Tag Archives: jazz

Sunday Jazz Corner With Etta James

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The one and only Etta James.  It is sad to think we have just only recently lost Etta James (born Jamesetta Hawkins)  on January 20, 2012.  She was born January 25, 1938 and she died five days before her birthday on which she would have been 74 years old.  James was known as an American singer-songwriter.  Her style spanned a variety of music genres including blues, jazz, R&B, soul, rock and gospel.  Whenever anyone thinks of the jazz classic “At Last” they think of Etta James.  Etta’s version as compared to versions by other jazz singers, belonged to her.

James was married to her husband Artis Mills, whom she married in 1969.  They had two sons, Donto and Sametto.  Both started performing with their mother — Donto played drums at Montreux in 1993, and Sametto played bass guitar circa 2003 with his mom.  Etta James battled with Heroin addiction for years and her husband Mr. Mills served a 10-year prison sentence for heroin possession.

From 1989, James received over 30 awards and recognitions from eight different organizations, including the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum and the Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences which organizes the Grammys.

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Now perhaps more trendy than ever Etta James is a “cult hero” with producers and remixers waiting in line to remix her legendary sound and style.  We continue to hear her though samples in rap, hip hop, electronic and pop music of today.  Her legacy lives on through blues and jazz singers in clubs worldwide honoring her sound.  Here she is singing “At Last” as only she could.  And the second video is of a young Etta James singing “Got A Hold On Me.”

At Last (live) [VIDEO] – Etta James

Somethings Got A Hold On Me (Live) [VIDEO] – Etta James

“BLUE SLIES” Vol. 2 (New Harlem Meets Old Jazz)

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Available now for download on iTunes Blue Skies (Vol. 2).  A smooth blend of classic jazz with new remixes that will get your party started right.  This FREE DOWNLOAD is a continuation of Blue Skies (Vol. 1) which is also available on iTunes Podcasts.  Play them back to back for a solid 3 hours of jazz classics and remixes of all different kinds of styles including some rare remixes.  GREAT for a cocktail party or just chilling at home.  These were made available to several restaurants / bars locally here in Harlem (including Harlem Food Bar earlier last month) but now you can download them both for your enjoyment.  (Any other restaurants/bars that are interested in advanced future podcasts, please contact us at HarlemCondoLife@gmail.com HarlemCondoLife.com.) 

Click on link below to download Blue Skies Vol.2 podcast and to see the playlist.  Enjoy!

DOWNLOAD: Blue Skies Vol. 2 (New Harlem Meets Old Jazz)

PLAYLIST – (coming soon)

(The Model on the cover art is Hali Kai Burns. Friend to our blog and one of our favorite New York City Models Hali Kai)

“BLUE SKIES” (New Harlem Meets Old Jazz) MIX

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It’s been awhile since our last podcast but we are happy to say that Blue Skies (Vol. 1) is now ready for FREE DOWNLOAD on iTunes for your listening pleasure.  On this mix you can expect to hear a few modern day remixers from trap to club mixed together with old jazz classics.  Including a spoken word intro from “Lady Sings The Blues” soundtrack, the Billie Holiday story.  Also a spoken word jazz remix of Ursula Rucker and a beautiful track by Meshell Ndegeocello – Four Women (Pour use ame souveraine) -  a dedication to Nina Simone.

See the full playlist below.  Pour yourself a cup of coffee, a martini or glass of wine and enjoy some classic jazz with new remixes that will get your party started right.

