Category Archives: Music

Chuck Berry – Dead at age 90

Artist: Chuck Berry
Tune: Johnny B Goode

From WaPo:

Chuck Berry, the perpetual wild man of rock music who helped define its rebellious spirit in the 1950s and was the sly poet laureate of songs about girls, cars, school and even the “any old way you choose it” vitality of the music itself, died March 18 at at his home in St. Charles County, Mo. He was 90.

St. Charles County police announced the death in a Facebook post on its Website, saying officers responded to a medical emergency at Mr. Berry’s home and administered lifesaving techniques but could not revive him. No further information was available.

“While no individual can be said to have invented rock and roll, Chuck Berry comes the closest of any single figure to being the one who put all the essential pieces together,” reads Mr. Berry’s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986.

A seminal figure in early rock music, he was all the rarer still for writing, singing and playing his own music. His songs and the boisterous performance standards he set directly influenced the Beatles and the Rolling Stones and later Bruce Springsteen and Bob Seger.

In 2003, Rolling Stone magazine named him No. 6 on its list of the greatest guitarists of all time. Mr. Berry so embodied the American rock tradition that his recording of “Johnny B. Goode” was included on a disc launched into space on the Voyager 1 spacecraft in 1977. (More at WaPo)

 

Al Jarreau – Spain

So, I have been slowly counting down (in the wrong order) my favorite Al Jarreau tunes.

  1. Since I fell for you
  2. Wee B DoinIt
  3. Better Than Anything

Now, for #4

Artist: Al Jarreau
Tune: Spain (Live)

Although I really like the live version (too much Steve Gadd on drums and not enough Al singing), I love the album version. You can feel the full range of Al’s voice in this tune. He hits the rapid fire notes – I can remember the rain in the December the leaves are brown on the ground. Damn that’s just great.  You also have free flowing long, luscious tones. It is just wonderful. Enjoy.

Al Jarreau – Better than Anything

Artist: Al Jarreau
Tune: Better than Anything

For the most part, live albums are poorly produced and poorly recorded spectacles which really do not capture the artist. They leave us is disappointed. Of course, there are some notable exceptions to this. The biggest exception is probably Peter Frampton’s Frampton Comes Alive! Another exception is Al Jarreau’s 1977 live album – Look To The Rainbow. If you like Al Jarreau, like his voice, you like his emotion, you like the way he phrases words, this album is for you. There are several great tunes on this album but for me Better Than Anything is as close to Al Jarreau perfection as we can get.