Archive for classic soul

30 Day Song Challenge – Day 1 – A Song I Discovered This Month

Posted in 30 Day Song Challenge with tags , , , on January 28, 2021 by curtjazz

There are a lot of “challenges” on the web these days. Most, I will not participate in, for good reason. The “30 Day Song Challenge” lists that are going around, however, captured my interest. For one, it doesn’t involve public humiliation, for another, I do not have to risk injury to be involved and finally, it involves something that I am always interested in – music. I also decided to blog my daily choices because the brief articles around each choice, would force me back into the habit of writing, on regular.

I hope that you will join me for this month-long journey, and I hope that I can introduce you to some new music, in the process. It will be mostly jazz, of course but when necessary, we will go “beyond”, such as on this first selection.

Day 1 – A Song That I Discovered This Month – “Colors” – Black Pumas

Blame it on Biden.

I had never heard of this intoxicating duo out of Austin, TX, until the concert celebration, on the night of the new President’s Inauguration. In the middle of all the stars, they stood out, for their quiet passion and smooth soulfulness. “Colors” is the song that they performed that night. It reminded me of my all-time favorite soul singer, Al Green, when he was in his estimable prime. And they have a band that sounded Willie Mitchell (Green’s producer), had returned to lead The Roots.

As soon as they finished performing, I jumped on to Spotify, to hear more from Eric Burton, Adrian Quesada, and their musical colleagues. They’ve got a brand-new fan, in me. And I’m certainly not the only one, as they have been nominated for three 2021 Grammy Awards.

Black Pumas – If you haven’t heard them yet, I recommend that you come for “Colors” and then stay for the rest of their beautiful, rootsy, soul music.

Tomorrow, Day 2 – A Song That Always Makes Me Smile


Video Birthday Tribute – Al Green

Posted in Video Vault with tags , , on April 14, 2012 by curtjazz

“When I got Al Green, everybody else was hot…And I was looking for another sound to get away from all of that.  I said ‘OK, I’m going to give him some jazz chords and see how he works with this’. I got him some Charlie Parker records.”Willie Mitchell

Al Green is one of the greatest singers alive. Period. Be it Soul, R n’ B or Gospel, Reverend Green is still better now, in the Autumn of his career, than most cats have been on their best day.

Al Green hit his stride after meeting Willie Mitchell in Texas in the late ’60’s. Mitchell had been a moderately successful trumpet player/bandleader.   But when Green’s voice and Mitchell’s production came together, the results were breathtaking.

Mitchell taught Green to approach Soul singing with the cool of Ellington, rather than the grit of say, Otis Redding “I tried to get a top on the music that was pleasant” said Mr. Mitchell. It was a sound like no one else and the public sopped it up like it was sweet molasses on a fluffy biscuit.

Rev. Green still epitomizes a unique brand of Southern Soul, with a little jazz cool on the side. It’s no accident that President Obama chose “Let’s Stay Together” for the public debut of his vocal prowess.  I’ve been a Green fan ever since my early teen years, when my mother would play his version of “For The Good Times” over and over again. However, I moved past that track (which is one of my least favorite Green performances), on the I’m Still in Love With You album and dug “Love and Happiness”; “I’m Glad You’re Mine” and “Simply Beautiful”.

Yesterday, April 13, Reverend Al Green turned 66 years old.  Many have come along since him, but still none can match him.  I hope that you dig these clips of a master, practicing his craft.