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Duane Allman Solos brought to life by Billionaire Music Lover

8 Jan

Forgive the headline hook, but that’s my own personal fantasy.  Before going to sleep last night, I listened to a recording of the Allman Brothers Band from January 23, 1971.  They were opening for Delaney and Bonnie at the Capitol Theatre, Port Chester, NY.

If you’re a serious Allman Brothers fan, you recall the laid back crowd reactions on the Fillmore recordings. Without even hearing any music, this crowd reaction will give you an indication of just how smoking hot Duane Allman and the band were that night in 1971.


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Talkin’ Blues, Bluegrass & More with Jimmy Herring

14 Nov

Check out my interview with Jimmy Herring in All About Jazz and also my First Impressions look at his latest album Subject To Change Without Notice (Abstract Logix, 2012)

New York Times on Bonnie Raitt, Derek Trucks & Susan Tedeschi

8 Nov

 

Each week, Val Haller, the founder of the music Web site Valslist.com, matches music from her baby boom generation to music of her 20-something sons’ generation.

Val Haller has a nice piece in the New York Times that recommends the Tedeschi Trucks Band to Bonnie Raitt fans.  Her own website is worth visiting regularly, she helps “busy adults keep up with what’s happening in modern music.”  Also a big thank you to her for mentioning this site in her article.

Carlos Santana with the Allman Brothers Band

12 Aug

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Talkin’ Blues with Chuck Leavell

3 May

Chuck Leavell talks about Keith Richards, the possibility of John Mayer doing an instrumental tour, Gregg Allman and much more.

Read my interview with Chuck on All About Jazz

My new interview with the Groovemaster Jerry Jemmott

10 Apr

Jerry Jemmott’s groove is the bedrock of guitarist B.B. King’s career defining hit, “The Thrill is Gone.” He was in the studio with Duane Allman and singer Wilson Pickett recording “Hey Jude,” a track that was instrumental in launching the late Allman Brothers Band guitarist’s musical career; and they were together again for flautist Herbie Mann’s Push Push (Atlantic, 1971), Allman’s first and only jazz sessions, and the last full album he recorded prior to his death on October 29, 1971. Jemmott was also there on December 13, 1968, when guitarist Mike Bloomfield called another six-stringer, an unknown Johnny Winter, up onstage at the Fillmore East—a Friday the 13th that turned out to be Winter’s lucky day.

Jemmott was with singer Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul herself, when she conquered San Francisco’s hippie community at the Fillmore West in March of 1971. The album, drawn from this series of concerts (with a surprise appearance by singer Ray Charles), earned her a gold record, and was something she would later refer to as a highlight of her career.

Jerry Jemmott’s blues credits are truly remarkable: in addition to B.B. King, Freddie King, Mike Bloomfield, Duane Allman, Otis Rush, Johnny Winter, Warren Haynes, Derek Trucks, there’s his legendary association with Cornell Dupree, Bernard Purdie, and King Curtis. In my last column, Jimmy Herring had this to say about him: “He’s a genius, there’s just nobody like him. He’s the sound that defined an entire generation. I love Jerry Jemmott, it doesn’t get any better than that.”

Another of his seminal achievements, which will no doubt be watched by generations yet unborn, was his collaboration with Jaco Pastorius on the instructional video Modern Electric Bass (1985). Even beyond its instructional value, because it was done so close to Pastorius’ death on September 21, 1987, it provides an invaluable insight into this extraordinary musician and composer. Pastorius had this to say about Jerry Jemmott: “He was my idol. That stuttering kind of bass line, bouncing all around the beat but keeping it right in the groove—well, they don’t call Jerry the Groovemaster for nothing. He’s the best.”

In this extensive interview Jerry Jemmott speaks about all this, as well as his wide ranging session work for Atlantic Records, and his current gig with blues/rock legend Gregg Allman.

Read the interview here.

Talkin’ Blues with Jaimoe

28 Mar

Check out my new interview with Jaimoe, a founding member of the Allman Brothers Band.

