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Posts Tagged ‘Chuck Brown’

Quiet Time

Thursday, May 24th, 2012

We all need it. Especially when music is involved. Music is a science of listening and reproducing, sometimes taking symbols off a page or just reproducing what you hear in your head. The only way to become adept is you have to be quiet from time to time to truly hear what’s going on. I’ve been quiet on the writing side and on the opinion side for a few weeks because I really needed some focus like we see in the above clip. For me it was/is a realization that there are far too many out here on this musical road (both the creators of the music and the critics) who have not been quiet enough or humble enough to sit underneath a master teacher to acquire the skill and spirit to take the pebble which begins the musical journey.

Lots of master musicians passing away and if you look closely at all of their lives, they all had their “quiet time” where they worked day in and day out to gain the confidence and courage to reach for that elusive pebble. I salute them and anyone else who arrived on the road in this manner. The rest of you who are still talking loud and not saying anything… please be quiet and take a seat.

Swing (Go-Go)

Thursday, January 5th, 2012

Every type of music it has its own type of “Swing”, which ultimately refers to the feel of the music. Even music that is considered “straight” has its own particular type of swing. The reason that I have Go-Go in parentheses is because it is the type of swing that I wanted to talk about today but not in the manner you may think.

Every now and then I’ll get in a place where I want to hear some Go-Go. The music is near a dear to me because it was through that music that I got my start playing “professionally” whatever that means. I mean we did have paying gigs but trying to split however much money between 7 or 8 folks it usually ended up being that we were subsidizing a meal moreso than making a profit. But I digress…

But really the purpose of this post is to show how the “swing” of Go-Go was co-opted into song that you may not immediately think of as being related to Go-Go. But as the title implies it’s all about that swing! Another impetus for writing this is for all the “I can’t stand that music, it all sounds the same to me people” that I’ve encountered for decades. It’s not that everyone has to like every type of music but it makes me laugh when people can’t connect the dots between something they “despise” and something they love.

First let’s get something out of the way… the initial swing, the pocket of classic Go-Go comes from this song:

Listen to the pattern of the drums: Boom bap boom boom bap boom : That’s the basis for the Go-Go swing. (more…)

“Cover Me” Sundays – Chuck Brown “Go-Go Swing”

Sunday, October 30th, 2011

This… this was definitely a quintessential “Bridging The Gap” moment for me. This medley of songs from Duke Ellington, Lionel Hampton and James Moody by way of Eddie Jefferson, made a lot of music possible for me and a few of my contemporaries. The reason that I make such a declaration is because I’m a firm believer in affirmation. For many years leading up to the release of this particular set of music (and I’ve had this conversation with others who had a similar experience), I faced like so many others the awkward years of tweendom and teendom carrying the dreaded instrument case and sheet music folder on and off the bus, year after year to many of the same questions: What’s in that case? (and heaven forbid if I ever wanted to get any practicing done on Bari Sax) What’s in that big case? Kids laughing outside listening as I practiced through the awkward squeaks and squawks that come along with being a ten year old learning an instrument. Those developing years on saxophone were not “cool”. Well, actually let me rephrase that: It was always cool to me to learn and play music it just wasn’t necessarily cool to the exterior forces that all adolescents look to from time to time for affirmation. Until… (more…)

“Cover Me” Sundays-Moody’s Mood For Love

Sunday, October 3rd, 2010

This song started as James Moody’s alto saxophone solo on the standard “I’m In The Mood For Love”. As Moody recalls the story he was leaving the bathroom and the take was beginning and because he had been playing tenor on most of the session he had to adjust and find the key on alto so the first few notes or the “there I go…” is actually his attempt to find the key. A few years later the lyrics were added to the solo by Eddie Jeffferson and the song was recorded by King Pleasure and as they say the rest is history…


“Cover Me” Sundays-Run Joe

Sunday, April 18th, 2010

Talk about “Bridging The Gap”! Chuck Brown has made a career of presenting music from his youth to entirely new generations and if I could be so bold to say, by doing so he has influenced several generations of musicians to uphold the legacy of musicality that flows from that rich Family Tree of Music whose roots stretch back to the coast of West Africa.