DOWNLOAD: Blue Skies (New Harlem Meets Old Jazz) Vol. 1

PLAYLIST -

1. Intro – Billie Sneaks Into Dean & Dean’s / Swingin’ Uptown
2. Ain’t Nobody’s Business – Billie Holiday
3. God Bless The Child (Remix Edit) – Billie Holiday
4. Corcovado (TOKiMONSTA Remix) Getz & Gilberto
5. Supa Sista (Society Nu’mericana Jazz Mix) – Ursula Rucker
6. Georgia On My Mind (Brown Stone Mix) – Ray Charles
7. I Love…Dub (Edit) – Funky DL
8. I’ve Got You Under My Skin (DJ Carnage & Victor Niglio Mix) – Dinah Washington
9. Bei mir bist du schon (Dub) – Waldeck
10. Avenue du Gare (Martini Dub Mix) – Tape Five
11. Four Women (Dedication to Nina Simone) – Meshell Ndegeocello
12. Blue Skies (Maya Jane Coles Mix) – Ella Fitzgerald
13. My Man – Billie Holiday
14. My Man (Toro Y Moi Dub Mix) – Billie Holiday
15. So Nice (Summer Samba) (Azari & Ill Mix) – Astrud Gilberto
16. Haunted Town (Remix Edit) – Lena Horne
17. Bodysnatchin’ (On the Isle) – Rubberoom
18. Right Here – DJ Mitsu
19. Fly Me To The Moon (Kaskade Remix) – Astrud Gilberto
20. Tequila (Pistel Remix) – The Champs
21. Mama Guela (STUHR Remix) – Tito Rodriguez
22. Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood (Zeds Dead Remix) – Nina Simone
23. Feeling Good (Bassnectar Dub Edit) – Nina Simone
24. All Night – Billa Quase
25. Just Move (Remix Edit) – Uneeq

Sunday Jazz Corner With Fats Waller

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King of the stride, Fats Waller was a colorful comedic personality and jazz legend in the 20′s, 30′s and 40′s.  Waller was an influential pianist, composer, singer and comedic entertainer, whose innovations to the Harlem stride style laid the groundwork for modern jazz piano.  His best-known compositions, Ain’t Misbehavin’ and Honeysuckle Rose were inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame posthumously, in 1984 and 1999.

Fats Waller (Thomas Wright Waller), was born in New York City in 1904.  He started playing piano when he was six and by the age of fourteen he was playing the organ at Harlem’s Lincoln Theater.  Within twelve months he had written his first rag (ragtime) song.

By the age of fifteen he became a professional pianist, overcoming opposition from his clergyman father, working in cabarets and theaters.  Waller went on to become one of the most popular performers of his era, finding critical and commercial success in his homeland and in Europe.  He was also a prolific songwriter and many songs he wrote or co-wrote are still popular, such as “Honeysuckle Rose”, “Ain’t Misbehavin” and “Squeeze Me”.

He enjoyed success touring the United Kingdom and Ireland in the 1930s.  He appeared in one of the first BBC television broadcasts.  While in Britain, Waller also recorded a number of songs for EMI.  He appeared in several feature films and short subject films, most notably Stormy Weather  which you can view a video clip of below.  It was released in 1943 just months before his death.

Multi-talented Waller performed Bach organ pieces for small groups on occasion.  Waller influenced many pre-bop jazz pianists; Count Basie and Erroll Garner have both reanimated his hit songs (notably, “Ain’t Misbehavin’”).  In addition to his playing, Waller was known for his many quips during his performances.

Between 1926 and the end of 1927, Waller recorded a series of pipe organ solo records.  These represent the first time syncopated jazz compositions were ever performed on a full-sized church organ.

His final recording session was with an interracial group in Detroit, Michigan in 1943, that included trumpeter Don Hirleman.  Waller was returning to New York City from Los Angeles, after the smash success of Stormy Weather, and after a successful engagement at the Zanzibar Room, during which he had fallen ill.  He contracted pneumonia on a cross-country train trip near Kansas City, Missouri, where he died on December 15, 1943.  Coincidentally, as the train with the body of Waller stopped in Kansas City, so stopped a train with his dear friend Louis Armstrong on board.  Coincidence or providential?

More than 4,000 people attended his funeral in Harlem at the Abyssinian Baptist Church.  Dr. Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., delivered the eulogy, and said that Fats Waller “always played to a packed house.”

I highly recommend FATS WALLER “compilation” on iTunes.
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See below 2 Videos by Fats Waller.

Ain’t Misbehavin’ – Stormy Weather (1943) – FATS WALLER

I’m gonna sit right down and write myself a letter (1935) – FATS WALLER