Watch Allman Brothers @ the Grammy Awards

14 Feb

Duane Allman’s daugher Galadrielle accepting the Grammy Award for Lifetime Achievement for her father.  Watch the 20+ minute ceremony here.

Talkin’ Blues with Jimmy Herring

27 Dec

Check out my interview with Jimmy Herring on All About Jazz.

Tedeschi Trucks Band: So what does Revelator reveal?

19 Jun

Two wings of equal strength endow a bird with the capacity to truly soar. This principle also helps to explain why Revelator (Sony, 2011), the debut album of the Tedeschi Trucks Band, has soared to #1 for blues releases on Amazon, #2 in rock, and #3 in all of music. This band brings together vocalist Susan Tedeschi, whose previous release in 2009 earned her a Grammy nomination, with slide guitarist Derek Trucks, who won the Grammy for his 2009 release. What’s particularly striking in this pairing is how evenly matched these exceptional talents are. Continue reading

John Scofield Interview: Talkin’ Blues

1 Apr

2013 UPDATE:  You can now download the audio of this interview, or stream it here

John Scofield is one of the world’s most influential and respected guitarists, a musician and composer who has worked with many of the greatest names in jazz: Chet Baker, Gary Burton, Billy Cobham, Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, Charles Mingus, Gerry Mulligan and scores of others. His 30 plus solo recordings have taken his fans on a remarkably wide-ranging musical journey – from straight ahead jazz, bebop, and fusion, to funky experimental outings with Medeski, Scofield, Martin, and Wood, and even gospel jazz fusion with his Piety Street Band.  On his current album 54 (Emarcy, 2010), he is backed by a 50 plus piece orchestra, complete with strings, harps, brass, and woodwinds, and, as always, he somehow manages to play in a way that appeals to jazz aficionados and discerning guitarheads.

Fans of Soulive, Phil Lesh & Friends, Govt. Mule, and John Mayer are well aware that John Scofield is an exciting and soulful player, and this ability to be true to himself as a serious jazz artist, while also appealing to rock, R&B, and blues fans is what makes him so special. After watching him (@ Moogis.com) blow the roof off the Beacon when he sat in with the Allman Brothers Band on March 18, 2011, I thought it would be fascinating to talk to this jazz icon about coming of age in the ’60s & ’70s and get his take on the icons of blues rock. So this interview was conducted just a few days after that event.

Regular readers of this blog know that I publish my interviews on All About Jazz, but this year a major retrospective interview with John Scofield was already planned for the later part of 2011 to coincide with the release of his upcoming album A Moments Peace (Emarcy, 2011.) Nevertheless, he graciously agreed to this interview on blues rock guitar for Jazzamatazz, and I resisted the urge to ask him about jazz and his work with Miles and the other jazz greats – we can all look forward to that later this year on All About Jazz. Meanwhile, if you see any names you don’t recognize, or any of your favorites, be sure to check the hyper-links – there are even links to posters of concerts John saw as a high school student.

Jazzamatazz: First, as a blues fan I want to tell you how much I love your album Piety Street (2009, Universal Music). It’s one of those recordings where everything just seems to have fit together perfectly, from the material and musicians down to the great cover art. And the fact that you decided to do a gospel album in New Orleans and actually ended up in a studio on Piety Street, it just doesn’t get any better than that.

John Scofield: Yeah, it was one of those things, almost like being helped from above. It was also so much fun doing that record. Of course I knew the studio was on Piety Street, but it really didn’t register until I got down there.

Jazzamatazz: Jon Cleary was a great choice, it’s uncanny that a guy from England sings and plays piano like someone who grew up in the 9th Ward, and if that weren’t enough, he’s a fine guitarist.

John Scofield: Jon Cleary is just a major talent, and we did a year of touring after the album came out. It was wonderful working with him and he’s just become a great friend. He’s actually been into it for a long time, his story is rather interesting. His father and uncle were way into the music of New Orleans when he was a kid. So he grew up with New Orleans music playing around the house all the time, and his uncle was a musician. His sister was also really into it and had already moved down there, so when he was about age eighteen he was already playing and singing it, and at this point he’s lived down there for a long time.

