Sunday Morning: Why I live in mortal dread


You’ll say you don’t have time to watch this.
It’s 13 minutes.
You need to move on to the next post.

And I’m telling you that
this woman is something special.

Don’t quit on this one.
Take it to the finish.

Good Sunday Morning.


Megan Alexandra Washington, 28, was born in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. She is an Australian musician and songwriter also known mononymously as Washington. Originally performing jazz music her style evolved to indie pop and alternative rock where she sings and plays piano and guitar.  She developed a stutter early in her life and continues to struggle with her speech.  Find her website here: washingtonmusic.com.au. Find her album on iTunes here: I Believe You Liar

Saturday Morning Coffee


Topology is quintet from Australia formed in 1997. They perform throughout Australia and abroad and have to date released four albums. Find their album on iTunes here: Difference Engine


Do You Feel


José James, 36, is a singer songwriter from Minneapolis, and is best known for performing and blending modern jazz and hip-hop. James joined the Blue Note roster in 2013 when he released his breakout album No Beginning No End to wide acclaim. With its irrepressible lead single “Trouble,” the album release found José making national TV appearances on ConanLate Show With David Letterman, andTonight Show With Jay Leno.

The New York Times praised his “cool and confident” album, adding that it “sounds like the result of the black-pop continuum, jazz and soul and hip-hop and R&B, slow-cooked for more than 50 years.” NPR Music raved that “James makes utterly contemporary music,” noting that he “skirts categories with ease, fitting in with current R&B innovators like Frank Ocean or Miguel, yet maintaining a strong awareness of a lineage that stretches from Ray Charles to Marvin Gaye to Lou Rawls to Maxwell.”

Find this tune on his 2013 Album titled: No Beginning No End

José James official site and his full bio can be found at: josejamesmusic.com


Don’t Let Me Go


Jarle Bernhoft, 38also known as Bern/hoft, is a Norwegian singer, multi-instrumentalist, composer and lyricist. Bernhoft is from Nittedal in Norway, but currently lives in New York.

what he [Bernhoft] did with those few tools was quite extraordinary. Using them, and via a process of instant recording, looping and layering, he was able to create the sound of a full band – including all the instrumental parts plus backing singers on rich harmonies – and it was all just him.”  – The Guardian

Find his website here: Bernhoft.org

Find his new album released last month here: Islander / Bernhoft


Liquid Spirit


Gregory Porter, 42, is a Grammy Award winning American jazz vocalist, songwriter, and actor. Gregory Porter won the 2014 Grammy for best jazz vocal album, Liquid Spirit.

Find his album on iTunes here.


Mindi Abair


Mindi Abair, 44, was born in St. Petersburg, Florida. She is an smooth jazz saxophonist. Mindi started playing the piano at age five, and started playing alto saxophone at the age of eight, when her elementary school band instructor laid out instruments on the first day of band class and instructed each student to pick the instrument they most wanted to play. Mindi has toured and/or recorded with the Backstreet Boys, Duran Duran, Mandy Moore, Josh Groban, Adam Sandler, Keb’ Mo’, Lalah Hathaway, Lee Ritenour, Teena Marie, John Tesh, Bobby Lyle, Jonathan Butler, Peter White and Rick Braun. She toured with Aerosmith in 2012. In 2003, Abair moved from pop to jazz. (Source: Wiki)


Rhye


Rhye is an R&B musical duo based in Los Angeles, California. Its members are Canadian singer Milosh and Danish instrumentalist Robin Hannibal.  Milosh’s voice and the band’s instrumentation are likened to those of British-Nigerian singer Sade and to those of Michael Franks. Mike Milosh was born in Toronto, Canada and is an electronic musician and vocalist. He was a classically-trained cellist from age 3 and had become a jazz aficionado. He later moved to Berlin, Germany to pursue music as a vocalist and a producer. Robin Hannibal was a member of the Danish duo Quadron an indie pop, electronica, soul, jazz and rap formation.

If you liked this tune, check out “The Fallhere and “3 Dayshere .

Rhye’s debut album titled “Woman” was released in 2013 and can be found on iTunes here.


