Music

Music News from WEMU

NPR

Given the repertoire, it was only natural that Aaron Neville’s “My True Story” would be the most-played CD on WEMU. 

 It is his stroll down memory lane from the “doo wop era”, but it is also the soundtrack of so many of our lives cast through the prism of the pristine voice of Aaron Neville.  

We received many requests for it plus we wanted to call attention to Neville’s interviews on “Morning Edition” from NPR and “Bob Edwards Weekend” about the authentic music and Neville’s undeniable soul.  Pristine is also a way I’d describe the recording’s production values. 

No expense was spared in the mix or mastering.  

Producers Don Was and Keith Richards have created an American treasure with “My True Story”.  If you’re looking for special Valentine’s Day dinner music, this would be perfect.

More:  aaronneville.com/video/

saddleback.edu

While we love to feature the all-time greats of music on WEMU, we also look for deserving unknown ensembles, such as The Aguabella Latin Jazz Band which received their CD premiere for “Baker: Gateway To Death Valley”  this morning.  We had actually played many of these musicians before when they were in the band led by the late, great conga player, Francisco Aguabella.  Today they keep Aguabella’s legacy alive.  Now you know how they found their beautiful name. 

teenytucker.com

This Tuesday was a perfect blues day on WEMU.  The cold and the clouds called for down-home story-filled music.  Our playlist this morning included local blues luminaries Johnnie Bassett and George Bedard along with Columbus Ohio’s blues emissary, Teeny Tucker.

bennygreenmusic.com

The majority of the classic Blue Note recordings of the 1950s and 1960s were characterized by highly conversant horn exchanges and brilliant, supportive rhythm sections.  For Benny Green to pay tribute to that era of jazz with the instrumentation of piano-bass-drums is quite a task.  But, Benny pulls it off with inspiration, energy and attitude. 

natenajar.com

The WEMU playlist this morning included many great guitarists.  My initial inspiration was to promote guitarist Jake Reichbart and his quartet at this afternoon’s free “Sesi Motors 501 Jazz Show” at Rush Street.  But, you can’t build a three and half hour program around one artist.  So, I went to our “new stacks” and checked out a disc that we’d had for a few weeks, gave it try, gave it two thumbs up and got it on the air.   It is “Blues For Night

jazzcafedetroit.com

What a way to celebrate the launch of a new label and a new concept in jazz!  Pianist/composer/arranger Scott Gwinnell’s tribute to heart of Detroit –The Cass Corridor – was the most-played CD on WEMU from January 21st through the 27th.   “The Cass Corridor Story” is also the first release on the new imprint from Mack Avenue Records, Detroit Music Factory.  WEMU has been a strong supporter of Scott Gwinnell for years, so we knew to expect great things from him, but this heart-felt original music exceeded our expectations!

In time for African American History month, drummer Terri Lyne Carrington pays tribute to three to icons of jazz and African American music:  Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus and Max Roach on her newest release.  In 1963, Ellington, Mingus and Roach made only one recording together: “Money Jungle” for Capitol Records.  The trio to realize the 2013 approach to “Money Jungle: Provocative In Blue” are pianist Gerald Clayton and bassist Christian McBride along with Ms. Carrington.

karionproductions.blogspot.com

Often on first listen to a new CD, I’ll remark, “that’s nice…” and just file it away.  I’m very glad that I gave “3.2.1” by pianist Pamela Hines a second chance.  On the second pass, I heard the complexities that I missed in my first cursory review.  We receive many piano-bass-drums CDs re-working standards at WEMU, so if your disc is to make it on the air it must have a “special something”.  Pamela Hines has it.

Ozella Music

The jazz musician is fortunate to be able to hear new possibilities in old melodies and create new music from the gems of the past.  That is what saxophonist Maximilian Geller has accomplished with “Alpenglühen”, his new CD released recently in the US.  While all the songs on the disc are credited to Geller or band members such as pianist Walter Lang, it is clear that they have drawn inspiration from German, Swiss and French folk melodies to craft their elegant and sparkling repertoire.  According the label, Ozella Music, “Alpenglühen” can take you home and to faraway places: “to alpine cab

music.cbc.ca

Our latest WEMU discovery is The Hummingbird Brigade, an 11 piece jazz ensemble from Vancouver, British Columbia led by saxophonist/clarinetist/flutist James Danderfer.  Danderfer explains the tone of his music as “New Orleans brass band-inspired”.  Building on the rich legacy of New Orleans street bands and the new approaches coming from the Crescent City by The Dirty Dozen Brass Band, The Soul Rebels and The Hot 8 Brass Band, Danderfer and his band-mates are adding to the street beat repertoire with well-crafted, highly rhythmic original music.  Mardi Gras day is coming up on Tuesday, Feb

Ann Arbor Folk Festival performers, The Steel Wheels are scheduled to stop by the WEMU studios on Saturday (1/26)  to play live on The Roots Music Project with Jeremy Baldwin.