Jazzamatazz: You’ve also had John Boutté who famously sings the theme song for HBO’s mini-series Treme. Have you had a chance to watch it, and are there any plans for you to appear in an episode?

John Scofield: Yes, that’s so great. We actually recorded Peity Street before that, and I was so happy to see that they used his music for the series. I actually watched one of the episodes with Jon Cleary in it, it’s very good. They haven’t asked me, but I’ll be there if they want me.

Jazzamatazz: You seem to have retained a rock energy when you need it, but other than a bit of B.B. King I can’t spot a particular influence from a blues or rock player. Were there any rock or blues player you listened to in your early years who had a lasting influence on you?

John Scofield: So first, there is influence, and then there are also people whom you like and respect. I liked and respected all of the blues players, and they all kind of played a bit like B.B. King, Otis Rush, Albert King and Freddie King. And I loved those guys, and Hendrix and Clapton, and I was a teenager when that first came out.

I started playing guitar at the end of 1963 just before the Beatles came over. [Laughing] I think I had my guitar out holding it when I was watching the Beatles on television on the Ed Sullivan Show. Continue reading

Allman Brothers Meet Steely Dan

18 Mar

This was worth the price of admission!  Donald Fagen of Steely Dan sits in.

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Check out Susan Tedeschi in the background.

My Interview with Susan Tedeschi

7 Jun

What a treat it was to interview Susan Tedeschi, the future looks bright for the Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi Band.  Read the interview on All About Jazz.

Allman Brothers Band 2010 NYC Run – Ongoing Update

14 Mar

The Allman Brothers 2010 NYC run was not as exciting as last year’s 40th anniversary celebration, but I got the sense that there was a new and improved group dynamic.  If you watch the ABB 2004 commercial DVD and compare it to this 2010 run, you’ll notice a shift in leadership.  Warren, Derek and Oteil are now on much more of an equal footing.  Otiel in particular has really emerged as an important force.

Otiel is a musician’s musician, musically on top of his game, appreciative of others’ playing, enthusiastic and supportive, and now ready to take his rightful place on stage.  I was really surprised by his voice when he sang Anyday, he has a strong voice and creative phrasing, and his bass playing is simply great.  He’s a joy to watch on stage, he’s all about the music.

Continue reading

Guitar Magic – Carlos Santana with Derek Trucks

8 Oct

11 dt cs

Can you believe this!?!

Can you believe this!?!

8 dt csspoke with Derek Trucks about Carlos Santana  just before the Allman Brothers’ big 40th anniversary and concert run at the Beacon Theater in NYC.  Of course there was no sense in asking him if Eric Clapton or Santana would be dt csshowing up at the Beacon, all of the band was sworn to secrecy.  As we know, E.C. did show up.  He played two nights and it certainly lived up to all my personal expectations.  I thought to myself, it just doesn’t get any better than this – and then I saw the clips of Carlos Santana sitting in with the Derek Trucks Band on April 15, 2009 in San Francisco.  (See video below & please take the poll at the bottom of the post.) Continue reading

Allman Brothers Band – What Now?

21 Jun

So what do Randy Brecker, Stanley Clarke and Lenny White have in common with Kid Rock, Eric Clapton and Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top?

All were part of the Allman Brothers Band’s three-week musical extravaganza at New York City’s Beacon Theater celebrating the band’s 40th anniversary. This year’s list of surprise guests also included Johnny Winter, Taj Mahal, Sheryl Crow, John Hammond, Boz Scaggs, Chuck Leavell, Levon Helm, Bruce Hornsby, Southside Johnny, The Juke Horns, Buddy Guy, Susan Tedeschi, Bonnie Bramlett, Jimmy Herring, Robert Randolph, Sonny Landreth, Bob Margolin, John Popper, Trey Anastasio, and members of Los Lobos, Cowboy, Wet Willie and The Grateful Dead.

Please check out my recent piece on All About Jazz

The Allman Brothers Band – 40 Year Out

Allman Brothers 40th – Ongoing Beacon Updates

29 Mar

UPDATE

A lot of people still seem to be interested in this subject, so I’m leaving this post up.  It was originally a daily review of each Beacon show, primarily using photos and set lists.  Thus it is in reverse order, last show first.

