Funk It Friday Ep. 14

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Urban Mystic-Satisfy

John Legend-Heaven

Lina-Between Us

LSK-Hate or Love

Aloe Blacc-Bailar

Carol C/Nikodmus & Osiris-Mariposa

Erykah Badu-Me

Crossrhodes-Balance

Robert Glasper Experiment f Dwele-Worries

Paola Jean-What’s Going On

Funk It Friday Ep. 13

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Beverley Knight-Every Step

Hil St. Soul-Hanging On

Anthony Hamilton-Woo

Leela James-So Cold

Nathaniel Roberts- Dead on Arrival

Joyo Velarde-Certain Special Way

Sweetback-Love is the Word

Suff Daddy-Feelin Fly f. Mariama

Angie Stone-Get to Know You Better

JR/Mike Phillips-Wonderful & Special

Funk It Friday Ep. 11

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Back from an inexplicable lazy summer.  This blog began with all the enthusiasm only the absolutely naïve can possess: I would blog with courage, discipline and excitement. The music would just appear and followers would just ….follow. I just knew there were tons of folks that wanted to listen to great music supported by good writing.

I’ve failed on every imaginable level. Discipline collapsed after the first few posts and I never caught beyond my hopefulness that I would just be “found”. Despite the Twitter landing spot on my page- I don’t twitter or tweet. Nevertheless, there is some part of me that feels this work still deserves a place in the this space. At work, I listen to so many music podcasts and independent radio shows featuring great music by artists that still believe soul music and R&B are viable, vaunted and respectable music dialogues. So, I’m not quite ready to throw in th towel on my little adventure.

With those thoughts, we’re back for another Funk It Friday session:

Bring It On/Dira; Beautiful, Loved & Blessed/Tamar Davis; I Never Felt Like this Before/Mica Paris; Where Has the Love Gone/Steve Harvey ft. KK; Lost in the Moment/Marcell & the Truth; Bus Stop/Don-e; Mountains/Seek; Smooth My Heart/Cree Summer; Look at Me Now/Morrison Slick; How Sweet Life Is/Angela Johnson f/Julie Dexter

Sunday Slowdown Ep. 10

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It’s back to basics R&B. A test of memory with songs that never quite reached the top of the charts. If you’re old enough to remember hearing any of these on the radio- maybe evening waiting by the tape deck to hit record during the Quiet Storm hour- then you’ll remember how good it is to listen to great slow-jams. The Sunday Slowdown is in full effect.

Syretta Wright-I Wanna Be By Your Side

Michael Sterling-What Do You Do

Latoya Jackson f/Janet Jackson-Katcha Kai

Gene Dunlap-Before You Break My Heart

Minnie Riperton-Simple Things

David Oliver-Easier Being Friends

Margie Joseph- Words (Are Impossible)

Ray Brown Trio & Marlena Shaw-I Could Have Loved You

George Benson/Quincy Jones-Turn Out the Lamplight

Donald Byrd & The Blackbyrds-Love So Fine

Billy Paul-When Love is New

Spotlight On: Gerald Levert

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I was in New York on a business trip that was ending very badly. In a club with a compatriot-in-misery, during a casual in-a-bar-with-strangers conversation, we found out that Gerald Levert was dead. Misery is a selfish beast and we’d been captivated by the fantastical nature of our sour turn that not a shred of other-people-drama had permission to penetrate our shell-shocked world. Upon hearing the news, we were appropriately set aback, mouth formed in the perfect caricature of screaming non-believers: “What did you say!?!” “What? Really?” “How?” When?” Why?” HOW?!”.

Gerald’s death was just a few lines on most newscasts. Like so many artists whose breadth of talent gets suffocated into the limiting categories of “R&B” or “urban contemporary”, Gerald’s departure couldn’t be felt as deeply outside of our community. His importance could not be understood by those who viewed R&B as a sidebar to “popular” music, and thus continued to relegated its’ stars to “off-Broadway” triumphs.  Yet, for us, Gerald heralded-ironically- from Rhythm & Blues Royalty. As the son of Eddie LeVert of the O’Jays, Gerald exemplified everything we want in a child following a parents well-blazed path: as an honorific and with respect to the elder while delivering originality and modernity to craft a sound independent of the prototype.