36th Ann Arbor Folk Festival

January 25 through 26, 2013

6:30pm at Hill Auditorium

arturostable.com

If you are searching for fresh new music for 2013, WEMU recommends the new CD “Cuban Crosshatching” by percussionist Arturo Stable.  His 2012 duo disc “Dos Y Mas” with pianist Elio Villafranca was one of the finest recordings of 2012.  Stable continues the path he has forged in his notable career with music of integrity, artistic credibility and exploratory creativity.  We premiered “Cuban Crosshatching” this morning and found that it paired perfe

www.brooklynvegan.com

With their snaky rhythms, spooky harmonies and catchy licks, Brooklyn’s Menahan Street Band once again takes the top spot on WEMU’s “Sweet 16” for “The Crossing”.  All of the time spent backing up R&B and soul sensation Charles Bradley has sparked a giant leap of creativity and risk-taking in this leading soul/jazz/funk band. 

Dragon Lady via www.ericburdon.com

"'Til Your River Runs Dry" by Eric Burdon is the most revealing, personal and blues-drenched recording the former lead singer of The Animals and War has ever released.  Most of the songs deal with personal demons, release from self-destruction and potential salvation.  However, Eric Burdon remains true to form with  songs commenting on the ills of today's society such as "Water",  "Memorial Day", "Invitation To The White House" and "In The Ground".   Recorded in New Orleans and Los Angeles in 2010 and 2011, the disc was released in the U.K. in 2012.  It is officially released in the U.S.

allaboutjazz.com

This morning's 89.1 Jazz  program reflected the unique musical experience of Monday evening's landmark concert: "From The Cass Corridor To The World: A Celebration Of Detroit's Musical Golden Age".   Perhaps we need an occasional reminder regarding the wealth, breadth and depth of our regional talent.  The "reminder" collected by University Musical Society with assistance from pianist Geri Allen, bassist Robert Hurst and drummer Karriem Riggins and all of their s

Living Music / UM School Of Music

Our short program was packed with music to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., to get us ready for President Obama's second inaugural ceremony and tonight's special concert: "From Cass Corridor To The World: A Celebration Of Detroit's Golden Age Of Music". Thank you for choosing to listen to WEMU on this special day.

Aguanko's "Elemental" Tops "Sweet Sixteen"

Jan 17, 2013
Jen Prouty

It is no surprise that "Elemental" the new CD by conguero/composer Alberto Nacif and his magnificent ensemble "Aguanko" topped WEMU's "Sweet Sixteen" from January 7th through the 13th.   We will always support great regional talent along with international music figures, but Alberto Nacif means more to WEMU than just great regional talent:  he is family.  Today's "Cuban Fantasy" program on Saturdays at 7PM grew out of an interview that Alberto did with evening jazz host Michael G.

The first few weeks of a new year are rough on hosts of free-form music programs.   The big year-end push is over, the holiday recordings are retired and fresh music is yet to arrive in the mail or come via download.  Thankfully at WEMU, we were able to snag some strong new music in late November and early December of 2012 to keep us jamming in to 2013.  One of of our most delightful discoveries was "The Crossing" by The Menahan Street Band".  I wrote a long article on their associations and genesis last week, so for more information check out the previous post. 

"The Crossing", the newest offering for The Menahan Street Band, is a two year journey in music.  The outfit of multi-instrumentalists is the house band for Dunhan Records, a subsidiary of Daptone Records - the label that launched the careers of Sharon Jones and The Dap Kings as well as The Budos Band.   The Menahan Street Band's star rose when their 2008 recording, "Make The Road By Walking" was sampled by hip-hop leaders Jay-Z, 50 Cent, Kid Cudi and more.  In 2011 they backed funky soul sensation Charles Bradley on his highly acclaimed "No Time For Dreaming".  2012 Brought us "The Crossin

5:01 Jazz Series For 2013

Winard Harper has the "Sweet 16" top spot

Dec 19, 2012

Between December 10th and the 16th, WEMU hosts played over 160 different new releases, so for one disc to rest atop that widely varied selection is indeed a rare honor.  We are pleased to reveal that the leader of that week's "Sweet 16" was drummer Winard Harper and his magnificent group, The Jeli Posse.

Organist Chester "CT" Thompson Tops Sweet 16

Dec 12, 2012

While many media outlets are putting 2012 "to bed" for the next month, WEMU hosts continue to discover exciting new music to keep you grooving in 2013.  One of our recent discoveries is "Mixology" by veteran jazz organist Chester "CT" Thompson.   

WEMU

Ellen Rowe, jazz pianist and composer, the current Chair of the Department of Jazz & Contemporary Improvisation along with flugelhornist, Music School Professor, and program founder Ed Sarath sit down with Linda Yohn of WEMU to talk about 25 years and beyond of the Jazz and Contemplative Studies Programs at the University of Michigan.

Bettye LaVette again claims "Sweet 16" top spot

Dec 4, 2012

As we WEMU hosts continue to be grateful to you, our listeners for your generous support, the new CD "Thankful 'N Thoughtful" by former Detroiter Bettye LaVette resonates with us.  Her new disc was the most-played recording on WEMU from November 26th through December 1st.  This week's "Sweet 16" is a fine cross-section of WEMU offerings from the modern-day boogie-woogie and roots music of pianist and singer Julian Fauth to the supremely soulful organ jazz sessions from home town hero, saxophonist Ben Jansson and the first-time appearance of west-coast jazz organ legend Chester "CT" Thompson

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