Tag: D’Angelo

R.I.P. Grammy Award-Winning Jazz Artist Roy Hargrove, 49

Roy Hargrove performing at the Marseille Jazz Festival of the Five Continents in July. (Credit: Claude Paris/Associated Press)

by Giovanni Russonello via nytimes.com

Roy Hargrove, a virtuoso trumpeter who became a symbol of jazz’s youthful renewal in the early 1990s, and then established himself as one of the most respected musicians of his generation, died on Friday in Manhattan. He was 49.

His death, at Mount Sinai Hospital, was caused by cardiac arrest brought on by kidney disease, according to his manager, Larry Clothier. He said Mr. Hargrove had been on dialysis for 13 years.

Beginning in his high school years Mr. Hargrove expressed a deep affinity for jazz’s classic lexicon and the creative flexibility to place it in a fresh context. He would take the stock phrases of blues and jazz and reinvigorate them while reminding listeners of the long tradition whence he came.

“He rarely sounds as if he stepped out of a time machine,” the critic Nate Chinen wrote in 2008, reviewing Mr. Hargrove’s album “Earfood” for The New York Times. “At brisk tempos he summons a terrific clarity and tension, leaning against the current of his rhythm section. At a slower crawl, playing fluegelhorn, he gives each melody the equivalent of a spa treatment.”

In the late 1990s, already established as a jazz star, Mr. Hargrove became affiliated with the Soulquarians, a loose confederation of musicians from the worlds of hip-hop and neo-soul that included Questlove, Erykah Badu, Common and D’Angelo. For several years the collective convened semi-regularly at Electric Lady Studios in Manhattan, recording albums now seen as classics. Mr. Hargrove’s sly horn overdubs can be heard, guttering like a low flame, on records like “Voodoo,” by D’Angelo, and “Mama’s Gun,” by Ms. Badu.

“He is literally the one-man horn section I hear in my head when I think about music,” Questlove wrote on Instagram after Mr. Hargrove’s death.

Even as he explored an ever-expanding musical terrain, Mr. Hargrove did not lose sight of jazz traditions. “To get a thorough knowledge of anything you have to go to its history,” he told the writer Tom Piazza in 1990 for an article about young jazz musicians in The New York Times Magazine. “I’m just trying to study the history, learn it, understand it, so that maybe I’ll be able to develop something that hasn’t been done yet.”

In 1997 he recorded the album “Habana,” an electrified, rumba-inflected parley between American and Cuban musicians united under the band name Crisol. The album, featuring Hargrove originals and compositions by jazz musicians past and present, earned him his first of two Grammy Awards.

His second was for the 2002 album “Directions in Music,” a live recording on which he was a co-leader with the pianist Herbie Hancock and the tenor saxophonist Michael Brecker. That album became a favorite of jazz devotees and music students trying to envision a future for acoustic-jazz innovation.

In the 2000s, Mr. Hargrove released three records with RH Factor, a large ensemble that built a style of its own out of cool, electrified hip-hop grooves and greasy funk from the 1970s.

He held onto the spirit that guided those inquiries — one of creative fervor, tempered by cool poise — in the more traditionally formatted Roy Hargrove Quintet, a dependable group he maintained for most of his career. On “Earfood,” a late-career highlight, the quintet capers from savvy updates of jazz standards to original ballads and new tunes that mix Southern warmth and hip-hop swagger.

Continue reading “R.I.P. Grammy Award-Winning Jazz Artist Roy Hargrove, 49”

D’Angelo & Guests To Pay Tribute To Prince On ‘Tonight Show’

On this evening’s installment of NBC talk show The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy FallonD’Angelo and special guests will perform “a super special Prince tribute.”  Fallon revealed the news in a tweet earlier today:

Source: D’Angelo & Guests To Pay Tribute To Prince On ‘Tonight Show’

D’Angelo, Ed Sheeran to Lead Bill Withers Tribute at Carnegie Hall on October 1st

Ed Sheeran and D'Angelo
D’Angelo, Ed Sheeran and Sheryl Crow top the initial lineup for “Lean on Him,” an upcoming tribute concert to Bill Withers at Carnegie Hall (Photos: Dave J Hogan/Getty; Paras Griffin/Getty)

D’Angelo, Ed Sheeran, Ledisi and Aloe Blacc are among the artists who will help welcome Bill Withers back to Carnegie Hall on October 1st and pay tribute to the soul musician, who was recently inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

The initial lineup for the show, aptly dubbed “Lean on Him,” boasts Sheryl Crow, Amos Lee, Michael McDonald, Dr. John, Keb’ Mo’, Gregory Porter and Kathy Mattea. More artists will be announced in the coming weeks.

