Wednesday, April 30, 2008

It’s time for some good ole religion.

Posted by SPN on 04/30 at 12:26 PM
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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Who where and when got what?

It’s so hard to explain… The p p p Package.  R Kelly just can’t be serious.  Can he?


Here is the whole thing.

Posted by SPN on 02/12 at 12:19 PM
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Thursday, June 29, 2006 - Re-Skinned and pMachine Powered

It’s not as advanced as SPN here (I use pmachine free), but I have made the site ‘blog-like’.

You will have to register to submit a post or comment.

There is still some neat house music, with more to come. 

DJ SerQet

SPN and community, comments, suggestions are appreciated.

V up
A down!

Posted by SerQet on 06/29 at 11:46 PM
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Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Miles Davis inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Now, I have a reason to go visit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Miles Davis (trumpet, keyboards; born May 26, 1926, died September 28, 1991)

Miles Davis is one of the key figures in the history of jazz, and his place in vanguard of that pantheon is secure. His induction as a performer into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is a subtler and less obvious matter. Davis never played rock or rhythm & blues, though he experimented with funk grooves on 1972’s On the Corner and in some of his later bands. However, his work intrigued a sizable segment of rock’s more ambitious fans in a way that no other serious jazz figure had ever done - and not retroactively but while he was alive and making some of his most challenging music. In particular, the boldly experimental soundscapes of Davis’ 1969 album Bitches Brew spoke to the sensibilities of rock fans who’d been digesting the Grateful Dead’s expansive improvisations. Davis’ was acutely attuned to his environment and he once remarked, “We play what the day recommends.”

Davis’ exposure to the rock audience owes much to concert promoter Bill Graham, who booked Davis at his Fillmore Auditoriums. Graham figured that his open-eared audiences would make the connection between venturesome San Francisco jam bands (like the Dead, Quicksilver and Santana) and Davis’ free-flowing ensemble. This exposure allowed Davis to cross over without compromise, and he actually recorded albums - Miles Davis at Fillmore and Black Beauty - at Graham’s Fillmore East and Fillmore West, respectively.

It is important to note that Miles Davis did not make jazz-rock - a briefly popular hybrid in the late Sixties and early Seventies, whose chief proponents were Blood, Sweat & Tears and Chicago. Davis played jazz, period. But his forward-thinking sensibility, insatiably curious muse and eagerness to move music into uncharted realms made him a contemporary musician, irrespective of genre. The bond he established with rock’s more inquisitive listeners at that time carried through to his death in 1991. Moreover, his career-long example of pushing the boundaries has influenced many of rock’s leading lights, particularly those who eschewed the status quo for musical explorations on rock’s more experimental tip. He possessed one of the most gifted and curious minds in music history, and compromise was not in his blood.

As a French jazz magazine wrote of him in 1960, “The behavior of Miles Davis is not that of an ordinary star. It is that of a man who has decided to live without hypocrisy.”

Born in the St. Louis suburb of Alton, Illinois, Miles Dewey Davis III was the son of a successful dental surgeon. His mother played piano and violin, and Miles received tutoring on the trumpet. In 1942 he joined Eddie Randle’s Blue Devils, with whom he played throughout high school. Davis first heard modern jazz at 18 when Billy Eckstine’s ensemble - which included saxophonist Charlie Parker and trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie - came to town for a two-week residency. Davis wound up replacing a trumpet player in the band who had taken ill. He accompanied Eckstine back to New York, where he studied classical music at Juilliard by day and played jazz clubs at night. Davis joined Parker’s quintet in 1945 and made his recording debut as a bandleader two years later.

Jazz writer Nat Hentoff identified the fundamental elements of Davis’ style: “spareness, evocative use of space, intense lyricism, and deep fire underneath it all.” The innovations he brought to jazz in the second half of the 20th century were profound in their scope and consequences. With The Birth of the Cool, a series of sessions cut with a nine-piece band in 1949 and 1950, Davis tempered bop’s heat with a more supple, serene lyricism. As Robert Palmer wrote many years later, “[The Birth of the Cool] initiated a still-evolving exchange between of ideas between jazz and European classical music.”

Davis changed courses in the mid-Fifties with Walkin’, a bluesier, more muscular effort (recorded during a stint with Prestige Records) that ushered in the hard-bop era. He’d formed a legendary quintet that included pianist Red Garland, bassist Paul Chambers, drummer Philly Joe Jones and a young saxophonist named John Coltrane. They went on to record other milestones, such as Round About Midnight, which inaugurated Davis’ 30-year association with Columbia Records. Davis followed this with the ambitious Miles Ahead (1957), credited to “Miles Davis + 19.” This big-band session renewed Davis’ fruitful partnership with arranger Gil Evans (who’d also worked on The Birth of the Cool). Theirs has been called “the most important relationship ever forged between a jazz soloist and an arranger.”

