Archive for Kanale Creations

Good Night, Lucille (A Tribute to B.B. King)

Posted in Jazz, Music with tags , , , , , , on Sunday, 17 May 2015, by Stan

What can be said when the man who has arguably defined and popularized an entire musical genre for eight decades passes on? How will Blues past be remembered now that its King has gone on to join those that have gone before him – names like John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, T-Bone Walker, Blind Lemon Jefferson, and Lightnin’ Hopkins? What will the future hold for the Blues? Yes, I know Blues is in good hands, especially when you see and hear groups like The Homemade Jamz Blues Band. But it feels as though Blues has lost its leader.

Riley B. King left us on Thursday night. I heard it on the news the next morning. Although I knew he had to cancel some shows last year due to health issues, I figured he and Lucille would be back on the stage after a couple of months.

During his life, countless awards and honors have deservedly been bestowed upon King. B.B. was also a spokesman in the fight against diabetes, which he had been battling for the last two decades or so. But that didn’t stop him from performing. In fact, his love of performing is what kept him going for so long. He was still giving concerts right up until last year.

King was able to incorporate Rock and Roll, Jazz, traditional Blues, Swing, and Pop into his unique style. While doing so, he influenced innumerable artists from across the musical landscape. Artists from the world of Jazz, Country, R&B, Rock and Roll, Blues, Rock, Pop, and more have all drawn on King’s stylings and recordings for their own projects.

Over the course of a career that has spanned nearly 75 years, King has recorded almost 60 albums. It was a song he cut with The Crusaders called “Better Not Look Down” that lead to a long resurgence in his career. After hearing it, I gained even more respect for this man whose music was now spanning several generations.

I’ve heard B.B.’s recording of  “Lucille” several times on SirusXM radio channel 70. Fittingly, the station is called BB King’s Bluesville. This song is a perfect example of why Blues is one of the best mediums for storytelling. Just listen to the lyrics. Bet it answers a lot of questions you’ve had about B.B.’s life. Then play it again. This time listen to Lucille embellish the story. Pretty much says it all, doesn’t it?

I would guess that Lucille will either go on to a museum or be buried with King. It just would not seem right for anyone else to play that guitar.

Lucille

 

My first introduction to the music of B.B. King was via a song he released in 1962 called “Mashing the Popeye”. My parents had – and still have – a recording of this on a 45rpm. Remember those? My parents played this song quite often in our house. Not only did this song stay in my mind since I first heard it as a toddler, something about it stuck in my subconscious as well: the sound of a baritone saxophone. At that young age I had no idea what a baritone sax was. It wasn’t until junior high school that I actually got to play the instrument that made those sounds I was hearing on that record.

 

Mashing the Popeye

 

While looking up the links for “Lucille” and “Mashing the Popeye”, this next clip unexpectedly popped up on the YouTube player. It is concert footage I was surprised and extremely pleased to find. Why? Because I was at the Beverly Theatre during that concert. That was the night I got to meet Mr. King in person. As if meeting Mr. King in person was not enough, several other celebrities were in the audience and a few were called up on stage. (You’ll have to see the clip; no spoilers here).

 

James Brown and B.B. King – One Special Night – Legends in Concert

 

After 89 years, Riley King’s life has reached the coda. Rest in peace, Mr. King. And thank you for your musical and personal legacy. Thank you for the countless people whose lives you have made an impression upon.

Jazz Around the World – 1 May – California, United States

Posted in Blog, Jazz, Music with tags , , , , , on Thursday, 1 May 2014, by Stan

джаз филармония холл - © Stan Thomas/Kanale Creations

 

Welcome back to the United States. Unfortunately, here ends the Jazz Around the World tour. I’d like to thank you for joining me on this unique journey. I hope you enjoyed the music as much as I enjoyed sharing it with you. One of my dreams is to put together a real Jazz Around the World tour, hitting all of the major Jazz festivals and some of the smaller clubs.

If your flight does not leave right away, we have one more artist who wants to play for you.

Bassist Joshua Crumbly was only thirteen years old when he played along with his dad, saxophonist Ronnie Crumbly on the CD Like Father, Like Son. Fast-forward to 2014: Josh, a native Californian, is currently touring with Terence Blanchard. A recent graduate of The Julliard School, Crumbly is one of the young lions; definitely one to watch.

