Amoeblog

R.I.P. LES PAUL

Posted by Billyjam, August 13, 2009 09:50am | Post a Comment
Les Paul with Chet Atkins

Guitar legend Les Paul died today at age 94, the result of complications of severe pneumonia, according to several sources, including the New York Times and Associated Press. Read AP's full obit here of the artist who gave his name to the Gibson manufactured Les Paul guitar. According to one source, the artist, who had been playing regularly up to the time of his death, was until recently holding down a standing gig, despite the fact he was in his nineties, at New York's Iridium Jazz Club. Now that's dedication to music! Below and above are some video clips of the guitar legend. R.I.P. Les Paul.

LEGENDARY JAZZ DRUMMER RASHIED ALI PASSES

Posted by Billyjam, August 13, 2009 08:53am | Post a Comment
Rashied Ali
According to several sources, including citizenjazz.com, legendary jazz drummer Rashied Ali, who was one of the greatest jazz drummers of all time, died yesterday at age 74. The cause of Ali's death has not yet been announced, but the artist, who did some great recordings with John Coltrane, had been active in his craft up until recently, playing with his own group, the Rashied Ali Quintet. A few years ago they recorded the double CD Judgment Day.

As well as working with Coltrane, the drummer had also recorded or performed with such artists as Pharoah Sanders, Alice Coltrane, Arthur Rhames and James Blood Ulmer. As jazz legend has it, Ali was supposed to be the second drumme on John Coltrane’s 1965 landmark free jazz album Ascension in tandem with drummer Elvin Jones, but at the last minute he dropped out. Coltrane decided to scrap the two drummer scenario and proceeded to record with just Jones on percussion.  meditations coltrane

Soon after, however, Ali began to record with Coltrane. Along with Pharoah Sanders, he is a featured artist on the avant garde Coltrane album Meditations. Ali's other Coltrane collaborations included Interstellar Space in 1967 and The Olatunji Concert -- one of Coltrane's later recordings. 

A few decades ago he ran the club Ali's Alley in New York. He also worked outside of jazz music from time to time, forming the Purple Trap project with Japanese experimental guitarist Keiji Haino and jazz-fusion bassist Bill Laswell. Additionally, he made contributions to experimental, multi-media performances with such groups as The Gift of Eagle Orchestra and Cosmic Legends, and was part of a special tribute to John Cage in Central Park. Below is a video of the late drummer along with Don Cherry (pocket trumpet) and James Blood Ulmer (guitar) in concert along with voiceover commentary on the three great improv jazz artists.

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FROM GILMAN TO THE REP, GREEN DAY KEEP IT BERKELEY

Posted by Billyjam, August 12, 2009 03:00pm | Post a Comment
Green Day
Last week the Berkeley Repertory Theatre announced the full cast for its anticipated upcoming premiere of American Idiot, a production based on the popular Green Day album of the same name, that will run at the downtown Berkeley theater from September 4 through October 11, and feature the music of Green Day and the lyrics of the longtime East Bay band's Billie Joe Armstrong. 

Even before the cast was announced, tickets were already selling briskly, fueled in good part by Green Day fans anxious to see how their fave band's 2004 album is being adapted to the stage. American Idiot is being staged by star director Michael Mayer, who won a Tony Award in 2007 for his direction of the musical adaptation of Spring Awakening, and who collaborated with Armstrong on the story. 

The stage production of American Idiot is decribed by the Berkeley Rep as one that "follows working-class characters from the suburbs to the city to the Middle East. In an exhilarating journey borne along by Green Day's electrifying songs, they seek redemption in a world filled with frustration."

The music driven production will feature not only every song off of American Idiot, which won two Grammys -- Best Rock Album and Record of the Year -- and sold more than 12 million copies worldwide, but also several songs from Green Day's follow up to American Idiot, 21st Century Breakdown, which was released a few months ago and done in a similar style to American Idiot. The team that Mayer has assembled to bring the production to the Berkeley stage includes choreographer Steven Hoggett, composer Tom Kitt, and video designer Darrel Maloney.

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2009 BEST OF THE EAST BAY PARTY WAS A HUGE SUCCESS

Posted by Billyjam, August 11, 2009 02:20pm | Post a Comment
Goapele
Addressing the clearly appreciative audience that packed the outdoor area of the Oakland Museum of California on Friday night (August 7th) for the East Bay Express' (EBX) mega 2009 Best Of The East Bay Party (BOEB), Goapele perfectly summed up the positive vibe of the entire evening.

"It's so good to be in Oakland and to have something positive like this going on," sincerely spoke the hometown soul singer between songs from the Amoeba Music Main Stage, articulating what many people must have been thinking at this huge, culturally diverse and uplifting event.

Accurately subtitled Subcultures and only in its second year, the Oakland Museum staged happening has fast become an important local cultural event, this year attracting 20,000 people -- more than double the expected number, according to Jody Colley, the publisher of the independently owned and operated alternative weekly.

After making her observation, Goapele, along with her tight four piece band, launched into the artist's new song "Milk + Honey" -- a song that incidentally appeared on the 15 track Best Of The East Bay Party 2009 CD Sampler, the free CD that was being handed out at the event that free to the public.

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Graffiti Vet DEMER Combines His Two Loves With New Jersey's Graffiti Comix: Amoeblog Summer Graffiti Series Part V

Posted by Billyjam, August 9, 2009 12:30pm | Post a Comment
DEMER

Amoeblog: DemeRock, or Demer as most address you, can you briefly give your history and a bit about your legendary NYC crew, The Wallnuts, for folks who may not know about you and your rich graffiti legacy?

Demer: Well, I'm originally from New York City. I started writing in the early 80's, hitting NYC subways. Then, after the city won the train wars, I retired for a few years. Then in 2001 I came back and I haven't stopped since.

Amoeblog: So starting out during the New York subway graff days is going back a while, right to the roots of NYC graf history. What year exactly did you start?

Demer: i must have startedDemer around 1982.

Amoeblog: Wow! And you still actively go out and paint! I know one time about two years ago I went out with graffiti photo-journalists Jim and Karla Murray, who were shooting you and your work as you painted on a Sunday, which you told me was a regular day for you to go out and do your art at various spots. How often do you do graffiti now-- every Sunday?

Demer: When I was hitting trains it was an everyday thing. We lived it back then-- from when you got up in the morning until you went to bed. Sunday was, for some reason though, a big graff day for a lot of people.

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