The innovations came fast and furious as the Fifties segued into the Sixties. Working with a sextet that included pianist Bill Evans and saxophonists Coltrane and Cannonball Adderley, Davis recorded the understated masterpiece Kind of Blue in the spring of 1959. The musicians soloed in uncluttered settings typified by “melodic rather than harmonic variation,” in Davis’ words. The album included the classic originals “All Blues,” “So What” and “Flamenco Sketches.” Sketches of Spain, a large-scale orchestral project, appeared a year later. It was the apex in a series of expressive collaborations between Davis and arranger/composer Gil Evans. Both albums highlighted Davis’ painterly approach to horn-playing. Unsurprisingly, painting would later become another mode of self-expression for Davis.

During the Sixties, Davis led a stellar quintet that included tenor saxophonist Wayne Shorter, pianist Herbie Hancock, bassist Ron Carter and drumming prodigy Tony Williams (who was only seventeen when he first performed with Davis). Their many notable works included E.S.P. (1965), Miles Smiles (1967), Sorcerer (1967), Nefertiti (1968) and Filles de Kilimanjaro (1969). Davis would then move in a more electric direction, occasioning the same sort of controversy in the jazz world that Bob Dylan’s embrace of amplified instruments had generated in the folk world at mid-decade. His first step in this direction was the atmospheric In a Silent Way (1969), which saw him joined by guitarist John McLaughlin and keyboardists Chick Corea and Joe Zawinul. This album pointed the way to Davis’ groundbreaking Bitches Brew, one of the most challenging and innovative musical works ever made.

Enamored of the rock styles of Jimi Hendrix and Sly Stone, Davis had expressed a desire to form “the world’s baddest rock band.” He didn’t literally do that, but he did bring a fiery, rock-inspired sensibility to Bitches Brew (1969), Jack Johnson (1971) and Live-Evil (1972). During this highly productive period he employed musicians who would go on to become household names in the Seventies: Joe Zawinul and Wayne Shorter (who cofounded Weather Report); Chick Corea (who’d make waves with Return to Forever); Billy Cobham and John McLaughlin (who’d form Mahavishnu Orchestra); Harvey Brooks (from the rock group Electric Flag); Lenny White (who’d join Larry Coryell’s fusion band, the Eleventh House); Ron Carter and Airto Moreira (key figures on the CTI label’s new-wave jazz roster); and others. Davis wasn’t so much leading a band as conducting an extended seminar on new directions for jazz, and its impact would be felt for decades.

Davis’ infatuation with rock and funk peaked with 1972’s On the Corner. He drew from numerous influences, including Sly Stone, Parliament/Funkadelic, James Brown, German composer Karlheinz Stockhausen, and British composer/arranger Paul Buckmaster. Thereafter he kept two or three electric guitarists in his band, and the music turned even more spectral and extreme. Such albums as Agharta, Pangaea and Dark Magus made for difficult listening. They subsequently influenced movements on rock’s fringe like No Wave, industrial, electronica, punk-funk and grunge. Those albums also reflected Davis’ turmoil during one of the darker periods in his life. He actually dropped out of the music scene from 1975 to 1981. Davis resurfaced in 1981 with The Man With the Horn. It was followed by the double live album We Want Miles and Star People, which was Davis’ most blues-minded recording in many years. He closed out his thirty-year run on Columbia Records with the albums Decoy (1984) and You’re Under Arrest (1985). The latter included Davis’ interpretations of Michael Jackson’s “Human Nature” and Cyndi Lauper’s “Time After Time.”

Davis’ comeback continued with a move to Warner Bros. in the mid-Eighties, where he continued to push the envelope with such albums as Tutu (1986) and Siesta (1986). In 1989, Davis published a frank, uncensored memoir entitled Miles: The Autobiography, which made the best-seller lists. Davis’ final studio project, Doo Bop, found him collaborating with Brooklyn rapper Easy Mo Bee on a synthesis of hip-hop, doo-wop and be-bop. Unsurprisingly, he was still forging new connections and avenues of expression until the very end of his life.

Davis succumbed to a combination of pneumonia, stroke and respiratory failure at a hospital in Santa Monica, California, in 1991. In the flood of tributes that followed, Vernon Reid (of Living Colour) perhaps stated it best: “Miles shares with a handful of artists of this century the ineffable mystery of creation at its highest level.”

In Davis’ own words, “The way you change and help music is by tryin’ to invent new ways to play.” For nearly fifty years, Miles Davis did just that. 

