Jazz as a Wonderful Spiritual Virus

Carlos Santana always speaks with respect and admiration about how we can lovingly spread peace to each other through music in the form of a spiritual virus. He should know for Carlos is truly one of the great healing musicians in our time.

I was browsing Carlos’s What’s On Carlos’s Mind? web page on the Official Carlos Santana Web Site where I noticed Carlos has been listening to Kenny Garrett a lot lately. I recalled I had seen Kenny Garrett play at the Santana All That I Am CD launch party at the Hammerstein Ballroom.(You can watch that Webcast from 11/1/2005 here, Rhapsody Santana All That I Am Webcast  or listen to the track here, Evil Ways/A Love Supreme). When Carlos introduced Kenny Garrett, he said triumphantly “Also joining us the real Kenny G, Mr. Kenny Garrett”. Kenny G. played a knock you out and then some version of John Coltrane’s A Love Supreme as he improvised masterfully on the alto saxophone for us live.

Well I must tell you, Mr. Kenny Garrett spreads a great spiritual virus with his recording Beyond The Wall. I picked this CD up yesterday and have been playing it non-stop ever since. The tracks are each a brilliant awakening. You are taken on a spiritual journey beyond the great wall of China, directly into a culture that Kenny leads you to .




Check out Kenny Garrett’s Beyond The Wall you won’t be disappointed!


40th Anniversary of the Monterey International Pop Festival

Jimi Hendrix, made believe he set the world on fire, yeah!

If you wanna find the truth in life, don’t pass music by
And you know I would not lie no, I would not lie down in Monterey
Monterey by Eric Burdon & The Animals(Burdon, Weider, Jenkins, McCulloch, Briggs)

Today is the 40th Anniversary of the Monterey International Pop Festival, considered by many to be the apex of the Summer of Love 1967. It was the first major rock festival in the world. As someone who has attended over 225 concerts in 38 years I have a very special place in my heart for Monterey Pop and the Summer of Love. Being a true hippie at heart, this festival to epitomizes live rock music, flower power and the love generation all in one.

D.A. Pennebaker had the foresight and vision to film this historic event and its available as a box set from Criterion Films. There are some great essays about Monterey Pop on this web page. The one I liked reading was the two part essay by esteemed music critic Robert Christgau.

Tonight on VH-1 there will be a special show rock Docs Monterey 40. This show will highlight the Monterey Pop Festival as a pivotal moment in the burgeoning counterculture. From the perspective of musicians, organizers, audience members and visual documentarians, it will tell the story of this historic event in words, pictures and music from conception to event to aftermath to historical impact.

A two CD recording from Razor & Tie, Monterey International Pop Festival has been released. It has highlight recordings from the various artists who created history those three days. It also has some unique liner notes by Andrew Loog Oldham. I especially liked the black and white photos from those California days and nights. I was very much in synch with the tribute on the back of the liner notes. “Dedicated to Ralph J. Gleason and Bill Graham, who helped bring the San Francisco and Los Angeles music communities together. Without their vision and forbearance, Monterey Pop would never have happened.”

Ralph J. Gleason was a music journalist who wrote the most insightful music articles I ever read. He had a tremendous influence on me as a reader of Rolling Stone Magazine and my musical tastes He very muched helped form and shape. His ear was uncanny and he was very instinctual with the music, the artists and the scene.

Bill Graham is the Father of the Rock Music Concert. I am forever indebted to Bill Graham for making rock music an art form. He nurtured live music, cultivated music artists, and dedicated his life to performance art. He is the promoter of promoters.

Check out the special Summer of Love exhibit at the Whitney Museum of American Art on view May 24-September 16, 2007. Summer of Love: Art of the Psychedelic Era

Artist of the Month – May 2007, Carlos Santana


Hymns for Peace: Live at Montreux 2004 to be released on DVD

On July 15, 2004 Montreux Jazz Festival Director Claude Nobs introduced Carlos Santana and his Hymns For Peace Concert as “the highlight in the thirty-eight year history of the festival”. Indeed, this was the very highest praise from the most impeccable source. Carlos Santana and his band of music makers and spirit shakers went out the at night and exceeded every expectation. We are all so very fortunate that virtually every minute of this event -even the rehearsals – was captured on video.

Performed by: The Santana Band with Guest Artists: Wayne Shorter, Chick Corea, Steve Winwood, Herbie Hancock, John McLaughlin, Nile Rodgers, Angelique Kidjo, Patti Austin, Barbara Morrison, Idrissa Diop, Omar Hakim and more…

Two-disc set recorded in High Definition


Patti Smith – Twelve


I witnessed this article/video about punk poetess Patti Smith on msn Music. I am sharing that link embedded in this picture.

I was very moved by Patti Smith’s acceptance speech and performance at this years Rock and Roll Hall Fame awards. I love her frankness as she builds an immediacy with her audience. Patti comes across as genuine and honest in her interpretation of life, politics and art.

I have been a long time fan of Patti Smith ever since my college FM radio days when I played Patti Smith’s Horses and Easter albums extensively on the air.

Here is The New York Magazine web column about Patti Smith’s concert appearance at Carnegie Hall to help U.S. Tibet House. Again she proves how mesmerizing her artistry is live. Her psychic connection with the late Allen Ginsberg tells me how they are truly the soul of the poet. This is the cosmic poem, Witchita Vortex Sutra by Allen Ginsberg that Patti read in loving tribute that night accompanied by genius composer Philip Glass.

Tune in to the new dozen cover songs of other artists performed by Patti Smith. Her new SONY CD is titled Twelve. I love her interpretations, I believe you will dig them too

1. “Are You Experienced?” (Jimi Hendrix)
2. “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” (Tears for Fears)
3. “Helpless” (Neil Young)
4. “Gimme Shelter” (Rolling Stones)
5. “Within You Without You” (The Beatles)
6. “White Rabbit” (Jefferson Airplane)
7. “Changing Of The Guards” (Bob Dylan)
8. “The Boy In The Bubble” (Paul Simon)
9. “Soul Kitchen” (The Doors)
10. “Smells Like Teen Spirit” (Nirvana)
11. “Midnight Rider” (The Allman Brothers Band)
12. “Pastime Paradise” (Stevie Wonder)

Take a look at Patti Smith’s Rolling Stone Magazine interview here:


Live Earth – 7/07/07

“If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem” – Kathleen Cleaver, widow of Eldridge Cleaver

Global Warming is everyone’s problem to solve.

Be there with us on one of 7 continents, 7/07/07. U.S.A. Live Earth is being held at Giants Stadium in New Jersey.

I am anticipating a few more artists will be added to the concert lineup.

The Music Of Our Heart will be there covering this historic live music event and celebration.

I want to thank Al Gore’s team for the Ticketmaster passcode!

Gathering of the Vibes XII – Bridgeport, CT, 8/9-8/12/2007

If you live in the Northeast section of the United States and plan to attend a music festival in the summer of 2007 this will be THE FESTIVAL to attend! The Gathering of the Vibes XII will be held at Seaside Park in Bridgeport, CT from Thursday August 9th through Sunday August 12th. What better way to spend the 40th anniversary of the Summer of Love than at a live music festival!

Surf over to their web site (link is in the image below) and learn more about this music event. I fully expect that even more music artists will be announced by Ken and the Tarrapin Family.

I plan to be at Gathering of the Vibes every day and serve as your onsite music journalist. I will be blogging from the event live (predicated on a wireless hot spot being available).

I look forward to seeing and grooving with you in Bridgeport in August.

Music of Our Heart

April 2007 – Umphrey’s McGee

The Music of Our Heart Artist of the Month for April 2007 is Umphrey’s McGee.