Better than


Related Post: Lake Street Dive


Friday Night: Laura Mvula


Laura Mvula (née Douglas), 27, is a British soul singer-songwriter from the U.K. Her debut album Sing to the Moon was released in March 2013. In 2005, Mvula sang with an a cappella group set up by her aunt. In 2008, she formed a jazz/neo-soul group called Judyshouse, singing lead vocals and wrote material for the band. She is also Director of a Community Gospel Choir, founded by Black Voices. While she was working as a supply teacher in a Birmingham secondary school, she started writing songs on her laptop. She was working as a receptionist when she sent out two demos to several people in the music industry. The Guardian described her music as “gospeldelia”, calling it a new musical genre.  In December 2012, Mvula was shortlisted for the Critics’ Choice award at the 2013 BRIT Awards. In December 2012, she was nominated for the BBC’s Sound of 2013 poll, and finished in fourth position.  (Source: Wiki)

 


Leron Zamir Forte


“Leron Zamir Forte is a rising cellist who hails from Dallas, TX. He was the recipient of the Holy Cross BachFest Scholarship, Nashville Symphony Orchestra League Thor Johnson Scholarship Finalist, and was invited to the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. He has performed masterclasses with teachers such as Natalia Koma, YeonJin Kim, Julia Tanner, Eric Kutz, Peter Sheppard, and Yo-Yo Ma. He is currently pursuing a Master of Music degree under Gregory Sauer at the Florida State University.”

Find more about Leron and his music @ his Website, on Facebook, on Twitter.


Related Cello Post: Zoë Keating


Lake Street Dive


Loved this!  (Volume up!)

If you liked this, check out these 2 videos: “Clear a Space” and a cover for Fleetwood Mac’s “Second Hand News.”


Lake Street Dive plays “I Want You Back” on a Boston sidewalk. The four-piece Boston band was formed seven years ago when they were students at The New England Conservatory where they eventually landed in jazz music, played in an edgy, loose fashion. Rachael Price, 28, is a jazz vocalist from Hendersonville, Tennessee.  In 2003, Price received an honorable mention at the Montreux Jazz Festival’s International Jazz Vocal Competition. In 2004, Price was a semi-finalist and the youngest competitor in the history of the Thelonious Monk Institute Vocal Competition. In August 2004 she made her U.S. jazz festival debut at Yale’s Jazz On The Green where she opened for Joshua Redman. She won the 2006 Independent Music Award for Best Gospel Song with her recording of My God, My Adored One with the Boston Praise Collective. She regularly appears in concert as a featured vocalist with the T. S. Monk Sextet, and is currently working with Grammy Award winning record producer K. C. Porter. (Source: Wiki)

You can find this song on iTunes on their album titled Fun Machine.  The Band can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.

Stefano Barone


Stefano Barone was born in Naples, Italy, in 1978, and started playing when he was very young, studying piano at first but choosing guitar at last. From blues to pop to rock, in Naples he cut through different musical experiences, until he moved to Rome in 2001 and decided to dedicate himself fully to solo acoustic guitar. (Source: Lastfm.com)


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Friday Night: Mario Biondi


It’s hard to imagine how I could not have heard of Mario Biondi prior to tripping into this video on Nia‘s blog.  BIG voice on his rendition of this classic tune (Close to Me) which was composed by Burt Bacharach and Hal David and originally recorded by The Carpenters in 1970.

Mario Biondi, 42, is a jazz-soul vocalist born in the Sicilian city of Catania in Italy.  He was born of artistic stock.  His great grandfather was a respected painter, his grandmother a singer, and his father a popular songwriter.   Biondi sang throughout his childhood, first performing in public at age 12 in church, and soon singing in public squares before hundreds of people. From there he competed in the Festival della Canzone Siciliana, taking third place. Biondi’s musical pursuits earned him the opportunity to perform alongside such Italian vocal greats as Califano, Bongusto, and Fiorello, as well as American legend Ray Charles. As word of his talent and skill got out, Biondi found himself collaborating with groups like the Change, Mario Brothers, and Funky Company on recordings and tours. Given his powerful and unique voice, it was not long before Biondi was encouraged to pursue a solo career. Featuring material inspired by American R&B artists like Lou Rawls, Luther Vandross, and Donny Hathaway, Biondi’s debut record was released in 2006.  (Link to album can be found here.)


Source: Thank you Nia for pointing me to Mario Biondi (via Sempreventophoto).  Bio -iTunes.

