Happy Birthday Tina Turner

Wishing Tina Turner a Happy Birthday this morning.

We saw Tina Turner with Ike and the Ikettes in Central Park in 1971 in a special filmed for ABC-TV. Watch her and the group move out with “Proud Mary”

My favorite song by Tina Turner is on Herbie Hancock’s River: The Joni Letters (Grammy Award for Album of the Year in 2008.), “Edith And The Kingpin” her rendition is superb.

Reckless Daughter: A Portrait of Joni Mitchell by David Yaffe

I was recently listening to the Joni Mitchell box set, The Studio Albums, 1968-1979, tuning in to her jazz period with bassist Jaco Pastorius. Specifically, the recordings, Hejira, Don Juan’s Reckless Daughter, Mingus and the live concert double LP, Shadows and Light which represents a lucrative jazz interval.

This created a strong desire for me to dig deeper into Joni’s extensive muse. I wanted to learn more what motivated her to transition from folk singer/songwriter to intricate jazz phrased poetry.

A new biography, Reckless Daughter: A Portrait of Joni Mitchell by David Yaffe. provides many more revelations about that creative era.

Yaffe was granted extraordinary access to the famously standoffish Mitchell, as well as to many of her closest friends and collaborators, including Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Joan Baez, David Crosby, Judy Collins, and the late Leonard Cohen. Making the most of his proximity, he pulls off the feat that has eluded so many of his predecessors: He forges an intimacy with Mitchell on her own, uncompromising terms by truly listening to her, as closely and as generously as she’s always deserved.

This is a book I can’t wait to savor. I’m appreciative of David Yaffe sharing the artistic wealth.

Jaco, “The World’s Greatest Bass Player”

Dear Robert Trujillo and everyone involved with the making of the documentary film Jaco, I want to thank you for such a beautiful, soulful experience.

 

For years I have tried unsuccessfully to assimilate the artistry of Jaco Pastorius. I realize now I was half-listening to his musical meaning. I wasn’t tuned in to what he was effectively communicating. It wasn’t until I saw Jaco’s life on-screen did I fathom the rich genius of his full spirit.

You can stare forever at a needle and thread but until it sews a tapestry before your eyes, only then can one appreciate how fine someone’s craftsmanship was meant to be.

I view Jaco’s bass playing evolution as that moving needle and thread. He sewed together important musical collaborations in the time he had with us. The film proved how integral Jaco was to Ian Hunter,  Weather Report and Joni Mitchell’s renaissance with jazz.

 

I have dug deeper into Jaco Pastorius’s discography this weekend. Wow, I think I finally get it.  I urge you to see Jaco and allow yourself to enter his continuum.

Today in Rock History – December 14

December 14th is the day Joni Mitchell chose to release two unique albums two years apart. It was a very productive time for her as an artist.

Album 1 – For The Roses

For the Roses is the fifth studio album by Joni Mitchell, released in November 1972, between her two biggest commercial and critical successes – Blue and Court and Spark. Despite this, in 2007 it was one of 50 recordings chosen that year by the Library of Congress to be added to the National Recording Registry.

It is perhaps best known for the hit single “You Turn Me on I’m a Radio”, which Mitchell wrote sarcastically out of a record company request for a radio-friendly song.

Album 2 – Miles of Aisles

Miles of Aisles is a 1974 double live album by Joni Mitchell backed by the L.A. Express, recorded on the Court and Spark tour. It reached #2 on the charts and became one of her biggest-selling records.

Miles of Aisles

WILD TALES by Graham Nash

The aging rockers autobiography series continues with Wild Tales by Graham Nash. The book will be released on September 17, 2013 in various media options, hardcover (Crown Archetype), audiobook CD (Random House Audio), amazon Kindle, Nook Book (eBook) and Apple iBook. (The ebook edition from various suppliers includes 4 videos, 34 audio clips, and 11 additional photos from Graham Nash’s personal collection. Audio and video content does not play on all reading devices. Check your user manual for details.

The amazon listing appears to be confused about Wild Tales in paperback as they show a “used book” listing from 1974, 64 pages  in length from Warner Brothers Publications. It was illustrated by Joni Mitchell. “Wild Tales” is also the name of Graham Nash’s late 1973 solo album.

Traditionally paperback releases follow hardcover publication after a certain “established timeframe”.

I am considering attending his Barnes & Noble book signing appearance in New York City on September 23rd if we can make it down to the E. 17th Street store that evening.

For those of you who are interested in more pictures and details about Graham Nash’s forthcoming book, I suggest that you read the Daily News Review by Sherryl Connelly. She dishes the dirt I’ll warn you in advance 😉

Five 2013 Blogging Projects

I love the time I get to spend between Christmas and New Year reflecting upon and renewing commitments to an ongoing pursuit of the arts. Its treasured down time from a perpetual teaching schedule that runs day and night, all year round.  I try to spend the time productively, teaching myself new software, preparing for certification exams, etc. I also spend time listening to music that escaped my grasp during the year, reading through my significant music magazine and book pile, visiting Barnes & Noble to stay vibrant and aware.

As a result I have accumulated some meaty writing topics for the coming year. They represent more substantive research into genres/artists I want to explore more in-depth, hopefully across multiple blog posts. This is my revised approach to professional blogging in 2013, which I hope my readers will like and seek to learn along with me (or teach me something new they know in these areas).

The five 2013 art blogging projects are:

  • Smashing Pumpkins, Billy Corgan – I just heard Billy Corgan‘s interview with Howard Stern on Sirius XM. Oceania is a recording I did not do justice to in 2012. I have discovered more about the Smashing Pumpkin/Corgan direction as well as the various side projects by past/current members. The Teargarden by Kaleidyscope initiative interests me greatly. Time to do some justice about the art of Smashing Pumpkins in the music of our heart.

Oceania

  • I was leaving through the current newsstand issue of Uncut Magazine last week at Barnes & Noble when I discovered a review of Joni Mitchell‘s box set, Studio Albums 1968-1979. The box set is a UK import via Rhino that is presently stocked out on Amazon. Once I can get my order fulfilled and I have given these 10 CDs a thorough listening I will write a blog series about that experience.

Studio Albums 1968 - 1979

  • I was browsing the music book section when I discovered the On The Road: The Official Movie Companion trade paperback. This stirred my sentiment about The Beats. I realized very quickly I had not really delved effectively into the writings of Jack Kerouac, William S. Burroughs, and Allen GinsbergPatti Smith has galvanized the poetic pentameter in the music of our heart for this halcyon period of art. I resolve to see the movie On The Road in New York City  before the wider theater release. I also make a commitment to read more of Kerouac, Ginsberg and Burroughs books (and of course Patti Smith’s poetry books until her new book(s) come out!). I also plan to get some of the books by the “authoritative” researchers/biographers of The Beat, most notably Ann Charters. I must follow through on this as my core initiative for the arts in 2013. The movie has become the impetus for renewing my kinship with The Beats.

On the Road: The Official Movie Companion

  • I picked up another of The Ultimate Music Guide’s from the publishers of Uncut Magazine. This one is about The Kinks. The 146 page special collector’s edition covers each album in the Kinks discography, the solo albums from Ray and Dave Davies, rarities and singles. It is just the compendium I had looked for about The Kinks. I plan to summarize this satisfying publication in a later blog post article.

Uncut presents The Kinks: The Ultimate Music Guide

  • I am continually impressed by the quality and substance of the British magazine publications. I need to get that iPad 4 with Retina so I can electronically subscribe to Uncut and NME. The magazine I’ve had in my hands twice now at Barnes & Noble is the The Story of Joy Division and New Order. I readily admit I don’t know enough about this band. Realizing I should correct that problem makes this my fifth blogging project for 2013.

NME - Joy Division - Collectors Magazine

Intelligent Digital Music Curation + Discovery = Daisy (Trent Reznor and Beats By Dr. Dre)

I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now
From up and down, and still somehow
It’s cloud illusions I recall
I really don’t know clouds at all

Joni Mitchell, Both Sides, Now © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

The music of our heart steadfastly believes in the next “desired” future state of cloud based digital music. There are some exciting technologies “under construction” above and around us, floating our way.

I reported on Neil Young‘s PONO solution awhile back on this music blog. I see a similar order of magnitude. if not something larger or uniquely designed emerging from Beats Electronics. Inc.

One such solution receiving a huge degree of “buzz” factor is the intelligent music curation and discovery music cloud service, code-named “Daisy” from the collaborative brain trust of Trent Reznor,  Dr. Dre, Jimmy Iovine and others at  Beats Electronics, Inc.

I have sorted through the multitude of music articles about “Daisy” published in the past 48 hours to discern what’s this all about?

“Daisy”, according to Mr. Reznor, Chief Creative Officer for Beats Electronics Inc. will create a recommendation platform where “the machine and the human would collide more intimately”.

The music service “uses mathematics to offer suggestions to the listener… [but also] would present choices based partly on suggestions made by connoisseurs,” describing it as “like having your own guy when you go into the record store, who knows what you like but can also point you down some paths you wouldn’t necessarily have encountered.”

How’s this different from everything else out there? “Here’s sixteen million licensed pieces of music (Mog states) but you’re not stumbling into anything. What’s missing is a service that adds a layer of intelligent curation,” explained Reznor. “Think of how many emotional ties you have with songs from your past.”

I love that phrase “intelligent curation” now I want to know how that technology will be software engineered and implemented. An example of intelligent curation is The Browser, which is creating a 21st century library of Writing Worth Reading.

Trent Reznor posted on Facebook on October 16: Some of you may have read that I have begun working with Beats By Dre. For the past year I have indeed been involved with Dre, Jimmy Iovine, Luke Wood, and the rest of the team on a number of very interesting projects that will start to emerge next year. I have wanted to experiment and focus my energy and creativity in some different directions, and Beats has afforded me that very opportunity. The process has challenged and fascinated and as much as I’d like to tell you about the things we’ve dreamed up… I just can’t.
Not yet…
(I can tell you it’s probably not what you’re expecting!)

Origin: The company has “very big plans,” for Mog, the streaming service it purchased earlier this year, hinting that it relates to how people consume and discover music. Most streaming services need consumers to program their music experience themselves and consumers can’t be expected to do that, which would seem to suggest a greater emphasis on music discovery and recommendations, possibly including a radio function.

David Byrne and Trent Reznor

Speaking of intelligent conversations centering upon the state of digital music, David Byrne and Trent Reznor recently got together in Los Angeles as part of David Byrne’s book tour for How Music Works.

Both artists shared the stance that the current landscape is not about label deals vs DIY marketing but about choosing the right path and the right deals for the artist in question. Here is a YouTube of that conversation.

Conversely after founding his own record label in 2008 and releasing music independently, Trent Reznor has reverted back to the majors for help in releasing his latest project through Columbia Records, How To Destroy Angels, “Ice Age” pointing out that “complete independent releasing has its great points, but also comes with shortcomings.”

%d bloggers like this: