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George Duke – Mr. Funk

Hello People 🙂

Today, I’ll share with you the perfect recipe to make your body dance to the music!
You’ll just need a cup of Funk, 2 slices of R&B and a shot full of Groove.
Wait 5 minutes and George Duke shall appear to blow your mind! 🙂

By the way, Today is George’s 67th Birthday.© hansspeekenbrink.nlAll rights reserved
So, Happy Birthday George, this post will be my gift to you. 😉

The way I see George is as the result of a kid that was introduced to music really early in his life, somebody that was fortunate of having a good music education, and somebody who has stayed with the music all of his life. George got his bachelor of Music Degree in the San Francisco Conservatory of Music back in 1967, but wasn’t until 1976 that he decided he would be a solo artist, but lets not forget that in those 9 years George had the opportunity of playing with Al Jarreau, Jean-Luc Ponty, Stanley Clarke, Billy Cobham and with Frank Zappa.

George seemed to be in an endless music adventure, he would take any opportunity to play or record an album. He has wrote and produced many albums, has acted as a musical director for numerous artists and television specials, appeared on NBC’s soap opera “Generations” in 1989, was named “Keyboardist Of The Year” in 1990 by the “Keyboard Magazine” for the second consecutive year.GeorgeDuke

And if that wasn’t enough for you, in 1992 he released the album “Snapshot” which is one of my favorite George Duke albums, it contains a variety of Funk in both fast and slow tempos, and some chill R&B tunes that will make you have a good listening time. I highly recommend taking a look at it.

I will leave a video in here so that you can have a little bit of the “Snapshot” album we were talking about, this song is called “No rhyme, No Reason” and for me this is one of those songs that will smoothly take you out of your body, the music will get deep into you and soon you’ll be enjoying him as much as I do.

Close your eyes and Enjoy 🙂

I had the opportunity of watching George Duke play in the “Riviera Maya Jazz Fest” in 2010, and I have to tell you, that he as a musician is quite extraordinary, but, as a person he is amazing! George is a really charismatic person, somebody that enjoys the moment, that makes everything straight from his heart, in a figured manner of course :P.george_duke_radio6

I still remember how he said that he knew it was a Jazz Festival, but the things needed to be funkier. And so it happened, 10 seconds later he began with a super groovy tune that made everybody in the crowd stand up and dance until the song finished.

If he has any concert around your city, don’t miss the opportunity of watching him play live!
If you want to know more about him or his upcoming shows you can Click Here to go to his Official Website.

Feel free to leave a comment in the section down below! 🙂

“Without music, life would be a mistake.”

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Porcupine Tree – Progredelic Rock

Ahoy Readers! 😉

Today we’ve got an extraordinary band, a band that is full of surprises in their albums, that can either be really chill and experimental, or go really crazy, progressive and lightly heavy in their songs without a warning. I’m talking about the Porcupine Tree band.

Leaded by Steven Wilson, this band got famous around 1991 – 1992 when the band released the album “On the Sunday of Life“, that is categorized as psychedelic rock, which means that in most of the songs you’ll hear many effects used to develop specific sounds, and most of the times the songs exceed the average 3-4 mins.porcupinetree

Porcupine’s Tree line up back in 1993 was conformed by:
-Steven Wilson (Guitar & Vocals)
-Colin Edwin (bass),
-Chris Maitland (drums), replaced by Gavin Harrison in 2002
-Richard Barbieri (keyboards)

Since then, three major label album releases “In Absentia“, “Deadwing” , and the Grammy-nominated “Fear Of A Blank Planet” have augmented the band’s renown.

Personally “In Absentia” has to be one of my favorite Porcupine Tree Cd’s, the songs vary from really energetic and hard rock tunes for those who like it a little bit heavier, to the most chill and soft melodies that you would imagine yourself singing around the bonfire with your friends.

imgPorcupine Tree1Another Album that I highly recommend is “The Incident” , which, as the official page of Porcupine Tree classifies it, it is Porcupine Tree’s tenth studio album and like “Fear Of A Blank Planet” which was an elaborate conceptual piece fuelled by a 21st century cocktail of MTV, sex, prescription drugs, video games, the internet, terminal boredom and subsequent escape – it takes the listener on a thrilling audio journey.

Both Albums have one song that is really similar to each other, one of them is “Trains” from the “In Absentia” album and the other one is “Time Flies” from “The Incident”.

