March 27th, 2011
|Vintage Collection: Part One
| Cool Breeze - Alto Reed:
Born in Detroit Michigan, Alto Reed has for over two decades been a key to the success of the multi million-selling Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band. During his years with Seger, Alto gained a deserved reputation for flamboyance and daredevil showmanship. He's soloed hanging over the side of a hot air balloon and soared over audiences suspended by piano wires. In addition, Reed's signature style has made him integral to the sound of the Grammy winning, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame ensemble! Nonetheless, amidst all this Rock & Roll ballyhoo, Reed showed a more refined side to his style with an all-instrumental album called Cool Breeze released in 2001. In spite of a great response from the smooth community and being hailed as a 21st century sax player, the project unfortunately remains Alto's one and only venture into the realm. Even so, laden with a few sweet hooks and some velvety improvisations, we have Alto with the cool & refreshing the title track!
CD: Cool Breeze (2001)
Label: Motor City Records
Fly into the Rainbow - Bobby Blackston Band:
Reminiscent of many British albums from the 90s, the story of Elevations not surprisingly goes back to 1997. At that time, American keyboardist, composer and bassist Mike McEvoy hooked up with guitarist Bobby Blackston for a few London sessions. For his part, Blackston was a Philadelphia PA native who had honed his chops in US covers bands in the 70s and 80s. In 1991 Blackston hopped across the pond to Europe where for 10 years he busked and jammed while also cutting the disc. The project was in transit back to the USA when the tapes mysteriously disappeared and went missing for nearly 10 years. Just as mysteriously, they re-appeared in a basement in New York City. Subsequently the cd was issued in 2006 as the Bobby Blackston Band. With touches of jazz funk, smooth & acid jazz styles, we have the opening track and a melody that quite literally stands the test of time!
CD: Elevations (2006)
Label: Rezzonator Music
Links: Bobby Blackston Band: Mike McEvoy: CD:
|Vintage Collection: Part Two
The band Metro was formed in 1994 by Chuck Loeb and Mitchel Forman, who had dreamed of a group project since they worked together for Stan Getz in the early 80s. Recruiting drummer Wolfgang Haffner, the quartet was complete with the addition of bassist Anthony Jackson. Following a tour, Metro recorded their self-titled debut in Bonn Germany. The members continued to record on their own, but for a time they would reform annually to tour in Europe and explore avenues of fusion that lay outside the parameters of their normal careers. Victor Bailey replaced Jackson as bassist in 1995, and by the time the ensemble recorded Grapevine in 2002, their 5th offering, Bailey had been succeeded by Mel Brown. Metro has continued to push the envelope with innovative concepts while maintaining a funky edge. Their latest configuration features bassman Will Lee, but for now we're checking out Grapevine, their next to most recent cd, for the pretty Azul meaning 'blue' in Portuguese and Spanish.
CD: Grapevine (2002)
Label: Hip Bop Records
Links: Loeb: Forman: Haffner: Lee:
Does It Take (To Win Your Love)? - Jr. Walker:
Junior Walker was born in 1931 in Blytheville Arkansas, but there are differing accounts as to his birth name. Some sources list it as Autry DeWalt Jr. or as Autry De Walt Mixon, the name that actually appears on the marker for his final resting place. Others yet still give his name as Oscar G. Mixon. Regardless, Walker learned the sax by playing along with records while he was in high school in South Bend Indiana. It wasn't too long afterward that he started to perform in the local clubs and venues whereupon he adopted his stage name. By the late 50s, he was fronting his own combo billed as Jr. Walker & The All Stars and, after lining up a gig at a nightclub called the El Grotto, the entire band moved to Battle Creek Michigan. After being 'discovered', Walker signed his first record deal in 1961 and released three singles prior to the label folding due to money problems.
- Abe Laboriel:
With a resume that includes over 4000 credits, Abe Laboriel Sr. is one of the most widely used session bassist of our time. Originally a classically trained guitarist, Laboriel was born and raised in Mexico City where he received his earliest musical training from his father. His first recording was at age 10 and after performing in Mexico thru his teen years, he moved to Boston where transitioned to four strings at the Berklee School of Music. During his time at Berklee, he recorded with faculty member and famed vibraphonist Gary Burton. While working with Henry Mancini, Abe was convinced to move to Los Angeles in 1976 and since then, his career blossomed. He has performed and recorded with many of the legends including Stevie Wonder, Joe Zawinul, George Benson, Barbara Streisand, Elton John, Joe Sample, Dori Caymmi, Quincy Jones, Michael Jackson, The Crusaders, Ella Fitzgerald, Herbie Hancock, John Klemmer, Joe Pass, Sara Vaughan, and countless others. Additionally he was also a founding member of the internationally acclaimed fusion groups Friendship and Koinonia while his solo albums gathered many of the top talents from across the music industry. From 1993 and the Dear Friends release, we take a bit of time off to party with a piece called Holidays!
CD: Dear Friends (1993)
Label: Rhino / Wea
|After Hours ~ Exclusive to our Site and Select Affiliates :
|Nightride: It's chapter 3 in a 7-part feature! We've selected just over 80 tunes - each use the word night as part of their title - so be it the likes of London Nights or Stockholm Nights you'll likely find them as part of this series. And included on this 3rd installment are Dancing Fantasy and Dancing on a Summernight with You as well as Don't let Me Be Lonely Tonight by David Benoit. We have 13 such selections all as part of a show subtitled Nightride after a tune by The VIP Club. And as we get ready for lift-off we start with Fly by Night from George Benson!