After watching it all and reflecting on the Allman Brothers 40th, I wrote an article that was published on All About Jazz.  You can read it here.

The Allman Brothers: 40 Years Out

Final Night

Fantastic Ending to a Great Run
Fantastic Ending to a Great Run

Well, my guess about Phil Lesh was correct and I’m so happy that Chuck Leavell did indeed make it back from the timber conference in Idaho to close out the Beacon run – what a terrific surprise!  Chuck totally smoked the place, he was awesome.

The best $125 I've ever spent!  Thanks to everyone @ Moogis!

The best $125 I've ever spent! Thanks to everyone @ Moogis!

On the final night the Moogis folks took us backstage for a tour.

f-moogis-control-room

f-tour Continue reading

My Interview with Derek Trucks

3 Jan

UPDATE: JAN 2010

The annual stats are in @ All About Jazz and this Derek Trucks interview was the most read interview on the site in the year 2009. It was also the #5 most read article overall.

Derek Trucks All About Jazz

Check out my interview with Derek Trucks, we talk about Clapton, Santana, Duane Allman, Tal Wilkenfeld, Johnny Winter and much more… Continue reading

My Interview with the Legendary Chuck Leavell

3 Sep


Chuck Leavell is one of the world’s premier blues rock pianists–a veteran musician who has recorded and toured with many of the best-known names in the business. He is perhaps best known for his work with the Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, George Harrison, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, The Black Crowes, and most of all, his legendary years with the Allman Brothers Band in the ’70s.

My extensive and wide-ranging interview with Chuck has just been published in All About Jazz.

You can read it

here.

Remembering the Magical Music of 1969 with Videos & Background

19 Aug

TOP SINGLE in 1969

Get Back, The Beatles

“Get Back” is a song primarly written by Paul McCartney and credited to Lennon/McCartney. The song was originally released as a single on 11 April 1969 and credited to “The Beatles with Billy Preston.”[1] It would later become the closing track of The Beatles’ last album to be released before they split, Let It Be (1970). However, it was not placed there in retrospect; Let It Be was recorded before Abbey Road, “Get Back” therefore being recorded in the Let It Be sessions. The single reached number one in the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Australia, France, West Germany, and Mexico, and was The Beatles’ only single that credited another artist (Preston), although Tony Sheridan had shared a billing credit with The Beatles on his own single “My Bonnie” when issued in the UK in 1962 (and again in 1964).

“Get Back” was The Beatles’ first single release in true stereo in the U.S. — in the UK they remained monaural records until the following single release — “The Ballad of John and Yoko.” Wikipedia

The Beatles also released Abbey Road in 1969: Abbey Road became one of the most successful Beatles albums ever. In the UK the album debuted straight at #1. Abbey Road spent its first 11 weeks in the UK charts at #1, and then was knocked off just for 1 week to #2 by the Rolling Stones debuting at the top with Let It Bleed. However, the following week – which was the Christmas week – Abbey Road returned to the top for another 6 weeks, completing 17 weeks at the top. In all it spent 92 weeks inside the UK Top 75, making a big re-entry after over 16 years in October 31, 1987, when it was released for the first time on CD and reached #30. In the UK Abbey Road was the best-selling album of 1969 and the fourth best-selling of the entire 1960s, and the eighth best-selling album of 1970.

Reaction in the U.S. was similar. The album debuted at #178, then moved to #4 and in its third week to #1, spending 11 non-consecutive weeks at the top, but was not the best-selling album during the Christmas week. Abbey Road spent a total of 129 weeks in the Billboard 200, re-entering the charts at #69 on November 14, 1987 when it was released for the first time on CD. It was the 4th best-selling album of 1970 in the US and is now certified 12x platinum by the RIAA. Wikipedia

2nd TOP SINGLE Rolling Stones – Honky Tonk Woman (Live in Hyde Park 1969 with white shoes:-)

Recorded in London in early February 1969 without Brian Jones, the band initially recorded a track called “Country Honk”. Prior to the arrival of new band member Mick Taylor, the song Continue reading

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