Friday Night: Melissa Forbes

musician, vocalist,singer, song writer,artist

You’re My Alter Ego / Nothing Else Matters

click for audio


Melissa Forbes is a Australian musician, performer, educator and researcher.  She was originally trained in jazz and improvisation.  She has also studied contemporary vocal pedagogy extensively, and hopes to complete a PhD in the area.  She is Associate Lecturer in Voice at the University of Southern Queensland in Toowoomba, Australia, where she leads a merry band of young vocalists in their quest to reach their fullest potential through singing.  Melissa also has her own private studio, The Contemporary Voice Studio. Melissa released her album No More Mondays to critical and popular acclaim. (Source: Melissa Forbes Website)


Love the entire album – – check it out at iTunes link: No More Mondays.  Image Credit.

Double Bass & Chief


Adam Ben Ezra plays “Can’t Stop Running.”

And love his dog “Chief.”

Thank you Sandy for sharing.

Easing into Friday Night with Céu & Herbie


We all know the legendary Herbie Hancock.  Céu is a Brazilian singer-songwriter.  “Céu reached unprecedented chart numbers for a Brazilian female artist—1 on Billboard’s Heatseekers (New Artist) Chart, 57 on the Billboard Hot 100 and 1 on Billboard’s World Music charts. In 2008, Céu received a Grammy nomination for “Best Contemporary World Music Album” of 2007 for her debut album Céu.

If you like this music, check out  another one my Céu favorites: Sonhando (Portuguese for ” Dreaming”)


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Easing into Saturday Evening with Boz Scaggs


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All I do…

Here’s Kirk Whalum easing us out of a long day with one of my favorites: “All I Do…

click for audio (All I Do)

Friday night with Andrea…

We were introduced to Andrea Bocelli at a concert in Miami.   Now the American Airlines Arena isn’t a night with Andrea in Tuscany…but the evening was memorable nonetheless.  There are those that perform – and then there is Andrea Bocelli.  A man in a league of his own.   Several weeks later, I recall driving over the Miami causeway out to Key Biscayne.  It was a blistering summer, Sunday afternoon.   The sun roof was open.  There was acqua blue velvet water glistening all around me.  Warm tropical winds rushing through the car.  And Andrea belting out this song.  Andrea and me on Key Biscayne…fantasy island.


Friday night in Tokyo with Kem…

Years ago, I’m walking back to my hotel on a sultry Friday night in Tokyo.  Its been a grueling week.  I’ve been away from home for several weeks.  I’m dragging.  Friendly, safe country – but never quite at ease among strangers, away from my own bed.  I don’t recall the year.  I don’t remember the hotel.  But, I do remember this unforgettable Kem tune drifting out of the lounge.  I slump into a soft, cushy chair along the window and order a drink.  I ask the bartender if he wouldn’t mind playing the song again.  He indulges.  And I proceed to be immersed by “Love Calls” while I watch the Tokyo evening pass me by.  It feels like yesterday…



 

Breathe in…

dana point

Years ago, I attended a conference at Dana Point, CA and ran on a beach that looked strikingly similar to this photo.  I was listening to “Chill” music provided by the hotel.  I don’t remember much about the conference.  But, this image of the ocean, the waves crashing on the shoreline, the overcast skies, and this song remain indelibly present with me.

Here’s Rachel Lloyd singing “Breather 2000” from the album called Chill – Dana Point.

 

click for audio (Breather 2000)

Saturday afternoon with Katie Melua…

Katie Melua, 28, was born in Kutaisi, Georgia (in the old Soviet Union).  She’s a singer, songwriter and musician.  She moved to Northern Ireland at the age of eight and then to England at fourteen.  In 2006, she was the UK’s best-selling female artist and remains once of the most successful in Europe.


Friday Night with Chris Botti…

wine

Image Source: expensivelife via marcdesa

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I’d Rather Go Blind…

Michael Grimm, a Mississippi Southern Soul singer/songwriter, was the winner of America’s Got Talent in 2010.  Grimm sings a blues and soul classic, “I’d Rather Go Blind,” which was a song first recorded by Etta James in 1968.  LOVE his rendition…



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Easing out of the work week with Till Brönner…

Till Brönner is a German Jazz musician, trumpet player, singer, composer, arranger and producer.  Smooth, peaceful and easy…



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Summer Breeze…

Here’s Jason Mraz’s rendition of the Seals & Crofts’ classic – – Summer Breeze.  Song feels right this afternoon…Enjoy.


Jason Mraz and Hammock


Image Credits: Mraz + Hammock

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