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Category Archive: ‘Wednesday Rock Blogging’

J. Geils

We lost a true guitar hero, J. Geils, on April 11th.

He mentions touring with the Stones in 1982 – were you one of the 100,000 who attended their show at the L.A. Coliseum?  The band was rocking that day!

But he and the band had disputes later, and there aren’t many great live show on youtube with J. Geils in them – lately the band was playing without him.  But this video has him talking about his guitars, and playing a little:

If you get a chance, watch the next video too about his Italian cars!

Posted by on Apr 19, 2017 in Wednesday Rock Blogging | 2 comments

Little Hurricane

Local legend Guy Charbonneau of Le Mobile told the story recently about his chief mixer, Tone Catalano, who loved their recording of life performances. But Tone left it all behind to form the band Little Hurricane with his girlfriend, C.C. Spina.  They met via Craigslist ad, and found they both lived on 30th Street in North Park!

Their new album is out on April 14th – they are playing SXSW this week, and at the Belly Up on June 2nd. Here is the first release:

Posted by on Mar 15, 2017 in Wednesday Rock Blogging | 0 comments

Al Jarreau, R.I.P.

When thinking about Al Jarreau, who died in Los Angeles on Sunday at age 76, one word comes insistently to mind: Smooth.

Much like his longtime friend and kindred spirit George Duke, who died in August 2013, Jarreau owned that free-flowing and often breezy subgenre somewhat derisively known as “smooth jazz.” In reality, it was a cross-pollination of jazz with funk, pop and R&B; that his voice helped establish in the ’70s and ’80s. From the nimble, rounded style that allowed him to glide from note to note in his biggest hit “We’re in This Love Together” to the feeling evoked by the sound of his name itself, Jarreau became synonymous with a bright sort of cool that soared beyond jazz’s often sharp corners.

Also like Duke — who counted Frank Zappa and Miles Davis among his collaborators — Jarreau’s 50-year career defied such simple categorization. A Midwestern native, Jarreau cut his teeth at Bay Area clubs like the Half Note and Gatsby’s before moving to Los Angeles, where he appeared on the city’s club and talk-show circuit.

In the early ’70s, when his career began to take off, Jarreau earned comparisons to jazz greats such as Billy Eckstein, but his breakout 1975 album “We Got By” could evoke soul great Bill Withers, most notably on the album’s bawdy and bluesy title track, in which Jarreau was backed by subtle strings and keyboards. From the same recording, “You Don’t See Me” offered a showcase for Jarreau’s acrobatic scat vocals playing off a spare funk backdrop.

The subsequent live double-album “Look to the Rainbow,” released in 1977, offered a similarly fierce display of vocal invention. His percolating interpretation of Paul Desmond’s “Take Five” — a song most commonly associated with Dave Brubeck — is a rapid-fire tour-de-force as Jarreau breathlessly emulates three or four different instruments over the course of seven and a half propulsive, improvisation-rich minutes. Jarreau eventually came to be synonymous with a seeming imperviousness to rough edges, but here, it certainly wasn’t for want of stretching himself in search of them. “Look to the Rainbow” also earned Jarreau his first Grammy for jazz vocal performance.

Posted by on Feb 15, 2017 in Wednesday Rock Blogging | 0 comments