracks feature his long-term quartet Luis Perdomo on piano, bassist Drew Gress and drummer E.J. Strickland.

Currently, Ravi is on tour in the U.S. and Europe. Below is a list of cities he will be visiting along the way. Treat yourself and a date to a show and the album. Here's one of the videos from his recent show at the Birdland in New York City.

May 29-June 2 — Birdland — New York, NY
June 22-23 — Bohemian Caverns — Washington, DC
June 29 — Fort of Wolfisheim — Wolfiseim, France
June 30 — Festival Jazz de La Defense — Paris, France *
July 2 — Jazz a Vienne — Vienne, France *
July 4 — Centro Cultural de Belem — Lisbon, Portugal *
July 6 — North Sea Jazz Festival — Rotterdam, Holland *
July 7 — Comblain Jazz Festival — Comblain-la-Tour, Belguim *
July 21 — Black Sea Jazz Festival — Batumi/Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia
July 25-26 — New Mexico Jazz Festival — Albuquerque, NM
July 27-28 — Dazzle — Denver, CO
July 31-August 1 — Jazz Alley — Seattle, WA
August 2-5 — Catalina Jazz Club — Los Angeles, CA
August 6-7 — Yoshi's — Oakland CA
August 11 — Richmond Jazz Festival — Richmond, VA
September 27-30 — Jazz Showcase — Chicago, IL
October 2-7 — Village Vanguard — New York, NY

*With McCoy Tyner

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Tall Black Guy Presents: Tempo Dreams v.1

There's a lineage of producer gods that go in this order as far as the torch being passed on to those who are worthy of carrying on the honor of being a great producer; Larry Smith to Marley Marl to Pete Rock to J-Dilla. If J-Dilla were around today, i'm quite sure he would pass the torch to Tall Black Guy. For the "non-believers", this is more than mere button pressing on a sampler to take from what someone else is doing. As the leader of the pack for this latest project, this is a collection of soundscapes from a new era of gifted producers who will surely give your eardrums pleasure.

Tempo Dreams Volume 1 lets you know that it's far from being final for this series. With the names Buscrates, Monkey Robot, Tenesi, Ta-Ku, Applejac, Doc Illingsworth, Floyd Cheung, Evil Needle, Jeriko Jackson, Teru and Chief, those in the know can say this is a championship team. All this goodness is available on CD, LP and digital download. Purchase your copy today!

Free download of Tall Black Guy - Sparkling Adventure

Friday, June 15, 2012

Happy Birthday: Erroll Garner & Ice Cube

Jazz pianist and composer Erroll Garner (June 15, 1923 – January 2, 1977) was known for his distinctive orchestral approach to swing, but open to the innovation of bop. His most well known composition is a ballad titled "Misty" (1954) that has since become a standard. Originally composed as an instrumental, lyrics were later added by songwriter Johnny Burke and became a signature song for Johnny Mathis. The song plays a key role in the plot of the movie Play Misty for Me (1971). Clint Eastwood and Universal paid $25,000 to use the song in the film.

Ice Cube (born O'Shea Jackson), during the course of his career that spans more than 20 years, he continues to reinvent himself. Starting off as a rapper in the group C.I.A., he would later join N.W.A. After a contract dispute, he left the group to pursue a solo career and start producing some of his own material. Eventually, he turned to acting, directing, became a movie producer and screenwriter.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Happy Birthday: Linda Clifford

Happy 67th to veteran singer/songwriter Linda Clifford, former Miss New York State who started her singing career by fronting a trio in Jazz music before switching to Rhythm and Blues. She also has credit as an actress from playing minor roles in two major motion pictures. Unsatisfied with the roles, Clifford decided to concentrate more on her music. As of this year, her music career has spanned 40 years and took her on recording journeys through Disco and House music.

