Monday, 10 December 2018

Oh, it's this time of the year again ...

Christmas time is upon us

and the Blues isn't far away!

Roy Milton making this season blue.

And if you still feel sad & blue the good Doctor

prescribes a 2 hr long Christmas Blues compilation

Hope this will help you over the Christmas Blues!

Merry Xmess y'all!

Dr. Blues

Saturday, 1 September 2018

Youssou Ndour at the Proms

BBC Late night Proms presents

Youssou Ndour & Le Super Étoile de Dakar at the Royal Albert Hall
31 August 2018

Youssou and his band were in excellent from for their first Prom appearance!

Listen to the highlights of this fantastic  concert on BBC here!

Reviews: Guardian 

Profile of Youssou at 50 here!

Trailer of documentary
Youssou N'Dour: I Bring What I Love

Watch Live at at Festival Verbier 2014

Monday, 13 August 2018

Say a little prayer for Aretha!

Let's say a little prayer for Aretha Franklin, who is has left us, but her voice will resonate through herher incredible intense interpretation of some classic soul songs.

The thoughts of her many fans are with Aretha and her family!
 Thanks to the Queen of Soul for all these great songs she sang for us!
Still my favourite appearance of her in any movie:

Here performances especially at the inauguration of Obama are legendary.


NY Times


Sunday, 20 May 2018

Bob Dorough RIP

Singer, pianist, songwriter, composer and performer  Bob Dorough, best known as the musical director for the children's program "Schoolhouse Rockin the US, passed away on April 23, 2018 of natural causes at the age of 94. He has collaborated with many Jazz greats over his long live and was championed by Jamie Cullum in his last years when he came over to London to perform in his unique style.

Schoolhouse Rock - 3 Is A Magic Number

De La Soul sampled Bob Dorough 1990 for the "The Magic Number"

He wrote "Comin' Home Baby" with Ben Tucker,
which was recorded by many great artists 
and became and Jazz standard.

He was the only singer to record with Miles Davis:

with Miles Davis (on Sorcerer album1966)
 'Nothing Like You'

with Miles Davis - Blue Xmas (To Whom It May Concern)
One of my favourite anti-Xmas song ever, listen to the lyrics!
(even more caustic and cynical than 'Fairy Tale of New York')

with Blossom Dearie: 'Baby it's cold outside'

with Bill Takas: I'm Hip

I've Got Just About Everything 

RIP BOB DOROUGH My Hippest Friend 
'Devil May Care. No Regrets. No Grudges' 4/21/17

In his last years he was still active touring and recording:
Bob Dorough at 92 'Devil May Care'

Devil May Care Documentary


Sunday, 29 April 2018

Coco Schuhmann Ruhe in Frieden

Heinz Jakob “Coco” Schumann, Jazz guitarist & drummer and Holocaust survivor, 
author of the autobiography "Der Ghetto-Swinger: Eine Jazzlegende erzählt" 1997 
und "Solange ich Musik mache, habe ich keine Zeit alt zu werden"2014,
born on 14 May 1924; died on 28 January 2018

In 1944 he played in the Theresienstadt Jazz band, the so called Ghetto Swingers

After the war he recorded with Helmut Zacharias 
and other well known German musicians.

In1950 he emigrated with his family to Australia,
but returned 1954 homesick back to Berlin

"Shishkebab" Live 1955 at "Rex Casino am Zoo, Berlin

In 1976 he reunited with Helmuth Zacharias:

Helmut Zacharias, Coco Schumann - When you smile 

TV Interview (German)




Double CD - 50 Years in Jazz

Rex Casino CD + DVD

Coco Now (live)!




I got rhythm: Das Leben der Jazzlegende Coco Schumann 
by Caroline Gille & Niels Schröder (German) 2014

Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Rebetiko Carnival gets the Blues

As part of the ongoing Rebetiko Carnival concert series (ongoing until 30th June) here in London. On Saturday (3/3/18) we attended a gig of Marios Papadeas, a fantastic Greek santur (hammered dulcimer) player. (overview here), which I can warmly recommend to every lover of Greek / oriental music.

The repertoire were mainly Asia minor songs, but he played also a blues piece on the santur, which  sounded great and reminded me on the collaboration of Stelios Vamvakaris (Στέλιος Βαμβακάρης is indeed the son of the legendary rebetiko musician Marcos Vamvakaris) with the American Blues guitarist Louisiana Red on their album "Το Blues Συναντά Το Ρεμπέτικο" (1994).

Here is another example of Stelios Vamvakaris love for the Blues:

No wonder that Rebetiko music is sometimes referred to as Greek Blues!

Sunday, 18 February 2018

Al Jarreau RIP

Grammy Award-winning jazz, pop and R&B singer Al Jarreau passed away on the 12 February last year at the age of 76.  He achieved fame with his incredible vocal Jazz stylistics on standards like "Take Five":

Wednesday, 24 January 2018

Kevin Mahogany RIP

Forgot to post this RIP, because of the holidays it was lingering in the drafts!

Kevin Mahogany died of a heart attack on December 17, 2017, at the age of 59.

My World Is Empty Without You

The musical world of Jazz will certainly be more empty without Kevin's silky baritone!

Here are some of his best recordings:

Goodbye Kevin, thanks for the music!


New York Times

London Jazz News

Hugh Masekela RIP

The South African trumpeter - one of the father figures of African Jazz - has died  at the age of 78 peacefully in his home in Johannesburg. Through an international career, which spanned more than 5 decades he played with well known musicians and singers in a huge variety of styles – from Township Jazz (with the Jazz Epistles) the fiercely political jazz of the emigration years (Soweto Blues) to the disco-pop of  and the collaborations with Paul Simon on "Graceland" 

His last interview!

and here are some of my favourite tracks:

as a singer of a protest song: Coincidence

an ode to his instrument: Ten Minutes Older: The Trumpet

Afrobeat Blues 

"The Boy's Doin' It" album is a blend of his favourite music styles: 
jazz, funk, pop, Afrobeat, and R&B, plus a little Latin and a lot of disco

His tribute to Afro beat Pioneer Fela Kuti

Lounge music with Herb

His take on Calypso: Getting Fat In Africa

and as relevant as when it came out in 2002: Everything must change
His rant against perennial presidents of African nations, asking them to leave office!

This electro funk disco track was a dance chart hit!

Some of his best live collaborations:

With his ex wife Miriam Makeba:

His classic song Stimela (The Coal Train) live

with Paul Simon and Ladysmith Black Mambazo

with Dave Matthews Band: Proudest Monkey 

Goodbye bra Hugh, you will be surely missed!

So which is your favourite heritage track of  Masekela? 
Please nominate in the comments and don't forget 
feedback is always appreciated!

more here:

Monday, 1 January 2018

Happy New Year!

So I hope you all had a Merry Xmas and now I wish you a funky New Year!

with a good cheer courtesy of The Godfather of Funk

and a classic piece of heavy funk!

A Happier & Healthy New Year!

Wishing you all a Happier & Healthy New Year  (after all the crazy shit we went through last year )! It's always better to start the...