Withers will make a rare public appearance at the show, which will find the cast of musicians recreating some of his best known hits and his classic 1973 LP, Live at Carnegie Hall, in its entirety. Greg Phillinganes — who has worked with Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson — will helm the show as house band leader and musical director.

General admission tickets for “Lean on Him” are currently available through the Carnegie Hall website, while VIP tickets can be purchased via MusicOf.org. While a run-of-the-mill VIP ticket runs $300, a backstage pass is available for $2,000, and a five-course wine-paired dinner with Withers, his wife Marcia and no more than 40 other ticket buyers costs $10,000.

All net profits from the concert will benefit the Stuttering Association for the Young, an organization close to Withers, who has stuttered since childhood.

“Lean on Him” is the brainchild of City Winery and Knitting Factory founder Michael Dorf, who, over the past several years, has produced a slew of notable charity tribute concerts at Carnegie Hall. Earlier this year, the Roots, ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons, Rufus Wainwright and more paid tribute to David Byrne and the Talking Heads; previous concerts have honored Prince, Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Elton John, Neil YoungR.E.M., the Who, the Rolling Stones and Paul Simon.

Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/dangelo-ed-sheeran-to-lead-bill-withers-tribute-at-carnegie-hall-20150803#ixzz3hnoveD00 

Lauryn Hill’s Grammy-Winning Album “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill” to Be Entered Into the Library of Congress

Lauryn Hill
Lauryn Hill poses with the five Grammy Awards she won for The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill at the 41st annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles Feb. 24, 1999. (VINCE BUCCI/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

Each year, the Library of Congress selects 25 recordings to add to its archive. This year, Lauryn Hill’s record-breaking album, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, will be included in the 25.

According to the Library of Congress press release, among requirements for inclusion in the archive are that the recordings be “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant” and be at least 10 years old. The Library of Congress gave a lengthy explanation as to why it chose Hill’s debut album:

“Lauryn Hill’s debut solo record, following the breakup of the Fugees, is a work of honesty in which Hill explores her feelings on topics that included the deep wonder of pregnancy, the pitfalls of modern relationships and the experience of the sacred. The album effortlessly fuses soul, rhythm and blues, rap and reggae. Hill’s vocal range, smooth clear highs and vibrato are stunning. The rapping is rhythmically compelling while always retaining, and frequently exploiting, the natural cadences of conversational speech. Standout guest performances include Carlos Santana’s soulful acoustic guitar solo on ‘Zion,’ and duets with Mary J. Blige and D’Angelo on ‘I Used to Love Him’ and ‘Nothing Even Matters,’ respectively.”

Hill’s album joins an eclectic list, which includes Ben E. King’s “Stand By Me,” Sly and the Family Stone’s Stand album, and even a Sesame Street platinum-hits album.

Check out the full list of inductees below:

1. Vernacular Wax Cylinder Recordings at University of California, Santa Barbara Library (c.1890-1910)

2. The Benjamin Ives Gilman Collection, recorded at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition at Chicago (1893)

3. “The Boys of the Lough”/ “The Humours of Ennistymon” (single)—Michael Coleman (1922)
Continue reading “Lauryn Hill’s Grammy-Winning Album “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill” to Be Entered Into the Library of Congress”

EDITORIAL: Rediscovering and Celebrating Black History Month in Unexpected Ways

Screen Shot 2015-02-01 at 5.36.43 PM

At Good Black News, February is an especially invigorating time. When Black History Month rolls around, people have more interest than normal in African-American history, music and culture, and GBN inevitably benefits from the heightened exposure.  We make an extra effort to provide a wide variety of information and stories (historical and current) during this time, and point to events and programming we find to be educational as well as entertaining.

Even so, we are a small operation with limited (albeit growing) reach, and we know a lot of black folks feel skeptical about BHM — it always seems like the same old, same old — Martin, Malcolm, Rosa, and the black movie, tv show or person du jour get celebrated in the national news, and then everybody forgets (or tries to forget) about African-American history until next year.

Last night, however, as I was flipping through cable before going to bed, I noticed there was not only an increased amount of black programming (and not just on BET or TV One or PBS), it was more varied than ever.  So much so, I wasn’t even sure what to watch: “Angel Heart” with Lisa Bonet and Mickey Rourke, a horror thriller set in New Orleans and the world of voodoo (which reminded me of a time where the media considered Bonet the controversial one from “The Cosby Show”), “School Daze”, the Spike Lee movie set at an all-black college in the South, or “Iceberg Slim: Portait of a Pimp”, a 2012 documentary  produced by Ice T, primarily chronicling the author’s experiences in Chicago and Los Angeles.

I had been thinking about “School Daze” earlier that day, so I took it as a sign and flipped to that.  It was the scene where the light-skinned sorority girls (lead by Tisha Campbell-Martin and Jasmine Guy) bump into the dark-skinned girls (lead by Kyme and Joie Lee) and go into a full-on musical fantasy where they square off as they sing “Good and Bad Hair.”