 

Trio performance at The Julliard School – “Stablemates”

 

With Beka Gochiashvili – Charlie Parker’s “Confirmation”

 

Bass solo with Terrance Blanchard in St. Louis

 

Map of CaliforniaThank you again for joining me for Jazz Around the World. Support the artists. Buy their music. Go out and see some live Jazz today!

Jazz Around the World – 30 April – Japan

Posted in Blog, Jazz, Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , on Wednesday, 30 April 2014, by Stan

джаз филармония холл - © Stan Thomas/Kanale Creations

 

Welcome to Japan. Our visit coincides with International Jazz Day. Osaka, Japan has been designated the Global Host City so there will be a lot of Jazz being played here today.

Today Jazz Around the World celebrates the ladies of Jazz.

First up is the world renowned pianist/composer Toshiko Akiyoshi. Toshiko has won countless awards, been nominated for 14 Grammys, and published an autobiography. Though she was actually born in China, she moved to Japan when her family returned there in 1945 after the war. Best known for her work with her big band, Toshiko can also be found performing in smaller groups such as trios or quartets. She has been performing for nearly 70 years and is still active. Let’s welcome Toshiko Akiyoshi:

 

With piano trio – “The Third Movement”

 

Solo at her 60th Anniversary concert – “The Village”

 

Toshiko Akiyoshi/Lew Tabackin Big Band – “Harvest Shuffle”

 

 

Our next performer is keyboardist/composer Keiko Matsui. Keiko’s unique blending of eastern and western musical elements defies classification. She discovered saxophonist Paul Taylor, who contributed to several of her albums before he branched on a successful solo career of his own. Please welcome Keiko Matsui:

 

With Branford Marsalis – “Beyond the Light”

 

Forever, Forever

 

Safari

 

 

Coming to the stage now is a group of high school ladies from Takasago High School known as the Big Friendly Jazz Orchestra. I found them last year while looking for a video of the Jazz standard “Four Brothers”. I was so impressed by them and their professionalism, talent, and dedication to their music, that I wanted to have them join our tour. I think you will agree that BFJO is a perfect example of why music needs to be in our schools. Please welcome the Big Friendly Jazz Orchestra:

 

It Don’t Mean a Thing

 

The Way You Look Tonight

 

Four Brothers

 

Map of JapanThank you for joining us here in Japan. I hope you enjoyed the concert. We fly back to the States in the morning. If you have time, we may be able to feature one more artist on our Jazz Around the World tour when we arrive in California.

April is Jazz Appreciation Month. Support the artists. Buy their music. Go out and see some live Jazz today.

Jazz Around the World – 29 April – China

Posted in Blog, Jazz, Music with tags , , , , , , , on Tuesday, 29 April 2014, by Stan

джаз филармония холл - © Stan Thomas/Kanale Creations

 

Welcome to China. We will be staying in Shanghai for both performances. Today we will be treated to performances by Shanghai Jazz and also singer Jasmine Chen.

We’ll get things started today with Shanghai Jazz, but before we do, a little clarification is in order: Shanghai Jazz is not the name of the group; it is the name of album – Shanghai Jazz: Musical Seductions from China’s Age of Decadence. The release features more than twenty young Chinese musicians that are at the cutting edge of a resurgence of Jazz in China. Here, then, are a couple of selections from their latest project:

 

The Old Tea House – Shanghai Shuffle/High Society

 

The Love You Can’t Get

 

 

Coming to the stage now is Jasmine Chen. Ms Chen has a gift for singing both in Chinese and English. Her abilities cover both sides of the world of Jazz in China; she sings classic Jazz tunes with her own Chinese lyrics, and she also reinterprets traditional Chinese folks songs in a Jazz setting. Let’s welcome Ms Jasmine Chen:

 

Summer Samba

 

Give Me A Kiss (With Five Below)

 

Take Five

(You may need to turn up the sound for this one)

 

 

Map of ChinaThank you for joining us here in China. I hope you enjoyed the concert. We’ll meet at the Internet Airport for an overnight flight. Next stop on our Jazz Around the World tour: Japan.

April is Jazz Appreciation Month. Support the artists. Buy their music. Go out and see some live Jazz today.

Jazz Around the World – 28 April – Philippines

Posted in Blog, Jazz, Music with tags , , , , , , , on Monday, 28 April 2014, by Stan

джаз филармония холл - © Stan Thomas/Kanale Creations

 

Welcome to the Philippines. Our lineup today features two greats from different eras.