1973 brought about being signed to Paramount Records and releasing her first single "(It's Gonna Be) A Long Long Winter" which was a minor hit. Her moving to Curtom Records, headed by Curtis Mayfield, broadened her success by recording hit tunes such as; a dance cover of "(It's Gonna Be) A Long Long Winter", "Runaway Love", "Bridge over Troubled Water", "Red Light" (from The Right Combination duet album with Curtis Mayfield), "Shoot Your Best Shot" and "Don't Come Crying to Me".

After being switched to Capitol Records in 1980, she released I'll Keep on Loving You in 1982, that contained the original version of "All The Man That I Need", a collaboration with Luther Vandross. The same tune would be covered first by Sister Sledge, then Whitney Houston and finally by Vandross.

Rappers 2Pac/Tupac Shakur ("All Eyes On Me") and Nas ("Street Dreams") have sampled her "Never Gonna Stop" tune for their Hip-Hop records.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Sydnee Jane & The Jane-ettes: Cosmic Divas Invade New York City

The day is here and we count down the final hours to see Houston's own Sydnee Jane & The Jane-ettes perform today live at 5pm (CST) on 106 & Park on BET. Recently, these ladies performed in the Wild Out Wednesday Houston competition for indie talent and reached the finals, which will be aired today on the show. What's needed is for you to cast your vote via text message or online. Be sure to check your local cable provider listings to find out what channel the show airs on and watch the performance to get instructions on how to vote. LET'S HELP THEM WIN!

For further information, including media inquiries and booking:
(832)384-JANE[5263] or

Follow them on Twitter to show your support:

Wax Attack v.1: Rock The House

Since I misplaced the mixes I did previously for this Wax Attack series, I decided to do them all over again. I have to say that I do like these mixes better than the ones from before. Here's the first installment of the series. Thanks to Jalil Hutchins of Whodini for the inspiration. ENJOY!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Dobet Gnahoré: Na Afriki


Since today is the final day of the Houston performances of the FELA! On Broadway U.S. tour, I decided to post the sounds of Dobet Gnahoré, a World Music Awards nominee and an incredible artist from Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast), a country in west Africa that I visited many years ago. In 2007, she released her Na Afriki sophomore album to receive some excellent reviews. Personally, I would place her among the ranks of Bhusi Mhlongo, Angelique Kidjo, Miriam Makeba and other great African women singers. She will be coming stateside on October 30th at B.B. King's Blues Club in New York City after a few shows in Europe. If you're in the area, you might want to check out her energy packed show. Awaken your spirit with "Pillage", a song that had the same affect on me. Enjoy!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Fela Kuti's "Lady" Remake For Charity


Released on June 1st via (RED) + Red Hot Organization to fight AIDS.

Today, the first single from the forthcoming album (RED) Hot + FELA debuted exclusively on the iTunes music store. The track - a remake of Fela Kuti's "Lady" - features Angelique Kidjo, tUnE-yArDs, Akua Naru and Ahmir '?uestlove' Thompson and was recorded with producer Paul Heck at Converse Rubber Tracks studios. The album, (RED) Hot + FELA, will be released on Knitting Factory Records and pays homage to the music and spirit of Fela Kuti. It will be the first collaboration between (RED) and the Red Hot Organization, creators of a long running line of musically original compilations that benefit AIDS organizations, ranging from 1990's Red Hot + Blue (which featured U2 on Cole Porter's "Night And Day") to 2009's Dark Was The Night (produced by Aaron and Bryce Dessner of The National). (RED) Hot + FELA, to be released this fall, is the follow up to Red Hot's successful 2002 album, Red Hot + Riot, on which artists ranging from D'Angelo to Sade covered songs by Fela Kuti.

(RED)Music is a centerpiece of the inaugural (RED) RUSH TO ZERO campaign (June 1-10) to raise funding and awareness to help deliver an AIDS Free Generation by 2015, a critical milestone in the fight against AIDS. The virtual elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV is part of the eight Millennium Development Goals, which range from halving extreme poverty to halting the spread of HIV/AIDS by the target date of 2015.

Proceeds from the single will be donated to the charity. Purchase the single here.

