Friday, January 30, 2009

Bruce Springsteen's Super Bowl XLIII Performance

2008 was a banner year for Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. They just finished up their world tour behind 2007's album "Magic". Bruce Springsteen played a couple solo concerts for the Barack Obama's presidential campaign and the E Street Band lost one of its founding members to cancer. But, it's nothing compared to how 2009 is starting out.

First, on January 11, Bruce Springsteen won a Golden Globe award for his song, "The Wrestler" from a Mickey Rouke movie with the same title. Then, on January 18, Bruce Springsteen performed for president Barack Obama at the "We Are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration" at the Lincoln Memorial. His new album entitled, "Working On A Dream" will be released on January 27 and to top off an amazing first month of 2009, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band will perform during half time of Super Bowl XLIII

While musicians of the last couple Super Bowls saw a hugh jump in sales after performing, Bruce Springsteen will have no trouble selling copies of his new album and filling arenas on his latest tour. The one question that will be on people's minds, other than if the Pittsburgh Steelers defense can stop the Arizona Cardinals offense, is what songs will Bruce play at half time? With only twelve minutes to work with, maybe he will perform a few of his greatest hits like Tom Petty or a medley of songs like Prince. He might even throw in a song off his new album? Who knows? On things for sure, you won't want to miss it. I suggest turning up the volume and watching one of America's best musicians blow the doors off Raymond James Stadium.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Beatles Unplugged

It was 40 years ago today (January 30, 1969) that The Beatles played their final live performance. While filming for "Let It Be" was finishing up, The Beatles wanted to end the film with a live show. They failed to agree on a location and settled for the rooftop of Apple's headquarters, 3 Savile Row. The Beatles, along with guest Billy Preston performed 5 songs: Get Back (three times), Don't Let Me Down (three times), I've Got A Feeling (twice), One After 909 (once) and Dig A Pony (once). The police would eventually arrive, after receiving complaints about the noise, and cut the power to The Beatles' instruments. The concert only lasted 42 minutes, but will go down in history as the last time all four members of The Beatles performed together live. The concert ended with John Lennon's famous line, "I'd like to thank you on behalf of the group and ourselves, and I hope we passed the audtion." Portions of this live show appear in the film "Let It Be".

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Free Download From Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band

On behalf of Gordon Goodwin, The Big Phat Band Street Team is offering a free download of the song, "Jazz Police ReArrested" performed by Gordon Goodwin's Big Band. All you have to do is send and email with your full name to gordongoodwinstreetteam@gmail.com. The Big Phat Band Street Team would be more than happy to send it to you. Don't forget to mention that you saw it on JP's Music Blog. Thanks to Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band Street Team for some free music. It's always appreciated.

Monday, January 26, 2009

CD Review: Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band Act Their Age

Grammy Award winning arranger-composer-bandleader Gordon Goodwin returns with his "Big Phat Band" to bring us his newest acclaimed album, "Act Your Age". The album was released in the Fall of 2008 and has been nominated for three Grammy Awards including "Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album". It also features guest appearances by some of the biggest names in jazz.

The albums leads off with the energetic song "Hit The Ground Running". It features a solo by Eric Marienthal on alto sax. The song is also nominated for a Grammy in the "Best Instrumental Composition" category. The next five songs on the album are all cover songs. Starting with Herbie Hancock's "Watermelon Man". Gordon Goodwin takes this original 5-piece band song and blows up the sound for his big band. Gordon Goodwin's piano solo is what turns this song into one of his own. Earth, Wind & Fire's "September" features Patti Austin on vocals and Lee Ritenour on guitar. It is a very straight-forward remake of the song. Another Grammy nominated song on this album is for the Art Tatum original, "Yesterdays". The song is up for "Best Instrumental Arrangement". The piano playing by Art Tatum is what makes this song stand out on this album. With little input from the band, it makes the piano performance the main focal point of the song. The next jazz piano legend to be featured on this album is Chick Corea performing his song "Senor Mouse" along side the Big Phat Band. The last of the six cover songs is by Grammy Award winning composer Dave Grusin and features Lee Ritenour once again on guitar. The song, "Punta Del Soul", has a very modern jazz feel to it highlighted by Dave Grusin's piano solo.

While the first half of the album showcases some stand-our piano performances, the second half of the album spotlights the horn section of this big band. The title song, "Act Your Age" features an alto sax performance by Eric Marienthal and an electric bass groove by Nathan East that almost gives the song a funk/jazz feel to it. Gordon Goodwin's soprano sax slows things down in "Chance Encounters". But, things pick back up with the trumpets of "Backrow Politics" which is the longest song on the album, clocking in at over eight minutes long. The energetic and airy "East Coast Envy" and the salsa swing of "El Macho Muchacho" both feature tenor sax solos by Brian Scanlon. The album ends with the song, "Gumbo Street" which has a New Orleans jazz feel to it provided by Gordon Goodwin's tenor sax and Andy Martin's trombone solos.

The album is modern big band jazz at its best. Along with the CD, the album also includes a DVD that features all 12 tracks in 5.1 surround sound. Also included on the DVD are solo transcriptions, live concert videos, track by track commentary and a "make you own mix" feature. After the Grammy Awards, Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band is headed out west to perform, but more dates are appearing on their 2009 North American tour. For more dates and information, please visit www.gordongoodwin.com.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Connecticut's First Record Show of 2009

The CROMWELL RECORD RIOT! returns to the Crowne Plaza this Sunday, January 25th from 9:30 AM til 3:30 PM. Not only will there be plenty of vinyl, but also CDs, DVDs, Concert Shirts and loads of other music memoribilia. Whether you're looking for that rare record to complete your collection or just some new tunes for the car, I'm sure you'll be able to find something that will peak your interest. Admission is only $3. The Crowne Plaza hotel is located right off exit 21 from I-91. See you there!