First we will hear from pianist Roberto Delprado Yulo Enriquez, better known as Bobby Enriquez. Though he is usually associated with the piano, he did play about a dozen other instruments. During his set you will see how he got the nickname “The Wildman”. I was lucky enough to see him perform at the Playboy Jazz Festival back in its infancy. And yes, the nickname fits. Please welcome Bobby Enriquez:

 

Classical Gas

 

Kapantay Ay Langit

 

The Shadow of Your Smile

 

Live at the Village Vanguard with the Ritchie Cole Quintet – “Hi Fly”

 

Next, we’ll hear from Ms Charmaine Clamor. Charmaine can be found gigging around the Los Angeles area…when she is not out touring the world garnering numerous accolades. She is truly becoming a world-class artist. Her sultry voice and impeccable style is winning – and breaking – hearts everywhere. Her brand of music is something she calls ‘Jazzipino’. You have to hear it to understand how she makes Jazzipino work.

We are in for a real treat today: I believe Charmaine will sing for us in three different languages during her set. Ladies and gentlemen, Ms Charmaine Clamor:

 

My Funny Brown Pinay

 

My Harana

 

It Don’t Mean a Thing

 

With Selaelo Selota – “Lolita”

 

Dahil Sa Yo

 

Map of the PhilippinesThank you for joining us here in the Philippines. I hope you enjoyed the concert. We’ll meet at the Internet Airport for an overnight flight. Next stop on our Jazz Around the World tour: China.

April is Jazz Appreciation Month. Support the artists. Buy their music. Go out and see some live Jazz today.

Jazz Around the World – 27 April – Australia

Posted in Blog, Jazz, Music with tags , , , , , , , , on Sunday, 27 April 2014, by Stan

джаз филармония холл - © Stan Thomas/Kanale Creations

 

Welcome to Australia. We’re scheduled today to have a couple of artists stop by and play for us. Plus, we’ll hear from a native of neighboring New Zealand who now makes her home here. In fact, she will open our performances today.

Introducing Maree Steinway:

 

Live – “Bye Bye Blackbird”

 

Live – “Comes Love”

 

Next, we travel back in time a bit to hear the man known as the grandfather of Australian Jazz, Graeme Bell and His Australian Jazz Band:

 

Black and Tan Fantasy

 

Our last group is the Australian Jazz Quintet. We will enjoy two selections from them:

 

Samba de Orfeu

 

Sol Fuego

 

Map of AustraliaThank you for joining us here in Australia. I hope you enjoyed the concert. We’ll meet at the Internet Airport for an overnight flight. Next stop on our Jazz Around the World tour: The Philippines.

April is Jazz Appreciation Month. Support the artists. Buy their music. Go out and see some live Jazz today.

Jazz Around the World – 26 April – India

Posted in Blog, Jazz, Music with tags , , , , , , , , on Saturday, 26 April 2014, by Stan

джаз филармония холл - © Stan Thomas/Kanale Creations

 

Welcome to India. Performing for us today is none other than violinist/composer/conductor Dr. Lakshminarayana Subramaniam, better known as Dr. L. Subramaniam. To friends and family, he is known as simply, “Mani”.

Dr. L. Subramaniam is another artist whose music came to my attention in the late 1970s/early 1980s. He has gained international fame both for his recordings and the global concerts he has put together. He has over 200 recordings under his belt. Also impressive is his collection of different types of violins. And that Dr. title in front of his name? That’s legitimate; he was a registered General Practitioner before he decided to pursue music full time.

 

Please welcome Dr. L. Subramaniam:

 

Motherland

 

From a concert in Moscow – “Time Must Be Changed”

 

With Herbie Hancock – “Inner Peace”

 

Live at Chowdaiah Hall, Bangalore – “Spanish Wave”

 

Live at The Gateway of India. Part of the Lakshminarayana Global Music Festival . With Jean-Luc Ponty and Billy Cobham – “Conversations”

 

 

Map of IndiaThank you for joining us here in India. I hope you enjoyed the concert. We’ll meet at the Internet Airport for an overnight flight. Next stop on our Jazz Around the World tour: Australia.

April is Jazz Appreciation Month. Support the artists. Buy their music. Go out and see some live Jazz today.