Portformat: Entropy


If you want more sheer dopeness, then here's your chance to get familiar with Senegalese electronica producer Portformat. For those who are familiar, you know this guy packs enough bangers to match a fireworks show. Coming fresh out the gate to get the jump on summertime he gets our necks working with his latest beats and lyrics machine titled Entropy, that's scheduled for digital and CD release on June 12th. On the vocal end, this album boasts some of the best indie artists from around the globe. Visit Tokyo Dawn Records website for more info on this hot release.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Lenny Williams: Still In The Game


Legendary singer Lenny Williams shows that he's not going anywhere soon and is in for the long haul, making the statement that he's Still In The Game. Currently, his new single "Still" is in the spotlight and he shows that he hasn't lost his vocal abilities since his days with Tower of Power, and a solo career that brought forth the classic "Cause I Love You" ballad. Click on his name to go to his website and to purchase the new single. ENJOY!

Dwele: What Profit


Lately, Dwele has been in the studio recording for his sixth studio album that's due for August. "What Profit", produced by Mike City, is the first single from his upcoming album that I don't have the title for as of yet. For those who may not be familiar with this Detroit native, he has collaborated with J-Dilla on several projects. I'm guessing this to be Dwele's effort in contributing his share in the Rebirth of Detroit. This single is available now on iTunes.

Happy Birthday: Prince


A happy 54th birthday to Prince Rogers Nelson, known internationally simply as Prince. As talented as this guy is, I can go on and on about his skills and contributions to the world of music. If you're not familiar with him, crawl from under that rock and start your search. You're missing out on a living legend.

J-Dilla: The Rebirth of Detroit (Limited Edition CD)


June 12th is the day that J-Dilla's The Rebirth of Detroit will officially drop. I'm excited and ready to get my copy of this limited edition CD and vinyl that's already available for pre-order via Official J-Dilla Merch. Let's make this day huge by purchasing copies and keep Twitter on fire by tweeting about the album. Ma Dukes and the family will appreciate it.


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

FELA! On Broadway


I have to start out by saying that the FELA! On Broadway musical is ABSOLUTELY PHENOMENAL! Last night for opening night, me and my other half had the privilege to go see it, thanks to the tremendous efforts by our friend Sis. Akua Holt of Pan-African Journal, which airs Sunday evenings on KPFT 90.1 FM-Houston. With me being a huge Fela Kuti fan, I almost shed a few tears while watching the production. Although I have never been to the Africa Shrine, the entire cast made us feel like we were actually there. It felt like the spirit of Fela was in the theater. If you are one of the remaining cities on the tour, you HAVE to go see this musical. Tickets are very reasonable and I have to note that this is the final run. Go and ENJOY!

Here are a few snapshots of the production taken w/ my camera. I had to get memories.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Happy Birthday: Josephine Baker


(June 3, 1906 – April 12, 1975)

Josephine Baker, a multi-talented lady of class and elegance, nicknamed the "Bronze Venus", the "Black Pearl", and the "Créole Goddess", was the fist black woman to star in a motion picture, to integrate an American concert hall and to become an international entertainer. A social and political activist who put forth efforts to aide in the civil rights movement, as well as becoming a spy for France during World War II. For her services to gain intelligence from opposing forces, Baker was awarded the Croix de Guerre, the Rosette de la Résistance, and was made a Chevalier of the Légion d'honneur by General Charles de Gaulle.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Friday Flashback: Chuck Brown


In memory of another one of our fallen soldiers in music, we are continuing the tribute to the "Godfather of Go-Go", Chuck Brown. Lately, with all the financial woes of many around the country, I thought this classic go-go tune would be the perfect tune to post. I'm happy to have this 12 inch as part of my vinyl collection.

Black Music Month 2012

Every year in June we have celebrated Black Music Month as decreed by President Jimmy Carter in 1979. In honor of the celebration, there will be numerous features for the entire month to those who have made it all possible. Verizon Wireless has put together a series called "In Their Own Words", which chats with various artists who give their take on what BMM means to them. Here are Goapele and Robert Glasper with their spin.