Monday, January 19, 2009

CD Review: Prog-Rock Supergroup, UKZ, Debuts With A "One City World Tour"

This "Virtual Virtuoso" supergroup, know as UKZ, is the brainchild of keyboard/violin legend Eddie Jobson (U.K., Roxy Music, Frank Zappa, Jethro Tull). He returned from a 27-year retirement to bring together this group of musicians from all over the world to perform his "One City World Tour". Also to create an amazing EP entitled "Radiation". While the EP is only 21 minutes long, it gives the listener a chance to experience what this supergroup could accomplish.

The musicians that make up UKZ are all accomplished musicians that are some of the best performers know world-wide. Lead singer, Aaron Lippert, formally of Expanding Man, is a New York native who now resides in Belgium. Guitarist, Trey Gunn, formally of King Crimson fame, is a Texas native who now lives in Seattle. Guitarist Alex Machacek is an Austrian Award-winning guitar prodigy and composer. Drummer Marco Minnemann, who is a drumming phenomenon, is from Germany. Along with Eddie Jobson, this 5-piece band has enough experience to make an instant impact on the music world.

The UKZ "One City World Tour" will take place this Saturday, January 24 at Town Hall in New York City. It will feature this supergroup performing the band's original compositions as well as songs from each individual's own catalog of hits. The show will use the latest technology to overload the senses of sight and sound. Eddie Jobson built a custom keyboard rig specifically for this show. It is a show not to be missed. Tickets for this show can be purchased at www.ticketmaster.com. For more information, visit www.the-townhall-nyc.org.

Their 4 song EP will be released March 24 via Ryko Distribution. The title-song of the EP, "Radiation" has a very modern rock feel to it.  Its Nine Inch Nails type drum beats and distorted vocals makes this the hardest rockin' song on this release. At almost eight minutes long, this song, as well as the entire EP, relies heavily on the instrumentation which this supergroup has no trouble controlling. The tempo and chord changes are handled masterfully. "Houston" is the ballad of the album with its flowing keyboards and acoustic guitars. The song is a nice break before the instrumental onslaught of "Tu-95". This seven-plus minute instrumental shows the strength of each individual performing. The EP ends with an acoustic song called "Legend". Hopefully this EP is only a taste of what is to come from this supergroup of musicians.

Check out the band's video which is being featured on You Tube for their song "Radiation". For up to date information, please visit the band's website at www.ukzband.com.

Monday, January 12, 2009

CD Review: These Green Eyes Have A Relapse

These Green Eyes, Colin Cunningham (vocals), Greg Mauro (guitar), Jeff Krenn (guitar), Zach Braz (bass), Mark Brudrett (drums); are releasing their sophomore album "Relapse To Recovery" in early March. The album will be released on Blackledge Music and was produced by Brian McTernan (Senses Fail, The Bled, From Autumn to Ashes).

The opening verse of the lead-off song "At The End" is sung over a strumming acoustic guitar before the rest of the band kicks in full blast for the chorus. This style becomes the blueprint for the entire album. It is a high-energy rocker with great vocals, excellent harmonizing and some amazing instrumental work. Many of the songs on this album deal with very difficult topics. Relationships between friends and loved ones plays into almost every song. The difficulty of being a true and honest friend like in the song "Drunk Driver". The highlighted tracks are "Blood Sweat and Beers", which is as close as the band gets to a ballad. It deals with the loss of a loved one. The chord changes within the song is what gives the song it's power. Another standout track is is album's first single, "Paramedic". It's catchy guitar riff and chorus repeats in your head after listening to the song. "Sucker Punch (Won't Get Away With It)" is a fight song of survival. A video for the song is on the band's Myspace page www.myspace.com/thesegreeneyes and on fuse TV.

From start to finish, "Relapse To Recovery" is a great sophomoric release. The band stays true to form by sticking to their roots and not giving in to the mainstream of alternative music. Be on the lookout for These Green Eyes to be on tour in 2009. Go to www.thesegreeneyes.com for more information.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Dead To Tour In 2009

All "Deadheads" Christmas wishes came true last week when the remaining members of the Grateful Dead announced that they would indeed tour in 2009. After a very successful reunion show last October, the rumors of a tour just caught fire. The last tour by The Dead was the summer of 2004. Now 5 years later, The Dead will do a 19-date tour this spring starting on April 12 and finishing on May 10. The majority of the shows will take place in the Northeast with one in-particular show at the XL Center in Hartford, CT on April 26. Tickets go on sale for this tour on January 23.

While The Dead's tour is the biggest tour announcement of this early 2009, there is other good news for "jambanders". The Allman Brothers Band have announced the dates of their 10-date run at the Beacon Theatre in NY to celebrate the band's 40th Anniversary. Hopefully a full-fledge tour announcement is soon to come. Another jamband that is currently on tour is Umphrey's McGee. Their new album entitled "Mantis" will be released on January 20. They will be appearing at Toad's Place in New Haven, CT on April 5 and at the Calvin Theatre in Northampton, MA on April 8. I highly recommend catching one of their nearby appearances.

Another announcement pertaining to a full Phish tour should be released any day now. The band is currently lined up to play 3 shows at the Hampton Coliseum in early March. They are also rumored to be headlining the Bonnaroo Festival and performing at the Post-Gazette Pavilion in June. Keep you eyes peeled for more dates.

2009 is shaping up nicely to be a dream for fans of Jambands. So, stay tuned for a long strange trip this year.