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SoundCloud is a Very Cool Site

If you like music, and you enjoy sampling cutting-edge tracks by new talent, you need to check out a great new site called SoundCloud. Regular readers may have noticed that I posted some tracks in an earlier message using the high-quality SoundCloud audio player.  The player is a very versatile utility, letting you upload a track, edit, scrunch, tweak and manipulate it all over the place. Then playback and store the new creation.

SoundCloud is also a vast community of music creators and fans which offers quick-and-easy, down-and-dirty facility for uploading and sharing sound tracks. In just a few days of poking around, I have found some interesting tracks. Here is one posted  by a young man who calls himself T-Cash. He presents it as “inspired by an old church song.” T-Cash has stepped-up the beat and pushed that melody through the electronic instrument window to create a “Funky Piano/Tech/Power-guitar” track that I think is really good. Give a listen to The Golden City RC-2:

Take a look at the Sidebar (over to the right) and you will see a button/link inviting you, or anyone you know, to send me a soundtrack via my personal “drop box” at SoundCloud. I will listen, give the sender/composer/arranger/whoever some feedback and will consider posting the best tracks on this site. Hopefully, some hard-working new talent will get a modicum of exposure. We ain’t the big-time but, heck, we are pushing toward 40,000 hits and we just came online in January of 2009. It took quite a while to get the hang of it and develop enough decent content to invite scrutiny so, actually, we have only really been “out there” about six months.

Here is what you are looking for on the Sidebar:


Send me your track

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WAR on PBS

Cover of "All Day Music"
Cover of All Day Music

No, this is not announcing another documentary about World War II or Vietnam. This is in reference to the musical group WAR, and one of my local PBS stations ran a one-and-a-half hour concert last. They will be repeating it tomorrow (Thursday, June 4). They are in fund-raising mode and are using several music concerts during evening broadcast hours throughout the week to draw their  target donors. Monday night they ran the most excellent David Foster: The Hitman concert. Catch that one , if you get a chance.

The group that performed was fronted by one of the founding members of WAR, keyboardist Lonnie Jordan. Several other members of the original group perform under the name The Low Rider Band. WAR is most often identified as a rock band or, more specifically, a purveyor of 70’s Funk. Those familiar with some of their major hits like The Cisco Kid, Low Rider, The World Is a Ghetto and Why Can’t We Be Friends? would probably see the validity in that.

The stations in your area might not be running these programs this week, but keep your eye out for their pledge drive week. It has to be coming up soon. Hopefully, you have not already missed the Spring/Summer drive. Another program my local stations have run is Chris Botti: Live at the Boston Pops. It is a great show with terrific guest stars including Sting, Katharine McPhee. The Chris Botti show also introduced me to a new talent, Sy Smith.

Doesn't she look like she can really sing?

Doesn't she look like she can really sing?

So, why am I, the jazzmonger, plugging a concert by these guys? Listen to them do All Day Music and Slippin’ Into Darkness and tell me that’s not jazz. And this question of “What can we talk about in reference to jazz?” puts in mind of an interesting discussion I have been participating in over on Kevin Kniestedt‘s “Groove Notes” blog, which you can find at:  jazz24.wordpress.com.

Kevin is a gentleman and a scholar, and the dj hosting The Grooveyard on station KPLU. He also hosts an online jazz streamcast. Kevin knows his stuff. He recently posted about being “taken to task” by a listener of his radio show. The sin was having played the title track from Steely Dan‘s Aja album. Here is how Kevin stated the problem:

It was this most recent complaint that came across as far more angry than your average letter. In fact, the note made it quite clear that after hearing a particular song, the individual was “through” listening to my program.

The song in question was the title track to the Steely Dan album Aja. The complaint, in short, was that Steely Dan didn’t play jazz, and that Aja wasn’t jazz and didn’t sound like jazz, even if Steely Dan was a jazz band by nature.

And he concludes with this

So did I lose this one? Did I cross the line with Aja? Should I have just responded with “Jazz is free, it has no boundaries”? Should I have said “I’m the DJ, I’ll play what I want”?

Maybe I did the best thing I could do, and just not write back.

I responded, as did several others, that Jazz by its very nature is free-form and should be inclusive. plus, I added, why do we have to wall ourselves off from all other good pieces of music in order to be a jazz fan? Seems nuts to me. Go here:

http://jazz24.wordpress.com/2009/05/23/where-is-the-fine-line-in-jazz/

to check out the whole discussion, AND put your two cents in.

cc -Some rights

Hello from Doctor Dick

Dick’s Den

Just a note to say I am still alive and listening to good jazz.

Just heard some great Bob James, and also a nice piece by Sophie Milman, one of the best new jazz singers to come along in a long a long  time.

here is the link to Bob’s website:

http://www.bobjames.com/

and to the website for the group Fourplay:

http://www.fourplayjazz.com/

bob-james-in-session with Fourplay

Bob James in session with Fourplay

Doctor Dick's station

Doctor Dick's station

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