Posted by SPN on 03/22 at 09:02 PM
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Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Smithsonian preparing for hip-hop exhibit

Date: Tuesday, February 28, 2006
By: MARCUS FRANKLIN, Associated Press Writer, APonline

NEW YORK (AP) - MC Lyte’s diary has been donated to the Smithsonian Institution, as well as a turntable, vinyl records and other memorabilia from her fellow hip-hop pioneers, for a collection that will trace the history of the Bronx-born music genre.

The contributions, which also include artifacts from Afrika Bambaataa and Grandmaster Flash, were displayed at a Manhattan news conference Tuesday.


Ice-T and six other hip-hop stars looked on as the artifacts - some of which collected dust for decades in boxes and attics - were turned over to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, for a project called “Hip-Hop Won’t Stop: The Beat, The Rhymes, The Life.”

“Now, any time someone asks me about my music, I will be able to say...” - go to the museum, said Ice-T, finishing his comment with expletives.

“It’s here to stay, and it’s part of American culture just like jazz is part of American history,” Valeska Hilbig, a National Museum spokeswoman, declared Monday.

The collected objects trace the evolution of hip-hop from its origins in the Bronx in the 1970s to its current global reach. The project is expected to cost as much as $2 million and take up to five years to complete.

Museum officials have yet to raise the money, which will come from private donors. The funds will pay for artifacts, as well as to record oral histories, hold consultations with advisory groups and mount an exhibit telling hip-hop’s story.

The exhibition grew out of conversations between Brent D. Glass, the national museum’s director, and his childhood friend Mark Shimmel, of Mark Shimmel Music, museum curator Marvette Perez said.

Besides records, boom boxes, microphones and turntables, Perez requested hip-hop’s early artists to offer photographs, posters, handwritten lyrics, clothing and costumes, videos and interviews and business and personal letters.

Hip-hop impresario Russell Simmons called the Smithsonian’s recognition a “great statement for hip-hop.”

“It’s not a signal to the end of hip-hop,” said Simmons, co-founder of the Def Jam label. “We know it will be a lasting fixture. And it should be. All over the world hip-hop is expression of young people’s struggles, their frustrations and opinions.”

The Smithsonian isn’t the only museum with an interest in hip-hop culture. In the fall of 2000, the Brooklyn Museum of Art put on “Hip-Hop Nation: Roots, Rhymes & Rage.” In June the museum plans to showcase an exhibition of graffiti art, spokesman Adam Husted said.

The Museum of the City of New York plans to hold “Black Style Now” in September on hip-hop’s impact on fashion and black fashion designers. And the Experience Music Project, an interactive music museum in Seattle, has featured exhibitions on hip-hop, Perez said.

Posted by loni on 03/01 at 10:22 AM
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Monday, February 20, 2006

ETTA JAMES RETURNS WITH NEW ALBUM: Soul star also to receive NABOB Lifetime Achievement Award in D.C


*The legendary Etta James is back looking slim and trim and toting a brand new album of songs made famous by the likes of Marvin Gaye (“What’s Going On”), Prince (“Purple Rain”) and R. Kelly (“I Believe I Can Fly”).

“All the Way,” due March 14 via RCA Victor, is described by James as “an album of songs that I’ve always loved, tunes that I heard and thought, ‘wish I could have been the one to do that one first.”

During the month of its release, Etta will also be honored by NABOB (The National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters) with the organization’s Lifetime Achievement Award at its 22nd Annual Communications Awards Dinner, a staple event held each year in Washington, D.C. Hosted by comedian and radio personality Steve Harvey, the show will take place March 10 and include other NABOB 2006 honorees Alicia Keys, S. Epatha Merkerson, Maya Angelou, Albertina Walker and Robert L. Johnson - with Aretha Franklin providing the evening’s entertainment.

James’ new album and honor comes with a new look, as the singer has shed more than 200 pounds. 

“Now I can flaunt my figure wherever I go,” the Los Angeles native grins. “I can go shopping and buy those outfits I always wanted to wear!”

The loss of weight has also dramatically changed Etta’s stage performances: “Now I can stand up on the stage again like I used to after five years of sitting down while I sang .”

Other artists covered on James’ new album “All the Way” include: Bobby Womack ("Stop On By"), Simply Red ("Holding Back The Years") James Brown ("It’s A Man’s Man’s Man’s World"), John Lennon ("Imagine"), “Calling You,” (from Baghdad Cafe), Leonard Bernstein ("Somewhere" from “West Side Story”), “Strung Out” (Johnny ‘Guitar’ Watson) and “All The Way,” the standard most often associated with Frank Sinatra.

Posted by loni on 02/20 at 08:31 AM
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