Here is a video from a song that I like a lot called “Blackest Eyes” from the “In Absentia” album.
Hope you enjoy it 🙂

Also, Steven Wilson has some solo projects that are worth sharing, like “Insurgentes” , “Grace for Drowning” and soon in 2013 “The Raven who refused to sing”.

Gavin Harrison’s other project that I would highly recommend is the project with the bass player “05Ric”. Together they have released 3 albums. “Drop” (2007), “Circles” (2009) and “Man Who Sold Himself (2012).

I hope this post was worth the share, I will keep on posting great bands and artists that I know and share them to you.
Feel free to leave comments in the section down below. 🙂

“Music is everybody’s possession. It’s only publishers who think that people own it.”

Australian Funk/Jazz Bands

G’Day Readers!

Today I will do something a little bit different, instead of posting about one band/musician, I’ll try to make a list of some of the ones I like the best, but I’ll start doing it specifically of Funk/Jazz Bands from Bazzaland! 🙂

THE FIRST ONE in the list comes all the way from Melbourne, a great Funk/Soul band from the early 2000’s named “The Bamboos”

These 8 musicians combined elements of the Old-School Funk, Hip Hop, Mod Rock, Psychedelic & Northern Soul genres to get a unique sound of their own. In their 10 years of being together they have released four studio albums and one live album, which has given them the opportunity of earning a place in the contemporary Funk & Soul scene.

They have played in many festivals, TV Shows and places around Europe and U.K.
It’s funny that I unconsciously keep moving my head back and forward while writing the post and listening to their songs. There’s no other explanation, this band makes me want to dance.

I’ll leave a video down below, and their official website so that you can get to know them a little better.
There’s two live songs in the video, the first one called “Typhoon” followed by “Keep me in mind” both from the album “4
Official website CLICK HERE 🙂

Lets move on to the next one in the list!

Ok, while researching I found many really good bands, and some of them don’t have too much information about them, because they’re really old, or underground, but I’ve decided that I will give those bands an opportunity and give them a place in this post.

HERE WE GO! 😀

 

 

 

 

 

………………………………………………..2.- Kerrie Biddell::…………………………………

An awesome singer and Australian Jazz legend, Karrie Bidell has toured with Dudley Moore, Cilla Black and Buddy Rich, also appeared in many TV shows and opened the Sydney Opera House.
In 1982 she sang the theme tune for the Network 7 soap opera “Sons And Daughters”. In the 1980’s she sang with the Con big band working and studying with many great musicians.

She has released four albums:
-The Exciting Daly-Wilson Big Band Featuring Kerrie Biddell (1972)
-Kerrie Biddell (1973)
-Only the Beginning (1975)
-The Singer (1996)

🙂
I’ll leave a video where Kerrie Biddell is performing Tony King’s song “Is that Jazz” 🙂
Hear closely when she sings the words “Is That Jazz” her voice is really smooth, check it out.

So many great Oz people, that I would need thousands of pages to put them in here. I will keep on sharing anything I find, and leave some links to the other ones that couldn’t make it to the list. But they’ll be apples! So lets continue 🙂

Lets keep moving in the list!

 

 

 

 

 

All the way from Sydney…

……………………………………………..3.- Galapagos Duck!……………………………..

I know that we all have the question… What’s the story behind that name? 😛
They say the inspiration came from Spike Milligan and was somehow derived from one of his comedy sketches involving the auctioning of a “Giant Galapagos Turtle upon wheels with clockwork revolving eyes”.

Anyway, Galapagos Band is one of those bands that stays forever, could you believe they have been active since 1969?, and they’re still making awesome music at these days. 🙂

This band has been in many great Jazz Festivals:
Montreux Jazz Festival, Switzerland
Jazz Yatra Festival, Bombay, India
American Musexpo
Singapore International Jazz Festival
Queenstown Jazz Festival, New Zealand
Vanuatu International Jazz Festival, Vanuatu

And along these years they have released 13 albums, the last one went out in 2006.
Unfortunately it’s really hard to find some of their material, fortunately I found a video that you may like. 🙂

The song is called “Kate Did” From the album “The Removalists”
Enjoy 🙂

Official website CLICK HERE

But lets keep moving on the list!

 

 

 

 

 

And Now, again from Sydney! 😀

………………………………………….4.- Don Burrows………………………………..

Donald Vernon “Don” Burrows knows how to play the clarinet, the saxophone and the flute.
Burrows has played with many musicians such as Frank Sinatra, Dizzy Gillespie and Nat King Cole, Oscar Peterson, James Morrison, Tony Bennett, the Sydney Symphony, Stéphane Grappelli and Cleo Laine.

