I tend to feel rhythm in my torso.


I tend to feel rhythm in my torso. Maybe that’s because I play seated and my torso is the only part that can move. But when it’s there, everything else follows and the hand is connected to it. I like to tell my students that a lot of music happens below the neck, in your heart and in your gut. They really can get a little heady with things and I have to remind them: music is first and foremost a way for us to move together.”

~ Vijay Iyer, in an interview by Mendi Obadike and Keith Obadike in BOMB Magazine

 


Vijay Iyer, 45, is an American jazz pianist, composer, bandleader, producer, electronic musician, and writer based in New York City. He became a Professor of the Arts at Harvard University in early 2014. Born in Albany and raised in Fairport, New York, Iyer is the son of Indian Tamil immigrants to the United States. He received 15 years of Western classical training on violin beginning at the age of 3. He began playing the piano by ear in his childhood and is mostly self-taught on that instrument. After completing an undergraduate degree in mathematics and physics at Yale University, Iyer attended the University of California, Berkeley, initially to pursue a doctorate in physics. Iyer continued to pursue his musical interests, playing in ensembles. (Source: Wiki)

Photo of Vijay Iyer: Via Observer.com.

The Look of Love

 


Notes:

Walk on By


Related Posts: Diana Krall

5:00 Bell: Make Some Room!

The Suffers are an American soul band from Houston, Texas lead by Kam Franklin (lead vocal). They were formed in 2011.  The Suffers define their sound as Gulf Coast Soul. A term they define as resulting from the mixture of the different cultures and musical styles present around the Gulf coast and the city of Houston, including Cajun, African American, Mexican, white, which all come together and mix in the port city.

Find more: The Suffers

Grace Love (Gonna Love Grace…)


VOLUME UP!

“Grace Love and the True Loves is an original 9-piece soul sensation from Seattle, WA. Following in the footsteps of Stax, Motown, King and Daptone artists, but with a sound all their own, Grace Love and the True Loves are setting a course as the next hot soul and funk number ready to sweep the nation with true cross-over appeal. On vocals, Grace Love is Seattle’s shining jewel of grit, beauty and power – think Etta James and Betty Wright meet Mahalia Jackson. Backed by the True Loves, her vocals float effortlessly over kickin’ back beats, smart horns, syncopated rhythms and sweet B-3 color. It’s the hip swinging, booty shaking, heart freeing sound you crave to hear live, but rarely do. Recorded directly to tape at Studio Litho, the full length self-titled album, is sure to bring rave reviews with a sound altogether unique to the Pacific Northwest. The debut 45 singles, “Fire” and “Say What You Gotta Say”, showcase the energy and freshness of Grace Love and the True Loves. Flea Market Funk says, “this floor stomping, dance floor filler is a blues filled soul side that can not be denied”. We think you will agree.”


Notes:

Lautari


Lautari is an award-winning ethno-jazz quartet, whose members hail from central and southern Poland. They draw their name from the wandering Romainian musicians, or Gypsies, of the mid-1800’s. Named for lute players back then, historic lautari fostered a rich history that spread among central, southern and eastern Europe and now informs the very contemporary approach by our modern Lautari, who blend traditional folk music with classical composition and jazz improvisation into a unique mix with as many cultural influences as Poland itself has today.


Source: The KEXP Blog. Listen to Full Performance here.

All About That Bass


Kate is originally from Portland, Oregon, where she received national recognition in high school for bass and singing through the National YoungArts Program. Lauded by MTV as one of 2014’s “15 Fresh Females Who Will Rule Pop,” Kate grew up with an instrument in her arms and a head full of inventive lyrics. Her lifelong training makes for smart, warm pop that’s as musically nuanced as it is addictive. If you put a mid-career Jenny Lewis album in a room with Regina Spektor’s coloring, Joanna Newsom’s lyric poetry, and a dose of Tina Fey’s sharp wit—then added a couple decades of rigorous musical education and a shift dress—Kate Davis might come strolling out.

Read more at Katedavismusic.com. Find her on Facebook at Kate Davis


Cold Specks: Winter Solstice


Jim Fusilli, Cold Speck’s Arresting Mix:

Now 26, she (Ladan Hussein) was born in Etobicoke, Ontario, to parents from Somalia. Calling herself a “typical moribund teenager,” she took up a guitar at age 15. After relocating to London, where her extended family was dubious about her choice of career, Ms. Hussein was playing as Cold Specks at St. Pancras Old Church when a producer from “Later… with Jools Holland” caught her show and invited her on the BBC program. The other guests on the November 2011 broadcast included Mary J. Blige, Florence + the Machine, My Morning Jacket and the Who’s Pete Townshend. At the conclusion of her a cappella version of “Old Stepstone,” the traditional folk ballad, Mr. Holland cheered, “The power of the single human voice!”

On her two albums, including this year’s “Neuroplasticity” (Mute), Cold Specks delivers contemporary rock that either arrives with the confrontational authority of hardcore punk and free jazz or is as contemplative as folk and mellow soul. In concert here last week at the Echo, she and her four-piece band demonstrated how arresting that complex mix can be. In a conversation before her late-night set, Cold Specks—whose real name is Ladan Hussein, though she is also known as Al Spx—was quiet, perhaps even shy, a contrast to her bold, insistent music. “I’m a listener,” she said, “not a talker.” She added that she doesn’t follow modern music and was enjoying the doo-wop a manager put on in the van as they traveled between gigs.

…“I am who I am,” she said earlier during a conversation, a simple remark that later seemed a promise of much more extraordinary music to come.

Find her new album on iTunes here: Neuroplasticity

Find this tune on her 2012 album: I Predict a Graceful Expulsion

Thanksgiving


Eric Lewis, 41, who is better known by his stage name ELEW, is an American jazz pianist who has found crossover success playing rock and pop music. He was born in Camden, NJ. He is known for his unconventional and physical playing style, which eschews a piano bench and includes reaching inside the piano lid to pull at the strings directly, as well as the creation that he calls Rockjazz, a genre that “takes the improvisational aspect of jazz and ‘threads it through the eye of the needle of rock.'”

Lewis began his career as a jazz purist, playing as a sideman for jazz luminaries like Wynton Marsalis, Cassandra Wilson, Elvin Jones, Jon Hendricks, and Roy Hargrove as well as performing as a member of the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra. However, he eventually became interested in rock music and embarked on a solo career as a crossover musician, quickly gaining recognition for his instrumental “Rockjazz” piano covers of mainstream rock hits like The Rolling Stones’ “Paint It, Black” and The Killers’ “Mr. Brightside”.

He released his albums of instrumental covers which can be found on iTunes here: ELEW Rockjazz Vol. 1 (2010, including “Sweet Home Alabama”) and ELEW Rockjazz Vol. 2 (2012, including this tune “Thanksgiving“)

Wallflower Medley (Diana Krall)


Here’s a medley of songs from Diana Krall’s new album titled “WallFlower” scheduled to be released in February, 2015.  Find details here on iTunes and Amazon.

And if you can’t get enough, check her on a longer Youtube clip of Eagles hit: Desperado.


Related Post: Diana Krall – Case of You

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