Sunday, June 30, 2013

Louis Armstrong birthday broadcasts, July and August 4

WKCR will be doing two 24 hour broadcasts to honor Louis Armstrong, the one who taught the world to swing.  Louis celebrated his birthday on July 4, 1900, but a baptismal document revealed that his real birthday was August 4, 1901.  So WKCR will do two broadcasts, one on each day.  See

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Eric Dolphy's 84th birthday anniversary

Eric Dolphy was a multi instrumentalist who died much too young, but he left an amazing body of work.  He played the alto saxophone, bass clarinet, piccolo, flute, and baritone saxophone.  Dolphy collaborated with Charles Mingus, John Coltrane, Booker Little, Ornette Coleman, Oliver Nelson and many others.  He also had a career as a leader.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

What's In A Name?

I'm reminded of a time when I worked in a warehouse in Central New Jersey.  A small group of us were discussing the music we were listening to.  This is going back 30 years, but the two bands I remember in the discussion were Chic, who was a black band, and the Allman Brothers band, who were a mixed band (black and white).  A coworker of mine, who was black, was touting Chic.  One of the others in the discussion, who was white, was saying something like, "Chic is a good band, but my favorite band is the Allman Brothers Band." Etc., etc.   At the time I was listening to music by black bands, like Chic, and I didn't know anything about the Allman Brothers, other than what the top 100 a.m. radio stations had played.

As time went by, I learned about what the Allmans had done musically, and looking back on the discussion, it's ironic, because the Allmans had made more authentic "black" music than Chic, who at that time were making dance music, with a catchy beat, with guitar and bass as primary instruments.  Can't say who was a better band.  Certainly Chic was a great band, the co leaders being Nile Rodgers on guitar and Bernard Edwards on Bass.  The Allmans were primarily playing blues, which is the precursor to most of the "popular" music that most of us listen to.  And Duane brought his extensive experience as a session guitarist for folks like Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett, Arthur Conley, Clarence Carter, The Soul Survivors, etc. who were all black recording artists.

Duke Ellington said many years ago, "there are two kinds of music, good music and bad music."  I think the maestro nailed it with one sentance. 

Happy listening!!

Allman Brothers

Duane Allman
Bernard Edwards & Nile Rodgers