He was invited to perform at the Montreux Jazz Festival in 1972 and later the Newport Jazz Festival.
And he has got many awards, and many albums.

I feel that when you hear his music, you could close your eyes and imagine yourself in any Tropical place in the world. The songs are really colorful and funky.

You will hear all that groove and energy in the video shown below.  The band goes like billyo!

Make sure to check some other things he has done, this video is really good, but for those who don’t like fast music, he also has really smooth slow jazz themes, so don’t miss the chance 🙂

And The Last one on this list will be…..

 

 

 

 

 

All the way from… Somewhere beatiful in Australia. (Hard to find information about her)

………………………………………………….5.- Sue Barker………………………………..

Ok, the next song is a bonus to this list, because while looking for some other material I came across this tune,  the song’s name is “Love to the People”. The musos in this track get the song flowing nice and smooth.

Unfortunately I couldn’t find more information for this track!

So… SUE BARKER, if you are anywhere out there, I just wanted to tell you that your music will be shared, or at least we will try to share it to the world. Seems like good music is endangered these days.

Those who love Soul & Funk, today is your lucky day. 🙂

And before finishing this great post, I would like to add some links for web pages I found while doing the post of many good Aussies Bands, so I’ll highly recommend you to have a look into those pages, maybe some of the groups/bands inside are not that popular, but the quality of some of them is really good.

1.-AWESOME AUSSIES BANDS CLICK HERE
2.- AND HERE
3.- AND HERE 🙂

“Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music”

Ahoy People!

Today all the way from Poland we have got an autonomous force trio, the “Marcin Wasilewski Trio”. 🙂
This trio began in 1990, when Marcin and Kurkiewics were 15 years old students at the Koszalin High School of Music. But was not untill 1993 that Miskiewicz (Drummer) joined them, and the group’s line-up has been stable ever since.

And in all those 18 years, there have been just 3 albums, their first release, for ECM (label), entitled “Trio” was recorded in 2004 and released the following year, immediately winning the Quarterly Prize of the German Record Critic That means that their first album was released 12 years after the group began!.

That´s an example of how the good things have to wait some time in order to be done wisely.
Then in 2008 they released an album called “January” and last and my favorite Marcin album has to be “Faithful” which was released on March of 2011.

Here is a video of one of my favorite compositions, is called “Song For Świrek” from the album “Faithful”
Close your eyes, and enjoy. 🙂

Musically speaking the song is simple and has very good dynamics, this is a perfect example to prove that you don´t need those hard chords, the super fast solos, and the loud music to get a feeling of greatness.

The members of the trio are:
Marcin Wasilewski (Piano)
-Slawomir Kurkiewicz (Bass)
-Michal Miskiewicz (Drums)

Each one of these guys has played with some other great musicians such as:
-Michal Urbaniak, Szukalski Tomasz, Wojtasik Piotr, John & Henry Wroblewski Ptaszyn Miśkiewicz.

As Wasilewski reported to All About Jazz, “The music is always evolving; I don’t know when it will stop, but I hope never.” Similarly, Stańko testified that “in the entire history of Polish jazz we’ve never had a band like this one”.

So there it is, as Wasilewski said, everything has to evolve, has to transcend, finding those everyday motives that lead you on to greatness, that lead you to the meaning of life, we all hope that music never stops evolving, because i find music one of few things that everyone in this world likes. Music can make you feel different emotions while listening to it.

If you like the video, you should really go and check some other great things this group has done.
I´ll leave their myspace RIGHT HERE. so that you are able to hear some of their music, or reading some of their latest news, i´ll leave here a link of a translation page from Polish to English for THOSE FEW PERSONS THAT DON´T UNDERSTAND POLISH…(i think everyone will need this) 😀 Translation Page Click Here
Also, you´re free to leave any comments on the section down below. 🙂

“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination
and life to everything.”

Stanley Clarke – Pure Skill

Ahoy People!
Today we’ve got pure music skill, we’ve got the first bassist in history to headline tours worldwide. Get ready to get speechless.
Stanley Clarke is one of the most celebrated bass players in the world with 36 years career as a bass virtuoso, and he was the first bassist in history to double on acoustic and electric bass with equal virtuosity, and you can clearly see that Stanley also possesses a unique sense of lyricism and melody.

He was born in Philadelphia, and studied at the Philadelphia Academy of Music. By the time he got out of the academy, musicians recognized immediately the complete musicality the young Clarke possessed on the acoustic bass.

