Music

Music News from WEMU

When I opened the package containing "Everybody Ought To Treat A Stranger Right" by pianist, singer and guitarist Julian Fauth, I knew that WEMU hosts would be happy to find this in the library.  His 2005 CD, "Songs Of Vice And Sorrow" was a host and listener favorite even though Julian was then a relatively young and unknown performer.  When I put the 2012  sound of Julian Fauth into the player, I was fully convinced.  This disc is tailor-made for WEMU. 

Bettye LaVette back on top of WEMU "Sweet 16"

Nov 14, 2012

Former Detroiter Bettye LaVette has always defied description and categorization.  While many of her contemporaries followed the dictates of their record label or management, Bettye forged her own identity.  There was always a dark edge to Bettye's voice - even in her early R&B sessions such as "My Man - He's A Lovin' Man", recorded when she was 16 years old. 

A week after their Magic Bag Theater show, WEMU hosts continued to feature the timely and topical CD "Not Getting Behind Is The New Getting Ahead" by 7-string guitarist Charlie Hunter and drummer Scott Amendola.  Both musicians are based in San Francisco and have been improvising partners for over 20 years.  Neither has permitted their long association to allow them to slip in to cliches, reliable patterns or tawdry tricks.  Rather, the two are stretching the definition of the jazz - jam band sound to include their duets and creative compositions.   In WEMU's quest to identify the best new

Whether recording with a group or going solo, guitarist Charlie Hunter has long been a favorite of both WEMU listeners and hosts.  His newest offering pairs the 7-string guitarist up with drummer Scott Amendola.  Their depth of musical sound makes it hard to believe that there are just two musicians, but these two are so adept and so complementary that they fill all the musical spaces.  They will also likely fill all the spaces when they appear at The Magic Bag Theater in Ferndale on Thursday, November 1st. 

Supporting regional musicians with airplay remains a highest priority at WEMU.  As you peruse the "Sweet 16" for October 15th through the 21st, take note of the many recordings on the list with regional connections including the topper, "Thankful 'N Thoughtful" by Detroiter, soul siren Bettye LaVette.

Buoyed by being selected as WEMU's blues fundraising premium, Robert Cray's newest CD, "Nothin' But Love" was the most played disc this past week on 89.1.   Even if Cray's recording hadn't been chosen as a WEMU "thank-you gift", it would likely have risen to the top of our "Sweet Sixteen" by virtue of it's excellence.

In anticipation of her appearance at The Ark on October 11th, WEMU hosts featured the outstanding new CD "33 1/3" by the new "Queen of the Blues", Shemekia Copeland.   Ms. Copeland actually comes from blues royalty  --  her father is the legendary blues guitarist and composer, Johnny Clyde Copeland.  

Never let it be said that when a major artist comes to town, that WEMU doesn't get behind the show and share music with listeners to let them know about the music they'll hear.  We got behind last week's Joe Jackson concert at The Michigan Theater featuring violinist Regina Carter in a real big way. 

Catching Up With Alberto Nacif

By Marc S. Taras

 

Perhaps it was because the lead track on Marcus Miller's new CD "Renaissance" was called "Detroit" that the disc resonated so soundly with WEMU listeners and staff.  Whatever the reason, it has become a fast favorite of listeners and staff alike. 

Nacif & Espinosa
http://www.kerrytownconcerthouse.com/index.php/events/event/alberto_nacif/

in the Ann Arbor Holiday Inn (Plymouth Rd. and US 23) Also see Marc Taras Interview with Dr. Alberto Nacif below.

WEMU and Sesi Motors  present the 5:01 First Friday Series dedicated to the memory of the late Dr. Jan Winkelman.

 Dr. Alberto Nacif & Friends (CD Release Party)
   As an interpreter of Latin jazz, percussion master Nacif fronts his own ensemble that is more horn driven, adapting post-bop standards while adding a few originals.

We knew it was just a matter of time, but the WEMU staff knew that "33 1/3" by Shemekia Copeland would eventually claim the top spot on our "Sweet 16".  If any CD validates her standing as the successor to Koko Taylor as "Queen Of The Blues", this one surely does.  She has emerged on a new label with new repertoire, but her commitment to true, deep blues is as strong as ever. 

When The Dirty Dozen Brass Band returned to Southeastern Michigan for a show at The Magic Bag Theater, WEMU hosts seized the opportunity to play selections from one of their favorite bands of all times.  We doubt that WEMU listeners minded hearing the ensemble again, as the band was beloved at venues such as The Ark, The Frog Island Music Festival, The Ann Arbor Blues and Jazz Festival and Sully's in Dearborn. 

Nina Simone Simms-Bentley

Trumpeter Christian Scott delivered not only one of the most meaningful jazz CDs of 2012 with "Christian Atunde Adjuah", but he also delivered one of the most inspirational live performances of the year with his appearance in the "Tribute to Treme" at the 2012 Detroit Jazz Festival.   Scott's music is "as serious as your life", yet is imbued with energy and a celebration of life. 