Gerald was more than a voice. Gerald LeVert is credited as an arranger, producer, composer as well keyboardist and drummer for artists with a range from  Anita Baker to the Oak Ridge Boys, and lots of familiars in between: Patti LaBelle, Stephanie Mills, Keith Sweat, Silk, En Vogue, New Edition……

When I heard “DJ Don’t”-released after his death,I felt his loss deep in the grooves of that classic steppers cut. It’s that moment when we realize that there will be no more “new”, and we try not to collapse under the weight of death’s obscene unfairness! WHY?!  However, there will never be a comforting answer so we retrieve what was great and glorious…what remains from the ashes..

Gerald LeVert..a limited list of wonder from an artist worth so much more:

Casanova/Just Coolin’/That’s What Love Is/Private Line/DJ Don’t/Didn’t We/Let’s Get Romantic/Rain/Pop, Pop, Pop Goes My Mind/Thinkin’ Bout It/It Was What It Was/Let the Juices Flow/Just a Little Something/Baby U Are/Dream With No Love

Spotlight- Gerald Levert

 

Sunday Slowdown Ep. 9

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The 1st Sunday of Spring proper. The rose-tinged sun has slipped below the horizon. Indecisive as Spring is here in fair-weather DC, these cuts are sure to get someone somewhere in the mood…..Let Spring fever begin:

Head to To- E. Roberson.Put It on You-Big Brooklyn Red/(If You Ain’t) Comfortable-Lynden David hall/Supa Luva-Leela James/Tossin’ and Turnin’-TonyToniTone/Come On Over-Conya Doss/All I Want is U-Tamar Davis/Satisfied-Jonz/Coolin’-Marlon Saunders/Honeybaby-Caretta Bell/One Night-Jacy

Sunday Slowdown Ep. 9

Cupid’s Hunt 2013: Old Ladies Sing About Love

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Cupids_Hunt_Album_Art_2013_Sunset

 

 

 

 

 

Grab a drink- stiff liquor, preferably brown, unquestionably top shelf. If you don’t smoke, think about it because everything about this post deserves the strongest menthols. It’s a time warp of classics raided from the melodic archives of the purest, classiest R&B and jazz singers. It’s in parts brittle and bone-dry and in others lush, lonely and lost. It’s for the women that stumbled down concrete steps decorated with beautiful lies, stones littered by promises of lovers recognizable only by their retreating shell. And yet, there is the tiniest of space where you hear gasps of love realized, pushed into permanent radiance to shine and heal the most blessed.  It’s healing and heartbreak, tears and strength. It’s real. Love.

Ashaki

Click here: Cupids Hunt 2013

Track List:

I’d Rather Go Blind- Etta James

Tracks of My Tears- Aretha Franklin

Baby, I’m for Real- Esther Phillips

So Far Away- Marlena Shaw

Just Me and You Phyllis Hyman

That’s All Right with Me- E. Phillips

Help Me Make It Through the Night- Gladys Knight (w/the Pips)

You and Me- Aretha Franklin

Words (Are Impossible) Margie Joseph

Sometimes When We Touch- Tina Turner

Master of Eyes- Aretha Franklin

Phoebe Snow- Something Real

Making Love- Roberta Flack

If You’re Not Back in Love by Monday- Millie Jackson

When the World Turns Blue- Merry Clayton

Home Alone- Gladys Knight

Miles Blown’- Chaka Khan

Black is the Color of My True Loves Hair- Nina Simone

I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got- Bettye LaVette

I’ll Get Along Somehow- Nancy Wilson

Send in the Clowns- Shirley Bassey

A Single Woman- Nina Simone

 

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