Opening up a new CD this morning here in Studio E in the Mohn Broadcast Center. It’s my ritual and I look forward to what is going to surprise me today. I am not disappointed hearing this Cannonball-Coltrane Project from Luther Hughes. This music takes me back to my roots in St. Louis. I spent my youth learning to sing by mimicking great sax players’ lines as they soared thru the changes on their solos. One of my fav albums was Cannonball Adderley and Nancy Wilson as she sang, “Save Your Love For Me” and Cannonball weaved in and around her. What a musical dance! His soul jazz bop style, those chromatic and continuous lines and cutting tones thrilled me. And John Coltrane, tenor sax that blew me away the first time I heard “Giant Steps” with his sheets of sound, crazy chord structure moving in thirds and harmonies that my ears wanted me to scat over those changes and have fun on the ride. Well, here is this Luther Hughes and the Cannonball-Coltrane Project CD, and all are top-notch players including: Luther Hughes, bass; Glenn Cashman, tenor sax; Bruce Babad, alto sax; Ed Czach, piano; and Paul Kreibich, drums and percussion. Collectively they have paid homage to two jazz greats with incredible sensitivity and creative arrangements. http://www.CannnonballColtraneProject.com I have paired an excerpt of Glenn Cashman’s tune, “McCoy” written as a musical tribute to Coltrane’s pianist, McCoy Tyner featuring the quartal chord voicings that typifies Tyner’s powerful style with a KPCC promo for http://www.170millionamericans.org.
From Studio E in the Mohn Broadcast Center…I like opening my mail here at KPCC. Musicians have asked me if I really listen to everything that aspiring and established artists send to me. The answer in a word, YES! Today I received Tony Guerrero’s, Blue Room CD on the Charleston Square label. http://charlestonsquare.net
Tony Guerrero is a noted musician in the jazz arena with nine critically acclaimed Billboard charting solo CDs. While maintaining an active schedule both in performances and in the studio as a musician, writer and performer, Tony also serves as the Director of Creative Arts for Saddleback Church, home church of Pastor Rick Warren and the Purpose Driven movement. This trumpeter/flugelhornist/keyboard man has also appeared on hundreds of recordings by other artists and has toured the world as a headlining artist. Tony has written songs recorded by artists from both the jazz world and the Christian world ranging from Brian Bromberg to CeCe Winans. Guerrero is an author too. He’s written two books and dozens of articles for major magazines. http://www.tonyguerrero.com
From Studio E in the Mohn Broadcast Center…I’m producing an underwriting spot for the LA Phil upcoming concert featuring Michael Feinstein at the Walt Disney Concert Hall on February 5. For more information, http://www.laphil.com/tickets/calendar.cfm?m=2&yr=2011
Feinstein is one of those amazing talents that I could listen to his smooth voice all day long. He has an incredible sense of interpreting great standards. As I was searching for just the right music bed for this spot, I came across a You Tube video of Feinstein sharing how he is on a quest to preserve the treasures of classic American popular music.
Because of his passion, Feinstein has created a foundation. The mission of the Michael Feinstein Foundation is to bring the music of the Great American Songbook to young people today, and to preserve it for future generations.
Another interesting day in Studio E at the Mohn Broadcast Center. I’m producing an underwriting spot for the Fellowship for the Performing Arts. They will be performing the Screwtape Letters which is a smart, provocative and wickedly funny theatrical adaptation of the C.S. Lewis novel about spiritual warfare from a demon’s point of view. It will be performed at the Alex Theatre, 216 North Brand Blvd, Glendale, CA for two performances only Jan 15 and 16. My challenge today is the script is on the short side. After some internet searching, I came across a You Tube video of the performance. What luck! It was incredible to lift a quick excerpt to blend into the spot.
Fellowship of the Performing Arts is a group devoted to producing theater from a Christian worldview that is engaging to a diverse audience, as their mission statement says. Reviews are raving, “Screwtape Letters for the stage is nearly as incisive and funny as it is on the page, and one that should appeal to the aesthetically-discerning atheist as well as to a wide swath of religious folks.”
I received an email from Anny Celsi offering her latest tune, “Christmas in the Pines.” Celsi is no stranger to KPCC. A few years back, Anny offered to help out in production while I was serving as a foreman on a murder trial. In addition, she produces the Sandra Tsing Loh, “Loh Down On Science” series as well as, “The Loh Life” series.
It’s always a pleasure to hear Anny perform around Los Angeles. First time I attended one of her concerts, I was impressed with songs from her “Little Black Dress” CD. “No matter what life throws at you, you’ve got to put on your little black dress and keep going. The woman in these songs can change a tire in that dress if she has to. And she’ll still look good, and she won’t spill her martini, either,” to quote Celsi.
Anny has been described as having a "beatnik cool" feel and a storyteller’s eye for detail while expanding her musical landscape, with influences ranging from The Byrds to Burt Bacharach. Thank you, Anny Celsi, for donating an original song to Southern California Public Radio. On behalf of the KPCC production department, your song has been paired with the Savory Spice Shop underwriting spot airing this weekend, Dec 18-19, 2010. For more information on Anny Celsi and her music, here are some links: