Amoeblog

Word Jazz Pioneer Ken Nordine Has Passed Away At Age 98

Posted by Billyjam, February 16, 2019 09:39pm | Post a Comment

 
The golden voiced, word jazz pioneer Ken Nordine died this morning at age 98 at his North Side Chicago home as confirmed by his son earlier today.  Nordine's familiar sounding, deep commanding voice was one that many in previous decades knew from his voice-over work on Hollywood movie trailers and national radio and TV commercials. Examples include his voice-over of the trippy animated 1971 Levi’s jeans TV ad seen below. But Nordine’s legacy will be best remembered beyond the commercial realm, and for his jazz radio and spoken word jazz recording career.  Although it was thanks to his TV and radio work, in particular an early sixties paint radio commercial voice-over,  that most would first be exposed to his "word jazz" creation. Many recent decade music listeners would first hear Nordine via the numerous modern day artists who have sampled him.

Word-jazz was something Nordine initially crafted in the mid-fifties during the beat era and showcased with his 1957 debut album Word Jazz that he recorded with the Fred Katz Group for the Dot record label. WIthin a year he released the sequel Son Of Word Jazz in a recording career that would span five decades and include several different record labels such as San Francisco's now defunct Asphodel Records

Hip-Hop July 14 2017: Fresh Kid Ice, DJ Shadow, Brian Coleman, Shabazz Palaces, Missy Elliot, Mr. Lif, The Roots, Ozomatali +

Posted by Billyjam, July 14, 2017 07:59pm | Post a Comment


The Roots, who did a killer Amoeba Hollywood in-store a decade ago, headline a Bay Area show tonight at the Fox Theater. (2 Chainz will be at the same Uptown Oakland district venue on August 14th).  Just a couple of blocks nearby in this vibrant nightlife section of the East Bay city is another excellent show. At the New Parish tonight will be the "collective of Black-Chicano-Cuban-Japanese-Jewish-Filipino musicians" Ozomatali headlining a bill with Pasto Seco Band plus local longtime emcee El Kool Kyle. Yes, it's mid summer and therefore there's lots of great hip-hop events going on in the East Bay in both Oakland and Berkeley, as well as across the Bay Bridge in San Francisco. That's where The Roots' hardest working member, drummer and busy DJ Questlove will be jetting over to after his Oakland show tonight to do a DJ set at San Francisco's The Independent on Divisidaro following a set by DeeJay Theory. Speaking of deejays Bay Area legend DJ Shadow over past week unexpectedly dropped the impromptu (digital) 4 song EP The Mountain Has Fallen which is a sequel to his summer 2016 album The Mountain Will Fall (also on LP/vinyl). He'll no doubt be performing from both releases when he brings his ongoing tour this weekend to Berkeley's UC Theatre on Sunday July 16th with Bay Area turntablist DJ Teeko opening. Next month show to look forward to: Atmosphere, Dilated Peoples, and Brother Ali all play Berkeley's Greek Theatre on August 22nd.

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billy woods, Who Plays Amoeba Berkeley Today @ 2pm, Typifies Current Wave of Underexposed High Caliber Hip-Hop

Posted by Billyjam, June 24, 2017 08:40am | Post a Comment

I've said it before but it bears repeating, especially in the case of underground Brooklyn, NY based hip-hop artist billy woods who plays Amoeba Berkeley at 2pm today in support of his brand new album Known Unknowns. Far too frequently the most amazingly talented hip-hop artists of today are the ones we hear the least about. Which is why so many longtime fans of the genre are constantly heard moaning about how "hip-hop sucks these days with nothing but auto-tuned mumble rappers cranking out lyrically shallow, hook driven rap that's presented as hip-hop and is just crap rap. Not like in my day." Wrong! But correct if you only go on the stuff that you hear on the commercial radio, or that makes the Grammys, or that pops up on your (sponsored) social media feeds. Just dig a little deeper and in 2017 you'll discover more quality hip-hop been made than in any previous time in the development of the Bronx born street art. These under the radar producers and emcees and DJs, who are content to craft quality music and not concerned with chasing commercial acceptance, truly transcend that unfair (but understandable) stereotype of modern day rap all being crap.

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Long Overdue His Time In The Spotlight, Art Rap Lyrical Master Open Mike Eagle Forges Ahead With Each Unique New Project

Posted by Billyjam, September 13, 2016 09:44pm | Post a Comment

Open Mike Eagle
, whose latest project with producer Paul White Hella Personal Film Festival (also on LP) was ceremoniously launched earlier this year with an in-store at Amoeba Hollywood is a hip-hop wordsmith who transcends the genre with his clever wordplay. More importantly he is an artist long overdue his rightful time to shine in the spotlight. Yes Open Mike Eagle is well known (and rightfully respected) in underground, alternative hip-hop circles, especially in LA where the Chicago transplant came up in hip-hop over the past decade. But he is not nearly the superstar rapper that he deserves to be. He possesses ten times more lyrical skills than the average pop rapper today.  Many say that he slowly is getting the attention he deserves, especially with the new album collaboration with Danny Brown producer Paul White. His label Mello Music Group (MMG) just recently published the accompanying music video for the pair's album track "Smiling (Quirky Race Doc)."

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Hip-Hop Rap Up: Homeboy Sandman, Open Mike Eagle, ElZhi, Elucid, Aesop Rock, Mr. Lif, Ghostface Killah

Posted by Billyjam, May 16, 2016 05:20pm | Post a Comment
Hip-Hop Top Five 05:16:16

1: Homeboy Sandman Kindness For Weakness (Stones Throw) (avail as LP)

2: Open Mike Eagle & Paul White Hella Personal Film Festival  (Mello Music) (LP version)

3: ElZhi Lead Poison (Glow 365)

4:  Aesop Rock The Impossible Kid  (Rhymesayers Ent.)

5: ELUCID Save Yourself (Backwoodz)

With so much amazing music from bygone eras in hip-hop's rich history to listen back to and/or catch up on for the first time, it's easy for hip-hop fans in 2016 to ignore all the new music being made. But to do so is to miss out on some incredible ground breaking music in the still unfolding genre. Simply put contemporary hip-hop is in an incredibly healthy state right now! This I can confirm from recently listening to a stack of new albums, mostly releases of the past few weeks such as the ones listed in the above top five list. On each the production is dope,  but it is the emcees who truly blew me away. Each effortlessly display innovative forward-thinking lyrical finesse coupled with top notch mic delivery skills. 

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