ALL POSTS TAGGED "stevie-wonder"

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For those of you who are still bumping Esperanza Spalding’s Radio Music Society album in your cars or on your iPods, prepare for great news! keep reading »

“We are America, in my America we take a stand for this,” Esperanza sings in one of the most pointed protest songs of the past keep reading »

Dorothy Ashby is one of those undersold luminaries who has brought such a profound voice to the world of music that though her name may be unknown to some, her sound is unmistakeable both on her own records as well as on recordings for other artists (Stevie Wonder, Bill Withers, Bobby Womack, Bobbi Humphrey, Freddie Hubbard) and within samples of even more (J Dilla, Jay Z, Kanye West, Pete Rock, The GZA, Phife Dawg, Flying Lotus, Madlib, Jurassic 5, Angie Stone and Ghostface Killah).

Stevie Wonder is the prototype of the modern day one-man-band. From Shuggie Otis to Prince to Lenny Kravitz to D’Angelo, the 22 time Grammy Award winner is the zenith of celestial DIY music. From 1971’s Where I’m Coming From to 2005’s A Time 2 Love, Wonder has written, produced, arranged and played nearly every instrument on every song, with very few exceptions. While a majority of those instruments are an assortment of keyboards and synthesizers, Wonder’s prowess on the drums is especially unique.

If it weren’t for playing the drums, you may have never heard of the name Marvin Gaye — well, at least maybe not as prolifically on Motown at least. In the early years of Motown Gaye had lost himself as a frustrated student, armed serviceman, dishwasher, and vocalist. By 1959, Marvin was recording as a part of Harvey and the Moonglows on Chess Records, but the group quickly disbanded with Harvey Fuqua and Marvin moving to Detroit to work with Gwen Gordy at Anna Records.

This past week has not only been a great one for music, but also tons of videos from some of our favorite artists. Check out below for some must-see media from Robert Glasper & Derrick Hodge, Christian Sands & Kris Bowers, and Ric’key Pageot & Dessy Di Lauro!

On harmonica, for a brief, yet memorable moment was Gregoire Maret. What I did not know was that you can really play the harmonica. We’re not talking about the technical element of the instrument (which he does brilliantly, I might add). We’re talking about what Little Richard did on the keys, what Chuck Berry did on the guitar. We’re talking about the difference between someone who was “singing” and someone who was “sangin,’” as they might say in the black church. With every other note, Maret dipped and swayed as his bended knees supported a man unbridled. To watch this seemingly mild-mannered individual take off his metaphorical cool was perhaps the most amusingly captivating moment of the night. It was showmanship at its finest and most unexpected.

Robert Glasper will be bringing together an all-star cast featuring the Robert Glasper Experiment (Derrick Hodge, Mark Colenburg and Casey Benjamin), Lalah Hathaway, Eric Roberson, Stokley (from Mint Condition), Questlove and others to produce a two-night tribute to the music of Stevie Wonder. The performances will include new arrangements of Stevie’s music and the premiere of new Harlem Stage commissioned compositions by Glasper, inspired by Stevie Wonder.

EJ Strickland is bringing together an incredible line-up of musicians for a two-night tribute to the great Stevie Wonder at Zinc Bar this week. Strickland has made a name for himself both as a part of Ravi Coltrane’s long standing quartet as well as in collaboration with his brother Marcus Strickland. EJ put together the arrangements for the show and will be playing drums alongside his group of seasoned musicians.

Multi-instrumentalist, producer, and singer, Louis Cato is a ball of versatility and a special brand of bright. Armed with perfect pitch and a precocious thirst for sound that first surfaced in him as a child, Cato is next in the lineage of ear, aesthetic, and outright skill – forces that have combined in the past to offer stylistic progenitors Victor Wooten and Marcus Miller – that have helped bring the sound of the bass from the side to the fore.