I had the opportunity to watch him play at the Riviera Maya Jazz Festival last 25th of November at Playa Del Carmen, México.
Some other great musicians that played there were Richard Bona, Jon Anderson, Jeff Lorber, Randy Brecker, Yellowjackets, between others that I’ll talk about later 🙂

In my experience, that was one of the best performances I’ve ever heard, Stanley just got out there and blew my mind, gave me another reason to believe that being a musician can be so enjoyable, and lovely.

His band members are really great musicians such as:
– Ronald Bruner Jr. (Drums)
– Ruslan Sirota (Keyboard)
– Zach Brock (Violin)

Each one of his band members gave an incredible show, they really enjoyed playing with each other that night.
I’m kind of sad that Hiromi Uehara could not come to this festival. She literally makes me cry of joy when I hear her solos.

Here is a video of one of my favorite songs called “Soldier” from the album “Stanley Clarke Band

Unofortunately because of copyright I can’t get videos of Stanley’s performance on the Riviera Maya Jazz Festival, but
this other video will do it, maybe it isn’t the best audio quality, but gives you an introduction to his art work. I really like the idea of having a violinist in the band, brings “color” to the tunes, makes them sound really special.

I’ve researched Stanley’s Art work, and I’ve found out that he has got more than 20 albums as a soloist, another 20 as a Co-leader, 13 albums as a Producer, and many as a Guest Artist.

All these albums and art work content can be shown in the official web page of Stanley Clarke, I’ll leave the link here for anyone of you who wants to know a little bit more of Stanley.

Take a look at The official Website of Stanley Clarke

Special Thanks to the photographer Roberto Fernandez Ramayo for sharing these pictures taken at the Riviera Maya Jazz Festival with us.

“Music and rhythm find their way into the secret places of the soul”

Ahoy People!
Let me introduce to you a pair of awesome musicians, that will definitely give some sugar to your life. I’m talking about Mike Stern and Dave Weckl! :).

Mike Stern was born in Boston and studied at The Berklee College Of Music.
He has played with Billy Cobham, Miles Davis, Marcus Miller, Bill Evans, Jaco Pastorious, Dennis Chambers, John Patitucci, and some other AWESOME MUSICIANS! come on, if you didn’t recognize any of the names listed above, start researching :).

Dave Weckl was born in St. Louis Missouri, and at the age of 16 he began to work professionally with some local pop and jazz groups. But then he got really good, and well, he got the opportunity to play with Chick Korea, Anthony Jackson, George Benson, Diana Ross and many other really good musicians that made Dave get richer musical

Both Experienced and the best ones on their genre, Mike Stern has established himself as one of the premier jazz, jazz-fusion guitarists and composers of his generation.
Dave Weckl is in the Hall of Fame of the Modern Drummer as “one of the 25 best drummers of all time”.
So imagine the music that each one of them has made in the last years… ok now imagine both Mike Stern And Dave Weckl playing along and you will get something like this. 😀

This song is called “Chromazone” from the album “Time in Place” I hope you like it.
Oh and here’s a funny thing, watch how Mike Stern is always moving his legs, hilarious. Enjoy 🙂

Awesome music, Awesome musicians, Awesome solos.
I bet you still got that song’s groove in your head, if you watch closely you can see how smiley Stern looks, but well, who wouldn’t be smiling like that when you have those musicians playing with you.
In this particular video, he is playing in Bulgaria With Dave Weckl (Drums), Richard Bona (Bass player) and Bob Malach (Saxofonist)


Mike Stern and Dave Weckl have been playing together for a long time. Mike has released 14 albums as a leader, and many other as a guest.
And Dave has been drumming for some of those albums.
Dave also spends some of his time working at his own studio in Los Angeles.

I had the opportunity of watching them play in november of 2010 in the “Riviera Maya Jazz Festival” at Playa del Carmen, México, beautiful place by the way, and actually I didn’t notice before but Richard Bona, the bass player shown in the video will play this november in the Festival.

So don’t let go any chance to watch these amazing musicians, because I can assure you that it’s worth it. 🙂

“Life is A Lot Like Jazz… It’s Best When You Improvise”

The Flecktones is an instrumental band from the United States formed in 1988 that has recieved many Grammy nominations because of their great variety in music genres, such as Bluegrass, Jazz, and “blu-bop” (bluegrass + beebop).
The actual members are:
Béla Fleck
Victor Wooten
Howard Levy
Roy “Future Man” Wooten
Past member: Jeff Coffin (1998 – 2010)
This band plays with a lot of enthusiasm, creativity and emotion, and while listening to their songs, you can feel that interplay between these guys.
Here is a video from 1996 that shows you some of that joy while playing the music.

Ohh, and check out the instrument of Roy Wooten (the one on the right side with a pirate hat), it’s called the “Drumitar” and i’ll explain that after you’ve seen the video. 🙂

Awesome right? At some point of the song you can feel like they are talking with their instruments , and then they just go crazy! Jeff starts to sound like a duck at some point! 😉


Remember what I told you about the “Drumitar”. Well, Roy “Future Man” Wooten who by the way is the brother of Victor Wooten, is an inventor, scientist and musician, and he had this brilliant idea, which allows him to replicate sounds of an entire contemporary drum kit, with just a few fingers.

Since 1990 there have been 14 albums from the Flecktones, the most recent one was released this year, named “Rocket Science”, so if you liked this band you should make some research and listen to their material. Also there´s another thing, each one of these members has played in many other great proyects.

So don’t miss the chance to know them deeply.
Congratulations on The Flecktones for their 33th anniversary.

 

Today’s quote is provided by Victor Wooten, if you go to one of his clinics, he may say:

“The only way to get better is Less Practice and More Playing!”

Tal Wilkenfeld – Jazz Relax

All the way from Sydney, Australia. Ladies and Gentlemen we introduce you an amazing electric bass player, born on the 2nd of December of 1986. Tal Wilkenfeld, graduated from Los Angeles Music Academy College of Music in 2004, has gained worldwide attention because of her exclusive talent on music.
This beatiful ladie here has played with Hiram Bullock, Steve Vai, Eric Clapton, Susan Tedeschi, The Allman Brothers Band, Herbie Hancock, Jeff “Tain” Watts, Wayne Shorter and many other great musicians that everybody would pay millions to play with them on stage.

See it to believe it? No problem, we’ve got a video for you. I know she’s beautiful, but try to focus on the music. Enjoy 🙂

It is really hard to find a video of Tal’s songs live. She has got many videos on the internet with great musicians, but just a few can show you Tal’s work, so if you liked her song, you should really check some other things she has done.

The song shown on the video is called “Serendipity” from her first album “Transformation” recorded on 2007.

I would classify Tal’s sound as a Jaco Pastorius sound, if it was possible, a duo of Jaco and Tal would be something you wouldn’t want to miss. Another thing I really like about Tal is the good taste she has when she composes songs in odd meters, which is really hard, because people is not used to that, you have to be very subtle in your arrangements to have that perfect balance of groove + skill.

She has many other awesome performances with musicians like Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, Steve Lukather, Lee Ritenour, Herbie Hancock and many more!.
She’s still doing really good performances out there. If you want to know more about Tal don’t forget to take a look at her Official Web Site

Feel free to leave comments in the section down below & to take a look to the other posts!

Have a nice day. 🙂


“Music happens to be an art form that transcends language”

Hiromi Uehara – Jazztastic

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The Aquarium Rescue Unit – Get Funky

The Aquarium Rescue Unit Is a band originated in Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

They usually play genres such as Rock, Progressive rock, Jazz fusion, Funk.
This band gained popularity until 1990, and through the years it never got comercially successful, but that never stopped them from keeping the hard work on their music.

Here is an old video of my favorite song of this band called “Stand Up People” from the album “In a Perfect World

I hope you enjoy it as I always do

When I first heard this band, I thought that I was hearing something new and contemporary, something fresh and awesome, that makes you need to know more about this band. So for my surprise, this band is older than me!. Makes you think How does a 1988 band, with a good quality of music and a really contemporary sound is still very “underground” on the world of music?.

Also, if you look at all the past members there have been in this band (8 past members), you’ll realize that having a band is not that easy, a band is like a workteam, a union, a family.

So, great job on The Aquarium Rescue Unit for their hard work. And we hope that they continue as a band for many years more.

Actual members:
-Bruce Hampton
-Oteil Burbridge
-Jimmy Herring
-Jeff Sipe

Since 1988 till now, there have been only 6 albums.
1- Col. Bruce Hampton & the Aquarium Rescue Unit (1992) – Live album
2- Mirrors of Embarrassment (1993) – Studio album
3- In a Perfect World (1994) – Studio album… This one is my favorite 🙂
4- eeePee (1994) (This was a limited edition release)
5- The Calling (1997) – Studio album
6- The Benefit Concert, Vol. 2 (2007) – Live album

Give this band a chance to get into your life.