89.1, WEMU’S MUSIC DIRECTOR, LINDA YOHN, WINS NATIONAL JAZZ PROGRAMMER OF THE YEAR FOR THE FOURTH STRAIGHT YEAR

 

YPSILANTI, MI: - 89.1, WEMU’s Music Director, Linda Yohn, was named ‘Jazz Programmer of the Year,’ in a major market, for the fourth straight year Thursday, August 30, at the JazzWeek Summit's annual awards dinner in Detroit. The summit precedes the Detroit Jazz Festival, in downtown Detroit over Labor Day weekend.

 

Trumpeter Christian Scott immediately impressed WEMU and listeners with his first CD as a leader, "Rewind That" in 2006.  Since then we have anticipated each new release from this urbane, articulate and alternative trumpeter and composer.  His new CD "Christian Atunde Adjuah" demonstrates his "whisper technique" emphasizing breath control rather than mouthpiece technique.  His highly communicative approach recalls trumpet masters Clark Terry and Clifford Brown with a wholly modern approach.  This modernity also applies to his compositions - stretching the instrumentation and arrangements to

Johnnie Bassett's new CD "I Can Make That Happen" once again topped WEMU's "Sweet 16" of most-played CDs for the week.  Just after the disc was released nationally, Johnnie passed away on August 4th due to a battle with cancer. 

Ypsilanti in the "Pure Michigan" Spotlight

Aug 20, 2012

The city of Ypsilanti  will be in the spotlight in a new Pure Michigan ad, and city residents can get in on the fun this Wednesday.

It was a bittersweet occasion when Detroit blues great Johnnie Bassett's new CD "I Can Make That Happen" once again topped WEMU's "Sweet 16" of most-played CDs for the week.  Just after the disc was released nationally, Johnnie passed away on August 4th due to cancer. 

"Rebirth" by living reggae legend, Jimmy Cliff is a fully rewarding listening experience.  He has lost none of his supple vocal quality and range.  Time has deepened his lower range imbuing his words with deeper meaning and insight.  His Jamaican message remains consistent - that love, peace and truth will conquer all.  The production of this date is immaculate, but the music is free flowing and relaxed.  You can see why WEMU hosts collectively wanted to share this excellent new music with you. 

Once again, WEMU hosts and listeners realized the depth and mastery of our regional musicians by awarding the Latin jazz band, Tumbao Bravo, the coveted number one spot on the "Sweet 16".  This marks the fourth week in a row for that theirs was the most played CD on 89.1.  This disc deserves the distinction not just because it is music from local performers, but because it is totally original, beautifully produced and recorded with the highest audio quality.  "Casa Versailles" by Tumbao Bravo deserved national accolades and WEMU is leading the way.

For the third week in a row, the local all-star Latin jazz band, Tumbao Bravo has topped WEMU's airplay list with "Casa Versailles".  Their CD release concert will be this Saturday at Kerrytown Concert House.  We have details about the show in the "events" and "datebook" section of this website.  This group is just one example of the outstanding musicians who live and work in Ypsilanti, Ann Arbor and the Detroit area.  It is an honor to play their music on WEMU and support our fantastic music community.

Congratulations are in order once again for conga player Alberto Nacif, saxophonist/flutist Paul Vornhagen,  trumpeter Bob Mojica, pianist Brian DiBlassio, percussionist Javier Barrios and bassist Patrick Prouty with special guest percussionist Pepe Espinosa for gaining the coveted top spot on WEMU's "Sweet Sixteen" for the new CD "Casa Versailles" two weeks in a row.  The members of Tumbao Bravo are based in communities all over Southeastern Michigan and record for bassist Paul Keller's PKO Records label, now operating in Saline, Michigan.  Featuring their music dovetails perfectly with WE

Perhaps their "Top Of The Park" show for the Ann Arbor Summer Festival on July 4th helped propel them to the number one spot in WEMU's "Sweet Sixteen", but they likely would have achieved the spot without the show. We at WEMU love highlighting local artists, and this ensemble of musicians from Ann Arbor, Brighton and Detroit is simply one of the best. Every member is a leader in his own right. We are especially proud of their conga player, Dr. Alberto Nacif, former host of "Cuban Fantasy" until Marc Taras took over for him.

Once again, the WEMU staff and listener favorite, The Dirty Dozen Brass Band top our "Sweet Sixteen".

 

WEMU “SWEET SIXTEEN” AIRPLAY June 25 to July 1, 2012: 

LINDA YOHN, MUSIC DIRECTOR 

 

1.    DIRTY DOZEN BRASS BAND  "Twenty Dozen"  (Savoy Jazz)

2.    JOHNNIE BASSETT  “I Can Make That Happen”   (Sly Dog Records)

3.    BÉLA FLECK AND THE MARCUS ROBERTS TRIO   “Across The Imaginary Divide”  (Rounder)

4.    ESPERANZA SPALDING   “Radio Music Society”  (Heads Up/Montuno)

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