My jaw about dropped — I saw this movie in the theatre when I was in college, but I’d forgotten how provocative the lyrics and the visuals were.  I mean, this movie was released in 1988 and had black women going hard for each other over hair, calling each other “high-yellow” and “jigaboo,” holding up fans with images of Hattie McDaniel as Mammy and Vivien Leigh as Scarlett to taunt one another!  Up until Chris Rock‘s 2009 documentary “Good Hair,” when had this subject matter ever received exposure in mainstream entertainment?

I’d also forgotten how talented the actors and dancers were/are, blending traditional and historical dancing styles and choreography with contemporary steps, and how creative and original Lee was to even imagine doing a number like this in what was then only his second motion picture.

The next scene was a frat hazing scene where pledges where being paddled and this all-too-real violence (as well as the abhorrent misogyny that would soon be coming down the pipe) made me realize the film was deeper and pointed to more problems and issues in the black community than I’d recalled.  “School Daze” received its share of flak (at the time and over the years) for being the hodgepodge of styles that it is, but it’s an important, innovative part of Lee’s work as well as black cinema, as relevant as “Dear White People” is in 2015, and fully worth a re-watch and discussion with the new generation of young people and college students.

Jazzed from this rediscovery, I flipped over to the Iceberg Slim documentary.  Although I’ve known about Iceberg Slim for decades, I’ve never read his work, dismissing it based on its categorization as “gangsta” literature.  Having matured since my 20s however (at least I think I have), I realized I really didn’t know anything about Iceberg Slim other than my perception, so perhaps I should learn more.  I’m so glad I did.  Not only was the documentary particularly well-executed (creative visuals, innovative music, interesting talking heads and dynamic footage of old Slim interviews), I learned what an intelligent man (Robert Beck) lay behind the Iceberg Slim persona, and how he wrote books such as “Pimp” and “Trick Baby” as cautionary tales rather than celebrations of street life.  Even though I don’t (neither does he in his later years) condone or excuse his repulsive criminal behavior and abuse of women, I do recognize he artfully captured and described a very real part of the black experience in the 50s, 60s and 70s.

I also had no idea “Trick Baby” was made into a motion picture by Universal, which helped spur the burgeoning “Blaxploitation” film boom in the 1970s, or that he lived for years only ten blocks away from my grandparents in the Crenshaw district of Los Angeles/Inglewood.  It was equally fascinating to learn Birdman of Cash Money Entertainment acquired the rights to “Pimp” and Slim’s other works to keep them alive on the Cash Money Content imprint via Simon & Schuster.  And now I want to read those books and get that movie.

All in all, these late-night viewings made me even more excited and energized about Black History Month.  And when I looked at my DVR this morning, I saw a variety of options casually waiting for me there, too:  the latest episodes of the “Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore”, “How To Get Away With Murder”, “Empire”, “Black-ish” and what I hear via Twitter was an incredible performance by D’Angelo on “Saturday Night Live” last night.  If that wasn’t enough, I started writing this piece while watching NFL QB Russell Wilson attempt to lead the Seattle Seahawks to back-to-back Super Bowl wins, which, if he does, will be a first for an African-American quarterback.  (And btw, what an unexpected treat to see Missy Elliott featured in the halftime show with Katy Perry — Missy was fire!)

We all have the ability, even casually, to celebrate and discover (or re-discover) our history, music, literature and culture and I invite all GBN followers to comment, tweet, email or share any unexpected, positive BHM experiences you have.  I’m going to continue to chronicle mine alongside more formally-presented stories and articles — looking forward to hearing yours as well!

Onward and upward!

Lori Lakin Hutcherson, GBN Founder/Editor-In-Chief
Lori Lakin Hutcherson, GBN Founder/Editor-In-Chief

Jay-Z’s ‘Made in America’ Festival Documentary to Air on Showtime

jay z on real timeDirector Ron Howard will debut the “Made in America” documentary about the Jay Z-curated music festival in Philadelphia Oct. 11 on Showtime.

Close to 50,000 fans attended Jay-Z’s “Budweiser Made in America” festival on Labor Day weekend last year. The two-day event included performers such as Pearl Jam, Drake, Run DMC, Skrillex, D’Angelo and Calvin Harris.

The year’s festival kicks of this weekend with performances from Beyonce, Nine Inch Nails, Imagine Dragons, Deadmau5, Kendrick Lamar and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis.  Howard’s documentary serves as a backstage pass to the event, which showcases performers sharing stories of how they are “making it in America.”

It will debut Sept. 7 at the Toronto International Film Festival.

article via eurweb.com