Sci Fidelity Records will release Umphrey’s McGee ‘s 4th studio recording The Bottom Half as a double disk on Tuesday, April 3rd. Umphrey’s McGee is a superlative Jamband with a intensely loyal following. The Bottom Half is an eclectic set of songs that transfer readily to your psyche and rest royally within your soul. You can sample two of the songs from The Bottom Half at Umphrey’s McGee’s MySpace.

The Bottom Half is Storm Thorgerson’s second compelling artwork design for Umphrey’s McGee. Safety in Numbers was their first collaboration. 

Carmine Appice Coming At Ya!

Carmine Appice continues to be a significant driving force in rock, flourishing at the age of 60 . Carmine’s musical heritage as a drummer includes such luminary bands as Vanilla Fudge, Cactus (who are also on the comeback trail after 35 years), Beck, Bogert & Appice, Rod Stewart and Ozzy Osborne. (A trivia note, Carmine Appice co-wrote with Rod Stewart, the song, Do You Think I’m Sexy.)

Carmine at his drum kit

Vanilla Fudge is still active and will be celebrating their 40th anniversary this year. The group will mark that landmark occasion with two new recordings. The first CD is due out shortly, Out Through the In Door a Led Zeppelin tribute. I saw Vanilla Fudge feature several of these songs live at Toads Place in New Haven last year. I was impressed with the interpretation intermixed with Vanilla Fudge’s classic signature rock sound.  The Led Zeppelin songs obtain new textures as the evolution is sewn with new thread. Led Zeppelin was once the opening act for Vanilla Fudge way back when it all began. Carmine Appice took John Bonham under his wing and helped him shape his sound. We all know the monster drummer Bonzo became, due in large part to Appice’s mentoring.   

Rhino Records will release a four-CD retrospective box set to celebrate in fine style, Vanilla Fudge’s 40th anniversary as a recording group.

If you are a Cactus fan there is plenty of new music for you to assimilate. Cactus released a studio recording last year, Cactus V that’s a real barn burner. Cactus consists of Carmine Appice, Tim Bogert (Always a commanding, melodic bass guitarist), Jim McCarthy, lead guitar and Jimmy Kunes on vocals. If you missed their reunion sets live last year not to fret. Cactus will be releasing a two-CD live set of their performances on Rhino Records sometime this year.

Please stay tuned to the MusicOfOurHeart blog as I plan to review both the Vanilla Fudge 2007 releases and the live Cactus recording.

I encourage you to pick up the April 2007 edition of Modern Drummer magazine. Carmine Appice is the feature artist for this issue. The feature article by Robyn Flans was my inspiration for this music blog post. You can read a portion of Robyn’s article here: http://www.moderndrummer.com/updatefull/200001549

Rock On!

Jorma Kaukonen – Stars in My Crown

On Tuesday March 13, Jorma Kaukonen and Red House Records will release Jorma’s latest acoustical gem, Stars in My Crown. Jorma cultivates a time honored set of personal spiritual tunes that are each uniquely reflective and reverent. His guitar mastery fosters a renewed interpretation of old time blues classics as well as leads us to new songs and revelations. I loved when Jorma crafted a tribute to American country blues heritage on his previous recording, Blue Country Heart. The tradition is furthered happily with Stars in My Crown. We are gifted to Jorma’s keen jeweler’s eye as each track becomes a fine cut diamond. Jorma carves out for the listener an instinctual sound that enlists our trust and builds a mutual affinity.

Jorma’s maturity as an artist combines intuitive depth with a focused simplicity. There are several new enchanting songs that will engage you such as Late Breaking News and Heart Temporary. I have yearned to hear Jorma Kaukonen to record more Reverend Gary Davis songs. He appeases that need handily by including two of Davis’s songs on this CD, There’s a Table Sitting in Heaven and Will There Be Any Stars in My Crown. Another new song, Living In The Moment places us on the Fur Peace Ranch back porch rocking alongside Jorma in our easy chair.

Jorma, thank you for an insightful series of spiritual tunes that deepens our awareness and embellishes the music of our heart and souls!